Tag: "New Jersey 101.5"

Thursday, November 8, 2018

| November 8, 2018

Craig Carton Found Guilty of Fraud Charges.  Former WFAN, New York morning drive personality Craig Carton was convicted on three fraud charges – securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud – on the second day of deliberations in his trial by a Manhattan jury.  Federal prosecutors charged that Carton had used almost $7 million from investors in a concert tickets re-sale scheme for personal expenses and to pay off gambling debts.  Prosecutors even called a loan shark named Desmond Finger to the stand testify he gave Carton loans totaling as much as $500,000 that Carton failed to repay.  They called a hedge fund executive who testified he gave Carton more than $5 million to invest in tickets in 2016.  The feds also say Carton doctored emails to make it appear to investors that he had a tickets contract with Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, owner of the Barclays Center and the Nassau Coliseum.  Carton’s defense claimed he was a victim of partner Michael Wright, who pleaded guilty, and associate Joseph Meli, who is serving time for bilking investors in his own concert tickets scheme.  The New York Post reports that Carton could get as much as 45 years in federal prison when he’s sentenced on February 27 of next year, though he’s likely to get far less.  Carton’s attorney Robert Gottlieb says they will appeal the verdict.  Carton was half of the highly rated morning show with Boomer Esiason on WFAN before his arrest in September of 2017. Prior to that, he’d been a successful talk show host on WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”

Cumulus Names Lee Hammer PD for KGO and KSFO in San Francisco. It was just last month – October 5 – that Cumulus Media announced programmer Jack Swanson would return to the Bay Area stations he programmed so successfully for so many years.  But Swanson has had a change of heart and now the company is naming San Francisco cluster operations manager Lee Hammer PD for KGO and KSFO.  Hammer served KGO and KSFO as interim program director in 2015 during which he was also PD for sports talkers KNBR and KTCT.  Cumulus San Francisco VP and market manager Doug Harvill says, “Lee Hammer did an excellent job while handling the programming for KGO and KSFO.  It’s an easy choice to hand Lee the keys to these two legendary radio stations.”  As for Swanson, he’ll serve the station as a programming consultant.  He states, “I realize my decision to return to the beach is sudden.  I quickly fell in love all over again with these wonderful stations and their talented people, but ultimately, my change of heart comes from my desire to fully enjoy a future of unlimited fun, travel, and adventure.  And making this move complete, through the unbelievable graciousness of Doug Harvill, Lee Hammer, and the entire Cumulus corporate team, I’ll still have the opportunity to contribute my ideas for the future of these amazing radio stations.”

St. Louis Talk Host Jamie Allman and Emmis/Entercom Settle.  There are literally no details in the court filing in United States District Court in Missouri about the settlement and we’ll likely never know what they are, but the legal battle between former KFTK-FM, St. Louis Jamie Allman and Emmis Communications and Entercom is over.  The two sides were sent into “alternative dispute resolution” by the court and it worked in as much as a trial was avoided.  Allman was suing Emmis (seller of KFTK-FM) and Entercom (operating it under an LMA) on basically two complaints: that the companies owed him money after firing him for his Tweet about Parkland, Florida shooting survivor David Hogg, and that his firing was a breach of contract.  Previously, the two sides settled the money issue (privately, of course) and now they’ve settled the termination matter.  Meanwhile, Marc Cox is now the host of the morning show on KFTK-FM and Allman is producing his own daily morning show via the digital Radio Free Allman Network.

RTDNA Demands the White House Restore CNN’s Jim Acosta’s Media Credentials.  One of the nation’s leading organizations supporting radio and TV journalists – the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) – condemns the revoking of CNN correspondent Jim Acosta’s hard pass a few hours after he attempted to ask questions of President Trump at yesterday’s (11/7) post-election press conference. The organization issued the following statement: “The RTDNA and its Voice of the First Amendment Task Force condemn this obvious punitive action of the administration and call on it to restore Mr. Acosta’s credentials immediately.  In the statement RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley says, “The leader of the free world has consistently ridiculed journalists who report the truth as purveyors of ‘fake news’ and the ‘[enemies] of the American people.’  To go a nearly unprecedented step further and revoke the credentials of a responsible journalist who was merely attempting to ask a question of the president is unconscionable.”  The statement continues: “Furthermore, the White House attempted to justify its decision to revoke Acosta’s credentials in part by alleging he had essentially assaulted a staffer who attempted to take a microphone from his hands.”  Shelley adds, “Any objective observer of the staffer’s attempt to confiscate the microphone Mr. Acosta was holding would surely conclude that he acted professionally and in a non-aggressive manner. He even said to her, ‘pardon me, ma’am.’”  The RTDNA formed the nonpartisan Voice of the First Amendment Task Force to defend against threats to the First Amendment and news media access and to help the public better understand why responsible journalism is essential to their daily lives. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison speaks about this development with Dan Shelley earlier this morning (11/8).  To listen to that conversation, please click 

      here
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Salem Media Group Q3 Revenue Flat; Broadcast Division Posts Positive Numbers. Although the third quarter total revenue for Salem Media Group, Inc. was basically flat at $65.5 million (up 0.1%), and the broadcast division’s net revenue was up only 0.8% ($48.8 million from $48.4 million a year ago), same station figures were up.  Station Operating Income increased 2.4% to $11.7 million from $11.4 million in Q3 of 2017; Same Station net broadcast revenue increased 1.9% to $47.8 million from $46.9 million; and Same Station SOI increased 2.3% to $12.1 million from $11.8 million.  On another positive note, the company posts a net income of $1.2 million in the third quarter of 2018, compared to a loss of $46,000 in Q3 of 2017.  Salem’s digital division was consistent at $10.4 million and the publishing division dipped 3.7% to $6.3 million.

iHeartMedia Files Q3 Financial Data with SEC; Revenue Up 1.6%.  There are not a lot of detailed breakdowns in this 8-K filing with the Securities Exchange Commission from iHeartMedia.  We do see that revenue for the third quarter of 2018 was $873 million – up 1.6% from $859 million a year ago.  iHeartMedia has been releasing monthly financial updates as is makes its way through Chapter 11 reorganization but releases this quarterly report today (11/8). It doesn’t contain any same station data valuable for analyzing the radio operations a bit deeper.

PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October PPM survey, today focusing on Major League Baseball flagships.  This is the third and final review of MLB flagship outlets this year.  Interestingly, Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston – flagship for the World Champion Red Sox – lost weekly AQH share from October 2017 to October 2018 (5.9 to 5.1).  The Los Angeles Dodgers flagship iHeartMedia’s KLAC was up from a 1.0 share to a 1.7 share during the same period. Milwaukee Brewers flagship then-Scripps’ WTMJ was the big winner here, rising from a 7.3 share to a 10.4 share, year over year.  See the whole story here.

Midterm Election Results, Sessions Resigns AG Post/Future of Mueller Probe, Trump Suspends Acosta Press Credentials, Deadly California Bar Shooting, Antifa Threats Against Media Figures, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/7). The results of Tuesday’s midterm elections that saw the Democrats take control of the House and Republicans add seats in the Senate; Attorney General Jeff Sessions agrees to resign post and the future of Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation; President Trump suspends CNN reporter Jake Acosta’s White House press credentials; a gunman kills 11 and himself in a country bar in Los Angeles; reports of conservative media figures getting threats from Antifa groups; and the week’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

‘SuperTalk 99.7 WTN’ Wraps ‘Voice Your Vote’ Tour.  Pictured above are WWTN-FM, Nashville personalities at the final stop of the “2018 Voice Your Vote Tour” at MAFIAoZA’s in Franklin, Tennessee on Tuesday evening. The “2018 Voice Your Vote Tour” launched in March in Franklin and has included stops featuring WTN hosts and voter registration opportunities throughout the year at venues in Nashville, Mt. Juliet, Bellevue, and Hendersonville, Tennessee.  From right to left are: Dave Zanotti, Michael DelGiorno, Phil Valentine, Dan Mandis, and Brian Wilson.

Lars Larson Featured in ‘KGW-TV Carpool’ Personality Segment.  Nationally and regionally syndicated, KXL-FM, Portland-based talk host Lars Larson was interviewed by KGW-TV, Portland news anchor Brenda Braxton for the station’s segment, “KGW Carpool.”  In the segment, Braxton interviews Larson as they drive around Portland, but there’s one catch – no talking politics.  Larson is syndicated nationally by Compass Media Networks and regionally via the Radio Northwest Network.  See the five-minute video here.

AWMF Announces Call for Entries for 2019 Gracie Awards. The Gracie Awards, presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, opens the call for entries for the 44th Annual Gracie Awards Gala, taking place May 21, 2019, at the Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills and the Gracie Awards Luncheon, taking place June 26, 2019, in New York City at Cipriani 42nd Street.  The AWMF says that each year attention is given to evaluating categories which included adding one for writers in television and creating more avenues for radio hosts/co-hosts, including adding in market size in various categories.  AWMF executive director Becky Brooks says, “Each year, the Gracie Awards Gala and Luncheon celebrate and honor truly exceptional content by, for and about women.  It is our belief that recognizing expertise, courage and contributions across all segments of media is essential to ensuring continued growth for our industry.  AWM has been shining a spotlight on the individual and collective achievements of the best and brightest women in media for over 40 years.  As our biggest fundraiser of the year, the Gracies enables the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation to deliver on its promise of furthering the connection, education and recognition of women in media.”  The 2019 Gracie Awards entry eligibility air dates are from January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2018. Early bird rates for entries end on December 13, 2018, at 11:59 pm ET. The deadline for all entries is January 17, 2019, at 11:59 pm ET.  Entry details including pricing and updated categories can be viewed at https://allwomeninmedia.org/gracies/call-for-entries/.  To see more about the 2018 Gracie Awards, including the media release and past video, visit https://allwomeninmedia.org/gracies/gracies-coverage/.

Great Programming Opportunity at Atlanta’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM.  The Cox Media Group heritage news/talk outlet is seeking a senior operations and programming manager to assist the director of branding and programming.  The job summary says, “Assists the ‘Director of Branding and Programming’ as 2nd in command for the WSB Radio Brand in executing the WSB Programming Strategy, to include managing and developing Talk Talent, Hosts, Producers, the Operations team, Imaging Producers, as well as coordinating strategic goals and input with the News Director, Manager of Traffic Operations, and Director of Digital/Social. Also, handles assigned administrative duties, personnel management, coordination of schedules, and promotions (sales and marketing). Serves as member of the WSB Radio Strategic Team, and coordinates with CMG Research for Nielsen Ratings Reports, Analysis, and Market research.”  See more about this excellent opportunity here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Classic hits WIAD, Washington “94.7 The Drive” announces DC market pro Albie Dee is the new afternoon drive personality on the former hot AC outlet, effective November 12.  Entercom vice president of programming Steve Davis says, “Albie Dee is a radio legend in DC and I am beyond excited to have him return to the market as the first personality on ‘94.7 The Drive.’”…..The changes at iHeartMedia’s CHR KYLD, San Francisco “WiLD 94.9” include the departure of afternoon drive personality Julianontheradio from that role and the move of evening jock Gabby Diaz into the drive time slot.  Filling the evening show host position is current JV show cast member Crystal Rosas.  Julianontheradio will continue to serve with the company handling part-time and voice-tracking duties…..iHeartMedia’s “The Breakfast Club” morning drive show hosted by DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God is presenting this year’s #Change4Change – an all-day radiothon that will benefit PROJECT 375 – taking place on Thursday, November 15, 2018 during “The Breakfast Club” show across more than 77 syndicated markets. It will continue from 10:00 am to 12:00 midnight on flagship WWPR, New York “Power 105.1,” with other participating markets to be announced…..Cumulus Media’s country WFMS, Indianapolis has been recognized by the Indiana Broadcasters Association as the Radio Station of the Year. The station received the same honor in 2008 and 2012.  Pictured below at the 2018 Spectrum Awards Luncheon are (from l-r): morning hosts Jim Denny and Kevin Freeman, assistant program director Kash, morning host Deb Honeycut, marketing director Jan Thoman, and VP/market manager Chuck Fredrick.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

| October 16, 2018

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from the September 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today focusing on news/talk. Among news/talk stations in PPM markets, some 47% see a dip in their 6+ weekly AQH share while 39% improve and 14% remain unchanged.  Looking back to last September, 53% of news/talk stations improve from September 2017 to September 2018 with 42% losing ground.  Four news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in the September survey: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta rolls with a 7.9 share; Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis shoots up to an 8.3 share; iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati dips to a 9.1 share (but stays in first place); and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” stays on top with an 8 share. See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Cox Media Group Unveils its Broadcast Analytics Service. This platform for radio advertisers from Cox Media Group is called Cox Analytics for Broadcast and promises that “through rich audience data and insights, this new solution helps advertisers target active consumers in their product category and track the effectiveness of their campaigns through detailed analysis of their website traffic.”  The press release explains further: Data has always been used in the broadcast industry to determine results, and by leveraging the power of social media to identify these insights, CMG can tap into its massive digital audience – matching offline to online audiences.  Results are collected by combing listener data with social audiences, leading to a clearly defined, hyper-specific audience for radio advertisers to target.  These numbers are then generated through a custom dashboard, which allows advertisers to improve performance and understand what is driving their results. CMG executive director of revenue Katie Reid says, “These new capabilities will transform the way our clients target consumers and advertise with our radio platforms. Through Cox Analytics for Broadcast, we can measure the effectiveness of these audience segments, attribute actions taken by consumers and provide insightful research and data to reach ROI and help meet our clients’ goals.”

WVMT-AM, Burlington and Sister CHR Sold to Vox AM/FM LLC. Burlington, Vermont news/talk WVMT-AM and sister CHR WXXX-FM “95 TripleX” are being sold by Sison Broadcasting to Vox AM/FM, LLC for an as yet undisclosed price.  Vox currently owns sports talk duo WCPV-FM “101.3 The Game” and WEAV-AM “960 The Zone,” and classic hits WVTK-FM.  Vox will begin operating the stations under an LMA on January 1, 2019.  Sison owner Paul Goldman says, “WVMT and ‘95 TripleX’ have been my life and passion for over 40 years.  There is no player in our market better equipped to ensure their future than Vox.  My valued employees and stations are in great hands.”  Meanwhile, Vox partner and principal Ken Barlow states, “The people and stations at Sison are terrific! They have enormous market history and blend very well with our current cluster.  We look forward to merging our operations to better serve the Burlington-Plattsburgh radio market.”  This transaction was arranged by Doug Ferber of DEFcom Advisors on an exclusive brokerage basis.

Oakland A’s and KGMZ Breakup Not Pretty. The Oakland A’s announced their parting from flagship station KGMZ-FM, San Francisco with a Tweet showing radio equipment being wheeled away and the phrase, “It’s not us; it’s you.” Ouch!  But as the San Jose Mercury News writes, the parting was not a surprise since the team announced in April that this was the last year of the deal and asked fans if they thought the sides should renew with the Entercom sports talker.  There’s no word where the A’s radio broadcasts will end up for the 2019 season.

Missing Saudi Journalist, Paul Allen Dies, November Midterms, Hurricane Michael Aftermath, Warren Ancestry Video, Trump ‘60 Minutes’ Interview, Portland Patriots-Antifa Skirmish, Stormy Daniels Suit Tossed, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/15). The case of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip to Saudi Arabia; Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65 after battle with cancer; the November midterm elections and the battle for control of the house and senate; the devastation in the Florida panhandle after Hurricane Michael; Senator Elizabeth Warren produces video proving Native American ancestry, taunts President Trump; the president’s interview on “60 Minutes” with Lesley Stahl; the weekend’s clash between Patriot Prayer demonstrators and Antifa protestors; a judge tosses Stormy Daniels’ suit against President Trump; the weekend’s NFL action and the MLB Playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Triangle radio personality Madison Lane returns to the air on Curtis Media Group’s adult hits WBBB-FM, Raleigh “96BBB” to host the morning drive program.  Lane previously was the morning personality at iHeartMedia’s CHR WDCG “G105” and WRSN-FM.  She left the business in 2006 to raise her children.  Lane says, “It was such a blessing to be able to have some time away to raise my kids and focus on my family.  This new chapter of my life is exciting and WBBB feels like home.  I love the awesome variety of music and the loyalty to the community.  I’m so excited to be a part of the team.”  Curtis Media Group SVP and general manager David Stuckey comments, “From our very first meeting, I knew Madison was the perfect fit for mornings on WBBB.  Madison brings familiarity and star power to the fastest growing station in the Triangle.  Her life experiences and knowledge of the Raleigh-Durham market make her the right person to solidify WBBB as the dominant radio brand in the Triangle.”…..Indiana Radio Watch’s Blaine Thompson reports that Adams Radio Group’s rhythmic CHR WJFX, New Haven, Indiana (Fort Wayne market) promotes late night and weekend host Taylor Morgan to middays…..Entercom announces the dates for the “Not So Silent Night” concert events in New York, San Francisco, and San Diego.  The alternative music festival debuted in San Francisco in 1991 and has grown from a small acoustic concert to a large arena show hosting some of the biggest alternative acts in three cities.  This year, the show will debut at New York’s Barclays Center and will be co-headlined by Muse and Florence + The Machine. WNYL, New York ALT 92.3’s holiday event will also feature musical performances by AJR, Bastille, Chvrches, Death Cab for Cutie, Foster The People, and Mike Shinoda on Thursday, December 6…..Entercom triple A WXRT, Chicago is announcing its 10th annual “Holiday Jam” will feature music from The Head and the Heart with special guest Mt. Joy…..WCSX, Detroit morning host Big Jim has been on a six-month mission to get a street named after Motor City music legend Bob Seger and this Friday (10/19) it’s going to happen.  The Beasley Media Group station, “The Big Jim’s House Morning Show,” and the City of Allen Park will officially unveil Bob Seger Boulevard during a two-hour event and ceremony at Allen Park City Hall that will include a special performance by a Bob Seger tribute band as well as a video screen featuring fans and celebrities congratulating the rock legend!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

| August 23, 2018

PPM Analysis: News/Talk.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his final format analysis of station performances based on data from the July 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  This report addresses news/talk radio.  Comparing June’s 6+ AQH shares to the July numbers indicates just as many news/talk stations went up as went down – 42% each.  But 63% of news/talk stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ weekly AQH share rise, with Alpha Media’s KXL, Portland leaping by 2.2 shares, iHeartMedia’s WTKS-FM, Orlando rising by 1.9 shares, and Cumulus Media’s KSFO up by 1.7 shares.  While three news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in July, another eight ranked in the top five.  Number one finishers in July were Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati; and Townsquare Media’s WKQX, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  See the entire report here.

Westwood One Names New ‘First Light’ Host. Current “First Light” host Evan Haning is stepping back from full-time work with Westwood One but will continue as a part-time news anchor and fill-in for the morning news magazine.  With his decision, Westwood One names WWO News correspondent Michael Toscano the new host. He is a former host of the Wall Street Journal Radio afternoon news program “The Daily Wrap.”  At the same time, Westwood One News also announces that Mike Moss is taking on the role of full-time news anchor.  Moss has been part of Westwood One News’ operation since joining as a part-time anchor and fill-in guest host earlier this year.  He is well-known in the nation’s capital from his many years as morning drive anchor at all-news WTOP, Washington.

Cristina Mendonsa Named Co-Host of KFBK, Sacramento Morning Show. Market news pro Cristina Mendonsa joins Dan Mitchinson as co-host of “The KFBK Morning News” on iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento.  Mendonsa served with KXTV-TV, Sacramento “ABC 10” for more than 21 years – most recently as a news anchor.  KFBK program director Bill White says, “Cristina’s a team builder, passionate journalist, and storyteller with deep connections to the communities we serve.  A consummate pro, Cristina will further enhance KFBK’s news reputation not only on the radio but also on our digital and social media platforms through informative and thought-provoking podcasts and video content.”  Mendonsa comments, “KFBK is approaching a century of serving Northern California.  I’m so honored to become part of this team and legacy.  I’ve missed talking with listeners and viewers and collaborating with a team of passionate professionals.  Informing and engaging our community on a daily basis once again will be satisfying and fun!”

Athans Appointed New Radio Media CDO. Cultivating political talk programming will be Tom Athans’ (left) primary responsibility as chief development officer of Michigan-based New Radio Media. The company’s chief executive officer, Paul Bensman (right), comments, “We are excited to have Tom join our company.  Tom brings a wealth of experience in creating exciting new shows from the ground up that will resonate across the country.” Athans adds, “After a decade-long detour in the arena of government relations, I’m excited to be returning to my true love of talk and entertainment media and it’s a real privilege to join the NRM team.  In the early days of progressive talk, we were predicting that digital platforms were not far off in the future; well, the future is here. The NRM team is poised to do some really great things in the media landscape – particularly in political talk media. The political environment in this nation is more toxic and divisive than we’ve ever seen in modern American history. There hasn’t been a greater need or opportunity than right now to launch a new generation of exciting and compelling voices in the nation. Through digital media, those programs will be unconstrained. Anyone with a smartphone or an internet connection will be able to tap into their favorite show at their convenience – live or on-demand.”  Formerly co-founder and chief executive officer of Washington, D.C.-based Democracy Radio, Athans developed/launched syndicated programs for progressive talk hosts Ed SchultzStephanie Miller, and Leslie Marshall. In addition, he was executive vice president for Air America Radio and managing director at Talk USA Media.

Musicoomph Publishes Infographic Highlighting Podcasting Data.  The images here are from the infographic published by Musicoomph that reveals some of the most compelling data about the growth of podcasting and the medium’s potential as a revenue stream.  The graphic’s date is culled from multiple 2018 studies of podcasting by Edison Research, Nielsen Audio, and others. It states, “With 550,000 active podcasts and rapidly growing, podcasting is indeed on a meteoric rise.  In fact, 64% of the U.S. population is already familiar with what a podcast is.  To put that into perspective, only 40% know the name of the vice president!”  The graphic above indicates the growth of podcasting revenue over the years as well as its projected growth.  The graphic below illustrates where people are listening to podcasts.  See the whole infographic here.

TALKERS News Notes.  WFAN, New York afternoon star Mike Francesa has recently been speaking to the media about his forthcoming Mike’s On app and what it will mean to his brand, but he’s a believer in radio he tells The New York Times Magazine in an interview piece with Jay Caspian Kang.  Read it here…..Pictured below is WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley surrounded by “The Bombshells” at Wednesday’s eight-hour live broadcast from the 16th annual Atlantic City Airshow, “Thunder Over the Boardwalk.”  Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that the estimated attendance for the event was between 400,000 to 500,000.  Hurley adds, “The Atlantic City Airshow is the largest mid-week Airshow in America. This mega-event generates more than $27 million in direct spend and more than $33 million in overall financial impact.”

Manafort Conviction/Cohen Guilty Plea, Trump-Russia Investigation, Mollie Tibbetts Murder, Trump vs ESPN, Urban Meyer Suspension, Hurricane Lane, Asia Argento #MeToo Issue, Western Wildfires/Air Quality, NFL Pre-season and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/22). Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is convicted on eight counts in fraud trial and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleads guilty to breaking campaign finance laws; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the murder of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts and the illegal status of the suspect; President Trump encourages petition to ESPN over new policy of not showing national anthem during game broadcasts; Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is suspended for three games for role in assistant coach’s domestic violence case; Hurricane Lane bears down on Hawaii; Harvey Weintstein accuser Asia Argento’s reported payoff for having sex with a minor; the wildfires in the U.S. West and the region’s poor air quality; NFL pre-season action and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At Phoenix country outlet KMLE “Country @ 107.9,” Entercom moves afternoon personality Alana Lynn from the afternoon drive program to “The Breakfast Buzz” morning program with co-host Niko Petrou.  Lynn maintains her music director role with the station.  This change includes current morning personality Nina D moving to the afternoon drive show. Entercom Phoenix SVP and market manager Dave Pugh says, “Alana and Nina D both bring incredible talent and commitment to KMLE.  We’re looking forward to them continuing to raise the bar for the station and connecting with audiences in their new time slots.”…..Detroit-based iHeartMedia personality Joe Carballo is upped to assistant program director and music director for CHR WKQI “Channel 955.”  He’s also heard on iHeartMedia stations WKSC, Chicago “103.5 Kiss FM,” WZEE, Madison “Z104,” and WSNX, Grand Rapids…..In Tuscaloosa, alternative WQRR brand manager Meg Summers is promoted to operations manager for the Townsquare Media cluster that includes country duo WFFN and WTBC, urban AC WTUG, plus sports talk WTID and Gospel WTSK.  She is also adding brand manager responsibilities for WFFN…..Exiting the operations and programming roles at Alpha Media’s hot AC WHBC-FM and news/talk WHBC-AM in Canton, Ohio is John Stewart.  He’d been with the stations for the past six years.

A Real Producer Can Protect a Talk Show Host from Saying Something Stupid

| August 6, 2018

By Jeffrey Haveson
Talk Media Consultant                                        

Newark, NJ — Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco are back at Trenton-based New Jersey 101.5 after a 10-day suspension, but what have we learned from this as an industry?

For those who don’t know or have forgotten, the suspension was meted out to Dennis and Judi after they repeatedly called New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewalon, who is a Sikh, “the guy with the turban” and “Turban Man,” and Dennis defended the name calling by saying “if that offends you, then don’t wear the turban (man) and I’ll remember your name.”

This is a perfect example of why talk radio stations, be they public or commercial, news talk, conservative talk, progressive talk, sports talk, financial talk, or other, need real producers.

Read More

Friday, July 27, 2018

| July 27, 2018

Surprise Buyer for Scripps’ Milwaukee Duo Is Good Karma.  Numerous industry watchers expected E.W. Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI-FM to go to a larger operator – such as Entercom.  Today’s announcement that the stations are being sold to Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Brands for $16 million is sure to surprise many.  Good Karma already owns Milwaukee market ESPN affiliate WAUK-AM, as well as Madison sports outlet WTLX-FM.  Scripps president and CEO Adam Symson states, “Good Karma Brands’ focus on Milwaukee makes the company an ideal home for these important local radio stations. The company’s expertise in connecting audiences and advertisers, particularly with sports marketing, means these stations will be well positioned for the future.”  Scripps has put all of its radio assets on the market and Symson adds, “At Scripps, we are on track for the sale of our entire radio station group as a component of our enterprise-wide strategy to divest of non-core assets and focus on improving our near-term operating performance while fostering the growth ahead.”  The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.  Good Karma owns six sports talk stations (including WAUK). WTMJ has the rights to Green Bay Packers football, Milwaukee Bucks basketball, and Milwaukee Brewers baseball – right up Good Karma’s alley – but it also operates a personnel-heavy news and programming department and one has to wonder if staffers there are concerned about the owner-to-be’s commitment to a big news department.  At the same time, there are those who will applaud the sale of these stations to a smaller operator and not one of the big conglomerates. Kalil & Co., Inc. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

New Jersey 101.5’s Dennis & Judi Suspended for 10 Days. You have to give credit to Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” management for getting out front on this and 1) quickly decrying the words of hosts Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco, 2) immediately suspending the duo while conducting an internal investigation, and 3) swiftly deciding the punishment and making it public.  This, of course, stems from their show segment during which they referred to New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal – a practicing Sikh – as “turban man” and disparaged his name.  The station pulled Malloy and Franco from Wednesday’s program and promised quick action.  It then announced they will be suspended for 10 days.  It also released the following joint apology from Malloy and Franco: “It was a mistake we both deeply regret.  We respect all cultures and beliefs and are deeply sorry for the pain caused to the Sikh community, our co-workers and our beloved listeners.”

Salem Radio Network Host Mike Gallagher is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  In addition to being a top-10 member of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred and a major radio talent, syndicated talk host Mike Gallagher is a devoted theater fan and part-time stage actor.  The Salem Radio Network star has compiled quite an impressive list of credits over the years performing leading and supportive roles in musicals at professional regional theaters across the country including a brief guest stint on Broadway in the production of “Memphis.”  He’s even dabbled successfully in the risky business side of theater and has a Tony Award to prove it for his investment in the Broadway and road show revivals of “Pippin.”  Gallagher is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview” in which he and the founder of TALKERS take a deep dive into the world of theater.  They explore what being a stage actor has meant to the talk star in addition to the state of the theater in general touching upon its role in today’s politically polarized and contentious environment.  Don’t miss this fascinating look into the multi-layered personality of one of talk radio’s most successful players.  To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Podcast” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

TALKERS News Notes. Portland-based Alpha Media sells three of its Missouri stations for $250,000 cash.  To be transferred to Clayton and Brittany Radford-owned Radford Media Group are: agriculture-formatted KDKD-AM “Ag 1280,” country KDKD-FM, and classic rock KXEA “104.9 The Eagle.” These are the first radio properties for Radford.  The broker for the seller is Kalil & Co. and representing the buyer is Patrick Communications…..Louisville Public Media names Stephen George president and general manager for its public radio outlets WFPL, WUOL, and WFPK.  He’s been serving as interim president since January and takes over for previous president Michael Skoler.

Cohen Recordings and Trump-Russia Investigation Tied for Top News/Talk Stories This Week.  The recordings of conversations between former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and Donald Trump discussing a payment to Playboymodel and the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio for the week of July 23-27, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the threat by GOP congressmen to begin the impeachment process against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.  Coming in at #3 was the meeting between President Trump and the E.U.’s Jean-Claude Juncker over trade issues, followed by the status of the second meeting between President Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See the entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. There’s a new voice joining iHeartMedia’s and Premiere Networks’ Elvis Duran and the Morning Show” on September 17.  Medha Gandhi becomes co-host, moving to New York from her most recent position as executive producer and co-host of the “Matty in the Morning” program on the company’s WXKS-FM, Boston “KISS 108.”  Cast member Bethany Watson left the program in February to pursue an acting career.  Duran says, “We fell in love with Gandhi within the first five minutes of meeting her.  When you have a show as long established as ours, it’s very important to continue to keep it fresh and in Gandhi we have found the perfect co-host to do that.  I can’t wait for her to join our dysfunctional family!”  The program emanates from WHTZ, New York “Z100” and airs on some 80 affiliate stations…..Entercom’s Portland country outlet KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf” brings Toni-Marie aboard as midday personality and assistant program director.  Most recently, she was music director and air personality at Buck Owens Broadcasting’s KUZZ and KRJK in Bakersfield.  Entercom Portland SVP and market manager Bill Ashenden says, “Toni-Marie brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to these roles and I’m looking forward to seeing her connect with our audience in the Northwest.”…..Beasley Media Group names Scotty B evening personality on rock WDHA, Dover, New Jersey.  Scotty B was most recently a part-time air personality and production staffer at the company’s rock WRAT, Point Pleasant, New Jersey.  WDHA program director Terrie Carr comments, “Rockturnal with Scotty B,” which airs weeknights from 7:00 to 12:00 midnight, will focus on his strengths – interacting with rock fans, getting out in the community, and being host of the party!  I am thrilled to have Scotty’s energy, attitude, and huge presence on our airwaves and as part of our family.”…..Jeffrey Jameson exits Entercom’s hot AC WNEW-FM, New York “NEW 102.7,” he announces in a brief tweet. Co-host Karen Carson will handle the morning show solo for now…..Iliad Media Group appoints James Garner regional operations manager for its Boise and Twin Falls station groups.  The company says that in this new position, the 11-year staffer will oversee the programming, production, and promotions at the 13 stations in Boise and Twin Falls…..Kenny Chesney’s exclusive SiriusXM channel, “No Shoes Radio,” is a live Town Hall with Chesney at Soldier Field in Chicago this weekend.  The show is being hosted by Storme Warren.  Chesney will give fans the opportunity to hear songs from his new album with track-by-track commentary, audience members will learn about the album’s inspiration, the recovery efforts from Hurricane’s Irma and Maria, and his Love for Love City Fund.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

| July 26, 2018

Former KFTK-FM, St. Louis Host Jamie Allman, Emmis and Entercom Argue Over Motion to Dismiss His Breach of Contract Suit.  If you’ve been following the legal case in which talk show host Jamie Allman is suing Emmis and Entercom for his firing from news/talk KFTK-FM, St. Louis, there’s an update to report.  Remember that Allman was let go after the blowback from his tweet in which he referenced Florida school shooting survivor and activist David Hogg saying, “I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass tomorrow.”  Emmis/Entercom asked the court to dismiss the case and on Tuesday (7/24), each side filed arguments for and against the motion to dismiss.  Allman argues to convert the Motion to Dismiss to a motion for summary judgement due to Emmis/Entercom’s attachment of the contract’s Assignment and Assumption Agreement and news stories about his tweet to its argument and second, due to his claim that he’s a third-party beneficiary of the contract because of FCC ownership cap issues affecting the Emmis-Entercom stations sale.  Emmis/Entercom argue that their attachments comply with the rules for filing for the Motion and that Allman’s ownership cap argument is irrelevant because that matter is governed by the FCC.  Allman also argues that whether Emmis/Entercom legally fired him based on the language of his contract should be decided by a jury, not by a judge in the form of a dismissal.  It appears Jamie Allman is in this fight for the long haul.

‘New Jersey 101.5’ Suspends Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco for ‘Turban Man’ Comment. After catching heat for comments made by midday personalities Dennis Malloy (right) and Judi Franco (left) about New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” has suspended the pair “until further notice.”  During a radio conversation about Gurbir’s decision to not prosecute low-level marijuana arrests for the next month, the duo referred to Gurbi – a practicing Sikh – as “turban man.”  The comments went viral on social media and the station posted its response on its website. It says, “We are aware of the offensive comments made by Dennis and Judi during today’s broadcast.  We have taken immediate action and have taken them off the air until further notice.  We are investigating the matter and will have further comment shortly.”

Mike Pintek Takes Leave from KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh. After being off the air for a few weeks, KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh talk host Mike Pintek announces he’s on leave from the station to focus on his health.  In May of 2017, Pintek announced he’s been diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer and is under the care of Dr. Nathan Bahary at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.  He says in a statement posted on the KDKA website, “At this point, I need to take some time and really focus on my health.  I know a number of listeners have reached out to the station to get an update on my condition since I haven’t been on the air for a few weeks.  I want everyone to know how much I appreciate all your prayers, kind words, encouragement and support.”  Pintek recently suffered a stroke but his doctors believe his rehab from that will be successful and he’ll return to his course of chemotherapy.

SiriusXM CEO Says AM/FM Must Improve Its Product to Survive. Commenting on the competitive nature of today’s audio services industry during Wednesday’s Q2 investor conference call, SiriusXM chief executive officer Jim Meyer says that his company has been addressing the threats of new and improved audio services since he’s been with the company.  In talking about that, he also gave his opinion about AM/FM radio’s future.  “I’ve been here almost 14 years, and during those 14 years I’ve seen a couple of moments where people have said, ‘Oh, competition and what’s it going to do?’  And yet, you look at the unbelievable things that have occurred over the last 10 years – the unbelievable surge in technology and yet you still look at the number of people that listen to AM/FM radio every day, okay?  And honestly, that’s the area I think that’s got a problem.  If they don’t vastly improve their product, that’s the area where I think listener hours are finally going to come or finally going to shift away to other things.  If you really want to know where I think it inevitably shakes out.”

SiriusXM Second Quarter Revenue Up 6%.  CEO Jim Meyer wasn’t taking a potshot at radio in the story above, but he makes his comments standing on pretty firm ground as far as SiriusXM’s business is concerned.  The company announces its 2018 second quarter revenue was $1.4 billion, up 6% over Q2 of 2017.  Net income for the quarter was $292 million, a gain of 42% over last year’s $202 million figure.  Jim Meyer states, “SiriusXM’s strong start to 2018 accelerated in the second quarter.  We added 483,000 net new self-pay subscribers in the quarter with an impressive 1.6% self-pay churn rate, our best-ever performance.  Our 6% growth in revenue would have been 8% absent the change in generally accepted accounting principles that was effective January 1, and we are thrilled to increase our full-year guidance for self-pay net additions, revenue and adjusted EBITDA.”

Nielsen 2018 Q2 Revenue Flat. Ratings and research giant Nielsen Holdings plc announces 2018 second quarter financial results.  Nielsen was basically flat on revenue of $1.6 billion, up 0.2% compared the same period in 2017.  Nielsen Audio is part of the company’s Watch segment that was up 4.5%, but the audio revenue was basically flat for the quarter.  The Audience Measurement of Video and Text and Marketing Effectiveness revenues accounted for a large portion of the Watch segment’s growth.

Nielsen’s Mitch Barns to Retire at Year’s End. Also on Wednesday (7/25), Nielsen’s board of directors announced that CEO and board member Mitch Barns will retire from the company at the end of 2018.  James Attwood, current chairman of the board, is named executive chairman.  Barns will remain through the end of the year and Attwood, a managing director at The Carlyle Group will assume a more active role and will direct the search for the new CEO.  Attwood says, “Mitch has left an indelible mark on Nielsen – his commitment to integrity, openness, values and engagement will continue to be the heart of this company for years to come.  I, along with the rest of the board of directors, thank him for his service.”

Salem Selling KOTK-AM, Omaha to Hickory Radio. Omaha-market news/talk KOTK-AM “The Answer” and religious KCRO-AM (and their translators) are being sold by Salem Media Group to Hickory Radio, an affiliate of Walnut Radio.  The deal includes the stations continuing to operate in those formats and with their respective brands, as Salem is licensing “The Word” and “The Answer” to Hickory.  Salem president/broadcast Dave Santrella says, “We are thrilled to put these radio stations in the capable hands of Walnut Radio, a broadcaster with deep roots in the area and with a commitment to maintain the quality of broadcast our ministry partners, advertisers and listeners have come to expect.”  No price has been announced yet.

News/Talk KVOI, Tucson Sold to Bustos Media. The Doug and Mary Martin-owned company Good News Communications agrees to sell news/talk KVOI, Tucson to Amador Bustos’ Bustos Media Holdings.  No sale price has been announced yet but Bustos says in a statement, “As a long-time Spanish language broadcaster, we are excited to step into the arena of news/talk radio in Tucson, Arizona, a city we have worked in before and have loved for many years.”  KALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

TALKERS News Notes. The new voice of the New Orleans Saints is former Saints player Zach Strief, who begins handling play-by-play duties on flagship Entercom’s WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans. Strief will work alongside former teammate Deuce McAllister.  Entercom New Orleans SVP and market manager Chris Wegman states, “When we set the criteria for the new ‘Voice of the Saints’ we were looking for someone who would make the professional play calls, as well as someone who has a deep connection to the team, the fans, and our community.  Zach possesses all of those qualities, knows the game firsthand and is a fixture in the New Orleans community. We’re very excited about adding him to the team.”…..Envision Networks announces that it has brought aboard new affiliate relations manager Josh Friedman.  He comments, “After being able to intern with Envision Networks, I was excited to join the team full time when the opportunity came.  I look forward to working with Danno, Laura, and the rest of the team and to continue to grow Envision’s affiliate base while upholding the superlative level of customer service established by Envision.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that iHeartMedia Chicago chief engineer Bob Fukuda has exited the station group. Feder notes that Fukuda was a 30-year veteran of iHeartMedia, as well as its predecessors Clear Channel and Evergreen Media…..WBUR, Boston names Meghna Chakrabarti and David Folkenflik co-hosts of the NPR-syndicated midday program “On Point.”  They will assume their new on-air duties on August 20. They take over for Tom Ashbrook, who exited back in February after allegations of workplace abuse.  Folkenflik is an NPR correspondent and Chakrabarti is host of WBUR’s “Radio Boston.”…..The “Motley Fool Money” radio show, hosted by Chris Hill, adds new affiliate station WTAX, Springfield, Illinois.

Trump-Cohen Tapes/Russia Investigation, U.S.-E.U. Meeting, Trump Pushes Back Putin Meeting, Rosenstein Impeachment, YouTube Bans Alex Jones Videos, Trump-Iran Rhetoric, U.S.-China Trade War, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/25).  The release of some of the recordings made of Michael Cohen’s conversations with President Trump and the investigation into possible Russian connections with the Trump campaign; President Trump’s meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker over trade issues; the next Trump-Putin meeting is pushed off into 2019; GOP House members introduce articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein; YouTube bans three Alex Jones videos from its platform; the war rhetoric between President Trump and Iran; the effects of the U.S.-China trade war; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A new, nationally syndicated weekend program featuring Ellen K is being launched by iHeartMedia.  Dubbed “The Ellen K Weekend Show,” it will be a four-hour adult contemporary weekend program emanating from Los Angeles where Ellen K also hosts morning on the company’s KOST.  The company calls it “custom-tailored content for an audience that wants to feel informed on lifestyle trends, inspired by ‘feel good’ moments and enhanced by shareable factoids.  Listeners will also enjoy the latest showbiz news and interviews with the biggest names in music like John Legend, Lady Gaga, Meghan Trainor, Kelly Clarkson and more.”…..Beasley Media Group names Joel Weiss music director for alternative WBOS “ALT 92.9,” effective August 6.  Weiss spent the past 13 years as music director and air personality at Cox Media Group’s alternative WSUN, Tampa “97X.” WBOS program director Ken West says, “I’m excited to welcome Joel to ‘ALT 92.9.’ He loves music, loves radio, and loves Boston.  His passion and energy for the alternative format will help push ‘ALT 92.9’ to new heights!”

Thursday, March 22, 2018

| March 22, 2018

Townsquare to Acquire Three More New Jersey Signals. This deal with Connoisseur Media will transfer ownership of Trenton, New Jersey’s CHR WPST and sports talk WNJE “AM 920 The Jersey” and Christian teaching WCHR, Flemington to Townsquare Media.  The price tag for the three is $17 million.  Townsquare Media co-CEO Dhruv Prasad says in a press release, “We are very excited to announce the acquisition of these radio stations, particularly WPST, one of the Northeast’s most respected and highest-performing CHR stations.  Combined with our market leading news/talk radio station based in Trenton – ‘New Jersey 101.5’ – and our existing portfolio of 10 other stations in the state of New Jersey, we believe these assets will enhance our ability to deliver high-quality, engaging, local content and superior, multi-platform marketing solutions.  This is the third strategic acquisition that we have announced within the past nine months, demonstrating our continuing commitment to investing capital at attractive values in our local media business.”  Connoisseur CEO Jeffrey Warshaw comments, “This is a bittersweet deal for us. We are very proud of our talented team and their accomplishments in New Jersey. I’m confident that these stations will continue to thrive as part of the Townsquare family.”

TALKERS News Notes. Pictured here is former deputy White House assistant to President Trump, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, in the Washington, DC studios of Salem Radio Network as he sits in for nationally syndicated talk show host Dennis Prager on Wednesday’s program.  (Prager was addressing audiences in Australia.)  SRN vice president/News & Talk programming Tom Tradup says that although Gorka is a frequent guest on FOX News Channel, it was his first time hosting a radio show. He says, “His debut was flat out amazing.  Nothing fazed him.  Dr. Gorka was calm, unflappable, and performed as if he’d been a talk radio host for 20 years.”…..Next week, ABC News launches a daily news podcast titled, “Start Here,” hosted by Brad Mielke.  ABC News says the 20-minute episodes will “draw on the global resources of ABC News and deliver meaningful insights on events shaping the world.”  ABC Radio VP and general manager Steve Jones says, “This new venture will provide expertise, curation and credibility as an antidote to information noise.  The median age of podcast listeners is 29.  Brad’s inviting and energetic delivery powered by ABC News gives us the opportunity to reach that next generation of ABC News consumers in a medium they love, and allow them to not just hear the news, but to step inside of it and emerge better equipped for their day.”…..The Dr. Daliah Wachs show, syndicated by Genesis Communications Network, adds a new affiliate station as Wynne Enterprises’ KFLS, Klamath Falls, Oregon adds the show for weekdays and weekends…..ESPN’s WEPN, New York “ESPN 98.7FM New York” is broadcasting the 45th annual NYPD vs. FDNY charity hockey game taking place at Madison Square Garden on Saturday (3/24).  Station personality Don La Greca – co-host of the Michael Kay show – will do the play-by-play alongside Rick DiPietro – co-host of the Humpty & Canty program – who will be color commentator…..iHeartMedia news/talk outlets WGIR, Manchester “NewsRadio 610” and WQSO-FM, Portsmouth, New Hampshire “NewsRadio 96.7” raised more than $160,000 during Wednesday’s fourth annual “Make 12 Hours Count” radiothon – spearheaded by “New Hampshire Today” morning host Jack Heath.  The funds benefit Veterans Count, an organization that provides financial assistance, services and resources to New Hampshire veterans, service members and their families.  Heath says, “‘New Hampshire Today’ is committed to supporting the men and women that selflessly serve our country.  With the help of our generous listeners and sponsors we were able to raise a significant amount of money to help the vets in our local community.”

Gregg ‘Opie’ Hughes Announces Podcast Deal with Westwood One.  Eight months after exiting SiriusXM, Gregg “Opie” Hughes has struck a deal with Westwood One to join the company’s podcast network.  Hughes released a YouTube video in which he talks about the project.  He’ll do a twice-weekly podcast and look for other shows that he can include under the “Opie Radio” umbrella he’s been asked to build.  He says there is a possible radio component to his deal with Westwood One, but that hasn’t been ironed out yet.  He credits Westwood One’s Tim Sabean with brokering the deal.  Sabean worked with Hughes at SiriusXM.  The podcast debuts on April 17.

KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh’s Hometown Heroes Awards Take Place Next Thursday. Next Thursday evening, the “Sixth Annual Larry Hometown Heroes” event takes place at Pittsburgh’s Rivers Casino.  This annual awards program is hosted by KDKA-AM morning host Larry Richert and honors individuals who are giving back and making a difference in their local community.  Each year, the event honors five individuals who receive a $1,000 donation to a charity of their choice.  Former football player Merril Hoge will be the keynote speaker.  Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Young says, “It is a privilege to give back to our local community and honor our hometown heroes who have been doing extraordinary things for the Pittsburgh community and to place a spotlight on the selfless work they do.  We are looking forward to having Merril Hoge join us as the keynote speaker for this year’s Larry’s Hometown Heroes.”  Also this year, the Larry Hometown Heroes “Lifetime Hero Award” is being presented to local sports broadcaster Bill Hillgrove for his philanthropic efforts within the community and through the University of Pittsburgh.

Trump-Putin Relationship, Mueller’s Russia Investigation, Trump Women Litigation, Facebook-Analytica Data Misuse, Trump’s China Tariffs Threat, McCabe Firing-FBI Investigation, Austin Bomber Case, Fed Raises Interest Rates, NCAA Tourney, NFL Free Agency, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/21). The controversy over President Trump’s congratulating Vladimir Putin for his “election” victory and speculation about their relationship; the status of Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia agents; the legal battles being waged against President Trump by porn star Stormy Daniels, former Playboy model Karen McDougal, and Summer Zervos; the data misuse allegations against Cambridge Analytica and Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg’s CNN apology; China’s threat of retaliation if the Trump tariffs go into effect; the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the movement among conservative lawmakers to open a special counsel investigation into alleged abuses at the FBI; the death of the Austin serial bomber; the Fed raises interest rates; the weekend’s NCAA tourney games; the NFL free agency period; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On-air pro Jack Daniel joins Beasley Media Group in the Charlotte market to serve as afternoon personality on adult contemporary WKQC “K 104.7” and classic hits “94.7 Smoke.”  Daniel comments, “I’m thrilled to be working with longtime friends John Reynolds, DJ Stout and Bill Schoening.  It will be exciting to host the drive home show on ‘K-104.7’ and ‘94.7 SMOKE’ and be part of the Beasley team in Charlotte.  I can’t wait to get started!”…..Entercom names Chris “DECiPHA” Hernandez program director for CHR KALV, Phoenix “Live 101.5.”  He rises from his role as APD and music director.  Entercom Phoenix SVP and market manager Dave Pugh says, “We are excited to continue to have Chris on the ‘LIVE 101.5′ team.  His hard work and dedication, coupled with his extensive knowledge of the Phoenix community, make him ideal for this role.”…..iHeartMedia Chicago promotes Matthew Harris to promotions director for hip hop WGCI.  Harris has been with the station’s programming since last year.  He will report to iHM Chicago director of marketing and promotions Echo Robinson.

The Jim Brickman Show Welcomes Hannah Rae as Co-Host.  The Envision Networks-syndicated Jim Brickman show announces Hannah Rae joins as the new producer and co-host.  Rae (center) joins award-winning songwriter and best-selling solo pianist Jim Brickman (right) and “formidable slacker and gen-Xer” Bob (left) as the most recent member of the show.  Brickman says, “It’s rare to discover an authentic talent who’s never done radio and yet shines when the mic goes on.  Hannah Rae rounds out the B-team with a refreshing, millennial point of view.”  As well as serving as a co-host, she writes for the show, coordinates in-studio recording, interviews, and handles social media.

Round Three of February PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s February 2018 survey period covered February 1 – 28. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland Spoken Word Formats – Notwithstanding that it returns all of the +1.1 it racked up in January, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB (9.6 – 8.5, -1.1, 6+) remains at #1. When it entered the September sweep, KOPB occupied the runner-up position 21 successive times; however, with a +1.4, it finally reached #1. It was a short stay there though as KOPB plummeted by -1.1 (9.1 – 8.0, 6+) and returned to its familiar runner-up spot in October – only to have another one-month run at #1 in November. KOPB ranked second in December and “Holiday” 2017. Its recent trends include +.9 (March 2017); -.8 (May); +.6 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (August); +1.4 (September); -1.1 (October); +1.1 (January 2018) and now -1.1 (February). Despite posting its third increase in a row for a cumulative +1.7 (3.5 – 3.6 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KXL “101 FM News – Stay Connected” backslides from fifth to sixth. Prior to January, the last time KXL reached the five-share level (6+) was in October 2013 (5.3). After gaining one-half share in January to 1.7 – its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016 (1.7, as well) – iHeartMedia’s similarly programmed KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” repeats the 1.7 and stays at #19. Meanwhile, Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” is off two-tenths (1.1 – .9, #23, 6+). As it returns the four-tenths it picked up in January (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” moves from #17 to #18. Dropping four-tenths as well is Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KXTG “The Game” (1.4 – 1.0, unchanged at #22, 6+); iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” is trending .6 – .6 – .7 – .7 (#25, 6+).

Portland Music Formats – On the strength of a full-share increase (4.4 – 5.4, eighth to fifth), iHeartMedia’s KFBW “105.9 The Brew – Portland’s Rock Station” reaches the five-share threshold (6+) for the first time since last September’s 5.2. Down or flat the past three sweeps for an overall loss of one-half share (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+) co-owned KXJM “JAM’N 107.5 – Portland’s #1 for Hip-Hop and Throwbacks” erases the deficit with a +.6 to 2.8 (#18 to #16, 6+). Although steady at #7, Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” gains one-half share (4.5 – 5.0, 6+). As the result of gaining one-tenth to 4.0 (6+), Entercom hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” (flat at #10) applies the brakes to six straight sweeps without an increase for a collective -1.5 (5.4 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.9, 6+). A loss of seven-tenths slices in half the 6+-share of Mount Hood Community College’s KMHD “Jazz Radio 89.1” (1.4 – .7, #25, 6+). Over the course of the last two ratings periods, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW (-9.0) has seen its 6+-share dwindle by more than 50% (16.9 – 8.5 – 7.9, 6+) but “K-103” remains in second-place. Before shifting to #2 in September, “K-103” was #1 in 39 of the previous 41 ratings periods. With its 13.7 in December and 16.9 in “Holiday” 2017, KKCW is the first Portland station to reach double-digits (6+) since it did so with a 15.3 in “Holiday” 2016. Off one-half share (2.7 – 2.2, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” dips from #16 to #17.

2) Charlotte Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to logging its third uptick in succession for a collective +1.2 (3.1 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT cracks the top ten (#13 to #8). Earlier, WBT was +1.4 in three consecutive improvements (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 4.0, July – August – September – October, 6+). Dropping one-tenth to 3.5 (6+), University Radio Foundation news talk WFAE remains at #15; “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). Its recent fluctuations include -.6 (October); +.5 (November); -1.1 (December); and +.6 in January. Off seven-tenths (1.9 – 1.2, 6+), Entercom-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” slips from #18 to #19.

Charlotte Music Formats – Not only is Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV without a loss for the seventh successive sweep for a cumulative +1.7 (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 7.4, 6+), “V-101.9” jumps from #2 to #1. This represents the first time that WBAV has reached the seven-share level (6+) in nearly four years (7.2, April 2014). Exiting the top spot and segueing to #4 is iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country,” which surrenders seven-tenths of January’s +1.9 (6.9 – 6.2, 6+). The 6.9 it registered this time last month was the strongest 6+-stat for “The Kat” since 7.0 in May 2016. WKKT hadn’t hit #1 since August 2017, when it registered a 6.1 (6+). Tied at #4 with “The Kat” is its format rival – Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” – which is off two-tenths, thus ending at three a consecutive string of gains that netted seven-tenths (5.7 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.4, 6+). Notching increases of one-half share each are iHeartMedia’s WRFX “99.7 The Fox – Charlotte’s Classic Rock” (7.0, unchanged at #2, 6+); CHR sibling WHQC “Channel 96.1 – All the Hits” (#16 to #13, 6+); and Radio One urban contemporary WQNC “92.7 The Block” (2.5, steady at #17, 6+). “The Fox” was stuck on 6.9 (6+) in November and December and then on 6.5 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018. “Channel 96.1” has its third straight up or flat trend for an overall +.8 (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+), while “The Block” was -.3 in three successive down or flat moves (2.3 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+). A +.9 in January by Radio One gospel outlet WPZS ended three consecutive sweeps without an increase for a -.3 (4.2 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+), but “Praise 100.9 – Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” surrenders six-tenths in February (4.8 – 4.2, sixth to ninth, 6+). In a similar situation, iHeartMedia’s WEND picked up seven-tenths in January to suspend three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.6 (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+); however, “106.6 The End – Charlotte’s Alternative Rock” now forfeits one-half share (4.3 – 3.8, 6+) and leaves the top ten (#10 to #14).

3) San Antonio Spoken-Word Formats – Following a January +1.6 to 4.4 – its best 6+-showing since last May (4.4, as well) – iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” is flat in both 6+-share (4.4) and 6+-market rank (#9). Before that massive +1.6, WOAI was -.9 as the result of four straight sweeps without an increase (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). Trending 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7 (6+), Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” continues at #20. A combined -1.7 in January and February (4.7 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX drops from #13 to #15. With a +1.0 to 4.7 in Holiday2017, KSTX crossed the four-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. Flat at .5 (6+) iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” checks in at #28.

San Antonio Music Formats – If January’s +1.1 to 5.2 (6+) wasn’t sufficient, iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” follows with a +1.6 (6.8, 6+) to jump from fourth to second. Prior to January, “KJ-97” was -.9 in four successive down or flat sweeps (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). In advance of the August 2017 ratings period, KAJA registered three consecutive uptrends for a collective gain of eight-tenths. With a (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 increase half that of KAJA, CHR cluster-mate KXXM “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” elevates from #15 to #11 (3.3 – 4.1, +.8, 6+). A January +1.8 by KONO-FM lifted the Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet to #1, as well as suspending three downward moves in succession that produced a -2.0 (7.0 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.0, 6+). In the February report, “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” adds one-half share (6.8 – 7.3, 6+) and repeats in the lead position. After ten straight months at #1, KONO-FM shifted to #2 in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Recent (6+) fluctuations for KONO-FM include January 2017’s +1.1; April’s +.8; May’s -.6; August’s -.5; October’s +.7; December’s -.9; “Holiday” 2017’s -.9; January 2018’s +1.8; and February’s +.5. An overall +1.8 in seven sweeps in a row without a loss (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.0, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KXTN “107.5 Tejano & Proud” remains at #12. By picking up one-tenth to 2.3 (#19 to #18, 6+), co-owned KMYO “Latino Mix 95.1” pulls the plug on four straight decreases that accounted for a -1.3 (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). Relinquishing all but one-tenth of January’s +1.1 (5.4 – 4.4, -1.0, 6+), classic rock sibling KTKX “106.7 The Eagle” plummets from third to ninth. Down by one full-share as well (3.4 – 2.4, #13 to #17, 6+) is Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno,” which improved by eight-tenths in January.

4) Pittsburgh Spoken-Word Formats – When Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM broke out a +1.3 in January to 5.3 (6+), it pulled the plug on four down or flat trends in succession that produced a loss of eight-tenths (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). Remaining at #7 in February, “News Radio 1020” matches that 5.3 – its highest 6+-share since April 2017’s 5.7. A combined +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (5.3 – 5.9 – 6.6, 6+), sports talk sibling KDKA-FM surrenders nine-tenths in February to 5.7 (6+) but “93.7 The Fan” remains in sixth-place. January’s 6.6 represents the best 6+-showing for “The Fan” since September 2016’s 7.6. While it is true that iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG is without a loss for the eighth ratings period in a row, “ESPN Pittsburgh” has a net gain of just one-tenth in that stretch (.1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .2, 6+) and is unchanged at #17. Following a six-tenths gain that halted three successive downward trends resulting in a -1.1 (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” is up two-tenths to 2.9 (6+) and stays at #12.

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW back in double digits (6+) as it was September through “Holiday” 2017, “94.5 – 3WS” gains nine-tenths and is #1 for the 12th ratings period in succession (9.4 – 10.3, 6+). It is rebounding from January’s loss of seven full-shares. Adding six-tenths to January’s +.4 (6.9 – 7.3 – 7.9, 6+), Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “96.9 Bob FM” inches up from fourth to third. A collective -4.8 in January and February (10.6 – 6.8 – 5.8, 6+), WSHH “Today’s Wish 99.7” carries on in fifth-place. In “Holiday” 2017, the Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary facility posted a 10.6, the station’s best 6+-showing in exactly one year. Stymied on 5.7 (6+) in August and September and then on 5.2 (6+) in October and November, WSHH more than doubled the October and November stat in December and “Holiday” 2017 with a combined +5.4. More major ups and downs for iHeartMedia rocker WDVE, which has been +1.6 (October 2017); -1.0 (November); -.8 (“Holiday 2017”); +.8 (January); and now -.9 in February (9.2 – 8.3, #2, 6+). WDVE has been in second-place in eight of the last nine sweeps. October’s 10.2 marked the first time it reached double-digits (6+) since March 2017 (10.4).

5) Sacramento Spoken-Word Formats – After only a one-month stay at #1, iHeartMedia-owned KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” sputters by one-half share (8.6 – 8.1, 6+) and slips to the runner-up slot. Down or flat in October – November – December for an overall loss of seven-tenths (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+), KFBK logged a +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and followed in January 2018 with a +.2; January 2018’s 8.6 was its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 8.7. After three straight improvements netting a combined +1.3 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), KFBK regressed by three-tenths in October. Having posted a 2.7 in January – its highest 6+-share since June 2017’s 2.8 – co-owned KSTE regresses by two-tenths (2.5, #13 to #16). “Talk 650” was +.6 in December; -.5 in “Holiday” 2017; and +.6 in January. By posting a one-half share gain in January, KXJZ recaptured approximately half of its combined -1.1 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), but the Capital Public Radio news/talk outlet returns three-tenths to 4.4 (6+) to dip from fifth to sixth. There’s little movement in the market’s sports contest as Entercom’s KHTK “Sports 1140” is down or flat for the third time in a row for a -.7 (2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9, #16 to #19, 6+), while co-owned KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” is trending 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.5 (#21).

Sacramento Music Formats – As part of a steady September 2017 through February 2018 progression, Capital Public Radio classical-formatted KXPR “88.9 The Classical Station” is a collective +1.5 in six straight up or flat trends and reaches the two-share level (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.5, #16 to #15, 6+). Advancing by six-tenths as well in February is Entercom hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5 – Today’s Best Hits” (3.9 – 4.5, ninth to fifth, 6+). Up one-tenth (8.2 – 8.3, 6+), co-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” marches from second to first. Its +2.0 in January basically erased a combined -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017; “The Eagle” was an overall -1.6 in September and October (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.1, 6+). Steady at #4, CHR sibling KUDL “106.5 The End” is off two-tenths to 5.2 (6+), ending three positive trends in succession that produced a +1.8 (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+).

6) Salt Lake City Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three straight negative moves, Bonneville’s KSL was a combined -3.2 (8.3 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 5.1, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+), but “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” responds with an overall +1.6 in January and February to 6.7 (6+) and continues in second place. After logging a +.7 in January, iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” is off one-tenth to 3.9 (flat at #10, 6+). Having trended 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 (June through October, 6+), KNRS was +.8 in November, but was a combined -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017. Forfeiting all of January’s +.8 and three-tenths more (4.1 – 3.0, -1.1, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER exits the top ten (#9 to #12). Owing to a loss of two-tenths (1.7 – 1.5, 6+), Broadway Media-owned KALL “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” slumps from a three-way tie at #19 to #21.

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Rebounding from January’s -.6 (1.8 – 1.2, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KHTB “Alt 101.9” flashes a +.9 to 2.1 (6+) and is back in the top twenty (#23 to #19, 6+). This (2.1) is its best 6+-showing since August 2017 (2.1, as well). In addition to registering a +.6 (2.4 – 3.0, 6+), allowing it to leap from #17 to #12, Brigham Young University’s KBYU “Classical 89” reaches the three-share level for the first time since January 2017’s 3.1. Albeit a whopping -15.9 in January and February (23.2 – 8.1 – 7.3, 6+), Bonneville-owned KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” is #1 for the fifth ratings period in a row. In “Holiday” 2017, its 23.2 share (6+) was in excess of the sum total of the next five stations after it. “FM 100.3” was #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except January, March, April, and October. A one-half share loss (1.7 – 1.2, 6+) takes Broadway Media adult hits KYMV to its lowest 6+-share in just over one year (1.2, as well in January 2017) as “Rewind 100.7” departs the top twenty (#19 to #23). Given that both stations’ 6+-share is unchanged from January, there’s still a seven-tenths difference between Cumulus Media country outlet KUBL “K-Bull 93 FM” (flat at 5.3, 6+) and independent rival KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” (steady at 4.6, #7, 6+). “K-Bull” was -1.4 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.7 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+) but logged a +2.0 in January. Up or flat for the tenth sweep in a row – including 1.4 (6+) in each of the last four (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), 1980’s hits KSQN “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” continues at #22.

7) Las Vegas Spoken-Word Formats – Improving by one-tenth after January’s +.6 (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+) Nevada Public Radio news/talk KNPR is this market’s only spoken-word representative to appear in February 2018’s top twenty (#17 to #15). This (2.6) is KNPR’s best 6+-stat since May 2017’s 2.8. Up or flat for the third straight time for a +.2 (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+) Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” continues at #21, while Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” doubles its 6+-share via five straight positive or flat trends (.7 – .7 – .7 – .7      – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+) to carry on at #23. Conversely, Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” is a collective -.4 in five consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .8 – .8, #25, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – A gain of eight-tenths (4.2 – 5.0, sixth to fifth, 6+) takes Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” to its strongest 6+-stat since June 2017’s 5.6. Without a loss for the fifth consecutive report (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.8 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KXQQ “Q-100.5” is an overall +2.0, progressing from fifth to fourth. Despite surrendering roughly half of January’s +1.1 (7.6 – 7.1, -.5, 6+), co-owned classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” repeats at #1. In December, KKLZ was ousted from #1 after five straight months in the lead position. It previously was +1.0 (October); -.9 (November) and -.7 (December). Down or flat the past six survey periods for a cumulative -2.0 (5.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+), Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 for Classic Rock” dials up a +.5 to 3.8 and enters the top ten (#12 to #8, 6+). Without a loss four sweeps in a row for an overall +.9 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio – Right Song, Right Time” is now a combined -2.2 in January and February (4.8 – 3.9 – 2.6, 6+), spiraling from #8 to #15; 4.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since September 2016’s 5.4.

8) Cincinnati Spoken-Word Formats – After logging five straight negative trends for a collective -3.3 (9.6 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 6.3, 6+), WLW is +2.0 in January and February (6.3 – 7.9 – 8.3, flat at #2). The heritage iHeartMedia news/talker fell to #3 in November, following three consecutive months at #1. It returned to the top in August 2017 after back-to-back appearances in the runner-up slot. Even though it adds two-tenths (3.6 – 3.8, 6+), co-owned and similarly-formatted WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” backslides from #10 to #11. Its +.3 in January ended three downward moves in a row that accounted for a -.9 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Following January’s one-half share improvement, Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU adds two-tenths to 3.6 (6+) yet slips from #11 to #12. The market’s 6+-sports talk share shrinks by three-tenths as iHeartMedia-owned WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” is off one-tenth (1.2 – 1.1, #19 to #20, 6+), while co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports AM 1360” is down two-tenths (.7 – .5, #22, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – Three gains in succession by Hubbard’s WUBE “B-105.1 – Get Your Country On” (unchanged at #3) flips December’s -1.4 into a +2.3 (5.8 – 6.3 – 7.8 – 8.1, 6+). Tacking on seven-tenths to January’s +.5 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.9, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WFTK “96 Rock” cracks the top ten (#12 to #10) with its strongest 6+-share since August 2017 (3.9, as well). Unchanged at 9.6 (6+), cluster-mate WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” repeats at #1. The classic hits-oldies facility dusted itself off from a -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.1 – 8.5 – 7.5, 6+) with a January +2.1. This (9.6) is its strongest 6+-stat since last July’s 9.7. Faltering by one-half share each are co-owned adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98” (4.9, fifth to sixth, 6+) and Hubbard rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” (4.5, seventh to ninth, 6+). Prior to January’s -7.6, “Warm 98” (#1 in “Holiday” 2017) was an overall +9.1 in five improvements in a row since August (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 7.5 – 13.0, 6+). A January +1.3 by “Mix” virtually eliminated its -1.4 from five straight down or flat trends (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). Without an increase four sweeps in a row for a combined -1.0 (2.4 – 2.3 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.4, 6+) – immediately following five consecutive up or flat sweeps that produced a +1.0 (1.4 -1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+) – Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WDBZ picks up one-tenth to 1.5 (6+) as “Soul 101.5” moves from #18 to a four-way tie at #16.

9) Orlando Spoken-Word Formats – No sooner did iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS explode with a January +1.7, “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” immediately follows with a +1.3 (2.2 – 3.9 – 5.2, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#11 to #8). January’s mammoth gain ended three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). WTKS bypasses Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM, which after January’s +1.3, is flat in both 6+-share (4.7) and rank (#10). Entering the January sweep, “News 96.5” was a collective -2.7 via four straight decreases (6.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+); WDBO-FM registered a +2.0 in September 2017. Without an increase in five straight ratings periods for a -.7 (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF gained seven-tenths in January but coughs up three-tenths in February (1.9 – 1.6, flat at #16, 6+). Off two-tenths (3.9 – 3.7, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE slides from #11 to #14. In January, “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” regained the six-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2017. Tied at #20 are iHeartMedia sports talk WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” (1.2 – .7, -.5, 6+) and Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” (.8 – .7, -.1, 6+).

Orlando Music Formats – Stuck on 5.0 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January, Cox Media Group urban AC WCFB “Star 94.5” erupts with a full-share gain to 6.0 – its best 6+-share June 2017’s 6.1 – progressing from eighth to fifth. After recording four losses in a row for a combined -1.3 (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom’s WQMP was +1.1 in “Holiday” 2017. It faltered by nine-tenths in January but “Alt 101.9 – Orlando’s New Alternative” bounces back in February with a +.7 (4.1 – 3.2 – 3.9, #14 to #13, 6+). Its hot AC sibling WOMX “Mix 105.1” improves by six-tenths (4.8 – 5.4, ninth to sixth, 6+), as does iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” (6.6 – 7.2, flat at #3, 6+). After gaining six-tenths in November, “Mix” was -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.5 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+) and +1.0 in January. “Magic” spent two months at #1 and was a combined +8.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 before plummeting -9.3 (15.9 – 6.6, 6+) in January. Co-owned Spanish tropical WRUM is up two-tenths (9.3 – 9.5, 6+) and repeats at #1. Following 11 consecutive months on top, “Rumba 100” dropped to the runner-up slot in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Its +.4 in January ended four negative sweeps in a row that generated a collective -2.7 (11.6 – 11.5 – 11.4 – 11.3 – 8.9, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. At the same time, Entravision Communications’ similarly-formatted WNUE “Salsa 98.1” erodes by nine-tenths (2.7 – 1.8, 6+) but remains at #15. A collective +1.3 in three straight upticks (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.9 – 5.1, 6+), Cox Media Group country-formatted WWKA hands over all but two-tenths of that margin (4.0, -1.1, 6+) as “K-92.3” drifts out of the top ten (#7 to #12). The wild journey keeps going for iHeartMedia CHR WXXL. In October, it ended five straight monthlies without an increase that resulted in a -2.4 (9.9 – 8.8 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5, 6+), a streak that followed a +2.7 as the result of four consecutive positive moves (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+). “XL-106.7” was up or flat four sweeps in succession for a +.7 (7.5 – 7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.2, 6+), before recording a -.9 in “Holiday” 2017. It logged a +1.6 in January to 8.9 – its best 6+-stat since April 2017’s 9.9 – but is -.6 in February (8.3, unchanged at #2, 6+). Declining by six-tenths as well is University of Central Florida’s WUCF “89.9 Jazz & More” (1.5 – .9. #17 to #19, 6+). In January, iHeartMedia’s WJRR posted a +1.3, obliterating the combined -1.1 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+), but “101.1 Orlando’s Rock Station” returns one-half share in February (5.3 – 4.8, sixth to ninth, 6+).

10) Cleveland Spoken-Word Formats – Having gained one-half share in January to curtail three straight declines for a -3.5 (8.5 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” regresses by two-tenths (5.5 – 5.3, 6+) but moves from eighth to seventh. A major winning streak is snapped as Ideastream-owned news/talk WCPN – which was a cumulative +3.2 in six straight upticks (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 5.3, 6+) – relinquishes roughly half that increase (3.6, -1.7, 6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #12). In four successive sweeps without a loss (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom sports talk WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” is up six-tenths and enters the top ten (#12 to #10).

Cleveland Music Formats – The loftiest (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 increase logged by any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here is by iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI (8.4 – 10.3, +1.9, 6+), which progresses from second to first. Ironically, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” was -1.9 in January, following “Holiday” 2017’s +2.5 (7.8 – 10.3, 6+). When WMJI reached double-digits (6+) in “Holiday” 2017, it was the first time it accomplished that feat since September 2016’s 10.8. November’s +.8 stopped three straight declines that resulted in a -1.3 (9.2 – 8.9 – 8.4 – 7.9, 6+), but WMJI was -.9 in December. In 2017, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” occupied the top spot from January through April; July through September; and in November. Even though it displays a +.4 (9.1 – 9.5, 6+), Radio One urban AC is displaced from the top spot after a one-month stay and shifts to #2. Having reached #1 in December with a +.9, WZAK fell to third in “Holiday” 2017. A loss of four-tenths in October ended three consecutive positive moves by WZAK for an overall +.9 (7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+). Its urban contemporary cluster-mate, WENZ “Z-107.9,” posts a +.6 to 6.3 (sixth to fifth, 6+), thus applying the brakes to three straight losses that accounted for a -1.5 (7.2 – 6.7 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+). Eroding by more than 50% (-5.6) in January and February (10.4 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+) after being a combined +5.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 7.2 – 10.4, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WDOK “Cleveland’s Star 102” dips from seventh to ninth. In December, “Star 102” halted three straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.1 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+).

11) Kansas City Spoken-Word Formats – Over and above racking up six positive spikes in succession for a +1.9 (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom news talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” zooms from eighth to fourth. Co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” is flat at 2.0 and remains at #19, while Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710” is trending .8 – .9 – 1.1 (#22, 6+). Without a loss for the fourth time in a row for a +.8 (1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KCUR shifts from #17 to a three-way tie at #16. A combined +1.4 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Union Broadcasting sports talk WHB “Sports Radio 810” surrenders nine-tenths (4.0 – 3.1, #12 to #14, 6+). When WHB dipped by four-tenths in December, it halted at five a successive string of positive trends that doubled its 6+-stat (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Owing to a loss of four-tenths (1.8 – 1.4, 6+), Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” falls off the top twenty (#20 to #21).

Kansas City Music Formats – Recapturing all but one-half share of January’s -1.7 (7.4 – 8.6, +1.2, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rock KCFX “The Fox” storms from second to first. A +1.2 in December lifted “The Fox” to 9.6, its strongest 6+-stat since July’s 10.3 and ended four straight down or flat sweeps that generated a -1.9 (10.3 – 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4, 6+). Prior to November, “The Fox” occupied Kansas City’s top spot for ten consecutive months. It trades places with classic hits-oldies sibling KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits,” which falters by six-tenths (8.4 – 7.8, first to second, 6+). Its January -2.0 curtailed four straight upticks that netted a +2.7 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.8 – 9.0 – 10.4, 6+). Frozen on 5.0 (6+) in November and December and then on 4.5 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Entercom’s KQRC “98.9 The Rock” registers a one-half share increase and is back at 5.0 (tenth to seventh, 6+). In addition to the aforementioned KCMO-FM, skidding by six-tenths as well are KQRC’s country cluster-mate WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” (5.3 – 4.7, fifth to ninth, 6+), up one-half share in January, and University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KJNW “Life 88.5” (3.5 – 2.9, flat at #15, 6+), which gained eight-tenths in January. Ups/downs continue for Carter Broadcast Corporation urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103 Jamz,” which was an overall +1.3 in November and December (4.8 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+); -1.0 in “Holiday” 2017; +1.0 in January; and now -.5 in February (6.1 – 5.6, third to fourth, 6+).

12) Columbus Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of January’s +1.5 (5.6 – 7.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” relinquishes two-thirds of that gain (6.1, -1.0, third to fifth, 6+); WTVN was -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to January, the last time “News Radio 610” reached the seven-share level (6+) was two years ago (7.3, February 2016). A -.3 in December halted three straight up-trends that netted eight-tenths (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+). Within 3.4 – 3.9 range (6+) for five sweeps in a row, Ohio State University news/talk WOSU registered a +.6 to 4.2 (6+) in January. It follows with a +.1 in February to 4.3 (eighth to seventh), its best 6+-showing since 4.7 in August 2017. Locked on .9 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” repeats January’s .8 (#17 to #16, 6+). This time last month, WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” ranked seventh with a 4.4 (6+), but the RadiOhio sports talk station has ceased to subscribe to Nielsen ratings and will not appear in this or future public releases of 6+ data from Nielsen.

Columbus Music Formats – Powered by a +1.2 (5.2 – 6.4, 6+), Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” makes up about one-fifth of January’s -5.8 and advances from #5 to #3. “Sunny” exited the top spot in January after just one survey period (“Holiday” 2017). It was +5.1 in “Holiday” 2017 to 11.0, its most potent 6+-stat since reappearing in print over three years ago (December 2014). Notching a February increase half that of WSNY is iHeartMedia adult hits WODC (5.2 – 5.8, 6+). Even with a +.6, however, “93.3 The Bus” backspins from fifth to sixth. Holiday” 2017’s 8.1 is the highest 6+-share for “The Bus” since 11.1 in “Holiday” 2016. “The Bus” was a combined +2.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.0 – 8.1, 6+), but -2.9 in January. After spending six months at #1, country-formatted sibling WCOL shifted to second in “Holiday” 2017 but returned to the top spot in January and repeats in February with a 12.3 (6+). It has been in double-digits (6+) each sweep since June. Accustomed to major fluctuations, WCOL was +2.2 (January 2017); -1.2 (February); +.8 (March); -1.3 (May); +1.4 (June); +2.1 (July); -.9 (August); -.6 (September); +.7 (October); -.5 (December); +3.1 (January 2018); and now -1.7 in February. Elsewhere in that cluster, urban contemporary WZCB “106.7 The Beat” drops six-tenths (3.6 – 3.0, ninth to tenth, 6+).

Tuesday, January 9, 2017

| January 9, 2018

Anne Gress Named Brand Manager at ‘New Jersey 101.5.’  Radio programming pro Anne Gress is the new brand manager for Townsquare Media’s talk WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  She takes over for longtime station programmer Eric Johnson, who exited the station at the end of 2017 to become the director of sports content for Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM, Philadelphia.  Townsquare market president and chief revenue officer Ron DeCastro comments, “I am extremely happy to have a true professional like Anne join the team at ‘NJ 101.5.’  I have long admired Anne’s work, going back to our days at ‘Power 99.’  She is innovative, creative and understands how to work with talented people.  We are all excited to have her join this winning team.”   Gress – who has worked in the Philly market at such stations as hot AC WYXR, smooth jazz WJJZ, hip hop WUSL, and classic hits WOGL – says, “I’m genuinely excited to join the team at Townsquare Media and ‘NJ 101.5.’  Their unique format, rock star staff, and consistently strong ratings make this an irresistible opportunity.  I look forward to adding my voice to their highly successful model.”

New Year Brings Dave Ramsey 600th Affiliate; Podcast Achievements.  2018 is off to a great start for talk media superstar Dave Ramsey.  His nationally syndicated radio program – The Dave Ramsey Show – just cleared its 600th affiliate station with the addition of Cumulus Media’s KSFO, San Francisco.  Also, the Dave Ramsey show podcast is being recognized by iTunes as the fourth-most-downloaded podcast of 2017.  The podcast averaged 10 million downloads per month.  Ramsey Media SVP Brian Mayfield comments, “We are pleased to not only top the 600-affiliate watermark, but to do so with a station the caliber of KSFO is validation we are doing things right.  Growing our radio audience by almost 1 million listeners in 2017, while simultaneously becoming the fourth-most-downloaded podcast of the year, shows there is a larger audience searching for solid content.  We are honored they chose to listen to ‘The Dave Ramsey Show.’”

Curtis Sliwa Returns to the Air on WABC. New York City talk radio pro Curtis Sliwa – pictured at right walking through the streets of NYC on his way to Columbia Presbyterian to have his stitches removed – was back on the air at 77WABC yesterday (1/8) after a December 13 surgery to treat Crohn’s disease.  Sliwa tells TALKERS magazine that yesterday was the first day he was able to do his daily midday show and the 5:00 pm “The Drive at Five” program since last month’s procedure.  Speaking about yesterday’s shows, he says, “It was exhausting and I am sore as a result.  But having lived on a variety of pain killers for the past two years I was able to jump right back into the ‘Fire and Fury,’ which I actually read.  More importantly I am taking it right to Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his opposition to medical marijuana.  I will be registering for my medical marijuana card in New York State, which is not easy to get, but for which I now qualify.”

Report from CES 2018.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas at the enormous CES 2018, presented by the Consumer Technology Association.  He’ll be filing reports from Sin City in TALKERS magazine all week.  Check out his notes from yesterday’s action here.

Salem Media Group Announces Executive Appointments.  First, Jamie Cohen is the new vice president/local digital.  He was most recently with USAToday Network where he was in charge of digital sales.  Salem Media Group president of broadcast media David Santrella states, “Providing our clients with multi-dimensional marketing campaigns that include best-in-class digital services is vital to our continued growth.  Jamie has the drive and experience to lead that evolution for Salem’s broadcast division and I’m thrilled to have him joining us in this key position.”  Second, Lorenzo Caldara is named general manager of the Philadelphia duo of news/talk WNTP and Christian talk WFIL.  Caldara was most recently VP/corporate director of sales for Townsquare Media’s WKXQ, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  And third, the company promotes Kevin Anderson from general sales manager to general manager for the five-station Nashville cluster.

Fire and Fury Book/Trump’s Presidential Fitness, Golden Globe Awards/Oprah Presidential Run, Trump Deportation Policy/Mexican Wall, CNN’s Tapper-Miller Interview, Soaring Dow/Bitcoin, North-South Korea Talks, Monday’s College Football Championship, and the NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/9).   The controversy over Michael Wolff’s Trump book Fire and Fury, the issue of Donald Trump’s mental fitness, and Stephen K. Bannon’s relationship with the White House; Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards and the related chatter about an Oprah Winfrey presidential run; the Trump Administration’s Salvadoran deportation policy and the Mexican Wall issue; the flap over Jake Tapper’s interview with Trump counsel Stephen Miller on CNN; the high-flying Dow and the fluctuating Bitcoin; the talks between North and South Korea; Monday night’s College Football Championship between Alabama and Georgia; and the NFL Playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WABC’s John Batchelor to Broadcast from Qatar.  Night host John Batchelor is broadcasting his WABC, New York talk show from Doha, Qatar this week after accepting an invitation from the Middle East nation.  Batchelor is leading a delegation of visitors including former Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCottter and New York attorney Christopher Nixon Cox.  Batchelor is scheduled to speak with high Qatar government officials about regional politics, trends in international trade, and much more.  He’ll speak with area ministers, corporate leaders, academics, journalists, students, and artists.  And he’ll also provide coverage and discussion about the preparations for the 2022 World Cup taking place in Qatar.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “Batchelor leads the international conversation in talk radio, so it only makes sense that he places focus on Qatar and the entire Persian Gulf region during his show this week.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk host Dana Loesch interviewed Vice President Mike Pence on her Radio America-syndicated program yesterday.  The two discussed tax reform, North Korea, The Golden Globes, legislative plans for 2018 as well as the controversial book Fire & Fury (which Pence referred to as a “book of fiction”).  On North Korea, Pence told Loesch and her listeners, “President Trump has been marshaling unprecedented economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea.  And to have North Korea literally be willing, as they’ll do later today, to sit down with South Korea – just on the topic of Olympics – I think is a direct result of the pressure that President Trump has been able to marshal on North Korea.  And we’re not going to relent until North Korea abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.”…..Portland news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” adds the Dave Ramsey show to air in the 9:00 am 12:00 noon daypart.  Bruce Collins is the content director for the Alpha Media station and he says, “It’s great to have Dave as part of our lineup giving his wonderful, amazing financial advice.”…..John O’Brien – one half of the “Bax & O’Brien” morning show on Saga Communications’ rock WAQY, Springfield, Massachusetts “Rock 102,” is taking time off the radio to undergo and recuperate from surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm.  The recovery could take three months, so producer Steve Nagle is ramping up his on-air presence alongside co-host Mike Baxendale…..Somerville, New Jersey-based Edison Research announces it has additional office space and promoted a number of employees as part of a significant expansion due to growth in its election and audio research.  Edison has been the sole provider of exit polling to the National Election Pool since 2003.  In mid-2017, the company was also awarded the sole contract to provide vote count data to the NEP, and many of the company’s new hires will be dedicated to that effort. In addition, Edison is expanding its digital audio portfolio, as the company has seen significant growth in research engagements in podcasting, streaming audio, and the syndicated Share of Ear research series.  Edison Research president Larry Rosin comments, “We are honored by the immense trust placed upon us by our election, media, and consumer research clients over the past 24 years and we are thrilled to be able to continue to grow and expand our capabilities.  We know we have the right team in place to continue to achieve our objectives.”…..Genesis Communications Network-syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs tells TALKERS magazine she’s celebrating her ninth anniversary hosting a talk radio show.  She says, “What started as a once-a-week broadcast on January 9, 2009 has now become a dream come true.  Thanks for all your support.”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. “Y108” in Pittsburgh announces two new voices joining the morning drive “Broadway’s Backyard” program.  Entercom’s country WDSY brings Jade and Cowboy Curt aboard as co-hosts alongside show host Broadway.  Jade has been a promotions assistant, control operator and part-time talent on the station.  Cowboy Curt was most recently the control operator for sister stations KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” and KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020”…..The nationally syndicated music morning program “The Bert Show” is seeking a co-host.  Brian Moote is exiting after two years to be closer to his family in Los Angeles.  Send resume and audio submissions highlighting your personality to cohost@thebertshow.com…..Classic rock WLPW-FM, Lake Placid, New York is sold to North Country Radio for $32,000 cash.  The seller, Radio Lake Placid, is represented by Jason James of Patrick Communications…..The latest Westwood One blog post looks at the results from a question asked by researcher Vision Critical/MARU: How many Pandora, Spotify, and AM/FM radio listeners actually hear ads?  WW1 says the results indicated “only 54% of Pandora and Spotify listeners pay attention to ads.  Advertisers hoping to reach an engaged audience won’t be effective across these platforms.  These listeners are using Pandora and Spotify at home, with these services being great for “chilling out” but not so great for engaging with the advertisements.  AM/FM radio sees a much different story.  On average, 84% of the AM/FM radio audience hears the ads.  Whether they are at home, at work, or traveling in the car, the results show that consumers hear what people are talking about when they listen to AM/FM radio.”…..Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner will be the spotlight of a keynote conversation at Country Radio Seminar 2018 on Tuesday, February 6.  Emmis CommunicationsCharlie Morgan is conducting the interview, titled, “Radio Today with Cumulus Media’s CEO Mary Berner.”

PPM Analysis: Hot AC.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s December PPM survey, today focusing on the hot AC format.  Looking at ratings movement month-to-month, Kinosian says, “Twice as many stations on this hot AC panel (58%) are down November 2017 – December 2017 (6+) as are up (29%); the remaining 13% are flat.  Comparing December 2016 to December 2017, approximately one of every two hot AC panelists in our sample improves year-to-year (51%), while 44% are down; 5% are flat.”  During this survey, three hot AC stations ranked #1 in their respective markets: iHeartMedia’s WLIT, Chicago; Connoisseur Media’s WALK-FM, Long Island; and Palm Beach Broadcasting’s WRMF, West Palm Beach.  See the rest of the report here.

Friday, December 8, 2017

| December 8, 2017

PPM Analysis: News/TalkTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of news/talk stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2017 PPM survey.  Looking at stations’ 6+ numbers, Kinosian reports that “virtually one of every two news/talk stations on this sample is down between October 2017 – November 2017 (49%), while more than one of every three improves (36%); the remaining 15% are flat.”  When comparing 6+ ratings from November of 2016 to this year, “nearly as many stations on our news/talk sample are up November 2016 – November 2017 (48%) as are down (51%), with 1% remaining unchanged from a year ago.”  Three news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in November – Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM, Atlanta; iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego; and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  Three others ranked #2 in their respective markets – Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle and KSL, Salt Lake City; and iHeartMedia’s WISN, Milwaukee.  See the entire report here.

Nielsen: ‘Tis the Season for Sports Talk Radio.  A PPM market-wide review of sports talk stations’ performances by Nielsen Audio indicates that this time of year is good for sports talk stations.   Nielsen looks at the month-by-month uptick in sports talk listening (across PPM markets) since June in three demos – persons 6+, persons 18-34, and persons 25-54.  In each, we see a gradual rise over that period.  For persons 25-54, the average quarter-hour share was 4.3% in June and over six months rose to November’s 5.7 share.  Looking at persons 18-34, June’s AQH share was 3.1%.  In November, that AQH share was 4.3%.  Nielsen says baseball was a big factor in November’s numbers.  “Both the National and American League Championship baseball series took place during the November survey (which ran from Oct. 12 to Nov. 8), as did the World Series, which went to a deciding game seven for the second year in a row. These contests had a notable impact on sports radio listening, especially since the teams hailed from major markets.”  See the Nielsen report here.

Football Great Warren Moon Takes Leave from Seahawks Radio Broadcasts After Sexual Abuse Allegations.  Legendary footballer Warren Moon is revered by most in Seattle for his football heroics leading the University of Washington Huskies to the 1978 Rose Bowl and for his NFL career that included time playing for the Seattle Seahawks.  But now, after allegations of sexual abuse from a former employee at his Sports 1 Marketing firm, Moon is taking a leave of absence from Seahawks Radio Network radio broadcasts in which he has been serving as a color analyst.  Bonneville’s KIRO-AM, Seattle serves as the flagship station for game play-by-play.  In Moon’s absence, KIRO’s Brock Huard and Dave Wyman will share color analyst duties.  Read Matt Calkins’ piece in the Seattle Times here.

Mike Francesa Reveals Some Post-WFAN Plans.  Speaking to SI.com.’s Richard Deitsch, WFAN afternoon personality Mike Francesa says that one likely place for him to pop up in the immediate aftermath of his WFAN career is on Bill Simmons’ podcast.  “A lot of people want to know where I will go to finish my football picks, which are very popular.  A couple of people have asked me to sell them.  I said no.  Bill has offered me a home to pick them on his podcast, which I am thinking about.  The NFL Network has offered me the opportunity to do it.  So, I will do it somewhere.  I don’t know where.  But I would say the likeliest place is Simmons’ podcast because of my relationship with him.”  Francesa’s last radio show on WFAN is next Friday (12/15).  Read the SI.com piece here.

New Programming Changes at KXTG, Portland.  Just five months after naming Justin Myers and DeVon Pouncey the late morning show on sports talk KXTG-AM/K275CH, Portland, Alpha Media makes changes and the duo exit the station.  The 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show is now CBS Sports Radio’s Jim Rome.   Myers and Pouncey were brought in shortly after Dino Costa arrived at KXTG to host afternoons.  Costa exited the station in August.  The station is airing CBS Sports Radio’s Bill Reiter in that daypart.  “The Bald-Faced Truth with John Canzano” is the only local daily show currently on the program schedule.

Keillor Tells Star-Tribune MPR Never Asked for His Side of the Story.  In a piece by Neal Justin in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, public radio legend Garrison Keillor says, “I wish Jon McTaggart [American Public Media CEO] had asked to hear my side of the story.  Every story has two sides, sometimes more.  He could have looked at the e-mails and the phone texts.  It would’ve taken about an hour of his time and it could’ve saved us all this drama.”  Last week, Keillor’s business relationship with American Public Media-owned Minnesota Public Radio was severed after an allegation of sexual impropriety leveled against him by a former staffer, although the story indicates MPR has evidence of a series of improprieties.  Meanwhile, Keillor says lawyers from both sides are talking and he has hopes for a “happy resolution.”

The Franken and Conyers Resignations Top Talkers TenTM for Week of December 4-8.  The resignation of U.S. Rep. John Conyers and Senator Al Franken, along with allegations against various entertainment figures of sexual impropriety, tied as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 this week was President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  Coming in at #3 was the GOP tax reform plan, followed by the U.S. Senate campaign of embattled, former judge Roy Moore at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS News Notes.  Among the numerous, recent dismissals in the media world, there’s been a reversal at MSNBC, where the cable news/talk channel has brought Sam Seder back aboard after releasing him because of a “provocative joke” in a 2009 tweet.  You can read CNN’s account here.  MSNBC chief Phil Griffin said in a press release that the company had “erred” in its decision to fire Seder from his contributor position…..Tonight (12/8) at 7:00 pm ET, SiriusXM is airing a special show in its Town Hall series featuring Heisman Trophy winners Steve Spurrier and George Rogers.  SiriusXM’s Taylor Zarzour will host as the two sit down in front of an audience at the SiriusXM Studios in New York City the day before the 2017 Heisman Trophy is presented to the nation’s top collegiate football player.  They will also take questions from audience members in the studio.  The program will air on SiriusXM’s ESPNU Radio channel. …..The most recent episode in ESPN Audio’s 30 for 30 Podcasts series is out.  Its titled, “Madden’s Game,” and explores football legend John Madden’s connecting with upstart video game company Electronic Arts (EA) in the late 1980s and how that helped grow EA into a video game empire…..WABC, New York political editor Rita Cosby checks in to share this photo of her taken with President Donald Trump at the White House Media Christmas Party.  She says it was only hours after news broke that former national security advisor Michael Flynn had entered into a plea deal with the Feds and the president planned to take no personal photos or speak one-on-one to any journalists attending the bash.  However, following his very brief remarks to the packed room, President Trump spotted Cosby – whom he’s known for decades – and immediately stepped off the podium to greet her and share a few private words.  It’s believed to be the only shot he took with the media during this annual White House event.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Evening AC superstar Delilah is back on iHeartMedia’s Chicago adult contemporary WLIT “The New 93.9 LITE FM” in the 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm daypart.  The Premiere Networks star comments, “I’m so excited to be back on the radio every evening in the Chicago area.  ‘The New 93.9 Lite FM’ is the perfect place to reconnect with so many listeners and pick up where we left off.  It’s an early Christmas present!”…..Jerry Lee‘s hot AC WBEB, Philadelphia “101.1 More FM” announces the winners of its 9th annual “Christmas Choir Competition” in which two school choirs – one at the K-8 level and one at the high school level – won $5,000 cash prizes for their schools’ music departments.  They also got the chance to sing with the Philly Pops at “A Philly Pops Christmas” performance this month. Neshaminy High School Select Choir won the high school division and Bridle Path Elementary School Choir won the grade school division.  To enter the contest, school choirs submitted videos of their performances of Christmas songs.  The winners were chosen by public vote on the WBEB website…..iHeartMedia alternative rock KRAB, Bakersfield “106.1 KRAB Radio” adds “The Woody Show” for morning drive, effective Monday (12/11).  The Premiere Networks syndicated show features Woody, along with co-hosts Ravey, Greg Gory, Menace and Sebas…..Pictured below are country duo Big & Rich with the cast of Cumulus Media’s “Ty, Kelli, & Chuck” show after stopping by to visit to chat about their plans for the holidays, among other things.  From left to right are: Ty Bentli, John Rich, Kelly Ford, Chuck Wicks, and Big Kenny.

Monday, November 13, 2017

| November 13, 2017

Longtime ‘New Jersey 101.5’ PD Eric Johnson Joins Beasley for Philly Sports Talk Role.  After spending the last 19 years as brand manager and program director at Townsquare Media’s talk station WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5,” Eric Johnson is joining Beasley Media Group to take on the director of sports content position at the company’s Philadelphia operations, effective December 4.  In this role, Johnson will be responsible for programming sports talkers WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” and WTEL “610 Sports,” as well as managing the related digital platforms.  Beasley Media Philly VP and market manager Joe Bell states, “Eric Johnson has the perfect skill set and experience to help continue the growth of ‘97.5 The Fanatic.’  He’s a Philly guy who understands that Philly sports fans are the best in the country and he can deliver a product with as much passion and knowledge as they have.”

Frank Rush Exits WIBQ, Terre Haute.  As reported by Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch, program director Frank Rush exits Midwest Communications’ news/talk WIBQ/W250BZ in Terre Haute (also simulcast on WBOW, Paris, Illinois).  The move appears to be budget related.  In a story in the Terre Haute Tribune-Star, Dave Taylor reports that Midwest is producing news content for WIBQ at its Evansville operations.  Read the Tribune-Star piece here.

Trump in Asia/Putin Election Meddling, North Korea Nuclear Program, Roy Moore Pedophile Allegations/Hollywood Sexual Assaults, GOP Tax Plan, Roger Goodell Contract Demands, College Football Games, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The president’s trip to Asia and his statement about believing Vladimir Putin’s claim he did not meddle in the U.S. election in 2016; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and the rhetoric between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un; the allegations Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore pursued several minor women when he was in his 30s and the expanding allegations of sexual harassment against Hollywood players; the nuts and bolts of the Republican tax plan; NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s reported demands for his new contract; the weekend’s college football games; and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WRKO Raises $90k for Disabled Veterans.  On Friday (11/10), news/talk WRKO, Boston presented a live radiothon from the Seaport Hotel from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm to benefit the Disabled American Veterans.  “Boston’s Morning Show” with Kim Carrigan and Doug “VB” Goudie, “The Financial Exchange with Barry Armstrong,” The Kuhner Report,” and the Howie Carr show highlighted inspirational stories from veterans of all ages and the DAV members who assist them.  Pictured above are WRKO PD Michael Czarnecki (second from right) and marketing director Adam Ralston (right) presenting the ceremonial check for $90,642.  Czarnecki says, “The passion the WRKO listeners have for our veterans continues to amaze me year after year!  It was an incredible day filled with energy and emotion and I am so thankful to the DAV and WRKO staff for all of their hard work.”

Broadcasting Veteran Dwight Douglas Pens Another Novel.  Longtime radio programmer and marketer turned author Dwight Douglas has just written and published a new, topical media-related novel that makes great fodder for talk radio conversation.  The book titled, If God Could Cry: The True Meaning of Mercy tells the story of a famous (fictitious) cable TV talk show host, Jonas Bronck, who leaves New York on his quest to find truth.  He finds himself in the middle of terror and personal torment in the name of journalism.  He once again asks, “If God Could Cry, would he be crying for us, or with us?”  Since retiring from his 17-year stint as vice president of marketing at broadcasting software giant, RCS, Douglas penned If God Could Talk… The Diary of a Broadcast Journalist followed by Donald Trump: Repeal, Replace, Impeach.  This new book is his third.  Many TALKERS readers will remember Douglas from his days in album rock radio when he programmed several major market AOR stations and served as president of the radio consulting firm Burkhart-Abrams & AssociatesTALKERS founder Michael Harrison says, “I used to work with Dwight back in the golden days of FM rock radio and always though he was extremely clever and very much in touch with the nuances of popular culture.  He was instrumental in the early career and rise of Howard Stern.  Now many decades later, it is exciting to read his books and see how his keen feel for the issues and culture of the times has matured into touching and powerful insights.  He makes a superb talk radio interview.”  For more information and to book an interview with Dwight Douglas, please click here.

MIW Accepting Applications for 2018 Mentoring Program. The window to apply for the 2018 Mildred Carter MIW Group Mentoring Program is open now through January 12, 2018.  This program from the Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group “pairs up-and-coming women who currently work in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio broadcasting and media.”  MIW says that Beasley Media Group is committing to provide support as the lead sponsor of the 2018 initiative.  A total of four candidates from the radio broadcasting industry – within the sales, marketing, programming and digital disciplines – will be selected for the 2018 program.  Of those, at least one spot will be designated for a programming candidate and one spot designated for a digital candidate. For mentee criteria and instructions on how to apply, click here.   WSCR, Chicago/Chicago Cubs Radio Network general sales manager Lindsay Cerajewski says, “This unique initiative provides a wonderful opportunity for mentees to gain valuable insight, knowledge and access to some of the most influential women in radio.  It is very rewarding to watch our mentees grow professionally throughout the year.”

FOX Radio/TV Star Brian Kilmeade Guests this Week on Harrison Podcast.  Multi-platform talk show host and best-selling author Brian Kilmeade of FOX News Radio and FOX News Channel is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”   Harrison and Kilmeade discuss a variety of current topics including the NFL’s struggles with controversial politics and the resurgence of baseball as well as the view of the Donald Trump administration from inside the president’s “favorite” cable TV news talk show, “Fox and Friends” (co-hosted by Kilmeade).  They also talk about the early decades of the fledgling American republic as chronicled in Kilmeade’s new history book, co-written with Don Yaeger, titled, Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle that Shaped America’s Destiny (Sentinel, 2017). To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Weekend and fill-in jock Juline Jordan is promoted to midday personality at Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WCSX, Detroit.  Beasley Detroit vice president and market manager Mac Edwards comments, “Juline is an outgoing personality who thrives on listener engagement on-air and in live settings.  She impressed us with an eagerness to share and assist in generating ideas for promotions and features that will continue to strengthen the WCSX classic rock brand!  Additionally, her creative digital and writing chops will help grow our social platforms in midday and beyond.”  Jordan has worked in the Detroit radio market for the past 20 years.  She’s also been heard on sister rock outlet WRIF.  She adds, “It’s my extreme pleasure to be given this opportunity and I’m more inspired than ever to give Detroit my very best.  I would like to thank my program director Jerry ‘JT’ Tarrants and our market manager Mac Edwards for believing in me and giving me this opportunity to rock Detroit every day!”…..At Entercom’s Denver cluster, oldies KEZW “Cruisin’ 1430” program director and morning personality Rick Crandall signs a new deal to remain with the station through 2020.  Entercom Denver VP of programming Mike Peterson states, “Rick is one of the best broadcasters in the business, with an undeniable passion for the community.  We’re lucky to have him!”

PPM Analysis: Urban AC. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the 6+ performances of urban AC-formatted stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2017 PPM survey.  Comparing the stations’ September and October numbers 6+ weekly totals, Kinosian notes that “for all practical purposes, half of this urban AC sample declines between September 2017 – October 2017 (51%); 43% of these stations are up; and the remaining 6% are steady.”  However, looking at October 2016 numbers and comparing them to October 2017, “these urban ACs virtually flip the month-to-month stats, as 53% of them are up year-to-year, while 41% decline; the remaining 6% remain steady.”  Seven urban AC stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in the October 2017 survey – all of them in southern cities – they were: KMJQ, Houston; WHQT, Miami; WWIN-FM, Baltimore; WFXC, Raleigh; WVKL, Norfolk; WQMG, Greensboro; and KJMS, Memphis.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Monday, July 24, 2017

| July 24, 2017

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the second of four format analyses of station performances based on data from the June 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM survey, focusing today on news/talk.  Kinosian notes that based on 6+ share numbers from subscribing stations, “nearly the same number of stations…improve between May 2017 – June 2017 (43%, 6+) as decline (46%), with the remaining 10% unchanged.”  Looking at year-over-year improvement, “well over half the stations on this news/talk panel improve…(57%) and 36% decline; the remaining 7% are flat.”  Big gainers here include Cox Media Group’s WOKV, Jacksonville (+1.9), iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego (+1.8), and iHeartMedia’s WISN, Milwaukee (+1.8).  Thirteen news/talk stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets in the June PPM survey.  CMG’s WSB-AM, Atlanta and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” ranked #1.  See the rest of the data here.

Smidt: PPM Sample Change Hypothesis. Broadcast advisor Clark Smidt writes today about the relationship between changes in the panels for Nielsen Audio’s PPM survey and movements – up or down – of more than a half-share for subscribing stations.  Smidt says he believes that during the April, May and June surveys there appears to have been significant shuffling of panelists in 21 markets that showed remarkable movement of a half-share or more.  Read his entire piece here.

Connoisseur Media Names Robin Faller VP Digital Sales.  Radio company Connoisseur Media acquires the Connecticut operations of Driven Local and names Robin Faller vice president digital sales.  Connoisseur CEO Jeffrey Warshaw comments, “We are so excited to bolster our team and assets in this growing part of our business.  Robin is uniquely qualified to lead the charge, with her experience as a radio market manager and then the head of sales of a major digital company.  We will be putting her expertise to work in order to get the best possible results for our clients.”  Faller will be based at Connoisseur’s Westport, Connecticut offices.

Fox News Radio Seeks to Have Discrimination Suit Dismissed. Saying that plaintiff – former Fox News Radio correspondent – Jessica Golloher’s suit is not viable under the New York State Human Rights law because she’s not a resident of the state, Fox is seeking to have the suit dismissed.  Golloher is suing her former employer claiming gender discrimination and retaliation by superiors for her requesting to speak with the company’s independent investigator.  Fox News Radio adds in the petition to dismiss that Golloher’s contract requires arbitration in such cases.  It also says Golloher’s claim against former Fox VP Mitch Davis is a “petty grievance” that doesn’t rise to the level of gender discrimination.  Read the Hollywood Reporter account here.

WHIO-AM/FM, Dayton Celebrating ‘Nostalgia Week.’ Heritage Dayton, Ohio news/talk WHIO-AM/FM is celebrating its impact on the region as it presents “WHIO Radio’s Nostalgia Week.”  The Cox Media Group station aired a special program on Sunday (7/23) and broadcast a special edition of this morning’s “Miami Valley’s Morning News with Larry Hansgen.”  Throughout the week, listeners can hear “classic jingles, stories and voices from WHIO Radio’s past.”  Hansgen tells WHIO-TV, “I’ve had a blast revisiting with old friends and colleagues, hearing their stories about their experiences working here, as well as the impact WHIO Radio has, and continues to make, on the community.”  On Friday morning at 9:00, the station will open up the phones to listeners to share their WHIO stories.

TALKERS News Notes. At the Los Angeles operations of Salem Media Group, Chuck Tyler is promoted to director of programming for the entire cluster.  At the same time, Scott Valentine takes on the program director role at Christian contemporary KFSH, Los Angeles in addition to his work co-hosting the station’s morning program.   Salem Los Angeles general manager Terry Fahy comments, “Scott brings many years of experience not only as an on-air personality and syndicated host, but also 12 years of experience as program director at KCMS in Seattle.  This reassignment of responsibilities will allow Chuck to devote more time and energy to [Christian talk] KKLA, [news/talk] KRLA and KTIE programming.”…..Local Radio Networks announces the addition of three new staffers: Chris Reeves is the new EVP of programming and operations; Chris Hatton is now director of 24/7 Creative Services; and Jonathan Steele joins as director of programming operations.  All three most recently served with Westwood One…..Nine years after the program’s debut, show host John Hockenberry is leaving the WNYC-produced “The Takeaway,” after August 7.  According to TheCurrent.org, in a letter to client stations, Hockenberry stated, “Ultimately, in every challenging career, there comes a time when it is important to know when to move on.”  He also said he wants to “directly experience how the media, citizens, and people in power can come together in new ways to create the functioning democracies of the 21st century.”  TheCurrent reports that “The Takeaway” Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich will host while a search for Hockenberry’s replacement is underway.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/24) with Michael Berry, Tom Leykis and Scott Lakefield.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

–          The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).

–          The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).

–          The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).

–          The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).

–          The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.

–          A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).

–          The first two in a series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.”  They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess (introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri), a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA  Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young, and a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

–          The first in a series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield).

–          TODAY (7/24) we posted the second in the above series of “one-on-one” dialogues “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between The New Normal CEO/founder/host Tom Leykis and syndicated host Michael Berry (again, facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield).

Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

Sean Spicer Exits White House-Scaramucci In, Future of ObamaCare-GOP Health Care Plan, Trump vs NYTimes on Baghdadi Issue, Trump-Russia Connections, Russia Sanctions Legislation, San Antonio Smuggling Deaths, McCain Health-Senate Seat, Dunkirk Film, ‘GoT’ Episode 2, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The resignation of White House press secretary Sean Spicer, the appointment of Sara Huckabee Sanders as his replacement and the naming of Anthony Scaramucci as White House communications director; speculation about the fate of the Affordable Care Act and whether the GOP can pass a new health care act; President Trump’s accusing The New York Times of publishing military intelligence that prevented the capture of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the paper’s refutation of the allegation; the investigation into connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Congress agrees to sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea; the deaths of nine in a semi-truck human trafficking incident in San Antonio; the health of Senator John McCain and his role in the GOP; the success of the new WWII film, Dunkirk; Sunday night’s episode two of this season’s “Game of Thrones”; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Record Hospital Transports at ‘HOT 93.7 Hot Jam.’  It’s not logical to place blame on CBS RADIO for the apparent record number of concertgoers taken to area hospitals in Hartford on Friday (7/21) from the “HOT 93.7 Hot Jam” concert at Xfinity Center, but the PR is not what the owner of hip hop WZMX was hoping for.  From a story in the Hartford Courant, public safety officials say at least 90 people were hospitalized and 50 arrested for underage drinking at the concert headlined by Chance the Rapper.  Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley says a typical concert requires 20 to 30 transports to hospitals, but Friday’s 90 transports put a heavy strain on the city’s resources.  Read the Courant story here.

AM Radio: Stop the Doomsday Machine!

| June 6, 2017

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO

 

NEW YORK — It is hard to overstate how much I love radio and believe in its future.  This article suggests a necessary, urgent corrective action that must be taken to give AM talk radio a viable future.

First, my credentials for making this case:  Starting in 1990, I launched a large number of major market FM talk stations such as “New Jersey 101.5,” KLSX-FM in Los Angeles and “Real Radio 104” in Orlando. Simultaneously I consulted WOR, WIOD, WRKO, WISN and many others. For eight years, from pre-launch, I was the on-site consultant that built out all Sirius Satellite radio channels, music and talk.  Prior to that I was the VP/GM of the ABC Radio Networks. EVP in charge of the NBC FM stations where adult contemporary was created and perfected.  History shows that most successful media companies are product-driven.  The wrong product results in failure.

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Friday, May 26, 2017

| May 26, 2017

New Jersey 101.5’s Bill Doyle Battling Complications from Bladder Cancer.  WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” afternoon personality Jeff Deminski writes on the NJ101.5 website explaining partner Bill Doyle’s absence from the Deminski & Doyle show for the past three weeks.  Regular listeners were aware that Doyle missed five weeks of work in late January and February after surgery to treat bladder cancer.  On Thursday (5/25), Deminski wrote the Doyle had been experiencing complications since the beginning of May that left him unable to work. (Producer Joe Votruba has been sitting in with Deminski on the program.) But, Deminski does say the good news is that “things are looking up.”  Read his full post here.

Maxon to Digital PD Post for iHeartMedia Hartford. Another digital program director is named at iHeartMedia, this time at its Hartford operations.  Kelsey Maxon is charged with overseeing the digital strategy for the iHM’s eight markets in the Hartford region.  Maxon has been digital program director for the company’s Providence cluster for the past three years.  He also previously served with Entercom as the promotions manager and digital coordinator for sports talk WEEI, Boston.  iHeartMedia Hartford regional SVP/programming John Cooper comments, “Kelsey will play a key role in bringing together all the resources we have in the region, resulting in great engagement on our web sites and social media.  We’re really looking forward to his insight, creativity and excitement.”

Pete Sheppard Partners with Craig Shemon at ‘ESPN SWFL 99.3 FM.’ Sports radio pro Pete Sheppard joins Beasley Media Group in the Fort Myers/Naples market to co-host the afternoon drive program on WWCN “ESPN SWFL 99.3 FM” with Craig Shemon.  Operations manager Adam Star says, “Pete Sheppard lacing up with Craig Shemon has just turned a great afternoon show into a major market, heavy weight afternoon show overnight.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this new show was syndicated a year from now.  Sherman and Sheppard are the real deal!”  Sheppard most recently served with Entercom at sports talk WEEI, Boston where he’d been a part-time and fill-in personality.  Previously he’d been with the station full time for years as part of “The Big Show” with Glenn Ordway.  He also hosted a weekend show following New England Patriots games with former NFL players Fred Smerlas and Steve DeOssie.

Kroeger Extends Contract with WFNZ, Charlotte. Afternoon drive personality Chris Kroeger inks a new deal to remain with Entercom Charlotte’s sports talk WFNZ-AM/W273DA “The Fan.” The Charlotte native hosts the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm “Prime Time” show.  Entercom Charlotte vice president and market manager Matt Hanlon comments, “Chris Kroeger leads the conversation in all things sports for Charlotte on WFNZ.  His depth of knowledge and relationships with everyone in town related to sports make him an invaluable resource and sports leader.  We’re thrilled he’s committed to WFNZ and Entercom for the future.”

Gallagher and Hewitt Do TV Hit. Prior to the sold-out, Wednesday evening “President Trump’s First 100 Days” event at the Commerce Club in Greenville, South Carolina, Salem Radio Network hosts Mike Gallagher (center) and Hugh Hewitt (right) appeared on local CBS TV affiliate WSPA-TV “CBS7” to discuss the issues.  The live event was sponsored by local affiliate station WGTK-FM “945 The Answer.”

The Amazing Kreskin on Engaging an Audience. Legendary mentalist Kreskin is a big fan of talk radio. (In fact, he’ll be at the Talkers 2017: A New Era conference in New York next Friday.)  He has experience on radio as a frequent guest and substitute host for the late Alan Colmes and Long John Nebel.  Today, he offers his thoughts on how to engage listeners quickly.  He says some of his pointers are obvious but consistency is the key.  Read what he has to say here.

President Trump’s International Trip Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 22-26.  President Donald Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Brussels was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the deadly Manchester bombing tied with the intelligence leaks aspect of the same story.  Coming in at #3 was the investigation into possible Trump campaign-Russia connections, and following at #4 was the Trump federal budget proposal.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Dr. Daliah Wachs Joins Michael Harrison for this Week’s Podcast.  She has just been named TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” in recognition of her amazing achievements in supporting health-oriented charities, including her work getting “Blood Donation Days” instituted in many states and “National Blood Donation Week” becoming official across America.  Board-certified physician, Daliah Wachs, M.D. practiced family medicine in Las Vegas for 16 years.  She became a daily local radio talk show host in 2009 on KLAV and then KDWN.  Her show grew to include other affiliates around the nation and eventually was carried by SiriusXM Satellite Radio and iHeartRadio, in addition to her main platform, Genesis Communications Network.  In March of 2016, she closed her practice due to rising costs and red tape she says is smothering independent medical practitioners.  She is currently a faculty member at Touro University.  As this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” Wachs talks about the challenges of hosting a successful, health-flavored generalist program on politically defined news/talk affiliates, in addition to explaining her non-partisan criticism of both the Affordable Care Act and the new GOP bill before Congress.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Legendary Los Angeles jock Rodney Bingenheimer is leaving CBS RADIO’s alternative KROQ, Los Angeles after a career there spanning 40 years.  He told his listeners via Facebook that his last “Rodney on the Roq” show will air from 12:00 midnight to 3:00 am on June 5.  He wrote, “It has been an amazing run and I will be thanking all of you when I say goodbye to KROQ next week.  I am planning on some special callers and special music as I say a proper goodbye.”  The 69-year-old radio personality also says that although he’s done with KROQ, he’s not hanging up the headphones.  Bingenheimer is credited with being one of the first jocks to play music by such iconic bands as the Sex Pistols, Sublime, Red Hot Chili Peppers and others….In Philadelphia, CBS RADIO adds classic hits WOGL programming duties to the responsibilities of AC WTDY PD Bobby Smith.  He takes over for Ann Gress, who exited this week after 14 years with the station.  At the same time, WXTU programmer Shelly Easton is promoted to vice president of music programming for the country station as well as WTDY and WOGL…..iHeartMedia promotes country WESC, Greenville, South Carolina PD Kix Layton to senior vice president of programming for the Greenville cluster.  He’ll now be in charge of hot AC WMYI “My 102.5,” rock WROO “Real Rock 104.9 – Man Up,” country WSSL, and sports talk WGVL “FOX Sports 1440.”…..WOCQ, Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland program director Albie Dee is upped to operations manager for Adams Radio Group’s cluster in the market.  He’ll continue to host afternoon drive on CHR WOCQ…..WRME-LP, Chicago’s “MeTV FM” format is going into syndication via a deal with Envision Networks. The Weigel Broadcasting station features a “winning mix of music from the 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond.”  The company says “MeTV FM is curated for long listening and features a deep playlist from an active library of more than 3,000 songs across nearly four decades, including singer-songwriters, country crossovers, Motown, iconic groups and many other artists.”  Weigel vice chairman Neal Sabin states, “MeTV FM’s music format has broken many of the radio rules in terms of presentation, depth of playlist and mixing of genres.  Using a challenging dial position in one of the most competitive radio markets in the country, we have proven the validity and viability of the format. We look forward to working with Envision to bring MeTV FM to many more places.”…..iHeartMedia flips from classic hits to urban AC on translator W279AQ as “Majic 103.7, Today’s R&B and Throwbacks.”  Senior vice president of programming A.J. says, “The ‘Majic’ brand is no stranger to St. Louis and has been iconic in the market since 1979.  With the launch of the new ‘Majic 103.7,’ we are resurrecting over 35 years of enriching lives and serving the St. Louis community.”

PPM Analysis: Alternative.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian looks into the performances of alternative rock stations based on data from the April 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  Kinosian reports, “Nearly half of our alternative sample (48%) improves between March 2017 – April 2017 (6+); equally divided are the number of down (26%) and flat stations (26%).  Just over half the stations on this alternative panel are down year-to-year (53%) while roughly one in three (34%) improve; the remaining 13% are unchanged.”  Just one alt rocker lands in the top five (6+) in its market – iHeartMedia’s KTCL, Denver.  Read Kinosian’s entire report here.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

| March 8, 2017

Salem Radio Network Makes Double White House Connection.  On Tuesday (3/7), two Salem Radio Network personalities connected with the Trump White House.  First, SRN’s Mike Gallagher welcomed Vice President Mike Pence to his nationally syndicated program to talk about the administration’s efforts to re-vamp the Affordable Care Act – what Pence termed “building a more effective, a more responsive healthcare system in America.”  Then, SRN’s Michael Medved was one of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s Skype Session guests and asked the following question: “Obviously, today there was a big emphasis on ObamaCare, which is profoundly important to the American people.  But it seems that too often in the last several weeks, the administration has gotten distracted – and media have gotten distracted – by talk of wiretapping at Trump Tower, or the president calling his predecessor a ‘bad and sick’ guy, or criticizing the ratings of ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’  Do you think the White House could do a better job of focusing on the issues that really matter – the reforms that matter to the American people?”  Hear Spicer’s answer here.

Jim Gearhart Returns to ‘New Jersey 101.5’ for Weekly Podcast.  For 25 years, Jim Gearhart was the morning drive personality on WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  He retired from the station in 2015 after suffering a severe concussion received during a fall.  Now, Gearhart returns to the stable of talent at the New Jersey news/talk station with his own eponymous podcast.  In his debut podcast with the Townsquare Media station, he displays vintage Gearhart rhetoric when explaining how he’s been watching from the sidelines during his recovery.  He says, “I could see through the cracks in my cocoon that New Jersey politicians were up to their traditional shenanigans, thumbing their collective nose at the public — milking the public trust, and the public treasury as well, for their own petty ambitions.”

Mike Carruthers Guests this Week on Harrison Podcast.  Longtime independent radio syndicator, host and producer Mike Carruthers is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out” with Michael Harrison.  Carruthers is widely known as the host and producer of the syndicated short-form radio feature “Something You Should Know,”  a programming staple for the past 37 years on stations across the US and Canada. It features a different guest and subject each week from a wide array of better living tips wrapped in a neat 90-second package and has garnered a legion of loyal listeners.  Tapping into that listenership and building upon it, Carruthers subsequently launched a long-form podcast version of “Something You Should Know” that has rocketed to the higher echelons on the iTunes charts and is generating significant revenue.   Carruthers has been sharing his experience and knowledge about podcasting with other radio professionals as a coach, having launched a comprehensive podcast training program called “Perfect Your Podcast” dedicated to helping people start, grow and monetize their podcast products.  He is also the author of the best-selling Amazon eBook “How to Launch a Perfect Podcast.”  On this week’s installment of the Harrison podcast, the TALKERS founder and Carruthers discuss how they each originally were attracted to podcasting and explore some of the techniques and media theory that apply to the growing industry.  To listen to it in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Replacing ObamaCare, Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Accusation/Deep State Theory, WikiLeaks CIA Dump, Trump Campaign-Russia Connection, U.S.-North Korea Tensions, ‘Day Without A Woman’ Strike, and NBA/NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/7).  The Trump Administration’s and the GOP’s efforts to overhaul the Affordable Care Act; President Donald Trump’s accusation that Barack Obama ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower, tied with the growing chatter about concerns over a “Deep State” that answers to no one; the latest WikiLeaks dump that purports to reveal CIA tapping techniques; ongoing scrutiny over the possible connection of the Trump campaign to Russian agents and the related question of whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied about his Russian Ambassador meetings; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, the U.S.’s anti-missile system and China’s warnings about an escalation on the Korean peninsula; today’s International Women’s Day and the related “A Day without a Woman” strike; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Longtime Oklahoma Media Figure and KTOK Host Mike McCarville Dies at 76.  In addition to hosting a talk show on KTOK, Oklahoma City during the 1990s, Mike McCarville was columnist for numerous Oklahoma newspapers and an assistant news editor KWTV-TV, Oklahoma City.  At the time of his death he was publishing his conservative blog The McCarville ReportThe Oklahoman reports McCarville had been battling an illness.

TALKERS News Notes. The NAB and the NAB Education Foundation are presenting a forum on reporting on racially sensitive issues as part of its Awareness in Reporting series.  It’ll take place next Tuesday (3/14) at the Newseum in Washington, DC.  The first part of the program is the “Awareness in Reporting Panel: Lessons Learned From Reporting on the Frontlines.”  NPR executive producer, newscasts Robert Garcia will sit on the four-person panel.  The second part of the program is “Conversation with Community Leaders – Chief David Brown and Rev. Kenny Irby,” moderated by Westwood One News correspondent and news editor Jan Johnson…..NASCAR and SiriusXM renew their broadcasting and marketing agreement through 2022.  With this, SiriusXM will continue to deliver 24/7 racing content via the SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel…..The MLB’s Colorado Rockies will continue to be heard on iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOA, Denver after the station recently re-upped with the team to serve as flagship through the 2021 season.  Now comes news that the station has reached an agreement to keep play-by-play personalities Jack Corrigan and Jerry Schemmel in the booth.

 

 

 

Chris Crowley Named KGON, Portland PD.  Rock programming pro Chris Crowley is named the new program director for Entercom’s classic rock KGON, Portland.  Crowley’s experience in radio covers 26 years at various radio companies, including programming and working with rock consultancy Jacobs Media.  Speaking about his new gig, Crowley says, “Getting to work for Entercom Portland and having the opportunity to oversee heritage call letters like KGON is a once-in-a-career kind of deal.  The chance to take this 48-year heritage station back to the top is one I just can’t pass up and I’m looking forward to forging new relationships in Portland.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At iHeartMedia’s Raleigh country outlet WNCB “B93.9,” Carletta Blake is named program director.  She moves to Raleigh from Greenville where she’s been programming WRNS for Alpha Media.  She takes over for Todd Nixon, who recently exited to join Steel City Media’s country KBEQ, Kansas City…..WJXA, Nashville morning personality Kim Leslie is leaving the station – and the radio business – to become a full-time staffer at the non-profit organization she’s launched.  Leslie has been with the Midwest Communications adult contemporary station for the past 10 years…..Cumulus Media is testing an iDitty interactive souvenir at next week’s LOCASH concert at 3rd & Lindsley in Nashville on March 14.  The promotion arrangement between the company’s WSM-FM “95.5 NASH ICON” and iDitty will provide a “fully interactive VIP laminate that offers an enhanced concert experience for LOCASH fans, while connecting them with LOCASH, ‘95.5 NASH ICON’ and Reviver Records long after the event.”  The iDitty souvenir (pictured at left) will be offered to the first 500 fans in attendance.  After the show, the interactive laminates will provide concertgoers with a long-term experience with LOCASH through music, videos, real-time photos, tour updates, social links, and the ability to purchase tour merchandise through the free iDitty app and online e-commerce platform…..Today, Alpha Media’s KBAY, San Jose “94.5 Bay FM” is honoring females for International Women’s Day by playing nothing but female artists until 6:00 pm.  KBAY program director Ronnie Stanton says, “International Women’s Day is a special day and we are celebrating at Bay FM all day with an all-female jukebox of hits from the 70s, 80s and 90s.”…..Cumulus Media’s WUHT, Birmingham “Hot 107.7” is taking a different tack on International Women’s Day – the station will “share the sound of ‘A Day Without a Woman’ by giving midday host Tasha Simone and station voice Jeannie Johnson the day off and will feature only music by men in order to help “tout the social, economic, cultural and political successes of women while urging more gender equality.”

Friday, January 27, 2017

| January 27, 2017

Judge Shoots Down Bubba’s Counterclaim.  This counterclaim can be refiled because it was denied without prejudice, but U.S. District Court Judge James Whittemore said no to Bubba the Love Sponge’s complaints against Nielsen Audio, Cox Media and WHPT, Tampa morning personality Mike Calta.  Among the complaints against the three was an allegation the trio conspired to harm the performance of Bubba’s show in the Tampa market.  In Whittemore’s brief ruling, he wrote, “The proposed counterclaim and third party complaint is heavily redacted, at Plantiff’s request.  As a result, it is impossible to determine whether the proposed pleading meets the standard for granting leave to amend, including whether the proposed claims are meritless and therefore futile, as plaintiff contends.”  In a related note, Bubba’s legal team is requesting the discovery period in Nielsen’s suit against Bubba be extended to March 21.

John Batchelor Inks New Deal with WABC and Westwood One.  WABC-based and nationally syndicated talk show host John Batchelor re-ups with Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York and Westwood One for a multi-year deal to continue hosting his eponymous 9:00 pm to 1:00 am ET program.  WABC notes that more than 16 years ago – on September 12, 2001, the day after the fall of the Twin Towers, it recruited John Batchelor to go on the air until Osama bin Laden was either killed or captured and he’s been on the air ever since.  “The John Batchelor show has since become appointment listening for incisive, thought-provoking discussion of the fight to preserve Western civilization from military and political attacks by its enemies. Batchelor’s themes cover every detail – from military battles, presidential campaigns, planetary exploration, and Hollywood politicos to his own international travel.  John has broadcast from many corners of the world and in his program he calls out to all points, including New York, Jerusalem, Des Moines, Kazakhstan, Orlando, Manchester, Morocco, Boston, Taipei, Washington, and Baghdad.”  Batchelor comments, “It’s a joy and privilege to join again with WABC and Westwood One to carry on reporting to extremely well-informed listeners.  I run as fast as I can to keep up on the radio and the podcast with all the can’t-make-this-up news events rushing around the planet each day.”

Trump’s Border Wall-Mexican Relations Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 23-27.  President Donald Trump’s executive order to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and the relations between the two countries was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was Trump’s threats to withhold federal funding from cities that don’t change their sanctuary city policies.  Coming in at #3 was the plans by the GOP to replace the Affordable Care Act, followed by the Democrats’ bill to keep the nation’s nuclear codes out of the hands of President Trump at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS News Notes.  One of the many sports media outlets with a presence in Houston for Super Bowl week is FOX Sports Radio – its 17th straight year covering the build-up to the game.  During the week of January 30 – February 3.  Shows that will emanate from Houston include: “The Herd with Colin Cowherd.” “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis,” Dan Beyer and Brady Poppinga, J.T. The Brick, Dan Patrick, and Rich Eisen.  Programming from Houston is also broadcast via iHeartRadio…..AdLarge Media expands its podcast offerings with a new show targeted toward women called “EmmeStyle,” and hosted by supermodel Emme.  The show is being co-produced by AdLarge and Hangar Studios.  The show will take “women on an uplifting journey to empowerment with a range of guests from fashion, beauty, art, culture, money, politics, business, health, and more.”…..Radio marketing pro Ray Handel is exiting Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” after a 15-plus year stint (and a total of 28 years in New Jersey media!) to join Community Broadcasters as director of business development in South Carolina.  Handel has been serving “New Jersey 101.5” as director of marketing/promotions and director of NTR sales.

 

 

Cavanah to Program WUSN, Chicago.  After former “US99” program director Jeff Kapugi exited the station back in December, CBS RADIO announces that market VP of programming Todd Cavanah officially assumes the PD role at WUSN.  Cavanah has been VP of programming since April of last year in which he’s also responsible for overseeing programming at music outlets CHR WBBM-FM “B96,” triple A WXRT, and classic hits WJMK “K-Hits 104.3.”  Cavanah comments, “Programming ‘US99’ is a role I really wanted to take on.  Country music is all about relationships, from the music itself to how stations connect with listeners and how the industry works together.  We have assembled an incredible staff at ‘US99,’ led by the incomparable Marci Braun and featuring exciting new on-air personalities that are already resonating with local audiences.  Together, we will ensure that ‘US99’ remains the first choice for Chicagoland’s country music fans.”

WMGC, Detroit Names Shay Shay AM Host; DJ Ryan Richards for Weekends.  Motor City classic hip hop and R&B outlet WMGC “105.1 The Bounce” announces two new Bounce “Ambassadors” join the station.  Detroit native Shay Shay – formerly midday host at CBS RADIO’s crosstown CHR WDZH “98.7 AMP Radio” takes over the AM drive show, and DJ Ryan Richards joins the station for weekend on-air duties.  WMGC PD Al Payne states, “We’re assembling an all-star team for Detroit on 105.1!  I am so excited to add Shay Shay and DJ Ryan Richards to our lineup!  Legendary personalities like them perfectly match the legendary throwback hip hop and R&B our fans crave.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At Entercom’s alternative KNDD, Seattle “107.7 The End,” evening personality Zach Van Lue exits the station to pursue interests away from Seattle…..Hayley Smith-Rose is promoted to APD at Mainestream Media’s CHR WHTP, Portland “HOT 104.7.”  Smith-Rose currently handles the evening show and serves as promotions director – responsibilities she’ll continue to hold.  Program director Ryan Deelon comments, “Hayley is the rock of our organization.  To say she’s my right hand is not giving her enough credit.  She’s essentially the right hand for everyone that works here.  She’s risen to the occasion at every opportunity and has the complete respect and admiration of everyone on the team.  This is just the start of what will be a bright future.”…..Morning personality Eric Ashmont – host of the “Shmonty in the Morning” program on Arizona Lotus Corp’s rock KFMA, Tucson, will exit his role with the station at the end of March in order to relocate to Rockville, Maryland for family reasons.  He says, “I’d like to thank Larry Mac and Ken Kwilosz for the opportunity to contribute to the growth and further success of KFMA.”…..The weekly radio show “Woman of the Week” is airing on CBS RADIO stations in Philadelphia.  Originating as a blog by WOGL “Breakfast Club” personality Marilyn Russell, the effort morphed into a radio show that honors extraordinary women.  Russell hosts the half-hour program that airs on classic hits WOGL, country WXTU, and CHR WTDY.  Sister all-news KYW is highlighting the show via a weekday vignette series.

 

 

Round Three of Holiday PPM Ratings Released. The third of four rounds of Holiday 2016 ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2016 survey period covered December 1, 2016 – January 4, 2017. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland – December’s +2.1 concluded KKCW’s September-October-November mini-slide (8.6 – 7.8 – 7.7, 6+). “K-103” now rolls out a +5.5 (9.8 – 15.3, 6+) as the iHeartMedia adult contemporary is #1 for the 31st time in the last 33 ratings periods. Following six consecutive months without a decrease for a combined +1.4 since April (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.3, 6+), Entercom adult hits KYCH dropped two-tenths in November and lost one-full-share in December. Roaring back with a +1.4 in “Holiday” 2016 though, “97.1 Charlie We Play Everything” rockets from a ninth-place three-way logjam to third (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.1 – 5.5, 6+). Picking up one-half share each are sports sibling KFXX “1080 The Fan” (1.3 – 1.8, 6+), which cracks the top 20 at #18 and public KQAC “All Classical Portland” (3.7 – 4.2, #12 to #7, 6+). When “All Classical Portland” was -.4 in December, it ended four straight up-trends (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 4.1, 6+). Prior to November 2016, the last time “All Classical Portland” crossed the four-share threshold (6+) was six years ago (4.1, 6+, November 2010). Suffering erosions of -1.3 (6+) are iHeartMedia-owned KLTH “106.7 The Eagle Portland’s Classic Hits Station” (5.6 – 4.3, fourth to sixth, 6+) and Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull #1 For New Country” (#7 to #12, 6+). Down seven-tenths since September (5.8 – 5.2 – 5.1, 6+), “The Eagle” was +.5 in December. This is the third straight decrease for “The Bull” (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 3.3, 6+) for a combined -1.8. Having crossed the six-share threshold (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history by posting a +1.4 to 6.1 in December, Entercom hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz Today’s Best Mix” forfeits eight-tenths to 5.3 (6+). “The Buzz” slides from third to fourth. More than eight full-shares behind “K-103” is Oregon Public Broadcasting’s KOPB, which loses seven-tenths (7.6 – 6.9, 6+) but stays at #2. Falling by six-tenths each are Alpha Media talker KXL (4.7 – 4.1, sixth to eighth, 6+) and co-owned KBFF “Live 95.5 The Station That Sounds Like Portland” (seventh to ninth). “Live 95.5” is down or flat for the fourth straight time (5.4 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+) for a collective -1.4. Albeit without an increase in the last seven sweeps for a combined -1.6 since June (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), Entercom classic rocker KGON actually moves up from #14 to #12. Steady at #19, iHeartMedia’s KXJM “JAM’N 107.5” is nonetheless down for the sixth straight time for a collective -1.9 (3.6 – 3.5 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+).

2) Charlotte – Up by a combined +2.4 in November and December (3.5 – 4.3 – 5.9, 6+), WKQC “K-104.7” pours it on in “Holiday” 2016 with a +6.4 to 12.3 (6+), marching from fourth to first. The Beasley Media Group adult contemporary was #1 this time last year as well with a 13.2 (“Holiday” 2015, 6+). It was just a one-month stay at #1 for Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WOSF “Old School 105.3,” which sputters by eight-tenths (7.0 – 6.2, 6+) and shifts to #4. “Old School 105.3” posted a massive +1.9 in December to move from sixth to the top spot. Rebounding from December’s loss of one-half share (2.7 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WEND “106.5 The End Charlotte’s New Rock Alternative” picks up six-tenths to 2.8 (#16 to #13, 6+). Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLXK improves by one-half share (.3 – .8, 6+) and breaks into the top 20 (#20). Freefalling by -1.2 each are iHeartMedia country and CHR siblings WKKT “96.9 The Kat” (5.2 – 4.0, sixth to eighth, 6+) and WHQC “Channel 96.1” (3.5, #8 to #11, 6+), with the latter ending three straight gains (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+). In December, Radio One gospel property WPZS recaptured the six-tenths it lost in November. While “Praise 100.9 Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” now surrenders seven-tenths (3.5 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 2.8, 6+), it actually climbs from #15 to a three-way logjam at #13. Two talkers – Entercom’s WBT (3.7 – 3.1, steady at #12, 6+) and University Radio Foundation’s WFAE (3.4 – 2.8, #14 to #13, 6+) – are off by six-tenths each; WFAE was 3.4 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps.

3) Pittsburgh – Three straight down or flat trends between August and November by Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary outlet WSHH resulted in a one-half share loss (6.8 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.3, 6+); however, “Wish 99.7” answers in December (+1.3) and “Holiday” (+4.4) with a combined +5.7 to 12.4, its strongest 6+-stat since it returned to print in April 2016. Although unchanged at #8, CBS Radio‘s KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” improves by four-tenths to 4.5 (6+), halting three consecutive declines that accounted for a cumulative -3.5 (7.6 – 6.5 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). Not only is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW back in double-digits (6+) for the first time since September with a +4.4 to 13.7 (6+), “3WS” succeeds rock cluster-mate WDVE at #1. It is the strongest 6+-showing for “3WS” in exactly one year (14.2, “Holiday” 2015). On top in October, November, and December – WDVE plummets by two full-shares (10.4 – 8.4, 6+) and slips to third. September’s -.2 halted its string of positive or flat trends at five (8.7 – 8.8 – 8.8 – 9.2 – 9.8 – 10.3, 6+). Suffering a -2.0 as well is CBS Radio-owned WDSY “Y-108 Pittsburgh’s Country” (5.7 – 3.7, sixth to ninth, 6+). It is overtaken by iHeartMedia’s similarly formatted WPGB “Big 104.7 Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country,” which gains one full-share (3.8 – 4.8, tenth to seventh, 6+). Within 7.0 – 7.9 range (6+) April through December, Steel City Radio adult hits WRRK “Bob” flounders by one full-share (7.9 – 6.9, 6+), dropping from third to fourth. Off by one-half share each are CBS Radio hot AC WBZZ “Star 100.7 Plays The Hits” (eighth to tenth, 6+); Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting’s WESA (2.5 – 2.0, steady at #13, 6+) and triple A sibling WYEP “91.3 – Where The Music Matters” (1.2, #14 to #15, 6+). This is the third straight dip for “Star” (4.6 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). Meanwhile, the loss erases WYEP’s +.5 from December and ends its consecutive streak of upward trends at three (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.7, 6+). Flat at 3.5 (6+), iHeartMedia alternative WXDX “The X at 105.9” is #11 for the seventh straight ratings period, while Steel City Media hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” (2.8 – 2.8, 6+) is in 2.1 – 2.9 range for the seventeenth consecutive time and continues at #12.

4) Sacramento – On the heels of back-to-back November 2016 and December 2016 increases of +1.2 (5.4 – 6.6 – 7.8, 6+), CBS Radio adult contemporary outlet KYMX “Mix 96” takes that combined +2.4 and more than doubles it (7.8 – 13.0, +5.2, 6+). Over and above that, it cruises from third – where it was the past five sweeps – to first. For context, “Mix 96” was #1 in “Holiday” 2015 with an 11.7 (6+). In advance of November’s +1.2, it was a combined -2.2 in September and October. At #2 for the sixth straight time is iHeartMedia news-talk hybrid KFBK which is flat at 7.9 (6+). That’s fairly significant since KFBK’s five previous moves have been +.8 (August 2016); -1.4 (September 2016); +1.2 (October 2016); -.7 (November 2016) and +.7 (December 2016). Exiting the top spot after eleven consecutive months and taking the spot vacated by “Mix” at #3 is Entercom classic rock KSEG. “The Eagle” has its fifth negative trend in the last six ratings periods – including the past three (9.6 – 8.8 – 8.1 – 7.2, 6+) for a combined -2.4. After consecutive downtrends in May and June that produced a -1.2 (10.6 – 9.8 – 9.4, -.4, 6+), KSEG posted a +.9 in July. When “The Eagle” faltered by eight-tenths in May, it witnessed an end to three consecutive increases (8.9 – 9.0 – 9.5 – 10.6, 6+) that netted a cumulative +1.7. Owing to a +.6 to 3.7 (6+), CBS Radio hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5” pulls the plug on three straight downward trends that generated a combined -1.4 (4.5 – 4.3 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+) and climbs from tenth to eighth. Directly in front of “Now” and also posting a +.6 is iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies KHYL “V-101 Throwback Hip-Hop and R&B” (3.3 – 3.9, ninth to seventh, 6+). Locked on 3.9 (6+) in November and December, talk cluster-mate KSTE plummets by -1.4 to 2.5 (6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #12). In addition to KSEG (see above), Capital Public Radio-owned KXJZ (seventh to ninth) also falters by nine-tenths and is a combined -1.6 since November (4.8 – 4.1 – 3.2, 6+). Prior to November, KXJZ had not had a decrease in the previous four sweeps (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.8, 6+). Down six-tenths (2.9 – 2.3, 6+) and falling from #12 to #14, Entercom hot AC KUDL “Star 106.5” is within 2.3 – 2.9 range (6+) for the eighth consecutive month. Declining by one-half share each are CBS Radio’s KNCI “New Country 105.1 FM” (5.5 – 5.0, flat at #4, 6+); iHeartMedia adult hits KQJK “93.7 Jack FM” (#14 to #16, 6+); and California State University – Sacramento classical KXPR (1.3 – .8, #24, 6+). “Jack” is without an increase for the sixth consecutive ratings period (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+) for a -1.2, while KXPR is down or flat for the third straight time (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – .8, 6+).

5) San Antonio – Following its December gain of +1.5 to 4.8 (6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT adds another +5.5 to 10.3 (6+) as “Q-101.9 San Antonio’s Best Variety” advances from second to first. One year ago at this time, “Q-101.9” was on top with a 10.6 (“Holiday” 2015, 6+). Prior to December’s increase. KQXT went four straight sweeps without an increase for a full-share loss (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 4.8, 6+). It takes over from Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits,” which slides to third. KONO-FM slumps by -1.3 (7.1 – 5.8, 6+) after December’s -1.1; November’s +.9; and October’s -1.0. “San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” departed the top spot in October after nine straight sweeps there. Before dropping from #1 to #2 in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KONO-FM was #1 in 17 of the previous 22 monthlies. Frozen on 5.2 (6+) in November and December, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Estereo Latino 92.9” trots out a full-share improvement to 6.2 (its best 6+-showing since April, 6.2 as well) and vaults from sixth to second. Rhythmic CHR cluster-mate KBBT “98.5 The Beat” (eighth to sixth, 6+) enjoys its third straight gain (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+) and is a collective +1.2 since October. Advancing by eight-tenths is iHeartMedia’s KZEP “Hot 104.5” (1.7 – 2.5, #19 to 17, 6+). On the other hand, co-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” spirals by -1.4 (5.4 – 4.0, 6+) to drift from fifth to ninth. Also in that cluster, talk WOAI sputters by nine-tenths to 4.0 (seventh to ninth, 6+), curtailing three consecutive gains (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.8 – 4.9, 6+) which netted seven-tenths. Below a four-share (6+) for the first time since February (when it registered a 3.8, 6+), Alpha Media adult hits KJXK “102.7 Jack FM” drops seven-tenths (4.3 – 3.6, #10 to #11, 6+). Decreasing by one-half share each are regional Mexican sibling KSAH (3.1 – 2.6, #13 to #15, 6+); Cox Media Group’s KTKX “106.7 The Eagle” (flat at #12, 6+); and iHeartMedia-owned KQXT-HD3 (2.2 – 1.7, #17 to #18, 6+). In eight straight sweeps without an increase, “The Eagle” is down by a combined -1.4 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+).

6) Cincinnati – A +5.4 (6+) enables Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98” to better the 11.9 (6+) it registered in “Holiday” 2015 by two-tenths as it storms from fourth to first. In five successive improvements since August, “Warm 98” has gained nearly seven full-shares (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 6.3 – 11.7, 6+). Conversely, co-owned classic hits-oldies WGRR is down or flat for the fourth successive sweep for a -1.6 (9.8 – 9.8 – 9.6 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+). After four straight months at #1, WGRR drops to the runner-up slot. Prior to a gain in September, WGRR posted three successive negative trends resulting in a cumulative -1.7 (10.3 – 9.8 – 9.3 – 8.6, 6+). With each suffering an erosion of -1.3, Hubbard Radio hot AC WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” (6.8 – 5.5, 6+) slides from third to fourth, while iHeartMedia CHR WKFS “Kiss 107” (5.4 – 4.1, 6+) moves from seventh to eighth. Owing to a +1.1 in December, “Kiss 107” recaptured well over half of the combined -1.6 it lost by being down in each of the previous four monthlies (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+); “Q-102” was off by one-half share in December. Three successive negatives trends (8.5 – 7.9 – 6.3 – 5.3, 6+) have yielded a -3.2 for Hubbard Radio country outlet WUBE “B-105, which dips from fourth to fifth. In the talk format, iHeartMedia siblings WKRC (6.0 – 4.8, unchanged at #6, 6+) and WLW (8.7 – 7.8, second to third, 6+) sputter by -1.2 and nine-tenths, respectively. Their rock cluster-mate WEBN is a collective -1.4 as a result of four straight declines (5.8 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+) yet it actually inches up from eighth to seventh. With its sixth straight downward trend (3.4 – 3.2 – 2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WNNF is -1.5 but “94.1 Nash FM” carries on at #15.

7) Cleveland – After four consecutive fluctuations of one-half share – three in the negative direction (7.8 – 7.3 – 6.8 – 7.3 – 6.8, 6+) – CBS Radio adult contemporary WDOK “Star 102” breaks out a +3.6 to 10.4 and vaults from fifth to first. It is the strongest 6+-showing for “Star” in exactly one year (12.4, “Holiday” 2015). Notwithstanding that it is nudged out of the penthouse after just one month, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” racks up a +1.1 (8.7 – 9.8, 6+) and trails “Star” by six-tenths. Prior to December’s +.1, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” was off by nearly three full-shares in three straight downward trends (11.5 – 10.8 – 9.6 – 8.6, 6+) and slipped to #2. September’s -.7 ended five straight gains for a cumulative +1.2 (10.3 – 10.7 – 10.9 – 11.3 – 11.4 – 11.5, 6+) and marked the first time in the previous 17 ratings periods that WMJI was not in double-digits (6+). It departed the penthouse after ten successive sweeps there. Without an increase in the last four ratings periods (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+) Radio One urban AC WZAK more than makes up for the cumulative six-tenths it lost with a rousing +1.3 to 7.6, rocketing from eighth to fourth. Seven consecutive up or flat trends for Ideastream’s WCPN (unchanged at #13) produce a combined +.7 (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+). Absolutely anchored at #12 – where it’s been since February –  CBS Radio-owned WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan”/Cleveland Browns flagship picks up two-tenths (3.6 – 3.8, 6+). Trending 7.9 – 7.7 – 7.9 (6+) since October, iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s Country” plummets by -1.9 to 6.0, drifting from third to seventh. Co-owned talk WTAM (6.1 – 5.4, 6+); CHR sibling WAKS (5.9 – 5.2, 6+); and rock cluster-mate WMMS (5.2 – 4.5, 6+) regress by seven-tenths each. They remain at #9, #10, and #11, respectively. In November, Cleveland Indians flagship WTAM recorded a massive +2.7 to 9.1, its most potent 6+-share since May 2012 when it reached 9.8; it sunk by three full-shares in December. Entering the December sweep, WMMS was without a decrease in the previous five ratings periods for a collective +2.3 (4.2 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+), but coughed up 1.3 shares of that gain in December. The rocker last crossed the six-share threshold (6+) in August 2014 with a 6.1. Also in that iHM cluster, three successive negative moves by WHLK “The Lake” in September, October, and November accounted for a -2.4 (8.9 – 8.4 – 7.7 – 6.5, 6+). The adult hits property rebounded in December with a +1.8 but relinquishes one-third of it in “Holiday” 2016 with a -.6 (8.3 – 7.7, 6+) as it shifts from second to third. November’s 6.5 was the weakest 6+-performance for “The Lake” since June 2012 (6.1). After a +.9 in December, Radio One urban contemporary WENZ “Z-107.9” surrenders one-half share (5.5 – 6.4 – 5.9, 6+) to move from seventh to eighth.

8) Salt Lake City – It is genuinely noteworthy under PPM-methodology for a station to achieve double-digits (6+), so it is truly a monumental accomplishment for KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” to shatter the 20-share barrier. The Bonneville adult contemporary rolls out a ridiculous +9.2 to reach 20.6 (6+), eclipsing by five full-shares what it recorded one year ago (15.6, 6+, “Holiday” 2015). Over and above finishing at #1 for the third successive month, “FM 100.3” quite remarkably has not had a decrease since April (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.0 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 11.4 – 20.6, 6+), nearly quadrupling its 6+-stat since then with an eye-popping +15.3 shares. Stuck on 1.4 (6+) in November and December, Broadway Media-owned KEGA “101.5 The Eagle Utah’s Best Country” erupts with a full-share gain to 2.4 (6+) and cracks the top 20 at #15. After dropping one-half share in December, iHeartMedia’s KAAZ “Rock 106.7” rebounds with a +.9 (2.7 – 2.2 – 3.1, 6+) to climb from #16 to #12. Those three outlets alone (KSFI, KEGA, and KAAZ) account for an increase of more than 11 shares (6+). In terms of 6+-share decrease, KZHT “97.1 Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” is the most heavily affected with a -1.9 (6.3 – 4.4, 6+) yet it only slides from fourth to fifth to fourth. The iHeartMedia CHR had registered a 6+-share between 6.1 – 6.7 in each of the last seven sweeps. The four most recent (6+) fluctuations for KSL are +2.0 (October), -.9 (November), +1.1 (December), and -1.5 (“Holiday” 2016). The Bonneville talker repeats at #2, with December 2016’s 8.3 its strongest 6+-figure in more than two years (9.1, October 2014). Fellow talker – iHeartMedia’s KNRS – spikes by -.9 (4.6 – 3.8, sixth to seventh, 6+). Following December’s one-half share decline, co-owned classic hits-oldies KODJ “Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” sputters by twice as much (4.3 – 3.3, -1.0, 6+) and slips from seventh to ninth. When KODJ notched a +.3 in November, it curtailed four consecutive declines (6.6 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+) for a cumulative loss of -2.1. Hard hit by KSFI’s +9.2 is its format rival, Cumulus Media’s KBEE “B-98.7,” which tumbles by nine-tenths to 1.9 (6+), drifting from #13 to #19. “B-98.7” had not had a decrease in the past five ratings periods (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). Finishing at #25, public KRCL is off by eight-tenths (1.5 – .7, 6+). After three straight gains for a +1.3 (5.5 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+), Bonneville’s KRSP “103.5 The Arrow” relinquished all of it in December and now drops another six-tenths (5.5 – 4.9, 6+) but inches up from fifth to fourth. Down by six-tenths as well (yet managing to improve from ninth to eighth) is Broadway Media-owned KUDD “Mix 105.1 All The Hits” (4.1 – 3.5, 6+). With a +.3 in December, “Mix” halted four consecutive negative trends that yielded a -1.5 (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8, 6+). Faltering for the fifth consecutive month (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+), Cumulus Media country-formatted KUBL “K-Bull 93” (tenth to ninth) is a combined -2.2 since August. In addition to “K-Bull,” iHeartMedia hot AC KJMY “My 99.5” is also off by one-half share (2.8 – 2.3, #13 to 316, 6+).

9) Las Vegas – Powered by five consecutive up or flat trends that have generated a +8.3 (5.7 – 6.4 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 8.1 – 14.0, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” repeats at #1 with its best 6+-performance since 15.7 in “Holiday” 2015. Following three straight downward trends (8.1 – 7.4 – 6.0 – 5.7, 6+), “Sunny” was +.7 in September and +.6 in October, climbing to first – where it had been for 22 straight monthlies before July. While it continues in the runner-up position, Beasley Media Group’s KKLZ erodes by -1.8 (6.6 – 4.8, 6+). Prior to advancing to #1 in July – and remaining there in August and September – KKLZ was in the runner-up slot for six straight months; 7.4 in August was its best 6+-showing in over four years (7.5, July 2012). More than doubling its 6+-share as a result of five successive gains (1.4 – 1.9 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), CBS Radio talker KXNT climbs from #14 to #12. A combined -2.7 in four straight negative trends (6.3 – 5.9 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 3.6, 6+), Lotus Broadcasting classic rock KXPT “97.1 The Point” shifts from sixth to ninth. Dropping by one-half share each are CBS Radio rhythmic hot AC KXQQ “Q-100.5” (ninth to tenth, 6+) and Lotus Broadcasting’s KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” (1.4 – .9, #23, 6+). This is the third straight monthly without an increase for “Q-100.5” for a combined -1.3 (4.5 – 4.5 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+). The HD2 channel of iHeartMedia’s KYMT is off by six-tenths (2.7 – 2.1, #16 to #19, 6+).

10) Kansas City – Boasting its best 6+-share since the 7.6 it notched this time last year (“Holiday 2015), Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” improves by +2.9 (4.1 – 7.0, 6+) and leaps from #11 to #3. Trailing its classic rock sibling KCFX “The Fox” by six-tenths in December, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies outlet KCMO-FM “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” hangs out a +2.5 (8.3 – 10.8, 6+) and advances from second to first. On top from May through September and then in December, “The Fox” has its fifth straight up-trend (7.2 – 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.7 – 8.9 – 9.0, 6+) for a cumulative +1.8, but slides to #2. By dropping two-tenths in August, it closed four successive up or flat monthlies yielding a +1.5 (5.9 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.4 – 7.4, 6+). Before a loss of three-tenths in November, KCMO-FM registered four straight progressive trends (5.3 – 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 8.1, 6+) for a collective +1.8. Public (University of Northwestern St. Paul) contemporary Christian KJNW completely wipes away December’s -.5 (1.9 – 1.4 – 1.9, 6+) and inches back to #19 (from #20). After improving by two full-shares between September and December (5.0 – 6.1 – 7.2 – 7.0, 6+), Entercom alternative KRBZ “96.5 The Buzz” relinquishes the entire gain and is back at 5.0 (-2.0, third to fifth, 6+). Up by a combined eight-tenths via three straight increases (3.5 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+), sibling KQRC “98.9 The Rock” forfeits nine-tenths to 3.4 (6+) and departs the top ten (#7 to #12). Entering the December sweep with four straight up or flat trends netting a +1.1 (3.8 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+), Steel City Media’s KFKF “Country 94.1” is a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (4.9 – 4.3- 3.6, 6+) and it leaves the top ten as well (#7 to #11). CHR cluster-mate KMXV “Mix 93.3,” which trended 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.3 (October-November-December6+), drops one-half share to 3.8 (6+) and slips from seventh to ninth.

11) Orlando – Over the course of the past 17 sweeps, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” (10.5 – 16.1, second to first, 6+) has registered some major fluctuations. They include +.5 (October 2015); -1.0 (November 2015); +1.6 (December 2015); +5.2 (“Holiday” 2015); -4.7 (January); -1.2 (February); +1.3 (March); +.7 (April); +.6 (May); -.8 (June); -1.1 (July); -.4 (August); +.7 (September); -.5 (October) +.9 (November); +2.1 (December); and the biggest, +5.6 (“Holiday” 2016). At this time last year “Magic” was #1 with a 12.9 (6+, “Holiday” 2015). After six straight rating periods finishing in third-place, “Magic” progressed to the runner-up slot in December and now overtakes Spanish tropical cluster-mate WRUM (12.1 – 11.6, -.5, 6+) at #1. “Rumba 100.3” (first to second) had been on top the past three sweeps and was a combined +2.5 in November and December as it reached 12.1 (6+), the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. CHR sibling WXXL “XL-106.7,” however, erodes by -1.7 (8.9 – 7.2, 6+) and continues in third-place. Owing to a +. 3 to 5.3 (6+), CBS Radio hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” (eighth to fifth, 6+) snaps its string of successive down and flat trends that resulted in a net loss of -1.2 to four (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.0, 6+). Without a decrease from September through December (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.3, 6+), Cox Media Group talker WDBO-FM was only up three tenths in that stretch and it now loses three-times that margin (5.3 – 4.4, -.9, 6+), sliding from seventh to ninth. Steady at #4, co-owned WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” falters by six tenths (6.7 – 6.1, 6+). Meanwhile, CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WOCL “Sunny” falls from fifth to seventh with its fourth consecutive decline (6.7 – 6.7 – 6.2 – 5.9 – 5.2, 6+) that has produced a combined -1.5. Public WMFE (2.5 – 2.3, -.2, 6+) is in 2.0 – 2.9 range for the 27th straight time and remains at #14.

12) Columbus – On the heels of December’s +2.7, iHeartMedia adult hits WODC “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” tacks on a +4.4 and is within four-tenths of what it logged in “Holiday” 2015 (11.5, 6+). This actually represents the fourth straight ratings period without a loss for “The Bus” (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 6.7 – 11.1, seventh to first, 6+), which overtakes CHR cluster-mate WNCI (first to fourth) at #1. WNCI is now down or flat in each of the last six ratings periods for a collective -4.4 (12.2 – 12.1 -11.1 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 7.8, 6+). In addition to being #1 in December, WNCI was on top in September, August, March, February and January. Energized by a +1.8 (6.9 – 8.7, 6+) Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” surges from fifth to second. When “Sunny 95” dropped two-tenths in December, it concluded four consecutive positive trends which netted a total of six-tenths (6.5 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). With its finest 6+-stat since March’s 3.6, River Radio Ministries contemporary Christian WCVO “104.9 The River” boasts a +1.4 (2.0 – 3.4, 6+) to progress from #13 to #10. After six straight monthlies without a loss netting in excess of four full-shares and more than doubling its 6+-stat since June (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 5.1 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 7.7, 6+), Radiohio‘s WBNS-FM surrenders -1.8 to 5.9 (6+). “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” drifts from third to sixth. Prior to November 2016, the last time “The Fan” crossed the seven-share threshold (6+) was February 2015 when it reached 7.2. Another streak ends as Saga Communications’ WLVQ “Iconic Rock Q-FM 96” – up the past three ratings periods for a net +2.2 (5.3 – 5.5 – 6.3 – 7.5, 6+) – coughs up half of that gain (6.4, -1.1, 6+) and slides from fourth to fifth. Between April and November, Radio One urban AC WXMG “Magic 95.5 Columbus’ Best R&B” more than tripled its 6+-share via seven straight increases (1.2 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 4.0, 6+). “Magic” though dropped one-half share in December and another seven-tenths in “Holiday” (4.0 – 3.5 – 2.8, 6+), moving from #11 to #12. Approximately one week before the December 2016 sweep concluded, iHeartMedia transitioned alternative WXZX “105.7 The X” to “Sports Radio 105.7 The Zone.” The 105.7 frequency was off seven-tenths in December and loses six-tenths in “Holiday” (1.7 – 1.0 – .4, #16 to #17, 6+). Floundering by six-tenths as well is Saga Communications classic hits-oldies WNND “Rewind” (2.4 – 1.8, #13 to #14, 6+), which was +.5 in December.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

| February 18, 2016

Presidential Race, Middle East Military Escalation, North and South Korea Tensions, Scalia Replacement Debate/Death Theories, Apple iPhone Hack Refusal, LA Hospital Records Hack Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/17).  The activities of the candidates for president, including the South Carolina GOP Town Halls; Turkish clashes with Kurds in Iraq and the ongoing Syrian conflict; military tensions between North Korea and South Korea; debate over the proper process for replacing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and theories about his cause of death; Apple’s refusal to create backdoor software to open the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists; and a Los Angeles hospital’s paying off hackers in bitcoin to receive the return of its medical records were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

carrollbillBill Carroll Lands at CFRA, Ottawa in AM Drive.  Less than two months after exiting his midday talk show at iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles and then announcing his departure from his afternoon gig at Corus’ CFMJ, Toronto, Bill Carroll is brought aboard at Bell Media’s CFRA, Ottawa to host “The Morning Rush with Bill Carroll.”  Joining him as co-host on the new show will be Tricia Owens.  Carroll arrives as Bell Media lets AM personality Mark Sutcliffe and evening hosts Ron Corbett, John Counsell, and Nick Vandergragt go.  The station also announces it’s bringing Brian Lilley on to host the evening program.  Both shows will launch on March 7.  Carroll comments, “My family had decided late last year that it was time to come home – what great timing that a legendary station like CFRA is making some changes.  I can’t wait to join the team in Ottawa and get started. And I hope the people of Ottawa will forgive my years of cheering the Kings and Leafs. I will adapt, slowly.”

ppmunitRound Two of January PPM Data Released.  The second of four rounds of January 2016 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The survey period was December 31 – January 27.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Top Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

Odds & Sods.  A new interactive radio app has just been released for Salem Radio Network personality Ericmetaxaseric Metaxas.  Salem says the app – powered by Clip Interactive technology – is part of its mobile radio strategy.  Salem notes that the app enables fans to listen and interact with the show and its content.  Fans can directly connect with Eric in the studio using the app’s “call the studio” feature.  Additionally, the show is now able to quickly gather listener insights and opinions with the app’s real time polling and “talk back” features…..Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” announces the wkxwaddition of award-winning State House reporter Michael Symons to its staff as State House bureau chief.  Symons comes to New Jersey 101.5 from Gannett New Jersey, where he was a State House reporter.  New Jersey 101.5 VP and head of news and digital operations Eric Scott says, “Mike Symons is a tough, but fair reporter and investigator.  He will be a valuable asset for our news operation.”  Scott says Symons is one of the longest-tenured reporters currently covering New Jersey politics from the State House in Trenton.  He’s won awards for his work from the New Jersey Press Association and in 2004 he was a member of the Gannett New Jersey team that was awarded the prestigious Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting…..Tonight’s second-of-two GOP Town Hall Meetings in South Carolina will be produced by CNN with the radio feed being distributed by Westwood One.  CNN’s Anderson Cooper is moderating…..Thebensonchad Radio America-syndicated Chad Benson show is added to the lineup at CBS RADIO’s Las Vegas news/talker KXNT.  In addition to his regularly scheduled program, Benson has been offering extended live coverage of the Republican and Democratic debates as well as coverage of the caucuses and primaries.  Those special editions of the program are available to all current affiliates, as well as interested stations in markets where the show is not currently cleared.

bernierHagel16Talking National Security.  WNDB, Daytona Beach talk show host Marc Bernier (right) talks national security with former United States Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (left) at Embry-Riddle Aeronautic University on Tuesday (2/16).  The Town Hall event was part of the ERAU Speaker Series.

Cool Job Opportunity.  Top 25 Market Seeks News Anchor.  Number one news team in a top-25 market has a rare opening in the afternoon.  We need someone who can ad-lib effortlessly, tell a great story, and ask the toughest questions of the biggest guests.  We also need someone who lives on social media, is super curious and can generate stories, ideas, and fresh ways at looking at recurring things.  Responsibilities include: News gathering and writing; Good understanding of national issues, quick learner on local issues; Follow social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc) for story leads and breaking news; Post stories on our own Website and Facebook sites; Generate unique news stories for the station; Plan stories for the next day and days in advance; Strong understanding of the English language and use of proper grammar; A willingness to quickly learn our news computer system and board operation.  Candidate should have 2 or more years’ experience in broadcast media.  Send materials to: Top25NewsAnchor@gmail.com.

Monday, November 23, 2015

| November 23, 2015

Paris Attacks Aftermath and Brussels Tensions Top Weekend News/Talk Stories.  The aftermath of the terror attacks in Paris, the question of how to deal with Syrian refugees and specific threats to Brussels, Belgium were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.  The Paris aftermath and the Syrian refugee question ended last week as the top stories, landing atop the weekly Talkers TenTM chart, and they continued to be top points of discussion for news/talk outlets that featured live and local programs or carried live national shows over the weekend.

hessbillCumulus Expands Bill Hess’ Role in DC to Operations Manager.  Programming pro Bill Hess – currently serving as program director for news/talk WMAL-AM/FM, Washington and Cumulus Media corporate PD/talk – is adding operations manager duties for the Washington. DC cluster.  Hess’ 38-year radio career has provided him with experience across numerous radio formats.  In addition to his news/talk and sports radio programming experience, he’s also programmed ACs WSNE, Providence;cumulus logo WHYN-FM, Springfield, MA; and WASH, Washington and classic rock WBIG, Washington.  Cumulus SVP, content and programming Mike McVay says, “Bill is an exceptional programmer.  The growth that WMAL has experienced under his direction is nothing short of astounding.  He has excelled as a corporate PD and will continue in that role.  Bill is deserving of this recognition.”  Hess says of his new duties, “On the heels of our team’s success at WMAL, I’m thrilled to be working with Louie Diaz on the rebirth of Washington’s legendary ‘Mix 107.3.’  Thanks to Gary Pizzati, Mike McVay, Jake McCann and Beth Cohen for this opportunity.”

spadeabillBill Spadea Replaces Jim Gearhart on New Jersey 101.5 AM Drive Show.  Back in September, WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” morning drive personality Jim Gearhart suffered a severe concussion at his home while on vacation.  Recovery from the injury has been difficult, putting Gearhartgearhartjim on an extended leave of absence.  Now, Townsquare Media announces that Gearhart will not be able to return to his duties with the station and that Bill Spadea is assuming the role of host of the morning show.  Gearhart had been with the station for the past 25 years and is a member of the New Jersey Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.  Spadea has been Gearhart’s chief fill-in since 2014 and voices the station’s daily feature “Bill Spadea’s New Jersey.”  Spadea says, “I’ve always looked up to Jim Gearhart as a legend in New Jersey media. His shoes are too large for me to ever fill completely, but I am honored and humbled and will try my best to live up to his legacy of unequaled radio and service to the people of New Jersey.”

valentimikeDetroit Lions Deny Trying to Silence WXYT-FM’s Mike Valenti.  Usually when a radio station ceases to be a pro sports team’s flagship, it’s because of money – either the rights got too expensive or the station was outbid.  But CBS RADIO Detroit market manager Debbie Kenyon says in a statement that Lions management wanted to pressure the station into firing talk host Mike Valenti for his staunchwxyt-fm logo criticism of the team’s performance.  Kenyon issued the following statement, “CBS RADIO and the Detroit Lions are parting ways.  ‘97.1 The Ticket’ has served as the flagship station for the Lions for more than a decade.  CBS RADIO says it has been negotiating with the Lions a wjr logolong time.  It is sad to say goodbye, but in the end it came down to the integrity of CBS — the refusal to be censored in talking about the team and making honest assessments on the air about this team.”  Crain’s Detroit Business reports the team says that isn’t true.  It quotes Elizabeth Parkinson, Lions’ SVP of marketing and partnerships, saying the mandate to fire Valenti in order to get a renewal with the club is “categorically a lie” and that Cumulus simply offered a better deal.  But in the Crain’s piece, Valenti’s manager, Mort Meisner, said the team made Valenti’s firing part of the conditions for renewing with the team and that team officials were regularly calling Kenyon to complain about Valenti’s criticism of the team’s performance and its management.  Read it here.

Odds & Sods.  Conservative talk pro Steve Malzberg – seen nightly on Newsmax TV – is sitting in for Salemmalzbergsteve Radio Network’s Bill Bennett on his morning drive show, “Bill Bennett’s Morning In America” this Friday (11/27)…..The NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers will remain with iHeartMedia in the Steel City as the team and the company come to terms to keep games airing on rock WDVE and sports talk WBGG-AM/W292DH-FM.  The renewed deal extends through the 2018 season and contains elements of promotional support for the Steelers via iHeartMedia’s six Pittsburgh stations.

boonecharlieLegendary WCCO, Minneapolis Personality Charlie Boone Dies at 88.  As one half of the morning radio team “Boone and Erickson,” Charlie Boone was a fixture on Twin Cities radio for some 40 years, literally owning the daypart during the halcyon days of AM radio from the 1960s through the 1990s.  He died on Sunday (11/22) at the age of 88.  The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports he and Roger Erickson worked together for 37 years before Erickson’s retirement in 1998.  Boone continued to host a solo Saturday morning show from that point until 2010.  Boone arrived at WCCO from his previous gig in Fargo in 1959.  He and fellow air staffer Erickson hit it off personally and management put them together on the radio in 1961.

Bill Payne Dies at 76.  Oklahoma broadcaster Bill Payne passed away in Tulsa on Friday 11/20 at the age of 76.  Payne was the founder of the Oklahoma Academy of Radio.  Payne was a pioneer in the field of FM broadcasting putting KWHP-FM, Edmond, Oklahoma on the air in 1962.  His Payne Radio Group operates 13 stations across eastern Oklahoma.  The company continues to be led by Payne’s son Will Payne.

NJ Broadcasters Work for a New Attitude

| June 19, 2015

By Jeff McKay
TALKERS
Special Features Correspondent

 

mckayjeffwriterATLANTIC CITY — The 68th annual New Jersey Broadcaster’s Association Conference & Gala in Atlantic City brought together state broadcasters, management, sales and industry leaders for a two-day event that included honoring those who’ve helped to make New Jersey broadcasting great, and new this year, to recognize broadcasters mentoring those considering a career in radio.

The conference opened this week with the theme: “Broadcast Has a New Attitude.”  NJBA president & CEO Paul Rotella told Talkers, “We heard from a variety of voices during this conference which provided attendees with the latest and most substantial evolution in research, technology and advancement in audience measurement.”  During the conference, the NJBA honored FOX News’ Judge Andrew Napolitano as its recipient of the Howard L. Green Humanitarian of the Year.  Also, Greater Media’s Peter Smyth inducted Dan Finn, Harry Hurley, Richard Swetits, and Kevin Williams into the NJBA Hall of Fame.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

| April 24, 2015

swansonjackJack Swanson to Lead KCBS, San Francisco Programming.  Legendary spoken-word programmer Jack Swanson is named director of news and programming for KCBS “All News Radio 740AM and 106.9FM.”  CBS RADIO SVP and market manager Doug Harvill says, “Jack has a distinguished track record of leading iconic radio stations.  He’s a terrific leader with a deep understanding of how a marketkcbs-am logo leading station such as KCBS can be a trusted and active member of its community.”  Swanson served for years as vice president of programming at Cumulus Media’s KGO and KSFO, San Francisco.  He began his radio career as a news anchor/reporter for WLS, Chicago before becoming the news and program director for KGO, San Francisco.  From there he became president and general manager for KING-FM, Seattle.  He says, “Being asked to lead one of the best news teams in the country is one of those rare situations that don’t present themselves often.  I’m looking forward to contributing to the amazing growth of this legendary station in the years ahead.”

CBS RadiFruge, Thomas Involved in CBS Radio Programming Changes. Concurrent with CBS Radio Las Vegas vice president of programming Charese Fruge transferring to Houston for similar duties (and to be operations manager there), the company promotes Cat Thomas to succeed Fruge in Las Vegas. Thomas will continue as day-to-day programmer of Las Vegas’ KXTE “X107.5 – Alternative First”; talk KXNT AM & FM; and KXST “CBS Sports Radio 1140.” Senior vice president and CBS Radio Houston market manager Sarah Frazier comments, “Charese is a talented programmer and leader. Her longstanding relationships in the music industry, passion for radio, and ability to create special experiences for the listener are an integral part of why she is such a great fit for Houston. We are thrilled to have her join the Houston team, as we continue to grow and build upon our brands under her guidance.” Frugefrugecharese remarks, “This role is the opportunity of a lifetime and a chance to finally be back in the south. I am honored and am looking forward to working with the Houston team to help take these amazing brands to the next level. I have made lifelong friends in Las Vegas and appreciate them always making me look good.” Meanwhile, senior vice president and CBS Radio Las Vegas market manager Jerry McKenna states, “Cat Thomas is a veteran programming executive whose experience in this market is unmatched. He has thomascatsuccessfully programmed [CHR] KLUC for the better part of two decades and most recently, has been the driving force behind the success of our spoken-word brands. Our stations are in very capable hands.” According to Thomas, “This is a dream come true. We have the biggest brands in the market. I have loved this group since we put these stations together in 1996. None of this would be possible without the passion of our staff. As [the late Ohio State University football coach] Woody Hayes said, ‘You win with people,’ and we have great people from top to bottom.” A member of the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame, Fruge will oversee programming for hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5”; sports outlets KIKK-AM and KILT-AM; country KILT-FM “The Bull”; CHR KKHH “Hot 95-7”; and Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101.” She starts her new assignment – which will include day-to-day PD responsibilities for “Mix” and “Hot” – one week from Monday (5/4). Her resume includes on-air and programming stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, San Diego, Denver, and New Orleans. In addition to KXTE, KXNT AM & FM, and KXST, Ohio State University alum Thomas will oversee CHR KLUC “Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” and hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1.” Eight years after being night personality at KLUC, Thomas was elevated to program director (1996); he became PD of KXNT AM & FM, KXST, and KXTE last year. Similar to Fruge, Thomas’ first day on his new job is one week from Monday (5/4). Elsewhere at CBS Radio Las Vegas, KLUC assistant program director John “J.B. King” Bernard is promoted to program director and “Mix” assistant program director/music director Jonathan “J. Love” Campbell is boosted to PD of that station. Bernard joined KLUC 17 years ago and has been APD since 2001. He previously worked in San Francisco, Phoenix, and Sacramento. With CBS Radio Las Vegas the past three years, Campbell formerly programmed in Providence, Oxnard-Ventura (California), and Reno (Nevada).

carrhowieThe Howie Carr New England Juggernaut Rolls On.  In a remarkable display of just how potent an independent regional talk radio network can be, radio/newspaper/author phenomenon Howie Carr continues to expand the reach of his Howie Carr Radio Network north into New Hampshire and southeast into Connecticut.  Bringing the growing lineup to 22 radio stations (including flagship WRKO, Boston) are WASR, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire as well as Connecticut’s WMRD, Middletown and WLIS, Old Saybrook.  On penetrating the Nutmeg State, Carr tells TALKERS, “I’ve always had a sizable audience inwliswmrd logo Connecticut, and I’m happy that my listeners there can now find me even more easily.  As a kid, I wanted to go to Wesleyan, and now I’m in Middletown — and Old Saybrook.”  Don DeCesare, president/GM of WLIS/WMRD adds, “We’re thrilled to have Howie Carr as part of our onair lineup.  Howie has been New England’s voice for years.  We’re proud to add that voice now and be his stations in Connecticut.”  Regarding this latest expansion of Carr’s network, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “It is only going to be a matter of months before the flood dam bursts and Howie Carr becomes a major national host eventually heard in all 50 states.  He is at the top of his game.”  Meet Howie Carr at Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12.  The annual conference is on the verge of a sellout.  For registration and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413 or click here.

medvedmichaelSalem Radio Network Welcomes Michael Medved Back. It’s a gradual return to his daily, syndicated talk radio show, but Michael Medved is slowly working his way back after treatment for throat cancer.  Medved announced his hiatus from the program back on January 30.  Now, SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says, “We are SO grateful to have Michael Medved transitioning back into his SRN talk show.  Monday he appeared by phone, and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday he has been in his Seattle studio, hosting guests like U.S. Senator John McCain for discussion of today’s Obama apology for U.S. raids killing two hostages, plus the Senate confirmation of Loretta Lynch as Attorney General of the United States.”  Medved has been a nationally syndicated host for the past 18 years.

nj1015BattleshipNJJim Gearhart and New Jersey 101.5 Morning Show to Broadcast from Battelship New Jersey.  In recognition of Memorial Day, WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” morning host Jim Gearhart and the rest of the morning show will broadcast from the deck of the Battleship New Jersey on May 22.  In a letter inviting listeners to attend the broadcast, Gearhart writes, in part, “While the nation celebrates the start of summer this year, I invite you, your family and friends to honor the service and sacrifice of our veterans and active military during a special live broadcast of the ‘New Jersey 101.5 Morning Show’ aboard America’s most decorated battleship.  The morning show team will be on the deck of Battleship New Jersey, located on the waterfront in Camden on Friday, May 22 joined by veterans, honor guards, military agencies and state dignitaries for patriotic music, discussions and storytelling…As a Naval veteran and the father of two enlisted men, it is my privilege to commemorate our military this Memorial Day Weekend, and I encourage all active and retired servicemen and women, as well as civilians, to come enjoy the show and share their appreciation for those who make America the land of the free and home of the brave.”

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Update.  The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated Dr. Joy Brownebrownejoy show is added to the program schedule on WOMI, Owensboro, Kentucky…..Tom Gresham’s greshamtom“Gun Talk” adds new affiliate stations WCGO, Evanston, Illinois; WMXI-FM, Laurel, Mississippi; KFEQ, Saint Joseph, Missouri; and KELY, Ely, Nevada to its roster…..AdLarge Media reports “The National Marijuana News” program is added to the lineup at: WHIG, Colorado Springs; WPEK-AM, Asheville, North Carolina; and WNOS, New Bern, North Carolina…..Christian radio offering “The HopeLine with Dawson McAllister” is two months into syndication and already heard on nearly 100 stations including recent new affiliates: WGEN-FM, Chicago and the MyGen Radio Network; WTRJ-FM, Jacksonville; and WCLN-FM, Fayetteville, North Carolina.

talkersten logoIran Nuclear Negotiations Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of April 20-24.  The negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the ISIS violence tied with the military action taking place in Yemen.  Coming in at #3 was the 2016 presidential prospects tied with the scrutiny of the operation of the Clinton Foundation, followed by the death of two hostages at the hands of American drones at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

| April 16, 2015

kdkaKDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Names Mangino and Duffy Afternoon Hosts.  Pittsburgh news/talker KDKA-AM announces two new personalities will lead its “KDKA Afternoon News” program beginning April 27.  Current KDKA-AM evening talk show host Robert Mangino will team with Shelleymanginorobert Duffy, who moves across the hall from her current gig as co-host of sister hot AC’s Bubba Show.  Duffy has been a part of morning shows with CBS RADIO Pittsburgh for the past 25 years.  The station says, duffyshelley“The paring of Mangino and Duffy will augment the award-winning news and information programming on Pittsburgh’s news/talk leader.  Mangino and Duffy join veteran newscaster Rose Ryan-Douglas, field reporter Joe DeStio and sports director Jeff Hathhorn on a fast-paced afternoon news magazine format that features traffic and weather together on the fives and business reports at :20 and :50 past the hour every week day.”  KDKA-AM program director Jim Graci comments, “Robert is a great quarterback to tie it all together while Shelley has a unique perspective about life in Pittsburgh.”

wqamlogoRyan Maguire Named WQAM, Miami Program Director; Jim Graci Adds Pittsburgh Sports Talker Programming Duties.  Moving from CBS RADIO’s Pittsburgh sports talker KDKA-FM “Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan,” programmer Ryan Maguire takes overmaguireryan the PD role at WQAM, Miami, effective May 4.  CBS RADIO acquired WQAM as part of a swap of stations between it and Beasley Media Group.  CBS RADIO VP of programming Rob Morris comments, “Ryan is passionate about radio, competitive, a terrific strategic thinker and possesses great leadership skills.  We very much look forward to Ryan joining WQAM and our CBS RADIO Miami team.”  Maguire states, “I’m thrilled at the opportunity given to me by CBS RADIO to take this leadership role at one of the greatest gracijimheritage sports stations in America.  I can’t wait to get working with our diverse and dynamic team in South Florida as we shape and build on a leading sports brand.”  The company says that during Maguire’s tenure in Pittsburgh, KDKA-FM “set ratings and revenue records in 2012 and 2013, reaching #1 P6+, and was also nominated for a National Association of Broadcasters‘ Marconi Radio Award in 2014.”kdkafmlogo  Simultaneously, the company announces that sister news/talk KDKA-AM program director Jim Graci will serve as program director for “The Fan” and KDKA-AM news director and executive producer PJ Kumanchik will also serve as executive producer for “The Fan.”  CBS RADIO Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Young says, “Jim and PJ are a strong and very competent managerial team.  They have performed very well in developing and executing the programming vision of KDKA-AM.  With much synergy already existing between KDKA-AM and KDKA-FM, I believe their expanding programming roles at ‘Sports Radio 93-7 The Fan’ are a natural progression, and will benefit our various audiences.”

connellmandyMandy Connell Adds New Show to Duties in Return to Louisville.  Talk show host Mandy Connell will continue to host the morning program on iHeartMedia’s KHOW, Denver but she’s also taking on another program responsibility when she begins hosting the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm show on her alma mater WHAS, Louisville.  Starting May 18, Connell’s new show will replace Lachlan McLean’s evening sports talk show.  Connell joined iHeartMedia in 2010 from her morning gig at WINK, Naples/Fort Myers when she took over the midday show on WHAS previously occupied by the late Francene Cucinello.

huckabeemikeMike Huckabee to End Daily Talk Radio Features; SRN’s Mike Gallagher to Assume Host Duties.  The decision to stop producing his daily talk radio feature, “The Mike Huckabee Report,” is being confirmed by Huckabee’s production partner WYM Media Management.  Though WYM offers no specific reason for the end of the programming, speculation is that Huckabee intends to focus on hisgallaghermike possible run for president in 2016.  In a memo to affiliate stations, WYM states that the last report hosted by Huckabee will air on May 1 and, effective May 4, Salem Radio Network personality Mike Gallagher will begin as host of the daily feature with the new title, “Gallagher Online.”  The show will be syndicated by WYM, the affiliate sales division of by Ron Hartenbaum’s WYD Media,  which also had the rights to “The Huckabee Report.”  Gallagher comments, “I’m honored to be walking on the commentary path blazed by Governor Mike Huckabee.  I just hope this doesn’t mean folks will expect me to run for president myself!”

cookehollandCooke: Report from Las Vegas – Day 4.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke files his final report from Sin City where he’s been covering the NAB Show and the co-located NMX for TALKERS magazine/RadioInfo.  In today’s report, there’s plenty of advice for podcasters from Grant Baldwin; some notes from the standing-room-only keynote from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and some chilling realities about your smartphone’s ability to spy on you from security software baron John McAfee.  Read Holland Cooke’s report here.

FAIRHold2015DC Radio Row Addresses Complex Immigration Issues.  The ninth annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire radio row produced by the Federation for American Immigration Reform moves into the second and final day today.  Taking place at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill, the event has drawn some 45 radio talk show hosts to the Nation’s Capital for live broadcasts addressing the topic of U.S. immigration policy.  Appearing on the radio programs are members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists and citizens who live along the border.  Attending the event and appearing as a guest on numerous shows discussing talk radio’s role in the immigration issue and the relative First Amendment component is TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison.  From the scene in WashingtonharrisonLarsKaufmanHTF15 Harrison says this year’s radio row was an interesting blend of well-known hosts and newcomers to the scene.  “Everyone with whom I spoke on air was extremely thoughtful and solutions-oriented in dealing with this complex and sensitive issue.”  Harrison (right) is pictured here with WFTL, Fort Lauderdale personality Joyce Kaufman (center) and KXL, Portland and Compass Media Networks-syndicated host Lars Larson (left).

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of March 2015 PPM Data.  The third of four rounds of March 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The March 2015 survey period covered February 26 through March 25.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

wkxw‘New Jersey 101.5’ Finds Pirate Radio Operator; Authorities Shut Station Down.  After receiving complaints from listeners about interference with its signal, Townsquare Media talk station WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” investigated on its own and discovered the illegal signal was operating at 101.3 FM out of a home in Linden, New Jersey.  According to a story at NJ.com, after being told by the FCC that an investigation could take a couple of weeks, the station appealed to local authorities.  The homeowner subsequently was told of complaints and the zoning codes being violated and the 20-plus foot antenna was removed and the station ceased to operate.

Odds & Sods.  This year’s National Headliner Awards have been announced and CBS Radio News picked up four first-place finishes.  CBS Radio News was honored in four categories: Broadcast Radio Networks and Syndicators Breaking News or Continuing Coverage — First place, “Police Killings,” CBS Radio News staff; Broadcast Radiocbsradionews logo Networks and Syndicators Newscast — First place, “CBS World News Roundup,” Steve Kathan and Paul Farry; Broadcast Radio Networks and Syndicators Feature and Human Interest Story — First place, “Beatles 50th Anniversary,” Dave Barrett; Broadcast Radio Networks and Syndicators News Series — First place, “Midterm Election,” Barry Bagnato…..Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington and sister station WFED, Washington were honored with National Headliner Awards in the radio wtop logo NEW 1-15station categories.  WTOP was recognized in four categories: Radio stations Newscast, all markets – First Place for “September 4th, 6 p.m.”; Radio stations Breaking News or Continuing Coverage of a Single News Event – Second Place for “Gaithersburg Plane Crash”; Radio stations Feature and Human Interest Story, all markets – Second Place for “If This Violin Could Talk” by Jamie Forzato; and Radio affiliated Website:  – First Place for WTOP.com.  WFED was honored in two categories: Online-Only Writing – First Place, Mike Causey; and Best Radio-Affiliated Website – FederalNewsRadio.com…..The new producer for the Salem Radio Network-syndicated Eric Metaxas show is Chris Himes.  SRN calls him “a seasoned digitalhimeschris media producer with a passion for curating world-class content.”  Prior to joining SRN, Himes served as supervising digital producer at NBC, working 7 seasons on “Saturday Night Live,” managing the show’s digital footprint on NBC.com and on their social media platforms.  In 2010, he began overseeing “Late bayneianNight with Jimmy Fallon” as well and eventually would supervise web production operations for “30 Rock,” “Grimm,” “Law and Order: SVU” and several other prime time shows…..Illinois talk radio personality Ian Bayne makes his Chicago debut tomorrow (4/17) when he fills in for Joe Walsh on his afternoon show on Salem‘s WIND “AM 560 The Answer.”  Bayne hosts the morning program on WRPW, Bloomington, Illinois “Cities 92.9.”

2016 Presidential Prospects, the Obama Administration Amnesty Order, Tax Day, ISIS Activity in Iraq, Aaron Hernandez Guilty Verdict, Spring Break Gang Rape Case, Obama’s Cuba Policy, Iran Nuclear Negotiations Controversy, and Gyrocopter Capitol Lawn Landing Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/15).  The potential candidates for president in 2016; the effects of the amnesty order signed by President Obama; chatter about the taxes Americans pay each year; the report that ISIS is close to taking control of Ramadi, Iraq; former NFL star Aaron Hernandez is convicted of murder and sentenced to life without parole; the case of a gang rape on a Panama City, Florida beach during spring break, President Obama’s changing policy toward Cuba; the controversial negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program; and the case of a retiree landing a gyrocopter on the lawn of the Capitol building in Washington were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

| March 10, 2015

scottjimEnd of an Era in Cincinnati as Jim Scott Announces Retirement from WLW.  Legendary Cincinnati morning personality Jim Scott announced on the WLW airwaves today that he is retiring after a 54-year career, effective April 6.  As reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer, Mike McConnell will take over the morning show.  McConnell left WLW’s midday show to work with former boss Randy Michaels at Chicago’s WGN.  He spent three years there.  In making the announcement, Scott said the choice to retire is entirely his.  He began his Cincinnati career in 1968 on WSAI.

rossiray‘New Jersey 101.5’ Parts Ways with Overnight Host Ray Rossi.  The station will air “rewind” versions of the midday “Dennis & Judi” show and the afternoon drive “Deminski & Doyle” program.  WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” brand manager Eric Johnson says the Townsquare Media station will “continue to offer breaking news, weather, and trafficwkxw updates…each weeknight from 12:00 midnight to 5:00 am.”  At one time Rossi was partnered with Craig Carton in afternoon drive in the first incarnation of “The Jersey Guys.”  After Carton left to become Boomer Esiason’s partner in mornings on WFAN, New York, Rossi partnered with Casey Bartholomew.  When “Deminski & Doyle” took over afternoon drive, Rossi moved to the overnight show.  Johnson says, “We wish Ray all the best and thank him for his many years of service.”

mancowMancow Returns to FM Music Radio as Morning Host of WLUP-FM, Chicago.  After a tryouts stunt by Cumulus Media’s classic rock WLUP-FM, Chicago for a new morning drive personality, it’s being reported by numerous Chicago media outlets that today, Erich Mancow Muller will get the gig and anwlup logo official announcement will follow.  Others who spent a week on the air in hopes of landing the position included: Liz Wilde, Abe Kanan and Shadoe Stevens.  After exiting alternative WKQX, Chicago in 2006, Mancow reinvented himself as a young-skewing conservative talk personality and was syndicated by TRN-FM for a number of years.  He’s been off radio since last fall.

sagaSaga Communications Q4 2014 Radio Net Operating Revenue Up 6.3%.  The latest financials from Saga Communications have been released and for the radio division, the fourth quarter of 2014 was a good one, with net operating revenue up 6.3%.  For all of 2014, Saga’s radio division reports net operating revenue was up 3.4% on revenue of $113.6 million.

bunkerdanforthKPOJKPOJ, Portland Launches New Morning Drive Show.  The new morning show on iHeartMedia’s sports talk KPOJ, Portland “Rip City Radio 620” is “Rip City Mornings with Bunker and Danforth.”  Andy Bunker was most recently with Bonneville’s KIRO-AM, Seattle.  The station says Taylor Danforth is a native Oregonian, high school athlete and a graduate of the University of Oregon.  He spent his first years in radio calling play-by-play for high school football games and most recently was on-air at another local sports station.  iHeartMedia Portland SVP of programming Dave Hill says, “We see an incredible opportunity to produce a local sports morning show for Portland.  They are hungry to talk about Portland sports and we are thrilled to give them the first shot each morning.”

WTOPWTOP-FM, WRC-TV Create D.C. News Alliance. The joint venture – which begins in two weeks (3/25) – is between Hubbard Washington, DC all-news operation WTOP and cross-town NBCUniversal-owned WRC-TV “NBC 4.” WTOP senior vice president and general manager Joel Oxley opines, “The Washington region is the most educated and information-hungry market in America. WTOP and ‘NBC 4’ are committed to serving the needs of our community with timely, accurate news from the most trusted teams of journalists in the nation’s capital.” WRC-TV “NBC 4” president and general manager Jackie Bradford declares, “The combined forces of two dynamic, cutting-edge newsrooms working together on all platforms will be powerful. This partnership will serve people throughout the Washington area well by delivering the most up-to-date local news, information, and weather.” In addition to the two entities covering breakingWRC-TV news in a collaborative way, WTOP reporters will be featured on “NBC 4” newscasts and “NBC 4” reporters will be heard throughout the day on WTOP. WRC-TV’s “Storm Team 4” meteorologists will provide forecasts on WTOP every ten minutes on the eights.

beasleyLVcontainerBeasley Las Vegas to Open Radio Studio at ‘Downtown Container Park’ Destination.  The partnership between Beasley Media Group Las Vegas and D&C Entertainment will soon bring to fruition the “Beasley Media/Cox Business Broadcasting Studio” to the city’s Downtown Container Park (pictured here) – what will be the first and only radio broadcasting studio in the park – an open-air shopping center and entertainment venue featuring almost 40 shops, restaurants and bars.   Beasley says its Las Vegas VP and market manager Tom Humm, along with D&C Entertainment “recognized the value in creating a visual and interactive location for not only live radio broadcasts, but also interviews with entertainers, celebrities and local dignitaries. The space was selected for its close proximity to the stage. With Cox Business onboard as a Studio Sponsor, the vision became a reality the first part of this year.  Construction began February 17, 2015 and the completion of the Beasley Media/Cox Business Broadcasting Studio is expected in early April, 2015.”  The completed facility will be a fully functional radio broadcasting studio featuring state-of-the-art broadcasting equipment from the Wheatstone Company.  Humm comments, “We envision bringing and supporting live events at the Downtown Container Park.  Through our five radio stations, Beasley Media Group Las Vegas reaches over 1 million local residents weekly.  There’s a terrific synergy between our audience, D&C Entertainment’s ideas and the size and popularity of Downtown Container Park.  We’re confident that once completed, our radio broadcasting facility will be a major highlight to the downtown area.  In radio, it’s all about the community.  What better way to entertain and serve our community than through a visible, completely functioning radio studio in the Downtown Container Park.”

Monday, October 6, 2014

| October 6, 2014

methenykevinKSFO Talk Show Host Ethan Bearman Met with Kevin Metheny on Friday Afternoon (10/3) Shortly Before the Famed Programmer’s Untimely Death.  In what might have been Kevin Metheny’s final meeting with a talent at a station he directed, the famed programmer engaged in an almost 90-minute session with up-and-coming talk star Ethan Bearman who hosts weekend programs on KSFO, San Francisco and handles fill-in work at the Cumulus Media San Francisco operation.  According to Bearman, the impromptu get-together took place shortly after he got off the air after filling-in on thebearmanethan3 station’s AM drive show.  Bearman tells TALKERS, “I tracked Kevin down in his office and planted myself firmly in his guest chair.  He raised an eyebrow, cracked a smile, said hello and asked if I knew what channel he could find the Giants game, starting in 45 minutes or so.  We shared stories, we talked vaudeville, we laughed about movies and television shows, and then we got to the business at hand.  We talked radio — what it means, where it’s going, what it takes to be successful.  He opened up, verbally put an arm around me and starting sharing advice and tips on how best to entice an audience.”  Bearman, who had only briefly met Metheny several months earlier, says he was struck by the man’s sense of humor and friendly manner stating, “He even did impressions of well-known figures inside and outside the industry for me as we broke the ice – something that really made me feel very special because we didn’t even have an appointment.”  Bearman continues, “I left my meeting with Kevin at 12:45 Friday afternoon with a hearty handshake and big smile.  I had learned more from him in an hour-and-a-half than I had in months and I know I will be thinking about his words for years to come.  He conveyed a desire to make radio better, to make the station better, and to help me to be better at my craft.  And he did it all in a manner without arrogance, with a genuine spirit, and a feeling of one who not only wants to win, but wants to help others do the same.”  Bearman concludes, “In such a short time, I knew Kevin Metheny was a not only a successful man and loving father, but someone who wanted to lift others in the process, a real mensch.  So many people in this business knew for decades that was who he was, I feel both short-changed and uplifted knowing him so briefly.”

kinosianmikeMLB Baseball Flagship Station Analysis.  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents his fourth analysis of the performances of MLB flagship stations this season – this time based on September PPM data.  Again, the flagships in markets where baseball has traditionally been good to its radio outlet and in markets where the team was performing well continue to benefit from increased listenership.  In this report Kinosian tracks how flagship stations have performed over the past five PPM surveys, compared to September 2013, how they rank in their respective markets, and how the stations stack up based on MLB divisions.  Check out Mike Kinosian’s analysis here.

bennettfredNew Townsquare Trenton Market Manager Named.  A new market manager for Townsquare Media’s talk WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” is named as Fred Bennett takes over for Lorenzo Caldara.  Bennett comes to Townsquare Media from his most recent position as chief business development officer for Jelli Inc.  In a statement, Bennett comments, “I am thrilled to be joining Townsquare Media.  ‘New Jersey 101.5’ has done an awesome job of serving advertisers and the community with informative, entertaining and unique content.  I look forward to working with the team to realize the full potential of the powerful ‘New Jersey 101.5’ brand.”

kdkafmlogoPittsburgh Tribune-Review Columnist Joins ‘The Fan’ in Pittsburgh.  Now making regular appearance on CBS RADIO’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh “Sportsradio 93-7 The Fan” is Pittsburgh Tribune-Review sports columnist Rob Rossi.  He’ll provide insight for the upcoming NHL season, making regular appearances on “The Fan Morning Show,” “Starkey and Mueller,” and “The Colin Dunlap Programme.”  He’ll also appear once a week on sister news/talk outlet KDKA-AM’s “Morning News” with Larry Richert and John Shumway.  Program director Ryan Maguire comments, “We’re thrilled that we could add Rossi’s insight on not only Penguins hockey but the entire Pittsburgh sports scene to our team.”

Odds & Sods.  Sitting in for WSYR, Syracuse morning show host Joe Galuski all this week is Mark Wainwright…..Comedian Chelsea Handler is sitting down with Foo Fighters leader Dave Grohl for the SiriusXM “Town Hall” show.  The program is being recorded today (6:00 pm ET) before a studio audience in New York and will air Thursday at 6:00 pm on the satellite service…..CBS RADIO’s Los Angeles all-newser “KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO” is spotlighting the northern San Fernando Valley as part of its “KNX On Your Corner” series on Friday, October 24.  Dick Helton and Vicky Moore will anchor the news from 5:00 am to 9:00 am, Frank Mottek will host the “KNX Business Hour” from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm and Jim Thornton and Diane Thompson will anchor the broadcast from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

joycebrianphilipThe Next-to-Next Generation.  Pictured here is WGOW, Chattanooga talk show host Brian Joyce (right) broadcasting live from client Economy Honda Superstore.  The young man sitting across from him (left) is 7-year-old Philip Roberts who came to the remote with his mother.  Joyce tells TALKERS, “At first, we thought the mom was there to take a test drive or buy a new car.  It turns out Philip is a huge fan of the Brian Joyce show, to the point where he even pretends he has his own talk radio show!  When he comes home from school, his mom says he sets up a table with a ‘Talk Radio 102.3’ logo and puts on a headset, and he’ll do an entire talk show for his mom and dad.”  Joyce says they put Philip on the air for a segment and he was thrilled to get the opportunity.

cbssportsnyKomenPromoting for a Cause.  Tonight’s WWE Monday Night RAW live at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn got a shot on CBS Sports Radio this morning as WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon appeared on the morning show to talk about the WWE’s partnering with the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  Pictured here are (from left to right): “The Morning Show” hosts Brandon Tierney, Dana Jacobson, Tiki Barber and McMahon.

Solutions to AM Radio’s Problems: Here’s How the Industry Can Revive AM and Make it a Viable Force Again

| September 3, 2014

By Bill Brady
Futures & Options, Inc.
President/CEO


bradybill
JUPITER, FL — There is nothing fundamentally wrong with AM radio.

AM stations that offer quality programming that effectively serve listener’s needs are doing just fine.  There is no problem at WLW, WTMJ, KNBR, the CBS all news stations and many other well-programmed AM stations.

There is a problem at the many stations which have “run up the white flag” and surrendered to paid programming, wall-to-wall syndication, religion, or my personal favorite…drumroll please…the irresistible opportunity to become the fifth sports station in their market.

The two biggest issues for AM radio today are the commitment level of corporate owners, and the congealed nature of the syndication marketplace.

Read More

Friday, June 21, 2013

| June 21, 2013

cclogoFemale AEs Sue Clear Channel Jacksonville Charging Age and Gender Bias.  The suit against Clear Channel filed in United States District Court Middle District of Florida Jacksonville Division alleges that three account executives – Angela Myhand, Monique Blue and Jessica Downs – had accounts taken from them by management and given to Caucasian and/or male sales staffers without explanation, without hearing of complaints by clients and without receiving any discipline by management for mishandling the accounts.  The plaintiffs also alleged they were given no reason for the actions.  After contacting the EEOE, they allege listening devices were installed on their offices phones but not on telephones in other sales staffers’ offices.  The three are charging management violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, allege retaliation for involvement in a protected activity plus other allegations and are seeking unspecific damages plus attorneys’ fees.

americaweekendlogoEnvision Radio Networks Adds Meteorologist John Wetherbee to ‘America Weekend’ Program.  Citing the need to provide information to listeners across the nation about extreme weather, the nationally syndicated “America Weekend” program enlists the expertise of American Meteorological Society-sealed,wetherbeejohn National Weather Association-certified meteorologist and 30-year radio veteran John Wetherbee as chief stormcaster.  Envision says Wetherbee “will be keeping an eye on the skies to provide live reports on major severe weather developments and how they may impact travel, business and our nation.”  Program executive producer Kipper McGee states, “As we have learned, many significant weather events happen on weekends.  John adds a unique national perspective that is absent from most weekend news/talk programming.”  “America Weekend” airs live each Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm ET and is hosted by Paul Harris, Turi Ryder, and other top talk talent.

nj1015nnjbaawards‘New Jersey 101.5’ Honored with Two Awards at NJBA Convention.  Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” was honored at this week’s New Jersey Broadcasters Association convention with “Best of” awards in two categories: 1) “Best Public Affairs” Award for the station’s monthly show “Ask the Governor.”  The award was presented to Eric Scott (left) and his team of Christopher Knight, Chris Swendeman and Matthew White; and 2) “Best Promotions” Award for the “Big Joe Jersey Talent Show.”  The award was presented to Ray Handel (right) and his team of Big Joe Henry and Dan Specht.

More Station Honors from State Broadcasters Associations.  This is the time of the year when state broadcasters associations hold their annual awards ceremonies and there are two more to report:  In Illinois, Tribune Company’s WGN, Chicago took top honors at the 2013 Illinois Broadcasters Association Silver Dome Awards, held June 19 in Peoria.  For the sixth year in a row, the IBA recognized WGN Radio as the Chicago Market Station of the Year at its annual best-in-state awards ceremony.  In addition to being named Chicago Market Station of the Year, WGN Radio also earned first placewgnlogo honors in five categories:  major market personality for Mike McConnell, best newscast for Judy Pielach, best station website for wgnradio.com, best play-by-play team for Chicago Cubs broadcasters Pat Hughes and Keith Moreland, and best humorous commercial for “Chicago Food and Wine,” produced by Jason Skaggs.  WGN president and general manager Jimmy de Castro says, “It is a great honor to receive the award for Chicago Market Station of the Year by the Illinois Broadcasters Association.  To be recognized by our industry peers is a reflection of the tremendous talent and dedication from our staff to continue to provide the quality of programming our community expects from WGN Radio.”

wgacawardIn Georgia, Beasley Broadcast Group’s WGAC-AM/FM, Augusta, for the 12th consecutive year, was named the Georgia Association of Broadcasters “Radio Station of the Year.”  New this year is the fact that WGAC was honored in the large-market category, which includes Atlanta.  For the past eleven years, WGAC was awarded Radio Station of the Year in the medium-market category.  Pictured here are (l-r) Beasley Augusta VP/market manager Kent Dunn, news director Mary Liz Nolan, and WGAC program director Harley Drew with the “Gabby” Award.  Dunn comments on the victory, “I am extremely proud of the WGAC-AM/FM staff for bringing home our 12th consecutive Gabby for ‘Radio Station of the Year.’  This year is even more special due to the added competition of being placed in the division that includes stations in Atlanta.”

herskovitzalThe Sale Doesn’t End When the Client Signs the Contract.  According to H&H Communications president, TALKERS columnist and highly regarded industry sales maven Al Herskovitz, the subject of “making commercials work effectively so the client is more likely to renew” was one of the buzzes of conversation in the halls at the recent Talkers New York 2013.  In a column posted today (6/21) Herskovitz writes about the deadly consequences of hosts that rush through live reads, spots that are overloaded with too many words, six-minute spot sets of boring ads that seem interminable to the listener and sales reps who don’t pay attention to the process after the deal is signed.  He does, however, offer praise to those hosts who ARE doing a good job serving the advertisers and names names.  To read Herskovitz’s entire column, click here.

raytomTOM RAY:  Listening to Your Syndicated Show on an Affiliate is Different than Listening in the Studio.  That’s a good piece of advice from one of the industry’s most respected engineering consultants.  In a new column posted today (6/21) by TALKERS technical editor and columnist Tom Ray, he points out that timing in the real world of an actual on-the-air radio station — in terms of commercial breaks and liners — can be a different thing than running the show in the studio or looking at its elements on paper. He says by listening to the show on an affiliate you will most likely learn something that will help you avoid all-too-common mistakes in timing that create sloppy and embarrassing audio pileups and make the show better for both you as a syndicator and the affiliate carrying your program.  To read it, click here.

allengaryliveWOOD, Grand Rapids Morning Host Gary Allen Hosts Last Show Today; Retires After 32 Years at Station.  On Thursday, Clear Channel Grand Rapids declared it “Gary Allen Day” as the legendary Grand Rapids radio personality broadcast live from the market’s Celebration Cinema North in recognition of his 32 years on the air at WOOD and his retirement from the station after today’s broadcast.  Allen announced his retirement eight months ago stating that at age 65 there are still some things he wants to do.  He tells WOOD-TV, “I want to be remembered as the guy that people woke up to on the radio in the morning, you have fun, we gave them the news, we gave them the weather, we gave them the traffic and between the group at WOOD, we gave them some laughs, too.”  Photo: WOOD-TV

Odds & Sods.  WMAL, Washington morning drive co-host Larry O’Connor is sitting in for Dial Global nationally syndicated talk host Dennis Miller on June 24 and 25…..And in another WMAL-related note, former Congressman Ernest Istook will host the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm program tomorrow (6/22)…..Sports USA will syndicate the Little League World Series radio broadcasts again this summer.  The company will offer the US Championship Game on August 24 and the International Championship on August 25.

koznpearlmanChancellor Perlman in the House.  NRG Media’s KOZN, Omaha “1620 The Zone” hosted University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Harvey Perlman on the “Sharp & Benning in the Morning” program for a full hour on Thursday, June 20 to discuss college athletics.  Topics covered included pay for athletes, Nebraska in the Big 10 Conference, athletic department salaries and numerous others.  Pictured here are (from l-r) Gary Sharp, Perlman and Damon Benning.

NSA Surveillance Program Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 17-21.  The National Security Agency’s surveillance of phone and email activities, its ties to stopping terrorist attacks and the making public of the program by former contractor Edward Snowden were the top stories discussed on news/talk radio this week, landing the issue atop the Talkers TenTM.  Following at #2 was the “Gang of 8” amnesty deal for illegal immigrants.  At #3 was President Obama’s Berlin speech and his nukes reduction proposal broached at the G8 summit in Belfast earlier in the week.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

daveramsey logoCool Assistant Engineer Job Opportunity! The Dave Ramsey Show has a really good job opportunity for an assistant engineer at the company’s headquarters in Brentwood, Tennessee.  If you have experience running a radio type console, have knowledge of ISDN Codecs, are experienced using video and video router/matrix, have knowledge of level3/Vyvx lines and have the ability to learn and take directions — then this job might be for you.  For full details about the position and its requirements/opportunities, click
http://www.daveramsey.com/company/view-all-jobs/ and then click on the Assistant Engineer.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “The Freedom Feens” featuring Michael W. Dean and Neema Vedadi and syndicated by Genesis Communications Network is added to the program schedule at KDGO, Durango, Colorado…..Good Parts Media reports the acquisition of its 100th affiliate.  The parent company of “The Hookup,” Mr. Prep and The Locker Room prep services reports it has hit this milestone in only its second year of doing business…..The national syndicated “My Cool Inventions” show with Akos Jankura and John Cremeans is added to the program schedule at WRSB, Rochester, New York and KMET, San Bernardino.

The Secret of Managing Controversy

| May 8, 2013

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
Chairman

mcallanbobNEW YORK — Bob McAllan is the CEO of Press Broadcasting. He put on the two most successful FM Talk stations in the world: New Jersey 101.5 — going into its 22 year — and WTKS-FM Real Radio 104.1 Orlando, launched 1994. Bob and GM John Dziuba made a strategic decision that enabled the station’s hosts to present the most controversial, often outrageous opinions with minimal fallout.

newjersey1015wtks125Their single decision gave management the freedom to sell advertising on the stations, defend the hosts and manage the talent in an environment void of fear. Bob and John decided that their STATIONS must never present an opinion or point of view.  Simultaneously they realized that to have winning stations, the hosts must have well prepared, very strong points of view on every single topic.

After consulting and operating the largest talk stations in the world, I believe the paragraph you just read sums up the programming infrastructure for success.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

| March 28, 2013

theblaze logoGlenn Beck’s TheBlaze Added to Blue Ridge Communications Cable System.  The push to get more cable TV carriage for Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze continues and now the company announces it will be carried on Blue Ridge Communications’ system that serves the Poconos and the Central Pennsylvania region.  It is the nation’s 21st largest cable operator.  TheBlaze also entered into agreements with BEK Communications, Sweetwater Cable Television and Atwood Cable.  TheBlaze president, business development, Lynne Costantini, states, “We’re thrilled to welcome these independent operators into TheBlaze family of television affiliates.  These businesses understand the value of bringing TheBlaze’s original programming and unique perspective to their customers and their business.”  TheBlaze says that customers of these cable operators will now be able to watch its full programming lineup including The Glenn Beck Program, news program “Real News from TheBlaze,” opinion show hosted by Andrew Wilkow, current events show “Pat & Stu” featuring radio personalities Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere, kid’s show “Liberty TreeHouse,” comedy news show “The B.S. of A.,” news magazine “For The Record,” and comical news and current events show “The Wonderful World of Stu featuring Stu Burguiere.”  TheBlaze states that it is currently in carriage conversations with all major satellite, cable, telco and independent companies.

wtoplogoWTOP, Washington Stays #1 on List of Top Billing Stations.  The annual list of top billing stations according to BIA/ Kelsey has been released and Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington is at the front of the pack once again with $64.6 million in revenue in 2012 – that’s up a fraction from the $64 million it grossed in 2011.  The rest of the top 10 – split by CBS and Clear Channel – are as follows (in millions):  Clear Channel’s KIIS, Los Angeles ($56.8); Clear Channel’s WHTZ, New York ($48.2); CBS Radio’s WCBS, New York ($47.2); Clear Channel’s KFI, Los Angeles ($46); CBS Radio’s WBBM, Chicago ($45.7); Clear Channel’s WLTW, New York ($43); CBS Radio’s WINS, New York ($41.5); CBS Radio’s WFAN-AM/FM ($41); and CBS Radio’s KROQ, Los Angeles ($39.3).

costadinoSiriusXM Sports Talker Dino Costa Subject of New Film.  Sports talk radio personality Dino Costa will be the subject of a feature-length film to begin production in April in Wyoming.  Chesapeake Films announces that it has started pre-production for a documentary to be completed in 2013 about the life of “controversial SiriusXM Radio personality, Dino Costa.”  The documentary film will be directed by Joel Franco, cinematography by Darko Nikolich, edited by Anthony Bernard, sound design by Karol Urban, and original music by Marianthe Bezzerides.  The film will begin shooting in Wyoming, where Dino Costa resides and produces his daily radio sports talk show.  The crew will then follow Costa to New York, to continue filming Costa’s hometown, friends, fans, and family.  Franco says he wanted to do the film because, “Dino is a breath of fresh air in the world of cookie-cutter sports talk radio.  He is fiercely independent, and connects with his audience like few can.  I just knew that under that big personality was a story waiting to be told.  I am so excited to begin.”  Costa comments, “When I embarked on my career as a talk show host, I wanted to achieve many objectives; I never thought about the possibility of someone wanting to do a film about my career and my life.  In speaking with Joel about his vision for this film, I’m confident that collaborating with the crew at Chesapeake Films will culminate in a documentary about my life that people will find interesting and compelling.”

billyfatbackVillanucci Producer Billy “Fatback” Cornelius Debuts Evening Show on KKOB.  The departure of longtime afternoon drive host Jim Villanucci from Cumulus Media’s KKOB, Albuquerque, resulted in evening host Scott Stiegler moving into the PM drive slot.  That created an opening in the evenings and Jim Villanucci’s former on-air producer, Billy “Fatback” Cornelius, is now host of his own show airing in the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm time slot.  He’ll still produce Stiegler’s program but “Fatback” tells TALKERS magazine, “When asked about the new opportunity, I simply replied, ‘The Fatback Nation will rise.’”  His program debuts this evening.

gearhartjimNew Jersey 101.5’s Jim Gearhart to Be Inducted into the New Jersey Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.  Jim Gearhart has been the morning host on Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” for the past 23 years and now he’s being honored by the New Jersey Broadcasters Association with induction into its Hall of Fame.  Gearhart will be inducted at the Annual Awards Luncheon, which will be held during the NJBA’s 66th Annual Conference in Atlantic City this June 18-19.  NJ 101.5 program director Eric Johnson says, “Jim will be acknowledged for providing quality content, news, public affairs and diverse entertainment to New Jersey.  Jim’s contributions to the longevity and success of our industry in New Jersey will be recognized.”

miklaszbernieWXOS, St. Louis Host Bernie Miklasz to Leave Radio Gig.  Popular St. Louis sports media personality Bernie Miklasz will exit Hubbard Radio’s WXOS “101 Sports” when his contract wraps up next month.  In a piece in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Miklasz says he’s leaving the radio show (weekdays 11:00 am to 2:00 pm) to focus on his work with the Post-Dispatch and its STLtoday.com where he’s been a sports columnist since 1989.  He states, “I’ve always loved writing more (than radio), it’s my calling.  Whatever good things I have in my life professionally have been because of the Post-Dispatch. It has led to other opportunities.”  Miklasz says the stress of two jobs is wearing on him.  WXOS program director Chris “Hoss” Neupert says, “He’s such a dynamic personality, but at the end of the day how can you be mad at a guy who’s going back to his roots and giving it his all?  He wants to do his part to help take an industry that has been down on an upswing.  It’s bittersweet (for the station) because what he is doing is very honorable and really cool, so it’s hard to be upset with him.  The guy is such an awesome personality.”  STLtoday.com hints it will be branching out into audio and video on the website and will use Miklasz for that purpose, as well.

thelearningconference logoThe Conclave Announces Agenda for July Learning Conference.  The Conclave announces its preliminary agenda for the July 17-19 “Conclave 38: The Learning Conference” taking place at the Minneapolis/Park Place Doubletree Hotel.  Executive director Bob Shannon states, “The very words ‘The Learning Conference’ implies that Conclave 38 will focus on teaching ideas our attendees can actually use.  Focusing on what works today and the tools we’ll need forshannonbob tomorrow, our faculty includes thinkers, visionaries and practitioners in a wide variety of disciplines including digital, marketing, mobile, programming, social media, and talent creation and training.”  Some of the speakers appearing this year include:  Ivan Braiker/HipCricket, Tim Bronsil/Point to Point Marketing, Jon Chelesnik/Sportcasters Talent Agency of America, Drake Donovan/Splice Video, Joel Folger/Folger Media, Les Garland/Afterplay Entertainment, John Gehron/AccuRadio, Bruce Gilbert/Clear Channel, Phil Hall/Audience Bakery, Michael Harrison/Talkers-Radioinfo.com, Dan Hill/Sensory Logic, Fred Jacobs/Jacobs Media, Randy Lane/The Randy Lane Company, Lori Lewis/Jacobs Media, Kipper McGee/Kipper McGee LLC, Kevin Metheny/Cumulus Media, Chris Miller/Chris Miller Digital, Tim Moore/Audience Development Group, Mark Shannon O’Neill/ROI Media Solutions, Bill Richards/Clear Channel, Larry Rosin/Edison Research, and Walter Sabo/Sabo Media.  Shannon reports that this year’s Conclave begins on Wednesday, July 17 with the fourth annual “Jacobs Media Summer School,” and ends July 19 with “Conclave GAMEDAY,” a day devoted entirely to sports that ends with a reception at KTWN-FM’s studio just before the Minnesota Twins/Cleveland Indians game at Target Field, home of the 2014 All Star Game.  For more information on the Learning Conference and Conclave educational programs, visit http://www.theconclave.com.

SCOTUS Gay Marriage Arguments, North Korea Threats, Dr. Ben Carson Assault, Cyprus Banks Bailout, and Sequester Effects Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/28).  The two days of arguments before the Supreme Court on gay marriage; threats of military action from North Korea; the backlash against Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Ben Carson; the bailout of Cyprus banks by the EU; and the effects of the sequester were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, November 30, 2012

| November 30, 2012

November PPMs Generally Good to Talk Radio.  You can call it the “election bounce” if you like but some of the news/talk stations that did well in Arbitron’s November 2012 PPMs were ramping up in October and before.  Plus, the fall has traditionally been a good ratings period for news/talk whether there’s an election or not.  Of course, Hurricane Sandy played a major factor for stations in the New York and Middlesex-Somerset-Union markets.  Some of the stations worth noting include CBS Radio’s New York all newsers WCBS and WINS which jumped from a 3.8 to a 5.3 and a 4.0 to a 4.8, respectively.  Clear Channel’s Los Angeles talk juggernaut KFI continues to thrive inching up to a 5.3 from a 5.1 the month prior.  Cumulus Media’s Chicago news/talker WLS bounced back up to a 4.1 after posting a 3.7 in October.  Likewise in Dallas-Fort Worth for Cumulus as WBAP-AM/FM pops up a half share to a 3.9.  Clear Channel’s KTRH, Houston rose from a 3.4 in October to a 4.1 in November.  In Washington, DC Cumulus’ WMAL-AM/FM jumped from a 3.4 to a 4.2.  In Philadelphia, Merlin Media’s WWIQ hopped from 2.7 in October to a 3.6 in November.  Cox Media’s WSB, Atlanta – which has been maintaining healthy numbers in the PPM for some time – vaults from a 6.8 to an 8.3 this month.  Cumulus’ Detroit talker WJR rose more than a full share from a 4.8 to a 5.9.  Public radio outlet KUOW, Seattle claimed the top spot in the November PPMs with a 5.5 share.  Clear Channel’s KFYI, Phoenix went up a full share from a 4.9 to a 5.9.  Mixed results in Baltimore as Hearst’s WBAL fell from a 5.7 to a 5.0 while WCBM rose from a 3.0 to a 3.8 share.  Good news for pubcaster KOPB, Portland which went from a 5.3 to a 6.2 while Alpha Broadcasting’s KXL jumped from a 4.8 to a 5.5 share.  Clear Channel’s WPGB, Pittsburgh leaped a full share from a 6.9 to a 7.9 share while its Sacramento sister KFBK also enjoyed a significant rise from a 5.6 to a 6.8 share.  In the New Jersey market of Middlesex-Somerset-Union, Townsquare Media’s New Jersey 101.5 (WKXW, Trenton) posted an outstanding 8.6 – up from a 6.2 in October – with help, no doubt, from Hurricane Sandy.  TALKERS’ sister publication RadioInfo has all the PPM data including Mike Kinosian’s analysis of the numbers.  You can find that here.

Laura Ingraham Back on Radio “Soon.”  That’s what the author, pundit and talk show host told Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly.  During one of Laura Ingraham’s regular appearances on Fox News Channel with O’Reilly, he questioned her status in the talk radio world and she told him she will be back on the radio with another syndicator (she left Talk Radio Network at the end of her contract on Tuesday) very soon.  “I’m close to signing a new deal.  I’m very, very close.  But I’ll be back on the air probably in the next several days.”  Ingraham told O’Reilly she informed TRN she would be “terminating the deal” months ago and that it was time to move on.

Talk Host Tom Becka to Exit KRWK, Fargo “101.9 Talk FM.”  Talk radio pro Tom Becka has been serving as program director and talk show host at KRWK, Fargo since it flipped from rock to talk in March of this year.  Becka tells the Fargo Forum he’s returning to Omaha where he’s worked for years and has family.  Becka says any notion his departure has anything to do with the performance of the new format is not correct.  “The station has grown every month.  My experience with Radio Fargo-Moorhead was great and I’m proud of what we accomplished here in a short time. To say I’m leaving because of ratings would be erroneous.”  Radio Fargo-Moorhead is selling its cluster of stations to Midwest Family Communications.  The FCC has approved the license transfers but according to one source, the actual takeover may not happen until the spring.

Todd Schnitt Show to Leave Flagship WFLA, Tampa.  Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated talk host Todd Schnitt Tweets that his program – airing live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm – will be off longtime flagship WFLA, Tampa after the December 18 program.  Schnitt further Tweets that the national syndication continues and is expanding under syndicator Compass.  No word what CC has in mind for afternoons at WFLA.  Currently, it delay-broadcasts Premiere NetworksSean Hannity from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm but may have plans to move Hannity to the live PM drive slot.

Jim Isabella Named Evening Host at WNIR, Akron.  Journalist Jim Isabella has been doing fill-in work for WNIR for the past two years.  He now takes over the evening show formerly hosted by the late Tom Erickson who died on November 3 after a long illness.  Isabella most recently worked for the Akron Beacon Journal.   Station owners Bob and Bill Klaus note in a press release that Isabella, who was a frequent caller to the show hosted by the late Howie Chizek who passed away suddenly in June, made them more aware of his talents during his fill-in time in addition to receiving positive response from the station’s listeners.

Odds & Sods.  Watch for Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk host Andy Dean from the network’s “America Now with Andy Dean” on Fox News Channel’s “America’s News HQ” this Sunday at 4:45 pm ET as he sits in a panel discussing the latest headlines in news and politics…..SiriusXM brings the Major League Baseball winter meetings to listeners via its MLB Network Radio and SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio channels.  The meetings take place in Nashville December 2 through 6 and the satcaster will have front office experts Jim Bowden, Jim Duquette and Steve Phillips there hosting various programs with other special expert guests including former pitcher Jeff Nelson.

Bubba the Love Sponge Offers Reward for Arrest of Animal Abuser.  After hearing about the case of a dog found in the Bradenton, Florida area  that had been attacked by someone with an axe, radio star Bubba the Love Sponge put up $1,000 of his own cash on top of the $500 being offered by the Animal Network for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible.  After hearing about the case, Tampa-area philanthropist Gary Kompothecras of the legal and medical referral service 1-800-ASK-GARY added another $1,000 to the reward to make the total $2,500.  Bubba reports to TALKERS that the dog, named Axel, is recovering from his injuries and will be available for adoption once he is healthy again.

Los Angeles Broadcaster David Courtney Dies at 56.  The Southern California radio community is mourning the loss of omnipresent “big voice” David Courtney, who passed away on Thursday, November 29.  Many considered Courtney the voice of Los Angeles sports, since for the past 23 years, he was the public address announcer of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings.  He performed similar duties for MLB’s Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for 18 years and NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers since October 2008.  Greater Los Angeles area radio listeners knew him for his frequent traffic and sports updates as part of the Total Traffic Network.  Over the last 20 years, Courtney was heard on a number of major Los Angeles radio outlets including KABC and KSPN, as well as KOLA in the Inland Empire.  His other radio background included stints at Houston’s KULF as executive producer of sports programming and that market’s KTRH, where he was weekend news anchor before landing a nightly, three-hour news/talk program.  New York City-born Courtney moved to Los Angeles in 1963 when his father, Alan, became president of MGM Television.  According to Courtney’s Twitter feed, he needed to miss Wednesday night’s Clippers game against Minnesota owing to the fact he was in the hospital awaiting an angiogram.  The 56-year-old Courtney is survived by his wife, Janet Fisher-Courtney.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Cumulus Media NetworksMichael Savage is picked up at Cumulus O&Os WABC, New York and WMAL-AM/FM, Washington for the 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm shift.

‘Fiscal Cliff’ Battle Remains Top Talk Radio Topic for Second Straight Week.  The struggle between the Obama administration and GOP congressmen to deal with impending tax hikes and spending cuts was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Benghazi investigation tied with the Susan Rice-GOP leaders meetings.  Following at #3 was the Israel-Gaza tensions with the clean-up of Hurricane Sandy at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

| November 15, 2012

Radio Comes Through for Charity for Holiday Giving and in Times of Disaster.  Radio is a business and making a profit is the first goal of any business.  But radio stations and radio corporations have a documented history of giving back to the communities they serve through the organization of charitable giving.  That service is evident even during difficult economic times as stations large and small regularly step up to the plate to take time out from creating entertaining programming while risking losing listener interest in order to do charitable work.  This year the industry is seeing a confluence of disaster relief needs and the annual holiday charity programs.  Relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Sandy include such assistance as: CRN Digital Talk Radio’s $2,351 donation to the cause; Townsquare Media-owned New Jersey 101.5’s ongoing “Restore New Jersey” campaign; Cox Media Group’s $75,000 donation to relief organizations; Geraldo Rivera’s recent live “radiothon” on Cumulus Media’s WABC; CBS’s radio and TV stations’ daylong phone bank; CBS Philadelphia partnered with Live Nation/Comcast Spectacor to offer concert tickets to the Bob Dylan and Mark Knopfler show on November 19 in exchange for donations to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund that brought in $30,000; as well as Clear Channel’s planned 12-12-12 concert in New York City.  Disaster relief is not the only cause that radio rises to assist.  Radio’s charitable projects include aid to organizations that individual stations have chosen to work with regularly – such as KGO, San Francisco’s long-running annual radiothon to fight leukemia — plus regular holiday-oriented giving programs.  The following are just a few that have come to our attention recently:

Cumulus Nashville to Program Radiothon for Local Rescue Mission.  News/talk WTN, Nashville will host a radiothon on Monday, November 19 beginning at 5:00 am and running through 7:00 pm to raise funds for the Nashville Rescue Mission.  Morning host Ralph Bristol begins the day and the fundraising continues with hosts Michael DelGiorno, Dave Ramsey, and Phil Valentine all committing their shows to raising funds for the Rescue Mission’s programs.  In addition to his own show, Michael DelGiorno will participate with the other WTN personalities throughout the day.  DelGiorno’s extra duties start by broadcasting live at the Rescue Mission from 7:30 am to 8:30 am with Ralph Bristol live from the studio.  He then hosts Dave Ramsey from 9:00 am to 10:00 am at the station.  His normal show then gets extended to 1:00 pm effectively preempting the Mike Huckabee show.  And then to close out the Radiothon, DelGiorno returns for the final push from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Clear Channel’s KLAC, Los Angeles Raises $135,000 for Paralyzed Veterans.  Sports talk outlet KLAC, Los Angeles held its fifth annual Paralyzed Veterans of America Live Radiothon and Online Auction recently, calling in local and national celebrities to help raise a record $135,000 for the charity.  KLAC and Fox Sports Radio Network personalities Steve Hartman, Vic “The Brick” Jacobs, Petros Papadakis and Rob Dibble hosted the radiothon and were joined by Dodgers great Tommy Lasorda; rocker Eddie Money; Lakers legend James Worthy; model Leeann Tweeden; and boxing great Ray  “Boom Boom” Mancini, among others.  Pictured here are (from l-r): KLAC’s Steve Hartman, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, KLAC’s Vic “The Brick” Jacobs and KLAC producer Sam Betesh.

 

WEEI, Boston Recognized for Cancer Charity Work.  Entercom’s sports WEEI, Boston was recognized by the Lung Cancer Alliance of New England for its work bringing attention to and raising funds for the treatment and cure of the disease as part of its annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon held in conjunction with cable’s New England Sports Network each August.  This past August, the 11th annual two-day event raised more than $3.3 million for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  Entercom Boston VP of programming and operations Jason Wolfe says, “It’s an incredible honor to be recognized by the Global Lung Cancer Coalition and I’m so proud to accept this award on behalf of all of us at WEEI.  Cancer affects us all, and we are blessed to have had such tremendous success shining a light on this terrible disease through the efforts of the Jimmy Fund radio-telethon.  I want to thank everyone at the GLCC for their support. It means a great deal to our entire staff.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Wolfe; Rob Gronkowski, tight end for the New England Patriots; and Rich Monopoli, LCA New England co-director.

FCC Chairman Genachowski Asks Commission to Approve Cross-Ownership.  The change in rules would be permanent for companies operating radio-TV-newspaper combos in the top 20 markets.  Stations such as Tribune’s WGN, Chicago have been living on temporary exemptions to the law forbidding such cross-ownership for years.  FCC chairman Julius Genachowski is asking the commissioners to approve the move without a public meeting vote as soon as today and the change could take effect tomorrow (11/16).  Bloomberg reports that for Tribune, the vote would be a requirement for the company’s exit from bankruptcy protection.

Conclave Names Seasoned Radio Pro Bob Shannon Executive Director.  Veteran radio broadcasting executive Bob Shannon has been named the Conclave’s new executive director.  He succeeds the organization’s first executive director, Tom Kay, who recently retired after almost four decades of service.  In announcing the appointment, Conclave board of directors chairman Mark Bolke says, “There obviously is no replacement for Tom Kay and his shaping the Conclave organization for the past 37 years.  The executive selection committee was presented with a list of excellent candidates from which to choose.  Bob Shannon represents the consummate broadcasting professional with a shared vision and passion to move the Conclave into a new era.  We are thrilled to name him as our new executive director.”  Shannon, whose consulting company bobshannonworks is based in Minneapolis, is also president of SpotMedia Services, a former executive vice president at TM Century, and the author of Turn It Up! American Radio Tales 1946-1996.  On accepting the position Shannon states, “As a student of radio I’ve long admired Tom and what he’s done at the Conclave.  Moving forward my goal is to build on his vision by expanding our online activity and looking very closely at how radio and our learning conference are addressing changes in media.  This is a very exciting time, ripe with opportunities for those who know how to create compelling content.  Stay tuned!”

Newsmax Steps Up Audio and Video Content; Terrestrial Radio Programs in Development.  Months ago TALKERS reported on the digital initiatives going on at conservative media firm Newsmax that include its video channel Newsmax TV.  Now, the Chris Ruddy-led media organization is announcing the further development of these ventures.  Newsmax says it will soon be expanding to an online 24/7 network.  The online TV network will focus on simulcasting radio content online.  It will also develop its own radio shows for Newsmax TV and broadcast these on terrestrial radio as well.  In 2013, the company plans to significantly ramp up its online TV presence and radio activities and has constructed a state-of-the-art broadcast studio in its New York offices.  Staff for the projects includes Chad Wilkinson as executive producer of programming; Tamara Karcev as director of affiliate relations for radio programming.  In addition, former WABC, New York program director John Mainelli is consulting the project.

Wayne Powers Returns to WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  After four years as regular fill-in host at Greater Media’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte, Wayne Powers removed himself from the station’s roster in February in order to run as a Republican for an At-Large seat on the Mecklenburg County Commission.  After a May primary win, Powers came up short in the November 6 general election.  “It was tough to beat the huge straight-ticket Democrat vote here in the DNC convention city,” says Powers.  He returns for Thanksgiving and Black Friday, guest hosting WBT’s Keith Larson show.

Petraeus Scandal, Benghazi Investigation, ‘Fiscal Cliff,’ Israel-Syria Conflict, and New Chinese Leader Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/14).  The expanding David PatraeusPaula Broadwell scandal; questions about the Benghazi attack and Petraeus’ role in the investigation; Congress and the Obama Administration begin tackling the ‘fiscal cliff’; the violent conflict between Israel and Syria; and the change in Chinese leadership as Xi Jinping succeeds Hu Jintao as secretary general were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

| November 7, 2012

Conclusion of Election Raises Inevitable Questions.  The dramatic and contentious election of 2012 has finally come to a conclusion.  As President Barack Obama prepares to begin his second term as the nation’s chief executive with control of the House and Senate split between the parties, inevitable questions arise about the path and positioning of news/talk radio in the new political environment.  How does the re-election of Obama impact the agendas of conservative and liberal talk radio?  How long will it take before political presidential jockeying overtly begins as the periods between election cycles grow shorter?  What are the economic implications of this election?  How will the economy affect the radio industry in general?  Will the current advertising agency hostility toward conservative talk radio intensify or dissipate?  What will be the new, unexpected issues that dominate on-air conversation as we move beyond the deafening chatter of Election 2012?  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison has already begun fielding these questions from the nation’s radio-watchers in the mainstream press.   According to Harrison very little will change in terms of the on-air party lines: “As much as I encourage talk radio to expand the menu of its subject matter and spread out into a diversity of formats and subjects – which I actually believe will happen in the coming year or two — don’t expect to see a sudden change or modification of positioning among the ranks of established, opinionated political hosts.  These next two years will be no picnic for the president.  If you look back at Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon – two polarizing figures in American politics – their second terms were far more turbulent generating more contentious media conversation than their first.  Even Ronald Reagan had his Iran-Contra issue in his second term.  You can probably expect the same with Obama.”  Harrison expects the next congressional election to start immediately and the next presidential election to begin shortly thereafter.  “Biden might be flirting with the idea of running in 2016 but you can count on all eyes and ears being focused on the Clintons and perhaps another Bush.”  As far as the economic picture is concerned, Harrison is optimistic stating, “I think things are destined to improve regardless of who is president.  Let us all do our best to make the radio industry relevant and prosperous in the exciting days and years ahead.”  Of course there will be a spectrum of contrasting views on this subject.  For example, TRN talk show host Jerry Doyle tells TALKERS that he plans to call out a number of his fellow conservative hosts on his show today for “being cheerleaders for the GOP and not questioning some of their positions that are tarnishing the Republican brand.”  He uses the analogy, “I love Corvettes, but I won’t be buying one because of all the as***les driving them today.  The same thing with the Republicans – I find it hard to call myself a Republican because of so many of their ridiculous opinions and terrible candidates that fly in the face of today’s reality.”

Will Obama’s Re-Election Cause Programmers to Reflect?  Consultant Holland Cooke makes strong statements about what the re-election of Barack Obama should mean to talk radio hosts and programmers.  He says, “Heavy early voting and long lines yesterday say ‘Hear me!’ to talk radio’s default I-talk-you-listen model,” and Cooke states that voters didn’t conform to the prevailing talk radio narrative.  Do you agree or disagree that there’s a lesson in the election results for talk radio?  Before you answer, read Holland Cooke’s entire piece here.

Radio One to Flip WMOJ, Cincinnati to Sports in January.  Radio One’s rhythmic oldies WMOJ, Cincinnati “Mojo 100.3” has gone all Christmas but after the holidays the station will not return to “jammin’ oldies” but will be an outlet for CBS Sports Radio Network’s new 24/7 sports talk format.  Program director Steve Harris tells the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter that the opportunity to do sports on FM was too great to pass up.  The station is expected to carry the bulk of the national lineup – John Feinstein, Jim Rome, Doug Gottlieb and Scott Ferrall – but Harris says there has been no decision made about whether to do a local AM drive show or take what CBS Sports Radio Networks has to offer in that daypart.  Cincinnati currently has two AM sports talk outlets – WSAI, a Fox Sports Radio Network affiliate, and WCKY, an ESPN Radio affiliate – in addition to news/talk WLW which airs a fair amount of sports programming as well.

New Jersey 101.5 Partners with Governor’s Office in Storm Relief.  Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” is announcing its own “Restore New Jersey” and restorenewjersey.com are officially working with Governor Chris Christie’s and his wife Mary Pat’s “Sandy NJ Relief Fund.”  The station’s group marketing director Ray Handel says the station is immediately beginning to inform listeners about donation efforts.  He issues this statement: “New Jersey 101.5 will continue to be involved with restoring New Jersey from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.  We informed millions of Jersey listeners on news and survival information before, during and after the storm.  The station served as a lifeline to millions who lost power, and gave those millions a voice.  Now as our attention turns to long term recovery, we introduce ‘Restore New Jersey,’ an on-going fundraising effort that will be featured on New Jersey 101.5 and nj1015.com for at least the next six months.  We will be working with Governor and Mary Pat Christie so we can partner with their ‘Sandy NJ Relief Fund.’  Governor Christie is very much a part of NJ101.5, as he has a monthly show on our station.  The governor has received much praise in his leadership during this crisis.  This past Saturday the governor introduced this state wide charity, and we feel this will merge perfectly with the state wide help New Jersey 101.5’s ‘Restore New Jersey’ will provide.  All funds raised will stay right here in New Jersey, and we think New Jersey 101.5 can really take the lead with this effort.”

NAB ‘Licensed to Serve’ Newsletter Recognizes Broadcasters Covering Sandy.  The National Association of Broadcasters released its most recent “Licensed to Serve” newsletter detailing many of the efforts of broadcasters – both radio and television – that provided news and information to the regions affected by Hurricane Sandy.  NAB EVP of media relations Dennis Wharton and his staff have put together an excellent summary of the work done by over-the-air broadcasters in serving the needs of their communities.  Wharton is passionate about the role of radio and television broadcasters in times of crisis and the NAB’s work showcasing it in this regard serves the broadcasting community well.  See the NAB’s “Licensed to Serve” page here.

Radio Personality Robinson to PM Drive on KCJF, Jonesboro, Arkansas.  Tall Cotton Media’s new sports talk KCJF, Jonesboro, Arkansas “103.9 The Game” names radio personality Robinson PM drive host.  He comes to sports talk radio after a career in rock radio at Entercom’s Rochester, New York music outlets classic rock WCMF and rock WBZA.  Tall Cotton took over ownership of the outlet in September from Catherine Joanna Flinn.  The station is a Fox Sports Radio Network affiliate.

Red Zebra Extends Play-by-Play Deal with Georgetown.  The Hoyas will be heard on Red Zebra’s Washington, DC sports talk duo WTEM and WSPZ “ESPN 980 and SportsTalk570; Powered by ESPN” for seasons to come as the two partners extend their contract.  Under the terms of the deal, Red Zebra will broadcast the school’s men’s basketball games.  Red Zebra president and CEO Rick Carmean says, “We are excited to team with Georgetown University and Coach Thompson’s squad as they continue the tradition as one of the best teams the area has to offer.”  The Hoyas open their season Friday, November 9 aboard the USS Bataan in Jacksonville against the Florida Gators.  All Hoya games will be broadcast by Rich Chvotkin who is in his 40th season calling Georgetown games.

Longtime KSL, Salt Lake City Weekend Gardening Show Host Larry Sagers Dead at 63.  Horticulture expert and radio talker Larry Sagers, whose weekend gardening program the “Greenhouse Show” co-hosted with Tim Hughes was a mainstay for years on KSL, Salt Lake City has succumbed to his long battle with mesothelioma, a form of cancer often associated with exposure to asbestos.  Sagers was a horticulture agent with the Utah State University Extension and an extremely popular local figure.

The 2012 Election and Hurricane Sandy Aftermath Dominate News/Talk Radio Yesterday (11/6).  As is usually the case on a presidential election day, the election itself – not only the presidential race but the Senate and House races as well as controversial ballot issues around the nation – dominated the discussion on news/talk radio on Tuesday.  Additionally, there was still considerable talk about the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, especially in the Northeast where New Jersey and New York are still recovering from the storm.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

| November 6, 2012

Radio News Services Prepare for Election 2012 Coverage.  Fox News Radio announces its schedule for coverage of the 2012 election.  The network will provide live coverage beginning at 7:00 pm ET.  Fox News Radio senior national correspondent Rich Johnson and political analyst Jeff Birnbaum will co-anchor the coverage along with Fox News Channel’s Heather Nauert who will be reporting on the race results.  In addition, many of the FNR affiliates across the country will be covering the election as well as the congressional and gubernatorial contests.  ABC News Radio will also begin its live coverage at 7:00 pm and it will run until 1:00 am unless longer coverage is deemed necessary.  ABC’s Aaron Katersky is anchoring with assistance from correspondents Vic Ratner, Ann Compton, Steven Portnoy and Alex Stone.  As we reported last week, America’s Radio News Network is providing election coverage to affiliate stations.  The team of John McCaslin, Lori Lundin and Chris Salcedo will broadcast “Election Night 2012” to affiliates from 9:00 pm to 3:00 am ET.  McCaslin states, “Before the winners are even announced, we will have for listeners the final state-by-state exit polling – including crucial battleground states like Ohio, Florida and Virginia – as quickly as the polls close in each state.  Once the voting stops, we will be able to closely examine various exit-polling data and get a clear signal of the ultimate results.  Take the all-important race for the White House: if President Obama or Mitt Romney were to win certain key battleground states – with the right combination, this could be as few as two of the states – we would be able to suggest which candidate will be taking the oath of office on January 21, 2013.”

Talker Warren Ballentine to Interview President Obama Today.  President Obama will push a get-out-the-vote message when he visits with Syndication One nationally syndicated talk host Warren Ballentine on his talk show today in the 11:00 am ET hour.  Yesterday, TALKERS spoke with SiriusXM and WOL, Washington talk host Joe Madison who said President Obama has made himself and his cabinet available to urban talk outlets such as his during the course of the president’s term.  Ballentine, a lawyer by trade, is heard on 37 affiliate stations across the country.

ESPN Radio’s Jim Durham Passes Away at 65.  Jim Durham was the lead play-by-play analyst for “The NBA on ESPN Radio.”  He died over the weekend at his home in Tomball, Texas.  No cause of death has been announced.  Senior vice president and general manager, ESPN Radio Mo Davenport says, “Jim was a respected play-by-play specialist who combined a tremendous gift for storytelling with a Hall of Fame voice.  He’s been a dedicated friend and a trusted teammate to so many at ESPN for two decades and he will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with his wife Helen and the entire Durham family.”  In 2011 Durham was honored by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame with the Curt Gowdy Media Award, presented annually to members of the print and electronic media whose longtime efforts have made a significant contribution to the game of basketball.

Talk Host Michelle Jerson Promoting New Web Venture.  Relationship talk host and news reporter Michelle Jerson – who has worked at such outlets as WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5; WJFK, Washington and SiriusXM’s Howard 100 channel – has developed a new web venture at her site called PassportRomance.com.  The content-rich travel website combines her experience as a relationship host and travel expert.  As the former television, web, and radio correspondent for Travelzoo.com, she is now giving readers  first-hand accounts and ideas of where to travel if they are single looking for love, seeking the perfect first trip with a new partner, or planning a romantic honeymoon or anniversary close to home or abroad.  Jerson is also creating radio segments to promote her site and will appear on Merlin Media’s WWIQ, Philadelphia “IQ 106.9” on the morning show with Al Gardner and Lionel this Friday.  Stations interested in booking Michelle as a guest can reach out to her at michelle@passportromance.com.

WZON, Bangor Morning Host Lives in “Hobbit Hole” to Raise Awareness of Those Who can’t Afford Heat.  Talk host Pat LaMarche hosts “The Pulse Morning Show” on WZON-AM/FM, Bangor Maine and she’s been living in a “hobbit hole” – basically a non-insulated and unheated garden shed – to raise awareness and funds for those in the region who have trouble heating their homes during the brutal Maine winters.  LaMarche tells local TV outlet WABI that all funds raised will go to help winterize homes, especially of the elderly, disabled and homes with children.  LaMarche is bundled up and is hosting the program from inside the wooden shed and she tells the TV station that it’s very uncomfortable and difficult to function due to the cold.  She says for families with children, it’s even more challenging.  “If you had to go to school every day and your choice is cold water or going to school un-bathed and kids make fun of you, and your life is extremely unpleasant because you’re cold and then you get picked on at school.”

Romney vs. Obama, Voter Fraud Issues, Sandy Aftermath, and Libya Investigation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/5).  The final push before election day between President Obama and Mitt Romney; allegations of voter fraud in early polling; the aftermath of Sandy in the hard-hit areas of New York and New Jersey; and the investigation into the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, September 21, 2012

| September 21, 2012

Radio Show Presents a Talk Radio Panel (or Was It Really an All News Radio Panel?).  The NAB/RAB Radio Show presented a panel for the talk radio format semi-prejudicially titled “ Is News the New Talk for Radio?” featuring Phil Boyce, VP spoken word format, Salem Communications; Mark Masters, president/CEO, Talk Radio Network; and Ed Shane, CEO, Shane Communications.  It was moderated by Jim Farley, VP news and programming, WTOP-FM, Washington, DC.  Farley set the topic up by mentioning the Rush Limbaugh ad boycott and asked the question “[With big time advertisers shying away from talk radio and controversial products] is it time to consider all-news as the new talk for the future?”  He referenced the success of WTOP which is undeniable.  The station has been the #1 biller in the nation for two straight years.  Ed Shane gave a case study for what they have done at “92 News” in Houston, a Radio One station.  He said there were three things you have to have if you want to create an all-news station: guts, money, and patience.  He talked about the expense of running that station, saying they took on $2 million in talent costs and had to re-build the radio station’s facility.  Shane played some of the imaging for the station which uses the slogan “All News, No Spin.”  TRN exec Jim Watkins subbed for Masters who was unable to attend at the last minute.  Watkins said smaller stations can do the all-news format using his company’s America’s Radio News Network.  He claimed 500 affiliates when you add them up. (Some are taking the top-of-the-hour product,  just under 200 take the morning drive show and the other stations taking some  of the other long-form shows,  AARN has all-news product from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm.)  BOYCE STEPS UP TO THE PLATE:  After all the conversation about how talk is dead and all-news is the savior,  Phil Boyce started by saying “I feel like the last man standing at the U.S. embassy in the Middle East, with the protesters outside calling for my head and chanting ‘Death to Talk’.”  Boyce repeated the line “Listeners have a Vote” and did his best to convince the crowd that while there was some short-term damage from the Rush boycott, it did not hurt traditional talk radio.  He mentioned that both Sean Hannity and Mark Levin told him this week their sales are up 20%-25% over last year, despite the boycott.  “There is a website out there listing all the advertisers Rush still has on encouraging the protestors to go after.”  Boyce mentioned some of them and said there were 68 of them on this list.  “Not bad for a show that has 18 minutes a day of network commercial time.”  He then pointed out, “The Premiere sellers have figured out that there are a lot of advertisers who are bullet-proof when it comes to ad boycotts.  They just don’t care because they know talk radio moves product, and they know the 1,000 angry e-mails or Facebook posts do not come from their client base.  If the angry tweet says, “We’ll never shop with you again,” they can check their database and discover they never shopped there in the first place.  These direct advertisers are who we need to do business with.  The transactional big-name advertisers may never come back, but there are plenty out there who can replace them.”  Boyce went on to mention the new movie “2016 Obama’s America” had record box office business and used talk radio as its primary advertising medium.  He said, “This ad boycott thing is nothing new.  They tried to kill Glenn Beck two years ago, and at one point had a list of 100 advertisers who would not advertise with him and they claimed victory in driving him off the Fox News Channel, dancing on his grave.  The problem was, he was not in that grave and one year ago this month he went out and formed his own TV news channel with 300,000 subscribers.”  Boyce did the math for the panel…$32.4 million a year, from subscriptions.  “That does not count his book sales, appearance fees, and the $100 million dollar five-year deal they just did with Premiere.  What they meant to kill him only made him stronger.”

2012 Marconi Awards Presented at Radio Show.  The 2012 National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Radio Awards were announced last night (9/20) at the annual NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show held at the Radio Show in Dallas.  Winners in the spoken-word formats included:  “Legendary Station” – KSTP, St. Paul;  “Network/Syndicated Personality” – Dan Patrick, Direct TV/Premiere Networks;  “Major Market Station” – WTOP-FM, Washington, DC;  “Medium Market Station” – WHO-AM, Des Moines;  “Major Market Personality” – Mike Francesa, WFAN, New York;  “Medium Market Personality” – Jan Mickelson, WHO-AM, Des Moines;  “News/Talk Station” – WTOP-FM, Washington, DC;  and “Sports Station” – WEEI-FM, Boston.  Marconi finalists were selected by a task force of broadcasters, and the winners were voted on by the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Selection Academy. The votes were tabulated by an independent firm.

NAB/RAB Radio Show Wraps Up Today.  More than 2,000 radio broadcasters from around the nation are wrapping up their gathering and saying their goodbyes at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas this afternoon as the annual “Radio Show” jointly presented by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) comes to its conclusion.  Most observers agree it has been a productive and successful three-day industry event.  The main topics covered include radio’s pressing need for the smartphone radio chip to be “turned on” as well as debate and concern over music royalty fees; the pros and cons of streaming; the challenges facing commercial spot sales/programming; living in a PPM world; cross platform audience measurement;  and the challenge of generating digital revenue.  On a basic level, the underlying concern of the conference was the very survival of terrestrial radio in the unfolding digital era and mapping out a course to achieve the industry’s vitality and relevance in it.

Roger Hedgecock to Appear on Bill Maher’s “Real Time” Show on HBO Tonight.  Radio America nationally syndicated talk show host Roger Hedgecock will get national TV exposure on a very popular HBO show as he’ll be one of the guests on “Real Time with Bill Maher.”  Hedgecock will appear on the program with Chris Matthews, Salman Rushdie, Eugene Jarecki and Rana Foroohar.  The program airs live tonight from 10:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET.

Mel Making Out Swell.  According to an SEC report on insider trading Siruis XM CEO Mel Karmazin has exercised options and sold over 76.7 million shares of Sirius XM stock since April 18 – including 20.36 million shares on Wednesday (919).  That brings his overall take to $172 million since April 18.  Either he’s raising a lot of money for something, or he’s exercising options before he either leaves on his own or is asked to leave by Liberty Broadcasting head John Malone who has been adding to his stake in Sirius as Mel has been cashing in shares.  Definitely fuels speculation that Mel’s days with Sirius might be numbered.

Advice for the Industry in Tough Times.  Nationally syndicated talk radio sensation Dave Ramsey is pictured here speaking to a packed Wedgwood Ballroom inside the Hilton Anatole at the NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas yesterday (9/20).  In this Super Session titled “Succeeding in This Economic Environment,” Ramsey delivered inspirational ideas and strategies for thriving in the radio industry.  The Ramsey organization says the proven business concepts discussed were developed over Ramsey’s 20 years in the radio business.

WCOA, Pensacola PD and ND Allen Caudle Exits Station.  TALKERS hears program director and news director Allen Caudle leaves Cumulus Media’s Pensacola, Florida news/talk outlet WCOA after four-and-a-half years on the job.  He’s looking for his next opportunity and can be reached at 850-324-7149.

Tax Relief for New Jersey Town Credited to Governor’s Show on New Jersey 101.5.  A bout of tax relief coming to residents of Monroe Township New Jersey is being credited to the monthly “Ask the Governor” show on Townsquare Media’s New Jersey 101.5.  Governor Chris Christie hosts the monthly show with NJ101.5’s Eric Scott and during the August program callers protested high property tax increases.  Christie blasted Monroe Township Mayor Richard Pucci and promised to look into the matter.  He recently reported on Jim Gearhart’s morning drive show on NJ101.5 that the tax hike violated the state’s property tax increase cap and all residents would be credited for the overage.  Christie is pictured here at New Jersey 101.5’s studios.  (Photo by Annette Petricionne.)

Premiere Networks Host Clyde Lewis Featured in Portland Magazine Piece.  The very popular Portland, Oregon-based nighttime talk show host Clyde Lewis was the subject of a lengthy piece in the city’s About Face magazine on his radio show “Ground Zero” that’s being syndicated nationally by Premiere Networks.  The extensive interview covers Lewis’ takes on any and all conspiracy theories and paranormal subjects that can be part of his show content.  Lewis’ program is produced by Alpha Broadcasting’s KXL, Portland, airs nightly from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am PT and was put into national syndication by Premiere after it became one of the most-listened-to shows on Portland radio.  Read the piece here.

New Studios Dedicated.  Tribune’s WGN, Chicago will officially unveil its refurbished Allstate Showcase Michigan Avenue studio on the Garry Meier show this afternoon.  This past May WGN announced the new partnership with longtime sponsor Allstate.  Following the station’s move to the 7th floor of Tribune Tower this summer, the Allstate Showcase Studio underwent technical upgrades and an interior studio wrap featuring WGN Radio and Allstate graphics was installed.

Waikiki Weekend.  Fox Sports Radio Network “Loose Cannon” Vic “The Brick” Jacobs (r) is pictured here with one of the winners of the show’s annual “Waikiki Weekend” contest getting ready for a canoe ride.  “Loose Cannons” Jacobs, Steve Hartman and guest co-host and NFL Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson accompanied the winners to Waikiki last weekend for the trip that included a live broadcast and, of course, lots of fun Hawaiian-style.

Mitt Romney’s 47% Comments Top the Talkers TenTM for the Week of September 17-21.  Mitt Romney’s comment that President Obama’s 47% support was dependent on government and the fallout from it was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.  Following at #2 was the anti-America protests tied with the Libya consulate attacks analysis.  At #3 was the cost of ObamaCare for the middle class and at #4 was the presidential race polls.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See the charts in their entirety for this week 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.

Monday, August 27, 2012

| August 27, 2012

Talk Hosts and News Operations Deal with Logistical Issues and Weather as Republican National Convention Begins in Tampa Today.  The Republican National Convention, a huge “radio row” and live broadcast draw for many radio stations and networks around the country, begins today and talk hosts, programmers and news staffers are dealing with what is already a complex couple of days of remote broadcasting being amplified by the threat from Tropical Storm Issac.  Today’s first day of the RNC is being canceled due to the storm and broadcasters are having to make contingency plans as a result.  From a logistical standpoint, hosts and news staffers may be forced to cram planned interviews and guest appearances originally scheduled across three days into two days on Tuesday and Wednesday.  As for live broadcasts scheduled from the convention center for today, that will depend on how quickly the storm moves through the area.  Salem Radio Network VP of news & talk programming Tom Tradup tells TALKERS SRN’s equipment on radio row is set up but its two early Monday shows – Mike Gallagher and Dennis Prager – will originate from Salem Communications O&O WGUL, Tampa and the Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt programs will broadcast from the convention center radio row later today.

Lincoln Financial Media Buys Miami FM for Sports Talk Simulcast with WAXY.  West Palm Beach FM WMSF at 104.3 will change hands from Palm Beach Broadcasting to Lincoln Financial Media for a reported $13 million and the latter will use the signal to give sports talk “790 The Ticket” WAXY an FM presence in the South Florida market.  Palm Beach acquired the station from CBS Radio earlier this year.  Palm Beach has applied to move the 104.3 signal from West Palm Beach to Miami and that application is still pending the FCC.  LFM will begin operating the station under an LMA prior to FCC approval of the sale.

Program Director Jay Bohannon Exits Clear Channel’s WPGB, Pittsburgh.  When Clear Channel fired up the Pittsburgh FM talk outlet in January 2004, Jay Bohannon was named the program director.  During his tenure at the station, he was responsible for working with morning show team Jim Quinn and Rose Tennent and bringing the program into syndication.  He also led news/talk branding and imaging for the company.  Bohannon is available for his next opportunity.  Reach out to him at radiojaybo@comcast.net.

Salem Communications to Buy WMUU, Greenville from Bob Jones University.  The station – owned by the Christian college’s Gospel Fellowship Association – currently programs a combo of Christian teaching and beautiful music but that will end when Salem Communications takes over and turns the Greenville, South Carolina FM at 94.5 into a news/talk outlet using programming from the Salem Radio Network.  No price has been announced nor has a start date for an LMA.

WOR Low Price Tag Cause of Angst for AM Radio Owners.  As the dust settles in the aftermath of the recently announced sale of Buckley Broadcastings’ heritage outlet WOR, New York to Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, the cold hard reality of the low price tag is beginning to settle in and it is being perceived as a seriously bad indicator about the value and future of AM sticks.  Industry observers and players alike remember stories about the late Buckley Broadcasting CEO Rick Buckley turning down offers as high as $150 million for the station as recently as a decade ago.  In 2001, Disney paid then-owner The Forward newspaper $78 million for WEVD (1050 AM) to find a New York City outlet for ESPN Radio – a station with a significantly inferior signal than WOR’s.  An article in the New York Daily News reports on the topic: “One of the many nervous discussions in radio these days revolves around the future of AM stations — that is, if they have a future.”  Perhaps the revelations of the WOR deal will usher in an industry station deal cycle marked by what TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes as the “lesser fool” theory.

Former Eagles Star Brian Dawkins Joins 97.5 The Fanatic for NFL Coverage.  Former Philadelphia Eagles star Brian Dawkins will be part of the Friday coverage of NFL football on Mike Missanelli’s program each week at 4:10 pm on Greater Media’s WPEN-AM/FM, Philadelphia.  Program director Matt Nahigian says, “There is no one that Eagle fans love and relate to more than Brian Dawkins.  We had him on our air about a month ago and the response we received via Twitter and Facebook about wanting to hear him each week was staggering.  I am thrilled to bring his passion and insight to the Delaware Valley on a week to week basis.”

KLIN, Lincoln Nebraska Names David Dwinell AM Drive Co-Host; Kevin Thomas Promoted to PD.  Dwinell has been working at KLKN-TV, Lincoln as promotions director.  He leaves that position to return to radio where he’ll take the radio moniker Dave Miller as he sits beside Jack Mitchell on NRG Media’s Lincoln news/talker.  The slot on the station’s morning show opened up when John Bishop left the show to go across the hall and join NRG’s 1620 The Zone for its “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” program.  At the same time, KLIN PM drive host Kevin Thomas takes on the program director duties at the station that were previously held by John Bishop.  He’ll continue to host the 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm “Drive Time Lincoln” show.  Also, the sports director post – also previously held by Bishop – goes to Chris Whitney.

Buckley Broadcasting Flips KYZZ, Salinas, California to Sports.  The classic hits format disappears from KYZZ as the former “Z97.9” becomes part of the simulcast of “630 ESPN” KIDD, Monterey and becomes known as “97.9 ESPN Central Coast.”

Programmers Owe it to Themselves to See Obama Movie.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke says of the new movie “Obama’s America 2016,” “If you work in talk radio, you owe it to your audience to understand what all those network commercials in your show are selling.  And as an insider, you’ll recognize the event you’re attending as a theatrical ‘infomercial,’ a rented theater.”  Cooke says that regardless of your personal political viewpoint, as a content creator the film is instructive in numerous ways.  Read Holland Cooke’s analysis here.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Cuts Ribbon at NJ 101.5 Studio.  Townsquare Media’s New Jersey 101.5 celebrated the opening of its refurbished main studio on August 23 and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was on hand to cut the ribbon.  NJ 101.5 program director Eric Johnson reports the main studio got some brand new carpeting and – more important – new broadcasting equipment to bring the station into the digital era.  PM drive hosts Deminski &Doyle were on the air when the switch was made and the monthly “Ask the Governor” program followed.  Christie was there for the program and made the new studio “official” with his gubernatorial ribbon cutting and he even worked the new digital board (pictured here) during the station’s 8:00 pm newscast.

Dale “The Truckin’ Bozo” Sommers Dies at 68.  The cause of death is not yet public but Dale Sommers had been dealing with unspecified health issues since he left the WLW, Cincinnati overnight program in 2004.  Although he retired from the show at that time, he resumed the program on satellite radio and hosted it until earlier this year when he again gave it up.  As the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter reports, Sommers’ program made national news twice when it helped solve crimes.  The first time was in 1984 when he was talking off the air with a regular caller who went by the name of “Mississippi Lady,” a convenience store clerk in Camilla, Georgia “when he heard her tell someone, ‘You can’t come back here’ before quickly hanging up the phone.  Sommers called Camilla police, who were familiar with his ‘Bozo Show’ and a store clerk known as the ‘Mississippi Lady.’ Within minutes, an officer apprehended the robber.”  His program was also credited with assisting police is catching the DC sniper in 2002 after a listener heard Sommers give the car’s license plate number over the radio.

Friday, June 29, 2012

| June 29, 2012

Programmer Jack Silver Exits Cumulus Los Angeles Post.  The KLOS and KABC program director tells Radio-Info’s Tom Taylor that he’s leaving the position with “solid numbers” at the classic rock FMer KLOS.  And it sounds as though he’s ready for his next opportunity as he says, “I’ve got many miles left on my odometer.”  KLOS is facing a big change in the fall as one half of the quarter-century old AM drive team of Mark and BrianMark Thompson – will retire in August leaving a challenge for the station’s next programming team.  As for news/talk KABC, Arbitron’s May PPM has the station in 22nd place (persons 6+) with a 0.9 share and a cume of 349,500.  Bringing KABC back to ratings (and presumably) revenue relevance is considered one of the most formidable challenges in talk radio since the station faces competition in the form of Clear Channel’s perennial crosstown juggernaut KFI, whose May PPM numbers put the station in third place with a 4.5 share (persons 6+) and a cume of 1,105,300.  There’s been no announcement by Cumulus Media about Silver’s replacement although industry observers speculate that the program director position will continue to be one person overseeing both outlets just as Silver had been doing and as the company recently instituted at its NYC combo, CHR FMer WPLJ and AM news/talker WABC.

Howard Stern to Be Inducted into Radio Hall of Fame.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports the Radio Hall of Fame steering committee voted to induct the legendary but controversial broadcaster into the Chicago institution at its November 10 ceremonies in the Windy City.  As Feder writes, “The most conspicuous and embarrassing omission to the Radio Hall of Fame finally will be corrected this fall when Howard Stern takes his place in the Chicago-based shrine to radio’s all-time greats.”  Chairman Bruce DuMont tells Feder, “There wasn’t any great controversy involving Howard’s induction because I think everyone has believed for a long time that he deserved to be inducted.”  Feder says, don’t bet on Stern showing up to accept his award as he’s been outspoken in condemning the Hall as a “sham” and griped about being passed over four times in the past.  Other 2012 inductees include: Gary Burbank, Ron Chapman, Art Laboe, Luther Massingill, Jack Cooper (posthumously), and NPR’s “Fresh Air, hosted by Terry Gross.

WFAN, New York Hosts, Execs to Ring Closing Bell on the NYSE Today.  As CBS Radio’s sports talk WFAN, New York prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary (and the founding of the sports talk radio format) on Sunday, July 1, representatives of the station are being honored by being asked to ring the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange this afternoon at 4:00 pm ET.  Morning drive hosts Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton, and evening host and 25-year WFAN veteran Steve Somers will ring the closing bell.  They’ll be joined at the podium by CBS Radio president and CEO Dan Mason, CBS Radio COO Anton Guitano, CBS Radio SVP of programming Chris Oliviero, and CBS Radio New York SVP and market manager Don Bouloukos.

Pollster Scott Rasmussen to Debut TV Show in September.  Rasmussen Reports founder Scott Rasmussen – whose daily features are syndicated to radio stations across America via the WOR Radio Network – will begin production of a weekly TV show titled “What America Thinks with Scott Rasmussen” in September.  So far, stations committed to airing the program include: WCBS-TV, New York; KCBS-TV, Los Angeles; KYW-TV, Philadelphia; WADL, Detroit and others.

Financial Talk Host Chris Markowski to Host Daily Program on Salem’s WGUL/WLSS, Tampa.  Talk host and financial expert Chris Markowski – whose weekend talk show “The Watchdog on Wall Street” is syndicated on weekends by Talk Radio Network to more than 100 markets – returns to a daily talk program on Salem Communications’ Tampa-area simulcast of WGUL and WLSS.  The show will air daily from 5:00 am to 6:00 am beginning Monday, July 2.

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  The 8th annual “Don’t Give Up ESPYS V Foundation Auction” is being held Sunday, July 1 to Wednesday, July 11.  The 11-day online and on-air public auction will feature hundreds of items and experiences for bid to raise money and awareness for The V Foundation for Cancer Research. Last year’s ESPN Radio “Don’t Give Up ESPYS V Foundation Auction” raised $810,000 in net proceeds for The V Foundation for Cancer Research.  The event has raised more than $4.9 million in its seven years…..Greater Media’s WTKK-FM, Boston announces Jim Braude and Margery Eagan will host the only radio debate between Republican U.S. Senator Scott Brown and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren.  The date and time for the debate are being worked out…..SiriusXM is offering comprehensive coverage of MLB’s All-Star Week featuring Cal Ripken Jr. and Bill Ripken’s “Ripken Baseball” live from the MLB All-Star FanFest live on July 9.

Best of the Best.  Townsquare Media’s New Jersey 101.5 (WKXW, Trenton) was honored with the “Best of the Best” award by the New Jersey Broadcasters Association for its “Ask the Governor” program that features New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.  The Governor was presented the award by the NJBA president and CEO Paul Rotella after the production of the June 28 edition of the program.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Governor Christie, NJ 101.5 executive director news Eric Scott, Paul Rotella, and NJ 101.5 program director Eric Johnson.

Supreme Court Upholds ObamaCare Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 25-29.  The Supreme Court’s ruling upholding President Obama’s Affordable Care Act – and the anticipation leading up to Thursday’s ruling – was the most-talked-about story of the week landing atop the Talkers TenTM chart.  Coming in at #2 was the 2012 presidential race.  At #3 was the Arizona illegal immigration law ruling and following at #4 was the Eric Holder contempt vote.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the week’s top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio according to ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published each Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliation Roundup.  Premiere Networks’ “At Home with Gary Sullivan” weekend home improvement show hits the 200-station mark with recent affiliate additions that include WWIQ-FM, Philadelphia; WTAM, Cleveland; and KPHX, Phoenix…..The Kevin McCullough show adds new affiliates WMCA, New York; KCBQ, San Diego; and KKVV, Las Vegas.  XtreMedia reports the addition of these affiliates pushes the Kevin McCullough show to the 245-affiliate mark…..Dial Global’s “Jill on Money” adds WCCO, Minneapolis to its affiliate roster.  It also reports the CBS Radio-produced “Overnight America” with Jon Grayson is now heard on WAVH, Mobile, Alabama…..KFMB, San Diego adds CBS News Radio to its programming…..The Steve Deace show is added to the programming schedule at WNTP, Philadelphia.

Friday, June 15, 2012

| June 15, 2012

WCHB, Detroit Morning Host Mildred Gaddis Investigated by Federal Authorities.  According to a piece in the Detroit News, urban talk WCHB, Detroit morning drive talk host Mildred Gaddis is being scrutinized by federal agents for receiving $75,000 in payments to her ExCel Media company from two former public officials who have been indicted on charges of pocketing public money.  Former Highland Park school board member Robert Davis and former Wayne County assistant executive Michael Grundy were regular guests on Gaddis’ program and authorities are investigating whether the two were buying influence through advertising on the station.  Invoices to Gaddis’ company indicate the money was for “ads and interviews.”  Spokesman Greg Bowens acknowledges firms operated by Davis and Grundy made payments to Gaddis’ company but says they did not receive favorable treatment as a result.  The Detroit News quotes media lawyer and Michigan State journalism professor Jane Briggs-Bunting saying, “Ethically, there are big issues but as far as an FCC violation, I don’t see one.”

Pioneering AOR/Talk Program Director Pat Evans Dies.  The woman who programmed the first FM station to feature Howard Stern in the morning and album rock the rest of the day, Pat Evans, has died in San Francisco after a two-year battle with lung cancer.  Evans came to New York City from her home town of Detroit in 1985 upon being hired by then-Infinity CEO Mel Karmazin to program WXRK (“K-Rock”) where, in addition to working with an outstanding line up of AOR personalities such as Jimmy Fink, Tony Pigg, Meg Griffin, Marc Coppola, Jo Maeder and Maria Malito, she served as one of the first modern era music radio PDs to develop pop culture (“shock jock”) talk in the morning, handling the monumentally historic challenge of working with local AM drive host Howard Stern during his rise to prominence on FM.  She later served as PD of the legendary K-FOG in San Francisco and VP of communications at public broadcasting’s KQED in that city.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison who worked with Pat Evans in 1989 as co-producers of the ABC Radio Networks mega special “The Official History of Rock and Roll” states, “Pat was an extraordinary human being who has tragically been taken away from us while still in the prime of her life.  Her love of radio, its music and personalities, was a powerful inspiration to me and so many others.  Her work behind the scenes in facilitating Howard Stern’s early days as an emerging force on the FM dial was a vital component in shaping the course of things to come for decades in this field.  She was one of the true greats of our industry.”

Sports Talk Listeners Very Tech-Savvy According to Jacobs Media Study.  The results of its Techsurvey 8 indicate sports talk radio listeners are extremely tech-savvy and use digital technology to feed their appetite for sports.  Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs states, “Sports radio fans are highly engaged, into gadgets, and especially likely to be connected via Twitter.  They know how to access the sports news and happenings they crave and they deftly use the available tools.  Radio needs to work hard to be their go-to medium.”  Jacobs says the study reveals Twitter is a favorite of sports talk fans and says, “Sports talk fans lead the league for tweeting.  Of those who use this platform, more than half follow a sports talk radio station and/or personality on Twitter.”  Learn more about the study at JacobsMedia.com.

WCTC, New Brunswick, New Jersey Personality Jack Ellery Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award for NJBA.  New Jersey talk radio personality Jack Ellery has spent close to 50 years of his career at Greater Media’s WCTC, New Brunswick – he started there in 1962 – and he was honored at the recent New Jersey Broadcasters Association conference on June 12 and 13 with the organization’s “Lifetime Achievement” award.  Ellery was also one of eight broadcasters to be inducted into the inaugural class of the NJBA’s Hall of Fame.

Pandora Engages Local Newspapers to Sell Ads for its Service.  The digital music service is entering into relationships with some local newspapers for a reseller program in which newspaper sales staffs sell ads on the Pandora platform.  Papers including the Miami Herald, Salt Lake City Tribune, Tacoma News Tribune and U-T San Diego are working with Pandora on the project.  Pandora has always stated one of its goals is to sell locally – something that sticks in the craw of local radio.  And although Pandora – with its claims of large listening stats – certainly has the users to back up its presence, unlike radio, the more people who listen, the more Pandora must pay for its content.  The service needs to find as much revenue as possible and this deal with local papers is a cost-effective way to get feet on the ground in local markets.

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  Townsquare Media’s New Jersey 101.5 is honored with two “Best of the Best” awards at the New Jersey Broadcasters Association annual convention.  The station was recognized for “Best News” for its 100+ hours of coverage of Hurricane Irene and “Best Public Affairs” for its monthly “Ask the Governor” program…..Heritage St. Louis news/talk KMOX will soon move to new offices as CBS Radio consolidates its three stations – KEZK-FM, WYKY-FM and KMOX into one office in the Park Pacific building in downtown St. Louis.  Currently, the two music outlets and KMOX are in separate buildings.  KMOX will be the first station to move and should be there by the end of 2012…..SiriusXM announces it will cover every game of the 2012 NCAA College Men’s World Series beginning today through June 24 from TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  America’s Radio News Network adds news blocks to new affiliate WMNI-AM/FM, Columbus…..“Baldwin/McCullough Live” featuring Stephen Baldwin and Kevin McCullough joins stations KCBQ, San Diego; WORL, Orlando; WPNW, Zeeland, Michigan; and KAPE-AM/FM, Cape Girardeau, Missouri…..Dial Global’s Jim Bohannon joins the lineup at WMNI-AM/FM, Columbus…..The Leslie Marshall show joins the lineup at WRJN, Racine, Wisconsin…..Tom Gresham’s “Gun Talk” is added to the program schedule at WMCD-FM, Statesboro, Georgia; WKBZ, Muskegon, Michigan; WSNJ, Millville, New Jersey.

2012 Presidential Race Returns to Top of Talkers TenTM.  The 2012 campaign for president was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio in America for the week of June 11-15 after dropping to #2 last week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.  Following at #2 was the Russia-Syria arms connection.  At #3 was the GOP’s pressure on Attorney General Eric Holder in the ‘Fast and Furious’ case followed by the financial instability in the European Union at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

| April 17, 2012

All-Hannity Stunt Points to New FM Talker in Philly.  Merlin Media dropped the Christian talk on its new WKDN-FM, Philadelphia and began airing Premiere NetworksSean Hannity round the clock.  The move seems to back the speculation that Merlin will not follow the footsteps of its New York and Chicago FMs with an all-news format but will go news/talk.  It’s expected the station will soon clear Premiere’s Rush Limbaugh and possibly Glenn Beck as well as it builds an FM talk station with Philadelphia native son Al Gardner as PD and morning drive host.  Merlin also changed the call letters of the station to WWIQ-FM.

News/Talk KFI, Los Angeles Wins March PPM Battle.  It’s not often a commercial news/talk station is ranked the top station in a PPM market, but Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s KFI, Los Angeles topped sister Top 40 KIIS-FM by a tenth of a point to win the March PPM contest with a 4.9 share.  A few news/talk stations have landed in the top spot in the monthly PPMs – Journal Broadcasting’s WTMJ, Milwaukee has a track record of dominance in that market as does Cox Media‘s WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville – but for the most part, the number one slot is usually nabbed by a music or all-news station.  It goes to show the astounding cume KFI has in the market.

Clear Channel Reorganizes Marketing Structure; Tim Castelli Replaces Charlie Rahilly.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment makes a major move to “unify and align its marketing offerings under one umbrella” with the creation of a new, unified sales and marketing group led by former AOL executive Tim Castelli.  CC states, “This move, the latest in the company’s transformation to a fully integrated, multi-platform media and entertainment company, creates an unprecedented opportunity for partners to tap into the company’s unparalleled reach of 237 million people a month (the largest of any radio or television outlet in America) and unmatched collection of media assets.”  CCME chairman and CEO John Hogan says, “This is an entirely new way to leverage the unmatched national reach with local engagement capabilities of Clear Channel Radio Sales, Strategic Partnerships, Clear Channel Connections, Digital, event sponsorships and Premiere Radio Networks Sales supported by innovative programs and world class custom marketing insights.”  In addition to Castelli’s hiring, Clear Channel announces Condé Nast’s Holly Lang joins the company as senior vice president, marketing solutions.  Lang is responsible for conceiving and implementing innovative marketing programs for national advertisers, with a special focus on consumer brands.  Also, Chris Monteleone, formerly vice president of partner strategy at Madison Square Garden, has been named senior vice president, event sponsorship sales and development.

New Jersey 101.5 Gives Steve Trevelise the Evening Show.  Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM, Trenton – New Jersey 101.5 – announces part-time staffer Steve Trevelise is named permanent host of the evening show on the station.  Trevelise has been sitting in hosting the evening program since the station parted ways with Michelle Jerson.  Now, brand manager Eric Johnson states, “There are few in radio that I know who sound more Jersey than Steve!  We are thrilled he is bringing his passion and knowledge of the state to weekday evenings on New Jersey 101.5.  Having been here part-time for a few years now, he has worked hard to earn this position and knows how to relate to our more than 1 million listeners.”  In addition to his radio career, Trevelise is a stand-up comic and has performed at comedy clubs throughout New Jersey.  He currently owns and operates Sarcasm Comedy Club in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

Midway Broadcasting’s WVON, Chicago Joins iHeartRadio.  The Windy City’s urban talk outlet, WVON, is the latest station to join Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s mobile/digital radio service iHeartRadio.  Midway Broadcasting chairman Melody Spann Cooper states, “I think this is a win-win for both WVON and iHeartRadio.  We’ll reach a national audience, our listeners will have the benefit of taking the station wherever they go by using their smart phones, and iHeartRadio gets the benefit of our best-in-class urban talk format.”  The station says it is embarking on an aggressive promotional campaign to introduce iHeartRadio and to educate its listeners on its usage.

Gabe Hobbs Named Strategic Advisor at Listener Driven Radio.  Former Clear Channel news/talk and sports corporate programmer Gabe Hobbs joins Listener Driven Radio to spearhead the company’s LDR.TopicPulse – what the company describes as “a new system that offers real time social media topic tracking, so news/talk stations can see what local audiences are talking about up-to-the-second.”  LDR further describes LDR.TopicPulse as “valuable real-time information to show producers and hosts on which topics and news stories are ‘getting buzz’ in their market on social media.  The system scans all available news sources, local blogs, Facebook posts, Tweets and other social media.  Then, producers can see a report – which is updated to the second – on the hottest trending topics and their shelf life.”  On his new position, Hobbs states, “LDR’s team is the finest group of interactive innovators in the country.  I’m proud to join the team to translate the success LDR is having at music radio to the news/talk/sports formats.”

Salem Radio Network Host Dr. Richard Land Responds to Plagiarism Accusations.  Southern Baptist Dr. Richard Land – host of the “Richard Land Live” Saturday program syndicated by Salem Radio Network – responds to accusations he pulled direct commentary for a monologue about the Trayvon Martin case from an editorial by Jeffrey Kuhner of the Washington Times.  Land admits he failed to provide verbal attribution on the program for using some content and apologizes.  Land states he did not intend to deceive and always posts his source material on his program’s website.  SRN VP of news and talk programming Tom Tradup tells TALKERS, “SRN stands firmly behind Dr. Richard Land, whose ethical standards and intellect are recognized around the world.  An oversight in giving an on-air mention to a source he clearly posted on his website hardly rises to the level of ‘plagiarism.’  That standard is reserved for individuals like Vice President Joe Biden, who was forced to abandon his 2008 presidential campaign when it was revealed he was recycling entire speeches from British Labour Policy figure Neal Kinnock. Or President Obama himself, who was found to be lifting entire sections of speeches formerly delivered by his friend DeVal Patrick, the Governor of Massachusetts.  It says a lot about Richard Land that he has acknowledged that he can do better…and that he has pledged to do just that.”

Dial Global Names Michael Schreck SVP/Director of Corporate Sports.  In his new position as senior vice president and director of corporate sports, Michael Schreck will be responsible for sports sales and marketing as well as league and team negotiations for Dial Global.  Co-president and CEO David Landau states, “Michael has a proven track record of success in cultivating both advertiser and league partnerships.  With his leadership, we are looking forward to continuing to define great moments for our advertisers and the millions of sports fans our broadcasts touch.”

Dave Ramsey Invades San Antonio.  Nationally syndicated talk radio star Dave Ramsey (pictured here on stage in San Antonio) addressed more than 6,000 fans during the presentation of his “Total Money Makeover Live.”  Ramsey also spoke before some 1,000 local business people  as he presented his EntreLeadership 1-Day event.  Affiliate KTSA, San Antonio benefitted from Ramsey’s appearance in town.  General sales manager Coreena Hazelett says, “One of the invaluable things about Dave’s Live Event visit is the time he puts aside for our sponsors.  The clients really get the opportunity to connect one on one with Dave, and they are moved by his desire to see their businesses succeed.  He’s not just a host on the radio, he’s a true partner who’s committed to the success of our station and our advertisers.”

Secret Service Prostitute Scandal, 2012 Presidential Race, ‘Buffet Rule’ Blocked by Senate GOP, GSA Wasteful Spending and ObamaCare Status Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/16).  The backlash against the Secret Service after agents found in prostitution scandal in South America; the 2012 presidential race including the flap over Ann Romney homemaker comments; the Senate GOP’s blocking of the ‘Buffet Rule’ to tax the super rich; the investigation into wasteful spending by the General Services Administration and the legal status of ObamaCare were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, January 16, 2012

| January 16, 2012

Clear Channel Drops the “Radio”; Becomes Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.  Clear Channel Media Holdings chief executive officer Bob Pittman announces the “radio division” of the company is changing its name to Clear Channel Media and Entertainment to reflect its mission to deliver content via means beyond just terrestrial radio.  “Over the last few years, I’ve watched as Clear Channel Radio has pushed beyond the traditional boundaries of radio to reach more Americans every month than any other media company through an unmatched combination of broadcast, satellite, online and mobile assets,” states Pittman.  “Under John Hogan’s continued strong leadership, the new Clear Channel Media and Entertainment brand underscores that we are taking our brands and content wherever our listeners expect to find it.  And, in the future, as new places emerge where people want to access our powerful brands and content, we’ll be there, too.”  At the center of Clear Channel’s initiatives to move beyond radio station transmitters is the iHeartRadio website and app that delivers audio from its O&O radio stations of all formats, offers user-customizable stations plus audio from Cumulus Media, and soon, Greater Media radio stations as well.  The company is clearly putting forth the iHeartRadio internet site and mobile and tablet application as its primary weapon in the battle for ears being waged by Pandora, Slacker, Spotify and others.  John Hogan states, “Radio is both our history and the foundation upon which we will grow our company moving forward.  That will not change.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment represents our evolution as we prove our relationship with our listeners is so much more than just our transmitters and towers.  We will continue to serve our increasingly diverse audiences and local communities with the best content – music, news, emergency information, and public service – wherever they expect it, while supporting advertisers, strategic partners, music labels and artists with creative, multi-platform marketing opportunities that reach, activate and engage target audiences like no one else.”  It clearly appears that this move on the part of the largest owner/operator of terrestrial radio station licenses crystallizes the reality of TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison‘s forecast originally published in 2007 that the entity known as the “radio station” would evolve into something more aptly described as the “media station” — a multi-tiered broadcasting entity the ranks of which are comprised of both licensed and unlicensed outlets operating on the even playing field of the internet.  According to Harrison, “Hogan’s statement that ‘radio is both our history and the foundation upon which we will grow our company moving forward’ is quite revealing and says it all… basically that a ‘radio’ station that defines itself as being just that — a ‘radio’ station – is behind the times.  An audio-only media brand in this new era is as incomplete as a newspaper without photographs or a motion picture without sound and as limited in its accessibility as the old yellow pages.”  Harrison goes on to comment, “Stick owners should beware of this inevitable development.  Although strategic use of the internet and digital distribution expands the radio station’s brand and evolves it into the media station, it also serves as a catalyst for non-licensed media stations to share the same space and compete for the same audience while unencumbered by the debt of stick ownership.”

Boston Herald Blasts Entercom Chief David Field’s Memo.  This is one of those motivational missives that some will think is right on and others will shake their heads at, but the Boston Herald’s Jessica Heslam pulls no punches in criticizing a memo from Entercom CEO David Field in which he uses his recent African safari vacation as a backdrop and the animal kingdom as a metaphor for the working world.  Field writes about the need for all employees – including himself – to bring their “A-game” to work because the tough business world is a survival-of-the-fittest place just like the African savannah he witnessed on his trip.  He alludes to American society as pampering us and not always holding us accountable as the wild of Africa does to its inhabitants.  He beckons the reader to strive for greatness at every moment of each workday generously stating his belief in everyone’s “untapped potential.”  Critics of this memo will point to Field’s elitist use of a transcontinental holiday as the basis of his memo, an unwitting comparison of his employees as animals, the assumption that they are not “giving it their all” in the first place, and that they are quick to blame others for any lack of success.  Some might go so far as to point to Field’s naiveté in needing to witness the wild close up to be reminded that life and the business world are both challenging and unforgiving.  Still, supporters of Field’s action will state that he’s only trying to point out that harnessing our talents and pushing ourselves to succeed is what makes great companies great, and that whining about tough circumstances will achieve nothing.  Heslam’s criticism could also cause managers and employees alike to debate – either internally or out loud – whether this type of motivational memo is truly effective.  How do the majority of employees see it?  As a thought-provoking pep talk…or an insulting memo from “corporate?”  See Heslam’s story and the entire memo here.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to Impact Talk Radio Conversation.  Most Federal holidays cause slow-downs in the normal processes of running live radio in the form of fill-in hosts, repeats and a diversion from the serious issues of the day.  However, MLK, Jr. Day has a history of doing just the opposite.  Although Federal agencies and a number of private business offices close today – it is even more than “business as usual” on the radio talk show airwaves of America as the holiday inspires discussion of a wide variety of compelling issues including civil rights, social justice, race relations and more.

Former New Jersey 101.5 Host Tommy G Launches Internet Show.  As a growing number of terrestrial broadcasters who find themselves off the air are doing, former WKXW-FM, Trenton overnight host Tommy G (Tom Gordon) is taking his talk host talents to the internet.  Gordon says he wants to cut out the “middleman” and bring his programming straight to the listener digitally.  In an exclusive piece for TALKERS magazine, Tommy G explains his mission and how he’s making it happen.  Read it here.

Merlin Media CEO Randy Michaels Beats OVI Rap.  Media executive Randy Michaels pled guilty to driving improperly in a construction zone and the prosecutor agreed to drop the charge of operating a vehicle while impaired after Michaels’ attorney Steve Adams argued successfully that the officer had filled out the citation incorrectly and failed to fix it within the allotted 90-day period.  Michaels was charged in October of 2011 after Middletown, Ohio police found his car disabled in a road construction area during a rain storm.  The officer recorded that Michaels smelled of alcohol and failed roadside sobriety tests although he declined to take a breathalyzer.

Talk Radio Network Names Dave Nourie National Affiliate Consultant.  TRN CEO Mark Masters makes the announcement that Dave Nourie is joining his team to grow Talk Radio Network programs that include Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham, Rusty Humphries, Jerry Doyle, Phil Hendrie, Mancow and the America’s Radio News Network news blocks.  “We are all very happy to have Dave join the Talk Radio Network family of companies, with the incredible growth of the news network, we needed someone with his skills and expertise to help serve our ever-growing list of affiliated stations.”

KOA, Denver Talk Host Dave Logan Loses High School Football Coaching Job.  The former Denver Broncos great and current Broncos radio play-by-play voice and PM drive host on Clear Channel’s KOA, Denver is out of his football coaching gig after independent Catholic high school Mullen High chose to take a different road.  It wasn’t for lack of victories or Dave Logan’s popularity with the students and team – in nine years at Mullen, Logan’s teams won four state titles with a record of 110 – 12.  School CEO Ryan Clement tells the Denver Post that the issue was Logan’s celebrity combined with the school’s desire to have a full-time staff member serve as coach.  Logan worked the gig with no pay.  But the Post reports Clement said Logan “had become the face of the school and that’s not what the new administration wanted, especially from someone who didn’t work at the school full time.”  Some students protested the firing and the paper notes Logan may surface to coach somewhere else as other schools are already seeking to talk to him about coaching.

Newsman Kevin Patrick Leaves Chicago for Washington, DC.  Chicago Radio and Media is reporting that Kevin Patrick is leaving Merlin Media’s WIQI-FM, Chicago – FM News 101.1 – to take a position with CBS Radio’s new all-news outlet WNEW-FM, Washington.  Though the move hasn’t been officially announced by either CBS or Merlin, the site reports WIQI-FM overnight anchor Mike Wilson will move onto the daytime schedule to fill Patrick’s role.  It’s unclear exactly what Patrick’s new position at WNEW-FM will be.

Arizona Broadcasters Hold Two-Hour Tribute to Bill Heywood.  A little more than two weeks after Phoenix-market radio legend Bill Heywood and his wife Susan took their lives in a Scottsdale hotel room, numerous Arizona broadcasters who knew and worked with Heywood took part in a two-hour tribute broadcast to him on Bonneville’s KTAR-FM, Phoenix.  Hosts and jocks taking part in the Friday afternoon broadcast included: Pat McMahon, Preston Westmoreland, Bruce Kelly, Tim Hattrick, Jeff Scott and Michael Dixon.  Susan Heywood had been ill for some time and friends say the couple had been beset by financial troubles.  A memorial service was held on Saturday for Heywood and his wife.

Birth of an Online Media Station

| January 16, 2012

By Tom Gordon

MANALAPAN, NJ – Over the years, I have read many great articles in TALKERS that, as a talk show host, gave me countless ideas.  Some of my talk radio peers have been asking about the launch of my live, internet-based, New Jersey-oriented, drive time talk show.  So, I figured: what better place to answer those questions than right here, in TALKERS?

In April, 2004, I was hired to do a four-hour, late-night show at the nation’s number one FM talk station, New Jersey 101.5.  The hardest part of the job was getting used to the hours (11:00 pm – 3:00 am Sunday through Thursday) and the lack of calls. It was rough during those first three months, but, eventually, I was able to tap into Jersey’s busy late-night culture and build an extremely loyal following able to jam the phone lines for all four hours each night.  As the years flew by, I started to do more events with the wildly popular Jersey Guys, Craig Carton (currently doing mornings on WFAN, New York) and Ray Rossi, which boosted my name recognition and exposure by leaps and bounds.

Fast-forward to 2009: the show was as busy and popular as ever. I had even won multiple awards for helping the police in Old Bridge, New Jersey save a lost, elderly man on a freezing night when one of my listeners managed to spot him.  Yet, shortly after walking my daughter down the aisle that July, I was told that, because of financial difficulties, the live, late-night show was being cancelled; my position was eliminated.  After sending out resume after resume and talking with radio executives who explained to me that local talk radio is an expensive format, it became apparent that live and local talk radio was going the way of the dinosaur — toward extinction. So, after more than five years of working at least eight hours a day in order to build such a loyal audience, it was over.

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Friday, January 6, 2012

| January 6, 2012