Tag: "New York Daily News"

Monday, October 9, 2017

| October 9, 2017

Moskowitz, Siegel Named VP/Sales for iHM New York. The appointment of Todd Moskowitz as vice president of sales of iHeartMedia New York City news/talk WOR “The Voice of New York” and the promotion of Marc Siegel from sales manager to VP/Sales of co-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock Station” are effective immediately. Both will report to senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia New York Bernie Weiss who states, “Marc and Todd are proven sales leaders with a long track record of delivering results for clients, teams and stations. They have the talent and experience to coach their teams in coming up with the most effective marketing solutions to maximize the ROI for their clients.” Moskowitz remarks, “I am excited to lead sales for one the most legendary radio stations in New York City and work with some of the best and brightest people in our business.” Siegel comments, “Classic rock is a format that transcends time and is as popular as it has ever been. I am very excited for this opportunity and I look forward to the next step in the journey with my iHeartMedia colleagues.” Moskowitz most recently was market president for Townsquare Media’s Danbury, Connecticut cluster. He began his career with CBS Radio Hartford, before joining Cumulus Media Bridgeport, Connecticut and eventually CBS Radio New York City all-news WINS. Before arriving at iHeartMedia New York at the end of 2016, Siegel was head of global audio sales at Bloomberg Media, and was local sales manager for New York public outlet WNYC, where he managed radio, podcasting, digital, and events sales.

TALKERS Founder Michael Harrison Guests on Debut Holland Cooke Show on RT America.  Says Donald Trump Has Been A Boon to Talk Media Business.  As reported last week in TALKERS, noted media consultant and TALKERS correspondent Holland Cooke was named to fill the big shoes of Thom Hartmann as host of television network RT America’s long-running “The Big Picture” program.  His debut installment of the half hour weekend show aired this past Friday (10/6) and is being met with positive reviews.  Cooke divides the opening show into two segments.  In the first, he welcomes panelists Brian Keane and Harvey Wasserman to discuss renewable energy… which could be the silver lining as Puerto Rico recovers from Hurricane Maria. And in the second segment, he asks TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison and talk media pundit Steve Malzberg, “Are we really THAT angry?” referring to the tone of today’s conversation in talk media.  Asked if Donald Trump is the best thing that could happen to talk radio and television, Harrison replies, “From a purely business standpoint – getting ratings, giving us material to use, creating interest, keeping people tuned to their radios and TVs – he’s the best thing that’s happened in years. I don’t remember anything like it.”  To view the entire program, please click here

Sirott Selected to Call Bruins Action. Inbound from Tribune Chicago news/talk WGN-AM, where he was studio host for the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks, Judd Sirott becomes the game caller for the Boston Bruins, whose NHL games are carried on CBS Radio Boston sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.” CBS Radio Boston vice president of programming/CBS Radio vice president of sports programming Mike Thomas comments, “We are very excited to have someone with the exceptional reputation and experience that Judd has join our team at ‘The Sports Hub.’” Sirott adds, “I am incredibly fortunate, privileged, and humbled to be the radio voice of the Boston Bruins on ‘98.5 The Sports Hub.’ I didn’t just hit the lottery – I hit the Powerball. [The Bruins are] an ‘Original Six’ [NHL] team in a spectacular hockey market and one of the world’s greatest cities.” He succeeds Dave Goucher, who left last summer to become the television play-by-play voice for the Vegas Golden Knights, and joins analyst Bob Beers. An interesting note about Bruins’ radio play-by-play announcers: The only ones serving in that capacity going back to 1924 are Frank Ryan (28 years); Bob Wilson (25.5 years); Goucher (16 years); Fred Cusick (13 years); Bob Neumeier (five years); Bill Harrington (three years); Jim Laing (one year); and Dale Arnold (one-half year).

Cumulus DC Combo Arranges Blood Drive for Vegas Shooting Victims. Coordinated by Cumulus Media Washington D.C. news/talk and hot AC cluster-mates WMAL “Where Washington Comes to Talk” and WRQX “Mix 107.3,” the “Vegas Victims’ Blood Drive” will be held this Wednesday (10/11) from 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner in suburban Washington D.C. (McLean, Virginia). WMAL program director Bill Hess states, “The injured – including some from our area – face a lengthy recovery. This is one thing we can come together and do to help in our own individual way. We invite our friends and listeners to roll up their sleeves and join us in this effort.” WRQX program director Rob Roberts notes, “Distance doesn’t lessen the impact of what happened in Las Vegas. This is our chance to help someone and it costs nothing but a little time. We’re proud to do our part.” On a side note, “Mix” assistant program director/music director/mid-day talent Ashley Nickels is a Las Vegas native. Excluding the shooter, 58 people were killed last Sunday night (10/1) in Las Vegas. The dead included 36 women and 22 men; the oldest was 67, the youngest 20. Six of the dead were from Nevada, 35 from California, 13 from other states, and 4 from Canada. An additional 489 people were injured. The attack became the deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual in the United States, having surpassed the death toll of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, where 50 died, including the gunman.

Broadcast Station Mergers, Acquisitions Hit $4.47 billion in Q2. The top radio deal was the $82.8 million sale of Emmis Communications’ Los Angeles rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106” to Meruelo Media. According to estimates from Kagan, a media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence, the transaction was the largest single radio station sale since 2012 and represents nearly 34% of the quarter’s $245 million radio deal total. The second-largest radio transaction was the radio portion of Sinclair’s acquisition of Tribune Media with an estimated value of $58.4 million for news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago and the programming of one additional FM station. That was followed by Educational Media Foundation‘s purchase of three FMs from Entercom for $57.5 million – classic rock KSWD “100.3 The Sound,” Los Angeles; KSOQ-FM, which simulcasts KSON-FM “New Country,” San Diego; and WGGI, which simulcasts WGGY “Today’s Best Country – Froggy,” Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Next was the sale of four Alpha Media AM stations, 14 FM outlets, and two FM translators to Dick Broadcasting Company for $19.5 million. Saga Communications sold its six-remaining owned-and-operated television stations and three LMAs to Morgan Murphy Media for $66.6 million, while at the same time, expanded its radio business with the third-largest radio deal of the quarter, paying $23 million to Apex Media for seven FM stations, one AM, and four translators.

Levy Exits KJR-AM. Related to his August 26 arrest for soliciting a prostitute, KJR-AM morning show host Mitch Levy departs the iHeartMedia Seattle sports talk outlet after a 23-year tenure there. According to a report in The Seattle Times, Levy entered which is known as an “Alford plea,” an acknowledgment of enough evidence for conviction without a formal guilty plea. He was sentenced to two years of probation plus a deferred sentence that will be dismissed if he completes probation without being charged with another crime. Levy was one of 110 men arrested in an undercover operation called “Operation on Demand.” The 50-year-old Levy reportedly placed $160 in cash on a bedside table in anticipation of a half-hour of sex. On Twitter, he wrote, “As most of you realize by now, my 23-year tenure at KJR is over. I am fully aware that I have disappointed so many from the loved ones closest to me to all of you who have given me the opportunity to entertain you on weekday mornings. I’m deeply sorry. I’d like to thank KJR and iHeartMedia for the golden opportunity that was never taken for granted. Now, I must continue tending to me, my emotional demons and my family. Some day I hope you’ll allow me the opportunity to earn back your trust and respect.”

CPR’s Wycisk Sets Retirement Plans. It won’t become effective for another eight months, but 40-year Colorado Public Radio (CPR) president Max Wycisk is announcing he will retire on June 30 (2018). Board chair Dean Salter remarks, “On behalf of the CPR board of directors, we thank Max for his service and for the many notable accomplishments achieved during his tenure. Max is recognized as a pioneer in public broadcasting and his vision set CPR on the path to its current success. He leaves one of the strongest public radio organizations in the country with a sound financial base, a talented and committed staff, and loyal listeners. We look forward to an orderly transition to ensure the continued success of CPR.” According to Wycisk, “While the world has undoubtedly changed over the past 40 years, CPR’s mission has remained steadfast and our importance has grown. The organization is stronger than it has ever been – a testament to our dedicated staff, the donors who support us, and the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on us each and every day. It has been an honor to lead the development of a vital community resource that’s uniquely positioned to have an even greater future ahead.” Prior to becoming CPR’s president, Wycisk was a program director and an on-air announcer there. Among other things, he is responsible for transforming CPR from a single-signal station to a statewide network, which includes CPR News, CPR Classical, and CPR’s triple A Open Air, which are broadcast on 34 statewide signals and online.

WGN Slots Chicago Inno Tech Briefs. Starting today (10/9), Tribune Chicago news/talk WGN-AM adds “The Inno Minute,” a 60-second breakdown of Chicago’s top tech news. Airing weekdays in the 5:00 am hour on “The Opening Bell with Steve Grzanich,” the segment is a snapshot of topics covered at ChicagoInno.com. WGN-AM vice president of programming & content Todd Manley notes, “The stories that the team at Chicago Inno chases and shares are so powerful we wanted them on WGN every day.” Reporter Katherine Davis and Chicago Inno associate editor Jim Dallke will serve as producers. “Chicago Inno is incredibly excited to be working with WGN radio on ‘The Inno Minute,’” Dallke comments. “Chicago’s entrepreneurship scene is thriving, and we are thrilled to be able to work with WGN to inform Chicagoans on the innovation that is driving the city forward.” Elsewhere on the station, former Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka will appear for football commentary each Monday in morning drive with Steve Cochran and every Friday with afternoon driver Roe Conn. Ditka formerly had a similar radio arrangement in the market on WMVP “ESPN 1000.”

Salem Talk Hosts Headed Back to the White House. Approximately two and a half months ago (7/25), Salem Radio Network talk hosts Mike Gallagher and Hugh Hewitt conducted day-long broadcasts from the White House. The two will return to the Nation’s Capital next Tuesday (10/17) for live “Tax Reform Day” broadcasts from the White House. Hewitt (right) and Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup are planning for invited guests including treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin and commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, as well as other senior White House and administration staff.

Cavaliers, Monsters, iHM Cleveland Sign Multi-Year Extensions. As part of the new pact, all 82 regular-season contests, as well as five preseason and all playoff games of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers will air on iHeartMedia Cleveland news/talk WTAM and co-owned rocker WMMS. In addition to these two flagships, the Cavs are on a 30-station radio network. John Michael returns for his seventh season as the franchise’s play-by-play announcer, while Jim Chones is back for his eighth year as analyst. The Cavs have reached an extended agreement with Murray Hill Broadcasting to continue broadcasting all of its games in Spanish. Meanwhile, for the second consecutive year, all 76 regular-season games of the AHL Cleveland Monsters will be broadcast on iHeartMedia Cleveland alternative WMMS-HD2. Tony Brown returns for his third season as the radio and television play-by-play voice of the Monsters. Brown spent two years in the NAHL as the voice of the Odessa Jackalopes; one season in the USHL with the Omaha Lancers; became the radio voice of the Indy Fuel in the ECHL; and then came to the Monsters in their Calder Cup-winning season of 2015-2016.

Osgood As It Gets. The longtime host of Westwood One’s “The Osgood File” – Charles Osgood – was presented with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” last night (Sunday, 10/8) from the News and Documentary Emmys. Celebrating with Osgood (in the center with his trademark bowtie) backstage were his family and colleagues, including Westwood One executive vice president of news and talk Bart Tessler, and senior vice president of Affiliate Sales Dennis Green.

 

TALKERS News Notes. Fill-in host Rob Carson – who will be on iHeartMedia Phoenix news/talk KFYI and CBS Radio Las Vegas’ similarly-formatted KNXT next week – recently joined the conservative-leaning LibertyOne TV/video podcasting network and he explains, “My experience as an audio/video podcaster and live Facebook/YouTube podcaster is propelling my career forward in many ways. I hope to consult talk hosts about the new digital platforms. I’ve only been on for two weeks and my LibertyOneTV.com show attracted 18,000 viewers last Friday [10/6]. After two months, my daily podcast on PodcastRadioNetwork.com is their second-biggest podcast. This journey beyond terrestrial radio is incredible.” ….. The appointment of Karen Wishart as an Urban One executive vice president becomes official on January 1, 2018, when she replaces Linda Vilardo as chief administrative officer. In the meantime, those two will work together to transition Vilardo’s duties. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Wishart will be paid a base salary of $425,000 with an opportunity to make up to $150,000 in bonuses ….. The official charity of iHeartMedia Des Moines news/talk WHO afternoon drive talent Simon Conway is The Puppy Jake Foundation, which acquires, raises, and trains service dogs for physically and mentally wounded veterans. Last Friday (10/6), the fourth annual, two-hour free sandwich giveaway to benefit The Puppy Jake Foundation raised more than $28,500. The event brought in $4,000 in year one; $6,000 the second year; and $23,000 last year. Conway remarks, “People drove long distances and handed over huge sums of money. My show’s sponsors stepped up too, one of them called in and doubled his initial $1,000 donation.” Over 200 pounds of meat, buns, and sauce were all donated. So far, 22 service dogs have been provided to veterans; five more dogs will graduate the program in March ….. As of next Monday (10/16), Genesee Media Brockport-Rochester, New York sports talk WRSB “97.5 The Team” will transition to Spanish variety as “Mi 97.5.”

 

 

Delilah Taking Leave of Absence Following Her Son’s Suicide. On Saturday (10/7), the 7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight host posted on Facebook about the suicide, which occurred early Tuesday morning (October 3). “I will be absent from the radio and on social media for a time as I grieve and try to process this loss with my family,” Delilah (Rene) wrote as she grieves the loss of her teenage son Zachariah, who battled a long bout against depression. In what reportedly will be the only statement at this time by the Premiere Networks’ personality, Delilah states, “My dear friends, I need to share some devastating news with you. My son, Zachariah, took his life. He was being treated, counseled, and embraced fiercely by family and friends while battling depression. My heart is broken beyond repair and I cannot fathom how to go on, but I have to believe he is at peace with the Lord and that God will get us through. We will be playing some of my favorite shows from the recent past. I’ll look forward to my return, as you all lift me up so very much. Please pray for my beloved Zacky, and I will pray for all suffering from this debilitating disease called depression.” In a Facebook post earlier this year, Delilah revealed that Zack was autistic. The mother of 13 children, including ten she adopted, Delilah previously lost a son, Sammy, who died in 2012 from complications of sickle-cell anemia. According to The New York Daily News, Sammy’s death came two years after he was adopted from a Ghanaian refugee camp in West Africa. Delilah’s nightly show is heard on 180 (mainly adult contemporary) stations and on the American Forces Network. She was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Broadcasting Hall of Fame in April, following her November 2016 induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Delilah has updated her Facebook home page to include the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), which offers free, 24-hour emotional support for people in distress, as well as resources that provide aid.

iHeartMedia Philadelphia Taking Bids to Beat Breast Cancer. The cluster is doing so in its annual “Bid for Breast Cancer” fundraiser to benefit the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). It begins today (10/9) and will include an auction through next Monday (10/16). According to iHeartMedia Philadelphia vice president of programming Brian Check, “We have again pulled together all the resources of our six stations to collect one-of-a-kind autographed items to benefit a cause that affects many women in our community. AACR is known for bringing together the greatest minds in cancer research and helping patients worldwide, as well as right here in the Philadelphia area.” AACR Foundation executive director Mitch Stoller explains that this year, “More than 300,000 women will hear the words, ‘You have breast cancer.’ The AACR’s mission is to prevent and cure all cancers, including breast cancer which is the second-most common cause of cancer-related death among women in the United States. We are grateful to iHeartMedia Philadelphia and the community for their support in this ‘Bid for Breast Cancer.’ Proceeds will enable the AACR to fund groundbreaking cancer research that will lead to more cancer discoveries, saving more lives.” Auction items include an Ed Sheeran-autographed guitar; a guitar autographed by Brad Paisley; a Green Day-autographed guitar; jacket autographed by Bruno Mars; Rolling Stone Magazine autographed by Harry Styles; and a Red Hot Chili Peppers-autographed guitar. In a similar “Bid for Breast Cancer” event last year, iHeartMedia Philadelphia raised over $15,000.

Chicago’s “B-96” Reveals “Jingle Bash” Lineup. The 18th annual Pepsi “Jingle Bash” from CBS Radio Chicago CHR WBBM-FM “B-96” is roughly two months away (12/7) and will be headlined by Taylor Swift, along with Backstreet Boys, Fifth Harmony, Khalid, Logic, and Sabrina Carpenter. Vice president of programming for CBS Radio Chicago/WBBM-FM program director Todd Cavanah states that the “B-96” “Jingle Bash” has been a “must-see holiday event in Chicago for almost two decades. This year, we are thrilled to have the world’s biggest superstar – Taylor Swift – as our headliner. In the holiday season, the ‘Jingle Bash’ is a wonderful way for our community to come together and celebrate an exceptional night of pop music.” Breaking the news on-air was “B-96” afternoon air talent “Tyler.” The station’s December 7 “Jingle Bash” will be held in Rosemont (Illinois) at the Allstate Arena. In other station concert news, Emmis New York rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” will present “Hot for the Holidays” on December 14 at the Prudential Center. Scheduled to appear are Chris Brown, 21 Savage, Meek Mill, Cardi B, and Dave East & Tee Grizzley. Meanwhile, CBS Radio San Francisco CHR KMVQ “99.7 Now” will have Taylor Swift headline its December 2 “Poptopia” concert at San Jose’s Sap Center. Slated to perform as well are Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers, Fifth Harmony, Niall Horan, Khalid, Logic, and Dua Lipa.

WDVE Radio-thon Raises $814,000. Easily surpassing last year’s total of $605,000, iHeartMedia Pittsburgh’s WDVE “102.5 Rocks” raised just over $814,000 during the tenth annual “DVE Rocks for Children’s Radio-thon.” The beneficiary is Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, which is the fundraising arm of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. WDVE morning show personalities Randy Baumann, Bill Crawford, Val Porter, and Mike Prisuta, as well as Michele Michaels and Sean McDowell, shared stories from patients, families, and staff from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh during the two-day radio-thon. Market president for iHeartMedia Pittsburgh – West Virginia Tim McAleer comments, “The ‘DVE Rocks for Children’s Radio-thon’ continues to exceed our expectations. WDVE has terrific listeners who rally for the kids. I am in awe of the dedication and efforts of our on-air talents to raise funds for the children in our Pittsburgh community.” Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation president Greg Barrett adds, “It is truly unbelievable to witness the generosity of WDVE, their loyal listeners, the corporate sponsors and partners, and this amazing Pittsburgh community who have supported the radio-thon over the past ten years. Without this remarkable support each and every year, providing this level of expert, compassionate care to our patients and their families simply would not be possible.” Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, comedian Billy Gardell (“Mike & Molly”), and WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon made donations by phone. The “DVE Rocks for Children’s Radio-thon” has raised nearly $5 million to benefit Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, leading provider of pediatric care in the Pittsburgh community.

Duran Supports Third Annual “Carney Awards.” A joint production between The Elvis Duran Group and Radcliffe Road Pictures, the third annual “Carney Awards” will be held in approximately three weeks (10/29) at Santa Monica’s Broad Stage. Named in honor of the Oscar and six-time Emmy winning actor Art Carney, the Carney Awards were created by Elvis Duran Group CEO David Katz, his brother – Emmy-winning producer Jim Katz, and Carney’s son – actor voice-over artist, Brian Carney. Duran is morning personality on iHeartMedia New York CHR WHTZ “Z-100” and syndicated by Premiere Networks. “I never understood why the hardest-working actors in Hollywood were almost always excluded from receiving awards and recognition for the great work that they do,” Duran comments. “We created the Carney Awards to rectify that injustice. Character actors are the backbone of almost every movie and television show ever made. It’s time for them to get the recognition they so deserve. I don’t want people pointing anymore saying ‘Hey, it’s that guy.’” David Katz notes, “Elvis is the first to admit that his co-hosts are the backbone of his radio show. Our desire to celebrate those in supporting roles has picked up great momentum and has caught the attention of Hollywood, which is always good for radio.” This year’s honorees are Xander Berkeley, William Fichtner, Richard Kind, William H. Macy, and Wendie Malick. Past honorees include Bob Balaban, Steve Buscemi, Gary Cole, Conchata Ferrell, Dan Hedaya, and David Paymer. Tom Bergeron of ABC-TV’s “Dancing with the Stars” will host the awards program. Tickets are complimentary to radio industry members.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. The guest emcee at the 73rd annual Congressional Correspondents Dinner in just over two weeks (10/25) at the National Building Museum will be Bobby Bones, whose eponymous weekday morning show originating from iHeartMedia Nashville’s country WSIX-FM is heard on more than 100 affiliates. In addition to his Monday through Friday Premiere Networks’ syndicated morning program, Bones hosts a weekend “Country Top 30” countdown and authored “Bare Bones: I’m Not Lonely If You’re Reading This Book.” The event’s headline entertainer will be “Daily Show with Trevor Noah” correspondent Roy Wood, Jr.; house speaker Paul Ryan will deliver keynote remarks ….. General sales manager of iHeartMedia Pittsburgh classic rock WDVE and country WPGB “Big 104.7” Bobbie Loesch is promoted to regional senior vice president of sales for the Pittsburgh-West Virginia region. The company’s region president Tim McAleer remarks, “Bobbie’s extensive experience in our region makes her the perfect fit to oversee sales for our robust media and entertainment assets. We are lucky to have her; she is an expert at multiplatform sales and consistently helps our partners reach their goals.” Loesch – who begins her new duties next Monday (10/16) – adds, “I have worked with the iHeartMedia Pittsburgh team for over a decade, so I am excited to lead such a talented group. It is great that we are such a tight-knit team and that we are all passionate about helping our partners succeed.” ….. Starting next Monday (10/16), Cameron Moore takes over 10:00 am – 3:00 pm duties on Beasley Media Group Charlotte CHR WNKS “Kiss 95.1.” Operations manager/program director John Reynolds comments, “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Cameron to Beasley’s Charlotte team. [Her] expanded experience in every aspect of radio programming will help ‘Kiss’ continue the solid growth we have been having all year. Cameron is a great example of our goal to mentor and groom excellent talent within our company.” Moore adds, “It is an honor to be part of the ‘Kiss’ team. I look forward to playing all of the hottest hit music and getting out on the streets to meet all of [our] loyal listeners.” Winston-Salem native Moore most recently worked at Midwest Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Missouri cluster ….. The yearly signature event for CBS Radio Chicago triple A WXRT “93-XRT” is its Goose Island Holiday Jam. The ninth such event will feature performances by Spoon with special guest Real Estate and takes place in two months (12/10) at the Chicago Theatre. WXRT program director and operations manager Greg Solk explains, “The WXRT Goose Island Holiday Jam was created to showcase some of the most dynamic talents around, and to offer a memorable annual holiday event for Chicago music fans. This year’s fabulous double bill of Spoon and Real Estate will certainly accomplish that goal.” ….. As of today (10/9), 2016 Texas Radio Hall of Fame inductee Gary Lee Love joins John Walton classic country KXXF “105.3 Free,” Beaumont (Texas) for afternoon drive duties. Station owner John Walton states, “It is quite a coup for [us] to acquire a partnership with the Gary Lee Love Show. Gary is a bigger-than-life personality who is a household name in Southeast Texas and a great entertainer. Love most recently did a similar shift on cross-town Cumulus Media-owned KAYD “Nash-FM.”

Hundreds Attend “The House FM” and “My Praise FM” Kid DJ Day. The sixth annual “Kid DJ Day” was held over a week ago (9/30) at the 89.7 “The House FM Where Christian Hits Live” and 88.7 “My Praise FM” studios. More than 550 Kid DJs and 888 total family members attended the free event. “The House FM” and “My Praise FM” founder and chief executive officer Doyle Brewer remarks, “We had such a great day hosting 888 guests. The families were making such great memories with the petting zoo and so many other activities. Our ministry has always been focused on supporting families on the air with our programming and any other way we can.” Kids were invited to be DJs for a day, receiving a tour of the radio station and having a turn on-air. They were asked to discuss a variety of different topics, prompted by the DJ; parents received an email recording of their child’s on-air time. Listener-supported Christian radio network “The House FM” broadcasts from Oklahoma City to Wichita; sister network “My Praise FM” broadcasts in northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas.

Austin’s September 2017 Report to be Re-Released. Owing to audience estimates being inadvertently omitted for Austin subscribing HD-multicast KKMJ-HD3, Nielsen Audio will issue a revised September 2017 PPM ratings report for that Texas market this Wednesday (10/11) at 12:00 noon. Reporting for Entercom urban AC KKMJ-HD3 apparently had not been entered into one of Nielsen Audio’s internal systems. Audience estimates for other Austin stations will reportedly not be affected. Prior to August’s +.1 to 1.6 (#19, 6+), KKMJ-HD3 hadn’t had an increase in five consecutive sweeps for a net loss of nine-tenths (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+) but disappeared from print in the September sweep that was released last week.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

| September 7, 2017

Challenges Ahead for WFANNew York Daily News sports columnist Bob Raissman writes today about the double-whammy facing CBS RADIO’s sports talker WFAN with morning show host Craig Carton’s arrest on Wednesday and the looming December exit of afternoon drive icon Mike Francesa.  Although WFAN hasn’t officially announced it’s firing Carton, right now it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which he’s back on the radio there.  Raissman quotes a radio executive saying, “In the short term it could destroy the radio station.”  Raissman goes on to wonder if the station will ask – or rather, beg – Francesa to stay with the station for a while.  Read his column here.  For today, WFAN had Phil Simms sitting in with Boomer Esiason on the morning show.

Report from NAB/RAB Radio Show.  Media consultant Holland Cooke files his report from Austin, Texas and the NAB/RAB Radio Show.  Today, Cooke presents his notes from the Pillsbury Law Leadership Breakfast where executives including David Benjamin of Benjamin Media Investments LLC, Cox Media Group president Kim Guthrie, Connoisseur Media CEO Jeff Warshaw, Neuhoff Communications CEO Beth Neuhoff, and others spoke.  Also, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai delivered his address to the attendees and Entercom CEO David Field was presented with the NAB’s National Radio Award.  Read Cooke’s notes from the convention here.

Cumulus Media and WideOrbit Announce Deal for Traffic System.  This is a mega-deal for WideOrbit as it is installing its array of traffic and advertising software in all 447 radio stations operated by Cumulus Media.  A press release from the companies says that WideOrbit will “provide Cumulus with a comprehensive operations solution for traffic management, digital advertising, network and barter ads, electronic payments, revenue optimization, and hosting.  The software allows all stations to log into the same database, and will streamline corporate reporting and credit management, optimize spot scheduling, and give Cumulus advertisers a simple, integrated method for paying invoices with credit cards and ACH electronic payments.”  This deal means the company is replacing the Cumulus-developed Stratus traffic system.  Implementation is expected to start by the end of this year.

TALKERS News Notes. Philadelphia all-news KYW is introducing a new, 30-minute Sunday morning program called, “Flashpoint.”  It’s being hosted by CBS Philadelphia’s Cherri Gregg, who serves as KYW community affairs reporter.  She says, “I am very excited to be a part of this effort to provide a platform to flesh out issues affecting our community.  With so much happening in the news, it is imperative that we create a forum where we can dig deeper and more fully explore multiple points of view.”  The show is presented in three segments: The Flashpoint Debate, a Newsmaker interview, and a non-profit “Change Maker of the Week,” which highlights an individual or group making a difference in the community…..There’s an FM signal for Alpha Media’s news/talk KGNC, Amarillo as the station is simulcasting on FM translator K248DE at 97.5.  As a result, the station tweaks its brand to “Amarillo’s News, Talk, Sports – 710AM and 97.5FM KGNC.”  Alpha Media Amarillo market manager Robert Mueller comments, “We are very excited to begin a new era for our listeners on KGNC.  For the first time, radio listeners in Amarillo can enjoy their favorite KGNC-AM programs on FM at 97.5.  Our commitment to local news and agriculture business will be enhanced along with giving passionate sports fans in the area a place to call home with Dallas Cowboys football, Texas Rangers baseball and ESPN Radio’s suite of shows and live play by play coverage.”…..Starting on Monday (9/11), ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” show (and then the “Golic and Wingo” show after that) introduces its crew of NFL and college football experts who’ll be joining the program this fall.  They include: Louis Riddick, Booger McFarland, Ryan Clark, Herm Edwards, Paul Finebaum, Kirk Herbstreit, Brian Billick, Matthew Berry, Field Yates, Mike Golic Jr., and Joey Galloway.….The Philadelphia Eagles and CBS RADIO’s “SportsRadio 94WIP” raised $207,970 over a two-day auction (9/5-6) to benefit Eagles Charitable Foundation, the team’s 501(c)(3) public charity.  Its goal is to provide the Greater Philadelphia region with greater access to vision care and autism research.

Trump Sides with Schumer and Pelosi, Hurricane Irma/Harvey Aftermath, North Korea Threats/Putin Response, Hillary Clinton Book, DACA Repeal, Menendez Trial, MLB Action, and NFL Season Starts Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/6).  Republicans shocked at President Trump’s deal with Democrats to attach hurricane relief to temporary debt deal; Hurricane Irma hits the Caribbean and heads for Florida, and the aftermath of Harvey; North Korea’s continuing nuclear threats and Vladimir Putin’s warnings against military posturing; Hillary Clinton’s book detailing her election loss to Trump, including her criticism of Bernie Sanders; the proposed rollback of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals act; the trial of New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez on bribery and corruption; Major League Baseball’s playoff push; and tonight’s start of the NFL season 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.  Rochester rock outlet WCMF enters into a trademark license agreement with CB Craft Brewers to produce a special beer called Bitch Voice IPA.  The beer will be available in select bars and restaurants throughout the Rochester area this month.  There will also be special tasting events hosted by WCMF’s “The Break Room” on-air personalities that will take place at local sports bars on Buffalo Bills game days.  WCMF program director Michael “Mud” Gross comments, “The beer creation started as an inspired topic during the station’s morning show.  ‘The Break Room’ hosts, Tommy, Duffy and Kimmy, thought it would be great to have a WCMF branded beer and listeners were thrilled with the idea. CB Craft Brewers responded with the offer to brew a beer and share the trademark with us.”…..Cumulus country stations KPLX, Dallas “99.5 The Wolf” and KSCS, Fort Worth “New Country 96.3” are joining forces to bring Broken Bow Records artist Dustin Lynch to Cowboys Red River Dance Hall in Dallas for a power acoustic set on Tuesday (9/12) for a show to benefit the American Red Cross’ Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.  Tickets will be $10 and Lynch will also give away a copy of his new album, Current Mood, to the first 500 fans through the door. Lynch was scheduled to perform earlier this month at the postponed Brad Paisley Weekend Warrior Tour date in Irving, Texas.  Following this announcement, Lynch reached out to the stations’ program director, Mac Daniels, with the idea of returning to the market for a Hurricane Harvey Relief concert…..Alpha Media stations continue to support Hurricane Harvey relief efforts through the American Red Cross.  Local markets have also set up additional donation drives, radiothons and fundraisers.  In Amarillo, classic hits KXGL “The Eagle” and country KGNC-FM partnered with Street Volkswagen to get pet food and supplies to families and animal shelters in Dallas and Houston.  Biloxi-Gulfport stations (WGBL, WQBB, WXYK, WCPR, WTNI, and WXBD) partnered with the City of Gulfport to collect supplies filling over four 18-wheelers.  Alpha Media Biloxi-Gulfport market manager Ricky Mitchell says, “As a recipient of donations 12 years ago after Hurricane Katrina, the people on the Gulf Coast know better than anyone what is needed in their time of loss.  The people of the Gulf Coast are the most giving people I have ever been around.”

 

 

Round Two of August PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of August 2017 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s August 2017 survey period covered July 20 – August 16. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Washington, D.C. – As it has each month this calendar year, WTOP holds down the runner-up slot and, by notching a gain of seven-tenths (to 8.9, 6+), the Hubbard all-news property pulls the plug on four consecutive negative trends that yielded a collective -1.7 (9.9 – 9.1 – 8.8 – 8.7 – 8.2, 6+); July’s 8.2 was its softest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2015’s 7.5. Entering the July sweep, CBS Radio sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” doubled its 6+-stat since February with four straight up or flat trends (1.5 – 2.2 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+), but faltered by three-tenths. The Washington Nationals’ flagship bounces back in August though with a gain of one-half share (2.7 – 3.2, 6+) to cruise from #16 to #11 and register its highest 6+-share in nearly three years (3.2, 6+, October 2014). Trending 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.8 (6+) since March, Radio One gospel WPRS “Praise 104.1” progresses by one-half share as well to 4.3 (ninth to seventh), its most potent 6+-share since February’s 4.8. Adding two-tenths to July’s +.1 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.6, 6+), American University-owned WAMU sets the pace for the eighth consecutive time. A combined -1.5 in back-to-back sweeps (11.5 – 11.0 – 10.0, February – March – April, 6+), WAMU rebounded in May with a +.7 to 10.7 (6+), but “The Mind Is Our Medium” forfeited exactly twice that increase in June with a -1.4. February’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history, first reached in December 2016. The market’s (6+) urban AC share erodes by over 2.0, as Howard University-owned WHUR drops one full-share to 7.1 (6+), while Radio One’s WMMJ “Majic 102.3” is -1.1 (4.9, fourth to fifth, 6+). The decrease ends at five WHUR’s consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a +2.4 (5.7- 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.1, 6+), but it is in third-place for the eighth time in a row. July’s 8.1 (6+) represents the station’s best-ever PPM-showing. Meanwhile, “Majic 102.3” had been up in back-to-back sweeps for a +.7 (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.0, 6+). A combined -2.3 as the result of five consecutive negative sweeps (6.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), WMMJ bounced back with three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.9 – 5.4, 6+), but that streak concluded in March. Five straight up or flat trends by WGTS generated a +1.9 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.5 – 4.8, 6+), but the Columbia Union College contemporary Christian facility surrenders all but one-tenth of that gain (3.0, -1.8, 6+). Not only does “91.9 Christian Music Radio” spiral from the top ten (#6 to #14), the -1.8 represents the largest (6+) July 2017 – August 2017 decrease by any station in the 24 PPM-markets whose data has been released thus far this week.

2) Boston – This proves to be a very strong month for the flagships of the Boston Red Sox (Entercom-owned sports talk WEEI-FM) and the New England Patriots (CBS Radio’s similarly-formatted WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub”). Specifically, WEEI-FM gains one-half share (4.3 – 4.8, seventh to sixth, 6+), while “The Sports Hub” improves by six-tenths to 3.9, remaining at #10 (6+). Having bounced back from May’s -.1 with a June gain of three-tenths, WEEI-FM dropped seven-tenths in July; “The Sports Hub” had been without an increase in each of the previous six sweeps for a combined loss of -2.5 (5.8 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Up one-tenth to 3.0 (unchanged at #13, 6+), its CHR sibling WODS “Amp 103.3” halts three successive down or flat trends (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+) that immediately followed four successive positive monthlies which netted four-tenths (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+). Without a decrease in the last five sweeps for an overall gain of one-half share (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+), Northeast Broadcasting Company triple A WXRV “92.5 The River – Boston’s Independent Radio” climbs from #19 to #18. While WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH-FM erases July’s -.4 with a gain of seven-tenths (3.7 – 4.4, steady at #9, 6+), co-owned classical WCRB is a combined -1.5 in July and August (2.8 – 1.8 – 1.3, 6+) after June’s +.7 and exits the top twenty (#19 to #22); 2.8 was WCRB’s best 6+-stat since last November’s 3.2. Notwithstanding a loss of one-half share (7.7 – 7.2, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned classic hits-oldies WROR “Boston’s Classic Hits” is on top for the eighth successive time. The market leader for 11 successive monthlies before being dislodged in December, WROR was +1.1 in December; -1.4 in “Holiday” 2016; +1.6 in January; +.8 in March; -.8 in April; and -.6 in June. Others in addition to WCRB and WROR dropping by one-half share in August are iHeartMedia CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” (7.0, flat at #2, 6+) and Beasley Media Group-owned WBOS “Alt 92.9 – Boston’s Alternative” (2.1, #15 to #17, 6+). In five consecutive increases prior to the August sweep, “Kiss 108” was a cumulative +1.9 (5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+); “Alt 92.9” had been within 2.3 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the previous 12 ratings periods. As the result of five successive (mostly modest) dips (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 4.9, 6+), CBS Radio news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM is off by nine-tenths but carries on in fifth-place.

3) Miami – Tied for #8 in July, Cox Media Group mainstream CHR WFLC “Hits 97.3” and iHeartMedia-owned, similarly-formatted WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” continue to shadow each other, with “Hits 97.3” picking up three-tenths to 4.4 (seventh, 6+) and “Y-100” adding two-tenths and staying at #8. “Hits 97.3” had lost two-tenths in each of the previous three sweeps (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+), while “Y-100” is a collective +.6 in three consecutive up or flat monthlies (3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+). May’s -.4 halted at four WHYI’s successive string of up or flat trends that netted an overall gain of one-half share (3.6 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+), while April’s 4.7 was the strongest 6+-performance for “Hits 97.3” since 4.9 last September. In addition to inching up from seventh to fifth, Entercom classic hits-oldies WMXJ “102.7 The Beach – More Music, More Fun” posts its third consecutive positive trend for an overall +1.3 (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.6 – 5.0, 6+). Off seven-tenths in three straight downward trends (5.9 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.2, 6+), adult contemporary cluster-mate WLYF “Lite FM” recaptures all but one-tenth of that collective loss and remains in fourth-place (5.8, +.6, 6+). Meanwhile, Cox Media Group-owned similarly-programmed WFEZ “Easy 93” is trending a very consistent 6.6 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 6.7 (6+) between May and August and advances from third to second. Four-tenths ahead of “Easy” and #1 for the fourth straight time is urban AC sibling WHQT “Hot 105” (7.3 – 7.1, -.2, 6+), whose 7.7 in June was its strongest 6+-stat since July 2016’s 8.0. Down one full-share via four straight down or flat trends (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System’s Spanish contemporary WRMA “Ritmo 95.7 – Cubatón y Más” picks up two-tenths to 3.1 (6+) and moves from #15 to #14. After posting a 7.0 (6+) or higher in five of six ratings periods between January and June, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WAMR “Amor 107.5” sputters by six tenths in both July and August (7.2 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), falling from the runner-up slot it occupied the past three months to #3. Up seven-tenths via three straight gains (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8, 6+), Cox Media Group urban contemporary WEDR forfeits all but one-tenth (4.2, -.6, 6+) with “99 Jamz Miami’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” shifting from fifth to ninth. Without an increase for the fourth straight sweep for a net loss of nine-tenths (3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WZTU “Tu 94.9 FM – Donde Viven Tus Hits” slips from #13 to #15 and has its softest 6+-share since last October’s 2.9.

4) Detroit – This metro’s top eight August 2017 finishers are separated by a high of 6.1 to a low of 5.1 (6+). Off one full-share via three straight downward moves (6.3 – 6.1 – 5.7 – 5.3, 6+), CBS Radio sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” trots out a gain of seven-tenths to 6.0 (6+) and marches from fifth to a three-way logjam in the runner-up slot. The other two players involved in that tie-up at #2 are Beasley Media Group-owned WCSX and iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “100.3 The ‘80s ‘til Now.” Without an increase in three straight survey periods for a -.7 (5.5 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), WCSX responded in June and July with a combined +1.6 (4.8 – 5.3 – 6.4, 6+), vaulting from seventh to the top for the first time in its PPM-history. It sputters by four-tenths though in August to 6.0 (6+) and segues to #2. After posting three straight gains for a full-share improvement (5.2 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2, 6+), WNIC falters by two-tenths (to 6.0, 6+) and actually continues at #2. One-tenth ahead of the three aforementioned stations that are locked in a second-place tie (and succeeding WCSX at #1) is CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WOMC, ironically down one-tenth to 6.1 (6+), curtailing three straight gains that generated a collective eight-tenths (5.4 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.2, 6+). Co-owned WWJ posts a gain of two-tenths to 5.4 (sixth to fifth, 6+) to end four straight decreases in which the all-news property regressed by more than two full-shares (7.4 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 5.6 – 5.2, 6+). While it remains at #22, Wayne State University news/talk WDET picks up one-tenth to 1.0 (6+), thus applying the brakes to six successive down or flat sweeps that resulted in a cumulative loss of six-tenths (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .9 -.9, 6+). Not only does WJR register its third straight decrease for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+), the Cumulus Media news/talk station is below a four-share (6+) for the first time in more than two years (3.7, July 2015, 6+) and dips from #11 to #12. Unchanged at #11 (where it was tied in July with WJR), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJLB “FM 98 Detroit’s Hip-Hop and R&B” loses one-tenth to 4.0 (6+), halting three consecutive gains that netted six-tenths (3.5 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.1, 6+).

5) Seattle – It is a mixed-bag for the market’s two principal country FMs. On one hand, Entercom-owned KKWF “100.7 Seattle’s Fresh Country The Wolf” replicates July’s +.6 (2.1 – 2.7 – 3.3, 6+) to jump from #18 to #14 with its highest 6+-share since last September’s 4.1; conversely, CBS Radio’s KMPS “Seattle Country Music Radio” sputters by seven-tenths (4.9 – 4.2, 6+), slipping from sixth to seventh. “The Wolf” was knocked out of the top twenty in June. In addition to KKWF, Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5 Today’s Best Mix” improves by six-tenths and returns to the top ten (#13 to #10). It is the third straight up or flat trend for “Star” for a combined +1.0 (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 4.0, 6+) and the station’s highest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 5.5. The combination of KUOW improving by one-half share to 6.2 (6+) and Hubbard CHR KQMV “MOViN 92.5 – All the Hits” eroding by eight-tenths (6.2 – 5.4, 6+,) results in Northwest Public Radio’s KUOW moving from third to first and KQMV – which plummeted by -1.2 in July – segueing from first to third following a seven-month run at #1. Moreover, KUOW’s increase halts three straight downward moves that produced an overall decline of six-tenths (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+). Following three straight gains that accounted for a +1.0 (6.8 – 7.1 – 7.2 – 7.8, 6+), KQMV returned 90% of that increase in April (6.9, -.9, 6+) and bounced back in May with a +.5. Entering the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period, “MOViN 92.5” was on top for 12 straight sweeps before regaining the lead in January. Trending 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.7 (6+) since May, Entercom rhythmic hot AC KHTP “Hot 103.7 – 100% Throwbacks” stumbles by nine-tenths to 2.8 (6+), its softest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016 (2.8, as well), freefalling from #10 to #19. Co-owned KISW “99.9 The Rock of Seattle” falters by eight-tenths (5.0 – 4.2, 6+), skidding from fourth to seventh.

6) Phoenix – There is seemingly no stopping Hubbard-owned KDKB, which is a cumulative +2.6 in nine straight up or flat trends (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9, 6+). Not only does “Alt 93.3 Arizona’s Alternative” leap from ninth to sixth, it crosses the four-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. It isn’t the only outlet in the Valley of the Sun to dial up a July 2017 – August 2017 +1.1 though, as co-owned KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7” accomplishes the feat (6.8 – 7.9, 6+). On top for the fourth straight month, “Classic Rock 100.7” was down a combined one-half share in June and July (7.3 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). A gain of eight-tenths elevates Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ (#17 to #16) to 3.0, its highest 6+-share since February’s 3.3. In six straight (modest) increases, co-owned classical KBAQ is an overall +1.2 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+) but “K-Bach” backslides #11 to #13. Progressing by seven-tenths each are CBS Radio rhythmic CHR KALV “Live 101.5” (3.2 – 3.9, #11 to #9, 6+) and The Yucaipa Companies hot AC KMVA “Hot” (2.9 – 3.6, #14 to #11, 6+). This marks the best 6+-showing for “Live” since January’s 3.9; “Hot” had been within 2.4 – 2.9 range (6+) the past ten sweeps and registers its strongest 6+-stat in over a year (3.7, 6+, September 2016). A combined +1.7 in June and July (4.7 – 5.3 – 6.4, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KOOL surrenders all but six-tenths of that increase in August (5.3, -1.1, second to third, 6+). This time last month, KOOL crossed the six-share threshold (6+) for the first time since May 2016’s 6.0. Four straight progressive or flat trends by iHeartMedia hot AC KMXP netted a +1.4 (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.9 – 5.6 – 5.6, 6+), but “Mix 96.9 – Today’s Best Music Mix” sputters by four-tenths to 5.2 (fourth to fifth, 6+); July’s 5.6 was its highest 6+-share since June 2014’s 5.8. In addition to having its 6+-share slivered by more than 55% in four straight downward trends (3.0 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.3, 6+), news/talk cluster-mate KFYI disappears from the top twenty (#20 to #25). Trending a steady 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 (6+) since April, Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” sputters by one-half share to 1.5 (6+) and exits the top twenty as well (#19 to #23). Its news/talk sibling – KTAR-FM – registers its sixth straight decrease for a collective -1.3 (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12).

7) Minneapolis – Wiping out in its entirety the seven-tenths it squandered in July, Cumulus Media-owned KQRS “Minnesota’s Classic Rock” (6.3 – 5.6 – 6.3, 6+) rises from sixth to fourth. Stuck on 5.2 (6+) in June and July, CBS Radio adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack-FM Playing What We Want” spikes by one-half share to where it was in May (5.7, 6+) and inches up from eighth to sixth. Via six successive up or flat trends, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL “Kool 108 – Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” (third to second) is +1.4 (5.4 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 6.6 –  6.8 – 6.8, 6+). Stymied at 6.8 (6+) in April and May, CHR sibling KDWB notched back-to-back increases in June and July totaling seven-tenths (6.8 – 7.4 – 7.5, 6+). After finishing at #1 in April, May, and June, however, “The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” segued to #2 in July. Even though KDWB loses three-tenths (7.5 – 7.2, 6+), it perhaps extracts some revenge by marching from second to first. Ousted from #1 and taking over at #3 is Hubbard-owned KSTP-FM, which surrenders in full the +1.0 it gained in July (6.6 – 7.6 – 6.6, 6+). Prior to July’s +1.0, “KS-95 Today’s Variety” was without an increase the previous five sweeps for a -1.1 (7.7 – 7.6 – 7.3 – 6.7 – 6.6 – 6.6, 6+). In January, “KS-95” posted a +1.3, curtailing a lengthy dry spell in which the hot AC hadn’t had an increase since February 2016 (10.2 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.1 – 9.1 – 8.9 – 7.7 – 7.6 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4, 6+). In those 11 straight sweeps of being either down or flat, “KS-95” was a combined -3.8. Rebounding from July’s half-share loss, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KTCZ “Cities 97” answers by regaining 80% (3.8 – 4.2 +.4, #12 to #11, 6+). A cumulative -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+), “Cities 97” was +1.3 in January, but followed it with four consecutive negative trends that produced a -1.4 (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+) until it added four-tenths in June. Owing to a -.7 (6.2 – 5.5, fourth to eighth, 6+) iHeartMedia-owned KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” has its lowest 6+-share since January’s 4.7. Format rival – CBS Radio’s KMNB “Buz’n” @ 102.9” – is a combined -.9 in July and August and drops from #11 to #12. In July, it curtailed at three a string of consecutive gains that yielded a +1.1 (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.8, 6+).

8) San Diego – Following three successive months of downward moves for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+), CBS Radio adult contemporary-turned-hot AC KYXY bounces back with a gain of nine-tenths to 4.3 and returns to the top ten (#11 to #9, 6+). At the same time, iHeartMedia hot AC KMYI “Star 94.1 – San Diego’s Best Music Variety” surrenders more than twice the seven-tenths it picked up in July (6.0 – 4.4, -1.6, 6+), drifting from first to seventh. July’s 6.0 was the strongest 6+-stat for “Star” since last August when it reached 6.3 and it was the first time KMYI hit #1 since last October. Succeeding “Star” is KPBS, which dials up a +.8 (6.2, 6+) to vault from fourth to first. The San Diego State University news/talk facility had been in 5.0 – 5.5 range (6+) since January (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+) and is at #1 for the first time since this past February. When Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNV “Que Buena 106.5” notched a gain of one-half share in June, it ended three straight down or flat trends that yielded a loss of seven-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+). Then in July, “Que Buena 106.5” surrendered seven-tenths only to recapture it in its entirely in August (4.5 – 3.8 – 4.5, 6+) to move from ninth to sixth. Spiking by seven-tenths as well and advancing from #20 to #15 is alternative XTRA “91-X” (1.9 – 2.6, 6+). Flat at #12, iHeartMedia-owned KSSX “San Diego’s Hip-Hop and R&B Radio Station” is off by one tick to 3.2 (6+), drawing to a close four consecutive up or flat trends that netted one-half share (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+).

9) Denver – The market’s top two July 2017 finishers were separated by one-tenth of a share and the situation has become even tighter in August as Bonneville country outlet KYGO (6.5 – 6.4, -.1, on top in June and July, 6+) is joined at #1 (up from #3 in July) by iHeartMedia triple A KBCO “World Class Rock,” which boasts its ninth successive increase for an overall gain of a whopping three full-shares (3.4 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.0 – 6.4, 6+). After three straight months at #1, KYGO slipped to #2 in May. Within one-tenth of KYGO in July, Entercom classic rock KQMT “99.5 The Mountain,” slumps by seven-tenths in August (6.4 – 5.7, 6+) and slides from second to fourth. By recapturing the seven-tenths it lost in back-to-back declines since February (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+), “The Mountain” progressed from third to first in May; KQMT improved by one-half share in July. The rollercoaster ride continues for Bonneville’s KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” as its nine most recent shifts are -.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.1 (January 2017); -.7 (February); +.6 (March); -.5 (April); +.5 (May); -.7 (June); -.9 (July); and now +1.1 in August (2.3 – 3.4, #18 to #14, 6+). A loss of six-tenths in November halted four successive up or flat trends which netted two full-shares (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 4.9, 6+). Last October’s 4.9 represents the most potent 6+ showing for KKFN under PPM methodology. Off one-half share in June, Colorado Public Radio’s KCFR responds with a collective +1.9 in July and August (4.0 – 4.9 – 5.9, 6+), leaping from sixth to third and reaching the five-share level (6+) for the first time since March 2016’s 5.7. Within 4.1 – 4.7 range (6+) in each of the previous eight survey periods entering the July sweep, iHeartMedia classic rock KRFX gained seven-tenths to 5.2, but “103.5 The Fox” relinquishes all but one-tenth (4.6, -.6, 6+) and slips from fifth to sixth; 5.2 matched its 6+-share in August 2016. The collective one-half share that Entercom hot AC KALC “Alice 105.9” picked up in June and July (3.4 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+) is erased in August (3.4, #12 to #14, 6+). Without an increase for the seventh straight time for a collective loss of nearly three full-shares (7.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KTCL “Modern Rock – Channel 93-3” drops from eighth to tenth. After being within 3.0 – 3.8 range in each of the last 20 survey periods, co-owned KBPI “Rocks the Rockies” falls to 2.7 (-.4, #14 to #17, 6+).

10) Tampa – Following four consecutive negative trends that produced a collective -1.5 (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s classic hits-oldies WRBQ “Q-105” rebounds with a +1.1 to 5.2, rocketing from ninth to fourth (6+). At the same time, its format foe – Cox Media Group’s WXGL “The Eagle” – falters by eight-tenths (7.1 – 6.3, 6+) but is in the runner-up slot for the tenth straight time. Having posted five consecutive positive trends for a cumulative full-share increase (5.5 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.5, 6+), “The Eagle” was down by one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016. A gain of three-tenths to 3.8 (6+) by CHR sibling WPOI “Hot 101.5 – All The Hits” (#12 to #11) pulls the plug on three straight negative moves that yielded a -1.2 (4.7 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.5, 6+). While co-owned WDUV finishes at #1 for the 59th successive ratings period, “Lite Favorites” erodes by -1.2 to 9.3 (6+). In advance of the August decline, the adult contemporary property had been a collective +1.8 via four successive uptrends (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.5 – 10.1 – 10.5, 6+) and, in July, registered its most potent 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 12.7. Steady at #3, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WBTP “95.7 The Beat Tampa Bay’s Hip-Hop and R&B” is up or flat for the fourth straight time for an overall gain of eight-tenths (4.9 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+). After notching a 6+-trend of 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.6, co-owned WXTB “98 Rock – Tampa Bay’s Rock Station” improves to 5.0 (6+) and carries on in sixth-place. Flat at #14, hot AC cluster-mate WMTX “Mix 100.7” is without an increase for the fifth month in succession (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+) and has lost eight-tenths in that timeframe. Down in each of the last three ratings periods for a cumulative -1.3 (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.8, 6+), Beasley Media Group Spanish contemporary WYUU “92.5 Maxima” records a +.4 to 3.2 and climbs from #17 to #14 (6+). Off seven-tenths (3.6 – 2.9, 6+), University of South Florida news/talk WUSF has its lowest 6+-share since January 2016’s 2.7 and fades from #11 to #16.

11) Baltimore – In a 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.8 (6+) mode since May, independent news/talk WCBM hangs out a +.6 to 3.4 – its highest 6+-share since 3.5 in March – and moves from #13 to #11. It is there that it catches Hearst news/talk WBAL (#12 to #11), whose five most recent trends are 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4 (6+). In that same context, the previous six trends for CBS Radio adult contemporary WLIF were an extremely steady 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.6 – 6.4 (6+), but “Today’s 101.9” (unchanged at #4) dials up a one-half share increase to 6.9, its strongest 6+-showing since January’s 7.1. Although remaining at #15, CBS Radio-owned/Bloomberg-operated business news WDCH has more than doubled its 6+-share since it appeared in print this April (.6 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+). Holding even at 7.8 (6+), Radio One urban AC WWIN “Magic 95.9,” which was off six-tenths in July, advances from second to first. Up four-tenths in June, “Magic” curtailed at four its consecutive string of downward trends that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (8.9 – 8.8 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.0, 6+). Prior to June, it had been on top the previous five straight monthlies. WWIN replaces co-owned urban contemporary WERQ “Q-92 Jams,” which is a collective -1.5 in July and August (8.7 – 8.0 – 7.2, 6+) and slips to #3, after three straight months in the penthouse. Having finished second for four consecutive ratings periods, “Q-92 Jams” shifted to third in April. With a gain of one-half share in May though (7.5 – 8.0, 6+) it caught “Magic” at #1. The tie was broken in June as “Q-92 Jams” gained seven-tenths to 8.7 (6+). Showing a net loss of six-tenths as a result of being down or flat the past four consecutive months (8.0 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 7.4 – 7.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “93.1 Baltimore’s #1 for New Country” nonetheless progresses from third to second. The May – June – July – August up/down sequence at its adult hits cluster-mate WQSR consists of an impressive +1.2 in May; -.5 in June; +.9 in July; and -.3 in August (4.4 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 6.0 – 5.7, 6+) with “102.7 Jack FM Playing What We Want for Baltimore” continuing at #5; July’s 6.0 was the best 6+-performance for “Jack” since 6.1 in March 2015. In three straight declines (5.0 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+), CBS Radio hot AC-turned-CHR WWMX “106.5 Baltimore’s Best Mix” (seventh to ninth) is a collective -1.2 and is back to the 3.8 it registered in April. Its CHR rival – iHeartMedia’s WZFT – is an overall -.9, as a result of four successive sweeps without an increase (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+); “Z-104.3 Baltimore’s #1 Hit Music Station” fades from the top ten (#9 to #13).

12) St. Louis – Down six-tenths in a June – July mini-slide (6.4 – 6.1 – 5.8, 6+), Hubbard adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch” gains twice that loss margin with a +1.2 to 7.0 (sixth to fourth, 6+), crossing the seven-share threshold (6+) for the first time since last December’s 7.6. Co-owned WIL-FM “St. Louis’ Country Music Radio” rebounds from July’s -.5 with a gain of eight-tenths (6.0 – 6.8, flat at #5, 6+). July’s one-half share loss halted at four WIL-FM’s consecutive string of increases that netted eight-tenths (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.5, 6+). Still in that Hubbard cluster, sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” is up one-half share to 3.3 (steady at #16, 6+), thus completely erasing its -.5 in three straight (minor) decreases (3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). There is still just a one-tenth difference between iHeartMedia CHR KSLZ “Z-107.7 – St. Louis’ #1 Hit Music Station” (3.7 – 3.8, +.1, #13 to #12, 6+) and Emmis’ similarly-formatted KNOU “Now 96.3,” which is up for the third consecutive ratings period (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7, #14 to #13, 6+). Albeit flat at 8.5 (6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU is #1 for the third successive month. After three consecutive sweeps on top, KLOU assumed the runner-up slot in April. Without an increase for the seventh month in succession for a net loss of -1.4 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 4.8, 6+), CBS Radio hot AC KYKY “Y-98” falls from seventh to eighth. Following four down or flat trends that produced a loss of eight-tenths (7.0 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.2, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFUN gained three-tenths in July but “95.5 R&B + Old School for The Lou” forfeits six-tenths (6.5 – 5.9, 6+), dipping from fourth to sixth. Dropping six-tenths as well and departing the top ten (#10 to #14) is co-owned urban contemporary WHHL “Hot 104.1,” which is without an increase for the third straight sweep for a collective -1.4 in that stretch (5.0 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). Flat or (slightly) down in each of the last five ratings periods for a collective loss of six-tenths (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+), Emmis news/talk KFTK carries on at #15. Unlisted for the eighth consecutive month are Gateway Creative Broadcasting-owned contemporary Christian KLJY “99.1 Joy! FM” (4.5, #9, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) and co-owned, similarly-formatted KLJY-HD2 (.2, #20, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

| May 11, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, January 2, 2015

| January 2, 2015

Remembering Mario Cuomo. “You campaign in poetry – you govern in prose.” The person responsible for that memorable quote knew a little something about election campaigns, given that he won re-election twice as New York State’s chief executive. Although a leading Democratic presidential contender in 1988 and 1992, Mario Cuomo never formally entered either one of those races. Cuomo, 82, died yesterday (New Year’s Day), after a lengthy hospital stay to treat a heart ailment. The liberal/progressive Cuomo famously challenged Ronald Reagan directly by proclaiming, “There is despair, Mr. President, in the faces that you don’t see, in the places that you don’t visit in your shining city.” Born in an apartment above the grocery store owned by his immigrant parents in South Jamaica, Queens, Cuomo rooted his policies in what he called, “progressive pragmatism.” Political persuasion aside, most would agree that Cuomo was a passionate orator. It, therefore, came as no surprise that he was recruited to be a local and syndicated radio talk show host. Not everyone, however, was impressed as evidenced by David Hinckley‘s comments in the New York Daily News. “As good as he could be on television, he was that bad when he tried to host on the radio,” Hinckley opines of Cuomo, who was hired by New York City’s WABC-AM. “He was still brilliant [but] for the year or so the show ran, he was almost unlistenable. It wasn’t his fault – he didn’t suddenly become inarticulate or stupid. It is just that most of the things his admirers liked about him were exactly wrong for radio.” The WABC-AM venture began in spring 1995, and as Hinckley recalls, the former governor “wanted it to be a reasonable, considered, thoughtful discussion – not, as talk radio had frequently become – people screaming at each other and hurling insults. In the abstract, he succeeded in that mission. He ran a calm, thoughtful show in which he encouraged those who disagreed with his views to call and have a rational conversation.” It is Hinckley’s contention though that Cuomo’s “monologues tended to sound professorial, as if he were explaining something to a class and – through no fault of his own – random talk radio callers rarely turn out to be someone with whom a host can hold an extended, thoughtful, academic-level conversation.” Whereas Rush Limbaugh at the time was doing a daily three-hour WABC-AM show, Cuomo hosted one weekend program and as Hinckley points out, fronting a radio show is different from being a talk radio show guest. “Cuomo was [a guest] many times, and often a very good one,” Hinckley comments. “It does not disparage him, or his achievements, that his radio show goes down alongside his New York City mayoral bid as a swing and a miss.”Mario Cuomo was the father of five, including New York’s present governor Andrew Cuomo and CNN journalist Chris Cuomo.

Monday, May 5, 2014

| May 5, 2014

three eagles logoThree Eagles Communications to Sell Stations to Dean Goodman’s Digity.  The growing media portfolio of Dean Goodman continues to grow as his Palm Beach, Florida-based Digity Companies agrees to purchase Three Eagles Communications’ 48 stations in markets in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota.  Pending FCC approval, the transaction is expected to close during the third quarter.  Three Eagles founder and CEO Rolland Johnson says of the deal, “I think it is an excellent time to be buying stations.  Radio seems to have survived the perfect storm and shoulddigity come out stronger than ever.  While on the NAB Board with Dean Goodman 10 to 12 years ago, Dean talked about his vision of buying stations and rolling them up into a diversified company.  It is great to have a vision like Dean’s and to be able to follow through with it.  Dean is getting a group of hard-working people with award-winning stations who deserve a chance to participate in something as exciting as what Digity offers.  I congratulate him on an excellent purchase.”  Goodman comments, “Digity is on-air, online, on-demand, on-location, and on-the-go.  It connects today’s busy consumers with content they want, people they trust, products they enjoy and things that matter.  We are very pleased to have signed the Three Eagles purchase and Digity intends to continue to grow in all areas of its operations.”  Digity, through Palm Beach Broadcasting, operates four FM stations in the Palm Beach market.  GoodRadio.TV operates 26 radio stations in Midwestern markets.  Digity earlier this year purchased 33 radio stations from NextRadio and operates those stations in San Jose, Chicago, suburban Dallas, Saginaw, Canton, Greenville and Myrtle Beach.

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh Awards Grants in Essay Contest; Tennessee School Reacts.  The essay contest Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk star Rush Limbaugh conducted earlier in the 2013-14 school year has been completed with three schools receiving a package of books and a cash gift from Limbaugh and his wife Kathryn.  At Hawkins Elementary School in Rogersville, Tennessee, principal Barry Bellamy and first grade teacher Danee Collette are still reeling after receiving a shipment of books from Limbaugh that included American classics The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Where the Red Fern Grows as well as copies of his own bestseller Rush Revere and the New Patriots.  According to the Rogersville Review, Bellamy and Collette were even more shocked to receive a check for $15,000 to use as the school sees fit.  Collette tells the paper her father is a big Limbaugh fan and told her about the essay contest.  She dutifully wrote it and didn’t think much more about it until a Limbaugh staffer called to ask for a shipping address for the books.  Collette says the money will probably be used for white boards, desks and tables for the library.  She tells the paper, “This is so awesome!  I graduated last May, got a job here for the school year, and now this!”

hobermanreaganRemembering Ben Hoberman. Very briefly worded mentions of talk radio pioneer Ben Hoberman‘s passing dotted the internet Saturday and Sunday, but precise details regarding his death are not readily available.  What we do know though is that the longtime ABC Radio executive was 92 when he died on Saturday (5/3).  General consensus within the industry indicates that – with Hoberman at the helm in 1960 – Los Angeles’ KABC-AM was one of the first fulltime talk stations in the country – if not the first.  On John Rook‘s Facebook page, the well-known programmer posted that, “When all of the ABC-owned radio stations were introducing Top 40 programming, [Hoberman] envisioned a new kind of format featuring talk. KABC would become top-rated in Los Angeles for decades, a format that gave birth to KGO’s talk format in San Francisco.  His success elevated him to the presidency of ABC Radio.  Ben Hoberman was a role model for managing radio stations, a total gentleman, and one of the real class guys I have known.  My sincerest condolences to all who mourn his passing.”  In the early-1970s, John Mainelli was a 20-year-old NABET vacation-relief news writer for KABC and the talk radio consultant recounts, “I had just learned what ‘fortnight’ meant and decided to use it in a script the next chance I got.  Mr. Hoberman walked into the newsroom after [KABC morning drive talent] Bob Arthur read the story, saw my name on the filed script, dropped it on my desk and said, ‘If you mean two weeks ago, say it.’  That was ‘Mr. H’ – attention to detail and follow-through.”  Hoberman had been with ABC for close to 40 years, much of that time in Los Angeles, where he had been KABC-AM’s general manager.  He later was based in New York, running the network’s radio division, then consisting of six AM stations and six FM outlets, as well as syndicated programming as “American Top 40” – then hosted by Casey Kasem.  Hoberman, ex-ABC-TV president Elton Rule, and several other investors attempted to raise enough money to take over the entire ABC Radio division.  Hoberman is pictured here at right in an undated photo with President Ronald Reagan.

russochrisSiriusXM’s Chris Russo Stirs Controversy Over Race on Sports Talk Radio.  The flashpoint for a controversy over race and radio was SiriusXM sports talk personality Chris “Mad Dog” Russo’s recent comment to a caller when asked about why there are no black sports talk hosts on his channel.  Russo replied that he has not found one “worthy of doing a national talk show.”  That started a social media flap.  In the New York Daily News’ coverage of the story, Bob Raissman reports that Russo was not apologizing for his comment and told his paper, “The idea that I wouldn’t hire a black talk show host, a Korean talk show host, or a talk show host from Mars is absurd.  If there is any person of any ethnicity who wants to get a job at ‘Mad Dog Radio’ and we feel he or she is capable of doing a national talk show at the highest level, I’d put them on in a second.  Let’s just say we are not being overwhelmed by resumes.”

sabowalterFive Simple Engagement Actions.  Media consultant Walter Sabo, in a column published today (5/5), writes that it’s very important for listeners to feel that your radio station is “special.”  Sabo notes, “It is so important to examine every single second of our programming in every format and ask, ‘How can this be better?’  Too much time is wasted on learning new rules from ‘corporate’ and new organizational structures.  If your company is ‘afraid’ of Pandora and other web companies, the solution is better programming.  It’s always better programming.  Fresh programming ideas come from external sources, solid research and by paying close attention to what audiences do.”  And with that in mind, Sabo offers five ways to better engage your audience.  Read his piece here.

wtmj logoJournal Broadcast Group’s News/Talk WTMJ and Adult Hits WLWK in Milwaukee Honored with WBA Awards.  In the large market category, Journal Broadcast Group’s news/talk WTMJ and adult hits WLWK were recently honored with Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Awards.  WTMJ won the following honors: News & Talk Station of the Year; News Operation of the Year; Best News & Talk Radio Show (AM drive) for “Wisconsin’s Morning News with Gene Mueller”; Best News & Talk Radio Show (9:00 am to 5:00 pm) for “Wisconsin’s Afternoon News with John Mercure”; Best Live On-Scene Reporting, Jodi Becker and the WTMJ News Team (Carroll University Lockdown); Best Spot News, Shooting at Children’s Hospital, WTMJ Radio News Team; Best Feature, “Preserving WWII History,” Erik Bilstad; Best Sportscast, Greg Matzek; Best Continuing Coverage, “Say it Ain’t So, Ryan Braun,” WTMJ Radio News & Sports Team; and Best Use of Audio, “Rain, Rain, Go Away,” Erik Bilstad.  WLWK was honored for: Best Newscast – Music Format, Lake Mornings with Danny Clayton, Vince Vitrano & Andi Miller; Best Promotional Announcement, “Free Fun Night Out,” “The Lake” staff; Best Commercial – Music Station, Flanners/Just Press Play – Jim Gilles; and Best Humorous Commercial Music Station Love Finds A Way – Jim Gilles.

waretreyKTSA, San Antonio Morning Host Trey Ware Mourns Death of 28-Year-Old Son.  At Alpha Media-owned talk outlet KTSA, San Antonio, Trey Ware has handled morning drive for the past 21 years – almost half of his broadcasting career.  But last week Ware and his wife Nancy suffered the devastating loss of their 28-year-old son Justin who died under circumstances that are being kept private at this time.  This is not the first such tragedy for the couple.  Ware and his wife lost their daughter Rebekah in 2009 at age 20.  In the San Antonio Express-News, writer Jeanne Jakle spoke with Ware who said, “We’re taking it day by day, minute by minute, that’s all we can do…They were the only two we had.  April is not a good month for us.  We want to expunge April from the calendar.”  Other KTSA staffers are sitting in for Ware during this time.  Local radio personality Adam McManus has subbed the past few days.

scba logoSCBA Goes on the Offensive in TV vs Radio Ad Spend.  If there’s a radio trade organization doing more to make the case for radio as an advertising vehicle, we’re not aware of it.  The Southern California Broadcasters Association has been very focused on consistently reaching out to the media to present radio’s case versus its competition and in this case, the competitor is TV.  The SCBA is releasing a white paper  titled, “Traditional Appointment Television’s Technology and Viewership Crisis,” and it zeroes in on the decline in appointment viewing replaced by on-demand viewing that largely allows consumers to skip through commercial sets.  SCBA president Thom Callahan states, “The imbalanced ratio of radio to TV ad spending in Southern California is completely unjustified when one looks closely at this SCBA report.  Traditional appointment television is under direct attack from a variety of technology giants such as Google TV, Netflix, Amazon TV, YouTube, Hulu, as well as the ominous DVR.”  Callahan says the report goes on to show that “radio remains the only real time medium with no tape delay or commercial skipping.”  He adds, “Southern California Radio has grown its listenership of Adults 18+ over the past six years by an impressive 7.4% while local general market TV viewership has spiraled downward by -6.5% for early fringe programming and -8.5% for any local news.  We are urging every general market TV advertiser to look at their ad spending and decide if they want to invest in the power of radio and our solid growth trends and commanding reach in Southern California vs. the eroding viewership of traditional appointment TV.”

katzvalleypatriotawardJeff Katz Honored with Journalism Award.  Multi-media personality Jeff Katz was honored recently with an Editor’s Choice Award for his column that appears in the New England-based publication The Valley Patriot.  Katz currently is host of the afternoon drive show at Clear Channel-owned news/talk WRVA, Richmond.  He also writes for the Boston Herald and self-syndicates the nationally distributed “Katz Commentary.”  He is also a public speaker having delivered keynote addresses all over the country.  Katz tells TALKERS all of his media ventures embrace his unique philosophy of life, “Not Left. Not Right. Just Real.”  Katz (left) is pictured here accepting his Editor’s Choice Award from The Valley Patriot publisher Tom Duggan (right).

dickeylewWHcorresSharp-Dressed Men.  The annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner took place in Washington, DC on Saturday evening (5/2) and there was no shortage of media players at the who’s who of news and politics gathering.  Pictured here are (from left to right): Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey; ABC News president James Goldston; and ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve JonesPhoto by Jay Snap, LaDexon Photographie.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

| January 30, 2014

beasley logoBeasley Broadcasting Reports Q4 Revenue Down Slightly; 2013 Up 4.7%.  Political advertising – or the lack thereof in the fourth quarter of Beasley’s Q4 – led to a mildly down quarter as net revenue dropped a half of a percent compared to the same period in 2012.  Station operating income was down 5.2% quarter over quarter.  However, for the year, Beasley reports net revenue was up 4.7% and net income per diluted share was up 6.3%.  Further, the company states that “lower net revenue in the 2013 fourth quarter and a $0.4 million, or 2.5%, increase in station operating expenses related to operating KVGS-FM in Las Vegas which was acquired in September 2013, as well as a rise in sales and programming expenses, caused fourth quarter 2013 station operating income (SOI), a non-GAAPbeasleygeorge financial measure, to decrease by $0.6 million, or 5.2%, to $10.2 million, as compared to the 2012 fourth quarter.”  Chairman and CEO George Beasley comments, “Beasley Broadcast Group’s fourth quarter net revenue decline primarily reflects a reduction in political spending as in the fourth quarter of 2012 we recorded approximately $1.2 million in political advertising revenue.  While we were not able to fully offset the cyclical impact of political revenue, the fourth quarter radio advertising environment in our markets remains healthy and on an actual basis we reported just a slight decline in net revenue compared with last year.  Excluding the benefit of political advertising in the year-ago quarter, Beasley Broadcast Group’s 2013 fourth quarter same station net revenue rose approximately 2% and, reflecting our success throughout 2013, actual full year net revenue rose 4.7% while same station net revenue for 2013 was up 1.9% versus full year 2012.  Overall, for our five markets that report to Miller Kaplan – which represent approximately 76% of total fourth quarter revenue – Beasley station cluster revenue declined by 2.6%, which again was primarily attributable to the cyclical nature of political advertising, while the total revenue for all reporting radio stations in these markets decreased by 4.1% for the quarter.  Beasley Broadcast Group’s out-performance relative to our markets again highlights the benefit of our organization-wide focus on strong core programming and targeted localism.  Our planned investments in sales and programming and the expansion of our digital offerings, combined with the revenue decline, led to fourth quarter 2013 SOI which was 5.2% below year-ago levels.”

sliwacurtisSliwa Child Support Case Creating ‘Tabloid’ Sensation in NYC.  The child support case currently in the courts in New York involving WABC, New York talk show host Curtis Sliwa has been fodder for the city’s tabloid newspapers.  Recently it was the New York Post.  Now it’s the New York Daily News.  The most recent court filings by Sliwa’s ex-wife Mary charge Curtis Sliwa was having an affair with now-Queens Borough president Melinda Katz prior to his marriage to Mary – and that he even spent the night before his wedding to Mary with Katz.  Sliwa was in court late last year contending he can’t afford the $13,000 per month he had agreed to pay Mary Sliwa for their now-10-year-old son because his salary had been slashed to $200,000 from its high of almost $700,000.  (That was when he worked for Salem, he now works for Cumulus and his current salary has not been published.)  Sliwa now lives with Katz and their two children and he pays $10,000 to Katz for child care even though they co-habitate.  Court documents allege that – via voice mails – Mary Sliwa can show Curtis Sliwa was having an affair with Katz for a long period of time although the two deny it started before 2011.  Mary Sliwa is also contesting the claim by Katz that her children were the product of frozen sperm donated by Sliwa.  Whereas this ordeal is no doubt causing financial and personal pain for the parties involved, the buzz factor generated by a scandal of this nature cannot help but draw priceless and timely publicity to Sliwa’s radio presence in the competitive New York market as he reunites with his former longtime co-host Ron Kuby on WABC.  Read the most recent New York Daily News story here.

haehlkentTV News Net Exec Joins Clear Channel Seattle as Market President.  The new market president at Clear Channel’s Seattle cluster is Kent Haehl.  The former Channel One Network chief executive officer will report to executive vice president of operations Hartley Atkins, who comments, “We are fortunate to bring someone onto our team who has such an expansive leadership and experience base.  Kent’s extensive knowledge of television, media, and the industry as a whole will immediately bring additional value to our advertisers and listeners as we continue to provide a greater reach than any other media outlet in Seattle.”  Haehl, who replaces Lisa Decker in the role, remarks that he is “extremely grateful” to begin working with “such a talented team of professionals.”  He adds, “I am looking forward to leading the market to continued success and to unlocking the full potential of our brands in one of America’s greatest cities.”  Prior to his tenure at Channel One, a daily global television news network, Haehl held senior sales and marketing positions at In-Store Broadcasting Network and Meredith Broadcasting Group.

bartleydavidBartley Joins WICC, Bridgeport, Connecticut.  Air personality and programmer David Bartley is named assistant program director and producer at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WICC, Bridgeport, Connecticut.  Bartley – who serves with the cluster as weekend and fill-in personality on the company’s sister AC WEBE – will produce the “Talk of the Town” program hosted by Jim Buchanan.  He will continue his role with WEBE.  In a statement, Bartley says, “I am very thankful to Danny Lyons and Ann McManus for giving me this awesome opportunity to help program ‘Fairfield County’s News and Information Leader’ WICC 600 AM, and I am also looking forward to working daily with Jim Buchanan.”

kxtg logoPortland’s KXTG to Air AFL Thunder Games.  As a result of a multi-year partnership agreement, Alpha Broadcasting, Portland’s sports-formatted KXTG “The Game” will be the flagship station for the Portland Thunder, the city’s Arena Football League team.  Senior vice president and market manager Milt McConnell notes, “We are excited to be a part of bringing the high-scoring Arena Football League’s Portland Thunder to our community.  This is an entertaining brand that extends Alpha’s ‘live and local’ focus.”  Portland Thunder owner Terry Emmert adds, “Sports fans in Oregon know that ‘The Game’ is the premiere sports radio station in the State.  We are thrilled to have partnered with the station and Alpha Broadcasting in airing the inaugural season of Portland Thunder Arena Football.  The AFL franchise will play 18 games, including nine at home at the Moda Center.  KXTG is also the flagship of the Oregon Ducks and Major League Soccer‘s Portland Timbers.

dukedrLong-Running Syndicated Health Show ‘Duke & The Doctor’ Ends.  One of the nation’s longest-running syndicated health talk shows is ending after tomorrow’s broadcast.  The “Duke & The Doctor” program – co-hosted by Dr. Jan McBarron (right) and her husband Duke Liberatore (left) – has been in national syndication for more than 15 years.  The couple is putting the wrap on the show at the same time they are selling their chain of six health food stores in North Georgia to Utah-based Nutraceutical.  Long-time readers of TALKERS magazine and industry pros who attended TALKERS’ New Media Seminar in New York City in the late 1990s and early 2000s are familiar with the colorful couple who were regular attendees at the event during those years.  With the show ending and the health food store chain being sold, Dr. McBarron is focusing on her medical practice and Liberatore will become more involved with the Columbus Lions Indoor Football team of which he and McBarron are part owners.

broomheadvetVeteran Recognized at SOTU Featured in KFYI, Phoenix Program.  When President Obama recognized US Army Ranger Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg at the end of Tuesday’s State of the Union Address, Americans were applauding a man who was also recognized as part of news/talk KFYI, Phoenix’s “My Military Hero” promotion.  Remsburg (pictured here at left with KFYI’s Mike Broomhead), was the August 2013 military hero of the month who was featured on a local billboard in the Phoenix metro and received a $500 Visa gift card courtesy of sponsor Rio Salado College.  As part of the program, Mike Broomhead (heard on KFYI weekdays 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm) meets with each hero (or their family) each month to personally thank them for their service and presents them with their winnings including a mini digital billboard.

wallacechrisRTDNF Names Wallace Host of First Amendment Awards.  This year’s host of the Radio Television Digital News Foundation (RTDNF) First Amendment Awards is Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace.  The event will be held at Washington, DC’s Grand Hyatt Hotel on March 12.  Honorees include CBS News Bill Plante (RTDNF “Lifetime Achievement Award”); NBC NewsLester Holt (Leonard Zeidenberg “First Amendment Award”); Gannett Broadcasting‘s David Lougee (“First Amendment Leadership Award”); ABC NewsRobin Sproul (“First Amendment Service Award”); and The Associated Press (“First Amendment Award”). RTDNF chair Vincent Dully states, “We are delighted to have Chris Wallace as our master of ceremonies.  We invite everyone to join us in Washington to honor our award recipients and support the Foundation’s work for the First Amendment.”  Wallace received the organization’s Paul White Award in 2013, the group’s highest honor for a lifetime of achievement and service.

gauthiergaryFormer Tampa-Area Talk Host Arrested on Racketeering and Fraud Charges.  Using the religious station as a backdrop for his program “It’s God’s Money,” Gary L. Gauthier convinced 38 people in the Tampa area to invest in his Ponzi scheme and, according to the St. Petersburg Tribune, bilked them out of about $6 million.  During 2005, Gauthier’s program aired on Salem Communications-owned stations WTBN and WGUL, though it’s not clear if Salem owned the stations at the time Gauthier’s program aired.  According to the charges, Gauthier worked with local accountant David George Dreslin on the ploy.  Dreslin has also been arrested and charged.  The paper’s report indicates that many of the victims said they trusted Gauthier because he was broadcasting on a Christian radio station.

delaneykateOdds & Sods.  The “weigh-in” for WIP-FM, Philadelphia’s “Wing Bowl 22” takes place this afternoon at Chickie’s & Pete’s as Al Morganti and Rhea Hughes broadcast live from the restaurant in a prelude to the actual sold-out “Wing Bowl” that happens Friday morning at the Wells Fargo Center…..Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington adds popular Washington Post columnist Clinton Yates to its lineup as a contributor with a daily commentary called, “My Take.”  It’ll air at 5:35 and 8:35 each morning, Monday through Friday.  Yates says, “Radio is the original journalism media that I fell in love with as a kid.  The opportunity to work with a powerhouse station like WTOP is tremendous.”…..Multi-talented broadcaster Kate Delaney – host of the syndicated “America Tonight” show – sharpens her sports talk skills as she sits in for Newy Scruggs on the NBC Sports Radio Network’s midday show on Tuesday, February 4.

State of the Union Address, ObamaCare Criticism, Immigration Legislation, U.S.-Afghan Relations, Snow Paralyzes South and Financial Markets Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/29).  Analysis of President Obama’s State of the Union Address; scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; criticism of House Speaker John Boehner and plans for immigration legislation that includes amnesty; the worsening of relations between the U.S. and Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai; the winter weather that hit the South and the activity on the world’s financial markets were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, December 16, 2013

| December 16, 2013

wwrllogoNew York Losing Progressive Talk Outlet WWRL.  Progressive talk host Karel – whose Long Beach, California-based talk show is heard on Access.1’s WWRL, New York – reports the station says it will flip to Spanish-language programming on December 27.  The station airs progressive talk programming including Ed Schultz, Thom Hartmann, Premiere’s Randi Rhodes, and Leslie Marshall as well as non-political shows including Radio America’s Dr. Joy Browne, WYD Media’s Phil Hendrie plus various health and wellness shows.  New York’s Amsterdam News reports the station is telling employees “low advertising revenue” is the reason for the format flip.

browndarrellBrown Boosted to Bonneville International President.  KSL Broadcast Group president Darrell Brown is promoted to president of parent company Bonneville International.  Brown will oversee Bonneville’s 12 radio properties in Los Angeles, Seattle, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City, as well as Salt Lake City television outlet KSL-TV.  “Bonneville International is known across the industry for its integrity and quality,” he comments. “As a group, these stations are committed to serving and building-up their local communities.  I am honored to be part of Bonneville’s legacy.”  Brown joined KSL last August, after having previously spent 28 years at McGraw-Hill Broadcasting.

boomercartonchilisSports Talker WFAN, New York Sponsors Red Hot Chili Peppers-Headlines Show at Barclay Center.  With the Super Bowl just across the river the next day, CBS Radio sports talk giant WFAN, New York is sponsoring a big event across the other river at the Barclays Center titled, “WFAN’s Big Hello to Brooklyn.”  The announcement was made this morning as WFAN morning team Boomer Esiason (left) and Craig Carton (right) welcomed Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith (center) into the studio and announced his band will be headlining the show on Saturday, February 1, 2014.  The concert will also include: New Politics, MS MR, J. Roddy Walston & The Business, and Basic Vacation.  CBS calls it “the biggest weekend in sports and entertainment, and is the exciting conclusion to Barclays Center’s “Kickoff In Brooklyn” series which also includes championship boxing (1/30/2014) and a match-up between the Brooklyn Nets and the Oklahoma City Thunder (1/31/2014).  CBS Radio SVP, strategic events and partnerships Amy Stevens says, “The intersection of sports and music is never bigger than during the weekend of the Super Bowl.  Red Hot Chili Peppers are an American institution and rock ‘n’roll icons, and what better way to celebrate football’s championship than with this incredible lineup of artists for local fans and the thousands in New York from around the world.”

francesamikeWFAN’s Mike Francesa to Exit YES Network.  The New York TV simulcast of WFAN, New York’s Mike Francesa will end on January 31 after the current contract expires and WEPN-FM afternoon drive host Michael Kay’s program will take over the time slot on the Yankees-owned cable channel.  The New York Daily News reports that the change was a financial matter and that CBS Radio was asking more for the rights to the program than YES wanted to pay.  The Daily News piece speculates that cable’s Madison Square Garden Network may have the “inside track” with Francesa as he’s considered close to Garden management.  The story also notes that fledgling cable channel CBS Sports Network, which is airing WFAN’s Boomer & Carton morning show, is not enticing to Francesa because he fears he’d have to change his content to appeal to the national audience.

shapirosteakSteak Added to WCNN Menu.  In addition to existing members Sandra Golden and Brian Finneran, “The Front Row” on Dickey Broadcasting, Atlanta’s WCNN “Sports Radio 680 The Fan” will be comprised of Stephen “Steak” Shapiro as well.  Formerly the 17-year host of “Mayhem in the AM” on Lincoln Financial Media’s crosstown WQXI “790 The Zone,” Shapiro has won numerous Georgia broadcasting awards and starts his daily 9:00 am – 12:00 noon assignment on Januarywcnn logo 2.  WCNN president/general manager David Dickey comments, “I am excited to have ‘Steak’ back on ‘The Fan.’  He is one of the best-known and most-talented sports personalities in the country.  ‘Steak’ will become an important part of what is already the region’s biggest and most-experienced sports-talk line-up.  His homecoming is yet another example of Dickey Broadcasting’s ongoing commitment to invest in the best talent, the best content and the biggest partnerships.”  Shapiro, who replaces Ray Mariner, adds, “‘The Fan’ gave me my start and is the reason I moved to Atlanta [from Boston] almost 20 years ago.  I am ecstatic to be back doing what I love.  ‘The Fan’ has been the number one sports talk station in the south for so many years.  To be able to be a part of such a winning team with so many folks I have worked alongside in the past and consider friends is really thrilling.”  Shapiro founded Big League Broadcasting in 1997 and was its president for roughly 14 years.

millerchrisDare to be Crap-Free.  When it comes to online content, it’s easy to think you have a staffing problem or a time management problem or a resources problem, when what you really have is a crap problem.  In a new column posted today (12/16) by noted digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller, he writes, “There’s stuff on your site that is irrelevant to your station and is keeping people from finding what they DO want to find there.  Your social media is probably influenced more by what everyone else is doing in social media, rather than what will cause your biggest fans to love you all the more.”  To read how Chris Miller can help you get crap-free and focused on results for 2014, please click here.

jonesmaryOdds & Sods.  Connecticut talk show host Mary Jones announces she’ll retire from Buckley Broadcasting-owned news/talk station WDRC-AM, Hartford as of December 23 in order to spend more time with her husband and enjoy winters in Florida.  Jones tells TALKERS it was a big decision but she is excited about the change…..  WMAL-AM/FM, Washington “Mornings on the Mall” co-host Larry O’Connor is doing some double duty during the holiday season.  O’Connor will sub for WABC, New York-based Geraldo Rivera beginning December 20 through the end of the year (and the end of hisoconnorlarry national syndication run) and will also sit in for WestwoodOne-syndicated personality Dennis Miller on January 2 and 3 – the last two days of his 10:00 am to 1:00 pm airing (the show begins airing from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm on 1/6)…..“Libertarian-conservative” media personality Wayne Allyn Root will be guest host on Cumulus Media Networks’ “Savage Nation” with Michael Savage from December 23 – 30.  Root is author of The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide (Regnery 2013) and serves as a commentator on Fox News Channel and TheBlaze.

bearmanKIONliveshotKSCO, Santa Cruz Personality Ethan Bearman’s Profile Rising.  Talk radio personality and writer Ethan Bearman is getting more recognition in the Santa Cruz market as his locally focused talk show on Zwerling-owned KSCO, Santa Cruz grows in popularity.  Recently, Bearman was a go-to media voice for a KION-TV news piece (captured here) on the anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  View that video here.  Also, Bearman, who has intensely covered the hot issue of dirty needles, trash and other refuse in the town’s parks that’s making it unsafe for people to use, was part of a clean-up crew that made the news for its work.  Read about that issue in a piece in the Santa Cruz Patch here.  Bearman is a visible example of a growing trend in news/talk radio in which talk hosts are eschewing monolithic political party doctrine and instead are approaching their programs on an issue-by-issue basis.

hawkinstommyHawkins Scores With CRN Special. Over the weekend (Saturday, 12/14), former NBA player Tommy Hawkins premiered his CRN Digital Talk Radio holiday special “We Wish You a Jazzy Christmas.”  According to CRN chief executive officer Michael Horn, “‘We Wish You a Jazzy Christmas’ is filled with holiday-themed jazz music, along with Tommy’s infectious, warm personality.  His love of jazz and the holidays combine for such a treat.  It is the perfectcrn logo accompaniment for an evening by a Christmas tree.”  Following a standout collegiate career at Notre Dame (where he was a two-year All-American), Hawkins went on to play in the NBA for the Los Angeles Lakers and Cincinnati Royals (now the Sacramento Kings).  He later became vice president of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.  For approximately 15 years beginning in 1970, “Hawk” was a staple on Los Angeles siblings KABC and KLOS.  As part of his basketball-to-broadcasting transition Hawkins not only became KABC’s sports director, he also did “Sports Snorts” weekday mornings with remarkably talented Frazer Smith on KLOS.  In addition to doing weekends on KKJZ “K-Jazz,” Los Angeles, Hawkins has written “Life’s Reflections: Poetry for the People.”  His CRN special will play throughout the holiday season.

kfxx eventOver $120,000 Raised in KFXX Special Olympics Radio-thon.  Entercom-owned sports outlet KFXX “1080 The Fan” afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) hosts Isaac Ropp (pictured here at left with some female fans) and Jason Scukanec (second from right) anchored the third annual 28-hour Special Olympics Oregon radio-thon, which brought in more than $120,000.  Program director Jeff Austin comments, “We are proud to partner with Special Olympics Oregon.  The overwhelming support of our station’s staff, our listeners, and advertisers was a testament to the bond Isaac and Suke have with their audience.”  Scukanec (“Suke”) states, “We cannot thank our listeners enough – Portland is a special community and this is a very special cause.  We talk about sports and high-powered athletes every day, but these Olympians are the real athletes.  They are the real champions and we are privileged to honor their spirit and dedication.”  Special Olympics Oregon chief development officer Kim Bergstrom adds, “We are honored to partner with [KFXX]. Isaac and Suke’s radio-thon helps raise funds to support year-round sports training and competition opportunities for thousands of individuals with intellectual disability.  In addition, they generate immeasurable awareness of the importance of Special Olympics Oregon programs for athletes and their families.”  This year’s $120,000 radio-thon total surpassed last year’s mark by more than $45,000.

broadcast electronics logoBroadcast Electronics Bumps Up Bealor To President.  Effective immediately, Broadcast Electronics executive vice president of product development Tim Bealor is upped to president of the Quincy, Illinois-based company.  “I am honored to be asked to lead BE into its 55th year and the next phase of the company’s growth,” he comments.  “Next year is going to be an exciting time for Broadcast Electronics and its customers.”  Bealor began his Broadcast Electronics career as a technician in 1975.  Over the past 38 years, he has held a variety of technical, support, product management, sales leadership, and marketing positions with the company.