Tag: "news/talk radio"

Friday, July 8, 2016

| July 8, 2016

Craig Stevens Upped to Format Captain for Spoken Word at iHM Allentown-Harrisburg.  Big changes at the Allentown and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania operations of iHeartMedia as SVP of programming Craig Stevens stevenscraigis also named format captain for the company’s spoken word stations in seven markets.  At the same time, the company promotes Jimmy Steele to program director for adult hits WRFY “Y102” andiheartmedia logo smallest “Rumba 92.3 FM,” stations Stevens was programming.  Additionally, Steele becomes part of the “Y102” morning show alongside Andi Kurzweg.  Stevens assumes responsibility for the programming and day-to-day operations of: WAEB-AM, Allentown; WHP-AM, Harrisburg; WILM-AM, Wilmington, Delaware; WDOV, Dover, Delaware; WRAK, Williamsport, PA; WTKT, Harrisburg; WSAN, Allentown; WWTX, Wilmington, WTGM, Salisbury, Maryland and WJDY, Salisbury.  iHM regional SVP of programming Jeff Hurley states, “Craig has been an exceptional member of the iHeartMedia team for 23 years.  He’s one of our most talented and driven programmers and I’m excited for the energy he’ll bring to all the spoken-word brands within our region.”

talkersten logoThe Hillary Clinton Email Case Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of July 4-8.  The FBI’s decision not to charge Hillary Clinton for using a private email server for State Department business was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  Coming in at #2 was the presidential race.  Following at #3 was the sniper slayings of five Dallas police officers on Thursday and, at #4 was the Baton Rouge and Minneapolis shooting deaths of black men by police officers.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

cbsradionews logoCBS Radio News Devotes ‘Weekend Roundup’ to Dallas, Baton Rouge and Minneapolis Police Shootings.  This weekend’s edition of the CBS Radio News program “Weekend Roundup” will be a special program reporting on the Dallas police slayings and the deaths of black men at the hands of police in Baton Rouge and Minnesota.  The 48-minute program available to CBS Radio News affiliates is titled, “CBS WEEKEND ROUNDUP SPECIAL EDITION: Ambush in Dallas: Race, Guns, Police and Protests.”

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of June 2016 PPM Data.  The third of four rounds of June 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The June 2016 survey period covered May 19 to June 15.  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.

Chicago-Based Talk Host Joe Walsh Criticized for Post-Dallas Tweet Warning President Obama, ‘Real America Is Coming After You.’  WIND, Chicago-based talk show host and former U.S. Rep. from Illinoiswalshjoe Joe Walsh, is causing a stir in the Twitterverse after posting remarks some deemed threatening to President Obama.  The tweet, since deleted, was posted by Walsh after news of the Dallas police slayings broke.  It read, “3 Dallas Cops killed, 7 wounded. This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming after you.”  Walsh deleted the tweet and then posted the following, “I wasn’t calling for violence, against Obama or anyone.  Obama’s words & BLM’s deeds have gotten cops killed.  Time for us to defend our cops.”  Walsh’s program is also heard on WVNJ, Oakland, New Jersey.

Kristi Lee Returns to ‘The Bob & Tom Show.’  In a statement from syndicator Westwood One, there’s noleekristi mention of why the longtime “Bob & Tom Show” cast member parted company with the program back in January, nor what events brought about her return to the show, but return she shall.  Effective July 11, Kristi Lee joins Tom Griswold and cast members Chick McGee, Donnie Baker, Scott Polanski, and “an ensemble of comedy hosts and guests as the show continues to entertain morning audiences across the country and worldwide on the American Forces Radio Network.”

Odds & Sods.  It’s been seven years since Kennesaw State University transitioned from Division II to Division I NCAA athletics, now Dickey Broadcasting Company’s Atlanta sports talker WFOM-AM, Marietta, Georgia “ESPN Radio 1230 The Fan 2” signs a multi-year deal with the school to broadcast Kennesaw State football beginning with this season.  WFOM president David Dickey says, “We are excited to expand Dickey Broadcasting Company’s unprecedented college football coverage through our exciting partnership with KSU.  Vaughn Williams and his team have done an incredible job of launching KSU football and we look forward to helping them create and distribute market-exclusive content, for all KSU students, fans and sponsors to enjoy.”…..In New England, Dartmouth College, through Learfield’s Big Green Sports Properties, signs a new three-year contract with Great Eastern Radio for WSTV, Claremont, New Hampshire and translator W233CC, Lebanon at 94.5 FM to serve as the flagship for live play-by-play of the Ivy League school’s football and men’s and women’s hockey.  Both men’s and women’s basketball will air on classic hits WWOD, Woodstock, Vermont “Kool 93.9.”  Great Eastern OM Matt Houseman states, “We are thrilled to be the new home of Dartmouth sports.  This new partnership allows us to showcase the premier Division I athletics we have in our area like never before.  It’s great local content and we look forward to providing Dartmouth sports to listeners in the Upper Valley and beyond.”

Thursday, July 7, 2016

| July 7, 2016

WCBM, Baltimore’s Tom Marr Dead at 73.  Longtime Baltimore talk radio and sports radio personality Tom Marr died early today (7/7) at the age of 73 after suffering a stroke as a result of complications from back surgery.  WCBM posted the following on its website: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce Thomas A. Marr has marrtompassed away today due the severity of his stroke.  Please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers!”  Marr had been with WCBM since 1988 when he joined the station as a reporter and political commentator.  He later became a talk show host.  Prior to joining WCBM, Marr worked at WFBR (now WJZ-AM) as a reporter and news director.  While there, he also served as part of the Baltimore Orioles play-by-play team for a number of years.  WCBM program director Sean Casey says, “He helped to build this news/talk radio station into the force that it is today.  He had a successful career while informing and entertaining listeners in Baltimore and worldwide.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison issued the following statement:  “All of us at TALKERS are devastated over the loss of our dear friend and broadcasting treasure, Tom Marr.  Tom was one of the true greats and a perennial member of the Heavy Hundred.  His accomplishments in radio go back well before the modern era of talk radio that he played such an important role in building.  He was an outstanding, kind, compassionate man who cared deeply about his fellow human beings – qualities that he brought to the airwaves day-after-day, decade-after-decade.  The radio industry has lost one of its greatest players.”  Marr is survived by his wife Sharon, five children and 10 grandchildren.

Emmis Radio Division Q1 Net Revenue Flat.  Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications is reporting financial numbers from its fiscal first quarter for 2016.  As a whole, the company’s net revenue was down 4.2% — but the radio division was up a tick to $42.7 million from $42.6 million in the same quarter one year ago.  In a statement, emmis logoEmmis says, “Excluding the company’s radio station in Los Angeles, which is being negatively affected by a recent format competitor, Emmis’ radio net revenues would have been up 5% in the quarter.  Per Miller Kaplan reporting, radio revenues in Emmis’ markets were up 3% in the quarter with and without Los Angeles.  For the first fiscal quarter, operating income was up 13%, from $7.6 million to $8.6 million, primarily due to cost reductions the company implemented in January 2016.”  Chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan adds, “Our New York radio stations had asmulyanjeff stellar first quarter, growing revenues 11% and beating a healthy New York radio market that was up 4% in the quarter.  Compared to last year, Emmis’ ratings are up across our portfolio, and we are optimistic this will help drive revenue growth in the second half of the fiscal year.  I continue to be amazed and encouraged by the progress the radio industry is making with NextRadio, the radio industry’s initiative to make FM broadcast radio available on smartphones and tablets.  The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will soon be NextRadio compatible across all major wireless carriers in the United States, and with the support of handset makers BLU, Alcatel, and others, we have launched NextRadio in Canada and Peru.”

talkers16BigPictureTALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations – ‘The Big Picture Panel’ Video Posted Today.  The Livestream video recording of the panel discussion titled, “The Big Picture,” one of the many highlights of the recent TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations convention, has been posted today (7/7) to Talkers.com. The 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important convention took place on Friday, May 20 on the fabulous campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.  Introduced by Radio Hofstra University general manager Bruce Avery and moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, the panel members include (in alphabetical order):  Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Alan Colmes, host, Fox News Radio/commentator, Fox News Channel; Evan Cornog, Ph.D., dean, Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication; Mike McVay, SVP/content & programming, Cumulus Media & Westwood One; Chris Oliviero, EVP/programming, CBS Radio; Joe Sciacca, editor-in-chief, Boston Herald; and Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks.  The video opens with a brief appearance by convention emcee, Dr. Joy Browne, host, Genesis Communications Network.  “The Big Picture” panel is a traditional favorite of the annual TALKERS convention and covers the spectrum of broad-strokes topics facing the radio and talk media industries. To view this video in its entirety, please click here.

The FBI’s Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, The Presidential Race, Baton Rouge and Minneapolis Police Shootings, U.S. Immigration Policy, UK Iraq War Report, and Rio Olympics Troubles Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/6).  The FBI’s decision not to pursue criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for using a private email server for State Department business; the activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the deaths of black men in confrontations with police in Baton Rouge and Minneapolis; US immigration policy including the Senate’s failure to begin debate over a bill to de-fund “sanctuary cities”; the UK report on its involvement in the Iraq War and former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s decision to join the coalition; and the reports of the numerous problems Rio De Janeiro is dealing with preparing to open the Summer Games in August 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 June 2016 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of June 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 June 2016 survey period covered May 19 to June 15.  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.

Former WABC and WOR, New York Manager Steve Borneman Named COO of Pamal Broadcasting.  Management pro Steve Borneman is the new COO at Albany-based Pamal Broadcasting.  He exits his generalbornemansteve manager role at Times Shamrock Communications’ Scranton station group to take the Pamal gig.  Previously in his career Borneman served as general manager for news/talk WABC and hot AC WPLJ in New York.  He also managed talk WOR, New York for iHeartMedia after the company acquired the station from Buckley Broadcasting.  Borneman will be based in White Plains, New York.

Odds & Sods.  At the Norfolk, Virginia Max Media cluster, Mark McKay is named program director for sports talk WVSP “ESPN Radio 94.1.”  McKay currently serves as program director for the company’s country WGH “97.3 THE EAGLE.”…..Hearst’s WBAL, Baltimore “NewsRadio 1090” picks up an Edward R. Murrowwbal National Award for Continuing Coverage of the Freddie Gray story.  The award is for the station’s coverage of the case, including Gray’s arrest and death, the unrest that followed, and the first trial of the six Baltimore police officers charged in Gray’s death.  The award is for nearly eight months of coverage by the station…..ESPN’s radio hosts are taking over ESPN2’s “First Take” show.  Next week (7/11-15), a new duo or trio from ESPN Radio will sit down at the First Take desk to give their takes on the day’s top stories from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.  Molly Qerim will host all week.  Radio hosts and teams appearing on the show include: Steve Mason and John Ireland from KSPN, Los Angeles; Tom Waddle and Marc “Silvy” Silverman from WMVP, Chicago; Peter Rosenberg, Don La Greca comptonKatersky16and Rick DiPietro from WEPN, New York’s Michael Kay show and the Hahn & Humpty show; and ESPN Radio personalities Freddie Coleman, Bomani Jones, Jalen Rose and David Jacoby…..ABC News Radio is offering affiliate stations live, anchored coverage of the RNC and DNC conventions Monday through Thursday of the respective weeks (July 18-21 and July 25-28).  Correspondent Aaron Katersky (right) will anchor nightly coverage joined by special contributor Ann Compton (left), political analysts Steve Roberts and Trey Hardin, correspondents Alex Stone, Jim Ryan, Cheri Preston, Brad Mielke, Rick Klein and Shushannah Walshe.

May 2016 PPM Analysis: News

| July 1, 2016

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

kinosian (2)LOS ANGELES — It was revealed three months ago (TALKERS, 3/30) that Hubbard Broadcasting-owned news outlet WTOP, Washington (D.C.) was the country’s leading biller last year (2015).

Further data from BIA/Kelsey noted that three other all-news facilities placed in the top ten: WCBS-AM, New York at #5; Chicago sibling WBBM-AM (#6); and co-owned WINS, New York at #9.

Given that the exceptionally intriguing, highly-charged presidential contest is about to enter the convention phase, we thought it was an appropriate time to present a thorough overview of all-news stations to see how the format performed in PPM-markets in the most recent (May 2016) ratings period.

The following scoreboards list every news station that appears in a PPM-market report (6+, May 2016); there are no minimum ratings criteria for this particular overview.

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations that subscribe to its services; owing to that reason, ratings stats in this exclusive TALKERS analysis are limited to outlets that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

KRLD-AM, Dallas; WBZ-AM, Boston; and KFBK, Sacramento are “news” most of the day and “talk” the remaining hours.

Read More

Friday, July 1, 2016

| July 1, 2016

Talkers2016 logofrancesamike (2)TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations – WFAN, New York Sports Talk Star Mike Francesa Video Now Posted for Viewing. A Livestream video recording of WFAN, New York sports talk personality Mike Francesa delivering the morning keynote address at the recent Talkers 2016: Bridging the Generations convention is now posted and available for viewing (7/1). Francesa spoke at the event on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY at the 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important convention. He discusses the state of the radio business from the perspective of talent including podcasting and a variety of other aspects of the digital era. If you didn’t catch it live the first time around, this video is certainly not to be missed. To view it and the other videos from the convention now being posted, please click here.

Detroit's BounceHip-Hop & R&B “Bounces” to Detroit. The mystery regarding what would succeed sports on Greater Media Detroit’s WMGC has been answered: It’s “105.1 The Bounce – Detroit’s Throwback Hip Hop and R&B.” Representative artists will span from 2Pac and Ice Cube to Drake and Rihanna. Vice president and market manager Steve Chessare states, “Greater Media is thrilled to unveil this fun and unique new format in the Motor City. We look forward to providing a fun, fresh new sound featuring some of the best throwback hip hop and R&B sounds over the past for our listeners to enjoy.” Greater Media senior vice president of program development Buzz Knight adds, “We are thrilled that our great Detroit cluster is adding a new brand for our audience and our customers.” Detroit’s “Bounce” was introduced today (Friday, 7/1) at 12:00 noon and is playing 10,000 songs in a row; its on-air line-up will be announced soon. News of an impending WMGC format transition was made earlier this week. In the past six Nielsen Audio PPM ratings sweeps, the sports station failed to rise above a one-share (6+). Its .9 in May places it at #23, while CBS Radio‘s WXYT-FM “The Ticket” not only notches a 7.3 (6+), it reigns at #1.

oreilly, terryPittsburgh Community Broadcasting Taps O’Reilly President/CEO. The appointment of Terry O’Reilly as president/chief executive officer follows the recent consolidation of talk WESA and triple A WYEP into a single public media entity. Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corporation boardWESA president PrintHarris Jones comments, “We are excited that Terry will lead the team we have built. His experience and expertise will help accelerate our efforts to deliver high-quality global, national and local music, news, information and cultural programming that is engaging, relevant and inspiring. His diverse background also serves us well as we extend our strong broadcast brands across digital media and other emerging platforms.” O’Reilly states, “It is an honor to join WYEP and WESA, the two leading public radio stations in my hometown of Pittsburgh. The media industry is at a critical inflection point and public radio is well-positioned to thrive by focusing on what it does best – allowing each of us the opportunity to hear, listen, learn, and participate. Pittsburgh’s public radio stations remain remarkably strong, with growing audiences, in this changing media environment.” For the past seven years, O’Reilly – who begins his new duties in just over four weeks (8/1) – was senior vice president and chief content officer for Twin Cities PBS. Prior to that, he spent approximately 30 years in the commercial television industry. Over the last six Nielsen Audio PPM ratings periods, WESA (1.9, #12, 6+) has registered a 1.9 four times and a 2.0 the other two; WYEP (#13, 6+) notches a 1.3 for the third time in the last six sweeps. The market’s 6+ market leader is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet WWSW (10.2, 6+).

Mike Kinosian IDppmunitPPM Analysis: All-News. Based on PPM data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2016 survey period, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of all-news stations to see how the 2016 presidential race has influenced their ratings. There is a bit of a similarity between the month-to-month and year-to-year comparisons, in that, 63% of the sample in our overview was down April 2016 – May – 2016 (6+) and 58% of our all-news panel experienced May 2015 – May 2016 6+- erosion. The typical all-news station in May 2016 has a 6+-share of 4.21 and finishes tenth in its respective market (#10.15). See Mike’s entire report here.

tobin, lisaTobin Joins New York Times. WBUR, Boston senior producer Lisa Tobin departs the Boston University-owned public outlet to join the expanded audio content division of The New York Times as an executive producer. Stated in a memo announcing Tobin’s arrival was mention that “Modern Love,” the first podcast “to briefly displace ‘Serial’ at the top of the charts, was Tobin’s idea.” The memo further states Tobin has “launched feature shows, like the literary advice podcast ‘Dear Sugar Radio,’ based on the cult-favorite advice column. She has developed newsy shows, including a daily podcast produced in partnership with The Boston Globe during the trial of [Boston Marathon bomber] Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and she has incorporated audio into giant multimedia projects.” Once Tobin has settled in, she and editorial director Samantha Henig plan to solicit podcast ideas from their NYT colleagues.

ABCOdds & Sods. There is a rolodex alert for ABC News Radio, which relocates from 125 West End Avenue (New York) to ABC News headquarters at 47 West 66th Street (New York, NY 10023). Remaining at the West End Avenue address though are sports outlet WEPN-FM “ESPN New York” and Spanish sports WEPN-AM “ESPN Deportes 1050” ….. TwoBeer Academy weeks from tomorrow (Saturday, 7/16) is the first-ever WCMC “The Fan,” Raleigh “Beer Academy.” The event of the Capitol Broadcasting sports outlet benefits the Me Fine Foundation and will be held at Bull Durham Beer Company inside the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Joe Ovies of “The Fan” and executive brew master Sebastian Wolfum will teach listeners how to make their favorite beverage and educate them on North Carolina beers. There will be two 90-minutes sessions, one starting at 1:00 pm and the other at 3:30 pm ….. As part of a multi-year exclusivity pact between Salem Media Group Twin Cities’ KYCR “Business 1440” and North Dakota State University, all regular season games and any post-season contests of the five-time defending champion Bison football team will be available in Minneapolis-Saint Paul on KYCR. Salem Media Group Twin Cities general manager Nic Anderson remarks, “Bison football is serious business, and ‘Business 1440’ is the serious voice of Twin Cities business news and financial information. It is a winning combination.” The first game of the 2016 NDSU Bison football season is (Saturday) August 27 at 6:30 pm.

talkersten logo‘Brexit’ Aftermath Top News/Talk Story of the Week.  The aftermath of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Following at #2 was the U.S. presidential race.  Coming in at #3 was the GOP’s Benghazi report tied with the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server and, at #4, was the Istanbul terror attack.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

New York Public RadioTrio Added to New York Public Radio Board. Joining the board of trustees of New York Public Radio are author-Roots drummer-“The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” regular Questlove; investor David Tisch; and entertainment attorney Marc Chamlin. Board chair Cynthia King Vance comments, “Questlove, David, and Marc each bring a deep understanding of the value and potential of public radio, and a commitment to working with our highly engaged board to advance our mission and help us reach our digital, content, and audience development goals. Their appointment broadens the base of expertise on the board; we are thrilled to have them.” Chamlin chairs the television group at Loeb and Loeb. Tisch is managing partner of New York City-based angel capital firm BoxGroup. Meanwhile, 30+-year board member Billie Tisch has been elected to its honorary board.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

| June 30, 2016

Greater Media Drops Sports Talk on WMGC, Detroit.  You have to give Greater Media Detroit management credit for having the chutzpah to take on CBS RADIO’s dominant sports talker WXYT-FM, but after wmgc sportslogoSmallthree years and little ratings traction, the company is ending the expensive venture and is airing the ‘Detroit Oldies’ format (also heard on WCSX-HD2) on WMGC until a new format is unveiled.  Regarding the end of “Detroit Sports 105.1,” Greater Media Detroit VP/market manager Stevechessaresteve Chessare says, “The change comes after much careful consideration of the direction of the station’s format and overall ratings over the past three years.  We would like to thank our dedicated listeners and the entire ‘Detroit Sports 105.1’ staff for their many contributions to the station in the Motor City.  They are true professionals and we are very grateful to them.”  The last three Nielsen Audio PPM survey numbers (Persons 6+) comparing WMGC to competitor WXYT-FM were indicative of the gap between the two stations: March – WMGC 0.8, WXYT-FM 5.2; April – WMGC 0.9, WXYT-FM 6.5; May – WMGC 0.8, WXYT-FM 7.3.

Talk Host Joe ‘Pags’ Pagliarulo Renews with iHeartMedia.  WOAI, San Antonio-based talk show personality Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo is also heard on iHeartMedia’s KPRC, Houston in the afternoon drive daypart.  Thepagliarulojoe company says that under the new, multi-year deal, Pags will continue in these roles.  Pags’ program is also syndicated across the country and is heard on almost 50 additional stations.  Pags also serves as the host of the iHeartMedia program “The Weekend with Joe Pags” that is aired on iHM stations nationwide.  Pagliarulo says, “I am thrilled to continue with iHeartMedia.  I am proud to have called iHeartMedia home for more than a dozen years and knowing this fantastic relationship will continue for many more years to come is simply amazing.

NYPost: iHM Creditor Would Rather See Bankruptcy Than Take Company’s Current Offer.  Following up on Wednesday’s story about iHeartMedia’s SEC filing indicating that talks between it and a group of senior iheartmedia logo tinylenders about restructuring are far apart, the New York Post is reporting that a different lender – not involved in the negotiations referenced – says it would rather see iHeartMedia go into bankruptcy than accept the company’s current offer.  That lender believes it could get 90 cents on the dollar in bankruptcy, and that would be better than the interest rate cut and year’s extension on the term that iHM is offering.  However, that lender also told the paper he’d prefer a reasonable offer by iHM to seeing the company go into bankruptcy. Read the Post story here.

Deadly Istanbul Airport Terror Attack, the Presidential Race, ‘Brexit’ Aftermath, GOP Benghazi Report, Rio Olympics Troubles, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/29).  The terror attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport that killed 42 and wounded hundreds; the activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the aftermath of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union; the Republicans’ final report on the deadly Benghazi attacks; the myriad troubles Rio De Janeiro is facing as it prepares to host the Summer Olympics; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

FCC Commissioner Pai Piles on Criticism of Wheeler’s Ownership Rules.  In a statement commenting on FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s decision not to change the Commission’s ownership regulations – including eliminating the cross-ownership ban preventing radio and newspapers from being owed by the same companies in the same markets – FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai says, “The FCC’s rules should reflect the media marketplace ofpaiajit today.  Unfortunately, Chairman Wheeler’s media ownership proposal reflects the world that existed in the 1970s.  Last month, the FCC had no problem approving not one, but two multi-billion dollar cable mergers.  Last year, it signed off on AT&T’s acquisition of DirecTV.  Yet, it now gets the vapors at the prospect of a newspaper in Scranton, Pennsylvania owning a single radio station.  Whatever the motivation for the Chairman’s proposal, it has nothing to do with the evidence in the record, principled decision-making, or the law.  Indeed, given current trends, it is likely that the Commission’s newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership restrictions will outlive the print newspaper industry itself.”  Ouch!  Broadcasters for years have lamented the Commission’s unwillingness to rescind this restriction.  And now, at a time when there has never been more access to different media sources, the refusal to budge seems incomprehensible to many.

PodcastOne-Jericho Network Partnership to Launch Charles ‘Konnan’ Ashenoff Show.  This is the first show to come from PodcastOne’s partnership with podcast host Chris Jericho for production, distribution and podcastone bproduct marketing of his The Jericho Network.  Latino Lucha Libre legend Charles Ashenoff, known to wrestling fans worldwide as Konnan, is the first host to debut on the network.  Future podcasts will take full advantage of Jericho’s involvement and interest in wrestling, music, paranormal activity and pop-culture in general.   All podcasts on The Jericho Network will be available exclusively at PodcastOne.com, the PodcastOne app and iTunes.  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Chris’ podcasts continue to be among the most successful on PodcastOne’s lineup.  There are a lot more things that we can do together, and the Jericho network will give us the vehicle and time necessary with which to do that.”

Friday, June 24, 2016

| June 24, 2016

New Jersey Broadcasters Association Annual Conference a Success in Atlantic City.  The 69th annual NJBA convention just wrapped up two-days at Caesars Atlantic City (6/22-23) and by all measures was a successful event.  Several hundred broadcasters from the Garden State and beyond gathered to discuss the state of the radio NJBA convention logo artindustry both regionally and nationally.  The theme of the conference was “The Power of Broadcast” and it included sessions on programming, sales and technology as well as an awards ceremony, Hall of Fame induction and radio row.  TALKERS/RadioInfo special features correspondent Jeff McKay was in attendance and provides coverage of the sessions and speakers.  To read it in its entirety, please click here.

manley, toddWGN Extends Its Programming ‘Man’ Through 2019. Six-year vice president of content and programming for Tribune Chicago talker WGN, Todd Manley will continue in that role through (at least) December 2019. WGN Radio president and general manager Jimmy de Castro states, “Todd makes it fun to come to work every day. He is a content musician that drives our incredible spoken-word content across a multitude of platforms.” ManleyWGN Radio remarks, “I am in awe of the effort our personalities and producers put forth each day. They are each driven to make sure WGN listeners never ever miss a story. I am grateful to Jimmy de Castro and [president, Tribune Broadcast Media] Larry Wert for the commitment to continue building this great team.” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison comments, “I am so pleased to hear this news. Todd Manley is one of the most thoughtful and creative programmers in the talk field today.” Manley’s prior titles at WGN include imaging director and creative director. Before joining the station, he was program director/brand manager of KTRS, St. Louis. In addition, he has worked at cross-town Chicago outlets WXRT (as director/creative content) and WCKG (as production/imaging director). Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s May 2016 PPM survey period, WGN ranks seventh (3.7); CBS Radio all-news WBBM-AM is on top with a 6.4 (6+).

kinosianmikeMLB Logo2MLB Flagships: Part Three. In the third of a multi-part series, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian recaps the performance of Major League Baseball‘s radio flagships. In a ratings overview based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2016 PPM survey period, Mike highlights each key station’s 6+ share; 6+ market rank; month-to-month and year-to-year fluctuations; flagships by league/division; and he unveils a new component to this overview. More than twice as many MLB flagships are in their markets’ top five in May (31%) versus March (14%). Average (6+) year-to-year decreases of MLB flagships in March, April, and May though far outweigh typical increases. See the third installment of this exclusive special feature piece regarding MLB flagships here.

Orlando Mass ShootingMedia Outlets Seek Access to Orlando Shooting 911 Calls. Nearly two-dozen media organizations filed a lawsuit Thursday (6/23) against the city of Orlando asking for the release of city phone recordings related to the mass shooting earlier this month at the Pulse nightclub. The suit challenges the city’s contention that those calls are exempt from public records laws because they record the killing of a person. The media consortium argues that the Orlando shooting is similar to the Sandy Hook school shooting, in which a Connecticut court ruled that related 911 calls were not confidential despite state laws that restricted the release of child abuse records. The media organizations argue that, “There is strong public interest in fully evaluating how first responders and police reacted during the most critical phases of this incredible tragedy. To be sure, the news media do not approach this petition with any preconceived notion that the city somehow acted inappropriately. Indeed, the audio recordings may well serve to substantiate and justify any action taken.” The city of Orlando made its own filing with the court, arguing release of the recordings is exempt under Florida public records law and that the FBI says releasing the recordings could damage the ongoing criminal investigation into the attack that left 49 people dead.

ruble, michaeltownsquareTownsquare Media Atlantic City & The Shore Officially Names Ruble Market President. It is “official,” in that, Michael Ruble had been market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media‘s Atlantic City & The Shore’s (New Jersey) properties on an interim basis. He now handles both of those responsibilities without the “interim” prefix. Senior vice president of operations Rob Williams notes that, “Mike has been an exceptional leader in Atlantic City for years, building a terrific team that has consistently performed at a high level. In Toms River, we have a team with significant strengths and talents; wonderful brands; and the foundation to grow to new heights with Mike’s leadership.” Three of the company’s Monmouth and Ocean County stations include talkers WOBM-AM, WADB, and WPGG. The rest of its outlets in that area are adult contemporary WOBM-FM “Soft Rock 92.7”; hot AC WJLK “The Point”; AC WFPG “Lite Rock 96.9”; sports WENJ “97.3 ESPN“; hot AC WSJO “SOJO 104.9”; classic rock WCHR “The Hawk”; and WPUR “Cat Country 107.3.” Ruble joined Townsquare Media five years ago as market manager-general sales manager. He previously was a market manager-general sales manager with Millennium Radio Group; national sales manager for Citadel Broadcasting; and an account executive with Spring Broadcasting.

sportsshopWDNC, Raleigh Shifts Reese & Kmac to Mornings.  The midday “Sports Shop with Reese & Kmac” is moving into morning drive on Capitol Broadcasting’s WDNC, Raleigh “The Buzz.”  According to Capitol’s sports radio operations manager Dennis Glasgow, the program will be the first African-American sports talk morning show in the Raleigh-Durham market.  Glasgow comments, “We’ve wanted to bring more diversity to our listeners that would reflect the Raleigh-Durham population, and we will do that by bringing a very entertaining and energetic show with ‘The Sports Shop.’”  Reese & Kmac replace “The Morning Show with Mike, Lauren & Demetri.”  The company says Mike Maniscalco and Demetri Ravanos have exited the station but Lauren Brownlow will continue regular, on-air appearances on both WCMC-FM “The Fan” and “The Buzz.”  In addition to her radio appearances, Brownlow will continue to contribute to WRALSportsFan.com. “The Sports Shop” will be made available via WRALSportsFan.com and with the WRALSportsFan App.

brexit“Brexit” Fallout Felt in U.S. Following yesterday’s “Brexit” vote by Brits to separate from the European Union (Thursday, 6/23), several major United States-based media companies such as Fox, Viacom, Netflix, and Apple opened their stateside trading days down billions of dollars in stock valuation. Netflix and Apple though were among those surging back within the first 10 minutes of the U.S. trading day. The Pound dropped to its lowest valuation in decades, and stock prices overseas sunk.  British Prime Minister David Cameron has stepped down, vowing there will be a new PM in place by October. In a statement of support from the White House, President Barack Obama comments, “The people of the United Kingdom have spoken, and we respect their decision. The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is enduring, and the United Kingdom’s membership in NATO remains a vital cornerstone of U.S. foreign, security, and economic policy.” Given economic implications domestically and abroad, this is bound to be among talk radio’s biggest topics today.

talkersten logoThe Presidential Race Returns to Top of Talkers TenTM.  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the TALKERS TenTM.  At #2 was the gun legislation push in congress tied with the investigation into Omar Mateen and the Pulse nightclub massacre.  Following at #3 was the Supreme Court’s deadlock on a challenge to President Obama’s immigration executive orders, and at #4 was Thursday’s “Brexit” vote by Britons.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Friday, June 17, 2016

| June 17, 2016

wjbxBeasley Builds News/Talker WJBX in SW Florida.  Flipping Spanish sports talk WJBX-AM, Fort Myers and adding translators W268AH, Bonita Springs at 101.5 and W282BY, Fort Myers at 104.3, Beasley Media Group creates “WJBX News Talk and More” to serve Fort Myers, Naples and Marco Island.  The station is airing national superstar Dave Ramsey and a lot of FOX News Radio content – Kilmeade & Friends, John Gibson, Tom Sullivan, and Alan Colmes – plus the Compass Media-distributed morning show “This Morning – America’s First News with Gordon Deal.”  The station will use CBS Radio News for hourly newscasts.  Beasley SW Florida market manager Brad Beasley states, “We’re ready to deliver thought-provoking topics that inform, educate and inspire our audience.  Our listeners will hear from a top selection of influential national voices.  We’re excited to add WJBX to our incredible lineup of stations here in Southwest Florida!”

wgan logoWGAN, Portland Morning Host Mike Violette Resigns from Station.  Off the air since June 2, WGAN, Portland listeners now know where morning drive co-host Mike Violette has been – riding his motorcycle and playing golf.  The 12-year morning personality announced via Facebook earlier this week that he asked to be let out of his contract with the Saga Communications station and the station agreed, giving him a “nice severance package.”  Violette implied he was getting a little burned out and now that his kids are done with college and on their own, he wants to see what else is out there.  The station will announce his replacement on Friday afternoon during Howie Carr’s live broadcast of his syndicated show as he does the program from WGAN.  See the Portland Press Herald story here.

saverytripCurtis Media Promotes Trip Savery to President and Chief Operating Officer.  North Carolina operator Curtis Media Group promotes Trip Savery to president and COO, what CEO and chairman Donald W. Curtis calls a formality.  “We have actually been working this way for the past year.”  Savery was SVP and general manager of country WQDR, Raleigh.  Savery says, “I am honored to continue my career at Curtis Media Group in this role, and want to thank Don Curtis and the many talented people I have the privilege of working with every day for our continued success.”  Savery is a native of Chapel Hill and serves on the board of directors of the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters as vice president of radio.  In addition, he serves on the board of visitors of the UNC Children’s Hospital, as well as the board of advisors of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.

podcastone bJim Berk Named CEO of PodcastOne.  Media industry executive Jim Berk is appointed to the PodcastOne board of directors and will serve as the company’s CEO.  PodcastOne founder and chairman Norm Pattiz says, in making the announcement, “We have created an unmatched footprint in the podcast space and now are building a more robust executive team to allow PodcastOne to take full advantage of our organic growth and strategic opportunities.  Jim has done tremendous work in transitioning companies to their next stage of growth, and with him joining the PodcastOne leadership team, our possibilities are endless.”  Pattiz, who was CEO, retains his post as executive chairman.  Berk comes to PodcastOne from his most recent position as CEO of Participant Media – a “global entertainment company focused on socially relevant film, television, publishing and digital media.”  Berk also was president & CEO of Hard Rock Cafe International, Inc. during which the company embarked on a “record expansion of locations with record revenue and profits, while also making Hard Rock a music and television entertainment brand.”  Berk was also the founding executive director of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences Foundation (The Grammy Foundation).  Berk comments, “It’s exciting to enter this media space during a time of unprecedented expansion as consumer interest for the audio format in on-demand programming is experiencing rapid growth…PodcastOne is already demonstrating impressive year-on-year growth.  I look forward to working closely with Norm, Kit, Gary, Greg and the entire executive team to build on their success.”

talkersten logoOrlando Club Massacre Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 13-17.  The murders of 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando by a man claiming to support Islamic State was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the senate filibuster and talk about changing gun laws; at #3 was the presidential race and the activities of the candidates; followed at #4 by the slaying of British MP Jo Cox and next week’s vote by Britons on whether to exit the European Union.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

allwoodamandaAllwood Appointed Promotions Director at CMG Atlanta.  Promotions pro Amanda Allwood is heading to Atlanta to serve as promotions director for Cox Media Group’s cluster there.  Allwood will oversee promotions and event marketing for adult contemporary WSB-FM “B98.5,” classic hits WSRV “97.1 The River,” urban contemporary WALR “Kiss 104.1 FM” and news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM.  Allwood was most recently with SiriusXM in New York as senior manager of promotions and event marketing.  She’s also worked in promotions for CBS RADIO in Tampa and CMG in Tampa and Orlando.  CMG programmer Chris Eagan says, “Amanda has the critical eye that we need to take our events and promotions efforts to the next level.  She understands how crucial it is to integrate sales, programming and digital into one superpower to make these radio brands sparkle!”

mcdanielkelseyAlpha Ups McDaniel to Director of Marketing Post.  KBFF, Portland promotions director Kelsey McDaniel is promoted by Alpha Media Portland to director of marketing for the entire cluster.  The company says McDaniel is “known by most for her enthusiasm for the music industry, amazing event execution and overall hard work but, she’s also known for her competitive Sunday night BINGO addiction and searching endlessly for the love of her life, a golden retriever puppy.”  Alpha Portland SVP/market manager Milt McConnell says, “This is a well-deserved promotion for Kelsey as she is about to celebrate her seventh year with us.  She has demonstrated outstanding leadership of our promotions team and has elevated our interaction with listeners and clients on all levels.”  If addition to CHR KBFF, Alpha Portland also operates triple A KINK, country KUPL, news/talk KXL-FM, sports talk KXTG-AM/FM, and talk KUFO-AM.

johnnyblondieliveTestimony Continues in Cumulus vs Johnny Burke & Blondie.  According to a report from MLive.com, the testimony continued in a federal courtroom in Michigan this week in Cumulus Media’s suit against former WHNN, Saginaw-Bay City morning team Johnny Burke and Bonnie Belger-Holzhei, a.k.a. Blondie.  Cumulus attorneys are trying to show that Burke and Belger-Holzhei violated the terms of their contracts by soliciting the radio station’s clients for the Internet radio show they launched after being fired by the station.  This week, station operations manager Scott Stine testified that the pair are also using bits and prep service products they used when they worked at WHNN.  Stine said they had access to a “shared drive” with station client information but the pair’s attorney argued Cumulus has no proof they ever used the information.  Read the MLive.com account here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

| June 15, 2016

fccnewRepublican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai Condemns ‘Net Neutrality’ Ruling.  Among those in Washington who disagree with the Appeals Court’s 2-1 ruling defining broadband as a common carrier utility service is Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai who states, “I am deeplypaiajit disappointed by the DC Circuit’s 2-1 decision upholding the FCC’s Internet regulations.  For many of the reasons set forth in Judge Williams’ compelling dissent, I continue to believe that these regulations are unlawful, and I hope that the parties challenging them will continue the legal fight.  The FCC’s regulations are unnecessary and counterproductive.  Indeed, as Judge Williams put it: ‘The ultimate irony of the Commission’s unreasoned patchwork is that, refusing to inquire into competitive conditions, it shunts broadband service onto the legal track suited to natural monopolies.  Because that track provides little economic space for new firms seeking market entry or relatively small firms seeking expansion through innovations in business models or in technology, the Commission’s decision has a decent chance of bringing about the conditions under which some (but by no means all) of its actions could be grounded—the prevalence of incurable monopoly.’”

wyay logo newSinger Bo Bice Guest Hosts on WYAY, Atlanta.  Atlanta news/talker WYAY “NewsRadio 106.7” welcomed singer Bo Bice to its airwaves as part of its weekly Casting Call Atlanta program.  Casting Call Atlanta is the Cumulus Media station’s search for the next Atlanta talk star.  As part of the initiative, three listeners with little or no professional radio experience havebicebo participated weekly in the Wednesday Radio Fantasy Camp.  Each given one hour between 9:00 am and 12:00 noon for live, on-air auditions.   Bice was runner-up to Carrie Underwood on the fourth season of “American Idol.”  According to a press release announcing Bice’s appearance on the station, Bice is a self-described talk radio fan and regular listener to “NewsRadio 106.7” when at his home in Lake Jackson, Georgia.  WYAY PD Greg Tantum says, “Bo’s appearance captures the spirit of the Casting Call program in that it encourages all voices in the Atlanta community to participate.  Not just experienced or seasoned personalities.  Casting Call affords the opportunity to discuss relevant issues from all the unique perspectives that make up the fabric of the metro area lifestyle.”

Orlando Host Jim Turner Suspended from WBZW for Anti-Gay Facebook Post.  According to a report in the Orlando Sentinel, afternoon talk host Jim Turner has been suspended from his gig at Salem Media Group’s business talk WBZW after posting comments on Facebook minimizing the deaths of gay victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre.  Turner’s comments criticizing the media’s coverage of “sexual deviancy” have been deleted and his Facebook account closed.  It’s not clear how long he’ll be off the air.  His presence remains on the WBZW website.

wpro logoCumulus Media Ousts Market Manager John Sutherland in Providence Market.  This report comes from GoLocalProv.com and indicates that Providence market manager John Sutherland has been let go from his position with Cumulus Media after just a year on the job.  Sutherland replaced Barbara Haynes, who managed the five-station cluster for the previous 10 years.  The GoLocalProv.com piece references last year’s death of WPRO-AM afternoon host Buddy Cianci and states ratings and revenue are down at the station.  However, the news/talk station has seen its (6+) PPM numbers increase over the last three months, rising from 4.8 share to a 5.4 share.

Orlando Massacre Aftermath, Paris Cop Murder, Gun Control, the Presidential Race, London Sexy Ad Ban, Appeals Court Broadband Ruling, and NBA Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/14).  The investigation into the possible motives of Omar Mateen and the aftermath of his massacre of 49 at the Pulse in Orlando; the live-streamed murder of a Paris police officer and his wife by an Islamic militant; renewed calls for gun control legislation; the activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; London’s Muslim mayor bans “sexy ads” in city’s tube stations; Appeals Court affirms ‘net neutrality’; and the Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

nielsen logoNielsen: Sports Talk Format Seeing Seasonal Surge.  This monthly report from Nielsen Audio based on data from its PPM survey shows sports talk seeing a seasonal, format-wide ratings uptick.  Moreover, the May 2016 PPM numbers show audience share up slightly compared to previous May reports.  Comparing April to May, among persons 6+ the sports talk format jumped from a 4.5% share in April to a 4.9% share in May.  The share among 18-34 audience climbed from 3.2% in April to 3.6% in May, and the sports core demo of adults 25-54 rose a half point to a 5.5% share in May.

wbur logoPubcaster WBUR, Boston Transforms Website for Mobile Users.  The Boston University-owned public radio outlet WBUR – an NPR news station – announces the official unveiling of its “new audio-centric website.”  Station officials say WBUR.org was “built to reinvent online listening with a faster, more streamlined, mobile-friendly approach.”  WBUR executive director for digital Tiffany Campbell adds, “With a majority of our traffic coming from mobile users, and much of it through social, we recognized that listening to live streaming and segmented audio stories on demand was a huge opportunity for our digital strategy.  Our new responsive design transforms WBUR.org into a site that looks great on any device and reimagines how listeners connect with, engage with and share audio.”  Important to the user’s experience is the site’s “persistent play” experience that allows them to listen, read and browse the content simultaneously.  The site was designed by Boston-based firm Upstatement, using React, the open-source JavaScript coding language created by Facebook. The new wbur.org is one of the first news sites fully written in React, which was selected for its advantage with improved loading speeds on mobile devices.

Odds & Sods.  A couple of Salem Radio Network notes to report: First, SRN talk host Larry Elder was amedvedBacons16 featured speaker at the 17th annual Orange County “Flag Day Celebration.”  In addition to his own speech, Elder introduced U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK) who discussed the GOP’s 2016 battle to retake to White House.  Second, SRN personality Michael Medved welcomed actor/musician Kevin Bacon and musician Michael Bacon to his Seattle studios on June 14.  The Bacons are on tour as The Bacon Brothers Band.  They discussed the band’s tour, Kevin’s acting career and “America’s deep political divide over this week’s Orlando massacre vs. the unity we had following the 9/11 attacks.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Kevin Bacon, Medved, and Michael Bacon…..Ahead of the 2016 NFL season, Westwood One inks a multi-year partnership with Loyal Ears Digital to provide “Fantasy Free” to affiliate stations.  The content provider says that the Fantasy Free package allows stations to tap into the heavily engaged fantasy sports audience with free games that are legal and that “bring all the excitement that comes with fantasy gaming.”  The games are integrated into a station’s website, with station and client branding opportunities…..Neuhoff Media CEO Beth Neuhoff is named recipient of the 2016 Vincent T. Wasilewski Broadcaster of the Year honor from the Illinois Broadcasters Association.  The award was presented on June 14 on day one of the IBA’s annual two-day convention.  IBA immediate past chairman Sarah Hautala says, “Since taking the reins of Neuhoff Communications, Beth has shown strong leadership and has expanded her operations here in Illinois.  She continues to support local broadcasting and the interests of broadcasters.”

Monday, June 13, 2016

| June 13, 2016

wdbo logoCox Media Group Orlando Holds Live Roundtable Discussion on All Six Stations.  Orlando news and radio personalities today broadcast a two-hour live panel discussion about the weekend massacre at Orlando’s Pulse night club.  The program aired on all Cox Media Group stations in the market and will include the following talent: host and moderator Joe Kelley of news/talk WDBO “News 96.5,” AJ and Ashley from WWKA, the “Obie and Lil Shawn Morning Show” from WPYO “Power 95.3,” Monica May from WCFB “Star 94.5,” Denise Ryan from WMMO and also joining the panel will be Brian Kilmeade, host of “Fox & Friends” on Fox News Channel and host of “Kilmeade & Friends” on Fox News Radio.

Talk and News Radio respond to Orlando Massacre.  The early Sunday morning assault on unsuspectinggallagerOrlando16med club-goers in Orlando is turning out to be the deadliest mass shooting in America, carried out by a suspected militant Islamist.  Most Americans woke up to news of the massacre on Sunday morning and network radio news was on top of the story, updating the details as they became available.  Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk host Mike Gallagher is pictured at right at a cbsnewsradioKrasula16vigil for the victims in a park a short distance from the scene of the crime – the Pulse nightclub.  On the scene with national and international media, Gallagher spoke with victims, their families and others in preparation for today’s program live from Orlando…..CBS Radio News correspondent Jim Krasula is pictured at left on Orange Avenue in Orlando – a half block from the Pulse nightclub.  Krasula was joined by colleagues Peter King and Steve Futterman as CBS Radio News provided long and short form coverage of the crime.

Orlando Nightclub Massacre, the Presidential Race, ‘Voice’ Contestant Slain, Stanford Rape Sentencing Aftermath, Muhammad Ali Funeral, and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The massacre of 50 and wounding of many others at a gay nightclub in Orlando by a suspected militant Islamist; the activities of the candidates for president; the murder of former “The Voice” contestant Christina Grimmie at a public event in Orlando; ongoing talk about the sentencing of a former Stanford student convicted of rape; the funeral of boxing legend Muhammad Ali; and the NBA and NHL Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Fourth Round of May 2016 PPM Data.  The fourth of four rounds of May 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The May 2016 survey period covered April 21 to May 18.  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.

zeolirichRich Zeoli’s Rendell Interview Sparks Warren VP Qualification Chatter.  Philadelphia talk radio personality Rich Zeoli’s WPHT afternoon drive program started a bit of a media fire after former Democratic Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell told Zeoli that U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) was “in no way ready to be vice president.”  Zeoli tells TALKERS magazine that “Rachel Maddow mentioned it in her interview with Senator Warren last night [Thurs. 6/9].  Politico, Breitbart, BuzzFeed, Mediaite, Realclearpolitics, and several other national sites picked up the story and several even properly credited my show!”

costaadriannaHaute Mom Adrianna Costa Launches PodcastOne Show.  Popular blogger Adrianna Costa – the woman behind the Haute Mom’s Life blog is launching a podcast component to her brand, in partnership with PodcastOne.  Costa’s career includes numerous gigs as an entertainment reporter and a reality show personality.  In her new podcast, she “extends the ‘celebration of the Hottie in every Mommy.’”  Costa says, “I’m truly bursting at the seams with excitement about this latest venture teaming up with PodcastOne!  What a killer opportunity to share new ways to simplify and enhance lives through this unique, no-holds-barred forum where we’ll delve into the vast world of mommyhood.”

edgeradioSeacoast Media Group Launches Internet Radio Station in NH and Coastal Maine Market.  New Hampshire-based Seacoast Media Group – a subsidiary of Pittsford, New York-based GateHouse Media – is launching an internet radio station branded Edge Radio.  Seacoast publishes the Portsmouth Herald, the Rochester Times, the Hampton Union, the Exeter News-Letter, and Fosters Daily Democrat.  The streaming station launched this morning at 6:00 am with former WOKQ, Rochester staffer Megan Brady hosting the morning talk show.

Friday, June 10, 2016

| June 10, 2016

wgn logo 16Roe Conn Extends Deal to Remain with WGN, Chicago.  Windy City talk radio personality Roe Conn will be with Tribune’s WGN Radio through the year 2020 after he and the company inked an extension.  Vice president of programming Todd Manley says,connroe “Roe’s passion for relevant stories and magnetic characters has turned afternoons on WGN into a must-hear daily ritual.  He’s become the ring leader for one of my favorite radio ensembles.”  After spending most of his talk radio career at crosstown WLS-AM, Conn began hosting the afternoon drive show on WGN in January of 2015.  Daily contributors to the show include WGN-TV news anchor Mark Suppelsa and chief meteorologist Tom SkillingAnna Davlantes serves as Conn’s co-host.  Conn comments, “Being at WGN has been the most special experience of my career.  People make the difference and this station has the most diligent, professional and collegial folks I’ve ever worked with.  But what continues to amaze me every day is WGN’s dynamic, engaged and loyal audience.  It’s an incredible honor to be a part of their day.”

Bewley Named Digital Director for Hubbard Minneapolis-St. Paul.  Replacing Jeremy Sinon as Hubbard Radio’s Minneapolis-St. Paul digital director is Jesse Bewley, who will be responsible for the digital strategies for hot AC KSTP-FM “KS95-FM,” talk KTMY “myTalk 107.1,” and sports talk KSTP-AM “1500 ESPN.”ktmy  Bewley says, “I couldn’t be more grateful to Dan Seeman and the entire team at Hubbard kstp-amfor giving me this incredible opportunity to advance my career.  Jeremy Sinon undoubtedly leaves me gigantic shoes to fill, but I’m very much looking forward to leading the team to continued and expanded success in the local digital space.”   Sinon was promoted to corporate digital director.  Bewley, who most recently served as digital PD for iHeartMedia Minneapolis, starts with Hubbard on June 20.

talkersten logoThe Presidential Race Dominates Talkers TenTM for Week of June 6-10.  The activities of the candidates for president, the clinching of the Democratic nomination by Hillary Clinton and President Obama’s and Bernie Sanders’ support for Clinton were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 was the legal case surrounding Trump University and Donald Trump’s comments about Judge Gonzalo Curiel.  Coming in at #3 was the battle against Islamic State.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of May 2016 PPM Data.  The Third of four rounds of May 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The May 2016 survey period covered April 21 to May 18.  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.

wdrvDan McNeil Exits WDRV, Chicago’s Morning Drive Show.  Mercurial Chicago radio personality Dan McNeil exits Hubbard Radio’s classic rock WDRV “The Drive” after 16 months on the morning drive show.  McNeil is probably one of the markets most famous – or infamous – sports talk personalities.  Over the last 25 years he had talked sports on CBS RADIO’s WSCR and ESPN O&O WMVP.  Prior to joining WDRV, McNeil was in contract talks to rejoinmcneildan WSCR in the midday slot but the two sides couldn’t come to terms.  In February of 2015, McNeil was paired up with Pete McMurray to co-host The Drive’s morning show.  Recently, McNeil disappeared from the air and, when he returned, was only heard doing brief sports reports.  According to several sources, McNeil was upset when Greg Solk was let go from his SVP of programming post and was more upset when he was instructed not to talk about the matter on the show.  Apparently, he was given some time off to cool down.  Now, the station and he part ways and Hubbard makes the announcement in a press release from Hubbard Radio Chicago vice president/market manager John Gallagher and WDRV program director Rob Cressman.  McNeil is quoted in the presser saying, “It was an incredible chapter in my radio tour.  I got to be a part of a terrific air staff… some really wonderful people.  ‘The Drive’ paid me go to mcmurraypetemovies, to take listeners to see AC/DC and The Who.  I’ve been wanting to write a love letter to rock and roll publicly for years and I got to do it on one of the most sparkling classic rock stations in the country.”  Cressman addresses the station’s morning show going forward.  “We look forward to what lies ahead for ‘The Drive.’  Pete McMurray and the team have assembled a strong foundation.  Our plans include a search for the chemistry and content mix that our audience has clearly requested.  The considerable research and appraisal that accompanied the former incarnation of ‘The Morning Drive’ will continue to determine where future opportunities exist to super-serve Chicago’s classic rock enthusiasts in the morning.”

PwC Gives Radio Positive Outlook Over Next Four Years.  The new Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2016-2020 is out from PwC (PriceWaterhouseCoopers) and it presents current ad spend data and predicts where the industries will be in the year 2020.  For radio, the news is mixed.  PwC scores radio’s ad spend based on AM/FM spot sales, internet streaming and digital revenue, and NTR (or live events).  It predicts radio as an industry will rise from its current $21.4 billion in revenue to $23.1 billion in 2020 – a compound annual growth rate of 1.6%.  For radio stations and companies already integrating live events into their revenue stream, PwC says the news is good.  The study forecasts an almost 5% increase in revenue in the Live Events sector to $11.69 billion by the year 2020.  See the study here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

| April 19, 2016

NABShow16Analysis: NAB Show – Day 1.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke is reporting from the 2016 NAB Show for TALKERS magazine/RadioInfo.  From day one of the broadcasting mega-confab in Las Vegas, Cooke reports on the radio-centric panels he attended.  NAB CEO Gordon Smith declared in his opening keynote, “No other media industry is as dedicated to supporting our local communities – not Google, not Apple, not Pandora, not cable or satellite.”  That sentiment ran through a number of panels during which operators told attendees that in radio’s current era, stations have to be marketing experts for their clients and information and entertainment experts for their local communities.  For more about how operators are encouraging creativity in sales and programming, read Holland Cooke’s report here.

murphmacCumulus Re-Ups ‘Murph and Mac.’  Sports talk duo Brian Murphy and Paul McCaffrey will continue to host the morning drive show on Cumulus Media’s sports talk KNBR, San Francisco after signing a contract renewal.  Beginning April 25, the program will move up an hour and be heard from 6:00 am to 10:00 am.  KNBR operations manager Lee Hammer states, “I’m thrilled to be able to announce that ‘Murph and Mac’ will continue their morning show on KNBR 680. Their show, which blends sports talk and the perfect balance of pop culture and musical references, is the ‘go-to’ destination every morning for sports fans in the Bay Area.”  The two have been partners on KNBR for the past 10 years.

The Presidential Race/ New York Primary, SCOTUS Hears Obama Illegal Aliens Executive Order Case, $20 Bill Controversy, Afghanistan Taliban Activity, and Biden Netanyahu Criticism Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/19).  The activities of the candidates for president and today’s New York primary election; the Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments in the case challenging President Obama’s executive order protecting some illegal aliens from deportation; the flap over removing Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill and replacing him with a female historical figure; concern over increased violence by the Taliban in Afghanistan; and Joe Biden’s criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

ericksonerickWSB-AM, Atlanta’s Erick Erickson Takes Time Off After Pulmonary Issues.  The host of “Atlanta’s Evening News” on WSB-AM, Atlanta – and RedState.com editor-in-chief Erick Erickson – is taking time off from his afternoon drive program to recover from a serious illness.  Erickson posted on TheResurgent.com that over the past few weeks his lungs have been filling up with blood clots.  Breathing difficulties sent him to see doctors on several occasions before his was diagnosed.  Though still in the hospital, Erickson says he is healing and hopes to return to work soon.

zieglerbrandonJohn Ziegler Discusses the State of His Syndicated Show (‘John & Leah’) and the Radio Industry in Candid TALKERS Audio Interview.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian recently spoke with Envision Networks-syndicated talk personality John Ziegler about the progress his Sunday evening show is making a year into its national distribution effort that resulted in a major personality profile posted in TALKERS on March 8.  The three-hour show that features co-host Leah Brandon (who also serves as WERC, Birmingham morning news anchor) is currently heard on 22 affiliate stations – 15 of which are in the top 28 markets.  Ziegler has an impressive set of talk radio credentials that include stints at WHAS, Louisville and KFI, Los Angeles among others.  He also has a colorful history in the business that includes its share of controversial, high-profile episodes.  In a brand new audio conversation with TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison conducted yesterday (4/18), Ziegler says having a wife, child and a female co-host serve to keep him more cautious and mature when it comes to recklessness and stepping over the line – but that hasn’t dampened his edginess and reputation for delivering strong opinions.  Ziegler and Brandon are included in the 2016 edition of the TALKERS “Heavy Hundred” and Ziegler will be a participant in the “Talk Rumble” at the forthcoming TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations convention set for Friday, May 20 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.   To listen to the entire conversation between Ziegler and Harrison, please click here.  To read the March 8 feature story by Mike Kinosian please click here.

Odds & Sods.  Entering the business of podcast distribution is the America Out Loud News Portal which debuts six new shows including, “This is Real Life Radio with Host Malcolm Out Loud.”  Malcolm Out Loud is the founder of the platform and he says programming pro Gabe Hobbs will consult with the network and providemargarellacarolinaMarathon talent resources for hosts…..iHeartMedia Denver and the Colorado Rockies agree to a five-year extension of their radio broadcast agreement that’ll keep Rockies baseball on KOA, Denver “NewsRadio 850 AM & 94.1 FM” through the 2021 season.  Jack Corrigan and Jerry Schemmel will continue as the voices of Colorado Rockies play-by-play…..WCNN, Atlanta “Sports Radio 680 The Fan” account executive Carolina Margarella (pictured at right) took yesterday off from her duties at the Dickey-owned station to run in the 120th Boston Marathon.  This year’s race also marked the 50th anniversary of women being allowed to run.  Margarella finished the race in 3:25:57, which averages out to a very impressive 7:51 per mile.

brentmegIn Memoriam: Brent Seltzer. Just over four weeks from now (5/20), the annual TALKERS convention will take place on the campus of Hofstra University. There will be one sadly missing element there, however, following the passing yesterday afternoon (4/18) of our colleague Brent Seltzer (right). The 68-year-old golden-voiced on-air talent/writer/voice over artist died in his sleep at a Los Angeles-area long-term care facility. Always debonair and engaging, Seltzer is survived by his wife, Meg McDonald (left). For the last several years, Seltzer and McDonald served as “official greeters” at the TALKERS New York City and Los Angeles confabs and last year they served as emcees of the NY event.  Seltzer succumbed to complications following major surgery. TALKERS founder/publisher Michael Harrison states, “We all mourn the loss of a great broadcaster, wonderful friend, and outstanding human being.”   McDonald encourages a celebration of her late husband’s life, stating, “We hope you will raise a glass and toast Brent Seltzer.”  Instead of a formal funeral service, Seltzer will be cremated and buried at sea.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that those so inclined make a donation to their favorite animal shelter or animal charity.  Seltzer had a legendary career in radio dating back to the late 1960s that included pioneering work in the field of FM rock radio news at such outlets as KGB, San Diego and KMET, Los Angeles among others.  His long-running podcast, “Still at Large with Brent Seltzer” had a significant national following early in the podcasting movement and, in recent years, he co-hosted a daily GCN nationally-syndicated husband/wife “chat” program, “The Brent & Meg Show” with McDonald.  Those interested in contacting Meg McDonald can do so via email at meg@mcdonaldmediaservices.com.  Approximately two years ago, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian profiled both Brent and Meg. Please click here to read that June 2014 special feature piece in its entirety.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

| April 6, 2016

2016HH imageTALKERS ‘Heavy Hundred’ for 2016 Coming Monday, April 11 at 12:00 noon ET.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine has set the date for the posting of the 2016 installment of the publication’s annual feature, “The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America.”  This will mark the 21st consecutive year that the talk media trade journal (that is about to mark its 26th anniversary) has been compiling and publishing the list – also known as “The Heavy Hundred.”  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “This year’s list will include a number of familiar faces (and voices) as well as new up-and-comers and some radio pros who are in new situations.”  Casey continues, “Needless to say, compiling this list is extremely challenging – especially since it draws upon both objective and subjective factors – and is the source of heated debate every year among our editors for months leading up to its release.”

sykescharlieTalk Radio Hosts Credited for Trump Loss in Wisconsin.  GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s second-place finish in the Wisconsin primary yesterday is being attributed, at least in part, by CNN writer Kevin Bohn to the anti-Trump sentiments of a number of the state’s most-listened-to talk show hosts.  (CNN is one of many media outlets publishing stories about anti-Trump hosts in the state.) WTMJ, Milwaukee’s Charlie Sykes saw his profile rise dramatically after the audio of last week’s contentious interview with Trump went viral.  Crosstown competitors Mark Belling and Jaybaderjerry Weber (WISN-AM) have been critical of Trump as have Vicki McKenna (WIBA, Madison), and Jerry Bader (WTAQ, Green Bay).  Bohn reports that Trump lashed out at his critics during pre-election rallies saying, “This morning I was interviewed by a very good radio guy — not the whack job that interviewed me — his name is Sykes? … Oh he is the worst.”  You can hear Charlie Sykes’ Trump interview here and read the CNN piece here.

The Presidential Race/Wisconsin Primary, North Korea Nuke Threat, Iran Missile Tests, Battle Against Islamic State, Cal Cops Seize Planned Parenthood Videos, European Migrant Troubles, and MLB Season Open Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/5).  The activities of the candidates for president and Tuesday’s Wisconsin primary election; North Korea’s nuclear weapons threat; Iran’s testing of long-range missiles; the ongoing fight against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria; the seizure of videos from anti-abortion activist David Daleiden that purport to show Planned Parenthood illegally selling tissue from aborted fetuses; European nations being overwhelmed by migrants; and the opening of the Major League Baseball season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  Afternoon drive sports talk personality Marc Hochman gets a two-year extension on his deal tohochmanmarc remain host of the “Hochman, Crowder & Krantz” program (with Channing Crowder and Zach Krantz) on CBS RADIO’s WQAM, Miami.  Hochman joined WQAM in 2014 after a number of years on the morning show at crosstown WAXY “790 The Ticket.”…..The launch of Denver’s newest sports talk station KKSE “Altitude Sports” includes the syndicated Rich Eisen show from DirecTV.  It’s the only “prime time” syndicated program among the slate of local hosts…..Westwood One is producing hole-humphriesFoxworthy16by-hole coverage of the 2016 Masters Golf Tournament beginning tomorrow (4/7).  The network will also broadcast hourly updates and a nightly, half-hour preview and recap show, “Masters Tonight.”…..Pictured here are SVP of programming for USA Radio and host of “Trending Today USA” Rusty Humphries (center) with comics Jeff Foxworthy (left) and Larry The Cable Guy (right) at their show in Phoenix.  Humphries tells TALKERS magazine that “Trending Today USA with Rusty Humphries” – which launched back on January 9 – is quickly closing in on 50 affiliates.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutMichael Harrison and Richard Neer Discuss Broadcasting, Narrowcasting and Podcasting in Sweeping Conversation About Changes in Commercial Media and Pop Icons over the Decades.  In a strikingly organic conversation that covers a wide variety of topics from old-time television to the changing morality of superheroes in entertainment to the differences between quantitative and qualitative marketing – WFAN, New York personality, author and pop culture “renaissance man” Richard Neer joins his old friend Michael Harrison as this week’s guest on the PodcastOneneerrichard international hit, “Up Close and Far Out.”  Harrison and Neer have been engaging in “What if?” and “To be Continued” conversations like this on radio, TV, at industry seminars (and even privately for their own entertainment) on a regular basis for almost 50 years.  This podcast marks what Harrison loosely calculates as the 2550th time these talkers have met in this manner since October of 1967.  To listen to this “media freak’s verbal salad” in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of www.Talkers.com and www.RadioInfo.com.

podcastone bTwo New Shows Launch from PodcastOne.  Digital audio platform PodcastOne partners with Ranker – purveyor of crowdsourced rankings – to present “The Ranker Podcast.”  PodcastOne notes that “more than 26 million people visit Ranker every month to vote on an endless series of topics, which spark passionate conversations among the public.  Now, notable guests will have an opportunity to weigh in and debate these millions of user votes, with host Daniel Kohn.  A journalist and Ranker’s Alternative Media Specialist, Kohn will talk trending and wacky lists with his guests, give the fans an opportunity to create new lists sparked through celebrity conversation, and feature each guest’s own top ten list on a topic of interest to them.”  Also, PodcastOne adds more wrestling content to its slate of shows with sports entertainment star and former WCW World Heavyweight Champion Vince Russo launching “The Brand.” New shows will be available five days per week.

wsvaAnother Cool Job Opportunity.  Heritage “News Talk 550 & 92.1” WSVA, Harrisonburg, Virginia has an immediate opening for an afternoon news anchor/reporter.  The station is located in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and is a trusted source of news and information.  We are seeking someone ready to help keep our listeners informed and continue our great tradition.  To get the job, you’ll need to be motivated, a gifted writer, a wizard at obtaining sound, have a strong delivery and have an understanding of “local” news.  Please send T&R to fwilt@harrisonburgradiogroup.comSaga Communications is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

wrightdukeMidwest Communications’ Duke Wright to Receive Conclave’s Rockwell Award.  The recipient of this year’s Rockwell Award from The Conclave is Midwest Communications president and CEO Duke Wright.  The award will be presented during The Conclave’s 41st anniversary celebration on July 14 and 15, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Minneapolis.  The Rockwell Award is given annually to “an individual of unquestioned accomplishment in the radio industry.  The Rockwell Award honors those who have contributed to the industry as an inspirational leader, and a person of great accomplishment.  The recipient has made lasting and significant contributions within radio, and also to the public radio serves.”

Friday, March 4, 2016

| March 4, 2016

talkersten logoSuper Tuesday Aftermath/Presidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM.  The results of this week’s Super Tuesday primary elections and events surrounding the presidential race were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was the Hillary Clinton email server investigation.  At #3 was U.S. immigration policy followed by European migrant problems at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

castnermichaelCandidates’ Rhetoric Spurs KEX, Portland Host Michael Castner to Come Out.  Citing some of the rhetoric coming from the GOP candidates that he believes is rekindling Americans’ “hate and fear,” especially with regard to the candidates’ vows to overturn gay marriage, KEX, Portland talk host Michael Castner came out to his audience as gay.  Admitting that he’d kept his sexual orientation secret out of fear and “perhaps even cowardice,” Castner believes he has a responsibility to speak up both for himself and for others who don’t have a voice.  Castner observed that both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have vowed to make overturning the recent Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage a priority and that Trump has indicated he’s also in favor of overturning.

wpht logoWPHT, Philadelphia Adds Dave Ramsey Show.  Nationally syndicated talk star Dave Ramsey’s radio program is being added to the lineup at CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia in the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight slot, effective March 7.  CBS RADIO Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “We couldn’t be more pleased to bring Dave Ramsey to WPHT.  He hasramseydave been creating powerful radio broadcasts with the passion and positivity that will fit perfectly into WPHT’s lineup.  Combining Dave Ramsey with the great local talent like Chris Stigall, Dom Giordano and Rich Zeoli has everyone at the station excited to bring this new roster to our listeners.”  Ramsey Media VP Brian Mayfield adds, “We are excited to join the team at WPHT and to work with another strong CBS Radio affiliate.  Philadelphia is already a great market for our brand, and we look forward to what the future holds with this new relationship.”

podcastone bPodcastOne and WTOP, Washington Partner for ‘Target USA’ Program.  A new podcast series is being launched on the PodcastOne platform from Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington and WTOP.com titled, “Target USA.”  The program will focus on the threats facing America today and is reported and produced by WTOP national security correspondent JJ Green.  WTOP andwtop logo NEW 1-15 PodcastOne say Green will investigate the risks, from terrorists to anarchists, and cyber criminals to nation states, diving into the people behind them, the agencies fighting them and their impact on Americans.”  WTOP senior regional vice president Joel Oxley states, “As an all-news station with a tight format, our content is consumed in very short form.  This partnership with PodcastOne gives us an opportunity to showcase and distribute some of our longer form, in-depth material.  Norm Pattiz and his team are pros, and we look forward to this launch and many more opportunities to come.”  In the first installment, Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper opens up in an exclusive interview about the dark threats and dangerous enemies the U.S. faces.

cookmerrillMerrill Cook to Host Mornings on KLO, Salt Lake City.  Former U.S. Representative Merrill Cook is joining KLO Broadcasting’s KLO-AM, Salt Lake City to host the 7:00 am to 10:00 am program, beginning on March 14.  Station general manager Matt Webb says, “Our audience has been asking for more local, live radio and Merrill is a huge part of that.  Merrill Cook is part of the fabric of Utah and, in particular, Utah politics.  We’re very excited to have him as part of our radio family.”  Cook comments, “I’m thrilled to be part of such a prestigious radio lineup on a legacy station such as KLO.  To be on the same station with radio icons like Laura Ingraham, Michael Medved, and Dennis Prager is a true honor.”

Odds & Sods.  WABC, New York political editor Rita Cosby (right) poses for a photo with writer and politicalcosbyritaCoulter16 commentator Ann Coulter (left) at last night’s “Dinner with Rita Cosby: A Night of Political Entertainment & Fun” at Delmonico’s Kitchen in Midtown Manhattan.  Cosby hosted the sold-out, intimate dinner event that featured political commentary and conversation, a phone-in interview with Dr. Ben Carson, live discussion with Coulter, and musical performances by Tom Bednarek and actor Dominic Chianese…..WGOW, Chattanooga mid-afternoon talk host Brian Joyce is pictured below with on Tuesday, March 1 taking part in “Reading Across America Week” with joyceReading16the second grade class and Dupont Elementary School.  Joyce tells TALKERS magazine that the class’ teacher is a big fan of Joyce’s radio program and invited him to take part in the event…..Tampa Bay radio and TV personality Nancy Alexander launches a podcast titled, “LOL! With Nancy Alexander” on the Radio Influence digital platform.  Alexander began her radio career at WRBQ “Q105” on the station’s “Q Morning Zoo” show in the 1980s.  She worked at WMTX during the 1990s and 2000s and was a features reporter for WTVT-TV “FOX 13.”…..CBS RADIO Pittsburgh is presenting its third annual ‘eat.drink.PITTSBURGH’ on March 19 at the city’s Wyndham Grand Hotel.  The event’s media sponsor is WHIRL Magazine and the event is being presented by Fat Head’s Brewery and Lexus of North Hills.  The food fest allows attendees to sample food from dozens of Pittsburgh’s finest restaurants and enjoy new products, wines, beers and more…..Nationally syndicated talk personality Laura Ingraham did her program from the studios of affiliateingrahamlaura WBEN, Buffalo today (3/4) prior to serving as keynote speaker at the New York State GOP Convention in the city…..CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York “Sports Radio 66AM and 101.9FM” and New York City FC announce updates to the soccer club’s radio broadcasting in advance of the 2016 MLS season.  Glenn Crooks and Tom Kolker will once again be the English-language announcers. Back for his second year, Roberto Abramowitz will be one of the Spanish-language analysts, alongside new team member John Rojas.

levinmarkMark Levin Named Recipient of TALKERS 2016 Freedom of Speech Award. Highly rated, nationally syndicated, Cumulus/Westwood One talk radio personality Mark Levin has been selected by the TALKERS editorial board as the 2016 recipient of the trade publication’s annual Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech. Levin is also the prolific author of numerous New York Times best-selling books about the United States Constitution, American history and conservative ideological principles. He is a respected legal scholar who serves as president of the Landmark Legal Foundation as well as being a highly sought-after public speaker, and host/principal of the newly launched LevinTV digital platform. Levin has a stellar background in both the private and public sectors having served, among many roles, as advisor to several members of President Ronald Reagan’s cabinet and chief of staff for Attorney General Edwin Meese. In making the announcement of Levin’s selection, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Mark Levin is more than a superbly talented and extremely successful talk show host. He is a dedicated legal scholar who consistently displays unbending courage in standing up for the core principles of the Founding Fathers – and that means an unswerving, ongoing defense of the First Amendment – on radio, television and in print. He has been a champion of these principles since morphing from a radio guest to a host back in 2002 and is being honored for a body of work that goes back for many years.” Mark Levin will be presented the award personally by Harrison at the forthcoming TALKERS 2016: Bridging The Generations convention on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY on Friday, May 20.

Talkers2016 logo xlgTALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations Agenda Developing; Registration Underway. More than 60 leading industry speakers will fill a power-packed day and evening of panel discussions, special presentations, keynote addresses, exhibits, social networking functions, meals and live broadcasts at the forthcoming 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention. TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations will take place on Friday, May 20 on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. The event kicks off at 8:00 am with the traditional “Breakfast with Hannity” opening social. It will conclude 12 hours later with a gala, early-evening reception on the university’s magnificent television soundstage. Located just outside of New York City, Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication is nationally recognized as one of the nation’s most respected and influential breeding grounds of great broadcasters. The NAB honored WRHU-FM in 2015 with a Marconi Award as the first ever “student operated” non-commercial station of the year! Radio Hofstra University WRHU-FM is also currently ranked number one – best college radio station – by the Princeton Review. WRHU-FM also earned a Pinnacle Award – station of the year – from the CMA. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “2016 marks a great leap forward in the rich and colorful history of this legendary conference. Tapping into the theme ‘Bridging the Generations’ TALKERS 2016 will intensely focus on talk radio’s successful and as seamless-as-possible transition into the digital era concentrating on attracting younger demos, broadening the format menu, modernizing political positioning, enhancing both journalistic and entertainment impact, incorporating all aspects of pop culture, understanding Millennials and the New Authenticity, creating a viable cross-platform presence, embracing the new technology, and of course, podcasting, podcasting and more podcasting.” Harrison adds, “This conference will be inter-generational. I cannot begin to express the level of excitement and pride we have in partnering this year with Hofstra University, its wonderfully dynamic Lawrence Herbert School of Communication and its famous radio station WRHU – clearly one of the greatest, heritage campus outlets in America. Their amazing, state-of-the-art resources will provide an exhilarating backdrop and platform for this gathering. As far as we are concerned, the future of talk media begins now!” The cost of a full registration is $299 per person with a special student rate of $249. Registration is only open to professionals currently or recently (within one year) employed in media-related industries as well as students enrolled in accredited colleges or universities. Registration includes all sessions, presentations, exhibits, receptions, and tours as well as breakfast/lunch/refreshment and social networking activities. Registrations can only be taken over the phone (to verify qualifications) and paid for with a credit card. As in years past, for the sake of intimacy and productivity, total attendance will be limited to 500 and TALKERS 2016 will be an early sellout. No registrations can be sold after that point. All registrations are non-transferable and non-refundable. To register or obtain sponsorship information, please call 413-565-5413. Information about special local hotel discounts for attendees is detailed below. Agenda and speakers to be announced in the days and weeks ahead, leading up to the event. Register now!

Mariott revFantastic Group Rate Available at Long Island Marriott for TALKERS 2016. A limited number of rooms are still available for a limited amount of time for the nights of Thursday, May 19 and Friday, May 20 at the fabulous Long Island Marriott hotel located near Hofstra University – the site of TALKERS 2016. To take advantage of the $169 per night rate, book as early as possible by clickinghere or calling reservations at 1-800-228-9290 and telling the agent you are with the TALKERS event group.

Monday, February 22, 2016

| February 22, 2016

South Carolina Primary Results/Presidential Race, Kalamazoo Slayings, FBI-Apple Encryption Battle, and Syria Cease Fire Process/Russian Military Involvement Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The results of Saturday’s South Carolina primary and the activities of the candidates for president; the deadly shootings in Kalamazoo allegedly by a man who was driving for Uber; the fight between Apple and the FBI over the former’s refusal to decrypt the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists; and the process to create a cease fire in the Syrian conflict and Russia’s military involvement in the region were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

ppmunitRound Four of January PPM Data Released.  The fourth of four rounds of January 2016 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The survey period was December 31 – January 27.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Top Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

bubbaNielsen v Bubba Case to Move Forward.  Unless there’s a settlement in the suit Nielsen Audio has filed against Bubba the Love Sponge, the case will go to trial.  U.S. District Court Judge James Whitmore ruled against Bubba in his bid to have the suit dismissed.  Whitmore ruled that Nielsen has “adequately” stated its claim that Bubba allegedly engaged in “willful, wanton, and malicious conduct.”  Nielsen is suing Bubba for $1 million claiming his actions to defraud the PPM ratings survey has caused the company irreparable damages.

Milwaukee Progressive Group Begins Effort to Buy Radio Station.  A citizens’ organization in Milwaukee says it is beginning a fundraising effort to hopefully purchase a radio station that can give voice to political progressives.  In an opinion piece in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, James E. Causey reports about the February 8 fundraiser by Citizen Action of Wisconsin at which executive director Robert Kraig railed about the domination of the market’s airwaves by conservative talk personalities at Scripps’ WTMJ and iHeartMedia’s WISN.  The market lost its leading progressive-leaning radio station in 2013 when Milwaukee Radio Alliance flipped WMCS to oldies.  At the time, management stated that the 20-year-old format was too expensive to maintain.  Courier Communications currently operates WNOV which airs a blend of local and national progressive talk plus urban music.

henrybigjoePolar16New Jersey 101.5’s Big Joe Henry Counts Down Polar Plunge Fundraiser.  Weekend personality Big Joe Henry is seen here in Seaside Heights, New Jersey counting down the 2016 Polar Bear Plunge into the Atlantic Ocean by some 6,000 people who braved the icy water to benefit Special Olympics New Jersey.  More than $1.7 million was raised during the event.  Big Joe Henry broadcast his program on Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” live from Spicy Cantina on the Boardwalk.

bfoa logoWard L. Quaal Leadership Award Winners Named.  The recipients of the 2016 Ward L. Quaal Leadership Awards will be honored at the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s annual breakfast on Wednesday, April 20 in the Brahms Room of the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas during the National Association of Broadcasters Show.  This year’s winners are: Ray Cole, president & COO, Citadel Communications; Mike Fiorile, vice chairman & CEO, Dispatch Broadcast Group; Scott Herman, COO, CBS Radio; Paul Karpowicz, president & CEO, Meredith Broadcasting Group; Peter Smyth, chairman & CEO, Greater Media; and Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks.  The Leadership Awards are given annually by the Broadcasters Foundation in recognition of career contributions to the broadcast industry and the community at large, and are named in honor of iconic broadcaster Ward L. Quaal.

Friday, February 19, 2016

| February 19, 2016

levinmarkMark Levin Launches New Show on Digital Television Platform.  WABC, New York-based, nationally syndicated radio talk star and best-selling author Mark Levin is broadening his media presence with a new TV show in partnership with CRTV.  LevinTV is a subscription-based digital television platform that Levin calls “America’s new televised Town Hall meeting” and “the next step in the evolution of digital conservative media.”  Beginning March 7, the LevinTV program will stream live at 9:00 pm ET and episodes will be available to subscribers on demand.  There’s no green screen for Levin;levinTVstudioLG his show will emanate from the “state-of-the-art studio built exclusively for the show” that you see pictured here.  (It looks like a legal eagle’s man cave, complete with pool table and a bar.)  As for the program itself, Levin and CRTV say it will be “a commercial-free explosion of Mark Levin’s engaging personality, unique intellect and passionate commentary about history, economics, philosophy and the latest political and current events.  The show will also feature exclusive, long-form interviews with compelling guests from all walks of life.”  Levin comments, “I have the greatest audience in the world and I give them my best every night.  I am thrilled we are expanding our Town Hall meeting place for patriots, by taking TV broadcasting to a new level on multiple platforms where I will speak directly to my audience — uncensored, without middlemen, and commercial free.”  The regular, full-year price for access to LevinTV is $69 per year or $7.99 per month.

talkersten logoPresidential Race Continues to Ride Top of Talkers TenTM.  For another week, the activities of the candidates for president and the issues comprising the election season were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 were the nation’s immigration and refugee policies.  Coming in at #3 was the Middle East military escalation including Turkish-Kurdish violence in Iraq and the ongoing Syrian conflict followed by the replacement of Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court and theories about his death at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  View this week’s entire chart here.

davismarkTexas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Names Radio Hosts to Elections Advisory Committee.  Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick – former talk radio personality and owner of KSEV, Houston – has appointed six members of the media to the state’s Elections Advisory Committee.  Each will serve a two-hastychadyear term on the committee, whose objective is to “evaluate the reporting and tabulation of unofficial election returns in both primary and general elections.  The committee then makes recommendations to the office of the Texas Secretary of State.”  KSKY, Dallas talk host Mark Davis and KFYO, Lubbock’s Chad Hasty are two talk personalities serving on the committee.  The others are: Ross Ramsey of the Texas Tribune, Pedro Rojas of Univision, Mike Ward of The Houston Chronicle, and Jason Whitely of WFAA-TV.

nielsen logoRound Three of January PPM Data Released.  The third of four rounds of January 2016 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The survey period was December 31 – January 27.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Top Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

zidarevichannieZidarevich Upped at Premiere Networks.  Sixteen-year FOX Sports Radio manager Annie Zidarevich is promoted to vice president, West Coast operations for Premiere Networks.  She’s been with FOX Sports Radio since its inception in 2000, most recently as VP, network operations.  In that role she also managed studio operations and program staffing needs for Premiere in Los Angeles.  In this new role Zidarevich will oversee all West Coast programming operations for Premiere.

Odds & Sods. Pro soccer comes to CBS RADIO’s Houston cluster after it signs a multi-year deal to broadcast Houston Dynamo matches.  Both KILT “Sports Radio 610” and KIKK “CBS Sports Radio” will air games with KIKK serving as the primary outlet for MLS matches.  KIKK will also air ancillary programming including “The Players Show” and “The Coaches Show.”…..Podcasting pioneer Carl Kozlowski – founder of the podcast platform RadioTitans – is expanding into live event production and is one of the organizers of FERRIS FEST – a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the release of the John Hughes film, Ferris Beuller’s Day Off.  The festival takes place the weekend of May 20-22 in the Chicago area.  The highlight of the weekend will be a special screening of the film, accompanied by film cast members and hosted by Chicago Sun-Times film critic (and talk radio pro) Richard Roeper.

nymrad logoNYMRAD Reports New York Spot Revenue Up 3% in Q4 of 2015.  That figure is based on data from Miller, Kaplan & Arase and the increase was fueled by growth in the communications, health care and food & beverages categories.  Getting more specific, the New York Market Radio report indicates wireless carriers increased their radio spend in the market by 10% during 2015 and public utilities spent 22% more during the year.  Health care advertising on radio was up 10% for the year as was the food and beverage category.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

| February 18, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 14, 2015

| December 14, 2015

bellart15Art Bell Ends Latest Talk Show Effort Citing Attempts on His Life.  Quite suddenly on Friday evening, Art Bell posted on his ArtBell.com website that he would not be going on the air that evening – or ever again, in fact – and explained that he and his family are in danger after recent attempts on his life.  Here’s what Bell posted: “I am sorry to have to announce this but I will not be on Tonight or any other night, yes I am going to hang it up.  Whoever this crazy person is, they are not stopping and it has come to the point that we as a Family do not feel it is worth the risk.  While I think the person or persons are after me, my Wife and now my Daughter are really scared, the other night after the latest incident my Daughter was off in the corner of her bed scared to death as the Police cars came screaming up.  I will not put my Family through this. As you all know I dearly love what I do but not at the expense of never ending Terrorism.  I want to thank those of you who have shown so much support and it has been my joy, short as it has been to have cracked that Mic open for a last time.  This was a Family decision.  The girls stuck with me and still would but if one of them were harmed because of what I love doing my life would be over.”  Bell had returned to AM/FM radio with a late night program called “Midnight in the Desert” via his Dark Matter Radio Network earlier this fall after years away from broadcast radio.  To say this is controversial in the minds of his fans is an understatement.  Chatter on the website DreadCentral vacillates between those who are sympathetic to Bell’s claim and those who simply don’t believe a word of it.  Regardless, Bell is off the air, seemingly for good. The network intends to provide programming to affiliates for the next 30 days with Rowland Communications Network airing either previous Art Bell-hosted shows or Heather Wade hosting the program.

gallaghermikeThree More Years at Salem for Mike Gallagher.  Nationally syndicated talk radio personality Mike Gallagher will remain in his 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET program on the Salem Radio Network through the end of 2018 after signing a three-year extension.  He’s currently heard on some 300 stations nationwide, including new affiliate WIND, Chicago “AM 560 The Answer.”  Gallagher states, “After 15 years with Salem, I’m still amazed at how fortunate I am to have a radio home at this amazing company.  I’m ecstatic and humbled to be continuing for at least another three years with this world-class organization.”  Salem Media Group SVP Phil Boyce comments, “Mike is one of the most talented, entertaining, and informative hosts in the country.  What a pleasure it has been to be reunited with him at Salem, and be able to have a small part in the next generation of his talk show host career.”

weismanstevenLegal Analysis: What Do Sam Goldwyn and Geraldo Rivera Have in Common?  TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman offers his take on the suit against Cumulus Media filed by ousted WABC, New York talk host Geraldo Rivera:

Sam Goldwyn was a legendary movie producer from the early days of Hollywood.  In fact, the G in MGM was for Goldwyn.  Goldwyn died in 1974.  Geraldo Rivera is a legendary and prize winning investigative reporter and media personality who is very much alive.  So what do they have in common?  Sam Goldwyn wasriverageraldo quoted as saying that “An oral contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.”  Once you get over trying to figure out the logic of this statement, the essential truth remains that relying on and proving an oral contract is a difficult task indeed.  Geraldo Rivera recently filed a lawsuit in state court in New York alleging that Cumulus Media, Inc., the owner of WABC – 770 AM radio in New York breached an oral, one-year contract with him pursuant to which he was to be paid $600,000 for 2016.  In addition, he alleges that Cumulus locked him out of his studio at WABC where he already was working as a talk show host.  Geraldo alleges that he had negotiated the contract with then vice president of Cumulus, John Dickey during dickeyjohna lunch meeting in July.  However, the contract was never reduced to writing and nothing was signed by the parties.  In the fall, there was a change of management at Cumulus in which its founder and CEO Lew Dickey along with John Dickey no longer were involved in active management of the company.  Although Cumulus has not, as of the writing of this, responded officially to Rivera’s complaint in court, Cumulus has responded with a statement by Davidson Goldin on behalf of the company which states, “We offered Geraldo Rivera a new contract commensurate with the value of his show and our offer was repeatedly rejected.”  As for locking Rivera out of his studio, no contract requires a radio station to give air time to someone under contract.  All the station is required to do is to pay the talent.  In this case, it would appear that Cumulus would have rather eaten the rest of Rivera’s present contract which would terminate under its own terms at the end of December rather than permit Rivera to air his grievances over the air.  As for Rivera, he has stated, “It is not about the money.  Because of their unforgivable disrespect, I will fight them and they will end up costing their battered company far more in damages than they expect to save in salary.”  What are the real facts?  That will be determined in court where Goldwyn’s comment may take on new meaning.

bubbaBubba Lawyers Again Filed Motion to Dismiss Nielsen’s $1 Million Suit.  On Friday (12/11), lawyers for Bubba the Love Sponge filed a motion to dismiss the $1 million fraud suit filed against their client by Nielsen Audio.  Bubba’s attorneys say that Nielsen can’t prove that it has been damaged by their client’s ratings tampering incident, that allegations of additional attempts to tamper with the ratings have not been proven and Bubba’s already been punished for the one case to which he’d admitted.  They also point to Nielsen’s statements after the tampering became public knowledge that the company was able to root out the panelist in question and the rest of the market’s ratings were not adversely affected as proof Nielsen can’t show damages.  This filing comes just days after Beasley Media Group re-branded Bubba’s flagship station WBRN, Tampa from “Bubba 998.7” to “98.7 No Rules Rock,” bringing into question whether the business relationship between Bubba and Beasley in Tampa will continue in the New Year.

nymrad logoNYMRAD Issues Third Quarter State of the Market Report.  The latest edition of this quarterly report from the New York Market Radio Broadcasters Association is a “comprehensive analysis of the New York marketplace designed to help advertisers understand radio’s impact on consumers and its prominent role in the local advertising landscape.”  NYMRAD executive director Deborah Beagan states, “In third quarter, retailers effectively used radio leading up to the holiday shopping season.  Radio has always done a terrific job of reaching people on the go, and is a huge benefit for influencing consumers closest to their point of purchase.”  Regarding radio advertising in the market, the report’s “research on the department store, mass merchandiser, home improvement, and fast food sectors found that exposure to radio ad campaigns increased sales, number of buyers, and dollars spent.  For department stores alone, sales increased by 10%, the number of buyers increased by 3%, and dollars spent per customer increased by 6%.”  See the report here.

Odds & Sods.  The patriotic rock band Madison Rising is beginning its preparation for its 2016 national tourmadisonrisingstill with the release of its “Soldier’s Christmas” song and video.  The presentation honors the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for this nation, along with their families who endure their loss throughout the year and during the holiday season in particular. The band (pictured at right) is on a mission to reignite authentic American culture through great rock music.  Its new album American Hero (RED) is dedicated to the men and women of our armed forces, along with the police, firefighters and other first responders. The band just completed a 70-city tour, and is preparing to launch its next stretch on January 9…..Toledo market sports talkers WLQR-FM, Delta, Ohio, flips affiliations from CBS Sports Radio Network to ESPN and begins airing much of the latter network’s sports talk shows.  The Cumulus-owned station is keeping local personalities Bob Frantz (3:00 pm to 5:00 pm) and Mike Miller (5:00 pm to 7:00 pm) on the program schedule…..There’s end-of-year programming available from ABC News Radio with programs including:  “Playback 2015” with Cheri Preston and Aaron Katersky; a year-end edition of “Perspective”; “World News This Year”; “2015 As it Happened”; “The Economy 2015 Year in Review” with ABC News’ chief business and economic correspondent Rebecca Jarvis and ABC News correspondent Richard Davies…..KEGL, Dallas “The Eagle” afternoon personality Russ Martin is thanking police for their work rescuing him after he was the victim of a home invasion.  A story in the Frisco Enterprise reports that three masked men ambushed him outside his home, bound him and stole items from his house before escaping in Martin’s 2010 Dodge Challenger.  The men have not been apprehended yet.  Martin was not harmed.

herskovitzal‘Tis the Season for Sports Talk Radio.  Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz writes in a column posted today that this time of year represents what can be a boon for sports talk radio.  With the NFL’s season zeroing in on the playoffs and basketball, hockey and college sports also in high gear, the opportunities to get creative from a sales standpoint are numerous.  He notes some of the sponsored segments he’s recently encountered during play-by-play broadcasts.  “‘The collision of the game’ sponsored by a vehicle repair shop; The ‘injury time-out’ sponsored by a medical group; ‘The gem of the game’ (the best play) sponsored by a jewelry store.  I even heard one that was called ‘The catch of the game.’  It was sponsored by a bait and tackle shop!  Laugh if you must, but this special creativity has to be acknowledged.”  Read the entire column here.

marksidSid Mark Signs Contract Extension to Continue Hosting ‘Sound of Sinatra.’  The program has been airing in one form or another in Philadelphia for the past 59 years – the last 16 on CBS RADIO’s WPHT – and radio pro Sid Mark will continue to host the nationally syndicated “Sound of Sinatra” after recently inking a contract extension.  Mark comments, “My thanks to the management of WPHT, our sponsors and, of course, my listeners for making this possible. Look forward to a big bash for the 60th.”  CBS RADIO SVP/market manager for Philadelphia David Yadgaroff adds, “What Frank Sinatra is to music, Sid Mark is to radio.  We are so happy to continue the tradition that Sid started 59 years ago.”  As legend has it, “The Sounds of Sinatra” began with a call from a listener, who suggested that Mark spin one hour of Frank Sinatra songs.  That tradition developed into “Friday with Frank,” as well as “Sunday with Sinatra,” which presently airs on WPHT on Sundays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.  It’s still heard on more than 100 radio stations from coast to coast and is the only radio program of its kind to have been personally authorized by Frank Sinatra.

brownejoyXmasSweater15Bringing Joy to the Ugly.  Nationally syndicated (GCN) talk star Dr. Joy Browne invited listeners to enter photos on Facebook for her annual “Ugliest Christmas Sweater” contest.  She came up with two winners – both who work as interns at the York Theatre Company’s current Broadway production of a musical titled “Plaid Tidings.”  Pictured (l-r) Daniel Lees, Dr. Joy Browne, and Lucas Camp.  York Theatre Company’s slogan is “Where musicals come to life.”

Government Shutdown Threat, Paris Climate Summit and Tomorrow’s GOP Debate Top Weekend News/Talk Stories.  The passage of a week-long spending bill and the threat of a government shutdown after this week; the ‘Paris Agreement’ climate deal inked among the U.S. and 185 other countries; and tomorrow night’s GOP primary debate in Las Vegas were some of the top news/talk stories discussed on weekend talk radio programs, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, November 23, 2015

| November 23, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, August 2, 2012

| August 2, 2012

Chick-fil-A Controversy Fires Up Conservative Talk Hosts; Sparks Movement to Support Fast Food Chain.  The issues of gay marriage and First Amendment rights have been front and center on news/talk radio this week in the wake of Chick-fil-A COO Dan Cathy’s comments in a Baptist publication about his support for the Biblical definition of marriage that’s grown into a major news story.  Some view his statement as bigoted and divisive while others see this as a free speech issue.  The case has spurred planned demonstrations by same-sex couples and their supporters as well as conservative media personalities who have encouraged their listeners and viewers to support the fast food chain.  Salem Radio Network talk host Mike Gallagher is pictured here (at left) in his studio preparing to enjoy his Chick-fil-A lunch and has been encouraging listeners to post pictures of themselves eating at the restaurant on Facebook.  Salem Communications O&O WNYM, New York – AM 970 The Answer – organized a call for support at the Paramus, New Jersey Mall where the station reports some 200 listeners had lined up by lunchtime to support the store.  At right is talk show host Kevin McCullough (l)  – whose weekend talk show is heard on WNYM – with Salem VP/director of spoken word format Phil Boyce (r) as they prepare to enjoy a sandwich.  In the panoramic photo below.  The Answer morning drive host Curtis Sliwa can be seen at the far right speaking with a listener while the line of customers spreads across the photo to the left.

Bill Handel’s “Cash Mob” Supports SoCal Toy Store.  A “cash mob” organized by KFI, Los Angeles morning drive host Bill Handel put some $9,000 in the register of struggling Corona del Mar toy store Toy Boat, Toy Boat, Toy Boat.  Handel appeared at the store from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm but Handel’s listeners patronized the store all day long after hearing Handel speak on the air about the state of the struggling local business.  Handel show executive producer Michelle Kube reports many of the people who bought toys donated them to Children’s Hospital of Orange County.  Kube states, “This was just the first.  We plan to do more of these across all day parts on KFI over the next few months all over the Southland as our amazing listeners have responded with so many requests to help local small business owners!”

Clear Channel Reports Radio Revenue Up 3%.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment – of course, now a private company but one that still publicly reports financials – gives its 2012 Q2 financial report and states revenue was up from $771.8 million in the second quarter of 2011 to $793 million in the second quarter of this year.  CFO Tom Casey reports much of that increase was due to national and in categories including automotive, telecommunications, financial services, political and entertainment.  Casey noted that national business rose at roughly double the rate of local business.

Comedian and Stephanie Miller Show Cast Member John Fugelsang Gets Current TV Show.  Regular Stephanie Miller radio show cast member – and one third of Miller’s “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” – John Fugelsang will have his own Current TV program beginning in the fall.  Talk radio host Stephanie Miller’s show is simulcast on the Al Gore-founded cable TV network in which Fugelsang gets some face time, but now he’ll have a solo gig there.  In a statement, Al Gore says, “We at Current are eager to bring John’s unique perspective on politics and the world around him to primetime.  He’s been a part of the Current family for a while now and we see just how much his voice resonates with our audience.  His new show will nicely complement our growing lineup.”  Fugelsang has guest-hosted prime time shows on the network including Eliot Spitzer’s and Jennifer Granholm’s programs.  The network has not announced what time the show will air.

WQSC, Charleston, South Carolina Flips to Talk.  The Kirkman Broadcasting station drops oldies for news/talk and airs largely syndicated programming with the exception of local PM drive host Rocky D.  Programming consists of: Cumulus Media NetworksImus in the Morning; Salem Radio Network’s Mike Gallagher; Talk Radio Network’s Laura Ingraham; Dial Global’s Dennis Miller and Jim Bohannon; and CBS Radio’s “Overnight America” with Jon Grayson.

California Couple Sentenced in Real Estate Ponzi Scheme; Infomercials Aired on KVTA, Port Hueneme.  It’s almost a mystery how stations keep selling infomercials to “investment gurus” who go on to swindle people out of their life savings…but they do.  The latest case in this oft-repeating story is that of Kenneth Powell and Kathryn Rose who pleaded guilty to numerous counts of felony fraud related to a real estate investment Ponzi scheme that scammed some $3 million out of 15 people in Southern California.  The two broadcast shows called “Academy of Real Estate,” “Money Intelligence” and “The Ken & Katie Show” on KVTA.  Investors were asked to put money into real estate development or loans secured by real estate but all investment cash went to pay off previous investors until the scheme went bust.  59-year-old Powell received 18 years in prison and 63-year-old Rose will serve 12 years, 8 months.

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  Journal Broadcasting’s news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee gave away a fully restored 1969 Chevy Camaro (pictured here) to winner Aaron Guenterberg in its annual “Free Ride” promotion that saw more than 10,000 people enter the contest…..A Saturday morning talk show hosted by Tony Stiles debuts on news/talk KOIL, Omaha this Saturday…..Jacksonville-based sports talk show “Courts and Sports,” hosted by attorney John Phillips, moves from WOKV to crosstown WFXJ, Jacksonville on August 9.  Phillips’ regular co-host for the program is Jacksonville Jaguars running back Rashad Jennings…..SiriusXM presents “College Sports Nation Camp Tour” on its College Sports Nation channel beginning today.  Hosts Eddie George, Gino Torretta, Rick Neuheisel, Houston Nutt, Randy Cross, Gil Brandt, Jack Arute and Mark Packer will visit 13 camps in 16 days and report to listeners.

20 Gallons of Hat.  WLAC, Nashville-based talk host Steve Gill (r) is pictured here with music legend Charlie Daniels (l).  Daniels appeared on Gill’s syndicated talk program on Tuesday, July 31 and the two talked politics and the state of the country.

Presidential Race, Chick-fil-A Case, Ted Cruz Texas Primary Victory, Fed Economic Report/Financial Markets Activities, and London Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/1).  The campaign for president, the outpouring of support for Chick-fil-A and the issue of same-sex marriage; Tea Party candidate Ted Cruz’s Republican primary victory for U.S. Senate in Texas; the Fed’s economic report and financial markets activities; and the London Olympics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, July 9, 2012

| July 9, 2012

Jim Horn to Retire from WSBA, York.  One of the most well-liked and admired broadcasters in news/talk radio, Jim Horn, is announcing he will be retiring from his dual position as program director and morning co-host at Cumulus Media‘s WSBA, York, Pennsylvania effective August 1, after serving nearly 34 years at the station.  For the past four years, he and co-host Gary Sutton have presided over mornings at the station and have earned a spot in the Talkers 250 during each of them.  Sutton will remain with the station as Cumulus searches for a new PD and morning co-host.  Horn tells TALKERS, “After being with WSBA for almost three and a half decades, I want to take a very long vacation – something I do not remember ever doing – and then take the time to explore new opportunities both inside and outside radio and see if something interesting comes along.  I am very excited about entering this new chapter of my life.”

Speculation About FM Sports Signal in New York Heats Up.  There’s almost always chatter in the Big Apple about when CBS Radio’s WFAN will finally get an FM signal, but a recent story at FishbowlNY is fueling even more.  Jerry Barmash’s piece cites a former CBS Radio employee who indicates the upcoming rights battle for New York Yankees baseball may be the catalyst for CBS Radio to drop “Fresh 102.7” and give The Fan an FM signal.  Another factor cited is the coming CBS Sports Radio Network.  The company will certainly want to have a New York outlet for its national programming and the source tells Barmash, “I wouldn’t be surprised if CBS uses 660 as a clearinghouse for the CBS Sports Network while 102.7 maintains a local angle.”  Getting back to the Yankees, it’s believed this will be the last year for Yankees baseball on WCBS and if CBS wants to try to keep both the Yankees and the Mets (currently on The Fan), it’ll need two sports signals.  FishbowlNY’s source says the Yankees are likely to want to buy the time from their next radio outlet and take production and sales in-house.

Programmer Lee Feldman Exiting Beasley’s WQAM, Miami.  A plum sports program director position is opening up as WQAM, Miami PD Lee Feldman is preparing to exit the station in two weeks.  Assistant PD and Dan Sileo show executive producer Andy King will be serving as the interim program director but the word is the station is seeking a permanent replacement for Feldman.

St. Louis’ Grand Slam Sports Changes Calls, Image of KSLG.  The station  formerly known as SportsRadio 1380 KSLG in St. Louis becomes KXFN, St. Louis with the handle “The Fan 2” – indicating its position as sister station to “The Fan,” KFNS at 590.  The change takes place today and general manager Katy Pavelonis states, “We will now have 590 The Fan and 1380 The Fan 2.  This will allow us to cross promote our programming as we continue to be ‘The Voice of the St. Louis Sports Fan.’  Sports fans have become accustomed to the coverage and entertainment we offer as the heritage sports station with 590 The Fan.  1380 The Fan 2 is simply an extension of our brand.”  Pavelonis says Grand Slam Sports conducted a study, led by a Saint Louis University MBA class, that revealed most sports fans associate “The Fan” with 1380 sister station KFNS.

Eliot Spitzer Joins NY1’s Political Roundtable Show.  Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who replaced Keith Olbermann on the Al Gore-founded cable channel Current TV, will become a regular panelist on NY1’s “Inside City Hall.”  NY1 is Time Warner’s local cable news channel for people living in the Tri-State area.  Regular panelists on the program include former New York Mayor Ed Koch and former U.S. Senator Alfonse D’Amato.

 

Chris Vernon Takes Over Middays at WMFS-AM/FM, Memphis.  Sports talk host Chris Vernon moves from KQPN, Memphis to crosstown WMFS-AM/FM to host the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm show on the Entercom sports talker beginning today.  Entercom vice president and market manager Dan Barron says, “92.9 FM ESPN is the number one sports and spoken-word station in the market.  Adding Chris Vernon enhances that already strong position.  Chris is a top talent who brings a high-energy approach and national experience.  He’s a perfect fit for Entercom/Memphis and our advertisers.”

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  Dial Global nationally syndicated talk host Jim Bohannon will be the announcer for CBS Television’s “Face the Nation” on July 22…..Country singer Hank Williams, Jr. has a new album out with free song downloads for radio stations coming this week.  PR maven Janet Fallon says there are a couple of political songs on the disc and the country legend is none too pleased with President Obama…..Illinois talk host Michael Koolidge hosts his annual “Michael Koolidge Show Summer Party” at Perry Rock Restaurant in Rockford, Illinois on Thursday, July 26.  Koolidge, whose show is syndicated to numerous markets in Northern Illinois, is throwing the party that’s free and open to the public to thank his listeners for their support for the growing program…..Local Focus Radio president Kay Olin is named chair of the board of directors for the Alliance for Women in Media.  Olin will lead the AWM board in its mission to “harness the promise, passion and power of women in all forms of media to empower career development, engage in thought leadership, and drive positive change for our industry and societal progress.”…..Bloomquist Media receives a 2012 Finalist Award from the New York Radio Festival for the Christmas radio program “The Gift, A Holiday Tribute to Military Families.”  The program won in the Social Issues/Current Events category and helped raise awareness and funds for the Fisher House Foundation.

The State of News in News/Talk Radio

| May 21, 2012

By Kevin Casey
TALKERS magazine
VP/Managing Editor

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — It’s understood by anyone in the radio business that the big news stories of the day – whether they are local or national stories – generate the topics that drive the conversation on news/talk radio.  But what are the roles of the newsroom, the reporter and the regular newscasts on today’s news/talk stations?  The move of all-news to FM signals, the development of more national and regional radio news products and the addition of newswheel programs to some of the country’s most respected talk stations seem to indicate radio news has received a shot in the arm.  But the decimation of many radio news departments that occurred in conjunction with consolidation still affects many radio operations and raises questions about the relevance of news elements to the successful operation of the modern news/talk station.

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Friday, May 18, 2012

| May 18, 2012

Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio Hits 10 Million Registered Users in Eight Months.  The digital media player that Clear Channel Media and Entertainment has been vigorously promoting is growing, according to CC, “faster than nearly all other entertainment platforms, including Pandora, Facebook, Spotify and Instagram.”  The iHeartRadio player has more than 10 million users since the 10 million figure includes just registered users – only required for the custom station service.  Brian Lekamp, president of digital for CCME, states, “iHeartRadio has demonstrated incredibly rapid adoption, more than two times faster than other leading entertainment services – it’s mind-blowing.  We are thrilled with the consumer reaction and feedback.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, using the tremendous promotional power of our broadcast radio properties, has been able to drive this adoption like no other company could.  iHeartRadio offers a great product supported by unparalleled promotional capabilities.”

NPR Facing Fiscal Downturn; May End Year in the Red.  In a piece by Paul Farhi for the Washington Post, the challenging financial situation NPR is dealing with as the U.S. economy continues to struggle is brought to light.  New CEO Gary Knell tells Farhi NPR has operated at a deficit three out of the past four years and had to dip into its endowment fund to cover expenses.  This comes after the brutal 2008 fiscal year in which NPR was forced to cut 7% of its workforce after coming up $23 million short.  The situation for NPR is that corporate underwriting – or advertising – has fallen dramatically.  Instability in some of the corporate positions responsible for fundraising and underwriting have not helped the content provider, either.  NPR states that through March of this year, it was operating at a deficit of $2.6 million beyond what the endowment covers and when the end of its fiscal year rolls around in September, it may still be in the red.  Knell has told employees the last thing he wants to do is cut staffing and programming but he also states NPR cannot continue to operate as it is.  He tells the Post, “NPR has been withdrawing from the bank and we can’t keep doing that,” he said. “We have to be at break-even or be in a positive position on an annual basis, or I can tell you at some point we’re going to have to turn the lights off.”

CNN Suffers Lowest Prime Time Rating in 15 Years.  Time Warner’s CNN is getting more bad news after getting clobbered in the April Nielsen’s released last week.  Now, TVNewser reports “Piers Morgan Tonight” – which aired at 9:00 ET – pulled in just 39,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo on Tuesday, May 15.  The show garnered 284,000 total viewers which was not a record low.  The piece notes the program faced competition in the form of the season finale of “NCIS: L.A.,” “America’s Got Talent” and “Dancing with the Stars” which, all together, had 39 million total viewers.

WOWO, Fort Wayne Reporter Held in Contempt for Phone Use in Court.  WOWO, Fort Wayne news director Dave Wheaton was found in contempt at the Allen County Superior Court for using a station-owned iPhone while covering a guilty plea at a murder case at the courthouse.  Two sheriff’s deputies noticed Wheaton texting on the phone – a violation of court rules – and confiscated the phone.  Wheaton told Judge Fran Gull he did not see the numerous signs warning of the ban on phones in the courtroom to which the judge replied, “Candidly, I don’t believe you,” reports the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.  The ban has been in effect since 2007 after courtroom attendees were found taking photos.  The judge ordered the phone destroyed but allowed WOWO owner Federated Media to download the contents first.

The State and Future of News on America’s News/Talk Radio Stations.  The rise of digital news sources, today’s quickening news cycle and the economic realities of our times are forcing news/talk radio stations to evaluate their news product and adapt to continue to serve their listeners.  In a feature story by TALKERS managing editor Kevin Casey coming to Talkers.com next week, programmers speak on the record about their news philosophy and its practical application.  KMOX, St. Louis operations director Steve Moore says despite the factors some think puts radio at a disadvantage for news, it’s still a very important element.  “Local news is the foundation for everything we do and that includes providing content and information for our programming staffs.  That relationship goes both ways.  Talent use their connections to flesh out stories that are heard on our newscasts.  A strong, local news department should be the perfect complement to a good talk show host.”  Read what some of today’s top news/talk programmers are saying about the state of news on their stations and in the larger media mix at Talkers.com next week.

Michael Harrison to Speak at New Jersey Broadcasters Association Conference.  June promises to be a busy month for Michael Harrison.  Less than one short week after the New Media Seminar in NYC, the publisher and founder of TALKERS magazine will deliver a special address at the 65th Annual New Jersey Broadcasters Association Conference on June 13.  The address titled, “The Future of the Stick and the Shtick: How Terrestrial Radio can Thrive in the Digital Age,” will provide a realistic focus on the key issues and challenges facing AM and FM radio today as it finds its place in the new and exotic landscape of 21st century technology and culture.  One of the key points that Harrison plans to make is that even though talk radio broadcasters are licking their chops at the prospect of music radio’s demise, one of the keys to talk radio’s growth in the coming years will actually be the survival and revival of music radio as a commercial and cultural force.  Harrison says, “An AM and FM band of only spoken word programming will not be enough to keep terrestrial radio afloat.  For terrestrial radio of all formats to have a healthy place from which to operate, it must reclaim ownership of the music scene – no doubt a daunting task.”  Harrison goes on to say that this can actually be done.  “The music scene in America has a desperate need for big-time leadership in terms of breaking new artists and product as well as defining and creating a cultural environment in which a healthy and  purposeful industry can operate.  This is something that radio has historically done effectively and can do again in the new century.”  Harrison suggests the key to doing this is to bring back the disc jockey as a viable broadcasting art form and the plugged-in music director as a connection to the street and marketplace.  “When music radio gave up its franchise on personalities – on-air talents who can present, deliver, and ‘sell’ a song, it set in motion its own destruction as well as inflicting damage to the music business itself.  It is not too late to correct this.”  The 65th Annual NJBA Conference will take place at Caesar’s Atlantic City June 12-13.  For information call 888-657-2346.

2012 Presidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM for 7th Consecutive Week.  The race for president between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney once again was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of May 14-18, 2012.  Following at #2 was the Greece and Euro Zone fiscal crisis; at #3 was world financial markets activity; and at #4 was President Obama’s gay marriage stance.  The Talkers TenTM is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart of the top stories and people on news/talk radio here.

Commentators of the Year.  That’s ESPN’s Mike Golic – co-host of ESPN Radio’s and ESPN2’s “Mike & Mike in the Morning” show (c) – holding the awards given to him and co-host Mike Greenberg (not pictured) for being named Team ESPN’s Volunteer Commentators of the Year.  Next to Golic are ESPN EVP of production John Wildhack (l) and president of ESPN, Inc. John Skipper (r).  Golic and Greenberg were honored at a luncheon yesterday (5/17) with the award given to an ESPN commentator “who provides positive impact in the community through his or her volunteer efforts.”  The duo led the way on ESPN Radio for the “Don’t Give Up ESPYs V Foundation Auction” which raised more than $800,000 for The V Foundation for Cancer Research.  They have contributed their personal time to emcee the Jimmy V Basketball dinner, and visit military sites, like the Intrepid this year for ESPN’s Veterans Week.  Each received $1,000 to be donated to the charity of their choice and both elected to give it to The V Foundation.

Friday, January 27, 2011

| January 27, 2012

Social Media: Handle with Care.  Using social media such as Twitter and Facebook to promote one’s radio program, the station brand or to interact with P1s is what most talk radio practitioners are expected to do these days.  After all, used properly, most digital experts agree the explosive nature of social media can reach people –– including potential new listeners –– in a way other media can’t.  But are there damaging aspects to social media?  Is there a potential downside? Does the ability to have a “personal” conversation with a big-time media personality (whether local or national) damage the mystique of being a larger-than-life commentator?  Does it provide an ease of access that has a downside that’s not being considered?  Is the propensity of tweets to get nasty a looming pitfall for opinionated and sensitive talk hosts in a way that taking calls on the air is not?  Does the revealing nature of social media put too much inadvertent control over the program’s and station’s image in the hands of staff –– hosts or others –– who wouldn’t ordinarily be authorized to execute that image promotion? TALKERS magazine managing editor Kevin Casey and special features correspondent Mike Kinosian speak with talk media industry practitioners about these questions and more here.

Mark Plotkin Exits WTOP, Washington; Media Reports Suggest Plotkin’s Temper Flare-Ups to Blame.  Mark Plotkin has been a commentator and political analyst at Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington for the past decade but the station confirms to the Washington Post that he is no longer working there.  The Post story goes on to paint a picture of a passionate, extremely knowledgeable broadcaster whose numerous “shouting matches” with fellow employees may have been his downfall.  For his part, Plotkin tells the Post, “We just parted ways.  Things happened along the way and this was an appropriate time to move on.  All I have is good feeling for WTOP.”

Jeff Cameron Lands at Horizon Broadcasting in Tallahassee.  After exiting Clear Channel’s sports talk WNLS, Tallahassee just last week, Jeff Cameron goes across town where he’ll work as a consultant for Horizon Broadcasting’s adult hits WBYW-FM, Panama City until starting his own sports talk show on the company’s sports talker WTSM-FM, Tallahassee (licensed to Woodville, Florida) on August 1.  The release from Horizon doesn’t say so but we’re assuming Cameron’ sitting out a non-compete on the sports talk work until August.  Horizon’s North Florida regional manager Barry Kaye says, “For over thirteen years, Jeff has been a radio icon in Tallahassee.  Even beyond that, Jeff Cameron represents the voice of Seminole fans from coast to coast.  We look forward to welcoming Jeff’s large fan base to our operation.”

Chris Duel Gone from Sports KZDC, San Antonio.  Numerous reports indicate Chris Duel has left Border Media Partners’ sports talker KZDC – The Zone ESPN 1250 where he co-hosted the PM drive show with Jason Minnix.  There’s no official word from Border Media but Duel’s name has been removed from the station’s website.  Duel is a San Antonio broadcast veteran having worked at Clear Channel’s WOAI and Border Media’s KTSA as well.

Mitt Romney-Newt Gingrich Battle the Top News/Talk Story for the Week of January 23-27.  According to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine, the battle between GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week landing atop the Talkers TenTM weekly chart.  Coming in at #2 this week was the 2012 presidential race – including all of the attendant issues and criticisms of the Obama Administration.  At #3 was President Obama’s State of the Union Address followed by the spat between President Obama and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  To see the entire chart, click here.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Sports USA Radio’s Joe Morgan Program adds: KTCK, Dallas; WTDY, Madison; WIBZ, Eau Claire, Wisconsin; KNEB, Scottsbluff, Nebraska; and WHOP, Hopkinsville, Kentucky…..GCN’s Dr. Daliah Wachs is added to KCAA, Loma Linda, California…..“America’s Health Care Advocate” with Cary Hall picks up WKYX-AM/FM, Paducah, Kentucky…..Thom Hartmann’s radio program is added to four public radio stations: KSOW-LPFM, Cottage Grove, Oregon; KDKO-FM, Lake Andes, South Dakota; WHAV, Ward Hill, Massachusetts; and WACC-LPFM, Enfield, Connecticut…..Clear Channel brings 14 college stations aboard its iHeartRadio application: WASU-FM, Boone, North Carolina; WCNI-FM, New London, Connecticut; WFRD-FM, Hanover, New Hampshire; WDUB-FM, Granville, Ohio; Radio DePaul; WERS-FM, Boston; WFCF-FM, St. Augustine; KGRG-FM, Auburn, Washington; WICB-FM, Ithaca; Rice Radio; WSOU-FM, South Orange, New Jersey; KZSU, Stanford, California; Temple University’s WHIP; WCWS-FM, Wooster, Ohio.