Tag: "news/talk radio"
Fox News Channel Announces New Prime Time Lineup. In the aftermath of yesterday’s announcement that 21st Century Fox’s Fox News Channel has parted company with embattled personality Bill O’Reilly after a 20-year relationship, the cable news leader reveals its new prime-time lineup. Taking over the 8:00 pm ET slot will be Tucker Carlson, who recently joined FNC after Megyn Kelly‘s departure. Sean Hannity remains in his 10:00 pm time slot and moving into the 9:00 pm hour is the panel discussion program “The Five,” co-anchored by Kimberly Guilfoyle, Dana Perino, Bob Beckel, Greg Gutfeld, Jesse Watters and Juan Williams. Martha McCallum stays in the 7:00 pm hour but her show is re-named “The Story.” Beginning May 1, Eric Bolling – regular O’Reilly fill-in anchor and “The Five” contributor – will launch his own program at 5:00 pm.
Clive Davis Chats with WABC at Stage 17. Recording industry legend Clive Davis (right), talks with 77WABC entertainment reporter Mike “Gunz” Gunzelman (left) at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 in New York City yesterday (4/19). Davis was in town promoting the premiere of the documentary Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives, which opened at the TriBeCa Film Festival last night. During the interview, Davis discussed his early days in the industry as well as his years working with the legendary Whitney Houston and other iconic artists, including Simon & Garfunkel and Bruce Springsteen. Davis also told Gunzelman he believes in the vitality of radio, calling it “vital” to creating hits.
No Charges Filed in the Michael Savage Kerfuffle. According to a report in the East Bay Times, the Marin County District Attorney’s office says no charges will be filed against Westwood One talk host Michael Savage or John Spreckles Rosekrans, the man Savage accused of assaulting him outside a Tiburon, California restaurant. Savage and Rosekrans placed each other under citizen’s arrest after a verbal confrontation escalated into a physical conflict. Neither man required medical treatment nor appeared visibly injured, according to police. The paper quotes Marin County assistant DA Barry Borden saying, “After a thorough review of all the police reports and communications with attorneys representing each of the two individuals involved with this incident, a decision has been made that charges will not be filed against either individual.”
TALKERS News Notes. Southern California broadcaster Fred Lundgren’s website for KCAA, Loma Linda was hacked and directed to a porn site last week. Lundgren details the arduous journey to recovering control of his station’s website in a piece published at Huffington Post. Check it out here…..iHeartMedia and SpokenLayer announce a new relationship that will put nearly 40 SpokenEditions onto the iHeartRadio platform. SpokenEditions are human-read versions of written content from premium publishers and the collaboration will bring the audio version of hundreds of news stories to iHeartRadio listeners each week. Some of the publishers involved include: Gizmodo, Huffington Post, Slate, Time, Reuters, Wired, and more…..Alpha Media’s Portland news/talk “FM News 101” KXL is named the 2016 Radio Station of the Year from the Oregon Association of Broadcasters. In addition to that, KXL was also honored with Best Newscast, Best Coverage of Breaking News, and Best Feature awards. Alpha Media Portland market manager Lisa Decker comments, “These awards are great recognition and honor for an outstanding product that the KXL staff produces every day.”…..Football great AJ Hawk is joining Radiohio’s sports talk WBNS, Columbus “97.1 The Fan” beginning May 8 for a summer program titled “Off-Season with AJ Hawk,” that’ll also feature co-host Anthony Rothman. The show will air from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm and feature talk about the Ohio State Buckeyes, the NFL, as well as other hot sports topics. During the NFL season, the former Green Bay Packers linebacker will join the midday “Carpenter and Rothman” show for “Football Fridays.”…..CBS RADIO inks a deal with TrafficLand – one of the largest authorized aggregators of live traffic video in the U.S. – for CBS to use the company’s video management technology (VMC). The TrafficLand VMC service provides integrated access to real-time video from more than 20,000 state and local department of transportation traffic cameras across the U.S. through a specialized interface that was built by TrafficLand for traffic reporters and first responders to improve situational awareness…..Total Traffic & Weather Network announces it inks an exclusive, nationwide agreement with TrafficCast, a provider of digital traffic information and technology. In the multi-year partnership, TTWN will serve as the exclusive U.S. radio and television distributor and marketing partner for TrafficCast’s new smartphone app, TrafficCarma…..Red Rock Radio enters into an agreement to sell Duluth market sports talk duo WWAX-FM, “92.1 The Fan” and KQDS-AM to Twin Ports Radio, LLC. for an undisclosed sum. Kalil & Co. represented Red Rock and Steve Moravec of Phoenix Media Group, LLC assisted Twin Ports Radio.
WEEI’s ‘Kirk & Callahan’ Visits the White House. Pictured above is the WEEI, Boston morning show cast posing for a photo with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer during yesterday’s visit by the Super Bowl LI champion New England Patriots. The morning show was invited to the event by Spicer. The Patriots were officially congratulated on their victory in a ceremony with President Donald Trump. Pictured (from l-r) are: Gerry Callahan, Spicer, Kirk Minihane, WEEI program director Joe Zarbano, Kirk & Callahan senior producer Chris Curtis.
Hangin’ with Rusty Wallace. NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace poses for a photo with (from l-r): Chris McKee of the Motor Racing Network, AdLarge Co-CEO Cathy Csukas; Wallace; and AdLarge Co-CEO Gary Schonfeld. Wallace serves as an analyst for MRN. AdLarge is the exclusive national ad sales partner for MRN: The Voice of NASCAR.
Fox News and Bill O’Reilly Part Company, North Korea Nukes/‘Trump Armada,’ Russian Saber-Rattling, Iran Nuclear Deal, Aaron Hernandez Suicide, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/19). Fox News Channel’s announcement that personality Bill O’Reilly will not return to the cable channel in the wake of sexual harassment allegations; North Korea’s nuclear threats and the controversy over misleading Trump Administration information about where in the region U.S. Navy ships actually were; reports of Russian fighters patrolling near Alaska; Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s promise of a “comprehensive review” of the Iran nuclear deal; the apparent suicide of fallen NFL star and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Washington and Baltimore markets, iHeartMedia announces two promotions. First, Tommy Chuck is named program director for adult contemporary WASH-FM. He’s been with the iHeartMedia Washington cluster for two-plus years programming CHR WIHT “HOT 99.5” and country WPOC, Baltimore. He’ll continue to program WIHT in addition to WASH-FM. He says, “I am honored to now lead the two most-listened-to radio stations in Washington, DC. Like ‘HOT 99.5,’ 97.1 WASH-FM is a blue-chip brand with an incredible history and even brighter future.” At the same time, the company announces that Jeff Wyatt moves up from his vice president of programming for the company’s Virginia-Carolina region to become SVP of programming for the Baltimore market and program director for WPOC and adult hits WQSR “102.7 JACK FM.”…..In the Savannah market, Cumulus Media names Mike “Big Mike” Bell program director for its hip hop outlet WEAS “FM/E93.” Bell moves to Savannah from his most recent position with the company at its Florence, South Carolina operations where he’s been PD for hip hop WYNN. Cumulus Media Savannah VP and market manager Eric Mastel says, “Mike’s creativity, positive energy and experience programming successful urban-formatted stations make him a tremendous addition to the ‘E93’ team. Our listeners are going to love what they hear.”…..iHeartMedia San Antonio flips KZEP from urban contemporary to Spanish pop as “104.5 Latino Hits,” the new home of Spanish contemporary hit radio. The station is kicking off today with 10,000 commercial-free songs. Core artists include: Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, Nicky Jam, Shakira, and Mana. Effective May 1, Enrique Santos hosts wake-up show “Tu Manana con Enrique Santos.”…..Hubbard Radio’s WARH, St. Louis “106.5 The Arch” is celebrating the life of Prince all day tomorrow – the one-year anniversary of his death – dubbed “Purple Friday.” “106.5 The Arch” will be airing special features throughout the day as well playing one of Prince’s hits every hour, on the hour. WARH music director and afternoon personality Robert Fithen states, “As Prince broke through lyrical and musical boundaries, fans broke through with him. His music taught me to challenge the rules and not be content with labels and confines. Go ahead. Try to categorize ‘Let’s Go Crazy,’ a song that starts with a sermon, builds to a keyboard hook and ends with a blistering hard rock guitar solo. Is it R&B? Rock? Pop? It’s Prince!”
Round Two of March PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s March 2017 PPM survey is released for 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s March 2017 survey period covered March 2 – 29. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets below.
1) Washington, D.C. – Baseball “experts” are predicting great things this year for the Washington Nationals. The National League East team’s flagship – CBS Radio’s WJFK-FM – rebounds from February’s one-half share loss with a gain of seven-tenths (2.0 – 1.5 – 2.2, 6+) as “106.7 The Fan” inches up from #18 to #17. Unlisted for the third straight month is its main competitor, Red Zebra Broadcasting’s WTEM “ESPN 980” (1.9, #17, “Holiday” 2016, 6+). Despite declining by one-half share (11.5 – 11.0, 6+), American University‘s WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” finishes first for the third straight time. Off by -2.3 in “Holiday” 2016, WAMU recaptured all of it in January and February (9.2 – 11.0 – 11.5, 6+); February’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history, first reached in December 2016. When WPRS “Praise 104.1” lost one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016, it ended five successive improvements that produced a collective +2.2 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.1, 6+). The Radio One-owned gospel outlet faltered by another eight-tenths in January; regained six-tenths in February; but in March, “Praise” sputters by -1.3 (5.0 – 4.2 – 4.8 – 3.5, 6+), skidding from seventh to tenth. Up a combined +1.2 in January and February (3.3 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL surrenders eight-tenths to 3.7 (6+) but carries on in eighth-place. After being down in five consecutive sweeps resulting in a combined -2.3 (6.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WMMJ bounced back with three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.9 – 5.4, 6+). That streak, however, concludes as “Majic 102.3” regresses by one-half share to 4.9 (6+), dipping from fourth to sixth. Its direct competitor – Howard University‘s WHUR (+.3 and unchanged at #3) – posted a 5.7 (6+) in three of the previous six sweeps (5.7 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 6.0, 6+). Owing to a -.3 to .8 (6+), Alpha Media-owned WFLS “93.3 Today’s New Country” (flat at #20) has its consecutive string of up or flat trends – which netted a +.7 – end at five (.4 – .6 – .6 – .6 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+).
2) Boston – Over and above registering a strong +.8 to 8.5, its most potent 6+-share since last July’s 8.6, Beasley Media Group-owned WROR “Boston’s Classic Hits” is #1 for the third successive sweep. The market leader for 11 successive monthlies before being dislodged in December by adult contemporary sibling WMJX “Magic 106.7,” WROR was +1.1 in December; -1.4 in “Holiday” 2016; +1.6 in January; and now +.8 in March. In advance of December’s +1.1, WROR had been down by a combined two full-shares over the previous four sweeps (8.6 – 8.4 – 8.1 – 7.4 – 6.6, 6+). In addition to “Boston’s Classic Hits,” CBS Radio’s WZLX “Classic Rock 100.7” picks up eight-tenths as well, adding it to February’s +.7 (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.9, 6+), leaping from ninth to fifth with its best 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2014’s 5.2. By gaining four-tenths in January, WZLX pulled the plug on four straight negative trends that produced a collective -1.5 (4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+). Both of Beantown’s mainstream CHR facilities increase by one tenth. Specifically, iHeartMedia’s WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” is 5.6 – 5.7 (third to fourth, 6+) and CBS Radio-owned WODS “Amp 103.3” (unchanged at #13) is up or flat for the third successive time (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+). The market’s typically robust FM sports facilities though erode by a combined -1.3, with “Amp” sibling/Super Bowl champion New England Patriots’ key station WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” -.7 (5.4 – 4.7, fifth to sixth, 6+), while Entercom owned/Boston Red Sox flagship WEEI-FM is off by six-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (5.4 – 4.8 – 4.2, sixth to eighth, 6+). A combined +1.3 in January and February (3.4 – 4.3 – 4.7, 6+), talk-oriented public outlet WGBH-FM forfeits nine-tenths to 3.8 (seventh to tenth, 6+). Prior to January’s increase, WGBH-FM had been down or flat the previous three sweeps for a collective -.6 (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+).
3) Miami – By notching a +.7 (3.3 – 4.0, 6+), CBS Radio-owned rhythmic CHR WPOW not only recaptures what it lost in four straight declines starting in November (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+), “Power 96 – Miami’s Party Station” cracks the top ten (#12 to #8). The game of musical chairs at the top continues as Univision Radio’s WAMR picks up one-half share (6.8 – 7.3, second to first, 6+) and is back at #1 – as it was in January. “Amor 107.5” has recorded a 6.8 (6+) in four of the last seven ratings periods. One-tenth behind it and dropping from first to second is Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105,” which is actually up three-tenths (6.9 – 7.2, 6+). In February, “Hot” broke out a +.8 to 6.9, its finest showing since September’s 7.1 (6+). Down or flat for six straight sweeps for a combined -1.9 (8.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), “Hot 105” notched a one-half share gain in “Holiday” 2016 but was off by seven-tenths in January. Sputtering by a full-share (6.6 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom’s WLYF “Lite FM” slips from third to fourth and is below a six-share (6+) for the first time since June 2014’s 5.8. A one-tenth gain in January enabled “Lite FM” to halt five straight down or flat ratings periods that resulted in a decrease of more than two full-shares (8.4 – 8.4 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.2, 6+); WLYF was #1 from July 2016 through October. Meanwhile, Cox Media Group-owned similarly-programmed WFEZ “Easy 93.1” (fourth to third) has its fifth successive decrease (7.2 – 7.1 – 7.0 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) for a combined -1.1, directly after a collective +1.1 (6.1 – 6.7 – 7.2, September – October – November, 6+). “Easy 93.1” finished first in November, December, and “Holiday” 2016. Although it only slips from fifth to sixth, there is another major fluctuation for urban contemporary sibling WEDR “99 Jamz.” When WEDR declined by -.5 in December, its string of consecutive trends without a loss that produced a +.7 ended at five (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.2, 6+). Rolling out a +1.1 in “Holiday” 2016, “99 Jamz” floundered by -1.5 in January; posted a +.8 in February; but regresses by -.7 in March (4.7 – 5.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 4.4, 6+). Declining by seven-tenths as well is Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WXDJ “El Zol 106.7” (4.1 – 3.4, 6+), which plummets from #7 to #14. At the same time, Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted WRTO “Mix 98.3” is off by one-half share to 2.7 (6+), sliding from #13 to #16. Entering the March sweep, “Mix” was trending 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 (6+). Tied at #10 in February and at #12 in “Holiday” 2016, the market’s two mainstream CHR outlets continue to be nearly inseparable as iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” is flat at 3.8 (#10 to #11, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” is one-tenth behind at 3.7 (-.1, #10 to #12, 6+).
4) Detroit – A robust +.9 by WWJ – #1 for the third successive sweep – takes the CBS Radio all-news operation to 7.4, the first time it has crossed the seven-share level (6+) since February 2016, when it reached 7.5 (6+). Slightly less than two shares behind WWJ are three stations tied in the runner-up slot. All with a 5.6 (6+), they are classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WOMC (-.1, 6+); iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC (also -.1, 6+); and Cumulus Media news/talk WJR (+.1, 6+). The country share in Motown swells by six-tenths, with WWJ sibling WYCD “Detroit’s Country 99.5” up four-tenths (5.3, eighth to fifth, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” gaining two-tenths (3.2 – 3.4, #16 to #15, 6+). “Detroit’s Country” was locked on 4.9 (6+) in January and February. After registering three straight gains for a collective +2.2 (3.0 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 5.2, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies WMGC “The Bounce” surrenders exactly one-half of that gain all at once (4.1, -1.1, 6+) as it exits the top ten (#7 to #11). It would be an understatement to note “The Bounce” has had its share of sharp ups and downs since transitioning from sports last July 1. It quickly posted back-to-back gains totaling a combined +7.3, vaulting from #23 (June 2016, .7, 6+) to #15 (July 2016, 3.1, 6+) all the way to #1 (August 2016, 8.0, 6+). Not only was it just a one-month stay at #1, “The Bounce” sputtered by -2.7 in September; -1.2 in October; and -.8 in November (8.0 – 5.3 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+). Down by more than 50% since August 2016, “Bounce” quickly plummeted from #1 (August) to #5 (September) to #12 (October) to #13 (November). Following four consecutive positive trends that generated a combined +1.4 (2.6 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.0, 6+), Radio One urban AC WDMK “105.9 Kiss FM” is off two-tenths to 3.8 (6+), slipping from #11 to #12. By picking up three-tenths to 4.3 (6+), its format rival – iHeartMedia-owned WMXD “Mix 92.3” (#11 to #10) overtakes “Kiss” and ends three straight ratings periods without an increase (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+) that accounted for a -.7.
5) Seattle – On the strength of a +.9 to 4.5 (6+), Entercom’s KISW “Rock 99.9” cracks the top ten (#11 to #7). “Rock 99.9” had posted a 3.6 in four of the last five sweeps (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+). While flat at #18, Hubbard’s similarly-formatted KVRQ “98.9 Everything That Rocks” is without a decrease for the fourth consecutive ratings period (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+). Not only does co-owned KQMV “MOViN 92.5 All The Hits” hang out a +.6 (7.2 – 7.8, 6+) the mainstream CHR ranks first for the third consecutive time. Entering the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period, KQMV was on top for 12 straight sweeps before giving way to adult contemporary cluster-mate KRWM “Warm 106.9” and then regained the lead in January. After progressing by nine-tenths in February, University of Washington-owned KUOW falters by -1.1 (5.8 – 6.7 – 5.6, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. In the four most recent ratings periods, KUOW is -.9 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.4 (January): +.9 (February); and now -1.1 (March) for a net gain of three-tenths. Having improved by one-half share in back-to-back survey periods (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet” returns 80% of that combined gain (4.8, -.8, 6+) and drifts from third to fifth. Co-owned KJR-AM “Sports Radio 950” (#28 to #25) rings up a +.3 to 1.2 (6+), thus curtailing four successive down or flat sweeps that produced a collective -1.4 (2.3 – 2.2 – 1.7 – 1.7 – .9, 6+). Three consecutive negative trends by Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5” (#12 to #15) have yielded a combined -2.4 (5.5 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM” drops four-tenths to 3.3 (6+), slipping out of the top ten (#10 to #12). In four of the last five sweeps, “Kiss” posted a 3.7 (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+).
6) Phoenix – In 3.2 – 3.9 range (6+) since December, iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” busts out a +.8 to 4.1 (6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #8). This time last month, adult contemporary sibling KESZ – which had been #1 for 30 successive ratings periods – held a nine-tenths advantage over its runner-up, Hubbard classic rocker KSLX. With KSLX gaining seven-tenths (5.8 – 6.5, 6+) and KESZ faltering by one-half share (6.7 – 6.2, 6+), however, that impressive KESZ streak comes to an end with the two outlets swapping places. Improving by one-half share and six-tenths, respectively, are KSLX cluster-mate KUPD “Arizona’s Real Rock,” which has its third straight gain netting a +1.3 (4.0 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 5.3, fourth to third, 6+) and Univision Radio-owned KQMR “Latino Mix 100.3” (.9 – 1.5, #26, 6+). Four consecutive (modest) increases give Hubbard’s KDKB a combined +.8 (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+) as “Alt 93.3 Arizona’s Alternative” climbs from #14 to #12. Following six consecutive down or flat trends for a collective -1.4 (3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), Entravision regional Mexican KLNZ “La Tricolor 103.5” adds four-tenths to 2.2 (6+) and enters the top twenty (#23 to #20). As Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVK “K-LOVE” gains one-half share (1.9 – 2.4, #18, 6+), co-owned and similarly-formatted KLVA (also) “K-LOVE” is off by six-tenths (1.2, #23 to #28, 6+). KLVA was a combined +1.2 in January and February (.6 – 1.3 – 1.8, 6+). In a three-way tie at #14 in February, The Yucaipa Companies’ rhythmic CHR KKFR “Power” freefalls to #25 as a result of a massive -1.1 (3.0 – 1.9, 6+). Logging its fifth straight decline for a combined -1.7 (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.5, 6+), Bonneville’s KMVP-FM “Arizona Sports 98.7” drifts from #21 to #26. Up a cumulative +1.2 since the “Holiday” 2016 report (2.1 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), Maricopa County Community College-owned KJZZ surrenders one-half share (to 2.8, 6+) and dips from #11 to #15.
7) Minneapolis – Improving by seven-tenths each are American Public Media Group’s news/talk KNOW (5.8 – 6.5, fifth to third, 6+) and triple A sibling KCMP (2.3 – 3.0, #14, 6+), with the latter having its highest 6+-share since September 2015 (3.0 as well). Unchanged at #2, iHeartMedia CHR KDWB displays a one-half share increase (6.4 – 6.9, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is down by three-tenths (7.6 – 7.3, 6+), Hubbard’s KSTP-FM “KS-95 Today’s Variety” is #1 for the third straight time. In January 2017, “KS-95” posted a +1.3, curtailing a drought in which the hot AC hadn’t had an increase since February 2016 (10.2 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.1 – 9.1 – 8.9 – 7.7 – 7.6 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4, 6+). In those 11 straight sweeps of being either down or flat, “KS-95” was a combined -3.8. Format rival – iHeartMedia’s KTCZ “Cities 97” – follows up January’s +1.3 by stumbling one-half share (each) in back-to-back sweeps (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+), dropping from #11 to #12. “Cities 97” was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). After being up a combined +1.2 (2.0 – 2.9 – 3.2, 6+), co-owned news/talk KTLK returns more than half that gain (2.5, -.7, 6+) as it skids from #14 to #16. It is tied there with American Public Media Group’s KSJN “Classical MPR,” which is down three-tenths (2.5, 6+), halting at five its successive string of up or flat trends that netted a +.9 (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.8, 6+). Meanwhile, a two-tenths drop to 5.4 (6+) marks the end of three straight sweeps without a decrease that generated a +.8 (4.8 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+) for University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM (sixth to eighth). February’s 5.6 was the best 6+-share for “98.5 Twin Cities Christian Radio” since September’s 5.8. In the Twin Cities’ country contest, iHeartMedia’s KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” adds three-tenths to February’s +.9 (4.7 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+) and remains at #6, while CBS Radio-owned KMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9” (+.5 in February) drops two-tenths (3.9 – 3.7, 6+) and is steady at #13.
8) San Diego – Nearly identical to what we witnessed this time last month when the ten best finishers were separated by one share, the margin now dividing the first ten rankers is 1.1 shares. Moreover, the distance between the top five is a mere three-tenths. By adding just one-tenth (5.3 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHTS breaks out of February’s three-way tie at #2 and grabs the lead. After one month at #1, “Channel 93-3 San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” segued from first (in January) to second (in February). Displaced from the top spot and falling to third is KPBS (5.4 – 5.2, -.2, 6+). A collective +.8 in January and February (4.6 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+) was enough to lift the San Diego State University outlet from third to first. February’s 5.4 was the strongest 6+-stat for KPBS in just over two years (5.5, 6+, January 2015). In three straight declines, iHeartMedia’s KGB was a cumulative -.8 (3.8 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.0, 6+), but “San Diego’s Classic Rock Music” recaptures three-quarters of that loss (3.6, +.6, 6+) and zooms from #16 to #12. This is the 17th straight time KGB is within three-share range (6+). Registering an improvement of six-tenths as well and jumping from eighth to fifth is XHTZ “Today’s Hit Music – Z-90.3,” which regains what was lost in its mini-slide (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). While steady at #22, Tijuana FM regional Mexican XHTY “99.7 La Invasora” triples its 6+-share in five straight up or flat trends (.6 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+). Following a January boost of six-tenths, Imagen Spanish contemporary outlet XLTN (#12 to #14) is a combined -1.3 in February and March (3.6 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 2.9, 6+).
9) Denver – Seven-tenths of a share separates the market’s top four March 2017 finishers. Having floundered by seven-tenths in February, Bonneville‘s KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” recoups all but one-tenth (4.0 – 3.3 – 3.9, +.6, 6+) and leaps from #16 to #11. “The Fan” was -.5 in “Holiday” 2016 and +1.1 in January 2017. A loss of six-tenths in November 2016 halted four successive up or flat trends which netted two full-shares (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 4.9, 6+); October 2016’s 4.9 represents the most potent 6+ showing for KKFN under PPM methodology. Albeit down four-tenths (6.6 – 6.2, 6+), country cluster-mate KYGO repeats at #1. Within 5.3 – 5.9 range (6+) for seven consecutive survey periods, KYGO posted a full-share gain in February (5.6 – 6.6, 6+), lifting it past the six-share threshold for the first time since last July’s 6.0. A full-share negative fluctuation in February sent iHeartMedia’s KTCL (7.1 – 6.1, 6+) from first to third; now, “Modern Rock – Channel 93-3” falters by another six-tenths (5.4, 6+) to dip to fourth. Eroding by -1.3 in December not only ended four straight up or flat sweeps for KTCL that produced a +1.3 (5.3 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.6, 6+), it concluded four consecutive months at #1. In back-to-back sweeps though, “Channel 93-3” was +1.8 (5.3 – 6.2 – 7.1, 6+). As a result of its fourth successive increase accounting for a cumulative +1.3 (3.4 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+), triple A sibling KBCO “World Class Rock” cruises from ninth to sixth and has its best 6+-performance since last June’s 4.8. Steady at 3.5 (6+), co-owned KBPI “Rocks the Rockies” (#15 to #14) is in 3.0 – 3.8 range for the 16th successive sweep. Flat or down (modestly) in three straight sweeps for a -.4 (4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+) going into the February ratings period, KIMN “Mix 100 Today’s Best Mix” dialed up a +.7 to 4.4, its best 6+-showing since last April (4.4 as well). The KSE Radio Ventures hot AC relinquishes that increase in its entirety though (4.4 – 3.7, -.7, 6+) and spirals out of the top ten (#6 to #12). It is tied there with its format rival, Entercom’s KALC “Alice 105.9,” which is up one-tenth (3.6 – 3.7, 6+) and climbs from #14 in February.
10) Tampa – Pulling the plug on four successive declines that yielded a collective -1.8 (6.3 – 5.8 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WBTP “95.7 The Beat” notches a gain of six-tenths to 5.1 (6+) and carries on in fifth-place. Improving by six-tenths as well is hot AC cluster-mate WMTX “Mix 100.7,” which had been confined to 3.3 – 3.6 territory (6+) the past seven sweeps (3.4 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). Not only does “Mix” reach the four-share level (4.0, 6+) for the first time since last June’s 4.3, it leaps from #15 to a three-way tie at #10. Off two-tenths in February (4.4 – 4.2, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WQYK bounces back with an increase of one-half share to 4.7 (6+) as the country facility advances from ninth to sixth. A collective +1.7 in three successive positive trends (3.9 – 4.5 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WRBQ “Tampa Bay’s Q-105” remains at #3. This is the best 6+-performance for “Q-105” since last September (5.6, as well). Ahead of it and again at #2 is Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WXGL “Classic Hits 107-3 The Eagle,” which (like “Q-105”) has its third straight increase (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.1 – 7.5, 6+) but for a cumulative +1.1. Prior to February’s 7.1, “The Eagle” last soared to the seven-share level (6+) more than four years ago (7.0, 6+, October 2012). After five consecutive positive trends for a cumulative full-share increase (5.5 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.5, 6+), “The Eagle” was down by one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016. While co-owned WDUV “Lite Favorites” is on top for a remarkable 54th successive ratings period, the adult contemporary property falters by one full-share (9.7 – 8.7, 6+), recording its lowest 6+-stat since November 2015’s 8.5. “Lite Favorites” was off by more than three shares in January (12.7 – 9.6, 6+). Including a regression by one-half share in back-to-back sweeps, this is the third straight decline (2.7 – 2.2 – 1.7 -1.6, 6+) for iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” (#18 to #19). Down the past four sweeps for a collective -.8 (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+), Cox Media Group’s WPOI “Hot 101.5 All the Hits” picks up two-tenths to 4.5 and remains at #7 (6+). Similarly-formatted WFLZ “93.3 Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel” departs the top ten (#10 to #13, 6+); the iHeartMedia-owned outlet is without an increase for the third straight sweep (4.5 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+). Dropping from #15 to #16, news/talk sibling WFLA regresses by one-half share to 2.9, its weakest 6+-share since September’s 2.5.
11) Baltimore – Boasting impressive back-to-back increases of +1.2 (4.7 – 5.9 – 7.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WPOC tacks on another three-tenths (to 7.4, 6+) for its third consecutive progressive trend, with “Baltimore’s New Country” continuing in third-place. Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, WPOC had been at #4 the previous seven ratings periods, but fell to #5, surrendering a combined -2.5 in three consecutive slides (7.2 – 6.9 – 6.3 – 4.7, 6+), including a -1.6 in “Holiday” 2016. On top in the Washington, D.C. report (see above), American University‘s WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” is without a decrease in Baltimore for the fifth consecutive sweep (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+) and remains at #15. Inching up from #17 to #16, Washington Adventist University contemporary Christian WGTS more than doubles its 6+-share in Baltimore with its fifth successive up or flat trend (.5 – .6 – .8 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.2, 6+). Without an increase since December (8.5 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.3, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WERQ “Q-92 Jams” picks up four-tenths to 7.7 (6+) and holds the runner-up slot for the fourth straight ratings period. February’s 7.3 was the lowest 6+-share for WERQ since the 7.3 it recorded in March 2016. Even though it is down (slightly) in consecutive sweeps (8.9 – 8.8 – 8.6, 6+), urban AC sibling WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” is on top for the third straight time. Without an increase in six consecutive sweeps for a cumulative -1.7 since June (9.8 – 8.6 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 8.4 – 8.1, 6+), “Magic 95.9” added one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016 and seven-tenths in January 2017 to march from third to first. Frozen on 3.9 (6+) in January and February, Peter & John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM “95.1 Shine – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” (#9 to #12) sputters by seven-tenths to 3.2, its lowest 6+-stat since August (3.0, 6+). Doubling its 6+-share via back-to-back gains (.7 – 1.2 – 1.4, 6+), Baltimore City Community College-owned WBJC “91.5 – Maryland’s Classical Music Station” falters though by one-half share to .9 (#15 to #18, 6+).
12) St. Louis – The third straight increase (4.1 – 5.0 – 5.1 – 6.2, 6+) by CBS Radio heritage news/talk KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” is by +1.1 and it represents the only (6+) February 2017 – March 2017 increase by at least one full-share in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released on Wednesday. With its finest 6+-stat since October’s 6.8, the St. Louis Cardinals flagship progresses from seventh to fifth. Up a collective nine-tenths via three successive sweeps without a decrease (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” moves from #15 to #12 and matches September’s 4.2 (6+). Unchanged at #17, co-owned KMJM “100.3 The Beat” improves by six-tenths to 2.6, its best 6+-showing since June (2.6, as well). This marks the third straight time at #1 for iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet KLOU (7.4 – 7.6, +.2, 6+). A combined +1.3 in October and November (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7, 6+), KLOU floundered by -1.6 in December; bounced back with a +3.8 in “Holiday” 2016; but was -2.8 in January. Before October’s +.5, KLOU had been down or flat the previous four sweeps (7.4 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+) for a net loss of one full-share. It is three-tenths ahead of Emmis rocker KSHE, which is steady at #2 and without a decrease for the fourth successive ratings period netting a +.8 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 7.3, 6+). A full-share loss (4.8 – 3.8, its lowest 6+-share since March 2016’s 3.8) causes University of Missouri’s KWMU to drift from #9 to #14. More ups and downs for Radio One urban contemporary WHHL “Hot 104.1,” which squandered seven-tenths in January; recaptured it in February, but regresses by one-half share in March (5.1 – 4.4 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+) to dip from seventh to eighth. Following its strong (#1) “Holiday” 2016 performance, CBS Radio’s KEZK has had three straight declines that have accounted for a cumulative -6.8 (11.1 – 5.5 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+), but the adult contemporary property actually climbs back into the top ten (#11 to #10). Ironically, prior to January’s decline, KEZK put together four consecutive progressive trends that netted a +6.8 (4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.8 – 11.1). Unlisted for the third consecutive month are Gateway Creative Broadcasting-owned contemporary Christian KLJY “99.1 Joy! FM” (4.5, #9, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) and co-owned, similarly-formatted KLJY-HD2 (.2, #20, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).
Glenn Beck and TheBlaze Countersue Tomi Lahren. TALKERS magazine recently reported that conservative media figure Tomi Lahren filed suit against Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze in which she stated that she’d been fired for espousing a pro-choice opinion during an appearance on television’s “The View,” that she’d been told to “go dark” on social media and had been shut off from her Facebook account. Yesterday (4/17), Beck and TheBlaze filed a counterclaim in District Court in Dallas that paints a very different picture of the problems between the two sides. TheBlaze states that Lahren has not been fired and is still an employee (is being paid) and therefore is bound by her employment contract to certain things that includes not making public statements or appearances that relate to her employment by TheBlaze or about its officers or staffers. It also says that, contrary to her claim, she has control over her Blaze-owned Facebook page. Further, TheBlaze claims that Lahren “quickly made herself into one of the most divisive people in media both to the general public and within TheBlaze organization.” It goes on to claim Lahren was difficult with fellow employees, had to be corrected for her choices of words that “repeatedly bordered on the profane,” “turned down a number of advertisers on TheBlaze for unexplained reasons, limiting any chance for TheBlaze to recoup its investment into her and her show,” and more. TheBlaze states that the employee agreement also requires Lahren’s public appearances be cleared by TheBlaze and Lahren is not complying with that. TheBlaze does admit that the appearance on “The View” was problematic but claims it had decided before the appearance not to renew her contract – it expires in September of this year – for the reasons listed above, among others. It went before a judge late yesterday afternoon seeking a temporary restraining order to force Lahren to comply with the contract. Additionally, TheBlaze is seeking unspecified damages, attorney’s fees and more.
TALKERS News Notes. A new esports show is being put into syndication by Westwood One. The show, “Checkpoint Radio,” is touted as “the first, nationally syndicated radio show dedicated to the world of esports.” A press release states that hosts Nate Bender, Robbie Landis, Norris Howard, and Joe Sloan are lifelong, passionate gamers that connect with this loyal, younger-skewing fanbase. Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes comments, “Westwood One is synonymous with best-in-class sports audio programming with over 62 million weekly listeners tuning in for live sports game coverage and expert commentary, and these passionate sports fans are also front-and-center with the emerging esports movement.”…..Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York adds the “House Smarts with Lou Manfredini” program to its Saturday morning lineup. Manfredini also serves as an “NBC Today Show” home improvement contributor…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of Dick Penn, who died on April 15 at age 75. Penn was a former NBC Radio, Shadow Traffic and Navteq executive.
Julian Lennon Visits Cumulus’ Stage 17. Last Friday (4/14), Julian Lennon sat down with WABC, New York’s Rita Cosby for an interview before a live audience at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 performance space. Lennon discussed the music of his father’s band The Beatles, his own music, and his new kid’s book, Touch the Earth (Sky Pony Press 2017). Pictured above are (from l-r): WABC program director Craig Schwalb, Lennon, and Rita Cosby.
Hunt for Facebook Killer, Arkansas Executions Controversy, North Korea Nuke Threats, Georgia House Race, French Presidential Race, Prince Opioids Stashes, and NBA & NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/17). The search for Steve Stephens, the Cleveland man suspected of killing a 74-year-old man and posting the video to Facebook; the SCOTUS’ denial of permission to Arkansas to begin a schedule of eight executions; the North Korea’s continuing tests of missiles and the U.S.’s concerns about Kim Jong Un’s developing nuclear program; the intense scrutiny of the Georgia U.S. House race for Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price’s seat as money and support from Democrats outside the district support Jon Ossoff; the build-up to France’s June presidential elections and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen’s notoriety; reports of numerous stashes of various opioids found at late pop star Prince’s home; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Sterling Chats with ‘Hizonner.’ Pictured above is WPHT, Philadelphia talk host Walter Sterling (right) and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (left) during their 50-minute, exclusive conversation for Sterling’s program. Kenney is holding and reading aloud a Midnight Misfit Membership card offered to Sterling listeners. During the conversation, Mayor Kenney gave considerable background on the controversial soda tax, plus answered tough questions such as: What is the best pizza? Are there really ancient artifacts in Philadelphia like in the movie National Treasure? And what station did you listen to growing up – WIFI, WFIL or WIBG?
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Portland triple A KINK announces Corey Foley and Mitch Elliott are the new hosts of the morning drive show on the Alpha Media station, effective May 2. Foley was most recently with CBS RADIO’s country KILT-FM, Houston “100.3 The Bull.” Mitch Elliott was most recently with Entercom’s crosstown hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz.” Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick comments, “We are elated to have found our soulmates to pair with Portland’s iconic KINK brand for mornings. Corey and Mitch are two uniquely talented, entertaining hosts with huge passion for the music, Northwest lifestyle and a love for the arts.”…..At Entercom’s Rochester classic rock WCMF, Michael “Mud” Gross joins as the new program director, effective May 15. He replaces Chris Crowley, who is moving to Entercom’s classic rock KGON, Portland. Gross was most recently with iHeartMedia at classic rockers WBGG, Miami “BIG 105.9” and WNRQ, Nashville “105.9 The Rock.”…..Matty Staudt is appointed to the new digital program director position at iHeartMedia’s San Francisco operations. In this role, Staudt will oversee digital strategy for iHeartMedia’s six San Francisco radio station brands, “working closely with the programming and sales departments to deliver key messages on digital platforms, including station and on-air personality websites, mobile and social media.”…..The syndicated country morning duo “Wilhite and Wall” add another station to their roster of affiliates – KMTB, Nashville, Arkansas “B99.5.” Tim Wall states, “We still have room to grow, but want to keep our station roster low so we can maintain the local content we give each market.”…..United Stations Radio Networks names Danny Ocean affiliate relations rep in which he’ll take over the management of affiliate acquisition and maintenance in the Northeast Region of the U.S. He’ll also specialize in guiding the affiliate marketing efforts for the company’s CHR and hot AC programs…..Entravision reports that the “El Show de Erazno y La Chokolata” adds two Texas affiliates: LBI Media’s Regional Mexican “La Raza” simulcast on KTJM and KJOJ in Houston and KNOR, Dallas “La Raza.”…..Cumulus Media debuts the new hot AC format (and new call letters) on WQPD, Florence, South Carolina. “Q100.5” features the “Bob & Sheri” show in morning drive. The station flipped from Cumulus’ country “NASH FM” format.
Alex Jones’ Radio Persona At Issue in Child Custody Case. In a story in the Austin Statesman by Jonathan Tilove, the child custody case between Infowars founder Alex Jones and his ex-wife could involve asking the jury to decide whether Alex Jones is a capable father whose radio persona is not the same as his everyday persona or if he’s – as his ex-wife claims – “an unstable person.” According to the report, Kelly Jones is asking District Court Judge Orlinda Naranjo to allow jurors to see video of Jones doing his radio show and creating videos as evidence. But Jones’ attorney, Randal Wilhite, told the judge during a recent pretrial hearing that Jones’ on-air persona is an act, like Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of The Joker in the film “Batman.” Judge Naranjo has made it clear the case is about the welfare of the Jones’ three children (ages 14, 12, and 9), and not about Infowars. Alex and Kelly Jones divorced in 2013. Read the Statesman story here.
McGill and WVON, Chicago Part. Chicago urban news/talk WVON and morning drive personality Matt McGill are parting ways. Midway Broadcasting Company says that McGill “arrived at WVON 13 years ago as a radio neophyte, but rose to become a recognized local talk show host.” Midway recently added Maze Jackson to the morning show and it’s clear from both the company’s and McGill’s perspective that the addition of Jackson to the show is the reason McGill is leaving. Midway chairwoman Melody Spann Cooper says, “Matt is a tremendous talent and will be missed. Change is inevitable in this business. Our listeners can be assured that we will continue our reputation of delivering top-notch talent, news and information that will empower the communities we serve. That has always been and remains our priority.”
WNIS, Norfolk Adds ‘Kilmeade & Friends’ to Lineup. The FOX News Radio show starring Brian Kilmeade will air live from 10:0 am to 12:00 noon on Sinclair Communications’ WNIS, Norfolk, Virginia, beginning today (4/17). “Kilmeade & Friends” is also carried on the company’s KLBJ-AM, Austin. Kilmeade says, “It has been a privilege to be a part of the morning programming at KLBJ 590 AM in Austin, Texas and we are thrilled to be the newest addition to their sister station’s schedule. For the past eight years, ‘Kilmeade & Friends’ has been dedicated to providing our audience with fresh perspective on the most important news stories. I am heartened to know many of our listeners in the Norfolk area will be military families.”
TALKERS News Notes. WSKO, Syracuse afternoon personality Mike Lindsley is honored by the New York State Broadcasters Association with an Excellence in Broadcasting Award for Best Sportscast (medium market). Lindsley hosts “In the Cell with ML” on the Cumulus Media-owned station. Operations manager Tom Mitchell comments, “In addition to being The Score 1260’s brand ambassador, Mike truly has his finger on the pulse of the Central New York sports fan. Whether it’s a good or bad day in Syracuse sports, our listeners count on hearing Mike’s well-informed take. We’re proud that his talent is recognized by his fellow broadcasters!”…..The nationally syndicated Sean Salisbury sports talk show is now being simulcast on TV via program producer Gow Media and the beIN Sports television network. Gow CEO David Gow says, “We are really excited about the partnership and the opportunity to give Sean’s radio show a national TV platform. This is a significant step for our company, as we can now offer our advertising partners radio, digital media and television – and we can do so on a local, regional or national basis.”…..The nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” program adds new affiliate stations: KKGX-AM/FM, Palm Springs, California; KYAH-AM, Delta, Utah; and KTRC-AM, Santa Fe…..Last week, WPHT, Philadelphia talk host Dom Giordano interviewed FOX News Channel correspondent Jesse Watters during a sold-out event at the National Constitution Center.
North Korea Threats/Pence Visit, U.S.-Russia Relations, Kushner-Bannon Power Struggle, Berkeley Trump Rally Violence, ‘SNL’ Trump Sketches, Cleveland Facebook Killing, Easter/Passover Holidays, Celtics Star Plays After Sister’s Death, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The development of nuclear missiles by North Korea, its threats against the U.S., and Vice President Mike Pence’s weekend visit to the Korean DMZ; the tense relations between the U.S. and Russia in the wake of the U.S.’s airstrikes in Syria; reports of the power struggle between President Trump’s advisers Stephen K. Bannon and Jared Kushner; the violence between Trump supporters and protesters at a rally in Berkeley, California; Saturday’s “SNL” sketches poking fun at Trump Administration staffers; the manhunt for a Cleveland man suspected of posting the murder of his elderly victim on Facebook; the Easter and Passover holidays; Boston Celtics star Isaiah Thomas plays the day after his sister is killed in a car accident, and the NBA and NHL playoff games were some of the stories discussed on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Mary Berner Named Recipient of TALKERS 2017 “Woman of the Year” Award. The TALKERS editorial board has selected Cumulus Media president/CEO Mary Berner as the recipient of the 2017 TALKERS Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Talk Radio Industry by a Woman (a.k.a. “Woman of the Year”). Mary Berner assumed leadership of Cumulus in October 2015. As the country’s second-largest radio company, Cumulus owns and operates 447 radio stations broadcasting in 90 U.S. media markets (including eight of the top 10), and provides content to more than 8,200 broadcast radio stations affiliated with its Westwood One network, as well as numerous digital channels. For over three decades, Berner has led some of the world’s top media companies and brands, building and directing them to increase productivity and financial performance. Before joining Cumulus, Berner served as president/CEO of MPA -The Association of Magazine Media, where she leveraged her deep understanding of media to aggressively champion and advocate for that industry. Berner also previously served as CEO of Reader’s Digest Association, where she developed and executed a successful turnaround strategy, oversaw the restructuring of the company’s acquisition-related debt and the subsequent doubling of the company’s stock price and optimized its brands and assets. Upon making the announcement of Berner being selected as this year’s recipient, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “It is no secret that the biggest radio companies – Cumulus, iHeart and others – are being smothered under the burden of crippling debt accrued over many years following deregulation and the runaway growth of consolidation. Since assuming her extremely challenging role as the head of Cumulus, there have been measurable improvements in the company in terms of programming, infrastructure and employee morale – developments that offer reasonable hope that its financial situation will begin to improve. Hope is something that the good people who work in the radio business can use more of as we head into what has the potential to be an exciting new era bursting with opportunity.” The annual TALKERS “Woman of the Year” award goes back to 2001, named after its first recipient the late Judy Jarvis, an independently syndicated host who helped pave the way for women to make progress as players in the male-dominated talk radio field. Jarvis, a non-smoker, received it posthumously after succumbing to lung cancer at a young age during the peak of her career. Recent recipients include Ginny Morris, Robin Quivers, Julie Talbott, Heather Cohen, Robin Bertolucci, Laurie Cantillo, Grace Blazer, Stephanie Miller, Laura Ingraham, Randi Rhodes, Adriane Gaines and Kim Komando, among others. The award will be presented on Friday, June 2 at TALKERS 2017: A New Era in New York.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air personality Mo Lightning is the new morning host on Mid-West Family Broadcasting-owned rock outlet WQLZ, Springfield, Illinois. It’s part of a number of changes at the station including Kyle Hutchinson’s move from afternoon drive to midday and program director Wes Styles’ move to the afternoon program. Lou Brutus is hosting the evening “Harddrive XL” show…..At SummitMedia’s urban contemporary WJMZ, Greenville, South Carolina, Tone Hollywood takes over the midday show, moving over from his previous role hosting in morning drive at sister rhythmic CHR WHZT “HOT 98.1.”…..iHeartMedia wins a Shorty Award for the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival in the Best in Live Events category. The 9th annual Shorty Awards recognize “the most influential, popular, and culturally relevant brands and influencers across social media.”…..Triple A WYMS, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” is launching an all-Milwaukee music platform in its HD-2 channel branded “414Music.fm.” The channel and stream will debut on June 20 and the station is inviting Milwaukee musicians to submit their music, recently recorded or from past years, to Radio Milwaukee for possible inclusion on “414Music.fm.”
Cumulus Media Promotes Three to Executive Vice President. Three current Cumulus Media executives are promoted to newly created EVP positions: Mike McVay rises from senior vice president, content & programming to executive vice president, content & programming; Dave Milner, moves up from senior vice president, operations to executive vice president, operations; and Bob Walker is elevated from senior vice president, operations to executive vice president, operations. Cumulus Media president and chief executive officer Mary Berner states, “These promotions recognize the strong performance of these key members of our senior leadership team. Mike, Dave and Bob are terrific executives and have each been instrumental to the success we’ve achieved during the first year of executing our turnaround plan for the company.”
Ryan Wrecker Joins KMOX, St. Louis as ‘Overnight America’ Host. Talk radio pro Ryan Wrecker moves from his most recent gig as PD at Pathfinder Communications’ WOWO, Fort Wayne to CBS RADIO’s heritage St. Louis news/talker KMOX to host the station’s late-night program, “Overnight America,” beginning Monday (4/17). The program airs from 10:00 pm to 3:00 am. KMOX program director Steve Moore comments, “Ryan is a passionate advocate of local radio who comes to us from a legacy station and brings a great appreciation for KMOX and its role in the community. In addition, Ryan understands how creating unique digital and social media content can quickly expand his reach in the market and grow his listener base.” Speaking about his new gig, Wrecker states, “We’re going to have fun on ‘Overnight America.’ It’s a show that’s inclusive to new voices and topics. Every night we will present fresh and unique ideas to the audience and explore them in a way that’s different from any other radio show.” The “Overnight America” show had been hosted by Jon Grayson, who exited KMOX in February to host the midday show at crosstown news/talk KTRS.
Kaplan Promoted to Marketing Director for Cumulus Media Dallas. For the past two years, Rebecca Kaplan has been promotions director for Cumulus Media’s Dallas country signals KSCS and KPLX “99.5 The Wolf.” Now, she is promoted to marketing director for the seven-station cluster that includes news/talk WBAP, news/talk KLIF-AM, sports talker KTCK-AM and KESN-FM, and CHR KLIF-FM “HOT 93.3.” Cumulus regional vice president Dan Bennett states, “Rebecca has proven herself with outstanding event execution for our country stations KPLX and KSCS. Our seven-station cluster will benefit greatly from her involvement in the future with all our stations.”
TALKERS News Notes. The NBA Playoffs begin this weekend and ESPN Radio is presenting its coverage starting with the Cavaliers versus the Pacers Saturday at 2:00 pm ET. Marc Kestecher and Jon Barry will call the action. Sunday’s contest will be the Warriors vs Trailblazers with Adam Amin and P.J. Carlesimo on the call…..When the NHL’s new franchise the Vegas Golden Knights takes to the ice next fall, Lotus Communications’ KRLV, Las Vegas “FOX Sports 1340” will serve as the flagship station for radio. Lotus plans to begin simulcasting the station on FM translator K255CT, Henderson, Nevada. As part of the deal, some of the games will also be broadcast in Spanish on Lotus’ KENO-AM “1460 ESPN Deportes.”…..In podcasting news, Apple is changing the name of its podcast platform from “iTunes Podcasts” to “Apple Podcasts.”…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of longtime Cleveland sports media personality Kendall Lewis, a.k.a. The BSK — the Big Sports Kahuna, who died on April 11 at the age of 56. Lewis’ most recent work was on digital platforms, but for years he was a host on sports talk WKNR, Cleveland “ESPN 850.” He also was a fixture at FOX Sports Net Ohio and served with WOIO-TV, Cleveland.
U.S.-Russia Relations/Syria Gas Attack Top News/Talk Stories This Week. The tense relations between the U.S. and Russia over the Syria sarin attack and the U.S.’s airstrikes in Syria were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio for the week of April 10-14. At #2 this week was the North Korea nuclear missile threats. Coming in at #3 was the United Airlines passenger removal case and the resulting PR blowback, followed by the FBI’s monitoring of Trump adviser Carter Page 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.
Michael Harrison Interviews Judy Collins on this Week’s Podcast. Folk singing/pop music legend Judy Collins is this week’s special guest on the award-winning PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” In the words of Harrison, “Although she sings like an angel and performed on a number of hits and concert stages across the nation, creating a total of more than 50 albums along the way – not to mention authoring books, painting, and even directing a film – she lived a deeply troubled existence. We’re talking about severe depression and emotional disturbance that nearly drove her to suicide. We’re talking about substance abuse and eating disorders…and on top of everything, coping with the suicide of her son in 1992.” The TALKERS founder continues, “This amazing woman has survived to not only overcome these challenges but to be of great service and help to others, as well. She is a tireless advocate of those who suffer from similar emotional afflictions and has made significant contributions in bringing public awareness of mental illness out of the shadows and into the open.” On April 27, in recognition of her service to others, Collins will receive the 2017 Beatrice Stern Media Award at a major gathering in Los Angeles – The Erasing the Stigma Leadership Awards. It is an annual event thrown by Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, a leading non-profit provider of free community mental health and substance abuse services for children and adults for over 75 years. Harrison and Collins engage in a remarkably candid and informative discussion about the state of mental illness in our healthcare system and culture. They also talk about the early days of her career, her relationship with rock legend Stephen Stills and her storied connection to his Crosby, Stills and Nash masterpiece, “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Audio content syndicator Westwood One is partnering with dick clark productions to help promote the 2017 Billboard Music Awards and offer its broadcast partners branded, long-form and short-form content and promotions. Westwood One will welcome more than 20 radio stations to its Westwood One Backstage at the BBMAs event with live performances and celebrity interviews during rehearsals the day before the 2017 Billboard Music Awards (Saturday, May 20) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Talent taking part in the Saturday event include WPLJ, New York personality Jayde Donovan; WPLJ and WPRO-FM, Providence host Ralphie Aversa; and syndicated personalities Adam Bomb and Zach Sang…..The three urban-formatted Philadelphia stations owned by iHeartMedia – urban contemporary WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B & Throwbacks,” hip hop WUSL “Power 99,” and smooth jazz WDAS-AM “Smooth Jazz ‘JJZ 1480” – are organizing the inaugural “Sista Strut 3K Breast Cancer Walk” taking place on Saturday, June 17 at Xfinity Live! in Philadelphia. Proceeds will benefit The American Association for Cancer Research. The stations note that the walk aims to raise breast cancer awareness among African American women, who are 41% more likely to die from the disease than white women, making screenings and early detection crucial. WDAS-FM personality Frankie Darcell comments, “As one of the founders of Detroit’s ‘Sista Strut,’ I’m ecstatic that nearly 20 years later the event will be held in our Philadelphia community.”…..Country KNIX, Phoenix and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire are cooperating on a “Rise From The Fire” Concert Flyaway Sweepstakes. Consumers ages 21+ can enter for a chance to win a trip for two to New York for a benefit concert featuring a top music act. The event concludes an 11-city iHeartRadio concert series to benefit firefighters and communities affected by fire. The Phoenix stop in the concert series will feature national recording artist, Brett Young, and will take place on April 19 at the Hall of Flame Fire Museum. The sweepstakes and concert series are part of an effort by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire to raise funds in support of the Fire Family Foundation, an organization that offers immediate assistance to firefighters and their families, fire victims, fire departments and charities. The Foundation believes that by coming together as a “Fire Family,” assistance can be provided by those impacted by fire.
KCBS-AM, San Francisco and Jack Swanson Agree to Part Ways. San Francisco news and talk radio programming legend Jack Swanson announces he will exit the news director role at CBS RADIO’s all-news KCBS-AM, effective May 1. In a social media post, Swanson writes, “Gosh I thought I’d have some news to share with all of you this afternoon. But it seems Social Media waits for no man. Or woman. Yes, it’s true. I’m leaving the News Director’s chair at KCBS on May 1. When I came off the beach for this assignment I agreed to stay a few years and my bosses agreed to give me enough rope for me to have fun. Mission accomplished. Both sides got what we expected from the bargain. And we part in a way that is rare in the broadcasting business. Feeling great about each other. I will miss my newly-made friends at CBS terribly. But life is calling.” Swanson programmed crosstown heritage news/talk outlets KGO and KSFO during his many years at the now-Cumulus-owned station group.
TALKERS News Notes. Some of this year’s NHL Stanley Cup Playoff games are being aired on the radio in a deal with NBC Sports, NBC Sports Radio, and Westwood One. Beginning this Saturday (4/15), WW1 will present live, play-by-play audio coverage of the Toronto Maple Leafs vs Washington Capitals Eastern Conference Quarterfinals game two. Westwood One will broadcast a Playoff Game of the Week on each of the next four Saturdays and will broadcast every game of the Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Finals…..CBS RADIO launches a new podcast hosted by Olivia Caridi, a Season 20 contestant on the popular reality dating show, “The Bachelor.” On each episode of “Mouthing Off with Olivia Caridi,” she’ll welcome actors, friends and fellow reality TV and internet stars to dish about love, relationships and navigating the ups and downs of being single and dating. A new 45-to-60-minute episode will be available on Play.it every Tuesday…..Rich Lieberman’s 415 Media is reporting that Cumulus Media’s KGO, San Francisco is adding Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM” with George Noory for the overnight slot.
U.S.-Russian Animosity Over Syria Attack, FBI Monitored Trump Adviser, U.S. Response to North Korea Threats, United Airlines’ PR Crisis, FOX’s Bill O’Reilly Scandal, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/11). The Russians’ warning to the U.S. about attacking Syria and the U.S.’s contention that Syria used Russian-made sarin gas on its citizens; the FBI acknowledges that it obtained a FISA warrant to monitor Trump adviser Carter Page; the U.S. responds to North Korea’s threats with naval operations; United Airlines deals with a PR nightmare over the forced removal of passenger; the ongoing scrutiny of FOX News Channel and host Bill O’Reilly in response to allegations of a pattern of sexual harassment; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro James Steele adds some programming duties to his work with Alpha Media. Steele is the afternoon drive host on the company’s CHR WXYK, Biloxi-Gulfport “107.1 The Monkey.” Now, he’s adding program director responsibilities for alternative rock K277CX, San Antonio “103.3 The APP” (KTFM-HD2). Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick comments, James is that fun-spirited guy at the party you want to be around. His creativity, energy, and enthusiasm for the alternative format is contagious, and we are happy to advance talent from within Alpha.”…..In Pittsburgh, Forever Media launches a classic country outlet on WOGH – taking one of the stations off its simulcast of the country “FROGGY” format still heard on sister stations WOGI and WOGG. Dubbed “Willie 103.5,” WOGH features country hits primarily from the 80s and 90s…..Envision Networks announces that Johnny Stone is the new host of the live country music weekend show, “The Live Ride.” Envision says that Stone – a Nashville insider – will “provide up-to-date country news, concert information and artist interviews.” Envision VP of programming Michael Lichtstein comments, “Johnny Stone’s boundless energy and enthusiasm are a perfect fit for ‘The Live Ride.’ The winning mix of live country hits with Johnny’s love for all things country will bring listeners back week after week.”…..KIIS, Los Angeles – and nationally syndicated personality Ryan Seacrest – announces that Backstreet Boys have been added to the lineup for the station’s Wango Tango concert on May 13 at StubHub Center in Carson, California.
O’Heron Rises to SVP, Live Entertainment & Events for iHeartMedia. Prior to his new position, Dennis O’Heron was iHeartMedia’s national event brand manager for national programming in addition to being the VP of marketing for the iHeartMedia Boston cluster. The company says he’s been “an instrumental contributor to many of iHeartMedia’s marquee events for several years, including working very closely with us on the very first iHeartRadio Music Festival in 2011.” Now, O’Heron joins the company’s national programming group as the SVP, Live Entertainment & Events. iHM adds, “Dennis brings many years of experience and has a proven track record in the Boston market, including being part of the team that created the initial idea of a multi-band radio show at ‘KISS 108,’ which eventually led to the inception of the Jingle Ball concerts and many others. Dennis is already a well-respected leader and his extensive programming, event planning, digital and marketing experience make him the perfect person for this critical role.” He reports to national programming group president Tom Poleman.
Nielsen Seeks Dismissal of Bubba Counterclaim. In a motion filed in District Court in Tampa, Nielsen is asking the court to dismiss the counterclaim filed against it and Cox Media Group by Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, arguing that it’s a “classic shotgun pleading.” Bubba Clem’s counterclaim alleged that Nielsen and Cox Media Group conspired to entrap Bubba into trying to manipulate Nielsen’s PPM panel in the Tampa market with the help of a “double agent” panelist. Nielsen is suing Bubba Clem for $1 million, claiming previous attempts to tamper with the Tampa PPM panel caused it to suffer damages. Nielsen states that Bubba’s counterclaim is merely “wild and far-fetched accusations” and that it should be dismissed because it “fails to provide any plausible claim for relief under the standards the U.S. Supreme Court.”
WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte Commemorates 95 Years on Air with Inductions into Station Hall of Fame. On Monday (4/10), Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte celebrated the heritage station’s 95th anniversary with the airing of special programming highlighting important moments in the station’s history, as well as inducting three broadcasters – Ray Gooding, Henry Boggan and John Hancock into the WBT Hall of Fame. Hancock currently is the station’s afternoon drive personality. He joined the station in 1990. WBT calls him a “passionate community leader” who “raises awareness and funds for community issues through his annual Pancake Breakfast and Bike Drive events as well as his continued partnership with the Kid’s First Charity.” Gooding was one of the first African American on-air personalities in Charlotte. He began his career in 1960 and joined WBT 1110 AM in 1971 as the host of the “The Sunday Night Hall of Fame.” He also served as WBT’s director of public affairs for more than 10 years. Boggan joined WBT in 1979 as the host of the nighttime talk show, “Hello Henry,” that featured celebrities and special guests as well as listeners from the local community and became a staple in the city of Charlotte. His program was on air for 17 years until Boggan’s retirement in 1996. Check out the station’s 95th anniversary tribute here.
‘Pubs and Politics’ Live on 77WABC from The Cutting Room. Pictured above, WABC, New York personality Rita Cosby hosts the sold-out “Pubs and Politics” live broadcast event from The Cutting Room in Midtown Manhattan on April 6. The “lively discussion” by WABC talk show hosts revolved around the Trump Administration’s first 100 days. Pictured (from l-r) are: Curtis Sliwa, Lionel, Ron Kuby, Rita Cosby, Sid Rosenberg, and Bernard McGuirk.
KFI, Los Angeles Host Dr. Wendy Walsh Goes Public with Bill O’Reilly Claim. Southern California psychologist, professor and radio host Dr. Wendy Walsh went public on April 3 with her claim of an inappropriate advance by embattled FOX News Channel personality Bill O’Reilly. Walsh hosts an eponymous 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm program on Sundays on iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles. She’s billed as a “thought leader on relationships and the authority on love, sex and romantic relationships.” She and her attorney revealed her claim that during dinner in a Los Angeles restaurant in 2013, O’Reilly invited her to his hotel room. Walsh says she assumed the dinner meeting was about her segment on his “The O’Reilly Factor” and the possibility of a great role with FOX. After she turned down O’Reilly’s offer, her appearances on O’Reilly’s show ended. FOX has stated that the segment was dropped by O’Reilly because of poor ratings. Read the Washington Post account here.
TALKERS News Notes. KIRO-AM, Seattle “710 ESPN” sports talk host (and former Seahawks and University of Washington quarterback) Brock Huard and Bonneville Seattle Media Group are launching a new, original podcast, “Above and Beyond – The Intersection of Faith and Sports.” The first episode drops today (4/11) featuring former Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. Huard says, “I am thrilled to get to share my life and faith in a way I never have before, through the medium of podcasts, and even more so through relationships that have shaped my journey. Through my years as an athlete, in real estate and now in the media world I have always thirsted for deep rooted relationships. These podcasts will dig into those encounters with athletes like you’ve never heard before. I’m grateful for the support I’ve received from both Bonneville and Compassion International.”…..WTMJ, Milwaukee talk show host Jeff Wagner is heading up the station’s “Jeff Wagner Insight 2017” event on April 19 at Country Springs Hotel. Special guests are expected to include Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel and others. Wagner says, “Insight 2017 is my opportunity to go one-on-one with the state’s leaders to get past the headlines and find out what is really going on in Wisconsin.” WTMJ will broadcast the entire three-hour event the following day…..Oink Ink announces the winner of its 18th annual Dead Radio Contest – the annual contest that “aims to give a second chance to great radio scripts that clients deemed too risqué, too zany or were simply overlooked.” This year’s winning submission from Emmanuel Torres, an art director at Cundari’s Toronto offices, is a 60-second spot called “PUSH” for client fixauto.com. Interestingly, Torres had the idea for the script seven years ago in his first advertising class in college. Through the years, he has pitched it numerous times but was never able to convince a client to take such an edgy approach. Oink Ink co-founder Dan Price comments, “Emmanuel’s story – how he actually wrote his script while at ad school – is exactly what this contest is all about. We’re thrilled to have been able to rescue 18 spots that belonged on the air but for various reasons hadn’t been given the chance.” See Oink Ink here…..Talk host Patzi Gil just celebrated the 2nd anniversary of her book-related radio show “Joy on Paper” (www.radio-joyonpaper.com) that originally launched on WTAN, Clearwater, Florida. The program will soon be featured on the Starcom Radio Network in more than 40 markets across the country. Gil says she expects the show to clear on more than 100 stations by the end of the year.
Syria-Russia Alliance/U.S. Syria Strikes, North Korea Nuclear Program, United Passenger Removal Video, San Bernardino School Shooting, New York’s Free College Plan, FOX News-Bill O’Reilly Scandal, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/10). The alliance between Vladimir Putin and Bashar al Assad and the responses to the U.S. strikes on a Syrian air base; the movement of U.S. warships near the Korean peninsula in response to North Korea’s nuclear missile program; the viral video of a passenger being pulled off a United Airlines flight; a murder suicide at a San Bernardino elementary school that also claimed the life of a student; analysis of the plan by the state of New York to offer tuition-free college to qualifying families; the allegations by several women of sexual harassment by FOX News Channel star Bill O’Reilly; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dayton radio personality Gina Ferraro moves from iHeartMedia’s hot AC WMMX “MIX 107.7,” where she was part of the morning show, to sister CHR WCHD “Channel 999” to serve as program director and afternoon drive host…..iHeartMedia alternative rock WRFF “Radio 104.5” is again presenting its popular Summer Block Parties starting Sunday, June 18 at Festival Pier featuring live performances by The Revivalists, Missio, July Talk, Irontom, and The Vital Stats. The series of Block Parties continues on June 18, July 23 and August 20 and culminates with Radio 104.5’s new “Endless Summer Show” at XFINITY Live! on September 16 with artists TBA…..Alpha Media rocker WIIL, Waukegan-Kenosha raised a total of $127,385 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation during the station’s 10th annual fundraising event held March 4 at The Legendary Brat Stop in Kenosha. The “Tom and Emily Morning Show” broadcast live, during which host Tom Kief shaved his head and personally raised almost $34,000. St. Baldrick’s is a volunteer-powered charity that funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. Government.
KKOB, Albuquerque Celebrates 95 Years On Air. On Tuesday evening (4/5), Cumulus Media’s news/talk KKOB-AM celebrated 95 years on air with a birthday bash at the New Mexico Natural History Museum in Albuquerque that drew some 800 people, including listeners, clients and past on-air talent. The photo above is the station’s first studio at the original transmitter site in Las Cruces, where it signed on on April 5, 1922. The station moved to Albuquerque in 1932, and in July 1941 upped its power to 50,000 watts. Cumulus Media added the 94.5 FM simulcast on translator K233CG, Sandia in August of 2016.
Jeff Lyon to Lead Cumulus Media Abilene. Radio management pro Jeff Lyon joins Cumulus Media to serve as VP/market manager for the Abilene, Texas cluster that includes sports talk KTLT-FM, “The Ticket,” classic rock KHXS “The Bear,” country KBCY, and CHR KCDD “Power 103.” Lyon was most recently with Townsquare Media’s Victoria, Texas four-station cluster as president/chief revenue officer. Cumulus Media regional vice president Mark Sullivan comments, “We’re thrilled to have a manager of Jeff’s caliber joining our team in Abilene. Jeff brings a wealth of experience and knowledge that provides him with a strong foundation for success.”
Trump Campaign-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 3-7. The investigation into possible connections between Russian agents and Trump campaign personnel was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Neil Gorsuch Supreme Court nomination battle. Coming in at #3 was the deaths by chemical weapons of civilians in the Syrian conflict, and following at #4 was President Donald Trump’s meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. 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.
Cox Launches COMET Programmatic Platform. The company says the launch of this programmatic platform – dubbed COMET (Cox Media Technology) – brings together data from Cox’s dozens of companies to connect buyers and sellers across all advertising channels, including desktop, mobile, video, and TV. Cox Enterprises EVP and COO Alex Taylor says, “Our company’s investment in COMET is an example of our commitment to drive innovation and enhance the customer experience. COMET’s technology will use customized data to establish meaningful connections to better serve the needs of the constantly evolving advertising ecosystem.” Cox Enterprises SVP and general manager of corporate strategy and investments Duncan O’Brien adds, “The world of advertising is transforming before our eyes, and the necessity to support this evolving marketplace is expanding. Cox is fusing technology with data, access and expertise to better serve the needs of the advertising ecosystem. We have a long, proud history in the media industry, and with COMET, we’re using this experience and knowledge to best prepare for the future of the advertising business.”
TALKERS News Notes. This weekend, Westwood One is presenting exclusive radio coverage of the 2017 Masters Golf Tournament through Sunday. In addition to hole-by-hole coverage, WW1 will be broadcasting hourly updates, and a nightly, half-hour preview and recap show, “The Masters Tonight.” Bob Papa and Charlie Rymer are the anchors for live coverage from Augusta National Golf Club along with WW1 broadcast crew members Mark Carnevale, Brian Katrek, Maureen Madill, Kevin Kugler, Whit Watson, and Ted Emrich…..CBS RADIO announces its plans for the Chicago Cubs home opener at Wrigley Field. On Monday (4/10), CBS RADIO Chicago will broadcast live from the ballpark with on-air personalities on site and present a series of live events for fans. All day (starting at 5:00 am!) and leading up to the first pitch, WSCR “670 The Score,” WBBM-FM “B96,” WXRT, WUSN “US99,” and WJMK “104.3 K-HITS” personalities will be entertaining game attendees and fans at Wrigley. Additionally, The Score’s Ron Coomer will be reporting on-field during the opening ceremonies and for the raising of the 2016 World Series Championship Banner.
Emmis Head Jeff Smulyan to Receive 2017 TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award. The TALKERS editorial board has announced today (4/5) the recipient of the publication’s 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award. The prestigious honor is going to Emmis Communications chairman, CEO and founder, Jeff Smulyan. Smulyan has contributed to radio in a wide variety of ways and on a number of fronts as one of the industry’s most visionary leaders. Among his many achievements, Smulyan is the father of the all-sports talk format which he boldly launched as then-owner of WFAN, New York in 1987. He built Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications into one of the 10 largest radio corporations in America with an ongoing reputation for being one of the most employee-friendly radio companies in the business. Today, Emmis owns and operates 16 FM and 3 AM radio stations in New York, Los Angeles, Austin, St. Louis and Indianapolis, as well as its hometown Indianapolis Monthly magazine. Emmis owns the two top hip hop brands in the world, KPWR “Power 106” in Los Angeles and “HOT 97” in New York City. On the news/talk front, the company owns and operates heritage station WIBC, Indianapolis. Smulyan is the leading advocate of getting FM-enabled wireless devices in smartphones. He shepherded the unification of the radio industry behind the installation of the Emmis-created NextRadio application in a broad array of FM-enabled wireless devices, allowing consumers to listen to their local radio stations without data charges. Upon making the announcement of Smulyan’s selection to receive this award, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Having the guts and foresight to launch all-sports talk radio is reason enough for this wonderful member of our industry to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. But that is only the tip of an iceberg of accomplishments attributable to his stellar career and it is but a small token of our appreciation for his continuing body of work when stacked up against all the many industry awards and honors he has received over the years.” Past recipients of the award include: Don Imus, Harvey Nagler, Norm Pattiz, Jim Bohannon, and Don Barrett among others. Harrison will personally present the award to Smulyan during their “Fireside Chat” scheduled to take place at TALKERS 2017: A New Era in New York City on Friday, June 2. For more information about the 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention, please click here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Morning drive personality Teri Ann Schlesser re-ups with iHeartMedia Fresno’s adult contemporary KSOF “Soft Rock 98.9” to continue co-hosting the “Jason & Teri Ann Morning Show” (with partner Jason Hurst). Schlesser comments, “I’m so excited to continue my journey with ‘Soft Rock 98.9’ and iHeartMedia. The past eight years have been wonderful and challenging and I’ve never had so much fun doing what I love!”…..Across the hall at iHeartMedia Fresno’s hip hop KBOS “B95,” Monisha Mann returns to the station where she once interned to host the evening show from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight. The 15-year radio pro says, “I am beyond excited and grateful for the opportunity to do nights in my hometown at ‘B95.’ I look forward to bringing new music to our listeners and I thank the team here in Fresno for believing in me to uphold the standards and ratings of this heritage station.”.…..Philadelphia alternative rocker WRFF “Radio 104.5” is offering a local couple the chance to be married on stage during the station’s 10th Annual Birthday Celebration Presented by Bernie Robbins Jewelers at the BB&T Pavilion on Sunday, June 11. The wedding ceremony will be officiated by Reverend Mike Jones and the winning bride and groom will be serenaded by Andrew McMahon during their first dance. The couple will also be showered with gifts including a five-star, all-inclusive honeymoon at the Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau. The promotion is in conjunction with WRFF’s 10th Birthday Celebration concerts, taking place on May 13 and June 11. The June 11 lineup features: The Killers, Bleachers, Foster The People, Kaleo, Marian Hill and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness…..iHeartMedia announces the debut of “On the Move with Enrique Santos,” the company’s hallmark English-language, Hispanic-targeted content initiative. The company says that in 2017, 53% of the Hispanic population in the U.S. are primarily Spanish-language first households and 43% are primary English-language households and its goal is to deliver to both at scale across broadcast and digital platforms. “On the Move with Enrique Santos” is the first English-language radio program to feature Hispanic broadcast powerhouse Enrique Santos, chairman and chief creative officer of iHeartLatino, iHeartMedia’s new Hispanic platform. “The new, two-hour music-intensive CHR weekend program features what’s hot and moving in music, entertainment, lifestyle and current events targeted to the Hispanic community.” It will originate from Miami and debut the weekend of April 15 on more than 100 iHeartMedia stations nationwide…..KTJJ, Farmington, Missouri morning personality Mark Toti was recently honored by the Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce with its Lifetime Achievement Award. The country radio personality spends a lot of time at various charity events in the community. The Alpha Media station notes that the Lifetime Achievement Award is not an annual one, but an honor that is only given out when an individual stands out above the rest. Toti comments, “I am quite honored to receive this award. It is very humbling. Farmington has a number of people who give their time to the community and they deserve this award as much as me. I don’t do what I do so people will say ‘Good job!’ I do it because it’s the right thing to do. Having said that, I’m very grateful for the recognition.”
Envision Broadcast Network Merges with Rocking M Media. The Envision here is not the Danno Wolkoff-led syndicator and sales firm Envision Networks. This Envision – the Envision Broadcast Network – owns hot AC KKGQ, Newton, Kansas “Q92” (Wichita market) and its mission is to “grow and expand employment opportunities in the radio industry for people who are blind or visually impaired.” Manhattan, Kansas-based Rocking M Media owns stations across the state of Kansas. Envision SVP of foundation and mission services Heather Hogan states, “Having already employed individuals with vision loss at some of its existing stations, Rocking M Media shares Envision’s belief that people with all abilities should have access to meaningful career paths. We’re proud of our successes with the Envision Broadcast Network and ‘Q92.’ The fact that we found a radio group with the capacity to carry out our objectives on a much wider scale will propel our mission forward.” Q92’s current on-air personalities who are blind or visually impaired will be brought into the Rocking M Media family. In addition, Rocking M Media will collaborate with Envision to take the Envision Broadcast Academy model to its entire multi-state listening area. The Envision Broadcast Academy is a hands-on training program intended to equip youth and adults with vision loss with the skills and encouragement they need to explore high-tech careers in the radio industry.
Shelley Rises to Executive Director of RTDNA/F. Longtime association member, former chairman of the board and current foundation secretary/treasurer Dan Shelley is named incoming executive director of the RTDNA and the RTDNF. He’ll begin his new position in September. Shelley is a veteran Edward. R. Murrow Award-winning radio, television and digital media executive. He’s served in key news positions with iHeartMedia, Radio One, CBS Television Stations and Journal Broadcast Group. He began his career at KTTS-AM/FM in Springfield, Missouri. RTDNA/F board chairman Vincent Duffy states, “Dan’s unique blend of experience, energy and deep understanding of our mission will position us for growth and continued success. His passion and dedication make him an ideal leader for our organization.” Shelley comments on his new position, “I am honored to take on this exciting new challenge at a critical time for our profession. More than ever, RTDNA plays an essential role in defending the rights of electronic journalists. I am looking forward to serving our members and advocating on their behalf.” This spring and summer, Shelley will oversee the development of RTDNA’s Voice of the First Amendment Task Force. Current executive director Mike Cavender, who previously announced his intention to retire, will provide transition assistance to the organizations through the end of the year.
TALKERS News Notes. Chicago Media maven Robert Feder reports on Windy City radio legend Steve Dahl’s disappearance from his afternoon drive show on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM for more than a week. Feder writes that “an upbeat and energetic Steve Dahl returned to his afternoon show on Cumulus Media news/talk WLS AM 890 Wednesday (4/5) more than a week after he landed in the hospital for treatment of a perforated colon. Broadcasting from his home, the Chicago radio legend said he was diagnosed with diverticulitis. ‘I’m on some kind of weird diet right now,’ Dahl, 62, told listeners. ‘I really honestly am just so glad to not be in the hospital and not in pain. They can take away whatever they want from me in terms of eating. I can live with it.’” Read Feder’s column here…..WPHT, Philadelphia’s Rich Zeoli afternoon drive program is honored with an excellence in broadcasting award from the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters in the category of Outstanding Local Personality or Team for large market stations. In a memo to staffers, program executive producer Greg Stocker writes, “Host Rich Zeoli and news anchor Dawn Stensland were recognized for their outstanding broadcast abilities and the Rich Zeoli show has brought home WPHT’s first award for this category. A very big congrats to Rich and the whole PM drive team. These awards are never won alone, with lots of tireless work off the air helping make all of our shows successful.”…..The team of Mike Rutherford and John Ramsey exits Union Broadcasting Louisville’s sports talk WLCL-FM, Louisville “93.9 The Ville.” In a post on SB Nation Card Chronicle, Rutherford shares his reasons for leaving the station’s afternoon show. He writes, in part, that “Working multiple jobs that I really and truly love is an unbelievable blessing, but all of them reaching their maximum level of demand at the same time is taxing.”…..Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist Elvira Salazar enters into a multi-year deal with Creative Talent Inc. for representation encompassing her work in television, radio, blogging and digital media. Salazar is a nightly news anchor with Mega TV and serves as a columnist with Newsmax Insider. Creative Talent president and CEO Steve Gallagher states, “Elvira has covered every major breaking news event in the past 25 years and regularly speaks out on immigration issues across the country on media outlets such as FOX News and FOX Business and she is a popular guest on radio talk shows nationwide. We are thrilled to be working with Elvira Salazar in getting her message out on every platform.”…..The central division of the Kroger grocery chain is honoring Neuhoff Communications’ WSOY, Decatur, Illinois “News/Talk 1340AM 103.3 FM” with its “Community Partner of the Year” award. WSOY was nominated and chosen for this prestigious honor for the impact of the WSOY Community Food Drive, an event that has raised more than 7.9 million pounds of food for local food pantries in its 15-year history. WSOY was chosen based on several key performance criteria, as well as general cooperation and enthusiasm toward achieving mutual goals. Previous honorees of the Community Partner of the Year Award include the Indiana Pacers and the Indiana Lottery. Vendors honored at the awards this year included Red Bull, The Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and the Hershey Company…..Salem Media Group announces that Heath Garlutzo will move from the company’s Phoenix station group where he’s been general sales manager to Colorado Springs to assume the general manager role there…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of Neil Sargent, who passed recently from complications from lung cancer at age 85. Sargent was a much-loved broadcast executive whose last gig before retirement was CEO of TM Century. He’d also served with syndicators Unistar, Transtar. During his long career, he also managed radio stations.
New Categories, Broad Scope of Esteemed Jury Panel Mark 2017 New York Festivals’ “World’s Best Radio Programs’ Awards. This year marks the 35th annual “World’s Best Radio Programs” awards presented by New York Festivals. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian speaks with New York Festivals International Radio Program competition executive director Rose Anderson, who tells him the competition is unique because virtually everything is covered from news programs; news features; documentaries; entertainment; drama; talk; promos; audio books; podcasts; and student work. Anderson says “It really is all things audio. It is most important to us that we make New York Festivals Radio Program awards a destination for people all over the world who are creating radio that is interesting, innovative, and of very high quality…This year, we have added four pretty interesting categories. They are ‘Best Live News Special,’ ‘Music Podcast,’ ‘Personalized Podcast,’ and ‘Heroes Documentary,’ with the latter a bit more than a biography profile documentary. ‘Heroes’ would be ordinary people whose extraordinary acts have influenced others.” Read more about the New York Festivals International Radio Program competition here.
Gorsuch Nomination, Trump Campaign-Russia Investigation, Bannon Exits NSC, Trump and Xi Jinping Meeting, North Korea Missile Threats, Syrian Gas Attack, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/5). The status of the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign personnel and Russian agents and Obama Administration National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s role in unmasking them; presidential adviser Stephen K. Bannon exits the National Security Council; President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping meeting at Mar-a-Lago; concerns about North Korea’s advancing nuclear missile program; the deadly gas attack on Syrian civilians and the political blame game; and the first games 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.
Hanging with the GOAT. WQAM, Miami afternoon show personalities (from l-r) Zach Krantz, Channing Crowder, and Marc Hochman – of the “Hochman, Crowder, and Krantz” show – chatted with all-time victories records-holder and Miami Dolphins legendary coach Don Shula (seated) at a recent remote broadcast at Shula’s Steakhouse in Miami Lakes, Florida.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Twenty-seven year radio pro Lori Tournay Liggett is promoted to general sales manager for Cumulus Media Nashville’s music stations country WKDF “NASH FM 103.3” and WSM-FM “95.5 NASH Icon,” and urban contemporary WQQK “92Q.” Liggett joined Cumulus Nashville in 2015 as general sales manager for WQQK. Prior to that, she was with CBS RADIO Detroit. She states, “I am honored to lead the WQQK, WSM-FM and WKDF sales team. Broadcast and digital media is constantly evolving and Cumulus Nashville puts local client solutions, employee development and our communities at the forefront of everything we do. I look forward to continuing these efforts.”…..Rock KFMB, San Diego “100.7 KFM-BFM” afternoon personality Mike Vasquez is promoted to program director for the Midwest Television station. He takes over for Garett Michaels, who exited the PD post in January…..Danny Hill is back with Alpha Media’s CHR KLLY, Bakersfield “Energy 95.3” as program director. Hill posts on Facebook that he’s psyched to be back at the station. He exited KLLY two years ago to take a management gig at Hawaii Media’s Kauai station group…..iHeartRadio’s “Artist Stories,” presented by State Farm, was honored for the Best Film & Video – Unscripted (Branded) category in the 21st Annual Webby Awards – an international award that honors excellence on the Internet…..iHeartMedia announces the addition of a number of acts to its Daytime Village Presented by Capital One at the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. New artists added to the bill include: Halsey, Little Mix, Bleachers, Niall Horan, Bebe Rexha, and Cheat Codes.
Bi-Partisan PROMOTE Act Would Let Copyright Owners Opt Out of Uncompensated Radio Airplay for Their Songs. Radio station owners – as well as the National Association of Broadcasters – are no happier with this new bill (fully titled the Performance Royalty Owners of Music Opportunity To Earn Act) sponsored by U.S. Reps Darrel Issa (R-CA) and Ted Deutch (D-FL) than they were with the recently filed Fair Play Fair Pay Act that would force payments to AM/FM stations for playing copyrighted material. This PROMOTE Act would allow copyright holders of electronic performances – in most cases the record companies themselves – to not allow their material to be aired by AM/FM stations if they don’t believe they’re being compensated fairly. Issa says this proposal hits both sides of the free-play-in-exchange-for-promotion argument where they live. Issa says, “Our bill puts forward a workable solution that would allow those who would otherwise be paid a performance right to opt out of allowing broadcasters to play their music if they feel they’re not being appropriately compensated. This is a win-win that helps solve this decades-long problem in a way that’s fair to both parties.” Radio station owners hate the idea almost as much as being forced to pay the copyright fees. But TALKERS editors wonder how many labels would really remove their music from AM/FM playlists unless they are paid. This could also adversely affect certain radio stations and not others. Remember that iHeartMedia and Cumulus have negotiated deals (the details of which are private) with a number of major labels and label groups that include compensation for AM/FM airplay.
Dave Ramsey Plays Philly’s Tower Theater. Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money tour stopped in Philly on Tuesday (4/4) where Ramsey presented before a sold-out crowd at the historic Tower Theater. Joining Ramsey was Chris Brown, financial expert and host of the nationally syndicated radio show, “Chris Brown’s True Stewardship.” Ramsey and affiliate CBS RADIO Talk Radio 1210 WPHT worked together to promote the event. WPHT program director Jared Hart states, “We’re so excited to be a part of Dave’s first live event in Philadelphia. His bond with listeners is unparalleled and watching his personal interactions with them is truly amazing to see. We’re so happy to have Dave on WPHT and are looking forward to more events like this in the future.” Pictured above (from l-r) are: WPHT morning news anchor Paige Powers, SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff, Dave Ramsey, afternoon news anchor Dawn Stensland, midday talk host Dom Giordano, and Jared Hart.
USA Radio Network Syndicates Wayne Allyn Root Show. Las Vegas-based conservative media figure Wayne Allyn Root joins the USA Radio Network for national syndication of his daily radio show that airs live from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET. Root – who is an author and columnist, TV host and producer, and the 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee – was an early supporter of President Donald Trump and served as opening speaker at six of candidate Trump’s Las Vegas rallies. USA Radio CEO Floyd Brown says, “I am extremely excited to announce the addition of Wayne Allyn Root to the daily lineup of shows available on a market exclusive basis from USA Radio. Wayne has shown by his incredible ratings and sponsorship success in Las Vegas that he will be a national star in syndicated radio.”
FOX Sports Radio: Cowherd Podcast Tops 5 Million Listens Mark. According to data as measured by ART19, the total podcast listens for the month of March for “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” hit 5.7 million. FOX Sports Radio says it marks the first time that total podcast listens for the program have surpassed the 5 million mark. FOX goes on to say that Cowherd’s TheHerdNow.com – the digital home for content created and curated by Colin Cowherd – attracted more than half a million page views – a new record for the site.
TALKERS News Notes. Chicago sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” announces that Chicago Cubs players Kris Bryant and Jake Arrieta will be part of a new segment on the “Bernstein and Goff Show” with Dan Bernstein and Jason Goff. WSCR program director Mitch Rosen comments, “It’s an extreme honor to welcome a league MVP and a recent Cy Young award winner to the Score team and it’s beyond a grand slam for the Score brand. The content Kris and Jake will add to the Bernstein and Goff show will bring the audience into the clubhouse, on the field, and other places the average fan can’t experience.”…..Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” will broadcast the 2017 All Star Day Live radiothon on May 24 from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm from the pavilion at Pagano’s Market & Bar in Center City Philadelphia. The station’s goal is to raise funds and awareness for the Philly-based American Association for Cancer Research. WPEN-FM personalities Anthony Gargano, Rob Ellis, Harry Mayes and Mike Missanelli will rotate in overlapping, two-hour shifts throughout the day, joined by many of The Fanatic’s popular guest players and analyst commentators.
Trump Campaign Surveillance Issue, Syrian Chemical Attack, North Korea Nuclear Missile Threat, Gorsuch Nomination, FOX News-Bill O’Reilly Scandal, DOJ to Review Police Consent Decrees, and Tony Romo Leaves Cowboys for CBS Gig Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/4). Questions about what role Obama Administration National Security Adviser Susan Rice may have played in the surveillance of Trump campaign personnel; the search for the source of the deadly chemical attack in Syria; North Korea launches another ICBM and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s response; the status of Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch; reports that several advertisers have pulled spots from FOX News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly show in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment of company staffers by the cable channel personality; Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructs the Justice Department to review Obama-era consent decrees with police departments; and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo’s intent to retire from the NFL to start a broadcasting career with CBS Sports were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Oldies are back on the air in Youngstown, Ohio as Cumulus Media flips alternative rock WWIZ “Rock 104” to oldies as “Z104 The Valley’s Good Time Oldies.” iHeartMedia flipped crosstown WBBG from oldies to country last April and Cumulus VP/market manager Bill Kelly states, “For almost a year, listeners and advertisers have told us how much they miss oldies on the radio. We are very pleased to fill that void with ‘Z104,’ Youngstown’s destination oldies station.”…..In Houston, CBS RADIO unveils the new morning show set to launch on hot AC KHMX “Mix 96-5” on Monday (4/10). Director of programming Chase Murphy says “The Morning Mix with Sarah Pepper, Geoff Sheen and Lauren Kelly” represents a “dynamic team that will give our listeners a fresh and unique way to start their day.” Pepper comes from CBS RADIO Houston’s sister station KKHH-FM, the former “Hot 95.7.” Sheen joins the team from San Antonio’s KTKR and Kelly moves to mornings after hosting the afternoon show…..Mid-West Family Broadcasting rock WQLZ, Springfield, Illinois adds Mo Lightning to the “3rd String Morning Show” with program director Wes Styles. Mo takes over for the departing Kaytie. Mo Lightning was most recently the host/moderator for the Wizard World Comic Con tour at which he moderated for the likes of William Shatner, Stan Lee (creator of Marvel Comics), the cast of “The Walking Dead,” various WWE Superstars, and countless more. Styles comments, “We’re proud to have such an entertaining personality join our ranks. Mo brings a lot to the table and now our plan for complete domination continues. We’re coming for a three-peat at next year’s awards!”…..Premiere Networks nationally syndicated radio personality and award-winning musician Keith Sweat returns for an additional run of his limited engagement,“Keith Sweat: Last Forever” show in the Donny & Marie Showroom at Flamingo Las Vegas from July 5 through July 22. This all comes in connection with the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Sweat’s triple-platinum album, Make It Last Forever (Elektra)…..Townsquare Media’s annual Mountain Jam festival in Hunter Mountain, New York announces the lineup for this year’s June 16-18 event. Among the 39 acts playing over three days are: The String Cheese Incident, The Head & The Heart, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Gary Clark Jr., St. Paul & the Broken Bones, The Strumbellas, Steve Miller Band, Peter Frampton, Michael Franti & Spearhead, and more.
KOGO, San Diego Adds Higgins to Evening Lineup. San Diego news/talker KOGO adjusts its evening lineup by announcing that the station’s Marilyn Hyder and Jack Cronin are now co-hosting “San Diego’s Evening News” weeknights from 6:00 to 7:00 and that it is welcoming local personality Ben Higgins back as host of “KOGO at Night,” from 7:00 to 9:00. Higgins has served with the iHeartMedia station as a talk host, and anchor on the “San Diego’s Morning News” program. He is also sports director at Scripps TV’s KGTV-TV “ABC 10News,” a position he’ll continue to hold. Higgins comments, “I’m thrilled to return to my KOGO roots and work alongside San Diego’s top talk radio professionals. It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to carry on a nightly conversation about the things that make us laugh, shake our heads or make us want to scream.” Program director Brian Long adds, “I’m excited about Marilyn and Jack co-hosting ‘San Diego’s Evening News’ and Ben’s return to the station. Ben is a smart and versatile talent who brings a lot of experience and a strong sense of community and with these two shows, KOGO will deliver a top-notch evening line-up for San Diego listeners.”
Nielsen: 18+ Consumption of News Spikes in 2016. Election years are traditionally good to producers of news content, and 2016 measured up very well, according to data from Nielsen‘s Total Audience Report. This latest piece of data does not compare the election cycle of 2012 to 2016, but instead compares 2015 to 2016. Still, the increase in minutes of news (by persons 18+) consumed jumped 18% year-over-year. Nielsen reports that last year, adults 18+ spent more than 72.5 billion minutes consuming news in the average week, with most of the increase coming from national cable news networks. For this report, Nielsen is using its panel methodology for national TV, local TV in LPM markets, radio in PPM markets, and digital. Measured in billions of minutes, consumption of radio news in PPM markets increased by 0.9, while consumption of news via smartphones was up just 0.5. As mentioned earlier, national cable news TV consumption spiked by 8.3 billion minutes from 2015 to 2016. See the Nielsen report here.
CBS Sports Radio Adds Reiter for Nights. Starting April 17, Bill Reiter begins hosting his “Reiter Than You” sports talk show on CBS Sports Radio from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET. CBS Sports Radio says the show will “feature Reiter’s refreshing style of spirited and insightful commentary and analysis coupled with special guests, including players, coaches and sports experts.” Director of programming Eric Spitz states, “The talented Bill Reiter will bring a fresh new voice and an energizing perspective to CBS Sports Radio’s already stellar lineup featuring the best sports talk shows and personalities around. His candid commentary and keen analysis will be a welcome addition to the network.” The addition of Reiter’s show comes after moves to new dayparts for “Tiki and Tierney” and “The DA Show.”
Freeman Named LSM at Cox Media Group Jacksonville. Taking on the role of local sales manager at Cox Media Group’s Jacksonville radio cluster is Jacque’ Freeman. She comes to CMG Jacksonville from her most recent position as sales manager for Beasley Broadcast Group in Charlotte. In this role, she’ll be responsible for all local sales for the cluster of stations, digital products and events. She also will focus on new business and growing account managers. In Jacksonville, CMG operates news/talk WOKV “News 104.5,” adult contemporary WEZI “Easy 106.5,” CHR WAPE, classic hits WJGL “Eagle 96.9,” hip hop “Power 106.1” (W291CI), alternative WXXJ “X1029,” and urban contemporary “HOT 99.5” (W258CN). CMG Jacksonville director of sales Bob DeBlois comments, “We are so excited to have Jacque join our team. Her experience, creativity and ‘can do’ attitude is a huge win for our team and for North Florida businesses.”
Bob Kevoian ‘Unretires’ for Open Day Remote Bob & Tom Broadcast. Pictured above on stage at the JACK Casino in downtown Cincinnati are (from l-r): Tom Griswold, legendary Cincinnati Reds radio voice Marty Brennaman, and Bob Kevoian during yesterday’s special remote broadcast of the Bob & Tom show from Reds Opening Day hosted by longtime affiliate WOFX. Kevoian retired from the nationally syndicated Bob & Tom show at the end of 2015. He joined Monday’s broadcast as a special “guest host.”
Susan Rice-Trump Surveillance Connection, Gorsuch Filibuster, Russian Terror Attack, FOX News-O’Reilly Scandal, Revived GOP Health Care Bill, and Monday Night’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/3). Questions about Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s role in unmasking Donald Trump campaign associates in surveillance of Russian operatives; whether or not Senate Democrats will filibuster the vote on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch; the deadly train bombing in Moscow; a former FOX News contributor asks for an investigation into the news operation’s sexual harassment history after reports of payoffs to Bill O’Reilly accusers surfaces; Vice President Mike Pence’s shopping around a revised health care bill to influential Republicans; and the build-up to Monday night’s NCAA Championship between North Carolina and Gonzaga were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Michael Harrison Candidly Comments on Radio’s Economic Issues on Providence Media Station. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison joined “GoLocal LIVE” (4/3), a daily video feature of Providence, RI’s hyper-local media station, GoLocalProv.com, and discussed, via Skype, the near bankruptcy of two of the largest radio groups in America, the state of talk radio in Providence, and the future of media. Harrison (pictured on screen alongside host and GoLocalProv.com founder Josh Fenton) says that the merger of CBS RADIO and Entercom may change the sports radio scene in Boston as the combined company owns the two leading franchises — WEEI and WBZ-FM “98.5 the Sports Hub.” He also discusses the future of WPRO-AM post Buddy Cianci and the departure of John DePetro. Cianci died in February of 2016 and DePetro left the station late in the year. To watch a segment of the discussion, please click here.
TALKERS News Notes. In Washington, DC, regional vice president of operations David Ruleman announces he’s retiring from Salem Media Group at the end of June. Ruleman moved from the company’s San Diego offices in 1992 when Salem acquired WAVA-FM and turned it into a Christian teaching talk-formatted station. WAVA-FM station manager Tom Moyer is assuming the station’s general manager role from Ruleman…..iHeartMedia names Rahul Sabnis to the newly created position executive creative director for iHeartRadio. In this role, the company says he’ll “guide the development of breakthrough content that delivers value for advertisers and brands, and will help iHeartMedia and its clients prove what’s possible across all of the iHeartMedia platforms: Broadcast radio, digital, mobile, video, social and events.” Sabnis comes to iHeartMedia from MullenLowe Profero, where he was the executive creative director and head of creative. He’ll report to iHeartRadio president Darren Davis.
Opening Day at Citi Field. The New York Mets opened the 2017 MLB season at Citi Field and flagship WOR, New York talk talent were on hand for the broadcast. Pictured here are (from l-r): Mets play-by-play voice Howie Rose, WOR morning drive co-hosts Todd Schnitt and Len Berman, Mets color man Josh Lewin, and Mets pre- and post-game host Wayne Randazzo.
Account Executive Gig Open at Entercom Charlotte. The Charlotte station group of Entercom is seeking an account executive for the soon-to-be trio of news/talk WBT-AM/FM, sports talk WFNC, and hot AC WLNK. For information about the position and to apply, click here.
Casey Carter to Program Country WTQR, Greensboro. Country radio pro Casey Carter joins iHeartMedia Greensboro to serve as program director for WTQR “Q104.1.” In this new role, Carter will work closely with on-air personalities and sales to oversee on-air, digital and music programming, as well as booking artist appearances and interviews for the radio station brand and their local events. Carter was most recently midday personality and APD with the company’s WKKT, Charlotte “96.9 The Kat.” iHeartMedia Virginia-Carolina region SVP of programming Rich McMillan states, “We are very fortunate to announce Casey Carter as the new program director at ‘Q104.1.’ She is an impressive radio talent and successful programmer who brings tons of enthusiasm and excitement to our building. I’m anxious to hand her the keys to the station and to introduce her to Lexington BBQ!”
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Joe Krauss is named the new morning personality at Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s adult contemporary WLDB, Milwaukee “B93.3.” Krauss was most recently on CBS RADIO’s WQAL, Cleveland “Q104” in middays as Average Joe…..Air personality Tara McClure returns to the station where she got her start as an intern when she becomes part of the morning show on Scripps’ CHR KHTT, Tulsa “106.9 K-HITS.” She’ll work alongside morning host Jacob “Chubbs” Day…..Taylor Morgan returns to the airwaves on Beasley Media Group’s rhythmic oldies WUKS, Fayetteville, North Carolina “Old School 107.7 Jamz.” Morgan has been serving as off-air program director for the station for the past four years. She says, “I am honored to be back in the booth! I have enjoyed working both on-air and as program director at Beasley. But, to do both is the best!”…..CBS RADIO Las Vegas announces its “SPF” (“SUN.POOL.FUN.”) national concert returns to the city Saturday, May 20 at Boulevard Pool inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas featuring performances by DNCE, Hailee Steinfeld, Jason Derulo, Niall Horan and Post Malone…..Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WCSX, Detroit says it is continuing its 30-year anniversary celebration by giving local fans a concert performance by Detroit’s own The Romantics at the 2nd Annual WCSX Summer BBQ event on Saturday, June 10. VIP tickets are available for $30 but general admission is free…..iHeartMedia rock KEGL, Dallas “97.1 The Eagle” announces the return of BFD 2017 at Starplex Pavilion on May 28 featuring: Stone Sour, Papa Roach, Three Days Grace, Skillet, The Pretty Reckless, Fozzy and Dorothy. iHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Patrick Davis says, “BFD has quickly become a summer concert staple. We are very proud of our lineup this year and excited for our listeners to once again celebrate the season with us and their favorite artists.”…..iHeartMedia launches a new country outlet on translator W227CX in the West Palm Beach market branded “WAVE 93.3.” The station is airing the Premiere Networks syndicated Bobby Bones show, air personality Eric Hunter and others.
Kaloustian Returns from Pandora to Lead Sales for WPHT, WIP-FM, and Phillies and Eagles Radio Networks. Radio sales pro Rob Kaloustian exited CBS RADIO in 2013 after an 18-plus year career with the company’s Philadelphia stations to assume a senior sales executive post with Pandora. Now, CBS RADIO announces Kaloustian is returning to CBS RADIO to become general sales manager of SportsRadio 94WIP, Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, Phillies Radio and the Eagles Radio Network, effective April 5. CBS RADIO Philadelphia VP and director of sales Dave Scopinich says, “We’re thrilled to bring Rob back home to CBS RADIO Philadelphia. He’s a proven difference-maker who has a keen ability to connect our community of listeners with our advertising partners.” Kaloustian started his radio career with CBS in 1995 as an account executive at KYW Newsradio. He later was named local sales manager. In 2008, he was promoted to general sales manager of Talk Radio 1210 WPHT.”
TALKERS News Notes. The 2017 Major League Baseball season gets underway Sunday and ESPN Radio is celebrating its 20th season airing games on the national network. ESPN Radio will present 71 games with commentator Jon Sciambi and analyst Chris Singleton returning as the lead commentator team. Sunday’s game is the Chicago Cubs visiting the St. Louis Cardinals…..Over at SiriusXM, baseball is on tap as well. SiriusXM is again providing “the most comprehensive national Major League Baseball coverage available on radio…subscribers will have access to every regular season and postseason game on their satellite radios and via the SiriusXM app, as well as 24/7 news, talk and analysis on the exclusive MLB Network Radio channel.”…..The Golden State Media podcasting network is joining BlogTalkRadio. The former is bringing 20-plus shows to the BlogTalkRadio platform “to take advantage of BlogTalkRadio’s unique monetization offerings.” Golden State Media CEO Andrew Tate says, “Combining the GSMC Podcast Network with BlogTalkRadio is the perfect fit to move Golden State Media Concepts into the future of podcast media.”…..CBS Sports Radio continues its on-site coverage of the Final Four as the Doug Gottlieb show and “The DA Show” broadcast live from radio row. Also, Gottlieb will broadcast live ahead of the highly anticipated National Championship Game on Monday, April 3.
Wayne Gardner Retires from WAVH, Mobile. Alabama talk show host Wayne Gardner retired from Bigler Broadcasting’s news/talk WAVH-FM, Mobile “Talk 106.5” this morning after a career in broadcasting that spanned 45 years. Gardner, who worked as a morning radio personality in the Mobile market in music radio prior to joining WAVH-FM in 2009, was part of the show on crosstown WKSJ that ruled the ratings during the 1970s and 1980s, according to a story in AL.com.
Trump Campaign-Russia Investigation Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of March 27-31. The investigation into possible connections between Russian agents and the Trump campaign was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week. At #2 was the GOP’s willingness to try again to overhaul the Affordable Care Act. Coming in at #3 was the status of the Trump travel ban, followed by the sanctuary cities/immigration-deportation policy stories 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.
New ‘Fair Play Fair Pay Act’ Officially Reintroduced. As expected, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, (R-TN) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, (D-NY) have reintroduced the Fair Play Fair Pay bill designed to end AM/FM radio’s immunity from paying copyright royalties on the performances of recorded music. A joint statement from the bill’s co-sponsors says, “Our current music licensing laws are antiquated and unfair, which is why we need a system that ensures all radio services play by the same rules and all artists are fairly compensated. Our laws should reward innovation, spur economic diversity and uphold the constitutional rights of creators. That is what the Fair Play Fair Pay Act sets out to accomplish: fixing a system that for too long has disadvantaged music creators and pitted technologies against each other by allowing certain services to get away with paying little or nothing to artists.” The National Association of Broadcasters issued the following statement in response: “NAB respectfully opposes the legislation reintroduced by Rep. Nadler that would impose a job-killing performance royalty on America’s hometown radio stations. NAB remains committed to working with Congress on balanced music licensing proposals that help grow the entire music ecosystem, promote innovation, and recognize the benefit of our free locally focused platform to both artists and listeners. We’re thankful to 165 House Members and 21 Senators who back the Local Radio Freedom Act that acknowledges broadcast radio’s indispensable role in breaking new artists and promoting record sales.” Nadler’s website highlights the proposed bill here.
PPM Analysis: Rock. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of rock stations based on ratings data from the February 2017 PPM survey. Kinosian writes, “Nearly twice as many rock panelists are up January 2017 – February 2017 (58%) versus those down (30%), while the remaining 12% of the sample is flat (6+).” When it comes to comparing performances from February 2016 to February 2017, “there is just about an even split here, as 53% of our eligible rock sample improves year-to-year (6+), while 47% decline. iHeartMedia’s WDVE, Pittsburgh is the only rock station ranking #1 in its respective PPM market, but seven others ranked (6+) in the top five. See all the data here.
Convergent Broadcasting II Exits Radio Biz with Sale of Corpus Christi Stations. The sale of three Corpus Christi FMs from Convergent Broadcasting II to ICA Radio Ltd. closes. ICA acquires CHR KKPN “Planet 102.3,” classic rock KPUS, country KAJE “My Country 107.3.” It also owns stations in the Odessa-Midland, Texas market. Convergent owns no other radio stations.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Former longtime WXRT, Chicago music director John Farneda is returning to the CBS RADIO triple A to serve as music director, at least on an interim basis. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Farneda, who exited the station in 2014 after more than 30 years with the station, is taking over the music director duties from Kelly Ransford, who’s leaving the station to become director of event marketing for iHeartMedia Denver. Read Feder’s piece here…..Entercom and hip hop KQKS, Denver “KS 107.5” are unable to come to terms with Larry Ulibarri and Kathie J. on contract renewals so the pair departs the morning show daypart. Obviously, the station is on the hunt for a new morning show…..iHeartMedia’s KIIS, Los Angeles announces that Miley Cyrus is joining the bill at this year’s Wango Tango on May 13 at StubHub Center in Carson…..In the Detroit-Windsor market, Bell Media makes cuts across its radio stations that affect alternative CIMX “89X,” which lets go of morning personalities Cal Cagno and Gillian Reilly, midday host Phil Kukawinski, and afternoon personality Reed Petitpren…..Cumulus Media SVP of content and programming Mike McVay will be a recipient of one of the inaugural music industry awards bestowed by the Innovation in Music Awards. McVay is being honored with the Heritage Award in Innovation, while CMT’s Leslie Fram will receive the Innovation in National Media Award at a ceremony in Nashville on June 6. The Innovation In Music Awards were founded by Cold River Records CEO Pete O’Heeron.
PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of sports talk stations based on data from the February 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio. The period of time between the Super Bowl and the start of the MLB season is traditionally soft for sports talkers. The NHL, NBA and college hoops haven’t historically provided the same level of fan attraction to sports talk radio as have football and baseball. This year seems no different. Kinosian notes that “roughly three of every four stations (76%) on this sports panel are down January 2017 – February 2017; only 16% are up; and the remaining 8% of the sample is flat (6+).” However, comparing February of 2016 to February of this year, “just over six of 10 stations from our eligible sports sample are down year-to-year (62%, 6+) while 27% improve; the remaining 11% are steady.” See the entire analysis here.
Lyons Joins Cumulus Appleton-Oshkosh. At its five-station cluster in the Appleton-Oshkosh, Wisconsin market, Cumulus Media names Jeff Lyons promotions/marketing director. Lyons comes to Cumulus from iHeartMedia’s Modesto, California station group where he held a similar position. Cumulus Appleton-Oshkosh operations manager Guy Dark comments, “Jeff’s experience in various markets made him an easy choice to fill our promotions slot. Coming from California, he’ll need to invest in some Badgers and Packers winter gear!” In the market, Cumulus operates news/talk WOSH-AM, classic hits WVBO, alternative WWWX “96.9 The Fox,” country WPKR “NASH 99.5,” and standards WNAM.
TALKERS News Notes. Former alternative KBZT, San Diego morning personality Chris Cantore is launching his podcasting career after being let go from the Entercom station – along with former partner Steven Woods. Via his new company YEW Media, Cantore and co-owner Chris Cote are seeking funding as they continue to produce podcasts. You can read a piece about his plans to grow from a local, San Diego platform to a national one in the San Diego Union Tribune here…..TVWeek is reporting that Fox News Channel made cable news history in the first quarter of 2017. “Delivering its most-watched quarter ever in total day viewers, FNC averaged 1.7 million viewers (up 27%) and 359,000 (up 32%) in the 25-54 demo. In primetime, FNC marked its second highest-rated quarter with 2.8 million total viewers (up 20%) and 576,000 (up 19%) in the 25-54 demo. For the quarter, FNC dominated cable news competition in both primetime and total day combined in total viewers. This quarter, FNC claimed 13 of the top 15 cable news programs in total viewers and eight out of the top 10 in the 25-54 demo. Additionally, all FNC programs were up double-digits in both viewers and demo compared to the same quarter last year. Read more about it here.
Philly Talk Radio Legend Mary Mason’s Grandson to Be Arraigned on Charges Related to Theft of Her Estate. Longtime WHAT, Philadelphia talk show host Mary Mason – a legend to the city’s urban radio audience – is currently wheelchair-bound and battling dementia. Now, the 86-year-old’s grandson, Calvin Steven Turner IV, is being charged with theft relative to the disappearance of her estate. Philly.com reports that authorities are alleging that Turner squandered $843,000 of Mason’s savings and investments. David A. Jaskowiak, the lawyer appointed last year to handle Mason’s finances, tells Philly.com, “Suffice it to say that had she had the resources she had when she retired without any dissipation by her grandson, she would have more than ample resources to afford her good care for the rest of her life.” Jaskowiak was able to recover $62,000 of Mason’s money. Read Jenice Armstrong’s column here.
GOP to Try Again on Health Care Bill, Trump Campaign-Russia Investigation, O’Reilly’s Maxine Waters Comment, Trump Reverses Obama Energy Policies, Gorsuch SCOTUS Nomination, U.S. Airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, Congress Nixes Internet Privacy Regs, and NFL League Meetings Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/28). Reports that the GOP will begin working on a new health care bill sooner rather than later; the investigation into connections between Trump campaign personnel and Russian agents; Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly apologizes for criticizing Rep. Maxine Waters’ appearance; President Trump announces his directive reversing Obama Administration energy policies; speculation about whether the Democrats will filibuster the Neil Gorsuch SCOTUS nomination; claims that U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria have been causing civilian casualties; Congress votes to eliminate FCC regulations that limit Internet providers’ abilities to share users habits and personal information; and this week’s NFL league meetings in Phoenix were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Reform Party Forum at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17. Pictured here at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 at 2 Penn Plaza in New York City in Monday (3/27) is WABC, New York personality Curtis Sliwa (on stage, far left) hosting the Reform Party Mayoral Candidate Forum. On stage (from l-r) are NYC mayoral hopefuls Sal Albanese, Michael Faulkner, Rocky De La Fuente, Mike Tolkin, Kevin Coenen, and Bo Dietl. WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “Our Stage 17 space above Madison Square Garden takes these important conversations and makes them must-see events. Curtis got the NYC Mayoral Election heated up like no one else can.” Photo: Dan Hirshl
WGN, Chicago Names 2017 ‘Walk of Fame’ Honorees. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Tribune’s news/talk WGN, Chicago is announcing this year’s honorees who will join its “Walk of Fame.” They are: late, legendary WGN sportscasters Lou Boudreau and Vince Lloyd, current overnight personality Nick Digilio, news anchor Judy Pielach, sports producer Jack Rosenberg, crime reporter Larry Schreiner (posthumously), and traffic reporters Leonard Baldy (posthumously), Lincoln Hampton, Mike Mathis and Anne Maxfield. The Walk of Fame honors WGN staffers both past and present with bronze plaques in front of the Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue. This year’s ceremony takes place live on WGN at 10:00 am on May 25.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dallas adult contemporary KDGE “Star 102.1” announces it is bringing Leigh Ann Adam aboard to host the morning drive program, effective April 3. The morning radio pro most recently was with CBS RADIO’s crosstown CHR KVIL, serving for 11 years. About her new gig with iHeartMedia, Adam says, “I love what I do and I’m so excited to wake up with ‘Star 102.1’ and the DFW community. Having the opportunity to host mornings is amazing and I can’t wait to put on my new headphones and get started!” During her career, Adam worked at KBIG, Los Angeles co-hosting mornings with Charlie Tuna…..Wilkes-Barre/Scranton alternative WFUZ tweaks its format – adding more new alternative music and trimming the gold from its library – and re-brands from the old “Fuzz 92.1” to “ALT 92.1.” The Times-Shamrock alt rock station first launched in 2010…..Townsquare Media’s country KATP, Amarillo, Texas re-brands, dropping its “BLAKE FM” moniker and adopting the “101.9 The Bull” handle. Program director and afternoon personality Braden Smith is adding Premiere’s Bobby Bones as the morning show…..WKTU, New York unveils the lineup of its annual ultimate summer dance party concert event, “KTUphoria 2017.” The June 3 show at Jones Beach Theater will feature: Backstreet Boys, Fifth Harmony, Nicky Jam, Jason Derulo, Shaggy, Daya, and Craig David.
BIA/Kelsey: Radio’s Digital Revenue Rises 14%; OTA Revenue Flat. The first quarter edition of BIA/Kelsey’s 2017 Investing In Radio Market Report indicates the bright spot for radio revenue is on the digital side where, looking back on the year 2016, digital revenue for radio companies rose 14%, while over-the-air revenue was relatively flat. Looking ahead to 2017, BIA/Kelsey projects that the local ad market in the U.S. will be $148.8 billion, with radio – both digital and OTA – getting about $14.9 billion of that. Direct mail continues to lead BIA/Kelsey’s projections for 2017, expected to garner 24.9% of that ad market. OTA television is in second place with 13.3%. Online/Interactive follows with 12.5%, mobile is right behind with 10.8%, and radio OTA will be in fifth place with 9.6% of the U.S. local ad market. For those keeping score, the top radio biller in 2016 was Bonneville’s all-news WTOP, Washington, DC, taking in $67.5 million. See the chart below for the rest of the U.S. top 10 for 2016.
Mike Carruthers to End Radio Syndication of ‘Something You Should Know.’ After 37 years and close to 10,000 episodes, Mike Carruthers announces he’s ending the radio syndication of the “Something You Should Know” daily feature. Carruthers will continue the program as a podcast, but he says changes in the network radio business are forcing his hand. “It’s going to feel weird to NOT do something I have been doing every day since 1979. But it has been a good run and it is time to go. I am very proud of the work I have done on the radio. The fact that it ran successfully for so long makes me feel great.” The feature launched on WFTQ-AM, Worcester in December of 1979 and will wrap on May 26 of this year.
TALKERS News Notes. Last week, TALKERS magazine reported that Denver talk radio host Steve Curtis had been charged with voter fraud after allegedly using his ex-wife’s mail-in voter form during the 2016 general election. Curtis, who hosted two programs on Crawford Broadcasting’s KLZ, Denver, resigned from the station the day after the news broke. At one time, Curtis served as the chairman of the Colorado GOP…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that veteran journalist and Chicago Reader political writer Ben Joravsky is the new afternoon host on Newsweb Radio’s progressive talk station WCPT. Joravsky assumes the 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm slot formerly hosted by Wayne Besen…..Today (3/28), ESPN Radio and espnW are collaborating on a three-hour program, “The Trifecta: Women Making History Special,” which will air from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight on ESPN Radio and simulcast on ESPN3. The special, honoring Women’s History Month, is being hosted by The Trifecta’s Kate Fagan, Jane McManus and Sarah Spain and will delve into the impact female athletes have had on the sports landscape. Scheduled to join the show are current WNBA (and former UConn) stars Sue Bird and Stefanie Dolson, espnW commentator Julie Foudy, “SportsCenter” anchor Jemele Hill, “ESPN Sunday Night Baseball” analyst Jessica Mendoza and Olympic beach volleyball bronze medalist April Ross…..Boston-based sports media personality Danny Picard’s twice-weekly podcast is now available on the PodcastOne platform. Picard calls his show “an entertaining and informative sports talk podcast with a Boston edge.” New episodes every Monday and Thursday. Check it out here.
Trump Campaign-Russia Connection Investigation/Call for Nunes Recusal, GOP Health Care Bill Failure, Sessions’ Sanctuary City Strategy, Russian Protests, Koppel-Hannity Exchange, London Terror Attack Aftermath, Raiders Move to Las Vegas, and the Final Four Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/27). The investigation into possible ties between Trump campaign staffers and Russian agents, tied with the call for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes to recuse himself from the investigation; the GOP’s decision not to vote on its health care bill and what it means for the Trump Administration; Attorney General Jeff Sessions moves to penalize cities that provide sanctuary to illegal immigrants; the weekend’s protests of Russian corruption resulting in hundreds of arrests; chatter about talk host Sean Hannity’s appearance on CBS News in which Ted Koppel told Hannity he’s bad for America; the aftermath of the London terror attack; the NFL’s Raiders wooed to relocate to Las Vegas; and the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament’s Final Four were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
2017 Radio Gracie Winners Announced. The winners of this year’s 2017 Radio Gracie Awards have been announced by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation. The Gracie Awards Gala will take place on Tuesday, June 6 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California and the Gracie Awards Luncheon will take place on Tuesday, June 27 at Cipriani on 42nd Street in New York. AWMF chair Sarah Foss states, “If we learned one thing this year, it is that the strength, courage and contributions of women are crucial and necessary components in moving the world forward. As we look to honor women in media, we take pause and recognize the millions of women who are not able to use their voice and creativity to share their message with the world. We hear you. We are you. And we stand beside you. We look forward to another great year and congratulations to the 2017 Gracie Award honorees.” Radio Gala Winners include: A Date with the First Lady (“Cafe Mocha Radio”), Special, Miles Ahead Broadcasting; Adell Coleman (SiriusXM Urban View), Producer, SiriusXM Radio; Cheree Carter, Host/Personality, Cumulus Media; “GMA After Hours,” Talk Show, ABC Radio; Kelly Ford (Ty, Kelly and Chuck), Co-host, Cumulus Media; McVay Minute and J:30, Public Service Announcement, Dawson McAllister Association; and Sandyland: On the M Train, Interview Feature, SiriusXM Radio. Radio Luncheon Winners: A League of Our Own – How Social Media Affects Women (Juliana Spano), Talk Show – Student, Radio Hofstra University; A League of Our Own – Women In Prison Project (Juliana Spano), Public Affairs – Student, Radio Hofstra University; Boyfriends Killing Boys (Megan Cloherty), Hard News Feature – Local, WTOP Radio; Decision 2016 (Kelly Green, Alyssa Compa, & Geneva Gerwitz), News Feature – Student, Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM; Erin O’Malley (WBMX Boston Middays), Host/Anchor – Local, CBS Radio; Jillian Kempton (WLTW 106.7 Lite FM), Imaging – Local, iHeartMedia; Juliana Spano, Producer – Student, Radio Hofstra University; Laurel Lee (Pulse Roundtable Broadcast), Producer – Local, Cox Media Group; New York Primary Day – Election Central with Rita Cosby, Interview Feature – Local, WABC Radio/Cumulus Media; Orlando Pulse Tragedy Roundtable, Crisis Coverage – Local, Cox Media Group; Pavlina Osta (Toni Tennille – Surviving Muskrat Love), Host/Personality – Student, The Pavlina Show; Shelli Sonstein (The Jim Kerr Rock ‘n Roll Morning Show – Q104.3), Co-host – Local, iHeartMedia; Sonstein Sunday (Q104.3), Public Affairs – Local, iHeartMedia; The New 93Q Cares For Kids Radiothon, Public Service Announcement – Local, Cox Media Group; and Then You Stand (Exceptional Women – MAGIC 106.7), Soft News Feature – Local, Beasley Media Group.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Sacramento hot AC KZZO “NOW 100.5” brings Mark S. Allen back to the air staff to host the morning drive show. Allen worked afternoons at the station for five years, exiting in 2015. In addition to his new gig with the CBS RADIO station, Allen continues his role with KXTV-TV, Sacramento’s “Morning Blend” program…..Press Communications announces the new air staff for its WWZY, Long Branch, New Jersey “107.1 The BOSS” branded as “classic rock of the ‘70s, ‘80s, and More.” The AM drive show “The Morning Kickstart” features Rob Acampora and Wendy McClure, Michele Amabile is the midday host and station VP of programming Jeff Rafter is hosting the afternoon drive program…..iHeartMedia is reporting that its iHeartRadio digital audio service has surpassed the 100 million registered user mark. iHeartRadio president Darren Davis comments, “100 million registered users is an amazing milestone and we are thrilled to see such great momentum and traction for iHeartRadio. We are committed to continuing to provide an exceptional listening experience for our millions of fans and listeners, and with the official launch of our new on-demand services, we are able to offer even more iHeartRadio features for our listeners who want to enhance their radio experience.”…..iHeartMedia announces the lineup for the Daytime Village at the iHeartCountry Festival at Frank Erwin Center’s North Box Office Plaza in Austin on May 6. The free daytime event will feature live performances by Jon Pardi, Lindsay Ell, Kane Brown, Tucker Beathard, Chris Janson and Kip Moore. The Daytime Village will also feature fan zones and interactive experiences by iHeartRadio’s brand partners…..Cumulus Media’s consumer survey series, NASH Country Pulse Poll, announces the results of its first poll. Ahead of the Academy of Country Music Awards, the poll asked country fans a number of questions, and the results included Luke Bryan and Keith Urban in a dead heat for “Entertainer of the Year” with both stars tied at 26%; Tim McGraw’s 27th #1 country hit “Humble and Kind” was voted most likely to win “Song of the Year,” with 29% of the votes; and 57% of respondents expect Carrie Underwood to make a grand entrance at the awards show.
Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage Cast Off Party. Nationally syndicated urban morning host Tom Joyner visited affiliate WNBM, New York “Radio 103.9” and Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 for the “Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage Cast Off Party” at which one lucky listener was invited to join Joyner on the April cruise. Pictured above (from l-r) are: WNBM personality Marc Clarke, Tom Joyner, cruise winner Osborne Bryant, and WNBM personality La Loca.
Hannity and Koppel Clash on ‘CBS Sunday Morning.’ Radio and television talk star Sean Hannity is calling for CBS News to release the raw, 45-minute video of his conversation with CBS correspondent Ted Koppel, from which a highly charged segment on news/talk media was culled for a piece that aired on the “CBS Sunday Morning” program. In the report, which also featured White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, New York Times editor Dean Baquet, and Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute, Koppel expresses his view that news/talk shows like Hannity’s are widening the divide among Americans. At one point, Hannity asks Koppel, “You think I’m bad for America?” And Koppel responds, “Yeah…You have attracted people who are determined that ideology is more important than facts.” Hannity told Koppel he was not giving Americans credit for being able to discern between an opinion show and a news show. After the show aired, Hannity Tweeted complaints about the editing of the program. “Fake ‘edited’ news. I gave a example after example of why I say ‘journalism is dead’. I also gave many examples of how liberalism has failed.” Hannity is calling on CBS News to release the full, 45-minute video “so people can see the BS games you play in the edit room. I dare you!” See the CBS story and link to the program segment here.
Zito to Host ‘Main Street Meets The Beltway’ on SiriusXM. A joint production of the Washington Examiner and SiriusXM is presenting the new, weekly show, “Main Street Meets the Beltway,” Tuesdays from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET on the satcaster’s non-partisan POTUS channel. The program is being hosted by Washington Examiner reporter Salena Zito. She’s been with the Examiner since 2016 as a Pittsburgh-based columnist and reporter. She is also a columnist at the New York Post and serves as a contributor for CNN. She spent much of the last 12 years with the Pittsburgh Tribune Review as both a reporter and columnist covering national politics. On the radio show, “Zito will prioritize the stories and opinions of Americans across the country over politicians and bureaucracy. Having travelled across the heartland extensively throughout the 2016 campaign, Zito gathered countless stories from people of all backgrounds, leading her to correctly predict President Trump’s victory in November. ‘Main Street Meets The Beltway’ will focus on these individuals – their needs, concerns, and hopes for their futures – and what their expectations are from both local and federal government.” Zito will host the new weekly program live from the studios of Point Park University in Pittsburgh.
‘AM1280 The Patriot’ in Twin Cities to Presents Trump 100 Days Event. Twin Cities news/talk outlet WWTC “AM 1280 The Patriot,” along with Salem Media Group’s fellow Minneapolis-St. Paul stations – business talk KYCR-AM “Twin Cities Business Radio 1440” religious KKMS “AM 980 The Mission,” and talk KDIZ “Twin Cities Wellness Radio 1570” – are co-presenting the live event, “President Trump: The First 100 Days” on Sunday, May 21. It features Salem Radio Network hosts Hugh Hewitt and Dennis Prager with moderator Ed Morrissey from HotAir.com. The event is one of 18 that will be taking place in markets including: Los Angeles, Dallas, Denver, and Philadelphia.
Cooke: Radio’s Biggest Star Is Back. No, not Orson Welles…baseball! Media consultant Holland Cooke writes today that the evidence of how beneficial baseball play-by-play is to radio is overwhelming. But, now the games are available in numerous other places. So, “stations need to play defense to exploit the franchise.” Read Cooke’s advice here.
WGN, Chicago’s Steve Cochran Returns to the Air After Being Treated for Blood Clots. WGN, Chicago morning drive personality Steve Cochran returned to the air this morning after spending two days in the hospital being treated for blood clots in his lungs. Chicago media writer Robert Feder writes that Cochran had been under care for bronchitis and shortness of breath. Feder reports that the source of the clot was behind Cochran’s left knee. Cochran is quoted saying, “Serena Williams, Regis Philbin and me — what do we have in common? Not much…but we’ve all had blood clots. DVT (deep vein thrombosis), PE (pulmonary embolism) — all quite serious, but I’m lucky as mine are meds controlled.”
GOP Health Care Bill Failure, Trump-Ryan Relationship, Gorsuch Nomination, London Terror Attack Aftermath, Russia Anti-Corruption Protests, Cincinnati Nightclub Shootings, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The failure of the GOP-authored health care plan designed to replace the Affordable Care Act and speculation about what it means for the Trump Administration; chatter about the working relationship between President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan; the status of the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch for a seat on the Supreme Court; the aftermath of last week’s London terror attack that killed five and injured 50; Russia cracks down on anti-Putin and anti-corruption protesters, drawing condemnation from the U.S. and other Western nations; the slaying of one and injuring of numerous others after a gun battle at a Cincinnati night club; and the weekend’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Diane Look, Wife of WFHR PD and AM Host Bob Look Slain in Wisconsin Shootings. The shootings in Wausau, Wisconsin last week that stemmed from a marital dispute claimed the life of Diane Look, the wife of Bob Look, the program director and morning host at Seehafer Broadcasting’s news/talk WFHR, Wisconsin Rapids. Diane Look, a staffer at Marathon Savings Bank, died along with fellow bank worker Karen Barclay after Nengmy Vang showed up at the bank looking for his estranged wife, Naly Vang, who was not injured in the attack. Nengmy Vang also killed Naly Vang’s divorce attorney, Sara Quirt Sann, at her office, and police officer Jason Weiland after barricading himself in his apartment.
Covering the White House Health Care Issue. Pictured above in the Oval Office on Friday (3/24) is Salem Radio Network White House correspondent Greg Clugton (standing, second from left) covering the president’s remarks after the decision not to put the GOP health care bill to a vote in the House. Clugton was in the Oval Office as part of the White House radio pool and was one of only four reporters to question President Trump directly.
KIDO, Boise Morning Host Kevin Miller Guests on Harrison Podcast. This week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” is the hard-working morning host and brand manager of Townsquare Media’s 580 KIDO, Boise – Kevin Miller. Miller is a seasoned veteran who paid his dues in the trenches of local radio in such markets as Pittsburgh, Nashville, Raleigh, Birmingham, Nashua and more before landing in Idaho’s Treasure Valley where he has dug deep and meaningful roots into the community for the better part of a decade. Harrison and Miller discuss the nuts and bolts of doing local radio with all its many challenges and rewards in the era of Donald Trump…and then some. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Roasting to Benefit the American Diabetes Association. KABC, Los Angeles morning personality Doug McIntyre (standing) is pictured above emceeing the 20th Los Angeles Political Roast at the Beverly Hilton Hotel last Thursday (3/23). The “roastee” for this year’s event was Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell. Pictured with McIntyre here is Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Busciano. The event was expected to raise $500,000 for the Los Angeles chapter of the American Diabetes Association.
Drew Bland to Lead Programming at Entercom’s ‘Wolfe’ in Seattle. Country KKWF, Seattle “100.7 The Wolf” has a new program director as Entercom announces Drew Bland assumes the role, effective April 12. Entercom Seattle VP of programming and operations Dave Richards states, “After a nationwide search, it was very clear that Drew was the right person for the job. ‘The Wolf’ is one of America’s great country stations and it deserves a great leader like Drew.” Bland comes to Entercom from Cox Media Group where he was director of programming and branding for country WWKA, Orlando “K92.3 FM.”
WZAT, Savannah Flips to Hot AC. On Friday afternoon (3/24), Cumulus Media flipped WZAT-FM, Savannah from classic country as “NASH Icon 102.1” to hot AC, rebranding the station “102.1 The Sound.” The station is using syndicated morning program “The Bert Show” with Bert Weiss. Cumulus Media Savannah vice president/market manager Eric Mastel says, “We are all very excited to debut Savannah’s newest radio station, ‘102.1 The Sound.’ After extensive market research, it was overwhelmingly evident that Savannah was asking for a radio station they could call their own. ‘102.1 The Sound’ is not only named for the music, but also for the beauty of our home and the water that surrounds us. With artists like Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, The Weeknd and Lorde, and featuring ‘The Bert Show’ in the morning, we have given Savannah exactly what they asked for ‘102.1 The Sound!’”
By Holland Cooke
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow scored the biggest ratings in the history of her show as she displayed a copy of Donald Trump’s 2005 tax return, anonymously mailed to a reporter. Although many radio talkers – and some radio gurus – were quick to shrug it off as unsustainable, new news since is that Maddow has now beat rival Fox News Channel for a second straight week 25-54.
Admittedly, radio folk tend to do cartwheels when WE spike, and to diss other guys when THEY do. Still, the social media backlash – from media people — was discouraging. The unison damned Maddow for sustaining viewers’ attention for two whole quarter hours…as though that’s not how we too get paid. “Big hype! Big letdown! Only two pages!”
ESPN Moves Craig to Network PD; Ups Hurley to WEPN, New York PD. Sports programmer Justin Craig is promoted from PD of WEPN, New York to senior director, programming and operations for the ESPN Radio network. The sports giant says that Craig will be responsible for all aspects of ESPN Radio programming and production, including oversight of “Mike & Mike,” “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” “Russillo & Kanell,” and nighttime and weekend programming. Craig is now based at ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol and reports to David Roberts, vice president, ESPN Network Content. With Craig’s move to Bristol, WEPN APD Ryan Hurley is elevated to program director. Jonathan Winthrop, who has previously served as a producer at WEPN, adds APD duties and continues to produce the Stephen A. Smith show.
TALKERS Personality Profile: KSCO, Santa Cruz Owner, Michael Zwerling. One of the most colorful owner/operators of a local radio broadcasting company, Michael Zwerling, is the subject of an audio personality profile posted today (3/20) on Talkers.com. Since 1991, Zwerling (known to his friends and colleagues as “MZ”) has owned heritage news/talk 10k flamethrower KSCO-AM 1080. The station puts out a giant signal covering the Monterey Bay area as well as huge swath of Northern California territory. KSCO first went on the air in 1947. Zwerling has subsequently gained a national reputation for his unique ownership and management style that has turned KSCO into a dynamic combination of mostly locally produced content punctuated by carefully selected national programming. Under Zwerling’s guidance, KSCO is financially fueled by a potent combination of traditional advertising sales and the generation of non-traditional revenue. In the hour-and-a-half interview conducted by TALKERS founder Michael Harrison, Zwerling discusses what it has been like operating a conservatively oriented station (featuring Rush Limbaugh) in a predominantly liberal market. He talks about his early, quirky days in broadcasting, the nuts-and-bolts of local radio station ownership in the modern era, the pros and cons of carrying Limbaugh over the years, his late mother and locally beloved broadcaster, Kay Zwerling, and his remarkably lucrative relationship with the multi-level marketing health products company, Youngevity. To listen to this candid dialogue with the man described by Michael Harrison as one of the most interesting and eccentric owners in radio today, please click here.
‘The Big Talker’ Returns to Wilmington, NC. Talk show host Chad Adams is reviving “The Big Talker” on WFBT-FM, Wilmington, North Carolina (licensed to Carolina Beach) under an LMA from Carolina Christian Radio. His Red Wolf Broadcasting will operate the station and his regionally syndicated talk show – also heard in Charlotte and Greensboro – will be heard from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. It will follow the local “Mornings With Pam and John” program with husband-and-wife team John and Pam Dismukes. Other shows to air on the station include: Radio America’s Dana Loesch, the Dave Ramsey show, SRN’s Mike Gallagher, and Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity and the overnight “Coast to Coast AM” with George Noory. Originally, “The Big Talker” was heard on WNTB-FM and WUDE-FM. WFBT-FM’s frequency is 106.7. It was formerly WMYT and was put on the air by Curtis Wright’s and George Bell’s Talk Media TV in 2013.
TALKERS News Notes. The morning drive show at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WGOW-FM, Chattanooga – hosted by Jeff Styles, Jim Reynolds and Bill Lockhart – expands by an hour to air from 6:00 am to 10:00 am, eliminating the Reynolds-hosted hour, “The Nth Degree.” At the same time, Styles – who had also been hosting the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program, “Fred The Show,” gives up that program to new host Brad Giese…..WGN, Chicago launched a new weekend program on Saturday (3/18). The two-hour show “On the Road with Dane Neal” airs from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. WGN says that this program is more than just a car show, “Neal will explore the relationship of people and their cars. Topics will include motorsports, day trips, cruise nights, technology in the car and more.” His first guests were Food Network’s Guy Fieri, Expedia’s Sarah Gavin, and NASCAR champion Kevin Harvick. Neal comments, “I’m excited to be able to take a radio road trip with listeners each week. We’ll share great stories about racing, innovation in driving and the great car culture of Chicago.”
Rising Country Music Star Pens and Records Inspirational Patriot Song for Both Music and Talk Radio. Singer/songwriter Dede Wedekind is a rising star in country music circles (Indie Music Channel’s 2016 Best New Female Artist, plus a number of other music industry honors) and she is now attracting the attention of talk radio hosts doing interviews about her new soul-stirring, patriotic release titled “America United.” The song was originally written by Wedekind and her husband in a flash of inspiration coming from the pulpit while attending church on a Sunday in 2012. Garnering attention across her fan base for years, the couple then tweaked the song in the wake of the 2016 presidential election, resulting in another IMEA Award for the independent artist. She tells CCM Magazine, “To me, everyone who hears ‘America United’ seems to like and relate to the overwhelming message of this song—which is the necessity of uniting all Americans once again. This song isn’t about a particular political party, being conservative or liberal, or even being Democrat or Republican—it’s about making America a great nation once again. ‘One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.’” Wedekind continues, “In the original version written in 2012, it features President Ronald Reagan‘s message of making America great quoting the line, ‘Once again, make America Great. When President Donald Trump decided to run last year, my husband Larry and I had already decided to update ‘America United’ to make it a better song with a more concise message and better production. We then decided to also incorporate Trump’s slogan, which, again was completely based on Reagan’s original message. We repeated the slogan in the chorus of the 2016 version, since it was already a part of the original song, and more importantly felt strongly that God had given it to President Reagan, and now again to President Trump.” To listen to and download Dede Wedekind’s “America United” and obtain contact information to book an interview with her, please click here.
Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Accusations, Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings, GOP Health Care Bill, U.S.-Germany Relations, North Korea Missile Program, Rock Legend Chuck Berry Dies, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. President Donald Trump’s accusation that former President Barack Obama ordered wiretaps of Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign; Supreme Court judge nominee Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings begin today; speculation about the fate of the GOP health care bill; President Trump’s belief that Germany owes the U.S. money for its NATO membership and his meeting last week with Angela Merkel; North Korea’s nuclear missile program and its threats to hit American targets; rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Chuck Berry dies at age 90; and the action during the first weekend of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Stephanie Miller Announces ‘Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour’ 2017. Progressive radio talk show host and comedienne Stephanie Miller is announcing the 2017 version of her Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour – this year titled the “Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour 2017.” On this tour will be Miller, John Fugelsang and Frangela. A press statement from Miller reads, “Touring for several years as the Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour, the election forced us to rethink early retirement and return to the stage for a multiple-city tour. We face Washington and laugh out loud at the tragic comedy of politics, to throw our finest, most scathing satire at the feet of our not-so-elected politicians. To fight on with comedy…to offer the real fake news…to offer true alternative facts.” The tour does 10 dates this year beginning in Madison on April 22 and ending in Maui, Hawaii on December 23. Cities include Phoenix, Albuquerque, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
SRN’s Tradup Promoting Brantley Rescue Documentary. Next Thursday night (3/30) is the one-night-only Fathom national movie theater screening of the film Facing Darkness. The film was the result of a trip to the Ebola virus “hot Zone” in Liberia last summer during which Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (pictured at right) accompanied a film crew from non-profit charity Samaritan’s Purse to chronicle the successful, high-tech rescue of Dr. Kent Brantley during the deadly 2014 outbreak. Tradup, who is actively promoting the film via social media, says, “The courage of the Samairtan’s Purse team (including Dr. Brantley) who risked their own lives as the Ebola outbreak claimed thousands of lives all around them, is a truly inspirational story that is the centerpiece of a stunning documentary.”
TALKERS magazine Publishes the 2017 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk. On Monday, March 13, we published the fifth annual TALKERS Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk – formally known as the 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America. This annual list is compiled and ranked by the editors of TALKERS magazine – with input from industry leaders. As with our publication’s “sister list,” the 100 Most Important Talk Radio Hosts in America, the criteria are a number of hard factors – including ratings and revenue – as well as such soft factors as talent, recognition, impact, service and more. Executive editor Kevin Casey states, “This annual ranking of the most important sports talk radio hosts is one of the most difficult – but enjoyable – projects we undertake at TALKERS. The reason for that is the partially subjective nature of the criteria combined with the enormous number of talented and successful sports talk hosts working in America. Paring that pool of talent down to 100 is no easy task!” Casey also notes that TALKERS will be publishing the 2017 Heavy Hundred of News/Talk Radio in April. See the 2017 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Beginning this Friday (3/24), Entercom Austin is shifting its urban adult contemporary contemporary outlet to a new frequency as it changes translator K242CC from the 96.3 frequency to 95.9. Appropriately, the station’s new brand is “95.9FM RnB.” Entercom Austin VP/market manager Stephanie Callihan states, “We are looking forward to welcoming all of our loyal listeners at our new home on the dial. We continue to be committed to providing the unparalleled radio experience that our fans have come to expect from us and will keep delivering for our fans at our new frequency.”…..Bonneville’s country KYGO, Denver welcomes Guy David aboard as the new co-host of the morning drive show with current AM personality Tracy Dixon. David heads to Denver from his current position at RBH Enterprises-owned country WFON-FM, Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin “107.1 The Bull.”…..Wesley Miller returns to his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio to program adult contemporary WMXY “MIX 98.9” and CHR WAKZ for iHeartMedia. Miller was most recently with Forever Media’s WGYY, Meadville, Pennsylvania “Froggy 100.3” hosting the morning show and serving as program director…..CBS RADIO country outlet WDSY, Pittsburgh “Y108” is hosting its annual Wine & Boots Bash to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on Thursday, April 13 at The Twentieth Century Club in Oakland. The event will feature Warner Music Nashville country singer and songwriter Michael Ray. CBS RADIO Pittsburgh VP of programming Mark Anderson says, “Michael Ray was a part of Y108’s ‘Eight Man Jam’ concert two years ago. Michael’s career is on fire as he just achieved his second #1 hit single and we are thrilled to have him perform at Y108’s Wine and Boots Bash on April 13.” Ray broke into music as a contestant on The CW’s “The Next: Fame Is At Your Doorstep.” He co-wrote the 2015 Big & Rich hit “Run Away With You” and made his solo artist debut that same year with the #1 hit “Kiss You In The Morning.” He scored his second #1 hit just this week with his song, “Think A Little Less.”
Josh Turner Plays Stage 17 LIVE. The brand-new Cumulus Media New York performance space Stage 17 LIVE hosted country star Josh Turner on March 15. WNSH “NASH FM 94.7” air personality Jesse Addy spoke with Turner on the air the same day Turner spent his morning hosting the fourth hour of NBC TV’s “Today Show.” Pictured here are (from l-r): Jesse Addy, Josh Turner; WNSH program director John Foxx, and WNSH APD Mike Alan.
Cumulus Media Reports 2016 Q4 and Full-Year Financials. The company had not been hiding the fact that the news of its revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016 or the whole year would not be positive, and the results were not surprising. Cumulus Media reports its Q4 net revenue was $299.5 million – down 3% from the same period in 2015, and the full-year net revenue was $1.14 billion – a dip of 2.3% compared to all of 2015. Separating the company’s two reportable segments – the radio station group and Westwood One – for the fourth quarter of 2016 the radio station group was up 1.3% on net revenue of $209.7 million. However, Westwood One was down 12.3% on net revenue of $89.1 million. For the whole of 2016, the radio station group’s net revenue was $802.3 million, an increase of 0.8%. Westwood One’s net revenue was $336.6 million, a decrease of 8.8% from 2015. Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner comments, “We entered 2016 with a singular objective: to fix the core business problems – poor culture, poor ratings and poor operational execution – which was essential to establishing a foundation on which to build improved financial results. Throughout the year we made significant progress addressing each of these areas, most visibly in ratings growth where we’ve outperformed the industry for 15 straight months. In fact, with two back-to-back quarters of revenue share increases on the station side, a trend which continued through January, we have early evidence that, despite a tough industry environment, our foundational work is beginning to translate into improved financial performance.”
Legendary WSB-AM, Atlanta Celebrates 95 Years On Air. It was on the Ides of March in 1922 that WSB-AM began broadcasting to the citizens of North Georgia. On Wednesday, Cox Media Group celebrated the anniversary. WSB manager of program operations and community affairs Condace Pressley states, “In 1922, WSB was licensed to deliver weather reports. Today, delivery of accurate and dependable news, weather and traffic remains our calling card, but this station and its people are so much more. Service to the Atlanta community is in WSB’s DNA.” Station director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs adds, “The WSB brand of local news, weather and traffic has grown from being on AM only to now serving north Georgia on FM, mobile, and digital. It all boils down to our slogan – Depend On It!” See a cool presentation of WSB’s 95-year history here.
WVON, Chicago Adds Maze Jackson to the Matt McGill Morning Show. Local political commentator and strategist Maze Jackson is joining Midway Broadcasting Corporation’s morning program, the “Matt McGill Morning Show,” on WVON, Chicago, effective April 3. The station says this move is being made to secure WVON’s position as a contributing voice in the upcoming gubernatorial and mayoral elections, in addition to increasing the station’s overall rankings. McGill has been solo host of the morning show on WVON for the past six years – a role in which he’ll continue. Jackson joins the show after contributing for the past two years as a weekly commentator and guest host. WVON says, “Jackson has a diverse array of experience in the worlds of business, politics, and community engagement. Jackson spent over 20 years lobbying for high profile clients, creating community-based solutions and driving the discussions that shape impactful policies as former executive director of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus.”
TALKERS Magazine Publisher Michael Harrison Joins WPHT, Philly’s Rich Zeoli for His New Podcast. At CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia, afternoon drive personality Rich Zeoli is launching a new podcast that features content not heard on the WPHT airwaves. TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison joined Zeoli for his inaugural show. In addition to addressing such topics as the Trump Administration’s impact on news/talk radio and the influence of politics on talk radio, the two delved into “inside” radio subjects including the evolution of the talk radio format, changing media technology, and the public’s evolving media habits. Listen to it here.
Desert Broadcasters Brings Palm Springs AMs Back to Life; KGX Branded ‘Real Talk.’ The two Palm Springs signals – KPSI-AM 920 and KWXY-AM 1340 – went dark last August after longtime owners Rozene and Ric Supple decided to exit the radio business. Enter Garry Wing and Desert Broadcasters who acquired the stations and just put KPSI – now KGX “Real Talk” – and KWXY back on the air. KWXY is a soft AC. The Desert Sun reports that Wing wants to create a talk station with less political vitriol (and less “fake outrage”). Radio America personality Chad Benson’s show is featured on the station. Wing says the station will air a combination of local and national talk shows. Both stations occupy the early 1960s-era broadcast facility pictured in the photo here, taken from the Desert Sun’s video report.
iHeartMedia Unveils ‘SmartAudio’ Advertising Product at ‘SoundFront.’ At Wednesday’s client-focused “SoundFront” up front event, iHeartMedia introduced its SmartAudio digital data advertising product, now a part of the programmatic solution SoundPoint. iHeartMedia says SmartAudio goes farther in leveraging the power of SoundPoint to help advertisers evaluate, plan and buy broadcast radio, enabling them to build innovative campaigns that target key audience segments. iHeartMedia president of national sales, marketing and partnerships Tim Castelli says, “We’ve been testing SmartAudio with some of the top brands and we’re already seeing additional impact for those using it. They’re able to leverage the product’s flexibility to decide which specific ad to run based on something as simple as whether the local sports team won or lost last night’s game…Industry response to our SoundPoint platform has been so well received that we’re now unveiling SmartAudio which allows audience segmenting and dynamic creative capabilities all in one planning and buying tool.”
TALKERS News Notes. Public radio outlet WBEZ, Chicago is debuting a new podcast series called, “Written Inside: Stories About Prison Cells.” The series consists of essays by inmates at Illinois’ Stateville Correctional Center about their prison cells – shedding light on the everyday experience of incarceration. The series was the idea of award-winning, Chicago-based author and journalist Alex Kotlowitz. He began working with the inmates through Northwestern University colleague Jennifer Lackey, who invited him to speak to a class she taught at the correctional center. Kotlowitz asked the 15 male inmates facing long sentences to complete a writing exercise describing their cells. He recognized the potential each story possessed to reveal the realities of life in prison…..“Motley Fool Money” host Chris Hill (left) is pictured here with CNBC’s Julia Boorstin (right) recording a segment for Hill’s program at SXSW in Austin, Texas earlier this week. Hill says, “We talked about the scene in Austin, what the major entertainment companies are doing to lure audience, Apple’s foray into original programming, VR in movies and a lot more.”
Trump Travel Ban Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 13-17. The second travel ban order by President Donald Trump and its block issued by a Hawaii judge was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Trump Administration budget cuts. Coming in at #3 was the interest rate hike by the Fed, followed by the GOP health care plan 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.
Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2017. The Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame announces its class of inductees for 2017. They include: Johnny Dowd/Jaybeau Jones from “JB 105,” Providence; French-language broadcaster and current WNRI partner Roger Laliberte; WHJJ and WPRO personality Myrna Lamb; current WPRO-AM program director Tony Mascaro; former RAB SVP and Rhode Island radio manager Dick Rakovan; and former WICE personality Frank Kingston Smith. Also the Shepard Award – created to recognize the founders of radio in the Ocean State by John and Robert Shepard, owners of the Shepard Department Stores, and to honor present-day contributors to the industry through leadership, dedication, achievement, innovation and spirit – will go to Mowry Lowe –a pioneering New England newscaster, gifted announcer and premier radio executive. The Station of the Year Award will be presented to iHeartMedia Providence to commemorate a successful multi-station food drive to feed the hungry in Rhode Island. The Legacy Station of the Year award recognizes top 40 WICE-AM. A reunion with some of the station’s legendary Hall of Fame DJs, staff and listeners is planned.
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai Appears on WJR, Detroit’s Paul W. Smith Show. This morning’s WJR, Detroit live broadcast of the Paul W. Smith St. Patrick’s Day show was not the first appearance on the station by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. He’s been a guest on the show before. Pai (left) is pictured here with Smith (right) on stage at The Cube Theatre inside the Max M. Fisher Music Center.
PodcastOne Executive Chairman Norm Pattiz Guests on Harrison Podcast. The executive chairman of PodcastOne and noted industry pioneer, Norm Pattiz joins TALKERS founder Michael Harrison for an in-depth conversation about the general state of radio, podcasting and audio media on this week’s installment of the award-winning series, “Up Close and Far Out.” The compelling dialogue was recorded this past Friday, inspired by the Thursday release (3/9) of the annual Edison Research/Triton Digital 2017 Infinite Dial Study. Pattiz sums up his impression of the study as follows, “I was very encouraged relative to the audio medium as a whole by the information that came from the study. There’s good news in it for almost everybody that’s in the audio space.” Pattiz and Harrison cover a lot of ground touching upon advertising trends, the evolution of audience measurement metrics, in-car listening habits and much more in this conversation that is a must-listen for radio and audio media professionals. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Imaging, voiceover and production firm Benztown announces it has brought Katrina Woolverton, J.D., LL.M, aboard to serve in the newly created position of general counsel…..On Monday (3/20), WBBM-FM, Chicago “B96” is hosting Warner Bros. Records recording artist Bebe Rexha as its guest to host a cooking demonstration at the brand new CBS RADIO Chicago Culinary Kitchen. Rexha will show off her culinary skills while being interviewed by “B96” morning show hosts J Niice, Showbiz Shelly and Producer Gabe. The segment will take place in front of a live studio audience made up of about 20 station contest winners who also get tickets to Rexha’s concert that evening at the Metro theater.
Mark Fuhrman Named Area President for iHM Pittsburgh/West Virginia. Joining iHeartMedia West Virginia as area president for the Pittsburgh/West Virginia region is Mark Fuhrman. He was most recently with IMG College. iHeartMedia West Virginia includes 22 radio stations. The company says Fuhrman will work with the programming, business and sales teams for radio station brands in Huntington, Parkersburg and Wheeling to oversee on-air and digital programming as well as create new business and revenue opportunities. He will report to Tim McAleer, president of iHeartMedia’s Pittsburgh region.
ESPN Announces Launch of ‘30 for 30 Podcast’ Series. Based on the storytelling formula of ESPN’s popular “30 for 30” film documentaries, ESPN Films and ESPN Audio are collaborating to debut a podcast series – “30 for 30 Podcasts” – this June. ESPN says the series will tell original, high-quality sports stories in the likeness of the acclaimed “30 for 30” documentaries, but made exclusively for audio. Two of the topics that will be featured in the first season of “30 for 30 Podcasts” will be: “Dan and Dave Revisited,” the true story of the massive 1990s marketing campaign around the world’s two best decathletes, and “On the Ice,” the story of how a group of amateur Brits became the first all-women’s team to make it to the North Pole. ESPN Films and Original Content vice president and executive producer Libby Geist comments, “ESPN Films is continuing to push boundaries in the storytelling space and we’re excited to further evolve the 30 for 30 brand. These audio documentaries will break new ground for ESPN while also bringing our signature long-form archival-based approach to the podcasting arena.”
Radio Talent Institute Scheduled for University of Tennessee May 15-24. This next Radio Talent Institute is being presented by the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters, University of Tennessee Knoxville, and the National Radio Talent System at the University of Tennessee. The Institute is a 10-day immersion in radio and it involves discovering, coaching and preparing talented broadcasting students with more than 30 broadcast professionals leading all the sessions in their area of expertise in on-air music radio, news and sports, as well as digital/social media, production, promotion, sales, engineering, programming, management and all things radio. Students from all over the state and region apply to be accepted and will become certified Radio Marketing Professionals by the Radio Advertising Bureau. National Radio Talent System founder and president Dan Vallie states, “We are very excited to be partnering with the University of Tennessee and working with Sam Swan and the College of Communication and Information, and with Benny Smith, at their award winning college radio station, WUTK.” The TAB Radio Talent Institute is accepting applications from students now. They should apply at http://tab.nationalradiotalentsystem.com/. The deadline to apply is March 31.
CBS News Radio’s Peter King Honored with Legacy Award. Radio news pro Peter King is being honored by the Florida Associated Press with the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters’ LEGACY AWARD. The organization cites King’s distinguished career and his service as a role model and his involvement with the AP Broadcasters’ college workshop and more for this award. He will be honored at the awards ceremony in Orlando in April.
KCMO-AM Talk Host Tom Becka Does TEDx Talk on Fake News. Longtime talk radio personality Tom Becka (left) recently did a TEDx Talk on “Real News vs Fake News” that you can see here. Becka hosts the 9:00 am to 11:00 am show on Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM, Kansas City and does a regular commentary on KPTM-TV, Omaha’s 9:00 pm newscast.
Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Accusations, North Korea Threats/Tillerson Asia Trip, GOP Health Care Plan, Trump’s Tax Returns, Dutch Elections, Snoop Dogg Video, Marines Nude Photos Scandal, Northeast Blizzard, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/14). The accusation by President Donald Trump that President Barack Obama ordered Trump Tower to be wiretapped during the 2016 election; North Korea’s nuclear missile program and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Asia; the Trump Administration’s and the GOP’s plans to replace ObamaCare with their own health care plan; the rise of far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders and today’s elections in the Netherlands; controversy over the latest Snoop Dogg video in which he shoots a clown dressed as President Trump; Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert B. Neller testifies before a senate subcommittee on the nude photos scandal; the blizzard that hit much of the Northeast on Tuesday; and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
CBS RADIO and Canon Present Small Business Grants. Pictured above are (from l-r) 1010WINS, New York news director Ben Mevorach; Bittylab LLC founder and CEO Priska Diaz; and “The Bottom Line for Small Business” anchor Rob Walsh. Mevorach and Walsh presented Diaz with a grant for $10,000 from CBS RADIO and Canon MAXIFY Printers for presenting the most creative plan to expand their business while also doing good in their community. The companies also awarded San Francisco-based Prison Bars founder and CEO Seth Sundberg a grant in the same amount.
KXNT, Las Vegas Host Alan Stock Leads Listener Trip to Israel. Las Vegas talk show host Alan Stock (pictured at center) recently led a group of listeners on a trip to Israel. Stock tells TALKERS, “It was a mix of seeing Jewish and Christian holy sites, as well as exploring the geo-political nature of the country. The trip lasted eight days and everyone loved it – in fact, I’m already getting requests for a second go-around.”
Music Radio News and Career Moves. On translator K279BO, Portland, iHeartMedia launches classic country outlet “103.7 The Legend.” The company says the station’s core artists will include: Garth Brooks, George Strait, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson and others…..iHeartMedia Philadelphia debuts the new station “Pride Radio Philly” – a station targeted to the local LGBTQ listeners and allies. It’s available on WIOQ’s HD-2 channel at 102.1. In addition to the personalities also heard on iHeartRadio’s Pride Radio channel, local hosts include Loraine Ballard Morrill, director of news and community affairs; WIOQ’s Casey, and WUSL’s Mutha Knows. iHeartMedia SVP of programming Brian Check comments, “Philadelphia has an exciting, passionate and growing LGBTQ community and we hope to amplify their voice on Pride Radio Philly.”
The Band Perry Rocks ‘Stage 17 LIVE.’ Pictured above is The Band Perry performing live before a crowd of loyal WPLJ, New York listeners at Cumulus Media New York’s new performance space, “Stage 17 LIVE.” The space sits high above Madison Square Garden on the 17th Floor of 2 Penn Plaza. The Band Perry, along with Clean Bandit and Anne Marie, appeared at the special show on March 7. Cumulus Media New York VP/market manager Chad Lopez comments, “The momentum is building with interest from various artists for the new Cumulus New York performance space. 95.5 PLJ welcomed two great bands to the 17th floor on the same day during our soft launch of the new studio. This is the first of many VIP experiential opportunities that we will have to offer to our advertisers and listeners and we couldn’t be more excited.”
Washington Post Writes About the Evolving Glenn Beck. Industry watchers and regular TALKERS readers are aware of Premiere Networks syndicated talk radio star Glenn Beck’s long-held distaste for President Donald Trump. Throughout the election, Beck was a Never Trumper and it was the focus of his radio show during that period. Now he’s walking a difficult road of staying true to his self-described libertarian principles while expressing regret for how he conducted himself for so many years. Beck and his efforts to make amends for the things he’s said and done in the past is the focus of a feature piece in the Washington Post by senior editor Marc Fisher. Not only has Beck changed how he approaches his radio and TV shows, he’s going out on the road with some heretofore very unlikely company. Read the Post piece here.
Bye Partnered with Stokley on KKFN, Denver. Moving from Townsquare Media’s sports talker WTMM, Albany “104.5 The Team” to Bonneville’s sports KKFN, Denver “104.3 The Fan” is Zach Bye. He partners with Brandon Stokley for the 12:00 nooon to 3:00 pm “Stokley and Zach” show, effective March 31. In addition to co-hosting the “Big Board Sports” show on WTMM, Bye served for the past seven years as a play-by-play and color analyst for University of Albany sports radio broadcasts. KKFN program director Armen Williams states, “After a national search, we were thrilled to find the perfect fit for Brandon and ‘104.3 The Fan’ in Zach.
GOP ObamaCare Alternative, Obama Wiretapping Accusations, Trump’s Budget Proposal, North Korea Missile Threats, Tennessee Sues Federal Government, Northeast Snowstorm, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/13). The Trump Administration/GOP’s alternative to the Affordable Care Act; the ongoing debate over what President Trump meant by his accusation that President Obama wiretapped the Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign; the Trump Administration’s federal budget proposal and its effort to shrink Washington’s administrative power; North Korea’s nuclear missile program and related tensions between China and the U.S.; Tennessee sues the federal government over the latter’s refugee resettlement program; the late-winter blizzard hitting the Northeast today; and the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Rotella: Local Radio Is on Alert. Local radio advocate – and president and CEO of the New Jersey Broadcasters Association – Paul Rotella, is using today’s winter storm affecting the Northeast to point out the positives of local, terrestrial radio – and advocate for the broad activation of the FM chip and the prevention of any Performance Tax. Read his letter to members of the NJBA and the industry here.
Alana Lynn Joins KMLE, Phoenix for Afternoons/Music Director Post. Phoenix country outlet KMLE @ 107.9 announces Alana Lynn takes over the music director and afternoon personality position at the CBS RADIO station. She assumes the duties from Bryan “B-Dub” Washington, who’s exiting for new position elsewhere. CBS RADIO Phoenix VP of programming Tim Richards comments, “Alana is an amazing talent and we couldn’t be more excited for her to join the KMLE family.” She was most recently morning personality at Townsquare Media’s classic hits KTRR, Loveland, Colorado “Tri 102.5” and midday host at sister country KUAD “K99.”
Tony Russell Joins ‘McKinzie & Jake’ on ‘98.7 The Bull’ in Portland. Effective Monday (3/20), radio pro Tony Russell becomes part of the KUPL, Portland “98.7 The Bull” morning drive show with current AM show personalities McKinzie Roth and Jake Byron. KUPL program director MoJoe Roberts comments, “Tony’s passion for super-serving the community line up with the core values of Alpha Media. He brings a wealth of experience, a great sense of humor and is no stranger to our audience. We’re thrilled to turn him loose with ‘McKinzie & Jake’ in mornings.”
Demery to Program KINK, Portland. Radio pro Sean Demery is the new program director at Alpha Media’s triple A KINK, Portland. Alpha Media VP of programming Scott Mahalick says, “Sean is a world class programmer, digital maverick, and talent coach who gets the vibe of Portland and will be dedicated full-time to the growth of KINK. We are looking forward to Sean’s impact in taking us to new heights.” Demery has served with stations across the country including: WNNX, Atlanta; KITS, San Francisco; KMTT, Seattle; KXRK & KLRZ, Salt Lake City; WYMS, Milwaukee; and KGGI, Riverside/San Bernardino. Demery comments, “101.9 KINK? Are you kidding? It’s already a great station. I look forward to working with the crew to make it an indisputable cultural landmark. I also look forward to exploring and eating at all the cool places that have been taunting me from Sunset magazine.”
KMGA, Albuquerque Names Simmons PD/PM Host; Adds Durocher to AM Show. Albuquerque adult contemporary KMGA “99.5 Magic FM” announces the addition of Bryan Simmons to the staff as program director and afternoon drive host and on-air pro Doug Durocher as morning drive co-host. Durocher pairs up with Meredith Dunkel for the “Meredith & Doug” show. Cumulus Media Albuquerque FM operations manager Brad Hansen states, “Bryan and Doug both bring an amazing track record of success and are already having a very positive impact on ‘Magic’ and the Albuquerque community.”
iHeartRadio Music Festival Returns to Las Vegas September 22-23. The main stage acts won’t be announced until a later date but iHeartMedia says its annual iHeartRadio Music Festival is back in Sin City September 22 and 23. The evening performances will happen at T-Mobile Arena. The Daytime Village, presented by Capital One, takes place on Saturday (9/23) in the Las Vegas Village across from the Luxor Hotel and Casino. Featured acts for the Daytime Village include: Flume, French Montana, Noah Cyrus, Judah & The Lion, Kelsea Ballerini, Hey Violet, and All Time Low, with more to be announced.
Townsquare Media Announces Q4 2016 Net Revenue Up 5.8%; Up 3% for 2016 on Pro Forma Basis. Those numbers are for the company as a whole. Townsquare Media breaks its quarterly financial reports into two segments: Local Marketing Solutions (including broadcast and digital products) and Entertainment (live event experiences and music and lifestyle content directly to consumers, and promotion, advertising and product activations). For the fourth quarter of 2016, Townsquare Media reports the Local Marketing Solutions segment’s net revenue was $119.5 million – an increase of 5.1% on an actual basis. For all of 2016 on a pro forma basis (pro forma for the acquisition of NAME and the divestiture of 43 of its towers on September 1, 2015), the segment’s net revenue was $342.2 million – also up 5.1%. For the company as a whole, 2016 pro forma net revenue was $516.9 million, an increase of 3% over all of 2015. Townsquare chairman and CEO Steven Price adds, “In 2016, we delivered net revenue, net income and Adjusted EBITDA growth of 17%, 127% and 9%, respectively. On a pro forma basis, net revenue growth of 3.0% was driven by the strong performance of our local products and offerings within our Local Marketing Solutions segment, where pro forma net revenue increased 5.1% over the prior year. This year we focused on strengthening our balance sheet; through EBITDA growth and debt repayment we reduced net leverage from 5.5x at the start of the year, to 4.9x at year end.”
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to Address 2017 NAB Show. New FCC Chairman Ajit Pai will address the 2017 NAB Show at a general session on Tuesday, April 25 in Las Vegas. The address is expected to provide insight into the FCC’s policy and regulatory objectives related to broadcasting, technology and communications law and regulation. Pai was appointed as an FCC Commissioner by President Obama and confirmed in May of 2012. President Trump designated him chairman in January. NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith states, “We know from his tenure as FCC commissioner that Ajit Pai believes deeply in the value of free and local broadcasting. Chairman Pai’s appearance at NAB Show represents a tremendous opportunity for attendees to hear first-hand about his regulatory philosophy and priorities.”
Phil Valentine Now Airing in Afternoons on KCMO-AM, Kansas City. Local talk show host Mike Ferguson is leaving the Cumulus Media station to take on the communications director role at the Show Me Institute. That opens up the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot for Westwood One’s Phil Valentine show to take over. In announcing the move, WW1 notes that in Valentine’s home market of Nashville, Valentine “is #1 Persons 25-54 in Nashville. His show draws more listeners in his home market than Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck combined.” Commenting on joining KCMO-AM, Valentine says, “If ever there were a perfect market for our show it’s Kansas City. What a heritage station! They have big plans to take this station to the top and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”
Alpha Media Drops Local Morning Show on Sports Talk WMEN, West Palm Beach. The duo of Joe Raineri and Steve Zemach have exited Alpha Media’s sports talk WMEN, West Palm Beach “FOX Sports 640.” The station is now running the full lineup of FOX Sports Radio programming. Replacing Raineri and Zemach is the “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis” program.
PodcastOne Executive Chairman Norm Pattiz Guests on Harrison Podcast Tomorrow (3/14). The executive chairman of PodcastOne and noted industry pioneer, Norm Pattiz joins TALKERS founder Michael Harrison tomorrow (3/14) for an in-depth conversation about the general state of radio and podcasting on the award-winning weekly series, “Up Close and Far Out.” The compelling dialogue was recorded this past Friday, inspired by the Thursday release (3/9) of the annual Edison Research/Triton Digital 2017 Infinite Dial Study. Don’t miss it, posted bright and early tomorrow morning right here on Talkers.com, PodcastOne and iTunes.
Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Accusations, Trump Fires Preet Bharara, GOP Health Care Plan, the “Deep State” concept, Trump-Russia Connection, North Korea Threats, NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. President Donald Trump’s accusation the Obama Administration ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower; President Trump fires U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara after Bharara refused to resign in accordance with the administration’s request that he and 45 other U.S. Attorneys do so; questions about what the GOP-engineered replacement of the Affordable Care Act will entail; talk about the existence of a “Deep State” that operates the government behind the scenes; Democrats’ wishes to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the possible connection between Russian agents and the Trump campaign; the growing nuclear missile capabilities of North Korea; and the Sunday afternoon revelation of the teams making the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
TALKERS News Notes. At last week’s annual Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference presented by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, the MAB presented its 2016 broadcast excellence awards. Cumulus Media’s WJR reports that it won 22 awards across numerous categories, including: 2016 Commercial Station of the Year; Best Regularly Scheduled Weekday Broadcast – The Mitch Albom Show; Best Morning Show Broadcast Personality – The Paul W. Smith Show; and Best Regularly Scheduled Weekday Broadcast Personality – The Frank Beckmann Show. WJR program director Mike Wheeler says, “We’re really proud of the way the WJR team serves our audience, advertising partners and community. It is gratifying to have the MAB validate our efforts.”…..Westwood One will tip off coverage of the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship on Tuesday (3/14) with play-by-play coverage of all 67 games. In addition, Westwood One will broadcast the NCAA Men’s Final Four on Saturday, April 1, and the National Championship Game on Monday, April 3, in both English and Spanish, live from University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Charleston, South Carolina, Cumulus Media appoints 20-year radio programming pro Kathy Brown as program director for hip hop WWWZ “93 Jamz” and urban contemporary WMGL “Magic 107.3.” She comes to Cumulus from her most recent position with iHeartMedia programming hip hop KMJM “100.3 The Beat” and Gospel KATZ-AM “Hallelujah.” Cumulus Media Charleston operations manager Bill West says, “Kathy is a pro and I’ve already been inspired by hearing her ideas for our brands here in Charleston.”…..Mapleton Communications ups Jamie Patrick to program director for country KDRK, Spokane “93.7 the Mountain.” Patrick host the morning show, is music director and assistant operations manager – all duties he will continue while ascending to PD…..Entercom names Lindsey Martin director of promotions for its five-station Sacramento cluster…..Cumulus brings Appleton/Oshkosh market radio pro Dan Markus aboard to host the morning drive show on its adult standards WNAM and middays on classic hits WVBO. Markus spent 17 years programming the company’s Green Bay classic hits outlet WOGB…..iHeartMedia classic rock KZPS, Dallas “Lonestar 92.5” is presenting the return of the “Bo and Jim Bash VI” taking place on August 18 at Starplex Pavilion in Dallas. This annual event, presented by the station and the morning team of Bo Roberts and Jim White, will this year feature Foreigner, Cheap Trick, Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience and Stone Cold Sweat featuring Bo and Jim. KZPS program director Don Davis says, “Foreigner is coming off a sold-out show last month in Dallas and we have been after Cheap Trick since year one, so to say we are excited about this lineup would be an understatement. And if Foreigner and Cheap Trick weren’t enough, I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off the night than having Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience and Bo and Jim’s Stone Cold Sweat open the show this year.”…..Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina hip hop WZFX “Foxy 99” adds the Premiere Networks-syndicated morning show “The Breakfast Club” – hosted by Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee and DJ Envy – to the station’s program lineup for morning drive…..Entercom launches new urban station “Hot 103.7 FM” on translator K243AV, New Orleans. Entercom New Orleans VP and market manager Chris Claus says, “We are focused on delivering the content and music that we know listeners in New Orleans are looking for. The combination of well-known and live local talent and the R&B hits that fans want to hear on 103.7 FM is a magical one that has not been on the dial in New Orleans.” Tom “Jammer” Naylor – who programs sister CHR WEZB “B97” – will serve as the program director. Urban radio pro Jay Dixon is consulting the station. On air is Abraham “Big Abe” Johnson on the “Big Abe in the Morning” program. Terrence “Terry Bello” Burton is hosting afternoon drive…..JVC Media has partnered with major Long Island retail locations and DNS publications to publish a quarterly country music newspaper called This Is Country. JVC says the free, full-color magazine will contain exclusive interviews, stories, pictures, news, album and movie reviews, up-coming events around Long Island “and other information a country music lover will not want to miss.” JVC’s country WJVC-FM, Center Moriches, New York “My Country 96.1” is promoting the publication that launches April 15.
Salem Q4 Revenue Climbs 2.2%; Broadcast Up 1.3%. For the fourth quarter of 2016, Salem Media Group’s publishing division was flat; the digital division was up 7% on revenue of $12.7 million; and the broadcasting division was up 1.3% on revenue of $52.2 million. For the whole of 2016, broadcast was up 2.4% ($202 million) and all divisions totaled $274.3 million – an increase of 3.1%. During yesterday’s investor conference call, Salem CEO Ed Atsinger said the company is very pleased with is its free cash flow – up 33%. But political ad revenue was not what it was expected to be, bringing in less than $1 million in the broadcast division in Q4 of 2016 compared to the $1.9 million it got during the 2012 election cycle. Reporting on Salem Radio Network, Atsinger said, “We had another solid quarter for our network, with revenues up 12.2%, which is due in part to the continued increase in prominence of our national hosts. Our syndicated lineup consists of Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Larry Elder and Eric Metaxas. And it is hard to find a day when one of them is not featured on FOX News, CNN and NBC or other network television programs.”
Infinite Dial 2017. For the 19th consecutive year, Edison Research, in conjunction with Triton Digital, has been researching the use of media and technology by consumers and presenting it as the Infinite Dial study. The data for 2017 has just been released and media consultant Holland Cooke offers his quick summary of this year’s study. Obviously, the growth of the use of the smartphone – which didn’t exist when the annual study began in 1998 – has greatly changed the way consumers use media. The development of the smart speaker/home assistant – think Google Home or Amazon Echo – offers another technological avenue by which consumers can access media. Ownership of these devices (among those 12+) is at just 7%, but awareness of the product is 63%. See Cooke’s entire summary here.
TALKERS News Notes. This year’s March Madness is being aired on SiriusXM – with the help of Westwood One, the exclusive radio rights holder for the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. In addition to the play-by-play content from the First Four on March 14 and 15 through the Final Four and national championship game in Phoenix on April 1 and 3, analysis and coverage will happen on the SiriusXM College Sports Nation channel…..It’s been a while since Bonneville International aired sports talk on KMVP-AM, Phoenix – it programs sports content on KMVP-FM “Arizona Sports 98.7” – but now the station that’s been brokered for the last several years is being sold to Spanish-language operator Farmworker Educational Radio Network, Inc. Kalil & Co. is the exclusive broker…..Cumulus Nashville is presenting cluster-wide promotion called Sports Fest Saturday, April 15 at Nissan Stadium (home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans). Cumulus says listeners and their families can take part in numerous activities, including visiting with representatives from sports teams around Middle Tennessee, playing catch on the field, listening to interesting speakers and joining the Easter Egg Hunt.
If You Missed Wednesday’s TALKERS-PerfectYourPodcast.com Master Class Podcasting Webinar, View/Listen in for Free. On Wednesday, TALKERS magazine and PerfectYourPodcast presented a free master class webinar for radio professionals. It’s titled, “How to Launch and Grow a Successful Podcast.” PerfectYourPodcast.com was founded by well-known broadcaster Mike Carruthers, host and creator of the long-running, successful syndicated radio series, “Something You Should Know” (now also a top iTunes-charted podcast), who conducted the webinar. It was designed for the professional radio broadcaster who is serious about profiting from podcasting. If you missed it, you can view/listen in on a recording of the webinar through 3:00 pm ET today by clicking here.
The Overhaul of ObamaCare Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 6-10. The Trump Administration’s and the GOP’s move to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was President Trump’s accusation that President Obama ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower during the campaign. Coming in at #3 was WikiLeaks’ recent document dump that contained hacking techniques used by the CIA, followed by the Trump Administration’s immigration-deportation policies and the related reports that illegal border crossings are down 40% 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.
Sitting Down with Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Earlier today (3/10), CBS News Radio White House and Congressional correspondent Steven Portnoy interviewed White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, the full audio of which will be featured on the CBS News Weekend Roundup podcast. Topics discussed included the administration’s American Health Care Act and allegations that President Obama ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower during the election.
Cool Producer Gig. In Milwaukee, WTMJ Radio is seeking a full-time producer/board-op to join its award-winning team on “Wisconsin’s Afternoon News.” This board-op/producer is a versatile, high-level thinker and multitasker that can produce impactful show content for on-air and online. He/she will book guests, generate topics and develop a strong working relationship with our hosts, producers and news department. The producer will also manage digital efforts for “Wisconsin’s Afternoon News.” Becoming part of the Milwaukee community, creating relationships with city leaders, law enforcement, state lawmakers, community advocates, business leaders, etc., are all critical aspects of the position. Must have strong written and editorial judgement, excellent written and verbal communication skills required, solid understanding of producing local enterprise content, proficient use of the digital platform, high work ethics and standards, ability to meet deadlines and detail orientation, knowledge of newsroom computers required along with familiarity of areas across southeast Wisconsin. Must have a valid driver’s license, clean driving record and proof of insurability. College degree preferred. Minimum two to four years of prior broadcast experience required. Apply to: Eric Brooks, director, programming and news. E.W. Scripps Company is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
‘Power 98’ in Charlotte Announces Staff Moves. At Charlotte hip hop outlet WPEG “Power 98,” operations manager Jeff Anderson announces two additions to the staff and a shuffle. Afternoon personality Brian “Mr. Incognito” Robinson moves to the “Maddhouse Morning Show,” John “Sport E. Odie” Adams is named afternoon host and Ya Girl Nikki assumes the evening show. Nikki comes to the station from Beasley Media Group’s sister station WZFX, Fayetteville where she was a part-time air staff member. Anderson says, “Robinson will continue his role as music director for the station, “Mr. Incognito has proven himself as a creative and multi-talented team player. His addition to the morning team is not only a major move, but he also complements the team for a thriving future as an elite live and local morning show.” Anderson adds, “Sport E. Odie brings his impressive work ethic and passion for branding, which he has already seen major success with in Charlotte. With his infectious energy and work he is already doing in the community, he is more than ready to take our team to new levels of success!”
Beasley’s Urban Contemporary WBAV Adjusts Talent Lineup. At the same time as sister station hip hop WPEG makes changes (see story above), urban contemporary WBAV, Charlotte “V101.9” does the same. Music director and air talent Cortney Hicks moves from afternoons to middays. Filling her role in afternoons is Tone X. He’s been a writer and talent on BET’s “The Mo’Nique Show” and was a member of WPEG’s “No Limit Larry and the Morning Maddhouse” for 12 years. Derrick “Fly Ty” Jacobs – the station’s former afternoon host – returns to Beasley. Listeners may hear Fly Ty during the morning show. Kenneth “DJ Rham” Blackmon returns to the Charlotte market – he was previously with Radio One at crosstown WQNC and WPZS – to serve both WPEG and WBAV as production/imaging director. Finally, Stu “Hanna’s Baby Boy” Robinson joins WBAV to track the evening show.
WMIL, Milwaukee Creates New Morning Show. Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Milwaukee Kerry Wolfe announces the morning show at country WMIL “FM106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country.” Moving afternoon personality Ridder to mornings with current AM talent Scott, and adding five-year staffer Shannen, the station unveils the new “Ridder, Scott and Shannen” show. Wolfe says, “This trio has the energy and humor to get your mornings started. Their knowledge and passion for the Milwaukee community and country music make them a perfect team for FM106.1.”
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. WKSE, Buffalo “KISS 98.5 FM” names Greg Cypin the station’s new music director and afternoon drive time personality. Cypin was most recently with Townsquare Media’s country KAWO, Boise “Wow Country 104.3” as afternoon host. Entercom Buffalo operations director Sue O’Neil states, “I am thrilled to bring someone with his skill level to the already talented staff at Buffalo’s number one hit music station.”…..Country outlet WKDF, Nashville “NASH FM 103.3” is hosting the Country Kick Off Party on Tuesday, June 6, 2017, at Nashville’s Cannery Ballroom. At this event, Brothers Osborne, special guests Runaway June and NASH Next 2016 Winner Todd O’Neill will perform in a benefit for Musicians On Call, a groundbreaking non-profit organization that brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in hospitals across the country…..SiriusXM announces that Everclear frontman Art Alexakis will host a new weekly music show on its 90s rock Lithium channel. SiriusXM says Alexakis’ show will feature a diverse lineup of 90s alternative and grunge as well tunes from his personal archives. The show will also feature Alexakis sharing personal stories about his music as well as stories from his 30 years in the entertainment industry. “I have been in love with radio as long as I can remember…So having my own weekly radio show on SiriusXM’s Lithium…is a big deal!”…..iHeartMedia’s hip hop WKKV, Milwaukee “V100.7” is holding its sixth annual FREE Family Affair Expo presented tomorrow (3/11) from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at The Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee. The expo aims to make a positive impact on Milwaukee families and it will feature local exhibitors focused on finance, education, small businesses, job recruitment, health and wellness.
Cumulus Michigan Promotes Sabrina Carpenter Mall Appearances. The photo above shows Hollywood Records artist Sabrina Carpenter and her guitarist performing in one of three Michigan Malls on Wednesday (3/8) in Grand Rapids, Flint, and Saginaw. Cumulus Media Michigan stations promoted the appearances that drew more than 2,500 fans.
Salem Radio Network Makes Double White House Connection. On Tuesday (3/7), two Salem Radio Network personalities connected with the Trump White House. First, SRN’s Mike Gallagher welcomed Vice President Mike Pence to his nationally syndicated program to talk about the administration’s efforts to re-vamp the Affordable Care Act – what Pence termed “building a more effective, a more responsive healthcare system in America.” Then, SRN’s Michael Medved was one of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s Skype Session guests and asked the following question: “Obviously, today there was a big emphasis on ObamaCare, which is profoundly important to the American people. But it seems that too often in the last several weeks, the administration has gotten distracted – and media have gotten distracted – by talk of wiretapping at Trump Tower, or the president calling his predecessor a ‘bad and sick’ guy, or criticizing the ratings of ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’ Do you think the White House could do a better job of focusing on the issues that really matter – the reforms that matter to the American people?” Hear Spicer’s answer here.
Jim Gearhart Returns to ‘New Jersey 101.5’ for Weekly Podcast. For 25 years, Jim Gearhart was the morning drive personality on WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.” He retired from the station in 2015 after suffering a severe concussion received during a fall. Now, Gearhart returns to the stable of talent at the New Jersey news/talk station with his own eponymous podcast. In his debut podcast with the Townsquare Media station, he displays vintage Gearhart rhetoric when explaining how he’s been watching from the sidelines during his recovery. He says, “I could see through the cracks in my cocoon that New Jersey politicians were up to their traditional shenanigans, thumbing their collective nose at the public — milking the public trust, and the public treasury as well, for their own petty ambitions.”
Mike Carruthers Guests this Week on Harrison Podcast. Longtime independent radio syndicator, host and producer Mike Carruthers is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out” with Michael Harrison. Carruthers is widely known as the host and producer of the syndicated short-form radio feature “Something You Should Know,” a programming staple for the past 37 years on stations across the US and Canada. It features a different guest and subject each week from a wide array of better living tips wrapped in a neat 90-second package and has garnered a legion of loyal listeners. Tapping into that listenership and building upon it, Carruthers subsequently launched a long-form podcast version of “Something You Should Know” that has rocketed to the higher echelons on the iTunes charts and is generating significant revenue. Carruthers has been sharing his experience and knowledge about podcasting with other radio professionals as a coach, having launched a comprehensive podcast training program called “Perfect Your Podcast” dedicated to helping people start, grow and monetize their podcast products. He is also the author of the best-selling Amazon eBook “How to Launch a Perfect Podcast.” On this week’s installment of the Harrison podcast, the TALKERS founder and Carruthers discuss how they each originally were attracted to podcasting and explore some of the techniques and media theory that apply to the growing industry. To listen to it in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Replacing ObamaCare, Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Accusation/Deep State Theory, WikiLeaks CIA Dump, Trump Campaign-Russia Connection, U.S.-North Korea Tensions, ‘Day Without A Woman’ Strike, and NBA/NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/7). The Trump Administration’s and the GOP’s efforts to overhaul the Affordable Care Act; President Donald Trump’s accusation that Barack Obama ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower, tied with the growing chatter about concerns over a “Deep State” that answers to no one; the latest WikiLeaks dump that purports to reveal CIA tapping techniques; ongoing scrutiny over the possible connection of the Trump campaign to Russian agents and the related question of whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied about his Russian Ambassador meetings; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, the U.S.’s anti-missile system and China’s warnings about an escalation on the Korean peninsula; today’s International Women’s Day and the related “A Day without a Woman” strike; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Longtime Oklahoma Media Figure and KTOK Host Mike McCarville Dies at 76. In addition to hosting a talk show on KTOK, Oklahoma City during the 1990s, Mike McCarville was columnist for numerous Oklahoma newspapers and an assistant news editor KWTV-TV, Oklahoma City. At the time of his death he was publishing his conservative blog The McCarville Report. The Oklahoman reports McCarville had been battling an illness.
TALKERS News Notes. The NAB and the NAB Education Foundation are presenting a forum on reporting on racially sensitive issues as part of its Awareness in Reporting series. It’ll take place next Tuesday (3/14) at the Newseum in Washington, DC. The first part of the program is the “Awareness in Reporting Panel: Lessons Learned From Reporting on the Frontlines.” NPR executive producer, newscasts Robert Garcia will sit on the four-person panel. The second part of the program is “Conversation with Community Leaders – Chief David Brown and Rev. Kenny Irby,” moderated by Westwood One News correspondent and news editor Jan Johnson…..NASCAR and SiriusXM renew their broadcasting and marketing agreement through 2022. With this, SiriusXM will continue to deliver 24/7 racing content via the SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel…..The MLB’s Colorado Rockies will continue to be heard on iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOA, Denver after the station recently re-upped with the team to serve as flagship through the 2021 season. Now comes news that the station has reached an agreement to keep play-by-play personalities Jack Corrigan and Jerry Schemmel in the booth.