Tag: "Nick Wilson"

Monday, August 3, 2020

| August 3, 2020

Monday Memo: 2 Magic Words. Your Mom and Dad were right. “Please” and “Thank you” will distinguish you, particularly in these coarse, troubled times. And in this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke makes the case for “two more ‘Magic words’” broadcasters and podcasters should use as often as possible. Read it here.

COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Stimulus Bill, Presidential Race/Vote by Mail, Portland Protests, Tropical Storm Isaias/SoCal Apple Fire, Microsoft-TikTok Deal, and Pro Sports Challenges Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The rising number of positive COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and projections for future cases; the stalled stimulus talks in Congress as the previous package expires; the November presidential election and President Trump’s remark that it should be delayed due to concerns about vote-by-mail fraud; the violent protests continuing in Portland; Tropical Storm Isaias hits the Southeast Coast and thousands are evacuated in Southern California due to the Apple Fire; Microsoft’s deal to acquire TikTok from its Chinese developer; and COVID-19 takes its toll on U.S. pro sports leagues were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: Gone Too Soon. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes about two radio professionals who passed away last week: Herman Cain and Bob McCurdy. Lapa says he knew both men and learned a lot about leadership, sales, and radio from them. Read it here.

Convention Coverage Unlike Any in History. News and management pro Tom Tradup (pictured below at the 2016 RNC) writes in an exclusive opinion piece for TALKERS magazine about the challenges facing radio news and radio talk show hosts covering the 2020 national political conventions. The Salem Radio Network V.P. of News/Talk Programming says, “Pity the responsibility of my network as well as our colleagues at ABC Audio, CBS Radio, and the soon-to-be-defunct Westwood One radio news as we have dodged and weaved as COVID-19 impacted the venerable institutions known as National Conventions for both the Republican and Democratic parties. (Full disclosure: most of us have long understood that the actual ‘news value’ of political conventions was zero, but we nevertheless turned out every four years to provide coverage of delegates from Wisconsin wearing dopey yellow foam triangles shaped like cheese on their heads as we dodged screams and urine from various protest groups.)” Read his entire piece here.

WXYT-FM, Detroit Personality Jamie Samuelsen Dies at 48. It was just last week that WXYT-FM, Detroit sports talk host Jamie Samuelsen announced to listeners that he’s been battling colon cancer since January of 2019 – something he kept to himself until the very end. On Saturday (8/1) Samuelsen passed away at age 48. The Detroit Free Press shares comments from Samuelsen’s friends and co-workers – a number of whom got the chance to visit with him last week after he made his diagnosis public. The Free PressAnthony Fenech writes that Samuelsen – who had been working from home since the COVID-19 outbreak – was not in pain toward the end but his energy was very low. He leaves behind his wife Christy and three children: Caroline, 16, Josh, 14, and Catherine, 11. Samuelsen had been co-hosting the morning drive show with Mike Stone on the Entercom sports talk station since August of 2016.

WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte Adds Jesse Kelly Show. The nationally syndicated “Jesse Kelly Show” is now airing on Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte on Sundays from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. The Key Networks-syndicated show debuted in April and airs live weekdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET. WBT-AM/FM brand manager Mike Schaefer says, “Jesse Kelly represents the evolving sonic landscape of news/talk. Jesse’s informed, funny, and brings unique experience and wisdom to the listeners that has been earned as both a Marine Corps combat veteran and a congressional candidate. We’re excited to bring Jesse’s show to the listeners of WBT!”

Jim Bryant Leaving Hubbard Radio’s 2060 Digital. After heading up Hubbard Radio’s digital marketing agency 2060 Digital for the past eight years, Jim Bryant announces he leaving the company and his role as president of the division. He says, “I’m an entrepreneur at heart and feel like we’ve now built the business to a day-to-day operating level. My goal was to build the business, and I think we did that…and, quite honestly, 44 years in this business is about as much fun as one guy can handle. I appreciate the huge vote of confidence Ginny Morris and Hubbard Radio afforded me, allowing me to stretch out, take smart chances, and surround myself with the terrific talent required to keep moving this business forward.” Hubbard EVP and CFO Dave Bestler says, “There is no way our digital platform would be where it is today without Jim. His vision and leadership have made 2060 Digital one of the leading digital agencies in each of our radio markets. During the past two years, Jim has focused on expanding 2060 Digital services beyond our radio footprint to new markets, including Indianapolis, Nashville, Detroit and Columbus. His vision has come to life and we look forward to continuing to grow the 2060 business on top of the strong foundation that Jim built.” 2060 Digital general manager and Hubbard SVP of digital strategies Steve Goldstein is assuming Bryant’s duties.

Air Talent Shuffle at Entercom’s WFNZ-AM, Charlotte. The Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell reports that Entercom’s Charlotte sports talk station WFNZ-AM is swapping midday and afternoon drive shows. Effective today, “The Clubhouse with Kyle Bailey” moves to the midday daypart (10:00 am to 2:00 pm) and Nick Wilson and Josh Parcell move to the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot. According to the piece, Bailey is pleased with the move to middays saying it “aligns with a lot of things in my life right now.” Bailey also hosts the Charlotte Hornets pre-game show on the station.

Farkas Exits ‘101.3 The Game’ in Burlington. At VOX AM/FM’s Burlington, Vermont sports talk outlet WCPV-FM “101.3 The Game,” program director and air personality Brady Farkas exits after four years. Station GM Ken Barlow tells the Burlington Free Press, “These things are never easy. (Farkas) is a very good guy, a very knowledgeable sports guy, and in many aspects of the job he did just fine. But we felt the station was mired in the position it’s in and we need revenue to be able to have it grow an audience and the program director is one of the primary people responsible for that.” Farkas tells the paper he’s proud of his time at the station, “We went through an affiliation switch from ESPN to FOX Sports Radio in fall of 2018 and delivered a number-one-rated station in fall of 2019. I am proud of the work our staff accomplished in order to achieve that.”

TALKERS News Notes. Los Angeles sports talker KSPN “ESPN 710” unveils its new programming lineup that takes effect on August 17. The changes were necessitated in part by owner ESPN’s decision to promote Keyshawn Johnson to host of the network’s national morning show called “Keyshawn, Jay and Zubin” and co-starring Jay Williams and Zubin Mehenti. KSPN will air that program via delay (it’s to air live in morning drive Eastern Time) and Travis Rodgers – formerly part of the KSPN “Keyshawm, LZ and Travis” show – will serve as the local host. “Greeny” with Mike Greenberg airs from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, followed by Max Kellerman from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Steve Mason and John Ireland move from afternoons to the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm daypart and the new afternoon drive show is LZ Granderson and Jorge Sedano. San Diego-based Scott Kaplan hosts evenings when there is no play-by-play…..From August 10-14, legendary Chicago disc jockey John Records Landecker will fill in for Bob Sirott hosting the morning drive show on Nexstar’s WGN-AM, Chicago. Sirott says, “Listeners are going to discover that John’s middle name truly is ‘talk!’”…..Roanoke.com reports that the “Big Dawg Sports Talk” show with Rick Watson returns to the New River Valley for morning drive on Monticello Media’s WRAD-AM/FM. The program aired in the market from 2001 to 2010 when the previous station owner canceled the show. Watson serves as director of broadcasting for Radford University and that includes his work as the voice of RU athletics…..iHeartMedia Orlando announces the launch of “Financial Fix” – an online financial resource hub where financial advisors, realtors, tax professionals, bankruptcy lawyers, and more can be featured for the local community to connect with. iHeartMedia Orlando’s Chianna Ray says, “‘Financial Fix’ will be an important resource for our community. Many people do not know where to start when it comes to unexpected financial situations such as refinancing, retirement funds withdrawal, grants qualifications, and more. This hub will be a great place for the community to find solutions in one centralized place.” iHeartMedia Orlando is promoting “Financial Fix” on-air on all of its stations, as well as on social media and the stations’ websites.

iHeartRadio Announces ‘The Next Great Podcast’ Search. In conjunction with the content creation platform Tongal, iHeartRadio unveils its search for “The Next Great Podcast.” Now through August 27, creators around the world can pitch for the chance to produce a new podcast series of any genre and to work with The iHeartPodcast Network to launch the new series. Creators will be asked to submit a short synopsis and treatment that describes their podcast idea, along with links to past work and an optional audio trailer and pitch video. Pitches will be narrowed down by a panel of podcasters, led by head judge and broadcaster Dan Patrick, and 10 semifinalists will be awarded $1,000 to further develop their idea into a 10-minute pilot. These pilots will be shared on “The Next Great Podcast” feed in the fall for fans everywhere to listen and vote. One winner will be crowned “The Next Great Podcast,” featured on iHeartRadio stations across the country and work closely with Patrick and iHeartRadio’s team of expert podcast producers to develop their podcast into an original series for distribution by The iHeartPodcast Network. iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne says, “Audio is thriving and is the breeding ground for some of the best IP out there right now. Podcasting has always been an ideal place for cultivating new talent and we are excited to join forces with Tongal to reach their impressive community of creatives as we search for the next great podcast.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Milwaukee, the iHeartMedia cluster that includes urban contemporary WKKV “V100.7,” country WMIL, classic hits WRIT “95.7 BIG FM,” sports talker WRNW “97.3 The Game,” and WOKY-AM “The BIG 920” are launching “Brilliantly Black” – a community resource initiative to support local Black-owned businesses, restaurants, and non-profits. iHeartMedia Milwaukee president Colleen Valkoun says, “I want to congratulate our team on this grassroots opportunity to support Black-owned businesses. Please join us in supporting the Black business community. I am thrilled we can use our stations to impact and inform the public about this much-needed community resource.”…..iHeartMedia’s alternative WHKF, Harrisburg “ALT Rock 99.3” adds Premiere Networks’ “The Woody Show” to the morning drive daypart…..Condolences to the family and friends of Riverbend Communications CHR KFTZ, Idaho Falls morning drive personality Tara Longmore Moss, who died over the weekend after a brief, unexpected illness. Moss’ co-host Brad Barlow tells KPVI-TV, Pocatello, “Tara is that host that I never heard anyone say anything bad about. All I ever heard was how much people loved her and how much people thought of her as a friend.”

Friday, August 3, 2018

| August 3, 2018

Beasley Broadcast Group Q2 Revenue Up 1%; Station Operating Income Up 3.5%. Net revenue for the second quarter of 2018 was $61.6 million for Beasley Broadcast Group – an increase of 1% over the same period in 2017.  For the first six months of 2018, net revenue was $116.8 million – up from $114.8 million in 2017.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “Beasley’s second quarter results reflect our ongoing execution of strategies to drive revenue, productivity and growth across our local radio broadcasting and digital platforms.  The 1% year-over-year increase in second quarter revenues combined with essentially flat station expenses and the operating leverage related to the top-line growth resulted in a 3.5% increase in second quarter SOI.  Overall, our second quarter results again demonstrate the efficiencies we are realizing related to our expanded scale and the operating leverage in our model, which collectively led to a 28.6% increase in earnings per share.  During the second quarter, Beasley remained committed to enhancing shareholder value through capital returns and capital structure improvements.  In this regard, we declared our nineteenth consecutive quarterly cash dividend. In addition, interest expense decreased approximately 20% year-over-year to $3.8 million, reflecting the recent refinancing of our senior debt, which reduced our interest rate by 200 basis points.  We used cash from operations to make voluntary debt repayments of $2 million in the second quarter and ended June 30, 2018 with total outstanding debt of $220 million.”  As previously reported, on May 1, 2017, Beasley completed the sale of six stations in Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, and on December 19, 2017, Beasley completed an asset exchange transaction whereby it exchanged its Boston adult contemporary station WMJX-FM and $12 million for Boston’s sports station WBZ-FM.  The results reflect the operations and results from WBZ-FM in the three and six months ended June 30, 2018 and WMJX-FM in the three and six months ended June 30, 2017.  The results also reflect one month of contribution from the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations in the three-month period, and four months of contribution in the six-month period ended June 30, 2017.  The $0.6 million, or 1.0%, year-over-year increase in net revenue during the three months ended June 30, 2018, reflects the inclusion of WBZ-FM Boston, partially offset by the disposition of WMJX-FM Boston and the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations.

E.W. Scripps Radio Revenue Hit by Write-Down of Stations Value. The sale of its radio stations has been the focus of industry news about E.W. Scripps as it re-aligns to concentrate on its television and OTT businesses.  As a result, it has been reporting its radio segment as “discontinued operations” in recent quarterly reports.  In the second quarter of 2017, the radio segment’s income was $1.7 million.  The second quarter of 2018 has produced a loss of $2.9 million as the result of “non-cash charges of $25.9 million to write down the assets of the radio business to fair value.”  Scripps has agreed to sell its five-station Tulsa cluster to the local Griffin Communications for $12.5 million and its Milwaukee duo to Good Karma Brands for $16 million.  The company has 27 stations in six markets for which it continues to seek buyers.

Report: Cain to End Talk Show on WSB-AM, Atlanta.  As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Rodney Ho, talk show host and former presidential candidate Herman Cain is exiting his daily, 11:00 am to 12:00 noon program on Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM “News 95.5 and AM 750.”  Cain – who assumed the late morning show slot after Neal Boortz’s retirement in 2013 – will continue with the station doing a daily, two-minute commentary leading up to the noon newscast.  To fill the hour, Eric Von Haessler’s program will expand to the entire 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart.

Spotify Pulls Some Alex Jones Podcasts For Violation of ‘Hate Policy.’ Media personality Alex Jones has had a number of his podcast episodes pulled from Spotify’s service after the digital audio platform concluded that the episodes violated its hate content policy.  According to the Associated Press report, the episodes became notorious on social media, forcing the company to act.  It issued the following statement: “We take reports of hate content seriously and review any podcast episode or song that is flagged by our community.  Spotify can confirm it has removed specific episodes of ‘The Alex Jones Show’ podcast for violating our hate content policy.” According to the AP story, Jones said the action is “what I expect. I was born in censorship.  I was born being suppressed.”

Perry Stone Named OM for Mid-West Family Broadcasting in Springfield, Illinois. Programmer and air personality Perry Stone joins Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Illinois four-station cluster to serve as operations manager for news/talk WMAY-AM/W234CC and rock WQLZ-FM, effective August 6.  In addition to his OM duties for both stations, Stone will host the afternoon show on WQLZ.  Stone was most recently with Saga Communications in Charlottesville, Virginia as operations manager for news/talk WINA-AM/FM and rock WWWV.  The company says Stone “has worked on-air in markets as large as New York City and San Francisco and as small as Carbondale, Illinois.  So, he not only knows Illinois, but he understands the opportunities and challenges in markets of all sizes.” Mid-West Family Springfield general manager Harvey Wells says, “We conducted a nationwide search for this position and Perry’s experience both in management and on-air made the difference.  I’m looking forward to him joining our off and on-air team.”  Stone remarks, “It’s great to get back to the Midwest.  I spent time in Carbondale and in Milwaukee and have always enjoyed the people and places there.  I’m looking forward to getting to know all that Central Illinois has to offer.  In addition, Mid-West Family Radio is one of the most respected companies in radio. I could not be happier.”

Wilson and Parcell New Midday Hosts on WFNZ, Charlotte ‘The Fan.’ After Chris Kroeger was named the new play-by-play voice of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, Entercom sports talk outlet WFNZ “The Fan” conducted a search for his replacement in middays and announces that Nick Wilson (inset) and Josh Parcell (right) begin as the new midday stars on Monday (8/6).  Wilson was most recently with the company’s WKRK, Cleveland “92.3 The Fan” where he hosted the evening program.  Parcell has done fill-in work on WFNZ and has served as a producer for ESPN.

Smith Promoted to VP of Engineering for Beasley Media Group. Moving up from his regional engineering director & corporate project manager position with Beasley Media Group to vice president of engineering is Lamar Smith.  He’s been with the company for the past seven years and he’ll continue to be based in Charlotte where he’ll manage large corporate projects throughout the country as well as assist in overseeing the company’s engineering staff.  Smith also currently serves as vice president of the Emergency Broadcast Association.

Mickey Moore Appointed VP of Sales at iHeartMedia Minneapolis. Media sales and marketing pro Michelle “Mickey” Moore is the new vice president of sales at iHeartMedia’s Minneapolis station group that includes news/talk KTLK and sports talk KFXN “The Fan.”  iHM Minneapolis also has franchise partnerships with the Minnesota Vikings, the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, and the University of Minnesota.  Moore joins iHeartMedia Minneapolis from Franklin Covey, where she served as a client partner.  She previously worked at iHeartMedia as the general sales manager for KDWB-FM from 1994 to 2001.  Moore’s sales background also includes American Public Media/Minnesota Public Radio, where her positions included managing director of inclusion and community impact, senior director of organization development and senior director of underwriting sales.  Region vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Western Great Lakes Region Greg Alexander says, “We are pleased to have such a respected, seasoned leader like Mickey join iHeartMedia Minneapolis. Her wealth of industry experience and her ability to blend creativity and sales strategy will benefit both our sales team and our clients.”

TALKERS News Notes.  It was a frightening experience for WWJ-AM, Detroit reporter Mike Campbell as an apparently disturbed man smashed the window of his station vehicle while he was filing a live report on a fatal car crash in the city.  He was unhurt in the incident and was able to successfully file his report. Numerous reporters form various outlets were on the scene when the suspect (who was subsequently tasered and subdued by police) used a metal baton to smash the windows of two station vehicles while shouting obscenities and racial slurs…..Former NFL tight-end Martellus Bennett debuts his new podcast, “Revenge of the Jocks,” on PodcastOne Sportsnet.  The company says the weekly program “goes beyond Martellus, the athlete, as the Super Bowl champion explores the infinite world of creativity.  Speaking firsthand, as an entrepreneur, musician, animator, sketch artist, children’s author and app creator himself, Bennett will be joined by fascinating friends to discuss a broad spectrum of topics, including what it means to be a creative, activist, and overall culture-shaping world-changer.”…..Entercom sports talk WIP-FM, Philadelphia relaunches the “Go Birds” podcast hosted by station personalities John Barchard and James Seltzer.  The radio show will continue to air on Saturdays from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on “SportsRadio 94WIP.” The podcast will be available on Radio.com.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “Both the podcast and radio show have been Eagles fan favorites and we are excited to continue the tradition.  The name of the show might be changing, but fans can expect the same insight into their favorite football team.”…..VSiN – the network dedicated to sports gambling information – announces a partnership with sports talk KNBR, San Francisco that taps VSiN to deliver daily Bay Area-focused updates for the station. Starting Monday (8/6), KNBR will run “VSiN Action Updates” covering how the sports betting markets are reacting to Bay Area sports teams. VSiN will supply one report in the 9:00 am hour and another in the 5:00 pm hour each weekday from its Las Vegas studio at the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa.   KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe says, “We are excited to partner with VSiN in bringing top-notch gaming updates to the KNBR airwaves.  VSiN continues to be an industry leader in this space and VSiN founder Brent Musburger has had his finger on the pulse of sports gambling for decades.”…..SAG-AFTRA and New York Public Radio announced that they have reached a Voluntary Recognition Agreement that will add per diem and temporary employees working in SAG-AFTRA covered titles to the union’s longstanding contract that currently covers more than 100 full-time workers at NYPR.  The Agreement adds more than 30 people to a larger group that has been represented by SAG-AFTRA since 2000…..Longtime Purdue University sports broadcaster Larry Clisby is fighting stage 4 lung cancer and metastic brain cancer.  The problem is Medicare doesn’t cover all of his medical bills.  Family have started a GoFundMe page to which people can donate.  Clisby became the radio voice of Purdue men’s basketball in 1984.  He also called Boilermakers football for 10 seasons.

Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 30 – August 3.  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Donald Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on financial fraud charges.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump administration’s immigration policy tied with the related story of the Portland mayor’s battle with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, followed by the midterm races and the reports of continuing Russian election interference at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See the entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A GoFundMe page has been set up for former triple A KINK, Portland program director and air personality Sean Demery.  He is battling to recover from a brain stem stroke suffered in January of this year and his insurance has run out, causing financial struggles for him and his family. You can donate here.…..An ill-advised Facebook post has cost classic rock WKLR, Richmond morning personality his job.  Brady DeAngelo posted a picture of the back of a woman sitting at a bar and a caption that contained coarse language. You can see WTVR-TV, Richmond’s coverage, including a screen capture of the post here.  DeAngelo commented, “I made a joke that some thought was inappropriate on my personal Facebook page and it became more of an issue than I believe it should have become.”.….KLAL, Little Rock “Alice 107.7” morning show personalities Heather (left) and Poolboy (right) were honored with the Best Radio Personality award from The Arkansas Times.  This marks the fourth consecutive win in the Best Radio Personality category for the duo.  CHR KLAL was named Runner-Up Best Radio Station for 2018, a category it has won or received runner-up in each year since 2010…..iHeartMedia announces it has partnered with Super Hi-Fi to introduce “new AI capabilities” that will make the iHeartRadio digital platform sound more like a live radio show.  iHeartMedia says, “The new integration brings the best of live broadcast radio to digital streaming music by delivering flawless song transitions, including precise crossfades, volume leveling and truly gapless playback to iHeartRadio’s listeners.”

Thursday, October 22, 2015

| October 22, 2015

ktar-fmKTAR-FM, Phoenix Names Sharpe, West New ‘Arizona’s Morning News’ Hosts.  The Bonneville-owed news/talk station is bidding Ned Foster a happy retirement after a 27-year stint with the station.  News anchor Connie Weber recently left the morningsharpejim program after a 10-year term.  So, effective November 30, longtime Valley news personality Jim Sharpe and award-winning news anchor Jayme West will be the new hosts of KTAR’s “Arizona’s Morning News.”  Bonneville Phoenix vice president of content and operations Ryan Hatch states, “With more than 40 years of combined local news experience, Jim and Jayme are the perfect pair to move the ‘Arizona’s Morning News’ product westjaymeforward on air, online and on social media.  We think their natural chemistry, insatiable curiosity and passion for our community will be warmly received by our audience, which counts on ‘Arizona’s Morning News’ to keep them informed and connected.”  Bonneville notes that Sharpe is a 2006 Associated Press Arizona Reporter of the Year and a war correspondent who most recently hosted a nationally syndicated news talk program on USA Radio Networks.  He’s also hosted the “Sharpe in the Morning” program on crosstown news/talk KFYI.  West is a five-time Arizona Associated Press Reporter of the Year winner and 19-year KTAR veteran who will move to mornings after previously anchoring the news in afternoon drive and hosting “Arizona’s Evening News.”

kogo 15KOGO, San Diego Announces New Programming Lineup: Hannity Joins for Middays, DeMaio to PM Drive.  San Diego news/talk outlet KOGO “Newshannity Radio 600” adjusts its program schedule, “with extended news programming, a new timeslot for Carl DeMaio and the addition of top-rated, nationally syndicated talk radio host Sean Hannity,” effective Monday, October 26.  iHeartMedia San Diego market president Melissa Forrest states, “We are extremely excited about demaiocarlour new lineup and the addition of Sean Hannity to our team.  ‘News Radio 600’ has experienced tremendous ratings growth in the past year and we anticipate these new changes will help evolve our programming to the next level.”  A year ago, the station launched new programming with an emphasis on news in morning and afternoon drive and reports the ratings indicate the audience is responding.  The daily lineup is: “San Diego Morning News with Ted Garcia & LaDona Harvey,” Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, “DeMaio Report,” and “KOGO Evening News with Ernie Brown.”

thompsonmikeESPN Layoffs Claim KSPN, Los Angeles PD Mike Thompson.  The layoffs at sports entertainment giant ESPN – confirmed yesterday by the company – have hit the radio ranks with ‘ESPNkspnlogo LA’ program director Mike Thompson learning that his position is being eliminated.  He stated in an email to the Los Angeles Metro Bugle, “It’s been a wonderful 12 years with the Walt Disney Company.  I am honored to have worked alongside talented broadcasters to build a record ratings winner among contemporary males never seen before in the format and AM radio in the No. 2 market.”  The company is laying off some 300 staffers across all company departments.  Although on-air talent is not expected to be affected, it’s unclear how many more behind-the-scenes radio people will be affected.

siriusxmSiriusXM Reports Q3 Earnings; Net Revenue Up 11%.  Satcaster SiriusXM reports its third quarter 2015 financial numbers announcing that revenue was up 11% year-over-year and net revenue was $167 million, compared to $136 million during the same period a year ago.  In a statement, Jim Meyer says, “With subscribers at an all-time high of nearly 29 million and record adjusted EBITDA and adjustedsternhoward EBITDA margin, our third quarter was one of the strongest performances in our company’s history.  We are confident of our continued success in the fourth quarter, and we are increasing our guidance for self-pay and total net subscriber additions, revenue, and adjusted EBITDA.”  The burning question before SiriusXM is will Howard Stern renew or leave the platform he’s been on for the past 10 years?  Meyer would only say in an investors’ conference, “I hope so.”  He went on to say, “You should assume we speak quite often and stay tuned for updates.  And of course, the best way to hear any news regarding its renewal is to tune into Howard’s show every morning, heck, that’s what I do.”

cookehollandFAQ: Is There a PD?  Radio consultant Holland Cooke writes today about the changing/disappearing role of program director.  As he notes in his column published today (10/22) that radio stations are not programmed anymore, they are managed.  There are two primary reasons: “Debt service compromises Quality Control. VERY few managers are responsible for a single station.  At many talk stations, this manager also does an air shift, before or after Rush.  Stations think they can get-away-with-it because… most programming is now non-local.  Who’s left to direct?   Most talk programming comes off the bird.  Music stations are voicetracked or downlinked from the mother ship.  Directing is a lost art.”  For those managers seeking a real, live PD, read Holland Cooke’s take on what qualities he/she must possess here.

Odds & Sods.  The decision is not set in stone yet, but Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that CBSwscr logo RADIO will likely move Chicago Cubs play-by-play from all-news WBBM-AM to sports talk WSCR “The Score.”  WSCR is losing Chicago White Sox play-by-play as Cumulus-owned crosstown news/talk WLS-AM will begin serving as that team’s flagship beginning next season…..John W. Pirkle-owned WNFZ-FM, Knoxville drops news/talk and goes alternative rock as “94Z.”  However, the “Rude Awakening” morning show with Mike Howard and Terry West remains on wilsonnickthe program schedule.  The station also aired a local afternoon show called “The Drive” with Russell Smith.  It’s not clear what his and producer Richard Daughtry’s fates are…..CBS RADIO gives Nick Wilson an evening sports talk show on WKRK, Cleveland “92.3 The Fan.”  Wilson has been a producer, part-time host and sports anchor at the station.  His rise to host of “The Nick Wilson Experiment” comeswspd logo after Ken Carman moved from that slot to co-host morning drive with Kevin Kiley…..Cumulus Media gives Toledo news/talker WSPD an FM presence in the market as the station is now simulcasting on new translator W221BG at 92.1 FM.  The translator is licensed to Rudolph, Ohio, about 25 miles south of downtown Toledo.

rekerbillKMOX, St. Louis’ Bill Reker Retires.  According to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, KMOX, St. Louis news anchor Bill Reker is retiring from the station after a 20-year career there.  KMOX program director Steve Moore tells the paper, “He is a pro’s pro.  Whether it was severe weather or something going on in Ferguson, you knew you had a professional in the newsroom.  I’ll miss the level of calm he brought.”

Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi Testimony, Joe Biden’s ‘Won’t Run’ Announcement, 2016 Presidential Race, Russia-Syria Relationship, Paul Ryan House Speaker Bid, Chris Rock to Host Oscars, European Migrant Troubles, and MLB League Championships Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/21). Today’s Benghazi testimony by former Secretary of State and current Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton; Vice President Joe Biden’s announcement that he will not run for president; the activities of the rest of the candidates for president in 2016, notably Dr. Ben Carson’s poll-leading numbers in Iowa; the military relationship between Putin’s Russia and al-Assad’s Syria; Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan’s bid for the Speaker of the House post; comic Chris Rock set to host the next Academy Awards show; ongoing migrant problems in the European Union; and the Major League Baseball playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

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