Tag: "Nielsen Audio"

Thursday, October 1, 2015

| October 1, 2015

cookenab15Cooke: 2015 Radio Show Report.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke reports from the 2015 NAB Radio Show in Atlanta today with a focus on the business of the business.  In this report, hear from notables including Wells Fargo senior analyst Davis Hebert, Connoisseur Media’s Jeffrey Warshaw, Entercom’s David Field, Beasley’s Caroline Beasley, Cumulus/Westwood One’s Pierre Bouvard, and CBS News correspondent Lara Logan.  Read some of the takeaways from the “Financing the Future of Radio” presentation, the radio company CEO panel and Bouvard’s presentation on the return on investment for advertisers using radio by clicking here.

ppmunitSecond Round of September PPM Data Released.  A scheduling change at Nielsen Audio for this month means the ratings giant is releasing September PPM survey data in two large batches, instead of the usual four groups of 12 released over four days.  The one anomaly is the Tampa market ratings are being held up due to the potential tampering issue.  In total Nielsen has now released the September 2015 PPM survey data for 47 markets.  The survey period was August 13 through September 9.  You can see all the 6+ data from subscribing stations here.  Also, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Twelve Takeaways” analysis here.

Odds & Sods.  Cyber Party presidential hopeful John McAfee is choosing “Business Rockstars” host Ken Rutkowski as his vice presidential running mate.  The anti-virus software magnate who has an admittedrutkowskiken “checkered background,” is running on a small government platform and says that his knowledge of the state of America’s cyber security (he says it’s really bad) is the reason he’s running.  He’s chosen Rutkowski for a running mate because “every businessman in America knows who he is.”…..The wife of Miami Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes is no longer with CBS RADIO’s sports talk WQAM, Miami.  Miko Grimes – a contributor to daily shows and co-host of a weekend show with Miami Sun Sentinel reporter Omar Kelly – was arrested outside Sun Life Stadium in Miami last weekend after ignoring police orders and resisting arrest…..A new talk show that examines “how sports-related topics can drive the agenda in D.C.” debuts on SiriusXM’s POTUS channel on for a six-show run beginning on October 2 and co-hosted by ABC News political director Rick Klein and ESPN senior correspondent Andy Katz.  The inaugural guest will be former Florida Governor and current GOP presidential candidates Jeb Bush, who weighs in on the Washington Redskins name controversy and on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

WW1Gupta15WW1’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Team at 2015 Radio Show.  Pictured here at the Westwood One-hosted cocktail reception at the NAB Radio Show in Atlanta is “A Better Life” program host Dr. Sanjay Gupta (second from right) with the Westwood One affiliate team.  From left to right are: Bart Tessler, EVP news & talk; Dennis Green SVP, affiliate sales; Becky Bennett, affiliate operations manager; Gupta; and Stuart Greenblatt, senior director, affiliate sales.

U.S.-Russia Tensions Over Syria, Pope Francis-Kim Davis Meeting, 2016 Presidential Race, Planned Parenthood Congressional Hearing, Next House Speaker Controversy, and Hurricane Joaquin Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/30).  Russia’s initiation of air strikes in Syria and questions about the U.S.’ military policy in the region; the controversy over a reported meeting between Pope Francis and Kentucky court clerk Kim Davis; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the aftermath of the House hearing on the funding of Planned Parenthood; the internal battle in the GOP over the next Speaker of the House; and the potential effects of Hurricane Joaquin on the Eastern U.S. were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

| September 30, 2015

cookenab15Holland Cooke: Atlanta Conference Coverage.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke is in Atlanta covering both the RAIN Summit and the NAB Radio Show.  The NAB event kicks off today and runs through Friday morning while the RAIN Summit took place on Tuesday.  Cooke reports that attendees experienced panel discussions, key notes and interviews that explored two major questions: what makes good digital content and what is the most effective what to sell that content?  For a rundown of some of yesterday’s prime takeaways, check out Holland Cooke’s analysis here.

nielsen logoFirst Round of September PPM Data Released.  A scheduling change at Nielsen Audio for this month means the ratings giant is releasing September PPM survey data in two large batches, instead of the usual four groups of 12 released over four days.  The one anomaly is the Tampa market ratings are being held up due to the potential tampering issue, so only 23 markets have been released with the other 24 to be delivered after 5:00 pm today (9/30).  You can see all the 6+ data from subscribing stations in the first 23 markets here.  Also, Talkers and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Twelve Takeaways” analysis here.

cbsradioCBS RADIO Names Paul Donovan VP of Engineering.  In this corporate role radio engineering pro Paul Donovan will be in charge of engineering, information technology, real estate and capital for the division’s 117 stations across the country.  CBS RADIO chief operating officer Scott Herman states, “Paul is recognized as one of the best in the business, and has been an integral part of the CBS RADIO engineering team.  With this elevated position, he will be able to demonstrate and share his vast knowledge and expertise with all of our stations.  I’m extremely excited to work with him, especially during such a time of change for our industry as we explore new operational technologies.”  This is a promotion from Donovan’s previous director of engineering, Northeast region position.

carrhowieHowie Carr Pens New Crime Novel, Killers. When it comes to organized crime, mobsters, thugs and punks — New England talk radio legend and elite Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable media practitioners in the world today.  His role in the bringing down of legendary mob boss Whitey Bulger (subject of the new movie “Black Mass”) is an intrinsic part of both men’s stories and the basis for Carr’s sizzling series of non-fiction best sellers on the topic of Bulger and crime.  Now, Carr has turned his talent for rendering the printed word into his second major work ofcarrKillerscover fiction with the release of a riveting new novel, Killers: A Novel (Forge Books, 2015).  Whitey Bulger is gone from Boston, but Carr’s fictitious Bench McCarthy is here to take his place.  Bench McCarthy is a thug’s thug, a hitman, an underworld jack-of-all-trades running his own mob out of Winter Hill in the Boston-area town of Somerville while simultaneously handling “wet work” for Sally Curto, a half-demented, totally obscene mob boss.  After years of gangland peace, Bench and Sally suddenly find themselves clay pigeons for unknown hit crews coming at them from every direction.  The motives are as murky as the hitmen themselves, but all roads seem to lead back to the State House, where corrupt pols are battling over a bill to legalize billions of dollars’ worth of new casinos.  In order to stay alive as he puts an end to the uprising, the wisecracking Bench must set aside his objections and enlist the help of Jack Reilly, a dodgy ex-cop turned private investigator.  The hunter has become the hunted. Killers is a ride through the dark underbelly of Boston crime and politics that could only have been written by the man novelist James Ellroy calls “the Bacon-Banging Boston Bossman”- Howie Carr, the newspaper columnist on whom Whitey Bulger first put out a contract and then called as a defense witness during his 2013 murder trial in Boston.  To inquire about booking Carr for a radio interview please contact Emily Mullen at Tor/Forge Books: 647-307-5413 or emily.mullen@tor.com.

brownehabitat15Dr. Joy Browne Works on Behalf of Habitat for Humanity.  Continuing the kind of non-stop community service activities that earned Dr. Joy Browne a past TALKERS Humanitarian of the Year award, the GCN nationally-syndicated talk legend is pictured recently (9/24) moderating a discussion at Habitat for Humanity New York City’s “Women Build 2015” kick-off event at City Winery in lower Manhattan.  Dr. Browne (l) is joined on stage by two women —  Selina Sacasa (c) and Kima Payne (r) — who are each receiving a three bedroom house with a deck in Queens (they’ll be next door neighbors).  They are single mothers, one with two children and one with three.  Their mortgages will be $1200 per month.  The event raised nearly $300,000 surpassing its goal of $250,000 toward building new homes for low-income families in New York over the next 10 years.

madisonjoeSiriusXM’s Joe Madison to Launch New Series on ‘Race and Society.’  Urban radio personality Joe Madison – whose morning drive program is heard daily on SiriusXM – is beginning a new series on the satellite service called, “An American Conversation – We Are All Americans.”  The satcaster says the first installment of this “ongoing series focused on the need for a national dialogue about race in America” will be “a roundtable discussion on a hotly debated topic in the news: the school to prison pipeline.”  The panel will feature leading experts from the worlds of education and politics, including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.); Chancellor of D.C. Public Schools, Kaya Henderson; Chief Judge, U.S. District Court, Richard Roberts; and many more.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein states, “Joe Madison is kicking off a series of candid conversations with the leaders of our nation and our communities.  Radio can do more than entertain and Joe is more than just a host behind a mic.  He regularly travels across America to hear directly from his listeners, encouraging them to have their voices heard.  This is just the start of a series where all Americans, regardless of race, religion, or political affiliation, can learn from one another and lead our nation forward.”

gellervalerieGeller’s Beyond Powerful Radio Now Available as Audio Book.  The immensely popular – not to mention incredibly instructive – Beyond Powerful Radio from renowned radio consultant Valerie Geller is now available as an audio book.  Geller tells TALKERS magazine she can’t take all the credit because what excites her about the audio book is that the contributors each read their own parts.  “So there are actually lots and lots of voices!”  The audio version of Beyond Powerful Radio is some 16 hours of content and is available on iTunes and via Audible.com here.

Obama-Putin Meeting at the UN, Trump Tax Plan, 2016 Presidential Race, Planned Parenthood House Hearing, Pope Francis Visit Aftermath, Post-Boehner GOP, Tropical Storm Joaquin Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/29).  The meeting between President Obama and Russian president Vladimir Putin over Syria and ISIS; the tax plan laid out by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump; the activities of the rest of the candidates for president in 2016; the House hearing on Planned Parenthood and the testimony by Cecile Richards; talk about the recent visit to the U.S. by Pope Francis; the state of the GOP as House Speaker John Boehner prepares to exit Congress; and the status of Tropical Storm Joaquin as it approaches the Eastern Seaboard were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

| September 24, 2015

brooksericWTMJ Boosts Brooks to Program Manager. WTMJ, Milwaukee assistant program director Eric Brooks is elevated to program manager of the E.W. Scripps talker/Milwaukee Brewers flagship. Scripps Milwaukee radio operations vice president-general manager/Scripps vice president, news-talk-sports programming Tom Langmyer comments, “Eric has been an invaluable partner in handling day-to-day programmingWTMJ responsibilities for WTMJ. In his new and expanded role, he will now lead our content team on a daily basis in programming, news, and sports. Eric will work directly with our fulltime program hosts; the news team; and with the digital content team. Between the recent addition of Dayton Kane as program manager of [co-owned country WKTI] and Eric’s new role with WTMJ, both stations have strong and dedicated programming leadership.” Brooks remarks, “I have always been humbled to be a part of a prestigious heritage station like WTMJ. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work with our team every day; this place is truly special. Our goal always will be to have great local programming and a strong commitment to being ‘Wisconsin’s Radio Station.'” Before joining WTMJ four years ago as news anchor/producer, Brooks was a news director in Jacksonville, Illinois at WLDS-AM and WEAI-FM. While a student at Valparaiso University, he interned at WGN-AM, Chicago. Ranked fifth (6+) in Nielsen Audio‘s August 2015 PPM report, WTMJ declines for the fourth successive time and is off by a combined 3.7 shares since April (10.1 – 8.4 – 8.0 – 7.1 – 6.4, 6+).

harrisjack‘AM Tampa Bay’ Host Jack Harris Re-Ups with WFLA-AM.  Longtime WFLA-AM, Tampa morning show co-host Jack Harris signs a new, three-year deal to continue his role with the station.  Harris is part of the “AM Tampa Bay” program that includes co-hosts Ted Webb and Corey Dylan.  iHeartMedia Tampa market president Sam Nein states, “Jack Harris is an icon in the Tampa Bay market.  Re-signing Jack to insure he continues as the cornerstone of WFLA-AM for the foreseeable future was top priority for us.  Having completed that is something we are very happy to share and celebrate with his many listeners, clients and friends!”

carrhowieBoston-Based Talk Radio Host Howie Carr Details Threat Against His Life by Whitey Bulger.  In a piece written for the Daily Beast, longtime Boston Herald columnist and syndicated talk show host Howie Carr writes about his dealings with convicted mobster James “Whitey” Bulger.  Public interest in the Bulger story is high with the current film Black Mass in theaters, in which Johnny Depp plays Bulger.  Carr, whose work as a reporter in Boston during the 1970s connected him to Whitey Bulger and his politician brother William Bulger, has written extensively about the Boston crime scene.  He wrote the 2006 book, The Brothers Bulger, and the 2011 book, Hitman, about Johnny Martorano, and has a new novel, Killers, based in the Boston Irish mob setting.  In the article, Carr writes that he believes Whitley Bulger would have liked him dead but questions the details of some of the stories that surround alleged plans to kill him.  Read the whole piece here.

sedanojorgeJorge Sedano Paired with Jen Lada for ESPN Radio’s 9:00 pm ET Show.  As TALKERS sources predicted several weeks ago, Jorge Sedano moves back two hours on the ESPN Radioladajen schedule to a 9:00 pm ET start with new partner Jen Lada for the two-hour “Jorge & Jen” program.  The announcement from ESPN Radio pretty much wraps the changes to the radio network’s schedule that were precipitated by the departure of Colin Cowherd during the summer.  TALKERS sources say Sedano will do more basketball work for ESPN in addition to the radio show but the sports giant makes no mention of that in its press release.   Lada joined ESPN earlier this year from her previous role at Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

coppsmichaelFormer FCC Commissioners Copps and McDowell Pen Plea for FM Translator Window.  Two former FCC commissioners – Democrat Michael Copps and Republican Robert McDowellmcdowellrobert wrote a piece in The Hill that urges the FCC to open an application window for FM translators to AM license holders only.  Citing the increased interference with which AM signals must contend in today’s increasingly technical society for one, Copps and McDowell believe the application window must be part of any AM revitalization plan.  Read their piece in The Hill here.

Odds & Sods.  An expansion of the deal between Radio Express – a supplier of entertainment programming to radio outside the U.S. – and jacapps provides for the former to exclusively market and sell jacapps-branded radio station mobile applications  to radio stations around the world.  This follows the deal consummated earlier this summer which allows Radio Express to market and sell the V4 platform to radio stations across Latin America and Africa…..The Mix Group is using its booth at next week’s NAB Radio Show in Atlanta to help raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  For each person who steps into the live Mix recording booth to create on-the-spot radio imaging, Mix will make a donation on his or her behalf.

BFoAgolf15Broadcasters Foundation of America Raises $235,000 at Celebrity Golf Tourney.  The annual summer fundraiser for the Broadcasters Foundation of America – the 2015 Celebrity Golf Tournament held at The Stanwich Club in Greenwich, Conneciticut – raised $235,000 for the charity that provides financial assistance to broadcasters in need.  BFoA reports that last year, it gave away close to $850,000 in grants.  More than 150 broadcasters and celebrities turned out in support of the mission of the BFoA, including famed sportscasters, athletes, and actors.  Celebrity golfers included: Maurice Dubois, WCBS-TV; Rachel Grant, actress and philanthropist; Jay Harris, ESPN; Otis Livingston, WCBS-TV; Sean McDonough, ABC and ESPN; Lonnie Quinn, WCBS-TV; Bruce Beck, NBC -TV; and more.  Photo: Wendy Moger-Bross.

hurleyharryMissAm15Chatting Up Miss America.  WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley (left) poses for a photo with the newly crowned Miss America – Betty Cantrell of Georgia (right).  Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, who led the effort to bring the Miss America pageant back to Atlantic City three years ago, called into the program live this morning.  As the 2016 Miss America, Cantrell will be working closely with The Children’s Miracle Network for the next year.  She is the first Miss Georgia to win the crown since 1953.

Pope Francis’ Visit to America, Trump Candidacy/2016 Presidential Candidates, Potential Government Shutdown, Chinese President Xi Jinping in U.S., FBI Recovers Hillary Clinton Emails, Iran Nuclear Deal, European Migrant Crisis/U.S. Immigration Policy, and Death of Yogi Berra Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/23).  The visit to the U.S. by Pope Francis; the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump and the activities of the other candidates for president in 2016; the looming threat of a federal government shutdown; Chinese president Xi Jinping’s visit to the United States; the FBI’s recovery of some of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s emails from a private server; the controversy over the nuclear deal with Iran; the migrant troubles being experienced by European nations tied with U.S. immigration policy; and the death of American icon Yogi Berra were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

| September 23, 2015

rathertbrandonRathert Named Morning Host at KSSZ, Columbia, Missouri.  Taking over the morning drive program on Zimmer Radio & Marketing Group-owned news/talk KSSZ, Columbia, Missourikssz “HotTalk 93.9 The Eagle” is Branden Rathert.  He was most recently afternoon drive personality at ADX Communications’ WNRP, Pensacola “Newsradio 1620.”  Zimmer director of programming Jamie Mac states, “We are excited to welcome Branden to ‘Wake Up Columbia’ on ‘93.9 The Eagle.’  We feel Branden’s unique perspective, where he is able to take a specific topic and come at it in a non-traditional way, will translate very well in the Columbia market. His passion for making great radio, strong work ethic and creativity make him a great addition for our station and the talk radio community here locally.”

anselmomickCBS RADIO’s Mick Anselmo to Retire.  Senior vice president and market manager for CBS RADIO’s Minneapolis cluster, Mick Anselmo, announces he’s retiring from the company at the end of the year.  Anselmo has been managing radio stations in the Twin Cities for more than 20 years – for iHeartMedia and the old AM/FM and Chancellor groups – with the last seven spent working for CBS RADIO.  The company is searching for Anselmo’s replacement to oversee news/talk WCCO “Newsradio 830,” country KMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9” and adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM.”

podcastone bJeanine Pirro Podcast Debuts on PodcastOne.  A new, weekly program featuring FOX News personality and former New York District Attorney Jeanine Pirro is launching on PodcastOne.  Titled “Due Process,” the podcast will “provide the legal insight behind breaking news, high profile court cases and political issues, in addition to welcoming analysts and experts on these topics.”  The show will also include TED speaker and content strategist Terri Trespicio joining Pirro each Monday.  PodcastOne founder Norm Pattiz comments, “Jeanine has the intellect and the energy to do a great podcast.  It will be entertaining, interesting, and deal with exciting subjects.  It’s great to add her to our lineup, and it’s always good to know a judge.”

Odds & Sods.  Southeastern radio pro Dave Cobb is named the general manager for MARC Radio’s seven-station Gainesville, Florida cluster that includes news/talk WRZN “NewsRadio 980.”…..Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania-based Forever Media is buying sports talk WGET “ESPN Sports” and country WGTY in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania from the Times and News Publishing for $4.2 million.

romeWBHOTampa15CBS Sports Radio’s Jim Rome Visits Tampa.  Nationally syndicated sports talk personality Jim Rome visited affiliate WHBO, Tampa “Sports Talk 1040 The Team” recently, taking part in a meet-and-greet during a live remote at Beef O’ Brady’s Restaurant.  The Genesis Communications-owned station says, “Hundreds of Rome fans attended, giving Jim a standing ovation as he entered the restaurant.  Jim made it a point to talk to every fan, sign autographs, and take photographs.  People were lined up for hours to talk with him.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Rome show producer Kyle Brandt, Genesis president Bruce Maduri, Rome, and Sound Mind LLC chief Kraig Kitchin.

Nielsen-Logo3Nielsen Calls Audible to Publishing September Stats. Rather than spreading out the release of ratings information over four days as it typically does with its monthly data, Nielsen Audio is opting to consolidate its September PPM results into two – next Tuesday (9/29) and Wednesday (9/30). The first batch of markets is unaffected by the decision and will get their September numbers next Tuesday as originally planned. Those markets are New York City; Los Angeles; Chicago; San Francisco; Dallas; Houston; Philadelphia; Atlanta; Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island); Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario (Los Angeles’ Inland Empire); San Jose; and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). The second group not only moves up one day, it will join group one – meaning 24 (rather than 12) markets will have data released next Tuesday. Group two consists of Washington, DC; Boston; Detroit; Miami; Seattle; Phoenix; Minneapolis; San Diego; Tampa; Denver; Baltimore; and St. Louis. Stations from the remaining 24-PPM markets (groups three and four) get to see the outcome of the September 2015 sweep next Wednesday. Group three is Portland; Charlotte; Pittsburgh; Sacramento; San Antonio; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Salt Lake City; Las Vegas; Kansas City; Orlando; and Columbus. Comprising group four are facilities in Austin; Milwaukee; Indianapolis; Providence; Raleigh; Norfolk; Nashville; Greensboro; West Palm Beach; Jacksonville; Memphis; and Hartford.

Ben Carson Muslim Controversy, Walker Drops Out/2016 Presidential Candidates, Pope Francis’ U.S. Visit, Russia’s Military Support of Syria, Muslim Migrant Issue, VW Emissions Scandal, Afghan Child Abuse Claims, David Petraeus’ Congressional Testimony, and Xi Jinping Visits U.S. Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/22).  The controversy over GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson’s statement he would not support a Muslim for president; Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker drops out of the presidential race tied with the activities of the rest of the 2016 presidential candidates; Pope Francis’ visit to the United States; reports of military support for Syria’s Assad regime by Russia; the issue of Muslim immigrants in Europe and the U.S.; the emissions scandal plaguing Volkswagen; the controversy over allegations the U.S. military instructs personnel in Afghanistan to ignore sexual abuse of young boys by Afghan military commanders; former CIA director David Petraeus’ apologizes for relaying sensitive material to former mistress; and Chinese president Xi Jinping visits the United States were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, September 14, 2015

| September 14, 2015

ramseydaveRamsey Solutions Hits ‘Major Milestones’ in 2015.  The Tennessee-based company Ramsey Solutions – led by media superstar Dave Ramsey – announces it has surpassed a number of milestones so far in 2015, including hurdling the $100 million revenue mark.  Some of the other accomplishments include: Ramsey’s book, The Total Money Makeover, passing 5 million copies sold; the online budget tool EveryDollar acquiring 500,000 users after only five months; Ramsey Solutions having more than 500 team members, and hoping to add an additional 180 team members over the next 12 months (with more than half being in technology fields).  Ramsey Solutions has been voted one of The Nashville Business Journal’s Best Places to Work eight times.   This fall, Ramsey plans to close on 47 acres in Williamson County, Tennessee for a campus that, when complete, will include three 200,000 square foot office buildings and a 50,000 square foot conference center.  Dave Ramsey comments, “God has blessed us beyond our wildest dreams.  When I started the company 23 years ago I was selling a self-published book out of the trunk of my car, trying to get a radio show off the ground and teaching our financial classes at night using an overhead projector.  I never imagined five New York Times best-sellers, 500 team members and a collection of digital products. It is truly an honor to work with a world-class team and do work that matters every day.”

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: August MLB Flagships.  TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a report on the performances of MLB flagship stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August PPM survey data.  In this report see charts illustrating the AQH shares of stations from July 2015 to August 2015, from August 2014 to August 2015, as well as the market ranks and how the flagships stacked up based on MLB divisions.  View the entire report here.

businessrockstars logo15‘Banana’ Joe Montione Named VP of Affiliate Relations for ‘Business Rockstars’; New Air Time Announced.  Career radio pro “Banana” Joe Montione is named the new vice president of affiliate relations for Business Rockstars.  At the same time, the company announces that the show time for the long-form “Business Rockstars” program is now 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  The company calls itself “the largest content platform for entrepreneurs acrossmontionejoe broadcast, mobile and social platforms,” and reports that its 60-second, daily feature is now being heard on such major and large market affiliates as WGN, Chicago; WPHT, Philadelphia; WCCO, Minneapolis; and KMOX, St. Louis.  Business Rockstars Networks co-founder and chairman Steve Lehman states, “‘Business Rockstars’ continues to attract more listeners, market affiliates, and interest.  Our decision to shift to the new airtime was driven by requests from current and new affiliates.  The change in time will add 25 new live affiliates to the Business Rockstars affiliate lineup.”  On joining Business Rockstars, Joe Montione comments, “Business Rockstars is really a hot place to be right now and this opportunity is a great coming home for me.  It’s not every day that you get to work with one of your heroes again, so this reunion with Steve Lehman is exciting to me because of the incredible cutting edge entrepreneurial talk format being pioneered here at Business Rockstars, but also because Steve has been such a great mentor to me in helping to make the transition from on-air personality/programmer to network radio manager and executive.”

wtop logo NEW 1-15WTOP, Washington and CBS News Team for Podcast on Hannah Graham Case.  Washington, DC all-news WTOP and CBS News’ “48 HOURS” are launching a new, five-part podcast anchored by WTOP’s Neal Augenstein that reveals the story of murdered college student Hannah Graham.  “The Hannah Graham Story,” is the first-ever, five-part, show-specific podcast produced in conjunction with the premiere of a new primetime season.  Graham went missing in Charlottesville, Virginia after a night out with friends.  The search for her was the most exhaustive in Virginia history and after her body was found, the investigation into her death, which generated national attention, led police to cases of other unsolved attacks against young women spanning a decade.  Augenstein comments, “The Hannah Graham story is so tragic, yet compelling, that it takes a news team like ‘48 HOURS’ to do it justice.  It’s an honor to collaborate with them on the broadcast and podcast.”

qerimmollyQerim Adds Mike & Mike Role to ESPN Duties.  What was rumored over the summer comes to pass as Molly Qerim joins ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” show as a contributor.  The first hint of Qerim’s future role on the program came around the time ESPN announced Mike Greenberg’s and Mike Golic’s morning show would soon emanate from New York City instead of its Bristol, Connecticut headquarters.  That move has since been nixed – or at least postponed indefinitely.  But, now Qerim’s expanded role with the company is announced.  Qerim rejoined ESPN in July as interim host of “First Take” (hosted by Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith on ESPN2).  She’s also been named full-time moderator of that program.  ESPN says that on the Mike & Mike show, she’ll “present a variety of content including news and breaking news updates.  She will also focus on the hottest trending topics on the sports social scene and will host a short segment late in the show highlighting the segments coming up on that day’s ‘First Take’ program.”

hochmanVegas15weltonWQAM, Miami PM Show Hits Vegas for Mayweather-Berto Fight.  The afternoon drive “Hochman, Crowder, and Krantz” show was in Las Vegas last week leading up to the weekend Floyd MayweatherAndre Berto fight.  While broadcasting from the MGM Grand, the program hosts met Jen Welter, the first female to work as a coach for an NFL team.  Welter, on site to help promote the fight, was an assistant coaching intern with the Arizona Cardinals during training camp this summer.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Zach Krantz, Channing Crowder, Welter, and Marc Hochman.

Odds & Sods.  Business talk outlet WAFS, Atlanta “biz 1190” announces the addition of the Eric Holtzclaw program to its daily lineup, effective September 28.  The native Atlantan’s show will air beginning at 11:00 am on the Salem-owned signal.  Station manager Adam Wattanbarger comments, “Eric was an entrepreneur before being an entrepreneur was cool.  He’s a sought-after expert and speaker on what it takes to successfully establish, grow and nurture businesses.  In short, he’s the perfect addition to biz 1190 AM.”…..The 8th Annual Imus Golf Outing will take place Thursday, September 24 at the Edgewood Country Club in River Vale, New Jersey.  The Imus Ranch Foundation is donating all proceeds from this event to benefit the Tackle Kids Cancer campaign through the HackensackUMC Foundation.  In addition to the proceeds from this event, the Imus Ranch Foundation will donate an additional $250,000 to the Tackle Kids Cancer campaign.  Don and Deirdre Imus will present the donation check to Robert Garrett, CEO of Hackensack University Health Network, in support of this very important program…..The Boomer Esiason Foundation is announcing its second “Bike to Breathe Event: Jerry and Em’s CF Adventure Continues,” a 500-mile bike ride that begins in Bar Harbor, Maine and ends in New York City.  WFAN, New York’s “Boomer & Carton” show will broadcast live from NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia, the finish line for the ride, on September 24.

who logoCool Job Opportunity.  This is a rare opening for program director of “News Radio 1040” WHO, Des Moines.  After 30 years, Van Harden is passing on the program director reins to (insert your name here).  However Van’s not going far; he will still be in the AM driver’s seat.  “News Radio 1040 WHO” is seeking our next program director to take this multiple Marconi-winning radio station into the future.  Do you have an overwhelming amount of drive for success, vision, ideas and concepts to keep “News Radio 1040 WHO” great?  This station has major market pedigree.  Have you done some major market things that create talk, action, emotion and drive people to your station?  Then let’s talk.  Minimum of 5 years of programming experience is required and nonnegotiable.  Rush your vision, plan and material to Greg Chance, SVP/programming Iowa at: gregchance@iheartmedia.com.  iHeartMedia is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Friday, August 28, 2015

| August 28, 2015

owensronnRonn Owens to Return to KGO, San Francisco on Monday.  Weeks after undergoing surgery for phase one of Deep Brain Stimulation treatment for his Parkinson’s Disease, legendary Bay Area talk personality Ronn Owens posts on his Facebook page that he’s feeling better – minor complications notwithstanding – and will return to KGO, San Francisco’s airwaves on Monday.  Here’s what he had to say: “Just checking in (with a three-day growth of beard!) to let you know that I’m feeling much better and plan to be back on the show on Monday.  Falling down the stairs after the Deep Brain Stimulation surgery slowed my recovery due to the resulting blood clot on the surface of the brain, along with another blood clot in the lung and a nasty cough.  Those factors have also forced my doctors to postpone the second phase of the DBS process (implanting a battery pack in my chest) until late October.  Nonetheless, the DBS procedure is still on track for success and I look forward to it being able to reverse my Parkinson’s symptoms by 5 to 7 years when it’s complete in early November.”  Prior to his recent surgery, Owens spoke with TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison on the latter’s international hit podcast “Up Close and Far Out” on the PodcastOne platform.  You can check out that discussion here.

wnnhNew Hampshire Gets New FM N/T Station – Howie Carr Headlines Lineup.  Beginning Monday (8/31) Binnie Media-owned WNNH-FM, Concord, New Hampshire will re-launch as “99.1 NH1 News, New Hampshire’s Newsradio.”  The station will provide the Concord area with what is being described as “continuous local news updates on the top stories from around the Granite State, along with opinion and analysis from nationally recognized personalities, including Howie Carr weekday afternoons.”  The “NH1” brand has been serving New Hampshire as a major statewide TV and radio newscarrhowie organization.  “99.1 NH1 News” will feature hourly updates from the NH1 News staff. The NH1 Radio News Network will continue to broadcast on 12 radio stations in New Hampshire, including stations in Concord, Nashua, Portsmouth, the Lakes Region, and Lebanon.  In 2014, NH1 News received a Granite Mike Award for the Best Radio Newscast from the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters.  The local news coverage on “99.1 NH1 News” will be augmented by the world and national resources of CBS News.  Binnie Media EVP Lee Kinberg tells TALKERS, “This is the next logical step in the growth of NH1 News.  Last month NH1 News on WBIN-TV was the #1 10:00 pm news in New Hampshire and in less than a year, NH1.com is achieving over 800,000 page views a month. “99.1 NH1 News” brings our comprehensive local news coverage to Concord’s radio listeners.”  In addition to Carr, nationally known personalities including Don Imus, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, and Michael Savage round out the weekday lineup.  Carr tells TALKERS, “It’s an honor to be working with all the great professionals at NH1 News, and to be able to reach a whole new audience in the Granite State — especially with the presidential primaries coming up in less than six months.”  This marks the 24th affiliate for Howie Carr’s rapidly-growing independent regional talk network.  Binnie Media owns 16 stations in Maine and New Hampshire.

sullivanbobBob Sullivan Exits Daily Role on KOGO, San Diego.  His comments to the San Diego Union-Tribune about leaving his co-host role on the afternoon drive show with former San Diego city councilman Carl DeMaio are pretty sanguine, still there’s a tenor of disappointment in Bob “Sully” Sullivan’s comments that he and the station have different philosophies about what the show’s topics should be.  Sullivan tells the paper, “I like to talk red-meat topics — illegal immigration, gun control and minimum wage — and I think the station wants that segment to go more toward local politics, pension reform and the water crisis.  Carl is very passionate about that stuff and I just am not.”  Sullivan’s 16-year tenure with the station will continue as he’ll still be business editor and serve as a fill-in host.  DeMaio has been on the program for the past five months – shortly after losing a race for a seat in Congress.

cosbyritaRita Cosby to Host Weeklong Web Series on Education.  The hour-long program – titled “Back to the Books Radio” – will appear exclusively on WABC, New York’s website beginning Monday, August 31.  On the program, Rita Cosby will “discuss timely and critical issues in American education with some of the nation’s most prominent voices in education, including highlighting: teacher and student standards, busing, charter schools, Common Core, and illegal immigrants and who should pay for their education.  The series is a provocative and no-holds-barred look at the issues that are important to those who are concerned that the educational system is failing the country’s children — what is working, and what is not.  The series looks in-depth at New York City’s massive public education system with more than one million students and 1,700 schools.”  Each show features interviews with top experts and thought leaders in New York and U.S. education.

townhallcomSalem Media Group Re-Brands TOH News with Townhall.com Collaboration.  Raising the radio profile of its conservative website Townhall.com will likely be one of the effects of Salem Media Group’s decision to rename its top-of-the-hour news product with the brand Townhall.com.  SMG says the site “reaches 3 million unique visitors every month.  This will be a brand extension to the powerful SRN News product that provides both news/talk and Christian talk stations a strong 24/7 radio news service.”  Salem says it will continue to produce the SRN News feed at :55 past the hour,  primarily for Christian stations and that the Townhall.com branded product will be designed for news/talk stations.   Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce comments, “We will continue to offer the outstanding reporting that is a hallmark of SRN News with great anchors and respected correspondents like Greg Clugston at the White House, Linda Kenyon at the Senate and Wally Hindes at the House.  The new brand extension will allow us to better market the product for news and talk stations and we can’t think of a better partner than Townhall.com which is so respected and well-known.”

wmen logo‘640AM Sports’ in Fort Lauderdale Shuffles Hosts.  Midday sports talk host Joe Raineri moves to afternoon drive on WMEN, Fort Lauderdale “640AM Sports,” replacing Hank Goldberg.  Currently, the midday daypart consists of DirecTV/FOX Sports Radio’s Dan Patrick from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and Rich Eisen from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm but there is speculation that the station will opt for adding Colin Cowherd’s new FOX Sports Radio program – set to debut in September – to the slot currently held by Eisen.

Odds & Sods. Abundant, thunderous changes taking place with Major League Baseball‘s Boston Red Soxobriendave have even spread to the broadcasting booth. While it doesn’t take effect until next year, Dave O’Brien will shift from radio play-to-play to the television side, calling Red Sox games on NESN. O’Brien, who has a renowned national presence from his ESPN television exposure, will succeed Don Orsillo, whose contract isn’t being renewed. No word yet on a successor to O’Brien on the Red Sox Radio Network, whose flagship is Entercom Boston sports outlet WEEI-FM. Quincy, Massachusetts native O’Brien miklaszberniejoined the Red Sox radio booth for the 2007 season – when the Red Sox wound up winning the World Series…..St. Louis sports media pro Bernie Miklasz returns to Hubbard Radio‘s WXOS “101ESPN” on Monday, August 31  to revive his sports talk show.  The longtime St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports writer is exiting his position with the paper to begin hosting the 7:00 am to 10:00 am program.  He will also write for the station’s 101sports.com website…..ESPN Radio announces that Ian Fitzsimmons will host the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm slot with Will Cain, Trevor Matich, and Freddie Coleman next week.  The network is reportedly preparing to officially announce Dan LeBatard will assume that daypart permanentlyzaklana later in September…..Former Philadelphia Eagles great Brian Westbrook is reprising his football expert role at Greater Media‘s WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” on the AM drive Anthony Gargano show.  Westbrook will be part of the Monday program from 9:00 am to 10:00 am following Eagles games during the NFL season…..ABC News announces Lana Zak is the newest member of the Multi-Platform Reporter team.  Zak began her career with ABC News as an anchor producer for Diane Sawyer at “Good Morning America.”  Most recently, she has served as a coordinating producer for ABC’s Specialized Units.

New Economic News Program to Debut in January.  This new offering comes from Walter O’Connell Tax Services, LLC on a weekly basis beginning January 2, 2016.  According to O’Connell, “Economics-Weekly.com” is a one-hour radio program featuring selected readings in economics from top economic bloggers from around the world and “was founded on the belief that liberty and free trade are created, and sustained, through economic understanding.”  O’Connell says, “Our current weekly syndicated radio program is a perfect pre-air or post-air program for news, business, economic, political or current event programing.”

hannity montgomerygentry15Country Duo Montgomery Gentry to Appear on ‘Hannity’ Tonight.  Country music will be a topic on FOX News Channel’s “Hannity” this evening (8/28) as country superstars Montgomery Gentry will be on the program.  Eddie Montgomery (left) and Troy Gentry (right) recently spoke with Sean Hannity (center) about their new Blaster Records album, Folks Like UsPhoto: Monarch Publicity.

TV Reporters Slayings/Gun Control Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of August 24-28.  The tragic slayings of WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward and the related issue of gun control were the most-talked-about stories during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM this week.  At #2 was the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump.  Coming in at #3 was the debate over immigration policy followed by the possible presidential candidacy of Vice President Joe Biden at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.


Monday, August 10, 2015

| August 10, 2015

Fox_News_Channel_logoMonday Trivia Question. Granted, this deals with television, but it most definitely could have talk radio implications. Here goes: What is the most-watched cable news telecast in history? Your hint is that viewership for this broadcast is estimated to have been 24 million. Give yourself a pat on the back if you guessed last week’s GOP presidential debate on the Fox News Channel. Among adults 18-49, the roughly two-hour debate drew 7.9 million. More than 20 million debate-related interactions appeared on Facebook. According to The Hollywood Reporter, by way of perspective, the first Republican primary debate in 2011 attracted 3.2 million viewers to FNC, and that channel’s coverage of the final 2012 presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney reached 11.5 million.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison comments, “The amazing numbers attracted by the Fox debate certainly underscore the power and potency of politics as an area of interest in America.  Those who are loudly touting the death of politics, in general, as a viable genre within the talk radio universe are missing the point.  The question should not be IF politics belongs as a mainstay topic of news/talk radio – but HOW it should be done going forward.”  Harrison adds, “And that, of course, is not to say that talk radio cannot benefit by tapping into so many other topics of concern to people today beyond politics… but this election is proving that politics is here to stay and to abandon it would be throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater.”

iheartmedia-logo-small22KFI, KLAC Add HD2 Coverage. Sports KLAC “AM 570,” Los Angeles will simulcast on the HD2 channel of co-owned iHeartMedia alternative cluster-mate KYSR “Alt 98.7,” while talker KFI will simulcast on the HD2 channel of adult contemporary sibling AC KOST “Coast 103.5.” Senior vice president of programming Andrew Jeffries comments, “Exposing our premiere talk brands of KFI and KLAC to a wider audience on HD is an exciting progression for our programming. It is in our listeners’ best interests to have these stations on every platform they desire, from the AM frequencies, on the iHeartRadio app, and now HD2.” No HD channel for any company appears in Nielsen Audio‘s July 2015 PPM report for Los Angeles. Among persons 6+ in July, KOST’s main “Coast 103.5” channel places #1 overall (5.4); KFI is #8 (3.4); KYSR is tied for #19 (2.4); and Los Angeles Dodgers‘ flagship KLAC is #31 (.9).

Radio OneNet Q2 Radio One Revenue Grows to $119.8 million. That represents a gain of 10.5% from $108.4 million in 2014. Meanwhile, station operating-income shows a 14.3% improvement (from $41 million) to $46.9. Radio One president and chief operating officer Alfred Liggins, however, comments, “Core radio advertising business was soft for the quarter, although in line with our expectations, and partially offset by the strong performance of our network and syndication business – Reach Media. On a combined basis, radio plus Reach Media revenue was +8.6% versus Q2 2014, or -3.2% after adjusting for the timing of major events. Third quarter core radio advertising revenue is currently pacing down mid-single digits, but we expect this decline to be more than offset by the continued strong performance of TV One; we are working diligently to turn around radio performance in our key markets.”  Television advertising for the company was up 13.7% for the quarter, and affiliate revenues were +27%. Compared to $10.8 million or 23 cents per share a year ago, Radio One’s net earnings grow to $13 million – or 27 cents per share.

GiffordRemembering Frank Gifford. He wore #16 for the New York Football Giants and was one of the NFL‘s premier players in a career that spanned a dozen years (1952 – 1964). Owing to his rugged good looks, Frank Gifford transitioned to broadcasting when his playing days were over. Perhaps seen by some as a pretty boy, the University of Southern California All-American – who died today (Sunday, 8/9) of natural causes in his Connecticut home – constantly burned and embarrassed defenses as a halfback, receiver, or he could even run the option. Not only was Gifford on the Giants’ 1956 championship team, he was the league’s MVP that year and the Pro Bowl MVP two years later. In 2008, Gifford, along with Peter Richmond, wrote “The Glory Game: How the 1958 NFL Championship Changed Football Forever.” The Baltimore Colts beat Gifford’s New York Giants in that game, 23-17. Several particular things worth noting about Santa Monica-born “Faultless Frank” are that, while virtually everyone recalls him for his fame in television, he actually cut his media teeth in radio. Moreover, while most former athletes-turned-broadcasters did (and do) so in the capacity of analyst, Gifford adroitly took charge in the play-by-play role. Others did it before and since, but Gifford was one of the very first who looked and sounded like a professionally-trained broadcaster. In addition, in the overwhelming number of cases, ex-athletes in the booth tend to be one-trick ponies, covering only the sport they played. Not Gifford: He handled multiple sports and was an integral part of ABC-TV‘s “Olympics” coverage. During his playing days, he worked at CBS Radio in several capacities and would go on to anchor a nightly CBS Radio Network sports roundup. Gifford continued his relationship with CBS, doing sports on New York City owned & operated WCBS-TV (channel 2), ultimately graduating to calling Sunday games on CBS-TV. Many would say the huge break for Gifford was shifting to ABC-TV for that network’s “MNF” games. He replaced Keith Jackson in 1971, joining Howard Cosell and “Dandy” Don Meredith. His wife of 29 years, “Today Show” host Kathie Lee Gifford (Frank & Kathie Lee at right), is among those who survive Gifford and she took to Twitter to note she is “deeply grateful to all [for your]Frank & Kathy Lee Gifford outpouring of grace.” CBS Radio Los Angeles CHR KAMP “Amp” morning personality/host of NBC-TV‘s “The Voice” Carson Daly tweets, “My heart breaks for the loss of Frank; we are praying and thinking of [his family] today.” Kathie Lee’s “Today Show” co-host, Hoda Kotb, writes she is “heartbroken.” Also in “The Today Show” family, Al Roker notes that he will “always remember Frank Gifford’s grace, self-deprecating wit and love of his family – so much to so many.” Frank Gifford met Kathie Lee when they guest-hosted “Good Morning America.” That show’s former co-host Joan Lunden writes, “Great guy, great couple.” According to Kendall Jenner, it is a “very sad day. Rest in peace to my Godfather – the legend, Frank Gifford.” Frank and Kathie Lee Gifford have a son and daughter; the 1977 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee had three other children from a previous marriage. This coming Saturday (8/16), Frank Gifford, would have turned 85 years old.

FCC LogoOver $4 Million Generated From FCC FM Auction 98. Results after 10 days and more than 50 rounds find 59 qualified bidders scoring 102 permits, with the FCC taking in slightly more than $4.1 million. It is all part of FM Auction 98, as the FCC auctions FM construction permits. The Erie Company, LLC boasts top bid honors ($714,000) for a Westfield, New York permit, while Iris Media, LLC proposes $421,000 for a Columbia, Missouri permit. Alpha Media remains active by offering more than $400,000 for a permit in Harper, Texas.

WGN LogoTribune Tower Continues Its Brick Collection. When he was Tribune‘s publisher and company president (1911-1955) Robert R. McCormick requested that his correspondents bring back stones from their travels to add into the base of Chicago’s Tribune Tower. That tradition lives on this Friday (8/14) at 11:30 am when bricks from Wrigley Field (home of the Chicago Cubs) and Comiskey Park (Chicago White Sox) will permanently be installed into the limestone exterior of Tribune Tower. WGN-AM host Bob Sirott will host the ceremony, which will include interviews with Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney and White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. The bricks will join 148 stones from around the world and all 50 states that are already part of the Tribune Tower’s façade. Artifacts included are from The Alamo, Great Wall of China, Taj Mahal, and Abraham Lincoln’s original tomb. Last added to the building were tiles from the Sydney Opera House in May 2006. Tribune-owned talker WGN-AM, of course, was the longtime radio flagship of the Cubs, whose games – as of this year – air on CBS Radio‘s news-formatted WBBM-AM; CBS Radio-owned WSCR “The Score” is the White Sox flagship, but that will change next year when the pale hose shift to Cumulus Media talker WLS-AM.

KOIL-AMOdds & Sods. KOIL “The Mighty 1290,” Omaha joins the Kansas City Chiefs’ 65-affiliate radio network. Executive producer Dan Israel notes, “Eastern Nebraska is a vital part of the ‘Chiefs Kingdom’ and we are very excited to welcome KOIL as the new exclusive home of Chiefs coverage for Omaha.” KOIL operations manager Dave Tepper states, “We are honored to join one of the NFL’s most passionate fan bases in cheering on the Chiefs.” The NRG Media talker begins its coverage by airing the team’s first preseason game this Saturday (8/15) against the Arizona Cardinals.

Westwood One HOF Pic 2Eight Inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame. The ceremony from Canton, Ohio’s Pro Football Hall of Fame was held this past Saturday (8/8). Those honored were Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Charles Haley, Junior Seau, Will Shields, Mick Tingelhoff, Bill Polian, and Ron Wolf. Westwood One Sports had live coverage and then continued by airing the Hall of Fame Game the next day between the Minnesota Vikings (14) and Pittsburgh Steelers (3). Shown here are Westwood One’s Scott Graham, 2015 inductee/six-time Pro Bowl selection Jerome Bettis, and Westwood One analyst, Hall of Famer James Lofton.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Chats with Former FEMA Director (and Current KHOW, Denver Talk Host) Michael D. Brown as 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina Approaches.  It was almost a decade ago (August 23-31, 2005) that Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast of the United States with winds of up to 175 mph and flood waters of biblical proportions rising from the ocean and falling from the sky — leaving in its wake almost 1,900 fatalities, $108 billion in damages, and countless casualties and lives upended.  Michael D. Brown – the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at the time and Under Secretary of Homelandbrownmichael Security (“Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job”) became the official poster boy for everything that went wrong with the federal government’s too-little-too-late response to one of the greatest disasters in American history.  Some of the criticism that fell upon Brown was deserved – but much of it wasn’t.  After all, it was an epic crisis and involved numerous overlapping agencies, governments, and politicians charged with making things right.  Brown took a severe beating from the media as well as a proverbial bullet for the team and stepped down from his position with the Bush Administration.  A lawyer by trade, Brown went on with his life, taking away an enormous amount of wisdom and experience from the episode.  Undaunted, he began speaking to groups around the country about the insidious side of politics, and the human complexity of management and team play. He wrote a candid book about his role (and responsibility) in Katrina — Deadly Indifference: The Perfect (Political) Storm, Hurricane Katrina, the Bush White House, and Beyond (Taylor Trade, 2011).  He also began a successful talk show hosting career in Denver – first at KOA and then at KHOW, where he presently presides over a daily program 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm MT.  In the newly posted installment of the weekly international hit podcast “Up Close and Far Out” (8/4), Brown is interviewed by RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison about inside-Washington politics, the war on terror, the nature of the political mind, the psychological profile of presidents, the general state of media and journalism as well as what his life is like as a big market talk show host 10 years after Katrina.  To hear this must-listen conversation, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right hand column on every page of RadioInfo.com.

SagaCool Job Opening for News Reporter/Anchor.  Award-winning news/talker WSVA in Harrisonburg, Virginia has an opening in its news department.  They are looking for a hard working reporter/anchor to be part of their afternoon drive show and cover and report on local news.  Send audio and resume to fwilt@harrisonburgradiogroup.com or mail to Frank Wilt, WSVA Radio, 1820 Heritage Center Way, Harrisonburg, VA  22801.   Harrisonburg Radio Group.  EOE.

Friday, August 7, 2015

| August 7, 2015

LoganCumulusLogan adds WFTW Programming Duties. One-year hot AC WNCV “Coast 93.3” program director and morning talent “Logan” takes on similar responsibilities within the Cumulus Media Fort Walton Beach (Florida) cluster for talk WFTW. Cumulus Media regional vice president Pete DeSimone comments, “Logan has done an outstanding job since joining the Fort Walton Beach/Destin cluster. It has been a pleasure watching him work to make a significant impact in both ratings and revenue with WNCV. I am very excited we are recognizing his talent and affording him additional opportunities to grow with our company.” Corporate program director for news-talk-sports Jim Mahanay remarks, “I am excited anytime we can have a programmer with a fresh perspective enter the news/talk format. Logan has proven himself as a strong music PD and he now has that opportunity in news/talk.” Logan offers a “big thanks” to DeSimone, Mahanay, and Cumulus Media senior vice president of content and programming Mike McVay. “Cumulus has given me opportunities – I am going to grow with them,” Logan states. “I am a huge fan of the news-talk format, and I cannot wait to get audio from Michael Savage.” Prior to joining WNCV, “Logan” spent eight years as morning host/assistant program director/music director for Philadelphia hot AC WISX “Mix106.1.” His resume also includes stops in New York City at CHR WHTZ “Z-100” and in Dallas at hot AC KDMX.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Final Round of July 2015 PPM Data. The fourth and final round of Nielsen Audio July 2015 PPM ratings data has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. The July 2015 survey period covered June 18 through July 15.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here. In addition, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

levinmark (2)Odds & Sods: This past Monday (8/3), Westwood One host Mark Levin surpassed the one-million level of Facebook “Likes.” His book, “Plunder and Deceit,” was released the following day (Tuesday, 8/4) and it has reached #1 on Amazon‘s “Best Seller” list…..In an October 13 simulcast with CNN, Westwood One will be the exclusive radio provider of coverage from the first Democratic primary debate of the 2016 presidential race. The debate will take place in Nevada, with exact location details to be announced later. CNN will serve as moderator and exclusive national broadcaster of that debate.

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Rick Lewis Hits Quarter Century Mark Hosting “Talky” Mornings at Classic Rocker, KRFX, Denver.  For over two decades the “Lewis & Floorwax Show” dominated the morning airwaves on iHeartMedia’s KRFX-FM (The Fox), Denver. The show was an excellent example of the widespread genre of music radio morning shows that lean heavily on pop cultural talk content. Suddenly in January of 2014, co-host Michael Floorwax retired from the airwaves, by his own choosing, due to an ongoing chronic health issue that began acting up. His co-host Rick Lewis was encouraged to keep the show going as it had a very loyal fan base and was an extremely dependable “revenue machine.”  Lewis re-tooled the mostly spoken word show (that plays approximately two songs per hour), renamed it “The Rick Lewis Show” and forged ahead. Fans were happy and relieved that the show continued. Advertisers continued their support and The Rick Lewis Show has more than survived, it has thrived. Nielsen Audio spring PPM numbers indicate that “The Fox” is the market’s top station among adults 25-54. Ratings are up from 2014 and so is revenue.  On July 31, 2015 Rick Lewis celebrated 25 years as the morning radio host at the station – a rarely achieved milestone in the radio industry.  Lewis tells TALKERS, “I have many people to thank including my long-time friend and radio partner Kathy Lee who really stepped up her game.  Thanks to my long-time partner Michael Floorwax for a helluva run, you are missed!”  Lewis adds, “Also the support of the rest of the crew in the morning, Colfax, Dragon Redbeard and Robbyn Hart has been significant. Thanks also to Michael Harrison, a visionary man who gave me my first big break at KMET, Los Angeles in 1984.  I was just out of college, working at that heritage radio station with some legendary radio performers. Mike believed in me and gave me my first full time job in LA.”  Harrison recalls, “I recognized immediately that this earnest young man was the total package.  He had movie star looks, a command of album rock and its culture, and most importantly the ability to adeptly punctuate his jock work with listener calls and artist interviews – a quality I always looked for in DJs during my rock PD days.”  KRFX is the FM home of the NFL’s Denver Broncos and the multi-faceted Lewis also hosts the official Denver Broncos pre-game show every week during the football season.  And if that isn’t enough Lewis has a band, The Rick Lewis Project, featuring some of the most acclaimed musicians in the region. As a drummer for the band, Lewis has played as opening act with legends such as BB King, James Brown, ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Def Lepard, and The Who among others.  When he is not on the radio or playing in his band, Lewis finds time to perform in the Denver area as a stand-up comic.  He also recently shot a TV pilot called “Ride Away,” a motorcycle adventure show. The show is currently being shopped and produced by reality TV’s famous bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman and his wife Beth. Lewis believes “the secret to longevity in the business is to have many irons in the fire.”  He tells TALKERS, “I still get up every morning and can’t wait to get behind the microphone and entertain the fans in Denver.  For years, I always thought KMET in LA would be the pinnacle of my radio career, man was I wrong!”

Beasley Media GroupBeasley Broadcast Group Reports Q2 Results. Second quarter net revenue is up $1.1 million ($25.9 million to $27 million), but Beasley Broadcast Group‘s net income is off by $500,000 ($3 million to $2.5 million). This past December, Beasley and CBS Radio completed a 14-for-five swap involving three markets. CBS Radio acquired two Philadelphia stations (WRDW and WXTU), as well as three Miami outlets (WKIS, WPOW, and WQAM). In exchange, Beasley picked up one Philadelphia station (WIP-FM); six Tampa facilities (WHFS-AM, WHFS-FM, WLLD, WQYK, WRBQ, and WYUU); and seven Charlotte properties (WBAV, WBCN, WFNZ, WKQC, WNKS, WPEG, and WSOC). According to Beasley chair and chief executive officer George Beasley, the company’s second quarter results “reflect a continuation of recent overall industry and market trends.” On a pro forma basis, net revenue decreased 6.0% while SOI declined 8.4%. “The decline in pro forma revenue is primarily attributable to overall weakness in Charlotte, Las Vegas, and Wilmington [Delaware], which resulted in reduced operating leverage and ultimately impacted SOI,” Beasley comments. “We were able to partially offset the revenue decline, however, through cost reductions that resulted in a 4.9% – or $1 million – reduction in station operating expenses. We also made further progress on our debt reduction efforts during the quarter, while continuing our commitment to return capital to shareholders.” Addressing the station swap with CBS Radio, Beasley remarks, “It substantially broadened and diversified our local radio and marketing solutions platform. Since closing, we have been initiating strategies to extract operating and financial synergies. We are actively implementing integration, cost efficiency and operating plans while remaining true to our value proposition by focusing on targeted localism and delivering quality programming, effective online marketing solutions and dedicated service to listeners and advertisers in these markets.” As far as the future is concerned, he notes the company remains “focused on operating our station clusters to match or exceed their market’s revenue performance while further strengthening our balance sheet. We believe our integration, programming, personnel, cost-efficiency and operating changes are now showing progress.”

week headerBarack Obama and Donald Trump were the Most Talked About People on News/Talk Radio this Week.  GOP Debate(s) on Fox, the Iran Nukes Deal and Immigration Reform Lead the Topics Discussed.  According to TALKERS research, the just-concluding week of August 3-7, 2015 has been dynamic to say the least as the brewing interest in the presidential race of 2016 reached its first major boiling point with yesterday’s (8/6) long anticipated GOP debate(s) on the Fox News Channel and Fox News Radio gathering enormous attention and conversation. Other hot topics included the Iran nuke deal, ISIS activity, immigration reform, race relations, the Planned Parenthood funding issue, Hillary Clinton’s emails, and the Nashville theater attack.  To see the entire list of the week’s most talked about topics and people, please click here.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Chats with Former FEMA Director (and Current KHOW, Denver Talk Host) Michael D. Brown as 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina Approaches. It was almost a decade ago (August 23-31, 2005) that Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast of the United States with winds of up to 175 mph and flood waters of biblical proportions rising from the ocean and falling from the sky — leaving in its wake almost 1,900 fatalities, $108 billion in damages, and countless casualties and lives upended. Michael D. Brown – the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at the time and Under Secretary of Homelandbrownmichael Security (“Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job”) became the official poster boy for everything that went wrong with the federal government’s too-little-too-late response to one of the greatest disasters in American history. Some of the criticism that fell upon Brown was deserved – but much of it wasn’t. After all, it was an epic crisis and involved numerous overlapping agencies, governments, and politicians charged with making things right. Brown took a severe beating from the media as well as a proverbial bullet for the team and stepped down from his position with the Bush Administration. A lawyer by trade, Brown went on with his life, taking away an enormous amount of wisdom and experience from the episode. Undaunted, he began speaking to groups around the country about the insidious side of politics, and the human complexity of management and team play. He wrote a candid book about his role (and responsibility) in Katrina — Deadly Indifference: The Perfect (Political) Storm, Hurricane Katrina, the Bush White House, and Beyond (Taylor Trade, 2011). He also began a successful talk show hosting career in Denver – first at KOA and then at KHOW, where he presently presides over a daily program 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm MT. In the newly posted installment of the weekly international hit podcast “Up Close and Far Out” (8/4), Brown is interviewed by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison about inside-Washington politics, the war on terror, the nature of the political mind, the psychological profile of presidents, the general state of media and journalism as well as what his life is like as a big market talk show host 10 years after Katrina. To hear this must-listen conversation, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

salemmediagroup logoCool Job Opportunity. Salem Radio in New York is looking for a dynamic individual to join the sales team for “AM970 The Answer,” which is news/talk format, and the legendary WMCA “AM570 The Mission, New York’s Christian Talk.” Compensation is commensurate with degree of experience and skills. This is a fabulous career opportunity for the right individual with one of the finest broadcasting companies in America. Salem Media Group is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Sales experience involving media is a must. Undergraduate degree required. A unique opportunity to work closely with Jerry Crowley and Phil Boyce, two proven winners and innovators. For more information and to apply, click here.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

| August 6, 2015

Tidwell, LanceTidwell Tapped as iHM San Antonio SVP/Programming. Inbound from Tucson where he was iHeartMedia‘s senior vice president of programming, Lance Tidwell transfers to San Antonio for similar duties. Executive vice president of programming for iHeartMedia major markets Brad Hardin comments, “I am extremely pleased to welcome Lance to the iHeartMedia San Antonio family. Tidwell is a strong talent and has had much success in his tenure with iHeartMedia. His programming acumen and depth of experience will allow him to ramp up quickly and build immediate relationships with the programming and sales team.” San Antonio market president Marlene Trevino remarks, “I am excited that our San Antonio programming operations will be led by Tidwell. He understands our company¹s vision to be innovative with every move. Lance¹s experience collaborating with programming and sales teams will provide us and our partners with unbeatable forward momentum in the continued evolution of our brands in the San Antonioiheartmedia logo small2 market.” Tidwell notes that he is “grateful” to Trevino and Hardin “for the chance to work with these great brands and team in San Antonio. I am eager to get started and lead the market to continued growth and success.” In addition to having programmed in Seattle, Memphis, Hartford, Monterey-Salinas, and New Haven (Connecticut), Tidwell was chief operating officer for Southern Star Broadcasting. With 6+ share/market ranks from the most recent Nielsen Audio PPM sweep in parentheses (July 2015), iHeartMedia’s San Antonio cluster consists of country KAJA “KJ-97” (6.0, #3); mainstream CHR KXXM “Mix 96.1” (4.8, #5); adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9” (4.7, #6); talk WOAI (4.2, #10); rhythmic CHR KZEP “Hot 104.5” (2.1, #19); regional Mexican KQXT-HD3 (1.8, #20); sports KTKR “The Ticket” (.6, #26); and classic country KRPT “B-Buc” (.2, #27).

CBS Radio LogoCBS Radio Q2 Revenue Off 5%. While second quarter revenue for CBS Corp. increased 1% to $3.22 billion from $3.19 billion in 2014, CBS Radio revenue declined 5%. Executive chair Sumner Redstone states, “CBS is at the center of the action during an extremely exciting time in media. We continue to succeed as a result of our world-class content.” According to president and chief executive officer Les Moonves, “This quarter underscores the key steps we are taking to build out our long-term growth strategy. Our premium content remains the cornerstone of our success, and I am confident this fall’s new primetime lineup will lead us to another victory next season.” The company’s local broadcasting revenue was down 2% to $654 million from $665 million, as television station revenue was up 1%, and local broadcasting operating income (OI) fell 8% to $198 million from $215 million. The company posted net earnings of $332 million, down from $439 million in the year-ago period.

Nielsen LogoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of July 2015 PPM Data. The third of four rounds of July 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The July 2015 survey period covered June 18 through July 15.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

National Radio Hall of FameNational Radio Hall of Fame Nominees Announced. The 24 candidates in six categories were determined by the organization’s steering committee. National Radio Hall of Fame chair Kraig Kitchin brings back public engagement through social media balloting in the “Music Format On-Air Personality” and “Spoken Word On-Air Personality” categories. This is the first time that will be done in the last five years. “This impressive list of nominees represents the best examples of talent with commendable audience relationships past and present,” Kitchin declares. “Each individual and show was selected after extensive deliberation by the steering committee. We are all looking forward to seeing the results as determined by our industry peers and listeners nationwide.” The four nominees to be voted on by a participant panel in the “Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more)” category are Tom Barnard (Minneapolis); Johnny Dare (Kansas City); Johnny Holliday (Washington, D.C.); and Ronn Owens (San Francisco). Those in the “Active Local/Regional (10 years or more)” category are “Big Boy” – real name Kurt Alexander (Los Angeles); Preston Elliot and Steve Morrison (Philadelphia); Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart (Chicago); and Garland Robinette (New Orleans). The four candidates in the “Networks/Syndication (10 years or more)” category include Tom Kent (Cleveland); Dave Ramsey (Nashville); Diane Rehm (Washington, D.C.); and Michael Savage (San Francisco). Those in the “Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more)” category are Bob Kevoian & Tom Griswold (Indianapolis); Bob Kingsley (Weatherford, Texas); “Marketplace” (Los Angeles); and Harry Shearer (Los Angeles). Nominees to be voted on by listeners nationwide in the “Music Format On-Air Personality” category are Delilah (Seattle); Elvis Duran (New York); Steve Harvey (Atlanta); and Ryan Seacrest (Los Angeles). In the “Spoken Word On-Air Personality” category, the nominees are Sean Hannity (New York); Clark Howard (Atlanta); Jim Rome (Los Angeles); and Dr. Laura Schlessinger (Los Angeles). Voting begins today; names of the winners will be revealed in just over three weeks (8/31). The induction ceremony will be held in three months (11/5) at the Museum of Broadcast and Communications in downtown Chicago.

NextRadio LogoCollege Broadcasters Inc LogoNextRadio, CBI Team To Find Best Radio Spot. College students are encouraged to create/submit a 60-second radio spot, as NextRadio and College Broadcasters Inc. (CBI) join forces to find the “best-of-the-best in radio spot ads.” According to NextRadio president Paul Brenner, there are currently 50,000 – 70,000 radio spots that run each month supporting the NAB National Awareness Campaign, which launched in February; “this is a huge opportunity for students to have their radio spot played nationally among thousands of broadcast stations and heard by millions. We will get the opportunity to showcase rising talent for the radio industry.” CBI president Greg Weston comments, “CBI is thrilled to team with NextRadio to offer students from our media outlets this unprecedented opportunity to have their work appear in front of millions of listeners. Not only will the winners get national exposure for their talent, they will be able to take advantage of the educational opportunities available to them at the National Student Electronic Media Convention.” First-place winner will have his or her 60-second spot included in “flight four” of the NAB National Awareness Campaign, which starts October 1. The contest begins one week from next Monday (8/17) and will run through September 18; winners will be announced September 28.

Westwood OneWhistling StraitsWestwood One, PGA of America In Multiyear, Multiplatform Deal.  Live hole-by-hole coverage of the PGA championship returns to Westwood One for the first time in a decade. In addition, Westwood One will provide short-form updates, as well as a Brad Heller-anchored recap show, “The PGA Championship Tonight.” Senior vice president of sports for Westwood One (and parent company Cumulus Media) Bruce Gilbert remarks, “Westwood One is proud to present the 2015 PGA championship. It is a very exciting time in professional golf with so many terrific stories this year. Our team is prepared and excited to describe the remarkable performance of the world’s best players live from the PGA championship for the next few years.” PGA of America chief commercial officer Jeff Price states, “Westwood One and SiriusXM are synonymous with live, major sports event broadcasting. The PGA of America is delighted that we will partner with these two world-class radio partners to bring the drama and excitement of the PGA championship to fans.” Broadcast coverage from the PGA championship at Whistling Straits Golf Course in Kohler, Wisconsin begins one week from today (Thursday, 8/13). It will run through (Sunday) the 16th and can be heard on SiriusXM, Westwood One Sports affiliates, and WestwoodOneSports.com. SiriusXM PGA tour radio host Earl Forcey will anchor the joint coverage from the 18th tower, while former pro golfer/Golf Channel host Charlie Rymer will be lead analyst. Westwood One’s Ted Emrich will anchor short-form reports from the course, and provide leader board updates during the long-form coverage. Looking ahead, Westwood One Sports will provide PGA championship coverage next year from Baltusrol Country Club in Springfield, New Jersey and, in 2017, from the Quail Hollow Country Club in Charlotte.

2016 Presidential Candidates-GOP Debates, Nashville Theater Attack, Iran Nuclear Deal, Immigration Policy Debate, Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, Baltimore Gets Help with Violence, MH370 Debris Confirmed, and Deflategate Flap Among Top News Stories Yesterday (8/5). The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and tonight’s GOP debates; the thwarted attack on a cinema in Nashville on Wednesday; the political battle over the proposed nuclear deal with Iran; the ongoing controversy over America’s immigration policy; the Feds supply help to Baltimore’s police in battling the explosion of murders in the aftermath of the Freddie Gray slaying; the plane debris found last week is confirmed to be from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370; and the NFL’s deflategate case were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

| August 5, 2015

alphamedia logoAlpha Media Announces Intent to Purchase Digity Radio Stations.  This deal has been rumored for some time so it’s not a big surprise.  The proposed acquisition of Digity LLC’s 116 stations in 26 markets, after approval from the DOJ and the FCC, will bring Portland, Oregon-based Alpha Media’s station total to 251 in 54 markets.  Alpha Media chairman Larry Wilson says, “We aredigity extremely pleased to be acquiring from exceptional operators and management who truly understand radio.  Dean [Goodman] and his team have done a tremendous job with these stations.  They will be a great addition to our live-and-local vision across the country.”  Digity CEO Dean Goodman comments, “Larry Wilson and I have a shared vision for the radio renaissance in progress now.  Radio is live, local media enhanced by digital delivery and community focused events.  Our success is the result of an employee environment of collaboration, transparency and innovation.  I am honored to have worked with the great broadcasters at Digity and the dynamic growth they’ve created.  Digity and Alpha are a perfect match.”  Digity has focused on medium and small market operations.  The largest of its 26 markets are Palm Beach, San Jose, Canton, and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina.  It also operates 11 outlets in suburban Chicago markets.  For a complete station list, click here.

townsquare logoTownsquare Media Q2 Up 10.6% Powered by Live Events.  The company went public just last summer – on July 24 – and financial data from the second quarter of 2015 indicates Townsquare Media’s 10.6% net revenue increase compared to the same period a year ago, comes on the strength of its live events sector.  Live events net revenue was up 50.4% while localpricesteven advertising revenue rose just 0.6% (1.5% ex political).  Townsquare chairman and CEO Steven Price states, “We believe our second quarter net revenue growth of 10.6% highlights the strength of our diversified revenue strategy.  We saw growth in each of our operating segments in the second quarter, particularly within our live events segment, which grew over 50% over the prior year.  Local advertising net revenue increased primarily as a result of an increase in non-political local advertising net revenue of $1.2 million, which was partially offset by decreases in political local advertising net revenue of $0.7 million.  Live events net revenue grew primarily as a result of increases in attendance and revenue per attendee of our live events, including three new music festivals.  Other media and entertainment net revenue grew primarily as a result of increases within our digital marketing services offering.”

vertical bridge logoTownsquare to Sell 43 Towers to Vertical Bridge.  At the same time as it reports its 2015 Q2 numbers, Townsquare Media announces it has entered into an agreement to sell 43 towers to a subsidiary of Vertical Bridge Holdings, LLC for approximately $22.8 million in cash, subject to closing adjustments (the Tower Sale).  Townsquare will retain ownership of more than 250 towers following this sale.  The towers being divested are located on 41 sites in 28 markets and not only house the company’s radio station antenna but are rented by third parties for similar uses.  Townsquare has a 35-year deal (an initial term of 20 years and three optional five-year renewal periods) during which it will pay $41 of rent per annum ($1 per site per annum) to Vertical Bridge for the right to house its existing antenna on the divested towers.  Townsquare has also entered into an agreement with Vertical Bridge for Vertical Bridge to serve as the exclusive marketing agent for the towers retained by the company.

giroccodawnDawn Girocco New LA Market Manager for Cumulus Media.  Longtime Los Angeles radio sales pro Dawn Girocco has worked for iHeartMedia as GSM and CBS RADIO as VP/director of sales in the City of Angels.  Now she crosses the street to serve as vice president and market manager for Cumuluskabclogo Media’s classic rock KLOS and news/talk KABC.  Cumulus Media SVP of operations Tom Schurr says, “I’ve known and respected Dawn for years.  We competed in Houston and worked together at Clear Channel, and I couldn’t be more excited to be partnering with her again. She’s going to be a great leader for Cumulus LA.”  Girocco comments, “I appreciate the opportunity to step up to the role of market manager for Cumulus in Los Angeles and the confidence that Tom and Lew [Dickey] have placed in me to drive results with these incredible properties.”

scottdrewDrew Scott Named Executive Producer of Bubba the Love Sponge Show.  The Bubba the Love Sponge program officially announces that Drew Scott is the new executive producer of the Tampa-based, syndicated program.  “The revered morning show is looking to make some changes, and they feel Scott’s well-rounded radio career, experience working with affiliates, and contacts make him a perfect fit.”  He’s been in the position since June 17.  Scott is a Central Florida native who’s been working for Mid-West Family Broadcasting in Benton Harbor, Michigan at rock WIRX “Rock 107.”  Scott says, “This opportunity would not have been possible without the management and staff at ‘Rock 107.’  I have grown as a programmer and professional during my time in Michigan and I am grateful to my on-air teams – Dave Doetsch, Gayle Olsen, Jim Gifford, Paul Layendecker, Tom Walker, Randy Hawke, and Tim Moore – for allowing me express my creativity on and off the air.”

stapletonjasonUSA Radio Network Adds Jason Stapleton to Weekend Programming.  He founded his eponymous talk show that’s been available via YouTube, iTunes, and Stitcher Radio but now USA Radio Networks adds the Jason Stapleton program to its weekend lineup, airing live Saturdays at 3:00 pm ET, effective August 15.  Stapleton is a former force reconnaissance Marine, entrepreneur, speaker andusaRadioNetworks investor who has been a professional trader for over a decade.  USA chief content officer Tim Maranville says, “Jason’s perspective and background are unique and impactful to listening audiences everywhere which makes him an excellent addition to our ever growing lineup of shows.”  USA says that Stapleton’s “experience has led Jason to become a highly sought after authority on everything from military strategy and politics to economics. This makes him a rare expert whose unconventional insights offer a perspective not heard in mainstream political and economic discourse.”

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Second Round of July 2015 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of July 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The July 2015 survey period covered June 18 through July 15.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

hubbardradio logoHubbard Radio Signs Up for Shazam for Radio.  The Shazam for Radio service is described by Shazam and radio partner Sun Broadcast Group as “the first-ever interactive radio service designed for every station’s unique content.”  The deal between Hubbard Radio and SBG means Shazam for Radio is being deployed on 19 stations in all seven Hubbard markets.  Hubbard president and COO Drew Horowitz says, “All of us here at Hubbard Radio are thrilled to be partnering with the great team at Sun Broadcast Group and Shazam for Radio.  As we continue to look to the future and new ways of connecting our great brands and the advertisers we serve with millions of our loyal listeners, we believe Shazam for Radio is a game changer.”  SBG COO Julio Aponte says, “We are so pleased to be working with Hubbard Radio in bringing another level of interactivity to their great radio properties.  Shazam For Radio will allow them to engage directly with their audience by giving them real-time access to all their content, personalities, promotions and advertisers.  We look forward to working with Drew Horowitz and his great team of programmers and sales people.”

Odds & Sods.  On Thursday (8/6), Salem Radio Networks personality Hugh Hewitt will host a special two-hewitthughhour program titled, “SRN Presidential Debate Special,” airing from 11:06 pm to 1:00 am ET.  SRN says Hewitt will provide analysis of both the “undercard” debate on FOX News Channel — featuring candidates who polled outside of the “Top 10”— as well as the “main event” debate featuring the “Top 10” contenders as determined by public opinion polls.  Guests expected to appear on the show include: GOP presidential contenders Carly Fiorina (R-CA) and Dr. Ben Carson (R-MD); Dan Balz of The Washington Post; Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard; Guy Benson, news editor of Townhall.com; Karen Tumulty of The Washington Post; Eliana Johnson of National Review; Mary Katherine Ham, editor-at-large of HotAir.com; and others…..The Denver operations of iHeartMedia announce Crystalyn Portwood is named director of sports sales.  The cluster serves as the flagship for play-by-play for the NFL’s Denver Broncos, MLB’s Colorado Rockies and the University of Colorado Buffalos…..FOX Sports Radio’s “Jay Mohr Sports” hits the road for a series of three remotes from NFL training camps.  Mohr’s show visits the Denver Broncos on Friday (8/7); the San Diego Chargers on Monday, August 17; and the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, August 20.

2016 Presidential Candidates-Donald Trump Criticisms, Planned Parenthood Videos Scandal, Immigration Policy Debate, Battle Against ISIS and al Qaeda, Hillary Clinton Email Server Case, and California Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/4).  The activities of the candidates for president, Thursday’s GOP debate and criticism of Donald Trump; the ongoing controversy over the Planned Parenthood videos showing doctors discussing the price of tissue from aborted fetuses; the debate over America’s immigration policy; the military efforts to combat ISIS and al Qaeda; the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server; and the devastating wildfires in California were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

| July 30, 2015

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Reports Q2 Revenue Up 4%.  The privately-owned iHeartMedia announces its Q2 financial numbers and reports revenue was $841 million – up 4% compared to the same quarter in 2014 – and stating that it saw “strength across the business (core local and national broadcast advertising revenue, traffic and weather business, syndication business and events).”  The companybresslerrichard says its expenses rose 5% year-over-year attributable to “event production costs, timing of barter and trade expenses, sales compensation expense and costs related to music licenses and performance royalties.”  Chief operating officer and chief financial officer Rich Bressler says in a press release, “We’re pleased with the revenue and OIBDAN growth we achieved this quarter.  We continue to invest in our capabilities across both iHeartMedia and outdoor to realize the full value of our multi-platform assets.  With no significant debt maturities until 2018, we can continue focusing on growing the top and bottom lines across our business segments.”  Total debt for the media giant is reported as just shy of $20.4 billion.

stigallchrisStigall: The Importance of Talk Radio. WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive host Chris Stigall writes in a piece published in TALKERS today about recent events that have given him pause to reflect on the value of talk radio to the greater society.  Stigall says that an important cog in the media machine would be missing if talk radio did not exist.  He says, “Call talk radio propaganda if you’d like, but it can only thrive if it offers something consumers want to hear and delivers results to advertisers and sponsors.  I know in our show’s case we’re blessed with both.  Whether it’s Limbaugh’s leading voice of conservatism, Levin’s case for millennials to engage in their country’s political future, Hannity’s demands for more scrutiny of a taxpayer-funded entity, or simple assessments of current and future leaders’ character – talk radio is the only place it’s found consistently.”  Read Stigall’s entire piece here.

hotchkisskeithiHeartMedia Charlotte Hikes Hotchkiss to Market President. Senior vice president of sales Keith Hotchkiss is elevated to market president of iHeartMedia‘s six-station Charlotte operation. Hotchkiss remarks that, “iHeartMedia Charlotte boasts some of the most talented on-air hosts, programmers, and sales professionals in the country. It is my goal to lead and expand, providing innovative solutions for our client partners across all our platforms, while also creating the best radio for our listeners. This is an exciting time to be in the radio industry. I could not be more proud to represent one of the world’s most enterprisingiHeartMedia Charlotte media companies in one of the nation’s greatest cities.” Prior to being transferred to Charlotte, Hotchkiss spent more than 15 years at the company’s Cleveland cluster, where he ultimately became general sales manager. With (6+) Nielsen Audio June 2015 PPM market share and market rank in parentheses, iHeartMedia’s Charlotte cluster consists of country WKKT “The Kat” (7.3, #3); classic rock WRFX “The Fox” (6.5, #4); adult hits WLKO “The Lake” (6.3, #5); CHR WHQC “Channel 96-1” (5.3, #7); and WEND “New Rock 106.5 – The End” (3.1, #12 ). WRFX-HD2 “Fox Sports FM 98.7″ does not appear in Charlotte’s June sweep.

Odds & Sods. The news/talk format airing on WMEL, Cocoa Beach, Florida and operated by John Harper’s Broadcast House LLC will move to Genesis Communications’ WIXC (licensed to Titusville, Florida) beginning Sunday, August 9.  Rama Communications has been leasing the station to Broadcast House…..Matt Jones’ “Kentucky Sports Radio” will continue to be heard on stations in the Blue Grass State as Jones renews with the network.  The show airs from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon on WKJK, Louisville; WLAP, Lexington; and other iHeartMedia stations across the state using the Kentucky News Network…..Christopher “Jack” Johansing is promoted to marketing director at Benztown.  He’s been with the company for the past five years serving as coordinator, web, marketing & affiliate relations.

Cecil the Lion Case, 2016 Presidential Candidates-Trump Criticisms, Planned Parenthood Videos Scandal, Iran Nuclear Deal, Bill Cosby Rape Allegations, Samuel DuBose Slaying, Lois Lerner-IRS Case, and the NFL’s Tom Brady Decision Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/29).  The case of the Minnesota dentist who hunted a protected lion in Zimbabwe and the public outcry; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and the intense scrutiny of Donald Trump; the aftermath of the release of videos showing Planned Parenthood doctors haggling over the price of body parts from abortions; the proposed nuclear deal with Iran; the rape allegations being leveled against Bill Cosby; the slaying of unarmed motorist Samuel DuBose in Cincinnati by a police officer; new allegations of Lois Lerner destroying evidence in the IRS scandal; and the NFL’s upholding of the four-game suspension of Tom Brady were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, July 27, 2015

| July 27, 2015

cowherdcolinColin Cowherd Exits ESPN Early After Dominican Comments.  Already headed out the door after he accepted an offer from a competing sports entertainment network, Colin Cowherd has been removed from ESPN’s radio and TV programming after a comment he made that was deemed by the company to be offensive.  In the process of arguing that baseball is not too complex a game, as some contend, Cowherdespnradio said that a third of the sport is from the Dominican Republic which has “not been known, in my lifetime, as having, you know, world-class academic abilities.”  The quote was taken out of context and publicized and ESPN reacted with the following statement, “Colin Cowherd’s comments over the past two days do not reflect the values of ESPN or our employees.  Colin will no longer appear on ESPN.”  Cowherd apologized on Friday, but he also explained that he was taken out of context and didn’t mean to insult Dominicans.  Though no official announcement of what his role will be with soon-to-be employer Fox Sports, sources tell TALKERS magazine Cowherd will be making a much as $6 million per year in his new position.

hillangelaAngela Hill Moves on From WWL, New Orleans Talk Show.  Leaving her 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm talk show on Entercom’s WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans to pursue other interests, Angela Hill is replaced by Scoot, who in addition to his evening show, also made regular appearances on Hill’s program.  Hill says,scoot “It’s been an amazing experience, one I will always cherish, but it’s time to do other things.  I’ve learned so much.  This is a great team…smart, smart radio people, who’ve shown me nothing but love and support.  This truly is a family.  I will always be a part of WWL Radio and WWL will always be a part of me.”  Filling the evening slot on WWL will be a new sports talk show co-hosted by T-Bob Hebert and Kristian Garic, who slide over from sister sports talker WWWL “3WL” where they hosted morning drive.

rogerJpRoger & JP Named Midday Show at ‘The Bone’ in Tampa.  Hot talk WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone” has a new midday show co-hosted by Roger Luce and John “JP” Parise.  The duo comes to Tampa from Cox Media Group’s Long Island rock outlet WBAB, Babylon, New York where they hosted the morning show.  CMG Tampa director of branding and programming John Brennan states, “Roger & JP are a great fit for ‘The Bone’ and the Tampa market.  The team is excited to have them, and we’re looking forward to a fresh sound in Tampa Bay.”  Roger & JP comment, “We’ve wanted to work in Tampa and at ‘The Bone’ for a long time.  Joining ‘The Bone’ family with Mike Calta and Drew Garabo, we feel it’s a great team and can’t wait to start. Our goal is to become Tampa radio fixtures for many years to come.”

kabrichrandyKabrich: AQH Rating Point Increase Stat Doesn’t Support Voltair’s PPM Effectiveness.  In another blog post from broadcast consultant Randy Kabrich addressing the controversial Voltair audio processor from Telos Alliance and Nielsen Audio’s PPM ratings methodology, he compares the Total AQH Rating of all stations in the 48 PPM-rated markets (Persons 25-54 Monday–Sunday) from both the June 2014 (prior to Voltair) and June 2015 (with an estimated 62.6% of competitive stations in those markets using Voltair units) surveys.  The result is the figure rose by just 0.9 ratings points – 402.2 Total AQH Rating in ’15 versus 401.3 in ’14.  Kabrich goes on to report that “a total of only 390 stations nationwide out of 1407 stations in PPM markets — Persons 25-54 Monday–Sunday  — had ANY INCREASE in AQH June 2014-2015 with 600-plus Voltairs sold – and a large number of the increases were caused by facts that can easily be explained and not attributed to Voltair.”  Further, he says even if all 390 stations that saw increases had Voltair units, the breakdown indicates that almost 40% of those stations saw an increase of just 0.2 AQH rating points.  Read Kabrich’s entire blog here.

miklaszbernieMiklasz Returns to WXOS-FM, St. Louis.  Three years ago, St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Bernie Miklasz stepped down from his second gig as midday sports talk host on Hubbard Radio’s WXOS, St. Louis.  Now, the company announces that Miklasz will return to the station in late August to host the 7:00 am to 10:00 am show.  He will exit his role with the newspaper.  WXOS is an ESPN affiliate and to make room for Miklasz, the station will only air the first two hours of ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike in the Morning.”

wnsr logoNashville Sports Talkers Greg Pogue and Joe Dubin Return to Radio on WNSR Simulcast.  Sports talk personalities Greg Pogue and Joe Dubin are returning to the Nashville radio waves today on Southern Wabash Communications’ WNSR and W240CA simulcast.  The “Greg Pogue and Big Joe Show” will air from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.  Previously, the duo aired on Cromwell Group’s crosstown “The Game 2” (WQZQ and translator W235BW) but ended that show when Dubin joined WSMV-TV as a sports reporter.

Odds & Sods.  Talk personality Ed Schultz’s days on MSNBC appear to be numbered as wholesale changes to the MSNBC cable channel are on the way.  According to the New York Daily News, new NBC News chief Andrewschultzed Lack told staffers of both NBC News and MSNBC that he plans to rebuild MSNBC to focus on breaking news coverage and to be less of a left-leaning talk outlet.  Lack also plans a name change for the network since Microsoft hasn’t been involved with the cable channel in years.  Schultz’s “The Ed Show” is reportedly one of the shows slated for demolition as part of the re-build.  Schultz ended his three-hour, rosenbergsiddaily syndicated AM/FM radio show in May of 2014 and currently does a one-hour, web-based radio program…..BobsBlitz.com reports that WMEN, Ft. Lauderdale sports talk host (and former longtime New York radio personality) Sid Rosenberg will return to WABC, New York on August 4 and 5 to sit in for Geraldo Rivera.  The blog reports that Rosenberg will be joined on the air by Don Imus executive producer Bernard McGuirk…..AdLarge Media becomes national ad sales rep for The Associated Press’ news digital on-demand service via the AudioBoom podcast platform.  The deal broadens the reach of AP’s breaking news audio service and allows affiliate radio stations to host on-demand audio on their websites and mobile applications with updates every hour, 24/7.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

| July 23, 2015

voltair imageNielsen Audio-Voltair Debate Rages On.  The industry is still aflutter with chatter – and quite a few blogs – over Tuesday’s Nielsen Audio webinar in which the ratings giant told clients its tests of Telos Alliance’s Voltair audio processor showed no conclusive evidence that the unit positively impacted the PPM unit’s ability to pick up the embedded codes in any way that could affect ratings.  Although Nielsen did admit that in some circumstances, Voltair did give the watermark a boost that would allow the PPM to pick up more codes.  Broadcasting consultantkabrichrandy Randy Kabrich responded to that conclusion in a recent blog post in which he explained that – due to the U.S. system of Quarter Hour measurement – picking up some extra codes via Voltair which might have gone undetected without it, still would not increase ratings because the Media Rating Council testing done on PPM concluded the measurement system “hears” enough of the codes to get an accurate record of listening.  The Voltair unit has only been in the field for less than a year and it appears there isn’t enough data, available publicly anyway, to produce sound conclusions about whether – or exactly how – the unit affects the audio and the PPM’s reception of it across all radio formats.  Even Telos Alliance doesn’t seem to have all the answers about its product as Kabrich points out in today’s blog post that focuses on contrary opinions about whether certain music “encodes well” for PPM.  Read it here.

cumulus logoCumulus-Commissioned Study Indicates Radio Advertising Helped Drive Awareness of Amazon Prime Day.  The Ipsos study commissioned by Cumulus Media/Westwood One analyzing how advertising drove awareness of the July 15 Amazon Prime Day was done to “understand how effective advertising and radio is to drive online purchases.”  The study concluded that: 81% of Americans aware of Amazon Prime said they were exposed to some form of advertising for the event; one out of five Americans reported making a purchase during Amazon Prime Day because of advertising; three out of five Amazonamazonprimeday Prime subscribers (18-49) exposed to advertising said they purchased something during Amazon Prime Day; and radio advertising was the most effective at converting awareness into Prime Day purchases when compared to TV and online.  Of those exposed to radio ads, 52% made a purchase versus TV (39%) and online (48%).  Cumulus and Westwood One chief marketing officer Pierre Bouvard comments, “Advertising put Amazon Prime Day on the map, and radio was the most effective at converting awareness into purchases.  The greatest Amazon Prime Day purchases occurred among Millennials, households with children, and those with a full-time job — precisely the profile of the American radio listener.”

ramseydaveDave Ramsey Show to Air on WRKO, Boston.  The Dave Ramsey program will air in the evening daypart, immediately following the Howie Carr afternoon drive show on Entercom’s news/talk WRKO, Boston, effective July 27.  Entercom Boston market manager Phil Zachary says, “After a long day reporting and talking about hard news, Dave’s show invites our listeners into the homes of America’s working class to hear their stories, struggles and triumphs.  It’s radio ‘comfort food’ ideally suited to New England values.”  This addition comes shortly after other changes to the station’s program lineup that include the move of former morning host Jeffrey Kuhner to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot and the addition of Kim Carrigan as host of the “Boston.com Morning Show.”

wtemlogoWTEM, Washington Inks Clinton Portis for Redskins Coverage.  Washington Redskins great Clinton Portis is joining Red Zebra Broadcasting to serve as an analyst for the upcoming football season.  Portis played seven seasons for the Redskins.  WTEM “ESPN 980” says that in addition to joining afternoon show personalities Chris Cooley, Steve Czaban, and Al Galdi every Monday during the football season, Portis will also co-host a monthly one-hour show, Fridays during the season, where he’ll provide a detailed look at the Redskins performance.  Portis comments, “I am so excited to finally be on the air covering the team I love.  Chris Cooley was a great teammate and close friend and we promise to make it as memorable as we did during our playing career.”

Odds & Sods.  After a Tweet from ESPN Radio’s Ryen Russillo, we now know that the 10-year ESPNrussilloryen personality will remain with the sports media giant.  Russillo reports “I’m staying at ESPN” after his status with the company was being questioned.  His former radio partner Scott Van Pelt recently leaving the radio gig for new roles in ESPN’s cable programming and other highly publicized cuts at the company had industry watchers wondering if Russillo would remain…..At Calvary-owned Pittsburgh news outlet KQV, Bruce Sakalik resigns from the station after 15 years — the last 10 as morning news anchor.  He leaves radio for a position with Comcast.

wfanBoomerCartonBryan15Boomer & Carton Host Daniel Bryan.  WFAN, New York morning hosts Boomer Esiason (left) and Craig Carton (right) pose for s photo with WWE superstar Daniel Bryan on the show’s set today (7/23).  Bryan appeared on the program to plug his new book, Yes! My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of WrestleMania (St. Martin’s Press 2015).  During the interview Bryan spoke about his career, his marriage to Bella Twin, Brie Bella, and his story of the couple’s house being robbed.

2016 Presidential Candidates, Iran Nuclear Deal, Planned Parenthood Videos, Immigration Policy-Sanctuary Cities, Chattanooga Slayings Aftermath, ISIS Threat, and Sandra Bland Death Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/22).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016, the state of the deal with Iran over its nuclear program; fallout over the two recent videos showing Planned Parenthood doctors haggling over the price for human tissue from abortions; the conversation about the immigration policy in the U.S. and the cases of sanctuary cities; the memorials to the Marines slain in the Chattanooga attacks and questions about the radicalization of shooter Mohammed Abdulazeez; the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment of the threat posed by ISIS; and scrutiny of the arrest and death of Sandra Bland were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

| July 22, 2015

nielsen logoNielsen on Voltair and PPM: The Morning After.  Yesterday’s Nielsen Audio webinar with PPM client stations regarding upcoming changes to its PPM technology and the Voltair audio processor from Telos Alliance has the industry buzzing.  As you know, Nielsen has been testing the Voltair unit and has concluded that it cannot “support” Voltair, saying it found nothing substantial to show the processor positively affects the PPM unit’s ability to pick up the watermark tone that credits listening.  A number of managers and programmers have subsequently commented anonymously that they remain unconvinced by Nielsen’s research and presentation.  One programmer tells TALKERS, “Their research proved without a doubt that Voltair recorded more listening in certain formats when the PPM was in a noisy environment.  However, they did a flip-flop in their presentation, stating that ‘Voltair’s increased recording of listenership was inconclusive.’  Interestingly, at the same time they announced the rollout of an enhanced and more robust watermark which should be in the field by fall.  If there was not a problem, then why the new watermark?”  But broadcasting consultant Randy Kabrich writes in a blog post today in which, in this instance, he defends Nielsen’s response.  He says it’s well known that PPM doesn’t hear all of the codes and because of the 15-minute Quarter Hour ratings method employed in the U.S., it doesn’t need to.  “The Media Rating Council has examined every aspect of the PPM very extensively with their audits…[The] policies for stations to receive credit from the PPM codes were put in place many years ago after years of testing because it is known that the PPM meter misses codes!  And yet, the results are statically valid.  Otherwise no PPM markets would be accredited by the MRC.  And don’t you find it interesting that the MRC has agreed to look at Voltair with stations who have gone to them based on their own observations?  Look at it from the outside.  What do those stations gain?  It is almost as if they have post purchase dissonance and need someone to tell them they made the correct decision.”  Read Kabrich’s interesting blog piece here.

francesamikeWhat Would it Take to Reunite Mike Francesa and Chris Russo?  That’s what New York sports talk fans are probably wondering after a passing question to Chris “Mad Dog” Russo by YES Network (and WEPN-FM, New York) personality Michael Kay about whether he’d considering working withrussochris WFAN, New York afternoon personality Mike Francesa again received the answer, “Yeah, I would.  Definitely.  I miss the camaraderie.”  Francesa was asked the same question by Newsday and told the paper that he would consider it.  Both Russo and Francesa are under contract to their respective employers – Russo through 2016 with SiriusXM and Francesa with CBS RADIO through 2017.  It’s no secret that Francesa is unhappy with his relationship with CBS.  NJ.com reports that Russo told Kay he handled his 2008 exit from WFAN and the Francesa partnership poorly and wishes he’d been more up front about the situation.

vandirkDirk Van to Retire from Westwood One’s ‘First Light.’  For 26 years, Dirk Van has been the only host of Westwood One’s early morning news magazine “First Light,” but he announces that Thursday, July 30 will be his last day.  The company says he “leaves with a legacy of accomplishments and awards.”  Dirk also hosts “The Week in Review” news program and has anchored morning drive newscasts throughout his successful career.   Van says of his 35-year radio career, “Radio is all about people, and I’ve had the great fortune to work with the best in the business, following in the footsteps of my father, Lyle Van – awestwood one NEW radio legend at NBC and WOR — and others greats like Lou Adler, Nick Verbitsky, Tom O’Brien, Ron Nessen, and Bart Tessler.  Hosting our morning magazine, ‘First Light,’ has been an amazing experience and has allowed me to work with talented broadcasters for more than a quarter century.  Talking to listeners on a daily basis has kept me grounded, and hopefully provided a window into what America is thinking.  And to think — we started way back when talk radio was ‘new.’  Helping to create an exciting, new product, Westwood One News, has been especially rewarding, and being a part of its success is a great way to cap a career.  And talk about ‘sailing off into the sunset’— that’s exactly what I plan to do, with my beautiful wife, Paula, who has put up with those agonizing broadcasters’ hours all these years.  To all my friends at Westwood One, thank you!”

valentinephilTalk Host Phil Valentine Wins Screenplay Competition.  Nashville-based talk show host Phil Valentine picked up first place honors at the Colorado Film Festival in the screenplay competition.  The Westwood One-syndicated personality’s “Derek Dickens & The Dream” screenplay is a fictional story of one man’s mid-life crisis that turns him into an international pop sensation when he takes on an imaginary persona through which he lives out his lifelong dream. This 50-year-old fabricates a 20-something British band, with himself at the lead, and it takes the world by storm.  He realizes no one is prepared for this kind of success, at any age.  Noting that the Colorado Film Festival is watched by industry pros, Valentine jokes, “I’ve been sitting by the phone waiting for a call from Hollywood.  I already have Robert Downey, Jr. planned for the lead.”  This is not the first accolade for this screenplay; it was a finalist in nine other film festivals, including the Beverly Hills Film Festival, the American Movie Awards, and the Atlanta Film Festival.  Valentine has been dabbling in film alongside his radio career for several years now.  He recently wrote and produced the award-winning documentary, “An Inconsistent Truth.”

biztalkradioBizTV and BizTalkRadio Enter News Game.  The business news reports that will be available to air from 9:00 am to 5:05 pm daily are being produced by Little Rock-based Independent News Network.  It is a five-minute, top-of-the-hour product that gives stations the option of running the whole cast or choosing from headlines, market reports or business stories.  BizTV and BizTalkRadio EVP Scott Miller says, “We felt there was a void in the marketplace for business news.  There are several great resources for news, but our TV and radio affiliates wanted a news product that follows the stock market and provides business centered news stories.”

Odds & Sods.  Morning show personality Sergeant Sam Cox is retiring from his gig at Emmis-owned news/talkcoxsam KLBJ-AM, Austin.  Cox has been with the station for 28 years.  He served with the Austin Police Department for 31 years and retired from the force in 1995…..WKGN, Knoxville is flipping from regional Mexican to sports talk after Hodges Media purchased the station from Richardo Espinosa for $225,000.  The station is using Fox Sports Radio Network programming in addition to local shows.  The station will work with the Tennessee Volunteers platform GoVols247.comNate Hodges and mcmanusadamexecutive producer Brad Matthews will host the 7:00 am to 10:00 am show and Tom Poisal will host the afternoon drive show…..Talk radio pro Adam McManus sits in for WPGP, Pittsburgh “AM 1250 The Answer” morning personality Rose Tennant August 17-21.  He recently did fill-in work for KMJ, Fresno where PD Blake Taylor says, “Adam did a great job filling in at KMJ – lots of energy and thought-provoking topics.  Generated tons of calls!”…..Three-time Super Bowl Champion and ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth begins producing a new, weekly podcast on PodcastOne called, “The Stinkin’ Truth.”  PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “What a great addition to our network of sports programming.  A great athlete and communicator, Mark joins Shaq, Dan Patrick, Steve Austin, Ross Tucker and so many more on that list.  Mark’s podcast will be a stand out, and we expect it to deliver a significant audience and become a featured attraction in the podcast world.”

2016 Presidential Candidates, Iran Nuclear Deal, Chattanooga Killings Aftermath, New Planned Parenthood Video, Illegal Immigration-Kate Steinle Death, ‘El Chapo’ Escape-Mexican Corruption, and Sandra Bland Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/21).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the fragile state of the Iran nuclear deal and the response from nations around the world; the investigation into terrorist ties to Chattanooga shooter Mohammed Abdulazeez and the aftermath of the slayings; the surfacing of a second video showing a Planned Parenthood doctor haggling over the price of fetus body parts; ongoing talk about the state of the U.S.’s immigration policy and the death of Kate Steinle; talk about Mexican corruption in the wake of drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s escape from prison; and the arrest and subsequent death in jail of Sandra Bland were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

| July 16, 2015

cowherdcolinColin Cowherd to Exit ESPN; Destination FOX?  Today’s announcement by ESPN that personality Colin Cowherd is exiting the company’s ESPN Radio – where his show is a part of the nationally syndicated daily lineup – comes after recent rumors Cowherd is being wooed by Fox Sports.  Now we know that it’s true he’s leaving ESPN but there’s no word from Fox Sports, yet. At the same time, ESPN is not saying which personality will fill the gap in its daily lineup.  Much is being made of the recent exit of Bill Simmons and Keith Olbermann, suggesting a mass exodus of talent is taking place, but reports are that ESPN wanted Cowherd to stay but was ultimately outbid.  The hot bet is Cowherd will join FOX Sports for a show on its Fox Sports 1 cable channel with a probable simulcast on Fox Sports Radio Network.  ESPN issued the following statement today from president John Skipper: “We’ve enjoyed a mutually beneficial run with Colin for over a decade.  He came to national prominence on ESPN with his unique perspective on sports and society.  Endings also bring new beginnings, for ESPN and Colin, and we thank him and wish him the best.”

nitenikkiEntercom Elevates Nite to Austin’s VP/Programming; Will Oversee News/Talk KJCE. In a move that will take her from California’s capital city to a return to Texas’ state capital, Nikki Nite is leaving the programming chair at Entercom Sacramento mainstream CHR KDND “The End” and hot AC KUDL “Star” to succeed Cat Thomas as the company’s vice president of programming and operations in Austin. Entercom Austin vice president and general manager Stephanie Callihan comments, “After [Nikki’s] incredibly successful run at Entercom Sacramento, we are thrilled to welcome [her] back to Texas. Nikki’s experience and leadership will help continue the momentum we have with our stations in the Austin market and help us grow deeper relationships with our listeners and fans.” Nite remarks, “I am honored to have the opportunity to continue to build upon the solid foundation Cat Thomas has put in place. Returning to Austin is not only professionallyEntercom Austin rewarding, but also personally rewarding. I will be doing what I love, closer to family. Entercom is a company full of talented, good people; I am blessed to be able to continue to grow my career with this team.” Prior to joining Entercom in 2009, Nite worked in Dallas (at KVIL and KMVK); Greenville, South Carolina (at WFBC-FM and WGCV); and in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (at WWXM). In just over two weeks (8/3), she begins her new duties overseeing programming and operations of Entercom Austin adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5”; hot AC KAMX “Mix 94.7”; KKMJ-HD3 “96.3 RnB,” and talk KJCE. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s June PPM ratings sweep, “Magic” ranks #7 (4.8); “Mix” #8 (4.4); KKMJ-HD3 #12 (3.6); and KJCE is #26 (.2).

wls-am logoPlay-By-Play Coup for Cumulus in Chicago.  The company officially announces that its news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago is acquiring the play-by-play rights for both the MLB’s White Sox and the NBA’s Bulls.  Both deals begin in 2016 – the White Sox in April and the Bulls in November – and run through 2021.  White Sox games have been heard on CBS RADIO’s sports talk WSCR for the past nine seasons and ESPN O&O WMVP has been the Bulls flagship since the 1996-97 season.  Cumulus Media Chicago VP and market manager Peter Bowen says in a statement, “Cumulus Media and WLS AM 890 are honored to become the radio home of the Bulls and White Sox, two of Chicago’s very best sports brands.  Adding both teams to our programming schedule allows us to continue to capitalize on the strong growth and success Cumulus is enjoying in the Chicago market. We cannot wait to bring year-round sports to some of the world’s greatest fans.”

wabc logoWABC, New York Presents Special Program ‘Garner: One Year Later.’  The program is airing on Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York this week in the 5:00 am and 5:00 pm hours.  “Garner: One Year Later” is a three-part program that presents views one year after 43-year-old Eric Garner died after a police officer subdued him with an alleged chokehold.  His death sparked “discussion, outrage and protest about police brutality in New York City.  It eventually evolved into the proverbial epicenter of debate for the entire nation.”  WABC says news staffer Ken Duffy spoke with Erica Garner, Garner’s eldest daughter; Ed Mullins, head of the NYPD’s Sergeants Benevolent Association; and Alex Vitale, sociology professor from Brooklyn College.  The special series seeks to answer pressing questions: What’s the impact on Garner’s family?  How are police officers viewed in the eyes of the public?  And what else can be done to improve police-community relations?  In addition to airing on WABC, the program is available at wabcradio.com.

wilhoitdaveyWilhoit Joins Cumulus Pensacola as VP of Sales.  Advertising executive Davey Wilhoit joins Cumulus Media as vice president of sales for the five-station Pensacola cluster.  Wilhoit is a Pensacola native who most recently was multimedia advertising manager for the Pensacola News Journal.  Cumulus SVP Gary Pizzati says, “We’re thrilled to have Davey at the sales helm of our Pensacola group of stations.  He has years of experience managing a team of business-to-business sales professionals driving high levels of solution-based sales activity each day.  Davey will bring that same pace of business inside the walls of Cumulus in Pensacola. His deep knowledge of digital, newspaper and yellow page sales will bring a new and fresh perspective to radio in this market.”  Cumulus operates news/talk WCOA, classic hits WJTQ, AC WMEZ, urban AC WRRX, and country WXBM “NASH FM.”

elderlarryNEW1-15Larry Elder Show to Air on KRLA, Los Angeles. Beginning August 3, the Larry Elder show will air on Salem Media’s news/talk KRLA, Los Angeles from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm nightly.  Elder’s program is being distributed by CRN Digital Talk Radio.  A press release states that Elder will “celebrate the announcement later today at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley when he hosts an event with activist and author Ann Coulter.”  Elder’s program is streamed live on his website and at CRNTalk.com.

abcPurdyESPYsABC News Radio at the ESPYs.  Pictured here interviewing Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy (right) at Wednesday night’s ESPY Awards in Los Angeles is ABC Radio correspondent Jason Nathanson (left).

Iran Nukes Deal, Illegal Immigration-Steinle Slaying, Planned Parenthood Abortion Remains Story, 2016 Presidential Candidates, Caitlyn Jenner at ESPYs, Bill Cosby Rape Allegations, Confederate Flag-Stone Mountain Issues, ‘El Chapo’ Escape-Mexican Corruption, NASA’s Pluto Images Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/15).  Analysis of the nuclear deal between Iran and the U.S.; ongoing debate over the illegal immigration policy in the U.S. and the slaying of Kate Steinle, allegedly by an illegal with a criminal past; the furor over a videoed discussion with a Planned Parenthood doctor about which body parts are desired by researchers; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; Caitlyn Jenner’s appearance at the ESPYs and her receiving the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage; the evolving story of allegations Bill Cosby gave drugs to women to have sex with them; the controversy over the flying of the Confederate flag and the push to remove the Confederate generals carving from Stone Mountain in Georgia; the escape from prison of Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and Mexican corruption; and the images from NASA’s New Horizons craft from Pluto were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

| July 15, 2015

EntercomMajor Market Swapping Among Entercom, LFM, Bonneville. Official settlement has been reached between Entercom Communications and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding Entercom’s acquisition of Lincoln Financial Media. The proposed transaction involving LFM properties in three markets was announced last December. Another player entered the mix, and as part of the DOJ resolution, Entercom gains entry into the second-largest market by exchanging four Denver stations with Bonneville. Somewhat resembling an MLB mega-swap conducted prior to baseball’s July 31 trading deadline, Entercom is cutting ties with adult contemporary KOSI “Continuous Lite Rock,” KYGO “#1 For New Country,” KKFNLincoln Financial Media “Sports Radio – The Fan,” and sports KEPN “The Zone” in exchange for Bonneville Los Angeles classic rocker KSWD “The Sound” and $5 million in additional consideration. After the dust settles, Entercom will have facilities in four (new for them) top 20 markets – Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, and San Diego. Leading their respective stations there – and all having the Entercom title of vice president and general manager are: Peter Burton (Los Angeles); Mike Fowler (Atlanta); Doug Abernethy (Miami); and Bob Bollinger (San Diego). Amy Griesheimer remains in place as vice president and general manager of Entercom Denver; she has been with the company since 2002. Entercom president and chief executive officer David Field comments, “We are delighted to be moving forward on our long-delayed acquisition of Lincoln Financial Media and adding their terrific brands, markets, and people to our organization. We are also very excited to be acquiring ‘The Sound,’ the fastest growing radio station in Los Angeles, through our station exchange with Bonneville. Adding Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, and San Diego to our footprint will meaningfully enhance our ability to serve our listeners, customers, employees, and shareholders. This is a great day for Entercom that will enhance our competitive position and bolster our growth potential well into the future.” According to Entercom chief operating officer Weezie Kramer, “Lincoln Financial Media, Bonneville, and their teams have built world-class brands. We are excited about the opportunities to continue to grow these stations and to provide our listeners and customers with the best compelling local content and dynamic, integrated marketing solutions. I am excited to welcome Doug, Bob, Mike, and Peter to Entercom. They are great leaders and managers with a proven track record of success. As we enter these vibrant markets, we are thrilled to have such talented and experienced media veterans at the helm. Amy has been a tremendous leader for Entercom Denver. We know her experience, leadership, and vision will continue to drive ratings, revenue, and audience engagement for our stations [there].” BonnevilleMeanwhile, Bonneville president Darrell Brown remarks, “Denver is a vibrant, growing area where we see great opportunity. The stations we are acquiring are legacy brands and provide a powerful cluster in this market. They align well with our existing portfolio, allowing us to expand our regional footprint. Bonneville’s core mission is building and lifting the communities where we own broadcast properties. We have a commitment to provide quality sports, news, and entertainment products and we are thrilled to serve the Denver market.” After spending seven years as director of sales for Lincoln Financial San Diego, New York native Burton joined Bonneville seven years ago. Entercom Los Angeles will consist of KSWD “The Sound,” which in 12 of the last 13 Nielsen Audio PPM ratings periods, has been in the 3.0 – 3.9 range. In the most recent sweep (June 2015), it ranks sixth (3.7, 6+); “The Sound” registered a 3.9 in March, April, and May. Fowler most recently was director of sales for ESPN Chicago. The LFM cluster that Entercom is acquiring in Atlanta is comprised of hot AC WSTR “Star 94,” which has back-to-back increases (3.0 – 3.2 – 3.8, April-May-June, 6+) to finish #11, and WQXI “ESPN 790 The Zone” (.2, 6+). Abernethy joined Entercom three months ago, following ten years as a Radio One regional vice president. Among the three Miami stations Entercom is picking up from LFM is adult contemporary WLYF “Lite-FM,” which – in May – finally unseated Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT at #1. With consecutive up-trends (6.8 – 7.1 – 7.3, April-May-June, 6+), “Lite” remains at #1. The other two Miami stations Entercom is acquiring are classic hits-oldies WMXJ “Magic 102.7” (4.4, #7, 6+, June 2015) and sports WAXY “The Ticket” (1.9, #20). It was just last week that Bolinger exited CBS Radio San Diego as senior vice president and market manager. As is the case in Miami involving adult contemporary WLYF, Entercom is getting a #1 station (6+) in San Diego with adult contemporary KIFM “Easy 98.1” (5.5, #1, 6+, June 2015). In addition to “Easy,” the San Diego cluster-mates Bolinger will oversee are KSON “New Country” (4.5, #6) and alternative KBZT “It’s About the Music” (2.6, #16). June 2015 (6+) ratings performances for the properties leaving Entercom and joining Bonneville are 5.3, #4 (fourth successive up trend) for KYGO; 4.7, #6 for KOSI; and 2.0, #19 for KKFN; KEPN does not appear in the June sweep. Stations remaining under the Entercom Denver banner are June 2015 pacesetter classic rock KQMT “The Mountain” (6.6, #1, 6+); hot AC KALC “Alice” (4.0, #9); and adult standards KEZW “Studio 1430 – Timeless Music” (.5, #28). They will be joined by Lincoln Financial Media additions rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS-107.5” (3.5, #12, 6+, June 2015); KYGO-HD2 “Comedy 103.1” (#18, trending 1.7 – 1.8, 1.9 – 3.0, 6+); and KRWZ “Cruisin’ Oldies – AM 950” (1.5, #23). Purchase price for Entercom’s Lincoln Financial Media acquisition is $105 million. Approximately three-quarters of it – $77.5 million – is in cash and the remaining $27.5 million in “Series A” perpetual convertible preferred stock held by Lincoln Financial Group. Time Brokerage Agreements will enable Bonneville and Entercom to operate the swapped properties immediately upon closing of the Lincoln Financial Media acquisition. It is anticipated that closing of the Lincoln Financial Media acquisition and beginning of the Bonneville-Entercom TBAs will occur within several business days. Entercom expects the Bonneville transaction will be finalized by fourth quarter.

connoisseur media logoConnoisseur Media Bought by Management and Petrus Holding Company.  Westport, Connecticut-based Connoisseur Media has been bought in a joint effort by the company’s management and Petrus Holding Company, LP, a Perot Company.  In a statement issued today, Petrus says existing management team will continue to operate the stations, with Petrus as their financial partner.  Connoisseur Media operates 42 radio stations and digital assets in 12 markets across the U.S.  Connoisseur CEO Jeffrey Warshaw states, “We are very excited to partner with The Perot Companies to continue our focused and disciplined growth strategy.  It is important for us to have a partner who shares our values and supports our long-term growth strategy.” Perot Companies chairman Ross Perot, Jr. says, “The Perot Companies and Connoisseur share common values, an entrepreneurial culture and a long-term approach to operating and building world-class companies.  Our investment will allow Connoisseur to continue investing in its people while ensuring it can remain prudently financed, locally focused and innovative.”

mccainmeghanPremiere Networks Names Meghan McCain Host of ‘America Now.’  A new, young host has been named for Premiere Networks’ nationally syndicated radio talk show “America Now.”  Media personality and author Meghan McCain takes over the role of permanent host of the show that first featured Andy Dean as host.  He left the program in July of 2014 to focus on his ConnectPal digital platform.  (San Antonio-based personality Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo has been hosting the show on an interim basis.) Premiere says the show will continue to be based in Los Angeles and air live from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET.  McCain comments, “I can’t wait to engage listeners across the country as we shine a spotlight on the stories and issues thatamericanow logo affect us all.  Creating a dialogue to inform, inspire and entertain people is what’s always driven me, and hosting ‘America Now’ is an exciting opportunity to help drive the national conversation.  I’m excited to be joining a network with such an amazing lineup of hosts.”  Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott states, “Meghan is smart, enthusiastic and outspoken, and we’re excited to have her join our roster of industry-leading programs reaching diverse audiences across America.  As talk radio continues to connect with and engage millions of people across multiple platforms, we’re confident Meghan’s unique perspective and experience in politics will resonate with America Now’s national audience and create powerful marketing opportunities for our partners.”

rossfredaRoss Promoted to News Director at WBAP and KLIF in Dallas.  Moving up from her assistant news director position at Cumulus Media’s WBAP and KLIF in Dallas, Freda Ross is the new news director for the stations.  Ross has been with WBAP since 1994 and added KLIF duties after Cumulus acquired the station.  She is heard daily on KLIF as midday news anchor.  Operations and program manager Tyler Cox says, “Freda has earned the respect of her colleagues and is a long-standing, influential leader in the WBAP/KLIF news department.  She was the natural choice for this promotion to news director.”  Ross comments, “I’m excited to take on the responsibilities of being news director for WBAP and KLIF.  Both are well-respected heritage stations that have served the DFW community for decades. I look forward to the opportunity to continue bringing honest, thought-provoking news coverage to our listeners.”

coxmediagroupCox Media Group Makes ‘Major Senior Leadership Changes.’  These executive moves affect the National Ad Platforms, radio and digital businesses of Cox Media Group.  They include: Kim Guthrie being named EVP of National Ad Platforms and president of CoxReps,guthriekim the country’s largest television advertising rep firm based in New York City; Bill Hendrich takes over for hendrichbillGuthrie as EVP of radio and CMG research, based in Atlanta; and Marian Pittman becomes the company’s EVP of digital strategy and will oversee digital’s content and sales from her base in Atlanta.  Guthrie’s assumption of the CoxReps presidency comes as Jim Monahan retires from the company after 35 years.  The company says new radio EVP Bill Hendrich joined CMG Radio in 1996 in Orlando and has led countless award-winning teams that have produced outstanding creative content for CMG’s radio audiences, quantifiable sales results for customers, and internal and external customer service satisfaction for CMG’s employees and clients.  The company’s Orlando VP/GM Susan Larkin is promoted to regional VP of Jacksonville and Orlando Radio.   Finally, Pittman makes her move after serving with the company as VP of news and marketing for television.

nbcsportsGyllenhaalJake Gyllenhaal Visits NBC Sports Radio’s Amani Toomer and Dan Schwartzman.  The two co-host “Going Deep with Amani & Dan” from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET on the NBC Sports Radio Network and recently hosted actor Jake Gyllenhaal in the studio about his new movie, Southpaw.  The film is the story of a boxer who fights his way to the top only to find his life falling apart around him and features Rachel McAdams and Forest Whitaker.  Pictured here (from l-r) are: Schwartzman, Gyllenhaal, and Toomer.

Obama Strikes Nukes Deal with Iran, Prison Escape of Mexican Drug Lord, 2016 Presidential Candidates, Bill Cosby Rape Allegations, Illegal Immigration Policy-Kate Steinle Death, Greek Debt Issue, Caitlyn Jenner ESPYs Appearance, the MLB All-Star game, and NASA’s Pluto Mission Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/14).  The West’s deal with Iran to end economic sanctions on the nation and allow its nuclear program to proceed; the controversial “escape” from prison of Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the renewed chatter about allegations Bill Cosby drugged and raped women; the controversy over the U.S.’s illegal immigration policy, the sanctuary cities, and the death of Kate Steinle; the Greek debt solution and its effect on world financial markets; Caitlyn Jenner’s appearance on the ESPYs tonight and her receiving the Arthur Ashe Award; the MLB All-Star game; and NASA’s New Horizons flies by Pluto were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

| July 14, 2015

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Gets ‘Up Close and Far Out’ with Legendary KGO, San Francisco Talkmeister Ronn Owens.  This week’s new installment of Podcast One’s international hit podcast for media freaks, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” is posted today (7/14).  It features a compelling conversation between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and legendary radio talk show host Ronn Owens.  Owens is about to mark his 40th anniversary with the heritage San Francisco outlet KGO – having survived numerous regimes and ownership changes during that four-decade period, including the controversial 2011 reorganization of the station from aowensronn news/talk format to an all-news direction that left Owens the station’s only full-time talk show host.  In addition, Owens recently disclosed publicly that he has been privately dealing with the challenges of Parkinson’s Disease for the past 13 years that has progressed to the point that he will be undergoing a leading-edge form of surgery called Deep Brain Stimulation.  This aggressive procedure, when successful, has been shown to alleviate the incurable neurological disorder’s movement-prohibiting symptoms.  Owens – ranked by TALKERS as one of the 25 most important radio talk show hosts of all time — discusses his career and views on talk radio, including the power of local programming, options beyond the left/right paradigm, the disastrous simulcast of his show on KGO and KABC, Los Angeles in 1997-98 and the impact of cell phones on the format, plus more.  He also candidly talks about his quiet battle with advancing Parkinson’s Disease, his decision to open up about it and details of the exotic form of brain surgery that he will be facing in August.  Harrison says of Owens, “This man is truly one of the giants of the industry.  Just like all the truly great performers of the talk radio arts, he rises above technique and has made it big simply based upon his unique brand of ‘personhood’ – an elusive quality that the Dickey Brothers obviously recognize – and speaks volumes about their nuanced awareness factor.  Add to that, his backbone is of figurative steel as he faces an experimental form of invasive surgery.  Ronn Owens is an inspiration to us all, professionally and personally.  I am so darned pleased to be able to present this podcast to the industry and the world.”  This is a must-listen for members of the professional radio community.  To hear the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right hand column of every page of Talkers.com.

legrettkevinLeGrett Lands iHeartMedia LA Market President Slot. Currently senior vice president of operations for approximately 225 iHeartMedia stations in roughly 50 northeast and midwest markets, Kevin LeGrett is shifting to market president for the company’s eight-station Los Angeles cluster. Executive vice president of operations for iHeartMedia – and the company’s Southern California president – Greg Ashlock (to whom LeGrett will report) comments, “Kevin has a successful track record leading operations and accelerating growth across multiple regions. He has earned the right to lead our largest market. His vast experience managing talent and revenue across so many diverse markets and stations will allow him to bring a unique perspective to our Los Angeles portfolio – a portfolio that I have been blessed to directly manage for the last decade that hosts the most compelling on-air talent and most innovative leaders in the business.” LeGrett states that he is “thrilled” at the “opportunity to lead” the “extremely talented” Los Angeles team. He further states, “iHeartMedia Los Angeles has some of the most iconic brands and beloved personalities in the country. With the instantaneous success of [urban contemporary KRRL] ‘Real 92.3’ and the continued stellar ratings and thriving pop culture events such as ‘Wango Tango’ and ‘Jingle Ball,’ it is an exciting time foriheartmedia logo small the market. I look forward to the opportunity to further build on the team’s already enormous success.” LeGrett, who begins his new duties in three weeks (8/3), joined iHeartMedia five years ago as vice president and market manager for the company’s Rochester stations. He will be leading a Los Angeles group of properties that includes hot AC KBIG “My-FM” and adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103.5,” tied for second in Nielsen Audio‘s June 2015 PPM, each with 5.1 (6+). Also in the top ten this June are iHM CHR KIIS “Kiss-FM” (#4, 4.9) and talk KFI (#8, 3.5). The rest of the company’s Los Angeles cluster consists of aforementioned urban contemporary KRRL “Real 9.2.3” (formerly urban-rhythmic oldies KHHT “Hot 92.3,” #11, 3.1); alternative KYSR “Alt 98.7” (#20, 2.3); and sports/Los Angeles Dodgers’ flagship KLAC and talk KEIB (both with .9, tied at #30).

cumulus logoCumulus Media Expands Brand Partnerships Team.  This move includes promotions for two current Cumulus Media staffers.  The company says that in expanding the Brand Partnerships team, it has named Leslie Slender vice president, Brand Partnerships and Events, and Leslie Caraccilo, vice president, Brand Partnerships.  The Brand Partnerships division is responsible for developing “unique experiential opportunities for Cumulus and Westwood One, connecting advertisers to itsslenderleslie listening audiences and leveraging its integrated radio, digital, social and live events platform.”  Slender has been serving as Cumulus New York’s corporate director, events and marketing.  She’ll continue to caracciloleslieoversee marketing and events for Cumulus New York stations.  Caraccilo has been with the company for five years as was most recently senior director of digital monetization.  She’ll continue to oversee digital sales strategy for Cumulus.  Cumulus SVP of Brand Partnership Tommy Page states, “We are excited to welcome these two talented professionals to the Brand Partnerships team.  Leslie Slender is a rare example of a marketer that is not only outstanding at producing and executing live events, but also knows how to package these opportunities for advertisers.  Leslie Caraccilo has done an incredible job of creating custom digital and content solutions for our advertisers across the Cumulus platform. Her understanding of artist programming and deep knowledge of the digital space make her a natural fit for our Brand Partnerships team.  With these strong additions to our already stellar Westwood One events group, all Cumulus and Westwood One partners and advertisers will benefit from this powerhouse team’s expertise.”

familyleadershipsummit15USA Radio Network Helps Sponsor Broadcast of Family Leadership Summit.  A live, five-hour broadcast from the Family Leadership Summit on Saturday, July 18 is being made available for free to broadcasters from USA Radio Networks in cooperation with Truth Radio Network.  The Ames, Iowa event will originate from Iowa State University and be anchored by nationally syndicated host and political commentator Steve Deace and American values expert Steve Noble.  The live broadcast will give voters the opportunity to hear from top conservative leaders and Republican presidential candidates, including: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and Bob Vander Plaats.  USA Radio Networks SVP of news operations Russ Jones says, “Iowa is a key battleground state for any presidential candidate.  The Family Leadership Summit is the first major platform the electorate will get to hear how candidates would lead the nation.”

bellartArt Bell Returns to Airwaves in Portland on Monday.  We’ve known for some time now that Art Bell has been preparing to return to hosting a nightly program via his Dark Matter Digital Network, but now Alpha Media announces the originator of “Coast to Coast AM” will bring his new show – “Midnight in the Desert” – to KXL-FM, Portland beginning Monday, July 20.  The show will air from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am local time and will follow Clyde Lewis’ “Ground Zero.”  Alpha Portland SVP/market manager Milt McConnell comments, “Art is an American original in terms of putting the paranormal on the radio landscape.  We are so proud to extend his coverage to the Northwest where there is a rabid appetite for his unique brand of communication.”

2015 Marconi Finalists Announced.  The 2015 Marconi Award finalists have been announced by the NAB.  The annual awards, to be given out during the NAB Radio Show in Atlanta on October 1, are divvied up into 20 categories.  Legendary Station of the Year finalists include: news/talk outlets KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa; WHIO-AM, Dayton; and all-news KYW, Philadelphia.  Major Market Personality of the Year finalists include: Felger & Massarotti from sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston and Hal Jay from news/talk WBAP, Dallas.  View all the finalists here.

malcolmoutloudWYM Media to Distribute Malcolm Out Loud Features.  Through WYM Media Management, radio news commentator Malcolm Out Loud is expanding his daily radio presence with three new features.  “Out Loud News and Comment” is the news of the day with Malcolm’s unique twist; “Out Loud America” is a “relevant and timely commentary from Malcolm”; and “Brink Thinking Out Loud” is “motivational content and inspiring stories and positive events shaping our world.”  Malcolm Out Loud is a motivational speaker, innovator and creator of the popular websites OutLoudAmerica.com and BrinkThinking.com.

kcmo logoKCMO, Kansas City Holds Drive to Assist Mother of Six Caught Shoplifting.  The case of homeless widow and mother-of-six Sarah Robinson was the focus of attention for Cumulus Media’s Kansas City radio stations, led by news/talk KCMO on Saturday as it held a donation drive Saturday for the family.  Robinson was cited for shoplifting at a local Walmart but the officer who responded, Mark Engravalle, decided to pay for the diapers and wipes for her twin two-year-olds and bought shoes for her other girls.  After hearing the woman’s story of desperation, the stations planned a two-hour donation drive that netted cash, diapers, baby wipes, clothing, blankets, food, toiletries and other items.  KCMO morning host Rob Carson hosted both Robinson and Officer Engravalle on his show on Monday.  Officer Engravalle remains touched that he’s changed someone’s life for the better and he is in constant touch with Sarah, who is off the street with her girls in temporary lodging, while something more permanent is being arranged.  The generosity continues with a local law firm offering her a job.

Odds & Sods.  Texas-based talk show host Lynn Woolley is celebrating the 20th anniversary of his talk show.  Woolley says his days as a talk show host go back to 1995 when he and two partners operated KTEM, Kileen-Temple…..The NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes and Capitol Broadcasting Company have reached a multi-year agreement for WCMC, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan” to continue serving as the team’s flagship station through the 2019-20 season.

nbcsportsradio logoCool Job Opportunity.  NBC Sports Radio in Culver City, California is looking for the next great sports talk producer!  Are you totally immersed in all things sports?  Can you oversee and manage a top-notch, daily sports talk show and book compelling guests and newsmakers?  Can you handle show/talent/guest prep, organize formats and rundowns, develop content, fact-check and research, and distribute social media and digital content across platforms?  Do you have excellent live and studio production skills using multiple software programs, including Adobe Audition and Pro Tools?  If you can do all this and have 3-4 year’s major market or network experience, we want to talk to you!  Send a link to work materials, including resume and audio samples, to Jack Silver, Program Director, at jsilver@westwoodone.com.  No calls, please.

WBAPbushmanMurrowWBAP, Dallas’ Bushman Recognized with Regional Murrow Award.  WBAP, Dallas-Fort Worth news staffer Eric Bushman was recently honored with Regional Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association for his reporting on the U.S. Ebola outbreak last year.  Dallas was “Ground Zero” for Bushman’s story, and he was lead reporter from start to finish.  This is the second consecutive year Bushman has been honored with a Murrow Award.  Last year, he received one for his comprehensive coverage of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. WBAP, Dallas operations and program manager Tyler Cox comments, “Eric’s work represents the type of reporting that is the signature of the WBAP news staff: comprehensive, in-depth, and sticking with the story from start-to-finish.”

sandlerGuitarNicole Sandler Auctioning Cool Radio Memorabilia for Radio Or Not.  Progressive talk personality Nicole Sandler is opening up her archives of radio memorabilia for an auction to help support her Radio Or Not digital platform.  Sandler says she’s always vowed to not put her content behind a paywall and this auction – which starts tomorrow (7/15) – will help her costs of operation.  Sandler is not the only radio pro who’s been collecting cool radio and music artifacts oversandlerBillHillary the years.  In fact, TALKERS editors believe one of the interesting, untold stories in the radio biz is just what these personal treasure troves contain.  Sandler’s has some pretty fun items that come from her days producing for Jim Kerr at WPLJ, New York and for Mark & Brian at KLOS, Los Angeles.  Note the autographed guitar pictured above that’s been signed by Johnny Cash, BB King, Les Paul, James Taylor, Roger Daltrey, Todd Rundgren and others.  Then, for political wonks, the Bill and Hillary corkscrew-nutcracker pair pictured here at right make the perfect election year gift!  Sandler’s auction site is: radioornot.com/auction.

2016 Presidential Candidates/Scott Walker Joins Race, Mexican Drug Lord Prison Escape, Iran Nuclear Talks, NYC Eric Garner Settlement, Immigration Policy-Sanctuary Cities, Greek Debt Deal, and MLB All-Star Break Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/13).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s entering the primary race; the escape from prison of Mexico’s most notorious drug lord; the conclusion of negotiations between Iran and the West over its nuclear program; New York City’s settlement with the family of Eric Garner over his death at the hands of an NYC cop; the ongoing controversy over the nation’s illegal immigration policy and the country’s sanctuary cities; the Greek debt solution and the effects on the EU; and the Major League Baseball All-Star festivities were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, July 13, 2015

| July 13, 2015

greymichaelMichael Grey Returns to WBBL, Grand Rapids.  The Cumulus Media-owned sports talk station says popular Grand Rapids radio personality Michael Grey returns to the morning show daypart with new co-host Ryan Schuiling.  Grey co-hosted mornings on WBBL, Grand Rapids from 2009 through 2011wbbl logo with Bret Bakita.  He’s also worked at KXSP, Omaha and KIRO, Seattle.  WBBL program director Dave Jaconette says, “We are thrilled to have Michael Grey back on 107.3 WBBL.  After successful stints in Omaha and Seattle, Michael is back to talk with fans about the teams he loves.  And I’m very happy that Ryan Schuiling will be joining him on what will be one of West Michigan’s most exciting sports talk shows.”

espnaudiologoESPN Radio Reports Increased Streaming Numbers.  Referring to second quarter 2015 streaming data, ESPN Radio Network announces it accrued more than 2.5 billion total listening minutes compared to the same period in 2014.  That’s an increase of 31%.  The sports giant also reports that its on-demand audio downloads were up 27% over last year with more than 90 million downloads.  ESPN SVP, production business divisions Traug Keller says, “Sports fans consume audio across multiple platforms and the compelling content that ESPN Audio offers through streaming and podcasts is making an impact on listening.”

missanellimikePhilly Sports Talk Wars Invade Print Turf.  The hand-grenade lobbing between CBS RADIO’s WIP-FM and Greater Media’s WPEN-FM in Philadelphia has moved to the print media with WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” afternoon host Mike Missanelli writing a column for Philly Mag in which he lambastesinnesjosh afternoon host Josh Innes for his on-air style, former host Tony Bruno for similar reasons and suggests the former duo’s ratings successes against his show are not all they seem.  According to a story at Philly.com, Innes lashed back at Missanelli on his radio show saying the piece was “basically the last ramblings of a desperate man who’s trying to politic his way into the hearts of a few people by basically reading comment sections and seeing what appeals to meatballs.”  Read the Philly.com coverage of the feud here.

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Fourth Round of June 2015 PPM Data.  The fourth of four rounds of June 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The June 2015 survey period covered May 21 through June 17.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Odds & Sods.  Another personnel move in Philly sports talk as Pat Gallen leaves Greater Media’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” to join CBS’ KYW-TV as sports anchor.  Gallen served with WPEN-FM as a sports anchor and reporter.  His move to KYW-TV comes just a week after former NFL great Beasley Reece was let go from his sports anchor post at the station…..After nine years with NAB – the last four as EVP of government relations –colekelly Kelly Cole announces she’s leaving the organization to open her own advocacy firm.  In an email to NAB’s board of directors, Cole said, in part, “Over nine years, I’ve seen NAB make amazing strides.  Gordon Smith is a tremendous leader.  Our relationships with state associations are at an all-time high, and we have EVPs in every department who work cohesively and collaboratively.  NAB is viewed with respect on both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill, and our government relations team is the strongest it has ever been during my time at NAB. It has been an absolute privilege to be a member of this amazing team, to be a part of NAB history, and to work with all of you.”…..Matt Martinez moves from his most recent position with NPR as senior producer to Pacific Public Media-owned non-com KPLU, Seattle where he’ll serve as director of content…..KNTK, Lincoln, Nebraska sports talk personality Tom Stephens is recovering after suffering a heart attack on June 26.  Stephens co-hosts the midday show with John Gaskins on the Home Field Communications station.  According to the Lincoln Journal-Star, the 51-year-old is undergoing speech and occupational therapy and is anxious to get back on the air.

metaxasRadioCity15Eric Metaxas at Radio City Music Hall.  Author and Salem Radio Network talk host Eric Metaxas appears here on the big screen in Times Square on Friday (7/10)  as the guest speaker at evangelist Luis Palau’s “City Fest” at Radio City Music Hall.  Metaxas’ address was beamed out to the crowd in Times Square.  Palau hosted an event the next evening in Central Park that drew some 60,000 attendees.

Friday, July 10, 2015

| July 10, 2015

kvilogoLars Larson’s Radio Northwest Network Show Added to KVI, Seattle Lineup.  Portland-based talk pro Lars Larson is getting an affiliate in Seattle for his regional talk show.  Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570” is adding the program to its lineup in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot, effective July 20.  The station also carries Larson’s nationallarsonlars show syndicated via Compass Media Networks (that one airs from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm) but the regional show is distributed to 18 affiliates in the Pacific Northwest via Alpha’s Radio Northwest Network.  KVI, Seattle program director Rick Van Cise states, “We’re excited to bring Lars Larson’s northwest edition to America’s pioneer conservative radio station!  Lars has been a big part of KVI’s programming with his daily national show and frequent morning fill-ins.  Adding the northwest show is another way we’re boosting KVI’s commitment to covering local and regional issues with news and views you can’t get anywhere else!”  Larson comments, “KVI is a fantastic addition to the Radio Northwest Network.  I look forward to including the Seattle metro area, its people and its left-wing politicians to the conversation I have every day…and naysayers go to the head of the line on the Lars Larson show.”

hubbardPhoenixnewstudioHubbard Breaks Ground on New Phoenix Facility.  The company recently broke ground on a new, 20,000-square-foot broadcasting complex (see architect’s image in the graphic here) that will serve as the home of the company’s Phoenix operations that includes rock KUPD, alternative KDKB “93.3 Alt AZ,” classic rock KSLX, sports talk KDUS, and oldies KAZG “AZ Gold.”  The company says the new digs will include an outdoor deck and performance promenade for visiting artists as well as 13 audio studios and a video studio.  Hubbard Phoenix VP and market manager Trip Reeb says, “I can’t think of a more significant way for Hubbard Radio to commit to the Phoenix market and its community.  We have a great team of people whose passion and commitment is being rewarded with a home that is a reflection of all the hard work that we do.”

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of June 2015 PPM Data.  The third of four rounds of June 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The June 2015 survey period covered May 21 through June 17.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Odds & Sods.  Los Angeles all-newser KNX “Newsradio 1070” is presenting a special program today (7/10) as part of its KNX Spotlight series titled, “How Lo-tech Is Our Hi-tech?”  The CBS RADIO-owned station sets the stage,knx logo asking, “Was it a cyber-attack or just coincidence when the New York Stock Exchange, United Airlines and the Wall Street Journal suddenly had tech failures all on the same day?”  KNX says the show will bring together some of the best cyber experts in the country to look at what happened on Wednesday, what could happen next and how it affects you.  The program is being hosted by KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman…..The Glenn Beck-led TheBlaze Radio Network adds a new weekly, two-hour podcast to its offerings featuring Rabbi Daniel Lapin…..FOX Sports Radio will be on site in Cincinnati for the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game providing affiliates with interviews with players, Hall-of-Famers and special guests, as well as baseball insiders and experts leading into and surrounding the 86th annual event.  Talent will include FOX Sports 1 MLB analyst Dontrelle Willis and network host Ryan Field…..Satcaster SiriusXM is also broadcasting from the MLB All-Star game.  It will carry the national broadcast of both the game on Tuesday, July 14 and the Gillette Home Run Derby on Monday…..ESPN Radio’s 11th Annual ESPY Day Auction to benefit The V Foundation and its new Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund is officially underway on eBay and will continue through Wednesday, July 15.  This year’s auction of more than 150 items includes tickets to prime sporting events, autographed memorabilia, unique experiences with athletes, celebrities and ESPN personalities like Scott Van Pelt and behind-the-scenes experiences with ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike, Colin Cowherd, Stephen A. Smith and more.  To date, the ESPN Radio ESPY Day Auction has raised more than $7.7 million.

barberdaveA Tribute to Dave Barber.  The recent death of talk media pro Dave Barber at the all-too-early age of 60 elicited sorrow from those who knew him and those who knew his work.  City of Pawtucket, Rhode Island economic & cultural affairs officer Herb Weiss writes a career-spanning tribute to Barber, published today at Talkers.com.  Weiss recounts Barber’s entrance into the radio business, his decision to leave Flint for Providence and his transition to host of the Rhode Island state government’s “Capitol TV” platform.  Read Weiss’ piece here.

talkersten logoChina’s Market Plunge and Global Markets Reactions Top Talkers TenTM for Week of July 6-10.  The stock sell-off pulling China’s stock market down and the effects on world financial markets tied for the top spot on the Talkers TenTM this week.  At #2 was the Greek debt crisis.  Coming in at #3 was the illegal immigration and sanctuary cities issues followed by the activities of the 2016 presidential candidates at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

| July 9, 2015

emmis logoEmmis Fiscal Q1: Radio Down 5.3%.  Reporting financial data from the company’s fiscal first quarter, Emmis Communications’ net revenue from radio was $42.6 million compared to $45 million one year ago.  However, publishing net revenue was up 5.8% during the quarter, driven by strong growth at Los Angeles magazine, Texas Monthly and Atlanta.  President and CEO Jeff Smulyan comments, “While this was a challenging quarter, we are encouraged by what we see looking forward.  Our Q2 radio revenues are pacing up low single digits, we had a record-setting ‘Summer Jam’ concert in New York, and ratings are bouncing back in Los Angeles after some expectedsmulyanjeff turbulence.”  A press statement quotes Smulyan as very positive about the NextRadio project.  “The Emmis-created, industry-led initiative to make FM broadcast radio available on smartphones and tablets, NextRadio, has incredible momentum.  The announcement last week that NextRadio is now available for download in the Amazon App Store is the first in what we hope will be a series of positive announcements.  I couldn’t be more thrilled with the way our industry has come together to support NextRadio.”

brunotonyTony Bruno Shocks Philly and Radio Biz with Surprise ‘Retirement.’  Working with co-host Josh Innes in the afternoon drive slot on CBS RADIO’s sports talk WIP-FM, Philadelphia only since February, sports talk pro Tony Bruno exits the station after topping crosstown rival WPEN-FM’s Mike Missanelli in the latest ratings.  Bruno says via a message on his website that, contrary to the rumors, hewiplogo has no problem with Josh Innes or management at WIP but that he’s retiring from radio and TV forever.  “First off, I did not quit in haste because I ‘hated’ or couldn’t work with Josh Innes.  That is totally untrue.  Josh and I have never had any arguments or confrontations during or after any shows since day 1.  The modern world of radio and social media has sucked the fun out of doing this due to ‘factions’ whose sole attempt is to provoke ‘wars’ or have listeners ‘take sides’ to anger or distract the process of doing radio every day.”  Bruno will continue to produce his weekly podcast and you can read his message here.  Meanwhile, WIP programmer Andy Bloom now is charged with keeping WIP on top of rival WPEN without Tony Bruno.  Speculation on who will be teamed with Innes in the afternoon drive slot has begun with some suggesting late night host Jody McDonald likely to be considered.

bookerpeteDelmarva Broadcasting Chief Pete Booker to Retire from Company.  In a Facebook post, Delmarva Broadcasting president and CEO Pete Booker announces he’s “retiring” from the company as of Monday, July 13.  He writes, “I will miss the people and always remember the great times.  By the way, this doesn’t mean I’m retiring from life.  Look for me to do some great new things!”  Booker served as an operations manager at Delmarva from 1980 to 1988.  He joined the Mid-Atlantic Network in 1989 and stayed through 1993.  He’s been back at Delmarva for the past 22 years.

digilionickWGN, Chicago’s Nick Digilio to Return to Air Soon.  The overnight personality on Tribune’s WGN, Chicago told the station’s morning host Steve Cochran that he hopes to return to his nightly program on July 20, according to a report from Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  Whatever ailment has sidelined the 50-year-old host and caused him to drop 35 pounds, he’s not saying yet, but promises to talk about it when he returns to his regular show.  Read Feder’s story here.

westwood one sportsWestwood One Touts NFL Play-by-Play Audience Via Nielsen Research.  In a blog post designed to promote the syndicator’s NFL play-by-play broadcasts, Cumulus Media chief marketing officer Pierre Bouvard says that because radio audiences are only reported for average weekly estimates, “We never see how radio audiences build over time.  For the first time ever, Westwood One, the official audio partner of the NFL, partnered with Nielsen to understand how audience reach grows through the season.”  The research shows how cume builds from about 6.1 million in the first weeks ofesiasonboomer the NFL season to more than 21 million during the playoff run.  The data also show that new persons join a broadcast as a game goes on and Bouvard says, “Season-long advertiser investment yield significant reach.  Buying deep in the broadcast and long in the season results in massive reach.”  See his blog here.  The company also is reaching out directly to advertisers via a mail campaign using Boomer Esiason to lay out the reasons a season-long campaign will pay off.  According to a piece in Ad Age, companies being targeted include Anheuser-Busch InBev, Gatorade, Hyundai, Pepsi, Visa and Xbox.  Read the Ad Age piece here.

jacksonkevinKevin Jackson Show to Debut in 15-Plus Markets.  The syndication of the Kevin Jackson show via USA Radio Networks is off to a good start, according to company officials, who state the show will debutusaRadioNetworks in 15-plus markets, including six of the top 25 DMAs.  USA chief content officer Tim Maranville says those markets include Atlanta, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Tampa, and Portland.  “New markets are contacting us daily to affiliate with the show.  Kevin Jackson is a conservative voice to be reckoned with.”  The program airs live in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET daypart.

ppmunit altNielsen Audio Releases Second Round of June 2015 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of June 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The June  2015 survey period covered May 21 through June 17.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Odds & Sods.  NFL quarterback-turned-broadcaster Donovan McNabb is taking a leave of absence from his NBC Radio Network-syndicated program “Under Center with McNabb and Malone” (with co-host Markmcnabbdonovan Malone) after getting his second DUI arrest on June 28.  ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio is reporting that McNabb faces a mandatory minimum 90 days in jail for this second offense…..A content-sharing arrangement between Townsquare Media and Nexstar Broadcasting Group in the Utica-Rome, New York market will include WFXV-TV “FOX 33” airing the news/talk WIBX’s “WIBX First News with Keeler” and, in return, WIBX will air audio from Nexstar’s WUTR-TV’s half-hour “Eyewitness News at 6” program…..NPR announces staffing changes on the “All Things Considered” programs.  London correspondent Ari Shapiro and West Coast national desk correspondent Kelly McEvers are becoming part of the daily “All Things Considered” alongside co-hosts Robert Siegel and Audie CornishMelissa Block is exiting the show to serve NPR as special correspondent and Michel Martin takes over as host of the weekend edition of “All Things Considered” from Arun Rath.

China’s Market Plunge, Greece Debt Crisis, Global Markets Reactions, Illegal Immigration-Sanctuary Cities Controversies, 2015 Presidential Candidates, SC Confederate Flag Issue, Iran Nukes Negotiations, Bill Cosby Allegations, NFL Stars’ Fireworks Injuries, and Redskins Lose Trademark Right Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/8).  The continuing Chinese stock market sell-off; the Greek debt issue and the nation’s status in the EU; the global financial markets’ reactions to the Asian and European financial news; the illegal immigration policy in the U.S. and the sanctuary cities controversy; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the South Carolina legislature votes to remove the Confederate flag from the statehouse; the deteriorating negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program; the status of Bill Cosby’s image after unsealing of testimony in which he admits to acquiring Quaaludes to give to women; the cases of NFLers Jason Pierre Paul and CJ Wilson, both of whom lost fingers to fireworks accidents over the Fourth of July weekend; and the Washington Redskins lose trademark rights for the Redskins image were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

| July 8, 2015

price howardHoward B. Price: Radio’s Role on a ‘Typical Friday Night.’  When important news breaks on a “typical summer Friday night,” news and talk stations have the opportunity to be there for people tuned into the station.  ABC Television director of business continuity Howard B. Price writes today about the bevvy of news stories that broke on June 26 and what he observed.  “If you were online, or near a TV, or fortunate enough to be within earshot of one of the country’s 31 all-news radio stations on June 26, (and perhaps many news/talk stations, too), you were very much aware of what was going on.  You heard history being made at the Supreme Court as same-sex marriage became the law of the land.  You heard the president lead thousands in “Amazing Grace,” as he eulogized the nine souls murdered by a racist assassin, in oratory so stirring even some of the president’s critics acknowledged it as some of the best of his or any other presidency. You heard about not one, not two – but THREE bloody terrorist attacks in three different countries.  And you heard about the dragnet that cornered and killed one of two murderous escapees from a maximum-security prison in northern New York State.  But if you were listening to many music stations, and even some spoken-word stations programmed almost exclusively via satellite and with no local or network news service – you may have heard little or nothing about any of these major news events.”  Price was traveling in rural New York State on that night and says that because no local radio station was reporting these stories, he learned about them on the Internet.  But it didn’t have to be that way.  Read Price’s entire piece here.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of June 2015 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of June 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The June  2015 survey period covered May 21 through June 17.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

ballentinewarrenWarren Ballentine Gets Light Sentence in Fraud Conviction.  Being indicted two years ago on charges of fraud in connection with mortgage fraud schemes cost attorney and media personality Warren Ballentine his Reach Media-syndicated talk show that had been heard on some 35 signals across the country.  After last fall’s conviction on six counts of fraud, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly sentenced Ballentine to three years’ probation, 300 hours community service, and restitution of $140,940.  Ballentine claimed he was just a representative attorney and had no knowledge of any plan to defraud.

schachteraaronCox Media Group Names Schachter WOKV, Jacksonville PD.  With the recent dismissal of longtime program director Mike Dorwart, Cox Media Group doubles up duties for other programmers in order to provide news/talk WOKV, Jacksonville with a leader.  Music programmer Aaron Schachter will let go of alternative WXXJ “X102.9” in order to become director of branding and programming for WOKV.  He maintains his other responsibilities as morning host and program director for sister classic hits WJGL “96.9 The Eagle.”

pauleymattCumulus Transitions KCSF, Colorado Springs to All Sports as ‘Xtra Sports Radio 1300.’  By transitioning KCSF, Colorado Springs from talk to sports as “Xtra Sports Radio 1300,” Cumulus Media gives the market what it calls “Southern Colorado’s first radio station offering ‘All Sports, All The Time.’”  The station will carry national hosts from CBS Sports Radio NetworkJim Rome and Doug Gottlieb – as well as afternoon personality Matt Pauley, who also becomes PD of the new station.  Pauley also serves as one of the play-by-play announcers for Colorado Springs Sky Sox Triple A baseball team and is sports reporter for cluster mate KVOR.  Cumulus Colorado Springs OM Bobby Irwin says, “Matt’s enthusiasm for this station has been a force throughout our cluster for quite some time.  It’s exciting to see him take the reins of this upgrade and create a station that both listeners and advertisers have been clamoring for.”

wssp logo15Entercom’s ‘Sportsradio 105.7 The Fan’ in Milwaukee Adds ‘Save Our Bucks Radio Hour’ Program.  The status of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks is in jeopardy after the league declared the city’s Bradley Center “unfit” for an NBA team.  Now, Entercom sports talk simulcast WSSP-AM and W289CB, Milwaukee (105.7 FM) “Sportsradio 105.7FM The FAN” is addressing the matter adding a one-hour, weekly program called the “Save Our Bucks Radio Hour.”  The show is being hosted by Paul Henning, a representative from Save Our Bucks – a fan-based, grassroots community group founded to help support the team and the proposed arena project to keep the team in the market.  WSSP personality Joe Zenzola will co-host the program that debuts tomorrow (7/9) at 6:00 pm.  ‘The FAN’ program director Tom Parker states, “We’re excited to partner with Paul for this important community show.  Paul’s been at the forefront on this issue and he cuts through partisan politics to give our listeners clear, actionable facts that are absent from many other shows and news outlets.  This is a show that will share ALL sides of the debate.”  Henning will also be heard on the station’s regular programs on the matter.

Bubba the Love Sponge’s Attorneys Found Guilty in Florida Bar Trial.  Just what the punishment will be for Bubba the Love Sponge’s attorneys in his defense against former rival Todd Schnitt remains to be seen but Steven Diaco, Robert Adams, and Adam Filthaut were found guilty of multiple ethics violations by the Florida Bar for conspiring to get Schnitt counsel Phil Campbell arrested on DUI charges.  MyFoxTampaBay reports that the three could get fines, suspensions or disbarment when sentencing takes place on August 5. Read the MyFoxTampaBay account here.

millerjeffDigital Sales Pro Jeff Miller Named VP/GM of Entercom’s SmartReach Digital.  The SmartReach Digital division of Entercom provides the company’s local and regional clients with a broad range of digital marketing solutions, products and services.  Now, the company brings Jeff Miller aboard as vice president/general manager of SmartReach Digital.  He spent the last seven years withentercom ReachLocal, most recently as senior director of sales for virtual markets.  Entercom regional president Michael Doyle comments, “We are excited to find an executive with Jeff’s talent and experience available to help us continue to build our market-leading portfolio of digital products and services.  Our focus is on helping local advertisers understand the power of combining the unmatched reach of radio with the best available digital advertising tools to generate outstanding results.  Jeff provides us with cutting-edge thinking on both the product development and sales execution sides of the digital business.”

Odds & Sods. WJFK-FM, Washington “106.7 The Fan” personality Grant Paulsen – co-host of the midday “Grant and Danny” show – is joining WTTG-TV, Washington “FOX 5” as a Washington Redskins reporter.paulsengrant  According to the Washington Post, Paulsen will appear on newscasts and on the “Redskins Game Time” program…..On Monday and Tuesday (7/13-14) ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike show with Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic will broadcast live from the Moerlein Lager House in Cincinnati – across the street from the Great American Ball Park – site of this year’s MLB All-Star festivities.  Guests scheduled to appear on the show include Hall-of-Fame pitcher John Smoltz, Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost, former All-Star Frank Thomas, San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred…..Morning drive personality Tim Greene is promoted to assistant program director and music director of non-com and NPR affiliate WSGE, Charlotte.  In his new role, he’ll assist in overseeing all programming operations while continuing to host the morning drive slot following NPR’s “Morning Edition.”

wnrpCool Job Opportunity.  “NewsRadio1620” in Pensacola, Florida is looking for an experienced afternoon drive talk host.  Our simulcast FM106.5 launches next month.  Our ideal candidate will entertain our listeners with a three-hour, host-driven show with minimal guests.  A host who covers the big national issues and current buzz — but gives equal attention to local news and issues.  We’re looking for a host who covers the local scene as an ombudsman.  Who creates conversation, makes our listeners smile and gives them something to talk about.  Pensacola is an active news market with a growing economy.  “NewsRadio1620” has a high community profile and our on-air team has won seven Edward R. Murrow awards since 2010.  Our sister station, “CatCountry 98.7” is the top FM in the market.  Nine hours of local talk, plus local news every 30 minutes every weekday.  Totally locally owned and operated.  Fox News Radio affiliate. 401k/ health/dental plans available.  Best of all, live and work in paradise on the Gulf Coast of Florida’s NW Panhandle.  Check out www.NewsRadio1620.com and Facebook.  Send resume and most recently unedited audio/link to Anne Schiller at: aschiller@newsradio1620.com.  EOE.

2016 Presidential Prospects, Steinle Slaying-Illegal Immigration, Cosby Testimony Released, Confederate Flag Issue, Greek Debt Crisis-EU Tensions-Chinese Stock Market Dive, OK Ten Commandments Case, Iran Nuke Talks, and U.S. Women’s Soccer World Cup Victory Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/7).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the slaying of Kate Steinle in San Francisco, the debate over the nation’s illegal immigration policy, and the controversy over “sanctuary cities”; the release of decade-old testimony from Bill Cosby admitting he gave Quaaludes to women in order to have sex with them; the ongoing discussion over the status of the Confederate flag; the Greek debt crisis, its effect on the European Union and concerns over a Chinese stock market crash; the Oklahoma capitol Ten Commandments monument case; the talks with Iran over its nuclear program; and the U.S. Women’s Soccer World Cup victory were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

| July 7, 2015

beckglennGlenn Beck to Take Time Off to Rest Strained Vocal Cords.  Nationally syndicated talk radio host and digital media pioneer Glenn Beck announced via Facebook yesterday that he’s taking time off from his daily radio program to rest his voice.  He states in the video, “As you may or may not have noticed over the past couple of months, my voice has been changing a bit.  Because I have had problems with my nerves in my vocal cords in the past where my voice has stopped working, I have been a little concerned, but I have really, really great doctors.  This Friday I consulted with them and they have advised me to take a few weeks off andtheblaze logo rest my voice due to some severe strain that has happened.”  Beck is expected to return to hosting his programs on August 3.  Meanwhile, although Beck did not directly address the news that his TheBlaze is ceasing operation of its radio news network this summer, he touched on the matter in another way when he spoke about the direction of his work in the future.  “I know the staff has this weekend been working overtime on the trying to find the things that we can do to enrich us and keep us on track for where we are headed.  They will be doing some really exciting things on radio and television that I think will help us.  The time for looking and saying what is happening with the news is over.  Now we need to start to say what’s coming our way and what can we do about it – and that’s where my focus is going to be.”

petriebonnieBonnie Petrie Joins ‘Wisconsin’s Morning News’ on WTMJ, Milwaukee.  Award-winning journalist Bonnie Petrie is named co-anchor of “Wisconsin’s Morning News” alongside Gene Mueller on E.W. Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee.  Petrie most recently worked in radio at Radio One’s Houston all-news WROI “News 92.”  She’s also worked at CBS RADIO’s KRLD-AM, Dallas andwtmj logo iHeartMedia’s WGY, Albany.  WTMJ notes that Petrie has been honored with awards for anchoring, feature writing, series writing and production.   WTMJ VP/GM Tom Langmyer comments, “We were looking for very specific qualities in a news anchor to join Gene Mueller and ‘Wisconsin’s Morning News.’  Bonnie combines the qualities of experience in large news organizations, leadership depth, ideas, great writing ability, work-ethic, drive, an engaging personality and the passion for being an active part of our community.”  Petrie will join the station on July 13 and begins on the morning program in August.

brokawcarterCarter Brokaw Joins iHeartMedia as President of Digital Revenue Strategy.  In this position, Carter Brokaw will oversee iHeartMedia‘s digital sales efforts, driving digital revenue through new and existing sales channels as well as developing new digital revenue strategies for the company.  He assumes the president of digital revenue strategy after serving with Guardian News and Media.  He reports to Tim Castelli, president of national sales, marketing and partnerships.  The company reports that Brokaw will work closely with Brian Kaminsky, iHeartMedia’s president of programmatic and dataiheartmedia logo small operations, to take to market iHeartMedia’s “first-of-its-kind programmatic, real-time ad buying platform launched earlier this year for broadcast radio stations, enriched with unique and proprietary data as well as third-party data.”  Castelli comments, “Carter’s impressive track record of developing business strategies and launching national sales organizations for several media companies makes him the perfect person to drive our digital sales strategy.  His vision and skill sets will be integral as we continue to build on the success of our digital sales team.”

engmannrandyEngmann Appointed GSM at iHM Milwaukee. Nine-year Nielsen Audio senior account manager Randy Engmann joins iHeartMedia Milwaukee as general sales manager. Senior vice president of sales Nathan Tonarelli declares, “We are excited to welcome Randy to our winning Milwaukee team. Randy’s leadership, knowledge, and drive will be a great addition to our culture.” Engmann remarks, “I am extremely enthusiastic in joining such a talented team providing a wide variety ofiHeartMedia Milwaukee offerings with the strong, impactful, high value brands of Milwaukee.” The company’s six Milwaukee properties include news/talk WISN; urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Jams”; WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee Country”; WOKY “Big Sports 920”; WRIT “Oldies 95.7”; and CHR WRNW “Radio Now.” In advance of his Nielsen Audio tenure, Engmann worked at cross-town Entercom Milwaukee as an account executive, general sales manager, and regional account manager.

rosenbergmiltMilt Rosenberg Moves to PM Drive in Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Chicago radio icon Milt Rosenberg’s program on WCGO will move from middays to the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot.  Rosenberg – who spent most of his Windy City radio career hosting “Extension 720” on Tribune’s crosstown WGN – joined the Kovas Communications-owned station in April of this year.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Gets ‘Up Close and Far Out’ with Radio Imaging Master and ‘Deep End’ Host Nick Michaels.  This week’s new installment of Podcast One’s international hit podcast for media freaks, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” is posted today (7/7).  It features a candid, free-flowing conversation between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and legendary radio imaging master Nick Michaels – host of the long-running, syndicated classic rock (and beyond) radio show “The Deep End with Nick Michaels.”  The two practitioner/theorists discuss the state of imaging in radio and related media, sea changes in today’s creative approach to advertising, themichaelsnick increasing scarcity of time in the modern world, and serious problems facing music radio in the digital era.  Michaels says, “Time is the new currency in today’s over-communicated world” – a concept he defines as ‘too much information traveling through too little time.’”  He says that the competition for people’s attention has never been more intense and in order for programmers and advertisers alike to get their messages across they must do so by focusing on the perspective of the recipients of the message, not the presenters.  Michaels boldly states, “In this environment, the advertiser’s need to sell a product or get a message out is no longer an annoyance, burden or interruption that this audience is willing to bear!”  To hear the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right hand column of every page of Talkers.com.

wpen-fm logoGreater Media Philadelphia Re-Ups with NHL’s Flyers. The new multi-year deal between Greater Media’s Philadelphia cluster and the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers means sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” will continue to serve as the flagship of the Flyers Radio Network.  Flyers games will air on both WPEN-FM and sister rock outlet WMMR.  Additionally, Greater Media’s classic rock WMGK and adult hits WBEN-FM will continue to be promotional partners with the team.

Odds & Sods.  At iHeartMedia’s WOR, New York, Blain Ensley is named the new producer for the station’s late-morning Mark Simone show.  The New York radio pro has a two-decade-long career producing, writing and co-hosting radio shows.  He’s worked at NYC outlets WABC, WPLJ, WNEW-FM as well as WMMR in Philadelphia…..Legendary Houston radio personality Barry Warner is being inducted into the Texas Radio Hall ofwarnerbarry Fame in November.  Warner is currently a Yahoo Sports Radio network contributor and hosts the “Barry Warner Classic Minute.”  He’s also a host on KGOW, Houston and a contributor to Gow Media-owned KFNC-FM, Houston…..CBS RADIO all-news KNX, Los Angeles “1070 NEWSRADIO” announces Northwestern Orange County will be the next community to be featured on its award-winning series, “KNX On Your Corner.”  On Friday, July 31, the station will broadcast live most of the day from the Katella Deli in Los Alamitos, including the Frank Mottek-hosted “KNX Business Hour” and the afternoon news co-hosted by Diane Thompson and Chris Sedens…..SiriusXM launches a weekly interview program hosted by former New York Times columnist and best-selling author Bill Carter.  “The Bill Carter Interview” will feature conversations with “performers, writers, producers, and executives who are shaping the culture today.”…..New Hampshire Public Radio is recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association with a 2015 National Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence in the small market category.  NHPR president Betsy Gardella says, “This national recognition is a testament to the thorough and thoughtful local reporting efforts of our news team day in and day out.  It is an extraordinary moment for NHPR, and I couldn’t be more proud.”

joycebrianDunk15Brian Joyce Gets Wet for Pets.  Chattanooga talk show host Brian Joyce (pictured here atop the dunk tank) helped the Hamilton County Humane Society and the McKamey Animal Center in Chattanooga get new homes for 108 dogs and cats at the recent all-day “Adopt-A-Thon.”  The WGOW “Talk Radio 102.3 FM” midday personality says it was satisfying to know that so many animals now have “forever” homes thanks to the efforts of the local community and media.

2016 Presidential Prospects, Kate Steinle Death-Illegal Immigration Debate, Bill Cosby Testimony, Greek Debt-EU Tensions, ISIS Atrocities-U.S. Policy, Iran Nuke Talks, and U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Wins World Cup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/6).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the shooting death of Kate Steinle in San Francisco by an illegal alien and the controversy over U.S. and San Francisco illegal immigration policy; unsealed testimony from Bill Cosby in which he admits he’d given Quaaludes to women in the past in order to have sex with them; the ongoing financial turmoil in the EU and Greece over the latter’s inability to repay debt to the IMF; more atrocities perpetrated by ISIS and the U.S. military policy in Iraq and Syria; the ongoing nuclear talks between the U.S. and Iran; and the World Cup victory by the U.S. Women’s Soccer team were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

| June 23, 2015

talkersnyc15RatingspanelSean Hannity Moderates Blockbuster Panel on Audience Measurement at Talkers New York 2015 – See Video Today!  One of the highlights of the recently held (6/12) Talkers New York 2015 mega-conference is now posted on Talkers TV – “The State of Radio Ratings.”  Moderated by Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel superstar Sean Hannity, the panel includes (in alphabetical order): Phil Boyce, SVP, Salem Media Group; Erica Farber, president/CEO, RAB; Steve Goldstein, CEO, Amplifi Media; Richard Harker, founder, Harker Research; Tom Langmyer, VP/GM, E.W. Scripps; Jon Miller, VP Audience Insights, Nielsen Audio; and Greg Moceri, CEO, Moceri Media.  The session is introduced by Brian Kilmeade, host, Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel.  The hard-hitting, no-holds-barred conversation addresses the ongoing problem of achieving accurate radio ratings – particularly in the spoken-word formats – during audio media’s transition into the digital era. Issues such as the PPM, the new Voltair device, achieving adequate sample size, and the challenge of rating elusive online listenership are analyzed.  Each panelist brings their own insights, problems and solutions to the discussion with Nielsen’s Jon Miller formidably bearing much of the brunt of probing questions and stinging criticism.  This video is a must-view for all professional radio broadcasters today.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “I have been organizing and attending industry conferences since 1976.  This particular session provides more valuable take-aways than any I have ever witnessed in my entire career, as well as moving the interests of a fairer and more productive radio industry forward.  My congratulations to all the participants – especially Jon Miller – for bring their A-games to the table.  And Sean Hannity shows what a major league host and moderator he is – above and beyond his skills as a ‘political’ talk show host.  Sean’s constituency in this case is everyone who makes, or is trying to make, their living in radio.  He delivers a real clinic on how to run a discussion.  I give him a 10.”  To view the entire session, please click here.  Coming tomorrow:  An intimate “fireside chat” between Cumulus Media EVP, John Dickey and Michael Harrison.

voltair imageTelos Alliance’s Dr. Barry Blesser Explains Voltair’s Success.  The conclusion drawn by Telos Alliance director of research Dr. Barry Blesser regarding his company’s controversial Voltair products is, “The way that the radio industry handles the current Voltair controversy will influence its likelihood of surviving.”  Most industry pros are aware of Voltair and the controversy over the reliability of Nielsen Audio’s PPM measurement system.  Those who are not should be getting up to speed quickly and Blesser’s paper illustrates – from Telos Alliance’s perspective at least – what Voltair does, what it doesn’t do, and how it is affecting what radio listeners hear and don’t hear in PPM-rated markets.  The selling point for the $15,000 signal processing unit is that it helps stations make up for alleged inadequacies in the PPM technology and Blesser’s paper explains how those inadequacies manifest themselves for radio programmers.  One of the issues is Blesser’s assertion that different types of audio are “friendlier” to PPM code tones than others.  He says, “Voltair is basically an AGC (automatic gain control) compressor that keeps the tones higher in amplitude when they are on their way to becoming too small.  Voltair produces tone energy similar to that of a well-encoded audio signal.  The tones are perceived as being louder in part because they are of longer duration.  Why does increased duration make a difference?  Because the detector cannot identify the frequency of a tone if it is too short.  When a tone is relatively constant for the full half second, all is well; but if the tone lasts for less than a tenth of a second, the meter has no idea about its frequency.  And the exact frequency is required to determine the meaning of the codes. Tones are truncated when the spectral content of the program is in short bursts. Interestingly, speech is comprised of short spectral bursts.”  That last part may not bode well for spoken-word programming.  Nielsen says it is testing the Voltair unit, but so far the industry has heard nothing.  Blesser writes, “In the decade since PPM was rolled out, radio has changed dramatically as programmers, who, ‘teach to the test’ of PPM’s technical properties, have shortened or eliminated spoken word segments, moved clocks around, and even dumped whole formats.  Now, with Voltair providing tremendous insight as a monitoring/measurement tool, this dynamic has accelerated as programmers have proven to themselves the correlation between PPM’s technical underpinnings and raw meter count.  Assuming Nielsen refuses to address technical issues raised by Voltair, we can expect this trend to accelerate.  Call it the law of unintended consequences where a measurement methodology drives programming decisions, determines careers and discards content, all in service to watermarking success.”  Read the entire paper here.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallFly Me to the Moon – Actually the Moons (of Pluto)!  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison has been expanding his probes beyond radio deep into the media universe via his international hit Podcast One program “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” This week, he takes his audience of “media freaks” billions of miles across the solar system in advance of NASA’s “New Horizons” mission’s unprecedented fly-by of the Pluto system on July 14.  Harrison interviews Dr. Alan Stern, a leading planetary scientist who is the “principle investigator” of this exciting and historic project and the two get into illuminating detail of the solar system’s unfolding new paradigm.  There is a lot more to the debate about whether or not Pluto is a “planet” than the mainstream media is indicating… and there is hardly consensus among scientists about the topic.  Harrison states, “All these technologically wondrous probes and space satellites are connecting the human nervous system to places that were once considered one-dimensional abstractions, completely out of reach.  After all, ‘media’ is the extension of human consciousness by technological means – plain and simple.  We used to use drums and smoke signals.  Then we accomplished such major feats as laying a trans-Atlantic cable across an ocean.  Now we are ‘wiring’ the solar system!  Anyone see an amazing pattern here?  To listen to Michael Harrison’s exclusive conversation with Dr. Alan Stern, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right hand column of every page of Talkers.com.

nyfest smallNew York Festivals Names Winners in 2015 International Radio Program Awards.  The winners in this year’s New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards were presented last night (6/22) at the annual gala at Manhattan Penthouse in New York City.  The Grand Jury honored RTÉ Ireland with the prestigious title of Broadcaster of Year and TBI Media UK with Production Company of the Year.  In addition, three prominent companies earned the coveted Grand Award: New York Philharmonic USA, TBI Media UK, and WNYC-Radiolab USA.  Commercial broadcasters from the U.S. that won awards included ESPN Radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio and Gold Coast Broadcasting’s news/talk KVTA, Ventura, California.  The 2015 Grand Jury awarded 3 Grand Awards, 53 Gold trophies, 62 Silver, 58 Bronze, and 117 Finalist Certificates submitted from 32 countries.  All entries were judged online by the NYF Radio Awards Grand Jury of radio experts from stations and companies around the globe.

Odds & Sods.  Former Cumulus Media executive Marko Radlovic – market manager for Los Angeles stations KABC and KLOS – returns to Spanish Broadcasting System to serve as SVP and West Coast regional manager…..iHeartMedia has a new senior vice president of programming for its New Hampshire stations.  Tim Moore is in charge of programming for the station including news/talk WGIR-AM, Manchester; WQSO-FM, Portsmouth; and sports talk WPKX, Portsmouth.  He takes over for Jeff Pierce who recently joined Saga Communications’ Portland, Maine station group.

carrhowieSiegel15Boston Legends Go to Bat for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  Boston talk radio legend Howie Carr (right) chats with WXKS, Boston “Kiss 108” morning personality Matty Siegel (left).  The two were at The International in Bolton, Massachusetts for the Ted Rubin Memorial Golf Tournament – a six-year old charity event that has raised more than $1 million for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Dr. Richard Stone’s Leukemia Research.  It was Howie Carr’s first live remote since he took ownership of the Howie Carr Radio Network in 2014.  Carr jokes, “It’s great to be working with the Jimmy Fund and Dana Farber, especially with an elder radio statesman I’ve always looked up to since my youth – Matty Siegel.”

gracies15b2015 Gracie Awards.  The 2015 Gracie Awards were presented at the New York Hilton on June 22 by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation.  This photo shows just a few of the high-profile attendees and winners.  (From l-r): Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Lori Lundin, anchor/reporter WTOP and Gracie winner (also host of the new experimental animal rights show “Vox Animali” on TalkersRadio); Kristen Welch, chair, AWM/F and SVP, global content operations, Discovery Communications, Inc.; Chad Lopez, VP/market manager, Cumulus New York; Kelly Ford, WNSH, New York host and Gracie Winner; Maire Mason, VP/GM WNSH, New York; Valerie Blackburn, VKB Media Consulting and past chair of AWM/F; Pavlina Osta, Gracie Winner; Loren Raye, Gracie Winner and co-host of “The TJ Show,” WODS-FM, Boston; Matt Bosso, WASH-FM, Washington; Emme, supermodel; and Kay Olin, Olin and Associates and past chair of AWM/F.

madisonrisingREDMadison Rising Releases New Album American Hero RED.  That band that bills itself as “America’s most patriotic rock band,” is releasing its American Hero RED album. Madison Rising says the new record is completely remixed and remastered to deliver the cleanest and strongest sound possible.  It includes four additional tracks: “Amazing America,” the band’s powerful rendition of the classic Marines’ Hymn, the hauntingly beautiful “Soldier’s Christmas” and its brand-new rendition of the Irving Berlin classic, “God Bless America.”  As with the original American Hero album, American Hero RED is anchored by Madison Rising’s best-selling rock rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.”  Originally released in the summer of 2012, both the song and video have become huge hits, catapulting the band into the national spotlight and creating one of the most loyal fan bases in rock music history.  The band has recently partnered up with Concerned Veterans for America as well as the Young Marines National Youth Organization and is currently embarking on an ambitious 70-city tour.  Madison Rising is on a mission to make great rock music and send a message that American culture is alive and well.  Led by navy veteran and former 8404 FMF Corpsman Dave Bray, the band promotes the principles of liberty, independence, smaller government and personal responsibility. For review copies, please contact albumreview@madisonrising.com.

Charleston Church Massacre/SC Confederate Flag Issue, Obama Uses ‘N-word,’ Pope Francis’ Climate Encyclical, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Taylor Swift-Apple Music Case, and Massive U.S. Govt. Cyber-Breach Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/22).  The aftermath of the church massacre in Charleston and South Carolina’s debate over the Confederate flag; President Obama’s use of the “n-word” during an interview; the flap over Pope Francis’ climate change encyclical; the potential candidates for president in 2016; Taylor Swift calls out Apple Music over payments to songwriters and musicians; and concern over the massive security breach at the government’s Office of Personnel Management were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, June 15, 2015

| June 15, 2015

2015 NYC 150Packed Talkers New York 2015 Conference a Hit with Attendees.  Talk media industry practitioners jam-packed the India House in Manhattan’s Financial District on Friday, June 12 for a full day of presentations, panels and speeches as TALKERS magazine celebrated its 25th anniversary serving the talk radio industry at its 18th annual New York-located national conference.  The day began with a continental breakfast and reception titled, “Breakfast with Hannity,” sponsored by the Premiere Networks-syndicated talk radiokilmeadeHannityFrancesa15 superstar.  WFAN, New York sports talk legend Mike Francesa kicked off the presentations with a powerful and informative welcoming speech.  Panel discussions included such topics as “The State of Radio Ratings,” “The Big Picture,” “Generating Talk Radio Revenue,” “Programming Talk Radio in 2015,” “Variety, The Spice of Life,” and “Navigating a Talk Host Career.”  The program also included a one-on-one “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Cumulus Media EVP, content & programming John Dickey, plus the TALKERS quiversTalbott15Awards Presentation during which WOLB, Baltimore morning host Larry Young received the “Humanitarian of the Year Award,” Howard Stern co-host Robin Quivers received the “Woman of the Year Award,” CBS Radio News VP Harvey Nagler was presented the “Lifetime Achievement Award,” and ABC Television, director, business continuity Howard B. Price received the “Freedom of Speech Award.”  Michael Harrison states, “We are deeply gratified, humbled and grateful by the SRO turnout and the tremendous love and support we have consistently received that has allowed TALKERS and all its various projects to make it to the quarter-century milestone.  This conference exuded a level of confidence about the future of the talk industry held by its key players that we haven’t seen in years!”  Video of each of the sessions and presentations will be made available online via Talkers TV, along with detailed story and photographic coverage of the conference, beginning next week.  Above right, FOX News’ Brian Kilmeade, WFAN’s Mike Francesa and Sean Hannity share a joke.  Lower left, Premiere Networks’ Julie Talbott (left) presents the Woman of the Year Award to Robin Quivers (right).

limbaughrush15iHeartMedia to Create New Boston Home for Rush Limbaugh on WKOX.  Dropping the Spanish music format “Mia 1430,” iHeartMedia will launch “Talk 1430” WKOX on Monday, June 29 with Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh as the centerpiece along with company stalwarts Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck surrounding him.  WKOX is licensed to Everett, Massachusetts and its primary signalwkox logo covers the city of Boston and reaches many of its suburbs.   iHeartMedia is going with a sports and talk hybrid using FOX Sports Radio content in addition to syndicated talk programming.  Here’s the lineup: “FOX Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman & Mike North” in AM drive; Glenn Beck from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon; Limbaugh; Sean Hannity from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm; “America Now” from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm; Westwood One’s Mark Levin from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight; and FOX Sports Radio during overnights.  iHeartMedia Boston market president Alan Chartrand says, “We are excited to bring this powerful lineup of talk show hosts to our cluster here in Boston.  We are confident that the biggest names in the talk radio format will serve our listeners and advertisers well.”

voltair imageCanada’s Numeris Orders Voltair Units Disabled Until Further Notice.  Canada’s Numeris – formerly called the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement – has ordered all Canadian radio stations to disconnect their Voltair units from their audio chains.  The audio processor manufactured by 25-Seven – a division of TelosAlliance – has been a controversial topic within U.S. broadcast circles recently for reportedly enabling stations in Nielsen’s PPM markets to “amplify” the encoding that PPM receivers use to “hear” in order to give stations credit for listening.  As was discussed at the Talkers New York 2015 conference on Friday (6/12) on the “State of Radio Ratings” panel, Voltair is currently being tested by Nielsen but no such edicts have been issued here.  Canada’s Numeris states in a letter to station owners that the order to shut off Voltair comes because of the “importance of a level playing field.”  Numeris admists it doesn’t know if the technology is affecting ratings or not but that it expects to have an analysis of Voltair done within 60 days.

hessbillCumulus Media Elevates Hess to Corporate PD of News/Talk. A session moderator at last Friday’s (6/12) “TALKERS New York 2015,” Bill Hess takes on corporate responsibilities in addition to his role as program director of Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talker WMAL-AM/FM. According to Cumulus executive vice president of content and programming John Dickey, “Bill is one of the format’s best minds. We look forward to sharing him within our company.” Senior vice president of content and programming Mike McVay comments, “This promotion enables us to take advantage of Bill’s previous experience as a corporate programmer and rewards him for the amazing job that he is doing at WMAL.” Hess remarks, “I deeply appreciate – and am incredibly energizedCumulus by – this opportunity to work with John Dickey, Mike McVay, and our team of talented programmers as we continue to drive the success of the industry’s leading platform of news-talk brands, both on-air and digitally.” Formerly senior vice president of programming for Air America Radio, Hess was brand manager for Clear Channel/iHeartMedia and was PD of talk stations in Providence (WHJJ); Springfield, Massachusetts (WHYN-AM); and Worcester, Massachusetts (WTAG), as well as operations manager of Washington, DC progressive talker WWRC, sports WTEM, and conservative talk WTNT. The Philadelphia native has programmed FM music stations in Washington, DC (adult contemporary WASH and classic rock WBIG); Providence (hot AC WSNE and classic hits-oldies WWBB); Springfield, Massachusetts (hot AC WHYN-FM); and Worcester, Massachusetts (adult contemporary WSRS).

wrkologoNew Course Set at WRKO, Boston.  In a press statement announcing the hiring of Alison Harris as sales manager for Entercom’s news/talk WRKO, Boston, VP and market manager Phil Zachary says filling this two-year-vacant post signals the station’s readiness to forward with the next step inharrisalison its evolution.  He comments, “Like every talk radio station in America, WRKO has been evolving with the changing media habits and demographic shifts in our society.  We did not want to fill this important position until our course was set for the future and we found the perfect candidate.  I’m thrilled we’re now at that point and that Alison was available to us.”  Harris is a 22-year media pro who was most recently with Clear Channel Outdoor’s Washington, D.C./Baltimore Division as vice president of sales.  The Boston news/talk will part with Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh next month and says it will announce its new, official lineup a little later this month.

Odds & Sods.  Boston journalist and talk show host Michele McPhee told her listeners on Friday afternoon that she expects to beat the charges leveled against her after a late night incident on Thursday that resulted in her beingmcpheemichele arrested for DUI, resisting arrest and assaulting an officer.  McPhee – heard on WMEX, Boston in afternoon drive – says she can’t comment specifically on the advice of her attorney.  She was pulled over after a police officer reported seeing her car swerve on I-93 in South Boston.  The Boston Herald reports she became belligerent with the officer and even sustained a head injury while the officer was arresting her…..Salem Media Group names Randy Bush general manager of its Little Rock station group that includes Christian contemporary KKSP, Christian teaching KDIS and news/talk KHTE “96.5 The Answer.”…..Townsquare Media announces Mike “Sandman” Sanders is the new operations manager for its Billings, Montana cluster that includes news/talk KCHH “Newstalk 95.5.”  He was most recently with Riverbend Communications as music director and afternoon personality at adult contemporary KCLE, Idaho Falls “Classy 97.3.”

Nielsen Audio Releases Fourth Round of May 2015 PPM Data.  The fourth and final round of May 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The May 2015 survey period covered April 23 through May 20.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

njba logoNJBA Conference and Gala Begins This Week.  The annual New Jersey Broadcasters Association Conference and Gala opens this week in Atlantic City with his year’s theme: “Broadcast Has  New Attitude.”  NJBA president  & CEO Paul Rotella states, “We’re going to hear from a variety of voices during this conference which  will provide you with the latest and most substantial evolution in research, technology and advancement in audience measurement.”  During the conference, the NJBA will be honoring FOX News’ Judge Andrew P. Napolitano as its recipient of the Howard L. Green Humanitarian of the Year.  Also, Greater Media’s Peter Smyth will induct Dan Finn, Harry Hurley, Dick Swetits, and Kevin Williams into the NJBA Hall of Fame.

hobbsgabe‘Get Well’ Wishes to Gabe Hobbs.  Longtime radio pro and Gabe Hobbs Media principal, Gabe Hobbs is recovering from a ruptured disc in his lower back.  He writes to the industry that he’s been largely unable to communicated while literally “on his back” in the hospital for the better part of the last two weeks.  He writes, “As some of you may have heard, I have been hospitalized with a ruptured disk in my lower back for a couple of weeks.  My back just seemed to explode on the afternoon of May 26th and I’ve been largely unable to answer emails, phone calls or texts ever since.  I couldn’t even sit up or walk for 9 days.  I’m finally able to do a little work on the computer and have somewhat cogent phone conversations at this point…My apologies as I know many of you are wondering if I just dropped off the face of the earth.  Everyone at TALKERS wishes Gabe a speedy recovery.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

| June 11, 2015

2015 NYC 150Talkers New York 2015 Set to Rock Big Apple Tomorrow.  Talk media professionals from all across America (and the world) will be gathering at the historic India House in the Financial District of lower Manhattan tomorrow for the 18th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most important national convention.  The event – which sold out three weeks in advance – will feature 65 industry speakers discussing the major issues and challenges facing talk broadcasting on air, online and on satellite including the state of audience measurement systems, integrating the art of radio into the technology of the digital age, adapting to changing sociological and generational attitudes, generating revenue in a new paradigm, navigating controversy and managing on air careers, plus a whole lot more.  Talkers New York 2015 will be the “reality” site of two major documentary films about the media currently in production – plus TALKERS will video record all sessions and speeches for later playback on TalkersTV, free of charge.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Every one of these spectacular events has had its own colorful story and has played a significant role in the fascinating evolution of this vital scene we call talk radio.  However, this one is particularly special to me because it coincides with the 25th anniversary of the founding of TALKERS magazine way back in the ancient year of 1990!”  To see the full agenda, please click here.

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia-Unified Partnership Further Enhances Data-Driven Marketing Approach.  This partnership is being termed a “long-term” one with iHeartMedia investing in marketing technology firm Unified in order to “accelerate the company’s growth and expansion.”  iHeartMedia says the data-driven partnership will deliver “unprecedented insights to advertisers across iHeartMedia’s portfolio of radio, digital, mobile, live events, social and on-demand entertainment and information services.”  Further, it states, “The companies’ strategic partnership will leverage Unified’s Social Operating Platform, the marketing industry’s leading data and analytics platform, to aggregate and unlock the massive data sets generated from iHeartMedia’s 858 radio stations; 70 million registered users of its iHeartRadio platform; 87 million monthly digital uniques; more than 20,000 annual events; and more than 75 million social media users across its network.  In addition, iHeartMedia will contribute data generated from its programming and consumer audiences to Unified’s award-winning data platform.  The combination of iHeartMedia’s data and Unified’s analytics technology brings the power of attribution, audience identification, and impact analysis associated with digital marketing to the unparalleled scale of broadcast media.”  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman comments, “Data-driven solutions are transforming the way that we deliver new value to our marketing partners, providing the ease, measurability and precision of digital marketing at the incredible scale of broadcast.  Unified allows us to leverage big data in new ways that make our portfolio of products, technology platforms, content and personalities the most powerful marketing vehicles available today.”

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of May 2015 PPM Data.  The third of four rounds of May 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The May 2015 survey period covered April 23 through May 20.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

bearmanbookcoverTalkers Books Gearing Up for Three Releases in Second Half of 2015.  After a 10 year hiatus since the publication of its last book, Modern Aging: A Guide for Seasoned Citizens to Achieve Health, Happiness and Purpose (Talkers Books, 2005) by upper demographics expert Carole MarksTALKERS announces plans for three new releases under the imprint Talkers Books during the second half of 2015.  Scheduled for release in July is Liars & Whores: How Big Government and Big Business Are Working to Save Their Own Assets, Not Yours (Talkers Books, 2015) by rising talk star Ethan Bearman. Bearman, who hosts a weekly show on Cumulus Media’s KSFO, San Francisco and another nationally syndicated by GCN, is described by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey as “one of the brightest, personable and politically independent of the industry’s new breed of young talkers with the potential to become the voice of Generation X.” Bearman’s book will be available in hard and soft cover versions as well as an e-bookhigginsbookcover configuration.  That will be followed by the August release of the first in a series of e-books under the umbrella description, “The Talkers Manifesto Series.” Titled, The Dr. Higgins Guide to Health and Wellness: Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Spiritual by Evelyn Higgins, D.C.  (Talkers Books, 2015), it is written by a rising star in the field of alternative health care who came to the attention of the TALKERS editorial staff via her outstanding work in Georgia talk radio over the past several years.  Scheduled for release in the fall is Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (Talkers Books, 2015) by Bernadette Duncan.  In this revealing memoir, Duncan recounts her first-hand impressions working with some of the biggest names in talk radio during her 31-year career as a producer for such personalities as Larry King, Sally Jessy Raphael, Tom Snyder, Lou Dobbs, Gil Gross, Charles Osgood, Mike Gallagher and many more. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “We are enthusiastic about reinvigorating our book publishing arm.  The talk radio world is full of potential literary stars and we are going to do our best to help them find their readerships.”

Odds & Sods.  At the Cumulus Media cluster in New York City, production whiz Fitz is now serving as the producer of the daily “Right Now with Doug McIntyre” program that airs from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm on news/talk WABC.  Fitz was previously production director for sister hot AC WPLJ…..The Boston Herald has been named one of three finalists for the Innovator of the Year award presented by the Associated Press Media Editors for the creation of Boston Herald Radio and its integration into the news organization’s daily multimedia news process.  The winner will be selected in October.

Police Excessive Force Cases, 2016 Presidential Prospects, ISIS Military Progress/U.S. Military Policy in Iraq, TTP Trade Deal, New York Prison Break, ObamaCare Court Challenge, and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/10).  The spate of alleged excessive force incidents by police across the country and talk about relations between police forces and the Black community; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the military progress of ISIS in Iraq and the U.S. military’s response; the controversy over the TTP trade deal and questions about what’s really in the pact; the ongoing search for two escaped murder convicts in New York State; the expected ruling from the Supreme Court on health care subsidies and how it may affect ObamaCare; and the NBA and NHL Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

| May 28, 2015

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh’s Boston Situation Has the Industry – and the Media – Talking.  After Entercom’s WRKO, Boston announced it would end its relationship with Rush Limbaugh and Premiere Networks when the current contract expired this summer, the show was thrust into the spotlight as radio industry watchers and special interest groups wondered aloud why Entercom is letting Limbaugh go and where the show might land in the nation’s #10 radio market.  Recently, Boston mediawrkologo reports have crosstown WMEX management saying that it will not pick up the show.  As TALKERS noted during its initial coverage of this story, the list of quality AM signals in Boston likely to add a news/talk program are few and many wonder if the show will end up on a suburban AM.  While organizations such as Media Matters might like to take credit for the Entercom decision – that they successfully showed advertisers the show is “toxic” – without detailed comments from Entercom or Premiere Networks, no one can say for sure.  However, it’s likely the decision was more financial and less politically judgmental in nature.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Politics is a double-edged sword for talk radio.  Taking ownership of it in the era following the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine has proven to be a magic elixir that has given additional life and longevity to not only spoken-word programming but, by osmosis, the entire medium of radio itself.  The downside, of course, is the reality that politics – unlike its conceptual cousin, sports – is more than a ‘game’ and people do get hurt.  It is a dirty, ruthless business – a blood sport – that often brings out the worst in people that seek victory rather than truth.  This mindset has splashed over into the armchair analysis of events in radio.  Limbaugh – being the political poster child of the medium – is the target of so much vitriol, from both within and outside the industry, that any bump in the road that he suffers on a business or economic level is seized as evidence of his complete demise directly due to his alleged ‘wrongness’ and ‘toxicity.’  Also fueling the fires of anger seeking to burn Rush at the stake is widespread resentment toward Clear Channel – that runs much deeper than its rebranding as iHeartMedia can sidestep – being the primary symbol of the so-called evils of consolidation.  The truth is – just like almost everyone and every company in this business – Rush has an economic set of difficulties and hard choices to make, based on the financial realities of the radio business in 2015 and the fact that his act is more than a quarter century old.  Cut him some slack… yes, he has a problem in a couple of major markets — he ain’t the only one.  In their zeal to destroy the guy who has lots of miles left in his treads, I hope his critics don’t castrate radio of its greatest asset – the courage to be controversial, irritating, politically incorrect and even ‘wrong.’”

JohnandLeahShow logo‘The John & Leah Show’ Lands New York Affiliate WNYM.  The syndicated weekend talk show “The John & Leah Show” is now being heard on Salem Media Group-owned news/talk WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer.”  Hosted by radio pros John Ziegler and Leah Brandon, the Envision Networks-syndicated show that deals with “the week’s news focusing on media, politics, sports and pop culture” airs Sundays at 10:00 pm.  Salem Media Group New York VP/GM Jerry Crowley says, “‘AM 970, The Answer’ in New York is excited to air the ‘John and Leah Show’ each Sunday night…John Ziegler and Leah Brandon provide our listeners with up-to-date news and opinion and New Yorkers have a chance to call-in and let them know how they feel about it.”

cumulus logoCumulus Names Sutherland to Providence VP Market Manager Post. Taking over the VP/market manager position in Providence after Barbara Haynes’ exit last week is John Sutherland, who moves up from his VP of sales position with Cumulus Media’s Worcester, Massachusetts cluster.  Prior to joining Cumulus in 2013, he was chief visual officer for Sutherland Marketing Group.  He was also awpro logo vice president with iHeartMedia.  Cumulus SVP Gary Pizzati says, “Placing John at the helm of Cumulus Providence is a perfect fit for that dynamic group of stations and will maximize our position in the market.  John has many years of broadcast history in the Northeast and his tremendous track record speaks for itself.  This is another example of the opportunities for advancement and growth Cumulus offers to our employees.  We congratulate John and are pleased to present him with this well-deserved battlefield promotion.”

KMZQ-AMYahoo! Sports Radio About to Score in Vegas. The affiliation between Kemp Communications’ KMZQ “The Score,” Las Vegas and Yahoo! Sports Radio will start next Monday (6/1). Yahoo! Sports Radio chief executive officer David Gow states, “We have had a significant presence in Las Vegas through our great partnership with the [Las Vegas hotel and resort] Palazzo. It is so exciting to welcome our newest Las Vegas partner and to build on our deep connection with the market through a terrestrial signal. It’s going to be a big win for everyone.” KMZQ executive vice president and general manager Marty Basch comments, “Yahoo! has built locally-rooted connections with its national programming across the country. We are excited to be an integral part of its Las Vegas presence. From special events to nightly broadcasts, this is a great opportunity for KMZQ and its listeners to connect locally; get their national sports information; and be represented nationwide.” The lineup on KMZQ will include: Steve Czaban; “Prime Cut” with Sean Salisbury and John Granato; Leigh Steinberg; and “Sports X Radio” with Ken Thomson, who originates his Yahoo! Sports Radio show from the Palazzo. KMZQ is currently a Fox Sports Radio affiliate; the station did not appear in Nielsen Audio‘s April 2015 PPM report for Las Vegas.

Odds & Sods.  Talk pro Michael Bower (WUCS, Hartford and SiriusXM’s Maxim Radio) will fill in for WINZ,bowermike Miami’s Jeff “Defo” DeForrest on June 8 and 9…..New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will be a weekly contributor to WEPN, New York “ESPN New York 98.7FM” on the Michael Kay show.  Beginning September 3, Beckham will join Kay and co-host Don LaGreca each Thursday to talk Giants football and the NFL.

wgnhofplaqueWGN, Chicago to Induct ‘Walk of Fame’ Class.  In a ceremony that will be open to the public (and broadcast live on WGN, Chicago) and hosted by personalities Steve Cochran and Bob Sirott, the station will honor 10 broadcast legends.  The WGN Radio Walk of Fame Induction and Ceremony will take place tomorrow (5/29) on Pioneer Court in front of Tribune Tower from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm.  The 2015 inductees include: Steve Bertrand, Lyle Dean, Dave Eanet, Steve King, Franklyn MacCormack (represented by Rick Kogan), Lou Manfredini, Johnnie Putman, Ward Quaal (represented by 2014 Walk of Famer Orion Samuelson), Ron Santo (represented by his wife Vicki) and Eddie Schwartz (represented by his brother Hal Ross).

tradupKrauthammer15Conservative Commentator Krauthammer to Join Salem Conference.  On Wednesday, June 17, Salem Radio Network talk hosts Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher and Michael Medved will host a V.I.P. “Preview Dinner” in Washington, DC to kick-off the 2015 Road to Majority conference and conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer (pictured here at right with SRN VP/News & Talk Programming Tom Tradup at left) will be a special guest.  Former SRN talk host and GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum will also be featured at the conference, along with Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee and others.

2016 Presidential Prospects/Rubio Claims Assault on Christianity, FIFA Scandal/Clinton Donations, Deadly Texas and Oklahoma Floods, ISIS Military Progress, Baltimore Violent Crime Wave, Hillary Clinton Emails Issue, IRS Data Theft Case, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/27).  The potential candidates for president in 2016 and Marco Rubio’s assertion that Christianity is under assault in America; the FIFA corruption scandal and its donations to the Clinton Family Foundation; the continuing, deadly heavy rains and flooding in Texas and Oklahoma; ISIS’ military successes in Ramadi and Palmyra; the increase in violent crimes in Baltimore since the Freddie Gray case; the ongoing scrutiny of Hillary Clinton’s use of private emails for State Department business; the theft of data from IRS computers that is suspected to have been Russian in origin; 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.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

| May 26, 2015

eastlanratings logoDick Broadcasting Signs with Eastlan Ratings for Triad Market Stations.  Certainly this is big news for the Bellevue, Washington-based ratings firm as Dick Broadcasting is the first broadcaster to sign on with Eastlan in a market served by Nielsen Audio’s PPM surveys.  This story doesn’t involve a spoken-word radio station as Dick operates only classic rock WKRR “Rock 92” and CHR WKZL in the Triad market, but it’s one broadcasters of all stripes find interesting.  According to a press release issued by Eastlan, under the terms of a new multi-year agreement, the company will field its initial audience measurement study in the Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem market this summer.  Dick Broadcasting VP/GM Dick Harlow comments, “I was surprised to learn that we are the first to make this switch in a PPM market.  The meter was supposed to be the savior and all it’s done is increase our annual payments to Nielsen.  And now we find out to win in the PPM game you need a magic black box to job the system.  At some point, enough is enough.  We look forward to working with Eastlan Ratings to see who people in the Triad choose to listen to rather than who they are exposed to.  Plus the sample size will be about triple the number of meters now in the market.”  Eastlan president and CEO Mike Gould adds, “After more than 16 years of providing radio ratings in markets coast-to-coast, we’re finding broadcasters and media buyers who don’t know the Eastlan story are few and far between.  Our methodological hybrid of telephone recall (landline and cellular) and e-surveys isn’t sexy but it’s fair and it’s reliable.  We are thankful that Dick and his colleagues trust Eastlan as their preferred ratings vendor.  We are going to help save them a lot of money by getting their ratings investment back in line with the realities of today’s radio revenue stream.”

kollinsdonKollins to Program KGMZ, San Francisco.  San Francisco sports talker KGMZ “95.7 The Game” has a new PD two-and-a-half months after Jason Barrett exited the position for family reasons.  Entercom announces Don Kollins assumes the post on June 12.  Company market vice president Steve DiNardo says, “After an exhaustive search, the best choice was located north of us – way north – in Canada!  We’rekgmzlogo excited to have Don join the San Francisco programming team.  He comes to us with an established record of success – specifically in sports and news/talk formats.  His experience in managing both play-by-play relationships with professional sports teams as well as personalities makes him the ideal choice for this position.  Under Don’s leadership, I’m confident that we will continue to build on the successes that Jason Barrett achieved during his four-year tenure as PD.”  Kollins comes to Entercom from Rogers-owned CJCL, Toronto “SportsNet 590 The Fan.”

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison and Richard Neer Reminisce About Their First Two and a Half Years in Radio.  There’s a whole lot of ancient radio and pop cultural history discussed in this week’s installment of the hit international podcast for media freaks, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” as the TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher is joined by his close friend and colleague of 48 years – Richard Neer – in an intimate conversation about how they met in 1967 at their first job at the same radio station, WLIR-FM, Long Island.  They were teenage broadcasters struggling to survive in their first toe-hold as pros (while still attending college) at a small beautiful/classical music-formatted FM station in Garden City where they served as staff announcers/news readers and engineers thatneerrichard fumbled their way through the challenging process of learning to run the board and announce records that were targeted to a far older audience while trying to avoid the wrath of a demanding owner.  By 1970, they had learned their craft under fire and actually became quite good at it, earning the respect of WLIR’s owner, John Rieger, who appointed Harrison program director and Neer music director of a new progressive rock format for the station that the duo suggested.  As it turned out, the station’s new format was an instant smash, WLIR-FM went from obscurity to national prominence, and Harrison and Neer were catapulted, within 10 months of the new format’s debut, to highly coveted, on-air positions at the legendary WNEW-FM, New York.  Both went on to colorful 48-year careers in music, talk and sports radio as well as trade publishing.  Neer subsequently wrote FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) which still stands as a widely quoted reference work about the golden era of album rock broadcasting.  To hear the podcast in its entirety and enjoy descriptive insights into what it was like to be a couple of kids in small-time radio back in the late-1960s, please click here or the player box located in the right-hand column of every page on Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

ksfologoKSFO, San Francisco Raises $135,000 for Fisher House Foundation. During the Memorial Day holiday weekend, Cumulus Media-owned news/talker KSFO, San Francisco’s morning show with Brian Sussman, Katie Green and Sheri Yee helped raise $136,000 for the Fisher House Foundation.  The “KSFO Morning Show” broadcast live from the Palo Alto Fisher House Friday morning from 5:00 am to 9:00 am and featured interviews with soldiers and their families who have used Fisherfisherhouselogo House’s services.  Listeners donated online and by phone during the live broadcast and throughout the Memorial Day weekend.  KSFO supported the fundraiser through on-air recorded and live promotional announcements, listings on KSFO.com and a message from Brian Sussman on the KSFO newsletter.  This is the fifth consecutive year for KSFO’s Memorial Day weekend fundraising effort.  KSFO has raised more than $600,000 for Fisher House Foundation over the past five years.  Sussman comments, “Once again the KSFO audience has revealed its profound patriotism!  This kind of generous giving is representative of the American spirit.”

redstatetalkradioConservative Talk Digital Platforms Merge.  Effective June 1, the two conservative talk digital platforms Red State Talk Radio and WDFP Digital will become one network.  Red State Talk Radio program director Premo Mondone says, “Our goal is simple.  We will utilize the growing technology of digital broadcasting to produce the very best in grassroots, common sense, conservative programming.  This merger will allow Red State Talk Radio to move to the next level.  Put simply, I think that in time, we can establish ourselves as the dominant conservative Internet talk radio station in America.”  Joining the newly merged company will be WDFP’s Donna Fiducia (formerly of the Fox News Channel) and Don Neuen, co-host of “Cowboy Logic Radio.”  The result of the merger will be new programs joining the Red State network and the platform will broadcast two digital streams (Studio A & Studio B), which will allow the station more capacity and flexibility.  It also plans to bring new contributors on board.

westwoodoneLacrosse15WW1 Wraps NCAA Lacrosse Title Game Coverage.  The championship game for college lacrosse was played over the weekend at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia with the Denver University Pioneers beating Maryland to claim the school’s first title.  Pictured here is Westwood One announcer Jason Horowitz (left) interviewing winning coach Bill Tierney (right).

ISIS Progress in Iraq and Syria, Hillary Clinton Emails Case, 2016 Presidential Prospects, B.B. King Murder Allegations, Texas-Oklahoma Floods, Memorial Day Weekend, NBA-NHL Playoffs, and Anne Meara Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/25).   The military progress of ISIS taking territory in both Iraq and Syria; the ongoing talk about Hillary Clinton’s use of private emails for State Department business; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the allegation by B.B. King’s family that he was poisoned by two associates; the severe floods affecting parts of Texas and Oklahoma; the Memorial Day holiday; the weekend’s NBA and NHL playoff action; and the death of comedienne and actress Anne Meara were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

| May 19, 2015

limbaughrushLimbaugh to Leave WRKO, Boston – Again.  This is not the first time that Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh might not be heard on the Entercom news/talk outlet.  His show was heard on iHeartMedia-owned crosstown WXKS-AM for a little more than two years before returning to WRKO in 2012.  Now, Premiere says in a statement that it and Entercom management were unable to come to terms on a renewal deal.  “We were unable to reach agreeable terms for the Rush Limbaugh show to continue on WRKO.  A final broadcast date will be announced in the near future.  Rush Limbaugh airs daily in every measured media market in America, and we look forward to announcing exciting news for our Boston listeners soon.”wrkologo  iHeartMedia flipped WXKS-AM to business news using Bloomberg after its time as a news/talker with Limbaugh and such local personalities as Jeff Katz.  It will be interesting to see where the Limbaugh show pops up in Boston.  Unless there’s a format flip to talk in the future for an iHeartMedia FM – and we doubt that’s likely – the list of potential quality AM signals that might be a home to the show are few.  Still, it’s possible that this is just a stage of the process that will see the two sides come to terms eventually.  It would be a shame to see Limbaugh’s show languish on an inferior AM signal – seems like a lose-lose situation for both sides.

amfaminsuranceNielsen: Radio Gives ‘Brand Lift’ to American Family Insurance.  From a study with the help of Katz Radio Group looking to prove the effectiveness of radio advertising, Nielsen Audio engaged in a study to measure the brand impact of a radio campaign on insurance decision makers (ages 25-64).  The analysis included insurance decision-makers who tuned in to one or more stations airing American Family Insurance commercials and compared their engagement with the company to that of decision-makers who did not listen to those stations.  Nielsen says, “The results of the study showed that radio increased brand health metrics, particularly among decision-makers seeking new insurance, in the areas of favorability, recommendation and intent to request a quote from American Family Insurance.  The study found that insurance decision-makers who heard the campaign were 25% more likely to request a quote from American Family Insurance than those who didn’t hear it. And brand-switchers who were exposed to the campaign were nearly twice as likely to request a quote, highlighting radio’s ability to influence the insurance company’s best prospects.”  Read more here.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallHoward B. Price:  For AM/FM Radio, Doing Good is Good for Business.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison speaks with the ABC Television Networks director of business continuity, Howard B. Price on this week’s installment of the international hit podcast, “Up Close and Far Out,” about the responsibility licensed AM, FM and television stations have to serve the public with timely and accurate information during both natural and man-made disasters.  According to Price, “This is why we hold the license.”  Aside from all the entertainment elements that radio provides and that Price says he “enjoys as much as anyone else,” he points out, “That is not, however, why radio stations are licensed – they are licensed to serve the public interest, convenience and necessity.”  Price continues, “And while that definition can certainly include quality entertainment andprice howard programming that stimulates and enlightens – at the end of the day, what it is all about is being there in times of crisis… making sure that our communities stay informed, that decision-makers have the information that they need in real time, and to be able to apply the necessary time and resources to be able to deal with emergent events.  This is the role that radio was born to play.”  Price explains what he describes as the essential element of this truth.  “If you want to keep people focused on the idea that terrestrial radio is still relevant, that electrons flying out of tall sticks on a single channel is still a very important thing for us to preserve and enhance, then you not only have to talk the talk – you have to walk the walk.  And ‘walking the walk’ means that when your community is in crisis, you’ve got to be there to inform them.  You’ve got to be able to put people on the street, you’ve got to be able to go to the scene of wherever news is breaking, and make sure that people have the information that they need both to calm them and comfort them as well as provide them with the essential information that allows them to make the right decisions for themselves and their families and businesses.”  Price adds, “The old line for radio still exists… you go to any old-time sales manager and he’ll tell you radio is a street business, it’s a retail business and nothing is truer about that than when it comes to reporting the news in local communities.”  According to Price, nothing can be more important to the survival of terrestrial radio than remaining visible and relevant to their local communities.  He also explains how this philosophy applies to music radio as well as talk and all-news formats, citing examples including how, in the wake of 9/11, Scott Shannon and Todd Pettengill flipped their WPLJ, New York morning music show around “on a dime” from being an entertainment show into serious news mode without the benefit of having a news department.  They became “comforters in chief” and did an extraordinary job of rising to the occasion.  Price points out that music stations that cede listeners to talk and all-news stations during a serious crisis are foolish to give their listeners reasons to punch out because they might not come back.  Harrison and Price also discuss ways in which any radio station – regardless of budgetary and resource limitations – can be fully prepared to serve its listeners in this fashion during a severe emergency explaining that in this day and age of convenient digital communications and citizen journalism, there is no excuse not to be ready to go into action.  Michael Harrison states, “Although many people still believe that the idea of radio rising to the occasion and super-serving its audience in times of crisis might seem idealistic, quaint, naïve, and unrealistic  – even ‘boy scout’ – that it ironically might be THE answer to AMs and FMs maintaining their importance and relevance going forward.”  Harrison concludes this fascinating podcast by suggesting that terrestrial radio should always treat its audience with compassion, empathy, and a deep-seated desire to be helpful and give anyone who might be listening the support they need just getting through the pain, rigors and hardship of day-to-day life as a human being in a highly pressured, dangerous world.  To listen to the entire podcast please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box in the right hand column of every page of Talkers.com. “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” is a presentation of Podcast One.  Howard B. Price will be receiving the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech at Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12.

fccnewBobby Bones EAS SNAFU to Cost iHeartMedia $1 Million.  The Federal Communications Commission has laid down a $1 million fine for country WSIX-Nashville and Premiere Networks parent company iHeartMedia for the misuse of the EAS tones.  The company admits to misuse of the tones and will pay the penalty.  The agency writes in its ruling that the “FCC has long prohibited the transmission of actual or simulated EAS tones in circumstances other than a real alert or an authorized test.”  WSIX-FM, Nashville – Bobby Bones’ flagship station – aired a false emergency alert during the broadcast of the nationally syndicated show and, as the FCC writes, “broadcast or transmission of bonesbobbyemergency tones outside an emergency or authorized test violates FCC regulations designed to protect the integrity of the EAS system.  False broadcast of an emergency signal can cause unnecessary public concern and undermine the urgency of real alerts.  While commenting on an EAS test that aired during the 2014 World Series, Bobby Bones, the show’s host, broadcast an EAS tone from a recording of an earlier nationwide EAS test.  This false emergency alert was sent to more than 70 affiliated stations airing [the show] and resulted in some of these stations retransmitting the tones, setting off a multi-state cascade of false EAS alerts on radios and televisions in multiple states.”  In the last six months, the Commission has taken five enforcement actions totaling nearly $2.5 million for misuse of EAS tones by broadcasters and cable networks.

rtdna logoRTDNA: Technology in Newsrooms.  The fourth part of a series from the Radio, Television, Digital News Association and Hofstra University professor emeritus Bob Papper focuses on newsroom technology and the plans news directors have to upgrade or add to current equipment.  Though the bulk of the article deals with television news, radio is addressed.  Papper reports that, according to his questionnaires returned by news directors, plans to acquire new technology have nosedived over the years.  “Three years ago, 38% of radio news directors and general managers said they’d be making no technology purchases in the next year.  Two years ago, the number rose to 44%.  Last year, 69.3% said nothing.  This year, the abstention crowd is up to an astonishing 78.6%.”  Read more from the study here.

Odds & Sods.  Jim Fronk exits Great Eastern Radio’s Concord, New Hampshire where he wore two hats as co-host of the “New Hampshire Wake-Up Show” on news/talk WTPL and as midday jock on sister classic rock WLKZ “104.9 The Hawk.”

kalteralanCBS Sports RadioVoice of ‘Letterman’ Visits CBS Sports Radio.  “Late Show With David Letterman” voice Alan Kalter visited CBS Sports Radio’s “Gio and Jones” program to talk about the final three shows hosted by David Letterman.  Kalter chatted about his favorite sports guests on the show and his first day on the job at Letterman.  He also teased the surprises to come on the final show that airs Wednesday (5/20) on CBS TV.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Gregg Giannotti, Kalter, and Brian Jones.

2016 Presidential Prospects/Iraq Policy Questions, Stephanopoulos Clinton Donations Scandal, Hillary Clinton Emails Case, Deadly Texas Biker Brawl, and Iran Nukes-Gulf Military Actions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/18).  The potential candidates for president in 2016 and the issue of the U.S.’s Iraq policy being put before the Republican candidates; the scandal at ABC News over George Stephanopoulos’ donations to the Clinton Foundation; the continuing investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email matter; the deadly biker brawl in Waco, Texas over the weekend that took the lives of nine bikers; and the Iran nuclear program questions and the Gulf nation’s current naval operations in the region were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, May 18, 2015

| May 18, 2015

nielsen logoNielsen: News/Talk Format Top in April PPM Survey.  That’s from Nielsen Audio’s analysis of its own data from the April 2015 PPM survey.  News/talk wins the format race – calculated based on average quarter hour share – with an 8.8 share of persons 6+.  When it comes to persons 25-54, news/talk lands in fifth place with a 6.2 share.  Ahead of the format in that demographic are (from first to fourth) are: pop/CHR, country, AC and hot AC.  View the rest of Nielsen’s report here.

alphamedia logoAlpha Media to Acquire 36 Signals from Morris Communications.  With the announced intent to buy 36 stations in eight markets from Morris Communications, Alpha Media says it’s on track to hit the 135-station mark.  Morris operates radio stations in: Topeka; Salina, Kansas; Amarillo, Texas; Palm Springs and Victor Valley, California; Anchorage; Wasilla, Alaska; Grays Harbor-morriscommunicationsHoquiam, Washington and Wenatchee-Columbia River, Washington.   Alpha chairman Larry Wilson comments, “What a wonderful thing it is to combine with such a fine stable of radio properties.  They bring heritage radio stations to our platform that will truly enhance our growth opportunities extensively.”  Morris Communications chairman and CEO William S. Morris III says, “We are pleased to enter into this agreement with Larry Wilson and his exceptional team.  They are experienced operators that will maintain the ongoing success of these stations.  We take comfort in knowing we have superior employees in each market that will continue to serve these wonderful communities.”  George Reed of Media Services Group is the broker for Alpha Media.

fontanadannyFormer Charlotte Radio Host Danny Fontana Dies at 65.  As reported by the Charlotte Observer’s Mark Washburn, former financial talk host and station owner Danny Fontana has died at age 65.  The Observer reports Fontana’s wife Mary found him dead in his study on Friday evening (5/15).  Businessman-turned-stock broker-turned radio personality Fontana started in the radio business doing financial/economic commentaries on WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  He then did the afternoon show there for four years, starting in 1995.  In 2000 he started co-hosting with Al Gardner on WBT’s morning show.  In 2005, Fontana bought WDYT-AM, Charlotte and ran the station for four years before tough financial times forced the station to go dark in 2009.

2015 NYC 150Talkers New York 2015 Sponsor C. Crane to Provide all Speakers at this Year’s Conference with a Radio.  One of America’s leading independent manufacturers and distributors of radios and radio-related products, C. Crane, will be providing each of the approximately 65 speakers at Talkers New York 2015 with a brand new radio.  The gesture, hailed by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison as “really boss,” is a symbolic display of support for the continuing importance of over-the-air broadcasting as a basic American communications platform.  Continuing beyond his retro-ese blurt, Harrison states, “C. Crane is not only a major force in keeping the concept of over-the-air radio alive and well, the company has long been a fabulous friend to the radio industry through its numerous, long-term sponsorships of stations, networks andccrane logo programs.”  Harrison adds, “Company president Bob Crane knows that the best target consumer group for superb new radios are people who are already listeners to and fans of the medium.  We can all take a lesson from that simple and obvious observation in terms of giving people who already know how to use this elegant little system known as ‘AM/FM radio’ compelling reasons to stick around.”  C. Crane is one of 15 sponsors of Talkers New York 2015 that include (in alphabetical order): ABC News Radio, American Family Farmer, Broadcasters General Store, Comrex Corporation, C. Crane, The Ric Edelman Show, The Sean Hannity Show, Life Coach Media, Newsmax, Premiere Networks, Radio America, The Dave Ramsey Show, Talk Radio News Service and A Touch of Grey (radio show).  Although registrations for the 18th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most-important annual convention are sold out, several major sponsorship opportunities are still available.  For information please call 413-565-5413.  Talkers New York 2015 is a one-day event that takes place on Friday, June 12 at the historic India House in New York’s financial district.  For the latest agenda please click here.

Odds & Sods.  Former Boston talk radio producer Jeremy Leahy is now hosting his own show on the Cleveland, Tennessee-based digital station “Red State Talk Radio Network.”  Leahy’s program, “Standing Ground,” premieres on Thursday, May 28 at 7:00 pm ET.  During his career, Leahy has worked with conservative talk hosts including Jay Severin, Laura Ingraham and Bill O’Reilly…..NPR vice president for programming Eric Nuzum is exiting the public radio corporation for SVP of original programming for Amazon.com-owned Audible.com…..Radio personality Mark West’s oldies and talk morning show on WALL, Middletown, New York ends.  West had been brokering the time on the station and the rest of the dayparts had flipped to a regional Mexican format.

Cool Job Opportunity. Are you ready to go back to school?  Montclair State University Radio in beautiful, suburban Montclair, New Jersey, is looking for a new general manager.  Reporting to the director of the school of communication and media, the general manager is responsible for overseeing the 24/7 operation of WMSC-FM.  The GM will work closely with students, administration, faculty, staff, and alumni to develop a presence for the university radio station, which serves campus and local communities as well as a more global audience through the Internet. S/he will teach courses and workshops for students, fostering a rich learning environment and enabling the development of skills in all key areas of radio programming and production. S/he will also be responsible for maintaining full Federal Communications Commission compliance for the university’s licensed radio station.  Click HERE for more information and to apply online.

Friday, May 15, 2015

| May 15, 2015

2015 NYC 150Talkers New York 2015 Is Sold Out.  The 18th annual installment of the talk media’s longest-running and most important national convention — Talkers New York 2015 – was declared sold out at the end of business Thursday (5/14).  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “We are gratified by the strong registration response this event has received and we clearly do not like to turn folks away – however, we must abide by New York City’s building codes, not to mention be sensitive to the comfort and safety of our attendees. Plus, intimacy is one of this conference’s historic selling points.”  All sessions will be video recorded and posted on Talkers TV shortly after the event for those who could not attend.  The convention will be located at the historic India House Club dramatically situated at One Hanover Square in the heart of Manhattan’s financial district.  It is an all-day event – 8:45 am to 6:15 pm.  For remaining available sponsorship information, please call 413-565-5413.  To see the latest agenda, please click here.

fostergregProgrammer Moves at iHeartMedia Denver.  A change in title – and a promotion – for iHeartMedia’s Greg Foster as he moves from SVP of programming to vice president of news, talk and sports for the Denver station group that includes news/talk outlets KOA “Newsradio,” KHOW “TalkRadio 630,” and KKZN “Real Talk 760.”  Foster is and will continue to be a brand coordinator for the company’s news/talk and sports stations.  With Foster’s new position comes the arrival of Josh Everett to serve as program director for KHOW and KKZN.  Everett moves west from the company’s Albany cluster where he’s been serving as program and news director for news talk WGY-AM/FM and sports talk WOFX.  Foster says of Everett, “Josh is a rising star in our industry.  We’re fortunate to have a programmer of his caliber at the helm of these unique spoken word stations.”

wmel logoWMEL, Cocoa Beach Names Vince Young Program Director.  The AM news/talker serves Florida’s Space Coast and owner John Harper says promoting midday talk personality Vince Young to PD is a “great fit.”  Harper states, “I am proud to have Vince Young in the position of program director for WMEL Radio.  His abilities, knowledge and personality make him a great fit for the WMEL talk radio family.  I know Vince has the trust and confidence of everyone here at WMEL Radio to continue the tradition of great talk radio.”  Young’s been with WMEL since 2000 in a variety of capacities – working behind the scenes in the production department, while also broadcasting his eponymous political talk show, currently heard from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Young comments, “I love the WMEL focus on local people, news and community, and I’ve been impressed by the diversity of our team.  I’m very proud of the exceptional lineup that WMEL has put together, which includes Dave Ramsey, Doug Stephan, Jim Bohannon and Dana Loesch, among other talk show hosts broadcasting nationally right alongside is our powerful local broadcast team with terrific shows that serve our community’s needs.”

dennisjohnWEEI’s John Dennis to Return to AM Show on Monday.  About a month after entering rehab for alcohol addiction, WEEI, Boston morning drive co-host John Dennis tells the Boston Herald’s Steve Buckley that he’s going to return to work on Monday, May 18.  Dennis tells the paper he’s already met with co-hosts Gerry Callahan and Kirk Minihane.  Station general manager Phil Zachary is quoted saying, “After speaking with his doctor and seeing that glint in his eye, it will be good to have him back in his old routine.”  Dennis says he did two weeks of inpatient treatment and has been attending an outpatient program that will continue for another month or so.  He tells the Herald, “The smartest thing I did was to come out of the alcoholic’s closet, to steal a phrase.  The thing that held me back, the thing I was most afraid of, was going public with this and hearing the response and the reaction, or the criticism, whatever.  I didn’t know what to expect.”  Read the Herald story here.

ramseySummitSD15Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership Summit Takes Place in San Diego.  Earlier this week nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey hosted the EntreLeadership Summit in San Diego at the Omni La Costa Resort.  Pictured here at the conference are (from l-r): John Maxwell, Pat Lencioni, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Ramsey, Christy Wright and Chris Hogan.  The speakers provided attendees with knowledge on building company culture, communication, work/life balance and organizational health.  Ramsey’s EntreLeadership “is the process of leading to cause a venture to grow and prosper, combining the innovative spirit of an entrepreneur with the passion and drive of a leader.  This philosophy is how Ramsey has grown his highly successful company and trained his leadership team since day one.”

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Fourth Round of April 2015 PPM Data.  The fourth of four rounds of April 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The April 2015 survey period covered March 26 through April 22.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Odds & Sods.  Sports radio pro Anita Marks is taking on a weekend talk show at ESPN O&O WEPN-FM, New York and will serve as a daily contributor, including anchoring SportsCenter updates.  Her weekend program will air Sundays at 11:00 am.  Marks was most recently with NBC Sports Radio.  She’s also done work for CBS Sportsmarksanita Radio, the MSG Network as well as CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York…..At pubcaster WFPL, Louisville, James Bickers comes aboard full time as the local host and producer of NPR’s “Morning Edition” and Jonathan Bastian is named the new midday host and producer of the Diane Rehm show, “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” “Here and Now” and Kentucky’s statewide newscast…..CBS RADIO’s Philadelphia cluster – including news/talk WPHT, all-news KYW, and sports talk WIP – are continuing their relationship with the largest cbsphillyhigh school rowing event in the world: Stotesbury Cup Regatta presented by Toyota.  CBS Radio Sponsorship Group serves as the marketing, media and sponsorship arm for the Stotesbury Cup which has been held continuously on the Schuylkill River since 1927, attracting almost 6,000 high school athletes from some 200 high schools and brings in more than 30,000 spectators over two days.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is now heard onfreemanedge new affiliate WOMI-AM/FM, Owensboro, Kentucky…..“Armed American Radio” with host Mark Walters adds 13 new affiliates including: KNTH, Houston; WWTC, Minneapolis; WGKA, Atlanta; and KYKN, Salem, Oregon…..“Motley Fool Money” with host Chris Hill is now heard on three new Virginia signals: WMNA, Gretna; WIQO, Lynchburg; and WBZS, Roanoke…..“Extreme Genes Family History Radio” adds affiliates KELY, Ely, Nevada and WMXI, Laurel, Mississippi.

talkersten logoObama Georgetown Speech and Michelle Obama Racism Commencement Tied Atop Talkers TenTM for Week of May 11-15.  The content of a speech delivered this week by President Obama at Georgetown University and First Lady Michelle Obama at Tuskegee University last weekend tied for the top spot on the Talkers TenTM as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 was discussion about the political aspects of President Obama’s Pacific Rim trade bill.  Coming in at #3 was the case of the deadly Amtrak derailment followed by the Baltimore riots/protests aftermath at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

| May 14, 2015

levinmarkCumulus/Westwood One Star Mark Levin Continues to Gain Syndication Steam.  Dubbed “The Great One” by Sean Hannity, Cumulus/Westwood One syndicated host Mark Levin continues to grow in stature as one of the elite stars in the talk radio industry.  Levin, who has written a number of best sellers and is respected as an outstanding constitutional attorney and scholar, has added over a dozen new stations to his affiliate roster of 300-plus in the last quarter alone including KRLA, Los Angeles; WPGP,westwood one NEW Pittsburgh; WREC, Memphis; WRVA, Richmond; KTSM, El Paso; KWSX, Stockton; KFIV, Modesto; WBUV-FM, Biloxi; WPGG, Atlantic City; WTKS-AM, Savannah; KWHN, Ft. Smith; WDAK, Columbus, GA; and WFEA, Manchester, MA.   According to Michael Harrison, “Levin doesn’t always get the credit he deserves as the true heavyweight he is – but the numbers don’t lie.  He has one of the largest audiences of all the political news/talkers in America and is positively adored by the millions of individuals and organizations that make up the heart of the fundamentalist, Constitutionalist core of the conservative movement.”  Levin is ranked by TALKERS as #6 on the Heavy Hundred (the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America) and tied with Glenn Beck as the fourth most-listened-to radio talk show host in the nation.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of April 2015 PPM Data.  The third of four rounds of April 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The April 2015 survey period covered March 26 through April 22.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

2015 NYC 150Talkers New York 2015 Will Be Sold Out Today. Based on the diminishing number of registrations still open and the rate at which they are being filled, Talkers New York 2015 – the 18th annual installment of the talk media’s longest-running and most important national convention — will be declared sold out at the end of business today (5:00 pm EDT), a day earlier than anticipated earlier this week.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “We are gratified by the strong response this event is receiving and we clearly do not like to turn folks away – however, we must abide by New York City’s building codes, not to mention be sensitive to the comfort and safety of our attendees.”  Casey continues, “There will be no general registrations sold after 5:00 pm EDT today Thursday, May 14.”  The event will be located at the historic India House Club dramatically situated at One Hanover Square in the heart of Manhattan’s financial district.  It is an all-day event – 8:45 am to 6:15 pm.  Registrations, priced at $299 per person and only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities.  The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees will be the allowed limit.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card.  They are not refundable or transferable.  For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413.  To see the latest agenda, please click here.

vaccanatalieVacca Upped to Executive Producer at WOR, New York.  Promoted from producer to executive producer of the “Len Berman and Todd Schnitt In The Morning” show at iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR, New York is Natalie Vacca.  Vacca has been on the WOR staff for the past 18 years, producing such personalities as John Gambling, Barry Farber, Joan Hamburg and Alan Colmes.  She says of her new gig, “I have had the honor to work with some of the best talent in talk radio over my career.  To add Len Berman and Todd Schnitt to the list couldn’t be more exciting.”

srnlogoSalem Radio Network to Participate in Conservative DC Conference.  The annual “Road to Majority” conference is organized by the Faith and Freedom Coalition and this year Salem Radio Network will broadcast from the event that takes place in Washington, DC June 18-20.  SRN personalities Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher and Michael Medved will host a special VIP “preview dinner” on the eve of the conference and will broadcast their talk shows from Washington’s Omni Shoreham Hotel during the conference.  The political event will include appearances from 2016 presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio as well as Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Texas Governor Rick Perry plus Gary Bauer, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and FOX News Channel contributor Todd Starnes.  SRN VP news & talk programming Tom Tradup states, “The mission of the Faith and Freedom Coalition – that, in essence, the greatness of America lies not in the federal government but in the character of our people…the simple virtues of faith, hard work, marriage, family, personal responsibility, and helping the least among us – dovetails perfectly with the values we hold at SRN.  We are proud to partner with Ralph Reed and his team.”

Odds & Sods. This evening (5/14), CBS RADIO SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield will be honored by therayfieldmarc Philadelphia Police Athletic League as one of the city’s most distinguished business leaders.  Along with SugarHouse Casino general manager Wendy Hamilton and PECO SVP and COO Michael Innocenzo, Rayfield will be feted at PAL’s awards dinner for his “extraordinary contributions in support of PAL’s mission of ‘Cops Helping Kids.’”…..Westwood One News correspondent Bob Costantini is serving as the radio pool reporter today (5/14) from the Camp David Summit as President Obama convenes with six Gulf state leaders to discuss the nuclear deal with Iran.

galuskijoeWSYR, Syracuse’s Joe Galuski Loses Battle with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.  Off the air at iHeartMedia news/talk WSYR, Syracuse since last fall as he battled non-Hodgkin lymphoma, longtime morning host Joe Galuski has died, the station announced this morning.  Galuski, 64, had been with WSYR since 1988 and served as the station’s morning drive host since 1998.

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Recognized at Festival of Media Global Awards. Two honors are bestowed upon iHeartMedia at the Festival of Media Global Awards 2015 – a media industry event that recognizes innovation and leadership in the global advertising field.  The awards ceremony took place on May 12 at the Rome Cavalieri in Italy.  iHeartMedia was honored with the “Best Media Vendor of the Year” award, which recognizes the creative efforts of a media owner to connect advertiser clients with their audiences, for its work with Diet Coke and Taylor Swift.  The multi-platform campaign simultaneously launched Diet Coke’s “Get a Taste” advertising campaign and Taylor Swift’s 1989 album. The program generated approximately 500 million press impressions and 200 million on-air, digital and social impressions for Diet Coke. Taylor Swift’s album 1989, predicted to sell 800,000 units before the iHeartMedia campaign, sold nearly 1.3 million albums in just the first week, and became the No. 1 best-selling album of 2014.  iHeartMedia was also named the Silver Winner in the “Best Media Owner Sales Team Initiative” category, which honors a media owner’s local or regional sales teams for their innovative and creative sales packages implemented within the market.  In this category iHeartMedia was recognized for its partnership with Bank of America for World AIDS Day.  iHeartMedia’s comprehensive cross-platform program across radio, digital, social and outdoor delivered more than 100 million media impressions in 24 hours for “A (RED) Thank You,” a special World AIDS Day event that took place in New York’s Times Square.  Additionally, iHeartMedia drove on-air and social conversation, helping to generate over 10 million views of the YouTube (RED) concert video, the most views on (RED)’s YouTube channel in its history, ultimately raising $1 million in donations to (RED) on one day.

Obama Georgetown Speech, Philadelphia Amtrak Crash, Baltimore Riots and Protests Aftermath, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Obama Trade Bill, Iran Nukes Program, and ‘Deflategate’ Penalties Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/13).  The scrutiny of President Obama’s speech at Georgetown, including his statements about changing how the media reports; the continuing investigation into the cause of the Philadelphia Amtrak derailment; the ongoing political and legal effects of the Baltimore riots and protests; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the divisiveness in Congress over President Obama’s Pacific Rim trade bill; concern in the Middle East over the Iran nuclear program negotiations; and criticism of the NFL’s sanctions against the Patriots and Tom Brady over the “deflategate” matter were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

| May 13, 2015

price howardPrice: Covering Breaking News at the Worst Time.  Last night’s deadly Amtrak train crash in Philadelphia caught many news outlets by surprise and, according to ABC TV director, business continuity Howard B. Price, even the big networks that were on the scene late into the evening made plenty of mistakes.  But, he says, local stations need to prepare for the unexpected.  “Regardless of the size of your station, or its resources, you simply have to be ready to cover it in a timely, comprehensive and authoritative way.  It’s why you have a license.  If you were watching cable news last night, you saw waaaay too much speculation as to cause…and more than anything else, you saw talent talking more than they were listening.  You also saw stunning displays of what happens when you thrust ill-prepared anchors into continuous coverage and not give them much substance to work with.”  Preparing to cover such a news event, especially for a smaller station, takes plenty of foresight and hard work.  Price provides some detailed advice for strategizing this preparation.  Read his entire story here.

brownchrisChris Brown to Be Syndicated in Ramsey-Salem Partnership.  The new Christian financial radio program starring pastor and speaker Chris Brown is called “Chris Brown’s True Stewardship” and will launch in June.  The joint effort by Dave Ramsey’s Ramsey Solutions and Salem Media Group willramseydave debut the show on Salem-owned Christian teaching outlets in 20 markets including Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia and Atlanta.  Dave Ramsey says, “Creating a Christian radio show, hosted by Chris Brown, allows Ramsey Solutions to help even more Americans take control of their money.  Chris has been speaking to crowds in excess of 10,000 attendees with an incredibly positive response.  He is the perfect person to host this new half-hour show!”

beckerjodiJodi Becker to Leave WTMJ, Milwaukee for Family Reasons.  In a memo to staff at Scripps Milwaukee, VP/GM Tom Langmyer praises news anchor Jodi Becker for her work with news/talk WTMJ as he announces she’ll be resigning from the station on May 29 in order to spend more time with herwtmj logo young children.  Langmyer writes, “Jodi Becker has been a part of the WTMJ family since 2009.  She’s been a leader in our newsroom and a strong voice at WTMJ.  During the past few years, Jodi continued to grow greatly as she moved into Wisconsin’s ‘Morning News with Gene Mueller.’  When the structure of the program changed to have more of Gene and Jodi, the news content was broadened and a more conversational approach was added – Jodi excelled even further.  Jodi and the ‘Wisconsin’s Morning News Team’ are a big reason for the incredible growth in WTMJ’s overall ratings in the past year or so.

espnScott Van Pelt to Leave ESPN Radio Show for SportsCenter Gig.  Announced at the ESPN Upfront presentation in New York City on Tuesday was the news that ESPN personality Scott Van Pelt will exit the SVP & Russillo show (co-hosted by Ryen Russillo) later this summer as he transitions to his new role with the sports giant hosting the midnight edition of the cable network’s iconic “SportsCenter” show.  ESPNvanpeltscott signed him to a new, multi-year extension in the process and says “Van Pelt will put his own, unique spin on the day’s news and highlights while offering the commentary, guests, interviews and insight fans have come to expect from the host of ESPN Radio’s SVP & Russillo.”  Van Pelt comments, “It was going to take something remarkable for me to consider a day that didn’t include radio, and this would qualify.  To be allowed and empowered to bring some of the sensibility of radio to this space is fantastic.”  ESPN Radio has made no comment about what will appear in place of SVP & Russillo on the network.

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Second Round of April 2015 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of April 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The April 2015 survey period covered March 26 through April 22.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

welikeitloud logoNew Sleeping with Sirens Podcast to Launch on Podcast One.  The Norm Pattiz-founded audio-on-demand platform Podcast One is bringing a new music-oriented program to its stable with the new “We Like It Loud” podcast from Sleeping With Sirens frontman Kellin Quinn.  Quinn is also co-founder of the clothing line Anthem Made.  Podcast One notes that the band has “102 million streams, 83 million music video views and a debut at #3 on Billboard’s Top 200,” and now the band will being this podcast from the road on its “We Like It Loud” summer tour.  Podcast One CEO Norm Pattiz states, “Kellin and Sleeping with Sirens are in the center of the rock scene and continue churning out hits, while focusing heavily on their fans through social media.  It will be very exciting to give music fans an insider look at their favorite bands, while incorporating the unique dynamic of taking fans on the road with Quinn and SWS’ upcoming summer tour.”

Odds & Sods.  The new vice president of programming for Genesis Communications is Tom Paleveda.  He comes to Genesis’ Florida operations from his most recent post with Galaxy Communications of New York and assumes the role vacated by Len Weiner who became PD at Lincoln Financial Media’s sports talker WAXY, Miami in March…..Chicago news pro Robin Robinson adds a new three-hour Monday evening show titledrobinsonrobin “Robin’s Nest” on urban talker WVON, Chicago to her radio duties.  The longtime WFLD-TV, Chicago news anchor recently signed on with CBS RADIO to serve as fill-in anchor on all-news WBBM-AM…..Singer Josh Groban addressed his concerns over alleged ticket price gouging by a Philadelphia stigallchrisvenue on Chris Stigall’s WPHT morning show.  Groban is appearing in Philly in September and claims he switched venues after learning the first theater was adding $20 to each ticket…..SiriusXM announces that two of the head writers for the David Letterman show will join the satcaster to serve as creative contributors to the “Opie and Jim Norton” show as well as other programming.  Brothers Eric and Justin Stangel are Emmy Award-winning writers who’ve been with the Letterman show since 1997…..The Detroit News reports that Cumulus-owned WJR is getting into the bidding process for the play-by-play rights to Detroit Tigers baseball.  Currently, CBS RADIO’s WXYT-FM “The Ticket FM 97.1” and WXYT-AM have the rights that end in 2015.  The paper also reports that Greater Media sports outlet WMGC “Detroit Sports 105.1” is interested in bidding for the rights.  CBS has owned the broadcast rights since 2001.

kevtTucson Talker to Attempt Guinness Record.  The record talk host Jim Parisi of KEVT, Tucson “PowerTalk1210” is shooting for is the Most Interviews in a 24-Hour Period, and he hopes to crack the 350 mark between 10:00 am on May 24 through 10:00 am on May 25.  Because it’s Memorial Day Weekend, the One Mart Corporation-owned talk station is attempting the record in honor of America’s veterans who sacrificed for their country.  Money will be raised for local veterans’ groups during the attempt.  The first 50 or more interviews will be with local veterans, face-to-face in the PowerTalk studios.  Parisi says, “Our veterans lay down their lives for us.  They sacrificed so that we may enjoy freedoms, one of which is freedom of speech, and broadcasters should never forget that.  So a handful of dedicated people at our station will be slightly uncomfortable trying to function for 24-hours without sleep, honoring our servicemen and women, past and present.  It’s a simple gesture and the least we can do.”

Michelle Obama Racism Speech, Baltimore Aftermath, Patriots and Tom Brady ‘Deflategate’ Sanctions, Bush-Christie Iraq War Flap, North Korea Executions, Nepal Aftershock, Kerry Visits Putin in Russia, Obama Trade Bill, and South China Sea Military Operations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/12).  First Lady Michelle Obama’s commencement address at Tuskegee University in which she discussed her racism experiences; the political and legal aspects of the aftermath of the Baltimore riots and protests; the controversy over the NFL’s sanctions against the Patriots and Tom Brady after the “deflategate” issue; New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s criticism of Jeb Bush’s statement he would have approved Iraq War; the recent spate of executions of government officials in North Korea by Kim Jong Un; Nepal’s suffering a large aftershock to the quake that hit two weeks ago; Secretary of State John Kerry visits Russia and Vladimir Putin; the rancor over President Obama’s trade bill; and the U.S. military’s pondering action in the South China Sea to counter China’s military activities there were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

| May 12, 2015

usaRadioNetworks‘Washington Watch with Tony Perkins’ to Air on USA Radio Networks.  Another afternoon program is added to the roster at USA Radio Networks as it announces “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” begins airing on the network on June 8 live from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council and a former member of the Louisiana legislature.  Perkins also serves as the president of the Council for National Policy an umbrellaperkinstony organization for dozens of conservative organizations that address fiscal, social, and foreign policy issues.  He says about joining USA Radio Networks, “I’m excited to join the USA Radio Networks at such a critical time for our nation.  ‘Washington Watch’ is uniquely positioned in the heart of our nation’s capital to provide daily interviews from Capitol Hill with political and conservative leaders.  Radio has only become more important to our mission to keep God-fearing Americans informed and equipped to respond to the policy and cultural challenges of our day.  We are excited to partner with USA Radio Networks as we advance faith, family and freedom across America.”  Tim Maranville is chief content officer at Cross Platform Media Group, parent company to USA Radio Networks.  He says, “Tony Perkins has been a prominent voice in Washington for years with the Family Research Council.  The important issues he brings will now be available for discussion and debate in the open market through USA Radio Networks.”

le batard danDan Le Batard Show to Simulcast on Fusion.  According to TVNewser, ESPN Radio’s “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” will begin being simulcast on May 19 at 4:00 pm ET.  Fusion – a multi-platform, joint endeavor from Disney-ABC Television and Univision – debuted in the fall of 2013 and targets millennial consumers.  Fusion’s chief programming officer Wade Beckett is quoted by TVNewser saying, “Dan and Stugotz are an extremely engaging pair, and we are thrilled that they are bringing their unique flare to Fusion daily line-up.  Dan’s smart-yet-irreverent take on sports and the stories making headlines perfectly aligns with Fusion’s desire to present this young, diverse generation with an array of dynamic voices that have an authentic point of view and, at the end of the day, are just are fun to watch.”

rtdna logoRTDNA Reports on Social Media and Mobile Strategies for Radio News Operations.  The third edition of a series of reports from Hofstra University professor emeritus Bob Papper – whose data comes from the annual survey of radio and television news directors – investigates newsrooms’ use of social media and mobile applications.  Among the questionspapperbob answered by the approximately 150 news directors who responded to the survey include: What’s the most important new thing you started doing with social media in 2014?  Almost 49% of radio news directors reported doing something new in social media in 2014.  In underscoring the importance of developing mobile apps for news consumers, Papper points out that 55% of news directors mentioned apps compared to the next most popular answer – streaming, at 11%.  The RTDNA will be releasing new reports every two weeks through July.  See the whole report here.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of April 2015 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of April 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The April 2015 survey period covered March 26 through April 22.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Engages in Stimulating Conversations with Rebecca Costa and Buzz Aldrin on New Podcast.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison presents a “double header” on this week’s installment of the international hit podcast “Up Close and Far Out” as he interviews two provocative thinkers on the connection between human evolution and the species’ chances of survival.  The podcast opens with Harrison in conversation with a personality he describes as “one of the most intelligent voices in talk radio today,” sociobiologist Rebecca Costa.  Costa, a renowned author, speaker and consultant, hosts radio’s weekly “Costa Report” – a nationalcostarebeccaposed weekend talk show syndicated by GCN, in which she interviews thought leaders with an eye on the future from a wide spectrum of fields and disciplines.  Costa, author of the worldwide best-seller, The Watchman’s Rattle (Vanguard, 2010), says the human brain needs to evolve if it has a chance of coping with the increasingly complex nature of society and its technological/information-generating systems.  She calls for humanity rising above the traits it shares with lower animals (“the lower instruments of our aldrinbuzzgenetic inheritance”) to be able to enter an age of cooperation and enlightenment, vital to its survival, by tapping into the evolutionary advantages offered by the brain’s frontal cortex.  In part-two of the podcast, Harrison engages legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin in a discussion about the Apollo moonwalker’s new book, Mission to Mars (National Geographic, 2015) in which he encourages humanity to begin planning its future as being more than a “one-planet species” – an evolutionary step he believes necessary for humanity’s long-term survival.  To listen to Rebecca Costa and Buzz Aldrin on “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” please click here or click on the special player box in the right hand column of every page of Talkers.com.  Archived interviews currently available for download at www.upcloseandfarout.com in the “Up Close and Far Out” series include Sean Hannity, Mike Francesa, Dr. Joy Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Joe Sciacca, Christopher Ruddy, Norm Pattiz, Alan Colmes, and Steve Weisman.

wddz logoSalem Media Group to Unveil ‘AM 1250 The Answer’ in Pittsburgh.  The station acquired from Disney – WDDZ, Pittsburgh – becomes the latest Salem-owned AM news/talk to assume the brand “The Answer.”   In addition to airing the Salem Radio Network lineuptennentrose of talk hosts, local news/talk personality Rose Tennent – formerly with partner Jim Quinn on crosstown WPGB-FM – is signed on for a local morning show that will air from 8:00 am to 10:00 am.  The rest of the schedule is: Bill Bennett, 6:00 am to 8:00 am; Mike Gallagher, 10:00 am to 12:00 noon; Dennis Prager, 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; Michael Medved, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm; Westwood One’s Mark Levin, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm; and Hugh Hewitt, 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  Salem general manager Tom Lemmon comments, “Pittsburgh deserves a news/talk station that reflects the conservative, hard-working heart and soul of its people.  We’re thrilled to have an opportunity to provide an intelligent, sensible, conservative voice to the market.  We want to be a station that tackles solid local and national issues with an intelligent opinion committed to truth and integrity.

focus 360 logoWYD Media and Focus 360 Announce Partnership.  Saying that this agreement “significantly extends the reach of Focus 360‘s sales efforts and its ability to provide top-shelf service to agencies,” Focus 360 and WYD Media Ad Sales announce a new partnership.  The deal provides for WYD to provide enhanced ad sales representation for Focus 360.   Focus 360 CEO Phil Brown explains, “This is a tremendous opportunity for us to extend our sales efforts.  WYD’s resources and sales talent will enable us to increase our presence at key agencies, thereby boosting revenue and enabling us to do an even better job at servicing our partners.”  Brown says Focus 360 will continue to work directly with certain agencies where the company has long-standing relationships.  Focus 360 also will continue to build its Jelli programmatic advertising platform.

Odds & Sods.  There’s a new all-comedy station as Austin Radio Network flips its Gospel-formatted KLGO, Austin and re-brands it “Comedy 1260 AM.”…..The Georgia Association of Broadcasters kicked off its second annual Radio Talent Institute at Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia, as the opening Institute this summer from the National Radio Talent System.  The GAB sponsors the Institute, now in its second year, with further support from Cox Media Group.  Twenty-five students from Georgia schools with a “desire and passion for broadcasting” were accepted into the program.  Opening day speakers included Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey, Cox Media VP Scott Smith, and Cox EVP Kim Guthrie, to name a few.  Numerous other radio pros are speaking and teaching courses.

davislaurenCFRA, Toronto News Anchor Lauren Davis Dies Suddenly at 24.  Condolences are pouring in to the family, friends and co-workers of Lauren Davis, who died unexpectedly at age 24 over the weekend.  Davis was a news anchor on CFRA, Toronto.  She’s the daughter of longtime CHFI, Toronto personality Erin Davis.  Lauren Davis’ husband Phil Shirakawa also works at CFRA as a producer.  Lauren Davis was on maternity leave after giving birth to her son Colin last fall.  Bell Media regional vice president Richard Gray issued the following statement, “Lauren’s sudden passing was a shock to our CFRA and Bell Media staff here in Ottawa.  We are deeply saddened by the loss of Lauren, who had just become a mom in the last year.  We also want to extend our deepest sympathies to Lauren’s husband, Phil Shirakawa, who is a producer with us here at CFRA.  Lauren will be deeply missed by her family and the many colleagues here who knew her so well.”

2015 NYC 150Talkers New York 2015 Nearing Maximum Capacity.  Based on the diminishing number of registrations still open and the rate at which they are being filled, Talkers New York 2015 – the 18th annual installment of the talk media’s longest-running and most important national convention — will be sold out sometime this week.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “We are gratified by the strong response this event is receiving and we clearly do not like to turn folks away – however, we must abide by New York City’s building codes, not to mention be sensitive to the comfort and safety of our attendees.”   Casey continues, “There will be no registrations sold after 5:00 pm EDT this Friday May 15, IF NOT SOONER.  Friday at 5:00 pm Eastern will be the absolute cut off point… but we cannot guarantee that we won’t run out of room earlier.”  The event will be located at the historic India House Club dramatically situated at One Hanover Square in the heart of Manhattan’s financial district.  It is an all-day event – 8:45 am to 6:15 pm.  Registrations, priced at $299 per person and only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities.  The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees will be the allowed limit.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card.  They are not refundable or transferable.  For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413.  To see the latest agenda, please click here.

wccr logoEWTN Launches Programming on Cleveland Affiliate.  Catholic broadcaster EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network debuts its programming on WCCR, Cleveland “AM 1260 The Rock.”  The Cleveland station, which launched on Monday, May 11, becomes EWTN Radio’s 300th affiliate in the United States.  St. Peter The Rock Media acquired the former WWMK from Radio Disney Group, LLC.  EWTN Radio general manager Dave Vacheresse says, “We are grateful to all the folks at St. Peter The Rock Media who have worked so hard to make this station a reality!  EWTN Radio is the beneficiary of incredible partnerships like this all over the U.S. and around the world.  These partnerships, combined with the cooperation and blessings of bishops across the U.S., has led to a growth rate of nearly 250% in the last five years – from 120 stations to over 400 and growing!”

Michelle Obama ‘Racism’ Commencement, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Baltimore Freddie Gray Death Aftermath, Obama Trade Bill Issue, Arctic Drilling Approved, NATO Expels Alleged Russian Spies, Clinton Email Suit Reopened, and Deflategate Sanctions Announced Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/11).  Criticism of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “racism” commencement address at Tuskegee University; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the legal and political aftermath of the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore; the controversial trade bill being pushed by President Obama; the approval by the Obama Administration to allow oil drilling in the Arctic; the expelling from Brussels of alleged Russian spies by NATO; the lawsuit seeking to force Hillary Clinton to turn over private emails is reopened by a judge; and the NFL issues a fine for the Patriots and four-game suspension for Tom Brady in the “deflategate” case were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, May 8, 2015

| May 8, 2015

beasley logoBeasley Q1 Revenue Down 10.3% on Pro Forma Basis.  The asset exchange between Beasley Broadcast Group and CBS RADIO last fall makes the financial report for the former less cut and dried, but on a pro forma basis, net revenue was down 10.3%.  BBG chairman and CEO George Beasley comments, “On a reported basis, first quarter net revenue from continuing operations rose 87.2% and station operating income increased 92.3%.  However, given the required accounting treatment for discontinued operations following last December’s asset exchange, the results exclude the stations we gave up inbeasleygeorge the transaction.  As such, we continue to believe the pro forma presentation, which assumes the asset exchange occurred on January 1, 2014, better reflects the first quarter operating results.  On a pro forma basis, first quarter net revenue decreased 10.3% while SOI declined 12.2%.  The pro forma revenue decline is primarily attributable to overall market weakness in Charlotte and Tampa-St. Petersburg and softer ad sales at our Wilmington cluster during the first quarter, our reduction in spot units at the newly acquired stations and revenue in last year’s first quarter in Charlotte and Tampa-St. Petersburg related to the CBS affiliation that did not recur due to the change in ownership.”  Beasley adds, “In addition to our initiatives during the quarter to extract financial and operating synergies from the asset exchange, we made further progress on debt reduction while returning capital to shareholders.  During the first quarter we made credit facility repayments totaling $1.5 million, reducing borrowings to $96.2 million at March 31, 2015 and declared our sixth consecutive quarterly cash dividend.”

cbslogoCBS Corp. Q1 Revenue Dips 1.9%; Radio Segment Down 7%.  Radio is a very small part of the $3.5 billion that CBS Corp. billed during the first quarter of 2015.  CBS includes it in the Local Broadcasting segment (along with its television O&Os) and that division’s revenue for the quarter was $596 million, down from $626 million during the same period a year ago (a decrease of 5%).  But the radio portion of that sector fared a bit worse, dipping 7%.  Operating income for the Local Broadcasting segment was down 10.5%.

cookehollandCooke: Moms & Media.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke presents this analysis of the Edison Research “2015 Moms & Media” data from that company’s ongoing Infinite Dial project.  Cooke reports that, as previous data from numerous research sources has indicated over the years, “Mom is Secretary of the (family) Treasury to-the-tune-of $1.2 TRILLION a year in the USA.”  Moms are also tech savvy and their busy lifestyle welcomes new media.  Some takeaways from the study include: Mom spends more time per day (3 hrs 7 min) on the Internet than the survey population in general (2:51); 84% own a smartphone (69% last year); vs. 71% total respondents; and 64% of Moms surveyed own a tablet computer (47% last year).  For more data, see Cooke’s entire report here.

maylisaMay’s May 11 Return. Particularly in Los Angeles – perhaps the most commuter-centric market in the country – an on-air traffic reporter can become an integral component of a morning drive ensemble. Numerous notable examples exist in the City of Angels, including Lisa May, who will join the 6:00 am – 10:00 am “Heidi & Frank Show” on Cumulus Media rocker KLOS next Monday (5/11). Program director Keith Cunningham explains, “Lisa May is not just a traffic reporter or female sidekick; she is a radio brand and she is beloved by Southern California radio listeners. She will be doing a lot more than traffic – we can’t wait to get her in the building.” May admits that, “Joining a twosome can be tricky business. Usually you have to set up some ground rules and have a ‘safe word,’ [but] not with Heidi & Frank. That is what makes hooking up with them on KLOS so exciting. There is no telling what’s going to happen.” While her traffic reports the past two-plus decades have been heard on a number of Los Angeles outlets such as KACE, KGIL, KLAC, KMPC, KNX, KPCC, KPWR, and KABC-TV, May is best known for her lengthy tenure with “Kevin & Bean” on CBS Radio alternative KROQ. Among persons 6+ in Los Angeles’ latest Nielsen Audio PPM report (March 2015), KLOS (2.0) and KROQ (2.9) rank #23 and #13, respectively; iHeartMedia CHR KIIS “Kiss-FM” (5.3) leads the market (6+) for the third successive survey (including a February tie at #1 with adult contemporary sibling KOST “Coast 103”).

price howardHoward B. Price Named 2015 Recipient of the TALKERS Freedom of Speech Award.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine has named the ABC Television Network director of business continuity, Howard B. Price, CBCP/MBCI as this year’s recipient of the prestigious Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech.  Price is being honored for his vigorous work and pro-active leadership in encouraging, inspiring and teaching the radio and television industries to be prepared to serve the public in times of emergency and crisis.  In announcing the naming of Price the recipient of the award, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Howard B. Price is an industry hero who inspires us to rise to our highest purpose – and that is to serve and protect the public well-being.  He reminds terrestrial broadcasters that they have the potential (and are arguably obligated) to be in the same societal role as first responders such as firefighters, police, emergency medical teams and rescuers of all sorts.”  Harrison adds, “As a publisher, I am deeply proud of the numerous articles he has contributed to TALKERS and RadioInfo instructing our readers how to deal with civil unrest, acts of terrorism, and natural disasters such as earthquakes, perfect storms and historic blizzards – all of which have occurred on a seemingly regular basis in recent times. His presentations in print, at conferences and numerous speaking engagements clearly show stations how to stay on the air and mobilize their resources in a positive and productive manner when the community is under siege.”   Harrison concludes, “This is a bit of a departure from our usual focus in presenting an industry individual with this award designed to raise awareness of the First Amendment in action – but nothing could be more important for licensed broadcasting facilities than to be able to provide the public with vital information when needed, especially in life and death situations, thus protecting the platform’s reputation and credibility as a place to turn for truth when the chips are down.”  Price is a 40-year veteran of radio, television and newspapers, he is a two-time EMMY Award winner, and a two-time recipient of The George Foster Peabody Award. He has worked domestically and internationally as a news producer, assignment editor, bureau chief, reporter and anchor, covering some of the biggest stories of our time, including the 9/11 attacks, the 2003 Northeast blackout and Superstorm Sandy.  A certified business continuity professional (CBCP), Howard is charged with maintaining the operational resilience of all ABC News platforms around the globe. He also serves as an in-house consultant to the ABC Owned Television Station Group. Howard holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and an MBA in management and marketing from New York University.  A guest lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he has been a featured speaker at numerous professional conferences and workshops (including TALKERS), and a contributor to many trade publications. He is a member of the Disaster Recovery Institute International (DRII), the Business Continuity Institute (BCI), the Association of Contingency Planners (ACP), the Contingency Planning Exchange (CPE), the Northeast Disaster Recovery Information Exchange (NEDRIX), the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) and the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS).  Howard is the founder of the website, MediaDisasterPrep.com, and writes its companion blog, MediaDisasterPrep.wordpress.com. Price is fond of telling anyone who’ll listen that events are disasters only if you haven’t planned for them.  He can be reached via email at Howard.B.Price@abc.com.  Howard B. Price will be presented the Freedom of Speech Award at Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12.   For registration, hotel and sponsorship information, please call 413-565-5413.

ramseyLasVegasstaff15Dave Ramsey Brings Smart Money Event to Las Vegas.  The Smart Money live event from talk radio superstar and best-selling author Dave Ramsey was presented to a packed house at Canyon Ridge Christian Church last night (5/7).  He discussed how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence, working with local affiliate KXNT to promote the event.  Financial expert and speaker Chris Hogan joined Ramsey on stage.  CBS RADIO Las Vegas vice president of programming Cat Thomas says, “Dave has become a staple in growing our talk audience on the FM dial.  Dave is positive, upbeat, real and listeners get that.”  During the same visit to Las Vegas, Ramsey also hosted his EntreLeadership 1 Day Event on Wednesday in which he spoke about how to run a business using the same common sense principles that Ramsey practices in his own company of more than 450 team members.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Carlos Diaz, co-host of “Carlos and Dayna” on KXNT; Thomas; Ramsey; Maureen Pulicella, general sales manager; and Jerry McKenna, SVP/market manager.

ellergolferOn the Green in Greenwood.  Station owner/host Anne Eller (left) of WCRS (1450 AM), Greenwood, SC  has been out on The Links at Stoney Point in Greenwood every afternoon this week, broadcasting live from the scene of the Self Regional Classic leg of the Symetra Tour, a tour for professional and amateur golfers seeking to gain their LPGA card.  Eller has spent the past few days interviewing both the men and women behind the event, as well as many of the women competing for the $30,000 cash purse, the largest of the Symetra Tour.  One of the golfers Eller had on the show is rookie Michelle Piyapattra (right).

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Update.  The Radio America-syndicated “Dana Show” hosted by Dana Loeschloeschdana announces new affiliate stations:  KSEV, Houston; KSGF-AM/FM, Springfield, Missouri; KBYR-AM, Anchorage; KGNC-AM, Amarillo; WVFT, Tallahassee; WYOO-FM, Panama City; KCNR, Redding, California; and WBLF, Johnstown-Altoona-State College, Pennsylvania.

talkersten logoBaltimore Unrest Aftermath Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of May 4-8.  The social, legal and political ramifications of the violent protests in Baltimore were the several aspects of the most-talked-about story of the week.  At #2 was the entrance of three more candidates into the 2016 presidential race.  Coming in at #3 was scrutiny of the Clinton Family Foundation followed by the deadly prophet drawing contest in Garland, Texas at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

| May 7, 2015

2015 NYC 150HEADS UP:  Talkers New York 2015 Is Nearing Sellout.  Based on the diminishing number of registrations still open and the rate at which they are being filled, Talkers New York 2015 – the 18th annual installment of the talk media’s longest-running and most important national convention — will be sold out sometime next week.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “We are gratified by the strong response this event is receiving and we clearly do not like to turn folks away – however, we must abide by New York City’s building codes, not to mention be sensitive to the comfort and safety of our attendees.”   Casey continues, “There will be no registrations sold after 5:00 pm EDT next Friday May 15, if not sooner.  That will be the absolute cut off point.”  The event will be located at the historic India House Club dramatically situated at One Hanover Square in the heart of Manhattan’s financial district.  It is an all-day event – 8:45 am to 6:15 pm.  Registrations, priced at $299 per person and only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities.  The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees will be the allowed limit.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card.  They are not refundable or transferable.  For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413.  To see the latest agenda, please click here.

emmis logoEmmis Reports for Fiscal Q4 and Full Year; Net Revenue Flat in Q4, Up 1.6% on the Year. Reporting on its past fiscal year, Emmis Communications Corporation states radio net revenue for the fourth fiscal quarter was $38.8 million, up from $32.3 million from the prior year, an increase of 20%.  On a pro forma basis, Emmis’ revenue reported to Miller Kaplan in the markets where Emmis competes (excluding barter and syndication revenue) were up 0.8% in markets down 2.5%.  For the full year, radio revenues were $176.3 million, compared to $145.3smulyanjeff million in the prior year, an increase of 21%.  On a pro forma basis, Emmis’ revenues reported to Miller Kaplan in the markets where Emmis competes (excluding barter and syndication revenue) were up 1.6% in markets down 3.7%.  Emmis likes to frame its revenue in the context of how it performed against the markets.  It goes on to say, “February marked the 15th consecutive month in which Emmis outperformed the markets in which it competes.  Every measured Emmis market outperformed for full year fiscal 2015.  Emmis stations in New York, Los Angeles and Austin all outperformed their markets in the fourth fiscal quarter.”  President and CEO Jeff Smulyan comments on the company and the NextRadio platform.  “Despite weakened markets and a challenged industry, Emmis once again outperformed.  The radio industry needs a catalyst for growth, and we are convinced we have it with NextRadio, the Emmis-developed free smartphone app that marries over-the-air local FM broadcasts with visual and interactive features.  The radio industry’s consumer awareness campaign for NextRadio has had remarkable results, further validating the promotional power of radio.  Consumers exposed to NextRadio overwhelmingly love it.  Average Time Spent Listening (ATSL) per session on NextRadio is nearly double traditional listening, all major radio companies are supporting the effort, and we are adding 350,000 activations each month.  The momentum is tremendous.”

townsquare logoTownsquare Media Q1 Net Revenue Up 2.5%.  That’s compared to the same period one year ago.  The company’s 2015 first quarter net revenue was $81,118,000.  The press release also notes Local Advertising net revenue was flat; Live Events net revenue increased 5.1%, and 59.7% excluding non-recurring festivals; and Other Media and Entertainment net revenue increased 29.%.  Townsquare Media chairman and CEO Steven Price states, “In the first quarter of 2015, we delivered net revenue growth of 6.5% excluding political revenue and non-recurring festivals.  We are pleased with our first quarter performance, in the face of challenges presented by harsh weather conditions which particularly affected our Northeastern markets.  These challenges impacted our Local Advertising segment and were offset by the strength in our Live Events segment and in Other Media and Entertainment.”

salemmediagroup logoSalem Media Group Flat for First Quarter of 2015.  As a whole, Salem Media Group reports flat net revenue – down 0.8% revenue of $61.9 million — for the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same period a year ago.  Breaking it down by sector, the broadcasting division saw net revenue dip 0.5% to $46.5 million from $46.8 million.  The digital sector also reversed course and dropped 4.6% on revenue of $10.8 million.  Publishing, on the other hand, rose 6.2% to $4.5 million from $4.3 million.

advantagesystems logoSchatz Back with Advantage Systems.  The sales consultancy firm Advantage Systems Inc. brings Jeffrey A. Schatz back into the fold as director of integrated sales.  Schatz comes to the company from Digity Companies where he was director of revenue development.  Prior to that he was vice president of total marketing solutions forschatzjeffrey Townsquare Media from 2009-14.  Schatz comments, “I am excited to be joining Advantage Systems Inc. again!  I’ve spent the last seven years helping broadcast companies generate revenue through integrated selling.  Advantage offers a variety of integrated sales platforms, which align perfectly with my experience in helping media companies maximize their sales efforts in broadcast, online, digital, and interactive.  These platforms will generate an annual revenue base for our media partners in their local markets.  I’ve also been involved with Musical Images and Custom Creative and am excited to be able to offer these services through Advantage Systems Creative to enhance local clients’ existing marketing efforts.  It’s the perfect marriage!”  Advantage president Mike Loconte says, “We are ecstatic to have a veteran like Jeff back on our team.  Jeff knows the challenges experienced by our media partners first hand.  He knows the ins and outs and he’s worn every hat, so he can relate to our clients in a very unique way.  His experience in traditional and digital sales along with his creative experience makes him the perfect fit for this position.”

Robert SanchezSanchez Adds WLZL OM Duties. WNEW-FM, Washington, D.C. program director Robert Sanchez takes on further responsibilities as operations manager of CBS Radio Spanish tropical sibling WLZL “El Zol 107.9 FM.” He succeeds Pete Manriquez, who was the program director of “El Zol.” Senior vice president and market manager Steve Swenson comments, “We have a lot of talented people at ‘El Zol’ who will work with Rob in taking the station to new heights. The experiences of everyone will be of great help to Rob as the team works together. Rob is a straight shooter, he knows CBS Radio, and he is a winner. I would like to thank Pete for his work as one of the executives on my team.” Sanchez remarks, “Pete did a great job in creating a radio station that sounds wonderful. He has been incredibly supportive of his programming staff and it has shown in what comes out of the speakers.” Ever since all-news WNEW-FM debuted in November 2011, Sanchez has been the station’s only PD. Among persons 6+ in Washington, D.C.’s latest Nielsen Audio PPM report (March 2015), WLZL (1.9) and WNEW-FM (1.7) finish at #19 and #20, respectively; meanwhile, Hubbard all-news WTOP (9.1) is the market’s (6+) pacesetter for the third successive survey.

wansleytyChicago News, Talk and Urban Radio Pro Ty Wansley Dead at 63.  A week after being admitted to a Chicago hospital suffering from congestive heart failure, Ty Wansley has died.  Wansley’s career in Chicago spanned more than three decades and included success in urban, news, and talk formats.  Wansley had been serving as the news and information director for iHeartMedia’s three urban outlets: hip hop WGCI, urban AC WVAZ and gospel WGRB.  He began his career in his native St. Louis.  He became news director at the old WBMX, Chicago, served as a talk host on urban talk outlet WVON and was famously paired up with former Chicago Alderman Ed Vrdolyak on news/talk WLS-AM in 1993 – a show that became a ratings smash.  That show continued its success on crosstown WJJD.

Baltimore Aftermath, Prophet Drawing Contest Attack, Clinton Family Foundation Scrutiny, Tsarnaev Penalty Phase, Gay Marriage SCOTUS Case, Obama Trade Deal, Amnesty Issue, and Patriots Deflategate Report Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/6).  The political repercussions of the Freddie Gray death in Baltimore; controversy over the Garland, Texas prophet-drawing contest that was attacked by purported ISIS sympathizers; the ongoing scrutiny of the Clinton Family Foundation operations; the penalty phase of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev; the case of four states with anti-gay marriage laws that went before the Supreme Court; President Obama’s foreign trade deal; the controversy over amnesty for illegal aliens in the U.S.; and the NFL’s report on the Patriots’ deflation of game balls were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

| April 29, 2015

pricehowardPursuing Truth Amid Civil Unrest.  Media outlets have experienced a number of situations recently that qualify as true “danger zones” in which to send their reporters and tech crews if they choose to cover the event first hand.  ABC TV director of business continuity Howard B. Price writes today about the hazards radio news staffers are facing in situations similar to what’s been happening in Baltimore and – not too long ago – Ferguson, Missouri.  He presents a plan for broadcasters to follow in preparing for coverage of such news events in the future.  Read his entire piece here.

dickeylewLew Dickey, Cumulus, Agree to Continuation. The co-founder of Cumulus Media will be remaining in-place for at least another three years: Lew Dickey extends his employment agreement as the company’s president and chief executive officer. In addition, he will carry on as a board member through 2018. According to board member Jeff Marcus, “We are grateful that Lew Dickey, who has built Cumulus into a leading national media business, has renewed his commitment to lead the company into the future. I look forward to continuing to collaborate with Lew to build value for our shareholders.” In other news at the Atlanta-based company, Ridgemont Equity PartnersRobert “Trey” Sheridan, III, will retire from Cumulus’ board when his termCumulus ends at this year’s annual stockholders meeting; Association of Magazine Media (MPA) president and chief executive officer Mary Berner will be nominated to fill Sheridan’s vacated seat. Dickey comments, “We are fortunate to be adding Mary Berner to our board. Her insights and experience will be valuable as we continue to position the company for long-term success in the changing media landscape.” Elsewhere, Cumulus lead director, Jeffrey Marcus, is appointed non-executive board chair. Marcus has been a Cumulus board member since 2011. He is a partner with Crestview Partners, Cumulus’ largest stockholder.

zampillodanRed Zebra Officially Names Dan Zampillo to PD WTEM, Washington.  The company owned by Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder announces former WXYT-FM, Detroit and SiriusXM program director Dan Zampillo is taking over the programming reigns at its sports talk WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980.”  The PD position opened up after Chuck Sapienza exited in the middle of the on-off-on again addition of the new “Man Cave” morning show hosted by Chris Paul and Jason ReidRed Zebra Broadcasting CEO Rick Carmean says, “When it comes to sports, we have the best on-air talent in the area.  We look forward to having Dan join our team.  He brings great leadership, experience and fresh insight.”


What News/Talk Fans Are Doing When They’re Not Listening To Your Station.  In a piece prepared for TALKERS magazine by Jacobs Media based on data from the company’s recently released Techsurvey 11, company president Fred Jacobs presents a media and tech profile of news/talk P1s.  He notes that while news/talk P1s tend to lag behind younger demos in the tech and social media areas, that’s changing.  “Fans of the format are more likely to own a tablet, listen to podcasts, and subscribe to satellite radio.  They are less apt to be social networkers.  Compared to just a few short years ago, news/talk devotees are catching up tech-wise with their kids.  The data show that six in 10 stream video at least weekly while nearly eight in 10 own a smartphone.”  See how news/talk P1s choose to use social media and why they turn to broadcast talk radio.  Read the entire piece here.

Odds & Sods.  From the podcast genre comes news that PodcastOne is unveiling a new series featuring TV personality and entertainment reporter Katie Wagner, and international celebrity psychic Voxx Voltair.  Dubbed, “InnerView with Katie and Voxx,” it promises to combine “the hottest news in Hollywood with astrology, clairvoyance, numerology, and Tarot readings and features the latest gossip, fashion trends, and secrets from celebrity guests.”…..At the same time CBS RADIO and CBS Local Digital Media announce some new on-demand programming on its Play.it platform.  New shows include podcasts from SHOWTIME Boxing Commentator Paulie Malignaggi, ELLE Style correspondent Alia Ahmed-Yahia, TED.com speaker Julian Treasure, former CNN senior executive producer Michael Schulder’s “Wavemaker Conversations,” “The Marilu Henner Show”; and “Boomer & Carton” producer Al Dukes’ interview series with media moguls called, “Al’s Boring Podcast.”…..SiriusXM is launching “Let’s Talk with Abby and Ari,” a live, one-hour weekly, call-in show hosted by MSNBC The Cycle’s Abby Huntsman and Ari Melber.  The show will entail Huntsman and Melber examining the news of the day first, and welcoming tastemakers and newsmakers for interviews in a relaxed, casual style.  “The show will be a conversation at the cross-section of current events, politics and entertainment.”…..ESPN 2 “First Take” moderator Cari Champion is now hosting a new weekly ESPN Audio podcast called, “espnW Presents: Be Honest with Cari Champion.”  It will feature the “straight-shooting, always-honest Champion talking sports and more with A-list athletes and celebrity guests.”

srnlogoSalem Radio Network to Organize Aid Drive for Nepal Earthquake Victims.  Via its Washington-based SRN News, Salem Radio Network launched a campaign on its 1,600-plus affiliates nationwide to encourage donations on behalf of victims of last Saturday’s earthquake in Nepal.  The network is working with Oklahoma City-based nonprofit relief organization Project HOPE.  SRN will generate funds to rush food and emergency supplies to the stricken area.  The effort includes Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk hosts Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Eric Metaxas and Hugh Hewitt.

fisherhouselogoFisher House Foundation Offers Memorial Day Special to News/Talk Outlets.  As it has done in the past, Fisher House Foundation is offering news/talk radio stations a three-our Memorial Day Weekend program titled, “A Hero’s Best Medicine.”  Fisher House says this year’s program contains “all-new, compelling and diverse storytelling.  The show shares the role that Fisher House plays in military heroes’ recovery, giving family a safe place to stay just steps from their hospital rooms.”  Some of the stories told include that of Marine Cpl. Kyle Carpenter, a Medal of Honor recipient, and his family in South Carolina. Carpenter threw himself on a grenade in Afghanistan to save a fellow Marine’s life. His parents spent nearly three years in a Fisher House; and Marine Cpl. Jake Schick, a wounded warrior who attracted the attention of Clint Eastwood and landed a role in the blockbuster film “American Sniper.”  Schick met his wife in a military hospital.  Throughout his recovery she stayed in a Fisher House.  The program is hosted by KARN, Little Rock afternoon host Doc Thompson.  For affiliation details on “A Hero’s Best Medicine,” news/talk stations should send an email to radio@fisherhouse.org with the word “radio” in the subject line.

Baltimore Protests, SCOTUS Gay Marriage Arguments, Clinton Foundation Scrutiny, Nepal Quake Aftermath, 2016 Presidential Prospects, and Iranian Navy Intercepts U.S. Ship Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/28).  The tactics to curb the violent protests in Baltimore and the political aspects of the event; the Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments in the case challenging the anti-gay marriage laws in four states; the ongoing scrutiny of the financial operations of the Clinton Foundation; the aftermath of the earthquake that’s taken more than 5,000 lives in Nepal; the potential candidates for president in 2016 including new possibilities Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley; and the interception of a U.S-flagged ship in the Strait of Hormuz by an Iranian Naval vessel were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, April 17, 2015

| April 17, 2015

shannonseanShannon Succeeds Pinch at Cumulus Atlanta. Former vice president and market manager for Entercom Sacramento – Sean Shannon – is tapped to replace Jon Pinch in a similar position at Cumulus Atlanta. Cumulus senior vice president Jeff Brown comments, “Sean has a track record of innovation and topnotch results. He is a passionate marketer and a strong, determined coach. We are excited to be adding Sean to our talented team in Atlanta.” Shannon remarks, “I could not be more excited about the opportunity to lead these world-class brands in this world-class city. I love this medium and am honored topinchjon have a chance to lead this team.” Prior to his Sacramento duties, Shannon, who holds an MBA from the Foster School at the University of Washington, was director of sales for Entercom Seattle. He begins his new assignment in Atlanta next Monday (4/20).  Pinch announced his retirement on April 16.  He retired from his previous corporate role at Cumulus five months ago but was coaxed into leading the company’s Atlanta station group.

dennisjohnWEEI-FM, Boston Morning Host John Dennis to Enter Alcohol Rehab.  In a public statement released to the media, morning personality John Dennis announces he will take time away from the “Dennis & Callahan” show on Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston in order to enter a treatment facility for alcohol addiction.  Here’s the text of his statement: “After some long and thoughtful soul searching, I’ve decided to deal with a personal issue once and for all.  The role of alcohol in my life is something I’ve weei logowrestled with on and off for more than a few years.  I’ve made the decision to take serious steps to eliminate the role alcohol plays in my life before it impacts my health.  I’m told it’s an arduous undertaking, but it’s one I’m willing to embrace.  I know it can be a lifelong battle, but it’s one I want to fight.  To that end, I’ve decided to take some time away from WEEI, tackle this head-on, and set a smart and informed course for a long and healthy life.  I want to thank the management at WEEI for their understanding and assistance in this matter, Gerry (Callahan) and Kirk (Minihane) for their unwavering support, and of course Kathy, for her love, patience and compassion.  This is the last I will speak on this matter, as I have much work to do, and that’s where my concentration and focus will be. Talk to you all down the road.”

ppmunit altNielsen Audio Releases Fourth Round of Mach 2015 PPM Data.  The fourth and final round of March 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The March 2015 survey period covered February 26 through March 25.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Odds & Sods.  Longtime Chicago television news anchor Robin Robinson has been hired by CBS RADIO’s all-news WBBM, Chicago.  Robinson spent more than 30 working in television news in the Chicago market.  She exitedrobinsonrobin WFLD-TV “Fox 32” in November of 2013…..There’s a new news presence at Cape Cod Broadcasting Media the company hires regional news pro Matt Pitta to serve as news director for the station group.  In this role, Pitta will be in charge of news content for all the radio stations and its CapeCod.com website.  Pitta previously worked for Cape Cod Broadcasting, exiting back in 2002.  He takes over for Laura Reckford who moves up to news editor at CapeCod.com…..A programming change at Cumulus Media’s nbcsportsradio logoKSCR-AM, Eugene, Oregon will eliminate the business talk format and begin airing a regional Mexican format…..NBC Sports Radio now has a place on SirusXM.  A deal between the sports talk network and the satcaster gives the former its own channel.  NBC Sports Radio program director Jack Silver says, “We are thrilled to have SiriusXM join our roster.  They bring a whole new audience and a wealth of avid sports fans who can now access our content and interact with our hosts no matter where they are around the country.”

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “The Costa Report” with host Rebecca Costa adds six new affiliatecostarebeccaposed stations including: WZGM, Asheville, North Carolina; WBCF, Florence, Alabama; WHFS, Tampa; WTHU, Thurmont, Maryland; and KKGM, Dallas-Fort Worth…..Both the Stephanie Miller show and Doug Stephan’s “Good Day” are added to the program schedule at KJOZ, Houston.  WYM Media Management’s, Debbie Greenbaum comments, “It’s terrific that Houstonians will now be able to listen and interact daily with both Doug Stephan and Stephanie Miller.  The combo of ‘Good Day’ leading into the Stephanie Miller show is the perfect way to kick off mornings in Houston.”

talkersten logo2016 Presidential Prospects Top News/Talk Story During Week of April 13-17.  With the news of both Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio announcing their intent to run for president next year, the chatter about the 2016 presidential prospects landed atop the Talkers TenTM this week.  At #2 were the Iran nuclear negotiations.  Coming in at #3 was ISIS military action in Iraq and following at #4 was Obama’s Cuba policy.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on the radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

| April 16, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

| April 15, 2015

FAIRHold2015Ninth Annual ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Event Kicks Off Today.  The annual Washington, DC radio row produced by the Federation for American Immigration Reform is taking place today and tomorrow at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill.  As in the eight years prior, the event consists of some 45 radio talk hosts from across the country broadcasting live, debating immigration policy while interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists and citizens who live along the border.  FAIR says that “this year’s event is focusing on the aftermath of President Obama’s amnesty and his continued abuse of executive power, the GOP’s internal battle over how to tackle immigration and the ongoing border crisis with its implications for national security risks.”  EventgarrisonMH15 general manager and FAIR spokesman Bob Dane comments, “Politicians fear and respect the amplitude of talk radio.  Hold Their Feet to the Fire speaks for millions of radio listeners and, this year, is proving that the mic is mightier than Obama’s pen.”  Pictured here are WIBC-FM, Indianapolis late morning host Greg Garrison (left) and TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison (right).  Harrison appeared on Garrison’s program to discuss talk radio’s role in the immigration issue and the relative First Amendment component.

nabcrystalawardNAB Announces 2015 Crystal Radio Award Winners.  At yesterday’s NAB Show Radio Luncheon, the winners of the 2015 Crystal Radio Awards were announced.  This was the 28th presentation of the Crystal Radio Awards designed to recognize radio stations for their outstanding, year-round commitment to community service.  The winners were chosen from thekevinbean 50 finalists.  They are: news/talk KRMG-FM Tulsa; news/talk WSB-AM Atlanta; country KTTS, Springfield, Missouri; news/talk WSOY, Decatur, Illinois; hot AC WAFL, Milford, Delaware; hot AC WTMX, Chicago; classic rock WDRV, Chicago; news WTOP-FM, Washington; news WINS, New York; and hip hop WUSL, Philadelphia.  NAB Crystal Radio Award finalists were chosen by a panel of judges representing broadcasting, community service organizations and public relations firms.  Also at the luncheon, Kevin Ryder and Gene “Bean” Baxter (pictured here) of CBS RADIO’s modern rock KROQ, Los Angeles were inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

cookehollandCooke: Report from NAB Show and NMX in Las Vegas.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas this week covering the NAB Show and the co-located NMX and files this report.  Cooke says two presentations stuck out for him on Tuesday including the NMX’s “Make Your Marketing Memorable with Visual Storytelling” by Ekaterina Walter.  For radio practitioners, the internet is the place to use images and Cooke reports some data he heard is eye-opening as Walter said, “Thinking in pictures is our nature.  Images act like shortcuts to the brain” and “speak to the heart and tell stories.”  She noted that “scientists say the average modern adult attention span is between 2.8 and 8 seconds,” and that “90% of all information transmitted to the brain is visual.”  Cooke says the NAB’s “Small and Medium Radio Markets Idea Exchange” alone is “worth the trip.”  Read more from Holland Cooke here.

garganoanthonyReport: New AM Show Slated for WPEN-FM, Philadelphia.  Calling it the “worst-kept secret” in Philadelphia sports radio, a report at Philly.com is saying former WIP-FM personality Anthony Gargano will be paired up with current WPEN-FM midday host Jon Marks for the morning drive show on Greaterwpen-fm logo Media’s “97.5 The Fanatic” before the month is out.  Gargano left the CBS RADIO sports talker recently after receiving what he called a “low-ball offer” to remain with the station.  Jon Marks had been co-hosting the midday show at WPEN-FM with Sean Brace but Brace exited the station earlier this month.  Currently, the station airs ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike show.  If Gargano and Marks do end up in mornings together, it leaves a vacancy in the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm show.

ppmunit altNielsen Audio Releases Second Round of Mach 2015 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of March 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The March 2015 survey period covered February 26 through March 25.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh’s Leukemia & Lymphoma Cure-A-Thon Raises $3.3 Million.  Last Friday, Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh program held its 25th annual Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Cure-A-Thon during which Limbaugh dedicated the entire three-hour show to encouraging listeners to join the effort to find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.  During the broadcast and in the days that followed, on-air and online donations for the fundraiser totaled $3.3 million dollars.  Over the past 25 years, Limbaugh and his audience have collectively raised nearly $44 million dollars for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Limbaugh states, “I want to thank everyone once again who donated, contributed to our 25th annual Cure-A-Thon last Friday for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Every year, the people in this audience, you, just continue to come through.”

Odds & Sods.  Former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling joins Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston as a baseball analyst.  The Red Sox star will be part of the Dennis & Callahan show every Wednesday at 8:05 am during baseball season.schillingcurt  Schilling is also part of the broadcast team for ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball.”…..KOA, Denver weekend personality Ross Kaminsky is spending some time this week filling in for Rod Arquette on iHeartMedia’s KNRS, Salt Lake City (Tuesday and Friday).  Recently, Kaminsky has also filled in for Mandy Connell on KHOW, Denver; Leland Conway on WHAS, Louisville; and for the TRN-syndicated Jerry Doyle.

Marco Rubio Declaration/2016 Presidential Prospects, ISIS Military Action in Iraq, Iran Nuclear Program Negotiations, Obama’s Cuba Policy, Tax Day, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/14).  The declaration of his candidacy for president by Florida Senator Marco Rubio and the rest of the field of Republican prospects and Democrat Hillary Clinton; the military action by ISIS in Iraq; the ongoing controversy over Iran’s nuclear program and the negotiations with the West; President Obama’s policy regarding Cuba; chatter about Tax Day; and the young MLB season action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

| April 14, 2015

wheelertomFCC’s Wheeler Agrees to Pursue AM Rule Changes.  Patting FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn on the back for work beginning the process of “AM revitalization” while acting chairman, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler writes in a blog post that he’s “committed to taking action in this proceeding so that AM radio will flourish while also preserving the values of competition, diversity, and localism that have long been the heart and soul of broadcasting.”  Speaking about AM technical issues, Wheeler says, “In the coming weeks, I intend to conclude this open item with a Report and Order that will buttress AM broadcast service and ease regulatory burdens on AM broadcasters.  The proposed Order would adopt specific measures to addressfccnew practical problems and interference-related issues that have long plagued AM stations across the country. If adopted, these measures will enable AM stations to operate more efficiently in today’s spectrum environment.  For example, the proposed Order would give stations more flexibility in choosing site locations, complying with local zoning requirements, obtaining power increases, and incorporating energy-efficient technologies.  These actions will help to ease some of the technical limitations that have hindered AM stations in serving their listeners.”  In response to Wheeler’s announcement, the NAB’s EVP of communications Dennis Wharton comments, “NAB is grateful Chairman Wheeler has announced plans to circulate an item to his FCC colleagues designed to revitalize AM radio.  AM broadcasters have uniquely served local communities for nearly 100 years.  The time is ripe for the FCC to follow through on the tremendous efforts of Commissioners Clyburn and Pai so that AM broadcasters can continue to play a vital role in the fabric of our nation.  We look forward to working with the chairman and the commissioners to help ensure the item ultimately adopted serves the American public in the best manner possible.”

cookehollandCooke: Report from Las Vegas – Day 2.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas reporting for TALKERS magazine/RadioInfo from not one, but three conferences going on there.  Today’s report is from the NAB Show – a convention that Cooke points out is often thought of more as a TV gathering than a radio conference – but there’s still plenty of talk about audio.   And, you guessed it, podcasting is one of the show’s darlings.  Cooke writes that Edison Research’s Tom Webster showcased the importance of the success of the “Serial” podcast.  “HOW impactful is podcasting?  ‘Serial’ – a 12-episode true story podcast about a teen murder – has caused The Maryland Court of Appeals to revisit the conviction of Adnan Syed, imprisoned for the 1999 killing of his former girlfriend.  To date, it’s been downloaded 68 million+ times.  Webster calls this a watershed for podcasting, ‘a watercooler moment, like what ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Orange is the New Black’ did for Netflix.  People are talking to each other about listening to a podcast.’”  The integration of social media with legacy media is also a hot topic.  Read more from Holland Cooke in Las Vegas here.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of Mach 2015 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of March 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The March 2015 survey period covered February 26 through March 25.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

premierenetworksPremiere Networks and Futuri Media Announce Long-Term Deal.  The two companies release the news of a new, exclusive, long-term national sales representation agreement between iHeartMedia subsidiary Premiere Networks and Futuri Media.  The partnership includes all of Futuri’s interactive radio programming platform brands: LDR (Listener Driven Radio), Futuri Mobile Apps, and TopicPulse – a social media monitoring system for broadcast stationsfuturi logo across the U.S.  Additionally, Premiere’s international division will offer Futuri’s systems and services to Canada and, later this year, to the UK and continental European markets.  Premiere president Julie Talbott comments, “We love working with forward-thinking companies whose teams are focused on success for local affiliates, and Futuri Media delivers every time.  This new agreement testifies to the great working relationship we’ve had for years as Futuri has evolved from LDR.  Daniel Anstandig and the Futuri team exemplify Premiere’s ongoing commitment to supporting broadcasters around the world with solutions that drive ratings, revenue, and digital engagement growth.”

envisionnetworks newEnvision Networks and Focus 360 Partner on ‘Powered by Jelli’ Networks.  Affiliate sales for Focus 360’s “Powered by Jelli” networks will be handled by Envision Networks as the two firms have entered into a new relationship.  Jelli is a cloud-based programmatic advertising platform for broadcast radio, enabling the selling and serving of advertising on behalf of radiofocus 360 logo station groups and show producers.  Focus 360 provides programming, syndication and national advertising sales to thousands of radio stations nationwide.  Its “Powered by Jelli” ad networks traffic, serve and report all ad campaigns using Jelli’s RadioSpot platform.  Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff comments, “We are excited to bring this proven revenue generating opportunity to radio stations.  Jelli is offering national advertisers a powerful vehicle to deliver and monitor commercials as they are broadcast while relieving stress on traffic departments to schedule and report those spots every day.”

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison and Christopher Ruddy Discuss Politics, Journalism, Commercialism and the Nature of Truth in New ‘Up Close and Far Out’ Podcast.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison engages in a candid and revealing conversation with Newsmax president/CEO Christopher Ruddy in the sixth and latest installment of his PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out.”  Ruddy is the mega-successful founder of a conservative-tilting news organization that began as a website in the late-1990s (Newsmax.com) and has grown into a multi-million dollar empire consisting of, among numerous assets, a dynamic website, monthly print publication (Newsmax Magazine), and most recently, a full-service television news network (Newsmax TV) that holds the potential to give Fox News Channel a run for its money.  In the podcast, they discuss what Harrison describes as the tendency of today’s media (and society in general) to “seek victory at the expense of truth.”  Harrison praises Ruddy as being somewhat of an exception to that rule – especially in today’s popular political media in which most news publications, websites and electronic media channels cater to the predisposition of their target audiences in an attempt to gain “more eyeballs and eardrums” even if it means distorting or suppressing the facts to conform to the expectations of the target consumer.  Harrison points out several significant instances in which Ruddy has actually committed what so many of today’s opinion practitioners consider a sin – he actually changed his mind and renounced formerly held opinions in the face of new evidence and facts.  The fascinating discussion delves into Ruddy’s role as a major Republican Party influencer (but not registered member) and his colorful relationship with former President Bill Clinton.  Ruddy talks about the coming presidential election and explains the mechanisms often referred to as the Clinton and Bush “machines.”  In the “Far Out” section of the podcast following the Ruddy interview, Harrison delves deeper into what he describes as the coming “Quantum Era” that will be marked by the rise of quantum computing that he predicts will relegate the current digital era to “primitive” status.  To access the podcast please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right hand column of every page of Talkers.com. 

quiversrobinRobin Quivers to Receive ‘Woman of the Year’ Honors at Talkers New York 2015. Longtime Howard Stern show cast member Robin Quivers will be honored at the June 12 Talkers New York 2015 conference where she will be presented with the Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman – known informally as the ‘Woman of the Year’ award.  Robin Quivers is legendary in the radio business – an industry she entered in the late 1970s on a daytime AM station in tiny Carlisle, Pennsylvania. A couple of upward moves later she was cast in the news anchor role at WWDC, Washington “DC 101” when Howard Stern began as morning host there in March of 1981.  Thirty-four years later, she’s still holding her own as the “voice of reason” on Stern’s SiriusXM program.  Though successful on the radio, Quivers has had to navigate challenging waters in her personal life.  A series of health issues forced her to reexamine her approach to healthy living and she is now one of the leaders of the movement to require full disclosure of where our food comes from and what’s in it.  Quivers has become a dedicated philanthropist, working hands on with numerous charitable causes both at home and abroad.  She does all this while maintaining a rigorous work schedule on the Stern program and on various other media projects.  Upon making the announcement of the editorial board’s decision to honor Quivers, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison stated, “This recognition of Robin Quivers is long overdue and can hardly even come close to serving as an accurate2015 NYC 150 reflection of the magnitude of her achievements.  She has established a unique place for herself, not just as a talk show personality in the modern era, but as one of the most skilled, accomplished and important radio personalities of all time.  It is almost impossible to describe her unique sense of timing and elegance as she practices her skills and artistry every morning within the iconic Stern universe and the indispensable contributions she has made to this amazing show’s ongoing empire in the American pop culture landscape.”  Quivers will receive the award, which will be presented by the 2014 recipient Julie Talbott, president of Premiere Networks at Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12 at the India House Club in Manhattan’s Financial District.  The conference is for working media industry people only.  Registration for the conference, which is on the verge of a sellout, and sponsorship inquiries can be made by calling 413-565-5413.  For more information, click here.

Odds & Sods. The deal between Alpha Media Group and Access.1 Communications for the former to acquire stations in Shreveport, Louisiana and Tyler-Longview, Texas has closed.  It gives Alpha ownership of: hip hop KBTT,alphamedia logo gospel KOKA, urban contemporary KDKS, oldies KLKL, and classic rock KTAL in Shreveport; and country KKUS, adult contemporary KOOI, regional Mexican KOYE, and country KYKX in Tyler-Longview…..Salem Communications reports is has expanded its partnership with Clip Interactive to roll out the latter’s Total Audience Solution platform to all 109 Salem stations in 29 markets nationwide.  Salem says it initially implemented Clip Interactive apps for their four Portland stations in 2013, expanding to San Antonio and Atlanta in 2014.  After seeing significant revenue gains and user engagement in 2014, Salem chose to expand its partnership and propagate Clip Interactive’s solution nationally…..At the New York operations of iHeartMedia, Anthony Molaee is promoted to director of digital programming and operations for the cluster.  SVP of programming Thea Mitchem notes that Molaee has been with iHeartMedia since 2007 and joined the New York operations in December of 2013.  Molaee’s promotion comes as Colby Hall joins iHeartMedia’s Entertainment Enterprises team.

schnittMets15Todd Schnitt and Len Berman Attend Mets Home Opener.  The New York Mets took the field for their home opener on Monday (4/13), and in attendance at Citi Field were WOR, New York morning personalities Todd Schnitt and Len Berman.  WOR serves as the flagship station for the Mets radio network.  Pictured here in the broadcast booth are (from l-r): Berman, Wayne Randazzo, Howie Rose, Josh Lewin, and Schnitt.

2016 Presidential Prospects/ Marco Rubio Declares, ISIS Violence, Iran Nuclear Program Negotiations, and MLB Action Among Top Stories Yesterday (4/13).  The potential candidates for president in 2016 and the declaration for candidacy by Marco Rubio; the ongoing violence being perpetrated by ISIS and other militant Islamic factions; the negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program; and the weekend’s MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

February 2015 PPM Analysis: News

| April 3, 2015

By Mike Kinosian,
Managing Editor

kinosianLOS ANGELES When we tracked the progress of all-news stations in January, we discovered something exceptionally impressive: Not one facility on that panel regressed (6+) from “Holiday” 2014.

Surely, that group could not repeat that feat January – February, but the following recaps how they fared.

News facilities that rank in the top 20 in a PPM market (6+, February 2015) comprise the following scoreboards.

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

An asterisk (*) designates genuine news-talk hybrids – stations whose broadcast day is approximately 50% news and 50% talk.

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Friday, April 3, 2015

| April 3, 2015

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides another thorough ratings assessment, as he updates the status of all-news outlets. You might recall that in January, the format – albeit with a qualifying database of approximately 20 stations in PPM markets – managed to do something rather astounding: It kept all of them out of negative “Holiday” 2014 – January 2015 territory. The natural question now is: Did the format keep this incredible momentum going? Using data from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2015 PPM survey, Mike examines the performances of all-news facilities in sweep-to-sweep and year-to-year comparisons, as well as charting them in terms of 6+ rank andPPM Monitor 6+ market share. Additionally, we have a side-by-side look of the format’s ultra-impressive January numbers and – in some cases – ironically similar February stats. See the exclusive all-news analysis and overview here.

demaiocarlKOGO Adds DeMaio For Midday Duty. San Diego talker KOGO is pairing Carl DeMaio and  Bob “Sully” Sullivan as co-hosts of the 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm “DeMaio – Sullivan Report.” KOGO program director Brian Long comments, “We are thrilled to welcome Carl DeMaio to our lineup. I have no doubt that, with his experience as a government watchdog and his inside knowledge of politics, this will be the most talked about show in San Diego.” According to DeMaio, “Our show will give San Diegans a vehicle to learn not only about important issues, but to get involved in making a difference and advancing solutions.” In addition to focusing on local news, the three-hour weekday program on theKOGO  iHeartMedia-owned station will combine investigative journalism to examine stories behind the stories. The 40-year-old, Dubuque, Iowa-born DeMaio (Republican and openly gay) previously served four years (2008 – 2012) on San Diego’s city council representing district five. DeMaio lost to former congressman Bob Filner in San Diego’s 2012 mayoral contest and he was defeated by incumbent Scott Peters two years later in a race for California’s 52nd congressional district seat. He is a Georgetown University alum.

mohrjayMohr Wins Big By Horsing Around. As part of its March Madness “Celeb Pick ‘Em” series, USA Today‘s “For the Win” featured an interview with Fox Sports Radio host Jay Mohr. Within the piece, the star of the 2008 – 2010 CBS-TV sitcom “Gary Unmarried” (which co-starred Paula Marshall) revealed how a bet he made on the NCAA men’s basketball tournament netted him an unusual payoff. It was 16 years ago (1999) and St. John’s was making a run to the “Elite Eight” under head coach Mike Jarvis. Mohr was wagering with a friend who kept saying, “Double or nothing.” His friend – a jockey at Santa Anita racetrack – eventually ran out of money. If St. John’s went another round in the tournament, the friend told Mohr he’d give Mohr the horse on which he (the jockey) was sitting. St. John’s – and Mohr – won but since the actor/comedian had a small yard, the horse was not with him very long. For the record, the St. John Red Storm beat Maryland 76 – 62 in the infamous game-winning bet for Mohr, but lost to Ohio State in a squeaker (77 – 74) the next round. According to Mohr, the primary excuse someone should offer for missing work to watch the Final Four should simply be that you are going to watch the tournament. “If you are not in a sports-friendly work environment,” he says, “I would fake a birth.” It is Mohr’s contention that talk radio show callers should push the envelope and “make the hostFox Sports Radio uncomfortable. The crazier they are, the more fun we have when we play it later when we run out of ideas of our own.” So – how did Mohr do with his NCAA brackets this year? Not bad. He correctly has Kentucky and Michigan State in the Final Four, but also included Iowa State and Ohio State, rather than Wisconsin and Duke. He had Duke losing to San Diego State in the third round and Wisconsin falling to Ohio State in the Elite Eight. His prediction for the final game is that Kentucky’s Wildcats will beat Michigan State’s Spartans.

wfan logo (2)francesamikeNewsday Reports Tense Relations Exist Between WFAN Sports Talk Legend Mike Francesa and CBS Brass.  According to a report yesterday in Newsday (4/2), sports talk WFAN, New York afternoon star Mike Francesa says his relationship with executives at the station’s parent CBS Radio have “never been worse.”  In a story written by Neil Best, the iconic media figure who will be delivering the welcoming keynote at the forthcoming Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12, has described his relationship with company brass as “very poor,” “awful” and “terrible.”   According to the story, speaking during a break in his show at the Hard Rock Cafe in Manhattan, Francesa said that for legal reasons he cannot go into detail about the nature of the dispute. But he acknowledged one source of tension is his ongoing frustration over his often pre-empted simulcast on Fox Sports 1 and 2, and CBS’ inability or unwillingness to find a contractual solution.   The story goes on to report, Francesa did not name the executives with whom he is at odds, but he specifically excluded CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves, who was a target of harsh criticism from him after Moonves fired Don Imus in 2007.  What does Moonves make of Francesa’s status with CBS in 2015? “We love Mike,” he said. “He’s done a great job . . . Let him keep doing what he’s doing and getting the ratings he’s doing and I’m very happy with him.”  TALKERS magazine’s annual feature “The 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America” (also known as the “Talkers Sports Talk Heavy Hundred”) lists Francesa consistently as being THE most important radio sports talk host in the business  — local or national – and has been described by Michael Harrison as “one of the treasures of the talk media industry, sports talk or otherwise.”  Ironically, Harrison has also described the executives that run CBS Radio, with whom Francesa is likely at odds, as “among the smartest and classiest in the business.”  So it would be to the benefit of all parties concerned, including Francesa’s legion of devoted fans and detractors alike, that this dispute is soon settled.  To read the entire Newsday piece, please click here.

proffittProffitt to Pacifica Foundation Radio as Executive Director. In just over five weeks (6/11), former KUHF, Houston chief executive officer and general manager John Proffitt will take over as executive director of Pacifica Foundation Radio. Pacifica national board chair and interim executive director Margy Wilkinson states, “We have spent much of the past year stabilizing Pacifica after a turbulent time. Bringing on permanent, experienced leadership is the next step. While Pacifica still faces significant challenges, I am confident that John can see us through them and put our network back on a path of growth.” National board vice chair Lydia Brazon remarks, “John’s significant experience in radio broadcasting speaks for itself, but it is his recognition of Pacifica’s unique place in today’s media landscape that impresses most. I fully trust John Proffitt can and will rise to the challenge.” Proffitt comments, “I deeply admire the Pacifica commitment to independent news and feature reporting that tell the stories other media outlets frequently ignore or soft-pedal. Its leadership in broadcasting and promoting local art andPacifica Foundation Radio performance is second-to-none, as is its grassroots support from the community. I consider Pacifica to be a national treasure and feel honored to work for its success.” Recording engineer and producer Proffitt spent 25 years at KUHF; more recently, he was a volunteer fundraiser/host (“Thresholds” and “Open Journal”) at Pacifica Houston’s noncommercial KPFT. He will be based in Pacifica’s Berkeley, California headquarters. The five noncommercial stations Pacifica operates are WBAI, New York; KPFK, Los Angeles; KPFA, San Francisco; KPFT, Houston; and WPFW, Washington, DC.

WABC LogoWABC to Report from the Final Four. In harmony with Cumulus Media sibling Westwood One, New York City talker WABC will have a presence during this weekend’s “Final Four.” Sports reporter Mike Gunzelman will broadcast from radio row in Indianapolis with extended sports reports within “[Don] Imus in The Morning,” “The Geraldo Rivera Show,” and “Right Now with Doug McIntyre.” According to program director Craig Schwalb,”With the continuing dialoguePrint surrounding the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and all the excitement that is college basketball, it is an important intersection; WABC will be in Indianapolis for all of it.” Reports will be featured in newscasts as well as in social media. WABC will produce two live streaming programs, which will debut tomorrow (Saturday, 4/4) and Sunday (4/5) at 12:00 Noon. Live sports streams are separate from the station’s main WABC Radio stream.

KFWBKFWB, Clippers to Host Fan Appreciation Night. Flagship outlet of the NBA‘s Los Angeles Clippers – all-sports KFWB “The Beast” – will present a fan appreciation night one week from Monday (4/13) when the Clippers play the Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles’ Staples Center. Various prizes and merchandise will be distributed throughout the game, and a halftime presentation willLos Angeles Clippers acknowledge “Beast” on-air personalities and station executives. Performances from the Clippers Spirit will tap things off as part of a 5:30 pm fan festival. Among the prizes is an MVP package that includes Clippers playoff tickets in the private suite of “The Beast” and a meet/greet with a Clippers’ broadcaster.

NAB LogoNAB Reveals Radio Board Election Results. Those voted to the National Association of Broadcasters’ radio board include: Bill Coleman, owner, Team Radio Marketing Group of Ponca City, Oklahoma. Bruce Goldsen, president and general manager, Jackson Radio Works of Jackson, Michigan. Randy Gravley, president and chief executive officer, Tri-State Communications of Jasper, Georgia. Bill Hendrich, vice president and market manager, Cox Media Group Jacksonville. Ed Henson, president, Henson Media of Louisville. Beth Neuhoff, president and chief executive officer, Neuhoff Communications of Springfield, Illinois. Bob Proffitt, president and chief executive officer, Alpha Media of Portland (Oregon). Their two-year terms will begin in two months (June).

KXKSAlbuquerque Picks Up A Sports Outlet. Newcomer to the format in Albuquerque is KXKS, which transitions to sports from a religious teaching format. According to general manager Eddy Aragon, “We are excited to bring the premier Fox Sports network to the most powerful sports radio signal in the Albuquerque market. Listeners will be able to tune to the 10,000-watt signal of KXKS [at 1190 AM], plus the simulcast signal on 107.5 FM.” Rock of Talk LLC operates KXKS under an LMA with licensee Wilkins Communications. The religious format that previously aired on KXKS moves to Wilkins’ KKIM. KXKS was not among the 21 stations listed in Nielsen Audio‘s fall 2014 ratings book.

KRFTcorcoranSt. Louis Sports Outlet Augments On-Air Lineup. Leased by web-based programming provider TalkSTL.com, sports talk KRFT, St. Louis brings in J.C. Corcoran for 7:00 am – 9:00 am duty and Kevin Slaten for 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm chores on the AM day-timer. In just over two weeks (4/20), former East St. Louis, Illinois-licensed WQQX talents Howard Balzer and Charlie “Tuna” Edwards will begin doing a daily 11:00 am – 1:00 pm program. TalkSTL.com co-owner and operator Scott Gertken comments, “We could not be more excited about the lineup we were able to finalize. We have done a whole lot in 10 days.” According to Corcoran, his morning drive show “will be exactly the same thing I have been doing. Anybody who listens to the show is going to hear J.C. Corcoran – they know what they are going to get. It will be a general interest talk show, entertainment, and a heavy dose of my twisted mind.” Gertken says he hopes to have KRFT as a 24-hour operation by next month.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The SBG-syndicated Marilu Henner program is added to the program schedule at: KINX-FM, Great Falls, Montana; WLAD, Danbury, Connecticut; WTHU, Thurmont, Maryland; and WOMI, Owensboro, Kentucky.

talkersten logoReligious Freedom Act Controversy Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of March 30-April 3.  The chatter about Indiana’s religious freedom legislation and Governor Mike Pence’s promise to “fix” the law – along with Arkansas’ vow to pass a similar law – was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  Coming in at #2 was the Iran nuclear program negotiations.  Following at #3 was the investigation into the downing of Germanwings Flight 9525, followed by the 2016 presidential prospects 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’s published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Opinion: Getting Back to the Basics

| March 31, 2015

Talk Radio in 2015

By Bill Brady
Futures & Options, Inc.

bradybillwriterJUPITER, Fla. — Over the last year, the Nielsen Audio PPM ratings have shone a light on the struggles of the talk format.  It’s not a pretty picture.

Since 2008, same station ratings in a select group of top 50 markets have declined by 39%.  While some stations still earn respectable ratings, many have lost significant audience share and fallen dramatically in rank.  A drop of that magnitude is likely to have a significant impact on the revenue side and endanger a station’s pricing structure and advertiser demand levels.

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Friday, March 20, 2015

| March 20, 2015

ppmunit altNielsen Audio Releases Fourth Round of February 2015 PPM Data.  The fourth of four rounds of February 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The February 2015 survey period covered January 29 through February 25.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS magazine and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

cookehollandCooke: Telephone Tips for Weekend Talkers.  Media consultant Holland Cooke presents the third in a series of video presentations for Talkers TV designed to increase the effectiveness of weekend talk show hosts.  You can view the entire video in the Talkers TV box on the upper-right-hand-side of this page.  Cooke writes, “Smart talkers aim for high call count.  It’s YOUR show.  But when you usher in caller after caller you introduce perspectives and voices that broaden the conversation, and you can ignite sparks.  And if you host an ask-the-expert show, callers’ relatable issues and questions enable you do demonstrate your know-how to listeners you want as customers.”  Read more here.

2015 NYC 150Talkers New York 2015 to Present Powerful Speakers Agenda. The agenda for the 18th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention is shaping up to be one of the best in the event’s colorful history. Talkers New York 2015, which is approximately 70% of the way toward being sold to capacity, takes place from 8:45 am to 6:00 pm on Friday, June 12 at the historic India House in lower Manhattan. The event kicks off with its traditional “Breakfast with Hannity” social buffet (presented by Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity) followed by opening keynote remarks by the legendary sports talk host, Mike Francesa, of WFAN, New York. Following that, Hannity will moderate a panel discussion titled, “The State of Radio Ratings” featuring (in alphabetical order): Phil Boyce, SVP, Salem Media Group; Erica Farber, president/CEO, Radio Advertising Bureau; Steve Goldstein, EVP, Saga Communications; Brad Kelly, VP, client service, Nielsen Audio; Tom Langmyer, VP/GM, Milwaukee radio operations, VP/news-talk programming, Journal Broadcast Group; and Greg Moceri, CEO, Moceri Media. That will be followed by a fireside chat-style conversation between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and John Dickey, EVP, content & programming, Cumulus Media; Harrison will then don his moderator’s hat and host a panel titled, “The Big Picture,” featuring (in alphabetical order): Alan Colmes, host, Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel; Holland Cooke, consultant, Holland Cooke Media; Karen Hunter, host, SiriusXM Satellite Radio; Chris Oliviero, EVP, programming, CBS RADIO; Joe Sciacca, editor-in-chief, Boston Herald/Boston Herald Radio; Craig Schwalb, PD WABC, New York; and Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks. That event will be followed by a luncheon networking social which leads into the Annual TALKERS Awards Presentation emceed by Westwood One talk star Jim Bohannon. Awards will be presented for “Humanitarian of the Year,” “Woman of the Year,” “Lifetime Achievement,” and “Freedom of Speech” (recipients to be named shortly). This event will be introduced by the great Dick Robinson, founder/CEO of the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. This will be followed by a panel discussion titled, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in a Changing Paradigm” moderated by TALKERS managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, Mike Kinosian and featuring (in alphabetical order): Vince Benedetto, president/CEO, Bold Gold Media Group; Kathy Carr, VP, sales & marketing, Howie Carr Radio Network; Jerry Crowley, VP/GM, WNYM/WMCA, New York; Ron Hartenbaum, CEO, WYD Media; Tom Leykis, CEO/host, The New Normal; and Cary Pahigian, president/GM, WBAL/WIYY, Baltimore. The discussion then turns to content with TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey moderating the panel “Programming Talk Radio in 2015” featuring (in alphabetical order): Carl Anderson, EVP, programming, iHeartMedia; Mike Bendixen, PD, Newstalk 1010, Toronto; Valerie Geller, CEO, Geller Media International; Scott Masteller, PD, WBAL, Baltimore; and Mike McVay, SVP, corporate programming, Cumulus Media. That will lead into a panel discussion exploring the programming realm beyond the dominant conservative news/talk model titled, “Variety, the Spice of Life.” Moderated by TALKERS GM/radio operations David Bernstein, this session features (in alphabetical order): Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning show co-host, WAQY (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; Dr. Joy Browne, host, Genesis Communications Network; Tony Bruno, host, WIP, Philadelphia; Thom Hartmann, host, WYD Media; Doug Stephan, CEO, Stephan Multimedia; and Larry Young, host, WOLB, Baltimore. The final panel discussion of the day, “Navigating a Talk Show Hosting Career,” will be moderated by Bill Hess, PD, WMAL, Washington, DC and feature Michael Berry, host, The Michael Berry Show (syndicated); Howie Carr, host, Howie Carr Show; Mandy Connell, host, KHOW, Denver; Todd Schnitt, host, WOR, New York/Compass Networks; and Dan Yorke, Host, WPRO, Providence. The convention will conclude with a “Farewell Reception.” Exhibitors scheduled to present the latest in radio broadcasting equipment, technology and services include Broadcasters General Store, Comrex Corp., among other major companies. More speakers and agenda details will be announced here in the days ahead. Registrations are priced at $299 per person. Registrations, which are only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities. The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees are again expected. Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card. The event will be an early sellout and no registrations can be sold after that point. See more information about the event here.  To register, call 413-565-5413; for sponsorship information, email info@talkers.com; and for local hotel information please click here.

berrymichaelbusTaking the Show on the Road.  Houston-based talk show host Michael Berry tells TALKERS magazine he was struggling with the problem of how to balance his need to go see some of his markets with his unwillingness to be separated from his wife and two sons.  He hit upon the solution and turned his boys’ spring break into a “Michael Berry Show DixieLand Tour.”  He got a band’s tour bus and a professional driver and they’re visiting six cities in seven days – from Houston to Atlanta – with stops in Beaumont, New Orleans, Nashville, Atlanta, Birmingham, and Baton Rouge.  He does his radio show during the day and a public meet-and-greet with the listeners at night, complete with a rock band he brings along.  Berry tells TALKERS, “I want to know the people who sell my show and program my station, and see them often.  And I want to look listeners in the eye and hear about their lives.  I think it has helped us grow our audiences and develop close relations with our station management and sellers.”

Odds & Sods.  While NBC Sports Radio personalities Donovan McNabb and Mark Malone – hosts “Under Center” – are on vacation next week, weekend host and Emmy-winner Brian Webber will be filling in with a star-studded list of co-hosts that include: Eric Dickerson, Brian Westbrook, Troy Brown, Terrell Davis, and Rodney Harrison…..Joining NPR as senior vice president of news and editorial director is Michael Oreskes.  He makes the move from his VP/senior managing editor post with The Associated Press.  Oreskes takes over for Margaret Low Smith who left in 2014.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Update.  Independently syndicated “KJRadio Show,” hosted by Kevin Jackson, joins the lineup at Salem Communications’ WGKA, Atlanta “AM 920 The Answer.”

kingNewseumLarry King Honored at Newseum.  This photo was taken at Washington, DC’s Newseum on March 18 at a party celebrating the new Larry King exhibit.  King (right), a longtime former Westwood One talk show host (who is currently hosting AARP segments on Cumulus-owned stations) is pictured here with WW1 EVP of news and talk Bart Tessler (left) and Pat Piper (center), current assignment editor for Westwood One News.  The Newseum exhibit will include King’s iconic microphone, part of his CNN TV set, his suspenders, and other items.  Piper was the producer and Tessler the executive in charge of Westwood One’s groundbreaking “The Larry King Show.”

beasleyfreedompressCelebration of the First Amendment. The photo you see here is from the 11th annual Honor the Free Press Day sponsored by the Marine Corp League of Naples, E. T., Brisson Detachment #063 and the Naples Press Club.  For the past several years, Beasley Broadcast Group has also taken part.  The goal is to observe the importance of freedom of the press and this year’s honoree is Bob Orr, recently retired from CBS News.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Marine Corp member Pappy Wagner (survived Iwo Jima), Beasley’s “Sunny 106.3” WJPT-FM afternoon host and market PSA director Sheila Book, Orr, Marine Corp member Bob Foster and Beasley VP corporate communications Denyse Mesnik.

Iran Nukes/GOP Letter Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 16-20.  The negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program and the letter sent to the Islamic state’s government by GOP senators tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was President Obama’s relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the results of the Israeli elections.  Coming in at #3 was the 2016 presidential prospects followed by the Hillary Clinton email probe at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

| March 19, 2015

schurrtomTom Schurr Named SVP, Operations for Cumulus.  Longtime iHeartMedia (Clear Channel/Jacor) executive Tom Schurr joins Cumulus Media as part of the senior station operations team as senior vice president, operations.  The company says that in his new position, Schurr will oversee Cumulus station operations in multiple U.S. markets, including Dallas and Houston, with additional market responsibilities to be announced at a later date.  He will report to president and CEO Lew Dickey, who comments, “Tom is an extremely talented broadcast executive with unparalleled operating experience across all market sizes.  We look forward to his important contribution to our success.”  While president of operations for iHeartMedia, Schurr had direct responsibility for all major market operations across the U.S.  He also managed markets including Houston and Dallas, and as a regional operations executive over the South East and East Regions, was responsible for the oversight of 100 markets and 500 stations.   He says, “I couldn’t be more excited to join Lew Dickey and the Cumulus team.  This is a dynamic organization stocked with passionate leaders and competitive team members who have assembled a great portfolio of assets and are striving towards a bright future.  It’s great to be part of it!”

rowlandjohnU.S. District Judge Gives Former Governor and WTIC, Hartford Host John Rowland 30 Months for Campaign Fraud.  The Hartford Courant reports that former WTIC, Hartford talk show host John G. Rowland was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for his conviction on campaign fraud, conspiracy and obstruction of justice.  Rowland was the former governor of Connecticut who was previously convicted of bribery in 2004.  He was released from prison in 2006 after serving almost two years for that offense.  This time around, via his political consulting company, Rowland worked for Republican congressional candidate Lisa Wilson-Foley, and his crime was hiding that fact from the public, then conspiring to hinder investigators.  According to a previous story in the Hartford Courant, prosecutors made note of Rowland’s use of his radio show to criticize his client’s opponent in the Republican primary.  The prosecution could have made more out of the use of his radio show and pointed that out in court filings when it wrote, “Although Mr. Rowland’s use of his radio show was an egregious aspect of his conduct and certainly constituted an abuse of the public airwaves and a fraud on his audience, the Government is electing not to seek the two-level enhancement.”  Rowland must also pay a fine of $35,000 and serve three years’ probation.  His attorneys are vowing to appeal.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of February 2015 PPM Data.  The third of four rounds of February 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The February 2015 survey period covered January 29 through February 25.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS magazine and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Odds & Sods.  Texas-based talk show host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo (WOAI, San Antonio; KPRC, Houston) is the on-screen narrator for the film adaptation of the John Hagee book Four Blood Moons.  Pags tells TALKERS thepagliarulojoe film opens nationwide on Tuesday, March 23…..On the monthly “Ask the Mayor” show on all-news KNX, Los Angeles, LA Chief of Police Charlie Beck joins Mayor Eric Garcetti in the studios today (3/19).  The call-in program is hosted by KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman…..XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” morning personality Dan Sileo is the new host of the sileodanSan Diego Padres pre-game show.  “The Mighty 1090” serves as the flagship for Padres baseball…..Vince Russo brings his podcast “Vince Russo’s The Brand” to The RELM Network.  The digital platform now features 24 shows, including: “Buzz Burbank News and Comment,” the Kirk McEwen show,” the Marc & Lowell show, Brad & Britt, and “Foodie & The Beast.”…..The New England Patriots and Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston extend their relationship for another three years.  The new deal means the continuation of “Patriots Monday” and “Patriots Friday” programming that provides fans weekly access to exclusive interviews with Tom Brady, Coach Bill Belichick and others.

Israeli Elections/Referendum on Netanyahu, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Hillary Clinton Email Probe, Iran Nukes/GOP Letter Issue, Obama ‘Mandatory Voting’ Comment, Starbucks Race Conversation Campaign, and Chris Borland Quits NFL Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/18).  The victory of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party in Israel’s elections; the potential candidates for president in 2016 and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s recent trip to New Hampshire; the ongoing probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email for State Department business; the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program and the letter sent to the Islamic state by GOP senators; President Obama’s suggestion that voting be made mandatory; the flap over Starbucks’ campaign to discuss race matters with its customers; and the state of the NFL in the wake of Chris Borland’s retirement from the game at age 24 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

| March 18, 2015

bouvardpierreBouvard Joins Cumulus Media as CMO. Former president of sales for ArbitronPierre Bouvard – is named chief marketing officer of Cumulus. The New York City-based media research, sales, and marketing expert will direct Cumulus’ strategy for its local and national brands. Cumulus president and chief executive officer Lew Dickey comments, “Pierre is one of the radio industry’s most effective advocates. He understands the power of our great medium and is uniquely positioned to leverage audience insights to help advertisers take full advantage of our platform to deliver national scale with local activation. Incremental data beyond ratings is rapidly becoming the most important component in advertising decisions; we are excited to have Pierre leading our effort to help our clients achieve a superior return on investment.” Bouvard – who begins his new assignment today (Wednesday, 3/18) – states that, “Cumulus is America’s fastest growing major radio group. Over the last ten years, their national revenues have grown tenfold from $50 million to $500 million. They have transformed themselves into a major market, cross-media national platform through the merger of Westwood One and Cumulus Radio Networks; launch of the ‘Nash’ country music lifestyle brand; and the Rdio onlineCumulus radio partnership. Radio is the soundtrack for the American worker and ‘king of the road.’ Cumulus has impressive solutions for advertisers and agencies to reach the right audience and accomplish their brand and sales objectives.” Most recently, Bouvard was senior vice president of sales for TiVo Research & Analytics. Prior to his lengthy Arbitron tenure, Bouvard was executive vice president of Coleman Insights.

nrgmediaJack Taddeo Joins NRG Media’s Waterloo/Cedar Rapids Operations.  Consultant and radio management pro Jack Taddeo is the new general manager for NRG Media’s Waterloo and Cedar Rapids, Iowa stations: rock KFMW, Waterloo; classic hits KOKZ, Waterloo; sports talk KWLO, Waterloo; and news/talk KXEL, Waterloo.   NRG Media chief operating officer Chuck DuCoty comments, “We couldn’t be more pleased to have Jack Taddeo on board.  He is an outstanding broadcaster who demonstrates strategic vision, outstanding coaching skills and great leadership.”

giffordRDEshotLarry Gifford: Radiodays Europe 2015 – Day Three.  The overriding theme of the just-concluded three-day radio conference in Milan, Italy was the future of content distribution, according to consultant and talent coach Larry Gifford, who filed a series of special reports for TALKERS magazine.  “Talk of the future of radio and audio was pervasive. ‘The connected age,’ ‘second screens,’ and ‘visualizing radio’ were some of the buzz phrases heard throughout the three days.  Everyone seemed to be talking about how important it is to embrace video, studio cams, and social media,” Gifford writes.  Get more of Gifford’s summary of the event, including some insight into how one Australian morning show is embracing the digital platform, here(Pictured here is Gifford delivering his “30 Ideas in 45 Minutes” session on Tuesday. Photo by James Cridland.)

boldgoldmediagroup logoBold Gold Media Forms Foundation for Training Tomorrow’s News/Talk Broadcasters.  The broadcasting company that operates nine commercial radio stations in Northeast Pennsylvania and Upstate New York is announcing a new effort “to help prepare tomorrow’s frontline communicators.”  Bold Gold Media Group is establishing the Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation – a non-profit organization that is an altogether separate and distinct entity from Bold Gold’s commercial broadcast operations.  Bold Gold says the Foundation will focus its efforts on providing funding and resources to educational organizations that train tomorrow’s broadcast and media leaders.  While the Foundation encourages young people in all areas of broadcasting, it is currently placing particular emphasis on supporting the advancement and training in the various spoken-word andbenedettovince informational formats such as news and talk.  Bold Gold president Vince Benedetto states, “Radio broadcasting is the most powerful, informative, and persuasive medium in the world, and the news and talk formats are extremely demanding, and like all media, evolving… and we need the best and brightest communicators of tomorrow to begin preparing for these fields today.  Investing in the future providers of our communication needs is imperative.  The most trusted broadcasters have always been those who could provide timely, reliable and compelling information and entertainment you couldn’t find anywhere else… they were live and they were local.  That’s still true and even more important than ever, but powerful broadcasting is now about being on-air, online, mobile, social, live and local!  That’s what future leaders in our medium need to be preparing for, and the Foundation intends to support efforts that seek to do just that.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “This is a very exciting initiative.  Vince Benedetto is a rising young star among station group owners who are passionate about radio and dedicated to having it continue to grow to the fullest extent of its potential.”  The Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation will be having its Inaugural Fundraising Event on Tuesday evening the 19th of May at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre, PA, and will feature citizen-journalist James O’Keefe, of Project Veritas, as the guest speaker.  To support the work of the Foundation and to purchase tickets to the May 19th event, go to www.BoldGold.org, or email the Foundation at:  info@BoldGold.org.  Meet Vince Benedetto at Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12.  To register, call 413-565-5413.

ppmunit altNielsen Audio Releases Second Round of February 2015 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of February 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington (D.C.), Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The February 2015 survey period covered January 29 through February 25.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS magazine and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

newsmax logoNewsmax Feed Network Achieves 67 Million Uniques in February.  According to data from comScore, Newsmax Media’s Newsmax Feed Network posted a record 67.4 million unique visitors last month.  The Newsmax Feed Network is a proprietary syndicated headline box that is carried on more than 2,000 websites, making more than 1 billion page impressions monthly.  The Feed Network box carries unique Newsmax content headlines along with sponsored advertisements.  Newsmax reports that it “has gained enormous traction recently, and a bevy of well-known publisher brands make up the network, including National Review Online, Boston Herald, Breitbart News Network, dozens of local ABC, NBC, and CBS News affiliates via independent television station groups Gray, Nexstar, and Schurz Communications, as well as community newspaper networks Horizon Publications and Gatehouse Media.”  Newsfeed Network manager Kevin Mallon comments, “We are very excited about the latest comScore numbers.  More and more publishers are choosing to implement the Newsmax Feed because of the relevant and quality content we provide, while yielding them robust revenue from our sponsors.”  Company VP of business development Matt D’Lando adds, “Our Feed Network focuses on a clear demographic of 45-plus baby boomers, the largest demographic group in the nation with the highest disposable income.”

cookecantilloWTOP PD Alumni Club.  Two former program directors of all news WTOP, Washington, DC – Laurie Cantillo and consultant Holland Cooke — pose for a selfie today at Inside Music Media publisher Jerry Del Colliano’s annual Media Solutions Conference in Philadelphia.  Cantillo is a guest speaker at the full-day event discussing methods of increasing radio station website traffic, something she has proven to be able to do quite well before leaving her position at WTOP last week.

Odds & Sods.  The internet-based talk show “Behind Enemy Lines Radio” – hosted by NYC Republicans, attorney Gene Berardelli and Army combat veteran Russell Gallo – is joining the AM/FM platform as it will be heard Thursdays at 1:00 pm on Forsythe Broadcasting’s WNJC, Washington Township, New Jersey (Philly market).behindenemylines logo  The show joins the “Conservative Commandos Radio Network” in creating a block of conservative programming heard every day from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm on WNJC…..CBS Sports Radio programming will emanate from Indianapolis beginning April 2 for coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four.  Shows airing from the Indiana Convention Center will include Doug Gottlieb and Tiki & Tierney…..Joining the Yahoo Sports Radio national lineup for a daily 10:00 am program is former Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney and his sports talk radio partner Lanny Ford.  Together, they host “Inside the Lines,” heard on WZGV, Charlotte “ESPN 730.”…..New to SiriusXM’s Insight channel is a new show called “The Briefing Powered by Dartmouth College,” – an “all-new radio show giving listeners a lively hour that dissects the history, facts, and perspectives shaping the week’s news.”  The bi-weekly show will be hosted by Michael Mastanduno, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Nelson A. Rockefeller Professor of Government at Dartmouth.

boomercartonTAZ15Pluggin’ Podcasts on Boomer & Carton.  Former pro wrestler Taz, a.k.a. Peter Senerchia (center), enjoys a mock choke-hold from Boomer Esiason (left) as he appeared on WFAN, New York along with Craig Carton (right) to promote his new wrestling podcast titled, “The Human Podcast Machine” that is available on Play.It, CBS RADIO and CBS Local Digital’s podcast platform.

Ken Birdsong Celebrates 50 Years in Radio.  WENG, Englewood, Florida morning drive host Ken Birdsong is celebrating 50 years in radio on March 27.  He started his career when he was just 15 at his hometown station KWOC, Poplar Bluff, Missouri.  He then went on to work for stations in the Show-Me State cities of Kennett, Jefferson City, Moberly, and Osage Beach. He also put in a stint in Mt. Airy, North Carolina (the heart of Andy Griffith country) and did afternoons in Las Vegas.  In 2002, he joined WENG and served as general manager until 2012.

Iran Nukes/GOP Letter, Israeli Elections/Netanyahu’s Future, Hillary Clinton Email Probe, 2016 Presidential Prospects, OU Racist Song Case, and Dick Cheney Playboy Interview Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/17).  Iran’s nuclear program and the controversy over the letter sent to the nation by GOP senators; the Israeli elections and Benjamin Netanyahu’s status on the world stage; the ongoing probe over Hillary Clinton’s use of private emails for State Department business; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the furor over an OU fraternity’s videotaped racist song and the university’s reaction; and Dick Cheney’s criticism of President Obama in his recent Playboy interview were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

| March 17, 2015

courtsidelogoMike Agovino Named to New Executive Vice Chairman Role at Courtside Entertainment/PodcastOne.  After Triton Digital was acquired by private equity firm Vector Capitol late last week, Triton co-founder and COO Mike Agovino leaves that company to join Norm Pattiz’s Courtside Entertainment and PodcastOne to serve in the newly created post executive vice chairman.  A press statement from Courtside says that Agovino will “work withagovinomike chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz, president Kit Gray and COO Greg Batusic across all divisions of PodcastOne and Courtside Entertainment, contributing his extensive experience in new media technology, audience analysis and development, and revenue growth for the continued expansion of the groundbreaking podcast network.”  Pattiz states, “Mike has been a pioneer in the audio industry and brings a unique global perspective of the digital audio business to PodcastOne.  He shares our vision that on-demand premium content is a key driver in the future of audio, and I look forward to working with him as we continue to build audience and revenue, while creating new opportunities across this powerful and growing platform.”  Agovino’s career began at Katz Media where he spent 18 years rising to become president of Katz Radio before launching Katz Interactive and later Clear Channel Radio Sales as president/COO.  He departed Katz to become co-COO of Interep Radio Sales, leaving several years later to start Triton.

klac logo 15The LA Dodgers and iHeartMedia Re-Brand Sports Talker KLAC, Los Angeles.  Big changes come to sports talker KLAC, Los Angeles as now-co-owners iHeartMedia and the Los Angeles Dodgers re-brand the station to reflect this new relationship.  The new brand is “AM 570 LA Sports” and it comes with some programming changes.  (Oh yes, it also includes the Dodgers’ spiffy new 2015 slogan, “We Love LA!”)  The programming lineup is as follows: Dan Patrick from 6:00 am to 9:00 am; the newly created “LA Today with Bill Reiter and Leann Tweeden” from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon; Jay Mohr from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; “The Petros and Money Show” with Petros Papadakis and Matt “Money” Smith from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm; plus another new addition, “Dodger Talk featuring David Vassegh and Kevin Kennedy,” which will air immediately following Dodgers baseball games or at 7:00 pm Monday through Friday.  That show will air year round starting with Spring Training and throughout the regular season.

starlingmarkMark Starling New AM Host/News Director at WWNC, Asheville.  From his most recent gig as afternoon drive anchor at Cox Media Group’s WDBO, Orlando “News 96.5FM,” Mark Starling heads North to Asheville, North Carolina to serve as the morning host and news/director at iHeartMedia’s wwnc logoWWNC “News Radio 570.”  Starling says if his new challenge, “Making the jump to the Asheville market is exactly the kind of move I have been after for several reasons. Not only is it the chance to get back to doing mornings, but the chance to really create a hyper-local morning show concentrating on the news and information the community is really looking for.  It’s an adventure I can’t wait to get started on.”  Starling starts March 25.

giffordlarryLarry Gifford: Radiodays Europe – Day Two.  Consultant and talent coach Larry Gifford is in Milan, Italy attending the Radiodays Europe 2015 conference and files this special report to TALKERS magazine.  On day two, Gifford covered, among other things, a keynote speech by iHeartMedia/Premiereduranelviseuro15 Networks morning show star Elvis Duran (pictured here).  The “Z100”-based morning personality says over the years he’s come to appreciate his work even more than when he was young.  That’s based in part on his believing that he’s not bigger than the show.  He says he’s also found new joy in helping people – especially listeners – tell their stories.  Also included in this report is a “psychoanalysis” of radio and Australian personality Mel Greig’s thoughts about her infamous prank call to a London hospital that resulted in a nurse committing suicide.  Read Gifford’s full report here.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of February 2015 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of February 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The February 2015 survey period covered January 29 through February 25.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS magazine and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

fisherkageTVposterFisher and Kage Launch New Program on Digital Platform.  Tampa Bay radio pros Chris Fisher and Jesse Kage are launching a videocast to stream live Monday through Thursday from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm ET via their “Fisher and Kage” app and www.fisherandkage.com.  The duo says the “uncensored show” will also be available on-demand and will stream from a brand new studio at Jannus Live in downtown St. Petersburg.  They’ve named “Special” Ed Grubbe as executive producer.  Fisher hosted mornings at WSUN, Tampa “97X” from 2001-2011 and worked at WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone” before exiting in 2013.  Jesse Kage worked at “97X” from 2004 to 2007 before moving to WXTB, Tampa “98Rock” where he worked afternoons until last year.

Odds & Sods.  On-air changes take place at Dot Com Plus-owned sports talk WNSP, Mobile “Sports Radio 105.5 FM” as Chip Ramsey is replaced in the AM drive chair by PM drive co-host Mark Heim.  Afternoon co-host Randy Kennedy recently assumed programming responsibilities from Ramsey…..SiriusXM announces the debut of an all-new channel curated and presented by multi-media star Andy Cohen.  The host of “Watch What Happens Live” on Bravo will also host a weekly radio show in addition to producing the new Radio Andy channel.

carrRush15Meeting of Mega-Mouths.  The Palm Beaches in sunny Florida have become one of the talk radio capitals of the nation as evidenced by the chance meeting the other evening of syndicated stars Rush Limbaugh and Howie Carr at a local PB eatery.  Carr and his dynamic wife Kathy Carr were on the scene taking a brief break from the frozen, snowy tundra that has gripped New England this winter.  The Carrs will be two of approximately 65 speakers who will be addressing a sold-out, packed house at the forthcoming Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12.

2016 Presidential Prospects, Hillary Clinton Email Probe, Ferguson Cops Shootings, Iran Nukes/GOP Letter, Fate of Netanyahu, Battle Against ISIS, Russia Flexes Military Muscle, 49er Borland Retires at 24, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/16).  The potential candidates for president in 2016 and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s visit to New Hampshire last weekend; the ongoing controversy over Hillary Clinton’s use of private email for State Department business; the case of the two officers shot in Ferguson; the negotiations with Iran over its nuclear policy and the GOP letter to the Iranian government; the Israeli elections and the fate of Benjamin Netanyahu; the continuing battle against ISIS; Russia’s ramping up of military activity and Vladimir Putin’s talk of nuclear readiness; the early retirement of 49ers linebacker Chris Borland at age 24 due to concerns about brain injury; and the field for the NCAA men’s basketball tourney were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, March 13, 2015

| March 13, 2015

Laurie Cantillo

WTOP PD Cantillo Departs. Late Friday afternoon (3/13), WTOP, Washington, DC program director (and co-author of “Right Brained Children in a Left Brained World,” 1998) Laurie Cantillo teased her social media followers with this post: “Spring is a time of new beginnings … excited for the future.” That message is actually a follow-up to what was shared earlier in the day with the staff at the Hubbard all-news operation. “The decision has been made to not renew Laurie Cantillo’s contract,” general manager Joel Oxley writes. “The decision was reached mutually by Laurie and me.” In another internal memo, Cantillo states, “Our anchors and reporters have never sounded better and page views for WTOP.com are off the charts. Morale is as high as the International Space Station, where we conducted a historic live interview this morning. We are on ‘TOP’ in every respect, which makes this the right time for me to pursue my next adventure. There is no finer multimedia newsroom in America and I will miss seeing you every day. My immediate plan is to co-create a screenplay and finally get around to writing my next best seller.” Although she notes, “Radio and digital media innovation will continue to be a big part of my life,” she did not indicate if there is a particular station in her future. WTOP news director Mitchell Miller, senior news and sports director Mike McMearty, and managing editor Darci Marchese will share in assuming Cantillo’s duties. WTOP chalked up a mammoth +3.1 to 9.2 (Nielsen Audio PPM, January 2015, 6+) as it progresses from third to first. It is the station’s best mark in exactly one year, equaling the 9.2 it logged in January 2014. WTOP was #1 (6+) for 11 straight monthlies before iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH took the top spot in December and “Holiday” 2014. Simultaneous with graduating from the University of Colorado, Cantillo landed a full-time reporting job in Boulder and she had a 13-year tenure at Denver’s KOA. She was selected to program KTAR, Phoenix in 1997 and was later recruited by cross-town KFYI in a similar capacity. The former WABC, New York programmer joined WTOP in 2011 and officially became program director there upon the retirement of vice president of news and programming Jim Farley.

journalbroadcastgroupPositive 2014 Q4 for Journal Broadcast Group’s Radio Sector.  With the merger with E.W. Scripps expected to close in the second quarter of 2015, Journal Communications reports a positive fourth quarter of 2014 – up 13.6% on revenue of $122 million.  For the radio sector, the fourth quarter saw revenue rise to $22.1 million – an increase of 7.7% (excluding the change in the fiscal year, revenue increased 5.5%).  The company reports that radio political and issue revenue was $0.7 million compared to $0.1 million.  Excluding political and issue, total revenue increased 4.9%, local revenue increased 6.5%, though national revenue decreased 0.9%. Automotive revenue, up 13%, was a driver of local growth.  For the full year, radio revenue increased 3.0% to $79.1 million.  Excluding the change in the fiscal year, revenue increased 2.4%.  Radio political and issue revenue was $1.3 million compared to $0.4 million.  Excluding political and issue revenue, total revenue increased 1.8%, local revenue increased 2.6%, though national revenue, a small component of our revenue, decreased 6.6%.  When the merger deal closes next quarter, Journal and E.W. Scripps will merge their broadcast and digital media assets under a company retaining the E.W. Scripps name and be based in Cincinnati.  Their newspapers and community publications and related digital products will comprise a firm to be called Journal Media Group, based in Milwaukee.


KJR, Seattle Re-Ups Levy; Adds Powell for Middays.  Morning drive personality Mitch Levy — with iHeartMedia’s sports talker KJR-AM, Seattle for the past 20 years – will continue in his morningpowellchuck drive role after inking a new contract.  At the same time, the station announces the arrival of Chuck Powell to host the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  He most recently was with Bonneville in Phoenix at both sports talk KTAR-AM and the former adult hits KPKX.  Former Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren is also returning to the station this NFL season to serve as NFL expert and contributor.

stocknspca15NSPCA Honors KDWN’s Alan Stock.  For the past 10 years, Las Vegas talk show host Alan Stock has been featuring the Pet Pick of the Week in an effort to get local pets adopted.  Earlier this week, the Nevada SPCA surprised Stock with special recognition for his work.  Pictured here (from l-r) are: Master Magician Lance Burton (former headliner at the Monte Carlo), Stock, and NSPCA president Kathy Jung.  She’s holding Keno, who was in this year’s Puppy Bowl before the Big Game.

XtreMedialogoKevin McCullough’s XtreMEDIA to Present Holy Week-Themed Radio Drama Across U.S. and International Radio Networks.  The audio drama is based on the one-man play being performed in Chicago by actor and radio personality Stephen Baldwin titled, “Heaven, How I Got Here: A Night with the Thief on the Cross.”  McCullough says, “Easter weekend on five  American radio networks and the biggest networks in the United Kingdom (our first jaunt into international broadcasting) a compelling ‘audio drama’ of the same role Stephen is portraying on stage, will be aired on both religious and mainstream spoken word stations across Europe and America.  Thus far 1500-plus stations have signed on and in some clusters/markets like Salem NYC the drama will air nine times from Good Friday evening through end of Easter Sunday. There is no cost to take the broadcast.  We commissioned the Grammy and Dove award winning composer Dick Tunney for an original soundtrack, we created a completely digital sound design, and Stephen re-created the character he will portray on stage to give voice to the ‘thief’ to whom Jesus historically said, ‘This day you will be with me in paradise.'” McCullough says stations wishing to take the radio special can email him at kmc@x3media.net and he’ll be glad to add them to the growing surge of stations gobbling it up.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is now heardfreemanedge on Iredell Broadcasting’s WSIC-AM/FM/TV, Statesville, North Carolina, which includes transmission on over-the-air digital TV channel 21.2…..The GCN-syndicated “America Tonight” delaneykatewith Kate Delaney adds affiliate stations in: WSMN, Nashua; WPBQ, Jackson, Mississippi; KIXW, Victorville, California; KTFL, Higley, Arizona and KLOE, Goodland, Kansas…..Syndication Networks-syndicated “Those Weekend Golf Guys” joins the weekend lineup at KQV, Pittsburgh…..“Business Rockstars” is added to the program schedule at KTMS, Santa Barbara and KTVA, Oxnard/Ventura.

Iran Nuclear Controversy Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of March 9-13.  The controversy over President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran and the group of GOP senators who sent a letter to Iran contesting the president’s right to unilaterally make such deals was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  Coming in at #2 was the probe of Hillary Clinton’s use of personal email for State Department business.  At #3 was the 2016 presidential prospects followed by the amnesty/immigration issue 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.

January 2015 PPM Analysis:
Talk (Part Two of Two)

| March 5, 2015

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor

kinosianLOS ANGELES — Yesterday’s analysis (Wednesday, 3/4) of the ratings performance by talk outlets in the January 2015 ratings period dealt with commercial stations – many of which are heritage, institutional properties with ultra-familiar call letters.

As a “part two” follow-up, we turn the attention to noncommercial/public signals in the same sweep.

A huge caveat, however, needs to be stated regarding the stations that appear below. This is not simply a laundry list of public stations. Noncommercial/public outlets with a fulltime music-intensive format such as classical, adult alternative, contemporary Christian, or urban contemporary (as examples) are not highlighted here.

Stations comprising this base lean toward spoken-word programming (specifically talk and news – locally originated and/or from NPR). Some might play music as well – from alternative to bluegrass to classical and practically anything else in between. “Variety” or another such label could be affixed to these stations, but we are choosing to group them under “talk” (since that is their primary thrust) with an added “noncommercial/public” designation.

As far as ratings criteria is concerned, it is the same for the overviews posted earlier this week for news, sports, and commercial talkers: Noncommercial/public outlets that rank in the top 20 in a PPM market (6+, January 2015) are included.

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations that subscribe to its services.

Owing to that reason, ratings stats in this analysis are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

Read More

January 2015 PPM Analysis:
Talk (Part One of Two)

| March 4, 2015

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor

kinosianLOS ANGELES This past Monday (3/1) and Tuesday (3/2), we presented overviews of the truly astonishing January 2015 PPM ratings performances turned in by news and sports outlets.

Those extraordinary stats notwithstanding (especially with all-news), we have quite possibly saved the best for last in analyzing the most omnipresent genre under the spoken-word umbrella, talk stations.

For several reasons, we have separated “talk” into two groups – commercial, and non-commercial/public.

The January 2015 ratings overview of commercial talkers appears today, while the companion piece for non-commercial/public talk stations will be posted tomorrow.

Either way you slice it though, it was a strong sweep for both groups and the numbers will confirm that as being the height of understatement.

Spoiler Alert: Our “commercial” talk category consists of nearly the combined total of the sports and news samples from Monday and Tuesday, yet all but three stations in the commercial talk group show sweep-to-sweep growth (6+).

Same parameters apply in the following charts as with the news and sports overviews. Specifically, commercial talk outlets that rank in the top 20 in a PPM market (6+, January 2015) are included.

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations that subscribe to its services.

Owing to that reason, ratings stats in this TALKERS analysis are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

Read More

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

| March 4, 2015

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: News/Talk (Part 1).  TALKERS magazine managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents the third in a four-part series of reports analyzing the performances of spoken-word radio stations based on January 2015 PPM survey data from Nielsen Audio.  This story focuses on commercial news/talk stations.  Kinosian writes that the first reports published “presented overviews of the truly astonishing January 2015 PPM ratings performances turned in by news and sports outlets.  Those extraordinary stats notwithstanding (especially with all-news), we have quite possibly saved the best for last in analyzing the most omnipresent genre under the spoken-word umbrella, talk stations.  For several reasons, we have separated “talk” into two groups – commercial, and non-commercial/public.  The January 2015 ratings overview of commercial talkers appears today, while the companion piece for non-commercial/public talk stations will be posted tomorrow.  Either way you slice it though, it was a strong sweep for both groups and the numbers will confirm that as being the height of understatement.”  Check out the analysis here.

wbzTsarnaevtrialCovering the Boston Marathon Bombing Trial.  With one of the nation’s most-watched trials beginning in Boston, CBS RADIO’s WBZ-AM, “Newsradio 1030” is announcing its coverage plans that include a weekly podcast produced by WBZ reporters Lana Jones and Carl Stevens called, “The Boston Marathon Bombing Trial Podcast: U.S. v. Tsarnaev.”  The station says, “WBZ NewsRadio 1030 will have comprehensive reporting in newscasts throughout the day as well as digital and social media real-time reporting while court is in session.  In an effort to reach those listeners who need their news ‘on-demand,’ WBZ debuts today a weekly podcast of the highlights of the ground-breaking trial.”  The podcast will be published each Friday morning.  Pictured here outside the WBZ Mobile Newsroom are (from l-r): Stevens, Jones, and studio producer Peter Clarke.

henckmitchMitch Henck Returns to Madison Airwaves with iHeartMedia.  After exiting iHeartMedia’s news/talk WIBA, Madison in June of last year, Henck began producing his own daily webcast.  Now, he returns to the Madison airwaves on WIBA’s sister WXXM-FM daily 8:00 am to 11:00 am.  Additionally, he’ll also be available via the iHeartRadio platform.  Henck says, “I’m thrilled to be returning to the iHeartMedia airwaves where I got my start in talk radio.”  The station says that “politics, culture, history, media, education, religion, along with Mitch’s favorites – standup comedy, professional golf, and college basketball – will be daily fare on 92.1FM beginning Monday, March 23.”

wgan logoChris Mac to Exit WGAN/WZAN Brand Manager Post; Plum Gig Opens.  After some 25 years with Saga Communications’ talk stations WGAN and WZAN in Portland Maine, brand manager and news director Chris Mac is exiting the radio business for a post at a local financial institution.  That means a really cool gig is opening and here’s how Saga is advertising it: Portland Brand Manager/News Director.  Saga Communications has an opening to lead its top news/talk radio WGAN and its sister brands in beautiful Portland, Maine.  Successful candidates will exhibit an ability to lead a five-person news department, develop and coach local talent, direct programming, develop and curate a contemporary sound for the entire station in delivery and production.  Please send your resume and supporting material to Bob Adams, general manager, Portland Radio Group Badams@portlandradiogroup.com. EOE/MF.

jackoftradeappsRadio Apps Built by Radio People.  In a story published today (3/5), TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay focuses on a company that is designing and servicing apps for radio stations that are affordable and custom-tailored to each client’s station.  Jack of Trade Apps is headed by principals Paul Varga and Andrew Davis.  Varga tells McKay, “Our app is developed for the traditional radio station cluster or stand-alone.  With every app there’s a content management system, and it is an extension of the unique brand you are building.  We’ve priced it for the independent owner or cluster or regional owner to make it affordable.  We know budgets are tight and the importance of return on investment is paramount.”  Read more about Jack of Trade Apps here.

Netanyahu Speech, Hillary Clinton Email Probe, SCOTUS ObamaCare Hearing, Homeland Security Department Funding, Amnesty Issue, and 2016 Presidential Prospects Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/4). Wednesday’s speech before Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the Iran nuclear threat; the investigation in Hillary Clinton’s using private email for State Department business; today’s hearing at the Supreme Court on the Affordable Care Act; the funding of the Homeland Security Department through September and John Boehner’s decision to not fight the amnesty order via funding; and the potential candidates for president in 2016 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

January 2015 PPM Analysis: Sports

| March 3, 2015

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor

kinosianLOS ANGELES As a follow-up to yesterday’s analysis depicting the phenomenal performance of all-news stations in the January 2015 ratings period (Monday, 3/2), we stay in the spoken-word arena to focus on how sports outlets fare in that same sweep.

Considering there are nearly three times as many qualifying all-sports stations as news stations in our sample, it would be close to impossible to match what the news facilities did. Nonetheless, all-sports facilities rack up some impressive stats of their own.

Fine print is fairly simple as far as the following scoreboards are concerned. The same parameters apply as they did with the news overview, in that, all-sports outlets that rank in the top 20 in a PPM market (6+, January 2015) are included.

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations that subscribe to its services.

Owing to that reason, ratings stats in this TALKERS analysis are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

Read More

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

| March 3, 2015

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: Sports Talk.  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents a report on the performances of sports talk-formatted stations based on data from the January 2015 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  In this analysis is a chart of the performances of subscribing stations in shares over the past six surveys; fluctuations from the previous Holiday 2014 survey; comparisons from January 2014; market rank over the past three surveys; plus a comparison including the all-news format.  View this entire report here.

lopezchadLopez Relocates to Cumulus New York as Market Manager. Fourteen-year general sales manager of CBS Radio New York all-news siblings WCBS-AM and WINS Chad Lopez is appointed vice president and market manager of the cross-town cluster owned by Cumulus Media. “Chad is a highly talented and experienced sales leader behind several legendary brands in New York City radio,” comments Cumulus senior vice president Gary Pizzati. “Relationships he has built and the respect he has developed with the ad community over the last 15 years are unprecedented. This was clearly the next and natural step in his career. We are extremely excited to have Chad on our team and as a member of the Cumulus family.” According to Lopez, “Cumulus presented me with a tremendous opportunity to further my career and run an iconic group of stations in my hometown. I couldn’t be more excited and ready to take on this challenge.” A former U.S. Navy officer, Lopez previously was director of sales for CBS Radio New York, and for five years was Dom Camera and Associates’ senior media buyer. Among the stations comprising Cumulus Media New York are hot AC WPLJ (1.9, #18, 6+, January 2015 Nielsen Audio PPM), talk WABC (1.6, #19), and country WNSH (1.5, #20).

cumulus logoCumulus Q4 Revenue Flat; Up 1.4% for Whole of 2014.  The release of fourth quarter and 2014 financial numbers and president and CEO Lew Dickey’s investor’s conference call took place yesterday.  While the fourth quarter started out pretty good for Cumulus Media, Dickey notes that – much like the rest of the industry – revenue began to tail off leading up to Thanksgiving and stayed that way through December.  Net revenue (pro forma) for the fourth quarter was up 0.3% and up 1.4% for the entire year of 2014.  Dickey also said during the call that the company has ceased its search for an EVP of radio after determining that it does not need to fill that position.  Jon Pinch held the title until he left to run the company’s Atlanta station group.

FAIRHold2015Ninth Annual ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Event Scheduled for April 15 and 16 – Broadcast Spaces Filling Up Fast.  The annual Washington, DC radio row produced by the Federation for American Immigration Reform will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, April 15 and 16 at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill.  As in the eight years prior, the event will consist of talk hosts from across the country broadcasting live, debating immigration policy while interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists and citizens who live along the border.  FAIR says that “this year’s event will focus on the aftermath of President Obama’s amnesty and his continued abuse of executive power, the GOP’s internal battle over how to tackle immigration and the ongoing border crisis with its implications for national security risks.”  Event general manager and FAIR spokesman Bob Dane comments, “Politicians fear and respect the amplitude of talk radio.  Hold Their Feet to the Fire speaks for millions of radio listeners and, this year, will prove that the mic is mightier than Obama’s pen.”  For talk show hosts wishing to take part in this year’s radio row, reservations are required and hosts/producers should call now.  There are only a handful of spaces left and they will go quickly.  There is no cost to attend and all technical engineering and ISDN lines are provided by Silver Lake Audio of New York, the official engineering firm for Hold Their Feet to the Fire.  Congressional guests, activists, high-profile media personalities, and immigration experts will be in attendance and available throughout the event for wall-to-wall interviews.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison will also be on hand presenting a non-partisan perspective on the First Amendment.  Contact Bob Dane or Anna Giaritelli for more information at 202-328-7004 or bdane@fairus.org or agiaritelli@fairus.org.

kiroKIRO-AM, Seattle Announces Lineup Changes.  At Bonneville’s Seattle sports talker KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle,” the weekday lineup is being tweaked to add new talent to the daytime programming.  The station announces a new late morning program called Justin & Gee Show with co-hosts Justin Myers and Gee Scott.  Myers has co-hosted “The Nightwatch” since July 2014 and Gee is best known for his tenure as co-host of “The Barbershop.”  At the same time, Tom Wassell makes the transition from nights as he teams up with Bob Stelton and Dave “The Groz” Grosby on the newly re-titled “Bob, Groz & Tom Show.”  Wassell has been serving with the station as producer of several KIRO-AM shows over the past three years.  Program director Mike Salk adds that Scott will continue to host “The Barbershop” with former Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant and ex-Husky running back Terry Hollimon in its new timeslot at 7:00 pm.  The station’s programming, dubbed Seattle Sports Radio Network, is also heard on stations in Eastern Washington including KGA, Spokane; KJOX, Kennewick (Tri-Cities market); and KBBO, Yakima.

TNM news logoPot Is Hot.  From a radio listener’s standpoint, the angles that can be addressed with regard to the changing attitudes about marijuana in the U.S. include the medical, business/industrial, recreational, and legal, to name a few.  One such radio show – “The National Marijuana News” – has been doing that since June of last year and is gaining traction in the audio media realm.  The producers of TNMNews call it “an unbiased and balanced one-hour, weekend show that delivers information that is of interest to the U.S. public…TNMNews helps audiences discern fact from fiction to help listeners unscramble the often perplexing details.”  The program was developed by seasoned news producers and media industry professionals and “takes a deep dive beyond the headlines to explore breaking cannabis news, including field segments, interviews, and roundtable discussions.  Guests who are experts in alternative health, yoga, the law, and more generate compelling discussions that not only clarify misconceptions but also present an opportunity for listeners to become more knowledgeable.”  The producers of the show have teamed with AdLarge Media to market the radio show.  AdLarge’s Jessica Sherman, senior director, affiliate marketing, says, “In addition to the many legal marijuana-related products and retailers, there are a plethora of ancillary advertising categories, such as holistic practitioners, yoga instruction classes, green grocers, green products, fast food restaurants, and more.  TNMNews is like aficionado or hobby programs that focus on cigars, cars, travel, etc.”  For broadcasters confused about how to present unbiased news about marijuana to radio audiences and how to maximize revenue opportunities from this fastest growing industry in America, TNMNews executive producer Martin Wagmaister says, “It’s no longer a debate ‘for or against.’  Americans are looking for answers that will help them with their personal decisions.  Our goal at TNMNews is to present all the accurate information available, and to explore every viewpoint out there.”  For broadcasters who may be a bit skittish about the topic in general, the show producers say TNMNews and its topic are fully acceptable under the laws that govern radio through the FCC.  TNMNews producers conducted extensive research and as long as the show does not promote the selling or buying of marijuana and is focused on disseminating news and information around the topic, TNMNews has the legal right, and the freedom, to talk about marijuana.  Recent affiliates of the show include KBYR-AM, Anchorage and KFAR-AM, Fairbanks.  Check out show demos here.

Mark Wainwright Subbing for WSYR’s Joe Galuski During Latter’s Recuperation.  WSYR, Syracuse morning personality Joe Galuski is still on the mend battling Non-Hodgkins Lyphoma and talk pro Mark Wainwright is scheduled to continue subbing for him through April 17.  Also filling in for Galuski when Wainwright is now available is George Kilpatrick.  Wainwright says Galuski is “in good spirits and thoroughly expects to be back on the air in the coming months.”  Wainwright can be reached at thatvoice@verizon.net.

Odds & Sods.  Multi-media star Lionel takes the stage this Saturday, March 7, at 7:30 pm for his show at The Cutting Room in New York City.  It’s an evening of Lionel’s patented (out)spoken word and “the immaculate twanglionel of bluegrass” with his trio Lock ’n Load.  For tickets and more information click here…..Nationally syndicated morning show Mike & Mike – ESPN Radio’s Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg – will celebrate their 15th anniversary from the Downtown Disney stage at Walt Disney World in Orlando on Friday, March 6.  The live show will be open to the public and doors will open at 5:00 am…..KFWB, Los Angeles “The Beast 980” reaches an agreement to carry the MLS’ LA Galaxy games.  In addition to streaming every game on “The Beast 980” mobile app, a minimum of 20 games will be broadcast on the station beginning this Friday, March 6, the Galaxy opens the season at the StubHub Center against the Chicago Fire…..Genesis Communications-owned Sports Talk Florida enters into an agreement with the NASL Jacksonville Armada FC to share content and live play-by-play audio streaming.

patrickTXdanpatrickTalking to Texas’ Top Elected Officials.  Texas talk show host Matt Patrick – heard on iHeartMedia’s KTRH and KPRC, Houston and KFXR, Dallas – is pictured here having lunch with Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (who is a talk radio pro himself and owner of KSEV, Houston).  During his two-day visit to Austin, Matt Patrick also interviewed Texas Governor Gregg Abbott and other Texas lawmakers.

Netanyahu to Address Congress, Iran Nuclear Program, Net Neutrality Issue, Homeland Security Department Funding, President Obama’s Amnesty Order, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Hillary Clinton Email Probe, LAPD Skid Row Killing, and Leonard Nimoy Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/2).  The controversy over Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress; the growing threat of Iran’s nuclear program; ongoing debate over the potential effects of the FCC’s net neutrality policy; the issue of funding the Department of Homeland Security beyond this week; the political battle over President Obama’s amnesty order; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of personal email for State Department business; the shooting death of a man by LAPD in the city’s Skid Row district; and the death of actor Leonard Nimoy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Cool Job Opportunity.  We are looking for a quick-witted, comedic-minded entertainer who has natural observational skills and a background in stand-up comedy, comedic acting, improv and natural timing.  If your friends think you’re hysterical, you’re the funniest person at any event, or you have a twisted view of life, this job’s for you.  Send video links of your work and resume to: comedysearch15@gmail.com.  An Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO).

January 2015 PPM Analysis: News

| March 2, 2015

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor

kinosianLOS ANGELES Historically horrible winter weather conditions and the cessation of all-Christmas music are most likely contributing factors to the truly stunning January 2015 performance of all-news outlets.

For the most part, optimum ratings tracking of a radio format requires a sample base of at least 20 stations. Especially given that news is a uniquely major-market format, its universe of viable entries consequently hovers at that roughly 20-station level.

Although not coming anywhere close to possessing the massive volume of talk outlets, the feat all-news stations accomplished in the most recent sweep is nonetheless exceptionally impressive: Not one news station on the panel of properties we tracked regressed (6+) from “Holiday” 2014 to January 2015.

News facilities that rank in the top 20 in a PPM market (6+, January 2015) comprise the following scoreboards.

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

An asterisk (*) designates genuine news-talk hybrids – stations whose broadcast day is approximately 50% news and 50% talk.

Read More

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

| February 24, 2015

2015 NYC 150Sean Hannity to Moderate Major Panel Session, “The State of Radio Ratings,” at Talkers New York 2015. Continuing with an important theme that he has discussed at prior TALKERS conferences, Premiere Radio Networks and Fox News Channel talk icon Sean Hannity will moderate a panel analyzing the changing relationship between talk radiohannity (as well as radio in general) and audience measurement methodology as we move further into the digital age. It is no secret that determining the methodology to properly and fairly balance (and credit) listenership to radio programming on both terrestrial and online platforms has been a bumpy transition creating challenges for radio programmers and sellers alike. Joining Hannity will be a stellar panel including (in alphabetical order): Erica Farber, farberericapresident/CEO, Radio Advertising Bureau; Phil Boyce, SVP/Spoken Word Format, Salem Media Group and Salem Radio Network, operations VP, New York Region; Steve Goldstein, EVP, Sagaboycephil Communications; Tom Langmyer, VP/GM, Milwaukee radio operations, VP/news-talk programming, Journal Broadcast Group, and Greg Moceri, CEO, Moceri Media. The panel will be joined by a yet-to-be-named representative of Nielsen Audio. The session will be held as part of the power-packed, day-long “Talkers New York 2015” on Friday, June 12 at the India House Club in the Big Apple’s historic Financial goldsteinsteveDistrict. This marks the 18th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention. It will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of TALKERS magazinelangmyertom which was launched by Michael Harrison in the summer of 1990. Registrations are priced at $299 per person with an early bird, discounted cost of $249 available until 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 27. Registrations, which are only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, mocerigregpresentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities. The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees are again expected. Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card. For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413. Again, an early sellout is expected, so avoid being shut out by registering now! More speakers, panelists and agenda updates will be announced here in the coming days.

talkersradio logoTalkersRadio Back for 2015 after Brief Retooling with Experimental Programs by Alan Colmes and Lionel.   TalkersRadio, the experimental internet radio platform launched by TALKERS in 2013, is back online after a two-month “re-tooling” in which several technological improvements were instituted and new ideas sorted out.  The platform is designed to serve as a workshop for new shows and concepts being developed as well as an industry showcase for programs about to be marketed.  On announcing the re-launch, TALKERS general manager of broadcast operations, David Bernstein states, “We are happy to be back up and running with great enthusiasm for the potential of this audio ‘stage.’  All of us at TALKERS are indeed proud of the remarkable success TalkersRadio has had in its first year-and-a-half providing a number of fine broadcasters the opportunity to work out new ideas and techniques, including having launched the terrestrial radio success of the Brent & Meg show and Doug Stephan’s ‘American Family Farmer.’”  The platform, described by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey as “an audio gymnasium” is re-launching with two on-demand programs hosted by well-known hosts Alan Colmes and Lionel.  Colmes – star of Fox News Radio and the Fox News Channel – is continuing to work on a concept titled “Healed Planet” — far removed from his political fare — in which he interviews thought leaders in the human consciousness movement.  Lionel – an iconoclastic and legendary veteran of major radio and television stations and networks, currently seen and heard on his own LionelMedia.com, performs an exclusive, experimental program for TalkersRadio simply titled, “Lionel.”  In it, he amply displays his remarkable and compelling aptitude for stream of consciousness story-telling and observations of leading-edge issues.  According to Bernstein, “TalkersRadio will also be streaming live industry events and inner-industry forums in the coming weeks and months with an exciting ‘new and improved’ system powered by our colleagues at Backbone Networks in Boston.”  Bernstein encourages broadcasters with new ideas and concepts that might be of interest to TalkersRadio to get in touch with him at 413-565-5413.  To hear TalkersRadio, please click here.

podcastone logo‘Mogul Mom’s Playbook’ Debuts on PodcastOne.  Joining the growing stable of star-powered podcasts available via the Norm Pattiz-founded PodcastOne is “Mogul Mom’s Playbook with Shaunie and Stella.”   The new podcast focuses on the increasing commitment of moms to juggle kids, career, parenting and relationships and is hosted by “Basketball Wives” star and executive producer Shaunie O’Neal and famed executive producer and founder of Wikked Entertainment, Stella Bulochnikov.  The weekly program features the duo and their celebrity friends “as they share tips, advice, support and lots of laughs to encourage the everyday ‘superwoman.’”   Pattiz says, “We are thrilled to welcome Shaunie and Stella to our family of hosts.  Their expressive personalities are such a joy to be around and their ability to connect with women has been proven in their personal and professional lives.”

Odds & Sods.  The first of three Republican primary debates will be moderated by Salem Media Group talk show host Hugh Hewitt.  Salem is working with CNN to produce the RNChewitthughsanctioned debates.  According to a press release, Hewitt will also broadcast special editions of his talk show pre- and post-debate.  At the conclusion of the debate, candidates will be invited to join Hewitt to talk candidly about the event and the pressing issues facing the nation.  Hewitt says, “I am delighted to be included with journalists posing questions as part of one of America’s finest political traditions – the presidential debate.”…..The self-described “metaphysical/biographical” program, “Outer Limits Of Inner Truth,” is airing a special two-hour show on Thursday, February 26 to commemorate its one-year anniversary.  The program is distributed via Star Com Radio Networks and airs on more than 24 stations across the country…..SWN Communications, a Memphis-based provider of the “Inside Track” radio show dedicated to horse racing, announces the program – hosted by Charlie Ricks and Bernie Halprin – becomes available on Yahoo! Sports Radio’s national network effective February 28.

Rudy Giuliani Comments Controversy, Obama Amnesty Order Case, DHS Funding Battle, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Ukraine Tensions, Sunday’s Academy Awards, and Frigid Winter Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/23).  The controversy over former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s comments about President Obama’s love of his country; debate over President Obama’s amnesty order and its effects; the congressional battle over funding the Department of Homeland Security; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the civil unrest in Ukraine and Russia’s role in the matter; the 87th Academy Awards; and the frigid weather affecting much of the country were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

| February 19, 2015

weismanstevenPayola: What Every Broadcaster Should Know.  TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes in a piece published today (2/19) that the Payola laws are something all broadcasters should be aware of, regardless of format.  While the Payola “scandal” of the late 1950s causes many people to associate Payola with playing records for consideration, any content that’s paid for must be identified.  Weisman writes, “The [Federal Communications] Commission has noted that the Sponsorship Identification Laws are ‘grounded in the principle that listeners and viewers are entitled to know who seeks to persuade them.’”  Read Weisman’s entire piece here.

mcmahonbillMcMahon: Listen to Your Creative Voice.  Talk radio consultant Bill McMahon says that all of us are born creative.  “From a very young age we all have a quiet little voice in our head that comes from somewhere deep inside.  It whispers unique and amazing thoughts and ideas to us.  In the beginning, we all hear these ideas, get excited, and do something about them. Unfortunately, the bigger and more unusual the ideas, the more resistance we encounter when we try to bring them to life.  Eventually, most of us stop listening to that quiet little voice, dismiss its thoughts and ideas, and just try to fit in because it’s too damn hard to do otherwise,” he writes.  McMahon believes that the successful content creators are the ones who still, not only listen to that creative voice, but act on some of the ideas it provides us.  Read more about his thoughts on creativity here.

goffjasonGoff Replaces Mannelly at ‘The Score’ in Chicago.  The new co-host at CBS RADIO’s sports talk WSCR, Chicago “670 The Score” is Jason Goff.  He’ll be working alongside Matt Spiegel on the 9:00 am to 1:00 pm show.  The former producer and reporter has also hosted at the company’s Atlanta sports talker wscr logoWZGC “92.9 The Game” and SiriusXM.  “The Score” operations manager Mitch Rosen says, “I’m excited to have Jason back on our team.  I believe the combination of Matt Spiegel and Jason Goff will be a great winning combination that the Chicagoland audience will love.  The show will be interactive through all of our digital platforms.”  Former Chicago Bears long snapper Patrick Mannelly worked as co-host with Spiegel after Dan McNeil exited the same position last June after a long career with WSCR.  McNeil recently joined crosstown classic rock WDRV “The Drive” as AM drive co-host.

businessrockstars radio‘Business Rockstars’ to Be Heard on 11-station Mississippi ‘SuperTalk’ Network.  The “Business Rockstars” radio show adds to its affiliate roster by being carried across the 11-station TeleSouth Communications-owned SuperTalk Mississippi network.  Saying that this new deal pushes its affiliate tally “well past the 100 U.S. radio mark,” Business Rockstars CEO Steve Lehman comments, “Radio is an important part of our multi-media and social platform.  We couldn’t be more excited to add SuperTalk.FM to our rapidly growing list of affiliate stations…Business Rockstars is an entrepreneurial business show that brings together some of the world’s biggest and most accomplished CEOs as well as successful small business owners and entrepreneurs.  We look forward to adding new listeners in Mississippi that will benefit from Business Rockstars content.”  TeleSouth president and COO Kim Dillon states, “‘Business Rockstars’ is a great show and we’re certain the listeners across the SuperTalk Mississippi network will benefit from their insightful commentary and tips.  Entrepreneurship is alive and well in our state.  We look forward to inspiring current and future business owners throughout our long and prosperous relationship with the Rockstars team.”

sternhowardDigital Start-Up Whalerock Gets Attention After Inking Howard Stern to Deal.  From a piece in The New York Times comes news that Howard Stern has agreed to a deal with Whalerock to have the latter create a “personal network” to handle digital distribution of his content.  This is a separate deal from Stern’s SiriusXM contract and Whalerock owner Lloyd Braun tells the paper he is conscious of the existing contracts of his talent and doesn’t want to get into legal disputes.  It appears Whalerock will differ from other digital platforms in that it is targeting established celebrities and designing “personal networks” for each as opposed to providing “space” for content creators on a larger, menu-type platform.  As usual, terms of all deals are confidential but other celebs reported to be on board are the Kardashian sisters and rapper Tyler, the Creator.  In the piece, Braun says celebs are eager to work with Whalerock because it cuts out the “middleman” of traditional media platforms.  The TimesBrooks Barnes astutely points out that there is still a middleman in these deals – that middleman is Whalerock.  Still, it certainly appears that Whalerock’s work handling the aspects of distribution, sales, etc., that celebs don’t want to get involved in themselves is what they get in return for some consideration.  Read the entire Times piece here.

ppmunit altRound Two of January PPM Data Released.  The second of four rounds of January 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The survey period was January 1-28.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

Latest Obama Approval Ratings, Battle Against ISIS, Stay of Obama Amnesty Order, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Sunday’s Academy Awards, and Frigid Winter Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/18).  Recent approval ratings for President Obama and the economy; the battle against ISIS and the controversy over publicly connecting violence with Islam; a Texas court’s stay of President Obama’s amnesty order; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the films and actors nominated for this Sunday’s Academy Awards; and the freezing and snowy weather affecting much of the country were some of the most-talked-about stories on news talk radio yesterday.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

| February 18, 2015

whfs-am logoBeasley Flips WHFS-AM, Tampa Bay to Money Talk.  One of the sports talk outlets Beasley acquired in its swap with CBS RADIO – WHFS-AM – is flipping from sports talk to money talk.  The company says “MoneyTalk 1010 AM” will be “the Tampa Bay area’s only exclusively financial talk-formatted radio station…with programming that features valuable and timely information on the financial markets and emerging trends in the economy. ochscharlie Additionally, ‘MoneyTalk 1010’ offers an assortment of health, lifestyle, and general information programs delivered by a wide variety of local and national broadcasters.”  Beasley is naming Tampa market radio pro Charlie Ochs general manager of the station.  Most recently, Ochs served as a financial professional for Prudential Financial in Tampa.  Prior to that, he was an SVP and market manager with CBS RADIO.  Beasley Media Group VP and market manager Kent Dunn comments, “The expertise and leadership that Charlie brings to ‘MoneyTalk 1010’ is extremely valuable.  This radio station is committed to delivering the most current and up-to-date financial news to the Tampa Bay area.”

If You Think Radio Has Problems with Millennials, TV Faces Immediate 18-34 Crisis – Brings Up Question About Evolution of Radio Ratings.  In the New York Post, media columnist Claire Atkinson writes about the dramatic rate at which Millennials are dropping their live television watching habits.  She reports that “traditional TV usage — which has been falling among viewers ages 18 to 34 at around 4% a year since 2012 — tumbled 10.6% between September and January.”  Read Atkinson’s entire piece here.  Radio practitioners are well aware this is not a “sucks to be you” moment; all media are trying to adapt to the changing habits of consumers – especially Millennials and Gen Xers.  And tied directly into that is rating all of this consumption so that it can be priced and sold effectively.  While radio bemoans the lack of rating non-broadcasting listening, rest assured that while Nielsen hears radio’s cries, it has much more to gain financially by figuring out how to rate non-broadcast video viewing accurately.  As Atkinson points out, there is $80 billion in annual TV ad money at stake.  In response to this situation, TALKERS/RadioInfo publisherharrisonmichael2015 Michael Harrison states, “It is going to be a long time until an accurate system of rating radio audience numbers stabilizes to the point of widespread industry acceptance – if ever.  This looming fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants period should inspire radio broadcasters to: 1) value the opportunities available in highly specialized local programming based more on direct relationships with advertisers and obvious customer results; and 2) understand the principle whereby the nature of the programming defines the nature of the audience.”  Harrison concludes, “The burden will fall upon sales departments to get out there and communicate directly with potential advertisers on a one-on-one, very human level about their businesses and how radio can directly help them connect with specifically-desired customers.”  Harrison’s Principle basically means the genre of the programming has to be so clearly distinct and appealing to an obvious segment of the population that it becomes a given whether or not it will attract significant qualitative or quantitative numbers.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of January 2015 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of January 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The January 2015 survey period covered January 1 – 28.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

zieglerbrandonEnvision Networks Debuts Weekend ‘John & Leah Show.’  The duo of John Ziegler and Leah Brandon first worked together at iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles.  Now, they are hosting a Sunday evening program – 10:00 pm ET – being syndicated by Envision Networks.  The company says the program will focus on “media, politics, sports, and pop culture.”  Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff comments, “John and Leah’s insights, quick wits, and rapport will be a great addition to the stations’ weekends.  With entertaining views from a male and female co-host, we are well on our way to offering new content for talk radio.”

Odds & Sods.  Joining PodcastOne as sales manager, Western region is digital media and sales pro Dana Senit.  The company says that in this new role Senit will “work with local and national advertisers in the Western region to collaborate on digital media initiatives across the network of all-star podcasts to maximize campaign effectiveness throughconnectpal personality-driven strategies.”…..ConnectPal founder and CEO Andy Dean announces his platform has struck a deal with Benztown Radio Networks to bring the latter’s talent to the ConnectPal platform where podcasts featuring such talents as David Tutera, Chris Heben, Dougall Fraser, and A.J. Barrera will be monetized.  Benztown has also made an investment – the terms of which have not been revealed – in ConnectPal…..SiriusXM is presenting comprehensive coverage of the 57th running of the Daytona 500, with the live race broadcast, multiple channels carrying in-car audio from some of the sport’s top drivers, and daily coverage from Daytona International Speedway on its NASCAR Radio channel.

marksdrjA Visit from the Doctor.  During a remote broadcast of NBC Sports Radio’s Anita Marks show live from the Harman store on Madison Avenue in New York City, NBA Hall of Fame legend Dr. J, a.k.a. Julius Erving, stopped by to chat with Marks.  Dr. J was a special guest during the in-store remote designed to celebrate the exclusive audio partnership between JBL and the NBA.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Marks, NBC Sports Radio’s Jon Stashower, Chris Mannix and Erving.

The Battle Against ISIS, The Stay on Amnesty Order, The Cost of ObamaCare for the States, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Rise in European Anti-Semitism, Ukraine Tensions, and Fifty Shades of Grey Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/17).  The violence perpetuated by ISIS and debate over how to combat the militant organization; a Texas court’s stay on President Obama’s amnesty order; the financial ramifications of the Affordable Care Act on the states; speculation about the potential candidates for president in 2016; the increase in anti-Semitism across Europe; the military tensions in Ukraine; and controversy over the film Fifty Shades of Grey were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, January 26, 2015

| January 26, 2015

limbaugh logoLongtime Rush Limbaugh Staffer Kit Carson Dies After Battle with Cancer.  TALKERS magazine has learned from Sound Mind LLC principal Kraig Kitchin that longtime Rush Limbaugh staffer Christopher “Kit” Carson passed away this morning (1/26), in New Jersey.   The cause was brain cancer.  Kitchin says Carson had suffered a bout of cancer four years ago but found his way to recovery two years later and was given a clean bill of health.  In the last several months, the cancer returned.  Kit Carson was the “chief of staff” of Limbaugh’s program since the early 1990s.  He became part of the program’s staff in 1989.  Kitchin says Carson wanted to be an actor, but fell in love with his work on the program.  He screened calls, opened and answered the mail, and he took every opportunity to be invaluable.  And he became invaluable.  Later, he was nicknamed “H.R.” with Limbaugh naming him after Nixon Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman.  A clearly shaken, limbaughrushtearful Rush Limbaugh announced the news at the top of his radio program today (1/26).  He said, “We are all experiencing a huge void in all of our hearts here today.”  Limbaugh praised Carson as never having a bad word to say about anyone and was always a mediating force for good and harmony among the staff.  Limbaugh said that Carson was the longest-running employee of the show and quickly proved himself to be the new program’s number one defender, champion and evangelist.  Limbaugh also credited Carson with coming up with many ideas and angles that he used as his own on the air—and was also a tremendous force for Rush maintaining optimism and positivity in his work and attitude about life.  Clearly he was the one guy who Limbaugh never once doubted – “I had total trust in him.”  Limbaugh said, “Even at 58 he had an innocent exuberance about him.”  Carson is survived by his wife, Theresa, and two sons.

cookeTalkersTVNow Showing on TalkersTV: Writing Commercial Copy That Produces RESULTS.  Just try not to flinch when you hear The Six Most-Dreaded Words in Radio Sales: “We tried radio, it didn’t work.”  Even when the retail business and the station fit-like-a-glove — AND the client buys enough frequency — the campaign can flop, and the disappointed advertiser gives up on radio entirely.  WHY?  Consultant and TALKERS contributor Holland Cooke explains, “Too often, it’s because the commercial copy was ineffective.  Not surprisingly, this can happen because cutbacks have cost the station a creative department and reps are writing their own spots… too often banging out scripts quickly, so they can get back on the street to close new business — which they’re under pressure to do, because of churn.  Why does this often happen?  You guessed it: Because clients cancel…because they didn’t get results…because the copy didn’t work.  It’s a vicious cycle.”  Cooke adds, “Ironically, the same problem is common at stations that HAVE a creative person or department.”  And he cites three reasons:

1.  The conveyor belt is out of control.  With four, five or six stations under one roof, the writer gets overwhelmed.

2.  ESPECIALLY this time of year, when stations stage the annual first quarter “one day sale,” piling even more work on the writer; in many cases spots that will air long-term (or until the disappointed client cancels).

3.  The writer, back at the station, didn’t share the rep’s in-person contact with the prospect during the important Needs Assessment step.  Cooke figures that “account executives are, potentially, better writers than…writers, because they know clients’ stories first-hand.”

“Potentially,” Cooke stipulates, “because account executives need to speak to the listener (the advertiser’s client) the same way they approached the advertiser.  Reps are natural sellers, but don’t always apply their persuasive talent to copy writing.”  In a video now showing on TalkersTV, Cooke outlines what he calls “the dance steps of a 60-second commercial script,” based on his work helping client station reps craft copy for local retailers.  See Cooke relate what he terms “The Five Steps of Selling Anything to Anybody” (how reps got the order) to the copy-writing process.  See the TalkersTV box at the top right-hand column of this page and every page of Talkers.com.

mussonchristinaKMJ-AM/FM, Fresno Names Musson Co-Host.  The new late morning show at Cumulus Media’s Fresno news/talker KMJ-AM/FM launches today as “Broeske & Musson.”  KMJ program director Blake Taylor announces the station promotes Christina Musson from station executive producer to co-host of the program alongside John Broeske.  Taylor says, “We tried out dozens of potential co-hosts for John, but we only needed to look down the hall for the perfect answer.  ‘Broeske & Musson’ is going to be a dynamic show with tons of energy.  They’ll continue to deliver the hard-hitting and fun topics of the day that our listeners expect.”  Musson has been executive producer the past six years.  Her resume also includes production and reporting work at Fresno’s KMPH-TV KGPE-TV as well as KAPP-TV in Yakima, Washington.  She says, “I’m excited to take the next step in my career at such an amazing station and to partner with John Broeske – someone I admire and respect.  I grew up listening to KMJ, so it’s a dream come true.”

knxawards15Radio & Television News Association of Southern California Presents Awards.  The 65th annual Golden Mike awards were presented by the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California (RTNA) on Saturday evening (1/24) in Universal City.  The awards are presented annually for excellence in radio, TV and Internet broadcast journalism.  CBS RADIO’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles was recognized with seven Golden Mike awards in the following categories: Best New Broadcast Over 15 Minutes – “KNX Morning News”; Best Live Coverage of a News Story – “LAX Shooting”; Best News Reporting – “Nanny Nightmare” by Charles Feldman; Best Spot News Reporting – “The Great UCLA Flood of 2014” by Desmond Shaw, Ed Mertz, and Pete Demetriou; Best News Public Affairs Program – “Ask the Mayor”; Best Trafficgregorysteveawards Report – KNX Traffic at 6:15 am; and Best Sports Reporting – “Watts Bears”  by Ed Mertz.  Pictured above left are (from l-r) KNX staffers Ron Kilgore, Frank Mottek, Kathy Kiernan, James Tuck, Ric Schroeder, Wendy Thermos, and Pete Demetriou accepting the award for Best Live Coverage of a News Story.  iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KFI and reporter Steve Gregory also took home seven Golden Mike awards (see photo at right) in the following categories: Best Radio News Special – “Breaking Down The Border Crisis” by Steve Gregory and Oswaldo Borraez; Best Radio Investigative Reporting – “Mold School” by Steve Gregory and Oswaldo Borraez; Best Radio Light Feature (less than a minute) – “Valentine’s Day Flower Inspection” by Steve Gregory; Best Radio Serious Feature (less than a minute) – “Operation Boo” by Steve Gregory; Best Radio Hard News Series – “Trial Of Jailed Marine In Mexico”; Best Radio Internet News Reporting – “Operation Boo” by Steve Gregory and David Perez; and Best Radio Newscast (under 15 minutes).  KFI program director Robin Bertolucci comments, “We have the best news team here at KFI, these folks rock and Steve is a prime example of the caliber of talent that makes us so proud!”

ppmunitRound Four of Holiday PPM Data Released.  The fourth of four rounds of Holiday 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The survey period was December 4 to December 31.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

franklinjoeNew York Talk Legend Joe Franklin Dies at 88.  The New York talk television and talk radio icon who was famously parodied by Billy Crystal on “Saturday Night Live,” died after a long battle with cancer on Saturday (1/24).  Joe Franklin hosted a television program interviewing celebrities and offbeat characters beginning in the early 1950s.  He worked in radio later in his career at such stations as WOR, New York and most recently on the Bloomberg Radio Network.  Franklin ranked 71st in the 2010 TALKERS magazine 20th Anniversary Heaviest Hundred list (which ranks “the 100 most important radio talk show hosts of all time”) and appeared a number of times as a special guest speaker at the annual TALKERS Convention in New York City.  Publisher Michael Harrison would introduce him to the attendees from out of town as a famous New York City “tourist attraction as legendary as the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and Central Park.”  Franklin juggled so many careers in the media that it’s a good thing he stopped to write a book every few years – in fact, 23 in all — to capture his amazingly colorful life.  His autobiography Up Late With Joe Franklin (Scribner, 1995) is jam-packed with celebrity-rich-anecdotes — from Eddie Cantor and Rudy Vallee to Howard Stern, for example.  According to the Library Journal, “He actually knew those early entertainers and knew many of those currently entertaining.”  What originally made him a household name — even before the highly touted “Saturday Night Live” parodies by Billy Crystal — was Franklin’s late night variety program “The Joe Franklin Show,” which ran from 1950 through 1993.  The Guinness Book of World Records lists it as the longest running TV talk show in history manned by one host.   And what a show it was!  Much like visiting your favorite neighborhood hardware store, you never knew what unexpected gems would pop up among the variety and clutter.  A sample show would feature a sculptor, belly dancer, an up-and-coming comic, a podiatrist and then maybe a famous actor or singer.  According to Publisher’s Weekly (1994), his program’s “total guest list ran between 200,000 and 300,000.”  and included such names as Frank Sinatra Jr., Bing Crosby, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Vincent Price, Howard Stern, Buddy Hackett, — as well as first TV exposure for eventual stars like Sammy Davis Jr., Bill Cosby, Woody Allen, Barbra Streisand and Julia Roberts.  “It would be easier to list the few who did not appear than to catalogue those who did,” PW says. Franklin started and ended his long show business career in radio.  His first job, at 16, was working behind the scenes at WNEW, New York where he became “the record librarian,” (or really “the record picker”) for Martin Block’s popular “Make Believe Ballroom” radio program.   Once station management recognized his unique expertise in vaudeville and entertainment trivia, they offered him a 15-minute program dedicated to nostalgia.  Eventually that became his calling card and part of the schtick he’d weave into shows, whether radio or television.  The self- proclaimed “King of Entertainment” had an encyclopedic knowledge of “all things entertainment” from the first half of the 20th Century:  silent films, Broadway stage shows, musicians and singers.  With that, he also earned the title the “king of nostalgia.”  After his television show ended, Franklin focused on his long-running “Memory Lane” radio program, which ran on WOR on weekend overnights.  He’d tell stories about many of the entertainers whose records he would play.  In recent years, up until the time of his death, he hosted a weekends-only series of six-minute segments on Bloomberg Radio Network called ‘The Business of Show Business.’  Audio podcasts are still available at Bloomberg.com.  Throughout his career, the round-faced, jovial Franklin was commonly called back to television to do guest spots on the big late night and daytime talk shows such as those hosted by Regis Philbin and David Letterman.   Considered a good luck charm for the start of a new talk show due to the length of his show’s run, Franklin often kicked off day one of a show – and did so on the first broadcasts of “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and “This American Life.”  Though Franklin may never have wanted to act in movies – like his childhood friend Tony Curtis – he did appear as himself in “Ghostbusters” and “Broadway Danny Rose,” just to name two of the 34 titles that IMDb lists.   Franklin was born in 1926 in the Bronx, New York.  He met his model/actress wife when she was a secretary and he was “a kid of 24 just doing radio… and we were married on the TV show called ‘Bride and Groom,’” where real-life couples tied the knot after being quizzed about their relationship on national television.  Perhaps what sums Joe Franklin up best is his favorite personal quote: “It’s nice to be important, but it’s even more important to be nice.”

Odds & Sods.  Former “Regular Guys” personality Eric Von Haessler begins hosting his “The Von Haessler Doctrine” show on Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB, Atlanta airing Sundays at 1:00 pm.  Since exiting his “Regular Guys” co-host position at Cumulus Media’s crosstown rock WNNX “96 Rock” in June of 2014, Von Haessler has been doing fill-vonhaesslerericin work at WSB and podcasting…..Boston sports talk personality Danny Picard launches his new eponymous podcast at the same time he debuts his new website and celebrates the opening of his new studio inside Beantown Athletics in Dorchester, Massachusetts.  Picard is a weekend personality on Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston and is part of the “Patriots Pre-game and Post-Game Live” shows on Comcast SportsNet New England…..Westwood One is picarddannyannouncing some of the details of its Super Bowl programming as the official network radio partner for the National Football League.  It will feature a full schedule of game day programming leading up to kickoff.  Westwood One’s live game coverage features Kevin Harlan, handling the play-by-play duties for the Super Bowl for the fifth straight year, and Boomer Esiason, serving as the color analyst.  Hall of Famer James Lofton and Mark Malone will once again report from the sidelines.  Emmy Award-winning host Jim Gray will anchor the pregame and halftime coverage…..FOX Sports Radio is also on the scene in Glendale, Arizona this week leading up to the Super Bowl.  FSRN announces that as part of its continuous coverage “Jay Mohr Sports” news anchor Dan Beyer and J.T. The Brick will broadcast live from radio row while the Dan Patrick show and the Rich Eisen show will broadcast from the DIRECTV Super Fan Festival at the Pendergrast Family Farm in Glendale’s Sports and Entertainment District across from Phoenix Stadium.  Also, former NFL player Lincoln Kennedy will broadcast a special edition of the network’s Saturday morning program Gargano & Kennedy…..CBS Sports Radio’s plans for coverage of the big game include live-from-Glendale broadcasts all week by the network’s Jim Rome, Doug Gottlieb and the Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney program.

Friday, January 23, 2015

| January 23, 2015

alphamedia logoFredericksburg Stations to Join Alpha Media Portfolio.  Still in acquisition mode, Portland, Oregon-based Alpha Media announces it will acquire the four-station Free Lance-Star Radio group.  The stations include: country WFLS and talk WNTX in Fredericksburg, Virginia; CHR WVBX, Spotsylvania, Virginia; and classic rock WWUZ, Bowling Green, Virginia.  Alpha chairman Larry Wilson comments on the deal, “Around 50 miles from Washington D.C., Fredericksburg is a thriving place that continues to grow. It will be a nice addition to our East Coast footprint.  I feel privileged to be able to get into that market and work with the great people there.”  The stations were acquired by Sandton Capital in a bankruptcy auction and the firm must divest of the signals to comply with cross-ownership regulations.  Free Lance-Star operates print and digital publications in the market.  George Reed of Media Services Group is the broker for Free Lance-Star Radio.

sumpterjimJim Sumpter Show Renewed on USA Radio Networks.  The midday Jim Sumpter program will continue to be syndicated via the USA Radio Networks after the two parties agreed to a renewal deal.  The Jim Sumpter show airs live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET Monday through Friday and from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm on Saturdays.  In a press statement USA Radio Networks says, “Jim brings a powerfully unique presentation of storytelling and interpretation of current events from a constitutional perspective that translates to compelling radio that draws listeners in as few other hosts can.”  Sumpter comments, “The content of my show challenges establishment elites – especially politicians who say one thing, but do another and media organizations who shirk away from truthful reporting – that it takes a special group of courageous patriots who both get it and are committed to supporting it.  I’m grateful for this opportunity from Sam Hassell, Sherrie Roberts, and Tim Maranville to give me the venue and support to make a lot of noise, stir up a lot of trouble, and do a lot of good.  This is going to be fun.”

newsmaxtv logoNewsmax Signs Deal with NCTC Adding Nearly 12 Million Subscribers.  A new deal between Newsmax TV and the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC), will provide Newsmax TV access to 900-plus member cable systems, encompassing nearly 12 million MVPD subscribers.  Newsmax Media founder Christopher Ruddy says, “This NCTC agreement further accelerates our focus on securing carriage with independent cable operators country wide and is an important component of our goal to reach 50 million-plus subscribers for our first year on-air anniversary.  Initial meetings with many NCTC members indicate a widespread reception that we anticipate will lead to notable launches in 2015.”  Newsmax TV, which the company says targets the underserved baby boomer audience, is already carried by DISH and DIRECTV in approximately 35 million cable/satellite homes.

nielsen logoRound Three of Holiday PPM Data Released.  The third of four rounds of Holiday 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The survey period was December 4 to December 31.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

FAIRHold2015Ninth Annual ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Event Scheduled for April 15 and 16. The annual Washington, DC radio row produced by the Federation for American Immigration Reform will take place on Monday and Tuesday, April 15 and 16 at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill. As in the eight years prior, the event will consist of talk hosts from across the country broadcasting live, debating immigration policy while interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists and citizens who live along the border. FAIR says that “this year’s event will focus on the aftermath of President Obama’s amnesty and his continued abuse of executive power, the GOP’s internal battle over how to tackle immigration and the ongoing border crisis with its implications for national security risks.” Event general manager and FAIR spokesman Bob Dane comments, “Politicians fear and respect the amplitude of talk radio. Hold Their Feet to the Fire speaks for millions of radio listeners and, this year, will prove that the mic is mightier than Obama’s pen.” For talk show hosts wishing to take part in this year’s radio row, reservations are required and hosts/producers should call now. There is no cost to attend and all technical engineering and ISDN lines are provided by Silver Lake Audio of New York, the official engineering firm for Hold Their Feet to the Fire. Congressional guests, activists, high-profile media personalities, and immigration experts will be in attendance and available throughout the event for wall-to-wall interviews. Contact Bob Dane or Anna Giaritelli for more information at 202-328-7004 or bdane@fairus.org or agiaritelli@fairus.org.

Odds & Sods.  The new American General Media sports talker in Bakersfield – KGEO “1230 AM ESPN” – is adding a live and local program beginning Monday (1/26) as the Greg Kerr show debuts.  The local sports media pro will take to the air from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm daily for the station that launched late last year…..Baseball broadcaster Jeff Levering is moving up to the big leagues from his gig with the AAA Pawtucket Red Sox to the Milwaukee Brewers Radio Network broadcast team.  Levering is going to be the play-by-play voice for select road games this season as he joins Bob Uecker and Joe Block.  He’ll also contribute content for the Brewers’ digital platform…..ESPN Audio announces its new weekend program lineup.  Eight new shows are being added, including the two-hour “espnW Presents: Spain & Prim on ESPN Radio,” co-hosted by espnW’s and ESPN Chicago 1000 Radio’s Sarah Spain and ESPN anchor and analyst Prim Siripipat.  Additional shows debuting in the new lineup are: Marty & McGee, Dave Rothenberg Show, Dickerson & Hood, Robin Lundberg, Coachman & Bretos, Ian Fitzsimmons and “NBA Lockdown: Insiders.”

sayreterrieqKKOB, Albuquerque’s Terrie Q. Sayre Passes Unexpectedly.  KKOB, Albuquerque program director Pat Frisch informs TALKERS that station weekend personality Terrie Q. Sayre died unexpectedly at the age of 54.  Frisch says, “It is with deep sadness that I tell you we lost a true friend, a bright lite in the 770 KKOB family.”  Frisch says Sayre handled weekend mornings for Cumulus Media’s news/talk KKOH, Reno for several years before moving to Albuquerque and doing weekends for KKOB for the past seven years.  Sayre was a former show girl for Harrah’s and Caesars Lake Tahoe and was Mrs. Nevada 1998.  She was married to Skip Sayre and is survived by a brother.

State of the Union and Obama Tax Plan Top News/Talk Stories This Week.  The State of the Union Address and President Obama’s tax plan tied as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the “no-go zones” controversy and the related militant Islam issues.  Coming in at #3 was ISIS’ holding of two Japanese nationals for ransom and following at #4 was the 2016 presidential prospects.  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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

| January 22, 2015

ramseydaveDave Ramsey Surpasses 550 Affiliate Mark.  Nationally syndicated financial talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey announces his program is now heard on more than 550 AM/FM affiliate stations and, according to the Ramsey organization, is heard by more than 8.5 million listeners weekly.  “‘The Dave Ramsey Show’ is clearly positioned as the third largest talk radio show in the country behind only Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.”  Vice president of Ramsey Media Brian Mayfield comments, “‘The Dave Ramsey Show’ continues to grow and make a difference in the radio world, as well as in the lives of our listeners.”  Recently, the Dave Ramsey show experienced upgrades in a few major markets including moving to a live timeslot from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm on KTAR-FM, Phoenix and expanding the timeslot to 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm KEIB, Los Angeles.  Beginning in February, the show will move to a live timeslot from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm on KXNT, Las Vegas.

carsonrobNew AM Host and Talent Shuffle at KCMO, Kansas City.  Talent moves will take effect on February 2 at Cumulus Media’s news/talk KCMO, Kansas City.  Current morning drive personality Greg Knapp is moving to afternoon drive and new in the morning slot will be Rob Carson.  At the same time, WMAL, Washington personality Chris Plante will also air on Kansas City on KCMO in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noonplantechris slot.  The rest of the schedule will be: Dave Ramsey from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm; Michael Savage from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm; Mark Levin following Knapp from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm and John Batchelor airing from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  Cumulus Kansas City SVP and general manager Mark Sullivan says, “I’m thrilled to have two of the industry’s best joining our lineup.  I’m anxious to hear Rob Carson and Chris Plante on our airwaves and I’m sure that Kansas City is going to feel as strongly about kcmo logotheir talent to entertain and inform as I am.  I’m also pleased to have Greg Knapp hosting our afternoons, as his dynamic and in-depth discussions keep me glued to the radio and I know that the local presence that he brings will be outstanding.  These are exciting times here at the broadcast center!”  Carson comments, “This is a real homecoming for me and my family.  We’ve been away from Missouri too long, and it’s a real blessing to get a spot on one of the country’s premiere talkers, KCMO.  I’m excited to join John Dickey, Mike McVay and Mark and [PD] Gary Nolan at Cumulus.”

ppmunitRound Two of Holiday PPM Data Released.  The second of four rounds of Holiday 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The survey period was December 4 to December 31.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

mcconnelldaveWTOP, Washington’s Dave McConnell Celebrates 50 Years with Station.  WTOP, Washington reporter Dave McConnell began his career with the station on January 18, 1965.  McConnell spent most of his career serving as Capitol Hill correspondent – a title he holds today that makes him the only full-timewtop logo NEW 1-15 congressional correspondent for a local radio outlet in the country.  WTOP news director Mike McMearty relates, “It is part of WTOP lore that while other kids were skipping school to see the Washington Senators play at Griffith Stadium, Dave was skipping school to hear the real Senators debate on Capitol Hill.”  McMearty adds, “Dave McConnell is a class act.  He’s a mixture of hustle, honesty and humbleness.  Dave lets the members of congress express their point-of-view without inserting opinion or commentary.  He is, and has always been known as, an honest broker.  I consider it an honor to have worked with him for more than 20 years of his illustrious career.”  Even after 50 years, McConnell has no plans to retire anytime soon.

Odds & Sods.  Financial talker Ray Lucia inks a deal with BizTV and BizTalkRadio for the companies to exclusively produce and syndicate his programs.  As part of the new agreement, the national radio show expands to two hours airing luciaraylive from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm ET…..In addition to the almost 400 AM/FM affiliate stations that aired ESPN Audio’s broadcast of the College Football Playoff Championship on January 12, the sports giant reports that the game averaged 69,000 listeners in the average minute across network and affiliate streams.  The ESPN Audio Streaming Network audience (including the ESPN Radio website and mobile app, the SportsCenter mobile app, Tune In Radio, Slacker Radio, and Apple iTunes Radio) grew 103% from last year’s BCS National Championship game. The 69,000 listeners is the third-highest network stream in history, trailing only two 2014 FIFA World Cup matches.

kfbklogoCool Job Opportunity.  Legendary KFBK, Sacramento has an immediate opening for a full-time morning news co-anchor and writer.  Our ideal candidate has strong news broadcasting experience and is able to multi-task and take direction well.  You will work alongside Amy Lewis, our long-term KFBK co-anchor, in a fast-paced, challenging and friendly environment.  Must be an aggressive self-starter who can hit the ground running, cut up sound on the fly, report live from the street or in-house, love big breaking news, write conversationally, and stay on top of social media – all while creating and contributing daily content to the web and Facebook.  You will need to be able to write short, tight copy, adlib well, anchor short-form newscasts or long-form event coverage when necessary, and understand news coverage in the digital/social media age.  Conversational and credible on-air news delivery, creative broadcast news writing skills and the ability to communicate effectively are prerequisites for this position.  You must be able to work under pressure in a fast-paced environment, meet deadlines, have a strong knowledge of current events and work positively as part of a team.  For more information and to apply, click here.

wkzoCapitolCovering the State of the State.  WKZO, Kalamazoo broadcast its Wayne Powers morning drive show live from the office of State Rep. Aric Nesbitt at the Michigan Capitol in Lansing yesterday (1/21) the morning after Governor Rick Snyder’s State of the State Address.  The Midwest Communications news/talk station reports that it was able to talk with Michigan lawmakers and leaders from both parties throughout the morning, including Michigan Lt. Governor Brian Calley and Michigan House Speaker Kevin Cotter as well as local senators and representatives including Senators Margaret O’Brien, Tonya Schuitmaker and John Proos and Representatives Aric Nesbitt, Jon Hoadley, Brandt Iden and Dave Maturen.  WKZO brand manager Jeremy Lawrence comments, “It is such a pleasure to be able to serve our listeners by talking with our leaders at the Capitol.  Being that we are the eyes and ears of the listener, we value our ability to let them know what is happening in our government.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Nesbitt, Maturen, O’Brien, Schuitmaker, Cotter, Lawrence, Midwest Communications VP/Market manager Mike Klein, and (seated) Powers.

State of the Union Address/Obama Tax Plan, ISIS Holds Japanese Men for Ransom, Abortion Legislation Debate, 2016 Presidential Prospects, ‘American Sniper’ Film Criticism, and the NFL’s Deflategate Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/21).  Tuesday’s State of the Union Address and President Obama’s tax proposal; the case of the Japanese nationals being held for ransom by ISIS; the GOP’s decision to drop new abortion legislation; the potential candidates for president in 2016; continuing criticism of the film “American Sniper”; and the controversy over deflated footballs used by the New England Patriots were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

| January 21, 2015

elderlarryNEW1-15Two Talk Radio Pros Take Their Craft to the Internet.  Longtime KABC, Los Angeles talk radio personality Larry Elder debuts his new Internet-only talk show emanating from his website, LarryElder.com.  The program streams live Monday through Friday from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm PT.  Inahrenslarry addition to the live stream, Elder offers fans an “Elderado” premium subscription tier that includes access to commercial-free podcasts and more.  Elder exited KABC late last year as the station was tweaking its news/talk format.  Albuquerque media personality Larry Ahrens – a longtime news/talk KKOB host – is leaving his current gig at uPublic TV’s “The Morning Brew” program to begin an Internet radio endeavor focusing on healthy living.  According to Albuquerque Business Journals, Ahrens is joining the Phoenix-based Doublewide Networkout operated by Arizona radio personality Dave Pratt.  The show is being titled, “Smart Living with Larry Ahrens” and is expected to launch later this month.

townsquaremediaTownsquare Media Teases Positive Q4 2014 Growth.  In an 8-K filing with the SEC, Townsquare Media – which went public back in July of last year – announces pretty good 2014 fourth quarter financial numbers.  In issuing the preliminary financial results, the company says its fourth quarter pro forma net revenue jumped 9% to 10% compared to the fourth quarter of 2013.  Further, pro forma adjusted EBITDA rose 5% to 9% compared to the fourth quarter of 2013.  For the year of 2014 as a whole, Townsquare expects to report revenue of about $385 million – an increase of about 8% compared to 2013.

nielsen logoRound One of Holiday PPM Data Released.  The first of four rounds of Holiday 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The survey period was December 4 to December 31.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

farbersliwaNew York Broadcasters Honor Barry Farber.  Talk radio pioneer Barry Farber (right) was honored with induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame last fall, but his New York colleagues wanted to throw a special NYC bash for him as the cherry on the cake, and did so recently at The Statler Grill in Midtown Manhattan.  Among the more than 100 media pros and friends to attend was WABC, New York personality Curtis Sliwa (left) who, during his remarks, cited Farber as one of the talk show hosts who gave the Guardian Angels, and its predecessor organization The Magnificent 13, early publicity and support.  He also stated that it was because of Barry Farber, Barry Gray and Bob Grant that he was able to have a career in talk radio at all.  Farber is still heard on the radio via CRN Digital Talk Radio weeknights at 8:00 ET.

berneirkrauthammerTimely Live Event.  Just before President Obama delivered the State of the Union address on Tuesday (1/20), WNDB, Daytona Beach afternoon talk show host Marc Bernier moderated a discussion with Fox News political analyst and author Charles Krauthammer at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University as the latest in the school’s President’s Speakers Series.  Krauthammer recently published his latest book, Things That Matter (2013 Crown Forum).  Bernier tells TALKERS magazine that this event was the 117th in the series that dates back to 1993.

State of the Union Speech, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Paris Mayor Vows to Sue Fox News/‘No-Go Zones’ Controversy, Collapsing Oil Prices/World Financial Markets Activity, ISIS Holds Japanese Men for Ransom, Huckabee’s Beyonce Criticism, and NFL Deflated Balls Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/20).  Tuesday’s State of the Union address and President Obama’s pledge to tackle income inequality; the controversy over assertions of Muslim “no-go zones” in Europe and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s threat to sue Fox News; the continuing collapse of oil prices and the effects on the world’s financial markets; ISIS violence in the Middle East and the holding of two Japanese men for ransom; potential presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s criticism of Beyonce; and the controversy over deflated footballs used in the Patriots-Colts AFC Championship game were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday.

Friday, January 9, 2015

| January 9, 2015

berrymichael2Michael Berry Show Now Heard in PM Drive on WRNO, New Orleans.  Houston-based talk show host Michael Berry – the “Czar of Talk Radio” – adds another affiliate to his growing affiliate base this week as his show begins airing on iHeartMedia’s New Orleans news/talker WRNO.  Berry’s program – emanating from flagship KTRH, Houston – replaces the show hosted by John Osterlind, who exits the company.  Other stations around the country airing Berry’s program include: KEX, Portland; WGY, Albany; WGST, Atlanta; WJBO, Baton Rouge; and KFXR, Dallas.

kkoblogoKKOB, Albuquerque Again Rises to the Top.  Program director Pat Frisch checks in to report that after having the station’s 55-book streak of #1 Nielsen Audio ratings finishes (persons 12+) ended in the spring and summer surveys in which it finished #2, Cumulus Media’s news/talk KKOB, Albuquerque returns to #1 in the Fall 2014 survey.  Frisch reports that morning host Bob Clark is #1 in the market (12+), beating the next closest morning show by more than three full shares, while Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage finished in first place in the 12+, persons 25-54, and men 25-54 demos.  The station finished #6 in the market in the persons 25-54 demo with a 3.6 share.

nellesmitchthunderMitch ‘Thunder’ Nelles Joins Sports WOKY, Milwaukee.  The iHeartMedia sports talker announces that Mitch “Thunder” Nelles becomes part of sports talk WOKY “The Big 920” to serve as sports account executive and serve as an on-air contributor.  Nelles most recently was with crosstown sports talk WAUK in the sales department.  Until last spring, Nelles also worked on air with Steve “The Homer” True on WAUK’s “Homer & Thunder” program before he exited his on-air duties to focus on sales.  Nelles joins WOKY on Monday, January 12.  Program director Tim Scott states, “We are VERY excited that Mitch is joining our team.  The addition of ‘Thunder’ just deepens our local commitment to Milwaukee sports fans.”  Nelles will also contribute a blog and podcasts.

cookehollandSound Bites from CES 2015.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke files another report from Las Vegas as he covers the International Consumer Electronics Show for TALKERS magazine.  Today’s report delivers the takeaways from the numerous sessions Cooke has attended during the week that have something relevant for radio practitioners.  Issues such as the importance of understanding the ways different platforms are used, the challenges of being creative in different media spaces, and effective use of YouTube are all covered in Holland Cooke’s report which you can read here.

emmisEmmis Q3 Radio Revenue Rises 29%. Actual comparative figures are $34.8 million to $44.9 million. This includes reported revenue from New York City urban AC WBLS and gospel cluster-mate WLIB; Emmis started operating those two facilities under a Local Marketing Agreement about 10 months ago. In crediting his company’s employees, Emmis president/chief executive officer/chair Jeff Smulyan states that, owing to them, “Emmis’ stations againsmulyanjeff dramatically outperformed our markets, marking the 12th consecutive month of share gains.” Smulyan points out that Los Angeles rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106” is “up 18% in a flat market. Our New York cluster was up for the quarter and is now significantly outperforming the market. With an improving labor market and lower energy prices helping to put more money into the hands of consumers, we are excited about the economic backdrop as we head into 2015.” In October, Emmis-led industry initiative NextRadio launched a new version with “LiveGuide” and Smulyan explains, “NextRadio is pre-loaded in 33 Smartphone models and we’ve had more than 1.4 million activations. All major radio companies support the effort. I couldn’t be more pleased with the effort and the momentum we have.” Emmis’ Q3 operating income increases from $8.7 million to $13.1 million, while station operating income advances year-to-year by $4 million to $18.1 million.

Odds & Sods.  Seattle sports talker KIRO-AM programming is being aired on Mapleton-owned KGA, Spokane.  A deal between KIRO-AM owner Bonneville and Mapleton has KIRO-AM’s 7:00 am to 4:00 pm programming – including Brock & Salk, Michael Gray, and Bob & Groz – airing on the station.  KIRO-AM also recently struck a deal to air the same programming on Ingstad Radio’s KJOX in the Tri-Cities, Washington market…..Noted broadcaster Pat O’Brien is debuting a new radio program to go into national syndication.  Beginning early this year, O’Brien will host KLEAN Radio, a new, weekend mental health radio show broadcasting out of KABC, Los Angeles.  A companion TV show – Klean Daily – is launching as well…..KXNO, Des Moines personality Ken Miller exits the station to pursue a yet-to-be-announced gig with former partner Marty Tirrell in the market.  The two first worked together in Des Moines doing sports talk back in 1996.

bubbaarmyBTBBubba’s Army Turns Up for ‘Bury the Bone’ Stunt.  The image you see here is of a long line of what Bubba the Love Sponge estimates was the 650-plus cars (with some 1,000 loyal listeners) who showed up for his “Bury the Bone” stunt.  Bubba and his staff – Manson, Ned, and 25 Cent – promised “Bury the Bone” tee-shirts to all who drove through the GoodFellas Pizza parking lot that sits just a few hundred yards from his old flagship station, Cox Media Group’s WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone.”  WHPT dropped Bubba’s show from its lineup in September and filled the morning daypart with former Bubba intern and then-afternoon drive host Mike Calta.  Bubba’s show began airing on Beasley Broadcast Group’s crosstown WHFS-FM earlier this week and Bubba has begun a “radio war” vowing to “bury” Calta in the ratings.  Bubba and staff ran out of tee-shirts and bumper stickers so they took the names of those who didn’t get any and promised to print more and ship them to the listeners.  Commenting on the stunt, Bubba says, “This is one of the proudest days of my broadcasting career.  I am humbled; it’s more than we expected.”

brownejoyTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Update.  The Dr. Joy Browne program – distributed by Genesis Communications Network – is added to the program lineup at WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island to airgreshamtom in the midday slot…..“Gun Talk” with host Tom Gresham joins the programming at Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network as well as on KWSW, Eureka, California…..The GCN-distributed “Freedom Feens” show is added to the program schedule at WSLA, Slidell, Louisiana (New Orleans market) and current weekend affiliate WPBQ, Jackson, Mississippi begins airing the show daily…..The wine-centric radio show “Grape Encounters Radio” becomes part of the lineup at KTSA, San Antonio.

Charlie Hebdo Massacre/Radical Islam Top News/Talk Story for the Week of January 5-9.  The deadly assault on the Parisian satire paper Charlie Hebdo and the larger topic of radical Islam were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the new GOP-controlled Congress.  Coming in at #3 was sinking oil prices and their effect on the world financial markets followed by the 2016 presidential prospects at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, January 8, 2014

| January 8, 2015

price howardHoward B. Price: Preparedness, Vigilance and Training Important in Wake of Charlie Hebdo Attack.  The horrific assault on French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo serves as a sad reminder that attacks on media outlets are not only possible, they happen on an all-too-frequent basis.  In a piece published in TALKERS magazine, ABC Television Network director, business continuity Howard B. Price writes that “even with the best security resources and procedures in place, no broadcast facility is immune from criminal acts or terrorism.  And being in a small place doesn’t necessarily reduce the risk.  But, there are common sense things we all can do to help deter such incidents, mitigate their impact and help assure an investigative trail in the event one takes place.”  Read Price’s very important piece here.

whitebillBill White Named KFBK and KSTE, Sacramento Program Director.  It’s official: news/talk programming pro Bill White is the new PD at iHeartMedia’s KFBK and KSTE in Sacramento, effective January 20.  White – who’s programmed such storied talk outlets as WGN, Chicago; KDKA, Pittsburgh; and WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte – most recently served as PD at Journal Broadcast Group’s KQTH and KFFN in Tucson.  White comments, “These legendary stations inform and touch listeners in the Sacramento area every day.  I’m honored to be joining the talented team at KFBK/KSTE and look forward to building on their successes.”

frantzbobBob Frantz Adds Cleveland News/Talk Duties.  Longtime WTAM, Cleveland personality Bob Frantz exited that station in July of last year and in October began hosting an afternoon sports talk show for Cumulus Media on WLQR, Toledo “106.5 The Ticket.”  Now, Frantz is adding a daily news/talk program on Salem Communications-owned WHK, Cleveland “AM 1420 The Answer” to his responsibilities.  Frantz has been producing commentaries for the Salem station and now begins the daily 9:00 am to 11:00 am talk program.  Salem Cleveland GM Mark Jaycox comments, “There has been a very loud cry from Clevelanders to hear Bob Frantz on the air once more, since his mic went silent five months ago.  His straightforward, honest approach to news, sports and politics has earned him a strong following among conservatively minded listeners who want more in-depth perspective on news stories that affect our daily lives.”

charleskenKen Charles Exits iHeartMedia.  News/talk pro Ken Charles – after a long career with iHeartMedia programming stations in Houston, Miami and Sacramento, to name a few – exits the company.  Charles had been serving as the company’s national brand manager for news/talk and sports before his sudden exit.  iHeartMedia has been very quiet about this and has, so far, not announced any plans to fill Charles’ corporate post.

podcastone logoHollywoodLife Signs with PodcastOne.  What it calls “another, in a series of previously announced partnerships, merging editorial and audio media,” PodcastOne unveils the arrival of the HollywoodLife podcast to its roster of advertiser-supported, on-demand digital audio programs.  The weekly podcast is hosted by HollywoodLife.com’s renowned president and editor-in-chief Bonnie Fuller and delivers “discussion, debate and the inside scoop on all the biggest, breaking celebrity news.”  It will also feature candid conversations with top TV, music and movie stars.  PodcastOne CEO Norm Pattiz says, “Bonnie’s track record of success in editorial content and audience engagement is extraordinary, and we are excited to expand that from the website to the podcast.  Providing the best in entertainment and celebrity news, she knows how to connect with the female demographic and affect lifestyle interests in ways no one else can.”

cookehollandCES 2015: Is Your Station Merely ‘the Linear Feed?’  Radio consultant Holland Cooke continues his reporting for TALKERS magazine from the giant Consumer Electronics Show 2015 in Las Vegas and today (1/8) he focuses on the disruption TV is feeling at the hands of technology that has made about half of television program viewing delayed or on demand.  “The linear feed” means live programming in the order that it’s broadcast and Cooke writes that as consumption of media continues to change, radio must address that “the linear feed” only isn’t going to be good enough.  Read his piece here to find two ways radio stations can deal with this conundrum.

flintaaronAaron Flint Continues to Build State-Wide Montana Talk Show.  Thirty-four-year-old Montana National Guard officer Aaron Flint began hosting Northern Broadcasting System’s “Voices of Montana” radio talk show five years ago.  Since then the KYYA, Billings-based program has expanded from 10 signals to more than 20 with KLTZ, Glasgow being the latest station to begin airing the program.  Flint states, “It’s pretty clear that listener and station demand for local, interactive, engaging content on both AM and FM radio is strong.  I went on another military deployment back in 2012, and I was, frankly, a little worried that we may lose some affiliates due to the disruption.  But the support for all service members shown by our radio affiliates has just been incredible.  The fact that the show has doubled is a strong testament to the support for the community and local programming by independent and corporate-owned stations alike.”  Flint has served three tours of duty: in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa.  A former staffer on The Hill, he is also a political blogger publishing The Flint Report – a blog the Washington Post has listed as one of the best state-based political blogs.

sharpejimUSA Radio Networks Adds Jim Sharpe to Lineup.  The latest addition to USA Radio Networks’ “rapidly growing syndicated programming lineup” is media pro Jim Sharpe who will host “AMERICA CONTINUES,” airing from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET beginning February 2.  USA says the show “will advance the significant news stories of the day with a different insight: the kind of insight that only comes whenusaRadioNetworks America has had a chance to digest the events of the day and put them into true perspective.”  Sharpe’s resume includes winning awards for his work as a war correspondent, and hosting radio shows in markets including: Los Angeles, Dallas, and Phoenix.  Sharpe says of his new syndicated show, “The name of the program serves two purposes: We will continue to update America’s truly important stories even as people put their workday behind them.  And, we will continue to work on this grand experiment called America.  Too many people have given up on the ‘American Dream,’ but ‘AMERICA CONTINUES’ will acknowledge and honor that America is still the planet’s best hope.”

wwwe logoAtlanta’s WWWE Converts to Women’s Radio Network. After having aired Spanish-language music and religious programming as well as sports, Beasley Broadcast Group‘s WWWE, Atlanta transitions to the Women’s Radio Network as “1100 WRNW1.” WWWE general manager Greg Cooper remarks, “Beasley and WWWE are committed to serving the concerns of the Atlanta community. A format focused on the lifestyle of today’s woman gives us a great opportunity to drive our vision for the market forward.” The Women’s Radio Network was previously available only as an online stream: The WWWE affiliation represents the company’s first experience in delivering content on an over-the-air broadcast facility. Hapeville, Georgia-licensed Class D WWWE has not appeared in a monthly Atlanta Nielsen Audio PPM ratings report in recent memory.

nyfest smallEntries Being Accepted for “World’s Best Radio Programs.” Several new categories have been added to the 30-plus-year-old international competition, including “Best Innovation,” “Best Journalist,” and “Best Music Program Host.”  New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards executive director Rose Anderson remarks, “Our categories for ‘Sound Art’ and ‘Best Innovation’ recognize the limitless advances of creativity.  Our ‘Best Journalist,’ and ‘Best Music Program Host’ categories honor the artistry and dedication of the individuals at the mic.”  Advisory board grand jury member/Geller Media president Valerie Geller works with broadcasters in 35 countries “to become more powerful storytellers and communicators.”  Geller comments, “Stories are how we track our lives, learn about others, and develop empathy and understanding of the world.  At its best, broadcasting informs, entertains, inspires, and persuades. Most importantly, it connects people to one another through our stories.  It is satisfying on every level to have the opportunity and honor to hear the amazing work that news, documentary and program teams throughout the world are producing/creating.”  NYFIRPA entries are received from radio stations, networks, and independent producers.  Among the 2014 winners were the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (“Broadcaster of the Year”) and TBI Media UK (“Production Company of the Year”). Deadline for entering the competition is a little more than two months away (3/19); the awards ceremony will take place Monday, June 22 at New York City’s Manhattan Penthouse.

cadeauxavierpaulCreative Talent Inc. Signs Xavier Paul Cadeau.  The voice of the Brooklyn Nets – Xavier Paul Cadeau – signs with talent agency Creative Talent Inc.  The firm, founded and led by radio pro Steve Gallagher, announces the inking of the actor, comedian and voice-over artist to a management contract encompassing broadcast on-air hosting, live sporting events announcing and corporate and industrial hosting and voiceovers.  Cadeau will be appearing on the upcoming HBO television series, “Crime.”  Gallagher says, “You’ve heard his promo voice on HBO Sports, narrating on the History Channel‘s ‘UFO Files’, ‘Planet of the Apes’ week on SyFy and he’s been multiple characters on the ‘Grand Theft Auto’ video game series.  Xavier Paul is an incredible talent.”

lowysloanewendyTalk Host Wendy Lowy Sloane Celebrates Radio Show’s Fifth Anniversary.  The nationally syndicated “What’s Up with Wendy” radio show – hosted by Wendy Lowy Sloane – prepares to celebrate its fifth anniversary tomorrow (1/9).  The BizTalkRadio program is based at WGCH, Greenwich, Connecticut and “showcases interviews with the biggest names in television, movies, music, comedy, fashion, literature, and sports, in addition to self-help segments.”  Celebrity guests who will help Lowy Sloane recognize the anniversary include “Parenthood” actress Monica Potter, “Awkward” star Greer Grammer, and Michael Dinan, owner and editor of NewCanaanite.com.  The program airs from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon on Fridays on WGCH and nationally on BizTalkRadio Fridays at 7:00 pm ET.

harrisonCCraneradio15C. Crane Catalogue for 2015 Chock Full of Interesting “Radio” Units.  As the role of the AM/FM “airwaves” appliance (commonly referred to as a “radio”) continues to struggle for a place of prominence within contemporary 21st century digital society, the remaining manufacturers and distributors of traditional radios – and still out there aggressively marketing them — play a very important role in the fabric of the broadcasting industry and hold a largely untapped key to its longevity.  That being stated, the TALKERS editorial board continues to pore through the annual catalogue of products released by Fortuna, California-based C. Crane, an independent provider of radios who champions the concept of using the airwaves as a ground for mass communications.  As C. Crane president Bob Crane puts it:  “The freedom of radio listening is truly magical with its huge educational and entertainment benefits.”  Crane continues, “Traditional radio and cell phones are dependent on radio waves.  The invisible waves deliver mobility without a connection to wires.  Radios will be here forever because they are devoted to the act of listening.”  Crane sums it up: “When we started this company over 30 years ago, radio waves were broadcast over the air.  For the most part, no matter what you listen with, they still are.  Receiving radio waves better is what we specialize in.  We are here to build the best radios we can to serve [our customers] now and in the future.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (pictured here) adds, “Ever since someone asked the audience of radio professionals at one of our recent New York Seminars, “How many of you have a small AM/FM radio in your possession at this moment and the only one who raised his hand out of several hundred in the room was Art Vuolo, I resolved that as long as I am in the business of serving the radio industry, I will always have a simple AM/FM unit nearby – like my keys, cell phone and wallet… if for nothing more than just principle.”   One of the C. Crane units in Catalogue 2015 that Harrison has been carrying around lately is a neat little 5.5 ounce device dubbed the “CC SKYWAVE.”  It is a travel pocket radio that features intuitively easy on/off AM, FM, Shortwave, Weather and Aviation bands (you can listen to pilot/control tower conversations to amuse or inform yourself while waiting for a plane) that retails for $89.95.  For more information about C.Crane visit www.ccrane.com.

Charlie Hebdo Massacre, New GOP Controlled Congress, Bitter Cold Across U.S, 2016 Presidential Prospects, and Sinking Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/7).  The murder of 12 at the Paris satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo presumably by Islamic radicals and the world’s reaction; the agenda of the new GOP-controlled Congress and reports of John Boehner’s revenge on those who voted against him for House Speaker; the extreme cold hitting much of the U.S.; the potential candidates for president in 2016; and the sinking oil prices, euro concerns and the effects on the world financial markets were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, December 29, 2014

| December 29, 2014

kmbz logoKMBZ-AM/FM, Kansas City to End Simulcast.  Rather than airing the same programming on 980 and 98.1 as it has been since spring 2011, Entercom Kansas City will break off into separate entities, while maintaining the talk format on both dial positions. KMBZ-FM programming will mostly be locally originated; syndicated personalities will comprise the majority of what will be heard on KMBZ-AM. KMBZ-FM’s modified lineup will feature “Kansas City’s Morning News” with E.J. Becker & Ellen Schenk,” (5:00 am – 10:00 am); “Trend KC” with Burns & Monacelli (10: 00 am – 2:00 pm); Dana Wright & Scott Parks (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm); Jonathan Weir (6:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Weir previously did mid-days); and Premiere Networks’ “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis” (9:00 pm – 12:00 midnight). KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” will include Darla Jaye (5:00 am – 9:00 am – Jaye previously did evenings); Glenn Beck (9:00 am – 11:00 am); Rush Limbaugh (11:00 am – 2:00 pm); Sean Hannity (2:00 pm – 5:00 pm); “America Now” (5:00 pm – 8:00 pm); Westwood One’Herman Cain (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm); and Laura Ingraham (10:00 pm – 12:00 midnight). Both stations will carry Premiere’s “Coast-To-Coast AM with George Noory” (12:00 midnight – 5:00 am). The transition will take place on Monday, January 5.  Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s December 2014 PPM report, KMBZ’s AM & FM simulcast ranks eighth, after notching back-to-back gains of three-tenths (4.2 – 4.5 – 4.8). Public KCUR is #16 (2.6) and Cumulus-owned KCMO-AM finishes #19 (1.4).

nielsen logoRound Three of December PPMs Released.  The third of four rounds of December 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The survey period was November 6 through December 3.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here. In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

| December 24, 2014

top stories - generic BTop News/Talk Stories of 2014.  As is the tradition at TALKERS magazine, the end of the calendar year provides the opportunity to look back and present the industry with a list of talk radio’s most-talked-about stories and people of 2014.  Regular TALKERS readers are aware that we present the Talkers TenTM each week – a chart that shows the top stories and people of the week as discussed on news/talk radio based upon ongoing research from TALKERS.  This year-end chart uses that data.  The accompanying graphic presents the charts for 2014.

howellbigjohnBig John Howell to Exit WIND, Chicago.  According to a report from Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Big John Howell is exiting his morning drive gig with Salem Communicatons’ news/talk WIND, Chicago “560 The Answer.”  Feder writes that Howell was offered a contract renewal but he turned it down.  Feder says Howell’s contract runs out at the end of this month but Howell may work into January while the company decides how to replace him.  But the rumor is that Howell may jump across the street to join Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM.  Howell has hosted the morning show for the past eight years and currently works with Amy Jacobson as co-host.

garganoanthonyAnthony Gargano Exits WIP-FM, Philadelphia.  Tweeting that his contract offer from CBS RADIO to remain afternoon host on sports talker WIP-FM in Philly was a “lowball” offer, Anthony Gargano exits.  He Tweets, “Thanks to WIP and all of the Philadelphia fans for 15 great years! On to the next chapter.”  It’s rumored that the station’s Josh Innes will assume Gargano’s role in afternoons where Gargano had been co-hosting with Rob Ellis.  There are also rumors that Gargano may pop up at Greater Media’s crosstown competitor WPEN-FM “The Fanatic.”

ppmunitRound Two of December PPM Data Released.  The second of four rounds of December 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The survey period was November 6 through December 3.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

Odds & Sods.  According to Jose Lambiet’s Gossip Extra, the Rick Sessa-hosted “American Biker Talk Radio” show is moving from its current station – WSVU, West Palm Beach – to rock-formatted WBGF, Belle Glade, Florida “93.5 The Bar” beginning in January.

medvedElwesInconceivable Guest Appearance!  Nationally syndicated Salem Radio Network talk star Michael Medved (right) poses for a photo outside the studio after interviewing actor Carey Elwes (left) – star of the classic film, The Princess Bride.  Elwes stopped by the show’s Seattle studios to chat with Medved – a noted film critic as well as talk personality – about his new book, As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride (Touchstone 2014).

marketwatchfarewellStaff Recognizes End of MarketWatch Radio Network.  The air staff of the MarketWatch Radio Network held a farewell party last week to celebrate one last time together.  Dow Jones’ exit from the AM/FM radio business at the end of the year spells the end for the business news network founded by Frank Barnako in 1999.  Barnako made a special appearance at the party joining staffers (from left to right, also noting stations they served) back row: Tracy Johnke (WBZ-AM, Boston), Andrew O’Day (WINS, New York and WBZ-AM), Alisa Parenti (WBZ-AM and WBBM-AM, Chicago), Joan Doniger (WBBM-AM), Steve Potisk (KNX, Los Angeles and KYW, Philadelphia), Adrienne Mitchell (WBBM-AM, KRLD-AM, Dallas and KCBS-AM, San Francisco), Ann Cates (WCCO, Minneapolis, WBBM-AM, KCBS-AM). Front row: Barnako and WSJ Radio executive editor John Wordock.

bfoa logoBFoA Creates Bill Burton Memorial Fund.  The recent passing of beloved radio pro Bill Burton is recognized by The Broadcasters Foundation of America as it establishes the Bill Burton Memorial Fund.  Burton, known for his trademark words of encouragement, “Be Fabulous,” died last weekend from head injuries suffered after a fall at his home.  He was 85.  Former BFoA executive and long-time friend and colleague Carl Butrum states, “Bill’s influence inspired countless individuals in the radio business.  Radio owes Bill our gratitude for his wisdom and for imparting to us his boundless positive attitude, which infected everyone who came into contact with him.  We mourn his loss, but remember the great man with The Bill Burton Memorial Fund.”  Donations to the Bill Burton Memorial Fund are being accepted at the Broadcasters Foundation website at www.broadcastersfoundation.org, or by calling 212-373-8250, or emailing info@thebfoa.org.

Sony to Release ‘The Interview,’ New York Police Killings Protests/Obama Racism Remarks, Potential 2016 Presidential Candidates, Joe Cocker Dies, Christmas Holiday, ISIS Violence, and NFL Playoffs Push/Possible Coaching Changes Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/23).  The decision by Sony to go ahead and release the movie “The Interview” on Christmas day after all; ongoing police killings protests in New York City and the slaying of two NYC cops over the weekend, plus President Obama’s comments on racism in America; chatter about the potential candidates for president in 2016; the death of rock icon Joe Cocker; the coming Christmas holiday; ISIS violence in Iraq; and the NFL playoff scenario and talk of potential coaching changes after the season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

| December 23, 2014

mcmahonbillThe Valuable Lessons for Talk Radio Taught by the Podcast Series “Serial.” One of the spoken-word audio entertainment stories of 2014 is the phenomenal success of the podcast series “Serial.”  It is a 12-part episodic experiment in audio storytelling by Sarah Koenig that has garnered an enormous listenership of millions and a remarkable amount of media attention.  Basically it is a colorfully delivered “whodunit” murder mystery.  According to noted talk radio consultant, talent coach and TALKERS contributor Bill McMahon, “I first learned about ‘Serial’ the podcast from my Twitter feed.  It was a day I was thinking a lot about the future of radio and audio entertainment.  I was feeling pretty pessimistic.  It took hearing one episode of ‘Serial’ to completely change my mood.  It rekindled my love of audio entertainment and my belief in its power and appeal.  Itserial logo took me back to the experiences that made me fall in love with radio and audio entertainment.  I remembered listening to my first Seattle Rainiers baseball broadcast.  I’d never been to a game or met any of the players, but Leo Lassen’s enthusiasm, excitement, and colorful descriptions allowed me to visualize them in my mind.  It felt like I was right there in the stadium.  I remembered Lan Roberts, the morning personality on KJR, and his fascination with and belief in UFOs.  His vivid descriptions and recorded sounds of his midnight experience waiting for a UFO and its passengers that he expected to land in a field east of Seattle were unforgettable.  My imagination allowed me to see what he saw and feel his anticipation and then disappointment when it didn’t happen.  It was magic.  I felt that same sense of magic listening to ‘Serial.’  It’s no accident ‘Serial’ has attracted so much media attention and millions of listeners for each of its 12 episodes in just three months’ time.  For creators of audio information and entertainment content, especially journalists, news reporters and storytellers of all kinds, there is so much that can be learned from the success of season one of ‘Serial.’”  In an exclusive opinion piece posted in TALKERS today (12/23) McMahon offers his educated take in the practical wisdom revealed by the producers of “This American Life” and Sarah Koenig’s experiment in audio storytelling.  To read it in its entirety, please click here.

harrisonherald2smallerMichael Harrison: Spreading the Digital Junkyard.  In an opinion piece published at TALKERS today (12/23), publisher Michael Harrison (pictured here) asks pointed questions of media industry practitioners about their perception of the state of digital media.  He writes, “Have you noticed lately that some of your favorite websites have become increasingly user-unfriendly?  Odds are your usual haunts in the newspaper, magazine, general entertainment and information arenas have become cluttered with terribly annoying pop-up ads, videos that start playing loudly without invitation (sometimes more than one at a time) – and maddeningly confusing hodge-podges of editorial and commercial content laid out in such a manner as to make it almost impossible to follow an article without being sidetracked into a unwanted advertisement…Clearly, an unholy alliance of the techno-geeks and sales-freaks have taken control of the major league media website show.  The true internet content programmers and strategists have lost their hold on the situation.  They have stopped programming with the sensibilities of the user in mind.  Sound familiar?”  Harrison is quick to declare he’s not a Luddite; in fact, he’s been a champion of the internet since it became public!  BUT, that doesn’t mean digital is without its serious flaws and certainly doesn’t mean there’s no remaining value in AM/FM radio.  Read Harrison’s entire piece here.

nielsen logoRound One of December PPM Data Released.  The first of four rounds of December 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The survey period was November 6 through December 3.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

abcnewsradioABC News Surpasses Affiliate Goal.  In a memo to staffers, ABC News president James Goldston announces the news organization – preparing to re-launch its radio news division separate from recent partner Westwood One – has surpassed its goal for signing new affiliates.  Goldston writes, “So far, we’ve signed well over 1,000 stations to affiliation agreements for ABC News, ABC Digital and ABC Air Power – with 200 brand-new affiliates and many stations signing up for more than one ABC service.  Not only have we retained many key affiliates, but we have added several of the most iconic, most-respected and most-listened to stations in America, including WTOP, Washington; WGN, Chicago and KFI, Los Angeles.”  The new service launches on January 1.

Odds & Sods.  Programmer Sue Wilson is promoted to vice president/director of operations at Rubber City Radio in Akron which means she adds supervision of news/talk WAKR to her duties…..SiriusXM begins presenting an audiocast of “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.”  The news program is now airing nightly at 7:00 pm ET on the satcaster’s TODAY Show Radio channel.

bohannonWCLOJim Bohannon Promotes VetsRoll in Wisconsin.  Nationally syndicated Westwood One talk show host Jim Bohannon (second from left) is pictured here on remote with affiliate station WCLO, Janesville, Wisconsin “Newsradio 1230.”  Bohannon appeared on air with station OM and talk personality Tim Bremel (left) and World War II veterans Stan Van Hoose (second from right) and Mitch Bliss (right) to promote VetsRoll.  The organization provides safe ground transportation and an enjoyable experience for World War II and Korean Conflict-era U.S. military veterans and “Rosie-the-Riveters” to visit war memorials and other related sights in and around Washington, DC.

wachspapsmearSpreading the News!  Nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs (pictured here prior to her recent pap smear) tells TALKERS magazine she’s gearing up to take part in a public service campaign for cervical cancer.  January is cervical cancer screening month and Dr. Daliah says the “Start Spreading the News Campaign” to advise women to get cervical cancer screenings can help to put a dent in the 12,000 cases and 4,000 deaths that happen each year in the U.S.

NYPD Cops Killed/Protests Controversy, 2016 Presidential Prospects, ISIS Violence, North Korea Internet Fail/Sony Pictures Hack, Positive U.S. GDP News, Christmas Holiday, and NFL Playoffs Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/22).  The murder of two NYC police officers over the weekend and the ongoing police killings protests in New York; the possible candidates for president in 2016; the ongoing violence being perpetuated by ISIS; the loss of internet in North Korea and that nation’s possible connection to the hacking of Sony Pictures; the report of the U.S. gross domestic product rising 5% in the third quarter; the Christmas holiday; and the NFL playoffs push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

| December 2, 2014

milhavenmcgrawKTRS, St. Louis Morning Host McGraw Milhaven Faults Google for Temporarily Terminating Show’s YouTube Account.  St. Louis morning personality McGraw Milhaven tells TALKERS magazine that, as far as he can tell since it’s hard to talk to an actual person at Google, complaints about his show’s video segments dealing with the Michael Brown slaying in Ferguson must have forced the hand of YouTube and it responded by closing the show’s account – at least temporarily since the videos in question have returned to the KTRS550TV account.  Milhaven says his show had some 1,700 videos on the site that he thought were gone forever.  He says, “We had a police officer on yesterday talking about this Ferguson story and they terminated ouryoutube logo account.  Censored.  All of it.  Gone.  Taken down, and nothing from YouTube except an email saying we are not allowed to ever post again.”  Milhaven posted to his Facebook page a plea for help from fans since CH Holdings – owner of KTRS – is a family business without the resources to fight Google.  He wrote, in part, “We, at the McGraw Show on KTRS, admittedly have been sympathetic to the police officers’ story, but we have had all types of guests defending all sides to this very important story.  Our videos, which serve as a St. Louis archive over the last two years and have been used by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, CNN, MSNBC, FOX News as well as hundreds of other media outlets, are now lost forever.  YouTube has arbitrarily decided they don’t like our current and past content and has cut off our voice.”  Google did not respond directly to requests for further clarification of the termination but, as stated at the beginning of this story, the videos are back online.

jacobsonamyWIND, Chicago Morning Co-Host Amy Jacobson Loses Suit Against CBS.  Former television reporter Amy Jacobson was let go by NBC-owned WMAQ-TV, Chicago in 2007 after she was videoed poolside at the home of Craig Stebic – a man who was deemed a person of interest in the disappearance of his wife Lisa.  Competing WBBM-TV “CBS 2” caught her on video and broadcast it.  Jacobson then sued CBS for libel for $1 million claiming that she was not a public person at the time the video was taken since she was off duty and not in public.  Last year, a judge ruled that Jacobson’s team failed to show CBS fabricated unfavorable content about her, but Jacobson and her lawyer appealed.  Now, an Illinois Appeals Court has ruled against Jacobson.  Jacobson has been co-hosting the morning show on Salem-owned WIND, Chicago “AM 560 The Answer” since 2010.  Lisa Stebic has never been found and although Craig Stebic is still considered a person of interest, no charges have ever been filed against him.

podcastone logoPodcastOne to Distribute and Rep theCHIVE Show.  In a deal between Norm Pattiz-founded PodcastOne and “the world’s largest photo entertainment website and app theCHIVE,” the former will exclusively distribute, market and sell advertising for the new weekly podcast produced by theCHIVE.  The show – which will focus on theCHIVE’s “fresh, hot, funny and viral male-interest news, lifestyle and social content” – will be produced and hosted by theCHIVE editors John Resig and Bob Phillipp.  It will debut on January 22.  Pattiz comments, “This is the first of several upcoming announcements about PodcastOne merging editorial and audio media through partnerships with major digital brands.  We can’t think of a better partner than theCHIVE to kick off this effort.”

cumulus logoCumulus Names Dave Milner SVP of West Coast Markets.  Moving from iHeartMedia’s Sacramento cluster where he was market president to Cumulus Media is Dave Milner who will serve as senior vice president for West Coast markets.  In this role, Milner will report directly to president and CEO Lew Dickey.  Milner comments, “I am extremely honored to have been given the opportunity to join Cumulus at the senior vice president level.  The company has been assembling top assets in order to provide the best multi-platform solutions and results for its clients, making this a tremendous time to join Cumulus.”

cbsradioCBS RADIO-Beasley Swap Closes.  As expected, the assets swap between CBS RADIO and Beasley Broadcast Group, announced earlier this fall, closed yesterday (12/1).  Beasley takes ownership of: sports talk WIP-AM, Philadelphia; in the Tampa market it gets sports talk duo WHFS-AM and WHFS-FM, hip hopbeasley logo WLLD, country WQYK, classic hits WRBQ, and Spanish WYUU-FM; in the Charlotte market it acquires urban contemporary WBAV, sports talk duo WBCN-AM and WFNZ-AM, AC WKQC, CHR WNKS, hip hop WPEG, and country WSOC-FM.  In exchange, CBS RADIO takes ownership of five major market outlets including: hip hop WPOW, country WKIS and sports talk WQAM in Miami and Philadelphia outlets country WXTU, and hip hop WRDW.  As CBS RADIO notes, this is the first time it will operate radio stations in Miami where it already owns two television stations.

morrisrobRob Morris Named VP of Programming for CBS Miami.  With yesterday’s closing on the CBS RADIOBeasley Broadcast Group station swap, CBS announces Rob Morris is named vice president, programming for the Miami stations – hip hop WPOW, country WKIS and sports talker WQAM.  Company SVP and market manager Joe Bell comments, “Today marks a new beginning for our cluster of stations in Miami and I’m thrilled to be working with Rob and the great management team at CBS RADIO.  We have built a solid foundation in the market with a history of community service and programming excellence.  We look forward to the extensive array of assets and expertise that CBS RADIO brings to our operations which will ultimately benefit the listener and our advertisers.”  Morris moves southeast from his most recent post as VP of programming for CBS in Tampa where he’s been since July after moving south from CBS’ Minneapolis station group.

kxl logoKXL, Portland to Use Drones for News Coverage.  When news breaks in the Pacific Northwest, consumers of Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM, Portland “FM NEWS 101” may get their coverage thanks to drone technology.  Alpha Media has entered into an exclusive partnership with Aerial Technology International to use drones for breaking news coverage.  Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick says, “KXL continues to innovate by launching the world’s first radio news drone.  I’m proud to be working with such a visionary team of people leading the news/talk industry in America.”

ppmunitRound Four of November PPM Data Released.  The fourth of four rounds of November 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The survey period was October 9 through November 5.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.