Tag: "not guilty"

Thursday, November 9, 2017

| November 9, 2017

FCC Grants Approval of Entercom-CBS Merger. The Federal Communications Commission has issued its decision approving the merger of Entercom and CBS RADIO.  “We have reviewed the proposed merger, the applications for its approval, and related comments. We conclude that the applicants are fully qualified and that grant of the Merger Applications and the Trust Applications, subject to the conditions set forth herein, will serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity.”  In the 20-page decision, the FCC explains its denial of the Petition to Deny filed by longtime Entercom adversary Edward R. Stolz II (and Deborah J. Niaman).  It also reminds Entercom that CBS officers Leslie Moonves and Joseph Ianniello may serve as Temporary Directors for the new corporation for only six months.

Cumulus Media Reports Flat Net Revenue for Third Quarter; WW1 Up 5.5%.  Net revenue for the third quarter of 2017 was up just a little over $1 million, resulting in a 0.4% increase from the same period a year ago.  For the first nine months of 2017, Cumulus Media’s net revenue was flat at $841 million.  President and CEO Mary Berner comments, “As we noted when we announced our preliminary results in October, our strong third quarter performance plainly demonstrates that our operational turnaround plan is working.  The entire Cumulus team has shown great commitment to maintaining our momentum.  By executing our foundational operating initiatives and continuing to develop growth opportunities, we are confident that we can build on our success despite the challenging industry environment.  We are also focused on addressing our excessive debt load on a parallel track to our operational turnaround plan.  As previously disclosed, we are working with our advisors to proactively explore a range of alternatives to restructure our balance sheet and we are continuing productive discussions with our creditors. Regardless of the path forward, we have ample cash to operate our business.  Our goal remains to reduce our debt so we can focus our time and resources on investments in our people, key technologies, and initiatives that will ultimately drive sustainable, long-term growth.”  Cumulus breaks its operations in to two segments, Radio Station Group and Westwood One.  The Radio Station Group’s net revenue was down 1.6% while Westwood One was up 5.5% from the same period in 2016.  For the first nine months of this year, the Radio Station Group was down 1.3% and Westwood One was up 3% compared to the first nine months of 2016.

Dave Ramsey’s ‘Smart Money’ Live Event in Phoenix.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey brought his “Smart Money” live event to Phoenix on Tuesday (11/7) where he presented at the sold-out Christ’s Church of the Valley.  The program was also streamed live online to attendees across the country.  Ramsey combined forces with local affiliate KTAR “News 92.3 FM” to promote the event.  Ryan Hatch, vice president of content and operations Bonneville Phoenix, says, “It is no surprise to us that both Dave’s radio show and his events continue to be in high demand.  His passion and commitment in helping others is unmatched.”  Pictured above (from l-r) are: Ilene Thompson, director of partner and community services; Dave Zadrozny, KTAR sales manager; Paul Ihander, KTAR news director; Ramsey; Becky Kaiser, “Arizona Sports” sales manager; and Connie Drushel, HR director.

PPM Analysis: NFL Flagships. Managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at station ratings (6+) based on the latest PPM data from Nielsen Audio for stations that serve as flagships for play-by-play for NFL clubs.  Among the comparisons presented in this report are how stations fared from the September PPM survey to the October PPM survey.  Kinosian says, “Slightly more than three of every four of these particular NFL flagships (76%) improve between September 2017 – October 2017, with one in 10 holding steady (10%) and the remaining 14% of the sample is down from September.”  Looking at year-over-year comparisons, the sample of flagship stations was split about 50-50, with half seeing 6+ ratings increases and the other half seeing declines.  Check out Kinosian’s entire report here.

Craig Carton Officially Pleads Not Guilty.  Former WFAN, New York morning drive co-host Craig Carton was in federal court in Manhattan yesterday (11/8) at which time he pleaded not guilty to fraud charges.  The feds allege that Carton and a partner committed securities and wire fraud when they solicited investors to contribute millions to their concert ticket re-sale business.  The feds allege that those investments were made based on the belief that Carton had deals in place to acquire blocks of tickets but that no such deals existed.  During a statement to reporters yesterday, Carton said, “The real fact is that my business was licensed by the State of New York to sell tickets.  The real fact is that I bought and sold thousands of tickets at arenas no more than a few miles from where I stand right now and had pending deals in place to buy and sell many more.  The real fact, that you guys couldn’t possibly know, is that about a week and a half ago the government conceded to my lawyers that I had a legitimate ticket-selling business, and that I’ve been selling tickets for a long time.”  Carton resigned from his position with WFAN shortly after being indicted.  Read the Bergen Record’s story here.

Scott Fitzgerald MIA from WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  The 9:00 am to 12:00 noon talk host at Entercom’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte is missing from his show and his bio has been scrubbed from the station website.  Today (11/9), former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory sat in with WBT morning host Bo Thompson for the 9:00 am to 10:00 am hour, then weekend host Vince Coakley hosted the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  There’s no official word from Entercom on permanent plans for the daypart.

TALKERS News Notes.  Affiliates of FOX News Radio have Thanksgiving programming in the form of a special show hosted by Brian Kilmeade.  The “FOX & Friends” and “Brian Kilmeade Show” host recently published “Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny (Sentinel, 2017) and the program addresses that story.  FOX says, “Brian, along with the top experts in history and politics, will give you the play-by-play into how, against all odds, General Andrew Jackson defeated the British from capturing New Orleans in a pivotal battle that helped make America into what she is today.”  The special will be available for download on the FOX News Radio affiliate website the week of November 19th…..Entercom Buffalo promotes account executive Adam Haker to the local sales manager position for the cluster that includes news/talk WBEN-AM, sports talker WGR and WWKB, as well as hot AC WTSS “Star 102.5,” CHR WKSE “Kiss 98.5,” alternative WLKK “Alt Buffalo,” and rhythmic oldies WWWS…..Salem Radio Network talk star Hugh Hewitt is pictured at left addressing the Indiana Hospital Association – a gathering of doctors and administrators – at their annual conference on the future of healthcare and the role of hospitals in infrastructure spending.  Hewitt originated his SRN show from Indianapolis, then returned to Washington to tape his weekly, Saturday morning program that airs on MSNBC…..This Saturday, CBS RADIO launches the “Eye on Veterans” radio program that aims to provide military veterans and their families with “relevant and useful information about finance, healthcare, and transitioning back into civilian life.”  The weekly, two-hour program is produced by CBS RADIO’s ConnectingVets.com, a national, multi-media resource linking military veterans and their families to relevant information, resources, solutions and, most importantly, each other.  It will air on CBS News Radio affiliates, including CBS RADIO all-news and news/talk stations WCBS-AM, New York; KNX-AM, Los Angeles; WCCO-AM, Minneapolis; and WTIC-AM, Hartford.

Trump in China, North Korea Nuclear Threats, GOP Tax Reform Plan, Virginia and New Jersey Democrat Governor Victories, Mueller Trump-Russia Investigation, Donna Brazile Clinton Campaign Critique, Texas Church Massacre Aftermath, Twitter’s 280 Character Limit, CMA Awards, Sexual Assault Cases Fallout, Roy Halladay Death, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/8).  The presidential trip to China; the rhetoric between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program; the GOP tax reform plan; Democrat victories in the Virginia and New Jersey governor races; Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; the blowback from Democrats against Donna Brazile for her criticism of the Clinton campaign; the aftermath of the Texas church massacre; Twitter ups its character limit to 280; last night’s Country Music Association awards; the expanding number of sexual assault accusations and the effects on careers; former star pitcher Roy Halladay dies in a plane crash; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At iHeartMedia’s Phoenix cluster, Lady La moves from her evening show on hot AC KMXP “MIX 96.9” to the company’s CHR KZZP “104.7 KISS FM” to host the afternoon drive program.  Taking over the evening show at KMXP is Reid Spivey, who continues to host weekends on KZZP and serve as music director for both stations…..Premiere Networks announces that Suzette Rodriguez joins “The Johnjay & Rich Show” as a co-host, effective immediately.  The syndicated program – hosted by Johnjay Van Es and Rich Berra – is based at KZZP, Phoenix.  Rodriguez says, “When I was asked to be a fourth member on ‘The Johnjay and Rich Show,’ I freaked out!  I’ve always listened to the show, and everyone I know listens to the show.  I’m beyond grateful and excited to join an amazing team.  I’m ready to learn from the best and start a new journey.”…..Tomorrow (11/10) at 7:00 pm ET on SiriusXM’s Hits 1 channel, Taylor Swift will perform an exclusive acoustic performance in front of a select group of SiriusXM subscribers in celebration of the release of her sixth studio album, reputation.  SiriusXM chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “We are delighted to welcome Taylor Swift back to SiriusXM on the day of reputation’s release.  A true, one-of-a-kind artist, Taylor will be performing to a special group of SiriusXM listeners in a wonderfully intimate setting.  We can’t wait to hear songs from her new album reputation and share this experience with our lucky subscribers.”…..Next Thursday (11/16), iHeartMedia’s nationally syndicated urban morning show “The Breakfast Club” – hosted by DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God – will present an all-day radiothon called #Change4Change to benefit The Gathering for Justice, a charity that sponsors movements such as The Women’s March, Justice League NYC and Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

| January 31, 2013

weismanstevenFree Speech Isn’t Always Pretty.  The jury that heard arguments in the case of Todd Schnitt versus Todd Clem (Bubba the Love Sponge) didn’t believe that the actions by Clem on his radio program rose to the level of recklessbubba disregard for the truth that would have been required to find him guilty of defamation.  TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes that because all parties were public figures by virtue of their occupations, the bar is set higher for them than it would be for private citizens.  “Clem’s attorney argued to the jury that the case was a matter of free speech and that no one listening to a radio talk show host who specializes in bombastic rhetoric would take what is said as a serious representation of fact,” states Weisman.  Schnitt’s legal team tried to make the connection that some incidents in which Schnitt and his wife felt physically unsafe during and after encounters with Clem’s fans – members of the Bubba Army as they are known – but apparently the direct connection to Clem’s on-air rhetoric was not strong enough.  Read Weisman’s analysis of the case here.

malzbergtvsetNewsmax Broadcasting’s Steve Malzberg Program to Air on SiriusXM.  The new radio and internet talk program developed by Newsmax Broadcasting and featuring talk personality Steve Malzberg will also be featured on SiriusXM’s America’s Talk channel from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm beginning February 4.  Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy states, “Our surveys show a very significant part of the Newsmax audience subscribes to SiriusXM.  This new outlet will allow SiriusXM subscribers and our online viewers to easily enjoy ‘The Steve Malzberg Show’ in their car anywhere through America’s Talk.”  Newsmax recently announced the launch of this program – a new nationally syndicated radio show that will be simulcast on Newsmax TV, an online media station that features news, commentary, lifestyle and entertainment programming.

wipwingbowl21The Super Bowl Means Wing Bowl for WIP, Philadelphia.  This is the 21st year that CBS Radio’s sports talk WIP, Philadelphia “SportsRadio 94WIP” will present the “Wing Bowl” chicken wing eating contest.  The promotion begins this afternoon at 5:00 pm when WIP’s Al Morganti and Rhea Hughes host the official “weigh-in” for all 27 contestants live from  Chickie’s and Pete’s in South Philadelphia.  The actual contest takes place Friday at 6:00 am at the Wells Fargo Center.  What started as a smallish radio promotion 21 years ago has developed into one of the world’s largest wing eating contests and provides WIP with enormous visibility.  A portion of the proceeds from the sold-out event will go to charity.  Here’s the list of prizes in this year’s competition:  $20,000 cash prize, a one-of-a-kind Wing Bowl Champion ring and a gold medal from Steven Singer Jewelers; a 2013 Nissan Pathfinder S-L from Montgomeryvillle Acura; a new Harley Davidson 883 Sportster Motorcycle from Barb’s Harley Davidson, West Collingswood, NJ; earrings and necklaces from Steven Singer Jewelers; and all inclusive Apple Vacations to the new Barcelo Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

mohremmittsmithJay Mohr Broadcasts Virtually from Super Bowl Media Week.  That’s Fox Sports Radio Network personality Jay Mohr on the video monitor chatting with NFL Hall-of-Famer Emmitt Smith who’s seated on the Fox Sports set in New Orleans.  Mohr is on the road this week on a comedy tour and he’s taking advantage of his travels to visit some affiliate stations while doing his program virtually from the media center at the Super Bowl.  Mohr’s program – airing live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET on FSRN – has reached the 100 affiliate mark adding stations including WDFN, Detroit; WINZ, Miami; KRKO, Seattle; KGME, Phoenix; KLSD, San Diego; WDAE, Tampa; KPOJ, Portland; KTKR, San Antonio; WSAI, Cincinnati and more.

mahlerdaveKJR, Seattle Moves Dave “Softy” Mahler to PM Drive.  Clear Channel’s Seattle sports talk duo of KJR, Seattle and KNBQ, Centralia announces midday personality Dave “Softy” Mahler moves to the PM drive slot that opened up when longtime station personality Mike Gastineau retired from the station in December.  Taking over the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program are Seattle Times columnist Jerry Brewer and former Gastineau co-host Elise Woodward.

kdkawarmathonKDKA, Pittsburgh to Hold 5th Annual Warmathon.  CBS Radio’s news/talk KDKA, Pittsburgh is broadcasting the 5th annual Warmathon – a live, two-day broadcast in conjunction with Dollar Energy Fund, Inc. on February 7 and 8 – to benefit Dollar Energy Fund’s Hardship Program. The program helps limited-income families maintain or restore basic utility service.  The event has raised more than $1.15 million since 2009 and more than 3,500 limited-income families in the greater Pittsburgh region have benefited from the generosity of Warmathon donors.

wlni logo3 Daughters Media Files Petition to Deny in WLNI, Roanoke-Lynchburg Acquisition.  Gary Burns-led 3 Daughters Media has filed a petition to deny with the FCC contesting the pending acquisition of talk outlet WLNI, Lynchburg by Mel Wheeler Inc. from Centennial Licensing LLC.  Burns contends that if Mel Wheeler is allowed to acquire WLNI, it will put him in control of 48% of the market revenue – well over the 40% rule.  The fact that the two cities of Roanoke and Lynchburg are some 60 miles apart but are part of the same market for sales purposes adds confusion to the situation but Burns maintains the designation is flawed and points to the Commission’s forcing Cumulus to spin off stations in Flint, Michigan and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania as comparable examples.

Cool Job Opportunity.  Talk Radio Producer/Guest Booker extraordinaire required.  The successful candidate has access to A-level guests, stars and newsmakers.  They have demonstrated initiative delivering breaking news in context and have shown innovation generating unique angles to Topic A stories, as well as original topics that connect with target listeners or viewers in personal ways.  They have major market experience producing entertaining news and talk programs in television or radio stations or network newsrooms.  They live and breathe current events, business, politics, pop culture, social media, new technology, etc.  Please send resume & cover letter to: talkradioproducer@live.com.  Do not attach audio files.  Los Angeles-area applicants with a giant Rolodex are strongly preferred.  We are an EOE.

Immigration Reform, 4th Quarter GDP Drop, Giffords Gun Testimony, Chuck Hagel Confirmation Hearing, and Israel-Syria Tensions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/30).  The debate in Washington over immigration reform; the unexpected drop in the U.S.’ GDP in the fourth quarter of 2012; former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ testimony at gun legislation hearing in Washington; Chuck Hagel’s pending Senate confirmation hearing; and Israel’s attack on suspected weapons inside Syria were among the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Free Speech Isn’t Always Pretty

| January 31, 2013

By Steven J. J. Weisman
TALKERS 
Legal Editor

TAMPA — The circus has left Tampa, Florida.  Four years after statements by Tampa talk show host Bubba The Love Sponge (Todd Clem) ignited a lawsuit by rival morning show host MJ Kelli (Todd Schnitt) and two weeks of trial, a jury took a mere three hours to reject Schnitt’s and his wife’s claims of defamation and dismissed all 24 counts of  the complaint.

The bizarre case became even more bizarre when during the trial, one of Schnitt’s lawyers, Charles Campbell Jr., was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.  A motion for a mistrial was denied when the judge was satisfied that the jury had not heard of the charges.  It was even alleged by the Schnitt legal team that Campbell had been set up for the arrest after drinking with a paralegal who unknown to him worked for the law firm that represented Clem.

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