Tag: "Notice of Proposed Rulemaking"

Thursday, November 21, 2013

| November 21, 2013

francesamikeMike Francesa’s A-Rod Interview Creates Media Blitzkrieg in NYC.  When embattled New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez (lower right) stormed out of his grievance hearing with MLB officials and went straight to WFAN, New York’s Mike Francesa to kvetch to him, the New York City media reacted with such intense criticism of the broadcast that it only goes to cement Francesa’s standing as the most important sports broadcaster in town.  Rodriguez left his MLB meeting regardingarodwfan allegations of PED use and lashed out at the process and expressed his disdain for Commissioner Bud Selig.  Local media outlets accused Francesa of being too easy on — or actually downright chummy with – A-Rod.  But, Francesa maintains that he asked all the pertinent questions.  He told Newsday, “I felt like I asked him every hard question you could possibly ask him.  I don’t think there’s anything I could ask him about that wasn’t asked.”  Regardless, it was the interview that every media outlet in town has been aching to get and WFAN’s Mike Francesa got it.  As TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison puts it, “It seems that the rest of the Big Apple media don’t ‘get it’ regarding the influence and success of Mike Francesa as a talk show host, as indicated by the extent to which they constantly bash, parody and even mock him.  They judge him by their own often-hypocritical journalistic standards and don’t understand that by giving him so much attention – even as severe critics – they feed into the very process that makes Francesa so remarkably successful.  It is downright comical how they accuse Francesa of being ‘used’ by A-Rod as some kind of media patsy or suck up when in fact it is they — in their fits of transparent jealousy — who are being used by both Francesa and A-Rod.  Regardless of whether he does it consciously or inadvertently, Mike Francesa is a master talk show host of sports or any genre from which most others can learn a thing or two about taking ownership of your targeted turf.”

eastlanratings logoEastlan Employs E-Surveys to Enhance Methodology.  The 1999-formed Bellevue, Washington-based ratings firm will be augmenting current telephone-based methodology with “e-surveys,” which have been tested the past six months.  E-surveys will be integrated into Eastlan’s standard methodology in all markets beginning next spring.  ”E-surveys will not replace our current methodology but rather enhance it,” stresses chief technology officer Bert Hambleton.  ”The portion of survey respondents recruited electronically will have the choice to participate via e-survey or through a callback on their cell phone.”  Eastlan’s main reason to incorporate e-surveys was to increase participation among young radio listeners, and Hambleton states, “The process has worked very well.”  During this year’s pilot e-survey project, Eastlan noticed wider participation among 12 – 49s; the most dramatic increase was in participation among 25 – 44s.  Eastlan president/chief executive officer Mike Gould comments that, “It is incumbent upon ratings providers to reach a sample that is as representative of the local market composition as possible.  Being able to recruit and survey electronically, in addition to our telephone based methodology, will absolutely improve the long-term viability of our affordable radio ratings service.  Best of all, we can do so without raising our rates.” E-survey completion rates were slightly higher among women versus men.

fccnewThe FCC’s Media Bureau Announces Comment Period Opens for AM Revitalization Proposal.  The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Matter of Revitalization of the AM Radio Service was published in the Federal Register yesterday and therefore the comment period is open through January 21 and reply comments must be filed by February 18.  The Commission is seeking comment on a number of proposals designed to afford relief to AM broadcasters and to revitalize the AM radio band, and also is soliciting further proposals for revitalization of the AM radio service.

patrickmattOdds & Sods.  Salem Communications announces it will increase its quarterly dividend to shareholders by 5% making the payment $0.0550 per share to be disbursed on December 27…..There’s a whole lot of Matt Patrick hitting the airwaves next week.  The KTRH and KPRC, Houston talk personality will be heard three times per day on Monday and Tuesday November 25 and 26.  He’ll do his morning show on KTRH from 5:00 am to 8:00 am and his afternoon show on KPRC from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  Then he sits in for KTRH-based syndicated host Michael Berry from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

crninternational logoMarketing Firm CRN International Names Jim Alkon Marketing Director; Promotes Robert O’Mara.  Radio marketing firm CRN International announces it names Jim Alkon marketing director, describing his mission “to extend the profile of the company among consumer brands and advertising agencies.”  Most recently, Alkon was managing director of his own consulting firm Meetings and Media.  At the same time, CRN ups Robert O’Mara to managing director, strategy and business development, and adds two new sales managers: Amanda Alvarez and Maureen Conlin who take the title associate director of strategy and business development.  CRN International describes itself as a company, using the slogan, “We Use Radio Differently,” that extends “the boundaries of radio marketing beyond simple spot advertisements and has customized programs to meet specific business objectives.  This has kept the award-winning company on marketing’s cutting edge for close to 40 years, serving prominent clients such as Microsoft, Chrysler, Sears, Kellogg’s, Kraft, Major League Baseball, HBO and Unilever.”   President and founder Barry Berman states, “We will continue to be part of the conversation in social media, on our recently relaunched website and in tutorial and perspective pieces on how understanding a client’s very specific business objectives is the first step to developing the right customized marketing campaign.  We have been able to employ radio in non-traditional ways to achieve results typically way beyond expectations.”

entercomBuffalo Food Pantries Aided by Entercom Thanksgiving Promotion.  Entercom Buffalo and the NHL‘s Buffalo Sabres teamed up earlier today (11/21, 7:00 am to 9:00 am) for a Thanksgiving turkey drive to benefit local food pantries.  Any donor dropping off a turkey was given two tickets to an upcoming Sabres game, leading Entercom Buffalo operations manager Tim Wenger to comment, “The Sabres stepped up in a big way to help the community by donating the tickets to this cause; Entercom is honored to join the effort.”  The event took place in the parking lot at the Entercom Buffalo offices.  Tickets distributed there were for games against the Montreal Canadiens (11/27); New York Rangers (12/5); Ottawa Senators (12/10), and Winnipeg Jets (12/17).  Entercom-owned sports outlet WGR is the Sabres’ flagship.  The New York State cluster also includes news/talk WBEN; CHR WKSE “Kiss”; alternative WLKK; classic rock WLKK HD2 “The Lake”; adult contemporary WTSS “My Star”; sports WWKB; and rhythmic oldies WWWS “Solid Gold Soul.”  All proceeds directly benefitted the Buffalo City Mission and the Food Bank of Western New York.

wwtn logo‘SuperTalk 99.7’ Goes Commercial Free for Rescue Mission Radiothon.  Cumulus Media’s news/talk WWTN, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7 WTN” will drop the spots on Monday, November 25 from 5:00 am to 7:00 pm during its annual Cumulus Nashville Radiothon to raise money for the Nashville Rescue Mission.  WTN personality Michael Delgiorno will broadcast live on-site at the Nashville Rescue Mission from 7:30 am to 8:30 am.  Cumulus VP and market manager Mike Carpenter states, “This radiothon gives the community an opportunity to give back into the community and really help change people’s lives.  There are many ways to get involved with charities, but this one is unique because it’s not just about immediate needs.  It helps restore their lives and overcome huge hardships.  WTN’s listeners are very giving people who always go above and beyond our expectations in supporting the Mission.  We look forward to exceeding our goal again this year.”

millermissionMiller’s Mission Kicks into Gear for the Holidays.  KIDO, Boise morning drive personality Kevin Miller (center, holding the Chex) is surrounded by staffers at the Boise Rescue Mission and KTVB-TV weather anchor Larry Gebert (second from right) as Miller begins another year of “Miller’s Mission.”  Miller is broadcasting from a local Walmart (and living there for an entire week) while collecting items to benefit the Boise Rescue Mission.

Tribune to Cut Roughly 700 Newspaper-Related Jobs. The tightening comes as Tribune plans to sell or spin off its publishing operations - which includes The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and Hartford Courant - in order to concentrate more on television stations.  In a memo yesterday (11/20), chief executive officer Peter Liguori informed staffers that the publishing operation’s business units will be organized “by function, rather than by geography.”  Specifically, according to Liguori’s memo, “We must take better advantage of Tribune’s unique size and reach.”  The goal, he wrote, is to “continue investing in the lifeblood of our business: best-in-class reporting, effective sales, and digital growth.  Ensuring the long-term strength of our mastheads will, unfortunately, result in the selective reduction of our publishing staff.”  Iconic Chicago talk outlet WGN is Tribune’s lone radio property.

ObamaCare Rollout Criticism, Obama Approval Ratings, UN Climate Talks, U.S.-Afghanistan Security Deal, and ‘Knockout’ Attacks Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/21).  The scrutiny over the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and the government’s website; President Obama’s sinking approval ratings; the walkout of member nations at the United Nations climate talks; the shaky state of the proposal for Afghanistan’s security beyond 2014; and the rise in incidents of “knockout” game attacks were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, November 1, 2013

| November 1, 2013

journalbroadcastgroupJournal Broadcast Group’s Radio Division Posts 3.5% Revenue Gain in Q3.  Milwaukee-based Journal Communications issued its 2013 third quarter numbers yesterday and the radio division reports revenue was up 3.5% on $20.5 million compared to the same period a year ago.  The company adds, “Local advertising revenue increased 4.3%, primarily due to increases in professional services, retail and medical advertising.  National advertising revenue decreased 4.9%, mostly due to declines in media, professional services and restaurant advertising. Operating earnings from radio stations were $3.5 million compared to $3.0 million, an increase of 16.3%.  Radio operating expenses increased 1.3% driven by higher employee-related costs and higher broadcast rights fees.”

fccnewFCC Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Revitalization of AM Radio Service.  The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued yesterday (10/31) by the Federal Communications Commission addressing the revitalization of AM radio service can be found in its entirety here.  The six-pronged proposal consists of: opening an FM translator filing window exclusively for AM station owners; modifying the daytime community coverage standards for existing AM stations; modifying the nighttime community coverage standards for existing AM stations; eliminating the AM ‘rachet rule’; permitting wider implementation of modulation dependent carrier level control technologies; and modifying AM antenna efficiency standards.  NAB CEO Gordon Smith says the organization supports the move.  ”NAB salutes the leadership of Acting Chair Mignon Clyburn and FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai for taking a strong interest in revitalizing AM radio, which has a long and storied history of providing America’s hometowns with news, entertainment, sports and community affairs information.  AM radio is a cultural touchstone and jobs generator in cities large and small; many of the top revenue-generating stations are on the AM band. We strongly endorse the revitalization proceeding and stand ready to work with the FCC to develop meaningful solutions.”

wmallogoFCC Denies Virginia Man’s Objection to Renewal of WMAL-AM/FM, Washington’s License.  From time to time, the FCC receives objections to the renewal of the license of a radio station and, also occasionally, that is based on the notion that the station’s programming is biased and that it is not serving the public.  That is roughly what Kevin M. Raymond of Woodbridge, Virginia claimed when he objected to the renewal of WMAL’s license.  Raymond argued that the station has an “incessant bias” against the government throughout all its programs and the station broadcasts “blatant lies on each program” that cannot be considered protected by the right to free speech.  On Thursday, the FCC announce its denial of Raymond’s objection.  Stating in part, the Commission wrote, “The Objection also questions whether the Station is funded anonymously for political propaganda purposes.  The Objection provides no support for this speculative comment.  Accordingly, this argument requires no further discussion here…There have been no other violations which, taken together, constitute a pattern of abuse…We have examined the Objection and find that it does not raise a substantial and material question of fact calling for further inquiry or otherwise persuade us that granting the Application would contravene the public interest, convenience, and necessity.  The Commission is prohibited from exercising any power of censorship over broadcast stations with respect to content-based programming decisions.  A licensee has broad discretion – based on its right to free speech – to choose the programming that it believes serves the needs and interests of the members of its audience.

politically incoNew Comedy Album Getting Noticed by Talk Show Hosts and Producers.  Before the days of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, when it came to politics, some of the most interesting political comments came from music parodies and comedians.  Older industry professionals might remember the radio phenomenon of their childhoods called “The First Family” – a comedy album created by talented impersonator Vaughn Meader and a cast of characters parodying the newly elected President John F. Kennedy and his family/administration.  After the assassination of the young president, the album disappeared as quickly as it rose to prominence.  You don’t really hear much pre-recorded political satire on the radio these days…but that may change.  A longtime radio host/producer has joined forces with a longtime entertainment industry executive to put together a political comedy CD that has hit the top of the comedy CD charts in just the initial two weeks of release.  For Michael Hardeman (a recurring contributor to the Stephanie Miller radio show) and Marshall Blonstein (a veteran LA record executive), being politically correct means being “Politically Incoherent.”  Read all about this exciting project in a new article posted today (11/1) by TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay by clicking here.

talkersradio logoThe “Talkers Show” Covering Radio and Talk Media Debuts Today on TalkersRadio.  As the new experimental internet talk radio station, TalkersRadio, passes its six week milestone, a new crop of programs are slated to launch during the next month.  Debuting today is the “Talkers Show” – a daily, one-hour conversation program hosted by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison featuring interviews with members of the talk media industry and related fields.  The program is scheduled to air weekdays 12:00 noon - 1:00 pm ET with repeats programmed throughout remaining open slots on the schedule.  Today’s initial guests are Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald, hosts of the TalkersRadio program, the “Brent & Meg Radio Thingy” (weekdays 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm ET) and noted Fox News Radio star Alan Colmes, who hosts a show on TalkersRadio titled “Healed Planet” heard on the third Sunday of each month 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm ET.  Upcoming scheduled guests include TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein (former PD of WOR, New York; WBZ, Boston; WRKO, Boston; WTIC, Hartford and WPRO, Providence, among others); successful record producer Robbie Student who hosts a daily program on TalkersRadio (weekdays 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm); and Steve M. Fassberg, the media-savvy CEO/founder of the Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Company.  Upon beginning this new program, Michael Harrison states, “Hosting this show about talk media is sheer fun for me and having the opportunity to give long form conversational exposure to some of the brightest and most articulate people in our industry is a wonderfully gratifying extension of the services this trade publication is so dedicated to providing.”  New shows currently in development for launch on TalkersRadio include “Radio Lifeboat with Diane and Mickey Gooch” – a mother/son co-hosted program focusing on the challenges of drug and alcohol addiction.  Diane Gooch is a veteran New Jersey newspaper publisher and a principal in the Washington, DC-based Talk Radio News Service.  Mickey Gooch is a young LA actor who has experienced the depths of addiction and is now in recovery.  Another show set for launch later this fall is “Green Connection,” a show dedicated to chronicling environmentally friendly industrial developments hosted by noted Washington, DC journalist Joan Michelson.  Veteran broadcaster Bob Shannon, executive director of the Upper Midwest Conclave will host a program titled “Stories” in which he will share candid insights into the real-life personal issues facing men and the women they love.  Also on tap for launch on TalkersRadio is a brand new program hosted by WPIX-TV, New York personality, Lionel.  TalkersRadio is powered by Backbone Networks and heard exclusively on Talkers.com and TuneIn.  For more information call 413-565-5413.

boomercartonmkitchenWFAN’s Boomer & Carton Open Food Stand at Barclays Center Tonight.  At this evening’s Brooklyn Nets game at the Barclays Center, WFAN, New York morning drive duo Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton will open their self-titled food stand located by section 17 of the arena.  Both Esiason and Carton will be on hand for the 7:00 pm ribbon cutting of the Boomer & Carton Kitchen at Barclays Center.  Some of the menu items – personally designed by the duo – include: the Boom Doggy Dog – a Nathan’s Hot Dog with smothered onions, spicy cheese sauce and crisp bacon; the Chubby Chaser – which includes a Brooklyn Burger, chicken tenders, Nathan’s fries, cheddar cheese, lettuce and tomato, on a brioche bun; Lobster Monster, a Red Hook Lobster Pound sandwich with authentic Brooklyn hot cherry peppers and mustard; and Carton’s Kitchen Chicken – which includes a chicken cutlet, eggplant spread, broccoli rabe, and provolone on ciabatta bread.  Boomer & Carton state, “We are thrilled to bring the WFAN brand and our taste for great food to the world class Barclays Center.  Since starting our morning show in 2007, we’ve easily gained 50 pounds between the two of us.  Clearly we know what tastes good and what people like to eat.  Boomer & Carton Kitchen will be a great extension of our show and an amazing partnership for years to come with Barclays Center.”

wtoplogoTwo Promoted at WTOP, Washington.  Jim Battagliese and Michael McMearty have been promoted at Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington.  Battagliese has been upped to director of traffic and weather from director of traffic and transit operations.  He will be responsible for the station’s coverage of traffic and weather on air, as well as on its online and social media formats. McMearty, previously senior news director, has been named senior news and sports director and will be responsible for overnight sports news with Dave Johnson and George Wallace.

dungyknmlTony Dungy Visits KNML, Albuquerque’s ‘Opening Drive’ Show.  In town to promote Comcast’s “Internet Essentials” program that provides low-cost internet and low-cost computers to families in need, former NFL coach and current NBC Sports personality Tony Dungy visited both news/talk KKOB where he spoke with morning host Bob Clark and sister sports talk station KNML “610 The Sports Animal” and appeared on the morning “Opening Drive” program.  Pictured here (from l-r) are “Opening Drive” host Jeff Siembieda, Dungy, Michael Carlyle and JJ Buck.

ObamaCare Rollout/Sebelius Hearings Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 28-November 1.  The scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and the Congressional hearings featuring Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the NSA spying controversy.  Following at #3 was more Benghazi cover-up allegations and at #4 was the state of the GOP.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is based on ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  You can see this week’s entire chart here.