Tag: "NPR"

Thursday, June 22, 2017

| June 22, 2017

Hugh Hewitt to Host Weekend Show on MSNBC. TVNewser is first with the report that Salem Radio Network talk show host Hugh Hewitt will begin hosting a Saturday morning show on MSNBC on Saturday (6/24).   The program will air live at 8:00 am ET.  Obviously, some will be surprised by the addition of conservative Hewitt joining the left-leaning cable news/talk channel, but as The Hollywood Reporter points out in its coverage of the story, MSNBC recently added former Fox News Channel personality Greta Van Susteren and former George W. Bush Administration communications staffer Nicole Wallace.  In illustrating the gains MSNBC has made over the last 12 months, THR also notes that Standard Media Index just released a report showing MSNBC’s ad rates are up 43% over last year’s.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the second in a series of analyses based on data from the May 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, this time focusing on sports talk.  The return of Major League Baseball is usually good for sports talkers during summer ratings periods, and in this report, Kinosian concludes that, for the 6+ demo, “just over half the stations (53%) on the panel are up April 2017 – May 2017; one in four (25%) are down; and the remaining 22% of the sample is flat.”  However, “approximately two of every three eligible sports talk stations are down year-to-year (64%) while 26% improve; the remaining 10% are steady.”  Just five sports talkers ranked in the top five in their respective markets in the May 2017 survey, led by CBS RADIO’s WXYT-FM, Detroit at #2 (behind the company’s all-newser WWJ-AM).  See the entire report here.

Joey Hudson Rises to GM of Mike Gallagher Show. Longtime Mike Gallagher show team member Joey Hudson is named general manager for the Salem Radio Network syndicated talk show.  Hudson serves as executive director of the Gallagher’s Army: Fallen Officer Fund charity, a position in which he’ll continue to serve.  He’s also been GM of Salem-owned Caron Broadcasting’s WGTK-FM and WRTH-FM in Greenville, South Carolina.  He’ll leave that position.  Mike Gallagher says, “2017 has been the strongest year we’ve had in terms of affiliates, ratings and revenue for our national radio show.  Joey is the perfect person to oversee the growing daily operations of our show throughout the rest of 2017 and into the exciting future.”

Warren Franklin Named Morning Host at KYKN. In Salem, Oregon, iSalem Media news/talker KYKN announces that market pro Warren Franklin is named morning drive host.  In addition to handling the morning news and commentary duties, Franklin will do 15 live remote broadcasts each month.  KYKN program director (and afternoon air personality) Gator Gaynor says, “We are delighted to have someone of Warren’s ability and robust personality on our team.”

Edison Research and NPR Study Smart Speaker Owner Habits. There’s a lot of optimism on the part of radio station operators that the smart speaker – Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, Apple’s Homepod – can bring radio listening back into the home.  NPR and Edison Research have partnered to research the habits of current smart speaker owners to see if that optimism is well grounded. The results of the “The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research” will be revealed in part at a June 28 webinar.  Edison VP of strategy Tom Webster says, “Although Smart Speakers have not been around for very long, nearly one in five owners say that these devices are the way that they most often listen to audio.  The frictionless way in which these devices enable audio consumption is already changing listening behaviors, and potentially increasing audio consumption overall.”  The study consisted of a national online survey of 1620 Americans ages 18+.  Eight hundred respondents owned at least one smart speaker (160 Google Home, 709 Amazon Alexa-enabled, and 69 who owned both.) Eight hundred and twenty respondents did not own a smart speaker device and were surveyed for comparative purposes.

Starnes Keynotes Writer’s Conference. Pictured above is Fox News Radio host Todd Starnes serving as keynote speaker at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference.  During the event he also led workshops for more than 500 writers.  As TALKERS magazine reported yesterday, Starnes is launching a new, three-hour radio talk show on FNR on July 5.  See more about him at toddstarnes.com.

Central PA Host and GM Differ Offer Different Takes on Programming Policy.  By now you’ve heard about classic rock WTPA, Palmyra, Pennsylvania weekend personality Bruce Bond’s exit from the station after, as he claims, feeling forced to resign for being ordered not to talk critically about President Trump.  WTPA general manager Tim Michaels is now speaking out, telling Fox News that Bond was hired to do an entertainment program.  His orders were to not talk politics – nothing specific about being for or against Trump.  Obviously, that’s not how Bond expressed it when he first spoke to media about his exit.

New York Festivals 2017 International Radio Program Award Winners Announced. The big winner in this year’s New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards – the annual awards program honoring the World’s Best Radio Programs – was RTÉ Ireland which was presented with the prestigious title of Broadcaster of Year.  TBI Media UK was honored with Production Company of the Year.  RTÉ Radio Ireland earned an impressive 10 Gold trophies, 8 Silver, 10 Bronze, and 12 Finalist Certificates.  Among the United States winners were, SiriusXM, CBS RADIO Boston, Westwood One, ESPN, ABC Radio, and iHeartMedia.  See the entire list of winners here.

Edwards Returns to Lead Pubcaster WBEZ, Chicago.  Windy City media maven Robert Feder tips us that Steve Edwards is returning to public media outlet WBEZ, Chicago after five years away.  In 2012 Edwards – who hosted a popular two-hour afternoon show – left WBEZ to become executive director of the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics.  Now, he is set to lead WBEZ programming as vice president and chief content officer.  Read Feder’s story here.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Election Hacking Hearings, GOP Health Care Plan, Republican Handel Wins Georgia House Seat, Flint Airport Attack, Tropical Storm Cindy/Western Heatwave, ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Controversy, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/21). The special counsel investigation into possible ties between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; yesterday’s testimony from former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and others about Russian election hacking; the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act with a plan critics say is being devised behind closed doors; Republican Karen Handel wins the race for Georgia’s sixth congressional district seat; the attack on a police officer at the Flint, Michigan airport by a suspected radical Islamist; Tropical Storm Cindy approaches Louisiana and the Western U.S. heatwave; the controversy over ABC-TV’s ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ program; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The new morning show at iHeartMedia’s WWYZ, Hartford “Country 92-5” is “Damon & Cory” – Connecticut radio pro Damon Scott and incumbent WWYZ morning personality Corey Myers.  iHeartMedia Hartford Region president Steve Honeycomb states, “We are excited that a well-known local personality like Damon Scott is joining longtime morning host, Cory Myers.  Damon Scott is a familiar name that has been on the radio in Connecticut for years.  He understands how to connect with listeners and the local community as well as what it takes to be successful in radio.”  Scott spent the past 27 years as PM drive host at CBS RADIO’s crosstown CHR WTIC-FM…..The new morning show is launched on Cumulus Media’s country WKHX, Atlanta “Kicks 101.5” and it’s called  “Caddy, CJ and Ali,” featuring Cadillac Jack, CJ and Ali Mac.  This comes after the recent move of former morning show co-host Dallas McCade to music director and midday personality.  Concurrent with the lineup changes, “Kicks 101.5” takes on the new slogan, “Georgia’s Country For Life.”…..The Tom Kent Radio Network signs a contract with SAG-AFTRA top become the first major independent American music syndication network to ratify such an agreement.  TKRN CEO and president Tom Kent states, “Our team is more than excited to become a SAG-AFTRA shop!  We embrace all of its principles and look forward to a long and prosperous future together.  Working with the head of SAG-AFTRA local Brian Lysell has been a total pleasure. Our current and future affiliates know how committed we have been to showcasing excellent talent and this deal is a major indication that our commitment will continue.”

iHeartMedia Throws VIP Party at Cannes. Hip hop star The Weeknd was the featured performer at the intimate VIP dinner hosted by iHeartMedia and MediaLink at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman, along with MediaLink CEO Michael Kassan and president/COO Wenda Harris Millard, hosted the party that – for the sixth consecutive year – brought together the “senior most-influential decision makers and thought leaders in the media ecosystem.”  Pictured above are (from l-r): Tom Poleman, chief programming officer for iHeartMedia; John Sykes, president of entertainment enterprises for iHeartMedia; The Weeknd; Michele Anthony, EVP of Universal Music Group; and Scott Borchetta, founder, president & CEO of Big Machine Label GroupPhoto by Tony Barson/Getty Images for iHeartMedia.

Friday, June 9, 2017

| June 9, 2017

WECK, Buffalo Announces Live and Local Lineup. The new Buffalo full-service radio station operated by Buddy Shula’s Radio One Buffalo announces its new, live and local personality lineup.  Previously, TALKERS magazine reported the station hired Buffalo news radio pro John Zach to anchor mornings and serve as news director.  Now, WECK says it will officially shift its format to become a live and local, full-service station on July 10, with 24-hour news, well-known local personalities and locally programmed music.  The station has been airing a syndicated adult standards format.  Soon it will move to “adult favorites,” centered primary on the 70s and 80s (with some earlier and some more recent music mixed in).  Veteran Buffalo personality Gail Ann Huber will pair with WECK’s Tom Donahue as morning co-host.  Jon Summers, a longtime Buffalo radio and TV personality joins the station to host 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.   Buffalo Broadcasting Hall-of-Famer Harv Moore will host the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart  Moore handled wake-up duties for many years as part of the well-known “Taylor & Moore Breakfast Flakes” show on WYSL and WPHD.  Moore’s former on-air partner, Robert W. Taylor, joins as WECK’s imaging voice.  Afternoon drive will be hosted by Mike Jacobs.  Evenings will be hosted by WECK owner and president Buddy Shula.

WGN named Chicago’s Station of the Year. This actually marks the tenth year in a row that Tribune Media news/talk WGN, Chicago has nabbed such Illinois Broadcasters Association Silver Dome honors. This year’s event was held last night (6/8) in Champaign. In addition, Tribune Media president of broadcasting Larry Wert was cited as IBA’s “Broadcaster of the Year.” The station took away first place awards in “Best Radio Local Broadcast Team” (“The Nick Digilio Show”); “Best Radio Station Use of New Media” (“Honoring Our Marines” by Shanae Paulus and Jackie Paulus); “Best Radio News Reporter” (Andrea Darlas); “Best Radio Series or Documentary” (“National Parks at 100: Our Midwest Treasures” by Dave Schwan); and “Best Radio Play-by-Play” (Blackhawks force game seven versus [St. Louis] Blues (John Wiedeman and Troy Murray). WGN Radio vice president of programming & content Todd Manley states, “We are so proud to share Chicago stories every day with personalities who are authentic and passionate. I know our entire staff is grateful for these honors.” Out-of-state broadcasters did the judging for the Illinois competition.

Pandora – SiriusXM Update. As a follow-up to what we reported yesterday (TALKERS, 6/8), on the heels of Pandora Media extending the countdown of a possible sale, SiriusXM marches in with a $480 million strategic cash investment in Pandora. The infusion will help Pandora make targeted investments and capitalize on opportunities to build on its business. Last month, the private equity firm KKR & Co LP agreed to invest $150 million in Pandora, which reportedly lost $132 million on revenues of $315 million in the quarter that ended on March 31.

WBUR Readies “Circle Round.” Produced by Boston University-owned WBUR, Boston in conjunction with Sheir & Shim founders Rebecca Sheir and Eric Shimelonis, “Circle Round” is a storytelling podcast for youngsters aged three to ten. “Circle Round” features folktales with an eye toward inclusivity. Stories are adapted into five- to 20-minute episodes that deal with topics such as kindness, persistence, and generosity. WBUR general manager Charlie Kravetz comments, “We are excited to be launching WBUR’s first-ever child-focused program. Public radio has a rich and recognized tradition of narrative storytelling. With ‘Circle Round,’ we want to inspire a young audience to cultivate a love of storytelling.” The station’s managing producer for program development Jessica Alpert remarks, “Like so many parents, I am always trying to find alternatives to screen time. As we know, nothing grabs a child’s attention like a really great story – especially one you can listen to anywhere, anytime, like in a podcast. We are hoping that ‘Circle Round’ fills a void for parents, while at the same time provides a thrilling experience for their kids.” Sheir will serve as the podcast’s narrator, while award-winning composer Shimelonis will create the accompanying soundtrack and production. The podcast series begins this fall with weekly episodes.

Phoenix Trombo Taps Trimmer as PD. Former WRVA “Newsradio 1140,” Richmond; WRNL “Fox Sports 910,” Richmond; and Virginia News Network program director Aaron Trimmer will transfer in a similar capacity to iHeartMedia Phoenix siblings KFYI “The Most Trusted News in Phoenix”; KGME “Fox Sports 910”; and KFYI 2, “The Next Generation of Talk Radio.” Executive vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s west division Steve Geofferies comments, “We are excited to have Aaron bring his experiences out west; his track record speaks for itself. From brand execution to talent coaching, he is a tremendous resource for our stations in the Arizona region.” Trimmer – who begins his new duties in a little over three weeks (7/5) – notes, “I am beyond excited to work with the iHeartMedia team in Phoenix. There is a tremendous amount of talent with their spoken-word brands. I look forward to leading the team and community to new heights.” His previous programming credits include four other iHeartMedia clusters: WHAM “NewsRadio 1180,” Rochester; FM news/talk WERC, Birmingham and the Alabama Radio Network; news/talk WSYR, Syracuse; and WLAP “NewsRadio 630,” Lexington, Kentucky.

College Radio Providing Vital Farm System for Professional Talk Media Talent.  At a time when many industry participants and observers ask the question, “Where will the future talent in radio come from now that consolidation has wiped out the old farm system?” – it is becoming evident that to a significant degree the answer lies on the college radio level.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “We are hearing more and more from outstanding college radio and media communications departments – students and faculty alike – around the country. These communication departments are really stepping up to the plate in becoming an effective breeding ground for new, dedicated and extremely bright talent – especially in the areas of journalism, commentary, talk and sports.  I am personally gratified by the number of superb young people gaining the skills and developing the styles that will clearly propel talent-driven radio and TV deeper into the 21st century.”  Each year the TALKERS annual seminar is attended by an increasing number of college radio students interested in making broadcasting their careers as well as a growing percentage of already-professional practitioners under the age of 35.  Talkers 2017: A New Era was attended by delegations of student broadcasters from Hofstra University on Long Island and Hillsdale College in Michigan, among others.   According to Harrison, who sits on the executive committee of the advisory board of Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, “The future of radio lies in developing young audiences – but before we can even think about doing that effectively, we must develop young broadcasters.” Pictured (below) are the students attending the TALKERS conference from Hofstra University’s Marconi Award winning WRHU-FM (front row l-r): Jazmine Gonzalez, Joy Jones, and Yenny Sanchez; (back row l-r) operations manager John Mullen, Alexi Cohan, TALKERS “Student of the Year” Maria Santana, Sean Bates, Juliana Spano, and Joe Sibilia.

Stand By for Exciting Video Coverage of Talkers 2017: A New Era.  As the magic of Talkers 2017: A New Era recedes into the broadcast industry history books, the TALKERS editorial and technical staffs are busily readying the hours and hours of valuable video footage recorded at the event by rising young New York videography star Zach Feldman into a presentable form for posting here on Talkers.com and for posterity.  TALKERS subscribers can expect the first of these to be posted sometime next week.  Stand by!  Meantime, scroll down this page for earlier photo and story coverage of the event.

Syndicated star Doug Stephan (l) interviews KTRS, St Louis personality McGraw Milhaven (r) on the American Family Farmer program at Talkers 2017: A New Era about the local relationship between St. Louis and mega-corporation Monsanto Company that is headquartered in that market.  Both broadcasters are members of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

WOR, New York, assistant program director Scott Lakefield facilitating one of the major “one-on-one” sessions at Talkers 2017: A New Era.  Photo by Don Hurley.

Beasley Broadcast Group Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend. The amount is $0.045 per share for Beasley Broadcast Group’s Class A and Class B common stock and is payable next month (7/7) to shareholders of record on the final day of this month (6/30). All subsequent Beasley Broadcast Group dividends will be reviewed quarterly and declared by the board of directors at its discretion. Meanwhile, at the annual New Jersey Ad Club “Jersey Awards,” Beasley Broadcast Group news/talk WCTC, New Brunswick won “Best Podcast” for The State Theatre (program & creative director/air talent Bert Baron, host and producer). Senior vice president and regional market manager Dan Finn remarks, “We are absolutely thrilled our team was recognized for their work with this incredible award.  This is the night where all the best advertising agencies in the state of New Jersey gather and announce winners across all media platforms. We were honored to be among the winners.” The event took place this past Wednesday (6/7) in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.

TALKERS News Notes. As he did two weeks ago, Lou Pate will sit-in today (6/9) for Michael Savage on Westwood One’s “The Savage Nation” …..Nine-year iHeartMedia vice president of digital operations Joseph Bond departs. Bond previously spent six years overseeing web content and development for the company’s eight Cincinnati stations.

Grangenois Joins WEAA As Interim GM. The former publisher of The Chronicle of Higher Education, Mireille Grangenois, is named interim general manager of Morgan State University‘s NPR-member public outlet WEAA. The Baltimore-based institution’s dean of the school of global journalism and communication DeWayne Wickham remarks, “Ms. Grangenois has an impressive record of media management. Our intention is to revitalize WEAA’s mission as a learning lab by providing our students with an exceptional, practical experience in the production of news and public affairs programming. We also want to do this by strengthening the station’s ability to offer listeners music programming that will grow WEAA’s audience and revenue. I have great confidence in Ms. Grangenois’ ability to lead this effort.” Grangenois began her news career in Baltimore and has marketing, sales, audience development, and leadership experience. Morgan State University is one of only five historically black higher education institutions with a school of journalism.

Comey Testimony Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 5-9.  The Senate Intelligence Committee testimony of former FBI Director James Comey was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the Trump-Russia investigation.  Coming in at #3 was the Tehran terror attack and the rejection of President Trump’s condolences, followed by the British general elections and the aftermath of the London terror attacks 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Radio Disney Country Los Angeles Debuts Today. KRDC, Los Angeles will officially begin broadcasting at 12:00 noon today (6/9) on 99.1 and 1110. Disney Channels Worldwide vice president of music strategy/Radio Disney Network general manager Phil Guerini states, “As country music continues to deliver some of the biggest artists in music today, we are broadening the reach of Radio Disney Country through both terrestrial and digital extensions of its brand.” In association with KRDC’s debut, Kelsea Ballerini, Hunter Hayes, Bailey Bryan, Scotty McCreery, Tegan Marie, and Temecula Road will join Radio Disney Country host Betsy Spina on the Radio Disney Country Stage at CMA Music Fest‘s Xfinity Fan Fair X at 11:45 am today for a countdown event streaming live on Radio Disney Country’s Facebook page. The first hour commercial-free playlist on Radio Disney Country’s KRDC will begin with Ballerini’s single “Legends,” which was released this week. The complete first hour will include: “Legends” (Ballerini); “Play It Again” (Luke Bryan); “God, Your Mama, and Me” (Florida Georgia Line featuring The Backstreet Boys); “Every Little Thing” (Carly Pearce); “Say” (RaeLynn featuring Dan + Shay); “Yours If You Want It” (Rascal Flatts); “Own It” (Bailey Bryan); “What Ifs” (Kane Brown featuring Lauren Alaina); “You Look Good” (Lady Antebellum); “No Such Thing As a Broken Heart” (Old Dominion); “Hoping” (Temecula Road); “I Could Use a Love Song” (Maren Morris); and “How Not To” (Dan + Shay). Radio Disney Country will also be available on iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and as curated playlists within Spotify, and Apple Music.

Brown Appointed iHeartMedia Norfolk Market President. Inbound from Cumulus Media Mobile, where she was vice president/market manager and vice president of sales, Angel Brown is named market president for iHeartMedia Norfolk. President of iHeartMedia’s Virginia/Carolina Region Dave Carwile comments, “We are thrilled to have Angel joining our Norfolk group of station brands. She combines a proven track record of sales leadership with an understanding of how to integrate client needs with our multimedia platforms. Angel will provide a great complement to our outstanding sales and programming leadership in the market.” Brown remarks, “I am elated to join the iHeartMedia family in Norfolk. The market and the company have had tremendous success over the years and are attributed to the company’s culture and its people. I look forward to working alongside the talented iHeartMedia Norfolk team and I look for forward to my future with the industry leader.” The company’s four-station Norfolk cluster consists of urban AC WHBT “92.1 The Beat”; rhythmic hot AC WMOV “MOViN 107.7”; CHR WNOH “NOW 105”; and urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz.”

KFRG Boosts Ward to APD/MD. With two-dozen years of service at CBS Radio Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario country outlet KFRG ‘K-Frog,” on-air talent Robin Ward is elevated to assistant program director and music director. According to program director Scott Ward (no relation), “Since she has been here for most of the station’s history, Robin is such a natural fit for this position. She knows the format and the artists like the back of her hand.” Robin Ward, who hosts mid-days using the on-air persona Heather Froglear, comments, “My patience has been rewarded with my dream job – being the APD/MD of the greatest station on earth.” She joined “K-Frog” in 1993 and has previously been the Inland Empire outlet’s promotions director and morning show host.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Taking home the 2017 Gracie Award as “Best Co-Host, Radio” is Kelly Ford, co-host of Cumulus Media and Westwood One‘s syndicated morning show, Ty, Kelly, & Chuck. Ford was among the honorees at a Wednesday night gala at Los Angeles’ Beverly Wilshire …..Having already worked at CBS Radio-owned CHRs in Chicago (WBBM-FM “B-96”) and Philadelphia (WZMP “Amp 96.5”), Jason Cage will debut on the company’s Houston hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” next Monday (6/12)    in afternoon drive. “Mix 96.5” program director Chase Murphy has “been a fan of Jason’s work for years – winning is in his DNA. We are excited to add him to the KHMX team and cannot wait for the Houston community to meet him.” …..Nine-year iHeartMedia vice president of digital operations Joseph Bond departs. Bond previously spent six years overseeing web content and development for the company’s eight Cincinnati stations …..Several-dozen suits were collected as part of the recently concluded “Boots to Suits” campaign of Hubbard St. Louis adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch.” In partnership with Equity Prime Mortgage, JCPenney, and Two Men & A Truck, the station’s campaign focused on collecting suits for local veterans entering the workforce after they return home from deployment …..Changes at Saga Springfield, Massachusetts alternative WLZX “Lazer 99.3 & 105.1” find morning host Leslie exiting at the end of this month to relocate to Sarasota and afternoon drive talent Pat Kelly segueing to mornings next month …..Along with partners United Supermarkets and Amarillo National Bank, Alpha Media Amarillo, Texas’ KGNC “Country 97.9” earlier this week raised more than $60,000 for the Amarillo Area Rotary Youth Baseball League. Alpha Media Amarillo market manager Robert Mueller notes, “It is truly awesome to see the community and our partners work together to support the local youth each and every year.”

Beasley Broadcast Group Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend. The amount is $0.045 per share for Beasley Broadcast Group’s Class A and Class B common stock and is payable next month (7/7) to shareholders of record on the final day of this month (6/30). All subsequent Beasley Broadcast Group dividends will be reviewed quarterly and declared by the board of directors at its discretion. Meanwhile, at the annual New Jersey Ad Club “Jersey Awards,” Beasley Broadcast Group’s WDHA “The Rock of New Jersey, ” Dover won “Best Radio Spot” for Oink and Moo BBQ (written, produced, and voiced by Mike Cocheo with additional voice-overs by Dannie Schade). Vice president and regional market manager Dan Finn remarks, “We are absolutely thrilled our team was recognized for their work with this incredible award. “This is the night where all the best advertising agencies in the state of New Jersey gather and announce winners across all media platforms. We were honored to be among the winners.” The event took place this past Wednesday (6/7) in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.

Eagle Communications Hutchinson Boosts James to Operations Manager. Three-month KHUT, Hutchinson, Kansas morning host Pat James is elevated to operations manager of Eagle Communications’ “Country 102.9,” as well as co-owned hot AC KHMY “My 93.1,” and news/talk combo KWBW-AM & KWBW-FM. Eagle Hutchinson market manager Mark Trotman states, “Since his first day at Eagle Communications, Pat has demonstrated the leadership we want in an employee-owned company – he is our type of people. We are looking forward to the places we can go in further service to keeping our community connected.” James, who will continue his morning drive duties on “Country 102.9,” adds, “I look forward to working with a talented staff that is committed to making great local radio every day for our community. This is a refreshing and exciting environment to work in every day. I can’t wait to help these stations and our company achieve even greater successes. I am grateful to market manager Mark Trotman and Eagle president/chief executive officer Gary Shorman for this amazing opportunity.” In addition to co-hosting “The Cornbread Morning Show” on WIL, St. Louis, James previously was program director/brand manager of Connoisseur Media Wichita’s adult hits KIBB “Bob-FM” and classic country KVWF “Hank-FM,” and he was the assistant program director/music director at Scripps-owned country KFDI, Wichita.

Trace Enters U.S. With Streaming Service. International urban media company Trace will launch a streaming service called Trace Play. The company will deliver subscribers urban music and content from the United States and worldwide, including 2,000 hours of on-demand programming, 30 digital radio stations, nine live television feeds, and the soon-to-be launched Trace Prime television network. The service will come from a Trace USA joint venture with John Pasmore, the former chief executive officer of Russell Simmons’ Oneworld Media, who declares, “Trace is the only media company that has successfully connected urban youth and communities of color around the world while respecting their identities.” It will be available online and to iOS and Android devices for $2.99 a month or $29.99 a year. Backers include actor-musician Wyclef Jean; producers Rob Marriott and Tonya Lewis Lee; Fubu co-founder J. Alexander Martin; and JKD Entertainment’s Karlie Lewis.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

| May 30, 2017

NYPost: iHM Creditors Seek New Restructuring Adviser. According to a report published in the New York Post over the weekend, iHeartMedia creditors are requesting the company replace current restructuring adviser Moelis & Co.  iHM did not comment specifically on the reported request other than to say, “Moelis continues to be the firm advising us in connection with our restructuring.”  The story also states that a lead iHM institutional lender believes that iHeartMedia has “only a 50-50 chance of reaching a restructuring deal with creditors and avoiding a bankruptcy by early 2018.”  The current restructuring offer from iHM that would pay 75 cents on the dollar, has been extended five times and has less than 1% of shareholders on board.  But the Post story indicates the company plans to offer a new proposal to creditors within the coming weeks.  See the Post story here.

Cooke: Are Your Weekends Hit… or Miss?  Media consultant Holland Cooke says smart news/talk stations take advantage of programming that appeals to their listeners’ weekend mindsets.  “At many talk stations, Saturday and Sunday are the most profitable days of the week.  At smart stations, shows are ‘appointment listening’ that reflect listeners’ weekend routines and bring revenue the station wouldn’t otherwise get.  At other stations, management shrugs, and doesn’t (dare) listen.”  Yes, a lot of stations put home improvement and consumer-oriented shows on, but often they don’t end up selling them properly and the shows get forgotten by the sales department.  Read what Cooke has to say about the potential for revenue with weekend programming here.

News/Talk Personalities Melanie Morgan and Brian Maloney Target Rachel Maddow Show with Online Campaign.  Saying that their hand is being forced because of the Media Matters campaign against Sean Hannity’s Fox News Channel advertisers, news/talk media pros Melanie Morgan and Brian Maloney are spearheading a similar advertiser campaign targeting MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.  The two operate the Media Equality Project and are using the hashtag #StopTheScalpings associated with Maddow’s show, urging people to complain if they disagree with her show content.

TALKERS News Notes. Exiting the news department at iHeartMedia Richmond’s news/talk WRVA is anchor/reporter Jeff Stapleton.  He writes on his Facebook page, “After 26 plus years in the radio business, and almost 17 years here in Richmond, I was told today that my services were no longer needed.  It was sudden and completely out of the blue and it was the day I got back from vacation—which made it very odd.”…..According to the New York Post, Mike Crispino will not return in the fall to call New York Knicks games after the MSG Networks elected not to renew his deal after 25 years with the company.   Analyst Brendan Brown is expected to return to the broadcasts…..There’s been no official word from MSNBC, but The Hollywood Reporter is saying that president Phil Griffin – president since 2008 – has signed a new contract to remain in charge of the network.  The Hollywood Reporter writes that MSNBC has done well in the early days of the Trump Administration, “To be sure, all three of the top cable news networks were up in the first quarter of the year.  But MSNBC has bested even perennial leader Fox News Channel in the all-important 25-54 demographic during primetime in recent days.  And ‘The Rachel Maddow Show’ has been the No. 1 cable news program since March.”

Frank Deford Dead at 78. Legendary sports writer and longtime NPR contributor Frank Deford died Sunday in Key West, Florida at the age of 78.  Deford contributed sports commentaries for NPR for 37 years before retiring from that position earlier this month.  He spent much of his earlier career writing for Sports Illustrated.

Jared Kushner-Russia Connection Investigation, Trump International Trip Aftermath, Texas Sanctuary Cities Bill Protest, New North Korean Missile Launch, Baghdad Bombing, Memorial Day Holiday, Gregg Allman Dies, Tiger Woods DUI, MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Reports that the FBI is investigating whether President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner sought a secure communications line with Russians; the aftermath of President Trump’s nine-day trip abroad; the rowdy protests at the Texas State House over a bill prohibiting sanctuary city status in the state; North Korea launches a missile into the sea in Japanese territory; ISIS takes credit for deadly car bombing of a Baghdad ice cream shop; the Memorial Day holiday weekend; Allman Brothers founding member Gregg Allman dies at 69; golfing great Tiger Woods is arrested for DUI; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories over the holiday weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

KKOB, Albuquerque PD Pat Frisch Member of Nevada Broadcasters Class of 2017 HOF.  When the 22nd Nevada Broadcasters Association gala kicks off on August 19 at the Four Seasons Las Vegas, Cumulus Albuquerque programmer and OM Pat Frisch will be among the class of 2017 inducted into the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.  Frisch is OM/PD for heritage news/talker KKOB-AM, talk KTBL, and sports talk KNML in Albuquerque.  From 1990 through 1999, he worked in the Lake Tahoe, Reno and Las Vegas markets in Nevada.

JT The Brick Emcees ‘Coaches vs Cancer’ Golf Event. Pictured above is FOX Sports Radio’s JT The Brick (at the podium) surrounded by college coaches as he emcees the official celebration of the 10th annual Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic in Las Vegas on May 21.  This was JT The Brick’s fourth year emceeing the event.  Fellow FOX Sports Radio personality Doug Gottlieb did his May 22 program live from the tournament that raised more than $1 million for the American Cancer Society.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. San Diego radio pro Robin Roth is named assistant program director at Midwest Television’s rock KFMB-FM.  She’s also hosting the evening show.  Program director Mike Vasquez comments, “Robin Roth is synonymous with rock and roll in San Diego and having her on our programming team on a full-time basis is going to make us stronger.  She brings talent, knowledge and the will to do whatever it takes to win and I’m so thrilled to have her.”  Roth has worked in the market at XHRM, XTRA-FM, and KIOZ…..Raleigh morning radio personality Bob Dumas signs a contract extension to continue hosting the “Bob and The Showgram” morning show for iHeartMedia’s CHR WDCG “G105.”  The show cast also includes Erica and Brody.  iHM Virginia/Carolina region president Dave Carwile says, “We are thrilled to sign Bob Dumas for another three years – Bob and the G105 brand are synonymous with Raleigh.”…..iHeartMedia flips classic rock WDTW-FM, Detroit to variety hits branded as “106.7 The D.”…..Over in St. Louis iHM leaves classic hits behind and brings the “Majic” brand back to the market as W279AQ becomes “Majic 103.7 – Today’s R&B and Throwbacks.”  Core artists will include Mary J. Blige, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross, Maxwell and Janet Jackson.  iHM St. Louis SVP of programming A.J. states, “The ‘Majic’ brand is no stranger to St. Louis and has been iconic in the market since 1979. With the launch of the new ‘Majic 103.7,’ we are resurrecting over 35 years of enriching lives and serving the St. Louis community.”

Thursday, March 16, 2017

| March 16, 2017

Michael Savage in Altercation with Man at California Restaurant.  Several news reports indicate that Westwood One nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Savage was allegedly assaulted by an unidentified man outside a restaurant in Tiburon, California.  According to TMZ, the Daily Mail and other media outlets, while Savage was eating inside Servino Ristorante with his pet poodle Teddy, the man taunted him by repeatedly saying “weener, weener” – a reference to Savage’s legal surname, Weiner.  It’s not clear how it escalated but one report says the two got into some sort of scuffle outside the restaurant, ending with each man declaring the other under a citizen’s arrest.  Police arrived, interviewed both men and released them.  The local district attorney’s office is reviewing the matter and will determine if charges will be filed.  Savage’s attorney – Daniel Horowitz – told the Mercury News that another restaurant patron who attempted to intervene was punched in the face by the heckler.

NPR Ratings at ‘All-Time High.’  Based on data from Nielsen Audio, NPR is reporting that “the total weekly listeners for all programming on NPR stations reached an all-time high of about 37.5 million in the fall of 2016 – a nearly 4 million person increase from the same period in 2015.  Listeners for NPR programming and NPR Newscasts account for about 30 million of that total.”  During the build-up to the 2016 election and in the months since, talk-oriented public radio has seen its 6+ ratings in Nielsen’s PPM markets improve.  NPR SVP of news and editorial director Michael Oreskes states, “At a time when many news organizations have been forced to contract, NPR is expanding coverage and focusing resources on the local and national issues that listeners care about.  Now, more and more people are turning to NPR as their source for unbiased fact-based news.”  NPR also notes that flagship programs, “All Things Considered” and “Morning Edition,” reached their largest weekly audience ever, at 14.4 million and 14.65 million listeners, respectively.  “The number of listeners for all NPR programming increased considerably this year, particularly in the coveted 25-44 age demographic which expanded by 26%.”  Additionally, NPR says that its digital content at NPR.org has average monthly users grow by 28%.

BFoA to Honor Jeff Smulyan with Lowry Mays Award. This honor from the Broadcasters Foundation of America will be presented to Emmis Communications founder and chairman Jeff Smulyan at the BFoA annual breakfast at the NAB Show in Las Vegas on April 26.  The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually by the BFoA on an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.  It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation.  The breakfast is complimentary to all, although pre-registration is required.

Westwood One Adds Two Shows to Podcast Offerings. Audio content syndicator and sales division Westwood One announces new partnerships with Frances Callier and Angela V. Shelton, known together as the comedic duo Frangela (right), and radio pro, author, blogger and cancer survivor Robin Marshall.  Callier and Shelton are hosting WW1’s first fully produced podcast titled “Frangela: The Final Word,” that promises “insights and witty perspective on news and culture.” Marshall’s “Sugar Mom” is for “smart and sexy women who want to try something new.”  Both programs are available via the iTunes and audioBoom platforms.  Westwood One president/Cumulus Media EVP corporate marketing Suzanne Grimes comments, “Frances, Angela, and Robin are powerful women who inspire, motivate, and make us laugh.  Westwood One is proud to help these fresh and funny shows build audience and brand partnerships.”

TALKERS News Notes. Hard-working talk show host Simon Conway (left) is doing a couple days of triple duty this week.  Today and tomorrow, Conway will do is regular shows – afternoon drive at iHeartMedia’s WHO, Des Moines and morning drive at the company’s WMT, Cedar Rapids – as well as filling in for WOAI, San Antonio-based, syndicated personality Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo (right)…..Pamplin-owned Portland news/talk KPAM drops the afternoon “Margie and Carl” show hosted by Margie Boulé (right) and Carl Wolfson (left) due to budgetary reasons.  Wolfson, who also hosted a program in the market for years on the crosstown, former news/talker KPOJ, posted a gracious message on the show’s Facebook page giving thanks and credit to his former co-workers…..Nationally syndicated morning talk personality Doug Stephan checks in with TALKERS magazine to report his show, “On Air with Doug, Jen & Victoria,” has added 17 new affiliates in the first two months of 2017, including: KPHX, Phoenix; WOMI-AM, Owensboro, Kentucky; KQAM, Wichita; WXDE-FM, Salisbury, Maryland; and KYCA-AM/FM, Prescott, Arizona.  Stephan says, “The table for conversation is growing larger, and co-hosts Jennifer Horn and Victoria Keelan embrace the future and are constantly reinventing the program.”…..Cumulus Media’s news/talk radio stations WBAP-AM and KLIF-AM in Dallas picked up multiple honors from the 2016 Texas Associated Press Broadcasters contest.  WBAP won first place for “Spot News by a Station” for its coverage of the July 7, 2016 Dallas police ambush. For the third consecutive year, KLIF’s Dave Williams and Amy Chodroff (pictured at right) grabbed first place for “News Anchor/Anchor Team.”  WBAP’s Brian Estridge took home first place for “Sports Play-by-Play.”  Cumulus Media RVP for Dallas/Houston Dan Bennett states, “We are all extremely proud of our news team, news director Freda Ross and program director Kevin Graham.  These awards speak to them and the talent in our newsroom.  The awards honor a team that brings their news ‘A-game’ every day.”

Jones Receives RTDNF Award. At Tuesday evening’s 2017 Radio Television Digital News Foundation First Amendment Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C., ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones (right) received the First Amendment Service Award.  He’s pictured above with ABC News’ Robin Sproul (left).

Trump Travel Order Blocked, Fed Hikes Interest Rates, Trump Budget Cuts, Wiretapping Accusations, North Korea Threats/Tillerson Asia Trip, GOP Health Care Plan, Trump’s Tax Returns, Dutch Elections, Snoop Dogg Video, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/15). A judge blocks the Trump Administration’s second attempt at a travel ban; Fed Chair Janet Yellen announces raising of key interest rate hike for overnight lending of a quarter point; the Trump Administration’s budget proposal that seeks to make drastic cuts to a number of federal departments; the accusation by President Donald Trump that President Barack Obama ordered Trump Tower to be wiretapped during the 2016 election; North Korea’s nuclear missile program and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Asia; the Trump Administration’s and the GOP’s plans to replace ObamaCare with their own health care plan; far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders comes up short in Wednesday’s Netherlands elections; controversy over the latest Snoop Dogg video in which he shoots a clown dressed as President Trump; and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Country radio personality and programmer Bryan “B-Dub” Washington is the new program director and afternoon drive host at iHeartMedia’s KBEB, Sacramento “92.5 The Bull.”  He was most recently with CBS RADIO’s KMLE, Phoenix as music director and PM drive host.  iHeartMedia Sacramento SVP of programming Curtiss Johnson says, “B-Dub thinks big.  He’s a fun and entertaining personality.  B-Dub is a destination, lean forward and pay attention type of air-talent.  I have no doubt he will put ‘92.5 The Bull’ front-and-center in the minds of Sacramento country fans.”  Washington also hosts the weekend syndicated country show “Buckwild Saturday Night.”…..Geoff “G-Off” Owens is promoted to program director for iHeartMedia’s hip hop KXJM, Portland “JAM’N 107.5” and KUBE, Seattle/Tacoma.  Owens has been serving as afternoon drive personality at both stations…..iHeartMedia’s Las Vegas hip hop outlet K280DD “REAL 103.9” announces that Roxy Romeo is promoted to APD and music director for the station, adding to her current midday air shift from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  About her new responsibilities, Romeo says, “I am beyond ready to enter the programming world and take on this new role here in Las Vegas.  In the short time ‘REAL’ has been on-air here, it has touched the people and I’m excited to help make an even bigger impact and take it to the next level…..Midwest Communications promotes Ron Allen to format captain for the Duke FM country format.  Allen will continue to program the company’s adult hits WCJK, Nashville “96.3 JACK FM” in addition to his new duties.  He says, “My two great musical passions are adult hits and country.  To be able to continue as brand manager for ‘96.3 JACK FM’ and work with our Duke FM brand as format captain from my hometown of Nashville is the best of both worlds.”…..iHeartMedia’s Bobby Bones show and its listeners joined forces to honor wounded United States Air Force Captain Nathan Nelson (pictured at right with his family), who was paralyzed from the chest down during his third tour in Afghanistan and in need of a home to accommodate his needs.  Bones and his on-air crew worked to donate proceeds from the sale of camouflage #PimpinJoy T-shirts on TheShopForward.com and, in just a few days, sold enough T-shirts to raise $100,000 – doubling the original goal of $50,000.  With the help of Building Homes for Heroes, a new ADA-certified custom home will be built for Nelson and his family.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

| March 1, 2017

Nielsen: News/Talk Grabs Highest Millennial Ratings in Five Years.  Radio ratings giant Nielsen Audio presents some data from the January 2017 PPM survey that indicate the news/talk format (more on that to follow) registered its best numbers in the 18-39 demographic since November of 2012.  Nielsen reports that AQH share in the demo was 4.9% in the January survey.  That beats January 2016’s 4.1%, and as you can see in the accompanying graphic, it’s easily the best in the last seven January surveys.  Nielsen writes, “Much has been said about resetting norms in the political sphere, but Nielsen’s unique insight into total audience behavior across a variety of platforms allows for more macro trends to emerge.  When it comes to media consumption, and in this particular case, radio listening, 2017 could turn out to be a year where traditional patterns and results don’t repeat in the ways we’ve seen in the past.”  One caveat to consider here is that, for Nielsen, the news/talk format in the PPM markets also includes some 50 public radio NPR affiliates, a factor that likely heightens the number of Millennial listeners who may identify themselves as progressive or liberal.  Read the whole report here.

PPM Analysis: All-News.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at the performances of all-news stations based on data from the January 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  As Kinosian notes, the end of the holiday season (and the accompanying all-Christmas music bonanza for some music formats) and the anticipation of a new presidential administration – and a highly controversial one at that – made for positive ratings results for most of America’s all-news radio stations.  According to Nielsen’s data, three stations ranked #1 in their respective markets (6+) – WBBM-AM, Chicago; WWJ, Detroit; and KFBK, Sacramento.  Additionally, four stations ranked #2 in their markets.  See which stations they were, plus all the rest of the comparative data here.

Talk Radio Can Learn from Trump.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Phil Valentine says, in a piece written for TALKERS magazine, that talk radio can learn some valuable lessons from President Donald Trump.  No, it’s not a lesson in politics, but a lesson in entertainment value.  Valentine writes, “I will admit that I was never a big fan of Donald Trump dating back to the ‘80s.  Like many, I found him cocky and obnoxious.  After he announced his candidacy, I quickly realized he had mastered the art of entertainment.  And, let’s face it, as much as we’d like to elevate our format to something more noble, we’re in the entertainment business.  That doesn’t mean we can’t produce meaningful, insightful, and provocative shows, but if it’s not entertaining we’re simply talking to ourselves.”  Read Valentine’s entire piece here.

Drew Olson to Host Midday Show on WOKY, Milwaukee.  Brew City sports media figure Drew Olson is taking over the midday show at iHeartMedia’s sports talk WOKY “The Big 920,” effective today (3/1).  Olson – a former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sports reporter and former president of the Baseball Writers Association of America – has been with WOKY since August of last year, serving as co-host of the afternoon drive Mike Heller show.  Olson takes over the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show from Mitch Nelles (who transitions to a sales role for the iHM cluster) and will continue to co-host with Heller.  The station says Olson’s show will feature regular guest appearances from OnMilwaukee.com writers and Olson’s longtime friends, including Milwaukee Journal Sentinel baseball writer Tom Haudricourt and Fox Sports Wisconsin commentator Bill Schroeder.  Prior to joining WOKY, Olson spent 12 years with Good Karma’s crosstown sports talker WAUK “ESPN Milwaukee.”

Beasley Media Group Names Kalinowski EVP of Digital.  Named to this new, corporate position for Beasley Media Group is Brian Kalinowski.  The company says that he’ll be based at its Charlotte offices.  Prior to joining Beasley as executive vice president of digital, Kalinowski was leading the digital strategy firm XMark Consulting that he founded in 2015.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “Brian’s track record for growing and developing profitable businesses within the digital landscape make him the ideal person for this new role.  As we expand Beasley’s national reach, a progressive digital strategy will be imperative for our company.  We are confident Brian will lead that charge.”

Fisher to Remain with Entercom – At Least for a While.  Last fall, Entercom announced that company chief financial officer Steve Fisher would be leaving the company when his contract expired on February 28, 2017.  Now, given the amount of work that’s popped up due to the merger with CBS RADIO, Fisher will remain with the company for a while, maybe as long as the end of this year.  The company announces that Fisher will remain CFO through April at a salary of $55,344 per month.  After that he’ll assist CEO David Field with transitional services and be paid $36,111 per month.  He’ll also be eligible for a bonus of up to $650,000 for services rendered this year.

New Cannabis Show Airing on Biz Talk Radio.  Radio pro and health and consumer advocate Frankie Boyer is now hosting “Cannabis Talk A to Z” Fridays at 11:00 am ET on Biz Talk Radio.  Boyer says the program “pioneers the science-driven landscape of the emerging cannabis industry featuring medical, legal and educational professionals, along with practical and published expert research on the health benefits of dietary phytocannabinoids.  In addition, the show includes CEOs, cannabis investors, growers, and more.”  Boyer is also host of her eponymous talk show on Biz Talk Radio Network and host of the “Frankie Boyer Health Show” on WCRN, Worcester, Massachusetts.  She says, “I created this show to address the dramatic growth in the cannabis industry since some form of legalization has taken place in over 40 US states.  As awareness grows, the old stigmas associated with cannabis are fading.  My objective is to completely lift the veil and to inform, entertain and educate.  I see myself as a responsible advocate for both the industry and its new consumers.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Joining CBS Radio News is Bill Rehkopf, who’ll serve as a correspondent based in Washington, DC.  His duties will include anchoring CBS Radio newscasts and special reports, as well as reporting on Washington newsmakers.  Rehkopf was most recently with The Hill.  Prior to that he was a news anchor and political reporter at WNEW-FM in Baltimore/DC and an anchor and talk host at KDKA, Pittsburgh…..Former Chicago Blackhawks player Brent Sopel is joining Tribune’s WGN, Chicago as a hockey analyst and show host.  The station says he’ll appear on the weekend sports show “The Beat,” with hosts Mark Carman, Adam Hoge and Jarrett Payton.  He’ll also contribute to the station’s weekday shows.  WGN VP of programming and content Todd Manley says, “With Brent Sopel joining our sports conversation, we can ramp up for more expanded Blackhawks coverage.  As a mentor to some of today’s biggest stars, Brent brings a depth of knowledge in the past, present, and future of this great game.”…..It appears that Cumulus Media may have taken sports talk KFNZ-AM, Salt Lake City dark.  The station ceased broadcasting yesterday (2/28) and as yet there has been no filing for Special Temporary Authority with the FCC, however the company has 10 days to file such a request.

Trump Congress Address, Future of the Affordable Care Act, Trump Blames Obama for Leaks, Rise in Colorectal Cancers in Young Americans, Uber PR Troubles, Kellyanne Conway WH Photo Flap, Obamas Ink Book Deal, and NBA/NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/28).  The anticipation of and coverage of Tuesday evening’s address to Congress by President Donald Trump; debate over the fate of the Affordable Care Act; Trump blames former President Barack Obama for leaks from government agencies to the press; the report of the stunning rise in colorectal cancers among Americans in their 20s and 30s; Uber’s public relations troubles stemming from allegations of systemic sexual harassment within the company and video of CEO Travis Kalanick arguing with one of his drivers; the flap over an Oval Office photo of Kellyanne Conway sitting with her feet on the couch; the Obama’s sign book deals with Penguin Random House; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

A Podcast Tribute to Alan Colmes. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison produces and hosts a special installment of his weekly PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out,” paying tribute to FOX News radio and TV personality Alan Colmes. Colmes, a multi-talented broadcaster whose half-century career intersected popular culture and impacted broadcast media at several historical junctures, died last week at the age of 66 after battling a brief illness. Harrison opens the 50-minute podcast with a deeply personal eulogy to his friend and colleague whom he met when they were students at Hofstra University and weekend DJs on WGSM, Huntington, Long Island. It is followed by a 2015 segment from the first installment of an experimental show about human consciousness titled “Healed Planet” that Colmes hosted and on which Michael Harrison guested on TalkersRadio – a workshop/lab for professional broadcasters to develop new programming concepts outside the box of traditional talk radio. Although Colmes is famous for his work on Fox as a progressive political media voice, his personal background and interests stretched way beyond that playing field to include comedy, music, philosophy and the farthest boundaries of science. His interest in human consciousness and metaphysics are amply on display (as are Harrison’s) in this fascinatingly candid conversation between two old friends throwing programming restrictions to the wind. That is followed by a dialogue between Harrison and TALKERS managing editor and noted radio historian Mike Kinosian analyzing the unique role Colmes played while at Fox as one of talk media’s rare progressives – a position that put him in the cross-hairs of critics in both the conservative and liberal camps. To listen to this podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Broadcasters Foundation Raises $280,000 at Golden Mike 2017.  At Monday evening’s 2017 Golden Mike Award ceremony at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, $280,000 was raised to help the Broadcasters Foundation of America assist broadcasters in need.  At the event, Meredith Broadcasting Group president and CEO Paul Karpowicz was presented with the Golden Mike Award.  More than 250 radio and television executives attended the black-tie gala.  Pictured above are (from l-r): retired president of Cox Media Group Bill Hoffman (who received the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award), singer-songwriter Andy Grammer (who performed at the event), and Karpowicz.  Photo: Wendy Moger-Bross

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  It was an apparently very close call for the crew of Cumulus Media’s syndicated “America’s Morning Show” as you can see by the remains of the car in which they were traveling at right.  On Monday, personalities Ty Bentli, Kelly Ford, Chuck Wicks and producer Glenn Johnson were driving from an appearance at an affiliate station in Columbus, Mississippi to New Orleans where they were to serve as grand marshals for a Mardi Gras parade when their vehicle hit water during heavy rains, hydroplaned and flipped twice.  Fortunately, it appears all will be well. Bentli, Ford and Johnson were treated and released and Wicks was kept overnight for “additional observation” at the hospital in Hattiesburg, Mississippi…..The on-air lineup at iHeartMedia’s hip hop WJMN, Boston “JAM’N 94.5” sees some changes.  With the departure of longtime night jock Geespin, DJ Pup Dawg takes over the evening show.  Premiere Networks’ “The Breakfast Club” is the morning show, Maverick moves from afternoon drive to middays, and Ashlee jumps from mornings to afternoon drive…..Phil Rossi joins Equity Communications-owned CHR WAYV, Atlantic City to host the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm show.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

| October 19, 2016

Melanie Morgan to Leave KSRO, Santa Rosa.  Bay Area news and talk pro Melanie Morgan tells her listeners that she will be stepping down from her position hosting the “Sonoma County’s Morning News” at morganmelanieAmaturo Sonoma Media Group-owned news/talk simulcast KSRO/K278CD, Santa Rosa, California before the end of the year.  Telling her listeners that she’s basically tiring of the lifestyle of a morning radio personality, i.e. getting up hours before dawn, she wants to spend more time with her husband – KCBS, San Francisco director of news and programming Jack Swanson – and dedicate more time to her Move America Forward group.  Morgan, who co-hosts the program with Larry Olson, has not set a specific date for her exit.

The Presidential Race, Trump’s Rigged Election Claim, the Hillary Clinton Document Dump, Battle with ISIS for Mosul, Ecuador Restricts Assange’s Internet Access, Philippines Anti-U.S. Protest, Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame Nominees, MBL Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/18).  The race for president and the build-up to this evening’s final debate; Donald Trump’s ongoing claim that the election is being rigged; the effects of the Wikileaks document dump on Hillary Clinton’s campaign; the campaign against Islamic State in Iraq to take control of Mosul; the restricted Internet access of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange by the Ecuadoran embassy; anti-U.S. demonstrations in the Philippines as President Rodrigo Duterte courts China for a new military partner; debate over which nominees for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame should be included; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

NPR Reporting Big Ratings Increases in 2016.  From a story posted at NPR.org, the public media organization is announcing that multi-platform journalism efforts have seen across-the-board audience growth this year.  President and CEO Jarl Mohn is quoted saying, “NPR’s increased ratings and digital engagement can benpr attributed to first-rate journalism, riveting storytelling, revamped newsmagazines, live reporting, and better user platforms.  And that means we are all doing a far better job of our public service mission, community engagement and local impact.”  Mohn concedes that the unusual election cycle is certainly part of the reason for the growth but says that NPR stations have outperformed many of their commercial news counterparts, who’ve also experienced growth during the period.  “Commercial news radio, which operates in the same news cycle and is affected by the same events, is up 15% in the morning; NPR is up 26%.  In the afternoons, commercial news radio is up 19% in the top markets; NPR is up 43%.”  NPR says that “All Things Considered” hit an all-time weekly audience high of 13.3 million, and “Morning Edition” is at its second-highest at 13.5 million.

Talk Radio Pioneer Barry Farber Being Honored by Hungarian Government for Role Assisting Refugees of 1956 Revolt.  This Saturday, talk radio pioneer Barry Farber is being honored in Budapest, Hungary for his role in helping Hungarians revolting against Soviet oppression escape from Hungary into Austria.  farberbarryFaber was one of two correspondents for the Greensboro Daily News at the Austro-Hungarian border in October of 1956.  Farber met an old friend from Norway who was part of a team of Norwegians assisting fleeing Hungarians.  Farber volunteered on the spot to work the “Freedom Navy” – an old rubber raft with two oars.  When the refugees, about forty at a time, would gather on the Hungarian side of the border canal the two oarsmen would row across, load the boat with about five refugees at a time.  They would pull the raft over to the Austrian side.  Then the oarsmen would row back and repeat the process. Farber and the others helped about 200 refugees out on Christmas night of 1956.  Hungarian Consul-General Ferenc Kumin reports that the government asked Hungarian communities around the world to look for people who’d taken part in the refugee exodus.  Of all the names on the 60th anniversary, Barry Farber is the one still alive!  Farber, who still hosts a show on CRN Digital Talk Radio, says, “We owe the Hungarians big time.  That heroic freedom fight marked communism’s high-water mark.  Things went steadily downhill from there.”

RAIN Summit Nashville 2016

| September 21, 2016

By Holland Cooke
Media Consultant

 

cookewriterNASHVILLE — The NAB/RAB Radio Show is underway today in Music City, but several hundred of us arrived a day early for Tuesday’s Radio And Internet News event.  Some attendees I spoke with came only for the RAIN conference, a full day agenda on state of the art in Internet-delivered audio.

“Embrace the future!”

RAIN publisher Kurt Hanson’s State of the Industry presentation summarized Edison Research and other data I’ve covered here; and he urged that broadcasters show up everywhere listeners now use to consume audio.  Use is migrating from “single-purpose AM/FM receivers to multi-purpose connected devices.”  1 of every 5 audio minutes are now heard via smartphone.

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

| July 14, 2016

KNBR Staffers Picket at AT&T Park Over Wage Negotiations.  It’s been almost two years since the staffers at Cumulus Media’s sports talker KNBR, San Francisco voted to unionize under SAG-AFTRA, but negotiations between the union and the company are moving slowly.  A number of Cumulus employees picketed outside AT&T Park — home of the MLB’s Giants (whose games are broadcast on KNBR) — on Wednesday to draw attention to their case.  According to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle, theknbrlogo sagaftra logounion is seeking a minimum wage of $17 an hour for off-air staff and $30 an hour for on-air talent.  Cumulus has reportedly countered with the new San Francisco minimum wage of $13 an hour, plus 1%.  Despite Cumulus Media’s enormous corporate debt, KNBR staffers say the station is making plenty of money.  The union commissioned a study that indicates the station brings in the fifth-most revenue of Cumulus’ 453 stations.  SAG-AFTRA San Francisco executive director Len Egert tells the paper that a work stoppage is not out of the question.  The story notes that when sister news/talk station KGO voted to unionize, contract negotiations took four years before a pact was finally signed.  Read the SFGate story here.

NPR and iHeartMedia Strike Deal for Streaming.  This new relationship between iHeartMedia and NPR will allow NPR’s more than 260 member stations to make their live news/talk programming available via iheartradio newiHeartRadio.  iHM says that “in support of the public radio mission, all stations that join iHeartRadio will also have access to 50% of their individual iHeartRadio landing page’snpr digital banner inventory to encourage listeners to donate and directly support the station’s public programming.”  iHeartRadio & iHeartMedia Networks president Darren Davis comments, “The addition of NPR’s member stations helps to create even more signature audio content for iHeartRadio listeners.  By joining forces, it is the perfect way for public radio stations to reach listeners on new platforms and to provide iHeartRadio users with additional high-quality news/talk programming wherever they are.”

Radio Business Reacts to Music Biz Study on Millennial Listening Habits.  The release of the study from Music Biz and LOOP titled “Music & Millennials” is raising the hackles of AM/FM radio operators, some of whom are vigorously challenging the study’s findings.  The study, made available to members of the Music Biz Consumer Insights portal, was conducted by LOOP (which stands for Lots Of Online People) in May and used information from 3,014 U.S. respondents.  It should be noted that the summary made public focuses on 15-19 year olds, so any comparison to the larger group of Millennials – often described as those between 18 and 35 – cited in other studies, is a mismatch from the start.  Regardless, here are some of the study’s findings: AM/FM radio reaches 65% of 15-19 year olds.  That’s much lower than the 93% reach of 18-34 year olds Nielsen says are reached by AM/FM.  The Music Biz study reports that 15-19 year olds only spend 12% of their time with AM/FM radio.  It also concludes that, for the first time, YouTube is the primary source of new music discovery, surpassing AM/FM radio.  That conflicts with other research that traditionally serves the radio industry.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison had the following to say about the topic at this morning’s editorial meeting, “As Bob Dylan wrote and sang, ‘You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.’  This is as much a matter of using your powers of observation, day-to-day experience and gut-based intuition to read the tea leaves on the generational divide impacting both radio and music.  All of these so-called official surveys and research studies are as wrong as they are right. They are like out-of-date GPS systems.  Now is not the time for the radio industry to seek temporary victory through the use of limited statistical surveys and numbers-bending persuasion, but rather to find sustainable truth through accurate, first-hand observation and intelligence.  With all due respect to Nielsen, the worst thing radio can do in 2016 is put its head in the sand of comforting statistics that fly in the face of observation and reality.  We have work to do to remedy a growing and inevitable problem facing this industry.”

The Presidential Race, Police Violence Against Blacks/Dallas Cop Slayings Aftermath, Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, and Pokemon Go Craze Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/13).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; deadly violence against blacks at the hands of police and the aftermath of the slaying of five Dallas police officers last week; ongoing talk about the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for State Department business; and the Pokemon Go game that’s sweeping the nation were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Radio One Announces Plans to Cover RNC and DNC Conventions ‘From the Black Perspective.’  The largest Black-owned and targeted media company is announcing it will cover the Republican and Democratic National Conventions “from the Black perspective.”  Host Roland Martin will broadcast TV One’s “News Oneradioonelogo Now” live from the convention sites each morning at 7:00 ET.   The company also says WKYS, Washington midday personality EZ Street will provide daily live coverage from the convention floor, along with recaps on all of Reach Media’s nationally syndicated morning shows.  Radio One VP of corporate communications Yashima White AziLove states, “There couldn’t be a more critical time in our country for Black media to engage in the political process.  More now than ever the outcry of Black people continues to reverberate throughout this country for equality, justice and reform. Our entire platform will be represented at each convention to ensure our community is informed of each presidential nominee’s plan to address the issues plaguing America, especially those that impact daily Black life. ”

Redskins Great John Riggins to Co-Host Pre-Game Show on ‘ESPN 980’ in Washington.  NFL Hall of Famer and Washington Redskins great John Riggins is joining Red Zebra Broadcasting’s WTEM, Washington wtemlogo“ESPN 980” for the co-host role on the official “Washington Redskins Pregame Show.”  The Super Bowl XVII MVP will work with WTEM’s Kevin Sheehan.  Riggins says, “I solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God, well, most of the time… maybe… I think.  Oh, yeah, El Riggo is back.  And, that means the circus is back in town!”  Riggins will also serve as a contributor to regularly scheduled “ESPN 980” shows.

SiriusXM to Launch Star-Hosted Series Called ‘The Source.’  The four-week show is a co-operative effort between SiriusXM and IMG and it’s described as “a unique new radio program curated and hosted by stars from every genre” that “will give listeners an opportunity to connect with celebrities in a new way as they share theirsiriusxm insights on everything from fashion, art and entertainment to businesses, politics, and pop culture.”  The program is presented by the AARP-created Life Reimagined, “a platform that helps people navigate transitions and pursue their goals in life.”  Celebs involved in the project include: Arianna Huffington, Ricky Williams and Donovan McNabb, Ashley Graham, Jerry Springer, Niecy Nash, Carolyn Murphy, Jenna Elfman, Ashley Judd, and Chanel Iman.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “Bringing new voices to radio has been a hallmark of SiriusXM, and we are excited to work with IMG to bring this eclectic slate of personalities for our listeners.  This new show will draw talent from the fields of music, sports and entertainment and beyond, and give them the opportunity to speak at length and in uncensored fashion about their work, passions, views, and life experiences.”

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

| June 15, 2016

fccnewRepublican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai Condemns ‘Net Neutrality’ Ruling.  Among those in Washington who disagree with the Appeals Court’s 2-1 ruling defining broadband as a common carrier utility service is Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai who states, “I am deeplypaiajit disappointed by the DC Circuit’s 2-1 decision upholding the FCC’s Internet regulations.  For many of the reasons set forth in Judge Williams’ compelling dissent, I continue to believe that these regulations are unlawful, and I hope that the parties challenging them will continue the legal fight.  The FCC’s regulations are unnecessary and counterproductive.  Indeed, as Judge Williams put it: ‘The ultimate irony of the Commission’s unreasoned patchwork is that, refusing to inquire into competitive conditions, it shunts broadband service onto the legal track suited to natural monopolies.  Because that track provides little economic space for new firms seeking market entry or relatively small firms seeking expansion through innovations in business models or in technology, the Commission’s decision has a decent chance of bringing about the conditions under which some (but by no means all) of its actions could be grounded—the prevalence of incurable monopoly.’”

wyay logo newSinger Bo Bice Guest Hosts on WYAY, Atlanta.  Atlanta news/talker WYAY “NewsRadio 106.7” welcomed singer Bo Bice to its airwaves as part of its weekly Casting Call Atlanta program.  Casting Call Atlanta is the Cumulus Media station’s search for the next Atlanta talk star.  As part of the initiative, three listeners with little or no professional radio experience havebicebo participated weekly in the Wednesday Radio Fantasy Camp.  Each given one hour between 9:00 am and 12:00 noon for live, on-air auditions.   Bice was runner-up to Carrie Underwood on the fourth season of “American Idol.”  According to a press release announcing Bice’s appearance on the station, Bice is a self-described talk radio fan and regular listener to “NewsRadio 106.7” when at his home in Lake Jackson, Georgia.  WYAY PD Greg Tantum says, “Bo’s appearance captures the spirit of the Casting Call program in that it encourages all voices in the Atlanta community to participate.  Not just experienced or seasoned personalities.  Casting Call affords the opportunity to discuss relevant issues from all the unique perspectives that make up the fabric of the metro area lifestyle.”

Orlando Host Jim Turner Suspended from WBZW for Anti-Gay Facebook Post.  According to a report in the Orlando Sentinel, afternoon talk host Jim Turner has been suspended from his gig at Salem Media Group’s business talk WBZW after posting comments on Facebook minimizing the deaths of gay victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre.  Turner’s comments criticizing the media’s coverage of “sexual deviancy” have been deleted and his Facebook account closed.  It’s not clear how long he’ll be off the air.  His presence remains on the WBZW website.

wpro logoCumulus Media Ousts Market Manager John Sutherland in Providence Market.  This report comes from GoLocalProv.com and indicates that Providence market manager John Sutherland has been let go from his position with Cumulus Media after just a year on the job.  Sutherland replaced Barbara Haynes, who managed the five-station cluster for the previous 10 years.  The GoLocalProv.com piece references last year’s death of WPRO-AM afternoon host Buddy Cianci and states ratings and revenue are down at the station.  However, the news/talk station has seen its (6+) PPM numbers increase over the last three months, rising from 4.8 share to a 5.4 share.

Orlando Massacre Aftermath, Paris Cop Murder, Gun Control, the Presidential Race, London Sexy Ad Ban, Appeals Court Broadband Ruling, and NBA Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/14).  The investigation into the possible motives of Omar Mateen and the aftermath of his massacre of 49 at the Pulse in Orlando; the live-streamed murder of a Paris police officer and his wife by an Islamic militant; renewed calls for gun control legislation; the activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; London’s Muslim mayor bans “sexy ads” in city’s tube stations; Appeals Court affirms ‘net neutrality’; and the Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

nielsen logoNielsen: Sports Talk Format Seeing Seasonal Surge.  This monthly report from Nielsen Audio based on data from its PPM survey shows sports talk seeing a seasonal, format-wide ratings uptick.  Moreover, the May 2016 PPM numbers show audience share up slightly compared to previous May reports.  Comparing April to May, among persons 6+ the sports talk format jumped from a 4.5% share in April to a 4.9% share in May.  The share among 18-34 audience climbed from 3.2% in April to 3.6% in May, and the sports core demo of adults 25-54 rose a half point to a 5.5% share in May.

wbur logoPubcaster WBUR, Boston Transforms Website for Mobile Users.  The Boston University-owned public radio outlet WBUR – an NPR news station – announces the official unveiling of its “new audio-centric website.”  Station officials say WBUR.org was “built to reinvent online listening with a faster, more streamlined, mobile-friendly approach.”  WBUR executive director for digital Tiffany Campbell adds, “With a majority of our traffic coming from mobile users, and much of it through social, we recognized that listening to live streaming and segmented audio stories on demand was a huge opportunity for our digital strategy.  Our new responsive design transforms WBUR.org into a site that looks great on any device and reimagines how listeners connect with, engage with and share audio.”  Important to the user’s experience is the site’s “persistent play” experience that allows them to listen, read and browse the content simultaneously.  The site was designed by Boston-based firm Upstatement, using React, the open-source JavaScript coding language created by Facebook. The new wbur.org is one of the first news sites fully written in React, which was selected for its advantage with improved loading speeds on mobile devices.

Odds & Sods.  A couple of Salem Radio Network notes to report: First, SRN talk host Larry Elder was amedvedBacons16 featured speaker at the 17th annual Orange County “Flag Day Celebration.”  In addition to his own speech, Elder introduced U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK) who discussed the GOP’s 2016 battle to retake to White House.  Second, SRN personality Michael Medved welcomed actor/musician Kevin Bacon and musician Michael Bacon to his Seattle studios on June 14.  The Bacons are on tour as The Bacon Brothers Band.  They discussed the band’s tour, Kevin’s acting career and “America’s deep political divide over this week’s Orlando massacre vs. the unity we had following the 9/11 attacks.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Kevin Bacon, Medved, and Michael Bacon…..Ahead of the 2016 NFL season, Westwood One inks a multi-year partnership with Loyal Ears Digital to provide “Fantasy Free” to affiliate stations.  The content provider says that the Fantasy Free package allows stations to tap into the heavily engaged fantasy sports audience with free games that are legal and that “bring all the excitement that comes with fantasy gaming.”  The games are integrated into a station’s website, with station and client branding opportunities…..Neuhoff Media CEO Beth Neuhoff is named recipient of the 2016 Vincent T. Wasilewski Broadcaster of the Year honor from the Illinois Broadcasters Association.  The award was presented on June 14 on day one of the IBA’s annual two-day convention.  IBA immediate past chairman Sarah Hautala says, “Since taking the reins of Neuhoff Communications, Beth has shown strong leadership and has expanded her operations here in Illinois.  She continues to support local broadcasting and the interests of broadcasters.”

Analysis: More Hivio Highlights

| June 7, 2016

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

 

kinosianlgLOS ANGELES — The third and final installment of our recap of last week’s Hivio 2016 conference sums up three of the 17 sessions presented Thursday (6/2) and Friday (6/3) on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip, literally steps away from the famous Comedy Store.  Most of the agenda featured one-on-one interviews conducted by event co-organizer Mark Ramsey, who declares, “Contests on radio are pathetic.” The “attraction to listen,” he notes, is “a one in a million chance to win something.” That incentive to listen, Ramsey stresses, “makes no sense” and the San Diego-based media advisor-strategist/research analyst seamlessly utilizes that statement to introduce Omaze co-founder/co-chief executive officer Ryan Cummins, who Ramsey comments has a “different – better – way [that] will change the way you view contesting.”

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Analysis: Hivio 2016 Day 2

| June 6, 2016

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

 

kinosianlgLOS ANGELES — After presenting a full slate of activity Thursday afternoon (6/2), San Diego-based media advisor-strategist/research analyst Mark Ramsey returned the following morning (Friday, 6/3) with another packed schedule as part of Hivio 2016. Kicking things off was a one-on-one discussion with Panoply Media chief content officer Andy Bowers, who has been working on Slate podcasts since 2005. The former, 14-year NPR correspondent joined Slate in April 2003 when it was working on various internet projects. “By magazine standards, we jumped in pretty early,” he recalls. “It proved to be one of the most popular things Slate did.” By 2014, they realized other magazines would most likelybowersandy get into the business as well and Bowers opines, “We could either compete [against them] or we could try to form a network and help teach them what we had learned.” That was the idea behind Panoply, a full-service podcast network that “connects sophisticated listeners with top publishers and thinkers,” which was started approximately 16 months ago. “We are trying to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for media brands, authors, and people we think should be doing a podcast,” Bowers told Ramsey.

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Monday, March 28, 2016

| March 28, 2016

The Presidential Race-Sanders Weekend Victories, Brussels Terror Attack Aftermath, Taliban Terror Attack in Pakistan, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of the candidates for president and Bernie Sanders’ three primary victories in Saturday elections; the aftermath of the Brussels terror attacks; the Taliban orchestrated terror attacks in Pakistan on Sunday; and the weekend’s action in the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

savagemichaelMichael Savage to Host Trump; Threatens End of Support.  Nationally syndicated talk host Michael Savage has been a very vocal supporter of Donald Trump in the latter’s bid to win the GOP presidential nomination – more supportive than most other major talk hosts.  Savage has now made it public that he will drop his support of Trump if the campaign is responsible for a story published by the National Enquirer accusing GOP opponent Senator Ted Cruz of having had extramarital affairs.  Over the weekend, Trump said he or his campaign had not fueled the story and shot back that Cruz’s campaign “started it” – referring to an anti-Trump PAC’s use of a racy image of Melania Trump from her modeling days in an ad.  However, that Trump will be able to prove a negative – that he didn’t have anything to do with the Enquirer story – to Savage is impossible, and it’s unlikely the Enquirer will reveal its source.

wachsdaliahTalk Host Dr. Daliah Wachs to Close Practice; Takes Touro University Position.  Doctor of Family Medicine Daliah Wachs – a nationally syndicated talk host whose show is distributed by Genesis Communications Network – announces she’s closing her private practice and will join Touro University Nevada as director of community outreach and assistant professor.  In a statement, Wachs says, “After 16 years, I’ve made the very difficult decision to stop practicing medicine and to transfer my loving and wonderful patients to a medical organization who can conform and survive our new health care system…I will have the phenomenal opportunity to teach medical and physician assistant students!!  Nurturing baby doctors into full grown doctors has always been my passion as well as partnering with community leaders to make medical awesome happen!”

metaxasfreemanThe Story of God.  Pictured here are Salem Radio Network personality Eric Metaxas (left) and actor Morgan Freeman (right).  Freeman appears on Metaxas’ program in a two-part interview (part one airing today) about his new National Geographic series titled, The Story of God.  The series – which debuts on Sunday, April 3 – investigates mankind’s many different ways of worshipping and the cultural aspects of religion.  Currently, Freeman plays the vice president of the U.S. in the film London Has Fallen.

Odds & Sods.  Joining NPR in the newly created post chief digital officer is Thomas Hjelm.  He moves to NPR after a five-year stint with New York Public Radio where he headed up the digital strategy and operations.  In a press statement from NPR, it notes that Hjelm developed digital products for WNYC and WQXR, the WNYC app as well as content partnerships including the “New Yorker Radio Hour.”…..ABC News journalist Bob Woodruff is this year’s recipient of the NAB Distinguished Service Award, to be presented at this year’s NAB Show in Las Vegas.  The NAB recognizes a member of the broadcast community who’s made “significant and lasting” contributions to the industry with this annual award.  Previous honorees include: Jerry Lewis, Jorge Ramos, Bob Schieffer, Michael J. Fox, Mary Tyler Moore, Ronald Reagan, Edward R. Murrow, Bob Hope, Walter Cronkite and Oprah Winfrey, among others.

Friday, February 26, 2016

| February 26, 2016

AlphaAlpha Media Closes on Digity Purchase. This is no ordinary acquisition as Alpha Media balloons to approximately 250 stations in 50+ markets by closing on in excess of 110 Digity properties. Over and above that, Alpha Media becomes the country’s third-largest broadcast company in terms of number of markets and fourth-largest regarding station count. Alpha Media chair Larry Wilson comments, “We are very pleased to get this remarkable transaction done. In our fold is now an exceptional stable of diversified stations and markets, serving not only their towns but surrounding areas and communities. It has been a tremendous pleasure to work with respected broadcaster [Digity chief executive officer] Dean Goodman and his management team. We look forward to joining forces with the phenomenal people at Digity doing radio the right way.” Goodman remarks, “I have been honored to work with the great broadcasters of Digity. They know their roots are in live and local and their future is dynamic. They will excel with Alpha as individual and collective entrepreneurs. We hand off a thriving company, up this year at the top of the industry. I wish Larry [Wilson] and his team all the best; they have assembled a great platform.” Only two of the 28 Digity markets are PPM-metros – San Jose and West Palm Beach. The other facilities are in Missouri: (Bethany-Cameron, Clinton, Farmington-Festus, Moberly-Macon, and Waynesville-Lebanon); Iowa (Fairfield, Fort Dodge, Grinnell-Newton, and Mason City); Minnesota (Albert Lea-Austin, Luverne, Mankato, and Redwood Falls); South Dakota (Brookings, Madison, and Watertown); Illinois (Aurora and Joliet); Nebraska (Columbus and Lincoln); Michigan (Saginaw-Bay City-Midland); North Carolina (Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville); Ohio (Canton); South Carolina (Myrtle Beach); Texas: (North Dallas-McKinney); and Wisconsin (Kenosha-Waukegan). When this deal was first announced in August 2015, the purchase price was reported to be $264 million.

CBS Radio LogoWFAN and Brooklyn Nets Extend Broadcast Rights Agreement. The multi-year deal between CBS Radio New York sports outlet WFAN “The Fan” and the NBA‘s Brooklyn Nets goes beyond NBA basketball to cover other parts of the business at Barclays Center, including select college basketball games, concerts, and live events. As it has since the 2004 – 2005 season, WFAN will continue as the team’s radioBrooklyn Nets Logo flagship. According to CBS Radio president Andre Fernandez, “CBS Radio is proud to continue our association with the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center. We have defined our position in sports broadcasting by delivering the most extensive coverage of local programming and events. We continue to make aggressive investments in exclusive content our audiences can’t find anywhere else.” Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment chief executive officer Brett Yormark comments, “Our relationship with CBS Radio continues to give us a major voice in the nation’s largest market. This new agreement comes on the heels of our recent extension with YES Network, providing the team with premium exposure on two of the country’s most popular sports outlets.” WFAN news sibling WCBS-AM will be the Nets’ secondary radio outlet. Prior to relocating to Brooklyn, the team was called the New Jersey Nets. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s January 2016 PPM report for New York City, WFAN ranks ninth (3.8, 6+); iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM” leads the field with a 6.7 (6+).

hyde, coreyHyde Heads to Entercom Sacramento as GSM. Fourteen-month Pandora account executive Corey Hyde joins Entercom Sacramento as general sales manager. Vice president and market manager Lance Richard comments, “It is exciting to add Corey to our team. He has an impressive track record of success and Entercom_Communications_logohe brings experience in developing dynamic, integrated campaigns and long term partnerships for local clients. His leadership skills and experience in this market make him the perfect fit for Entercom Sacramento.” Hyde remarks, “I am thrilled to be joining Lance Richard and the team at Entercom Sacramento. Radio is stronger than ever, and we have the best local stations in the market. I look forward to using our wide array of marketing assets to drive real results for our clients.” In his 13-year radio career, Hyde spent nearly 10 years with CBS Radio Sacramento as a senior account executive and three years with iHeartMedia Sacramento as an AE. Entercom Sacramento consists of KCTC “ESPN 1320″; CHR KDND “The End”; alternative KKDO “Radio 94-7”; KRXQ “98 Rock”; classic rock KSEG “The Eagle”; and hot AC KUDL “Star 106.5.”

baldwin, stephenBaldwin Exits Weekend “Baldwin/McCullough LIVE.”  Effective immediately, actor Stephen Baldwin departs “Baldwin/McCullough LIVE.” The two-hour syndicated weekend program carried by approximately 250 affiliates on Kevin McCullough‘s eight-year-old XtreMEDIA and simulcast on BizTV is rebranded “Radio Night LIVE.” As Baldwin’s work schedule increased the past few months, McCullough explains, “The more difficult it has become for him to make the show. For the past eight years, we have enjoyed the liveliest and – on most nights – the funniest weekend radio broadcast in America. Our listeners will mccullough, kevinimmediately feel the impact of Stephen’s absence from the talk radio airwaves. To be realistic, however, because of his filming schedule in 2015, his workload severely prevented him from being with us even one out of two weeks. This is great for him because his passion is acting. Our staff, our sponsors, and listeners will miss Stephen’s unique humor and spunk. His personality is one-of-a-kind and Stephen will always be welcome to a microphone we have named in his honor; we are thrilled though at this chance to take our broadcast to another level. ‘Radio Night LIVE’ will take the signature humor we have developed over the years, add cutting edge ‘next generation’ guests, experts, and entertainers and explode Saturday night in ways previously unseen.” Baldwin comments, “God has been so good to me and all I want to do is to follow where He is leading me. My time doing the show is something I will always remember. Our listeners brought much laughter and insight into my life.” It is possible that McCullough will utilize a series of rotating guest hosts such as KRLA, Los Angeles’ Elisha Krauss; Karol Markowicz of The New York Post; YouToo America‘s Gina Loudon; as well as Ashley Papa and Kayleigh McEnany. McCullough continues hosting his weekday 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm “After Hours” show on Salem Media Group New York’s WNYM “AM 970 The Answer”; the “Kevin McCullough Show” for Salem Media Group; and “News That Makes You Think.”

WGN LogoFour More Years: WGN, Northwestern Extend Rights Agreement. The union between 50,000-watt WGN, Chicago and Northwestern University will keep Wildcats football and men’s basketball on the Tribune talker through the conclusion of the 2019 – 2020 season. In addition, the voice of Wildcats football since 1990 and men’s basketball since 1996 – Dave Eanet – signs a four-year contract. WGN Radio presidentNorthwestern Wildcats and general manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “We are proud to present Northwestern basketball and football anchored by Dave ‘Mr. Cat’ Eanet. We look forward to bringing our listeners the excitement of Chicago’s Big Ten team in the years to come.” According to Northwestern vice president for athletics and recreation Jim Phillips, “The Northwestern Wildcats and WGN Radio have forged a special relationship over the last two decades. WGN not only is a broadcasting force, but a true Chicago institution. We have shared many thrilling moments through the years, and we look forward to many more memories with WGN Radio as the home of Chicago’s Big Ten team.” Eanet was inducted into the WGN Radio Walk of Fame last year. Former Chicago Bear Ted Albrecht is WGN’s football analyst on Wildcat broadcasts, while former college and pro head coach Joey Meyer provides analysis on basketball broadcasts. WGN has been the radio home of the Wildcats since 1996. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s January 2016 PPM report for Chicago, WGN ranks fifth with a 4.2 – its best showing since last June’s 4.3; CBS Radio‘s all-news WBBM-AM is on top with a 6.8 (6+).

walter, maryLouisville Lineup Changes at WHAS, WKRD. Starting next Monday (2/29), former WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” Trenton personality Mary Walter will oversee a weeknight 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm program on iHeartMedia Louisville talker WHAS. Of Walter, director of iHeartMedia Louisville’s AM programming Kelly Carls comments, “She is always prepared; keeps her finger on the pulse of the news; and she does a great job connecting with listeners. We are delighted she will be offering her unique perspectives every day.” A WHAS fill-in beginning in 2009, Walter remarks, “I am so excited to be with the WHAS audience on aWKRD regular basis. I have grown to love the local listeners over the years. They are so engaged and informed that it makes the job fun.” She previously worked at radio stations in Washington, DC; Phoenix; Denver; and Omaha. Meanwhile, at co-owned all-sports WKRD “790 KRD,” Howie Lindsey is named 7:00 am – 10:00 am host; contributors Matt Willinger and Katie George will join him. Another change there will find TheCardinalConnect.Com founder Nick Coffey taking on 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm duty. “We are very excited to expand our local sports coverage on WKRD,” notes Kelly Carls. “Mornings, mid-days and afternoons, we now have local sports fans covered with updates, insights, and compelling conversation about the teams and games that really matter.” Lindsey and Coffey will debut one week from Monday (3/7). Among persons 12+ in Nielsen Audio‘s winter 2016 book, WHAS ranks #1 (7.4) and WKRD is #12 (1.2).

Cumulus Media Dallas Sets Fourth Spring Job Fair. Jobseekers and hiring companies will come together in less than Cumulus Media Dallastwo weeks (3/9) as Cumulus Media Dallas presents its fourth annual Putting Texans Back to Work Spring Job Fair at the Plano Centre. In attendance will be representatives from over 100 companies in search of quality candidates from the Dallas, Collin, and Denton County areas of North Texas. No registration is required for job seekers; however, registration deadline for companies looking for qualified individuals is one week from Monday (3/7). The Cumulus Dallas cluster includes sports KESN “ESPN Radio 103.3”; talk KLIF-AM; CHR KLIF-FM “Hot 93.3”; country KPLX “The Wolf”; KSCS “New Country 96.3”; sports KTCK “The Ticket; and talk WBAP.

BTC LogoBTC Begins HD Radio Data Services in Canada. A partnership between the Broadcaster Traffic Consortium (BTC) and exclusive mapping and technology data partner HERE leads to Canada’s first in-vehicle HD Radio Traffic service. Honda is the first brand to offer the service to its customers on certain 2015 and 2016 models. Broadcaster Traffic Consortium president Paul Brenner comments, “The BTC and all of our member stations are excited to be the first to market for HD Radio data services in Canada. Honda and HERE are valued partners that expect constant innovation and quality services regardless of our borders or radio station ownership. Unified broadcasters, collaborating to deliver a common service, bringing innovation solutions to automakers is better for the strategic and long-term viability of the broadcast radio industry. BTC is proud to be a leader in this space.” HD Radio Traffic enables drivers and passengers to view detailed information on local traffic conditions in real time on their vehicle’s audio display screen. The BTC has stations providing coverage in most areas within greater Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary; the service is expected to expand to additional Canadian markets. Originally founded in 2007 with eight broadcast groups – Beasley Broadcast Group; Bonneville International Corporation; Cox Radio; Emmis Communications; Entercom Communications; Greater Media; NPR; and Radio One – BTC has grown to include 23 broadcast groups in the United States and Canada. It builds a nationwide terrestrial broadcasting network to distribute local traffic and other map-related data via FM and HD Radio technology.

talkersten logoPresidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of February 22-26.  Primary races and activities of presidential candidates were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was Apple’s refusal to hack the phone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists.  At #3 was the battle over the timeline for replacing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, followed by Islamic State’s reported threats against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey 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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

fritts, eddieBFA to Fete Fritts with “Excellence in Broadcasting” Award. Former 23-year National Association of Broadcasters president and chief executive officer Eddie Fritts is named this year’s Broadcasters Foundation of America‘s recipient of the Lowry Mays “Excellence in Broadcasting” award. Underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation, the award is given each year to a broadcaster, “whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.” Fritts’ past recognitionBroadcasters Foundation of America includes “Broadcaster of the Year” awards at both the New York State Broadcasters Association and the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters. In addition, he is the past recipient of the Broadcasters Foundation’s “Golden Mike” and “Chairman’s” awards. Inducted into the Giants of Broadcasting’s Hall of Fame in 2010, he received the NAB’s “Distinguished Service” award one year later. Fritts – who launched The Fritts Group in March 2006 – will be honored with this particular acknowledgement in approximately two months (4/20) during the NAB Show in Las Vegas. The Broadcasters Foundation has distributed millions of dollars to thousands of broadcasters and their families. Individual donations can be made to the Guardian Fund. Corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative; bequests can be arranged through the Legacy Society.

Cumulus 2Cumulus Media Florida Outlets Aid in Tornado Recovery. Personal and household items, as well as monetary donations, are being collected by 14 Cumulus Media stations in Fort Walton Beach-Destin, Mobile, and Pensacola (Florida) for those affected by this week’s tornadoes in Century and Pensacola. Radio station staffers will be at various locations for six hours today (Friday, 2/26), nine hours tomorrow (Saturday, 2/27), and four hours on Sunday. Listeners are being asked to help tornado victims with water, personal hygiene items, household cleaning items, tarps, laundry detergent, diapers, wipes, book bags, crayons, pens, pencils, paper, clothing, and non-perishable food items. Cash donations should be directed to the Gulf Coast recovery effort through the American Red Cross and the United Way.

cbsradio-logoCool Job Opportunities at CBS, Los Angeles.  TALKERS has learned that CBS Radio Los Angeles is now looking to fill the following positions as soon as possible at all-news KNX 1070:  news reporter, writer, and news production assistant. For more details and to apply, please click here: WWW.CBSRADIO.COM/CAREERS.

union edgeOdds & Sods. Pittsburgh-based “The Union Edge” adds suburban Minneapolis talker KTNF “AM 950 The Progressive Voice of Minnesota” as its 27th affiliate. KTNF president Chad Larson comments, “KTNF has been a longtime union advocate, covering labor issues since 2004 in the Twin Cities. We look forward to carrying another program focused on the many accomplishments labor has made for our nation as well as the modern threats facing working families and our ability to collectively bargain in the workplace.”

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

| August 12, 2015

National Radio Hall of FameNational Radio Hall of Fame Voting Starts Today. After a five-year hiatus, listeners again have the opportunity to participate in selecting National Radio Hall of Fame inductees. For the next two weeks (through Wednesday, 8/26), voters can text 36500 with their one vote for the four nominees (each) in the “Music Format On-Air Personality” and “Spoken Word On-Air Personality” categories. National Radio Hall of Fame chair Kraig Kitchin declares, “These eight personalities are beloved by their listeners. Giving the audience an opportunity to participate in the process of acknowledging their favorite hosts for their contributions over the years just makes sense.” Nominees and text info for the “Music Format On-Air Personality” are Delilah (text “DELILAH” to 36500); Elvis Duran (text “ELVIS” to 36500); Steve Harvey (text “STEVE” to 36500); and Ryan Seacrest (text “RYAN” to 36500). Nominees and text info for the “Spoken Word On-Air Personality” are Sean Hannity (text “HANNITY” to 36500); Clark Howard (text “CLARK” to 36500); Jim Rome (text “ROME” to 36500); and Dr. Laura Schlessinger (text “DR. LAURA” to 36500). Listener-chosen winners will be announced at the end of this month (8/31), and we cannot forget that all-important fine print that “message and data rates may apply.” In addition to the two listener-voting categories, four categories are being voted on by a panel of 400 industry professionals. The induction ceremony takes place November 5 at the Museum of Broadcast and Communications in downtown Chicago.

Interactive Advertising BureauIAB Gears Up For Debut Podcast Upfront Showcase. The one-day marketplace for advertisers and media buyers to preview podcast programming will be held next month (9/10) in New York City. Scheduled to present at Interactive Advertising Bureau‘s inaugural podcast upfront showcase include representatives from AdLarge Media, Midroll, NPR, Panoply, Podtrac, and WNYC. Industry Initiatives, IAB vice president Carl Kalapesi explains, “More and more advertisers are incorporating audio programming into their digital marketing strategies. The individual and intimate listening experience enjoyed by podcast listeners provides a unique vehicle for brands to connect with consumers. IAB is excited to bring so many digital audio leaders together to discuss their upcoming programming and the wide array of advertising opportunities available through podcasts.” Invited executives will get to preview content developments from each presenting company in 20-minute segments.

Cassell, RussCassell (Posthumously) Wins SCBA Radio Personality of the Year Award. The “State Television And Radio” (STAR) awards of the South Carolina Broadcasting Association honor “exceptional accomplishments of the state’s stations and their broadcast professionals.” Entercom-owned talk WYRD-FM, Greenville-Spartanburg host Russ Cassell (left), who passed away last year, won the “Radio Personality of the Year” award. Entercom market vice president and generalEntercom Upstate manager Steve Sinicropi declares, “The broadcasting legacy of Russ Cassell lives on; our entire team is grateful for the SCBA recognizing Russ with this important award.” The cluster’s production director Stan Fisher received STAR recognition for best production-multi spot campaign on rock WTPT “93.3 The Planet” for local attorney Rob Ianuario. In the station’s first year in the format, WYRD-AM “ESPN Upstate” sports broadcaster Greg McKinney was recognized with a “Sportscaster of the Year award of merit at the event, which was held in Columbia, South Carolina over the weekend.

McCollim, JasonMcCollim Heads to Colorado Springs as iHeartMedia’s Senior VP/Programming. Transferring from Spokane where he programmed iHeartMedia talker KQNT and KKZX “The Classic Rock Station,” Jason McCollim is appointed senior vice president of programming for the company’s Colorado Springs and Pueblo stations. Senior vice president of programming/regional markets Tony Coles states, “McCollim is one of our rising stars. He has done an incredible job for us iHeartMediain Spokane. His leadership skills and passion for programming will allow him to ramp up quickly and build immediate relationships with the programming and sales teams.” Colorado-Pueblo market president Darci Ewell comments, “Jason’s proven track record in Spokane and his versatile experience will make him an incredible asset to the Colorado Springs-Pueblo cluster. Jason brings a high level of energy and creativity that will greatly benefit our team.” McCollim remarks, “I am very excited about working with the fantastic iHeartMedia team in both Colorado Springs and Pueblo; thanks to Tony Coles and Darci Ewell for the opportunity to work in one of the most beautiful parts of our country.” McCollim spent more than 14 years at KQNT and KKZX; he is vice president of the Inland Empire Bloodhounds Search & Rescue. The Colorado Springs stations he will oversee are rhythmic CHR KIBT “The Beat”; hot AC KVUU “My-99.9”; adult contemporary KKLI “Sunny 106.3”; country KCCY “Y-96.9; and classic rock KDZA “Z-107.9.” The three Pueblo facilities are classic hits KPHT; KCCY “Fox Sports 1350″; and talk KCSJ.

rdio-logoRdio Debuts Live Broadcast Radio. The global music streaming service begins with nearly 500 U.S. stations. Listeners can mark songs they like as a favorite, share the song, start a custom station based on the song or view more music by the artist. Paying subscribers to Rdio’s $3.99 and $9.99 plans can download songs for unlimited listening, add it to a custom playlist, listen to related songs from that artist or recently played songs on that station as often as they want. Rdio chief executive officer Anthony Bay comments, “We are committed to providing Rdio customers around the world with easy access to the audio content they want to hear through innovative features that enhance listening. Broadcast radio brands and talent continue to be the dominant tastemakers in music, so integrating live broadcast radio into Rdio’s critically acclaimed customer experience is an exciting development that we are thrilled to introduce.” Through a September 2013 partnership with Cumulus Media, Rdio has access to Cumulus’ programming and is promoted on Cumulus stations. Cumulus Media chief executive officer Lew Dickey states, “Bringing our national platform of stations to Rdio allows us to instantly create broader access for our listeners and new opportunities for advertisers to reach their target audiences. The combination of our premier broadcast assets with Rdio’s acclaimed user experience and music discovery features creates a full-service listening experience that is unparalleled.” In addition to music, live broadcast programming includes sports content from local stations as well as through Cumulus Media’s Westwood One. Featured stations include Cumulus Media-owned country WNSH, New York; rock KLOS, Los Angeles; triple-A KFOG, San Francisco; urban-rhythmic oldies WRWM, Indianapolis; and country WSM-FM, Nashville. Additional stations will launch later this year.

WOWOWOWO Producing 90-Year Retrospective. The Fort Wayne (Indiana) talk outlet is observing its 90th anniversary and – appropriately enough – is putting together a 90-minute documentary. Station executives are in the process of gathering interviews from former employees for the special, which will cover WOWO’s impact and reach. In addition to audio samples of historic and comical moments, Bob Sievers, Jack Underwood, Jay Gould, and Bob Chase are among those who will be featured. Program director Ryan Wrecker (Wrecker@WOWO.com) is seeking station memorabilia that can be displayed during the ongoing celebration, as well as memories past staffers or listeners would like to share. Those contributing will receive a preview edition of the special, which is scheduled to air on Federated Media-owned WOWO (Thursday) November 19.

KNX 2KNX Schedules Second Annual Blood Drive. In light of the fact that blood donations typically dip during summer months, KNX, Los Angeles is joining the American Red Cross for the CBS Radio all-news outlet’s second annual blood drive. The five-day event at participating Red Cross blood centers starts two weeks from Saturday (8/29) and concludes the following Wednesday (9/2). CBS Radio vice president/Los Angeles market manager Dan Kearney American Red Cross 2comments, “KNX is proud to team up with the Red Cross once again as we expand our blood drive effort. We know summer is a challenging time for people to think about donating blood, and we hope to raise awareness so our listeners will lend their support and help the Red Cross maintain a safe and stable blood supply.” American Red Cross Southern California blood services external communications manager Tony Briggs notes that although many donors stepped up to give following a pressing call issued earlier this month, “The American Red Cross continues to have an urgent need for blood donors of all blood types to give before Labor Day.” Last year’s inaugural two-day KNX blood drive produced 834 pints of blood, which helped 2,502 patients. Greater Los Angeles/Southern California donation locations include Arcadia, Glendale, Santa Monica, Claremont, Downey, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Granada Hills, Los Angeles, Laguna Hills, Long Beach, Pasadena, Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, Santa Ana, Santa Clarita, Thousand Oaks, Torrance, West Covina, Woodland Hills, and Yorba Linda. As an incentive (and while supplies last), blood drive sponsor – The Southern California Gas Company – will give blood donors a KNX emergency preparedness guide; two tickets to Hollywood’s Laugh Factory; a ticket to Madame Tussauds Hollywood; and a sample of Hawaiian Host chocolates.

Maranville, TimMaranville Departs USA Radio Networks. One-year USA Radio Networks chief content officer-director of channel development Tim Maranville exits. He expresses thanks to “everyone at USA for all the hard work, especially show hosts Steve Deace, Kevin Jackson, Steve Noble, Jim Sharpe, Joe Messina, Chris and Emilee, Angie Austin, and Tony Perkins. The future is bright and I hope to have one, maybe two, announcements about my next contribution to the planet by mid-September.” Maranville joined USA after a nearly six-year run as vice president of programming at Westwood One. He previously was vice president and director of operations of the Denver Radio Company; vice president and director of operations of Sun City Communications; director of operations at KFRC, San Francisco; and director of operations of Phoenix stations KMLE, KOOL, and KZON. In addition, he owns/operates Mutations Media and he co-owns The Show Must Go On, an independent syndication consulting and affiliation company.

Donald Trump Continued to be the Second Most Talked About Person on News/Talk Radio Yesterday — a VERY close second to Barack Obama (8/11).  Top topics include the Presidential Race, the Iran Nukes Deal, Immigration Reform and the Chinese Economy.  According to TALKERS research, fallout from last week’s audience record-breaking GOP debate on Fox News Channel continues to dominate conversation on news/talk radio across America and people (and the media) remain fixated on Donald Trump.  Other hot topics include the presidential election in general, Hillary Clinton’s email controversy and the global economic impact of China’s devaluation of its currency.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

| June 4, 2015

charleskenKen Charles to Program All-News KNX, Los Angeles.  Longtime iHeartMedia news and talk programmer Ken Charles joins CBS RADIO as the new program director of the company’s KNX, Los Angeles “1070 Newsradio.”  Charles, who exited his post as iHeartMedia Sacramento’s vice president of programming and national brand manager for news, talk and sports earlier this year, says of his new post,knx logo “I can’t wait to begin working for CBS RADIO, a company committed to local news, and the team of award-winning professionals at KNX, L.A.’s heritage home for local news and traffic.  I’m thankful to Chris Oliviero, Scott Herman, [CBS RADIO Los Angeles SVP/market manager] Dan Kearney, and Kevin Weatherly for giving me this incredible opportunity.”  Kearney adds, “You’d be hard-pressed to find a programmer with as much experience and success in the news format as Ken.  He is one of the most respected managers of news operations in the country and during this seminal, fast-changing period of how people get their news, he is uniquely qualified to build upon KNX’s reputation as Southern California’s news, traffic and information authority.”

steelejimmySteele Surfaces in Salisbury-Ocean City as Senior VP/Programming. One week from Monday (6/15) is Jimmy Steele‘s start date as iHeartMedia Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland’s senior vice president of programming. Regional market president Chris Walus states, “Jimmy has an extraordinary record of success in leading operations, developing formats, and coaching top-tier personalities. This – coupled with his remarkable skill for driving breakthrough revenue growth – set Jimmy apart from the pack. Our team is excited and eager for him to start.” Steele remarks that he is “truly grateful and excited for the opportunity to reunite with iHeartMedia” and is looking forward “to working with Chris Walus, along with senior vice president of programming Jon Zellner and regional programming manager Dave Symonds, in advancing our strong and diverse brands in the Salisbury-Ocean City market.” Not to be confused with Emmis vice president ofiHeartMedia programming/rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106,” Los Angeles program director Jimmy Steal, Jimmy Steele previously was operations manager for iHeartMedia San Diego, and Columbus’ regional vice president of programming. The company’s Salisbury-Ocean City operation consists of urban AC WSBY “Magic 98.9”; WJDY “Newsradio 1470”; CHR WKZP “Kiss 95.9”; adult contemporary WQHQ “Q-105”; WTGM “Fox Sports 960”; and country WWFG “Froggy 99.9.”

wbnslogoColumbus’ Wolfe Family to Sell Print Assets, Retain Broadcast Properties.  The publishers of the Columbus Dispatch (part of the Dispatch Printing Company) are selling the Columbus, Ohio daily along with 24 suburban weeklies and seven magazines to New York-based New Media Investment Group.  The Wolfe family will remain in the broadcasting business with its two television stations – WBNS-TV, Columbus and WTHR-TV, Indianapolis – as well as its RadiOhio subsidiary that operates sports talk radio simulcast WBNS-AM/FM, Columbus.  As reported in The Dispatch, chairman and publisher John Wolfe states, “We are proud of our 110-year legacy of family ownership of The Dispatch, and the newspaper’s heritage of quality journalism and community involvement.  However, the past two decades of accelerating and challenging change in the newspaper industry made it clear to us that maintaining a single-city, family-owned paper in this environment was untenable long-term.”

NPRNPR’s Lesher Succumbs to Stomach Cancer. Staffers received word yesterday (Wednesday, 6/3) that NPR associate editor for news operations Jim Lesher lost his battle against stomach cancer; he was just 46 years old. NPR managing editor Chuck Holmes explains, “Jim’s value to this newsroom was so apparent that I once joked with him that I was going to make up a wanted poster with his photo: ‘Jim Lesher: Most Wanted Man at NPR.'” Executive producer for newscasts Robert Garcia states, “There is an entire news organization full of heavy and broken hearts. If the measure of a man is how much he is loved and appreciated by others, Jim was successful beyond his wildest dreams.” Washington, D.C.-area native Lesher joined NPR as an intern soon after graduating from Catholic University in 1990. His parents; a sister; and two nephews are among his survivors.

Odds & Sods. San Antonio-based talk show host Adam McManus is sitting in for Iowa talk personality Simonmcmanusadam Conway on WMT, Cedar Rapids Monday, June 8 through Wednesday, June 17 from 9:00am to 11:00 am…..Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will make weekly appearances on CBS RADIO’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh “Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan” this season.  Roethlisberger will appear Tuesdays at 11:00 am on the “Cook & Poni Show.”…..KOIL, Omaha held its “Bob Bruce Experience 4 Blue” rally in support of the police in honor of officer Kerrie Orozco, who died in the line of duty on May 20, a day before she was to take maternity leave.  The “Bob Bruce Experience 4 Blue” was a two-week appreciation campaign during which KOIL broadcast free commercials for merchants providing complimentary services to Omaha law enforcement officers on June 3.

madisonrisingstillPatriotic Rock Band Madison Rising forms Non-Profit ‘Shows for Heroes.’  Industry pros attending the Talkers New York 2015 conference on Friday, June 12 will see the new video from the patriotic rock band Madison Rising (pictured here).  The band just announced that is has formed a 501(c)3 chartered organization that will assist in covering the costs associated with having the group perform at military bases, veteran organizations and first responder events.  Madison Rising has an especially strong following among military personnel, veterans and first responders, and is often asked to do performances around the country by organizations that simply cannot afford to cover the costs associated with travel and production.  With the creation of Madison Rising Shows For Heroes, tax-deductible contributions from individual and corporate donors will allow Madison Rising to provide more live performances for the men and women who have given so much of themselves.

ISIS Military Progress, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Sinking Obama Approval Ratings, Baltimore Murder Rate Soars, Obama Trade Deal, Duggar Family Scandal, Police Kill Boston Terror Suspect, Texas Open Carry Challenge, Caitlyn Jenner Story, FIFA Corruption Case, and NBA-NHL Finals Amoong Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/3).  Concern over ISIS’ military success in Iraq and Syria and the U.S. military’s Iraq policy; the potential candidates for president in 2016 and the entrance of Republican George Pataki and Democrat Lincoln Chafee into the races; chatter about the dip in approval ratings for President Obama; the escalating murder rate in Baltimore in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death; the state of the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal; the sexual scandal plaguing the Duggar family, stars of ’19 Kids and Counting’; the police shooting death of a terror suspect in Boston; the challenge of Texas’ open carry law; Bruce Jenner’s gender transition and new Caitlyn identity; the far-reaching effects of the FIFA corruption case; and the finals in both the NBA and the NHL were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

| April 21, 2015

littlelindaLittle Rises to President of Phoenix Market for iHeartMedia.  Assuming the position left briefly vacant by Scott Hopeck after he was promoted to the same post at the New York City cluster is Linda Little.  She moves up from her SVP of sales position with the station group.  Prior to that, she was GSM for adult contemporary KESZ and country KNIX.  She also served as integrated media business development manager.   She comments, “I have had the privilege of building my media career in Phoenix and am very fortunate to have worked for a company that has given me many opportunities to grow while constantly evolving with the industry.” In this position she’ll oversee news/talk KFYI, talk KOY, and sports talk KGME.

schreiberjonathanSchreiber Promoted at Mercury Radio Arts.  Moving up from his head of strategy and special projects position with Glenn Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts to president of the company is Jonathan Schreiber.  In this new post, Schreiber will oversee Mercury’s divisions including digital, radio andmercuryradioarts logo publishing and its continued growth in film, television and “digital content across different genres beyond politics and current events.”  The company says Schreiber will continue to serve as an advisor to TheBlaze, the company’s news, information and entertainment network led by CEO Betsy Morgan.  Schreiber has an 18-year pedigree in the tech, mobile and entertainment businesses.  Beck says, “I personally recruited Jonathan to help take our company to the next level.  Since joining Mercury, he has played an integral role in both the strategy and execution at Mercury Radio Arts and my overall business philosophy and approach.  He is a trusted advisor and this title reflects the leadership position he has and will continue to assume in this new era for both me and our business.

quayledonIndustry Mourns Don Quayle. The first president of National Public Radio (NPR) has died: Don Quayle was 84 years old. NPR’s Susan Stamberg recalls that Quayle gave her her first radio job. “It was the early-1960s and he was head of the Educational Radio Network – the precursor of NPR – a little network of 12 east coast stations that developed a daily drive-time news show. He hired me to help produce it. When this national network arose, he was an obvious choice to run it. Don was principled, decent, and astute. In the euphoric tumult of our first years, he navigated the choppy seas of building a public radio system. He knew NPR had to serve our listeners, above the competing needs of stations, boards, and funders.” The program to which Stamberg alludes, of course, is “All Things Considered,” which Quayle debuted on NPR in 1971. He headed the network – which now has more than 900 member stations – from 1970 to 1973. Prior to that (1960 – 1962), Quayle managed Boston public outlet WGBH. Five years ago, the Logan, Utah native received an honorary doctorate of humane letters for his “significant contributions” to public broadcasting from his alma mater, Utah State University.

theblaze radio networkPremiere and TheBlaze to Present Memorial Day Special.  The annual Memorial Day radio special produced by Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network returns in 2015 with Premiere Networks handling affiliate relations.  The three-hour program – titled “Reflections from a Gratefulpremierenetworks Nation” – features the hosts, writers and editors of TheBlaze and TheBlaze.com, including: Doc Thompson, Skip LaCombe, Buck Sexton, Jay Severin, Chris Salcedo, Mike Broomhead and others.  In addition to special appearances by award-winning actor Gary Sinise, “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak and members of the military, listeners will hear personal stories and conversations about the meaning of the holiday in this special tribute to those who fought and gave their lives to defend America’s freedom.  It’s available to news/talk stations for airing from May 23-25.  Interested stations can phone Premiere at 818-377-5300.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Interviews Boston Herald Editor-in-Chief Joe Sciacca on Weekly Podcast, ‘Up Close and Far Out.’  In a candid and informative interview on the popular weekly podcast “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” Boston Herald editor-in-chief  Joe Sciacca discusses his views on a wide variety of media-related topics that include, among others:  the state of the newspaper industry in a changing media landscape; the impact of the digital era on journalism; and his experience in being involved with his newspaper’s pioneering effort in online news/talk/sports radio broadcasting – Boston Herald Radio.   During the extensive conversation, Sciacca – a 37-year veteran of the newspaper business as a reporter, columnist and editor — tells TALKERS magazine publishersciaccajoe Michael Harrison that the biggest challenge facing journalists in the newspaper business today is “keeping their print product relevant.”  He tells Harrison, “I believe this is the greatest time to be leading a news organization in America even though resources are challenging and newspapers are experiencing difficult times in terms of revenue.  There really is a great window of opportunity to be creative – to reinvent our business.  So when I became editor five years ago after being at the Herald for 32 years, I embraced the challenge because even though I knew the road was going to be difficult to navigate, we have done some incredible things over the last five years and we’ve really transformed what was purely a print organization into a multimedia news organization.”  This transformation, of course, includes the launch of Boston Herald Radio – the newspaper’s online talk station that produces 11 hours of original, live content every weekday from a studio located right next to the newspaper’s newsroom.  It has proven to be a major source of breaking stories, not only for Boston-area news consumers, but for the media across the country and around the world.   Harrison and Sciacca delve into media theory and discuss differences in the psychology between reading stories online as opposed to the printed page.  They also analyze the impact of video cameras inside a radio studio and the differences between what Harrison describes as “great radio or bad television.”  Sciacca discusses the Boston Herald’s commitment to getting the stories right, rather than just being first – a pressure amplified by the competition generated by the 24 hour non-stop, digital news cycle and he recalls how coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing was particularly challenging because of all the false information that was out there in the general news media’s frenzy to stay on top of the breaking story during its early hours and days.  Harrison describes his theories about the emergence of what he calls “stickless” radio broadcasting (meaning radio without the traditional license, transmitter and tower) and the development of the online “media station” in the 21st century.  To hear the entirety of this fascinating conversation between two seasoned, front-line media visionaries, please click here, or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” box in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

clipinteractiveFour More Smartphone Models Can Have FM Chip Activated Via Clip Interactive.  According to Clip Interactive, more consumers can exercise the FM chip listening option as it has expanded the phones that can use its technology to include the HTC One M9, HTC Desire 610, Sharp Aquos Crystal and LG G3.   Clip Interactive says its application technology connects to this chip, allowing the listener to tune into local stations without having to stream, which depletes data allowances and consumes more battery life.  FM chip activation through Clip Interactive mobile apps allows stations to optimize listening options for users.  Clip Interactive chief technology officer Peter Shoebridge says, “Activating the FM chip on more devices benefits the listener as they can reduce data usage and enjoy the real-time broadcast.  The industry can expect more announcements about additional devices in the coming weeks as we continue our mission to provide interactive radio to the masses.”

Odds & Sods.  Appearing in the KFAQ, Tulsa studios this morning is a crew from “Good Morning America” as morning host Pat Campbell interviews attorney Clark Brewster.  Reserve Sheriff Deputy Robert Bates hiredcampbellpat Brewster to represent him in the case of the fatal shooting of Eric Harris that took place during a drug sting.  Bates has been cleared by the FBI of violating Harris’ civil rights but faces a second-degree manslaughter charge for accidently using his pistol instead of a taser on Harris.  Pat Campbell tells TALKERS magazine, “Our station has been ground zero for many exclusives on this story, including the foxsportsradio logoonly sit-down interview with Sheriff Stanley Glanz.  KFAQ news director Tami Marler has been all over this since day one, getting scoops and guests other outlets can’t secure.”…..FOX Sports Radio is presenting “FOX Sports Live 2015 NFL Draftcast” – a multi-platform NFL draft special featuring Jay Glazer, Joel Klatt, Peter Schrager, Mike Garafolo and Don Bell in Chicago.  It will air on the network’s more than 400 affiliates nationwide beginning at 8:00 pm ET on Thursday, April 30…..The last Buckley Broadcasting property – KIDD-AM, Monterey, California – has been sold to Saul Levine’s Mt. Wilson Broadcasters for $50,000.  Buckley took KIDD-AM dark a few months ago and recently tore down its aging tower structure.

ISIS Violence, Iran Nuclear Program Controversy/U.S. Naval Presence in Yemen, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Police Shootings Controversies, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/20).  The reports of ISIS executing Christians; the controversy about negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program and the United States’ naval presence in the waters off Yemen; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the cases of police shooting citizens in Baltimore, Tulsa and elsewhere; and the weekend’s Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Opinion: Getting Back to the Basics

| March 31, 2015

Talk Radio in 2015

By Bill Brady
Futures & Options, Inc.
President/CEO

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.

Read More

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

| March 5, 2015

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

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

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

| November 4, 2014

magliozzibrothersIndustry Mourns Passing of Tom Magliozzi.  One of the two hosts of the long-running NPR program “Car Talk” died yesterday.  Co-host Tom Magliozzi passed away at age 77 after complications from Alzheimer’s disease.  Industry insiders know the popular show has been airing reruns for the past two years after Magliozzi and younger brother Ray elected to stop producing new shows.  The program was in national syndication from NPR for 25 years after beginning as a Boston-only show.  Though the brothers were certainly knowledgeable about all things automotive, it was their infectious personalities and their ability to create hilarious dialogue with callers that made the show so popular.  Read NPR’s piece on Magliozzi and “Car Talk” here.

duckworthpaulPaul Duckworth to Retire from KOMO and KVI in Seattle.  He’s been back at news and talk outlets KOMO and KVI in Seattle for two-and-a-half years, coming out of retirement to program the stations, but now he’s ready to “try my hand at that whole ‘retirement’ thing again.”  Paul Duckworth jokes that his two previous retirements ended in a return to work so why should we believe him now?!  He says he’s enjoyed his time with KOMO, KVI and the staff there but he’s going to try it again.  “No promises, but I think this time it may stick.  I love the business, but it’s time for a break…probably a nice LONG one.  I’m leaving behind an unbelievable group of people here in Seattle.  They’re the best!”  Duckwork’s last day will be Friday (11/7).  No word about his replacement yet.

kinosianmike2014 MLB Baseball Flagship Station Analysis.  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents the fifth of a five-part series of analyses detailing the performances of MLB flagship stations this season – this time including October 2014 PPM data.  Again, the flagships in markets where baseball has traditionally been good to its radio outlet and in markets where the team was performing well continue to benefit from increased listenership.  In this report Kinosian tracks how flagship stations have performed over the past seven PPM surveys, compared to October 2013, how they rank in their respective markets, and how the stations stack up based on MLB divisions.  Check out Mike Kinosian’s analysis here.

westwood one news logoWestwood One News Sets Four Anchors. In place for its debut are four anchors for Westwood One News.  Dirk Van will cover AM drive; Evan Haning will do middays; Molly Paige will anchor PM drive; and Barbara Kusak will cover evenings.  Westwood One executive vice president of news and talk Bart Tessler comments that he is “thrilled” to debut Westwood One News “with some of the industry’s most respected and best-vandirksounding anchors.  Following up on our announcement of award-winning beat reporters, these broadcast journalists will enhance our product and add substantial power to our winning team.”  Van hosts Westwood One’s “First Light” and “The Week in Review.”  He previously anchored newscasts for NBC News Radio; was a reporter for WCBS-AM, New York; and news director of WHN, New paigemollyYork.  Paige joined Westwood One’s Washington, DC news operation two years ago.  She has worked for several Los Angeles stations; was an anchor/writer/producer for NBC News Radio; and frequently substituted for Jim Bohannon on “America in the Morning.”  For nearly a decade, Haning was a reporter/anchor for Washington, DC’s WTOP and has been on-air in the nation’s capital for 30 years.  Most recently, he anchored afternoon drive there for CBS Radio‘s WNEW-FM.  Kusak was a reporter and Sunday talk show interviewer at Greater Media Detroit classic rocker WCSX; an anchor/reporter at CBS Radio Detroit all-news WWJ; a writer at MSNBC; associate producer at Fox News Channel; and a writer/assignment editor at CBS Radio New York all-news WINS, New York. Westwood One News launches at the end of the year.

brownejoypartyDr. Joy Browne Honored by City Harvest for Helping Provide Food for City’s Homeless.  The humanitarian organization City Harvest rescuesbrownebusstopboard food from restaurants and stores and delivers desperately needed meals to shelters and underserved areas in New York. Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar, Dr. Joy Browne of Genesis Communications Network (GCN) has been a high-profile donor for a decade working on numerous occasions at their distribution centers in addition to being the poster girl in their ad campaigns and as a spokesperson.  She was recently honored by the group at a special food demonstration/dinner at the prestigious Institute for Culinary Excellence (ICE) in the Big Apple.  Pictured at left: the philanthropic “party girl” having a good time at the event embraced by Ritz Corporation executive Lehi Dowell and at right, a Harvest City poster featuring Dr. Joy Browne at a NYC bus stop.

podcastone logoRoss Mathews Debuts on PodcastOne.  Television personality and best-selling author Ross Mathews begins producing a weekly podcast program for the PodcastOne platform, starting Thursday, November 6.  The host of E!’s “Live from E!” and the former “Tonight Show” correspondent debuts “Straight Talk with Ross Mathews,” a podcast that showcases “Mathew’s trademark voice and hilarious takes on the latest gossip, entertainment and celebrity news, in addition to featuring visits from his extensive network of celebrity friends.”  PodcastOne president Kit Gray comments, “I’ve been a fan of Ross since his days at ‘The Tonight Show.’ His unique connection with celebrities, combined with his love of pop culture, brings a distinct flavor to entertainment gossip and news that consistently pushes the boundaries, which is perfect for podcasting.”

denenbergadamDenenberg Named Chief Technical Officer for iHeartRadio.  There’s a new chief technology officer at the iHeartRadio Network as Adam Denenberg joins the company in that role.  Denenberg comes to iHeartMedia from the Huffington Post and begins on November 17.  In this role he’ll be responsible for the technology strategy and vision for iHeartRadio, the company’s all-in-one digital radio and streaming music service, including technical direction and research and development of new products; he will also oversee the technology infrastructure across iHeartRadio’s network of websites, including the more than 859 local radio station and talent-specific sites.  Denenberg will also work closely with other divisions within the company to develop new technology initiatives that create dynamic experiences for iHeartRadio listeners, advertisers and partners.

Odds & Sods.  There’s a big remote coming up for WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” as the Greater Media sports talker welcomes Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic of ESPN Radio to town for a live broadcast from XFINITY Live!  The daylong broadcast on Monday, November 10 is free and open to the public.  After the Mike & Mike show, “97.5 The Fanatic” will continue to broadcast from XFINITY Live! Harry Mayes and Brian Westbrook (10:00 am to 12:00 noon), The Jon & Sean Show (12:00 noon to 2:00 pm), and Mike Missanelli (2:00 pm to 6:00 pm)…..Kristina Quintos joins CBS RADIO as its new press representative.  Quintos come to CBS from J. Walter Thompson where she’s been since January 2013.  She was an intern at CBS Entertainment before graduating from New York University with a degree in media, culture and communications…..CBS RADIO’s KNX, Los Angeles presents its next “Ask the Mayor” program where listeners can call in and speak with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tomorrow (11/5).  The program is hosted by KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman.

medvedaward14Michael Medved Honored by Police Union.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Medved is pictured here holding his 2014 Quill & Badge Award from the International Association of Police Unions, AFL-CIO.  Salem Radio Network says that he received the honor in the wake of his on-air defense of Ferguson, Missouri police and several print columns he authored in USA TODAY.

Mid-Term Elections, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Brittany Maynard Suicide Case, Ebola Pandemic Threat, Battle Against ISIS, Navy Seals-bin Laden Slaying Controversy, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/3).  Today’s mid-term elections and the possibility of a Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate; the potential candidates for president in 2016; controversy over the assisted suicide of Brittany Maynard; the ongoing concerns over the Ebola epidemic and the U.S. cases of the virus; the threat ISIS brings to a stable Middle East; the flap over the TV movie detailing the slaying of Osama bin Laden and the violation of the Navy Seals’ code of secrecy and humility; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

| September 16, 2014

iheartmedia logoClear Channel Becomes iHeartMedia.  This is a major name change for a heritage radio company, but, as the press release indicates, it reflects the company’s belief that it’s become a “one-of-a-kind multi-platform media company” that has moved beyond just radio.  Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “iHeartMedia reflects our commitment to being the media company that provides the most entertainment to the most engaged audiences wherever they go, with more content and more events in more places on more devices.  We have massive consumer reach and influence across our platforms because we know how to program the live content people want to hear, see and share right now, we are the largest mobile media company in existence — more than 60 percent of our broadcast usage is out of home, compared to just 30 percent for other mobilepittmanbob devices — and we deliver more live programming than any other media company today, built on the national and local on-air personalities who are the heart of our powerful broadcast radio franchises.  Combined with Clear Channel Outdoor’s reach of over half a billion people worldwide across 30 countries and five continents, it’s clear that no other company can match our reach or broad spectrum of media platforms.”  Clear Channel Outdoor will retain its name.  Pittman adds, “In a world where 2x ROI is judged as successful, Nielsen has shown that radio delivers 6x ROI on average.  It’s because we combine the power and predictably of mass reach with the immediacy and relevance of live programming and the unique and powerful engagement that consumers have with their favorite radio stations and personalities.  The opportunity for the new iHeartMedia is to use all of these industry-leading assets together in new ways — extending our massive reach and cultural influence across radio, outdoor, digital, social and live events to make it easier for advertisers to deliver the most relevant, real-time messages across all our platforms at scale, amplified by social media and mobile, to get a superior ROI to other media.”

harrisonherald2Michael Harrison:  “The Systematic Abandonment of ‘Radio’ by ‘Radio’ is a Disturbing Trend.”   TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison warns of what he terms “a disturbing half-baked trend, that although understandable in the big picture of communications, poses an unnecessarily sped-up threat to the livelihoods of everyone in the radio business – not to mention the fundamental role of audio-media in both the spoken-word and musical arts.”  Harrison acknowledges, “The move away from the word ‘radio’ in the lexicon of our industry is certainly understandable from a sales and marketing standpoint and  it makes total sense to create unified multi-media platforms for today’s mega-consolidated, corporate behemoths to compete effectively in the ‘noisy’ world of the emerging digital era.  However, those who work in the media arts that are fundamentally built upon aural foundations – spoken-word shows and music creation – will face increasingly limited opportunities to present their wares to an interested consumer base as venues and business opportunities evaporate at an exponential rate.”  Harrison observes, “As we move more and more into a world of screens and not speakers, the only talent that will have a chance to survive in a bottom-line driven, corporate environment will be those whose assets are visually gifted.  That does not bode well for the brilliant wordsmiths and musical geniuses who most likely do not have faces for television.  It also does not hold much of a future for the deeper aspect of communication that is aurally based – a means of expression that runs deep within our very humanity, holding a unique and special place within our brains.”  Harrison concludes, “Those of us who are still proud of and value the role of ‘radio,’ audio-oriented music, and the theater of the mind, must give considerable consideration as to what the role, if any, audio-only media will have in this new age.  It can and must be respected and preserved within this inevitable, emerging grid or we face the likely prospect of devolving overnight from making great radio and music to extremely cheesy television.”

wjbc logoTim Lewis Named PD, Afternoon Host at WJBC, Bloomington, Illinois.   Thirty-year radio pro Tim Lewis is the new program director and afternoon personality at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJBC, Bloomington “The Voice of Central Illinois.”  Lewis was most recently with KBLY, Idaho Falls hosting AM drive and serving as program director.  He’s also worked at such heritage signals as KSL, Salt Lake City; KOA, Denver; and WLW, Cincinnati and has received numerous industry awards.  During the 1990s, he hosted a nationally syndicated sports talk show on the One on One Sports Radio Network, eventually clearing more than 250 stations.  Cumulus EVP, programming and content John Dickey states, “Tim Lewis’ long and diverse experience in spoken-word radio make him the perfect choice to lead the remarkable WJBC programming team and guide the station to even greater success.”

ingrahamlauraLaura Ingraham Show Podcast Debuts.  The nationally syndicated Laura Ingraham show is now heard on demand via PodcastOne as the Norm Pattiz-founded and let podcast producer and distributor launches the new program format.  A press statement from PodcastOne notes, “Laura’s phenomenally successful radio program, which airs on over 200 stations, has been a radio staple for a long time but market conditions have now made it very difficult for an independently produced program to get distribution in many of the major markets.”  Pattiz adds, “As undeniably great as Laura’s program is, it doesn’t air on a single Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia) station.  Her ability to make and influence news is a well-known fact.  So as of this week, the Laura Ingraham show can be heard in every market in the country as well as around the globe, on-demand from PodcastOne.  Obviously, Laura’s fans are finding her and significantly expanding her radio audience.”

wodt logoOdds & Sods.  Former Spanish sports talk WODT, New Orleans has flipped to English-language sports as “Fox Sports 1280.”  The iHeartMedia-owned station had been airing ESPN Deportes  content…..The Philadelphia Phillies and CBS RADIO’s WIP and WPHT have signed a one-year deal to keep Phillies play-by-play on the company’s stations through the 2015 season.  Phillies management tells the Philadelphia Business Journal that the one-year pact will allow the sides to hopefully work on a long-term deal before the end of next summer…..espnW and ESPN Radio are collaborating on special program dealing with domestic violence in the NFL and the Ray Rice case.  It’s called “espnW Presents: The State of the NFL” airing on ESPN Radio and ESPNRadio.com at 9:00 pm ET.  The program is being hosted by Jemele Hill and Cari Champion.  espnW voices Jane McManus, Kate Fagan and Sarah Spain, who have been sharing their perspectives on issue, will be featured.

wqamschellenbergerMarc Hochman Show Voice Schnellenberger Honored.  Florida football legend and “voice” of “The Marc Hochman Show w/ Zach Krantz” on WQAM, Miami, Howard Schnellenberger, was honored on Saturday as Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton renamed its football field “Howard Schnellenberger Field.”  Schnellenberger has coached for the Miami Dolphins, Miami Hurricanes, and Florida Atlantic University among many other teams.  Fans of the Hochman show know Schnellenberger voices all its opens, rejoins, and imaging.  Pictured here are (from left to right): Hochman, Schnellenberger, and Krantz.

conclaveThe Conclave Announces Student Scholarships.  Continuing the scholarship program that’s been part of The Conclave’s mission since 1979, the 2014 Conclave Scholarships are announced.  The five scholarships available from educational institutions include: The Bill Gavin Memorial Scholarship which includes application fees, books & supplies and tuition valued at $16,200, awarded by the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Media Arts, Southfield, MI. Competition for this scholarship will begin shortly with details forthcoming; The Dennis Becker Memorial scholarship which is a half tuition scholarship valued at $17,000, awarded by the Sanford Brown College, Mendota Heights, Minneapolis; The Conclave Music Industry Scholarship which is a 25-50% tuition discount valued up to $20,000 awarded by the McNally Smith College of Music, St. Paul, Minnesota; and details regarding The Marc Birger Memorial Scholarship to Kean University and The Doug Lee Memorial Scholarship will be announced soon.  For information about the 39th Conclave visit www.http://theconclave.com.

cbi logoJournalist Training Session Available at Seattle College Broadcasters Conference.  At next month’s CBI National Student Electronic Media Conference in Seattle (October 20-25) KUOW, KPLU, NPR and College Broadcasters Inc. are offering a unique training opportunity.  The student media project is seeking student applicants to their first event.  The week-long session is an opportunity for college and graduate students to learn from professional journalists.  A committee of journalists will select up to six students to pair one-to-one with public media journalists and college multimedia instructors from around the country. Three students will be selected from the Seattle/Tacoma area.  The Student Multimedia Project will emphasize multimedia storytelling focused on character development.  Students who are selected for the project will each find a person to focus on for their story — someone doing something interesting who is willing and available to be interviewed.  Students will produce a radio story about the person and then tell their story differently for the web.  NPR consultant and project manager Doug Mitchell says, “NPR and its member stations support the Project because it allows us to discover and groom a diverse pool of young talent.  The Project gives public media professionals a chance to see if students have what it takes to do the work and lets our industry build a pipeline of new professionals who understand our way of storytelling.”

The NFL and Domestic Violence, Hillary Clinton in Iowa/2016 Presidential Prospects, Obama Forms ISIS Coalition, Mid-Term Elections, Scotland Separation Referendum, and Ebola Pandemic Threat Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/15).  The furor over domestic violence cases in the NFL and the league’s plans to address the situation; Hillary Clinton’s weekend visit to Iowa and the probability she’ll run for president in 2016; President Obama’s formation of a coalition to fight ISIS; the looming mid-term elections; the build-up to Scotland’s Thursday referendum to leave the United Kingdom; and the threat of an Ebola pandemic were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

| July 29, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Videos Being Posted.  Up Today: Panel Discussion, “The State of Talk Radio Programming.” Today (7/29) marks the 11th consecutive business day of TALKERS magazine’s video posting of speeches, sessions and presentations made during last month’s 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2014.  The presentation of these informative and historic recordings is sponsored by WYD Media Sales, LLC., the rep firm recently launched by Ron Hartenbaum and headed by John Murphy, that specializes in the advertising sales of spoken-word media on all popular platforms.   The worldwide showing of these very special videos continues today with a panel discussion titled, “The State of Talk Radio Programming,” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey.  Panelists include: Andy Bloom, OM, WPHT/WIP, Philadelphia; Phil Boyce, VP/spoken word programming, Salem Communications; Bill Hess,programming panel 14 PD, WMAL, Washington, DC; Gabe Hobbs, CEO, Gabe Hobbs Media; and Craig Schwalb, PD, WABC, New York.  The panel focuses on a variety of topics pertinent to today’s talk radio programming strategies with an emphasis on dealing with the common criticism that the format is skewing too old.  Moderator Casey starts it off asking “Is talk radio a kingmaker that wins elections or is talk radio dead?”  He points out that to read the press this format receives, one would get the impression both of these statements are true.  The reasoned answers by all participants are illuminating – drawing upon facts and context as opposed to bias and emotion.  To view this entire presentation, please click here.  Coming tomorrow:  A panel discussion moderated by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian titled, “Developing and Managing a Talk Show Hosting Career.”  Featured speakers include:  Tom Becka, KOIL, Omaha; Ron Hartenbaum, WYD Media; Tom Marr, WCBM, Baltimore; Joe Piscopo, WNYM, New York; and Martha Zoller, WGAU, Athens, GA/Georgia News Network.  The Talkers New York 2014 conference videos were recorded by Art Vuolo.

castnermichaelMichael Castner Moves to AM Drive at KEX, Portland.  Changes in the programming schedule at Clear Channel’s Portland news/talker KEX include the shift of afternoon drive personality Michael Castner to host of the morning drive program alongside the current staff of co-anchor Lacey Evans, news director Brad Ford and traffic reporters Michael Convery and Lynne Masterson.  As a result Paul Linnman leaves the AM show for a commentator role with the station.  Taking over the afternoon drive slot is Houston-based talk personality Michael Berry whose show slides down from evenings to the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot and San Antonio-based Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo is now heard in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm time slot.

ingrahamlauraLaura Ingraham Doesn’t Discount Run for Office.  It’s not exactly a statement of intent, but Courtside Entertainment Group-syndicated talk show host Laura Ingraham tells RealClearPolitics that she’s “keeping an open mind about running for office in the future.”  The comment comes at the end of a piece about her influence on some of the primary races – specifically the assertion that she was instrumental in helping Dave Brat upset Eric Cantor in the Virginia U.S. House primary and her current stumping for Joe Carr as he takes on Lamar Alexander in the Tennessee U.S. Senate primary that takes place on August 7.  Ingraham was in Nashville recently at a campaign event for Carr – a Tea Party-backed candidate who is drawing a line in front of Alexander on the immigration issue.  Read the entire story here.

siriusxmSiriusXM Posts Q2 Revenue Hike of 10%; 380,000 New Self-Pay Subscribers.  After a somewhat down 2014 Q1 report, SiriusXM rebounds with what CEO Jim Meyer is calling an “outstanding” quarter.  SiriusXM’s revenue for the quarter was $1.035 billion – a 10% increase from the same period a year ago.  Net income was $120 million.  Last quarter, SiriusXM reported adding just 267,000 new subscribers but that figure is up dramatically with almost 475,000 new subscribers added – approximately 380,000 of those self-paying subscribers.  Meyer comments, “We set new records for trial conversions to self-pay, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted meyerjimEBITDA margin in the quarter, and we are raising our 2014 guidance for revenue, adjusted EBITDA, and free cash flow.  Our extraordinary operating performance supported the buyback of over 350 million shares in the quarter, or approximately 6% of our outstanding stock.  Perhaps more importantly, we improved our superior content by adding even more channels and shows created with major brands and personalities, such as Joel Osteen, NBC’s TODAY Show, and YouTube, and we expanded the range and depth of our commercial-free music programming with the introduction of three new channels in the categories of country, women’s pop, and dance.  As the leader in audio entertainment, we never rest in searching for new content that our subscribers will love.”

harrisonrobinsonMeeting of the Mentors.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (left) paid a visit Sunday (7/27) to his old friend, radio legend Dick Robinson (right), founder and chairman of the mega-successful Connecticut School of Broadcasting (CSB).  The two veteran radio “mentors” compared notes about the state of the industry and according to both men, it was an uplifting, stimulating discussion that left them “inspired and optimistic” about the future of the business.  CSB – the oldest and largest group of broadcasting schools in America — is a tremendous success story that celebrates its half-century anniversary this year.  The institute that launched thousands of careers was founded by then-renowned Hartford DJ Robinson in 1964 (pictured below at WDRC, Hartford at that time) to help aspiring young broadcasters learn the fundamentals of radio performing and production and has since grown to include 12 East Coast campuses from Boston to Miami.  According to Robinson, “Our success is based largely on the fact that we have grown, evolved and expanded the definition of what we cover as the years and decades went by…and we are still doing exactly that – evolving with the times.  Whereas we started primarily as a school for DJs, we have grown to encompass all aspects of the radio business as well as television including the burgeoning field of sports and all aspects of audio and videocsb logo production.”  Robinson says, “We are a remedy to the high cost and long-term commitment required to attend a standard college or university communications department curriculum – a process that leaves graduates in significant debt and doesn’t necessarily guarantee enhanced prospects of gaining employment in the field.”  Robinson also explains, “We are also a practical alternative to four-year schools for adults in their late 20s, 30s and even older who want to change careers or start a new one in the broadcast business.”  The obvious question arises:  Considering the economic challenges facing radio today with staff cutbacks and the future of AM/FM in question, are there still opportunities for people of any age in the fields of radio and broadcasting?  Robinson’s response:  robinsondick1964“Absolutely!  More than ever!  With radio stations and multi-dimension ‘media station’ operations that include audio, video, graphics, and text elements all on one platform popping up not only on newspaper websites – but the online arms of a wide variety of businesses, demand for people who have what we would consider basic radio and television skills is growing exponentially.  And that’s only half of it – never before in the history of our industry has there been so much opportunity for entrepreneurial broadcasters to make it on their own.  In the old model, a majority of the people aspiring toward a career in radio or television would have to seek employment and get past a gatekeeper to be able to work in the field.  Very few had the resources and connections to go out and buy a radio or TV station.  But today, it is just a matter of ‘knowing what to do’ to be in business for yourself as a media practitioner.  At CSB we are teaching our students how to be entrepreneurs as well as talent, technicians, and marketers.”  Reflecting upon the get-together, Michael Harrison states, “Dick Robinson is one of the most extraordinary men the radio industry has ever produced.  His school has taught countless broadcasters the art and craft of our wonderful business and he is still going strong as a station owner, format innovator and mentor of mentors.  There isn’t a lifetime achievement award big enough for what this guy has done and continues to do.”

adlargelogoAdLarge Media Appoints Green VP/Digital Sales. Former PodcastOne national account director Jay Green is tapped to become AdLarge Media‘s vice president of digital sales and content partnerships.  AdLarge Media co-founder and president Cathy Csukas comments, “We are delighted to bring Jay on board to steer our digital audio and mobile strategy.  Jay’s impressive background and knowledge of digital audio advertising trends, combined with his expertise in operations and management, make him the ideal candidate to help us meet our expansion goals.”  The company’s chief executive officer and co-founder Gary Schonfeld remarks that, “Jay’s keen understanding of the digital audio marketplace will advance our objectives and those of our digital and mobile partners.  He is skilled at developing the kind of customized programs and packages that national advertisers have come to expect from AdLarge Media.”  Green states that he is “passionate about digital audio advertising” and that he is “dedicated to creating first-to-market campaigns for our advertisers.  AdLarge’s reputation for innovation and excellence was a compelling reason for me to become an integral member of their team.  It’s an exciting time to join the company.”  Prior to working at PodCastOne, Green spent 10 years at Dial Global, where he ultimately became vice president of strategic operations. His background includes sales, campaign management, sales planning, research, audience analysis, and market research for various new product launches.

relm networkWashington, DC-Based RELM Network Adds Food Show.  The program – titled, “Foodie and the Beast,” has been airing on Hubbard Radio-owned WFED, Washington “Federal News Radio” for the past six years and now joins the growing lineup of streaming and on-demand content at RELM Network.  The program is hosted by David and Nycci Nellis and is an offshoot of Nycci’s popular DC website “The List” (AreYouOnIt.com,) which has been dubbed by The Washington Post as “one of the premier resources for all things food and wine in DC and beyond.”  Nycci is a gourmet cook and a veteran food journalist in radio, TV and print.  The show is also seasoned with world-renowned guests, including celebrity chefs Wolfgang Puck, Thomas Keller, Michel Richard and Mike Isabella – as well as famous cookbook authors, farmers, marine biologists, oystermen, winemakers, distillers and brewmasters.

nprNPR Debuts New Curated Streaming App.  An interesting new development from NPR is its curated streaming app dubbed NPR One.  A story in TechCrunch identifies the new app – separate from NPR’s existing mobile platform apps – as one that “combines the benefits of both streaming and traditional terrestrial radio” with the new app.  TechCrunch reports that it “uses a combination of streams of NPR’s public news broadcasts, combined with stories that are curated for your specific tastes.  You can get regionally relevant content by letting the device have access to your location settings, and you can also search for podcasts and other content to teach the app about what you want and get it instantly.”  Read the whole TechCrunch story here.

cumulusyoungstownCumulus Media Honors Youngstown Cluster with President’s Cup.  The corporate prize for best sales performance for the second quarter of 2014 at Cumulus Media goes to the company’s Youngstown, Ohio eight-station group as it receives the coveted President’s Cup.  Each quarter, one market is recognized for its overall performance among the company’s 90 radio markets.  The Youngstown staff (pictured here) that operates country WQXK “K105,” CHR WHOT “Hot 101,” news/talk WPIC, news/talk WSOM, classic rock WYFM “Y103,” rock WWIZ “Rock 104,” and sports talk simulcast WBBW-AM/WLLF-FM will share the $10,000 prize.  Vice president and market manager Rick Parrish says, “I am very proud of the success our Youngstown sales team, programming team and support staff have achieved with our eight radio stations that serve northeast Ohio and Pennsylvania.  Our team set the goal to bring the Cumulus President’s Cup to Youngstown, and through hustle and hard work, we did it!”  Cumulus EVP and Co-COO John Pinch adds, “The team in Youngstown has performed at record levels this year and is well deserving of this award.  To win the President’s Cup requires contribution from every person at every level in the cluster.  Congratulations, Cumulus Youngstown!”

wbtwlnk duo logoCool Job Opportunity.  Greater Media Charlotte is seeking talented sales people to work in the Charlotte Market at news/talk WBT-AM/FM and hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link.”  Greater Media is seeking applicants with: quantifiable success in radio/media sales or another industry; the drive, hunger, and ability to see the sales process through from prospecting to the final close; courage to ask for and deliver remarkable programs; a love and passion for winning; integrity and pride in being a full-service rep; new business expertise and a creative mind; a desire to exceed expectations and move up quickly; independent and entrepreneurial performers; excellent verbal and written communication skills.  At Greater Media Charlotte, you will be surrounded by people who love to have fun and work extremely hard.  We offer great benefits and lots of incentives for self-starters, while enjoying the stability of a privately owned media company with two of Charlotte’s best radio stations.  If you think you are ready for the next step in your career and think you have the talent to make it happen, we want you on our team!  Send your resume and a cover letter to: Sandra Szoke, director of sales, Greater Media Charlotte, Inc., WBT/WLNK Radio, One Julian Price Place, Charlotte, NC 28208; sszoke@gmclt.com.  No phone calls please.  Greater Media Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Gaza Violence/New Anti-Semitism, Flight 17 Probe/Russian Influence in Ukraine, Immigration Policy Debate/Child Illegals Influx, Pentagon Afghanistan Waste Report, Ebola Fears, and Ray Rice Suspension Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/28).  The continuing violence in the Gaza Strip and increased incidences of anti-Semitism in Europe; Russia’s influence in the Ukraine and the effort to fully investigate the downing of Flight 17; debate over the immigration policy in the U.S. and the influx of illegal minors entering the country; the recent Pentagon report detailing billions in spending waste in Afghanistan; renewed fears of an Ebola virus outbreak; and outrage over the two-game suspension NFL star Ray Rice received after knocking his wife unconscious in a domestic dispute were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

| July 16, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Videos Being Posted.  Up Today:  Mike Francesa’s Sports Talk Keynote Address.  Today (7/16) marks the second day of TALKERS magazine’s video posting of speeches, sessions and presentations made during last month’s 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2014.  The presentation of these informative and historic recordings is sponsored by WYD Media Sales, LLC., the rep firm recently launched by Ron Hartenbaum and headed by John Murphy, that specializes in the advertising sales of spoken-word media on all popular platforms. The worldwide showing of these very special videos continues today with the event’s powerful sports talk keynote address delivered by WFAN, New York sports talk radio legend, Mike Francesa.  The focus of Francesa’s speech consists of 1) his opinion that the current lack of ratings for online “re-purposed” radio content is damaging radio; 2) the benefits of being live andfrancesaNYC2014 still local; and 3) the burgeoning role of sports in American life.  Francesa states, “I have done the same show at the same time on the same station for 28 years. I never wanted to be syndicated.  I believe in live and local.”  Although respecting the importance of digital and social media, he believes that radio broadcasters place too much emphasis on it to the detriment of their on-air content and performance stating, “I take a limited approach to the new technology…I don’t have a Twitter account.”  Regarding sports, itself, as a subject and field of interest to the media, he advises, “I think we are at the beginning of a sports explosion the likes of which you haven’t seen yet.  If you’re in the communications business, you’d better get on board.  Sports today is what Hollywood was in the 40s and 50s.”  To see the entire session, please click here.  Coming tomorrow (7/17): RAB, CEO/president Erica Farber moderating the panel, “The State of Radio Advertising and Sales” with Ron Furman, CRO, Westwood One; Kraig Kitchin, CEO, Sound Mind, LLC; Joe Puglise, president/market manager, Clear Channel, New York; and Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks.   The TALKERS conference videos were recorded by Art Vuolo.

elswickdaveDave Elswick Show Expands to Searcy, Arkansas Market.  Longtime Little Rock talk radio personality Dave Elswick’s KHTE “96.5 The Voice”-based show will be heard on KSMD, Searcy, Arkansasksmd logo starting July 21 as the show begins efforts to network across the state.  Elswick states, “This is exciting as I will now reach the North Central part of the state.  My goal is to touch all Arkansans and keep them informed about what is happening in their state.”  Additionally, Elswick tells TALKERS magazine he is in the process of launching a 24/7 online TV station as he explores new platforms.

sayreUSSAlbuquerqueKKOB, Albuquerque Personality Rides on Soon-to-Be-Deactivated Sub.  The market’s namesake nuclear sub USS Albuquerque is being de-activated after 30 years of service to the U.S. Navy.  Last week, KKOB, Albuquerque weekend personality Terrie Q. Sayre – pictured here at the periscope of the sub – was able to take a voyage on it.  The sub is based in San Diego and during Sayre’s visit, she went out to sea in it and was able to dive to 600 feet, take sharp angle maneuvers, take part in periscope viewing and more.  Sayre reports they even did a burial at sea involving a three torpedo salute.

cbssportsradiologoCBS Sports Radio Morning Show Gets Online Video Simulcast.  Beginning immediately, the morning drive show hosted by Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney, and Dana Jacobson on the CBS Sports Radio Network – heard from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET – is available in a live, online video simulcast, especially targeting consumers using mobile and tablet devices.  Network director of programming Eric Spitz says, “We are excited to launch yet another way to expose our programming to audiences nationwide.  Tiki, Brandon and Dana prove every day to be dynamic and passionate sports hosts, and providing additional access to the show follows the trend of listeners spending more time with the program.”

fantownhall’99.9 The Fan’ in Raleigh Holds ‘Fan Town Hall.’  Tomorrow morning Capitol Broadcasting-owned sports talk WCMC-FM, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan” is presenting the first-ever “Fan Town Hall” with four of the most influential people in Triangle college sports today at Full Frame Theater in nearby Durham.  Panelists will include: Duke athletic director Dr. Kevin White; North Carolina Central athletic director Dr. Ingrid Wicker-McCree; NC State athletic director Debbie Yow and North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham.  The 90-minute, commercial-free event will be moderated by WCMC-FM afternoon drive host Adam Gold and WRAL-TV sports anchor Jeff Gravley.  Topics to be addressed include the state of college athletics, successes and challenges athletic departments are experiencing and much more.  Station program director and OM Dennis Glasgow states, “This is a historical event that’s never been done before in the Triangle, and to bring together these four remarkable people will be a fascinating 90 minutes inside the looking glass of college sports.  Our Town Hall format will be less traditional in that we’re encouraging conversation among our special guests, and its unique format will allow social media questions throughout the event.”

golloherjessicaGolloher Joins Fox News Radio as Correspondent.  Former freelancer Jessica Golloher – who’s been based in Moscow for the past six years – joins Fox News Radio as a correspondent based in New York. foxnewsradio small In this new role, Golloher will report on breaking news and provide daily live reports while covering stories in the Northeast and across the country.  During her time in Moscow, Golloher provided live coverage of stories, including Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the crisis in Ukraine, and the Winter Olympics in Sochi.  Golloher previously worked at radio stations in Washington, Boston, Tulsa, and Los Angeles.

knx logoOdds & Sods.  All-newser KNX, Los Angeles is tackling the Western drought story as it relates to Southern California on July 31 during a day-long program titled, “Running on Empty: Our Epic Drought.”  The CBS RADIO station says KNX’s news staff, “led by producers Charles Feldman and Laraine Herman, will look at the impact the worsening drought will have on” the population.  KNX will detail what sets the current drought apart from those the state has experienced in the recent past.  Among the questions to be answered are what food products might disappear from shelves and which ones will get costlier, who decides who’ll be able to tap into the eroding water supply and what will the long-term effects be on the local environment and wildlife?  Seven KNX reporters have conducted more than 50 interviews with California Governor Jerry Brown, representatives from the Metropolitan and Orange County Water Districts, climatologists,theridehome logo environmentalists, farmers and others…..Cumulus Media news/talk WABC, New York reports a coup as former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson appeared on “The Ride Home with Pat Kiernan and Rita Cosby” on Wednesday afternoon to “address publicly for the first time” her departure from the paper.  She talked about her reaction to Arthur Sulzberger saying she was let go because of her management style, her feelings about  the current state of journalism and more…..Thirty-two year NPR veteran Margaret Low Smith is leaving the public radio network where she’s been serving as senior vice president/news to become a VP at The Atlantic.  Smith will also be the president of the publication’s AtlanticLIVE Events division…..CRN Digital Talk Radio announced the winners of its 2014 Food & Wine Awards during an appearance at the 33rd Annual Kapalua Wine & Food Festival at the Kapalua Resort in Hawaii.  CRN president & CEO Michael J. Horn and CRN personality “Sommelier of the People” Michael Jordan made the presentations on a special live broadcast of the network’s nationally syndicated “What’s Cookin’ on Wine” show.  Michael Browne of the Kosta Browne Winery and Robert Cabral of Williams Selyem shared the Winemaker of the Year honor.  Dean Fearing of Fearing’s Restaurant in Dallas, Texas was named Chef of the Year.  Zimzala Huntington Beach, California was crowned Restaurant of the Year.  Sommelier of the Year honors went to Troy Smith at Montage in Laguna Beach, California.  CRN listeners selected the winners from a list of nominees.

pragerdeathrowSRN’s Dennis Prager Visits Death Row.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Dennis Prager is pictured here (right) with an unidentified death row inmate at Angola State Prison in Louisiana – the nation’s largest prison.  Prager spent Monday, July 14 at the prison as part of the annual “Returning Hearts Celebration,” organized by the Christian organization Awana.  Among that organization’s projects is work with prison inmates.  Prager has been lecturing to evangelical pastors all over the country about the American Renewal Project.  Prager shared his experiences at the prison with listeners on his programs yesterday and today.  During a meeting with the inmate pictured here, Prager asked the man if he felt sorry for himself.  “No,” he responded.  “But I do regret the things I’ve done.”

geraldosimoneNYC Competitors Get Together at Big Fundraiser.  These two New York City talk radio personalities – Geraldo Rivera from Cumulus Media’s WABC (left) and Mark Simone from Clear Channel’s WOR (right) – usually compete against each other in the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon time slot.  But they are pictured here together as they attend and speak at a fundraiser luncheon for the city’s 100-year-old charity The Police Athletic League of New York City.

Child Immigrant Crisis-Immigration Policy Reform, Eric Holder Racism Comments, Middle East Turmoil, Possible Warren 2016 Presidential Run, Hookah Craze, and Western Drought and Summer ‘Polar Vortex’ Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/15).  The ongoing child immigration crisis in the Southwest and debate over who’s responsible and how to fix it; Attorney General Eric Holder’s comments that criticism of the Obama Administration are race-based; the violence between Israel and Hamas and the ISIS campaign in Iraq and Syria; Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren’s recent travels and speculation she’s gearing up for a ‘stealth’ 2016 presidential bid; chatter about the health issues surrounding the current hookah craze; plus the Western drought and the summer ‘polar vortex’ affecting the Midwest were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

If I Owned a Radio Station Right Now

| June 17, 2014

By Jerry Del Colliano
Inside Music Media
Publisher

delcollianoSCOTTSDALE, AZ — This is a question I get all the time especially because I have devoted my career to generational media.

When 95 million millennials are rejecting radio, music, network television and disrupting everything they can, operating a radio station for profit seems like a bad business.

One thing I can tell you upfront.

I wouldn’t run my station the way the biggest majors run theirs.

Nor would I go brain dead not knowing whether to go or grow.

Read More

Monday, May 12, 2014

| May 12, 2014

wyay logo newIt’s Official: Cumulus Shifts WYAY, Atlanta to News/Talk.  As you can see, the official brand still employs the word “news,” but the all-news format is gone as Cumulus Media’s WYAY, Atlanta becomes “Newsradio 106.7.”  The change comes with the debut of the Michael Graham show in the 8:30 to 12:00 noon slot today (5/12).  The other shows that are part of the station’s talk lineup include Cumulus Media’s John Batchelor show which airs from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am and “Red Eye Radio” in thegrahammichael overnight slot.  Both morning drive and afternoon drive will remain news programs.  The station is the home of Atlanta Braves baseball and partners with WAGA-TV “Fox Five” and The Atlanta Business Chronicle.  Cumulus EVP and co-COO John Dickey says, “‘Newsradio 106.7’ is Atlanta’s best resource for in-depth news and compelling, entertaining talk about the things that matter most in our lives.  Our five-star news team, in partnership with ‘Fox Five,’ tells listeners what’s happening locally, nationally and around the world.  Our fresh talk personalities, including Michael Graham and Kim Peterson, help the audience understand, respond and sometimes even laugh about those events.”

kkzn logoProgressive Talk to Disappear from KKZN, Denver.  The story from Clear Channel’s Denver station group is that the progressive talk format on KKZN is ready to be dumped, although an official announcement has yet to be made and what will take its place is not yet known.  KCNC-TV personality Gloria Neal had hosted the evening show on KKZN until last week when she was let go.  She posted on her Facebook page that the format would change and all current hosts would be gone from the station.

rutkowskikenSecond of Two-Part Special on “Business Rockstars” – Meet Quintessential “Connected” Host, Ken Rutkowski.  The second of our two-part series on “Business Rockstars” centers on the host of this daily, two-hour program who has a somewhat similar style to Charlie Rose and adroitly produces the same meaty results, although the centerpiece guests he gets to “hang out with” each day are “very cool people” who — in the business world — turn nothing into something.  “That is the angle I like,” comments “Business businessrockstars logoRockstars” host/co-founder (with Steve Lehman)/co-owner/president Ken Rutkowski.  “How many people can say that almost every one of the 1,500 people they have talked with in the last two years is ‘amazing’?  We have three or four ‘amazing’ guests on every day.”  Some have entire chapters of their life they have never shared, yet Rutkowski — named in 2009 as an intelligence analyst at the Oprah Winfrey Network — elicits nuggets from them.  “They have tips to help people,” he remarks. “By listening to the show, it is almost like getting a nice degree in business — but in a fun way.”  To read part-two of the TALKERS special feature on “Business Rockstars with Ken Rutkowski” by managing editor Mike Kinosian posted today (5/12), please click here.

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh Salutes U.S. Military with Tractor Giveaway.  With Memorial Day 2014 as the backdrop, Premiere Networks talk star Rush Limbaugh is teaming up with Mahindra USA to give away one Mahindra Max 22 tractor to an active duty or veteran of the U.S. military.  The winner will be selected in a random drawing on May 26.  Mahindra USA is an active supporter of the military and offers the “Mahindra Pride Military Appreciation Program,” recognizing the commitment of members of the armed forces.  The Military Appreciation Program offers an extra $200 rebate for active and retired U.S. military personnel with the purchase of a new Mahindra tractor and qualifying implement.  It also supports Operation Finally Home with its “Build To Rise” program, which provides custom-built, mortgage-free homes to our heroes and their families.  Limbaugh states, “I’d like to thank Mahindra, the world’s number-one-selling tractor, for their generosity.  And God bless all of you who protect our freedom.  We are pleased to join with Mahindra USA in giving away one of their spectacular tractors to a deserving active duty or veteran of our military.”

gallaghermikeCrowd-sourced Film Hits Goal on Mike Gallagher Show.  The drive to raise funds by a group of independent filmmakers to produce a film about controversial Philadelphia abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell hits its goal of $2.1 million – three days before their deadlineduring the Mike Gallagher show on Friday, May 9.  Gallagher says,I am so grateful and proud of our listeners who contributed literally tens of thousands of dollars today to help make this important movie a reality.”  Listeners to Gallagher’s program—as well as audiences of fellow Salem Radio Network hosts Bill Bennett, Hugh Hewitt and others—were asked to contribute start-up funds for the projectIf the $2.1 million had not been raised by midnight on May 12, all donations would have been returned to listeners and the film would not have been produced.

merlonilouWEEI-FM, Boston Tweaks Midday Talent.  A change in the midday lineup at Entercom’s sports talk WEEI-FM, Boston as Mike Mutnansky exits the “Mut & Lou” show and will stay with the company in another capacity to be announced later.  Joining Lou Merloni for the new midday show, dubbed “Middays with MFB,” is former NFL tight end Christian Fauria and New England native, 970 ESPN Pittsburgh sportsbenztim personality and Clear Channel Pittsburgh sports director Tim Benz.  The new lineup takes place later this month.  WEEI program director and brand manager Kevin Graham says, “We are thrilled with the new team we have assembled.  This show will be the only sports radio program in New England that offers listeners insight from a former major leaguer and a former NFL player.  When you add in fauriachristianthe sports radio experience of New England native Tim Benz, listeners will hear a brand new sound in the market.”  Fauria played four seasons with the Patriots earning Super Bowl rings at Super Bowl XXXVIII and XXXIX.  More recently Fauria has worked as a college football analyst for CBS, does color commentary for Patriots preseason games locally on WBZ-TV and hosts a pre-and-post-game show during the NFL regular season.  Benz was born in Boston and is a graduate of Syracuse University.  He served as a radio beat reporter for the Pittsburgh Steelers and also worked at stations in Columbus, Salt Lake City and Syracuse.

mohnjarlMohn Moving to NPR as President/CEO.  Current Southern California Public Radio (SCPR) chairman Jarl Mohn is appointed president and chief executive officer of NPR.  When Mohn begins his NPR term in July, he will be succeeding Paul Haaga Jr., who has been acting president/chief executive officer since last year.  NPR board chair/ideastream Cleveland chief operating officer Kit Jensen remarks, “We are delighted to welcome Jarl.  His background as a successful media executive and innovator makes him ideally suited to lead NPR as it continues to expand its reach and play a unique role in public service journalism and cultural programming. Jarl has a deep commitment to the public radio system, love of radio and passion for quality journalism.  He has demonstrated throughout his career a keen ability to identify media and consumer trends.  He has exhibited a strong track record on diversity and fairness.”  According to Mohn, “This is not a job for me – it is a mission.  I love public radio and NPR.  It is a national treasure and it is more important now than ever.  I want to make sure that the NPR staff, the member stations, and the others who make it happen have everything they need to do their best work.”  Mohn was the founding president and chief executive officer of Liberty Digital; president and chief executive officer of E! Entertainment Television (January 1990 – December 1998); executive vice president and general manager of MTV and VH1 (1986 – 1990); and was a WNBC-AM, New York on-air talent in the 1970s.

harrisheidiOdds & Sods.  Las Vegas talk show host Heidi Harris returns to the airwaves in the market hosting a daily, one-hour show on Silver State Broadcasting’s KBET, Las Vegas.  Harris tells TALKERS magazine the show begins this evening (5/12) at 6:00 pm…..At Kirkman Broadcasting’s news/talk WQSC, Charleston, South Carolina, the Bryan Crabtree show expands, adding the 7:00 am hour.  As of June 2, Crabtree’s program will air from 7:00 am to 10:00 am.  He says, “I have spent the past 15 years informing listeners how to solve our communities’ problems and find solutions to society’s challenges.  The response has been incredible andcrabtreebryan humbling.  We will continue to grow our audience in Charleston by focusing on the stories that matter to citizens of the Lowcountry of South Carolina.”…..Beginning July 1, Compass Media Networks becomes the exclusive advertising sales agent for the on-demand audio programming of CBS Radio News.  The programming includes audio podcasts of “60 MINUTES,” “FACE THE NATION,” “Weekend Roundup,” “CBS EVENING NEWS,” “What’s In The News,” “Tech Talk,” “Not Just Another Story” and “Reporters Notebook.”…..CBS RADIO news/talk outlet WCCO-AM, Minneapolis announces an extension in its partnership with the broomheadmikeUniversity of St. Thomas to broadcast Tommie football through the 2016 season.  WCCO-AM’s Dave Lee will continue to provide play-by-play for the Tommies, along with WCCO-AM’s Eric Nelson doing color commentary…..KFYI, Phoenix afternoon host Mike Broomhead partnered with U.S. Senator John McCain to hold a Town Hall meeting on May 9 at which they welcomed Arizona veterans and their families to discuss the Phoenix VA Health Care System and how it has recently affected them.  Case workers from McCain’s staff were on hand to answer questions and to help get veterans the services they need.

katzparadeBonAirKatz Serves as Grand Marshall.  WRVA, Richmond PM drive talk show host Jeff Katz is pictured here with his ride for the Bon Air Victorian Day Parade.  On Saturday, May 10, Katz served as the Grand Marshall for one of the oldest civic parades in Richmond.  Katz tells TALKERS magazine that although the official Grand Marshall’s hat was rather Victorian…the Grand Marshall’s ride, this cool 2014 Mustang convertible, was anything but.

Cool Job Opportunity.  Midwest Communications seeks news directorBelieve it or not there are still rewarding jobs in radio news. WHBL, Sheboygan, Wisconsin is looking for a news director who will be given the freedom to create and the tools to win.  You’ll spend as much time in the field as you do in the newsroom.  Wewhbl logo need someone who is a triple-threat: strong on-air skills, a good reporter, and a good writer.  We set the news standard in our market.  It’s on-air and on our website before it’s in the newspaper.  We do some enterprise reporting.  We do some investigative work.  If you have a passion for news, whether on the radio or online, we want to talk with you.  We offer a competitive salary and a full benefits package.  Send your resume and mp3 to WHBL brand manager Kelly Meyer at: kelly.meyer@mwcradio.com or snail mail to Kelly’s attention at: 2100 Washington Avenue, Sheboygan, WI 53081. No phone calls, please.  Midwest Communications is an Equal Opportunity Employer by choice.  Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

scanlandanRadio News Pro Dan Scanlan Dies.  Radio news pro Dan Scanlan died over the weekend after suffering a heart attack on Saturday morning at his northern Virginia home.  He was 74.  Scanlan’s career included stops at such storied radio news franchises as WINS, New York, AP Radio, Mutual/Westwood One (as both anchor and Senate correspondent), as well as freelance work for CBS Radio and WCBS, New York.  Most recently he was weekend anchor on NBC News Radio.  Earlier in his career he worked at WHYN-AM, Springfield, Massachusetts.

conwaysimonWHO, Des Moines’ Simon Conway Grabs Charity Drive Honors.  In a contest among a number of radio talk show hosts to see who could help raise the most cash for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society sponsored by talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs, WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive personality Simon Conway came in first after raising almost $4,500.  Wachs dubbed her talk host challenge FROST (fundraising radio host).  She says hosts wishing to considered for the next round of FROST, write to her at: doctordaliah@hotmail.com.

Friday, January 24, 2014

| January 24, 2014

kaymichael‘ESPN New York 98.7’ Host Michael Kay to Simulcast on the YES Network.  That’s the afternoon drive slot on the New York cable channel owned by the New York Yankees that’s been home to WFAN, New York’s Mike Francesa for the past 12 years ( a portion of that with former co-host Chris “Mad Dog” Russo).  This was not unexpected as the YES Network announces the multi-year deal that begins on February 3.  This is a good fit for YES as Michael Kay has been the play-by-play man for YES’ New York Yankees telecasts, and the host of the network’s “CenterStageyes logo with Michael Kay” interview show, since the network launched in March 2002.  He also hosts various programming specials on YES.  Network president of production and programming John J. Filippelli says, “Michael Kay is a New York sports institution, having covered the New York sports scene for more than 30 years.  Michael personifies the New York sports scene.  He boasts a constant stream of A-list guests, and gives passionate New York sports fans a platform to exchange their views.  Michael fits in perfectly with our programming lineup.  We also thank Mike Francesa for his 12-year partnership with YES.  Mike – along with Chris Russo when they co-hosted our simulcast for the first six years – played an important role in the launch and growth of YES.  We wish him all the best.”  Kay comments, “I’m really happy Don LaGreca and I are going to be simulcast on YES.  We have a great time doing the ESPN Radio show and that will come through even more with the visual aspect.  While it is still predominantly a radio show, I don’t think you should ignore the camera in the room and we are going to have fun with that.  The national reach of YES is going to allow even more people access.  And the people at YES, where I have worked since the onset, do everything first class so I’m sure the show is going to be presented in a great manner.  I can’t wait.”

nielsen logoNielsen’s ‘Connected Life Report’ Indicates Connected Car Becoming More Important.  The results of a new study by Nielsen dubbed the “Connected Life Report” shows consumers buying new vehicles are increasingly aware of the connected car and for many it is an important feature in buying a new car.  Nielsen says its study reveals “63% of connected car drivers said they looked for built-in features during the car-buying process.  Among those who purchased connected cars, the features drivers said were important included internet-enabled navigation (79%), safety alerts (76%), vehicle diagnostics (74%), and entertainment connectivity such as voice controls for communications and streaming audio (80%).”  When it comes to which connected car features were important to consumers, 42% stated that entertainment connectivity was “very important.”  (Fifty-one percent said emergency connectivity was “very important” and 49% stated internet-enabled navigation was “very important.”)

wherearetheynowEnvision’s ‘Where Are They Now?’ Comes to Madison.  At Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s sports talk WOZN, Madison, Envision Radio Networks’ “Where Are They Now?” with Ahmad Rashad joins the programming.  The company says the daily, 60-second vignette “tracks down all of the big names in sports and gives you their whereabouts since leaving the game.”  With “The Zone 1670 AM” now carrying the program, “Where Are They Now? with Ahmad Rashad” joins over 100 affiliates on the Envision Sports Network.

ricardorickieCBS RADIO’s WIP, Philadelphia to Broadcast ‘Wing Bowl 22’ in Spanish.  In keeping with this year’s theme of “doubles” due to this being the 22nd “Wing Bowl,” the action taking place at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday, January 31 will also be broadcast in Spanish on WIP’s HD3 channel.  WIP host Rickie Ricardo will be the Spanish play-by-play announcer for the world-famous chicken wing eating contest produced by the sports talk station.  Ricardo comments, “It’s an honor for me to be the first Spanish-language voice of this grand event known as ‘Wing Bowl 22!'”  Neither the World Series in baseball nor the postseason action of the NFL has the worldwide impact of the battle between Man vs Chicken Wing.  This will be a monumental moment in my career as well as for the huge Hispanic fan base.  I pledge to add the spice and heat of our culture to each mouthful.”  Ricardo is a radio veteran of 33 years and one of the country’s most high-profile bilingual air personalities.  Ricardo has been the play-by-play announcer for the Philadelphia Phillies Spanish broadcasts for the past seven years.  He is also the Spanish-language voice of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles and programming consultant for cable’s Music Choice Television Networks.

americanpublicmediaPublic Radio Chiefs Support FM Chip Push.  The chief executive officers of both NPR and American Public Media co-authored an opinion piece in the public media trade mag Current.org in which they express support for the move to activate FM chips in smartphones.  NPR acting president and CEO Paul Haaga and American Public Media CEO Jonnpr McTaggart write that because of the public’s need to have access to information during emergencies, the need is critical.  “Because of public radio’s role as a trusted media and information resource and an essential public-safety asset, we hope all stations will join us in calling upon the mobile phone industry to install and activate FM chips in all cellphones and smartphones.”  The two ask public stations to do two things: sign their stations up for NextRadio so listeners already using the app can identify and listen to said stations; and encourage listeners to contact their cell carriers and request they install and activate FM chips in smartphones.  Read the entire piece here.

Chris Christie Scandals Top Talkers TenTM.  The most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of January 20-24 was the Chris Christie scandals.  Coming in at #2 was the scrutiny and criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.  At #3 was New York Governor Andrew Cuomo‘s and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s attacks on conservatives and following at #4 was the Eastern freeze and Western drought tied with global warming.  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.  To view this week’s entire chart, click here.

levinmarkTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Cumulus Media Networks announces the Mark Levin show is added to the schedule at KNTF, Chico, California and the “Red Eye Radio” show joins the programming at KKAT, Salt Lake City and KBHS, Hot Springs, Arkansas…..Radio America’s Peter Schiff show joins the following stations: KFNN, Phoenix; WCKG-AM, Chicago; KLPW, St. Louis; WRSB, Rochester; WBNR, Poughkeepsie; KRAC, Marysville, California; KWBG, Boone, Iowa; and WLNA, Beacon, New York…..The XtreMedia-syndicated Kevin McCullough show is now airing in PM drive at WSHO-AM New Orleans.

wtmj logoCool Job Opportunity.  The Journal Broadcast Group is seeking an executive producer, news/web for news/talk WTMJ Radio/WTMJ.com in Milwaukee.  This full time job requires a bachelor’s degree in journalism, communication, media or related field.  Skills required include: Strong news judgment; ability to work and make vital decisions under pressure; must have sound knowledge of journalistic standards and libel laws; excellent written and verbal communication skills necessary; strong interpersonal, organizational and leadership skills essential; digital/web skills; on-air abilities commensurate with market.  Must have a minimum of 3 years as a reporter/anchor.  Assistant news director, news director or similar background preferred.  Duties will include: lead news staff and day-to-day operations of the news department.  Ensure that news vision, disciplines and standards are effectively implemented and monitored.  Schedule employees to ensure optimum staffing of the 24-hour news operation.  Oversee story assignments.  Report and anchor daily newscasts.  Supervise and participate in severe weather coverage.  Personnel management, maintain budgets and respond to other duties as assigned by the director of programming and news.  Send cover letter, links and resume to: Tom Langmyer, 720 E. Capitol Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53212 or tlangmyer@jrn.com.  Journal Broadcast Group is an equal opportunity employer.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

| December 17, 2013

wpro logoWPRO: John DePetro Not Serving Suspension.  WPRO, Providence program director Craig Schwalb tells TALKERS magazine that the report published at GoLocalProv.com indicating talk show host John DePetro has been suspended until early January is false; DePetro is on vacation.  TALKERS reported thedeptrojohn GoLocalProv.com story earlier today.  DePetro, who has been away from his program since late last week, has been under fire since a local union-led boycott of his station’s advertisers by an organization called “For Our Daughters” ramped up the PR by getting sitting Rhode Island politicians – Governor Lincoln Chafee included – and political operatives to also demand DePetro’s dismissal.  This action stems from words DePetro spoke on the air in September when he referred to some union officers as “parasites, union hags” and “whores,” words for which he has apologized.  In another wrinkle, a new group has popped up called “RI Citizens for Free Speech,” which is supporting DePetro’s right to voice his opinion without being made target of a “smear campaign.”

hannityseanSean Hannity to Air in Washington on Salem’s ‘1260 WRC.’  In the Nation’s Capital, Premiere Networks nationally syndicated superstar Sean Hannity will air on Salem Communications-owned WWRC beginning in the New Year.  Current affiliate WMAL was one of the original affiliates for his inaugural syndication rollout the day before 9/11, but because of Cumulus Media’s split with Hannity, he leaves the station at the end of 2013.  At WWRC, Hannity’s show will wwrc logoair live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Salem Washington VP and operations manager David Ruleman states, “Sean Hannity is a perfect fit on ‘1260 WRC.’  He is poised, informed and intelligent like the rest of the Salem lineup.  In a city where opinion often trumps knowledge and irrational talk reigns, Washington, DC radio listeners have a choice – ‘Intelligent Talk 1260 WRC.’”  Hannity show VP of operations Eric Stanger comments, “We are thrilled to partner with Salem and ‘1260 WRC.’  WWRC is one of the premier news/talk destinations in Washington, DC, and we couldn’t be happier to join their leading lineup of intelligent talkers.”

harrisonmichaelMichael Harrison:  What’s Happening to Progressive Hosts is a Shame and a Waste.  Prompted by the recently announced abandonment of the progressive talk format by WWRL, New York and the all-but-drying-up of the genre across the nation, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison issued the following statement: “What’s happening to progressive hosts is a shame and a waste.  I say this not for any specific political reason – because neither I nor TALKERS magazine is motivated by politics.  Nor do I say it from some self-righteous position of ‘fairness.’  No one knows more than a trade publisher that this is a business and business cannot always be fair.  I say it from the perspective of what’s good for our industry from the standpoints of ratings, business and image and the most productive use of some of our most valuable talent/assets.”  Harrison continues, “It is 2013 and nowhere is it written in stone that the only way to do news/talk radio successfully at this point is to position stationality entirely by political ideology.  Yes, there are clearly more talented stars in this industry who are of a conservative bent for a complex variety of reasons.  However, there is not really enough A-level talent among conservative hosts to build entire stations – in many cases more than one per market – around that one singular position, let alone rest the entire reputation of talk radio upon.  Granted, there doesn’t seem to be enough liberal-leaning hosts available to power entire stations in the progressive direction either.  But talent is talent and there are huge numbers of listeners out there that like political news/talk for its own sake and are willing to listen to someone with whom they disagree – IF that person is talented.”  Harrison concludes, “We as an industry should be saluting – not condemning, mocking and, worst of all, wasting the talents, industriousness and guts of such performers as Ed Schultz, Thom Hartmann, Stephanie Miller, Alan Colmes, Leslie Marshall, Karel, Randi Rhodes, Bill Press and a number of others who through hard work in the face of almost insurmountable obstacles have proven themselves worthy of shots on the big stages of this industry.  Frankly, if I owned a station and my life were on the line, I’d program talents like Sean Hannity and Thom Hartmann back-to-back in a heartbeat.  What harm would happen if every conservative station in America added just one progressive host – either local or national – to their roster?  Would radio come to an end?  I think not.  I think it might be the beginning of a new era in which political news/talk radio breaks out of its own self-inflicted chains and branches out in a wide variety of potentially lucrative directions.”

delcollianojerryJerry Del Colliano:  Keep Your Eye on Generation Y.  They Hold the Key to the Future of Both Music and Talk Radio.  There are over 80 million “Millennials” coming of age, the oldest of whom are already 30-years-old – 12 years older than the youngest 18-49 money demo cherished by advertisers.  Millennials have their own technology just as baby boomers had records, radio and TV.  Except, according to Inside Music Media publisher Jerry Del Colliano, technology has very little to do with the impact that “Generation Y” is making on media and just about everything else.  In an exclusive article posted today (12/17) in sister trade publications RadioInfo and TALKERS, the professorial industry observer and advisor writes, “Sure there is Facebook that they went to college with, and Napster that helped disrupt the record business, iPads, apps, smartphones, Instagram and their latest devilish work – to unbundle cable and make Netflix the new standard for the on-demand content they, well – demand.  Radio consolidated about the time the first Millennials were in grade school and the industry just assumed that young listeners would always be there to like radio.  The music industry that consisted of old white men who were lawyers thought Napster needed to be sued out of existence – and they succeeded.  But the damage was already done.”  To read Jerry Del Colliano’s entire piece, please click here.

andersoncarlClear Channel Gives Added Duties to Premiere EVP Carl Anderson.  In a memo to staff, EVP of national programming Darren Davis announces Premiere Networks EVP of programming Carl Anderson gets additional responsibilities including overseeing programming and operations of the Total Traffic and Weather Network and the 24/7 News with both SVPs Kevin Loftus and Chris Berry now reporting to him.  Anderson will also have more responsibilities for Clear Channel regional markets for which he’ll report to regional markets president of operations Matt Martin.

nprNPR Slated To Receive $17 Million in Grants.  Much of that money is coming from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.  In addition, there are contributions from individual donors such as NPR acting president/chief executive officer Paul Haaga and Heather Haaga; former NPR Foundation vice chair/trustee emeritus William Poorvu and Lia Poorvu; and former NPR board chair/NPR Foundation trustee Howard Stevenson and Fredericka Stevenson.  Each of them is investing in specific elements of NPR’s journalism and innovation strategy. Grant money will fund NPR and member stations WNYC, New York; KPCC, Los Angeles (Pasadena Community College); KQED, San Francisco; WHYY, Philadelphia, WBUR, Boston (Boston University); and Minnesota Public Radio (MPR).  Chief content officer Kinsey Wilson comments, “This support will allow NPR to build transformative platforms that secure the future of public media journalism, and represents a powerful vote of confidence for that vision.  We will be able to dive deep into issues that are at the center of people’s lives, and drive tremendous innovation in how we engage people with those issues.”  Knight Foundation vice president of journalism and media innovation Michael Maness explains, “NPR is responding to the increased demand by audiences for flexibility in consuming content seamlessly across various digital platforms.  The platform will allow listeners to engage in new ways with NPR and its member station partners, making the quality journalism that is so important in a democracy more accessible, especially for a new generation.”  With 34 total bureaus, NPR expects to launch expanded education and global health and development reporting next spring.  It is estimated NPR and its member stations reach a weekly audience of 35 million people.

nabcrystalawardCrystal Radio Award Entry Date Set.  Beginning (Wednesday) January 1, stations may take the first step to be eligible to qualify for an NAB Crystal Radio Award.  That is when they can submit online entries describing their community service for calendar year 2013.  Cutoff date, meanwhile, is (Friday) January 31, with finalists being revealed in late-February.  “Receiving this award is just amazing,” remarks KCVM, Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa program director Teri Lynn, a 2012 Crystal Radio Award honoree. “This is one of the most awesome experiences I’ve had in my entire life.”  Judges with broadcast and community service backgrounds choose 50 Crystal Radio Awards finalists and 10 winners.  Winners will be announced at the NAB Radio luncheon (Tuesday) April 8 during the 2014 NAB Show in Las Vegas.  The Crystal Radio Awards were established in 1987.

markscaroletowersThe Sky’s the Limit for Upper Demo Champion, Carole Marks.  She is one of the longest-running syndicated radio talk show hosts in America, although she purposefully maintains an under-the-radar profile.  Perhaps that’s because she’s too busy traveling the world gathering data about the state of upper-demographic populations domestically and abroad in addition to being a champion in the ongoing battle against ageism.  For more than two decades of continuous broadcasting, Carole Marks has personally brought listeners of her weekend program, “A Touch of Grey,” to some of the most fascinating and exotic places in the world — from the jungles of Africa to the deserts of Asia to the ice sheets of Antarctica to the Outback of Australia to the cultural hotspots of Europe, the Americas and beyond — gathering relevant information for her 50-plus audience.  The nearly 80-year-old dynamo tells TALKERS, “I do what I do to inspire ‘seasoned citizens’ to live their lives to the fullest – physically and intellectually – in addition to using my influence to ‘remind’ Washington not to forget the needs of our senior population.  Broadcasting, traveling and teaching are my passions and I am so lucky to have this radio platform to perform these functions.”  She adds, “Although I deeply wish the advertising agencies and media in general understood the economic power that can be tapped by serving older people – I have been very fortunate as a radio broadcaster to have had the lion’s share of this huge slice of the population pie almost exclusively to myself for all these years via this specialty talk show.”  Carole Marks is pictured here in front of the Petronas Towers, the world famous twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during a just-concluded remote from the Far East.

wabcalum2013WABC, New York Alumni Gathering.  Whom do you recognize in this photo of current and former WABC, New York staffers?  Former Sean Hannity producer Jill Vitale a.k.a “Flirty Flipper” organized the annual WABC alumni holiday bash this year and many former (and some current) employees were able to gather and reminisce.  Some of those who attended included: Phil BoyceLaurie CantilloValerie GellerMitch DolanMitch LebeCurtis SliwaBabita HarianiDavid GoodmanJamie MegargeeAndrew KalbLisa HakimRichard BeyLionelNoam LadenLaura Smith and many others.

Congressional Budget Battle, Judge Rules NSA Program Unconstitutional, ObamaCare Criticism, Pope Francis Responds to Rush Limbaugh, and the ‘War on Christmas’ Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/16).  The budget proposal that’s passed the House and is headed to the Senate; the ruling by a U.S. District Court judge declaring the NSA collecting of phone records unconstitutional; the scrutiny of the Affordable Care Act rollout; Pope Francis’ declaration that he is not a Marxist; and the argument that the left is waging a “war on Christmas” were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Life After Arbitron: Day One

| December 12, 2013

Holland Cooke
Talkers/RadioInfo Contributor
Media Consultant

cookenielsenconference 200BALTIMORE — When you hear Kenny G Christmas music wafting through a Maryland hotel lobby, you must be at the annual Arbitron Client Conference.  But this year, a new “Nielsen Audio” logo welcomed curious attendees.  And in just the first few hours, the logic behind this change became apparent.

The recent TALKERS Los Angeles conference (10/10/13) began with Sean Hannity voicing a concern echoed by other on-air talent: “Radio” content we’re creating is no longer just transmitter-based.  Yet talent is evaluated, and advertising is priced, based upon consumption of transmitter-delivered work.

“You have to have a multi-platform strategy, and you need to tailor your content for each device.”

Nielsen Audio SVP of radio station services Gary Meo was among presenters detailing how consumers and technology and demographics are re-defining our medium, and how his company’s beyond-radio scope is aggregating consumption data beyond Arbitron’s AM/FM focus.  “The smartphone is clearly the device of choice for Millennials.” Another speaker told us that, the night before, in Washington, NPR had sold – yep, sold – 300 tickets to the taping of a podcast.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

| September 16, 2013

merrillchrisKOGO, San Diego Debuts New Lineup; Chip Franklin Exits AM Drive.  After a six-year run at KOGO, San Diego, Chip Franklin exits the station as the programming lineup is tweaked at the Clear Channel news/talker.  Moving into AM drive is former afternoon personality Chris Merrill.  He’s followed by Rush Limbaugh.  At 12:00 noon, LaDona Harvey – who had been partnered with Franklin in AM drive – is on air solo from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm and Bob “Sully”franklinchip Sullivan moves from the early afternoon slot into PM drive.  Franklin came to San Diego after a long and successful run at Hearst’s WBAL, Baltimore.  He tells the San Diego Union Times he has no hard feelings about the change. “I had a great run at KOGO, and they have and continue to treat me in a highly professional manner.  Believe it or not, I have been very lucky.  I still have a lot of great friends there and I sincerely wish them the very best.  The new morning guy, Chris Merrill, is a friend and a tremendous talent.  Don’t underestimate him.”

wnymlogoSalem Communications to Move New York Stations into Current WOR Facilities.  Salem Communications announces it will move its two New York properties – news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and Christian talk WMCA – from their current New Jersey location to Lower Manhattan into what is now the studios of Clear Channel’s news/talk WOR in the Trinity Building next to Trinity Church at 111 wor710Broadway where WOR has been located since 2006.  Since Clear Channel bought WOR from Buckley Broadcasting more than a year ago, plans have been made for WOR to move into CC’s larger New York studios.  Salem VP director of spoken word format and regional VP for New York Phil Boyce says, “Salem has a major commitment to winning in New York and this move will help us take both stations to the next level.  We know for years great radio came out of this building when it housed WOR and now we have the opportunity to continue that tradition with both WMCA and ‘AM 970 The Answer.’  As an added plus, WMCA, known as ‘New York’s Christian Talk,’ will be re-locating next door to historic Trinity Church, founded in 1697,  as the oldest church in New York City.  There is some divine providence going on here,  as WMCA,  which is licensed to the city of New York now moves next door to the oldest church.”  The move is expected to be completed before the end of this year.

pendlchrisCHRIS PENDL: Help Your Best Clients Thrive in Local Searches.  Bonneville Seattle creative director Chris Pendl writes that some of radio’s best advertisers can be the most difficult to find when it comes to mobile-based local searches.  What’s more, there can be a huge difference between how one of your clients rates on a desktop search and where they rate – if at all – on a mobile search.  Pendl notes, “With smartphone ownership now 56% among American adults, searching on smartphones is increasingly becoming a part of the consumer’s journey before making a purchase.  A recent local search study revealed, there’s an 87% increase in local searches via mobile apps.  It is in this mobile space where some of radio’s best advertisers, local and regional businesses, have poor visibility and are often non-existent.”  Pendl offers simple solutions to help your valuable advertisers appear where they should in mobile searches.  Read his column here.

komovoiceofevilKOMO-AM/FM, Seattle Scores Exclusive Interview with ‘Green River Killer.’  This morning, Sinclair Radio’s KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle begins broadcasting an exclusive interview series with serial killer Gary Ridgway, conducted by the station’s Charlie Harger.  Titled, “Voice of Evil,” it begins with a special preview at 7:15 am (PT) on ‘KOMO Newsradio.’  Reports will be broadcast at 7:15 am, 12:15 pm and 5:15 pm all this week and mark the culmination of a near year-long investigation.  The station says “Harger spoke exclusively with Ridgway on six separate occasions in what are the killer’s only media interviews since his incarceration in 2001.  Ridgway was convicted on 49 counts of murder but reveals to KOMO that he committed many more.  In his conversation with Harger, Ridgway shares frightening details of his crimes, tells detectives where to look for additional remains and even explains why he did it.  Is he sorry?  KOMO posed that question to the man serving a life sentence at Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla and his answer stunned the veteran reporter.”  Harger adds, “I think it’s important that people understand just why we’re giving voice to a guy like this.  People deserve answers and the families deserve some kind of closure.”  KOMO-AM/FM program director Paul Duckworth adds, “It’s also about justice.  There are a number of unsolved cases and we’re hopeful that our investigation will prompt the task force to reopen its investigation.”

knx logoKNX, Los Angeles to Present Health Care Town Hall.  CBS Radio all-news KNX, Los Angeles “1070 NEWSRADIO” is presenting an “unprecedented town hall event and day-long series of special reports, titled ‘KNX 1070 Healthcare Uncovered,’ on Thursday, October 3 giving Californians a broad range of information about choosing health insurance under the newly enacted Affordable Care Act.”  The station reports that more than a dozen guest speakers representing various entities involved with healthcare reform, from federal, state and local officials to health professionals and consumer advocates, will appear at the town hall forum at The Autry in Los Angeles from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm.  Guests will include Peter Lee, the executive director of Covered California, the state’s overseer and marketplace for health insurance coverage beginning in January 2014.  Also scheduled to appear are Herb K. Schultz, regional director for the Department of Health and Human Services; Carmen Balber, executive director of Consumer Watchdog; Victor Parker, district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration, Janice Rocco, California’s deputy insurance commissioner; Rocky Delgadillo, CEO of the L.A. County Medical Association, and many others including doctors and consumers of different demographics.  The event will be hosted and moderated by KNX news anchors Diane Thompson, Bob McCormick and Frank Mottek and investigative reporter Charles Feldman who is co-producing the event with Laraine Herman.  Feldman states, “This is the biggest change to our healthcare system since Medicare was rolled out in 1966 and a lot of people are confused.  Because this law is so new, we’re bringing together panelists with knowledge covering a wealth of issues so that whether you’re self-employed, a business owner, the head of household or just entering the workforce, we’ll provide answers to questions you’ve never had to think about before.”

nprHaaga Gets Nod As NPR’s Acting President/CEO.  Two-year NPR board member Paul Haaga, Jr. is named acting president/chief executive officer.  The appointment takes effect at the end of this month for Haaga, who most recently was vice chair of the board and finance committee chair.  He will succeed Gary Knell, who leaves for similar duties at thehaagapaul National Geographic Society.  “Paul has made many valuable contributions to NPR during his tenure on the board,” comments NPR board chair Kit Jensen.  “His intimate knowledge of our organization, his unwavering commitment to the highest quality of journalism and programming, and his financial acumen make him particularly well-suited to lead NPR as we begin our search for a permanent chief executive.”  The retired chair of the board of Capital Research and Management Company, Haaga is the former chair of the Investment Company Institute, and he was a senior attorney for the Securities and Exchange Commission.  “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead one of the world’s leading providers of news, music, and cultural programming on an interim basis,” he remarks.  “I look forward to working with my colleagues on the board and senior leadership team to help this great organization build on its success.”  The former National Public Radio renamed itself NPR in July 2010.

wrso logoStar Over Orlando Retakes Control of WRSO, Orlovista, Florida; Doubles Transmitting Power.  Star Over Orlando operators Carl Como Tutera and his son Carmine announce they have taken back WRSO, Orlovista which operates as a sports talk outlet carrying CBS Sports Radio Network programming.  The Tuteras also announce that they have received FCC approval to increase the daytime power to 20 kw and the night-time power to 1 kw — double the power of its original license.  Earlier in the week, the FCC placed the Carl Como Tutera FM Translator application for Channel 226 in Orlando on a ‘singleton’ list for the operation of an FM on 93.1 with 250 Watts of Power.  The pair built the AM station in 2005 and it began operations in early 2006.  WRSO operates from a studio location in Altamonte Springs and at a tower site in Orlando.  They say CBS Sports will continue to be an affiliate and be heard on both the AM and FM.

sharelljerryJerry Sharell Stable After Being Held Hostage, Stabbed. The Los Angeles radio and music communities remain stunned this morning following news that broke last night involving former five-year (1987 – 1992) Westwood One senior vice president of talent marketing Jerry Sharell, who was reportedly held hostage and attacked in Woodland Hills (San Fernando Valley – Los Angeles).  Sharell was with his girlfriend when her ex-husband was said to have arrived with flowers and a machete at approximately 8:00 am yesterday (Sunday, 9/15).  He apparently held the couple hostage for more than three hours.  “Sometime during that time, [Sharell] had been stabbed repeatedly,” Los Angeles Police Department sergeant Jeff Nuttal told KABC-TV, Los Angeles.  The woman was injured when she tried to halt the attack, but was able to escape and called authorities.  Police say that owing to a history of domestic violence, she had a restraining order against her ex-husband.  Sharell, who hosts “Sundays with Sinatra” on Los Angeles public outlet KKJZ “KJazz” – is in critical, but stable condition at Northridge Medical Center with injuries to his head and neck.  The unidentified attacker turned the weapon on himself; his condition is listed as critical as well but both he and Sharell are expected to survive.  The alleged attacker is in police custody at the hospital.  Sharell was co-executive producer of Ronnie Milsap‘s 2004 Grammy-nominated “Just for a Thrill” album.  He began his career as a Mercury Records promotion rep, before joining Main Line Distributors in 1962.  Sharell held executive positions at Buddah Records and A&M Records.  He has helped the careers of artists such as Herb Alpert, Jackson Browne, Carpenters, Cars, Joe Cocker, Eagles, Curtis Mayfield, Joni Mitchell, Queen, Linda Ronstadt, and Carly Simon.  He is past president of City of Hope, Entertainment Division, and is on the advisory board of MusiCares.  From 2002 – 2010, he was president/CEO for the non-profit Society of Singers.  Sharell’s wife of 48 years, Joanne, recently died after losing her fight against cancer.

boomercarton‘Boomer & Carton’ Off MSG Network as Contract Expires.  Last week TALKERS reported that the Yankees-owned YES Network is in talks with WFAN, New York’s Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton to do a cable TV simulcast of their AM drive show on the CBS Radio sports talk station.  Up until last week, the duo had been seen on the Madison Square Garden Network (MSG), but that deal elapsed on Friday and for now, Boomer & Carton are only available on the radio.

weei logoOdds & Sods.  Entercom’s WEEI, Boston adds ESPN “Monday Night Football” play-by-play voice Mike Tirico to its stable of football experts.  Tirico will call in to the Salk & Holley show every Thursday afternoon at 4:30 throughout the season…..Plain Talk Radio Network’s internet radio show “Talk Live with Peter Gantenbein” – a “weekly news and commentary program that engages in straight talk not for the faint of heart,” has been recognized as must-hear radio with an “Editor’s Pick” recognition from Windows Media Guide…..Good Karma flips WEFL, Tequesta, Florida to Spanish–language sports talk using ESPN Deportes.  The company had been simulcasting English-language sports on WEFL and WUUB-FM, Jupiter and the latter remains English-language sports talk…..CRN Digital Talk Radio‘s popular wine dinners return to Los Angeles on Tuesday, September 17.  Tobin James of Tobin James Winery in Paso Robles pairs a variety of wines with a prixabcdwtsradio fixe menu at Colombo’s Italian Steak and Jazz Club at 1833 Colorado Blvd. in Eagle Rock.  CRN CEO and president Michael Horn says, “People still talk about our Tobin James wine dinner from a few years ago.  Toby brings a world-class selection of wines people enjoy.  He’s also a fun, down-to-earth person that everyone relates to.  Colombo’s provides a great atmosphere and delicious food that will make the night all that more special.”…..Today ABC Radio re-launches its popular “Dancing with the Stars” station on Slacker, providing fans with behind-the-scenes access to the ABC hit reality TV show. Now in its third season, “Dancing with the Stars” Radio will deliver an on-demand audio experience and unlimited access to key moments throughout the competition.  Each week “Dancing with the Stars” Radio will follow the Season 17 cast as they battle it out on the dance floor for the coveted Mirror Ball trophy.  Season 17 of “Dancing with the Stars” premieres on tonight on the ABC Television Network.

newhouse logoNewhouse School Presents Audio Industry Summit.  The half-day event will take place in New York City on Friday, September 27 and will feature two panels of experts from 8:30 am to 12:00 noon at Syracuse University Lubin House, 11 E 61st St.  The event is free and open to the public but seating is limited.  RSVP with your name and professional affiliation to Ed Gorham at ejgorham@syr.edu by Wednesday, September 18.  Newhouse Dean Lorraine Branham states, “Given the seismic shifts in radio and newer audio platforms, much attention is being paid to the medium’s future.  It is crucial that we understand where the industry is headed so we can appropriately prepare our students.  We want to hear from thought leaders in management, programming and other key areas so we can get a better handle on best practices in radio moving forward.”  Industry players attending will include: Jeff Smulyan, founder and CEO of Emmis Communications; Dan Mason, president and CEO of CBS Radio; Buzz Knight, vice president of program development for Greater Media; Chris Oliviero, executive vice president of programming for CBS Radio; Deon Levingston, vice president and general manager at WBLS Radio (New York); Kevin Straley, vice president of programming at TuneIn; and Ed Levine, president and CEO of Galaxy Communications, among others.

Monday, August 19, 2013

| August 19, 2013

mrc logoEight More Arbitron PPM Markets Gain Accreditation by MRC.  The Media Rating Council gives accreditation to eight more Arbitron PPM markets – making the total number of accredited markets 26.  In making the announcement, Arbitron notes that the MRC is not granting accreditation in the remaining 22 markets at this time.  The eight newly accredited markets include: Cleveland, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Denver-Boulder, Detroit, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood, Pittsburgh, Portland OR, and Nassau/Suffolk (Long arbitronIsland).  They join the 18 markets the MRC is voting to continue accreditation: Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Milwaukee-Racine, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Riverside-San Bernardino, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater.  Arbitron executive vice president, service innovation and chief research officer Gregg Linder states, “MRC accreditation for our PPM markets is a company-wide priority at Arbitron, and we are pleased the MRC continues to recognize our ongoing efforts to improve Sample Performance Indicators and other quality metrics in our Portable People Meter ratings services.  Continuous improvement remains our watchword, for PPM and for all our ratings and software offerings and we are focused on earning accreditation for the balance of our PPM markets.”

theblaze logoFormer CNN Producer/Reporter Joins Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.  Steve Krakauer – former CNN digital producer and media reporter – is named vice president of digital content for TheBlaze.  In his work at CNN, Krakauer oversaw the social and digital output of the CNN domestic U.S. television programs.  He also managed the team that ran @CNN — the network’s flagship Twitter account.  Krakauer joined CNN in November 2010 as the digital producer of “Piers Morgan Tonight.”  At TheBlaze, Krakauer will be responsible for growing the network’s presence across all digital media.  TheBlaze president and chief content officer Joel Cheatwood states, “Steve was one of the first people to truly recognize the growing relationship between digital media and traditional television and has built a remarkable track record integrating the two media.  We are excited to have Steve join TheBlaze as we continue to be at the forefront of creating a television network designed for the 21st century.”

schultzedEd Schultz Returns to Weeknights on MSNBC.  It hasn’t been quite five months since MSNBC moved “The Ed Show” from weeknights at 8:00 pm to a Saturday and Sunday 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot with Ed Schultz saying the move was for personal and professional reasons.  Now, the Hollywood Reporter writes that MSNBC president Phil Griffin asked Schultz to return to weekdays in the 5:00 pm slot replacing the first run of “Hardball with Chris Matthews.”  Matthews’ show will only air at 7:00 pm beginning August 26 when Schultz returns to weekdays.  Griffin told the publication, “Ed has proven himself no matter where we’ve put him.”

nprCEO Gary Nell to Exit NPR to Head Up National Geographic.  NPR CEO Gary Nell announces he’s leaving the public radio company after 21 months on the job.  In a letter to staff, he says, in part, “As president and CEO, supporting NPR’s success – your success – has been my highest ambition.  Working together, we have put NPR on more solid footing to continue to deliver the highest-quality journalism and programming.  We have launched innovative new platforms and made meaningful strides in attracting new audiences and new funding.  We have promoted a series of collaborations in news gathering, development, and a digital future.  And we have an exceptionally strong leadership team in place that is charting an ambitious path for our future.  We also face challenges, including the mandate to bring NPR to break-even cash operations.  We are completing a plan to focus our limited resources which support our essential services to stations and audiences.  We will present that plan to the Board soon, go over it carefully, and make it a reality.”  Nell took over the reins of NPR in December of 2011 after the high-profile departure of former CEO Vivian Schiller.  During her tenure, Juan Williams was fired after making comments on Fox News Channel admitting to feeling nervous when seeing people dressed in Muslim garb on airplanes.  Also, NPR fundraiser Ron Schiller (no relation) was recorded denigrating conservatives at a lunch meeting.

grahamkevinBoston Herald Reports Kevin Graham Will Succeed Jason Wolfe at WEEI-FM, Boston.  There is no confirmation from Entercom Boston market manager Jeff Brown about the Boston Herald’s recent report that KFNZ, Salt Lake City “1320 KFAN” program director and afternoon drive co-host Kevin Graham will take over the program director post at the station.  According to his bio on the KFNZ website, Graham was one of the key architects of KFNZ back in 1996 and has worked as programmer at KTAR-AM, Phoenix; WXYT, Detroit and other sports talk outlets.  In addition to programming KFNZ, Graham co-hosts the Gunther & Graham pm drive show with Kyle Gunther.  Longtime program director Jason Wolfe exited the station last week and the Boston media is rife with speculation about the status of the station’s air talent – especially morning duo John Dennis and Gerry CallahanCBS Radio’s crosstown WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” has been topping WEEI-FM in recent ratings reports.  Still, the Herald also reports that Dennis and Callahan have been assured that they are not on the chopping block at this point.

talkersradio logoBrent Seltzer and Meg McDonald (“Brent & Meg”) Sign Up as Charter Members of TalkersRadio Lineup.  The married couple team of “Brent & Meg” (Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald, pictured below) join the initial lineup of the soon-to-be-launched experimental internet talk station, TalkersRadio.  They will be hosting a Monday through Friday, two-hour Los Angeles-based program titled, “The Brent & Meg Show,” that will stream live between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm ET with possible re-streams at other times during the following 24 hours.seltzermegbrent  According to TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein, “There never has been a ‘Brent & Meg Show’ prior to TalkersRadio.  They are coming together to do this specifically because the station is designed for these kinds of experiments.  Although they’ve been married for 28 years and have been in the media business doing everything from amazing short-form features to ground-breaking public relations campaigns for years, the idea of them being on the air live as a team hosting a long-form talk show is the brainchild of Michael Harrison who has been after them to do this for over two years now since hearing them bounce off each other in the ongoing short-form feature ‘Brent Seltzer, Still at Large.’  “I am excited about the potential of this show.  We envision it to be in the tradition of the classic husband/wife chat shows of the golden era – except with its focus fully planted on a 21st century foundation.”  The short-form feature “Brent Seltzer, Still at Large” — written, produced and performed by the couple — has accrued a dedicated multi-platform cult-following on Podjockey.com and XM Satellite Radio after having broken out in 2008 as a hot commodity at KSRO, Santa Rosa.  According to the couple, “Outraged by the cable TV political bloviates, we invented ‘Brent Seltzer, Still at Large’ as a panacea to the anger and complacency that radio was becoming.  We figured that since all the extreme right wingers and extreme left wingers were only preaching to their targeted choirs, we could have an extremely good time talking about anything to everyone.  It is our intention to continue that tradition on the ‘Brent & Meg Show.’  Absolutely no politician, celebrity, corporate business practice, social custom, anything or anybody will be safe from our scathing, biting and hopefully humorous and entertaining observations.  Hey, we just wanna have fun!”

Brent Seltzer is legendary in the annals of West Coast radio having worked as a personality “rock ‘n’ roll newsman” on two of the most storied signals in rock radio history – KMET, Los Angeles and KGB, San Diego — as well as  LA’s KZLA-FM/AM, KNX-FM, and KMPC. He has also been a popular radio writer working for years at companies such as Watermark (“American Top 40”) and its founder Tom Rounds’ celebrated international company, Radio Express.

Born into a Hollywood show business family, Meg McDonald’s mother was the popular character actress Elisabeth Fraser and her father was the dancer Ray McDonald.  Although a native of Santa Monica, her parents divorced when she was very young and her Mom moved to New York to co-star with Phil Silvers in his popular comedy, “You’ll Never Get Rich,” later known as “The Phil Silvers Show.”  As her mother went to work in many classic films, TV shows and Broadway shows, Meg found herself surrounded by gifted writers including Neil Simon, Norman Lear and Gore Vidal.  Returning to LA after a few years, Meg never thought of herself as a performer, so she majored in Journalism at LACC, but chose a career in public relations where she has forged an award-winning history as founder of her own shop, McDonald Media Services.  Strikingly beautiful with a big gorgeous voice, she always wanted to be on-air but was too shy to take the shot, until she met Brent Seltzer. “The Brent & Meg” show debuts on TalkersRadio Tuesday, September 10.  For more information about TalkersRadio call 413-565-5413 or email GM David Bernstein at david@talkers.com.  TalkersRadio streaming is powered by Backbone Networks.

wowoamshowWOWO-AM/FM, Fort Wayne Morning Show to Begin TV Simulcast.  Federated Media’s WOWO-AM/FM, Fort Wayne will begin a simulcast of one hour of “Fort Wayne’s Morning News with Charly Butcher on local NBC affiliate WISE-TV “NBC33” on September 23.  The television outlet will air the 6:00 am hour of  Butcher’s program using several high definition cameras placed in the studio and newsroom at WOWO.  Program director Ryan Wrecker says, “What we’re doing is taking a historic show in the market and advancing it to a new medium.  Finding new platforms for our product is an important part of our station strategy, and we think this is going to make a big impact not only in the market but it’s what should be expected for news/talk stations looking for ways to gain a younger audience share.”  Butcher states, “We’re excited to bring a show we work very hard on every morning to NBC33.  It’s another way for listeners to get a behind-the-scenes look at what we do and get all the information they need every morning.  I’m not excited that I might need to start wearing make-up.”  Pictured above is the WOWO-AM/FM morning show in action (Butcher at right.)

MLB LogoSiriusXM and MLB Reach Six-Year Extension.  Satcaster SiriusXM and Major League Baseball have reached an agreement to extend their relationship for another six years.  As a result, every regular season and post-season game will be available on both Sirius and XM platforms through 2016.  The deal also includes select exhibition games and Spanish-language broadcasts.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein states, “Baseball has been an essential part of our programming lineup and we’re very happy to extend our relationship with MLB to deliver the games to our subscribers for many years to come.  We’re especially pleased to now offer the games to SiriusXM subscribers whether they listen through Sirius radios, XM radios, the SiriusXM App or online.”

NPR Producer Teshima Walker Dies at 44.  After a two-year battle with colon cancer, NPR executive producer Teshima Walker passed away on Friday morning.  Walker had been executive producer of the Michel Martin-hosted “Tell Me More” program since 2011.  She’d been with the show in various capacities for four years prior to that.  During her career she had worked at WBEZ, Chicago and served as a producer on the Tavis Smiley program.

Monday, April 1, 2013

| April 1, 2013

krausselishaSalem’s KRLA, Los Angeles Names Elisha Krauss Co-Host of Morning Show.  From her most recent position as senior producer for the nationally syndicated Sean Hannity show, Elisha Krauss joins Brian Whitman and Ben Shapiro as co-host of the morning show, “The Morning Answer,” on Salem’s “AM 870 The Answer.”  Krauss says of her new position, “After being behind the scenes in radio for years I know this is a huge opportunity to share my conservative beliefs with the KRLA audience every day.”  Salem Communications vice president, director of spoken word format Phil Boyce hired Krauss as an intern at WABC in New York years ago.  He says, “Elisha impressed me from the day we first met when she applied to be an intern.  She had been home schooled in Oklahoma, but here she was in Manhattan making a name for herself as a freshman and I was immediately impressed with her character, integrity and maturity.”  KRLA program director Chuck Tyler says, “Elisha is a great addition to the team.  This is a truly unique show for Los Angeles morning drive and I know Brian and Ben are very anxious to get her into the mix.”  Krauss takes over for Heidi Harris who exited the program last week.

wgvx logoCumulus Flips Oldies Trimulcast in Twin Cities to Sports Talk.  The CBS Sports Radio Network comes to Minneapolis-St. Paul as Cumulus drops oldies on WGVX, WGVY and WGVZ and brands it as “SportsRadio 105 The Ticket.”  (The three sit alongside each other on the dial at 105.1, 105.3 and 105.7, respectively.)  The stations are carrying the entire network lineup.  In a statement, Cumulus Minneapolis Scott Jameson says, “The passion for sports combined with the power and credibility of the CBS brand makes for engaging and entertaining content.  Sports fans in the Twin Cities now have a choice for their daily fox of news and conversation delivered by the best in the business: Jim Rome, John Feinstein, Boomer Esiason, Doug Gottlieb and the entire team on ‘SportsRadio 105 The Ticket.’”

schnittshow logoSchnitt Update.  These past few months have certainly been interesting for talk show host Todd Schnitt.  Despite losing a high-profile defamation suit as plaintiff versus talker Bubba the Love Sponge – then settling the dispute in mediation instead of a return trip to trial court — Schnitt’s nationallyschnitttodd syndicated Compass Media Networks’ “The Schnitt Show” been showing continued growth and positive momentum with the recent addition of 15 new affiliates.  These include KSTE, Sacramento; WTAX, Champaign; WKBN, Youngstown; KPSF, Palm Springs; WINA-AM, Charlottesville as well as Mississippi Super Talk Radio Network outlets WFMM-FM, Hattiesburg; WFMN-FM; Jackson; WKBB-FM, West Point; WLAU-FM, Laurel; WRQO-FM, Brookhaven; WTCD-FM, Greenwood; WTNM-FM, Oxford; WXRZ-FM, Corinth; WZKR-FM, Meridian; and WWMR-FM, Tupelo.  Schnitt’s program originates in the afternoon drive slot at Clear Channel‘s WFLA, Tampa where the local publicity garnered by the recent legal fracas has lifted his profile to the status of household name.  Schnitt, a rising member of the “Heavy Hundred” (#26) tells TALKERS that he is continuing to evolve his show with the “right” amount of politics.  He states, “I choose the most important issues to cover and do it concisely and informatively with fact, opinion and entertainment value.  My content is more diverse than ever and I’m really utilizing my aptitude and experience gained as a 20-plus year CHR morning guy.  I feel I’ve constructed a show that my competitors can’t match.  The daily political, ad nauseam Obama-bashing and wonk minutiae is burned close to needing dental records.”

nprNPR to Replace “Talk of the Nation” with “Here and Now.”  Calling a move away from opinion programming to storytelling, The New York TimesBrian Stelter reports that NPR chief content officer Kinsey Wilson says the move to a news magazine from an opinion talk show is “what the audience is looking for and what member stations have been looking for.”  The issue was discussed on the March 29 “Morning Edition” program on NPR during which NPR media correspondent Davidconanneal Folkenflick stated that despite the $7 million dollar deficit NPR is facing this fiscal year, that is not the motivation for eliminating “Talk of the Nation” – which is heard on some 400 member stations and, according to NPR, reaches more than 3.5 million listeners.  Folkenflick says Wilson told him the move is “more of an effort to insure that the network is investing both personnel and money in places that will make it distinctive and he thinks more original reporting and a greater number of stories from around the country involving member stations will do that trick.”  As for host Neal Conan, he was offered to stay with NPR but will exit the program when it ends on June 30.  WBUR, Boston-produced “Here and Now” will be produced on the East Coast from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm and updated as needed until 4:00 pm for stations airing it later.

portcityradio logo‘The Big Talker’ in Wilmington, North Carolina Flips to All-News.  Citing the retirement of morning host Chad Adams from the stations, Hometown Wilmington Media general manager Beau Gunn tells the Port City Daily that “we decided to give Wilmington something it was missing — all-news radio with a focus on local news, sports, traffic and weather.”  Gunn says the simulcast on WNTB and WLTT is being branded “Port City Radio” alluding to its relationship with Port City Daily.  Port City Radio program director and morning host Aimee Bowen will speak with Port City Daily reporters about the stories behind the stories.  Those same reporters will be featured throughout the day.  She states, “Port City Radio is your hands-free device for Wilmington news.  Everybody is busy.  They’re on the go all the time.  This is a unique product that gives you unrestricted access to local and national news.  Our partnership with Port City Daily creates the ability to provide constant, local content.”  The format is using CBS Radio News as well as content from The Wall Street Journal Radio Network.

wgnlogoNHL Lockout Shows How Important Sports Play-by-Play Can Be to Stations.  In a piece in the Chicago Tribune analyzing the recent BIA Kelsey revenue figures for Chicago’s top billing stations from 2012, the case of Tribune’s WGN stands out.  According the BIA Kelsey, WGN absorbed a revenue hit of more than $5 million from 2011 to 2012 ending the latter year with $30.2 million in revenue.  In the piece it’s noted that the NHL lockout affected the Chicago Blackhawks flagship dramatically.  WGN director of sales and interim general manager Jeff Hill tells the paper, “We probably took a loss of over $2 million just in Blackhawks fourth quarter revenue.  That represented a significant loss in our revenue.”  To be clear, Hill says that wasn’t the only reason for the revenue decline.  He cited a down year for agri-business and a poor political advertising year for the Chicago market.

tillemlenLen Tillem Out at KKSF, San Francisco.  The 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm Len Tillem show is gone from Clear Channel’s KKSF, San Francisco and the hour is being absorbed by the expansion of the Gil Gross program.  Tillem – along with former KGO, San Francisco personalities Ed Baxter and John Rothmann – crossed over to KKSF after being let go by the Cumulus Media news/talk station.  Now, Tillem is gone and Baxter and Rothmann remain at the KKSF in a fill-in capacity.

millerchrisDigital Consultant Advises Keeping Radio Websites Free of Clutter.  In his weekly column posted today (4/1) digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller says “less is more” when it comes to putting appropriate time, energy, and space into play when developing a website to extend a radio station’s or show’s presence.  He suggests starting by taking inventory of the pages and features that are drawing the most visits and consider them the “important” ones.  Others (with a few key exceptions), he says, you should seriously consider taking down.  To read Chris Miller’s entire column “Prune Now to Grow Later,” click here.

bubbaBubba the Love Sponge Foundation to Present Check to Family of Murdered Police Dispatcher.  On Tuesday, April 2, WHTP, Tampa-based talk show host Bubba the Love Sponge will present a check for $15,000 to the family of slain Tampa police dispatcher Deanna Mendoza.  Mendoza’s three surviving children will be the recipients of the money raised through the Bubba the Love Sponge Foundation.  Bubba says, “A lot of times, people forget the high-stress job the dispatchers have.  People’s lives depend on the efficiency of police dispatchers and I wanted to remember her life and thank her family for her service.”  Mendoza was killed in January.  Tampa Police Department Major Brian Dugan will join Mendoza’s co-workers and family for the presentation.

nbcsportsradio logoNBC Sports Radio Network Goes Live Today.  After almost nine months of promotions and planning, the NBC and Dial Global 24/7 sports talk radio network goes live.  The network is boasting a starting affiliate base of 257 and is touting its newly designed, revamped website at NBCSportsRadio.com plus a customized NBC Sports Radio mobile app for Android and Apple devices.  The network says, “NBCSportsRadio.com features a fresh, modern look with a number of new features — like programming schedules, talent bios and photos, and a terrestrial radio station finder — plus added capabilities including live streaming, station streaming, and social media chatter.  The NBC Sports Radio mobile app, powered by Abacast, showcases a branded home page with rotating sponsorship panels and an integration system that syncs audio ads and rotating display ads — a feature that will help advertisers extend their brands.  Among its many features, the mobile app also delivers programming content, Facebook and Twitter promotion, and a station information page linking to phone request lines.”  NBC Sports Radio EVP and general manager Chris Corcoran states, “Game on!  We are pumped and ready to take the field.  When you combine our unmatched talent with our stations, our digital assets and our social media presence, it all adds up to an amazing listening and interactive experience for sports fans everywhere.”

donahuetomTom Donahue Show Expands to Five Days on KCAA, Loma Linda.  Talk radio personality Tom Donahue expands his program from its initial Friday show on Broadcasting Management Services’ KCAA, Loma Linda, California to five days per week beginning today.  The “Tom Donahue Reports” program airs live at 1:00 am PT.  Donahue says April 1 holds a special significance for him because that is when he got his big break in talk radio replacing the legendary Chuck Harder as a nationally syndicated host for the Sun Radio Network in 1991.  He says he plans to offer his show to other stations.  The Talk Superstation remains his primary internet station, while Talk Stream Live serves as his streaming digital directory.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

| March 6, 2013

nielsen logoAcquiring Arbitron Adds to the Total Media Mix for Nielsen.  At day two of the Deutsche Bank DbAccess 21st Annual Media and Telecom Conference, Nielsen president of Global Media Products & Advertiser Solutions Steve Hasker says that the acquisition of Arbitron will add another two hours per day to its understanding of the media to which consumers arehaskersteve exposed.  “If you think about media consumption here in the U.S. as one geographic example, we cover about five hours per day for the average consumer through television audience measurement…That is the bedrock of our ‘Watch’ business.  To that, we hope to add radio, which is another two hours of consumers’ time.  And we felt that this was a very important part, both of understanding the media exposure and what consumers watch and what they listen to, but also a very important part of the overall media mix particularly for local advertisers.  And so the ability to capture this data and combine it with our TV data and our digital information, which is online and mobile through products like ‘Online Campaign Ratings,’ ‘Brand Effect’ and the ‘Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings,’ put it all together and we’re covering around about eight hours of a consumer’s time per day exposed to media…think about that as coverage of everything except for print and we think that those are the most valuable parts of the media mix and are central to our proposition of understanding consumer behavior at a very, very deep level.”

walshjoeSalem’s WIND, Chicago to Air Evening Show with Former Congressman Joe Walsh.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports that one-term Tea Party congressman Joe Walsh will begin a two-hour early evening talk show on Salem Communications’ WIND, Chicago on March 18.  Although Salem was not commenting officially, Walsh spoke openly to Feder.  The “Joe Walsh Unplugged” show will air from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm and will often emanate from locations around the state as he indicates his recent travels to push the Tea Party ideals are part of his desire to create a movement.  He tells Feder, “We are going to make this a real grass-roots push and advocacy thing, and the radio show is going to be a key part of that.”  Feder reports the show is expected to be officially announced on March 14 when Walsh appears at “Obama 2.0: The Road Ahead,” a public event sponsored by WIND.  Expected to be there with Walsh will be WIND afternoon host Steve Cochran, Salem Radio Network host Michael Medved and Illinois Policy Institute’s John Tillman.

shawsteveCumulus Media Names Steve Shaw SVP of National Sales.  In his new role with Cumulus Media, the former president of Katz Radio Group will be based out of New York.  Steve Shaw most recently served as president of Cox Digital Solutions where he founded the digital rep group Cox Cross Media.  Cumulus executive vice president and co-COO Jon Pinch says, “Having run Katz Radio for years, Steve is the natural choice for this position.  He understands the national marketplace, has key relationships with buyers and sellers, and is well known for high integrity and an intense work ethic.  Steve will work closely with our team of national sales managers, our partners at Katz, Mike Pallad, myself, and other senior management at Cumulus.”  On his new position, Shaw states, “I am thrilled to be joining Cumulus Media – they operate some of the best brands in radio and I look forward to helping design and implement great solutions for our national advertising partners.  Our combination of scale and quality programming will allow us to deliver great results that drive our customers’ businesses.”

trisselbrookeRAB Names Brooke Trissel Senior Vice President, Membership.  The Radio Advertising Bureau announces that, as part of its mission to serve its members, it is appointing Brooke Trissel senior vice president, membership.  In this position Trissel will partner with the RAB’s Membership team to enhance and communicate the organization’s core membership benefits to existing and new members.  She’ll report to president and CEO Erica Farber and will be based at RAB Dallas.  Farber states, “I’m thrilled for Brooke to join the RAB in this capacity where she brings her vast experience in radio broadcasting to super-serve our growing membership.  Brooke is the consummate radio executive who will work closely within the organization and our members to meet their needs in a changing radio and media landscape.”  Trissel grew up in a radio family that owned and operated Oklahoma-based Omni Media Group.  She served in many roles within the company including sales manager for KWOX-FM/KMZE-FM and station manager for KOMI-TV in Woodward, Oklahoma.  Most recently, she has been overseeing marketing and sales as the vice president of News/Talk/Sports MediaOnline with prior experience selling advertising and sponsorships at Radio & Records.  Trissel also worked in affiliate sales with ABC Radio Networks in Dallas.  She says, “I’ve long been a fan of the RAB’s products and services and I’m excited to partner with Erica and the Membership team to share all the exciting enhancements taking place at the organization with our members.”

boortzbookNeal Boortz Pens Talk Radio Memoir.  The title of the book is Maybe I Should Just Shut Up and Go Away (Carpenters Son Publishing 2013).  In it, iconic formerly Atlanta-based talk radio legend Neal Boortz looks back at his 42 years on the radio as a talk show host.  The promotion for the book says, in part, Boortz “shares the often-hilarious reality of what happens behind the scenes when you’re a talk radio icon.  Longtime friend with national radio greats Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, he tells how those relationships began in the hot seat of competition…Though early predictions by those who knew him in his youth cast Boortz as a sure prospect to become a preacher, he took a different route to educating the masses.  Longtime listeners are certain to become enthusiastic readers as Boortz finally tips his hat to more than four decades of teeing up controversy, political education and general entertainment for audiences across the country to enjoy—and tells all they’ve been wanting to know but couldn’t get anyone to share until now.”

nms2013logoArbitron to Present “Special PPM Report on the State of the Spoken Word” at Forthcoming TALKERS Conference.  The agenda for the forthcoming “Talkers New York 2013” continues to grow as Arbitron, Inc. has joined the roster of presenters with a special in-depth statistical insight into the research company’s findings about the news/talk, sports talk, all-news, and NPR formats’ performance in a PPM world.  It will also include a special look at listening habits and listener direction trends on the AM dial.  The presentation will be delivered by Arbitron’s director of programming services Jon Miller who spearheaded a similar presentation analyzing country radio at the recent CRS inmillerjon Nashville.  In making the announcement, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says, “We were so impressed with the extraordinary value of the country conference presentation we checked out to see if they have a similar study pertinent to talk radio.  As it turns out they do and we are delighted to make it available to our attendees.”  Talkers New York 2013 is the 16th annual installment of the industry’s longest-running and most important national talk radio convention.  It will take place on Thursday, June 6 and is open only to members of the working media.  Registration is $199 per person which includes all sessions, attractions and food services.  An advance sellout is expected.  For registration (phone only) and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413.  Stay tuned to Talkers.com for more exciting agenda details to be announced in the coming days.

wxos logoWXOS, St. Louis Crowns ‘Sportscaster Factor’ Winner.  Hubbard Broadcasting’s WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” announces it finished its first-ever “Sportscaster Factor” competition on Saturday, March 2 and has named Brett McMillan winner of the inaugural competition for which he gets bragging rights and a weekend show on the station.  McMillan, a student at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, beat out 175 other competitors in the competition.  During Saturday’s final round at the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, 101ESPN’s Randy Karraker, PD Kent Sterling and APS Chris “Hoss” Neupert trimmed the 38 semi-finalists down to 16 finalists, and then to the eight who competed for the coveted spot.  Sterling says of the promotion.  “This was a great competition.  We never had any inkling that there were so many talented broadcasters in St. Louis.  Everyone knows this is a great sports town, but it’s also a great broadcasting city.  When this started, we would have been really happy with any of the final eight – and most of the rest of the sixteen finalists.  In Brett, we think we have found exactly what this competition was designed to find – a host that is really good today, will be better down the road, and someone we would not have found otherwise.  I fully anticipate doing this again.  It was fun for the contestants and for us.  Not only did we find a solid host, we found several who might end up working for 101ESPN one day.”

flintaaronOdds & Sods.  Montana talk host Aaron Flint gets props from the Washington Post for his political blog “The Flint Report” as part of the paper’s “Best State-Based Political Blogs” piece.  Flint, who broadcasts a daily talk radio show that airs on 17 stations across Montana, including Connoisseur Media’s KYYA, Billings, is an officer in the Montana Army National Guard and served three tours in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa.  Of his media work, he says, “Every day, I hope to take a wide range of experiences to show audiences the bigger picture, or to give them a side of the story they won’t get anywhere else.”…..Programmer Peter Bolger is promoted to director of AM programming at Clear Channel’s San Antonio cluster.  Bolger has served as program director for news/talk WOAI and sports talk KTKR since joining the cluster inkatzjeffspeaks 2007……CBS Sports Radio Network’s John Feinstein debuts a weekly hour-long segment called “One-On-One” as part of his late morning show on the network in which he interviews a sports newsmaker.  The first installment is today from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon with Bob Costas.  Upcoming guests for the segment include sports figures and celebrities such as NBA Commissioner David Stern, professional golfer Tom Watson and NBA champion Steve Kerr…..Talk radio pro Jeff Katz sits in for Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated host Todd Schnitt on his Monday, March 11 and Wednesday, March 13 programs.

sliwacubaCurtis Sliwa Boasts Five-Hour ‘Commemoration’ of Hugo Chavez.  WNYM, New York “970 The Answer” talk personality Curtis Sliwa tells TALKERS magazine his was the only station to “commemorate” the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez yesterday.  Sliwa states, “We got the news yesterday afternoon and did two hours on the “Curtis & Jeffrey” show from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm and then continued this morning from 6:00 am to 9:00 am on my solo show.  Additionally, we discussed his career as a TV and radio talk show host as the host of “Alo Presidente.”  You may think that we were comrades in arms because of our red berets and our battles with cancer.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.”  Pictured here is Sliwa in Cuba several years ago leading an anti-Castro and anti-Chavez chant among like-minded Cuban citizens.

Sequester Impact, Hugo Chavez Dies, Iran/North Korea Nuclear Threats, and High-Flying Dow Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/5).  The impact of the sequester and the ongoing battle over federal budget issues; the death of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez; Iran’s and North Korea’s nuclear threats; and the still-soaring Dow were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

| September 11, 2012

Media Ad Spending Flat in Q2; Radio Up 1.9%.  According to data from Kantar Media, media ad spending in the U.S. was basically flat in the second quarter of 2012 with an increase of 0.9% compared to the same period a year ago.  The first quarter had showed signs of improvement when ad spending grew 2.9%.  Radio, on the back of a double-digit increase in network radio spending (21.4%), grew by 1.9% compared to the same quarter a year ago.

Charlie Bernstein Joins Sports Talk WHBO, Tampa for PM Drive.  The Genesis Communications station announces Sports Media Interactive editor-in-chief is the new afternoon drive host at the Tampa sports talk outlet and Genesis’ Sports Talk Florida.  Genesis VP of programming Len Weiner states, “Charlie promises to be a knowledgeable and entertaining show host.  His NFL contacts will bring insight from a perspective not being offered in the local market.”

NPR Names Izzi Smith Director of Programming.  The public radio content creator announces Israel “Izzi” Smith becomes director of programming with the organization effective in November.  Smith, who will report to vice president of programming Eric Nuzum, has worked with NPR as a consultant over the past 15 years.  Nuzum says Smith has been involved with such programs as “’Radiolab,’ PRX’s ‘The Moth Radio Hour,’ ‘State of the Re:Union with Al Letson,’ and ‘The Public Radio Talent Quest’ with PRX and CPB.  Izzi is a true ‘connector,’ always trying to link good ideas, people, and stations to serve audiences in bigger, more inclusive ways.”  Nuzum states Smith’s primary responsibilities will be “working with all of our ‘acquired’ programs (those programs carrying the NPR name, but produced by partners—such as ‘Fresh Air,’ ‘Snap Judgment,’ ‘On The Media,’ and ‘Car Talk’) as well as with our on-air fundraising and promotion teams to improve our ability to help you serve your local audiences. He’ll also prove invaluable to us as we continue to grow our program development efforts at NPR.”

Yahoo! Sports Radio Debuts New Evening Show with Bob Ryan and Marty Tirrell.  The hour-long “Calling All Sports” program airs on the network from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm daily and features longtime Boston Globe sports columnist Bob Ryan – who recently retired from the venerable paper – and KBGG, Des Moines PM drive sports talk host Marty Tirrell.

Talk Radio Star Phil Hendrie Finding Success in Television.  TRN-FM nationally syndicated talk host Phil Hendrie is having a successful 2012 with projects away from the radio mic as well as with his radio program.  Hendrie, who has been involved in television and movies for more than a decade, is appearing in the new movie, “This Is 40,” which follows the characters created in the 2007 film “Knocked Up” for Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann by writer and director Judd Apatow.  The movie hits theaters in December.  Hendrie has also had a recurring role in the TV sitcom “New Girl,” he’s appeared in the movie “Last Call” and does voice work for the animated version of “Napoleon Dynamite.”

Obama Poll Bounce, Campaign Fundraising Influx, Health Care Reform and Chicago Teachers Strike Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/10).  Poll numbers showing President Obama with a five-point lead over Mitt Romney; the cash being raised by the two presidential candidates; continued debate over health care reform; and the teachers strike in Chicago were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, July 30, 2012

| July 30, 2012

KABC, Los Angeles Adds John Phillips to AM Drive.  Radio-Info’s Tom Taylor is reporting Cumulus Media’s KABC moves talk host John Phillips to the “McIntyre in the Morning with Terri Rae Elmer” program with host Doug McIntyre and news anchor Elmer.  Phillips had been the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon host at KABC until the company began developing Geraldo Rivera in the late-morning slot on WABC, New York and then adding him to KABC.  For a while, Phillips was doing just the 9:00 am hour and a lot of fill-ins around the schedule.  Now, it looks as though Phillips becomes a morning drive cast member at KABC.  Earlier in his radio career, Phillips was sports anchor and executive producer for KABC’s “McIntyre in the Morning Show” and he also produced the station’s Al Rantel program.  He also served as a newswriter at crosstown KNX, Los Angeles.

Beasley Broadcast Group Q2 Revenue Down 2.8%.  Total revenue was down to $24.8 million for the second quarter of 2012 – a drop of 2.8% compared to the same period in 2011.  Beasley Broadcast Group attributes the lower revenue to declines at its Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster.  However, station operating income was up 11.6% for the period reflecting declining station operating expense and more than offsetting the lower revenue.  Chairman and CEO George Beasley says, “Our second quarter revenue performance principally reflects overall industry weakness in the first month of the quarter, a revenue decline at our Fayetteville cluster partially related to lower levels of auto advertising and lower revenue in the Ft. Myers market due to the fact that in the year-ago period we hosted a concert.  While net revenue was down mid-single digits in April, low single-digit revenue growth resumed in May and June and extended through July.  The company’s streamlined operating structure and ongoing expense management initiatives combined with a music license fee settlement drove the $1.1 million rise in 2012 second quarter station operating income.”

Estate of the Late Neil Rogers Settled; Feds Take the Balance.  According to Jose Lambiet’s “Gossip Extra,” the late Miami talk host had about $4 million to his name four years ago but he loved to play the ponies and was not a very savvy personal finances guy, so after the lawyers get paid and the IRS takes about $500,000, there’s basically nothing left in his estate.  Longtime friend, agent and estate executor Norman Kent tells Lambiet Rogers basically spent his money.  He cashed in taxable annuities prior to his 2010 death from multiple medical issues at age 68.  The piece also notes Rogers spent about $700,000 on a home in Toronto where he lived with a 21-year-old man when he wasn’t in South Florida or Amsterdam.  Several of Rogers’ friends had been contesting his wills – apparently there were more than one that conflicted – but ultimately, there appears to have been little left over which to fight.

Compass Media Networks Expands and Extends Relationship with Learfield Sports.  This is for college basketball and football play-by-play – the arena in which Compass Media Networks has been expanding so rapidly.  Learfield Sports is the exclusive broadcast and sports marketing partner to more than 50 of the nation’s leading colleges and universities including Alabama, Boise State, Indiana University, Iowa, NC State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, Purdue, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, University of North Carolina, Wisconsin and the Big Ten Conference.  Under the terms of the extension Compass retains first right of refusal to broadcast any Learfield Sports home football and men’s basketball  games, retains the exclusive national radio rights to broadcast The Big Ten Football Championship Game and the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, and will broadcast expanded coverage of regular season men’s basketball and football games.  The exact number of games Compass will broadcast has yet to be determined but the new agreement calls for a minimum of 20 football and 20 men’s basketball games to be broadcast.  Compass Media Networks will then produce a unique, national, play-by-play broadcast of these games available to radio outlets across the country.  Compass CEO Peter Kosann states, “Learfield Sports has been a wonderful partner.  We are honored to continue this partnership and will continue to expand the breadth and depth of our coverage.”

Journalist and Radio Host Indicted on Felony Wiretapping Charges.  “Free Talk Live” co-host Adam “Ademo” Mueller faces three counts of felony wiretapping after recording on-duty public officials while preparing a vlog about a case of alleged police misconduct, according to “Free Talk Live” host Ian Freeman.  The comments were part of a video report posted on the site CopBlock.org.  He tells TALKERS, “A public official who is on duty and in a public space has no expectation of privacy, the First Circuit Court of Appeals has already ruled on this in Glik v. Cunniffe.  The person who should face consequences is the officer who threw that poor kid into a table during lunch at the school cafeteria, not the journalist who reported about it.”  Freeman says each charge of felony wiretapping could carry seven years, meaning Mueller faces up to 21 years in prison if convicted.

NPR and WWNO, New Orleans Partner for Non-Profit News Source.  University of New Orleans-owned classical and news/talk WWNO is entering into a partnership with NPR to staff and operate the “non-profit multimedia newsroom” neworleansreporter.org.  The site plans to create reports for WWNO and will be available on a mobile app and for other local and national outlets free of charge.  NPR president and CEO Gary Knell states, “NPR is honored to join with the University of New Orleans and WWNO as they launch this ground-breaking news service. We are excited about the opportunity to provide national support for this critically important local effort to serve the public in creative and new ways.”

CNN Worldwide President Jim Walton to Resign at Year End.  Saying he believes “CNN needs new thinking,” Jim Walton will end his 30-year career at the cable news broadcaster when his contract expires in December, according to TVWeek.  Walton says the new thinking “starts with a new leader who brings a different perspective, different experiences and a new plan, one who will build on our great foundation and will commit to seeing it through.  And I’m ready for a change.  I have interests to explore and I want to give myself time to do it.”  Walton has been in the leadership role at CNN Worldwide for almost 10 years.  Turner Broadcasting CEO Phil Kent leads the search for Walton’s successor.

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  KFAQ, Tulsa morning drive host Pat Campbell fills in for late-morning talk host Charlie Sykes on Journal Broadcast Group’s WTMJ, Milwaukee August 1-3…..Talk show host and former Congressman J.D. Hayworth sits in for WPGB, Pittsburgh-based Quinn & Rose every day this week except Wednesday.  On that day, he’s filling in on the KCMO, Kansas City AM drive program…..Federated Media’s news/talk WOWO, Ft. Wayne, Indiana adds Notre Dame football to its fall sports schedule…..Britain’s UTV Media announces its talkSport network acquires exclusive rights to broadcast Football Association’s FA Cup in the UK and the worldwide rights to talkSport International scheduled to launch on August 18…..KTRB, San Francisco – 860 AM ESPN Deportes – will carry Spanish-language play-by-play of San Francisco 49ers football through the 2018 season.

Chicken: Banned in Boston?  That’s WRKO, Boston PM drive host Howie Carr (l) with, well…a chicken (r).  Carr is wearing a t-shirt with a caricature of Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and holding a Chick-fil-A sandwich – both of which Carr and staff gave out to people on the streets in front of Boston City Hall after Mayor Menino jumped on the anti-Chick-fil-A bandwagon and threatened to prevent the company from opening a restaurant in the neighborhood after the company’s president publicly supported those campaigning against gay marriage.  Menino has since backed off the threat to stop the restaurant from opening the Boston store.

 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

| July 24, 2012