Tag: "On the House"

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

| October 31, 2012

TRN’s Jerry Doyle Says Consolidation is Stifling Objectivity.  Speaking to legendary Southern California radio newsman and current PodJockey personality Brent Seltzer on Talkers TV at the recent New Media Seminar in Los Angeles, Talk Radio Network nationally syndicated host Jerry Doyle says he believes the vertical consolidation of the talk radio business is stifling objectivity much the same way consolidation stifled creativity in Hollywood in years prior.  “It’s killed objectivity to a degree, where you become a cheerleader for whatever side it is that wants to see their side win.  I would like to think of myself as — what we should be doing more of in the business – as a coach.  A cheerleader will cheer for you when you drop the ball in the end zone but on a critical fourth down, they don’t ask the cheerleaders what they think, they ask the coach…I think we need to coach more and by people just cheering for their own side it allows those sides to be lazy and get away with mistakes…and I think healthier competition has a better outcome for all of us…I think that we have a responsibility in the bully pulpit that we have, to speak the truth.”  See Brent Seltzer’s entire interview with Jerry Doyle in Talkers TV on the right side of this page.

Interim WGN, Chicago GM to Address Staff Today.  A week after Tom Langmyer was ousted, interim GM Jeff Hill will meet with the entire staff of the station in Campbell Hall at Tribune Tower this morning.  Hill spoke with Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder and says his goal is to rally the troops, dispel some rumors and explain the bankruptcy process and what it may mean for station staffers in the future.  Hill tells Feder, “I am dedicated to the success of this radio station and to serving the needs of the listeners, the advertisers and the employees here.  I’m a little exhausted by the kicking around that we’ve dealt with from a lot of outside sources, and think that we need to stay as positive and as focused as we can.”  The news that afternoon host John Williams would give up his WGN gig to focus on his WCCO, Minneapolis show came on the heels of Langmyer’s departure and Hill must deal with the staff’s concern about the future of the station.  Hill is combating chatter on message boards that Tribune Broadcasting president and CEO Nils Larsen will attend the meeting to begin preparing the staff for job cuts.  Hill tells Feder, “I don’t know where the message boards come up with this, but that is by no means the case.  I’m sure there are people out there that want to create havoc and confusion and distress amongst current staffers or want to create headlines that aren’t there.  But the memo came from me to our staff. In my conversations with Nils he has said flatly that it’s my meeting and my agenda.”  But Hill does say he’s not eager to have the “interim” removed from his title since a sale of WGN is possible and new owners would want to make those types of management decisions.

Chalk One Up for the CHR Station.  Consultant and brilliant radio idea man Walter Sabo – a resident of Manhattan – tells TALKERS that from the perspective of a person who lives in New York City and whose life was seriously disrupted by Hurricane Sandy, he found the absolute best and most valuable coverage and information provided by any station of any format on either the AM or FM dial during the blackout and aftermath of the storm was – believe it or not – Clear Channel’s CHR outlet, Z100!  Sabo says, “They did a much better job of conveying the real news and helpful information to the listener than any other station – some of which, of course, weren’t even on the air because they weren’t technically prepared for such an emergency.  Z-100 provided blocks of about 20-25 minutes of really important information – the stuff people need to know – followed by a top five song.  Then when the song was over, they went right back into providing the information I needed for me and my family…transportation updates, health concerns, school and road closings, and safety guidance for another 20 minutes or so.  It wasn’t long-winded, superfluous filler, but rather vital facts and stuff people could use.  And then they would play another top five song. This went on throughout the day.”  Sabo states, “It was brilliant – a credit to good radio – and they are to be congratulated.”

Media Broker Says Opportunity is Knocking Right Now for First-Time Station Buyers.  Sandi Bergman, whom TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes as “a dynamic rising star among today’s crop of media brokers,” has positive news for the many recently laid-off radio management figures looking to apply their seasoned skills in a new and productive direction in the industry.  They should consider radio station ownership!  Ownership is not just for the mega-corporations who are burdened with seemingly insurmountable debt.  As a matter of speculation, it is indeed possible that many of them will be spinning off unwieldy properties in the months and years ahead creating new opportunities for fresh blood in the business.  According to Bergman, who owns the innovative website www.RadioTVDeals.com and the New Mexico-based brokerage firm MyMediaBroker.com and is one of the relatively few major female brokers in the game, there are many incredible opportunities for first-time buyers.  She states in an exclusive interview that will be carried in its entirety tomorrow (11/1) in both TALKERS and RadioInfo, “In the large markets, AMs can be purchased for a fraction of the price they sold for five years ago.  I have listings for AMs in top 10 markets that are priced very reasonably, and, one of those sellers will carry some paper.  There are some great groups in medium and small markets that can be purchased at a six-to-seven-times cash flow multiple, and many of those sellers may offer some portion of seller financing.  In my opinion, a first-time buyer should consider looking into small markets where the station or group is the only show in town.  Local businesses will support a local owner first and foremost, especially if the station group is enmeshing itself into the community and schools.  It is a good situation where he operator does not have to deal with the competing stations going for the same local dollar.”  Bergman points out, however, that sales is the key to making it: “The very most important factor in operating a station or group is sales.  Without adequate sales, the owner can very easily miss the loan payment.  Miss the loan payment, you lose the station.  This must be kept in perspective at the very onset of ownership!  A new owner/operator needs to keep operating costs in check and make the loan payment.  It is also important to keep all bills current.  It is not an ideal situation in any marketplace to have a reputation for being behind on bills.  Not good for business.  First-time owners/operators should become entirely involved in the communities they serve, and give on-air time to local clubs/organizations.  Many operators sell sponsorships for public service announcements which is good business.  Broadcasting local high school/university sports is most always a “ticket” to advertising and overall business success in radio.  Combine these items with superb local news coverage, and you’ll have the local advertisers in your pocket.”  Read the entire interview with Sandi Bergman here tomorrow.

Arbitron and Magic Broadcasting Settle Dispute.  Magic Broadcasting, LLC and Magic Broadcasting Alabama Licensing, LLC owned stations in the Dothan, Alabama market before selling them in February of this year.  Previously, Arbitron had taken legal action against Magic for copyright infringement and breach of license agreement.  In a suit filed last November, Arbitron alleged that Magic Broadcasting improperly used proprietary or copyrighted Arbitron materials, information, and data after the expiration of its license agreement with Arbitron. The lawsuit was filed as part of ongoing Arbitron initiative to protect its intellectual property rights.  Now, the two sides agree to settle the complaint for an undisclosed sum.  Magic also agrees not to engage in any activities that would infringe, misappropriate, or breach Arbitron’s intellectual property rights in any of its reports, data or software.  Magic acknowledges that its on-air personalities are not authorized to refer to Arbitron ratings data and agree to refrain from making any unauthorized use of Arbitron’s ratings data in the future.  Arbitron agreed not to pursue legal action against Magic as long as Magic complies with the terms of the settlement agreement.

Hulk Hogan Settles Suit with Radio Host Bubba the Love Sponge.  Pro wrestling legend Hulk Hogan and talk radio star Bubba the Love Sponge have reached a settlement over the release of a video of Hogan having sex with Bubba’s then-wife Heather ClemTMZ reports that a settlement has been reached but does not publish the details.  The story states that Hogan is still suing Heather Clem and the gossip sit Gawker for $100 million.  The video is some six years old and shows images of Hogan and Clem having sex in Bubba the Love Sponge’s home.  It was recorded with a security camera unbeknownst to Hogan – making it illegal under Florida law – and how Gawker got a hold of it remains unclear.  However a lawyer for Bubba the Love Sponge says Bubba did not release the video and does not condone the release of it.

Home Improvement Hosts The Carey Brothers Offer Tips to Sandy Victims.  Nationally syndicated home improvement talk hosts James and Morris Carey – hosts of “On the House” – are offering to give advice to radio listeners affected by Hurricane Sandy via stations in the East.  Program general manager Bob Agnew says the Careys can address “the issue of survival without electricity, how deal with issues such as restarting pilot lights for furnaces when power returns, how to salvage areas affected by the flooding, safety tips when going back into their homes and more.”  The Careys are available to stations via ISDN beginning at 8:00 am EST and interested parties should contact producer Kate Wolfson for requests at 877-612-8280 ext. 705 or by email at kate@onthehouse.com.

Industry Mourns the Death of Greg Jessen.  Cumulus Media VP/market manager for Green Bay, WI, Greg Jessen has died after a courageous battle with cancer (10/28).  Funeral services will be held in Green Bay on Friday (11/2) at Malcore West Funeral Home.  A fund has been established by Greg’s radio family in Green Bay, the “Kyle and Andrew Jessen Fund” as a way to honor Greg’s memory and care for his sons.  For information please contact Jeff.Schmidt@cumulus.com

 

Mike & Mike “Gangnam Style.”  ESPN Radio and ESPN 2 morning drive stars Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic dressed up as versions of South Korean pop star Psy for today’s Halloween program.  In addition to merely looking the part, they produced their own version of the internationally popular music video and posted it on ESPN.com.  This screen shot captures Mike & Mike in all their pop video glory!

Sandy Aftermath, Presidential Polls, Campaign Resumes, and Benghazi Attack Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/30).  The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy; the presidential polls and the resumption of the campaign; and the controversy over the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

| December 13, 2011

Talk Radio Network’s Michael Savage Offers Newt Gingrich $1 Million to Drop Out of Race.  TRN nationally syndicated talk host Michael Savage says he’s putting his money where his mouth is and is offering former House Speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich $1 million to drop out of the presidential race.  Savage says he’s been enumerating the reasons on his radio program why Gingrich cannot win a campaign against President Obama – only Mitt Romney can – and since that, in his opinion, is the most important problem the country faces, he’s making the financial offer.  “If Newt Gingrich really loves this country as much as he says he does, if he really wants what is best for America, he will set his ego aside, call me and accept my offer.  His continued candidacy spells nothing but ruin for conservatives, Republicans and all true American patriots.”  Savage is giving Gingrich 72 hours to accept.  There’s no word from the Gingrich camp but one competing syndication executive (who prefers to remain anonymous) says Gingrich better read the fine print, “It would be too bad if Newt deprives GOP primary voters of his ideas and energy, only to find out he’s getting $1 million worth of unsold Savage Nation t-shirts and jerky treats.”

Sacramento Occupy Protesters Target Clear Channel Sacramento.  Organized by activist Sue Wilson’s Media Action Center, people upset by the loss of progressive talk programming were encouraged to “occupy” Clear Channel stations across the country yesterday (12/12) by asking to see the stations’ public files to learn about complaints to the stations and about the stations’ sales of political ads to candidates.  About 11 protesters made their concerns known to KFBK, Sacramento management and, in an orderly fashion, inspected the station’s public file.  Sheriff’s officers were on hand and protesters were not allowed to occupy the station.  As is often the case, many people misunderstand a station’s obligation to provide programming that appeals to all citizens – a misunderstanding promulgated by the old Fairness Doctrine (now off the books).  Wilson is quoted in the Sacramento Bee saying, “All our voices need to be heard.”  But TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison puts it succinctly to a Bee reporter stating, “Fairness is not guaranteed by the First Amendment – freedom from government censorship is.”  In what is apparently a separate movement, some Bay Area residents are planning an Occupy KGO event on Thursday (12/15) to protest Cumulus Media’s recent changes at KGO, San Francisco, although their argument doesn’t seem to imply unfairness – just anger at the changes made to the station’s programming.

Geraldo Rivera to KABC, Los Angeles Too?  Respected Southern California radio trade writer Don Barrett is reporting that Don Imus said on his program that Geraldo Rivera – officially announced to be taking over the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show at WABC, New York in January – will also be heard on Cumulus Media’s KABC, Los Angeles.  Barrett writes that it wasn’t clear whether in which daypart Rivera would be heard but that it obviously raises the question of whom it may affect at KABC – specifically Larry Elder who hosts the late morning program there.  Stay tuned.

Clark Howard Clarification.  A number of industry readers may have glossed over yesterday’s story published by TALKERS about Dial Global financial talk host Clark Howard’s program and come away with an incorrect conclusion.  Howard’s show is still three hours long.  What’s changing is that Howard is repurposing some content for the third hour so that he can cut back on some of the long hours he’s putting in due to the multitude of media ventures in which he’s involved.

Bob Agnew Joins Carey Brothers as GM of On the House Media.  Longtime sports and talk programmer Bob Agnew has been named general manager of James and Morris Carey’s “On the House Media” syndication firm.  Agnew, who has served as program director of such diverse outlets as KNBR, San Francisco and KXNT, Las Vegas, will be responsible for developing the sales staff, managing affiliate relations, new business development and programming at the Brentwood, California firm that has syndicated the popular talk radio home improvement show “On the House with the Carey Bothers” for more than a quarter century.  He will also work closely with the operation’s PR firm Kleber and Associates with regard to media relationships, client services and the expansion of the website.  Upon making the announcement, James Carey tells TALKERS, “Morris and I and our entire team are thrilled to have Bob Agnew ‘take the reins’ and lead our media franchise as it enters its 26th year.  We have had the pleasure of knowing Bob for over 20 years and have enjoyed an enduring professional and personal relationship.  Bob’s unique combination of management, leadership and people skills make him superbly qualified to guide On the House Media in realizing its full potential.  As one of the leading radio programmers in the U.S., Bob ‘gets’ what local radio stations – programming and sales – need to make their businesses successful.  We are confident that Bob’s keen insight will be of tremendous benefit to our radio affiliates, marketing partners and audience.”  OTH is a multi-media operation with a four-hour live Saturday show, weekday tips, podcasts, accessible on iPhones and iPads with the new OTH app.  OTH has 140 radio show affiliates and 125 affiliates taking the daily tips.

Clear Channel Names Bob Stohrer Chief Marketing Officer for Clear Channel Digital.  Stohrer will work with Clear Channel Digital president Brian Lekamp.  He’ll oversee the national marketing plans, brand execution and social marketing efforts for CC Digital with an emphasis on iHeartRadio.  Lekamp states, “Bob’s extensive experience in both brand positioning and creative development brings the innovative vision and tactical expertise that will increase brand awareness, drive growth and unlock our full potential moving forward.  We look forward to the leadership and insight he will bring to the Clear Channel Digital team.”

CBS TV Expands “Face the Nation.”  Bob Schieffer announced that CBS TV is turning its “Face the Nation” Sunday morning issues program into a 60-minute program beginning in April.  The show has been a 30-minute production since its inception.  Schieffer said on last Sunday’s program that the show will expand, “because more and more of you have been turning to ‘Face the Nation’ during this campaign season, so we thank you.”

Holiday Program Available to Stations.  A three-hour program called “The Gift” is available to radio stations across the country for air between December 24 and 26.  The program is produced by the Fisher House Foundation and created especially for the holiday season.  It features interviews with wounded warriors Matt ZajacTammy Duckworth and Dale Beatty; the mother of an injured service member, Becky Ziegel; and a father who lost his son in combat, Robert Stanton.  The stories – equally heartbreaking and inspiring – are vehicles to a greater understanding of the sacrifices our military and their families make every day, so that our nation may be home, safe and with their own families during the holidays.  Fisher House Foundation chairman and CEO Ken Fisher says, “Just one percent of Americans serve in the military, protecting and safeguarding a population that does not fully appreciate the depth of sacrifice these people make.  These people are true heroes.  We want to let the world know just how much they do for us every day, and ensure that if they have a need, that it is met.”  The Fisher House Foundation raises money to create housing for the families of wounded service personnel so they have a place to stay near them while they recuperate.  Stations interested in carrying the program should contact Ron Rivlin at: ron.rivlin@cumulus.com.

Obama on “60 Minutes,” SCOTUS to Hear AZ Illegal Immigration Law Challenge, Weekend GOP Debate and Euro Zone Debt Crisis Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/12).  President Obama’s interview on Sunday’s “60 Minutes” program, the Supreme Court’s agreement to hear arguments challenging Arizona’s illegal immigration law, the GOP presidential candidates debate that took place over the weekend and the ongoing euro zone debt crisis were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday.