Tag: "Pat O’Brien"

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

| December 18, 2013

sanchezrickRick Sanchez Joins WIOD, Miami in New Lineup.  Clear Channel Media + Entertainment news/talk WIOD, Miami announces a new program lineup that includes cable news/talk veteran Rick Sanchez in the latewiod logo morning slot.  Program director Grace Blazer says on the station’s website, “Our new lineup reflects 610 WIOD’S strengthening commitment to high-quality local news, accurate weather, important traffic conditions, and the perfect balance of highly talented local and national personalities.  The result will be a topical, informative and entertaining listener experience for the residents and businesses of South Florida.”  The lineup includes “South Florida’s First News with Jimmy Cefalo” in morning drive, Sanchez from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon followed by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck.  The new program schedule takes effect on January 6.

grzanichsteveCuts at CBS Chicago Leave Anchor/Reporter Steve Grzanich Out.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder has been writing about budget-related cuts at the CBS Radio cluster in Chicago for several days and now we know more about who’s been affected.  At all-news WBBM-AM, anchor/reporter Steve Grzanich exits after 20 years with thewbbmlogo station.  ChicagoRadioandMedia.com tips us that Grzanich posted the following message on his Facebook page: “Dear Friends: I have breaking news…about me!  After 20 years, I am signing off at WBBM Newsradio to explore other opportunities.  I am hungry for a new challenge and must embark on the journey to find it starting now.  But don’t go away!  I’ll still be here in Chicago and on Facebook with news, weather and other stuff…just not on the 8s.  Thank you for listening!  Stay tuned for news about my next chapter.”  The cluster also saw the release of longtime production/imaging staffer Michael Horn who worked for sister CHR WBBM-FM “B96.”  Horn has been working with Killer Hertz since May of 2012 and ChicagoRadioandMedia.com reports he will continue to do freelance imaging work while he looks for his next opportunity.  Feder reports that a number of sales staffers have been let go from the cluster.

cbsradio logoOther CBS Radio Cuts Hit Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Atlanta.  According to sources in Southern California, there have been four layoffs at CBS stations there including KTRH news anchor Bob Malik and KNX traffic reporter Tommy Jaxson.  The two others are believed to be front office staffers.  In Pittsburgh, changes come to sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” as Vinnie Richichi exits the Vinnie & Cook midday program and Paul Alexander leaves the morning drive show.  The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Bob Smizik reports that Richichi and Ron Cook never got along, it was obvious on the air and that led to Richichi’s departure, plus morning host Gregg Giannotti was not happy working with Alexander.  Finally, in Atlanta Kendra G. and Christopher “Crash” Clark exit the Ryan Cameron morning show at urban contemporary WVEE “V103.”

foxsportsradio logoLineup Changes at Fox Sports Radio Network in the New Year.  The national lineup from Fox Sports Radio Network will look a little different come January 5, 2014.  Gone from the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET slot will be Pat O’Brien and Steve Hartman from “Fox Sports Primetime” with replacement(s) to be announced later.  J.T. the Brick moves from the overnight slot to the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET slot accompanied by sidekick Tomm Looney, displacing the current Petros & Money show.  Petros Papadakis and Matt “Money” Smith will continue to be heard on Clear Channel’s KLAC, Los Angeles.  Rob Dibble and Amy Van Dyken leave “Fox Sports Tonight” and the NFL Network’s and Fox Sports Network’s Jason Smith takes over that show airing from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am ET while Fox Sports Radio weekend personality Ben Maller becomes the 2:00 am to 6:00 am host.

dyerjohnCox Enterprises Promotes Dyer to President/CEO.  Current chief operating officer John Dyer will be elevated to Cox Enterprises president/chief executive officer when he officially succeeds retiring CEO Jimmy Hayes on Wednesday, January 1.  Cox Enterprises is the parent company of Cox Media Group. According to Cox Enterprises chairman Jim Kennedy, “In the 36 years John has worked at Cox, he has always done a terrific job and always risen to meet every new challenge he was presented.  He has been an incredible chief operating officer and he understands all our businesses.  He is committed to our employees and our customers.  I am excited to work with [him] as he leads our company in an exciting future.”  Dyer comments, “Cox is a company that values its employees, delivers superior products and services to its customers, and strives to be a responsible and sustainable corporate partner in the communities in which we operate.  I am excited about the ways we will continue to grow our existing businesses and invest in future opportunities.”  In addition to Cox Media Group, Dyer will be responsible for Cox Communications, Manheim, and AutoTrader Group, as well as corporate functions including financial operations, human resources and administration.

murraybobBob Murray Takes Leave from WTAX, Springfield to Battle Brain Tumor.  “Morning Newswatch” host Bob Murray tells listeners in an open letter that he is taking time from the Saga Communications news/talk outlet to focus on “getting better and being with loved ones.”  Murray writes: “As you have probably heard, I have decided to elect for an extended medical leave of absence from my post as the host of the ‘WTAX Morning Newswatch’ due to newly discovered health concerns.  Many people have enquired (sic) into what is going on, and I thought it would be best you hear it from me.  I have been diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer and will be taking this leave from work as an opportunity to focus my time on getting better and being with family and loved ones.  While this is far from an ideal situation, we are remaining positive and focusing on staying strong.  In the days following the announcement, it has been so incredibly humbling to feel the outpour of prayers and support from all directions, and I am pretty positive I will never be able to properly express how much that means to my family and me.  I also want to thank the WTAX family and central Illinois area for their many years of loyal listenership.  It has truly been an honor to start each day with you, tackling the issues that matter to us.  I hope to be back in the capital soon, focusing on what I love, delivering the news, sports, entertainment and important local happenings to you.”

jaybradley‘Jay Talking’ Permanent Overnight Show on WBZ-AM, Boston.  Bradley Jay’s “Jay Talking” program is now the official overnight program on CBS Radio’s news and talk WBZ-AM, Boston.  Jay has been working in the news and talk realm for some time (he also serves as the executive producer for “Nightside with Dan Rea”) but he got his start in music radio and worked at the legendary rock outlet WBCN.  In fact, he hosted the last show at “The Rock of Boston” before a frequency swap and format change ended the station’s run.

daviscrashNRG, Omaha Names Davis KOOO Brand Manager.  In addition to being appointed brand manager of NRG Media, Omaha adult hits KOOO “Big O 101.9,” talk host Crash Davis takes on marketing director duties for that Nebraska market’s entire NRG cluster.  Operations manager Jeff Lynn comments, “Crash has been an integral part of our team for the past year.  He is very versatile and has a keen sense of what the Omaha listener wants and loves about ‘Big O.’  He brings many of the talents and skill sets we need to propel ‘Big O’ to new heights in the ratings and to drive results for our advertisers.”  Davis remarks, “I am delighted to have a more prominent role on a station I have watched evolve over the past several years.  I have great respect for [morning talent] Dave Wingert and the rest of the on-air team.  Our great variety of music and the content we talk about resonates with listeners.  I will do my part to enhance our reputation with the listeners and advertisers.”  Davis has been in Omaha radio the past 15 years, including as a host on NRG talk outlet KOIL “The Mighty 1290″ and as the afternoon drive talent on cross-town Clear Channel-owned talk station KFAB.

wrightfrankdrSalem Selects Dr. Frank Wright As President/COO.  Eleven-year National Religious Broadcasters president/chief executive officer Dr. Frank Wright will join Salem Communications Corporation on Wednesday, January 1 as president/chief operating officer.  Dr. Wright will report directly to Salem chief executive officer and director Edward Atsinger.  “Frank has more than 20 years of experience working in – and with – broadcast media organizations,” Atsinger comments.  “He has also developed a robust network among DC-based public policy organizations, as well as DC-based political organizations.  Frank is an effective leader and team-builder with a strong entrepreneurial background, and he has extensive executive experience in strategic planning and organizational structure.  I expect him to hit the ground running and work closely with me in executing our business strategies.”  Before joining the NRB, Dr. Wright spent seven years as executive director of the Center for Christian Statesmanship; he has a doctorate in finance.

eaglepub logoWill Salem Purchase Eagle Publishing on January 15?  The story that Politico reported late last week is a done deal, according to BuzzFeed which states staffers at Eagle Publishing have been told the sale will take place on January 15.  According to the BuzzFeed piece, Salem Communications will add to its conservative print and digital assets with the acquisition and that as many as 90% of staffers will remain with the Eagle division; it’s the upper management positions that will be eliminated due to redundancy.  Eagle operates RedState.com, Human Events and Regnery Publishing.  Salem recently acquired Twitchy.com from conservative pundit, columnist and author Michelle Malkin.

hannityrcmhstudioSean’s New Digs!  Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk star Sean Hannity (right) is pictured here with pundit and author Ann Coulter (center) and fellow Premiere star Glenn Beck (left) at Hannity’s new Premiere Networks studios at Radio City Music Hall in New York.  Hannity leaves his longtime home base at WABC, New York at the end of the year and his program will emanate from flagship WOR, New York beginning in January.

Budget Deal, NSA Data Mining Ruling, ObamaCare Criticism, Mega Millions Jackpot, and Limbaugh-Pope Francis Marxism Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/17).  The battle in the U.S. Senate over the details of the Congressional budget deal; the aftermath of a judge’s ruling the NSA data mining program “probably unconstitutional”; scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; the $636 million Mega Millions jackpot; and the continuing flap over Rush Limbaugh’s comments about Pope Francis’ “Marxist” economic philosophy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

| January 17, 2013

brownejoyDr. Joy Browne Joins Radio America.  The longtime WOR Radio Network syndicated talk star signs with Radio America for national distribution of her radio program.  Dr. Joy Browne – a licensed clinical psychologist – had been a staple of WOR, New York and the associated network for more than 15 years.  Now, she makes her debut in the 12:00 noonradioamerica to 3:00 pm ET slot on the Radio America network on Monday, January 21.  Browne states, “What a great way to start the New Year, surrounded by loyal affiliates, being discovered by a whole new audience and working with the terrific group at Radio America.  Yay!”  Radio America CEO Mike Paradiso says, “We are very excited about working with Dr. Joy.  Talk radio listeners are hungry for engaging programming that covers relevant issues outside of politics and Dr. Joy is a perfect fit.  She will be a great addition to our existing lineup.”

schnitttoddDay One of Testimony in the Bubba the Love Sponge –Todd Schnitt Case.  Nationally syndicated talk host Todd Schnitt (a former CHR morning show host in Tampa) is suing Bubba the Love Sponge (a.k.a Todd Clem) for defamation and day one of that trial got underway in a Hillsborough County, Florida court room yesterday.  Clem spent about six hours on the stand answering questions from Schnitt’s attorney.  He defended his use of the word “whore” inbubba describing Schnitt’s wife Michelle, implying his listeners did not really think she’s a prostitute because he used the word.  Schnitt’s lawyer is going to try to paint a picture of a battle in which Clem went overboard, causing the Schnitts and their kids to fear for their safety as the result of attacks from the “Bubba Army.”  It’s difficult to predict how a jury is going to respond to the evidence but the key for Schnitt appears to be convincing them Clem went too far in encouraging the kind of behavior that caused the Schnitts’ house to be egged and to have ice cream thrown at their car.  Case law would indicate Schnitt and his wife are public figures and even Clem’s use of the word “whore” to describe Michelle Schnitt is protected speech.  Proving actual damages in this case might be difficult and it will be Schnitt’s lawyer’s job to convince the jury the Schnitts were truly in fear and thus, suffered psychological damage as a result of Clem’s behavior.  There are more than 150 potential witnesses and the case could go on for another three weeks.

agnewbobKLAA, Anaheim Names Bob Agnew Program Director.  Sports talk programming pro Bob Agnew takes the PD post at Arte Moreno-controlled KLAA, Anaheim – the flagship station for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  Agnew spentklaa years programming KNBR, San Francisco and building it into one of the nation’s most successful sports talk outlets.  KLAA general manager David Baronfeld says of Agnew, “If there were a Mt. Rushmore for sports radio programmers, Bob would be one of the faces you’d see.  His impact in creating the most successful sports radio station on the West Coast is undeniable and having him join KLAA is truly exciting.”  Of his new gig, Agnew says, “This is a great opportunity to continue to grow and develop AM 830 KLAA into one of Southern California’s premier sports radio stations. There has been a tremendous growth of sports programming across the county and I am excited to put my experience and expertise to work with the KLAA staff.  I look forward to working alongside Roger Lodge, Travis Rogers and the rest of the very dedicated staff.”

foxsportsradio logo

Fox Sports Radio Network Announces Super Bowl XLVII Coverage.  As the sports world prepares for the Super Bowl, Fox Sports Radio Network announces its broadcast plans for the week leading up to the game.  For the 13th straight year, FSRN will be producing talk shows live from radio row, this year at the Ernest N. Morial mohrjayConvention Center, with Andy Furman, Artrell Hawkins, Steve Hartman, Pat O’Brien, Matt “Money” Smith and Petros Papadakis leading the coverage.  Fox Sports Radio reports that “as part of the week-long broadcast, ‘Jay Mohr Sports’ will host the first-ever virtual experience from radio row at the Super Bowl.  Utilizing video conferencing technology, Mohr will transport his show to New Orleans each day via a 46” big screen TV, enabling him to chat with athletes, celebrities and guests in real-time as they come face-to-face with his life-size image atop the official Fox Sports Radio stage.”

dellabategaryHoward Stern Producer Gary Dell’Abate’s HIV/AIDS Prevention Work Includes New Initiative.  The man most know as Baba BooeyHoward Stern producer Gary Dell’Abate – also serves as president of the nonprofit organization Lifebeat whose goal is to use the music industry to reach young people with messages of HIV/AIDS prevention.  Dell’Abate got involved with LifeBeat after his brother died of AIDS.  Lifebeat: Music Fights HIV/AIDS and the MTV Staying Alive Foundation are hosting a celebration today for The Arches of Hope interactive art installation.  The event takes place at The Out NYC Hotel.  The art installation was conceived and created by Patrick Duffy, creative director of the gay-oriented hotel.  The Advocate reports that today through January 24, Lifebeat is asking people from around the country to participate in the campaign by tweeting messages that recognize the installation’s message of hope for an HIV-free generation with the hashtag #ArchesofHope.  Messages will then be beamed to jumbo screens in Times Square and displayed via digital ticker tape embedded in the installation, and then shared across 12 major social media sites. Dell’Abate says, “We are also encouraging the public to sign a petition calling on President Obama and Congress to designate April 10 as National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day.”

scheinadamSiriusXM Sports Talk Host Adam Schein Offends “Snooki.”  “Jersey Shore” star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi was visiting the SiriusXM studios to promote her new TV show when sports talk host Adam Schein walked past her in the hallway.  Schein tweeted that after the encounter, he “needed a shower.”  The Tweet was quickly found by Polizzi and the followers of the two engaged in a Twitter war.  According to Breitbart.com Polizzi complained to SiriusXM management and is “trying to get Schein fired” for the Tweet.  This is one of those special moments that cause all of us at TALKERS to reflect on the beauty and value of social media.

Obama Signs Gun Controls, Americans Taken Hostage in Algeria-Mali Violence, Notre Dame Star Hoax, and Boeing 787 Fleet Grounded Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/16).  President Obama signs gun controls, and asks Congress to do more; American’s taken hostage in Algeria in response to French involvement in Mali; Notre Dame star Manti Te’o’s involvement in a death hoax; and Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is grounded after numerous battery fires were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Sports Talk Network Update: Heavyweights Covering All Bases

| January 2, 2013

Part One: CBS Launches New Network

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

LOS ANGELES — “Happy Sports Year!”

That could easily be the battle cry sentiment among ardent fans to welcome 2013, even if it means that many of them will require scorecards to track the whereabouts of some of their favorite sports radio personalities.

A perennial sports talk talent MVP tops the headlines by switching teams, while some new names get to crack opening-day lineups, as not one – but two – national sports networks are being introduced this year, each carrying instantly-recognizable name branding.

One of them in fact, is making its maiden voyage today (Wednesday, January 2) and, if all goes according to plan, many radio station managers and programmers will be echoing that “Happy Sports Year!” declaration in about 11 months as their way of assessing 2013.

Read More

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

| October 17, 2012

Creating Content Available Nowhere Else at Bonneville Seattle.  News/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle and parent company Bonneville announce a changing role for “Seattle’s Morning News” anchor Linda Thomas that puts the radio personality and journalist in the driver’s seat for bringing unique, local content to both KIRO-FM and the company’s digital space MyNorthwest.com.  Bonneville says Thomas will “devote 100% of her time and energy to original enterprise reporting for radio and digital channels in a groundbreaking new role announced today by KIRO Radio and MyNorthwest.com.  As senior features reporter at KIRO Radio and MyNorthwest.com, her role is to meet intriguing people and tell their stories.  In her role as digital journalist, Linda will continue her award-winning blog and file original reports to MyNorthwest.com covering topics from parenting and politics to technology and trends.”

During numerous presentations at industry gatherings, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison has stated that what radio must do to survive this convergence of media and the changes in consumer behavior it is fostering, is to create content that is only available in one place – your radio station.  KIRO’s move combines this notion with the concept of a “media station” – a digital destination for unique multi-media content.  Bonneville’s radio and digital news director Peter Gammell says, “Original local reporting is what fuels KIRO Radio’s conversations and drives our users to visit MyNorthwest.com.  Linda has a proven ear for the compelling story, and she’s one of our most prolific reporters.  This role frees her to focus on what only she can do.”

Thomas relishes her opportunity to pursue her journalistic endeavors.  “I believe everybody has a story, and I want to know what’s yours.  I meet so many people whose stories have value, and someone hearing or reading them is going to have their life changed by their bravery and originality.”  Program director Larry Gifford states, “I’ve always been impressed with the compassion in Linda’s reporting.  She finds real, interesting people in the community, has a personal conversation with them and shares what she’s learned.  I can’t wait to hear who she introduces me to next.”

Thomas will continue her popular “News Chick” efforts.  Tweeting and posting on social media as “The News Chick,” Thomas is among the most-followed local journalists in the U.S., according to Bonneville.  The company says she promises her social media followers on Twitter @thenewschick and Facebook will continue to be fed her customary stream of sharable gems.  “The value of social media for me is connecting – in real life when possible – with people in the community, and being there when they want to interact with me.”  In addition to her longer-form radio and online feature reporting, social media are where she will continue sharing viral videos, photos, links to eye-catching stories from Seattle to Hollywood and around the world — along with Thomas’ famed fascination with her boots.

Cumulus Media Inks Agreement to Buy New York Market FM.  Pending approval from the FCC, Cumulus Media will have a third New York City station after closing on Family Stations, Inc.’s WFME, Newark, New Jersey.  Cumulus states in a press release that it will announce format plans for the Class B FM at 94.7 upon closing and expects that to happen sometime in the fourth quarter of this year.  Crain’s New York Business cites an industry insider saying Cumulus got WFME for a bargain: $40 million. Family Stations has undergone changes during the past year and is said to be cash-strapped after Family Stations chief Harold Camping’s apocalyptic predictions on the date of Christ’s reappearance last year failed on two occasions.  CEO Lew Dickey says, “This strategic acquisition of our second FM in the nation’s largest market will enable us to provide compelling new programming for our listeners and a powerful marketing vehicle for our advertising partners.”  Of course, although Cumulus is remaining vague about the specifics of its programming intentions with the new acquisition, industry observers are actively speculating as to what might be in store for the Big Apple’s soon-to-be competitive commercial FM.  For years, through several ownerships, WABC program directors have privately confessed that they wished talk-formatted WABC had a NYC FM outlet for its programming.  But the fact that its only sister FM, hot AC WPLJ (95.5) has been such a consistent ratings and revenue success put up a roadblock to that happening easily.  Now with the New York talk market in flux per Clear Channel‘s soon-to-be-completed takeover of WOR and Cumulus launching new high-profile syndicated talk shows such as Mike Huckabee and Geraldo Rivera, and with the end of their contracts with Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity shows looming – it makes sense that they would be looking for a new Gotham outlet for their considerably valuable talk properties.  Of course, this is just speculation.

Tavis Smiley Takes on WBEZ, Chicago in Open Letter After Public Station Cancels Weekend “Smiley & West” Program.  Talk media personality Tavis Smiley wrote an open letter to Chicago Public Media president and CEO Torey Malatia after the station cancelled his weekend program “Smiley & West,” co-hosted by Princeton professor Cornel West.  In the letter, Smiley reacts to his work being called “less than inclusive” and being compared to Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly but Malatia in response to WBEZ cancelling his program.  Read the entire letter here.

KTTH, Seattle Announces New Schedule; Names David Boze AM Drive Host.  Beginning in January, Seattle talk radio personality David Boze will have a new role with the Bonneville talk station.  Boze currently does a one-hour program at 3:00 pm on KTTH that serves as a local hour between Salem Radio Network’s Michael Medved and Premiere NetworksSean Hannity on the station.  In January, Boze will host the three-hour morning drive show and bumps Premiere’s Glenn Beck from the AM drive slot on the station.  Bonneville Seattle program director Larry Gifford states, “David is a stand-up guy with a traditional Northwest sensibility.  He’s someone you’d want as a neighbor – who happens to host a great radio show.  He always leaves me better informed and mentally energized.”  Boze, who began his talk radio career as a producer for Peter Weissbach at KVI in 1999, has been with KTTH for 10 years.  He says, “I try to live my life with the same traditional values as my listeners do; decency, liberty, hard work, and doing what’s right.  I want to create a friendly gathering place where people can digest the news and we can talk about important stories that other media misinterpret or miss altogether.”

Talk Radio’s Unique Sales Advantage.  H & H Communications president Al Herskovitz says the unique place talk radio occupies in the stew of formats is that it is a foreground format that brings a better value to its advertisers.  This is not a new concept but Herskovitz writes that talk sales staffers can be very creative in taking advantage of this in bringing new categories of advertisers to the format.  “It would be hard to believe that the Rolls Royce manufacturer or even the local Rolls dealer would want to buy a spot in that Sunday 5:30 am auto show,” Herskovitz states.  “But an Atlanta station saleswoman I know did sell that very program to a salvage yard in her market coupled with a weekday spot package and a handful of promos.  Now that’s creative salesmanship!”  Read Al Herskovitz’s entire piece here.

WHNZ, Tampa to Add Sports Talk from Fox Sports Radio.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s WHNZ, Tampa – currently airing a combination of brokered local shows and syndicated news/talk fare, begins adding Fox Sports Radio content to the station beginning with the overnight “J.T. the Brick” program airing from 1:00 am to 5:00 am.  In 2013, the station plans to add FSRN’s “Petros & Money” and “Fox Sports Tonight” programs to the lineup.  Program director Steve Versnick states, “We are excited to launch the powerful brand of Fox Sports Radio on WHNZ in Tampa Bay.  This adds star power to the station for us.”

Fox Sports Radio Changes “Loose Cannons” Lineup; Vic “The Brick” Jacobs to KLAC Duties.  The trio of Pat O’Brien, Steve Hartman and Vic “The Brick” Jacobs – known as the “Loose Cannons” on Fox Sports Radio Network – will continue with just O’Brien and Hartman as Jacobs has been re-assigned to the sports news updates role at flagship KLAC, Los Angeles.  He’ll also serve as a reporter covering Lakers basketball.

Second Presidential Debate, Libya Attack Investigation, Malala Yousufzai Case, Iran Nuclear Ambitions, MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/16).  The second presidential debate from Hofstra University on Long Island; the ongoing investigation and controversy over the attack on the Banghazi consulate; the case of Pakistani wounded teen Malala Yousufzai; Iran’s nuclear weapons program; and the Major League Baseball playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

| July 24, 2012

Arbitrator Rules in Favor of Former XEPRS, San Diego Hosts Scott Kaplan and Billy Ray Smith.  Sports talk hosts Scott Kaplan and Billy Ray Smith were fired by XEPRS, San Diego – XX Sports Radio 1090 – in February after Kaplan made derogatory comments about the appearance of Mountain West TV Network sports personality Andrea Lloyd.  Kaplan and Smith contended they were let go in violation of their contract which outlined a process by which the station was to address content issues in case of a disagreement.  An arbitrator – retired Superior Court Judge Linda Quinn ruled in the hosts’ favor and has awarded the two more than $490,000 in damages based on their respective salaries, commissions, endorsements and incentives as provided by their contracts.  U-T San Diego (for which Kaplan now works co-hosting an online TV show called “Scott, B.R. + Amber”) reports Kaplan and Smith feel vindicated with Kaplan stating, “I feel vindicated.  They breached the contract.  I knew that from the beginning.  There was a lot of embarrassment that came with the termination.  I spent 11 great years on the radio…I loved what I did and I loved who I worked for.”  XEPRS has not paid the duo yet and has filed a motion asking Quinn to reconsider her decision.

NPR Hires Lobbying Firm to Fight GOP Effort to Defund CFPB.  Congressional Republicans are again organizing efforts to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and NPR is hiring the lobbying firm Navigators Global to help shut that down.  The Hill reports NPR spokesperson Dana Rehm says that the organization is a content provider but is also a trade organization representing member stations.  “It is part of our mission to represent the interests of NPR member stations to Congress, executive, regulatory and judicial bodies.  At a time when the federal government is running a large deficit, every program and function of the government deserves to be scrutinized, and a review of federal funding to public broadcasting is fair and to be expected.”  Rehm says the firm’s job is to explain “how the federal investment in public radio stations and larger public broadcasting system provides one of the most effective returns of any program authorized by Congress.”

Talk Radio Rises to the Occasion in Covering Aurora Massacre Aftermath.  The natural progression of the analysis and coverage of the killing of 12 and wounding of dozens of others at the Aurora, Colorado premiere of “Dark Knight Rises” continues and talk radio is rising to the occasion to serve its listeners with compelling and responsible discussion.  Examples of talk outlets rising to a high level of performance through the use of experts in the fields of psychology, law enforcement, media violence, gun control and more are being reported to TALKERS from all over the country.  Here two examples of similar coverage:  Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated talk host Todd Schnitt featured an interview with shooting victim Pierce O’Farrill, who was hit three times by bullets from the shooter’s gun.  O’Farrill described live on the air the chilling events at the theater, his perspective on the gunman, the death penalty, and his visit with President ObamaXtreMedia president Kevin McCullough tells TALKERS several of his company’s programs – his own Kevin McCullough show, the Saturday evening “Baldwin/McCullough LIVE” broadcast  and the Sunday night Dani Johnson show spent the bulk of their collective platforms allowing hurting, confused and stunned listeners to respond to the attacks.  Actor Stephen Baldwin took time out from a publicity tour in neighboring Cheyenne, Wyoming (90 minutes from Aurora) to meet with those in Aurora whose lives have been touched by the shootings.  While there, CNN‘s Don Lemon asked Baldwin (see photo) to weigh in on his perspective of the events.  Baldwin told CNN, “It may be time for those of us in the Hollywood community to re-examine how we advance violence through films, television, and video games.  It also blows my mind that someone could purchase 6,000 rounds of ammo in 45 days.  I’m a gun enthusiast but a red flag should’ve gone off somewhere.”

Progressive Town Hall Forum in Seattle.  Premiere Networks syndicated talk host Randi Rhodes (center) was one of eight panelists who took part in “Showdown 2012: Recapturing Democracy,” a progressive town hall forum presented by Seattle’s Progressive Talk AM1090 (CBS Radio’s KPTK) at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington on Saturday, July 21.  Rhodes appeared on a panel focused on the evolving role citizens play in the political and public policy process, including strategies to protect our role in democracy and to build a better future for everyone.  Panelists in this picture are (from l-r): Congressman Jim McDermott, WYD Media talk host Thom Hartmann,  talk host Mike Papantonio, Compass Media Networks talk host Norman Goldman, Rhodes, talk host Sam Seder, talk host Ron Reagan, and panel moderator David Postman, former chief political reporter for the Seattle Times.

KESN, Dallas Renews Contract with Cowboys Great Drew Pearson.  ESPN O&O KESN, Dallas – ESPN Dallas 103.3 – announces it is renewing its deal with Dallas Cowboys great Drew Pearson for another season.  Under the terms of the contract, Pearson will join “Ben & Skin” co-hosts Ben Rogers & Jeff “Skin” Wade on Mondays from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon, do Friday call-ins to the “Galloway and Company” show, and co-host the “5th Quarter Cowboys” post-game show.  Pearson will act as the “go-to guy” for any breaking Cowboys or NFL news, and do a weekly video segment with “Galloway and Company.”  Pearson states, “I am very happy and excited to be joining the ESPN Radio team for my third season as Cowboys/NFL analyst.  My role with ESPN provides a platform for me to express my sports opinions and it also allows me the opportunity to continue my association with the ‘Worldwide Leader in Sports’ – ESPN – which to me is priceless.”

Old Friends.  Dial Global nationally syndicated talk host Dennis Miller (r) poses for a shot with former “Saturday Night Live” cast member and co-star David Spade (c) and show promoter Bill Blumenreich (l) at Miller’s recent live concert at Boston’s Wilbur Theater.  Spade snuck into the theater and found his way to Miller’s dressing room where they chatted and caught up.

Fox Sports Radio and Yardbarker Enhance Content Relationship.  The latter is described by Fox Sports Radio as a sports opinion site and blog network.  It’s a property of Fox Sports Interactive Media and now it and Fox Sports Radio Network will begin working together more closely beginning with incorporating FSRN’s “Loose Cannons” into Yardbarker’s content.  FSRN states “‘Loose Cannons’ will feature a daily segment with co-hosts Pat O’Brien, Steve Hartman and Vic ‘The Brick’ Jacobs as they take listeners into O’Brien’s ‘backyard’ for all the dirt from Yardbarker.  Fox Sports Radio will soon add similar segments across other network programs.  In addition, Yardbarker will feature select content from Fox Sports Radio on its website and social media platforms.”  Yardbarker VP of operations Jack Kloster states, “Yardbarker is incredibly excited to partner with Fox Sports Radio and to introduce our content to the loyal listeners of ‘Loose Cannons.’  The partnership is a natural fit.  Our content is inherently conversational and Fox Sports Radio is home base for sports conversation.”

Geoff Neuhoff Passes Away at Age 59.  Neuhoff Communications president and CEO Geoff Neuhoff died Sunday after falling ill suddenly on Saturday.  Neuhoff owned and operated stations in rural Illinois including clusters in Springfield and Decatur.  The company operated news/talk WSOY, Decatur and sports talk WFMB, Springfield.  Neuhoff COO Mike Hulvey tells the State Journal-Register, “Geoff Neuhoff was a giant among small- and medium-market broadcasters.  Geoff demanded from all of us a dedication of greatness and excellence no matter the market size or the power of the station.  Geoff believed strongly that innovation was the way forward and he embraced new technologies with enthusiasm.  He will be missed by his team, but the legacy he leaves behind will last for years to come.”  Neuhoff is survived by his wife and three children.

Aurora Movie Theater Massacre, Penn State Penalties, Syria Instability, and European Debt Worries/Financial Markets Activities Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/23).  The aftermath of the massacre at the “Dark Knight Rises” showing in Aurora, Colorado; the severe penalties levied against Penn State in the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal; Syria’s political instability and threat to use weapons of mass destruction; and ongoing concerns over the debt of some European nations and the effect on world financial markets were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

| July 10, 2012

Istook Enters Syndication Arena.  Former 14-year Oklahoma City congressman Ernest Istook will host a daily 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET news/talk show – “Istook Live!” beginning July 16 that, according to its producers, will “drill deep into the hottest issues facing Americans.”  A production of the media division of The Heritage Foundation’s sister organization Heritage Action for America, the show will emanate from Heritage’s Robert H. Bruce radio studios at the think tank’s Capitol Hill headquarters.  Istook, well-regarded in talk radio circles as a sought-after guest and fill-in host, has been a Distinguished Fellow at the conservative think tank since 2007 and has represented and explained many of its positions on the issues on stations all across the country.  Sources at Heritage tell TALKERS that in addition to “getting the real deal about the issues from the most relevant Washington players, Istook will also field calls from listeners across the country.”  Istook tells TALKERS, “Amid the punditry and spin of the 24-hour news cycle, we intend to clarify the real threats to freedom and the American Dream, and talk about how American taxpayers can counter those threats.”  Heritage Action for America CEO Michael A. Needham states, “Heritage Action worked tirelessly to promote individual liberty and the free enterprise system.  Talk radio long has been a part of that effort.  Now, ‘Istook Live!’ will further discussion of the biggest issues facing our country and provide Americans with a better understanding of the battle of ideas that shapes the news.  We’ll give them virtual access to the halls of Congress and inner-workings of Washington.”  The launch, production, syndication and sales of “Istook Live!” will involve the coming together of a variety of formidable forces that TALKERS founder Michael Harrison described as “what appears to be talk radio’s version of the dream team.”  Ron Hartenbaum of WYD Media Management and Liz Laud of WYM Media Management will lead syndication and affiliate sales, Gary Shonfeld’s AdLarge Media will handle advertising sales and Gabe Hobbs of Gabe Hobbs Media will consult the project. The show initially will be broadcast via www.istook.com as affiliate stations are built out.

SiriusXM Enjoys Good Q2.  The second quarter of 2012 has been good to SiriusXM.  The satcaster reports adding 622,042 net subscribers during the period and more than 1 million in the first two quarters of this year.  CEO Mel Karmazin says he expects revenue to approach $3.4 billion in 2012.  “SiriusXM continues to demonstrate robust growth and strong operating execution despite a challenging economy.  Our second quarter subscriber gains mark a record quarter of net additions since the merger of SIRIUS and XM in July 2008.  While we continue to be conservative in the face of a weak U.S. economic outlook, customers continue to embrace our unparalleled programming lineup, allowing us to raise subscriber guidance for the second time this year.”

“Loveline” Gains Major Market Clear in Boston.  The late night sex and relationships show “Loveline,” featuring Dr. Drew Pinsky, Mike Catherwood and Simone Bienne, is added to the evening schedule at Entercom’s rock WAAF-FM, Boston.  The Courtside Entertainment-produced program show tackles listeners’ questions about love, relationships and sexuality with the help of its expert hosts and advice from a regular line up of popular guests. “Loveline” airs on WAAF-FM weeknights from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

CNN Enters Digital Audio News Realm with CNN Radio Soundwaves Destination.  The digital arm of news giant CNN unveils CNN Radio Soundwaves – “the network’s online destination for news content formatted in an original listening experience.”  CNN says this new audio beat will enhance the way users consume news by offering content in four forms: audio, text, photo and video.  CNN Radio president Tyler Moody says, “Soundwaves is a new frontier for CNN Radio.  Some stories are enhanced by an audio format, and we want to deliver a product that gives people that option.  Also, being able to socialize Soundwaves gives us the opportunity to engage in two-way communication with our audience – not just broadcast to fans.”  Powered by SoundCloud, users are able to embed sound clips across social networks.

Rusty Humphries Launches New Cigar Line.  Talk Radio Network and WGST, Atlanta PM drive talk host Rusty Humphries adds a new product to his line of official Rusty items – the Rusty Humphries El Presidente cigar line and its first product, The George Washington.  Humphries says the cigar line, only available in select cigar shops across the country and online via his website, has been met with immediate demand from cigar connoisseurs across the country.  U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (r), pictured here with Humphries (l) in Atlanta, is a big fan.  Humphries has marketed numerous products bearing his name in the past, including beef jerky, Bar-B-Q sauce, salsa and more.  He says the cigar venture just makes sense.  “One of the reasons I decided to make a cigar line was because after visiting several cigar lounges around the country, I realized that patrons of cigar shops were very loyal not only to their favorite cigar but to talk radio as well.  Why not combine the two together?”

Fox Sports Radio Network Talent Broadcast from London 2012 Olympic Games.  Fox Sports Radio talent will be front and center when the 2012 Olympic Games begin on July 27.  First, Dan Patrick, host of the DirecTV/FSRN sports talk show, and Pat O’Brien, co-host of the “Loose Cannons” show on FSRN, will serve as NBC anchors for the games.  “Fox Sports Tonight” co-host (and six-time Olympic gold medalist) Amy Van Dyken will join co-host Rob Dibble with daily updates and interviews from the London games.  Also, tennis star Andy Roddick – who co-hosts the “Roddick & Bones” weekend show on FSRN – will be competing in the games on the U.S. tennis team.

WCHV, Charlottesville-Based Joe Thomas to Broadcast from Freedom Fest 2012.  Virginia talk show host Joe Thomas – based at WCHV, Charlottesville and regionally syndicated – will take his show on the road to Las Vegas where he will broadcast both his WCHV morning drive show and his regionally syndicated PM drive show from “Freedom Fest 2012” at Bally’s Hotel.  Thomas states, “I’m looking forward to reinforcing my show’s theme of free markets, opportunity and liberty from this great annual event.”

CRN Digital Talk Host Larry Manetti Airs Ernest Borgnine Tribute Today.  Actor and nationally syndicated talk show host Larry Manetti will pay tribute to his good friend Ernest Borgnine – who passed away over the weekend at age 95 – on his CRN Digital Talk program today.  Manetti says, “We were close friends who shared a lot over the years so I’m happy to join with our other good friends and listeners in a tribute to Ernie’s life and work.”   Manetti and Borgnine worked together on the upcoming film, “The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vincente Fernandez,” which turned out to be Borgnine’s final film.  The film was directed by Elia Petredis, who will appear on today’s program along with actors Robert Wagner and Dennis Farina.  Manetti’s program airs live at 4:00 pm PT.

Talk Star Mark Levin to Emcee WABC and WPLJ-FM Promotion.  The promotion in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey is the 2nd Annual Bark in the Park being held Saturday, July 14 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm and is designed to allow dog owners and their pets to enjoy a day in the park.  Dog lover, author and talk host Mark Levin will emcee the event that will include contests and activities for dogs, with various pet exhibitors, demonstrations and plenty of food and drink.  There will be many puppies available onsite for adoption through the North Shore Animal League America and the Bergen County Animal Shelter.  Mark Levin will be joined by Mark Simone of 77 WABC and Bill Evans, senior meteorologist for Channel 7 Eyewitness News and will also be broadcast on WPLJ-FM.

Obama Proposes Middle-Class Tax Cut Extension, Weak Jobs Creation Numbers, Affordable Care Law, and 2012 Presidential Race Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/9).  President Obama’s proposal to eliminate the Bush tax cuts for Americans making more than $250,000 per year; the weak job creation numbers and their effect on the financial markets; the Affordable Care law and how it will impact employers and families; and the 2012 presidential race were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, June 18, 2012

| June 18, 2012

EXCLUSIVE: Sean Hannity’s New Media Seminar Keynote Address on TALKERS TV.  The rousing speech delivered by Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel talk media superstar Sean Hannity at the start of the New Media Seminar in New York on Thursday, June 7 is now playing on TALKERS TV.  Introduced by TALKERS founder Michael Harrison, who described the upbeat talk show host as a “fine man who could be a governor or a president,” Hannity discusses a wide range of issues facing talk radio today from selling PPM numbers to the challenges of accurately rating a multi-platform medium to overcoming organized advertiser boycotts.  See and hear this event in the TALKERS TV box on the right side of this page.  Look for more video from the New Media Seminar to be playing on TALKERS TV at www.talkers.com in the coming days and weeks.

CBS Radio Sell-Off Talk Getting Heated Again.  This time a piece by Richard Morgan in The Deal Magazine cites CBS president and CEO Les Moonves’ desire to make CBS a true player in Hollywood – with big studio muscles – as the reason the corporation may be considering selling its outdoor, print and radio assets.  Morgan writes, “Investment bankers are confident that, after orchestrating a take-private, CBS brass could still muster resources to pursue what has long been the apple of Moonves’ eye (aside from Julie Chen, that is): acquire a movie studio, one along the lines of mini-major Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., the addition of which would transform half-decade-old CBS Films into a bona fide major.”  Advertising-reliant media such as outdoor and radio, although they deliver cash flow, are not favorites because of their reliance on advertising.  Morgan quotes a banker discussing CBS Radio, “Moonves doesn’t really like it that much but it delivers huge cash flows.”  The banker states he believes the company’s 127 radio stations will eventually be sold.  The theory is the outdoor, print (Simon & Schuster) and radio could fund a take-private move and give CBS the funds it needs to become a Hollywood pure player.

Robin Bertolucci Named 2012 Woman of the Year.  The TALKERS magazine editorial board has announced the selection of KFI/KTLK, Los Angeles program director Robin Bertolucci as the 2012 recipient of the Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Talk Radio Industry by a Woman.  The presentation will be made at the forthcoming Los Angeles installment of the TALKERS New Media Seminar at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood on Thursday, October 11, 2012.  The event, presented by TALKERS magazine in conjunction with the Los Angeles Press Club, is the second half of this year’s innovative bi-coastal format for the talk industry’s most important and longest running national convention.  The prestigious award is named in honor of the late Judy Jarvis – a pioneer in the independent talk syndication movement of the 1990s – who was stricken with lung cancer and died in the prime of her life and career in 2000.  Since then, this award has been presented each year at the NMS to a series of outstanding industry women including Laurie Cantillo, Grace BlazerAdriane Gaines, Randi Rhodes, Laura Ingraham, Lisa Evers, Gloria Allred, Lynn Distler, Kim Komando and Ellen Ratner.  The award was first presented posthumously to Judy Jarvis.  Last year’s recipient was Stephanie Miller who will participate in the presentation.  Bertolucci began her luminous career in talk radio in 1987 as a desk assistant at KGO, San Francisco and was eventually promoted to that station’s executive producer position.  She served as program director of KOA, Denver before joining Clear Channel in Los Angeles in 2002.  According to TALKERS VP/managing editor Kevin Casey, “As a talk programmer, Ms. Bertolucci represents the best this industry has to offer – regardless of gender.  All of us at TALKERS look forward to the day when there will not be a need to shine the spotlight specifically on women who set an inspirational example for others in this business.  But unfortunately that day has yet to arrive and until it does, we will continue to present this award as an annual tradition.”  TALKERS will begin posting detailed information about New Media Seminar/Los Angeles on Monday morning here at www.talkers.com.  For information call 413-565-5413.

WNIR, Akron Talk Host Howie Chizek Dies at Age 65.  The longtime WNIR-FM, Akron talk show host was travelling to Florida to take part in charity work when he suffered a heart attack.  Howie Chizek had worked at WNIR-FM for the past 38 years, most recently hosting the station’s midday program and a Saturday show.  WNIR-FM president Bob Klaus tells the Associated Press Chizek was travelling with underprivileged youths and chaperones to Walt Disney World as part of an annual charity program.  Klaus states, “He was an absolutely amazing talent who had gigantic charisma.  And behind the scenes he was a very warm, gentle man…He just loved to make the world a better place by giving kids an opportunity to develop and grow into productive members of society.”

WFAN Kicks Off Third Annual “Fantasy Phenom Challenge.”  On Thursday, July 12 CBS Radio’s WFAN, New York begins auditioning sports talk radio fans who think they can do sports talk radio and, once again, the winner will have the opportunity to earn an air shift on WFAN.  This year, the station is opening the contest to duos.  For three consecutive weeks in July, a panel of judges will listen to up to 100 from each week’s auditions hopefuls do their sports talk shtick.  Those who move to the next round are eventually whittled down to five finalists who will compete at Mike Francesa’s “End of Summer” bash on August 24.  Last year’s winner – John Jastremski – was no stranger to media having gone to Syracuse University to study journalism and worked at campus stations.  He still works at WFAN.  Station OM Mark Chernoff says, “Our Fantasy Phenom enters its third year and it is bigger and better than ever.  We look forward to our new twist of allowing teams of two to compete in Fantasy Phenom 3.”

Legal Scholars Debate ObamaCare.  Salem Radio Network talk host – and Chapman University constitutional law professor – Hugh Hewitt (c) moderated a debate between two legal scholars over the outcome of the United States Supreme Court’s looming decision on the legality of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.  The event took place on Wednesday, June 13 at the Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, California and was a standing-room-only success.  At Hewitt’s left is constitutional law professor John Eastman, to his right is Erwin Chemerinsky.  This photo is courtesy of the Whittier Daily News.

 

Greater Media’s Bob & Sheri Celebrate U.S. Army’s Birthday and Flag Day with Remote Events.  WLNK-FM, Charlotte-based morning drive talk hosts Bob & Sheri wrapped up a patriotic week of live events that began the weekend of June 8-10 at affiliate WCTW-FM, Catskill, New York where Bob & Sheri participated in the Hudson, New York Flag Day Parade and the Hudson River Cruise (where they are pictured here with listeners aboard the boat).  Listeners lined the streets to see Bob & Sheri pass by and select listeners were chosen to attend a private boat cruise.  On Wednesday, June 13, the duo traveled to Fort Bragg near Fayetteville, North Carolina to help celebrate the 237th birthday of the U.S. Army.  They participated in a meet-and-greet for affiliate station WQSM-FM.  They broadcast live during the Army’s annual four-mile birthday run on the morning of June 14.

AM570 Fox Sports L.A. Celebrates Kings Stanley Cup Victory.  KLAC – AM570 Fox Sports L.A. – the radio home of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings covered the team’s Stanley Cup celebration and parade with a day of live broadcasts.  “Loose Cannons” Pat O’Brien and Steve Hartman broadcast from the AM570 stage outside the Staples Center arena, while co-host Vic “The Brick” Jacobs walked the parade route taking photos with fans and sharing the excitement with listeners.  Petros & Money took the parade route bus ride with the Kings players, providing fans with play-by-play of the action. The Loose Cannons then brought the broadcast into the arena’s visitor box, with live coverage of the rally celebration and post-reactions from key player Dustin Penner, head coach Darryl Sutter and AEG president and CEO Tim Leiweke.  Following the incredible events, Petros & Money hosted a three-hour local program that included reliving their memorable experiences and inviting listeners on-air to share their reactions.  Pictured here is Loose Cannon Pat O’Brien interviewing Dustin Penner.

Friday, June 1, 2012

| June 1, 2012

Finebaum Case Far from Settled Says Cumulus. Contrary to the story published here earlier today (6/1), there is no settlement on the horizon for Birmingham-based sports talk host Paul Finebaum and Cumulus Media in their contract dispute. Cumulus COO John Dickey tells TALKERS the reported agreement that would end the lawsuits each side is filing against other and allow Finebaum to work out his contract at Cumulus’ sports talk WJOX-FM, Birmingham that ends in January of 2013 and then go to work at Cox Media’s crosstown sports WZNN-FM if he chooses are categorically untrue. “He will never work for Cox in Birmingham,” Dickey says. Jefferson County Circuit Judge Robert Vance had asked the two sides to resume negotiations to settle the contract dispute and report to the court by May 30.

Battle for Control of SiriusXM Heating Up.  John Malone‘s Liberty Media is again filing a request with the FCC to give it “de facto” control of satellite broadcaster SiriusXM. The Commission denied its first attempt back on May 4 but Liberty has since acquired another 6-plus percent of the company’s stock, pushing its total above 46%. It’s petition for reconsideration with the FCC reportedly contains additional information to the Commission. In a filing with the SEC, SiriusXM states, “We’ve been engaged in discussions with Liberty Media to explore possible transactions with respect to its ownership interest in Sirius, although we have not reached agreement with respect to a specific transaction that would be mutually beneficial to both our common and preferred stockholders. There is no assurance that these discussions will result in any specific action or transaction. We do not expect to disclose developments with respect to these discussions.”

Scott Hennen Turns to Listeners for Funding for WZFG, Fargo. Talk show host and businessman Scott Hennen is exploring alternative sources for funding his purchase of The Flag 1100 (WZFG) in the Fargo market. The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead‘s Marino Eccher reports Hennen has created a program whereby fans become “founding fathers” and buy into one of four clubs – Faith, Family, Freedom, and Free Enterprise – for $1,000 (each club limited to 400 members). He’s seeking a total of 1,600 such “founders” to come up with $1.6 million. Hennen tells the paper he has traditional funding sources but decided to seek less traditional forms of funding after sensing his listeners “desire to be part of something bigger.” These fans will not be shareholders or part owners but instead will have input on the station’s weekend programming, behind-the-scenes updates and $1,000 advertising credit. Hennen tells Eccher Tea Party activist Mark Skogerboe will serve as director of the clubs and be an on-air contributor.

NEW MEDIA SEMINAR/NYC Sold Out but Agenda Keeps Growing.  Thursday, June 7 is going to be a big day for talk radio in the Big Apple as some 400 professionals from all aspects of the business converge on the Concierge Conference Center on Manhattan’s East Side for a one-day conference containing the content mass of a two- or three-day convention.  “Although we have reached capacity in terms of registration,” explains TALKERS VP/managing editor Kevin Casey, “doesn’t mean the agenda is not continuing to grow.”  Casey continues, “This conference has all the aspects of an old fashioned ‘happening’ with a program lineup that is so outstanding, it is attracting a growing number of industry leaders wanting to contribute as speakers and panelists.”  According to conference director Michael Harrison, “We attribute the positive response to this event not only its powerful and relevant agenda, but to the fact that it is so efficiently tuned to the times in terms of its affordable registration fee and compact time demands.  With another one set for Los Angeles in October, this June 7 event has the convenience of a regional conference while delivering the bang of a major national convention.”  Although space is limited for those who will participate in person, the content of this forthcoming NMS which will be video recorded from beginning to end will reach a far wider audience via TALKERS TV in the weeks and months following June 7.  For information call 413-565-5413.  To see the up-to-the-minute agenda, click here.

WEUS, Orlando to Be LMA’d with Intent to Purchase. Star Over Orlando‘s talk outlet WEUS, Orlando is entering into a deal with MultiCorp International to have the latter’s subsidiary – Rivalz Sports Group – operate the station as a sports talk outlet beginning on July 30 with the intent to buy the signal. MultiCorp intends to change the calls to WRSG and hopes to move the stations operations “within a restaurant facility” so diners can enjoy “a first-class restaurant/media experience.” The company states it hopes to expand this model to other markets.

Dr. Laura Launches Online Jewelry Business. SiriusXM talk show host and talk radio pioneer Dr. Laura Schlessinger unveils her “Dr. Laura Designs,” – an online boutique featuring her personally designed and handcrafted jewelry, glass and polymer clay art. The site offers ready-made items or people can commission custom made pieces. Dr. Laura initially began selling jewelry to assist the “Operation Family Fund,” a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to families of those who are injured or killed while fighting the war on terrorism, and raised more than $1.5 million. Dr. Laura has had a passion for jewelry – making it and glass art that started when, during a particularly difficult time for her family, her then-little son suggested that a new hobby would be helpful. She states, “I never thought I had one ounce of artistic ability, and couldn’t think of what I could do.” After a listener suggested she visit a local bead fest, she says, “I walked by a table filled with Tibetan ornaments and my brain just exploded with creative images. I bought books on jewelry-making and purchased tools, wire, beads and stones and got started.” Dr. Laura’s program currently airs from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET on the Sirius Stars channel.

Dave Ramsey to Lead NAB-RAB Radio Show Super Session. Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey will lead a Super Session at the September 19-21 Radio Show in Dallas being produced jointly by the NAB and RAB. The panel, titled “Succeeding in This Economic Environment,” taking place on Thursday, September 20 at 9:30 am and, as its title implies, will focus on steps radio station operators can take to achieve success in these tough economic times.

Odds ‘n’ Sods. The Society for Professional Journalism and the Radio Television Digital News Association announce registration is open for their September Excellence in Journalism Conference taking place the 20th through the 22nd in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The conference offers more than 50 professional development sessions…..Former college football coach Rick Neuheisel (UCLA, Washington and Colorado) joins SiriusXM‘s College Sports Nation channel where he’ll appear on the “College Football Playbook” show and co-host the daily “College Sports Today” show with Mark Packer…..Clear Channel Media and Entertainment‘s WFLA, Tampa begins simulcasting on an FM translator at 105.9 licensed to West Tampa…..Las Vegas-based nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs has a small role in an upcoming Showtime reality program. She tells TALKERS, “It’s a one-time small part on  a Showtime reality show but it’s a start!” Wachs says it’s super secret and she can’t even tell us the name of the show, yet.

Stormy Times at Fairfax Media. American media companies are not the only ones dealing with difficult financial situations. TALKERS Australia bureau chief Trevor Smith reports on one of Australia’s major talkback radio-formatted operators – Fairfax Media – as it deals with corporate power struggles and underperforming revenue. Read Smith’s entire piece here.

Rusty Among the Politichicks. That’s Talk Radio Network nationally syndicated talk show host Rusty Humphries on the set of the internet TV show “Politichicks.” Humphries appeared with co-hosts Dr. Gina Loudon, Ann-Marie Murrell, Sonnie Johnson, Morgan Brittany on the recent episode titled, “The Fairness Doctrine: There’s Nothing Fair,” to discuss the “current environment of talk radio as well as why conservative talk radio has become a focus of attack by the mainstream media and liberal politicians.  At the end of the segment, Rusty was formally honored with the title, “PolitiStud.” It’s obvious to see why.

2012 Presidential Race Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 28 – June 1. The 2012 presidential contest was #1 on the Talkers TenTM chart of the week’s most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio for the ninth week in a row. At #2 this week was the Syria massacre aftermath. Following at #3 was Iran’s nuclear ambitions and at #4 was the Euro zone crisis and the global financial markets’ activities. The Talkers TenTM is based on ongoing research from Talkers magazine and consists of the top stories and people discussed on America’s news/talk radio stations during the week. View this week’s entire chart here.

Crue Visits the Cannons. Motley Crue bassist and host of the Premiere Networks-syndicated “Sixx Sense” radio program, Nikki Sixx (r), is pictured here with Fox Sports Radio‘s “Loose Cannons” co-host Pat O’Brien (l). Fox Sports Radio and Los Angeles Dodgers flagship AM 570 Fox Sports LA (KLAC) invited Sixx to throw out the first pitch at a recent Dodgers game. Prior to the first pitch and Sixx’s appearance on the “Loose Cannons” nationally syndicated program, Fox Sports Radio offered listeners the chance to win travel accommodations and tickets to a stop on this summer’s Motley Crue/KISS tour.

Friday, September 9, 2011

| September 9, 2011

How Is Talk Radio Handling the 9/11 Anniversary?  The 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2011 is Sunday and – indicative of the important role those attacks and their aftermath have played in the programming of American news/talk stations over the past decade – many of these stations are treating this Sunday as if it were a weekday, with their top talent broadcasting live and special programming pre-empting the usual Sunday schedule.  Read on as talk radio programmers, content providers and talent express what this tragedy means to, not only the broadcast outlets, but to talk media’s P1’s and the genre’s practitioners.  More here.

Talk Media Mega-Star Sean Hannity Celebrates 10 Years in National Syndication.  Hannity began his foray into national syndication the day before September 11, 2001 and he went on to become an extremely important media figure broadcasting to a newly expanded audience in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks that would consume the American consciousness in the weeks and months that followed.  Initially syndicated via the old ABC Radio Networks and now by Premiere Networks, 10 years later Hannity’s show is heard on more than 500 stations across the country by more than 14 million listeners each week, according to the most recent ratings research from TALKERS (see that data here.).  In a statement, Sean Hannity says, “After 10 years in syndication and nearly 25 years on air, my love for radio continues to grow.  I’m grateful to be working with some of the best people in the business — from my staff, to affiliates, to my radio partners and sponsors; I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together.  Thank you to the listeners and fans who join me on this radio journey each day and help make this one of the best jobs in the world.”

Fox Sports Radio’s Pat O’Brien Featured in 9/11 TV Documentary.  The program is titled The Love We Make” and airs tomorrow (9/10) at 9:00 pm ET on Showtime.  It is a collaboration between Paul McCartney and filmmaker Albert Maysles.  Maysles followed McCartney around New York a month after the horrific attacks on the city, and Pat O’Brien interviews McCartney as part of the documentary.  McCartney was on a plane on the tarmac at LaGuardia preparing to take off when the first plane hit the World Trade Center.  O’Brien is co-host of FSR’s midday program “Loose Cannons” alongside Steve Hartman and Vic “The Brick” Jacobs.

WAXY, Miami Host Dan LeBatard’s TV Show Set at ESPN2.  The half-hour TV show that has been in development titled, “Dan LeBatard Is Highly Questionable,” finds its home from 4:00 to 4:30 pm ET on ESPN2 beginning Monday (9/12).  The development of a TV show for LeBatard – who is a regular fill-in host on ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” – was announced earlier this summer.  According to ESPN VP of production Marcia Keegan, LeBatard’s 72-year-old father Gonzalo LeBatard will also be part of the program.  She states, “Given the popularity of our afternoon lineup of discussion and debate shows, we know that our audience is drawn to accessible and engaging personalities so we expect Dan’s smart-yet-irreverent take on sports combined with the often diverting and occasionally thoroughly pointless interaction with his father to make for an oddly compelling program.  If nothing else, don’t say we never take chances.”  In addition to his radio and TV work, Le Batard is a columnist for the Miami Herald.

Tony Bruno Exits FSR; Mike North and Rob Dibble to Fill In.  Sports talk host Tony Bruno is leaving his “Into the Night” nationally syndicated sports talk show produced by DirectTV and airing on Fox Sports Radio Network to return to the air at Greater Media’s WPEN-AM/FM, Philadelphia in middays.  Filling in that shift on the network are Chicago-based sports talker Mike North and former Cincinnati Reds “nasty boy” Rob Dibble for the show “FSR Evenings” airing from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET.  North has been hosting a weekend show for FSR and Dibble has worked for ESPN and the Washington Nationals on the TV side.

WTKK-FM, Boston’s Doug Meehan Begins Segment Honoring First Responders.  Doug Meehan is debuting a new weekly segment on Greater Media’s WTKK-FM, Boston called “First Responder Friday” that acknowledges the efforts of first responders in New England.  This segment – airing its debut at a time when first responders involved (and in too many cases killed) in the 9/11 attacks are being honored – according to the station “is a way of saying ‘thank you’ to the firefighters, police officers and emergency medical responders who make the necessary sacrifices to put other’s needs above their own.”  Meehan states, “I feel this is a unique opportunity to recognize those in our community who often go unrecognized for their service to the community on a daily basis.”  The first recipient of the First Responders Award will be today on Meehan’s program.  Then beginning October 7, Meehan’s show will honor an individual or group of first responders in the region.  Nominations are accepted by their community or chosen based on an event that affected the lives of individuals.

ESPN Combines TV Simulcasts of Radio Shows.  ESPN moves the “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” and “The Scott Van Pelt Show” from The U and ESPN2 respectively to its ESPNews where they’ll air back-to-back from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

President Obama’s Jobs Speech Most-Talked-About Topic on News/Talk Radio for Week of September 5-9.  President Obama’s much-anticipated speech to a joint session of Congress and the nation was #1 on the Talkers Ten™ chart of the top talk topics this week.  At #2 was Wednesday’s GOP candidate’s debate and the 2012 presidential election.   Following at #3 was financial markets activity and severe weather across the nation and its financial implications came in at #4.  The Talkers Ten™ is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View all 10 topics and the 10 most-talked-about people by clicking the banner below.