Tag: "Phoenix"

Friday, March 14, 2014

| March 14, 2014

salkmikeMike Salk Returns to KIRO-AM as Program Director.  The year-long return to his hometown and the afternoon drive co-host slot on Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston didn’t pan out and now sports talker Mike Salk is returning to Bonneville’s KIRO-AM, Seattle “ESPN 710” to serve as the program director.  He’s also expected to pick up an air shift that will be announced in the future.  Salk worked with Brock Huard on the station before exiting last spring to partner up with Michael Holley at WEEI.  In a statement, Salk says, “I could not be more excited about this unique kiroopportunity and the new challenge of running the programming at ‘710 ESPN Seattle.’  Even though I left Seattle last year, it never ceased being home.  ‘710 ESPN Seattle’ is a nationally renowned sports station and this opportunity to lead it is an honor.  The people in that building are special and I can’t wait to reconnect with all of them.”  Station VP/GM David Pridemore adds, “It is gratifying to have Mike return to ‘710 ESPN Seattle’ and 710Sports.com as the program director and eventually as an on-air host.  Mike knows the market, our people, the sports talk format, the art and business of radio, and the power and influence of digital media. We are privileged to have Mike at the helm of ‘710 ESPN Seattle.’”

youngbarryKFYI’s Barry Young Announces Retirement.  Talk radio pro Barry Young has been a host at Clear Channel’s KFYI, Phoenix for much of the past 27 years but he’s announcing that he’ll retire from the station in November.  Young has held down the mid-morning slot at the station for more than a decade.  Young served as the station’s program director from 1988 to 1998.  It was during that time he met his future wife, computer expert and talk host Kim Komando.  In addition to his work with KFYI, Young is also president and CEO of WestStar TalkRadio Network which syndicates the weekend program hosted by Komando, as well as other radio programs.  Young started his career at WGAC, Augusta, Georgia at the age of 14.  He went on to work at WRNG, Atlanta; WFAA, Dallas; WNWS, Miami; and WJNO, West Palm Beach before arriving at KFYI in 1987.

rabRAB: Radio Revenue Flat in 2013.  The Radio Advertising Bureau is releasing its report on revenue for the fourth quarter of 2013 and the year as a whole and on revenue of $17.6 billion for 2013, the radio business was essentially flat compared to 2012.  Spot revenue dipped 3% in the fourth quarter of 2013 but the industry was lifted by digital (up 18%), off-air (up 11%) and network comp (upfarberericanew 7%).   For the total of 2013, spot revenue was down 1% but buoyed by digital (up 16%) and off-air (up 5%).  The source of the figures is accounting firm Miller Kaplan Arase based on a pool of more than 100 markets extrapolated for the entire nation.  RAB CEO Erica Farber states, “Digital continues to gain momentum among advertisers looking to maximize their use of all radio platforms.  Based on the recent Borrell Associates forecast of a 22% rise in digital spending on radio in 2014, this category is poised to surpass the $1 billion mark.”  Automotive remained the number one ad category.  Ad sectors that gained during 2013 were professional services (up 23%), communications (up 18%), and concerts/theatre/movies (up 12%).

rosinlarryTalking Point: Edison’s Larry Rosin Explores ‘Nationalization’ of Radio.  The question of just how far Clear Channel and Cumulus Media will go in eliminating the costly local programming elements from their O&O stations to be replaced by nationally syndicated programs (which they own) is one that’s been discussed much by people in the industry as well as written about in such publications as this.  Edison Research president Larry Rosin spoke about it openly at the recent CRS in Nashville and follows that up with a blog piece on the Edison site.  Rosin suggests that Clear Channel’s full-steam-ahead move to brand its stations iHeartRadio and Cumulus’ stratagem in the country realm with “NASH FM” are manifestations of the “nationalization” of radio programming by those companies and, while that may save some money and give corporate a monolithic control over programming, ultimately, he believes it’s not going to work.  Rosin says the results of his research lead him to that conclusion particularly with regard to younger people and the use of AM/FM radio.  “We pretty much hear the same things over and over – they do and will continue to go to radio for unique compelling content – and to be in-the-know on what is happening locally.  Young listeners talk to us about the chance to actually meet the personality they hear on the radio and the announcements of local events or concerts.  They understand their local radio stations are providing them with something that Pandora and Spotify don’t.  So the question is: Will the nationalized radio content be so great, so amazing, so compelling, that the consumers of tomorrow will stay loyal to FM?”  So the argument about local versus national programming continues.  Perhaps Clear Channel and Cumulus are banking on their reach and relationships with labels and artists to deliver what they consider the best content.  Other operators are going the “live and local” route.  Time will tell who wins this one.  But the cost could be heavy.  Read Rosin’s entire piece here.

cubs logoCubs Broadcasts Could Leave WGN After 2014 Season.  The Chicago Tribune’s Ed Sherman writes that sources indicate Tribune’s WGN, Chicago – broadcaster of Chicago Cubs play-by-play since 1925 – put the rights to carry the games after this season on the market and that CBS RADIO appears to be the most interested.  According to the Tribune, CBS is putting together a package that would include airing games on news WBBM and include coverage on its other radio properties.  The Cubs reportedly have a current deal that pays the team $10 million per season – per perennially losing season, that is – and the story reports WGN is losing money on the broadcasts.  Interestingly, local industry sources in Chicago tell Sherman someone will eventually fork over a lot of cash for Cubs rights.  Just which company that is remains to be seen.

wkzologoOdds & Sods.  When the NCAA Division I Men’s tournament begins on Tuesday, March 18, WeswoodOne will offer play-by-play action from 67 games, including the First Four, games from all eight second-round and third-round sites, four regional semifinals and finals venues, and all three games from the NCAA Men’s Final Four at AT&T Stadium in North Texas…..SiriusXM is also presenting coverage of the March Madness tourney and says it’s providing “uninterrupted access to live play-by-play” of all the games.  Additionally, On Selection Sunday, the satcaster will provide up-to-the-moment coverage as tournament teams and first round match-ups are announced.  Chris “Mad Dog” Russo and Steve Torre will host live from 5:00 to 9:00 pm ET on March 16…..Midwest Communications-owned news/talk WKZO, Kalamazoo is honored with five Excellence in Broadcasting awards from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.  The station won Best in Category awards for Community Involvement and Promotional Materials.  In addition, Merit Awards were achieved for Play-by-Play from a hockey game that featured Western Michigan University as well as for Best Morning Personality for an interview conducted on “Kalamazoo’s Morning News.”  Another highlight for the station was a win of the Best in New Media Award for the coverage of the 2013 Kalamazoo Marathon.

gallaghermikeTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The Salem Radio Network-syndicated Mike Gallagher show is added to the program schedule at KLO, Salt Lake City…..Two new affiliates in Arkansas join the Yahoo! Sports Radio network: KVRC, Arkadelphia and KBOK, Malvern are carrying the full schedule of programming…..KNOX, Grand Forks is the newest affiliate station for GCN-syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs.

ObamaCare Criticism Returns to Top of Talkers TenTM.  Scrutiny of the rollout and the effects of the Affordable Care Act was the most-talked-about topic on news/talk radio during the week of March 10-14.  Coming in at #2 this week was the 2016 presidential race tied with the Republican special election victory in Florida.  At #3 was Obama vs. Putin and the political tensions brought about by the Ukraine and Crimea instabilities.  Following at #4 was the lower job approval ratings for President Obama.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Monday, January 6, 2014

| January 6, 2014

longbrianLong Set To Program Clear Channel, San Diego Combo.  Former senior director of programming for Bonneville Seattle’s KIRO-AM “710 ESPN,Brian Long, has been tapped to program Clear Channel, San Diego’s news/talk KOGO-AM and KLSD “Xtra Sports 1360.” Vice president of programming John Peake comments, “Brian will bring a diverse perspective from multiple markets and stations to our spoken-word brands.  We are excited to add Brian’s management and broadcasting experience to the San Diego programming team.  We are confident that KOGO-AM and ‘Xtra Sports’ will prosper under his tutelage.”  Long previously was assistant program director and “In the Zone” host on Los Angeles’ KSPN “710 ESPN.”  Prior to that, the Kansas City native programmed in Palm Springs, California for KXPS “The Team 1010,” KFUT “Fox Sports 1270,” and KNWZ “K-News.”  Long begins his San Diego assignment in two weeks (1/21).

caplisdanCaplis to Host Late Morning Show on KNUS, Denver.  Salem Communications-owned news/talk KNUS, Denver adds local TV and radio personality Dan Caplis to the program lineup in the 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot.  Caplis – an attorney – most recently worked in radio at Clear Channel’s crosstown news/talk KHOW with co-host Craig Silverman.  KNUS general manager Brian Taylor says, “With the upcoming election cycle, plus the compelling local issues that have put Colorado in the forefront recently, it is significant for us to offer another powerful local voice like market veteran Dan Caplis.  Combined with Peter Boyles and Steve Kelley, 710 KNUS will now offer more daily, live local conservative talk programming than any other station in the Denver market.”

millerchrisNew Year Changes at Facebook That Affect You.  Digital media consultant Chris Miller informs us that Facebook recently made some important changes that affect how users get to show the content they do.  Miller writes, “The news and entertainment site Buzzfeed first picked up on it before Facebook made it official.  The folks at Buzzfeed noticed that, all of a sudden, online content publishers were getting a huge increase in hits.  That group of publishers includes a wide variety of content providers, but the way to think about it is ‘sites that find and write about stuff that others should find interesting.’”  Miller says that all social platforms are getting more sophisticated about how they determine what their users will see.  Facebook has adjusted their formula that determines what content we all get shown, emphasizing the interesting over the merely silly and self-serving.  Here’s how to help insure that more of your posts get shown to your fan base.  Read Miller’s column here.

cookehollandAnalysis: 2014 NMX Podcasters Conference.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas this week covering the New Media Expo and the enormous 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show.  First up, Cooke reports from the weekend’s happenings at 2014 NMX.  Cooke says the standing-room-only crowd was replete with people focused on talking targeted, passionate interests with its audience.  “And they’re not just talking to your geographical area.  And they are not merely, as clichéd station imaging assures, ‘talking-about what-you’re-talking-about,’” says Cooke.  “Instead of belaboring Benghazi, they’re bonding with ‘ovewhelmed adoptive moms, by telling the truth about the post-adoption journey, so they feel validated and encouraged for the road ahead.’  If more station websites offered narrowcast content that’s specifically appealing, and used transmitters to invite those moms to engage, new digital revenue would follow.”  Read Cooke’s entire report from 2014 NMX in Las Vegas here.

rantzjasonJason Rantz Promoted to Daily Evening Show at KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Bonneville Seattle news/talk KIRO-FM ups Jason Rantz from his year-old weekend show on the station to the daily 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm program effective this evening.  KIRO-FM program director Pete Gammell says, “Jason is an extremely knowledgeable and thoughtful host who always seeks opposing views to further listeners’ understanding.  We always strive to connect entertainment to value and discussion to understanding.  This is Jason’s strength and I’m sure listeners will agree.”   Speaking about his new gig, Rantz states, “I’m excited by the opportunity to talk with Western Washington as a part of KIRO’s weekday team.  I’ve enjoyed interacting and engaging the KIRO Radio listeners during my previous weekend show and now I’m thrilled to bring this same dynamic to weeknights.  There are so many important issues affecting our community and the nation, and it is vital that we come together to have a civil but challenging and vigorous discussion.  I hope my evening show will become that forum.”

ktar-am logoBonneville Gives Sports Talk KTAR-AM, Phoenix FM Simulcast.  Shuttering adult hits KPKX “98.7 The Peak,” Bonneville Phoenix gives sports talker KTAR-AM an FM signal on which to simulcast.  The company has been building multi-platform sports content destination “Arizona Sports” using the AM radio station and a local sports content-heavy website and now adds an FM signal to the mix.  Vice president and market manager Scott Sutherland states, “Putting ‘Arizona Sports’ on FM is an opportunity too big to ignore.  Our live, local and exclusive sports content has never been better.  We have world-class local talk personalities who deliver powerful opinions and insights that engage, entertain and positively impact the communities we serve.  We also have amazing team partners.  And all of this attracts a passionate and loyal audience, which in turn, attracts a lot of marketing interest from small and medium business owners, major brands and C-Suite decision makers.”  The stations serve as flagship broadcaster for the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Coyotes, Arizona State University and broadcasts Arizona Interscholastic Association prep sporting events from around the state.

czabansteveRed Zebra Re-Ups with Steve Czaban at ‘ESPN 980’ in Washington.  Red Zebra Broadcasting and sports talk host Steve Czaban have agreed to terms on a new three-year deal that will keep the afternoon drive co-host with WTEM, Washington, DC “ESPN 980″ through 2016.  Czaban has been co-hosting the afternoon drive time slot for WTEM for the last 13 years.  Vice president of programming Chuck Sapienza comments, “Czabe is integral to the success of our station.  We look forward to three additional years of Czabe, Cooley and Galdi.”  Steve Czaban co-hosts “The Drive with Cooley & Czabe” from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm and also hosts the golf program “Sunday Tee Time,” at 8:00 am on Sunday mornings during golf season.

theblaze logoGlenn Beck’s ‘TheBlaze Radio News’ Launces Today.    “TheBlaze Radio News” – the latest AM/FM program offering from Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze – hits stations on the AM/FM dial today after debuting on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel several months ago.  The service offers hourly newscasts from anchors and reporters around the nation providing news and information specifically targeted to talk radio listeners.  The casts draw on the reporting from TheBlaze television network and its website TheBlaze.com which it says “generates over 20 million unique visitors per month and is one of the 100 most trafficked websites in America.”  The service is airing today in markets including Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Denver, Las Vegas and Birmingham, Alabama.

ingolddougCompass Names Ingold Sales Exec.  Compass Media Networks brings Doug Ingold aboard as senior director of affiliate sales for entertainment & music programming beginning January 20.  The company says Ingold “will be based in Los Angeles and assume a vital role in the expansion of Compass’ long-form entertainment and music shows including Big D & Bubba, “Free Beer & Hot Wings,” “Off The Record,” “Out of Order,” Rick Dees and “Skratch N Sniff.”  Compass VP of affiliate sales Adam Wilbur comments, “Our entertainment portfolio is growing rapidly and the time is right for us to add someone of Doug’s caliber to spearhead day-to-day affiliate marketing.”

mcmurraypeteMcMurray Show Expands at WGN.  According to Chicago media writer Robert Feder, late night talk show host Pete McMurray’s show will expand with a new earlier start time at 10:00 pm (and end at 2:00 am), shaving an hour off David Kaplan’s evening sports talk program.  Feder quotes WGN vice president of creative content Todd Manley saying, “Pete has become our all-purpose star in a variety of fill-in roles.  I think he gets what we’re trying to do very well, especially in providing lots of video content.  Between Pete and [producer] Scott Miller, they do an amazing job of booking great guests and being about the city.”  Read the story here.

hotchkisskeithHotchkiss Transfers to Charlotte as Director of Sales.  As of today (1/6), Keith Hotchkiss is Clear Channel Charlotte’s director of sales.  He joins that operation from Cleveland where he was general sales manager of Clear Channel-owned CHR WAKS “Kiss-FM,” news/talk WTAM, rock WMMS, and WMMS-HD2 “99X.”  Regional Market Manager Charlie Wilkinson remarks that, “Keith’s proven sales leadership will have an immediate impact in Charlotte.  I’m confident he will be an integral part of our success now and well into the future.”  Clear Channel’s five-station Charlotte cluster consists of alternative WEND “The End,” CHR WHQC “Channel 96-1,” country WKKT “The Kat,” adult hits WLKO “The Lake,” and classic rock WRFX “The Fox.”

smithlauraOdds & Sods.  WABC, New York radio personality Laura Smith is sitting in for the first few shows with new 5:00 pm program host Pat Kiernan starting today.  Smith currently hosts two weekend programs on WABC – “Living Better with Laura Smith” and “The Saturday Café.”  Kiernan is an anchor on cable’s NY1 and his show is part of the newly revised program lineup at the station…..Tribune’s WGN, Chicago resumes its “Blackhawks Live” live broadcast promotion on Thursday, January 13 featuring defenseman Duncan Keith at the Old Town Pour House in Chicago.  “Blackhawks Live” is a series of one-hour radio broadcasts hosted over dinner throughout the year featuring current Blackhawks players, legends and management. Blackhawks radio broadcasters John Wiedeman and Troy Murray host the event that includes a question-and-answer format between the hosts and the featured Blackhawks guests.

iheartradioFour New Integrations for iHeartRadio.  Clear Channel announces its iHeartRadio digital entertainment platform is headed to dashboards in three auto makes, including Jaguar Land Rover, Volvo and Kia.  In addition to these OEMs, iHeartRadio will also be available via platform solution provider Bosch.  The company states that in 2014, Jaguar Land Rover vehicles equipped with Bosch SoftTec’s innovative InControl Apps platform, Volvo vehicles equipped with the Sensus Connect infotainment solution and Kia vehicles with UVO will have access to iHeartRadio.

colemanjerry“Oh Doctor!” – Jerry Coleman Passes Away.  That was one of the favorite on-air expressions uttered by the 89-year-old Jerry Coleman, whose death was confirmed Sunday night (1/5) by the San Diego Padres, the MLB team for whom he called games since 1972.  A portion of the team’s prepared statement read, “On behalf of Padres’ fans everywhere, we mourn the loss of a Marine who was truly an American hero as well as a great man, a great friend and a great Padre.”  He played parts of nine seasons with the New York Yankees (1949 – 1957).  After retiring, he began a broadcasting career with CBS-TV (1960 – 1962), where he conducted pregame interviews on the network’s “Game of the Week” broadcasts.  He did play-by-play for the Yankees on WCBS-AM and WPIX-TV (1963 – 1969), Angels (1970 – 1971), and Padres (1972 to this past season).  He also called regular-season and postseason broadcasts for CBS Radio from the mid-1970s to the 1990s.  For three years of Coleman’s tenure with the Padres, his on-air partner was sitcom writer par excellence-music radio on-air talent Ken Levine, who writes on KenLevine.blogspot.com, “I loved Jerry.  He was your favorite uncle – always cheerful, always there for you.  His passion for the game of baseball was infectious and his zest for life was inspiring.  Other than having to broadcast meaningless spring training games, I cannot think of anything Jerry Coleman didn’t view in a positive light.  He was also incredibly humble.  When we were on the road, I picked his brain for hours, and he graciously and patiently answered all of my questions.  Jerry Coleman worked Padres games up until his death.  He led a rich full life and he would often point out how lucky he was.  So many of his friends had died young in a war – he lived to be 89 in relatively good health.”  In 2005, Coleman received the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence; two years later, he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.  As of the 2010 season, he reduced his broadcast schedule to approximately 25 home day games.

Monday, December 9, 2013

| December 9, 2013

segalelliotClear Channel Goes with DC-Based Elliot Segal for WOR, New York Morning Show.  In announcing its new program schedule for news/talk WOR, New York (which includes the Arrival of Premiere’s Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity), Clear Channel Media + Entertainment throws a curveball to industry watchers and names “DC101”limbaughrush morning drive host Elliot Segal the new morning drive show, replacing the retiring John Gambling.  The “Elliot in the Morning” show will continue to air on Clear Channel’s rock WWDC as well as rock WRXL, Richmond “XL 102.”  Segal says, “I’m excited to be coming back to New York, to a station with such a legendary history.  We have built something very special in Washington, DC and Richmond and I’m beyond thrilled that the show will continue airing on DC/101 and XL-102. Now, WOR will be home to ‘Elliot In The Morning’ and I couldn’t be more anxious to get hannityseangoing.”  This move is particularly significant because it is the first time in recent memory that a major market heritage AM news/talk station will be carrying the same show that is running on a major market heritage FM music station.  Although there is nothing new about major FM music stations running talk (or talk-oriented) programs in their lineups (usually in morning drive), this move marks a significant breakthrough in mixing the cultures within a single outlet’s stationality. The implications of this, should it be successful, will be huge.  Clear Channel notes Mark Simone follows Segal from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  After that it’s Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Andy Dean and Dave RamseyJoan Hamburg – a longtime WOR personality – moves to weekends with programs airing on both Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  President and market manager Joe Puglise states, “This is an incredibly exciting time for WOR.  Bringing America’s top two talk show hosts to our lineup, the entertaining Elliot Segal and his team to the mornings and becoming the flagship station for the Mets will allow us to create unprecedented marketing opportunities for our partners and unbeatable programming for our listeners.”

deptrojohnJohn DePetro Apologizes for ‘Whores’ Comment.  WPRO, Providence late morning talk show host John DePetro has issued an apology for calling union protestors “whores.”  This latest development comes less than a week after TALKERS reported that DePetro had filed a police complaint stating two men had threatened him outside the WPRO studios because of the comment.  Back in September, DePetro railed against the union-supported protest taking place outside a fundraiser for State General Treasurer Gina Raimondo.  During that broadcast he reportedly directed his words toward a female union leader, saying, “What a disgrace.  You are an embarrassment…You are parasites.  You are cockroaches.  You lie.  You are union hags. There’s another word I’d like to use…it begins with a W. and an H. and an O. and an R. and an E. and an S.  See if they can spell that.”  DePetro was off his program last week and the Associate Press reports it’s unclear if his absence had anything to do with the remarks.  Still, he called into his own program and told listeners, “The language I used was not in keeping with the family friendly atmosphere that I try to maintain for the thousands of people who listen to me.  Going forward I intend to approach debates on the current topics that we talk about in a more sensitive style.”

saunderssusanSaunders Begins Daily Talk Show.  WBNQ, Bloomington, Illinois morning drive host Susan Saunders is adding a daily talk show on sister station news/talk WJBC-AM/FM.  Saunders leads the CHR morning show alongside Ray Wagner.  Now, she’s adding a two-hour 9:00 am to 11:00 am talk program to her duties at the Cumulus Media cluster.  She says, “It’s official, and I couldn’t be more excited about joining the legendary, Marconi- and Crystal Award-winning staff of WJBC-AM/FM.  After 15 years (on the morning show), it was time to expand my horizons into pure form talk radio.  Over the last four months I have been auditioning my non-musical style with WJBC’s audience, and it works!”

beasley logo longBeasley Declares Cash Dividend for Share Holders.  The dividend will be paid on January 10 to shareholders of record on December 27 and will pay $0.045 per share.  Chairman and CEO Geroge Beasley states, “The re-initiation of a regular cash dividend reflects the free cash flow generated by our operations as well as our commitment to deliver value to our shareholders, and follows the one-time special dividend of $0.085 paid to shareholders in December 2012. Importantly, taking into consideration the proposed annual capital allocated to dividend payments, based on current conditions we believe Beasley Broadcast Group‘s total free cash flow should provide us with the liquidity needed to further reduce leverage, consider potential station acquisitions and to enhance long-term shareholder value.”

cclogoFlora and DeLucca Join Clear Channel, Phoenix as GSMs.  Coming onboard effective immediately as general sales managers are George Flora and Libia DeLucca.  Flora will oversee sales operations for Clear Channel, Phoenix outlets KFYI “Newstalk 550,” KOY “Business 1230,” and KGME “Fox Sports Radio 910.”  In addition to her GSM duties, DeLucca will assist with brand manager responsibilities for the cluster’s rhythmic hot AC KYOT “Eva 95.5.”  Clear Channel Phoenix vice president of sales Linda Little states, “George Flora is the perfect addition to our sales management team.  He will add a wealth of knowledge and experience in driving revenue and creating solutions for clients utilizing our spoken-word brands.  Libia brings with her years of experience selling integrated marketing solutions with digital, newspaper, and TV assets in Phoenix.  I know she will take her team to new levels as they become even stronger digital marketers for their clients.” Prior to the six years he just spent at ESPN Los Angeles, Flora was with CBS Radio Los Angeles for 12 years.  DeLucca had a 14-year run with Gannett Media Phoenix – most recently as digital sales manager.

wtkw logoYankees Add Syracuse’s Rock “TK 99″ to its Radio Network.  Galaxy Communications, Syracuse classic rocker WTKW “TK 99″ signs a multi-year agreement with CBS Radio to air all 162 regular season games of the NY Yankees beginning with the 2014 season.  Galaxy Communications president/chief executive officer Ed Levine remarks, “We intend to go far beyond just broadcasting the games on the radio in Syracuse.  We’re going to enhance the experience for Yankee fans in Central New York in a myriad of innovative ways.”  CBS Radio vice president of sports programming Mark Chernoff comments, “CBS Radio and the New York Yankees are very excited to be partnering with ‘TK 99′ and Galaxy.  They have shown a great ability through their work with Syracuse University athletics to enhance what is already a strong presence in Syracuse.  We look forward to that continuing with the Yankees.”  In April 2007, WTKW became the flagship play-by-play outlet of Syracuse University men’s football, men’s basketball, and men’s lacrosse games.

kirofm logoKIRO-FM’s Twelve-Hour Fundraiser Collects More Than $489,000.  Local foster children will be aided by money amassed through listener donations and sponsor matching funds via the Bonneville Seattle talk outlet’s 7:00 am – 7:00 pm radio-thon last Thursday (12/5).  KIRO-FM conducted the annual “Holiday Magic” on-air event in conjunction with Treehouse, a nonprofit organization addressing essential education and enrichment needs of kids in foster care. Bonneville Seattle Media Group vice president/market manager Carl Gardner comments, “Again this year, our community has dug deep to support foster children.  Treehouse does a tremendous job of strengthening foster families and helping children realize their full potential.  It is a joy and privilege to connect our generous audience with good neighbors who just need a little help.”  Treehouse chief executive officer Janis Avery remarks, “We are absolutely thrilled with the success of the 25th ‘Holiday Magic’ radio-thon.  We are so grateful to the KIRO radio team and listeners for once again helping Treehouse give 6,000 kids in foster care across Washington State happy holidays.”  Founded in 1988, Treehouse recently set a goal that, by 2017, King County foster kids will graduate high school at the rate of their peers.  Major community contributors to the KIRO-FM radio-thon included Carter Subaru, Safeway Foundation, and GEICO.

wmal logoWMAL-AM/FM, Washington Helps Raise $330k-plus for Fisher House Foundation.  WMAL-AM/FM, Washington program director Bill Hess tells TALKERS magazine that it was a big weekend for the Cumulus Media station and its listeners as the 10th Annual Fisher House Radiothon raised $330,630 for the charity that helps provide housing for the loved ones of U.S. servicemen and women begin treated for injuries suffered in the line of duty.  Hess calls it an “incredible response by our wonderful WMAL listeners” and reports that this year’s total beat last year’s total by $40,000 and the 2011 total by $75,000.  The two-day radiothon was anchored by morning hosts Brian Wilson and Larry O’Connor, along with midday host Chris Plante and weekender Rick Fowler.

beasleylasvegaspartyBeasley Las Vegas Holiday Bash.  The Beasley Broadcast Group Las Vegas cluster took time over the weekend to get together for a holiday party at the Blue Martini.  Pictured here (from l-r) are: Beasley Las Vegas VP of programming Justin Chase, corporate VP of operations Brian Beasley, Beasley Las Vegas general manager Tom Humm, KDWN talk show host Alan Stock, KDWN and syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs, and KDWN program and news director John Shaffer.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

| September 17, 2013

tangneycurleyBonneville Seattle Re-Tools KIRO-FM Mid-Mornings with ‘The Tom and Curley Show.’  This is John Curley’s third daypart on KIRO-FM, Seattle and this time the station pairs him up with “veteran pop-culture enthusiast” and film critic Tom Tangney (left) for the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  Curley (right) – a well-known Seattle media personality – began with KIRO-FM hosting the evening program, then moved to morning drive alongside Linda Thomas for a brief period.  The station moved Dave Ross to AM drive leaving Curley out for a period.  Now, management says this new show “will bring an energetic insight into the news.  The show will keep listeners informed, entertained and connected to the latest news in the region and around the world. The combination of Curley’s enthusiasm and Tangney’s intellect is the perfect mixture for KIRO Radio’s weekday lineup.”  Program director Pete Gammell says, “The partnership between John and Tom is electric and we’re excited to offer our audience such a great program to keep them informed and connected to Seattle.”  Curley comments, “Tom is the brother-in-law I always wanted to have, a guy I can argue with sometimes and laugh with almost all the time.”  And Tangney adds, “I have a blast talking with John Curley three hours a day.  I hope and trust listeners will find our show as fun and invigorating as I do.”

TalkersLA2013Marilu Henner to Speak at Talkers Los Angeles 2013.  Accomplished actress and author — and recently syndicated radio talk show host (Sun Broadcast Group) – Marilu Henner, will be joining the stellar roster of more than 50 speakers who will be on the power-packed program at Talkers Los Angeles 2013.  Marilu Henner will present an opening greeting titled “Hello Talk Radio” at the start of the event in which she will welcomehennermarilu attendees to the conference and talk about the appeal of the medium and its potential to serve a variety of topics and interests outside the realm of partisan politics.  Henner’s new show that deals with health topics and day-to-day lifestyle issues of interest to a broad segment of the public has been drawing critical raves.  Conference director Michael Harrison states, “One listen to Marilu Henner makes it clear that she is a bright, confident, media ‘natural’ who will make a difference in this field.  Her smart, original and fearless approach to health and well-being issues is enhanced by her extraordinary charisma and all around strong media presence.  What a welcome addition to the talk radio community!  We are honored to have her play a key role in the morning kick-off of what promises to be a fantastic day!”  For sponsorship and other information about the sold-out conference which takes place at the historic Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood on Thursday, October 10, please call 413-565-5413.

mortonsamCBS Radio Moves Morton To STL as Director of Sales.  Sam Morton transfers from Dallas to become director of sales for CBS Radio, St. Louis properties news/talk KMOX, AC KEZK “Fresh 102.5,” and hot AC KYKY “Y98.”  He will arrive in St. Louis on October 14, after being general sales manager for CBS Radio, Dallas’ sports talk KRLD-FM, adult hits KJKK “100.3 Jack FM,” and classic hits KLUV.  Senior vice president/St. Louis market manager John Sheehan remarks, “I have seen the success Sam has had in a very competitive radio market.  His strategic leadership and management experience in Dallas, along with his understanding of CBS Radio business philosophies, will make him a great partner for us in St. Louis.”  In addition to his DOS duties, Morton will serve as KMOX’s general sales manager.

MEDIA BROKER SPOTLIGHT: Brett Miller – MCH Enterprises, Inc.  In this week’s installment of Media Broker Spotlight, Sandi Bergman of RadioTVDeals.com interviews media broker Brett Miller of MCH Enterprises, Inc. located in Bakersfield, California.  Like many of the professional media brokers spotlighted in this feature, Miller is extremely friendly to displaced radio bergmansandipersonnel looking to go into ownership for themselves, as well as first-time buyers.  He specializes in small market radio and believes that small market radio is the heart and soul of broadcasting and community service.  He tells it like it is: “In our little corner of the industry, we are experiencing roughly the same number of buy/sell transactions as when we started; only now the deals are smaller and buyers’ struggles to obtain financing grows bigger.  Seller financing is almost a requirement as all-cash deals are becoming harder to find and fewer between.  In addition to brokering transactions, our consulting side has grown to include transaction management and FCC support as first-time buyers enter the market, and we are doing more appraisals as banks are experiencing greater scrutiny from their examiners or coping with bankruptcies and liquidations.  We see a good number of first-time buyers with solid experience, but with no financing and no ability to collateralize licenses in order to obtain financing (hello, FCC? there’s a hint there), we sense a lot of frustration in the marketplace…not only with prospective buyers, but with sellers.  There remains a fairly large gap between buyer and seller expectations.  The margins are slim and the multiples are shrinking as the new economic reality sets in.  To some degree, what buyers want, they can’t afford and what buyers can afford doesn’t interest sellers.  While it frustrates everyone, there are still good opportunities for the right person: someone who knows how the business works, someone who is not afraid to get out on the street and make sales, and someone who wants to become an integral part of the community.  In our opinion, it is the power of radio that will ultimately lead the way for the economic recovery of Main Street.  To read the entire installment of Media Broker Spotlight, please click here.

kfnn logoCRC Broadcasting Adds FM Signal for Phoenix Money Talker.  CRC Broadcasting’s KFNN, Phoenix “Money Radio 1510” now has an FM signal on which its programming is being simulcast.  Translator K257CD at 99.3 FM covers the center of the metro.  Company founder and president Ron Cohen states, “The addition of an FM channel not only provides listeners with greater access to hear ‘Money Radio,’ but also comes at a strategically pivotal time in Phoenix radio.  We’ve built our reputation on providing more useful information than just business news.  ‘Money Radio 1510’ talks about money: how to make it, invest it, and how to be smart spenders of it.  We will continue to serve the local community with our relevant and informative programming.”

Larry Wilson’s L&L Broadcasting Buys YMF’s Columbia Cluster.  YMF Media LLC inks an agreement to sell its Columbia, South Carolina cluster consisting of urban contemporary WWDM “The Big DM 101,” classic rock WMFX “Fox 102,” rock WARQ “Rock 93.5,” hip hop WHXT “Hot 103.9,” adult hits WZMJ “The Lake,” and talk WOIC to L&L Broadcasting.  YMF Media was represented by Media Venture Partners in the transaction.  The price for the five-station cluster is $13 million.

radioshow2013Michael Harrison to Present Blockbuster Speech at NAB Addressing Key Issues of Both Talk and Music Radio.  As a matter of fact, the publisher of talk radio trade TALKERS and music radio trade RadioInfo states that in order for both talk radio and music radio to continue to play an important role in the new digital era – at least within the context of being “AM and FM” radio, and within the broader context of “radio” having certain cultural identifiers that keep it special – is for BOTH to continue to exist in a healthy way side by side.  Harrison also believes that music radio and talk radio still have much to share with and learn from each other.  Harrison’s speech will be a hard-hitting, non-stop 45-minute “pitching machine” of challenges and solutions facing today’s radio as it braces for the “whitewater ride” of finding its natural home in the digital era, which he says “will inevitably prevail in changing our entire media/cultural landscape within the next decade – at most.”  Harrison strongly advises that radio is first and foremost a harrisonmichaelconnection to popular culture and that’s what it should stay in order to remain vital.  Among the suggestions Harrison will deliver include his top 10 concepts to keeping radio vital as a pop cultural entity: 10) Celebrate radio’s “radioness” – don’t let it fade; 9) Spread out formatically and stop bunching around a mere handful of viable format options; 8) Be a hero – everyday, and in every way; 7) Strive for localness and here’s why; 6) Take “ownership” of your subject matter and slice of the humanities pie; 5) Eliminate commercial tune outs – commerciality MUST be reinvented ASAP; 4) Maintain an active “skunk works” component to your operation - garages, not corporate boardrooms, are where great new ideas are born and incubated; 3) Learn about intellectual property – it is the foundation upon which we will build most business/talent/management deals in this new era; 2) Integrate radio into the new digital age without being assimilated – the internet is a “ground” not a platform – keeping in mind that in spite of what everyone is saying, content is NOT king, platform is king; and 1) Eliminate debt – radio cannot survive within its current financial paradigm…it is time to put the brakes on consolidation and begin to think about deconsolidation.  Harrison states, “As long as every other news story we seem to be writing about in the trades is about a ‘deal’ that will create the ‘largest this or that’ in the industry, we are still headed in the wrong direction and will never make it across Bill Clinton’s metaphorical ‘bridge to the 21st century.’  Radio has always been and will always be a mom-and-pop business.  We need fewer CEOs, COOs, presidents and vice presidents – and more mom-and-pops.”  Harrison, who will be introduced by consultant Holland Cooke, will be speaking on Thursday, September 19 between 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm in the room Gatlin E2.  It is open to all attendees of the NAB Radio Show.  For information call 413-565-5413.

nextmedia logoArbitron Brings NextMedia Aboard for Diary Ratings in Three Markets.  NextMedia signs a multi-year deal with Arbitron to subscribe to the company’s diary ratings service for its stations in Canton, Ohio; Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina; and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  NextMedia also re-ups its PPM contract for Chicago and San Jose.  NextMedia president and CEO Jim Donahoe states, “Radio continues to be a vibrant medium that reaches consumers at a very local level.  Subscribing to Arbitron’s radio ratings services gives NextMedia the opportunity to demonstrate radio’s continued strength to our current and potential advertisers.”

sagaSaga Communications Revises Projected Revenue.  The third quarter of 2013 doesn’t end until September 30 but Saga Communications is issuing a statement in which it “anticipates gross revenues for the third quarter ending September 30, 2013 to be flat to up 2.0% in comparison to the corresponding period last year.”

regional reps logoMidwest Communications Inks Regional Reps for Six Markets.  Independent sales rep firm Regional Reps Corp. is contracted by Midwest Communications to be the exclusive national sales rep firm for its stations in the following markets: Duluth; Hibbing, Minnesota; Holland, Michigan; Lansing; Sioux Falls; and Terre Haute.  The Midwest stations in Sheboygan, Wisconsin have been represented by Regional Reps since 2007.  Midwest CEO Duke Wright states, “We’re very excited about working with Regional Reps in a number of our markets.  Regional Reps has demonstrated to us that they are innovative, produce results for the stations they represent and take the initiative in developing new revenue streams for their clients.”

powerstonyaOdds & Sods.  Fox News Radio brings Tonya Powers aboard to serve as a national correspondent based in the New York headquarters.  In her new role, Powers will report on breaking news and provide daily live reports covering stories in the Northeast and across the country.  Prior to joining FNR, Powers was a news director and morning show anchor at Clear Channel’s news/talk WREC, Memphis “Newsradio 600.”…..Blackstrap Broadcasting’s WUFC, Boston changes sports network affiliations and leaves NBC Sports Radio and is re-branding as “Yahoo! Sports Radio 1510.”  This move comes after station general manager and midday host Anthony Pepe becomes part of the Yahoo! lineup.

Navy Yard Slayings, U.S. Syria Policy, Iran’s Threats to the U.S., Quest for New Fed Chief, and Colorado Floods Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/16).  The killings at the Navy Yard in Washington; the ongoing debate over the United States’ policy regarding Syria’s civil unrest; threats by Iran against the United States and its allies; the process of determining who will be the next Fed chief; and the deaths and destruction from the floods in Colorado were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, August 23, 2013

| August 23, 2013

earlrogerFoghat’s Roger Earl Is a Hit on the Talk Radio Interview Circuit – Knocks it Out of the Park on Doug Stephan’s “Good Day” Show.  Master rock ‘n’ roll drummer, personable schmoozer and 41-year Foghat member Roger Earl has proven to be quite a hit when it comes to being an interview guest, not just on music stations that still play the legendary classic rock band famous for such anthems as “Slow Ride,” “I Just Want to Make Love to You,” and “Fool for the City” (among others), but on traditional news/talk stations looking to spice up their programming, as well.  It seems the glib British-born teller of great road stories and rockstephandoug historical nuggets is just what the doctor ordered for many traditional news/talkers looking to broaden their subject matter to include lifestyle and pop cultural material beyond the day-to-day, left-versus-right, “wonky” issues that some industry observers say can make talk radio a tedious listen when not broken up a bit by other angles of reality.  Yesterday morning, the moon and stars lined up perfectly for such a gab-fest as Roger Earl popped up as a guest on the nationally syndicated morning talk show “Good Day” hosted by Doug Stephan.  Stephan, a perennial member of TALKERS magazine’s prestigious “Heavy Hundred,” works the program as a ringmaster in the context of an ensemble and yesterday’s program was made even more interesting by the presence of his good friend, Radio America stable-mate and nationally syndicated talk star Dr. Joy Browne at the table as “special guest co-host.”  Together they greeted Earl with enthusiasm and a frolicking spirit.  Stephan, a former progressive rock deejay, tells TALKERS that although “Good Day” is by definition (and the lion’s share of its affiliates) a “news/talk” show, he likes to steer it clear for the most part of the “negative, argumentative, confrontational, and narrow topical elements” that he feels holds these programs back from meeting their full potential.  He says, “I love the opportunity to get a guy like Roger Earl on who so many of our demo remember from their salad days and is also very interesting to their kids who are fascinated by bands and arts figures from the past few decades.  In this case, Roger was wonderful.  After only a few minutes — even though I had never before met or even spoke with the guy — it was as if we had been very good friends for years!”  Although the premise of the interview was to discuss Foghat’s current hit single, “The Word of Rock n’ Roll” (#15 RadioInfo Rock Songs Chart) and the fact that after 41 years the ensemble is still out there touring and making new recordings, the conversation went in a number of directions covering Earl’s previous band, Savoy Brown; how Foghat was formed and where its name came from.  The discussion got into Roger Earl’s childhood and personal life with some candid conversation about the long-time friendship/love affair he shares with his wife and manager Linda Arcello-Earl.  Earl told a cool story from earlier days and his being pulled over for driving 140 mph on the Long Island Expressway.  He also expressed his excitement over becoming a United States Citizen this year.  To listen to the entire conversation please click here.  Stephan adds, “Further synergizing the ‘happening’ I made the song ‘The Word of Rock n’ Roll’ the Video of The Day at our website:  www.dougstephan.com and we did a feature segment on it in the 8:00 am hour.”  An equally enthusiastic Earl tells TALKERS, “Yesterday morning’s interview with Doug Stephan was terrific.  I was on my second cup of coffee and Doug was very cool!  He was interesting and knowledgeable about what is going on with the band.  And even though the old ‘Savoy Brown’ album covers frightened him, I won’t hold that against him.  It was great and we all really appreciate that he genuinely likes ‘The Word of Rock n’ Roll’…and played clips!  And, in a short period of time, it seemed like we talked about all sorts of stuff.  He definitely got the conversation going!  Thanks Doug and thanks to his guest co-host Dr. Joy Browne.  I thoroughly enjoyed our chat!”  Next stop for Roger Earl on his tour of talk radio: a live in-studio visit with Rita Cosby on heritage 50k WOR, New York.  Talk hosts (and deejays) interested in booking Roger Earl should contact Chip Ruggieri at chip@chipsterpr.com.

oehlerjodyJody Oehler Takes Over PM Drive at Sports Talk KGME, Phoenix.  Clear Channel Phoenix announces sports talk host Jody Oehler is named afternoon drive sports talk host at KGME, “Fox Sports 910 AM Phoenix, The Voice of Arizona Sports.”  Oehler joins Cardinals Insider Mike Jurecki and Michael “Jak” Bauer as host of the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm show beginning September 3.  Oehler comes to Phoenix from Journal Broadcast Group’s KFFN-AM/FM “ESPN Tucson” where he currently hosts PM drive.  He also works as sports anchor at KGUN-TV, Tucson.  Program director Neil Larrimore says the University of Arizona grad brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with him.  “Jody is a talented rising star.  He’s an incredible communicator and a true sports fan.  We look forward to Jody helping to move our brand forward on air as well as online.  We are lucky to have him.”  Oehler adds, “I’m very excited to join the most dynamic talk lineup in the Valley.  I look forward to teaming up with Mike Jurecki and Mike Bauer to bring engaging and entertaining sports talk to our listeners every day.  I’m excited to get to know our Phoenix listeners and talk sports.”

medvedmichaelMichael Medved Scores Interview with ‘The Butler’ Director.  Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Medved is no stranger to talking about film – he co-hosted “Sneak Previews” for 12 years, was the New York Post’s film critic for five years and has co-written four books about movies – so he’ll be in his element this afternoon (8/23) when he interviews “The Butler” director Lee Daniels.  The surprise box office hit starring Forrest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey tells the story of Cecil Gaines, a White House butler who served eight U.S. Presidents and was an observer through the Civil Rights movement, Vietnam, and other historic events. (“Gaines” is a fictionalized compilation of a number of actual White House butlers who were originally interviewed for a short story by journalist Wil Haygood.)  SRN vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup states, “There’s nothing wrong with talk radio having any on-air discussions about the Trayvon Martin case or the more recent racially tinged killing of baseball star Chris Lane in Oklahoma.  But as the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s march on Washington, D.C. approaches, ‘The Butler’ has clearly struck a chord with American moviegoers…and we’re honored that director Lee Daniels will share his vision of history with Michael Medved in what promises to be compelling radio.”

TalkersLA2013Norm Pattiz and Michael Harrison to Participate in “Keynote Conversation” at Talkers Los Angeles 2013.  One of the many highlights of the one-day, power-packed agenda being set for the Southern California segment of TALKERS magazine’s annual bi-coastal convention, “Talkers Los Angeles 2013,” will be a “keynote conversation” between industry icon Norm Pattiz, CEO of Courtside Entertainment, LLC and founder of Launchpad Digital Media‘s innovative Podcast One and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison. Pattiz (the original founder of Westwood One) and Harrison share a long history and friendship that goes back to the late-1970s when Harrison (then of KMET, Los Angeles and Radio & Records) was signed by Pattiz to host the nationally syndicated “Great American Radio Show” – a weekly innovative album track countdown that was one of Westwood One’s earliest pattiznormofferings.  According to Harrison, “Because I worked with Norm so early on at the beginnings of his historic and impactful career in radio as both an insider at his budding company and as an outside observer/associate, I have had the opportunity of really eye-witnessing and digesting a tremendous amount of contemporary radio history as it applies to the man’s contributions to so many of the practices and systems that we today consider standard.  Although, this is being billed as a two-way conversation and I know he’ll be asking me some questions as well, I can’t wait to get him up there and have him address so many issues – past, present and future – that will shed light and clarity on where radio is at and where it is going in this new digital era.  Keep in mind, Norm not only started and grew Westwood One…he also owned Radio & Records, the Mutual Broadcasting System, and NBC Radio Network in addition to being a member of the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors.  Now look at him today, not only is he back on the cutting edge of our business, he also chairs the Boards of Governors of Los Alamos National Security, LLC., and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC which respectively operate the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.  Amazing!  I intend to dig into this conversation like an informational gold mine.”  For registration and sponsorship information about Talkers Los Angeles 2013, please call 413-565-5413.  The conference is open only to members of the working media and is on the verge of a sellout.  Complete agenda details to be posted here next week.

sammalonestudioshotCelebrating Six Months.  Houston talk show host Sam Malone tells TALKERS magazine his program is celebrating its six-month anniversary in its new format that includes airing on Salem Communications-owned KNTH, Houston “AM 1070 The Answer” from 7:00 am to 11:00 am and simulcast online in a video format via Phonoscope.  Malone is pictured here on the set of his program as online viewers see it.  In celebration of his anniversary in the new format, Malone produced a promotional video montage of the program that you can see here.

wfan logoNew Jersey Governor Chris Christie to Co-Host on WFAN, New York.  With Boomer Esiason out on vacation, CBS Radio’s WFAN, New York will welcome New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to the studios to co-host the morning drive program with Craig Carton on Monday, August 26.  The station says, “With Christie being such a huge sports fan as well as being voted by The Star Ledger as the most influential person in New Jersey sports, there will be lots of talk about the Giants, Jets, Yankees and Mets.  Governor Christie is not a stranger to the ‘Boomer & Carton Show’ as he has been on numerous times as a guest of the show and has co-hosted with Craig once before.”

hagertimTim Hager Joins Clear Channel Denver as Vice President of Sales.  Most recently serving with CBS Radio as general sales manager at news/talk KMOX, St. Louis, Tim Hager moves west to head up the sales effort at Clear Channel’s eight-station cluster in Denver.  In a statement, Hager says, “I could not be more thrilled to return to the greatest media company in the world with the most extensive portfolio of integrated media solutions for our advertisers.  The landscape of radio continues to change every day and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment leads this charge with unparalleled digital opportunities including iHeartRadio.  I am humbled and honored to lead this great cluster’s sales efforts and rejoin the most talented and passionate media professionals in the business.”  Clear Channel’s Denver stations include: news/talk KOA, talk KHOW, progressive talk KKZN, alternative KTCL “Channel 93.3,” CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party,” triple A KBCO, classic rock KRFX “103.5 The Fox,” and active rock KBPI.

foxsportsradio logoPromotions at Fox Sports Radio Network.  Jeffrey Schwartz is promoted to vice president of sports sales for Fox Sports Radio.  In this capacity he’ll continue to work with the Premiere national account managers to “creatively craft specific programs to drive traffic and awareness for all Fox sponsors.”  Additionally, he will work closely with Annie Zidarevich and Clear Channel SVP of sports operations Bruce Gilbert on all other aspects of programming, promotion and business growth for Fox Sports Radio and Premiere Sports products.  At the same time, Zidarevich is promoted to vice president of network operations.  A day-one employee of FSR, Zidarevich reports to Bruce Gilbert and she’ll  continue to oversee all Fox Sports Radio operations, scheduling, production, programming and remote broadcast coordination.

cowherdcolinOdds & Sods.  Talk show host Mark Wainwright fills in for morning host Chet Walker on Clear Channel’s WHAM, Rochester all next week (8/26-30)…..ESPN Radio personality Colin Cowherd was recently honored with induction into the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame.  The host of “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” began his career as the play-by-play voice for the Pacific Coast League’s Las Vegas Stars.  He also was sports director at KVBC-TV, Las Vegas where he earned multiple Nevada Sportscaster of the Year awards.  He joined ESPN in 2004…..Hubbard Radio’s WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” announces that Rams wide receiver Chris Givens will join the station’s football analysts beginning Tuesday, September 10, when he starts a weekly stint joining “The Fast Lane” PM drive show to discuss the previous week’s game and to provide insight for upcoming match-ups.

backyardbroadcastingPennsylvania Stations Sold to Backyard Broadcasting.  Six Pennsylvania stations and an FM translator are sold by Barry Drake-operated Backyard Broadcasting to Dan Farr-led Backyard Broadcasting PA LLC.  The stations are: country WILQ-FM, Williamsport; hot AC WLMY-FM, Williamsport; news/talk WWPA-AM, Williamsport; oldies WBZD-FM, Muncy; rock WZXR-FM, South Williamsport; rock WCXR-FM, Lewisburg; and translator W267BJ-FM (simulcasting WWPA).  Buyer Dan Farr says, “I look forward to continuing the tradition of delivering great music, local information and community service with a team of dedicated on-air personalities and office staff along with giving our advertisers a marketing vehicle to promote and grow their business into the future.”  The exclusive broker for the deal is Kalil & Co.

Obama Administration’s Syria Policy Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 19-23.  The Obama Administration’s policy concerning Syria in the wake of allegations of chemical weapons use by the Assad regime was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Following at #2 was the violence in Egypt tied with Middle East tensions.  At number #3 was the NSA surveillance program and the shooting death of Australian ballplayer Christopher Lane came in at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio across America and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

| August 20, 2013

cohenheatherlgHeather Cohen Named TALKERS “Woman of the Year” – Will Be Presented Award at Talkers Los Angeles 2013 by KFI/KTLK PD Robin Bertolucci.  Hard-working industry super-agent, Heather Cohen, executive vice president of leading radio talent representatives, the Weiss Agency, has been voted by the TALKERS editorial board to be the 2013 recipient of the prestigious “Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman.”  This award is often referred to by the title, “Woman of the Year.”  Cohen has accrued a stellar list of accomplishments in a career that spans more than a decade and a half in the radio industry and includes her current work as an agent at Eric Weiss ‘s Weiss Agency since 2007, based in the firm’s New York office.  Prior to that, Cohen briefly led the programming arm of GreenStone Media, LLC — where she was VP of programming and significantly contributed to that initiative’s being awarded three Gracie Awards.  During the decade prior to GreenStone, Cohen served as executive producer of the legendary, award-winning, Joan Hamburg show on WOR, New York and as the then-Buckley Broadcasting-owned heritage station’s assistant program director.  Cohen is a graduate of Hofstra University and serves on its School of Communication Advisory Board.  On making the announcement of Cohen’s selection for this honor, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “If anyone deserves this award recognizing an individual woman for not just her personal accomplishments in talk radio – but her contributions to the industry as well – then theTalkersLA2013 selection of Heather Cohen is the quintessential choice.  She is a marvelous broadcaster and her personal career achievements as a producer, APD and corporate programming executive speak for themselves – but as an observer of this scene who has been tracking the career of this extraordinary young woman for years, I must say, she is the Mother Teresa of agents.  She personally shepherds the careers of approximately 10% of TALKERS’ entire ‘Heavy Hundred’ and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  I have never seen an agent or manager care so deeply with heartfelt dedication to each and every one of the Weiss Agency’s impressive list of clients.  In other words, she GIVES to the business on a level that changes the lives of everyone with whom she is connected and continues to make a real difference on a daily basis.  It is extremely gratifying to see a truly outstanding industry woman of this quality receive the award.”  Harrison goes on to say, “I have often stated that all of us at TALKERS look forward to the day when it is no longer necessary or appropriate for there to be a special ‘woman’ award in talk radio — but unfortunately, as the numbers so starkly indicate, that day is not today.  Thank you, Heather, for your tireless, selfless dedication to both the hard working women AND men of talent out there in the tough trenches of today’s radio trying to keep the spirit of our unique culture alive in the 21st century.”  Heather Cohen will be presented the “Woman of the Year” award in a special ceremony at Talkers Los Angeles 2013 on Thursday, October 10 by last year’s distinguished recipient, KFI and KTLK, Los Angeles program director Robin Bertolucci.   Talkers Los Angeles 2013 is nearing a sellout within about a week.  It is open only to members of the working media.  For registration and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413.

kearneydanCBS Radio Makes Management Moves in Los Angeles and Tampa.  Former Cox Media Group Miami market manager Dan Kearney is named senior vice president and market manager for the company’s Los Angeles cluster that includes all news KNX, CHR KAMP-FM “97.1 AMP Radio,” adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM,” alternative KROQ, classic hits KRTH “K-Earth,” and AC KTWV “94.7 The Wave.”  As explained by CBScarversteve Radio EVP of operations Scott Herman, the change allows current LA market manager Steve Carver to move back East as desired where he’ll head up the Tampa cluster.  Kearney managed the Miami cluster for CMG from 2012-2013 after moving down from news/talk WSB, Atlanta.  He first joined Cox at news/talk KFI, Los Angeles in 1998 as local sales manager when that company owned the station.  CBS Radio president and CEO Dan Mason says of Kearney, “Dan is an accomplished broadcaster and exactly the right executive to shape a new future for our iconic radio stations in Los Angeles.  He has an impressive record of experience managing the operations of a multitude of different radio formats, producing noteworthy growth across all key measures.  Dan’s a fabulous addition to our organization.”  Steve Carver will replace Ben Hill whom the company says agreed more than a year ago to work across the state from his home in the West Palm Beach area.  He will work through the transition until October 11 and be available to the company through the end of the year.  CBS Radio operates six stations in Tampa including: sports talk WHFS-AM “CBS Sports Radio 1010” and WHFS-FM “98.7 The Fan,” rhythmic CHR WLLD “Wild 94.1,” country WQYK, classic hits WRBQ “My Q105,” and Spanish WYUU “92.5 Maxima.”

babinrobRob Babin to Lead CMG’s Miami Cluster.  Cox Media Group promotes Rob Babin to vice president and market manager for its Miami station group that includes hot AC WFLC “97.3 The Coast,” urban contemporary WHQT “Hot 105 FM,” hip hop WEDR “99 Jamz,” and soft AC WFEZ “Easy 93.1.”  Cox EVP of Radio Kim Guthrie states, “We are delighted to tap into our amazing, internal leadership talent pool and have Rob step into this new executive role, overseeing our Miami operation.  He has been an outstanding leader in his 12 years with CMG, both in our Orlando and Atlanta radio markets.  His strategic vision, incredible performance track record and desire to be the best make him a great fit for this opportunity.”  Babin most recently was vice president of sales for the Atlanta stations, including news/talk WSB, one of the top 10 billing stations in the country.  Babin comments, “I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with so many great people at CMG Atlanta, and I know their tradition of success will continue.  Now I am thrilled to work with the phenomenal group of radio stations and talented team that make up CMG Miami!”

kfyibusinessClear Channel Flips KOY, Phoenix to Business as ‘Business 1230 KFYI.’ Gone are adult standards on KOY-AM and in is business talk format using predominantly Bloomberg Radio content.  The station is airing the “Big Business with Sully” program from 9:00 am to 11:00 am with more local programming on the way according to program director Neil Larrimore.  He states, “The business format fits well into the KFYI brand.  Businesses and individuals are always looking for ways to manage their money better, to do more with less, and to make sure their futures are secure.  This touches everybody – it’s a natural relationship for the established and trusted KFYI information brand to be part of this format.”

bergmansandiMEDIA BROKER SPOTLIGHT: Doyle Hadden of Hadden & Associates Media Brokers.  In this week’s installment of Media Broker Spotlight, Sandi Bergman of RadioTVDeals.com interviews media broker Doyle Hadden of Hadden & Associates Media Brokers located in the Orlando area of Florida.  Hadden went into being a broker after years of being in radio and television sales, management and ownership.  He says he wasn’t “good enough” to be an on-air talent so he found a way to make money “behind the scenes.”  He says, “Based on the past five or six years, things are on the rise in buyers’ interest in getting back into the game, now that the economy has shown signs of improving.  Look at Larry Wilson, who sold Citadel for more than $2 billion and now he is back in the hunt, along with many other great players in the business.”  He adds, “There are some very attractive deals out there but the prices seem to be going up across the board, especially in the larger and top 20 markets.”  Per the custom of this feature, Hadden offers several opportunities for displaced station managers and first-time entrants looking to roll up their sleeves and take on an ownership project.  To read the entire installment of Media Broker Spotlight, please click here.

waddletomOdds & Sods.  WMVP, Chicago “ESPN 1000” talk show host Tom Waddle is joining the mothership’s “Football Sunday on ESPN Radio” beginning this season and starting with the first show September 8 at 1:00 pm ET.  Waddle co-hosts the “Waddle & Silvy” show on WMVP.  Waddle will work from the company’s Bristol, Connecticut studios and will also appear on Sunday editions of ESPN’s “SportsCenter” and on ESPN2’s “Cowherd on Football” – the new hour-long program focusing holttorryon both college and pro football discussion and commentary with host Colin Cowherd that airs from 9:00 am to 10:00 am ET…..St. Louis Rams great Torry Holt signs on with Hubbard Radio’s WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” to serve as the station’s football insider providing exclusive weekly call-ins to the station. He’ll make three weekly appearances on the station: Each Monday morning during “Zach and Rammer,” Wednesdays on “The Turn” with Chris Duncan and Anthony Stalter, and Friday afternoons on “The Fast Lane” with Randy Karraker and D’Marco Farr.

jacksonkevinSalem Communications Sponsoring Kevin Jackson’s “Reparations Comedy Tour.”  Talk show host, speaker and author Kevin Jackson’s “The Reparations Comedy Tour” gains more support as Salem Communications agrees to join Americans for Prosperity and The Daily Caller as sponsors for his new conservative comedy tour featuring Brad Stine, Tim Wilkins, Even Sayet, and Tim Young.  WLSS, Sarasota “News Talk 930 AM” and WGUL, Tampa “Talk Radio 860 AM” are leading the promotional efforts on behalf of the company.  A press release for the tour states that “Jackson and his friends will be taking aim at the politically correct world America has become, especially when it comes to dealing with race relations.  The tour kicks off on Thursday, September 12, with two shows at The Crest Theatre in Delray Beach, Florida, and moves to the Palladium Theatre in St. Petersburg, Florida the next evening with future dates to be announced soon.”

katzallenTwo Katz and a (former) Congressman.  Former Congressman Allen West (l) is pictured here with Boston Herald Radio morning drive host Jeff Katz (r) and Katz’s eldest son Harry (c).  As part of the Hausman Memorial Speakers Series in Stoughton, Massachusetts on August 15, Jeff Katz was featured along with former Congressman West.  According to Jeff Katz, his son Harry’s review of the event was as follows: “Allen was great!  And my Dad was pretty good, too.”  Photo by Eric Kahn.

U.S.-Egypt Relations, Ted Cruz Citizenship Issue, Clinton Foundation Expenses Scrutiny, ObamaCare Implementation, 2016 Presidential Jockeying, and Financial Markets Activity Among Top Stories Yesterday (8/19).  Violence in Egypt and the state of the United States’ relationship with the country; the case of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz’s Canadian citizenship status; controversy over the expenses at the Clinton Foundation; the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the early jockeying for position in the 2016 presidential race; and financial markets activity were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

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.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

| June 12, 2013

smerconishspeechMichael Smerconish Delivers Annual “State of the First Amendment Address” at Talkers New York 2013.  It is considered an honor to be invited to deliver the annual “State of the First Amendment Address” at the annual TALKERS conference – a traditional component of the Freedom of Speech Ceremony that dates back to the early 1990s when the late and legendary talk show host Gene Burns delivered an impromptu speech extolling the importance of free speech in American society and the vital role it plays in the pertinence of talk radio.  Bringing the concept full circle, Burns further articulated how talk radio plays a crucial role in exercising and preserving the First Amendment.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “That was a magic moment when Gene Burns explained how free speech and talk radio are intrinsically unified in preserving the very foundation of liberty upon which everything we consider to be ‘American’ is supported.”  Harrison recalls, “Gene reprised this role for the nextburnsgene couple of years leading up to it becoming an industry tradition carried on by free speech-aware orators.  We began inviting individuals from the broadcasting industry who understood and displayed from their own actions the importance of the First Amendment and comment on the state of its health – based upon the premise ‘use it or lose it.’”  Since then, a diverse roster of industry players, who have in their own way challenged the establishment, have delivered their versions of this important address including Al Franken, Michael Medved, Alan Colmes, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, Jerry Springer, Neal Boortz, Jim Bohannon and many more.  This year, the editorial board invited Michael Smerconish, who recently walked away from his daily on-air job with CBS O&O WPHT, Philadelphia and his own syndicated network of approximately 80 affiliates to take a position as host of a show on the SiriusXM political channel, to deliver the address.  According to Harrison, “Smerconish, a moderate conservative, was quite outspoken in his protest against the extreme left-versus-right polarity presently manifested in the stationality of most AM/FM news/talk stations and opted for the ideological freedom provided by his new satellite platform.  Standing up to the conventional wisdom and practices of one’s own industry can be even more challenging and bold a stance for a talk show host to take than protesting the government.  He was an apt choice to deliver the address this year and he did a great job.”  Smerconish began the speech by recounting a media experience he had while still a teenager.  Pink Floyd’s legendary “The Wall” LP was released when he was a senior in high school.  The band was reluctant to tour in support of the double-album, but as part of its record deal, Pink Floyd was obligated to do a certain number of dates.  “I was able to see them and was the envy of my friends,” commented Smerconish, who at the time, was the editor of The Chatterbox, his high school newspaper. “When I came home from the concert, I decided to write a review of ‘The Wall.’” Speculating what the “wall” was and what it symbolized, Smerconish recounted it could have been a prison wall or a wall around a person seeking isolation.  When his review came out, he was summoned to the principal’s office. “The principal said he was disappointed that I had written the review and requested a retraction, not because of anything in particular that I had written, but because I had addressed the subject at all,” Smerconish explained.  “He wanted me to do a follow up and be critical of the group’s music.”  The then 17-year-old Smerconish (who went on to become an attorney) was “only superficially familiar” with the First Amendment.  “I doubt that I could have defined ‘censorship’ or ‘prior restraint,’ but I knew enough that something he was asking of me just was not right,” he recollected.  “I weighed his request and I did not do it.  More than 30 years later, I spend all of my time talking about such dilemmas, speaking my mind, and rendering judgments about matters of public controversy – only now – I do so with profound appreciation for the source of our freedom.  Establishing a government framework for the weighty subjects of religion, speech, assembly, and petition is exactly what was accomplished in 1791 when the First Amendment and the entire Bill of Rights were adopted.”  Of added significance is the fact that, as Smerconish mentioned, it was done in just 45 words and in a manner that would be relevant for 222 years and counting.  “It is so simple and yet so prescient,” he commented. “This guidepost was written two centuries before the advent of the internet.”  The succinct way in which Smerconish assessed the state of the First Amendment was “resilient.”  To view a video of Michael Smerconish’s entire speech, please click here.

farbernmsinterviewErica Farber: “There’s Nothing We Can’t Do Anymore!”  Brimming with optimism, Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) CEO/president Erica Farber tells TalkersTV, “For the first time in the history of radio, we are integrated marketers.”  In an interview conducted at the recent Talkers New York 2013 convention (6/6) by TALKERS managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian, Farber explains how radio can not only offer commercials on our broadcast signals but also video, special events and a variety of methods of exposure on our digital platforms as well.  Farber praises what she describes as “great energy” in the radio business and says that those of us who are in radio are here because “we love it” and although we are facing obvious challenges, there are also great opportunities.  When asked to define her role at the RAB as well as the organization’s role she states, “We are advocates of the industry to anyone who will listen – advertisers, agencies, broadcasters, and consumer media.”  She strongly believes that far more people are listening to radio than detractors of the medium would have you believe.  To see a video of the entire interview with Erica Farber, please click here.

mhchineseradioTALKERS Magazine Building Bridge Between American and Chinese Radio.  At the same time President Barack Obama was meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping last week, another diplomatic meeting between the two nations was taking place at United Nations headquarters on Manhattan’s East Side (6/7).  Broadcasters from China Radio International (CRI), the state-owned-and-operated radio station/network of the People’s Republic of China participated in the seventh annual “Talk Radio Day at the United Nations” a cultural initiative presented by TALKERS magazine and Talk Radio News Service in association with the United Nations Foundation.  This was the first time a delegation of Chinese broadcasters participated in this event.  Pictured (above, left) TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison being interviewed by the delegation for broadcast on CRI answering questions about how talk radio in America operates and what differences exist between the culture of broadcasting in both countries.  When asked what he hopes can be achieved by the meeting that was taking place that day between the presidents of the two nations Harrison stated, “I hope good things come from it, but I have learned through years of experience not to put too much stock in the words and actions of ANY politicians, regardless of what country they represent.  I believe, however, in the PEOPLE of different countries as evidenced by the ‘love fest’ taking place right here, right now, between your broadcasters and ours.  Radio is first andchineseradiogroupsm foremost a medium to unite people.  May today be just the beginning in our quest to unite the people of our great countries on the basis of mutual respect and common human interests.  If we do that, perhaps the politicians will have no choice other than to be reasonable.”  According to Harrison, “This was one of the most exciting conversations I have ever had in my 45 year career in broadcasting.  The radio folks from China seemed absolutely fascinated by how different the business is here – especially the American concept of free speech.  However they were clearly quite worldly and educated to many aspects of American business and culture. I will always remember this wonderful meeting.”  Li Ping, director general of CRI North America, told Harrison that she hopes “this will be the beginning of a long and productive relationship between Chinese and American radio broadcasters.”  Pictured above, right (l-r) Xu Leiying, reporter, CRI; Josephine Cheng, president, Chinese Radio Network (CRI’s partner in New York); Harrison; Li Ping, director general, CRI North America; Dong Xiaole, reporter, CRI; and You Yu, reporter/assistant to director general, CRI, North America.

villanuccijimLongtime Albuquerque Personality Jim Villanucci Lands in Portland.  After a not-so-amicable split from his 14-year home at Cumulus Media’s KKOB, Albuquerque, talk show host Jim Villanucci will take over the late morning slot at Alpha Broadcasting’s KXL, Portland “FM News 101” beginning June 24.  Villanucci will fill the slot currently held by Premiere Networks’ Glenn Beck show.  Villanucci was a huge ratings-getter for KKOB over the course of his stay there in afternoon drive and now brings his broad talk host skills to the Pacific Northwest leading into market icon Lars Larson who hosts the early afternoon show.  The move reunites Villanucci with market manager Milt McConnell with whom he worked in Albuquerque.

podcastone logoYahoo! Sports Radio Podcasts to Be Featured on PodcastOne.  The Norm Pattiz-founded PodcastOne and Gow Broadcasting, operator of Yahoo! Sports Radio in partnership with Yahoo! Sports, announce a multi-year deal to make Yahoo! Sports Radio podcasts available to listeners for free onyahoosportsradiologo PodcastOne.com and via the PodcastOne mobile app.  Additionally, Yahoo! Sports Radio Network podcasts will be represented for advertising sales by Pattiz’s Launchpad Digital Media.  PodcastOne/Launchpad Digital Media chief financial officer, Dan Yukelson states, “As ‘radio’ continues to be redefined as ‘audio,’ the sports-talk format has never been more popular.  Yahoo! Sports Radio is a leader in on-demand sports content and we are looking forward to ushering sports talk into the digital age together.  Along with our current PodcastOne lineup of sports/talk programming such as category leaders Steve Austin and Ross Tucker, the addition of Yahoo! Sports Radio will further strengthen our platform and reach.”  Yahoo! Sports Radio podcasts now available on PodcastOne and represented exclusively by Launchpad Digital Media include Bryan Benway, Terry Ford, Dylan Gwinn, Rick Horrow, Travis Rogers, Pat Forde, Dan Wetzel, Geoff Ketchum, Doug Farrar, Steve Czaban, “Calling All Sports with Marty Tirrell and Bob Ryan,” “The War Room with John Harris” and the “Mouthpiece Boxing Podcast.”

kgme logoClear Channel’s KGME, Phoenix Re-Brands as Fox Sports 910 Phoenix; Adds Local Midday Show.  Clear Channel’s Phoenix sports talk outlet KGME announces it has re-branded as “Fox Sports 910 Phoenix,” leaving behind the old “Xtra Sports” brand.  The station also adds a new live and local midday show called “The Freaks with Kenny & Crash,” featuring hosts Kenny Sargent and Crash Gladys that airs from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm beginning today (6/12).  Program director Neil Larrimore states, “This programming change will create a better experience for sports talk radio listeners in Phoenix.  ‘Fox Sports Radio 910 Phoenix’ and the addition of ‘Kenny & Crash’ will provide listeners with phenomenal sports talk programming with a rock ‘n’ roll attitude and the best conversations in the Valley.”

cclogoKelly Kibler Is Promoted to SVP of Operations for CC’s Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio Markets.  Moving up from her most recent post as the company’s market president in Dallas, Kelly Kibler is named senior vice president of operations, effective immediately.  In her new role with the company, she’ll oversee the Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio markets and will report to Tom Schurr, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment‘s president of operations — major markets.  Kibler has been with CC for more than 16 years, holding a variety of leadership and sales positions in the Dallas, San Diego and Las Vegas markets.  Schurr states, “Kelly’s strong performance and high level of achievement make her the perfect choice to oversee and lead our Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio markets.  Her track record is one of continuous success with the company.”

wachsmithdonAdLarge Promotes Don Wachsmith to Chief Revenue Officer, Radio Sales. AdLarge Media reports that EVP, radio sales Don Wachsmith is promoted to chief revenue officer, radio sales for the company.  AdLarge Media CEO and co-founder Gary Schonfeld states, “Don has done an incredible job of exceeding revenue goals, two years in a row.  His client relationships and ability to develop targeted national radio advertising packages have dramatically increased sales results for AdLarge.”  AdLarge president and co-founder Cathy Csukas adds, “With Don’s leadership, Adlarge has already surpassed 2012 results and achieved exceptional growth in 2013.  This is a well-deserved promotion for Don and recognition for his contribution to our success.”  Wachsmith states, “The past two years at AdLarge have been a wonderfully rewarding experience.  As AdLarge continues to expand partnerships with content providers, I look forward to delivering targeted branding experiences for our national advertising clients.”  Wachsmith joined AdLarge in 2011.  Prior to that, Wachsmith was executive vice president, sales, at Dial Global Media.

GfK MRI logoArbitron Announces ‘Model-Ready’ PPM Data Available in GfK MRI’s Granularity Portal.  Arbitron Inc. reports that Model-Ready Radio data is now available in media and consumer research firm GfK MRI‘s Granularity Portal.  The company states that “the model-ready radio ratings data is linked with Media Monitors commercial airplay data to enable advertisers to get a better read on radio’s contribution to marketing and sales results.  Its presence in the Granularity portal is designed to boost radio’s presence in marketing mix models and make it easier, faster and less error prone to use for advertisers, agencies and modelers.”  The model-ready data is now available in Granularity to all subscribers of the new data set.  It had previously been available in a beta version for a limited number of trial users, which was announced in October 2011.  Arbitron also states, “A series of case studies demonstrated that the model-ready Arbitron PPM Radio Ratings Data can help improve the statistical reliability of marketing mix models and provide advertisers with a better understanding of radio’s ability to drive marketing ROI.  The data is based on PPM radio ratings which is linked to commercial occurrence data from Media Monitors for the specific date, quarter-hour, and station on which each commercial ran.”

sontagfrankKKLA, Los Angeles Names Frank Sontag PM Drive Host.  The untimely death of talk show host Frank Pastore after a motorcycle accident in November of 2012 left Salem Communications’ Christian talk station KKLA, Los Angeles seeking a new afternoon drive host.  Now, the company announces Frank Sontag takes over the program that airs from 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm.  Program director Chuck Tyler says, “We are excited about having Frank Sontag join our lineup in the critical afternoon drive position.  Frank is a true veteran of Los Angeles radio having worked at KLOS-FM for 27 years.”  Sontag served as news director, disc jockey and was part of the popular Mark and Brian program.  During that time he also hosted his own talk radio show – “The Impact Program” – for 21 years.

abcnewsradioABC News Radio Recognized with Three Edward R. Murrow Awards.  The national Edward R. Murrow Awards have been announced by the Radio Television Digital News Association and ABC News Radio is recognized with awards in three categories. ABC won Best Breaking News Coverage for its handling of the Newtown, Connecticut school massacre; Best Continuing Coverage for its work reporting on Hurricane Sandy; and Best News Series for its The 2012 Campaign and Election: Your Choice Your Vote.”  You can hear the winning entries here.

beckslaterSiriusXMGlenn Beck Promotes New Novel on SiriusXM’s‘Author Confidential.’  Talk media superstar Glenn Beck (l) is the featured guest on this weekend’s edition of SiriusXM’s “Author Confidential” as he talks with SiriusXM Patriot Channel host Mike Slater (r) about his new novel The Eye of Moloch (Threshold Editions 2013).  The book is the follow-up to his previous New York Times bestseller The Overton Window and incorporates themes of tyranny, freedom, high-tech surveillance and more.  The program premieres on Saturday, June 15 at 10:00 am on the Patriot Channel.

Gerard Media Purchases Talk WHFB, Benton Harbor-St. Joseph, Michigan.  Gerard Media owns news/talk WIMS, Michigan City, Indiana and will add 5,000-watt class D AM WHFB, Benton Harbor-St. Joseph, Michigan to its portfolio for $175,000.  The seller is WHFB Broadcast Associates.

wrkotownhallWRKO, Boston Holds Live Town Hall Broadcast with Former U.S. Senator Scott Brown.  WRKO, Boston morning drive host Jeff Kuhner will take part in a live broadcast town hall meeting at Bentley University on Thursday, June 20 at 7:00 pm with former U.S. Senator Scott Brown.  The station says Kuhner and Brown will discuss topical political issues, including National Security privacy issue, the IRS scandal, the Benghazi attack and the Senate special election.  The program will end with an open session for audience questions and will be moderated by June Knight.

Alleged State Department Cover-Up, Immigration Legislation, NSA Data Collection Program, Severe Weather ‘Derecho’ Threat, and Plan B Pill Policy Among top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/11).  Allegations of a State Department cover-up of illegal activities including prostitution and drug abuse among staffers abroad; immigration legislation making its way through Congress; the NSA data collection program and the revealing of secrets by Edward Snowden; the threat of a dangerous weather system possibly forming a “derecho” that could affect the eastern half of the country; and the controversy over the Obama Administration’s policy on the Plan B pill were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

| May 29, 2013

trn logoCalifornia Judge Sends TRN Anti-Trust Suit to New York; Courtside Interference Allegation Dismissed.  There’s been some action in the suit filed by Talk Radio Network against the 14 defendant entities as United States District Judge Jesus G. Bernal moves the case from the Central District of California to the Southern District of New York.  At the same time, Judge Bernal grants Courtside Entertainment Group’s motion to dismiss based on Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction.  In a nutshell, the judge ruled that since the bulk of the defendants are headquartered in New York, that’s where TRN’s case arguing anti-trust practices against Dial Global, Compass, and WYD should be heard.  As for the suit against Courtside for allegedly interfering with talk hosts Michael Savage and Laura Ingraham (then under contract to TRN), the judge ruled that allegation is not related to the anti-trust case and he dismissed it without prejudice.  TRN could file a separate suit against Courtside in that matter if it so chooses.

talkersradio logoTALKERS Magazine to Launch TalkersRadio - Debut to Broadcast Entire “Talkers New York 2013″ Live.  TALKERS magazine announces the launch next week of “TalkersRadio” – a 24/7/365 streaming spoken-word internet radio station that will be available to listeners on the trade publication’s website, www.talkers.com and feature a unique brand of stationality that, as publisher Michael Harrison describes, “views the world through the lens of the talk media industry.”  TalkersRadio’s mission will be to serve as 1) a laboratory for interesting new concepts and talent in talk; 2) a farm system to help develop deserving up-and-comers; 3) a real-time stage for talent to audition for specific jobs and opportunities; 4) a platform for “bridge shows” - a new device by which suddenly terminated AM/FM talk show hosts can do a series of final shows to say goodbye to their listeners and/or announce their upcoming plans within a radio show context; 5) a vehicle for “orphan shows” – programs that do not conveniently fit into prevailing AM/FM station format categories; 6) a showcase for new and adventurous programming concepts and ideas; and 7) a medium to exclusively broadcast TALKERS magazine live events such as the annual convention next week and Talk Radio Day at the United Nations the following day.  TalkersRadio will also carry several “regularly scheduled” programs to give it, as Harrison describes, “the feel and consistency” of a real radio station.  Some of these will be talk shows about the industry and others will just be talk shows about life in general.  “The key,” according to Harrison, “is most of the programming will be the type that is unavailable elsewhere.”  TalkersRadio has been in development for the past year and a half and is a joint project between TALKERS parent company Talk Media, Inc. and Westborough, Massachusetts-basedbackboneMH communications firm Backbone Networks Corporation.  It will feature a leading-edge concept in broadcasting technology developed by Backbone that makes it extremely convenient and affordable for talk show hosts to do a fully produced program – with live callers and guests – from an amazingly simple technical remote and portable set up.  According to Harrison, “Our partners at Backbone are technical wizards.  Having them power this operation will give us the flexibility and means to really make a significant contribution to talk radio as both a cultural art form and a 21st century-rooted business — the ongoing mission of TALKERS magazine.”  Further developments about TalkersRadio will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  Pictured at the recent deal signing are (l-r): Richard Cerny, Backbone CEO/president; Michael Harrison, TALKERS publisher; George Capalbo, Backbone VP/CTO; and Paul Kamp, Backbone VP/business development.

ccme horiz logoClear Channel Study of Consumers Indicates Media Attitudes.  A recent study of about 1,000 Americans conducted by Vision Critical for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment came to a number of conclusions about how consumers view media and media devices.  Some of the takeaways from this study include:

  • Media multitasking is now mainstream across all media channels.  65% of respondents have been online while watching TV at the same time; 59% have been online while listening to music; and even 25% of respondents watch TV and listen to music at the same time.
  • When it comes to smartphones and tablets, women are actually more likely than men to own these gadgets — 52% of women have smartphones vs. 43% of men; and 31% of women have a tablet or e-reader compared to 25% of men.
  • Only one in ten consumers (11%) think it is “no big deal” if they accidentally leave their smartphone at home for the day.  A large majority (78%) keep their smartphones in the bedroom at night, with 60% keeping their phones within arm’s reach on the nightstand.
  • Respondents would rather keep their computer and give up their TV, smartphone and tablet if they could only use one device for a year.

parksandyAndy Parks’ Washington Times Radio Show Moves to Salem’s WRC, Washington.  The talk radio initiative between The Washington Times and longtime DC talk radio personality Andy Parks moves from Metro Radio-owned WTNT where it aired in afternoon drive to Salem Communications’ crosstown WRC for an 11:00 am to 1:00 pm air time.  In a statement, Parks says, “The combination of the resources of The Washington Times and WRC 1260 provides a greatwrc logo opportunity to explore the news of the day, examine the big issues and break stories.  I look forward to bringing those elements of the show to the listeners at WRC.”  Salem Washington DC market manager Thomas Moyer states, “The Washington Times is the only Washington-based newspaper that is committed to conservative American values.  WRC 1260 is the only Washington-area talk radio station committed to similar conservative American values.  This is a partnership that makes sense.  This is a unique opportunity coming to our lineup.”  Parks was a fixture for many years on Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WMAL.

focus 360 logoFocus 360 and Radio America’s Dr. Joy Browne Agree to Exclusive National Ads Sales Deal.  The sales and marketing firm Focus 360 has signed a deal with Radio America nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Joy Browne to serve as exclusive national ad sales representative.  Focus 360 ad sales VP Dick brownejoySilipigni states, “An alternative to political talk radio, Dr. Joy’s dynamic personality, combined with her no-nonsense advice on issues ranging from relationships, marriage, finance, work and career, has garnered her millions of devoted listeners.  The addition of Dr. Joy’s show to our repertoire creates more opportunities for our advertisers to reach engaged listeners.”  Based for many years at the WOR Radio Network, Dr. Joy Browne’s program is now syndicated by Radio America whose chief operating officer Mike Paradiso says, “Dr. Joy’s show has been a successful ratings winner for over 15 years.  Partnering with Focus 360 will increase our revenue from national advertisers.  We look forward to working with them as we continue to grow the Dr. Joy Browne radio program.”

kuhnerjeffWRKO, Boston Adds Hour to Jeff Kuhner’s AM Drive Show.  Entercom’s Boston news/talk outlet WRKO announces it is adding an hour to morning drive host Jeff Kuhner’s program and shifting “The Financial Exchange” with Barry Armstrong to the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.  Previously, “The Kuhner Report” aired from 6:00 am to 9:00 am with Armstrong’s show airing from 9:00 am to 11:00 am and Kuhner returning for an 11:00 am to 12:00 noon program.  Vice president of programming and operations Jason Wolfe states, “Jeff Kuhner is one of the hottest talents to hit Boston talk radio in years.  He’s got great energy, passion and tremendous credibility discussing the issues that matter most to this community and to the country.  Barry Armstrong is Boston’s foremost financial expert and since he’s started with us, has provided top-notch commentary on a program that provides important information to our audience.  Adding another hour to ‘The Kuhner Report’ in morning drive and shifting ‘The Financial Exchange’ to start at 10:00 am allows the station a seamless transition from show to show throughout the day.”

hunterrobKTAR-FM, Phoenix Moves Rob Hunter to Middays with Karie Dozer.  The Bonneville news/talk station announces long-time producer and weekend talk host Rob Hunter moves into the midday slot on KTAR-FM alongside Karie Dozer for the newly named “Rob & Karie Show.”  The station says Rob and Karie will be an opinionated and interactive look at the most topical and locally relevant news stories of the day.  The show will include listener calls and heavy social media integration.  Bonneville Phoenix vice president of content and operations Ryan Hatch states, “Rob is a rising star.  He and Karie will have diverse and interesting points of view that will bring a thought provoking jolt of energy to the KTAR middays.”  Hunter takes over for current midday co-host Chuck Powell who takes his creative talents to a new digital content position in which he will contribute to all three Bonneville Phoenix media brands.  He will also host a sports podcast with his former sports radio partner Vince Marotta on arizonasports.com.

kingRTLarry King to Join Cable News Channel RT for Political Show.  Russian news/talk cable TV network RT America announces the debut of a new Larry King program that is scheduled to begin airing in June called, “Larry King Now.”  The program is described in a press release as a “mold-breaking political talk show.”  In a video accompanying the release featuring King himself talking about the new show, he says, “I would rather ask questions of people in positions of power instead of speaking on their behalf.”  The program is being produced by King’s own Ora.TV and will be recorded in RT’s Washington, DC and Los Angeles studios.

bott logoBott Radio Network Joins CC’s iHeartRadio.  Christian talk radio content creator Bott Radio Network announces it is providing its programming to Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio for distribution on the digital audio service.  Bott Radio Network shows are heard on approximately 90 stations across the country.

Odds & Sods.  ABC News Radio names Scott Goldberg staff correspondent.  He will split his time between reporting and anchoring newscasts.  ABC says Goldberg’s work has taken him around the globe, from the U.S. to Latin America, Western Europe and Asia.  For several years Scott was a freelance correspondent for NewsOne after spending nearly a decade covering business, political and breaking news for local stations in the South and Midwest…..SiriusXM teams with Relevent Sports to bring the 2013 Guinness International Champions Cup to its listeners.  The tournament opens on July 27 and will feature eight club teams – including Inter Milan, Juventus, Los Angeles Galaxy, Real Madrid and others – that will compete over seven days at different venues across the United States.

Record Number of American’s on Disability, Justice Department Journalists Investigations, Radical Islamist Attacks, and Chinese Hack U.S. Weapons Systems Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/28).  Data indicating that more than 10 million Americans are on disability; the Justice Department’s investigation into journalists; the recent spate of attacks on soldiers by radical Islamists; and the alleged hacking of U.S. weapons systems by Chinese hackers were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

BQparadeBlanquita Cullum Emcees National Memorial Day Parade.  Veteran radio talk show host, former member of the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors and host of the television program “The Hard Question,” Blanquita Cullum is pictured here (c) with National Memorial Day Parade marshalls Gary Sinise (r) and Joe Mantegna (l) on Constitution Avenue in Washington, DC on Monday, May 27.  Cullum served as an emcee for the parade alongside Mark Kesseler, who serves as the Washington Redskins stadium announcer.