Tag: "Pierre Bouvard"

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

| February 27, 2019

Sean Hannity Broadcasts from Hanoi. Hitching a ride with a motorcyclist in the photo above is Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity as he broadcasts both his radio and TV shows from Vietnam to cover President Trump’s meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.  Hannity, who will work from Southeast Asia through Friday (3/1), said via Twitter, “Getting to work in Vietnam traffic was crazy so I hopped out & this guy gave me a lift. #VietNamSummit.”

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format. Coming off the previous Holiday 2018 survey all of the all-news stations on the panel saw their weekly 6+ AQH share improve.  More than 60% of the stations were up – based on the same metric – from last January’s survey to this year’s.  Entercom’s WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago (+1.5) and WWJ, Detroit (+1.0) led the gainers.  Both stations also ranked #1 in their respective markets in January, along with Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington (10.4 share) and Entercom’s KCBS-AM (7.1 share in the San Jose market).  See the whole report here.

Westwood One: Midday Listening Tops Drive Time. In the latest Westwood One blog post, chief insights officer Pierre Bouvard writes that, based on data from Nielsen, the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm daypart represents 26% of radio listening by adults 25-54, compared to 21% each for morning and afternoon drive.  The extra hour (drive times have just four hours each) accounts for the difference but Bouvard points out that advertisers buying only drive times are missing out. “Countless sales lift and ROI studies conclude that the number one media factor that drives sales is reach.  The more people a campaign reaches, the greater the sales lift.  Increasing reach insures a campaign can impact sales.  Restricting AM/FM radio buys to drives times misses 60% of the radio audience. It reduces reach and harms advertiser sales lift.” See the difference between advertisers’ perceptions about when heavy radio listening occurs and when it actually does based on Nielsen data in the blog post here.

SAG-AFTRA Goes Public in Entercom Negotiations Matter. The union representing some radio staffers with Entercom stations in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Francisco is calling out Entercom, asking it to “engage in fair contract negotiations.”  SAG-AFTRA says its members at those stations have been in active negotiations for new union contracts since late last year.  While, negotiations are ongoing, SAG-AFTRA says “members are going public for the first time with their disappointment with the company’s proposals.”  President Gabrielle Carteris adds, “The company’s suggested proposals would erode significant benefits in our members’ contracts and lack recognition of the major contributions our members make to Entercom stations across the country.  We encourage a real partnership with Entercom as we look to achieve a meaningful and fair resolution of these negotiations.”  What are the hang-ups?  SAG-AFTRA says its members “are seeking fair increases to compensation, benefits, and limited benefits for part-time employees as well as a willingness to participate in the shift to the digitally focused radio business.  Entercom is seeking to dramatically slash severance benefits and eliminate jobs with the expanded use of pre-recorded and non-local shows.”

TALKERS News Notes. The seasonal, 20-part series “Tax Tips” is being made available to affiliates of Westwood One News.  Correspondent Ann Cates hosts the one-minute feature.  Topics cover the withholding calculator, smartphone filing, phone scams, earned income tax credit, how to find online help, the taxpayer bill of rights, ghost tax preparers, IRS audits, and more…..“CHANNEL Q” is now available in six more markets as Entercom expands the LGBTQ+ Talk Radio Network.  The company says the format brings the latest in LGBTQ+ news and information, pop culture, and new music to listeners in 14 markets and via the RADIO.COM app nationwide.  It’s now available in New York, Chicago, Boston, Miami, Hartford, and Portland.  Entercom Southern California SVP and market manager Jeff Federman says, “We’re extremely proud and excited by the tremendous growth of ‘CHANNEL Q,’ its success is a testament to the desire to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and their allies.  ‘CHANNEL Q’ began as a passion project for our team in Los Angeles and we are thrilled to see the great reception it has received from coast to coast. We look forward to informing and engaging with new listeners in these new cities we are now a part of.”…..The Bob & Tom Show launches its new comedy app.  The Bob & Tom Show app offers fans the ease of listening to the show on their local station, as well as one-touch access to the Bob & Tom comedy channel, called “Bob & Tom 24/7.”  “Bob & Tom 24/7” features The Bob & Tom Show live every weekday morning, plus classic highlights, bits, songs and segments from the show’s rich archive of digital audio content…..SiriusXM NFL Radio is covering this week’s annual NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis today through Sunday, March 3.  SiriusXM NFL Radio’s expert hosts in Indianapolis will include Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019 member Gil Brandt, former NFL front office executives Mark Dominik and Pat Kirwan, former NFL players Charles Davis, Jim Miller and Brady Quinn, plus Alex Marvez, Bruce Murray, John Hansen and Adam Caplan.

Trump-Kim Jong Un Summit, Cohen Testimony, Trump-Russia Investigation, Border Wall/Emergency Declaration, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, AOC-Ivanka Wages Spat, Venezuela Unrest, India-Pakistan Tensions, and NBA/NCAA Hoops Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/26). The meeting between President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the congressional testimony expected from former Trump attorney Michael Cohen; the status of the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the House’s vote to nullify President Trump’s emergency declaration; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; the media argument over wages and entitlements between Ivanka Trump and Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez; the violence in Venezuela as Nicolas Madura clings to power; the military tensions between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir dispute; and NBA and NCAA basketball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tomorrow Marks 10thAnniversary of Paul Harvey’s Passing.  Radio’s Best Friend Art Vuolo alerts TALKERS magazine that tomorrow (2/28) will be the 10th anniversary of the death of radio news legend Paul Harvey.  He provides a video of what he believes is Harvey’s last address to the industry (delivered at the 2003 R&R TRS event) – a 17-minute keynote speech that you can see here. Art also relates a funny, personal story.  “My late mother, Amy Vuolo, actually made Paul Harvey’s famous ‘For What It’s Worth’ department (his end-kicker story.)  In 1974, she lectured for Weight Watchers which had bumper stickers that said, ‘My Spare Tire is in the trunk.’  A member of her class put the sticker on her car and someone broke into the trunk and stole the spare tire!  True story.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. This year’s iHeartRadio Music Awards taking place on March 14 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles will feature performances by Alicia KeysAriana Grande, Halsey, Garth Brooks, John Legend, and Kacey Musgraves, with more to be announced.  The sixth annual iHeartRadio Music Awards is being aired (delayed) at 8:00 pm ET on FOX television.  It’s also airing live on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide and the iHeartRadio platform…..JVC Media announces that radio pro Steve Harper is joining the company as a member of the Long Island events team and member of the afternoon show on WPTY-HD2/W251BY, Patchogue, New York “Oldies 98.1.”  JVC New York general manager Bruce Shepard says, “Steve is a great addition to our staff.  He will not only be on the airwaves at JVC, he’ll also work with the team of Long Island Events – the JVC NTR company – to develop new and exciting live events and festivals.  I am thrilled to have him on board.”…..Country radio pro Andy Roberts exits the Champaign, Illinois operations of Saga Communications where he was most recently program director for country WIXY and classic country WYXY.  He’d also served as morning host at WIXY for more than 20 years.

Monday, July 10, 2017

| July 10, 2017

Entercom/CBS Radio Divulges Senior Management. Based on a memo from Entercom president/chief executive officer David Field, we are getting a clearer picture of the combined giant’s management team, but, as Field stresses, until everything becomes official, Entercom and CBS Radio remain separate companies. “I want to express my appreciation to everyone for their patience as we work through this process,” he writes. “We all want to see the deal close as quickly as possible, but these large mergers just take time. I am pleased to report that we are right on schedule and hard at work, making great progress in every area required to complete our merger successfully. There is nothing more important to our future success than the quality of our people. We have spent a great deal of time working to build a ‘best in class’ team composed of highly talented, high performance stars from CBS Radio and Entercom, plus a number of newcomers from outside of the industry who bring new perspectives and capabilities. The list is a work-in-progress and in the weeks ahead, as planning continues, we will announce additional members of the leadership team, as well as information on a wide range of other important topics as we continue to prepare for this game-changing event.” In alphabetical order, executives include: JD Crowley (EVP/digital); Mike Dee (president/sports); Michael Doyle (regional president and president/sales operations); Ruth Gaviria (chief marketing officer); Weezie Kramer (chief operating officer); Chris Oliviero (EVP/programming); Pat Paxton (president/programming); Bob Philips (chief revenue officer); Rich Schmaeling (chief financial officer); and Andrew Sutor (SVP/general counsel). Field adds, “I also want to add a special word of recognition to Scott Herman, who has done a terrific job over so many years in various leadership roles at CBS, culminating in his current position as chief operating officer. While we are disappointed that Scott will be moving on to pursue other personal and professional endeavors, we greatly respect his outstanding leadership contributions to the organization. “In addition, I want to share some further information on our programming leadership. Pat Paxton will oversee the music brands and Chris Oliviero will oversee the news/talk/sports brands. They will be working collaboratively, along with the programming team across the country to ensure that we continue to develop outstanding brands with the best personalities and content for our listeners nationwide.”

Cox Media Group Atlanta Taps Turcotte To Be GSM. Inbound from Midwest Communications Nashville where he was general sales manager, Mark Turcotte will join Cox Media Group Atlanta later this month (7/31) in a similar capacity. Cox Media Group Atlanta director of sales Jaleigh Long comments, “Mark Turcotte has an exceptional track record for converting vision into sales strategy and execution. This is the perfect time for Mark to join Atlanta’s talented sales leadership team.” Turcotte adds, “A return to Atlanta and Cox Media Group at arguably the most successful radio cluster in the country is such a tremendous honor. The values of the company and their leadership align perfectly with those I have tried to emulate throughout my career. This is a great opportunity to work with folks I consider to be among the absolute best in the profession.” With their May 2017 6+ Nielsen Audio PPM stats and rankings in parenthesis, Cox Media Group Atlanta includes news/talk WSB-AM (8.6, #1 for the 17th straight ratings period); classic hits-oldies WSRV “Classic Hits 97.1 The River” (6.7, #2); urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1 – Atlanta’s R&B” (6.3, #4); and adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” (4.2, #10).

Kaufman Joins Cumulus Media As SVP, Revenue/Operations. Based in New York City, John Kaufman is named to Cumulus Media’s newly-created position of senior vice president, revenue strategy and operations. According to Cumulus Media president and chief executive officer Mary Berner, “John’s strategic and operational expertise [as well as his] deep understanding of the critical function that pricing and inventory management plays in maximizing revenue will be a tremendous asset to our operations. In this new leadership role, he will increase the company’s revenue management capabilities through intelligent and attractive pricing strategies and systems. John will support our team of more than 900 sales professionals in 90 markets as they serve our advertisers with local impact and national reach.” Kaufman remarks, “Seeing all the great change underway at Cumulus, I am so pleased to be joining Mary and her leadership team at this exciting time. I look forward to helping the company continue in its evolution.” With an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, Kaufman was senior vice president of business operations for iHeartMedia, later advancing to president of business ops there. Three years ago, he started JK Steele Consulting and a year later was president and chief operating officer of start-up company ParcMate. Prior to that, he was executive vice president of revenue management & electronic marketing at Extended Stay Hotels and vice president of global revenue management for Starwood Hotels & Resorts.


Robinette Retires From WWL. Having hosted the three-hour (10:00 am – 1:00 pm) “Think Tank” on Entercom New Orleans news/talk WWL for the last 12 years, Garland Robinette is retiring. Off the air since mid-April battling pneumonia, Robinette will pursue his interest in painting. “Never did I think a boy from the swamps with little education could travel the world, meet presidents, kings, movie stars and see places I had only read and dreamed about,” Robinette reflects. “If we do come back to this world for multiple lifetimes, I think I’m in trouble because I’ve used up all my luck in this one. Ironically, even those of you who disliked me helped me. One thing I always tried to do was listen to people who disagreed, and in a large percentage of those debates, you were right and I was wrong. Each of those debates was a learning experience of which I emerged a little bit better educated, a little bit better able to see the world not as I wanted, but as it is.” WWL vice president and general manager Chris Claus remarks, “Garland means so much to WWL, to our community, and to the region. His voice, his leadership and undying passion will be greatly missed.” Operations and program director Diane Newman adds, “Magic happens on WWL when the talent is as big as the stage – Garland was that magic. He brought wisdom, passion, and guts to WWL at a time when our city, state, and region needed leadership. He was the voice of the people during Hurricane Katrina, the aftermath and recovery.  From that microphone, he drove the recovery and rebirth, speaking truth to power and accepting nothing less than the change necessary to protect and preserve the jewel that is New Orleans.” Prior to joining WWL in 2005 to replace the late David Tyree, Robinette was a 20-year news anchor/reporter for WWL-TV, New Orleans and headed a public relations firm. He and co-anchor Angela Hill were married in 1978 and were divorced nine years later, but continued their on-air partnership.

WODT Set to Expand Local Programming. In addition to Garland Robinette retiring from Entercom-owned news/talk WWL, New Orleans (see above), there’s more industry news from the Louisiana market as – starting next Monday (7/17) – iHeartMedia’s WODT “Fox Sports 1280” will quintuple its locally-originated programming to ten hours per day. The 8:00 am – 10:00 am slot will be filled by Chris Gordy, who will continue as assistant program director of co-owned KBME “Sports Talk 790,” Houston. Hosted by New Orleans Times-Picayune writers Jeff Duncan and Larry Holder, “Dunc & Holder: Smart Sports Talk for Serious Fans,” will follow from 10:00 am -12:00 noon. Another KBME, Houston staffer – Baton Rouge native Josh Innes – will oversee WODT’s 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm block. Based at Delta Media Lafayette’s KLWB “103.7 The Game,” former LSU basketball player/current football sideline reporter Jordy Hultberg is added at 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm, while Kaare Johnson remains in-place from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm. The remainder of the WODT schedule, including Clay Travis (5:00 am – 8:00 am), will be filled by Fox Sports Radio network programming.

Remembering Claude Hall. Broadcasters of a certain era were fond of saying they had truly “made it in the business” when Claude Hall mentioned their name in his Billboard Magazine “Vox Jox” column. Just as we were approaching our deadline last Friday (7/7), TALKERS broke the news that – owing to injuries suffered from a fall earlier last week – Hall had died at Sunrise Medical Center in Las Vegas. Prior to his death, he continued “Vox Jox” in partnership with talk show host/radio station owner Rollye James as a weekly online newsletter specializing in the activities of older and retired radio broadcasters (www.voxjox.org). Among those commenting on Hall’s death was Randy West, who explains, “Claude had been in ill health for several years. He was an author of fiction books and non-fiction radio texts, and a great friend of the airwaves. He was beloved by hundreds of [on-air personalities] and returned that love by continuing to network and make connections among the survivors of radio’s greatest era. Claude took a whole era of radio with him. He championed, celebrated, honored, and escalated the business.” As Russ DiBello points out, Hall “took a series of scattered jobs, and with a gossip column, morphed them into a profession. That guy doing overnights in Boise whom you’d never met was now your colleague. If you never heard the stations in a market, you still had a good idea of what was going on in various outposts of American radio. Stations everywhere knew where the hot programming talent was hanging out, and whenever they moved, their creativity would cross-pollinate the industry with bits and air talents that would become the norm in programming and production. If all that doesn’t convince you, think of how many more columns like that – which were spinoffs of ‘Vox Jox’ – popped-up in other publications in subsequent years.” Lee Arnold adds, “To those of us in the record and radio business, Claude Hall was not just a legendary journalist, but a wonderful human being that spent most of his life promoting all that we hold dear in this business that we love. Claude, thank you for your friendship – you will be missed.” Mark Driscoll states, “Our industry lost a wonderful caring man who so loved broadcasting. I for one am devastated. May God bless Claude Hall’s soul.” Others noting Hall’s passing included Dan O’Day, who admits, “I don’t have the words to express my sadness as well as my gratitude to Claude” and Anita Bonita emphasizing, “Rest in peace, sir – you absolutely made a difference.” Clark Smidt succinctly described Hall as, “The Master.” Talkers publisher Michael Harrison recalls, “There was once a time when Claude Hall was the major source of all information pertaining to the radio industry. He is the founding father of the style of radio trade publishing that has set the tone of this business for the past five decades. I am lucky to have known him and remember what a thrill it was to appear in his columns back when I was a young PD in my 20s. His love of radio and contributions to this industry are incalculable – he’s number one with a bullet.” In February 2016, Hall wrote his own obituary and accidentally sent it to all his friends. His son – Andrew Clark Hall – shares that obit, complete with empty blanks. “Claude Hall, who was born in Brady, Texas and attended high school in nearby Winters, died of heart complications _(day)_____ at his home in Las Vegas. He was (age). The highlight of his career was 14 years with Billboard Magazine. Although he covered the news in music and radio, he was mostly known for a column called ‘Vox Jox,’ that was widely read in the United States and Canada and translated and read throughout Brazil. It was even read behind the then Iron Curtain and on islands in the South Pacific. Hall entered the University of Texas shortly after being discharged from the U.S. Army. He had served in Germany shortly after World War II. He graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism degree in 1958. His first newspaper job was with the El Paso Herald-Post, but he quit after a few months and hitchhiked to New York City. He spent two years on a trade magazine, American Druggist, published by Hearst, then two years with Cavalier, then a man’s adventure magazine published by Fawcett. Married and with a young son, he and his wife Barbara (she’d worked for Dr. Joyce Brothers at NBC) spent two years in New Orleans. He worked on the Times-Picayune, then considered one of America’s finest newspapers, and his wife finished up her master’s degree from Columbia University. Later, he landed a position with Billboard in New York where he was named radio-TV editor and spent the next 14 years. He also created and organized the International Radio Programming Forum for 10 years. After Billboard, he earned a master’s degree in education at a small Christian university in Oklahoma while serving as the school’s director of public relations. With his degree, he joined the State University of New York at Brockport as a journalism and public relations professor where he taught the next eight years before retiring. He has since authored more than two dozen novels. He and Barbara also wrote This Business of Radio Programming, considered by many to be the best book on radio programming ever written and once adopted as a textbook by 22 major universities. His books are available via Amazon Kindle Books. He leaves a wife and sons John, Darryl, and Andy. Two brothers and a sister previously passed on.”

Matt Patrick: Update. It was just last Friday (7/7) that we reported that KTRH, Houston morning drive personality Matt Patrick (real name Michael Ryan) had announced to his audience that he was ending treatment for an aggressive case of esophageal cancer. Sadly, after that two-year battle, Patrick passed away yesterday (Sunday, 7/9) in Katy, Texas; he was 58 years old. This news coincides with his six-year anniversary at the iHeartMedia news/talk station. Patrick was diagnosed with Stage IV mucosal melanoma on September 11, 2015. The Cleveland-born broadcaster earned a degree in psychology from John Carroll University and was a two-time Radio Broadcasters Hall of Fame inductee. Prior to KTRH, he worked for almost 30 years at WKDD, Akron, followed by stints at WLW, Cincinnati and WTAM, Cleveland. Rubber City Radio Group vice president/director of operations Sue Wilson Cordle declares, “Matt was the voice of Akron. He woke us up for so many years as morning show host at WKDD. I was honored to work with him when we first changed WKDD from mellow rock to top 40. He was originally on middays in 1981, and then quickly moved to mornings where he remained for three decades. He will be missed so much. Thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and all who mourn his passing.” He is survived by (among others) his wife of 15 years, Paula; their son Jake; daughters Alexandra Ryan and Alanna Ryan; mother Marie; step-father John Drummond; and sisters Maureen Shell and Colleen Ryan Neubauer. A memorial service will be held in Houston, followed by a private family service and burial in Ohio.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/10) with Vince Benedetto, Ron Hartenbaum and Karen Hunter.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are the “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein); the special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo); the special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard); the special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell); and the first in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” beginning with a conversation between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan Bearman (facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter).   Today (7/10), the second in that series has been posted featuring Bold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto in conversation with DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum.  Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

Scully to Receive ESPY Icon Award. After having spent the past 67 seasons as the play-by-play voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the legendary Vin Scully called it quits when the 2016 season ended. Scully will be presented with the Icon Award at The 25th ESPYS. The honor is given to individuals whose careers have left a lasting impression on the sports world; actor Bryan Cranston will make the presentation to Scully. Easily one of the country’s best-known broadcasters, Scully started with the Dodgers when the franchise was located in Brooklyn. His career with the team marks the longest tenure of any broadcast with a single professional sports organization. Hosted by Peyton Manning, The ESPYS will be televised on ABC-TV this Wednesday (7/12) from Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater.

Confer Radio Talent Institute Begins Today. This is the fourth annual such “institute” at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. Today’s headliner (Monday, 7/10) is Cumulus Media and Westwood One chief insights officer Pierre Bouvard. Handling the closing session in ten days will be Forever Media Group partner Kerby Confer, who comments, “We want to make a difference; to give back; and give this next generation a good firm foundation in how radio, television, and the internet work. We are going to birth a whole new generation of radio people.” National Radio Talent System founder/president Dan Vallie remarks, “This is the radio talent farm that we in the industry have always said we needed. It is true today more than ever.” Those in charge of leading sessions come from entities that include Beasley Media Group, CBS Radio, Cumulus, Entercom, Forever Media Group, iHeartMedia, and Seven Mountains Media. Various aspects of the medium will be addressed from sales to on-air; sports; news; production; promotions; digital; social media; and engineering. Students with a desire and drive to be in radio were accepted from nine different universities including Bloomsburg, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Ohio University, Pennsylvania State University, Robert Morris University, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, Susquehanna University, and Temple University.

Haze Adds KMYI PD Duties. Effective immediately, KMYI “Star 94.1,” San Diego afternoon drive host Joe Haze is elevated to program director of the iHeartMedia hot AC. In addition to his new assignment, Haze will continue programming co-owned mainstream CHR KHTS “Channel 93.3.” Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s San Diego-Riverside region Rob Scorpio notes, “Haze has been instrumental in the success of ‘Channel 93.3’ since its inception. His passion for CHR and hot AC, along with his knowledge and experience, make him the ideal choice to continue [KMYI’s] dominance in the San Diego market.” Haze – who will carry on in PM drive on “Star 94.1” – comments, “I am very grateful to have the opportunity to program two powerful, iconic brands like ‘Star 94.1’ and ‘Channel 93.3.’ To be able to further my career in a market like San Diego is amazing.” Haze previously did nights at ‘Channel 93.3’ and he has worked in Phoenix (KZZP) and Jacksonville (WAPE and WJBT).

Steele Sets Sights on Washington. At a Houston press conference, author, lecturer and a member of the Texas Radio Hall of FameDayna Steele – has announced her candidacy for the congressional seat in Texas’ 36th district. She received an on-stage endorsement from Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Joan Jett, who wore a “Dayna Steele For Congress” tee-shirt. “Joan did a very brave thing for me,” remarks Steele. “People with the courage to speak out are what inspired me to [seek this] office in the first place.” The former KLOL, Houston on-air talent and Seabrook, Texas resident will run as an independent Democrat. Steele is the author/publisher of the “101 Ways to Rock Your World” series and other books including: “LinkedIn: 101 Ways To Rock Your Personal Brand”; “101 Ways to Rock Your World: Everyday Activities for Success Every Day”; “Rock to the Top: What I Learned About Success from the World’s Greatest Rock Stars”; “Surviving Alzheimer’s with Friends, Facebook, and a Really Big Glass of Wine”; “Havana: 101 Ways to Rock Your World in Cuba”; “Welcome to College: 101 Ways to Rock Your World”: “In the Classroom: 101 Ways to Rock Your World for Teachers”; and “On the Golf Course: 101 Ways to Rock Your World.”

KSSX On-Air Lineup Adjusted. Starting today (7/11), iHeartMedia San Diego rhythmic CHR KSSX “Jam’n 95.7” music director/afternoon drive talent Frankie V moves to mornings, where he’ll team with current AM drive co-host Tati Pelegreen, while morning co-host Pablo Sato segues to afternoons. Meanwhile, Nina Chantele – who does afternoons on co-owned Los Angeles urban contemporary KRRL “Real 92.3” – adds a daily mid-day assignment on KSSX; Beto Perez will do night duty on “Jam’n.” According to iHeartMedia San Diego-Riverside vice president of programming Rob Scorpio, “In the last year, ‘Jam’n 95.7’ has experienced significant growth. With Frankie V and Tati in mornings; Nina in middays; and Pablo in afternoons, we expect to take over the market.” Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s May 2017 PPM, KSSX ranks #14, registering a 3.1 for the third time in the last four sweeps.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Recently diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, “Country Countdown USA” host Lon Helton is resting at home ….. As of now, the event’s location is still a “top-secret,” but iHeartMedia Nashville CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” is sponsoring a Demi Lovato-hosted “House Party” this Wednesday (7/12) to celebrate the singer’s “Sorry Not Sorry” single due out tomorrow (7/11). Lovato has two billion combined total streams and a social media following of over 153 million ….. Formerly with Alpha Media Louisville urban contemporary WGBZ “B-96,” Lashonda “Tropikana” Hatch joins Radio One St. Louis’ similarly-formatted WHHL “Hot 104.1” as music director/afternoon drive talent. In addition, “Tropikana” will voice-track for Radio One-owned stations in Cincinnati (WIZF “The Wiz 101.1”); Cleveland (WENZ “Z-107.9”); and Columbus (WCKX “Power 107.5”). She did similar voice-track duties for LM Communications’ WBTF “107.9 The Beat,” Lexington (Kentucky) ….. Mainstream CHR KGOT, Anchorage (Alaska) afternoon personality McConnell “Man at Large” Adams adds Saturday and Sunday night responsibilities as “McConnell” on co-owned (iHeartMedia) Portland adult contemporary outlet KKCW “K-103.”

Adams Radio Acquires Four Tallahassee Stations. The quartet of Tallahassee outlets Adams Radio is buying from Red Hills Broadcasting includes CHR WHTF “Hot 104.9”; country WWOF “103.1 The Wolf”; classic rock WQTL “106.1 The Path”; and adult hits WANK “99.9 Hank FM.” Adams president/CEO Ron Stone comments, “We are thrilled to be the next steward of these amazing stations and even more excited about the future of the stations under [Red Hills Broadcasting president Hank Kestenbaum’s] continued management alongside Adams Radio. This cluster is another rare opportunity to join forces with a company that has been under the same ownership and management for two decades. These stations are a great complement to our existing markets and will no doubt bring many great ideas into the Adams Radio Family.” Kestenbaum notes, “I want to congratulate Ron Stone and his team at Adams Radio on buying four great Tallahassee radio stations. Every day I’m privileged to work with a dedicated and talented group of people at serving our community with entertaining live and local radio. I look forward to leading these stations and this team into a new era of success, service, and prosperity under Adam’s ownership.” Adams Radio also owns/operates clusters in Las Cruces, New Mexico; Fort Wayne, Indiana; suburban Chicago (Northwest Indiana); and Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland. Brokering the Adams Radio-Red Hills Broadcasting transaction was Bill Fanning of MVP Capital LLC.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

| July 21, 2016

Roger Ailes Resigns from FOX News.  In a deal that appears to have been orchestrated by 21st Century FOX chairman Rupert Murdoch and FOX News chief Roger Ailes himself after the sexual harassment charge by foxnewschannelformer FNC personality Gretchen Carlson seemed to become too much to overcome, Ailes has resigned and Rupert Murdoch will take over stewardship of the division, according to numerous news reports.  Not much else is known at this time about how the deal was worked out.  What remains to be seen is whether or not there’s any substance to the rumors that numerous FOX News staffers have threatened to follow Ailes out the door.  Names associated with that report include: Bret Baier, Shepard Smith, Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren.

Five Radio Companies Collaborate with Shazam for ‘Audience Measurement Solution.’  You can bet that the five radio companies involved here – iHeartMedia, Cumulus Media, Entercom Communications, Cox Media Group, and Sun Broadcast Group – are hoping this venture with audio recognition technologyshazam developer Shazam will result in a listening measurement system that will truly “deliver market- and station-level audience metrics across all radio formats.”  A press release from the firms announces this new “measurement solution for broadcast and digital audio” using the several companies’ “proprietary data assets and measurement capabilities.”  They say the measurement solution will “leverage information collected from tens subramanyamradhaof millions of devices to produce the accurate, stable cross-platform audience metrics that the industry has been waiting for.”  iHeartMedia president of research and insights Radha Subramanyam says, “Shazam delivers unparalleled audio insights that will enable stable measurement across both digitalbouvardpierre and broadcast radio, making this an extremely exciting initiative for both iHeartMedia and the audio industry.  The richness of our data, combined with Shazam’s measurement capabilities, will enable much deeper insights than traditional audio measurement does, and we believe it’s a necessary and valuable addition to the evolving multi-platform audio measurement marketplace.”  Cumulus Media chief insights officer Pierre Bouvard adds, “Shazam’s fielddavidaudio insights can be an empowering measurement tool for Cumulus Media, as well as the audio industry.  Clients are demanding more insights and targeting capabilities from media companies, and radio needs to offer what has become basic table stakes.  Shazam can help us deliver on these expectations.”  Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “With this type of innovation, we believe media strategists and planners will be prompted to re-think their media mix models to give radio its fair share of the media buy.”

The Presidential Race/Republican National Convention, Rio Olympics Troubles/Russian Doping Ban, Wisconsin Transgender Suit, Yiannopoulos Twitter Controversy, Roger Ailes-FOX News Status, Turkey Coup Attempt Aftermath, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/20).  The activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump tied with the happenings at the Republican National Convention; the troubles facing Rio De Janeiro as it prepares to host the Olympics and Russia’s failed bid to avoid its track and field athletes being banned for doping; the suit by a Wisconsin transgender teen against his school district; the controversy over Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos being banned from Twitter for criticizing Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones; speculation about the status of Roger Ailes’ employment as chief of FOX News after being accused of sexual harassment; the aftermath of the failed coup attempt in Turkey; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

hurleyharryVideo16TWO MORE VIDEOS POSTED – Talkers 2016: Bridging the Generations.  Two more video recordings of key events at the recent Talkers 2016: Bridging the Generations, that was held at Hofstra University on Long Island May 20, have been posted today (7/20) on Talkers.com.  They are the second and third segments of the four-part Awards Ceremony.  They include the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to legendary personality Don Imus.  The presentation was made by the ceremony’s emcee/Westwood OneschwalbVideo16 syndicated host (and former recipient of the award) Jim Bohannon.  The award was accepted on behalf of Imus by WABC, New York program director Craig Schwalb. The other presentation posted today is the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Involvement by a Radio Talk Show Host (“Humanitarian of the Year”).  The recipient was WPGG, Atlantic City, NJ morning host Harry Hurley and it was presented by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison. It included a special $1000 donation made by Hurley to the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  Accepting on behalf of the Foundation was Renee Cassis. To view these videos in their entirety, plus the convention videos already posted, please click here.  Stay tuned to Talkers.com for more videos from Talkers 2016: Bridging the Generations that will be posted in the days and weeks to come.

kfgoDan Hammer to Exit KFGO, Fargo.  Afternoon talk show host Dan Hammer is leaving his gig with Midwest Communications’ news/talk KFGO, Fargo.  Yesterday (7/20), Hammer told his audience he’s leaving the business and re-locating to Minot, North Dakota for personal reasons.  Hammer joined the station in December of 2015.

WSSP, Milwaukee’s Mike Wickett Exits for KC Opportunity.  After a nine-and-a-half year run onwickettmike Entercom’s sports talk WSSP-AM/W289CB simulcast “Sports Radio 105.7 FM The Fan,” morning drive co-host Mike Wickett is leaving the station for a yet-to-be-announced gig in Kansas City.  Wickett’s been working alongside co-host Chuck Freimund on the “Chuck and Wickett” show and there’s no word yet from Entercom what its plans are for the morning show.

Entercom Ups Reis to VP of Digital Engagement.  Getting VP stripes at Entercom Communications is Kim Reis, who’s now vice president of digital audience engagement.  Entercom notes that since she became director of digital audience engagement in July of 2013, the company’s social following and digital marketingreiskim footprint have grown by more than 500%.  In this new position, Reis will “coach and support the programming, promotions, digital and on-air teams in all 27 markets to better engage with listeners and fans on social media, email, text, websites, on-demand audio, live streaming and other digital assets to grow ratings and revenue.”  Reis joined Entercom after serving as digital media & marketing director for Media General’s WJAR-TV, Providence.  She began her career as a morning radio co-host on WPRO-FM and WWKX in Providence.

Odds & Sods.  Big Apple news/talk “710 WOR” is making its programming heard on the HD2 channel of sister classic rock WAXQ-FM…..A new deal between E.W. Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee and MLB’s Brewers continues the relationship that puts play-by-play and special baseball programming on flagship WTMJ.  The length of the deal was not disclosed…..SiriusXM announces actor/producer/director Michael Rapaport will host a weekly fantasy football show on its 24/7 fantasy sports channel.  The show will be called “Ya Never Know” with noted fantasy sports expert John Hansen every Tuesday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET from July 26 through the end of the 2016 NFL season…..DirecTV sports talk personalities Dan Patrick and Rich Eisen each have released new mobile apps for their respective programs available on both Android and iOS.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutIs There (Extra-)Terrestrial Life Beyond Terrestrial Radio?  Michael Harrison Catches Up With Former Radio Programmer Laurie Cantillo.   Former talk radio program director (WTOP, WABC, KFYI, XTRA, KTAR) Laurie Cantillo is the guest interviewee on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne program, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  The past recipient of the TALKERS Woman of the Year Award left all-news WTOP, Washington, DC a year-and-a-half ago in a fascinating change of career course and became a public affairs officer in the planetary sciences division of the National Aeronautics and Spacecantillolaurie Administration (NASA).  Since joining NASA, Cantillo has been involved in communicating information to the media about a variety of colorful projects including the recent New Horizons fly-by of Pluto and the current Juno Mission to Jupiter.  Harrison and Cantillo discuss a wide range of subjects and issues including the state of commercial radio, the impact of today’s media on the news, the relationship between young people and social media and, of course, leading edge discoveries and NASA projects in science.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box in the right-hand column of every page on Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Monday, May 9, 2016

| May 9, 2016

Talkers2016 logoCONVENTION ALERT — TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations Approaching Sellout this Week.  The 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention is projected to reach its registration capacity sometime this week. TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations will take place on Friday, May 20 on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.  The event will feature more than 65 luminous industry speakers in a power-packed day of presentations, panel discussions, keynote addresses, talk rumble, techno-exhibits, live broadcasts and numerous networking opportunities including breakfast, lunch and closing reception.  Registration fee is $299 per person and includes all events and activities.  Registrations for this special event are open only to media industry professionals and communications students and can only be booked via telephone with credit card at 413-565-5413.  Registrations will only be sold until 5:00 pm ET on Thursday, May 12 of this week.  After that, the event will be officially sold out.  Registrations will not be sold at the door.  For complete up to the minute agenda, hotel and sponsorship information, please click here.  If you plan on attending, do not wait and do not get shut out!  Register now!

albeechristinaMedia Sales and Marketing Pro Christina Albee Named CMO at Cumulus Media.  The company calls this a newly created position but Pierre Bouvard had been serving as chief marketing officer for Cumulus Media/Westwood One.  Regardless, Christina Albee is named chief marketing officer of Cumulus Media, a position in which she’ll report to Suzanne Grimes, whose title is president, Westwood One division and EVP of corporate marketing, Cumulus Media.  As for Bouvard, he nowcumulus logo reports to Albee in the new position chief insights officer in which he leads research and insights efforts.  Back to Albee; she’s most recently been head of sales marketing for social news magazine Flipboard.  Prior to that she was chief marketing officer at Dial Global where she was instrumental in its rebranding to Westwood One.  She was general manager, marketing solutions at Condé Nast Media Group from 2008 to 2013, and served in numerous sales and management positions with Time, Inc. from 1991 to 2007. Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner states, “Christina brings tremendous experience and energy to this critical role.  We are delighted that she will apply her considerable skills and talent to the development of new marketing strategies that will facilitate new revenue opportunities throughout our organization.”  In addition to Pierre Bouvard, also reporting to Albee will be VP of social media Lori Lewis and SVP of brand partnerships Tommy Page.

giffordlarryLarry Gifford Named to PD Post at CKNW, Vancouver.  American news/talk and sports talk radio pro Larry Gifford is officially named program director at Corus’ Vancouver news/talk station CKNW.  Gifford – who’s served in recent years with ESPN Radio and Bonneville’s KIRO-FM andcknw KTTH-AM in Seattle – has been consulting the station’s programming for several months.  Corus VP news and information Western Canada Kenton Boston says in a company memo, “We are very fortunate to have Larry join the already talented team at CKNW and AM 730.  His leadership is a natural fit, not only for Vancouver, but for our team across the country.  His insight and expertise will be instrumental as we focus on our future as the leading multi-media company in Canada.”

anderssendrewDrew Anderssen Upped to OM for WDBO-FM, WDBO-AM, and WMMO-FM at CMG Orlando.  Spoken-word radio programming pro Drew Anderssen – currently serving as director of branding and programming for news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5 FM” and sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN Orlando 580 AM” – is promoted to operations manager for the two stations as well as sister classic hits WMMO.  This promotion comes at the same time as fellow cluster programmer and OM Stevie DeMann adds urban contemporary WCFB “Star 94.5.” to his OM responsibilities.  Anderssen comments, “I am thrilled to take on a larger leadership role with [program director] Hildi Brooks and her team at the legendary WMMO.  The artist base of WMMO is experiencing a tremendous resurgence in popularity, and the station has a history of delivering fantastic returns for our advertisers.  I’m thankful for the opportunity [Cox Media Group RVP and GM] Susan Larkin has provided for Stevie and me, and I believe it will allow us a unique opportunity for our teams to better meet the needs of listeners and advertisers in the Orlando market.”

RamseyLA16Dave Ramsey Packs LA’s Shrine Auditorium.  Pictured here on stage at the legendary Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles is nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey, hosting his Smart Conference on Saturday (5/7).  Other speakers at the conference included: Rachel Cruze, Chris Hogan, John O’Leary, Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. Les Parrott, Dr. Meg Meeker, and Michael Jr.  The event was marketed with the assistance of LA affiliate KEIB “The Patriot.”  Prior to the event, station PD Robin Bertolucci said, “When Dave Ramsey comes to town, Patriot listeners come out to welcome him.  Close to 6,000 people plan to attend this weekend’s SoCal Smart Conference and that is a testament to the trust and respect KEIB’s listeners have for Dave Ramsey.”

Odds & Sods.  The new morning drive show at CBS RADIO’s sports talk WKRK-FM, Cleveland is “The Kencarmanlima16 Carman Show with Anthony Lima.”  Carman (right) is officially in the driver’s seat and update anchor Lima (left) has been promoted to co-host.  This comes three months after former morning host Kevin Kiley resigned from the station….. In Tulsa, Steve Hunter joins E.W. Scripps’ to serve as operations manager for the five-station group there that includes: country KVOO, CHR KHTT, country KXBL, classic hits KBEZ, and news/talk KFAQ…..WHO, Des Moines-based talk show host Simon Conway is pulling triple duty today conwaysimonand tomorrow (5/9 & 10).  Conway will be hosting his usual afternoon drive show on WHO and his regular morning drive show on WMT, Cedar Rapids, but he’s also adding morning drive duties on iHeartMedia’s WFLF, Orlando…..Talk show personality Tom Donahue is launching a new, daily show on Trinity Associates Broadcasting-owned WFYL, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania (northwest of Philadelphia) today.  The show – titled “Philly Freedom” – airs at 6:00 pm…..E.W. Scripps news/talkRadio 620 WTMJ - WRS (662c) WTMJ, Milwaukee wins 10 awards from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association.  In a ceremony held in Madison on Saturday (5/7), WTMJ picked up honors for News/Talk Station of the Year, Best News Operation, Best News Writing, Best Live On-Scene Reporting, and more.  Scripps Radio Milwaukee VP/GM Tom Langmyer says, “Receiving these awards from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association reinforces our mission of madisonjoeserving our community and being famous for localism.”…..SiriusXM talk show host Joe Madison delivered the keynote address at the NAACP Washington branch’s 56th Annual Human Rights Award Banquet on Friday (5/6).  At the ceremony, District Judge Traci McDonald-Kemp was honored with the organization’s Human Rights Award…..Former San Diego Chargers player Nick Hardwick is named color analyst for Chargers radio play-by-play based at iHeartMedia’s San Diego operations…..Richard C. Hoagland’s “The Other Side of Midnight” radio program is now airing in the 12:00 midnight to 2:00 am slot on KCAA, Loma Linda.  The program previously was aired on Art Bell’s “Dark Matter Digital Network.”

The Presidential Race, Canadian Wildfire, North Korea Workers Party Congress, West Point Photo Controversy, Britain EU Exit Issue and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of the candidates for president and the potential controversies surrounding the summer’s political conventions; the enormous wildfire in Alberta that caused some 88,000 people to evacuate Fort McMurray; North Korea’s Workers Party Congress and leader Kim Jong Un’s statements about nuclear weapons; the controversy over a photo of black female West Point cadets appearing to give the black power salute; the looming vote in Great Britain over whether to leave the EU or not; and the weekend’s NBA and NHL playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

nab logoNAB Names Four to Radio Board.  Four broadcasting executives have been named to the NAB Radio Board of Directors by the NAB Radio Executive Committee and Joint Board Chairman.  Joining for two-year terms, effective June 2016 are: Hartley Adkins, president, Northeast Division and Corporate Operations, iHeartMedia; Andre Fernandez, president, CBS RADIO; Deon Levingston, regional vice president, Radio One; and Jose Valle, president of Political & Advocacy Sales, Univision Communications Inc.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

| December 16, 2015

price howardPrice: Weighing Public Safety vs Risk of Assisting Threatmongers in Reporting to Your Listeners.  The recent terroristic threats against the New York City and Los Angeles public school districts – which turned out not to be true – present a bit of a potential problem for radio stations and news organizations.  ABC Television director, business continuity Howard B. Price writes today in TALKERS, “Critical to the discussion is the hard reality that those who make these threats are banking on a response from both authorities AND the media.  Thankfully, even in these troubled times, most threats are hoaxes made to seize on public fear.  The hoaxers find out about that response the same way the rest of us do – through the media.  SO what to do?  As with most professional challenges, the process begins with an internal conversation, specific to your station and market.  For example, do you have a policy document to guide your decision making in such dynamic breaking news situations?”  Read more here.

grimessuzanneCumulus Media Names Suzanne Grimes to President of the Westwood One Division and EVP of Corporate Marketing Roles.  According to Cumulus Media, this new role of president of the Westwood One Division “creates a unified structure that maximizes opportunities across the division’s national content and sales platform.”  Steve Shaw, president of Westwood One, will continue to lead ad sales, and Charles Steinhauer, COO of Westwood One, will continue to lead operations, both reporting directly to Grimes, who in turn reports to company CEO Mary Berner.  Grimes was most recently president and COO of Clear Channel Outdoor.  Berner states, “When it comes to anything in media, Suzanne’s the full package.  With 30 years of experience building content businesses into high-performing brands, she brings valuable perspectives from leadership roles in outdoor, mobile, social, digital, print and experiential sectors for both public and private companies, so she’s a natural choice for these important roles.  I look forward to her contribution as we build a stronger, more operationally focused organization.”

Newly Re-Organized Corporate Structure at Cumulus Includes Tommy Page and Mike McVay Taking on New Responsibilities.  As part of her memo to Cumulus Media staff of Suzanne Grimes’ new role, CEO Mary Berner also explained some of the other changes atop the corporate structure at the company.  Working forbouvardpierre Grimes will be the company’s chief marketing officer Pierre Bouvard and VP of social media Lori Lewis.  Berner announces Tommy Page’s new title will be SVP of brand partnerships & NASH in which he’ll continue his role as leader of platform events initiatives and brand partnerships, corporate mcvaymikemarketing function, and new duties including the development and execution of the NASH brand strategy.  Berner says the company is creating a new Office of Programming in which SVP of content & programming Mike McVay will operate to “lead our content strategy across the platform, including talent recruitment and development and label relations.”  Tom Schurr, SVP ofschurrtom operations, will work with McVay in a new role overseeing the business aspects of programming, including organization and prioritization, resource allocation, and budget responsibilities.  Berner concludes, “Our belief with regard to ratings is that more local insight and more effective corporate support will result in an improved outcome.  The new Office of Programming will be responsible for executing this strategy to drive ratings growth and will be rolling out more details in the coming weeks.”

bohannonjimJim Bohannon to Exit ‘America in the Morning’; Continues Late Night Show.  Hall of Fame broadcaster Jim Bohannon is cutting back on his duties for Westwood One and is leaving the hosting role for “America in the Morning” after the December 18 broadcast.  He is continuing his work as host of the late night Jim Bohannon show.  He signed a multi-year contract extension with Westwood One in February of this year.  Bohannon has been the sole host of “America in the Morning” since its firsttroutjohn broadcast in 1984.  The morning magazine program airs on more than 250 stations nationwide.  Taking over for Bohannon is the show’s regular guest host John Trout.  He officially begins on Monday, January 18, 2016.  Bohannon comments, “It’s time for me to cut back the daily schedule a bit and focus my attention on the research, interviews, and calls for my weeknight Jim Bohannon show.  But I’ll still be contributing my daily feature, the ‘Offbeat,’ and my newsmaker interviews to ‘America in the Morning.’  Listeners will love John Trout as host.  He’s got a stellar track record and he’s been a terrific fill-in.  The show is in great hands and I wish him much success.”

leykistomTom Leykis’ New Normal Projecting Another Profitable Year.  New Year’s Eve will be the sixth anniversary of The New Normal – the audio content company founded by radio legend Tom Leykis after exiting his CBS RADIO talk show in 2009.  Leykis has long been a vocal proponent of the digital delivery system for taking audio content into the future.  Today, he reports that as 2015 winds down, The New Normal is financially continuing on an upward trend.  Leykis tells TALKERS that revenue is up for the third straight year.  Profits will increase from $23,000 in 2014 to almost $100,000 in 2015.  He adds, “This means that, for the second year in a row, we will be more profitable than the top two radio companies combined.”

Odds & Sods.  Are there wrinkles in the future of the Bob & Tom Show post-Bob KevoianTALKERS sources arebobandtom labeled hearing that negotiations between the syndicated program’s management and staff are hitting snags.  Kevoian announced his retirement at the recent Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony and although the show is moving forward with Tom Griswold continuing his role, rumors are that negotiations for contract renewals with longtime cast member Kristi Lee and contributor Ron Sexton are facing challenges…..Software platform provider Mediaocean announces it is integrating iHeartMedia within its Spectra platform.  As a result, within one central system, ad agencies are able to seamlessly manage, research, and buy local digital audio inventory across the iHeartMedia digital platform.  Mediaocean says users will be able to compare iHeartMedia’s audience data side-by-side with other digital audio platforms to better plan campaigns and engage the right audiences at the local level.

tradupTrump15Covering the GOP Debate.  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is seen here gesturing as he makes a point while speaking with Salem Radio Network personalities Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager and Michael Medved (who are out of the picture to the right) while SRN VP news & talk programming Tom Tradup holds the mic.  The exchange took place during SRN’s exclusive radio distribution of the Republican presidential debate.  SRN talk host Hugh Hewitt appeared on the CNN debate panel asking questions of the GOP hopefuls.

Run-Up to Last Night’s GOP Debate/2016 Presidential Race, Refugee and Immigration Policy, Los Angeles and New York Schools Terror Threats, Battle Against Islamic State, Freddie Gray Trial, Government Shutdown Threat, and New Star Wars Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/15). The build-up to last night’s GOP primary debate in Las Vegas and the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; debate over policy regarding refugees from Syria and over immigration in general; terror threats against the New York and Los Angeles public school districts and criticism over LA’s decision to cancel school; the battle against Islamic State; the wait for the verdict in the case against the first of six Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray; the move in Congress to avert a government shutdown; and the hype over the new Star Wars film were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

State of American Podcasting

| November 19, 2015

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — AM/FM broadcasters enjoy inherent advantages, are confronting formidable challenges, and should be further along exploiting obvious opportunities.

  • This year, radio hit an all-time high: Nielsen says 245 million in the USA (P12+) listen each week.
  • And word got around, as that news reverberated throughout the business press nicely. We winced when Forbes’ otherwise flattering write-up was titled, “Radio: The All-But-Forgotten Medium With The Biggest Reach.”  Often we sound too defensive, with well-intentioned messages like “Radio still matters.”
  • Meanwhile, AM/FM’s most habitual users are becoming less-prominent economically. By 2017 Generation Y will out-spend Baby Boomers.  USA 20-somethings already spend $1.2 trillion.
  • Broadcasters aren’t up-to-speed on digital, the new media where this new audience talks to each other (and recommends things to each other). I hear too many promos announcing THAT-the-station-has-an-app, and too few about WHY-to-use-it.

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

| October 1, 2015

cookenab15Cooke: 2015 Radio Show Report.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke reports from the 2015 NAB Radio Show in Atlanta today with a focus on the business of the business.  In this report, hear from notables including Wells Fargo senior analyst Davis Hebert, Connoisseur Media’s Jeffrey Warshaw, Entercom’s David Field, Beasley’s Caroline Beasley, Cumulus/Westwood One’s Pierre Bouvard, and CBS News correspondent Lara Logan.  Read some of the takeaways from the “Financing the Future of Radio” presentation, the radio company CEO panel and Bouvard’s presentation on the return on investment for advertisers using radio by clicking here.

ppmunitSecond Round of September PPM Data Released.  A scheduling change at Nielsen Audio for this month means the ratings giant is releasing September PPM survey data in two large batches, instead of the usual four groups of 12 released over four days.  The one anomaly is the Tampa market ratings are being held up due to the potential tampering issue.  In total Nielsen has now released the September 2015 PPM survey data for 47 markets.  The survey period was August 13 through September 9.  You can see all the 6+ data from subscribing stations here.  Also, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Twelve Takeaways” analysis here.

Odds & Sods.  Cyber Party presidential hopeful John McAfee is choosing “Business Rockstars” host Ken Rutkowski as his vice presidential running mate.  The anti-virus software magnate who has an admittedrutkowskiken “checkered background,” is running on a small government platform and says that his knowledge of the state of America’s cyber security (he says it’s really bad) is the reason he’s running.  He’s chosen Rutkowski for a running mate because “every businessman in America knows who he is.”…..The wife of Miami Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes is no longer with CBS RADIO’s sports talk WQAM, Miami.  Miko Grimes – a contributor to daily shows and co-host of a weekend show with Miami Sun Sentinel reporter Omar Kelly – was arrested outside Sun Life Stadium in Miami last weekend after ignoring police orders and resisting arrest…..A new talk show that examines “how sports-related topics can drive the agenda in D.C.” debuts on SiriusXM’s POTUS channel on for a six-show run beginning on October 2 and co-hosted by ABC News political director Rick Klein and ESPN senior correspondent Andy Katz.  The inaugural guest will be former Florida Governor and current GOP presidential candidates Jeb Bush, who weighs in on the Washington Redskins name controversy and on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

WW1Gupta15WW1’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Team at 2015 Radio Show.  Pictured here at the Westwood One-hosted cocktail reception at the NAB Radio Show in Atlanta is “A Better Life” program host Dr. Sanjay Gupta (second from right) with the Westwood One affiliate team.  From left to right are: Bart Tessler, EVP news & talk; Dennis Green SVP, affiliate sales; Becky Bennett, affiliate operations manager; Gupta; and Stuart Greenblatt, senior director, affiliate sales.

U.S.-Russia Tensions Over Syria, Pope Francis-Kim Davis Meeting, 2016 Presidential Race, Planned Parenthood Congressional Hearing, Next House Speaker Controversy, and Hurricane Joaquin Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/30).  Russia’s initiation of air strikes in Syria and questions about the U.S.’ military policy in the region; the controversy over a reported meeting between Pope Francis and Kentucky court clerk Kim Davis; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the aftermath of the House hearing on the funding of Planned Parenthood; the internal battle in the GOP over the next Speaker of the House; and the potential effects of Hurricane Joaquin on the Eastern U.S. were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Cooke: 2015 Radio Show Report

| October 1, 2015

“Radio is in a position to grow profoundly in years to come.”
NAB/RAB Radio show coverage by consultant Holland Cooke

 

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

cookewriterATLANTA — That statement, from Entercom’s David Field, underlines this year’s Radio Show theme, “Bold Ideas: Turn it UP.”  Field was among oh-so-quotable CEOs at Wednesday’s opening session…

“Pillsbury’s Financing the Future of Radio”

That’s Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, the Washington law firm.  But make no mistake, this session packed a well-catered ballroom with dough boys.

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Friday, September 11, 2015

| September 11, 2015

levinmarkMark Levin Comments Cited in Atlantic Piece About Trump-GOP Relationship.  The story by David Frum in The Atlantic is titled, “The Republican Revolt,” and addresses the “frustration” rank-and-file GOPers are having with longtime party leaders and how that’s affected Donald Trump’s candidacy.  In the piece, WABC, New York-based and Westwood One nationally syndicated talk host Mark Levin is quoted from a segment on his radio show.  Levin is quoted, in part, saying, “Senator Mitch McConnell and Representatives John Boehner and Karl Rove and their ilk …. You’re sick of them.  You’re sick of them not doing what you elected them to do.  You’re sick of them lying to you.  You’re sick of them attacking everybody who doesn’t agree with them through their surrogates.  You’re sick of how they treat people who dare to challenge them in Republican primaries… You’re tired of so-called conservative commentators on TV and elsewhere who serve as their surrogates… You don’t feel you have a home and you don’t feel that there’s a party that stands up for you.”  This consternation within the GOP has been an underlying theme on conservative news/talk radio since before Donald Trump announced his candidacy, although talk hosts who broach this topic and reference Trump now that the nation is in campaign mode, are often labeled in the consumer media as “Trump supporters.”  Read The Atlantic piece here.

bouvardpierreWW1 Podcast Study Cited in AdAge Piece.  A story in Advertising Age by Felicia Greiff cites a study commissioned by Westwood One titled, “State of American Podcasting.”  The piece notes that WW1’s study consisted of data from an Ipsos custom study and Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” quarterly study.  Edison created “a cross tabulation of 500 podcast listeners using three recent studies  that showed the audio source, time of day, demographic profile, devices used to listen and types of content used by consumers.”  WW1’s Pierre Bouvard says the study confirmed that podcast listening is led by Millennials as it concluded the median age of podcast users is “30, versus 45 for AM/FM radio and 57 for broadcast television networks.”  Further, “personalities and talk shows are the leading content consumed by podcast listeners, taking up 66% of total podcast listening, followed by news podcasts with 22%.”  Read the whole AdAge story here.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Announces 2015 Radio Market Survey Rankings.  Some of the changes in rank for radio markets as defined by Nielsen Audio include major markets Atlanta and Philadelphia swapping positions – Atlanta slides up to #8 and Philly drops to #9.  Las Vegas makes another leap, moving from #38 to #31.  Raleigh-Durham moves up from #42 to #40.  Milwaukee slides back to #41 and Oklahoma City dips from #48 to #50.  Another diary market – the growing Chattanooga area – jumps from #110 to #88.  See the entire Nielsen report here.

podcastone bPodcastOne Adds Six New Shows to Menu.  On-demand audio content giant PodcastOne announces six new programs that are being added to its menu of shows.  New sports programs include: “Name Dropping with Ian Fitzsimmons,” “Total Soccer Show,” and “Mohr Sports Los Angeles” with Jay Mohr.  Two new programs in the fitness category are: “Bulletproof Radio” and “Ben Greenfield Fitness.”  The final addition is a podcast called “NRP” featuring celebrity blogger Nik Richie.  All six shows will be available at PodcastOne.com, the PodcastOne app and iTunes.

harringtonjoeyJoey Harrington Assumes PM Drive Co-Host Gig at ‘750 The Game’ in Portland.  Former Oregon Ducks and Detroit Lions quarterback Joey Harrington joins Alpha Media’s KXTG-AM” 750 The Game” (also heard on K275CH at 102.9 FM) to co-host the afternoon program from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm alongside Fletcher Johnson.  Alpha Portland SVP/market manager Milt McConnell comments, “We are thrilled to add Joey’s Ducks and NFL expertise and analysis to our afternoon drive show.”  About his new gig, Harrington adds, “I’m excited for the opportunity to join the ‘750 The Game’ team and Alpha Media.  What a perfect way for me to be able to share my passion for all things football and Portland, than over the airwaves on the best station in town.”

Odds & Sods. More additions to the CBS RADIO podcast platform Play.it are announced.  New shows include “Cosmo Happy Hour” hosted by Elisa Benson of Cosmopolitan.com; a weekly one-hour show from comic Tom Green; “The Brouhaha with Ana Marie Cox” from the Wonkette founder; a weekly football podcast hosted by Jason Fitz; and “The Global Travel Conspiracy” with Gary Arndt, who has been traveling non-stop since 2007 and has visited more than 100 countries across all continents…..WGN, Chicago legend Orion Samuelson will gomikemikeJets15 in for heart valve surgery on Monday (9/14), according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  The 81-year-old Radio Hall-of-Famer says he hopes to be back on WGN by September 25, his 55th anniversary with the station…..ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike kicked off their 4th annual Fall Football Tour today with a live broadcast from the New York Jets training center.  In honor of the anniversary of 9/11, New York City first responders were in attendance for the closed-door broadcast, and hosts Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic welcomed attendees at a special brunch after the show.

talkersten logoDonald Trump Candidacy Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 7-11.  The top-polling presidential candidacy of Donald Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the Hillary Clinton emails controversy and her apology.  Coming in at #3 was the activities of the rest of the 2016 presidential candidates followed by the Iran nuclear deal at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

| August 19, 2015

bouvardpierreWestwood One’s Pierre Bouvard on Perception of Radio’s Audience.  In the final analysis, Westwood One chief marketing officer Pierre Bouvard says, “It’s on us.”  He means the task of telling radio’s story is incumbent upon those working in the radio business.  His latest blog piece asks four questions relative to the reach of radio and measures the perception against the data-supported reality.  Bouvard writes that an Advertiser Perceptions study shows agencies and advertisers believe that AM/FM radio reaches 64% of Americans while Nielsen research shows that figure is actually 93%.  He notes that when it comes to television versus radio in its ability to reach Millennials, radio outperforms 93% to 76%.  He goes on to compare the perception of the reach of streaming media and finds that, again, agencies and advertisers have an over-inflated view of the reach of pure-plays such as Pandora and Spotify, especially relative to radio.  Bouvard passes along a statement from Mark Kaline, former head of media at Ford Motor Company and Kimberly-Clark, who says, “As a marketer, I’ve always found radio to be a medium that effectively and efficiently delivers reach over an extended period of time, while driving ROI within the total communications plan.  But radio has been too low profile with brands, especially in light of other advancements in technology.  Radio needs to be more aggressively marketing their story as the leading mass reach media.”  Read Bouvard’s piece here.

wjbo logoWJBO, Baton Rouge Morning Team Replaced by NOLA Personality.  This is the second Louisiana news/talk morning show to be ousted in favor of WRNO, New Orleans-based talk host Gerry Vaillancourt.  Yesterday (8/18), TALKERS reported that WBUV, Biloxi, Mississippi morning duo Steve Taylor and Mike Mankiewicz had been replaced by Vaillancourt.  Now, we learn that Kevin Meeks and Karen Henderson are out as hosts of “Baton Rouge’s Morning News.”  These are clearly budget-related moves as iHeartMedia New Orleans and Baton Rouge SVP of programming Bob Murphy tells the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report that the change at WJBO was not performance related, although he tells the paper that Vaillancourt’s call-in show is more in line with what they are seeking as opposed to the interview-oriented program Meeks and Henderson hosted.

Odds & Sods. Radio news pro Mark Remillard is joining ABC News Radio in a reporter role.  He most recentlyremillardmark was serving as a reporter for Bonneville’s KTAR-FM, Phoenix.  Prior to that, Remillard worked at iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles…..Yahoo Sports Radio announces the 20th season its “Around the NFL” program that reignites on Sunday, September 13, hosted by former NFL quarterback Sean Salisbury and longtime sports talk host John Granato.   The weekly show airs from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET and covers the day’s games in pro football, including analysis, commentary, special guests and game-in-play updates…..ESPN Radio resumes presentation of NFL play-by-play for Sunday regular-season games, kicking off its third season on September 13 with the Colts-Jets game, followed by the Broncos-Ravens contest.  This season, Marc Kestecher, Bill Rosinski and Ryan Ruocco will provide play-by-play.  Herm Edwards, Shaun O’Hara and Bill Polian will serve as analysts…..WSCR, Chicago Mitch Rosen announces that Chicago Bears greats Olin Kreutz, and James “Big Cat” Williams are the new co-hosts of the station’s Bears post-game show.  Kreutz and Williams will partner with The Score’s football expert, Hub Arkush.

weei15JimmyfundPedroiaStars Turn Out for WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon.  Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is pictured here appearing on Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston and regional sports cable channel NESN on Monday to encourage fans to donate to the annual radio-telethon that benefits the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  As of midnight on Tuesday, $1,065,873 had been raised to benefit the Jimmy Fund.  The fundraiser continues through today.

Donald Trump’s Immigration Policy Plan, 2016 Presidential Candidates, Hillary Clinton Emails Case, Iran Nukes Deal, NATO Military Drills/Russia’s Ukraine Aggression, Black Lives Matter Movement/Race Relations, Latest ISIS Atrocity, the Western Wildfires, and Ex-Subway Spokesman Jared’s Child Porn Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/18).  The immigration plan being proposed by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the ongoing investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s private email server and its alleged use for classified information while she served at Secretary of State; the status of the Iran nuclear program deal; military drills being conducted by the U.S. and other NATO nations in Europe combined with talk about Russian military aggression in Ukraine; race relations in the U.S. and the growing influence of the Black Lives Matter movement; the violence being perpetrated by ISIS in Syria and Iraq; the widespread wildfires affecting several Western states; and the report of former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle’s intent to plead guilty to child porn charges were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

| July 29, 2015

benztimBenz To Depart WEEI-FM. Revealing on Twitter that he “underestimated the difficulties that go along with working a job in one city while trying to maintain a home and marriage in another,” Entercom sports WEEI-FM, Boston mid-day “MFB” co-host Tim Benz will return to Pittsburgh early next month. Boston-born Benz joined WEEI-FM approximately 14 months ago fromWEEI-FM iHeartMedia Pittsburgh. In addition to being sports director of that company’s six-station “Steel City” cluster, Benz did morning drive on alternative WXDX “The X.” According to Benz, Boston was “every bit the city” he wanted to experience; however, he notes that it is best for him “personally and professionally” to be back in Pittsburgh with his wife Kate. No details were released about his new assignment in Pittsburgh, where the two sports outlets are iHeartMedia’s WBGG “970 ESPN” and KDKA-FM “The Fan,” owned by CBS Radio – the parent of WEEI-FM format rival WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub.” Benz – who angered many locals by remaining partial to the Pittsburgh Steelers – will do his final “MFB” show tomorrow (Thursday, 7/30). The other members of “MFB” are former Boston Red Sox super-sub Lou Merloni, and ex- New England Patriots tight end Christian Fauria. Benz’ father is Dr. Edward Benz Jr., the president and chief executive officer of Boston’s renowned Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

bouvardpierreWW1’s Bouvard: What If Brand Advertising Were Based on ‘Cost Per Awareness?’  In the current edition of his regular blog post, Westwood One chief marketing officer Pierre Bouvard uses recent data from an Ipsos study of the media campaign for the July 15 Amazon Prime Day Sales event to illustrate the effectiveness of radio versus TV and online in this campaign.  Bouvard notes (aswestwood one NEW TALKERS published last week) that Ipsos reports “radio advertising was the most effective at converting awareness into Prime Day purchases when compared to TV and online.  Of those exposed to radio ads, 52% made a purchase versus TV (39%) and online (48%).”  He goes on to say that, contrary to what one might expect, radio did a better job of targeting 18-34s than TV or online.  But what Bouvard really gets at is how much was spent by Amazon on each medium and he posits that if brand advertising were sold on cost-per-awareness basis, radio would have come out on top in this case.  Here’s why: Amazon spent $6 million on TV for a 34% ad recall (among 18-34s), resulting in a $177,000 cost-per-awareness point, while it spent $1.4 million on the radio campaign for a 14% ad recall that results in just $100,000 for each cost-per-awareness point.  Read Bouvard’s entire piece here.

Odds & Sods.  Radio consultant Kipper McGee’s new book, Brandwidth: How Big Broadcasting Missed thebrandwidth cover Mediamorphosis, is out and ready for shipment.  McGee describes the book saying he “reveals the common traits of the biggest failures and offers powerful takeaways for ANY brand planning to thrive in the ever-changing digital world order.”…..Former North Carolina State tight end and NFL player Mark Thomas is leaving sports talk WCMC, Raleigh “99.9 FM The Fan” after almost eight years to join the marketing and ad firm Krash Creative.  Thomas hosts the Mark and Mike show with Mike Maniscalco…..The NHL’s Florida Panthers radio play-by-play broadcasts will continue to be heard on flagship WQAM, Miami after CBS RADIO reached an agreement to extend their deal.  “Red Deer” Randy Moller will continue to call the action from the booth.  As part of the partnership, WQAM will air a 30-minute pregame show and a 15-minute postgame show.  The station will also broadcast weekly updates, and exclusive interviews with Panthers head coach Gerard Gallant, Panthers players and other hockey personalities.  A 60-minute “Panthers Insider” program hosted by Moller will air on Saturday mornings.  The Panthers will also receive comprehensive promotion on CBS RADIO stations country WKIS and hip hop WPOW…..Greater Media sports talker WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” will be the radio outlet for the Arena Football League’s 2015 East Division Champion Philadelphia Soul as it enters the playoff round of competition.  The station’s Joe DeCamara and Soul general manager Tom Goodhines will provide color commentary…..Univision takes over Spanish-language broadcasts of Chicago Bears games from SBS as its WVIX and WVIV simulcast and WRTO-AM have acquired the rights in a new multi-year deal.  Hector Lozano and Omar Ramos will be in the booth for play-by-play duties.

trevigneandreFormer WWL and WRNO, New Orleans Host Andre Trevigne Dead at 66.  Longtime New Orleans TV and radio personality Andre Trevigne got her start in radio in Chicago but rose to prominence after moving back to her hometown of New Orleans and shifting from radio to television.  She worked at WWL-TV where she partnered with Eric Paulsen to co-host that station’s morning news program.  She went back to radio as a talk show host at WWL-AM in 1999 and stayed there through 2004.  She hosted a radio talk show on WRNO from 2006 through 2009.  Trevigne died in hospice after a long illness.

kmoxcleanup15KMOX, St. Louis’ Charlie Brennan Spearheads Ferguson Clean-Up.  As the one-year anniversary of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri approaches, KMOX, St. Louis mid-morning personality Charlie Brennan came up with the idea of a community clean-up to help the community bounce back.  Almost 400 volunteers turned out for a massive clean-up of West Florissant, the street that became ground zero for the protests, looting and fighting that would occupy the area for weeks.  Pictured here is Brennan (standing) broadcasting from the station’s remote base during the clean-up.

2016 Presidential Candidates-Trump Criticisms, Obama’s ‘Could Win Third Term’ Comment, Planned Parenthood Videos Scandal, Bill Cosby Rape Allegations, Minnesota Dentist Lion Hunt Controversy, Iran Nuclear Deal, Immigration Policy-Syrian Refugee Influx, Tom Brady Suspension Upheld Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/28). The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and the intense scrutiny of Donald Trump; President Obama’s statement that if he could run again, he’d win; the ongoing controversy over the videos showing Planned Parenthood doctors haggling over the price for body parts from aborted fetuses; the ballooning allegations of rape against Bill Cosby; the case of a Minnesota dentist who paid to kill and African lion; the uncertain state of the nuclear deal with Iran; ongoing debate over America’s immigration policy and concerns over an influx of Syrian refugees; and the upholding of the four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

| July 23, 2015

voltair imageNielsen Audio-Voltair Debate Rages On.  The industry is still aflutter with chatter – and quite a few blogs – over Tuesday’s Nielsen Audio webinar in which the ratings giant told clients its tests of Telos Alliance’s Voltair audio processor showed no conclusive evidence that the unit positively impacted the PPM unit’s ability to pick up the embedded codes in any way that could affect ratings.  Although Nielsen did admit that in some circumstances, Voltair did give the watermark a boost that would allow the PPM to pick up more codes.  Broadcasting consultantkabrichrandy Randy Kabrich responded to that conclusion in a recent blog post in which he explained that – due to the U.S. system of Quarter Hour measurement – picking up some extra codes via Voltair which might have gone undetected without it, still would not increase ratings because the Media Rating Council testing done on PPM concluded the measurement system “hears” enough of the codes to get an accurate record of listening.  The Voltair unit has only been in the field for less than a year and it appears there isn’t enough data, available publicly anyway, to produce sound conclusions about whether – or exactly how – the unit affects the audio and the PPM’s reception of it across all radio formats.  Even Telos Alliance doesn’t seem to have all the answers about its product as Kabrich points out in today’s blog post that focuses on contrary opinions about whether certain music “encodes well” for PPM.  Read it here.

cumulus logoCumulus-Commissioned Study Indicates Radio Advertising Helped Drive Awareness of Amazon Prime Day.  The Ipsos study commissioned by Cumulus Media/Westwood One analyzing how advertising drove awareness of the July 15 Amazon Prime Day was done to “understand how effective advertising and radio is to drive online purchases.”  The study concluded that: 81% of Americans aware of Amazon Prime said they were exposed to some form of advertising for the event; one out of five Americans reported making a purchase during Amazon Prime Day because of advertising; three out of five Amazonamazonprimeday Prime subscribers (18-49) exposed to advertising said they purchased something during Amazon Prime Day; and radio advertising was the most effective at converting awareness into Prime Day purchases when compared to TV and online.  Of those exposed to radio ads, 52% made a purchase versus TV (39%) and online (48%).  Cumulus and Westwood One chief marketing officer Pierre Bouvard comments, “Advertising put Amazon Prime Day on the map, and radio was the most effective at converting awareness into purchases.  The greatest Amazon Prime Day purchases occurred among Millennials, households with children, and those with a full-time job — precisely the profile of the American radio listener.”

ramseydaveDave Ramsey Show to Air on WRKO, Boston.  The Dave Ramsey program will air in the evening daypart, immediately following the Howie Carr afternoon drive show on Entercom’s news/talk WRKO, Boston, effective July 27.  Entercom Boston market manager Phil Zachary says, “After a long day reporting and talking about hard news, Dave’s show invites our listeners into the homes of America’s working class to hear their stories, struggles and triumphs.  It’s radio ‘comfort food’ ideally suited to New England values.”  This addition comes shortly after other changes to the station’s program lineup that include the move of former morning host Jeffrey Kuhner to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot and the addition of Kim Carrigan as host of the “Boston.com Morning Show.”

wtemlogoWTEM, Washington Inks Clinton Portis for Redskins Coverage.  Washington Redskins great Clinton Portis is joining Red Zebra Broadcasting to serve as an analyst for the upcoming football season.  Portis played seven seasons for the Redskins.  WTEM “ESPN 980” says that in addition to joining afternoon show personalities Chris Cooley, Steve Czaban, and Al Galdi every Monday during the football season, Portis will also co-host a monthly one-hour show, Fridays during the season, where he’ll provide a detailed look at the Redskins performance.  Portis comments, “I am so excited to finally be on the air covering the team I love.  Chris Cooley was a great teammate and close friend and we promise to make it as memorable as we did during our playing career.”

Odds & Sods.  After a Tweet from ESPN Radio’s Ryen Russillo, we now know that the 10-year ESPNrussilloryen personality will remain with the sports media giant.  Russillo reports “I’m staying at ESPN” after his status with the company was being questioned.  His former radio partner Scott Van Pelt recently leaving the radio gig for new roles in ESPN’s cable programming and other highly publicized cuts at the company had industry watchers wondering if Russillo would remain…..At Calvary-owned Pittsburgh news outlet KQV, Bruce Sakalik resigns from the station after 15 years — the last 10 as morning news anchor.  He leaves radio for a position with Comcast.

wfanBoomerCartonBryan15Boomer & Carton Host Daniel Bryan.  WFAN, New York morning hosts Boomer Esiason (left) and Craig Carton (right) pose for s photo with WWE superstar Daniel Bryan on the show’s set today (7/23).  Bryan appeared on the program to plug his new book, Yes! My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of WrestleMania (St. Martin’s Press 2015).  During the interview Bryan spoke about his career, his marriage to Bella Twin, Brie Bella, and his story of the couple’s house being robbed.

2016 Presidential Candidates, Iran Nuclear Deal, Planned Parenthood Videos, Immigration Policy-Sanctuary Cities, Chattanooga Slayings Aftermath, ISIS Threat, and Sandra Bland Death Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/22).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016, the state of the deal with Iran over its nuclear program; fallout over the two recent videos showing Planned Parenthood doctors haggling over the price for human tissue from abortions; the conversation about the immigration policy in the U.S. and the cases of sanctuary cities; the memorials to the Marines slain in the Chattanooga attacks and questions about the radicalization of shooter Mohammed Abdulazeez; the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment of the threat posed by ISIS; and scrutiny of the arrest and death of Sandra Bland were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

| June 24, 2015

talkersny15MHJDTalkers New York 2015 ‘Fireside Chat’ Video featuring Dialogue Between Michael Harrison and John Dickey Posted Today.  Billed as a “Fireside Chat” in one of the keynote sessions of the just-concluded Talkers New York 2015 convention, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison conducts a one-on-one conversation with Cumulus Media executive vice president of content & programming, John Dickey.  In a series of what Dickey describes as “really tough questions,” Harrison asks him about a wide variety of subjects including how he handles the stress of being significantly responsible for the operation of one of the largest and most complex radio broadcasting companies in the history of the medium; whether or not the platform of radio can ever be accurately measured in terms of ratings; what position talk radio occupies within the overall Cumulus plan going forward; whether or not there is room for qualitative selling and non-traditional revenue generation at large, corporately owned stations; and if there is a future for the personality oriented disc jockey in music radio, among other topics.  Dickey responds with thoughtful and candid answers before a fully engaged, packed house of professionals from all segments of the industry in a room so quiet, one could hear a proverbial pin drop.  On the subject of stress, Dickey says it is a matter of “balance…balance in life” putting work and family into their proper perspectives.  He ties that into programming — repeatedly stating that successful radio formats must maintain an effective balance of elements as they evolve forward with their “natural life cycles.”  Dickey discusses the importance of “branding” in today’s commerce, underscoring his company’s commitment to and “heavy investment” in the talk format stating, “We are the ‘custodians’ of some of radio’s greatest brands,” making it clear that Cumulus takes that responsibility very seriously in the talk arena.  He makes the point, “We must, however, arrive at an understanding of what constitutes the talk format today” pointing out that talk radio needs to “broaden the conversation” because “people talk about a lot of things.”  On the subject of ratings (immediately following a powerful panel discussion about the state of audience measurement moderated by Sean Hannity during which Nielsen’s feet were held to the fire), Dickey is measured and fair in his criticism of Nielsen stating, “The ratings are accurate… but only to a point.”  He says, “Nielsen needs to be [more forthcoming] about the ‘margin of error’ [in their metrics] – they owe us more than they are giving us.”  Looking back at the conversation, Michael Harrison says, “John Dickey is one of the brightest young men I have ever met in this business and I have no doubt in my mind about his love for and commitment to radio.  Neither he nor his brother Lew have easy jobs…and, like all human beings, they are far from perfect, not to mention the entire radio industry is challenged by the circumstances of the times… so operating the second largest ownership group in the history of the medium in the second decade of the 21st century is an extremely daunting task.  Unlike so many of today’s powerful executives in both business and government, they admit their mistakes and are always trying to learn and improve.”  To view the “Fireside Chat” in its entirety including an introduction by rising talk star Ethan Bearman, please click here.

nielsen logoNielsen Unveils its Total Audience Report; Radio Leads Weekly Reach of Adults.  Senior vice president of the audience insights division at Nielsen, Glenn Enoch, says that in preparing the first-ever Total Audience Report, the company is “using the best available data and have done all we can to make this an ‘apples-to-apples’ comparison, but it is important to remember that these platforms are measured by different methods using different samples and different crediting rules.”  Enoch is referring to the challenge of finding one way to express the consumption of three different media platforms – TV, radio and digital.  That said, radio practitioners are happy with the results indicating that on a weekly basis, radio reaches 93% of the adult population compared to television’s 87% reach.  Digital is broken up into three segments – PC, smartphone, and tablet – and those reach 54%, 70% and 35% of American adults, respectively.  However, when one looks at the weekly hours and minutes spent with each medium, television comes out on top across all adult demographics and radio comes in second.  The data shows that, for persons 35-49, the average hours/minutes during the week spent with television was 33:05, for radio 13:39, for PCs 6:58, for smartphones 8:52, and for tablets 4:50.  In tallying the number of days per week of usage for each medium for persons 18-49, smartphones come out on top with 5.9.  Radio is close behind with 5.  Television is third with 4.7, followed by tablets at 4.6 and PCs with 3.6.  In a memo to his sales stall, Cumulus Media chief marketing officer Pierre Bouvard writes, “While radio is known as a frequency medium, we have always had significant reach.  Radio’s reach has remained consistent while television has eroded.  Radio now finds itself as America’s number one mass reach medium.”

gellervalerieNYF15New York Festivals Winners.  Pictured here at Monday evening’s New York Festivals International Radio Program awards ceremony at New York Penthouse are Grand Jury member Geller Media International’s Valerie Geller (center); SiriusXM host Paul Bachman, Bronze Radio Winner in the Best Children/Young Adult Program for “Couch Potato Stew on Kids Place Live” (left); and SiriusXM VP Frank Raphael (right).  The New York Festivals International Radio Program awards is an annual radio program competition executed in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Public Information.  The United Nations Awards were established in 1990 to honor programs highlighting global concerns of interest to the UN.

Odds & Sods. The Edward R. Murrow Awards from the RTDNA will be handed out on October 12 in New York and CBS Radio News will receive the awards for Best Newscast and Best Continuing Coverage for the third straightcbsradionews logo year.  Outstanding coverage of the downed Malaysian airliner in the Ukraine earned CBS the Best Newscast for its July 18 edition of World New Roundup by Steve Kathan and Paul Farry.  The Continuing Coverage award was given for CBS’s yearlong reporting of the war on ISIS.….Chicago media writer Robert Feder is reporting that Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago has secured the rights to Chicago White Sox baseball for a six-year deal that would start with the 2016 wls-am logoseason.  Currently, White Sox baseball is heard on CBS RADIO’s sports talk WSCR “670 The Score.”…..It didn’t take long for former San Diego Chargers analyst Hank Bauer to find a new gig.  The former Chargers player will join Sports USA as a play-by-play analyst for its NFL broadcasts beginning in September.  Bauer’s deal to work in the Chargers radio network booth was not renewed after 17 years…..Jon Laaser is named the new radio play-by-play man for Virginia Tech football starting this fall by rights holder IMG.  Laaser will work in the booth with color man Mike Burnop.

colmesGHRvideoAlan Colmes Recalls Playing Gunhill Road in His DJ Days.  Mainstay radio and TV talker Alan Colmes of FOX News Radio and FOX News Channel is pictured at left at Talkers New York 2015 (6/12) being interviewed for a documentary film being produced about the legendary pop/rock band Gunhill Road that he recalls from his early days as a DJ spinning rock ‘n’ roll.  The trio had a great time schmoozing with radio broadcasters from both music and talk formats at the recent mega-conference.  Gunhill Road had two FM rock radio album favorites and the hit single “Back When My Hair Was Short” in the early 1970s.  They surprised the music worldleykisGHR15 recently by releasing an unexpected album with 19 new tracks titled Every 40 Years (Gunhill Road Records) that has garnered some airplay on AC and triple-A formats as well as a ton of interviews on talk radio – talk show hosts with a taste for pop culture find the group’s personal story fascinating.  The group attended the conference to appear with various radio folk in the forthcoming documentary (“Back When My Hair Was Long”) about their extremely unlikely two-part journey from the 1970s to the modern digital era set for theatrical release in 2016 and to promote their latest single, “I’ve Got To Learn To Cry (featuring American Idol’s Julia DeMato).  Pictured above: Gunhill Road members (l-r): Glenn Leopold, Steve Goldrich and Paul Reisch with talk radio legend Tom Leykis.

wabcwpljsoftballThe Dump Buttons Start Season with Narrow Loss.  Pictured here after their first game of the season – a very close 10-9 loss to Bloomberg News – are the players on the Cumulus Media New York co-ed softball team, The Dump Buttons.  They represent hot AC WPLJ, news/talk WABC, and urban contemporary WNBM.  Top row (from l-r): the Don Imus show’s Lou Rufino, WPLJ digital/social media producer Sheila Watko, Joan Hamburg producer Matt Meany, WABC account executives Jamie Roberts and Jose Torres; and Bryce Grafton (Jayde’s boyfriend).  Bottom row (from l-r): WPLJ GSM Mary Jo Vetrano, WNBM midday host La Loca; WPLJ morning show co-host, Jayde Donovan; Curtis & Kuby producer Flipper; WABC personality Curtis Sliwa.

geraldoGolf15The 28th Annual Geraldo Golf Classic.  77WABC personality Geraldo Rivera (left) is here with honoree Steven G. Santino (right) at Monday’s Geraldo Golf Classic at Edgewood Country Club in River Vale, New Jersey.  Geraldo’s radio show was broadcast live from the event and golfers participated in contests, watched the broadcast, golfed, and enjoyed an extended cocktail hour in the evening.  All proceeds benefit Life’s WORC, which provides support and services for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Charleston Church Massacre Aftermath/Confederate Flag Controversy, Pope’s Climate Encyclical, Obama Trade Deal, 2016 Presidential Prospects, ISIS Activities, Iran Nuclear Program, White House Ransom Policy, and Skinny Jeans Hospitalization Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/23). The aftermath of the Charleston church killings and the related South Carolina Confederate flag issue; the recent climate change encyclical from Pope Francis and the controversy over the beliefs of his science advisor; the revived fast-track trade bill; the activities of the 2016 presidential candidates; the military progress of ISIS and world reaction to its grisly tactics; potential cooperation between the US and Iran and the latter’s nuclear program; the new White House policy that would not legally pursue families that pay ransom for family members held by terrorist organizations; and the case of a woman hospitalized due to ill effects from “skinny jeans” were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

| March 18, 2015

bouvardpierreBouvard Joins Cumulus Media as CMO. Former president of sales for ArbitronPierre Bouvard – is named chief marketing officer of Cumulus. The New York City-based media research, sales, and marketing expert will direct Cumulus’ strategy for its local and national brands. Cumulus president and chief executive officer Lew Dickey comments, “Pierre is one of the radio industry’s most effective advocates. He understands the power of our great medium and is uniquely positioned to leverage audience insights to help advertisers take full advantage of our platform to deliver national scale with local activation. Incremental data beyond ratings is rapidly becoming the most important component in advertising decisions; we are excited to have Pierre leading our effort to help our clients achieve a superior return on investment.” Bouvard – who begins his new assignment today (Wednesday, 3/18) – states that, “Cumulus is America’s fastest growing major radio group. Over the last ten years, their national revenues have grown tenfold from $50 million to $500 million. They have transformed themselves into a major market, cross-media national platform through the merger of Westwood One and Cumulus Radio Networks; launch of the ‘Nash’ country music lifestyle brand; and the Rdio onlineCumulus radio partnership. Radio is the soundtrack for the American worker and ‘king of the road.’ Cumulus has impressive solutions for advertisers and agencies to reach the right audience and accomplish their brand and sales objectives.” Most recently, Bouvard was senior vice president of sales for TiVo Research & Analytics. Prior to his lengthy Arbitron tenure, Bouvard was executive vice president of Coleman Insights.

nrgmediaJack Taddeo Joins NRG Media’s Waterloo/Cedar Rapids Operations.  Consultant and radio management pro Jack Taddeo is the new general manager for NRG Media’s Waterloo and Cedar Rapids, Iowa stations: rock KFMW, Waterloo; classic hits KOKZ, Waterloo; sports talk KWLO, Waterloo; and news/talk KXEL, Waterloo.   NRG Media chief operating officer Chuck DuCoty comments, “We couldn’t be more pleased to have Jack Taddeo on board.  He is an outstanding broadcaster who demonstrates strategic vision, outstanding coaching skills and great leadership.”

giffordRDEshotLarry Gifford: Radiodays Europe 2015 – Day Three.  The overriding theme of the just-concluded three-day radio conference in Milan, Italy was the future of content distribution, according to consultant and talent coach Larry Gifford, who filed a series of special reports for TALKERS magazine.  “Talk of the future of radio and audio was pervasive. ‘The connected age,’ ‘second screens,’ and ‘visualizing radio’ were some of the buzz phrases heard throughout the three days.  Everyone seemed to be talking about how important it is to embrace video, studio cams, and social media,” Gifford writes.  Get more of Gifford’s summary of the event, including some insight into how one Australian morning show is embracing the digital platform, here(Pictured here is Gifford delivering his “30 Ideas in 45 Minutes” session on Tuesday. Photo by James Cridland.)

boldgoldmediagroup logoBold Gold Media Forms Foundation for Training Tomorrow’s News/Talk Broadcasters.  The broadcasting company that operates nine commercial radio stations in Northeast Pennsylvania and Upstate New York is announcing a new effort “to help prepare tomorrow’s frontline communicators.”  Bold Gold Media Group is establishing the Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation – a non-profit organization that is an altogether separate and distinct entity from Bold Gold’s commercial broadcast operations.  Bold Gold says the Foundation will focus its efforts on providing funding and resources to educational organizations that train tomorrow’s broadcast and media leaders.  While the Foundation encourages young people in all areas of broadcasting, it is currently placing particular emphasis on supporting the advancement and training in the various spoken-word andbenedettovince informational formats such as news and talk.  Bold Gold president Vince Benedetto states, “Radio broadcasting is the most powerful, informative, and persuasive medium in the world, and the news and talk formats are extremely demanding, and like all media, evolving… and we need the best and brightest communicators of tomorrow to begin preparing for these fields today.  Investing in the future providers of our communication needs is imperative.  The most trusted broadcasters have always been those who could provide timely, reliable and compelling information and entertainment you couldn’t find anywhere else… they were live and they were local.  That’s still true and even more important than ever, but powerful broadcasting is now about being on-air, online, mobile, social, live and local!  That’s what future leaders in our medium need to be preparing for, and the Foundation intends to support efforts that seek to do just that.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “This is a very exciting initiative.  Vince Benedetto is a rising young star among station group owners who are passionate about radio and dedicated to having it continue to grow to the fullest extent of its potential.”  The Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation will be having its Inaugural Fundraising Event on Tuesday evening the 19th of May at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre, PA, and will feature citizen-journalist James O’Keefe, of Project Veritas, as the guest speaker.  To support the work of the Foundation and to purchase tickets to the May 19th event, go to www.BoldGold.org, or email the Foundation at:  info@BoldGold.org.  Meet Vince Benedetto at Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12.  To register, call 413-565-5413.

ppmunit altNielsen Audio Releases Second Round of February 2015 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of February 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington (D.C.), Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The February 2015 survey period covered January 29 through February 25.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS magazine and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

newsmax logoNewsmax Feed Network Achieves 67 Million Uniques in February.  According to data from comScore, Newsmax Media’s Newsmax Feed Network posted a record 67.4 million unique visitors last month.  The Newsmax Feed Network is a proprietary syndicated headline box that is carried on more than 2,000 websites, making more than 1 billion page impressions monthly.  The Feed Network box carries unique Newsmax content headlines along with sponsored advertisements.  Newsmax reports that it “has gained enormous traction recently, and a bevy of well-known publisher brands make up the network, including National Review Online, Boston Herald, Breitbart News Network, dozens of local ABC, NBC, and CBS News affiliates via independent television station groups Gray, Nexstar, and Schurz Communications, as well as community newspaper networks Horizon Publications and Gatehouse Media.”  Newsfeed Network manager Kevin Mallon comments, “We are very excited about the latest comScore numbers.  More and more publishers are choosing to implement the Newsmax Feed because of the relevant and quality content we provide, while yielding them robust revenue from our sponsors.”  Company VP of business development Matt D’Lando adds, “Our Feed Network focuses on a clear demographic of 45-plus baby boomers, the largest demographic group in the nation with the highest disposable income.”

cookecantilloWTOP PD Alumni Club.  Two former program directors of all news WTOP, Washington, DC – Laurie Cantillo and consultant Holland Cooke — pose for a selfie today at Inside Music Media publisher Jerry Del Colliano’s annual Media Solutions Conference in Philadelphia.  Cantillo is a guest speaker at the full-day event discussing methods of increasing radio station website traffic, something she has proven to be able to do quite well before leaving her position at WTOP last week.

Odds & Sods.  The internet-based talk show “Behind Enemy Lines Radio” – hosted by NYC Republicans, attorney Gene Berardelli and Army combat veteran Russell Gallo – is joining the AM/FM platform as it will be heard Thursdays at 1:00 pm on Forsythe Broadcasting’s WNJC, Washington Township, New Jersey (Philly market).behindenemylines logo  The show joins the “Conservative Commandos Radio Network” in creating a block of conservative programming heard every day from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm on WNJC…..CBS Sports Radio programming will emanate from Indianapolis beginning April 2 for coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four.  Shows airing from the Indiana Convention Center will include Doug Gottlieb and Tiki & Tierney…..Joining the Yahoo Sports Radio national lineup for a daily 10:00 am program is former Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney and his sports talk radio partner Lanny Ford.  Together, they host “Inside the Lines,” heard on WZGV, Charlotte “ESPN 730.”…..New to SiriusXM’s Insight channel is a new show called “The Briefing Powered by Dartmouth College,” – an “all-new radio show giving listeners a lively hour that dissects the history, facts, and perspectives shaping the week’s news.”  The bi-weekly show will be hosted by Michael Mastanduno, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Nelson A. Rockefeller Professor of Government at Dartmouth.

boomercartonTAZ15Pluggin’ Podcasts on Boomer & Carton.  Former pro wrestler Taz, a.k.a. Peter Senerchia (center), enjoys a mock choke-hold from Boomer Esiason (left) as he appeared on WFAN, New York along with Craig Carton (right) to promote his new wrestling podcast titled, “The Human Podcast Machine” that is available on Play.It, CBS RADIO and CBS Local Digital’s podcast platform.

Ken Birdsong Celebrates 50 Years in Radio.  WENG, Englewood, Florida morning drive host Ken Birdsong is celebrating 50 years in radio on March 27.  He started his career when he was just 15 at his hometown station KWOC, Poplar Bluff, Missouri.  He then went on to work for stations in the Show-Me State cities of Kennett, Jefferson City, Moberly, and Osage Beach. He also put in a stint in Mt. Airy, North Carolina (the heart of Andy Griffith country) and did afternoons in Las Vegas.  In 2002, he joined WENG and served as general manager until 2012.

Iran Nukes/GOP Letter, Israeli Elections/Netanyahu’s Future, Hillary Clinton Email Probe, 2016 Presidential Prospects, OU Racist Song Case, and Dick Cheney Playboy Interview Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/17).  Iran’s nuclear program and the controversy over the letter sent to the nation by GOP senators; the Israeli elections and Benjamin Netanyahu’s status on the world stage; the ongoing probe over Hillary Clinton’s use of private emails for State Department business; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the furor over an OU fraternity’s videotaped racist song and the university’s reaction; and Dick Cheney’s criticism of President Obama in his recent Playboy interview were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.