PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of sports talk stations based on data from the February 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio. The period of time between the Super Bowl and the start of the MLB season is traditionally soft for sports talkers. The NHL, NBA and college hoops haven’t historically provided the same level of fan attraction to sports talk radio as have football and baseball. This year seems no different. Kinosian notes that “roughly three of every four stations (76%) on this sports panel are down January 2017 – February 2017; only 16% are up; and the remaining 8% of the sample is flat (6+).” However, comparing February of 2016 to February of this year, “just over six of 10 stations from our eligible sports sample are down year-to-year (62%, 6+) while 27% improve; the remaining 11% are steady.” See the entire analysis here.
Lyons Joins Cumulus Appleton-Oshkosh. At its five-station cluster in the Appleton-Oshkosh, Wisconsin market, Cumulus Media names Jeff Lyons promotions/marketing director. Lyons comes to Cumulus from iHeartMedia’s Modesto, California station group where he held a similar position. Cumulus Appleton-Oshkosh operations manager Guy Dark comments, “Jeff’s experience in various markets made him an easy choice to fill our promotions slot. Coming from California, he’ll need to invest in some Badgers and Packers winter gear!” In the market, Cumulus operates news/talk WOSH-AM, classic hits WVBO, alternative WWWX “96.9 The Fox,” country WPKR “NASH 99.5,” and standards WNAM.
TALKERS News Notes. Former alternative KBZT, San Diego morning personality Chris Cantore is launching his podcasting career after being let go from the Entercom station – along with former partner Steven Woods. Via his new company YEW Media, Cantore and co-owner Chris Cote are seeking funding as they continue to produce podcasts. You can read a piece about his plans to grow from a local, San Diego platform to a national one in the San Diego Union Tribune here…..TVWeek is reporting that Fox News Channel made cable news history in the first quarter of 2017. “Delivering its most-watched quarter ever in total day viewers, FNC averaged 1.7 million viewers (up 27%) and 359,000 (up 32%) in the 25-54 demo. In primetime, FNC marked its second highest-rated quarter with 2.8 million total viewers (up 20%) and 576,000 (up 19%) in the 25-54 demo. For the quarter, FNC dominated cable news competition in both primetime and total day combined in total viewers. This quarter, FNC claimed 13 of the top 15 cable news programs in total viewers and eight out of the top 10 in the 25-54 demo. Additionally, all FNC programs were up double-digits in both viewers and demo compared to the same quarter last year. Read more about it here.
Philly Talk Radio Legend Mary Mason’s Grandson to Be Arraigned on Charges Related to Theft of Her Estate. Longtime WHAT, Philadelphia talk show host Mary Mason – a legend to the city’s urban radio audience – is currently wheelchair-bound and battling dementia. Now, the 86-year-old’s grandson, Calvin Steven Turner IV, is being charged with theft relative to the disappearance of her estate. Philly.com reports that authorities are alleging that Turner squandered $843,000 of Mason’s savings and investments. David A. Jaskowiak, the lawyer appointed last year to handle Mason’s finances, tells Philly.com, “Suffice it to say that had she had the resources she had when she retired without any dissipation by her grandson, she would have more than ample resources to afford her good care for the rest of her life.” Jaskowiak was able to recover $62,000 of Mason’s money. Read Jenice Armstrong’s column here.
GOP to Try Again on Health Care Bill, Trump Campaign-Russia Investigation, O’Reilly’s Maxine Waters Comment, Trump Reverses Obama Energy Policies, Gorsuch SCOTUS Nomination, U.S. Airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, Congress Nixes Internet Privacy Regs, and NFL League Meetings Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/28). Reports that the GOP will begin working on a new health care bill sooner rather than later; the investigation into connections between Trump campaign personnel and Russian agents; Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly apologizes for criticizing Rep. Maxine Waters’ appearance; President Trump announces his directive reversing Obama Administration energy policies; speculation about whether the Democrats will filibuster the Neil Gorsuch SCOTUS nomination; claims that U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria have been causing civilian casualties; Congress votes to eliminate FCC regulations that limit Internet providers’ abilities to share users habits and personal information; and this week’s NFL league meetings in Phoenix were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Reform Party Forum at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17. Pictured here at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 at 2 Penn Plaza in New York City in Monday (3/27) is WABC, New York personality Curtis Sliwa (on stage, far left) hosting the Reform Party Mayoral Candidate Forum. On stage (from l-r) are NYC mayoral hopefuls Sal Albanese, Michael Faulkner, Rocky De La Fuente, Mike Tolkin, Kevin Coenen, and Bo Dietl. WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “Our Stage 17 space above Madison Square Garden takes these important conversations and makes them must-see events. Curtis got the NYC Mayoral Election heated up like no one else can.” Photo: Dan Hirshl
WGN, Chicago Names 2017 ‘Walk of Fame’ Honorees. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Tribune’s news/talk WGN, Chicago is announcing this year’s honorees who will join its “Walk of Fame.” They are: late, legendary WGN sportscasters Lou Boudreau and Vince Lloyd, current overnight personality Nick Digilio, news anchor Judy Pielach, sports producer Jack Rosenberg, crime reporter Larry Schreiner (posthumously), and traffic reporters Leonard Baldy (posthumously), Lincoln Hampton, Mike Mathis and Anne Maxfield. The Walk of Fame honors WGN staffers both past and present with bronze plaques in front of the Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue. This year’s ceremony takes place live on WGN at 10:00 am on May 25.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dallas adult contemporary KDGE “Star 102.1” announces it is bringing Leigh Ann Adam aboard to host the morning drive program, effective April 3. The morning radio pro most recently was with CBS RADIO’s crosstown CHR KVIL, serving for 11 years. About her new gig with iHeartMedia, Adam says, “I love what I do and I’m so excited to wake up with ‘Star 102.1’ and the DFW community. Having the opportunity to host mornings is amazing and I can’t wait to put on my new headphones and get started!” During her career, Adam worked at KBIG, Los Angeles co-hosting mornings with Charlie Tuna…..Wilkes-Barre/Scranton alternative WFUZ tweaks its format – adding more new alternative music and trimming the gold from its library – and re-brands from the old “Fuzz 92.1” to “ALT 92.1.” The Times-Shamrock alt rock station first launched in 2010…..Townsquare Media’s country KATP, Amarillo, Texas re-brands, dropping its “BLAKE FM” moniker and adopting the “101.9 The Bull” handle. Program director and afternoon personality Braden Smith is adding Premiere’s Bobby Bones as the morning show…..WKTU, New York unveils the lineup of its annual ultimate summer dance party concert event, “KTUphoria 2017.” The June 3 show at Jones Beach Theater will feature: Backstreet Boys, Fifth Harmony, Nicky Jam, Jason Derulo, Shaggy, Daya, and Craig David.
By Mike Carruthers
LOS ANGELES — Podcasting is now a real thing. In fact it is now a small industry. Consequently, this may be the perfect time for radio professionals to take a hard look at podcasting. Frankly, it is the one growth industry that can actually utilize the skills every experienced broadcaster has developed in their career. In fact these are the exact skills many podcasters would kill for, such as: the ability to project a personality, to talk to and interview people, to keep things interesting, to tell stories, to use audio creatively and to edit (both in real time and after the fact). These are exactly the things many podcasters struggle with – yet most seasoned radio pros can do them in their sleep.
It is hard to pinpoint exactly why commercial broadcasters have been reluctant to get into podcasting. If you look at the iTunes charts of the Top podcasts (https://www.podcastchart.com/) you see that many of the highly rated ones are produced by NPR or other public radio entities. But only a few are done by commercial radio people.
Salem Radio Network Adds Nightly, Syndicated Joe Walsh Show to Lineup. The change takes place on February 20 when WIND, Chicago-based talk show host (and former Congressman from Illinois) Joe Walsh takes over the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET show on the Salem Radio Network, bumping the Steve Deace syndicated show from the timeslot. Walsh hosts the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm show on WIND and will continue in that role, adding the syndicated, late night show to his duties. Salem SVP Phil Boyce comments, “We have been watching Joe work locally in Chicago and have seen outstanding development. His audience there continues to grow and we felt he would continue to do well on the national stage. Joe is a courageous and fearless warrior on the conservative side, who encourages his audience to take a strong stand for what is right.”
Casey Bartholomew to Program WFSX, Fort Myers-Naples. Longtime New Jersey-based talk radio pro Casey Bartholomew announces he’s been named the new program director at Sun Broadcasting’s news/talk WFSX, Fort Myers-Naples “92-5 FOX News.” He writes in a Facebook post, “This will, for a time, require me to give up being on the air on a daily basis. But, I will still be able to do my fill-in work, and it may provide a chance for me to do a daily show on the station in the future. This is an exciting, new opportunity for me and I hope it all works out the way I’m hoping. But, nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
Brad Fanning Co-Hosts Afternoons at KCSP, Kansas City. Kansas City sports talker KCSP “610 Sports” names Brad Fanning co-host of the afternoon program, “The Drive,” alongside Carrington Harrison and producer Ben Heisler. Fanning takes over the slot vacated by Danny Parkins who moved to Chicago to co-host middays at WSCR “The Score.” Fanning previously worked in the Kansas City market as a sports reporter for KCTV-TV.
Jeff Pantridge Assumes Afternoon Duties at ‘ESPN 94.1’ in Norfolk. Norfolk sports talk outlet WVSP “ESPN Radio 94.1” names Jeff Pantridge afternoon sports talk personality, taking over the role vacated by Nick Cattles, who moved to Boston for a gig at WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.” During his career, Pantridge has served with CBS Radio at the former WHFS-FM, Tampa and he produced the WFLA-AM, Tampa show hosted by Todd Schnitt. He’ll continue to work with Max Media staffers Matthew Steinberg and A.J. Risser, who’d been co-hosting the afternoon show after Cattles’ departure.
Scripps News/Talker WTMJ, Milwaukee Debuts ‘Mobile’ Podcast Network. Milwaukee news/talk outlet WTMJ is unveiling its new “WTMJ Mobile” – a podcast network that includes popular WTMJ shows on-demand in addition to locally based podcasters from Milwaukee and Wisconsin. The Scripps-owned station says this pilot program also includes exclusive podcasts for the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks. WTMJ and WKTI VP news, talk, and sports programming for radio Tom Langmyer states, “This uniquely Wisconsin platform expands our content offerings, builds strong third party partnerships and takes Scripps’ Milwaukee brands to new levels.” WTMJ director of programming Eric Brooks adds, “‘WTMJ Mobile’ helps ensure our continued leadership position in spoken-word content. Our live programming every day is valued content for our listeners. With the podcast network, our audiences have full access to choose the unique, digital-first content they want and when. Our diverse list of offerings will continue to increase the impact of WTMJ throughout the region.” In addition to station-created content, WTMJ has partnered with Milwaukee organizations, including NEWaukee, the Milwaukee Brewing Company, Startup Milwaukee and many more to create a uniquely Wisconsin podcast experience. Director of marketing and innovation J. Pat Miller says, “With podcasting, WTMJ has exponentially expanded the amount of content we provide, while championing more local voices to engage our connected, vibrant listeners.”
New Sales Roles Filled at CBS Radio in Chicago. With the transition of John Cravens to a consulting role for CBS Radio in Chicago, the company announces that Chad Feldman is assuming the position of director of news and sports sales, in which he’ll oversee sales activities of all-news WBBM-AM, sports talk WSCR “The Score,” and play-by-play assets for Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears broadcasts. At the same time, the company names Joe Mackay director of music sales for CHR WBBM-FM “B96,” triple A WXRT, country WUSN “US99,” and classic hits WJMK. Feldman – an 11-year CBS Radio Chicago staffer – was most recently GSM for WSCR. Mackay was serving as national sales manager for CBS Radio’s Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh stations. About his new role, Feldman comments, “After a career devoted to sports radio, it’s humbling for me to be given the good fortune to lead four of the most iconic Chicago radio brands ever. Coming here from Washington, DC 15 years ago, I would never have imagined I would be given this opportunity. I am grateful and excited about what is to come.” The company also names general sales managers for four of its stations. They are: Paul Agase for WBBM-FM, Dan Richman for WXRT, Carla Ross for WJMK, and Sheila Mulcahy for WUSN.
Now Playing on Talkers TV: ‘Needless to Say…’ Consultant Holland Cooke says, “Your voice is competing for attention with a barrage of noise, thousands of other messages that vie for your listeners’ attention every day. To ‘break through,’ broadcasters and podcasters must ‘communicate clearly.’” Check out the Talkers TV video in the upper right-hand of this page in which Cooke offers specific coaching advice.
Comrex to Display New IP Audio Gateway at NAB Show 2017. This new product is called Opal – a portmanteau for Opus Portal – and it’s an IP audio gateway that creates a studio internet audio portal. Install it in your studio and then anyone accessing it through a computer or Android device (with a microphone, earpiece, and browser) is able to broadcast from their computer or phone in high fidelity. High quality return audio is also provided to the guest. This product is optimal for audio programs and news departments that regularly use remote guests. It allows them to deliver “studio quality” sound without the need for any special equipment on their end. Comrex notes that “Opal is ideal for users who need to coordinate call-ins with non-technical remote guests – guests can simply click a link and connect instantly. Opal establishes the link using the Opus encoder, for excellent fidelity and low delay. Opal can support two connections at once and provides two independent professional audio I/O ports to the studio. Opal occupies 1/2U of rack space, and two can fit side-by-side in a 19” rack shelf. Connections to Opal can only be made from browsers that support WebRTC (Chrome and Firefox) at this time. Check it out in Las Vegas April 22-27.
TALKERS News Notes. And the winner is… Motel 6! The hospitality chain takes home the gold in the Westwood One Sports Sound Awards – the fourth annual contest to determine the most popular audio commercials aired the Super Bowl broadcast. The winner was Motel 6’s ad in which spokesman Tom Bodett tries to incorporate millennial lingo to promote the hotel chain. Bodett says the ad truly was “on fleek.” In 2nd place was also Motel 6 with their ad “Disclaimer,” which found Bodett trying his best to not mention certain trademarked names that would land the hotel chain in legal trouble. Finally, in 3rd place was Hagerty Insurance’s spot in which it pulled on the heartstrings of car lovers everywhere while taking listeners back to the first car they owned…..SiriusXM announces the appointment of political analyst and former Hillary Clinton aide Zerlina Maxwell as director of progressive programming. In this new role, Maxwell is overseeing the editorial direction of the Progress 127 channel. SiriusXM says, “With the addition of the progressive and feminist stalwart, the left-leaning channel has positioned itself with a renewed focus on both activism and resistance to the actions of the new Trump administration.” Maxwell served as the Clinton campaign’s director of progressive media. She’ll report to SiriusXM VP/GM of talk programming Dave Gorab…..Radio station operators currently using satellite AMC-8 (139 degrees West Longitude) have until June 30 to repoint their satellite dishes to migrate to the new AMC-18 at 105 degrees West Longitude. There are five networks that use AMC-8 and are moving their service to AMC-18: Learfield, Orbital Media Networks (OMNi), Premiere Networks, Skyview Networks and Westwood One, in addition to syndicators who lease their satellite time from these five companies…..American Private Radio, distributor of “Our American Stories” to more than 40 U.S. radio markets is offering a Presidents Day special for radio stations that would like to air the program on Monday, February 20. Host and APR CEO Lee Habeeb says the Presidents Day special will be “a beautiful tribute to arguably the most important historical figure in U.S. history, our first President George Washington. We will weave together anecdotes, memoirs and biographical accounts of the public – and personal – life of Washington, including magnificent story-telling authentically narrated by two-time Pulitzer-Prize winning author and biographer David McCullough, who has written extensively about our nation’s first President.” For information on securing this special presentation, contact Our American Stories at 239-470-9297 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trump Travel Ban Court Fight, Elizabeth Warren vs. Jeff Sessions, Trump and U.S. Murder Rate, U.S.-Yemen Relations, Kremlin Demands Apology from FOX News, and Status of ObamaCare Repeal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/7). The court battle over President Donald Trump’s order preventing travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations; Senator Elizabeth Warren is silenced for impugning a fellow senator in the debate over Jeff Sessions’ AG nomination; controversy over President Trump’s statement that the U.S. murder rate is the highest it’s been in 47 years; Yemen requiring permission for further strikes against Islamic State targets after its claim that civilians were killed in the recent U.S. raid; the Kremlin’s demand for an apology from FOX News after Bill O’Reilly called Vladimir Putin a killer during his Sunday Trump interview; and the administration’s and GOP’s plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
WFTL’s Rich Stevens Visited by an ‘Angel.’ Pictured above is WFTL, West Palm Beach late morning host Rich Stevens sitting in the studio with “Charlie’s Angels” star Cheryl Ladd. The actress and 1970s icon made a rare, in-studio appearance with Stevens. The two talked about her work on the classic TV program, golfing with O.J. Simpson and her being on the “Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson, among other things.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Program director Mike Preston is exiting Entercom’s country KKWF, Seattle “100.7 The Wolf” and rhythmic oldies KHTP “HOT 103.7” to pursue his next radio gig. Preston says that, after seven years with the company in Seattle, he’s ready to move on. “I’m very proud of what my teams have accomplished, making ‘The Wolf’ the top country brand in the market and putting our newest brand, ‘HOT 103.7,’ on the map in a big way. I’m grateful to Jack Hutchison, Dave Richards, Pat Paxton, and Mike Moore for the opportunity to put country ‘under my belt’ and to pioneer the classic hip hop and R&B format.” Entercom Seattle VP of programming Dave Richards will be in charge of the stations as a successor to Preston is sought…..The Adams Radio Group cluster in Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland has a new vice president and general manager. Paul Burton joins the company from the crosstown iHeartMedia cluster where he was vice president of sales. Adams CEO Ron Stone comments, “It is rare that you get an opportunity to partner with someone that literally can change your life. I have spent the past several months as the interim GM while searching for the right person to lead our organization in Delmarva. Paul is that person. His excitement and commitment to excellence is second to none.”…..Afternoon personality and assistant program director Todd Michaels exits Beasley Media Group’s country KCYE, Las Vegas “102.7 The Coyote” after two years with the station.
New Documentary About ‘70s Rock Band Gunhill Road Showcased at Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The early seventies NYC-based album rock band, Gunhill Road – best known for one big hit single ‘Back When My Hair Was Short” – got a lot of media attention a couple of years ago with the unexpected release of their reunion album “Every 40 Years.” Now a new documentary (also titled “Every 40 Years”) chronicling the group’s colorful story, spearheaded by the filmmaker son of one of the band’s members, had its world premiere Monday evening (2/6) as a special feature of the prestigious Santa Barbara International Film Festival. For 25 years, director Eric Goldrich knew close to nothing about his dad’s (Steve Goldrich) band Gunhill Road. A tribute concert to the band’s old manager and owner of the famous nightclub The Bitter End incited the band’s return to the stage. With the excitement of seeing his father play music with Gunhill Road again, Eric sought to document the performance. They were billed with Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey (of Peter, Paul and Mary) that night, along with many other legendary musicians, but what the future held was unknown. Two years later, Gunhill Road reunited to record a brand new 19-track album, consisting of unrecorded songs that they had written in the ’70s and ’80s. Eric convinced co-director Benjamin Friedberg to join him on the unique journey of creating a documentary following the return of Gunhill Road. Through Eric and Ben’s discovery, they learned how much Gunhill Road meant to its fans, and how close they got to breaking out as successful artists. They were the only band ever managed by The Bitter End’s owner, Paul Colby, and Kenny Rogers produced their second album. They opened for some of the greatest acts in history, including George Carlin, Bette Midler, Soupy Sales, Jim Croce, Lily Tomlin, Poco, the Carpenters, and many more. As a band, one could say they failed. They’re even called a “One Hit Wonder.” Yet, in their 60’s, they came back to play together again 40 years after they broke up. A story of courage, doubt, regret, and liberation, the new film documentary “Every 40 Years” is described as being about chasing your dream down one more time. The band played a special concert for its fans at the nearby Santa Barbara club, The Red Piano, following the screening of the film. Eric Goldrich tell TALKERS that plans are in the works to showcase the documentary at other film festivals around the country and eventually find it a home on one of the cable or internet film channels. To view the trailer for the film, please click here.
Gunhill Road stopped by heritage rocker KTYD-FM, Santa Barbara to do an interview on the station’s morning show in conjunction with the premiere of their documentary at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Pictured (back row l-r): Gunhill Road members Steve Goldrich and Paul Reich, and KTYD-FM morning co-hosts Lin Aubuchon and David Perry. (Front row): Gunhill Road member Glenn Leopold.
By Holland Cooke
NASHVILLE — The NAB/RAB Radio Show is underway today in Music City, but several hundred of us arrived a day early for Tuesday’s Radio And Internet News event. Some attendees I spoke with came only for the RAIN conference, a full day agenda on state of the art in Internet-delivered audio.
“Embrace the future!”
RAIN publisher Kurt Hanson’s State of the Industry presentation summarized Edison Research and other data I’ve covered here; and he urged that broadcasters show up everywhere listeners now use to consume audio. Use is migrating from “single-purpose AM/FM receivers to multi-purpose connected devices.” 1 of every 5 audio minutes are now heard via smartphone.
Talk Radio Reacts to Death of Muhammad Ali. The death of boxing legend Muhammad Ali dominated the talk radio and sports talk radio discussions over the weekend and it will continue into this week. Ali’s status as a cultural icon from the 1960s and 1970s made him much more than a former athletic legend. Westwood One News reports it began airing special reports at 12:30 am on Saturday and continue twice an hour through Saturday afternoon. Westwood One News also made CNN correspondent Pablo Sandoval in Louisville available for station one-on-ones. This week correspondent Steve Kastenbaum reports from Louisville for coverage of Ali’s funeral and surrounding events. This evening, the Jim Bohannon show is airing the Westwood One-Mutual live broadcast of the second Ali-Sonny Liston fight from 1965 when Ali retained his championship with the “phantom punch” first-round knockout. Pictured at left is ABC News Radio correspondent Ryan Burrow interviewing a mourner at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville.
Hivio 2016 Day Two Coverage: Commercial Radio’s Changing Model. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian reports from Los Angeles and day two of the Hivio 2016 conference. Among the media pros who spoke with conference organizer and presenter Mark Ramsey were Panoply Media chief content officer Andy Bowers, Recode senior editor for media Peter Kafka, ESPN general manager Traug Keller, and Lapides Entertainment CEO Howard Lapides. The focus was on podcasting, monetizing the nascent audio format, and podcasting’s ultimate effect on AM/FM radio. All of the aforementioned media figures are working at the ground level in the podcasting business and strongly believe in its power as a news and entertainment medium and as a revenue generator. Read Kinosian’s complete coverage here.
The Death of Muhammad Ali, the Presidential Race, Tepid Job Growth Report, the Looming ‘Brexit’ Vote, the Battle Against Islamic State, and the NBA and NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The death of boxing legend Muhammad Ali; the activities of the candidates for president; the recent report indicating the growth of new jobs in the U.S. has slowed; the June 23 vote in which Britons will decide whether to exit the European Union; violence in Iraq as the battle for control of Fallujah continues; and the NBA and NHL Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.
Odds & Sods. Sports radio play-by-play pro Josh Lewin adds radio broadcast duties for UCLA football and men’s basketball beginning with this fall’s football season. Lewin is a busy man, already doing play-by-play for the MLB’s New York Mets and the NFL’s San Diego Chargers. Lewin takes over for longtime Bruins voice Bill Roth. iHeartMedia’s KLAC, Los Angeles serves as the flagship station for UCLA’s IMG College-licensed broadcasts…..Speaking of IMG and iHeartMedia, the two companies agree to terms for the latter’s WRNL, Richmond to serve as flagship for Virginia Tech football and for the school’s men’s basketball to air on Richmond classic rock signal W241AP “96.1 The Planet.”…..A new weekend outdoors program launched over the weekend (6/4). The show, “America Outdoors Radio” with host and producer John Kruse, aired on 21 affiliates in five states. Kruse also hosts “Northwestern Outdoors,” which is heard on 56 stations in the Northwest. Talk Media Network is handling satellite distribution.
By Holland Cooke
BLOCK ISLAND, RI — It’s tempting to credit “House of Cards” for inventing binge watching. But Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Roku, and YouTube are following – not leading – consumers’ on-demand expectation, and their appetite for more than just more-of-the-same.
Radio is late to the party, playing catch-up as podcast TSL swells, and radio dollars leak to digital. Ask any GM about car dealers; and how corporate is barking for more digital revenue.
Cumulus Reports Q4 and 2015 Full-Year Numbers; Net Revenue Dipped 7.5% in 2015. The net revenue numbers for Cumulus Media were not pretty but there was no expectation that they would be. The company’s net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2015 was $308.8 million – down 6.2% from the same period in 2014. For all of 2015, net revenue was $1.1 billion; that represents a dip of 7.5% compared to all of 2014. Other fourth quarter numbers reveal big drops in the digital sector (- 42.7%) and in political advertising (- 78.3%). However, broadcast advertising was relatively flat (- 0.5). Breaking that down further, local advertising was flat (- 0.6) but national advertising was off 10.5% and network advertising was down 2.8%. New Cumulus CEO Mary Berner was brutally frank about the state of the company she’s been leading for five short months. She told investors during yesterday’s conference call, “As you can see by the continued underperformance we experienced this quarter versus our peers, we have a lot of work to do to stabilize the business. We are organizing that work around four foundational issues which I believe are responsible for our underperformance, and I will give you some context for the moves we are making to correct Cumulus’ trajectory. First, a well-constructed operational plan wasn’t or couldn’t be executed at Cumulus due to a lack of management tools and information, as well as a misalignment of authority and responsibility across many functions. Second, the company had a corporate culture characterized by a lack of focus, accountability, and collaboration and under-investment in human capital which collectively resulted in significant turnover and economic leakage. Third, revenue was meaningfully impacted by multi-year declines in ratings across the entire platform in part due to a command and control operating strategy that often ignored local market dynamics. And finally, a substantial amount of leverage on the balance sheet has reduced the company’s capital flexibility while increasing the pressure to execute in operational turnaround quickly. Our operational turnaround strategies thus are organized around these issues and are as follows; enhanced operational blocking and tackling, institute initiatives to improve the company’s culture and drive ratings growth.” Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the conference call transcript. Members can read the whole transcript here.
Analysis: The 2016 Infinite Dial. Yes, AM/FM radio is still the dominant audio listening device in-car, but, according to the most recent Infinite Dial study from Edison Research and Triton Digital, listening to podcasts and use of digital devices (especially smartphones) is continuing to rise at a steady rate. Consultant Holland Cooke attended yesterday’s webinar on the study and files this story for TALKERS magazine. Among some of the more interesting findings: 93% of persons 12-24 own a smartphone; 21% of those surveyed own no AM-FM device in their home; and 60% own an Internet-connected television. See more here.
The Presidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of March 7-11. The activities of the candidates for president, the primary elections, and the debates were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 was the Hillary Clinton private email server matter. Coming in at #3 was U.S. immigration policy followed by the European migrant issues at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
Garry Meier Enters Podcast World. According to a tip from Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Windy City radio legend Garry Meier is launching a new podcast on his garrymeier.com platform. The first show will stream on Saturday night. Meier is hoping to build a subscriber base, converting the free listeners into paying customers. Initially, he will produce three one-hour shows per week for free. His first guest on the program will be Howard Stern, who Feder notes has called podcasting “for losers.” Meier has been off the radio since Tribune cancelled his show on WGN.fm in November of 2014. Read Feder’s story here.
Gallagher Anchors SRN’s GOP Debate Coverage. Nationally syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher was in Miami last night (3/10) anchoring Salem Radio Network’s coverage of the GOP debate at the University of Miami. The debate was aired on CNN and the audio simulcast was provided by SRN. Gallagher is pictured here speaking with GOP frontrunner Donald Trump after the conclusion of the debate. SRN personality Hugh Hewitt served on the CNN panel that questioned the four remaining GOP candidates.
Odds & Sods. Conservative Review published a short piece about viewers tuning out of last night’s GOP debate and leaving the post-debate coverage on both Fox News Channel and CNN for Mark Levin’s new LevinTV.com. The story features Twitter messages from people announcing their unhappiness with the Fox and CNN coverage and desire to get analysis from LevinTV…..At the Kevin Adell-owned religious urban-targeted station WFDF, Detroit, Oakland county executive L. Brooks Patterson is being paired up with radio pro Nancy Skinner for a program called “B.S. on 910.” The weekly show will air from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm. Patterson is a staunch conservative and Skinner is a liberal. Patterson is not being paid for his role on the program…..ABC News is offering a new podcast from staffer Dan Harris, author of the best-selling book 10% Happier. The book recounts Harris’ reluctant journey into meditation. The podcast is called “10% Happier with Dan Harris,” and will involve Harris interviewing gurus, scientists, teachers, celebrities, athletes and executives about their meditation practices “as he investigates whether enlightenment is real and whether there is anything beyond just 10%.”
Canzano’s ‘Bald Faced Truth’ Show Renewed with KXTG-AM, Portland. Sports talk personality John Canzano inks a contract extension with Alpha Media’s Portland sports talk outlet KXTG-AM “750/102.9 The Game.” The two parties say the new, multi-year pact will allow Canzano’s “The Bald Faced Truth” to continue in the daily 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm time slot. Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick comments, “Renewing a seasoned professional varsity multi-media broadcast talent like John Canzano is the perfect centerpiece to The Game’s talent roster.” Canzano has been with “The Game” since its launch in 2008 and also serves as the lead sports columnist at The Oregonian and a sports commentator at Portland NBC affiliate KGW-TV.
Westwood One’s State of American Podcasting. Today, radio consultant Holland Cooke reports for TALKERS on yesterday’s webinar presented by Westwood One titled, The State of American Podcasting. The webinar featured Cumulus Media/WW1 chief marketing officer Pierre Bouvard with guests Stuart Last, VP of popular podcast and on-demand platform audioBoom; Jenna Weiss-Berman, director of audio at the pop culture website Buzzfeed; and Brendan McDonald, co-creator and executive producer of the podcast “WTF with Marc Maron.” The growth of podcasting is predicted to continue and the average age of podcast P1s is much younger than the average age of radio users (45) and television (57), according to Edison Research data. Read Holland Cooke’s takeaways from the webinar here.
Odds & Sods. Nashville-based, Westwood One-syndicated talk show host Phil Valentine was recently honored with another award for his screenplay, Derek Dickens & The Dream. The screenplay is the story of one man’s mid-life crisis that turns him into an international pop sensation when he takes on an imaginary persona through which he lives out his lifelong dream. The 50-year-old fabricates a 20-something British band, with himself at the lead, and it takes the world by storm. Valentine just won first place at the Nevada International Film Festival in Las Vegas. Not long ago, he took home top honors at the Colorado Film Festival and placed third in the Atlantic City Cinefest. Valentine comments, “I had no idea this little movie script would be so well received. I’m really delighted to see it’s doing so well. Maybe some Hollywood producer is paying attention and will bring this screenplay to the silver screen.”…..Nationally syndication morning show “Good Day with Doug Stephan” is offering a holiday “gift” to talk stations by making his program available to non-affiliates on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Day and New Year’s Eve and Day. Stephan says the program will be live on these morning and stations carrying the show will not be required to sign a contract, just call Bob K. at 774-643-6450…..Nationally syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs (pictured at right) reports that 2.4 billion people worldwide do not have regular access to safe, public restrooms. She says, “Not only are they exposed to unsanitary conditions but also many women and children are vulnerable to assault when they’re trying to use makeshift, unsecured stalls. We’re raising awareness by posting pics of us on the toilet and reminding people how blessed we are to have safe sanitation.” Donations are being accepted at www.worldtoilet.org.
Syrian Refugees Issue/Immigration Policy, Paris Terror Attacks Aftermath, 2016 Presidential Race, Minneapolis Police Protests, Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson Controversy, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/18). The controversial debate over the handling of refugees from Syria in the U.S. and the larger issue of the nation’s immigration policy; the ongoing search for those responsible for the Paris terror attacks and debate over how to try to prevent further attacks; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the protests in Minneapolis after the shooting death of a black man at the hands of local police; demands by Princeton students that Woodrow Wilson’s name and image be disassociated from the school because of his racist policies; and action in the NFL were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
Cool Job Opportunity. Greater Media Charlotte is seeking a continuity and traffic assistant. Ideal characteristics for candidates include: Enjoys analytics and puzzles, innately curious, meticulous with details, thrives in a fast-paced environment, works calmly and effectively under pressure, reacts quickly to meet tight deadlines, and diplomatic & determined with solid people skills. Position requires knowledge of computer skill and experience with broadcast inventory management and traffic software including Marketron, V-Creative, and Efficio is a plus. Email your cover letter and resume to director of sales Sandra Szoke at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Holland Cooke
NEW YORK — I should clarify. I don’t mean do what cable news channels are doing — contrived political arguments. That’s being done to death there, and has become an unfortunate “Talk Radio” caricature. When there’s a-war-on…the-war-on…The War on Christmas – and there’s feigned outrage about under-decorated cardboard coffee cups — you know they’re running out of things to talk about.
I’m saying do what you see on basic cable channels and so-called “Over The Top” (OTT) TV such as Netflix. And as I listened to Sony Pictures Television chairman Steve Mosko, the little voice in my kept whispering “podcasting.”
Mosko calls himself “a studio guy” whose independent shop has 35 shows on 18 different networks, “the largest programming provider to OTT services.” He was interviewed by author and veteran journalist Bill Carter (SiriusXM’s “The Bill Carter Interview”) at NAB Show/New York* this week.
By Jeff McKay
Special Features Correspondent
NEW YORK — Peter Senerchia, Cari Champion, and Farnoosh Torabi. One is a former champion professional wrestler known in the ring as Taz, one is a TV reporter and anchor for ESPN, and the other works in her Brooklyn apartment. However, all three have something in common – they have carved out their own niches and become stars in the world of podcasting… and with their advertisers.
Digital audio has been on a roll over the past 18 months, and this is especially true among younger listeners. A February survey by Edison Research found approximately 46 million people listened to podcasts in February. Meanwhile, ad spending on podcasts is soaring. A recent survey by eMarketer says ad spending for digital audio is expected to reach $2.75 billion, up over 27% from a year ago.
Michael Harrison and Consultant Holland Cooke Discuss ‘How Digital Media is Rewiring the Human Nervous System.’ In the latest installment of Podcast One’s international hit “Up Close and Far Out” posted today (9/15), noted radio and media consultant Holland Cooke joins host Michael Harrison in a discussion of what Harrison describes as the five major tenets of digital media’s effect on the way human nervous systems are becoming “rewired” going into the 21st century. According to Harrison, here are the five major tenets of modern-day media theory for commercial practitioners to consider (from five to one in order of importance):
5. The magic of 20th century media is rapidly disappearing. Radio, television, film, print and records do not carry the same level of mystique that they did for most of our lifetimes. It is no longer just enough getting past the gatekeeper and “being there.” Everybody is or has direct access to being a media star. This development democratizes production and distribution but significantly raises the bar on what must be achieved to actually attract attention and display panache in an increasingly noisy world.
4. Loss of privacy. It is becoming increasingly impossible to engage in modern life “on the grid” and preserve the level of privacy that many consider vital to maintain dignity and personal freedom. It is becoming increasingly treacherous to be famous or a “celebrity.” Media whores beware! It is dangerous out there.
3. Life is becoming one big crazy reality show. Look no further than the media circus known as the 2016 presidential election to see this process at work – punctuated by the adventures of the greatest media exhibitionist of our time, Donald Trump. The once well-defined boundaries between entertainment and real life – fact and fantasy – are becoming increasingly blurred.
2. The rise of the techno-psychic. Modern-day instantaneous communications and data accumulation, punctuated by multi-tasking, social media, and the individual’s immediate access to everyone and all publically archived information, is transforming the human race (Homo sapiens) into a technologically induced telepathic species. People literally are walking around with the voices of others inside their heads. We are just a handful of short years away from having chips implanted inside our bodies that will replace the inconvenience of having to lug around what we currently call “smartphones.”
1. The coming of the quantum age. Don’t expect the digital era to hang around as long as the analogue era has through all of the 20th century and into the 21st. It will be replaced relatively quickly by something truly “far out.” Our increased understanding and coming to cultural terms with quantum physics is changing everything! Although the development of the quantum computer (which promises to replace the digital computer) is still in its infancy, progress is being made at a rapid rate. Quantum computing will exponentially increase humanity’s influence on the very fabric of time and space themselves. Today’s modern technology will seem as quaint as the horse and buggy in a relatively short time. Harrison advises, “Today’s media practitioners interested in being prepared for the onrushing future should study everything they can about quantum physics and the impact it will have on computing and communications.”
Interestingly, Harrison produced this installment of “Up Close and Far Out” on the road under difficult technological conditions stating, “Our studio back at TALKERS suffered an equipment malfunction and our server was undergoing maintenance. I found myself facing deadline with nothing more than two iPhones and a remote guest (Holland Cooke) who also had nothing more to work with at the moment than an iPhone. Somehow we made it work – although I regret that Holland’s usually mellifluous voice sounds a bit like Rudy Vallee singing on his trademark megaphone. Considering the futuristic nature of our rather esoteric conversation, it is ironic that we produced the show under extremely primitive (by modern standards) conditions. All of us who’ve done radio over the years have had the experience of being forced to play MacGyver. This was one such case. Thank you, Holland Cooke, for being a good sport.”
To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here. or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right-hand column of every page on Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.
Familiar New York Voice Peter Rosenberg to Join WEPN’s Michael Kay Show. New York radio personality Peter Rosenberg is joining the Michael Kay show on ESPN’s WEPN. Rosenberg is host of Emmis-owned hip hop HOT 97’s morning drive show – a position he will continue. Rosenberg will join Don LaGreca – himself recently inked to a contract renewal – as co-hosts with Kay. On this added gig, he comments, “I’m thrilled and thankful for this opportunity to be a part of the 98.7 family and to be part of a show that I have always loved with two guys that I couldn’t respect and admire more. By working for both 98.7 and HOT 97, I’m able to contribute to a wide variety of topics I’m passionate about and provide listeners with a fresh perspective on not just hip hop, but sports, lifestyle, and more.” He begins his new duties today (9/15).He begins his new duties today (9/15).
Martinez Joins ‘News 96.5 Orlando’ for Anchor Position. Trading the cold for sunshine this winter is Heather Jordan Martinez who is leaving iHeartMedia heritage news/talker WHO, Des Moines for Cox Media Group’s WDBO-FM, Orlando “News 96.5.” Martinez has a diverse resume including time in music radio on-air and in promotions. She is also a voice-over talent. Her new gig starts September 28.
IAB Presents Podcasting ‘Upfront.’ The recent “Upfront Showcase” held in New York City by the Interactive Advertising Bureau was held in response to the medium’s recent and meteoric rise on the mainstream consumer’s and advertiser’s radar. TALKERS and RadioInfo special features correspondent Jeff McKay reports, “The Interactive Advertising Bureau put together the event to highlight some of the top-flight podcasters, along with some of the companies at the forefront of digital success and their advertiser successes.” IAB president/CEO Randall Rothenberg explains, “We’re here responding to market demand. Why are we here? The success of ‘Serial’ and President Obama’s interview on ‘WTF with Marc Maron’ – these shows have opened up eyes to podcasting.” Attendee and VP of digital sales for AdLarge, Jay Green states, “You’re saying, ‘I want to hear what this host has to say,’ and that becomes a brand. For advertisers, the spot load is very low. It’s not intrusive. And, the ads are integrated into the show, discussed by the host with their own brand and style.” Read McKay’s entire report from the IAB “Upfront Showcase” here.
ESPN Radio to Finalize New Network Lineup; Jones to PM Drive, Jalen & Jacoby to Assume Early Evening Show. TALKERS magazine sources say the revamped ESPN Radio schedule should be complete within a couple of weeks and, as we’ve reported in recent weeks, Bomani Jones will move from his 9:00 pm ET start to the afternoon drive slot being filled right now by Jorge Sedano and Sarah Spain. As regular TALKERS readers are aware, the changes at ESPN Radio were spurred by Colin Cowherd’s move to Fox Sports. ESPN has already shuffled Dan Le Batard to the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm ET daypart, leaving an opening in afternoon drive. With Jones in the PM drive slot, TALKERS hears ESPN will move podcast duo Jalen & Jacoby – Jalen Rose and Dave Jacoby – to the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET slot and Jorge Sedano will assume the 9:00 pm to 12:00 ET midnight show. Sedano will reportedly also take on more NBA-related program responsibilities on the TV side.
Salem Media Group to Acquire Radio Disney Signals. Five more Radio Disney AM signals are on their way to a new owner as Salem Media Group agrees to buy 5,000-watt class B KDIZ-AM, Minneapolis for $375,000; 10,000-watt class B KDDZ, Denver for $550,000; 10,000-watt class B KDZR, Portland for $275,000; 20,000-watt class B WSDZ, St. Louis (licensed to Belleville, Illinois) for $275,000; and 9,800-watt class B WWMI, Tampa-St. Petersburg for $750,000.
CORRECTION: Yesterday (9/14), TALKERS magazine incorrectly reported the new time of the “Business Rockstars” show. The correct time is 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET. TALKERS regrets the error.
The Trump Campaign, the 2016 Presidential Candidates, European Migrant Tensions/U.S. Immigration Policy, Russia-Syria Military Buildup, Iran Nuclear Deal, North Korean Nuke Threat, California Wildfires and NFL Week One Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/14). The ongoing analysis of the early success of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the migration issues European nations are dealing with and talk about the immigration policy in the United States; reports of Russia’s supplying Syria with weaponry; the controversial nuclear deal between the U.S. and Iran; the threats of nuclear missile use by North Korea; the destruction being caused by the Western wildfires; and the first week of the 2015 NFL season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
By Holland Cooke
- My notes from Sunday’s well-attended RAIN Summit West:
- Clever and profitable ideas from the RAB-at-NAB session “Small & Medium Market Idea Exchange:”
- Bouncing-back-and-forth between the NAB Show and NMX, I’m struck by the value of tips and techniques each group can learn from the other. For instance:
By Michael W. Dean
The Freedom Feens
Genesis Communications Network
Talk Show Host
CASPER, Wy. — Podcasting is sometimes considered “the ugly stepchild of radio,” because unlike radio, podcasting is open to the unwashed masses. Anyone with an Internet connection can reach the world, for no money and with no licensing.
Podcasting was ignored and vilified by radio industry people for years (it still is by some). But these days, almost all talk radio shows also release a podcast archive of their show, either a pay version or for free.
In addition to releasing podcast archives of terrestrial radio shows, some talk hosts become podcasters after voluntarily leaving radio or after being fired. And some people (like myself) start their shows as a podcast before getting syndicated on radio.
By Holland Cooke
WASHINGTON, DC — If you’re a broadcaster, you probably found this story remarkable. If you’re a podcaster, you probably found it relatable:
“By most measures, he was nondescript: a youngish white man in jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt and a Washington Nationals baseball cap. From a small case, he removed a violin. Placing the open case at his feet, he shrewdly threw in a few dollars and pocket change as seed money, swiveled it to face pedestrian traffic, and began to play.”
Internet talk media has become the terrestrial radio farm system
By Michael Harrison
NEW YORK –– On page 23 of this issue of TALKERS magazine we are pleased to launch the third annual installment of a relatively new feature titled, “The Frontier Fifty: A Selection of Outstanding Talk Media Webcasters.”
It is an alphabetical list of 50 talk “acts” consisting of a wide variety of hosts, teams and shows representing a cross section of the important pioneering work taking place in the burgeoning world of internet talk media. The continuing publication of such an “editorial staff’s choice” in this magazine marks another evolutionary milestone as, together, we experience the fascinating transition between the AM/FM/VHF/UHF (“terrestrial”) domination of pop culture during the second half of the 20th century and the emerging internet media’s (“stickless”) reign over the first half of the 21st –– already more than a decade underway. We thank our friends at Broadcasters General Store for their continued sponsorship of this ambitious and optimistic feature. Their faith in it is a sign that there is, in fact, a “new industry” of enormous potential proportions emerging before us all.