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CBS Corp. Announces $1.46 Billion Debt Financing. This has been revealed in the radio trades and in financial news sources but now CBS makes it official with a press statement. The company says that “in connection with its previously announced intention to separate its radio business, CBS Radio Inc. plans to offer $460 million of senior unsecured notes and to enter into a $1 billion senior secured term loan, in each case, subject to market and other conditions. CBS expects that substantially all of the net proceeds from both the notes offering and the term loan will be distributed to CBS. The remaining net proceeds not used for such distribution will be used by CBS Radio for general corporate purposes and ongoing cash needs.” This is not a sale to the public. As CBS reminds us, “The notes will be offered and sold in a private placement to qualified institutional buyers in the United States pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933…the notes to be offered have not been registered under the Securities Act, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act.”
SiriusXM Launches Innovative Channel Dedicated to Talk About Music. The satcaster is dubbing it “VOLUME” and calls it “the first-ever 24/7 talk radio channel dedicated to music — its latest news, raging controversies, and non-stop debates – as the focus of the conversation.” The channel will consist of daily shows, artist interviews, weekly specials, a music trivia game show, album reviews, and an in-depth docuseries and more dealing with all genres of popular music. SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “Sirius XM has millions of loyal music fans nationwide and now we are giving those fans a place where they can talk about the music they love. VOLUME will have a deep, all-star roster of talent bringing that conversation only to SiriusXM. It’s yet another example of SiriusXM delivering unique and exciting content to our subscribers. Roger Coletti is the executive producer of this channel and his extensive music expertise makes him the ideal person for this ground-breaking channel.” Some of the shows that will appear on and after the October 17 launch include: live, morning talk show “Feedback” with Nik Carter and veteran magazine editor, entertainment journalist and author Lori Majewski; “Trunk Nation” with DJ Eddie Trunk, who’ll host Metallica’s Lars Ulrich on the debut show; “Debatable” with Mark Goodman and former Spin and Vibe editor and author Alan Light; “Written in My Soul with Bill Flanagan” featuring a series of interviews with legendary musicians, including Robert Plant and Paul Simon; “Rolling Stone Music Now” hosted by Rolling Stone executive editor Nathan Brackett; “Rap Radar Report” hosted by journalist and TV producer Elliott Wilson; “Melissa’s Basement” with Melissa Etheridge (guests booked include David Crosby, Pat Benatar, and Steve Cropper); “Never Meet Your Heroes” with Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian; “True Stories with Kurt Loder”; “The Album Review Show” featuring YouTube star Anthony Fantano; music trivia game “70s 80s 90s Now” with host Jim Shearer; and “The Last of The …” with Ryan Duffy, a journalist, producer and entrepreneur, who will examine the changing landscape in the world of music and tech.
Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee Partners with Milwaukee Business Journal on Local Economy Series. This series will be available on air, online and in print as Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ and the local Milwaukee Business Journal are combining the forces of their newsrooms to present “The Changing Face of Milwaukee” – an in-depth look at “Southeastern Wisconsin’s unprecedented growth in business and infrastructure.” WTMJ vice president and general manager Tom Langmyer states, “As ‘Wisconsin’s Radio Station,’ it’s critical for WTMJ to cover the local news that is affecting our area. Partnering with the Milwaukee Business Journal provides WTMJ great access in the business community and more complete coverage of the economic boom in Southeastern Wisconsin.” WTMJ director of programming and news Eric Brooks adds, “WTMJ and Milwaukee Business Journal reporters will work in pairs to go deeper on this story. With interviews of business leaders and government officials, our teams have created in-depth feature content and expansive digital coverage.” This special news series is in addition to the daily content partnership between the Milwaukee Business Journal and WTMJ. Business Journal reporters share local business headlines six times each weekday along with in-depth analysis of breaking business news in Milwaukee.
Nielsen Audio Releases Third Round of September 2016 PPM Data. The third of four rounds of September 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus. The September 2016 survey period covered August 11 through September 7. You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here. Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.
Hillsdale College and TALKERS Teaming Up to Present Sizzling Presidential Election Talk Radio Debate in DC. TALKERS magazine and Hillsdale College are joining forces to present a dynamic talk radio debate about the Presidential Election of 2016. Moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, the diverse panel of participants will include (in alphabetical order): Thom Hartmann, syndicated host, WYD Media; Hugh Hewitt, syndicated host, Salem Radio Network; Joyce Kaufman, afternoon host, WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale/Miami; Joe Madison, morning host, SiriusXM “Urban View” channel; Larry O’ Connor, morning co-host, WMAL, Washington, DC; and Chris Stigall, morning host WPHT, Philadelphia. The event will take place on Friday, October 14 at Hillsdale’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship, 227 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC. It will start at 11:00 am and run for about 90 minutes followed by a “meet and greet,” one-hour lunch reception. The event will be open to members of the media and press but seating will be limited and pre-registration is required. To register, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. Announcing the event, Michael Harrison states, “What a wonderful lineup! This debate will include all the key perspectives represented on American news/talk radio. TALKERS is delighted to be back in Washington, DC creating political talk happenings of this nature. We are looking forward to this being just the first of a long series of forums that we are planning to present in conjunction with the enlightened educators at Hillsdale College.” Hillsdale College, based in Hillsdale, Michigan and established in 1844, is widely recognized as one of the finest, private liberal arts colleges in America.
The Presidential Race/Post-Debate Analysis, El Cajon Police Kill Black Man, South Carolina Teen Shooter Incident, 9/11 Bill Override, Syria Civil War/U.S.-Russia Relations, Shimon Peres Dies, MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/28). The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the analysis of Monday night’s first debate; police in El Cajon, California kill a black man they believed was wielding a gun; a teen shooter in South Carolina kills his father and injures three at a local school; congress overrides President Obama’s veto of a 9/11 bill that will allow victims of the terror attacks to sue Saudi Arabia; the ongoing civil conflict in Syria and the tensions between the U.S. and Assad-backing Russia; former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres dies; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Odds & Sods. KIRO, Seattle afternoon talk hosts “Ron & Don” are partnering with the Seattle Police Department (with the support of the Seattle Police Foundation and Sleep Train) for the “Beds for Kids Project.” This year, the goal is to provide a minimum of 150 mattresses, bedframes, sheet sets, comforters and pillows to local children in need, with 100% of the mattresses donated by The Dream Bed, a bed-in-a-box brand with a greater purpose of improving sleeping conditions around the world with its buy one-give one model. The Beds for Kids Project was created in 2014 by Seattle police officers Jeremy Wade and Ryan Gallagher after the two responded to a 911 call and discovered two young girls had been sleeping on the floor of their home. They later returned to that same home with brand new beds, both purchased from their own pockets…..Los Angeles Dodgers play-by-play legend Vin Scully will end a 67-year career calling the team’s games on Sunday (10/2). Fans interested in celebrating Scully’s monumental career and wish to witness the end of an era can hear the broadcast via TuneIn’s MLB Radio…..AdLarge Media‘s “So Money with Farnoosh Torabi” wins the prestigious 2016 Plutus Award for the Best Personal Finance Podcast.
Left to Right. In a joint appearance in the Embry-Riddle Speaker Series in Daytona Beach, Florida on Wednesday (9/28), 93.5/1150 WNDB afternoon drive host Marc Bernier (left) interviews CNN’s Paul Begala (center), and Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson (right), before a live audience. The trio analyzed the first presidential debate and looked ahead to the general election.
Urban Media Corporation Radio One to Use Platforms to ‘Promote Peace’ and ‘Demand Justice.’ In a statement from Radio One, Inc., the company says it is “deeply saddened and troubled by the recent events in our country. There is no doubt, this is a critical moment in our history. From Baton Rouge, LA and Minneapolis, MN to Dallas, TX, the outcry of Black people is reverberating throughout this country. Our prayers and condolences are with the bereaved families of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Dallas officers Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, Brent Thompson and Patrick Zamarripa. We pray for your peace and comfort. Though the chain of events this week is unprecedented, the sound of frustration and outrage are all too familiar. Black lives matter because ALL lives matter. Martin Luther King said, ‘The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.’ The killing must stop. It doesn’t serve anyone. Certainly there is a better solution. We are not anti-police. We are anti-police misconduct, abuse and excessive force. We must protect the civil rights and lives of Black Americans and we must protect law enforcement officers who serve our communities. Both of these goals can co-exist and equally be served. Unfortunately, when these ideals aren’t aligned nor remembered, we are forced to live with the greatest loss of all – life. Acknowledging the significance of this moment, all this week, we have leveraged our multi-media platforms of local radio, TV One, Interactive One and Reach Media to encourage our community to lift their voices and be heard; promote peace in the street; and demand justice, accountability and reform in our police and justice systems. From exclusive coverage on TV One’s ‘News One Now with Roland Martin‘ to stopping the music and opening the phone lines for listener expression on our 56 urban radio stations and syndicated shows such as the ‘Tom Joyner Morning Show,’ ‘Rickey Smiley Morning Show,’ ‘Russ Parr Morning Show’ and ‘DL Hughley Show,’ we’ve served our community. We’ve produced numerous public service announcements and created empowering and informative content that spanned our national digital platforms such as NewsOne.com and HelloBeautiful.com to the millions of people we touch through our social media network. And we won’t stop here. We will do more to educate and mobilize our community. As a communications company, we are obligated to tell the stories others won’t and to amplify the voices of our hurting community. We won’t be silent.”
Cox Media Atlanta Holds Roundtable Simulcast on News/Talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM and Urban Contemporary WALR. On Friday evening (7/8), Cox Media Group’s Atlanta news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM and urban contemporary WALR “Kiss 104.1” hosted a live roundtable discussion that was simulcast on both stations about the shooting of two black males by police and killing of five police officers in Dallas after a peaceful protest there. The roundtable was hosted by WSB personality Mark Arum and panelists included radio hosts: Monica Pearson, John Pearson, Condace Pressley, Jennifer Keitt, and Herman Cain.
iHeartMedia’s 24/7 News Network Partners with NBC News. There appears to be a number of angles to this newly announced deal between iHeartMedia and NBC News. The relationship will allow affiliates of iHeartMedia’s 24/7 News Network to have access to a wide variety of audio content from NBC News products. An hourly radio newscast will be available around the clock, and the iHeartRadio platform will feature an NBC News Radio channel. 24/7 News Network SVP/GM Chris Berry says, “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with NBC News in providing our affiliates and listeners with award-winning news coverage along with the global reach of this powerful news organization. Plus, the addition of NBC News Radio on iHeartRadio showcases both our companies’ commitment to providing our consumers with the most credible news wherever they are, whenever they want it.”
Dallas Cops Slain/Weekend Cop Protests, The Presidential Race, Hillary Clinton Email Case Aftermath, and Wimbledon Tourney Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The majority of discussion on news/talk radio over the weekend centered on the slaying of five police officers in Dallas and the deaths of two black men at the hands of police in Baton Rouge and Minneapolis. Other topics included the presidential race, the aftermath of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for State Department business, and the Wimbledon tennis tournament.
Max Kellerman Gives Up KSPN, Los Angeles Gig for Role ESPN2’s ‘First Take’ Gig. Rising to the permanent role of co-host of ESPN2’s “First Take” alongside Stephen A. Smith and Molly Qerim is Max Kellerman, who will depart his radio show with Marcellus Wiley on ESPN O&O KSPN, Los Angeles. Kellerman is also giving up his role on the Los Angeles-based “SportsNation” show on ESPN2. Kellerman says, “I’m thrilled to join the excellent team at ‘First Take.’ Years back, on-the-air and in the hallways of ESPN Radio New York, Stephen A. and I would engage in detailed and thoughtful discussions on sports and every other topic you can imagine. To do that again, now for the ‘First Take’ audience, is going to be a lot of fun.” Kellerman’s last show on KSPN is Friday (7/15).
Bram Weinstein Replaces Tony Kornheiser on WTEM, Washington. Sports media pro Bram Weinstein interned at Red Zebra Broadcasting’s WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980” while attending American University. Then he served as a show host and Redskins beat reporter from 1999 through 2008. Since then he’s been working at ESPN. Now, he returns to DC to host the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm show, replacing Tony Kornheiser. Weinstein says, “I always knew my career would bring me back to Washington. What I never envisioned was getting this particular opportunity. It’s a surreal honor. I can’t wait to get the show started.”
Nielsen Audio Releases Fourth Round of June 2016 PPM Data. The fourth of four rounds of June 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. The June 2016 survey period covered May 19 to June 15. You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here. Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.
NRHOF 2016 Inductees Announced. The National Radio Hall of Fame announces the results of the voting for the class of 2016. There were 24 nominations in six categories. The first four categories below were decided by a panel of 400 industry professionals. The last two categories — Music Format On-Air Personality and Spoken Word On-Air Personality — were voted on by the public. The 2016 inductees are: Eric & Kathy (Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart), WTMX, Chicago — Active Local/Regional, 10+ years; Jeff & Jer (Jeff Detrow and Jerry Cesak), KYKY, San Diego — Longstanding Local/Regional, 20+ years; Steve Harvey, Premiere Networks — Active Network/Syndication, 10+ years; Delilah, Premiere Networks — Longstanding Network/Syndication, 20+ years; Bob Kingsley, Westwood One — Music Format On-Air Personality; and Michael Savage, Westwood One — Spoken Word On-Air Personality. Additionally, the National Radio Hall of Fame nominating committee voted to induct four individuals for their contribution to the industry. They are: George G. Beasley, Chairman/CEO/Founder of Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc; Kidd Kraddick, the late syndicated air personality; Tony Roberts, former sportscaster and play-by-play announcer for Notre Dame Football; and Neil Rogers, the late South Florida air personality. NRHOF chairman Kraig Kitchin says, “This year’s class of inductees represents the diversity that makes radio so personal, entertaining and impactful. We all very much appreciate everyone who participated in this process as we welcome the very best in our business into the National Radio Hall of Fame.” The induction ceremony takes place at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in downtown Chicago on November 17.
KXL, Portland’s Clyde Lewis to Host Controversial Science Figure Marshall Barnes in Live Demonstration of ‘Time Machine.’ This Friday evening, “Ground Zero” host Clyde Lewis will welcome Marshall Barnes to Alpha Media Portland’s Skype Live Studio where Barnes will present two experiments before a live audience that KXL says “will have a major impact in the field of theoretical physics.” According to a press release, “the first experiment will demonstrate retrocausality, cause after effect. Done usually with single particles of light called photons, Marshall has achieved it with many photons at once from a laser and causes a portion of the beam to appear out of nowhere after the laser has been turned off. The second experiment, and most spectacular, will demonstrate the first and only time machine – the Verdrehung Fan. The Verdrehung Fan appears to open micro wormholes through which the infra-red pulses of a hand held remote control will disappear and fail to emerge out the other side to activate a TV.” Barnes – who calls himself an R&D engineer – is a controversial figure in the scientific world. Lewis says, “Marshall Barnes is the real deal – he’s been on ‘Ground Zero’ a few times and has blown away the listeners and myself with his innovative, scientific concepts and multi-dimensional perspective about the universe. I believe these upcoming experiments Marshall conducts are going to provide us with profound insights and expand our consciousness with regard to the mysterious multi-verse. Enjoy the ride!”
Odds & Sods. The independently syndicated “Joe Walsh Program” adds new affiliate stations KSEV, Houston; WXLW-AM/WFDM-FM, Indianapolis; and WYDE-FM, Birmingham. This brings Walsh’s affiliate roster to seven stations for the syndicated program. Walsh also hosts a separate show on Salem Media Group’s WIND, Chicago…..Brian Roth returns to the play-by-play role in the radio booth for Colorado State University football and men’s basketball. He’ll also serve as host for the coaches’ shows. Roth was color commentator for the past three years. Learfield’s Rams Sports Properties hold the rights to games and Townsquare Media’s KARS-FM, Fort Collins “Rock 102.9” is serving as flagship for the network…..The nationally syndicated “America’s Healthcare Advocate Show” moves to a 12:00 noon Saturday (CT) start time on KMBZ-FM, Kansas City…..On the day that the nation learned about the five police officers killed in Dallas, Radio America nationally syndicated talk host Dana Loesch thanked the Indianapolis officers who helped provide security during her stop in the market to promote her new book, Flyover Nation. She said via social media, “They put their lives on the line every day.” Loesch was visiting local affiliate WIBC-FM as part of the book tour.
WCBM, Baltimore’s Tom Marr Dead at 73. Longtime Baltimore talk radio and sports radio personality Tom Marr died early today (7/7) at the age of 73 after suffering a stroke as a result of complications from back surgery. WCBM posted the following on its website: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce Thomas A. Marr has passed away today due the severity of his stroke. Please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers!” Marr had been with WCBM since 1988 when he joined the station as a reporter and political commentator. He later became a talk show host. Prior to joining WCBM, Marr worked at WFBR (now WJZ-AM) as a reporter and news director. While there, he also served as part of the Baltimore Orioles play-by-play team for a number of years. WCBM program director Sean Casey says, “He helped to build this news/talk radio station into the force that it is today. He had a successful career while informing and entertaining listeners in Baltimore and worldwide.” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison issued the following statement: “All of us at TALKERS are devastated over the loss of our dear friend and broadcasting treasure, Tom Marr. Tom was one of the true greats and a perennial member of the Heavy Hundred. His accomplishments in radio go back well before the modern era of talk radio that he played such an important role in building. He was an outstanding, kind, compassionate man who cared deeply about his fellow human beings – qualities that he brought to the airwaves day-after-day, decade-after-decade. The radio industry has lost one of its greatest players.” Marr is survived by his wife Sharon, five children and 10 grandchildren.
Emmis Radio Division Q1 Net Revenue Flat. Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications is reporting financial numbers from its fiscal first quarter for 2016. As a whole, the company’s net revenue was down 4.2% — but the radio division was up a tick to $42.7 million from $42.6 million in the same quarter one year ago. In a statement, Emmis says, “Excluding the company’s radio station in Los Angeles, which is being negatively affected by a recent format competitor, Emmis’ radio net revenues would have been up 5% in the quarter. Per Miller Kaplan reporting, radio revenues in Emmis’ markets were up 3% in the quarter with and without Los Angeles. For the first fiscal quarter, operating income was up 13%, from $7.6 million to $8.6 million, primarily due to cost reductions the company implemented in January 2016.” Chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan adds, “Our New York radio stations had a stellar first quarter, growing revenues 11% and beating a healthy New York radio market that was up 4% in the quarter. Compared to last year, Emmis’ ratings are up across our portfolio, and we are optimistic this will help drive revenue growth in the second half of the fiscal year. I continue to be amazed and encouraged by the progress the radio industry is making with NextRadio, the radio industry’s initiative to make FM broadcast radio available on smartphones and tablets. The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will soon be NextRadio compatible across all major wireless carriers in the United States, and with the support of handset makers BLU, Alcatel, and others, we have launched NextRadio in Canada and Peru.”
TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations – ‘The Big Picture Panel’ Video Posted Today. The Livestream video recording of the panel discussion titled, “The Big Picture,” one of the many highlights of the recent TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations convention, has been posted today (7/7) to Talkers.com. The 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important convention took place on Friday, May 20 on the fabulous campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. Introduced by Radio Hofstra University general manager Bruce Avery and moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, the panel members include (in alphabetical order): Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Alan Colmes, host, Fox News Radio/commentator, Fox News Channel; Evan Cornog, Ph.D., dean, Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication; Mike McVay, SVP/content & programming, Cumulus Media & Westwood One; Chris Oliviero, EVP/programming, CBS Radio; Joe Sciacca, editor-in-chief, Boston Herald; and Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks. The video opens with a brief appearance by convention emcee, Dr. Joy Browne, host, Genesis Communications Network. “The Big Picture” panel is a traditional favorite of the annual TALKERS convention and covers the spectrum of broad-strokes topics facing the radio and talk media industries. To view this video in its entirety, please click here.
The FBI’s Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, The Presidential Race, Baton Rouge and Minneapolis Police Shootings, U.S. Immigration Policy, UK Iraq War Report, and Rio Olympics Troubles Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/6). The FBI’s decision not to pursue criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for using a private email server for State Department business; the activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the deaths of black men in confrontations with police in Baton Rouge and Minneapolis; US immigration policy including the Senate’s failure to begin debate over a bill to de-fund “sanctuary cities”; the UK report on its involvement in the Iraq War and former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s decision to join the coalition; and the reports of the numerous problems Rio De Janeiro is dealing with preparing to open the Summer Games in August were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Nielsen Audio Releases Second Round of June 2016 PPM Data. The second of four rounds of June 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. The June 2016 survey period covered May 19 to June 15. You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here. Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.
Former WABC and WOR, New York Manager Steve Borneman Named COO of Pamal Broadcasting. Management pro Steve Borneman is the new COO at Albany-based Pamal Broadcasting. He exits his general manager role at Times Shamrock Communications’ Scranton station group to take the Pamal gig. Previously in his career Borneman served as general manager for news/talk WABC and hot AC WPLJ in New York. He also managed talk WOR, New York for iHeartMedia after the company acquired the station from Buckley Broadcasting. Borneman will be based in White Plains, New York.
Odds & Sods. At the Norfolk, Virginia Max Media cluster, Mark McKay is named program director for sports talk WVSP “ESPN Radio 94.1.” McKay currently serves as program director for the company’s country WGH “97.3 THE EAGLE.”…..Hearst’s WBAL, Baltimore “NewsRadio 1090” picks up an Edward R. Murrow National Award for Continuing Coverage of the Freddie Gray story. The award is for the station’s coverage of the case, including Gray’s arrest and death, the unrest that followed, and the first trial of the six Baltimore police officers charged in Gray’s death. The award is for nearly eight months of coverage by the station…..ESPN’s radio hosts are taking over ESPN2’s “First Take” show. Next week (7/11-15), a new duo or trio from ESPN Radio will sit down at the First Take desk to give their takes on the day’s top stories from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET. Molly Qerim will host all week. Radio hosts and teams appearing on the show include: Steve Mason and John Ireland from KSPN, Los Angeles; Tom Waddle and Marc “Silvy” Silverman from WMVP, Chicago; Peter Rosenberg, Don La Greca and Rick DiPietro from WEPN, New York’s Michael Kay show and the Hahn & Humpty show; and ESPN Radio personalities Freddie Coleman, Bomani Jones, Jalen Rose and David Jacoby…..ABC News Radio is offering affiliate stations live, anchored coverage of the RNC and DNC conventions Monday through Thursday of the respective weeks (July 18-21 and July 25-28). Correspondent Aaron Katersky (right) will anchor nightly coverage joined by special contributor Ann Compton (left), political analysts Steve Roberts and Trey Hardin, correspondents Alex Stone, Jim Ryan, Cheri Preston, Brad Mielke, Rick Klein and Shushannah Walshe.
Nielsen Audio Releases First Round of May 2016 PPM Data. The first of four rounds of May 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). The May 2016 survey period covered April 21 to May 18. You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here. Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.
Nielsen Audio Announces Changes for Spring 2016 Diary Markets; Breaks Newburgh Out of Hudson Valley Market. Beginning with the Spring 2016 diary survey, Nielsen Audio is bringing back the Newburgh-Middletown, New York market. The market consists of Orange County with Sullivan County included in the TSA. Arbitron – prior to its acquisition by Nielsen – created the Hudson Valley market five years ago consisting of Orange, Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties. Nielsen is also going to deliver Spring and Fall diary surveys for Sioux Falls, South Dakota beginning with the Spring 2016 survey. The ratings company is also adding four counties to the Traverse City, Michigan market and is renaming the market Traverse City-Petoskey-Cadillac.
McConnell: Base Voters ‘Misled’ by Talk Hosts. Speaking at a recent event sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that “a lot of talk show hosts and others” have misled the base voters about what can be accomplished by a Republican-controlled Congress with a Democrat in the White House. According to a report in the Washington Examiner, McConnell was responding to a question about why voters are favoring “outsider” candidates. Read the Examiner story here.
The Presidential Race, Battle Against Islamic State, Stanford Rape Case Sentencing, NYC Restroom Use Ad, Bilderberg Group Meeting, and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/7). The activities of the candidates for president and yesterday’s California primary election; the ongoing battle against Islamic State in Iraq and the fight by Iraqi forces to retake Fallujah; reaction to the light sentence for a Stanford student convicted of rape and comments made by the student’s father; New York City’s use of $250,000 for an ad suggesting people use the restroom they are most comfortable with; this week’s meeting in Germany of the Bilderberg Group and its agenda to address the Donald Trump campaign, European migrant issues, the state of the European Union and more; and the NBA and NHL Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Michael Harrison Gets ‘Up Close and Far Out’ with Retired CBS RADIO President Dan Mason. In this week’s new episode of the PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out,” retired CBS RADIO president/CEO Dan Mason joins host Michael Harrison for a wide-ranging dialogue about the state of radio broadcasting in the digital era. The discussion focuses on Mason’s recent change of career direction that includes assuming the chairmanship of the 60-year-old, non-profit charity, the Broadcasters Foundation of America (BFOA) as well as putting on the headphones again and becoming a CBS Sports play-by-play announcer for college athletics. Mason discusses his passion for women’s basketball as well as his roots in radio programming going back to his days as a teenage top 40 fan (a “contest pig”) in Louisville, Kentucky. The two talk about the fine work being done by the BFOA on behalf of broadcasters in acute need and the satisfaction Mason is getting by being able to “give back” to the industry. The discussion covers the viability of the “stick” as a business going forward, HD radio, and the role of the computer screen in digital audio media. Not to be missed! To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” players located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.
Odds & Sods. Media executive and entrepreneur Steve Lehman – founder of Premiere Networks and current chairman of Business Rockstars – joins the group of partners of Peter Csathy’s new firm Creatv Media. In a story in Variety, Csathy says the company will “fund new ventures and provide a range of services including business and strategy development, marketing, production and distribution.”…..A new Star Trek podcast is launching on CBS’ Play.it podcast platform. CBS RADIO, CBS Local Digital Media and CBS Consumer Products are bringing “Engage: The OFFICIAL Star Trek Podcast,” to Play.it starting June 22. The program is being hosted by Jordan Hoffman, a film critic and writer of the “One Trek Mind” blog on StarTrek.com. The three episodes available June 15 feature special guests including “Weird Al” Yankovic, and Adam Nimoy…..Radio pro Mike Tyler joins BizTalkRadio to lead the affiliate relations department. Tyler is owner of Broadcast Affiliate Sales and a partner in Fishnet Syndication. Tyler was also most recently vice president of TKO Radio Networks – a venture with partner Kent Jones…..77 WABC’s Joan Hamburg taped a special show on Tuesday (6/7) at Sardi’s Restaurant in Times Square in advance of this Sunday’s Tony Awards. She spoke with some of Broadway’s finest actors, including: Christopher Fitzgerald from Waitress, Daveed Diggs and Christopher Jackson from Hamilton, Laura Benanti from She Loves Me, Heather Headley from The Color Purple, Billy Porter and Brian Stokes Mitchell from Shuffle Along, and Jayne Houdyshell and Reed Birney from The Humans. The show will air on Saturday, June 11, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm 77 WABC and streamed live at www.wabcradio.com. Pictured at right at the taping are (from l-r) Matthew Broderick, Hamburg, and Billy Carter as the two talk to Hamburg about a new show called Shining City…..The Baltimore Orioles welcomed FOX Sports Radio personality Steve Gorman and his brother Jim Gorman to Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 5 to help raise awareness for The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition. The “Steve Gorman SPORTS!” host threw out the first pitch and the brothers were recognized by the Orioles for their efforts to raise money and awareness for MSA, which Jim was diagnosed with in 2014. Pictured at left are (from l-r): the Orioles’ mascot, Jim Gorman, Steve Gorman and Orioles pitcher Mychal Givens…..Hubbard Radio Washington, DC all-news WTOP grabbed eight Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association Awards last weekend. The news organization won Outstanding Website award for WTOP.com, Outstanding Specialty Reporting by Chris Core, and Outstanding Year-Round Local Sports award, among others…..The “WAR NOW: The Wayne Allyn Root Show” moves from its 6:00 pm start to the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot on Silver State Broadcasting’s KBET, Las Vegas “790 TalkNOW.” The show launched on the station back on February 1.
Michael Harrison Flies with the Black Eagle, Joe Madison. This week’s installment of the PodcastOne international hit “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” presents a fascinating conversation between the TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher and SiriusXM Satellite Radio “Urban View” channel morning host Joe Madison. Listed at #8 on the TALKERS 2016 “Heavy Hundred,” Joe Madison is the highest-ranked African American news/talk show host in the US radio industry. Michael Harrison describes him as a “political, cultural and inspirational thought leader.” The two discuss their 25-year friendship as well as race relations in America, Black Lives Matter, the 2016 presidential election, and the pros and cons of the dizzying advances in communications technology that we are all experiencing. To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.
Brad Austin Named Corporate PD for Delmarva. This promotion puts Brad Austin in charge of the programming of the company’s nine radio stations. Austin is operations manager for Delmarva Broadcasting Company’s country WXCY, Wilmington, Delaware – a position he’ll continue to hold. But he’s now also overseeing Wilmington stations hot AC WSTW, news/talk WDEL-AM/FM, and Gospel WFAI; Milford, Delaware classic hits WNCL, hot AC WAFL, sports talk WYUS, and news/talk WXDE; plus Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland country WKTT, adult hits WICO, and classic hits WAVD. The company says Austin will oversee the programming and promotions efforts on all stations and assist the staffs on a wide variety of issues involving local programming and community service. Austin says, “I appreciate the confidence president Jeff Boden and WXCY general manager Bob Bloom have placed in me with the creation of this position. Making local radio great, compelling and of service to our listeners is priority #1. Oh – and we plan to have a hell of a lot of fun doing it!”
PodcastOne Names Amy Lewis Schachter to Sales Post. Radio and digital sales pro Amy Lewis Schachter joins PodcastOne as vice president, East Coast sales. She’s been with CBS Radio for the past 20 years and in 2013 was named Digital Sales Person of the Year for CBS Radio NY. PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz comments, “So, I get all these calls from people telling me how great Amy is. I met with her and they were right. She hit the street running last week before her start date. What more can I say?”
Contentious Nielsen vs Flinn Broadcasting Case Settled. The hotly contested case in which Nielsen Audio was suing Memphis market operator Flinn Broadcasting for failure to pay for PPM ratings (and other services) and Flinn was countersuing, alleging inaccurate PPM surveys that adversely affected minority-patronized stations, has been settled. This comes after a court-ordered attempt at settlement. The terms of the pact are, of course, sealed. Nielsen alleged Flinn owed almost $140,000 in PPM fees accrued over the course of eight months. As long as the settlement is consummated within 30 days, the suits cannot be filed again. It’s anyone’s guess how the settlement panned out but it’s a safe bet that Nielsen did not want to go to trial, if only because even more information about the inner workings of the PPM surveys would have been made public as part of the evidence. As a result of the press this story received, the industry and the public already learned more about the fee structure for the service than it had known before.
Indiana Public Station and TAL Founder Ira Glass Disagree on Pandora Strategy. A disagreement over Ira Glass’ decision to make “This American Life” available via Pandora has caused public station WBAA, West Lafayette, Indiana general manager Mike Savage to cancel his station’s affiliation with the program, effective in August. Savage posted a criticism of the Pandora move on his LinkedIn page stating that it’s “inconsistent with the mission of public radio” – assuming because Pandora is a for-profit company. He also writes, “I am all for improving the bottom line. However, we as public radio leaders must keep the balance between mission and bottom line in the forefront. If all we wanted to do was grow the audience, we could change our formats to country music and accomplish that objective. We must respect the mission. Do the ends justify the means? For a program that got its start on public radio and had some of the best on-air fundraising messages for listeners where Ira Glass says he is volunteering his time because he believes in the mission of public broadcasting, the move by ‘This American Life’ to Pandora is disingenuous at best.” But Glass says TAL is not leaving public radio and its presence as a podcast before (and now on Pandora) is not hurting listening on public radio stations. In fact, Glass says the numbers bear that out and that the influx of cash is allowing him to hire more staff and produce better and more far-reaching programming. You can read his more detailed response in The Current here. What this really shows is divergent broadcasting philosophies. Many media observers would consider Savage’s take on the issue to be outdated, and would say Glass is successfully taking advantage of the platforms available to grow his program and his staff.
The Presidential Race, Iran Nuke Negotiations Controversy, Russian-Syria Military Cooperation, Yellowstone Baby Bison Case, Bathroom-Gender Laws, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/16). The activities of the candidates for president; the controversy over the nuclear negotiations with Iran and the White House’s refusal to allow former aide Ben Rhodes to testify about misleading the press; Russian’s reported building of a military base in Palmyra, Syria; the case of a baby bison that was euthanized after tourists at Yellowstone put it in their van; the ongoing debate over the legal use of public restrooms by transgender individuals; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
Odds & Sods. Sports media giant ESPN promotes Nate Ravitz to vice president of audience development. In this new role, Ravitz will oversee programming of digital content across ESPN.com and the ESPN App, in addition to his existing responsibilities leading ESPN-branded social media content, mobile push notifications and digital video. Ravitz also will manage the new ESPN Daily email newsletter. He will continue to report to Ryan Spoon, SVP of digital product management…..Sports USA releases its 2016 NCAA football schedule. The firm’s slate of offerings includes games featuring defending national champion Alabama, plus conference champions Stanford, Oklahoma, and Michigan State. Sports USA president Bob Moore says, “Sports USA is proud to announce this fantastic schedule to our affiliate stations, the advertising community and college football fans nationwide. We are featuring an incredible array of major rivalry games this year.”…..Former WFED, Washington daily personality Francis Rose is adding some television to his current roster of projects. Rose – who currently hosts “National Defense Week” on WMAL, Washington – is joining WJLA-TV, Washington as host of the Sunday morning “Government Matters” program. Rose tells TALKERS the program will soon expand to nightly broadcasts.
Mike Huckabee and Cumulus Media Networks Call it Quits on Daily Talk Show. Governor Mike Huckabee’s daily commentaries will continue after the New Year but the daily, three-hour talk show will not. Writing on Facebook, Huckabee says, “I have loved doing the Mike Huckabee show, and its success of going from launch to over 200 stations in less than two years is significant, but the contract was at a decision point for both Cumulus Media and me, and we mutually agreed to conclude.” Huckabee’s program debuted in April of 2012 with the conservative politician and media personality (who is still seen on weekends on Fox News Channel) promising to host a “different” kind of talk show that offers “more conversation, less confrontation.” There’s no way to know how successful CMN was in selling the show or how much money Huckabee made but it stands to reason the show was not making enough to justify continuing the effort on the part of either party.
Media Exec Paul Bell Named Business Director for Rush Limbaugh Print and Digital. Premiere Networks announces the appointment of Paul Bell to the position of business director of Rush Limbaugh print and digital subscriptions. Bell most recently worked with Dow Jones/The Wall Street Journal and will remain based in New York where he’ll report to CCM+E president of content and affiliate services for national media groups Julie Talbott. Bell’s focus will be on all aspects of Limbaugh’s subscription businesses including oversight of strategic planning, direct marketing, circulation management, and subscriber acquisition and retention for Rush 24/7; The Limbaugh Letter; as well as The Limbaugh eLetter, the recently-launched digital version of the publication now available via desktop and on mobile devices. While with Dow Jones/The Wall Street Journal, Bell was charged with overseeing strategy and business operations of The Wall Street Journal Sunday, the WSJ Wine Club and the WSJ and MarketWatch Radio Networks, as well as audio podcasting content licensing. Prior to that, Bell served as vice president, radio and executive director of The Wall Street Journal Radio Network for seven years. Julie Talbott states, “We couldn’t be happier to welcome someone of Paul’s caliber to our team. His extensive background in direct marketing and business operations are a winning combination as we continue to grow Rush Limbaugh’s loyal print subscriber base and digital platforms.”
Jeff Katz to Host PM Drive on WRVA, Richmond. Program director Jimmy Barrett tells TALKERS magazine that talk radio pro Jeff Katz is assuming the afternoon drive show from Clear Channel talk host Leland Conway who’s been doing that program and the midday show on the company’s WHAS, Louisville since the early fall. With Conway now focused on Louisville, Katz can dedicate his attention to Richmond. Barrett states, “We’re excited to have someone with Jeff’s experience anchoring our afternoon drive. Jeff is funny, informative and a great match for the Richmond audience. Best of all, he’s coming here because this is where he wants to raise his family.” Katz has been part of the start-up at the Boston Herald’s online venture Boston Herald Radio hosting the morning show. Katz has been a columnist for the Herald and produces commentary features that air on a number of affiliate stations. He worked for Clear Channel in Boston on WXKS-AM prior to that station’s flip to sports talk. He starts at WRVA on Monday, December 2.
“Green Connections with Joan Michelson” to Debut on TalkersRadio this Saturday. An exciting new weekly program geared to the environmental movement in modern industry and culture is set for launch this weekend on TalkersRadio – the online experimental talk radio station at Talkers.com. The program will originate with brand new, one-hour installments on Saturdays at 3:00 pm ET that will be repeated at various times throughout the week. The program’s tag lines are “live green, work green, earn green” and “making cleantech cool.” Its host and producer, Joan Michelson, is a highly respected and accomplished Washington, DC-based journalist who specializes in energy and sustainability. She serves as the green expert on WTOP, Washington and has a blog on the Huffington Post, in addition to a number of major media platforms. Describing the new show, Michelson tells TALKERS, “We inform, engage, and connect people with the cool things and opportunities in energy and sustainability. Our stories range from politics and business, to jobs, gadgets, tips and the arts. I am very excited about bringing this groundbreaking show to such an innovative radio platform as TalkersRadio.” In announcing the launch, TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein says, “This entertaining and informative program is a radio show whose time has come. There is a huge information-hungry audience for this and potential advertisers are sprouting up all over the nation creating an exciting new arena of economic growth making it incredibly fertile for talk radio. Joan Michelson brings a personal likability as well as tremendous knowledge to the discussion. We are proud to be giving birth to and nurturing what promises to be a major broadcasting entity. This SO fits the mission of TalkersRadio.”
WestwoodOne Bumps Dennis Miller to Noon ET Start. Nationally syndicated talk show host Dennis Miller’s WestwoodOne program will move to a new time beginning in January. The company announces the show’s live air time will shift from the current 10:00 am to 1:00 pm ET slot to 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET effective January 6. WestwoodOne CEO Paul Caine says, “WestwoodOne is happy to have the Dennis Miller show as part of our best-in-class lineup and programming. Miller attracts a very large and opinionated audience who are actively engaged across audio platforms, including digital. His show is a prime example of the critical role audio plays in cross-platform integration – a key element in the future of audio.” Miller, who resides in California, currently hits the air live at 7:00 am PT. He adds, “Thanks for letting me sleep in and continue to do the job that I love!”
Salem Communications Adds AM Signal to Miami Properties. With the purchase of WOCN-AM, Miami from Deportes Media of Florida, Salem Communications will have another AM signal in the market to complement business talk WZAB, Christian talk WHIM and Spanish Christian formatted WKAT. The price is $1.2 million for the station and its assets and another $1 million for the property on which the station and its transmitter sit. WOCN-AM is a class C AM at 1450 currently operating at 1,000 watts in a non-directional pattern.
Total Traffic + Weather Network Partners with TomTom. The two companies believe the multi-year partnership will augment both their businesses. Clear Channel’s Total Traffic + Weather Network says the arrangement will combine “TomTom’s industry leading real-time and predictive traffic flow data with Total Traffic + Weather Network’s traffic incident, construction and congestion data to create the most comprehensive traffic solution available in North America. The combined data offering will be available across multiple platforms including radio, television, automotive, online and mobile.” CCM+E EVP engineering & systems integration Jeff Littlejohn states, “We are thrilled about this partnership. Every day, more than 200 million drivers and thousands of our affiliates depend on TTWN for their traffic information. We value that trust and are dedicated to delivering the most precise traffic data available. Therefore, we strive for best-in-class, strategic partners to advance our offerings. TomTom is a committed and innovative leader in traffic products. We are excited about creating new solutions together to provide the fastest, most accurate traffic information to drivers every day.”
Odds & Sods. Jack Callaghan leaves the sales end of the business to return to the mic at Clear Channel’s WTAM, Cleveland where he’s the new news director. Callaghan was most recently eastern regional sales manager at Santa Clara, California-based Beat the Traffic…..Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM and 99.7 FM in Providence produces its second annual “Top Turkeys” countdown that celebrates the notable and notorious from Southern New England. This year’s winners included Rhode Island native and “Jersey Shore” star Pauly D confirming he’s a baby daddy; former Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey announcing a run for governor only to pull out three days later; and calamari – often a punch line for jokes in Rhode Island – failed to be voted the Official State Appetizer after the State Senate declined to vote on it altogether. WPRO-AM PD Craig Schwalb says, “Thanksgiving offers WPRO the perfect opportunity to poke fun at some of the most interesting and most absurd news stories that occurred in the great state of Rhode Island this year.” Check out the web feature here.…..ESPN Deportes Radio reaches what it terms a “sub-license agreement” with Fox to broadcast the UEFA Champions League. The coverage kicked off with two live double headers: Zenit vs. Atlético and Ajax vs. Barcelona yesterday and CSKA Moskva vs. Bayern and Real Madrid vs. Galatasaray today (11/27).
It’s Like Déjà Vu All Over Again. It is an extremely unlikely narrative – but it actually is happening. When Clear Channel took over ownership of heritage radio station WOR, New York from Buckley Radio about a year ago, they moved it from its location in an iconic building on Trinity Place next to the historic Trinity Cemetery about a block from Wall Street to their already-established headquarters in a different part of lower-Manhattan. And as we all know, they also made staff changes in both programming and management. These changes included the departure of longtime WOR VP/GM Jerry Crowley and his executive assistant Noelia Santelli. Being, as TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes “one of the most savvy, connected and well-liked broadcasting executives in the Big Apple,” it didn’t take long for another radio company to recruit Crowley (as well as Santelli) for their own New York operation. That company was Salem Communications for whom Crowley brought his talents as VP/GM of talkers WMCA (570) and WNYM (The Answer). At that time, these stations were located close-by at Salem’s operation across the river in New Jersey. Now for the good part — on December 9, Salem is taking advantage of the marvelous radio broadcasting space vacated by Clear Channel on Trinity Place and moving the operations of both stations into the same suite of offices and studios previously occupied by WOR. That means that Crowley and Santelli (who is now Salem New York’s national sales manager and executive assistant to the general manager) will be moving back to their original offices and even the same desks and furniture! Amazing!
Thanksgiving Holiday, ObamaCare Criticism, Iran Nukes Deal, Immigration Legislation, CBS Gives Lara Logan LOA, and Alec Baldwin Loses MSNBC Gig Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/26). The holiday weekend and the weather-affected travel situation; scrutiny of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; the negotiations for an Iranian nuclear program deal; President Obama’s proposed immigration legislation; the leave of absence given to CBS reporter Lara Logan in connection with the “60 Minutes” Benghazi report; and Alec Baldwin’s MSNBC show gets cancelled after reports of his “homophobic” language and on-set behavioral issues were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.