Tag: "Premiere Networks"
iHeartRadio Names Michael Berry News/Talk Personality of the Year. This award for best news/talk personality is a first and the competition was open only to talk hosts who work for iHeartMedia stations. KTRH, Houston-based, independently syndicated talk personality Michael Berry is named the iHeartRadio News/Talk Personality of the Year. Berry says, “We’re on live for five hours a day, so our approach is not to be the loudest screamer in the political market. Our listeners seem to enjoy talking about parenting, food, culture, with a mix of politics as well. It’s entertainment, and hopefully it’s engaging. That’s the goal, rather than getting pigeonholed into ‘political talk.’” Speaking about his show’s success, Berry says, “First, we draw back the curtain and let the listener join us in our lives. We open up, we share our medical ailments, we brag on our kids, we discuss our fears and worries, we are usually the butt of our own jokes. Relatability is key. They can identify with what we’re going through, because it’s what they are going through. The second factor is that we are a team, rather than just one guy talking. We draw material and parodies from our board ops, show producers, and even a few listeners, to look more like the ‘SNL’ writing team than an AM talk show. It makes for a show that dares to be funny, which makes for better entertainment.” The award will be given in Los Angeles on March 5 at the iHeartRadio Music Awards.
WUTQ, Utica Flips to Talk. After a weekend of stunting, Roser Communications Network-owned WUTQ-FM changes formats from adult contemporary to news/talk. The station keeps its “Talk of the Town” morning show with personalities Dave Coombs, Jay Aiello, and Beth Coombs. It had also been simulcasting three hour-long newscasts from NBC affiliate WKTV-TV, and continues to air those at 5:00 am, 12:00 noon and 5:00 pm. Joining the program lineup are: Premiere Networks’ Glenn Beck from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon; Courtside Entertainment’s Laura Ingraham from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm; Dave Ramsey from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm; Premiere’s Buck Sexton from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm; Westwood One’s Michael Savage from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight; and “Red Eye Radio” for overnights.
Cumulus Re-Fi Plan Shot Down by Manhattan Judge. On Friday, Cumulus Media got bad news from U.S. District Court Judge Katherine Polk Failla who ruled that Cumulus cannot use a revolving credit line from JPMorgan Chase to help reduce a portion of its debt. In December, a majority of the holders of $610 million in unsecured senior notes voted to approve the plan that would have reduced that debt to $305 million and granted them a portion of the equity. JPMorgan Chase disagreed that the revolver could be used for this purpose and the judge agreed. Cumulus issued the following statement after receiving the news. “While we are certainly disappointed by the court’s decision, we will continue to review all available options to address our balance sheet issues. We are making solid progress in our turnaround and remain focused on exploring strategies that would give us the runway needed to fully execute our plan.”
Just Nine Days Left to Register for the TALKERS-PerfectYourPodcast.com Master Class Podcasting Webinar. Save the date (March 8) and make your reservations now! Space is limited! TALKERS magazine has joined forces with PerfectYourPodcast.com to present a webinar titled “How to Launch and Grow a Successful Podcast,” a master class for radio professionals only. It will be a free, live online event scheduled for Wednesday, March 8 at 1:00 pm ET. PerfectYourPodcast.com was founded by well-known broadcaster Mike Carruthers, host and creator of the long-running, successful syndicated radio series, “Something You Should Know” (now also a top iTunes-charted podcast), who will be conducting the webinar. Designed for the professional radio broadcaster who is serious about profiting from podcasting, the event will focus on what radio people must know about this hot, rapidly-growing arena including programming, production, distribution, promotion and monetization. According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “We are delighted to present this exciting event with our colleague Mike Carruthers who has really established himself over the years as a seasoned practitioner knowledgeable of all aspects of the growing podcasting industry. Radio broadcasters – by the nature of their backgrounds and experience – are perfectly suited to take advantage of the major opportunities to expand their brands and increase their revenues by learning the right ways to engage in podcasting.” To learn more and register for the webinar, please click here.
TALKERS News Notes. Orlando hot talk outlet WTKS “Real Radio 104.1” adds the evening syndicated relationships show “CONNECTIONS” to its programming schedule. The program is hosted by Al “Blackjack” Spry, Glenda “G-Love” Chauncy, and Melissa Foxx. WTKS program director Jack Bradshaw comments, “For nearly quarter of a century, ‘Real Radio 104.1’ has been at the forefront of live entertainment talk radio and we are happy to welcome ‘CONNECTIONS’ to our evening lineup, marking the return of live late-night talk radio to the airwaves of Central Florida.” “CONNECTIONS” is consulted by Sabo Media…..Focus 360 and Envision Networks renew their deal for the latter to continue serving as affiliate sales representative for Focus 360’s “Powered by Jelli” Networks. Focus 360 uses Jelli’s cloud-based ad platform to transform broadcast radio into a real-time medium by providing national advertisers with increased accountability and campaign analytics on par with the latest digital platforms. Envision Networks president and CEO Danno Wolkoff states, “The successful partnership between Focus 360 and Envision Networks has delivered exceptional results to affiliated radio stations. Focus 360 affiliates are reaping revenue-generating benefits and relieving the stress on their traffic departments. We are delighted to continue offering this opportunity to radio stations.”
Trump vs News Media, Muhammad Ali Jr. Detained at Airport, Kansas Bar Slaying, Sunday Night’s Oscars Awards, Actor Bill Paxton Dies, and NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. President Donald Trump’s ongoing battle with the news media and last week’s shutting out of several news organizations by the White House press office; the son of boxing legend Muhammad Ali is detained by authorities at a Florida airport for having an “Arabic-sounding” name; an Indian man is slain at a Kansas bar; the build-up to Sunday’s Oscar Awards show; actor Bill Paxton dies at age 61; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Live from the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Orlando. Pictured above at this morning’s opening session of the National Religious Broadcasters 2017 convention in Orlando are Salem Radio Network host Hugh Hewitt (left) with Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel personality Sean Hannity (right) as the two discuss politics, last night’s Oscars, and the new film Let There Be Light (for which Hannity served as executive producer). Also broadcasting this week from the NRB are SRN hosts Mike Gallagher, Eric Metaxas and Larry Elder.
Snell Appointed SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia Augusta, Georgia. At its Augusta, Georgia cluster, iHeartMedia names Tim Snell, a.k.a. Minnesota Fattz, senior vice president of programming. He’s one half of the “Fattz and Cher Morning Show” on urban AC WKSP “96.3 Kiss FM.” He also is PD for the station and sister hip hop outlet WPRW “Power 107.” In this role, Snell will also be responsible for the day-to-day programming operations of the cluster’s four other stations – adult contemporary WBBQ, classic rock WEKL “Eagle 102.3,” country WLUB “105.7 The Bull,” country WLUB-HD/W292EE.
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Weekend and fill-in personality Cody Whistler is promoted to full-time jock handling the evening show at Entercom’s alternative KNDD, Seattle “107.7 The End.” Whistler began his career with the station in the promotions department and started his on-air work three years ago…..iHeartMedia promotes Rob Scorpio to regional SVP of programming for the San Diego and Riverside markets. Scorpio has been serving as SVP of programming for the Riverside cluster and program director for hip hop KSSX, San Diego “Jam’n 95.7.” He takes over for John Peake, who recently became PD for KOST and KBIG in Los Angeles…..Also at iHeartMedia, Kid Jay is promoted from his music director role at KGGI, Riverside to program director for the station. Kid Jay also hosts the evening air shift at the rhythmic CHR station…..WRNS, Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina morning host Jim Mantel is being inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame. Mantel has worked in radio for 35 years, beginning in West Texas at KNFM, KRYS, and KKBQ. He spent 18-plus years hosting the morning show at WGAR, Cleveland. During his career, he’s won the CMA Personality of the Year award and is an inductee in the Ohio Radio and Television Broadcasters Hall of Fame…..Milwaukee non-commercial triple A celebrated its 10th anniversary as “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” on Sunday (2/26). The self-supporting, non-profit station acknowledged that it has become “recognized for its unique mix of new and Milwaukee music; its ‘community stories’ features; and for fostering community engagement and positive change. It announced a number of activities to commemorate the 10th anniversary including: an all-day free street concert outside its studios on June 24; the unveiling of April 14 as “414 Day,” a new feature to connect Milwaukee music to listeners everywhere; plus a new narrative audio and video series, “In The Wings: Bringing Our Community to Center Stage,” that each month this year will highlight the positive work of Milwaukee individuals in a variety of categories.
Round Four of January PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s January 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s January 2017 PPM survey period covered January 5 – February 1. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets.
1) Austin – Down by one share in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia’s KASE “101 FM Today’s Country” answers with a +1.6 (4.9 – 3.9 – 5.5, 6+) as it leaps from ninth to a fourth-place tie with co-owned KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” (5.4 – 5.5, +.1, unchanged at #4, 6+). The latter is coming back from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2016. Back at #1 after being ousted in “Holiday” 2016 from the top spot it held in November and December, Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” rings up a +1.1 (7.7 – 8.8, 6+). KBPA had been in the lead each month in calendar year 2016, before seguing to second in October. By gaining four-tenths in June, “Bob” halted three successive downward trends that produced a combined -1.3 (9.4 – 9.1 – 8.6 – 8.1, 6+). “Bob” regressed by -.5 in July; rebounded with a +1.1 in August; and declined -.8 in September. It succeeds Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5” (12.6 – 7.4, -5.2, 6+), which drops to #3. Over the course of five straight up or flat trends, “Majic 95.5” nearly tripled its 6+-share (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 12.6, 6+). Furthermore, with the 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016, KKMJ outdid its own mark for Austin’s highest-ever 6+ PPM stat (previously 11.4). Powered by a +1.2, KUT (6.4 – 7.6, 6+) bumps up from third to second. The University of Texas at Austin outlet was a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” (9.0 – 7.4 – 6.4, 6+), falling from the runner-up slot it occupied the previous five ratings periods. Significant month-to-month swings are common for KUT, which was +1.2 (December 2015); -.1.0 (April 2016); +.7 (July); +1.3 (August); -.9 (September); +1.3 (October); -1.6 (December); -1.0 (“Holiday” 2016); and now +1.2 in January 2017. Prior to August, the last time KUT crossed the eight-share barrier (6+) was February 2011 when it reached 8.5. With a +.9 (1.3 – 2.2, 6+), Univision Radio’s KLJA “Mas Variedad 107.7” (#22 to #17) reaches the two-share level (6+) for the first time since May 2016 (2.3), while co-owned regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3” picks up seven-tenths to 3.9, halting three straight downward trends (4.5 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+) as it enters the top ten (#11 to #9). Adding one-half share are Emmis’ KROX “101-X Alternative Austin” (3.2 – 3.7, #11 to #10, 6+) and triple A cluster-mate KGSR “93.3 Radio Austin” (2.0 – 2.5, #17 to #16, 6+). Remaining in that Emmis cluster, while talk KLBJ-AM is up by six-tenths (3.6, 6+), KLBJ-FM “93.7 The Rock of Austin” and their regional Mexican sibling KLZT “107.1 La Z” (5.4 – 4.9, fourth to seventh, 6+) drop one-half share. This marks the eighth straight sweep without an increase for “The Rock of Austin” which is -2.1 in that stretch (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). Meanwhile, KLBJ-AM ends three consecutive downward moves that accounted for a -.8 (3.8 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+); KLBJ-AM and KLBJ-FM are tied at #11.
2) Milwaukee – Having regressed by a combined -1.6 in four straight down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” recaptures all of it and another one-tenth to spare (5.7, +1.4, 6+), jumping from #12 to a three-way tie at #6. Talk cluster-mate WISN rebounds from a -.9 in “Holiday” 2016 to a +1.2 (5.5 – 4.6 – 5.8, 6+), as it zooms from ninth to fifth. Elsewhere in the talk arena, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee-owned WUWM is up seven-tenths (2.6 – 3.3, 6+) to progress from #15 to #13. Locked on 5.9 (6+) in October 2016 and November, Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” gained two tenths in December; stumbled by -1.2 in “Holiday” 2016; and now breaks out a +.8 (6.1 – 4.9 – 5.7, 6+) to climb from seventh to that three-way logjam at #6. Advancing in December 2016 by one-half share to 6.3 for its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2015’s 6.5, Saga Communications-owned WKLH returned all of that +.5 in “Holiday” 2016 only to bounce back with a +.7 in January 2017 (5.8 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+); “96.5 – Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” jumps from fourth to second. More than two full-shares ahead of it is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits,” which – despite a -2.4 (11.2 – 8.8, 6+) – is #1 for the 22nd consecutive sweep. Recent (6+) fluctuations for “Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” include +1.7 (October 2015); -.7 (November 2015); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2015); -5.7 (January 2016); +1.3 (February); +1.1 (April); -.6 (May); -1.1 (August); -.6 (September) +1.2 (November); -.5 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2016); and January 2017’s -2.4. After four straight progressive trends that netted a +4.6 (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 8.3, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s adult contemporary-turned hot AC-turned adult contemporary (again) WLDB “B-93.3 The 80s to Today” forfeits roughly 80% of that gain (4.6, -3.7, 6+) and freefalls from #2 out of the top ten (#11). The third member of the aforementioned three-way tie at #6 is iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Jams” (down from #5), which is without an increase in four consecutive sweeps for a collective loss of one share (6.7 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+).
3) Indianapolis – Eight-tenths of a share separates the top six Indy stations in this survey period (6+). Unlisted for nearly five years (March 2012), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “K-LOVE” returns in dramatic fashion with a +1.7 (5.6 – 7.3, 6+) to land in third-place. Dusting itself off from a -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016, Entercom’s WZPL responds with a +1.3 (7.3 – 6.2 – 7.5, 6+) leaping from fourth to a first-place tie. Its running-mate at #1 is Cumulus Media‘s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5,” which had its string of consecutive up or flat trend gains that netted a combined +.7 (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+) end in “Holiday” 2016 with a -1.4. “Classic Hits 104.5,” regains all but three-tenths of that deficit (7.8 – 6.4 – 7.5, +1.1, 6+), moving from third to that penthouse tie. After six successive positive trends for a collective +1.7 (5.3 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.0 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+), co-owned WFMS was off by -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016 but “95.5 The Country Station” recaptures all but one-tenth of that loss (70 – 5.9 – 6.9, 6+) and carries on at #5. December’s 7.0 was the highest 6+share for WFMS in more than three years (7.6, 6+, November 2013). A December drop of two-tenths by Emmis’ similarly-formatted WLHK “97.1 Hank” concluded three straight sweeps without a decline for a combined +.6 (4.7 – 4.7 – – 5.2 – 5.3, 6+). “Hank” was off by one full-share in “Holiday” 2016 and rebounds with a +1.1 (5.1 – 4.1 – 5.2, 6+), yet backslides from eighth to ninth. When it added one-tenth in October, “Hank” ended four successive down or flat sweeps for a combined May through September -1.6 (6.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+). Exiting the top spot after back-to-back sweeps and seguing to #6 is adult contemporary sibling WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” (17.7 – 6.7, -11.0, 6+). Its loss of 11 shares comes after a +.9 in “Holiday” 2016. “B-105.7” improved in three straight sweeps (August – September – October) for a cumulative +1.1 (6.4 – 6.6 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+), before declining by one-half share in November. Still staying in that Emmis cluster, talk WIBC (3.7 – 4.7, steady at #10, 6+) and sports WFNI “The Fan” (2.3 – 2.8, #13 to #14, 6+) improve by one share and one-half share, respectively. Steady between 5.4 – 5.7 (6+) for five straight sweeps, iHeartMedia’s WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock” sputtered by nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 to 4.6 only to bounce back with a +.7 in January 2017 (5.3, flat at #7, 6+). Within 2.1 – 2.8 range (6+) the past ten survey periods, including 2.1 (#14) in “Holiday” 2016, Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting’s WFYI disappears from print.
4) Providence – Albeit flat at #5, iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” erases its “Holiday” 2016 -.8 with an increase twice that magnitude (4.6 – 6.2, +1.6, 6+). Floundering by one share in “Holiday” 2016, Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music 92 PRO FM” reels it all back with a +1.0 (8.7 – 7.7 – 8.7, 6+) and remains in the runner-up position. Jumping by nine-tenths each are Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” (6.6 – 7.5, unchanged at #4, 6+) and Entercom sports outlet WVEI (3.7, 6+), which advances from eighth to seventh. “Cat Country” was off by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, while WVEI recaptures the nine-tenths it has lost since November (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). Owing to an increase of seven-tenths (to 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101” applies the brakes to four straight declines that yielded a -1.4 (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 3.9, 6+) and continues in sixth-place. A collective +8.5 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (9.5 – 10.6 – 18.0, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” erodes by -7.3 (10.7, 6+), but is #1 for the sixteenth successive ratings period. “Lite Rock 105” registered three straight progressive trends (July – August – September) netting one-half share (9.4 – 9.6 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+) and was a cumulative -.4 in October and November (9.9 – 9.8 – 9.5, 6+). Unchanged at #9, rhythmic CHR sibling WWKX “Hot 106” records a +.3 (to 2.3, 6+), thus curtailing three consecutive sweeps without an increase that accounted for the loss of one share (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+).
5) Raleigh – Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC notched a 7.7 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps and was in 7.6 – 7.8 range the past six monthlies, but it floundered by nine-tenths. Not only does the public outlet more than double the size of that loss with an increase in January 2017 (6.8 – 8.7, +1.9, 6+), it marches from third to first. Displaced from the lead and shifting to the runner-up slot is Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5,” whose 15 recent (6+) fluctuations include +.5 November 2015; +.6 December 2015; +5.7 Holiday 2015; -7.2 January 2016; +.6 February; +.6 March; -.6 April; +.5 May; +.5 July; +.9 September; +1.0 October; -.5 in November 2016; +.9 December; +5.2 “Holiday” 2016; and now a -5.3 in January 2017. In an October 2015 – December 2016 timeframe, “Mix 101.5” was in sole possession of first-place eight times and shared top honors three times. Locked on 5.7 (6+) in November and December, iHeartMedia talker WTKK dipped by -1.3 in “Holiday” 2016 but wipes out that loss with a +1.9 (4.4 – 6.3, 6+), climbing from eighth to sixth. A -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016 by Curtis Media Group’s WQDR ended at five its streak of consecutive progressive trends which netted a +1.5 (5.6 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 7.1, 6+). “94.7 Today’s Best Country,” however, bounces back with a +.9 (6.0 – 6.9, 6+) and moves from sixth to fourth. Gaining seven-tenths each are adult hits sibling WBBB “Radio 96.1” (4.9, tenth to ninth, 6+) and Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5” (5.4 – 6.1, steady at #7, 6+). “Radio 96.1” halts three straight declines that produced a -1.0 (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.5 – 4.2, 6+). Spiking by six-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are its classic hits-oldies and CHR cluster-mates WKIX “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” (4.0, flat at #11, 6+) and WPLW “Pulse FM” (2.8 – 3.3, #14 to 313, 6+). The +.6 by “Kix 102.9” ends three consecutive negative trends that produced a -.8 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+). Conversely, owing to a -1.5 to 5.1 (6+), Radio One gospel WNNL (fourth to eighth) sees its successive string of up or flat trends conclude at seven (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 6.1 – 6.6, 6+); “103.9 The Light” netted a cumulative +2.8 in that stretch.
6) Norfolk –Over and above marching from fifth to third by notching its third consecutive increase netting a combined +1.7 (5.3 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 7.0, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” reaches the seven-share level (6+) for the first time in its history as a PPM subscriber. On the strength of a +1.2 to 5.5 – its best 6+-share since July 2016’s 5.9 – classic rock cluster-mate WAFX “106.9 The Fox” advances from sixth to fifth. After being #1 for 55 straight ratings periods, Entercom urban AC sibling WVKL “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” was bumped to second in “Holiday” 2016 by adult contemporary sibling WWDE “101.3 2WD.” It’s time for them to switch places in January 2017 though as WVKL registers a +.7 (11.0 – 11.7, second to first, 6+), while “2WD” (+7.1 in “Holiday” 2016) erodes by -6.4 (13.4 – 7.0, first to second, 6+). This is the ninth time in the last ten sweeps that “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” is in 11.0 – 12.7-share range. In fact, the last time WVKL was not in double-digits (6+) was when it registered a 9.8 three years ago – January 2014. WWDE gained a collective one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (4.8 – 5.2 – 5.3, August – September – October, 6+) before slumping by eight-tenths in November to 4.5, its lowest 6+-share since June 2015’s 4.4. Off eight-tenths via three successive (slight) negative moves (2.4 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WNOH “Now 105” regains six-tenths to 2.2 (6+) and inches up from tenth to eighth. It is tied there with rhythmic hot AC sibling WMOV “MOViN 107.7,” which sputters by roughly 70% (7.4 – 2.2, -5.2, 6+) and drops from third. Its combined +5.5 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (1.9 – 4.0 – 7.4, 6+) curtailed three straight downward trends resulting in a loss of eight-tenths (2.7 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9, 6+).
7) Nashville – The top six January 2017 finishers are separated by nine-tenths of a share (6+). Just as WVKL, Norfolk was unseated in “Holiday” 2016 by a cluster-mate after more than 50 consecutive ratings periods at #1 (see above), the same fate happens this sweep in “Music City USA.” Specifically, the successive reign at the top spot ends at 59 for Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9,” which has its 6+-share basically slivered in half and shifts to third (13.1 – 6.6, -6.5, 6+). “Mix” was up four shares in “Holiday” 2016 and returned to double-digits for the first time since February 2016. A +.2 back in August 2016 stymied seven straight downward trends that yielded a net loss since the “Holiday” 2015 report of -7.4 (15.6 – 10.7 – 10.2 – 9.7 – 9.6 – 9.1 – 8.3 – 8.2, 6+). Knocking “Mix” from first – and vaulting from sixth – is co-owned adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want.” Its +1.6 to 6.9 (6+) stops at three WCJK’s consecutive string of down or flat trends (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.3, 6+). This is the best 6+-performance for “Jack” in exactly one year (7.1, January 2016). After sputtering by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive and Encouraging K-LOVE” turns around with an approximately 80% increase (1.9 – 3.4, +1.5, #16 to #13, 6+). Posting a one-share gain, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98” (eighth to sixth) extends its streak of up or flat trends to four and a net +1.6 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+). One of its country rivals – Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM – improves by eight-tenths (5.6, 6+). “95.5 Nash Icon” moves from tenth to eighth and ends three consecutive downward moves (6.0 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 4.8, 6+), which accounted for a -1.2. In addition to “Nash Icon,” urban AC cluster-mate WQQK “92-Q” (5.6 – 6.4, flat at #5, 6+) and iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat” (5.9 – 6.7, third to second, 6+) are up by eight-tenths as well. Prior to a -.5 in “Holiday” 2016, “92-Q” was without a decrease in the previous five sweeps for a cumulative +.9 (5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 6.1 – 6.1, 6+). By losing one-share to 4.9 (6+) in December, “The Beat” (which was up one-share in “Holiday” 2016) broke an August to November pattern of 6.1 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.9 (6+) and sent WUBT below a five-share (6+) for the first time since July 2013 (4.8). A string of three consecutive progressive trends by Cumulus Media’s WWTN produced a combined +.8 (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+). “Super Talk 99.7” (flat at #7) forfeited that eight-tenths entirely in “Holiday” 2016 but rebounds in January 2017 with a +.6 (5.2 – 5.8, 6+). After each declined by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN (4.9, unchanged at #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia talker WLAC (1.7, #19 to a three-way tie at #16, 6+) improve by seven-tenths and one-half share, respectively. WPLN returned December’s +.5 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to “Holiday” 2016’s -.5, WLAC had been up the previous three ratings periods (.8 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+) for a combined +.9. Up or flat for the sixth consecutive time (0.5 – 0.6 – 0.6 – 0.6 – 0.6 – 0.9 – 1.6, 6+), Cromwell Group’s WQZQ “Classic Hits 93.3” has more than tripled its 6+-share since September and cracks the top 20 (#19). Not only does Cumulus Media’s WGFX plummet from third to tenth, sports “104.5 The Zone” has its third straight decrease for a combined -2.3 (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3, 6+). When WGFX lost two-tenths in November, it ended a string of three consecutive improvements which resulted in a +4.1 since July (3.7 – 4.0 – 5.4 – 7.8, 6+).
8) Greensboro – Roaring back from a -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016, Entercom adult hits WSMW “Simon” dials up a two-share increase (8.3 – 10.3, 6+) to jump from fourth to second. Moreover, “Simon” registers its strongest 6+-performance since August 2016’s 10.5. Four-tenths ahead of “Simon” is co-owned urban AC “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School,” which records its second straight +.4 (9.7 – 10.1 – 10.5, 6+), moving from third to first with its best 6+-share since May 2016’s 10.7. Departing the top spot and seguing to fourth-place is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG (6.2, 6+), which ends three consecutive upward moves which netted a +8.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 9.7 – 15.2, 6+). Its most recent 12 (6+) fluctuations are -.9 (March); +.5 (April); +.9 (May); -.3 (June); -.7 (July); -.5 (August); +.7 (September); -.6 (October); +.4 (November), +2.4 (December); +5.5 in “Holiday” 2016; and now -9.0 (January 2017). Over and above inflating the format’s (6+) share by +1.8, the market’s two country FMs swap positions: WMAG cluster-mate WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” is +1.0 (4.7 – 5.7, seventh to sixth, 6+), while Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” is +.8 (4.8 – 5.6, sixth to seventh, 6+). In “Holiday” 2016, “Q-104.1” and “The Wolf” were each down by four-tenths. November’s +.3 by “Q-104.1” ended three successive down-trending monthlies that produced a cumulative loss of more than two shares (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.5 – 5.1, 6+). Prior to reaching 5.0 in October, “The Wolf” had been in 4.2 – 4.8 range (6+) the previous eight sweeps. Back in September, “Q-104.1” held a 1.9-share lead over “The Wolf.” Forfeiting the +1.1 it gained in October and November (3.9 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+) with a -1.1 in December and “Holiday” (5.0 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+) iHeartMedia talker WPTI gains nine-tenths to 4.8 (6+) but stays at #8. Inching up from fifth to fourth, CHR sibling WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM” is a collective +1.3 via three consecutive increases (4.9 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.2, 6+). Following four successive sweeps in the lead, WJMH “102 Jamz The Hip-Hop Station” dropped to second in “Holiday” 2016. Now in three straight declines (12.4 – 11.7 10.5 – 9.5, 6+), the Entercom rhythmic CHR is -2.9 and falls to third. A -.7 in December halted five straight increases that generated a collective +3.8 since June (8.6 – 9.8 – 10.0 – 10.1 – 10.6 – 12.4, 6+); 12.4 in November 2016 was the best-ever (6+) showing for “102 Jamz” in its PPM-history. This is the 18th successive sweep that Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” is in two-share range (2.7 – 2.9, +.2, flat at #10, 6+).
9) West Palm Beach – Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, WLRN racked up ten consecutive up or flat trends netting a +1.0 (1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). The public station (Dade County School Board) lost one-half share but rebounds in January 2017 with a +1.0 (2.8 – 2.3 – 3.3, 6+) and remains in ninth-place. Steady at #4, Alpha Media’s WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” gains six-tenths and is without a decrease for the fifth straight time for a combined +1.3 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+). Improving by six-tenths as well is hot AC sibling WRMF (7.7 – 8.3, 6+), which returns to the top spot from #2. Prior to “Holiday” 2016, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. A collective +1.9 in August and September, WRMF followed October’s -.8 with a November loss of six-tenths. It fell to second in July, after 23 successive sweeps at #1; September 2016’s 9.1 was its strongest 6+-stat since February 2016’s 9.3. Adult contemporary cluster-mate WEAT “Sunny 107.9” surrenders its +2.7 (and two-months more) from “Holiday” 2016 (9.1 – 6.2, -2.9, 6+) and trades places with WRMF. December’s +.4 by “Sunny” curtailed a three-month slide for a cumulative -1.9 (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.3 – 6.0, 6+). Off by seven-tenths and steady at #3 (5.9, 6+) is iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5,” which had been up the past three sweeps for a +1.8 (4.8 – 5.7 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+). Following a “Holiday” 2016 increase of one-half share, WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF relinquishes more than twice that gain (4.8 – 3.7, -1.1, 6+), sliding from sixth to eighth.
10) Jacksonville – The combination of a +2.1 by iHeartMedia’s WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” (10.7 – 12. 8, 6+) and a -.6.6 by Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ “Lite 96.1 – Today’s Variety” (14.7 – 8.1, 6+) eventuates in WQIK advancing from second to first and WEJZ sliding from first to third. This is the best-ever 6+-performance by WQIK in its PPM-history. Owing to December’s +4.5 (6.8 – 11.3, 6+), “Jacksonville’s Country” jumped from fifth to first, but with a -.6 in “Holiday” 2016 it fell to second. Prior to a modest one-tenth gain in November, WQIK was down two full-shares as a result of being without an increase since February (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.7, 6+). On the strength of a +.8 to 5.6 (eighth to seventh, 6+), its format rival – Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country” – wipes out its recent combined -.7 (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). A +.5.8 in “Holiday” 2016 (8.9 – 14.7, 6+) returned AC cluster-mate WEJZ to double-digits (6+) for the first time since July 2016’s 10.2. Sandwiched between WQIK and WEJZ in the runner-up slot (up from #5 in “Holiday” 2016) is Cox Media Group talker WOKV, which posts a +1.7 (to 8.3, 6+). That follows a collective -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (8.9 – 8.1 – 6.6, 6+). November 2016’s 8.9 was the highest 6+-stat for WOKV since November 2012 (9.9). With a one-half share improvement to 6.6 (6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat” (sixth to fifth) has its best 6+-showing since October’s 7.0. In four successive declines (9.1 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.4 – 5.9, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” erodes by -3.2, tumbling from third to sixth. Co-owned WJGL “Eagle 96.9 Jacksonville’s Classic Hits” falters by one-half share (7.4 – 6.9, 6+) and slips from third to fourth. By gaining three-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, “The Eagle” pulled the plug on three consecutive monthlies without an increase that produced a -2.2 (9.3 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 7.1, 6+).
11) Memphis – Down a cumulative -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (5.1 – 4.4 – 3.9, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” breaks loose with a +1.9 to 5.8 (6+), climbing from ninth to seventh. October’s +.3 curtailed three successive negative trends by “Kix 106” that produced a -.7 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). Even though co-owned WXMX improves by six-tenths (4.8, 6+) to halt three successive sweeps without an increase that produced the loss of one share (5.2 – 5.2 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+), “98.1 Max FM Maximum Rock” actually backslides from eighth to ninth. On the flipside, a one-tenth decline notwithstanding (9.1 – 9.0, 6+), urban-rhythmic oldies sibling WRBO “Soul Classics & Today’s R&B,” which was up one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, advances from third to first. “Soul Classics & Today’s R&B” had been in the runner-up spot for seven successive survey periods prior to “Holiday” 2016. Back-to-back modest declines in August and September produced a combined loss of seven-tenths (8.5 – 8.2 – 7.8, 6+), but WRBO wiped that out with a one-half share gain in October and a +.8 in November. It was just a one ratings period residence at #1 for Entercom adult contemporary WRVR, which segues to third-place. “104.5 The River” surrenders in its entirety the five shares it gained in “Holiday” 2016 (7.1 – 12.1 – 7.1, 6+). When “The River” added one share in December, it ended three straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.6 (7.7 – 7.1 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). Sputtering by -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia talker WREC responds with a +.7 (3.2 – 3.9, 6+) and carries on at #10. WREC was off by one-tenth in November, ending four consecutive progressive trends which netted a +.9 (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.6, 6+) but was then +.8 in December. A gain of one-half share to 5.5 (6+) by urban-rhythmic oldies sibling WDIA “1070 The Heart & Soul of Memphis” pulls the plug on four straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a +.9 (5.9 – .9 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+). Elsewhere though in that iHeartMedia cluster, urban contemporary WHRK “K-97.1” (7.3 – 6.5, flat at #4, 6+) and urban AC KJMS “V-101” regress by eight-tenths and one-half share, respectively. On top for ten consecutive monthlies before sliding to #2 in “Holiday” 2016, “V-101” is without an increase for the ninth consecutive time and is -3.7 since May 2016 (12.5 – 11.6 – 10.7 – 10.5 – 10.2 – 9.9 – 9.9 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 8.8, 6+).
12) Hartford – Going into the “Holiday” 2016 report with six straight increases netting a +2.7 (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.8, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting‘s WNPR wound up forfeiting approximately half that increase (4.4, -1.4, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues as the public outlet dials up a +1.3 to 5.7 (6+) and moves from eighth to seventh. Bouncing back from a one-half share dip in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia CHR WKSS “Kiss 95.7 – All the Hits” is +1.1 (5.2 – 4.7 – 5.8, 6+) to inch up from seventh to sixth. As a result of December’s +.2, “Kiss” curtailed five successive down or flat trends that produced a collective -1.5 since June (6.5 – 6.3 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+). Posting a gain of one-half share in December, co-owned classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” was -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 but bounces back with a +1.0 (6.6 – 7.6, 6+ (6+) and climbs from fifth to third. The -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 completely erased the cumulative +1.5 that “The River” picked up in four straight improvements (6.6 – 7.3 – 7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1, 6+). After slipping by six-tenths the HD2 channel of Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WMRQ improves by nine-tenths (2.5 – 1.9 – 2.8, #11 to #9). Even though it gains back one-half of the -1.4 from “Holiday” 2016 (8.2 – 6.8 – 7.5, +.7), iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92-5” backslides from fourth to fifth. After three straight regressions producing a collective -2.3 and the station’s lowest 6+-share since March (10.1 – 9.7 – 9.2 – 7.8, 6+), “Country 92-5” picked up four-tenths in December. Albeit that is off by more than eight shares (18.4 – 10.2, -8.2, 6+), CBS Radio adult contemporary WRCH is #1 for the fifth consecutive ratings period. “Lite 100.5” had been up September through “Holiday” 2016 (9.3 – 9.6 – 10.1 – 10.8 – 18.4, 6+), producing a cumulative +9.1 (nearly doubling September’s 9.3). In November, “Lite 100.5” returned to double-digits (6+) after a two-month hiatus. It had been in double-digits (6+) for 13 straight ratings periods before posting a 9.3 in September and a 9.6 in October; 9.3 was its lowest 6+-showing since August 2015, when “Lite” recorded an 8.7. Entering the September sweep, WRCH was on top for 15 straight ratings periods and 23 of the previous 24 but it decreased by -1.1 and dropped to second-place. A gain of three-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 by rhythmic CHR sibling WZMX pulled the plug on four consecutive negative trends that accounted for a loss of nearly three shares (7.5 – 7.4 – 6.2 – 5.9 – 4.8, 6+), but “Hot 93.7” regresses by one-half share to 4.6 (6+, sixth to eighth). Gone from print are Connoisseur Media WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” (#9 in “Holiday” 2016), which was without an increase for the past seven straight sweeps accounting for a -2.6 (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+) and co-owned talk WDRC-AM (.7, #13 in “Holiday” 2016).
CBS Reports Q4 2016 and Full-Year Financials; CBS Presented as Discontinued Operation. The latter is due to the pending merger of CBS Radio with Entercom and it means that CBS did not present any revenue information or operating income metrics for the radio division. Here’s what the company has to say about the Entercom deal: “In connection with the transaction, which is expected to be tax-free to CBS Corporation and its stockholders, the Company intends to split-off CBS Radio through an exchange offer immediately prior to the merger. The merger will create a well-capitalized company with a market cap in excess of $2 billion, a strong balance sheet, significant free cash flow, and the ability to pay an attractive dividend. The combined company is expected to generate meaningful cost synergies within 12-18 months after the merger. The Company expects to complete the transaction in the second half of 2017, subject to customary closing conditions.” In a press statement, CBS Corporation chairman and CEO Les Moonves states, “2016 was a phenomenal year for the CBS Corporation, with all-time highs in revenue, operating income, and EPS [earnings per share] that came in above $4 for the first time in our Company’s history; and as we begin 2017, I couldn’t be more excited about our growth prospects in the years ahead.” During yesterday’s investor conference call, COO Joseph Ianniello addressed the radio deal, saying, “CBS shareholders who participate in this split-off will own 72% of the combined company which will have best-in-class assets and will clearly be the best capitalized radio company in the industry. The combined radio business will benefit from increased scale, stronger cash flow and real operational synergies which should drive higher profitability. The new company will also have the ability to pay an attractive dividend.”
Cumulus Extends Early Tender Date for Note Exchange. This is the third extension of Cumulus Media Inc’s offer for its previously announced private exchange offer for 7.75% Senior Notes due 2019 issued by Cumulus Media Holdings Inc. Obviously not satisfied with the number of takers, the company is extending the early tender date to March 6 (5:00 pm ET). The company explains that “Eligible Holders tendering their Outstanding Notes prior to the Early Tender Date, as extended that are accepted for exchange, will receive the ‘Total Exchange Consideration.’” That exchange includes “revolving loans, the participation interests, the trust certificates and the shares of Class A common stock (or warrants, if applicable), Class D common stock and Class E common stock.”
TALKERS Editorial Board Tackling Freedom of Speech Award Decision. The TALKERS magazine editorial board has begun the sensitive and often-controversial task of deciding its annual roster of major award recipients in the categories of “Lifetime Achievement,” “Woman of the Year,” “Humanitarian of the Year,” and “Freedom of Speech” – the latter being the most potentially contentious of all – especially in today’s highly charged, politically polarized news/talk environment. In his weekly address to the editors, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison stated, “This award is always a sensitive issue because freedom of speech is one of the most difficult concepts to explain and the award is doubly difficult to defend – especially when a significant percentage of people immediately assume that the organization presenting the honor necessarily endorses the political position of the recipient.” Harrison continued, “TALKERS has a distinguished history of non-partisanship in its editorial coverage of political news/talk media and this has been reflected in the diversity of positions held by the recipients of this prestigious award over the decades. The award is not a reward for saying something ‘controversial’ with which we necessarily agree but, rather, for conducting oneself as a broadcaster in a manner that clearly displays the tenets of the First Amendment in action, as well as showing the courage of one’s convictions in facing the negative blowback and consequences of one’s public stance.” Harrison cited Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity, Salem Radio Network’s Michael Medved and former WTMJ, Milwaukee host Charlie Sykes among worthy candidates to be considered for this year’s honor, stating, “Hannity showed amazing courage coming out early and unswervingly for Donald Trump when it was not clear which way his core audience would swing and what the outcome of the primary and general election would be. Medved, also a conservative, came out early against Trump and then stuck to his guns as an objective observer of the candidate and now-president’s pros and cons as he sees them – even against negative criticism from his listeners and even members of his own syndication company. Sykes actually let his cool job in Milwaukee slide away rather than back down from his perception of the truth.” Harrison concluded, “And there are many more examples of news/talk hosts having to take a principled stand with uncertain consequences as a result of this turbulent but exciting chapter of talk radio history in the making.” The TALKERS awards will be presented on Friday, June 2 at Talkers 2017: A New Era in New York City. For information about the 20th annual installment of the talk industry’s longest running and most important national convention, please click here.
TALKERS News Notes. Beginning with this year’s 2017 NFL season, Washington Redskins football play-by-play (including some pre- and post-game programming) will be heard on Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington. The games will continue to air on Red Zebra properties WTEM, Washington “ESPN980”; WWXT, Prince Frederick, Maryland; and WWXX, Buckland, Virginia. This is a homecoming of sorts for Redskins football; the team’s games have aired on WMAL-AM from time-to-time as far back as 1942. WMAL-AM/FM vice president and GM Jake McCann comments, “We are excited and honored to be working with the Redskins again. The Redskins and WMAL were partners during the team’s three glorious Super Bowl-winning seasons. We look forward to bringing the combined assets of WMAL to this exciting, renewed partnership.”…..NBA All-Star 2017 begins today and SiriusXM is offering coverage with special, live programming from New Orleans on its NBA Radio channel, in addition to the live broadcast of the 66th NBA All-Star Game. Coverage will be hosted by Milwaukee Bucks guard Jason Terry, former players Eddie Johnson and Tim Legler, as well as Frank Isola, Jason Jackson, Joel Meyers, Justin Termine and Brian Geltzeiler…..The Forbes on PodcastOne network premieres “The Forbes List” today (2/16), featuring an in-depth look at the world’s top billionaires. The show – hosted by Jordan Harbinger dives into the stories behind Forbes’ most famous lists, including the Forbes 400 list featuring the wealthiest Americans, as well as lists covering celebrities, music, sports, entrepreneurs, companies and the world’s most powerful people. PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz comments, “This makes our third launch of a new Forbes podcast and points out the strong relationship between Forbes and PodcastOne. Jordan Harbinger has hosted “Art of Charm,” which consistently ranks in iTunes’ top 10. This provides a combination that’s tough to beat.”
Violent Tragedy Strikes Dominican Radio Station. Two radio journalists were shot dead and a third staffer was seriously wounded in a raid on a radio station in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday. Numerous news outlets are reporting that news presenter Luis Manuel Medina and station director Leonidas Martinez were killed when unidentified men entered the station and shot Medina while he read a newscast and Martinez as he sat in his office. Medina was streaming his newscast live on Facebook at the time of the attack. It took place at radio station 103.5 FM in San Pedro de Macoris, a town near Santo Domingo. The AFP reports that the organization Reporters without Borders states that journalists that investigate corruption and the drug business are often the victims of violent attacks.
Sports, Music, Politics and Talk Media. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is joined in a free-wheeling dialogue by his long-time friend, New York City radio broadcaster Richard Neer as his guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.” The two talk about the public’s and media’s obsession with Donald Trump, with an emphasis on the infiltration of sports and entertainment by political passions. Richard Neer brings his diverse background as a legendary Big Apple music radio host (WNEW-FM), sports talker (WFAN) and best-selling author of the landmark book FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) to the discussion which focuses on the rapid morphing of the traditional left/right talk media paradigm into a more complex resistance/revolution chess game. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Trump Campaign Russia Communications/Flynn Exit, Puzder Withdraws From Labor Secretary Nomination, Reince Preibus’ Status, Trump vs Intelligence Community, Fate of ObamaCare, and NBA-NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/15). The controversy over the resignation of National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn and questions about the depth of communications between the Donald Trump campaign and Russian agents; Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder withdraws from consideration for the cabinet position; questions about the status of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus after unconfirmed reports President Trump is unhappy with his work; the contentious relationship between Trump and the intelligence community; the fate of the Affordable Care Act after Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini told the Wall Street Journal the program is in a “death spiral”; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. The performer and host lineups have been announced for the March 5 iHeartRadio Music Awards taking place at the Forum in Los Angeles. The evening will be hosted by Ryan Seacrest and will air live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET will be broadcast on iHeartMedia-owned stations nationwide, as well as on the iHeartRadio. Performers will include: Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers, Shawn Mendes, Thomas Rhett, Noah Cyrus and Big Sean, in addition to the previously announced Bruno Mars…..Entercom San Diego is expanding the platform for its culinary audio feature, “Lick the Plate,” which has been airing on alternative KBZT “FM94/9,” adult contemporary KXSN “Sunny 98.1,” and country KSON. The David Boylan-hosted program will now be available in podcast format via the stations’ websites. The radio stations will continue to promote the show via on-air teaser segments. These changes take effect on February 27…..Radio programming for the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards from Westwood One is being announced. Westwood One and Cumulus Media are the official national radio partners for the ACM Awards. There will be a three-hour ACM Nomination Special, hosted by Thomas Rhett, on March 25 from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight as part of “NASH Nights Live.” The ACM Radio Row will take place on Friday, March 31 from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm ET and Saturday, April 1 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm ET. Then, the five-hour ACM Night Of Event Coverage will happen on Sunday, April 2 from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight…..Beasley Media Group’s adult hits WBEN-FM, Philadelphia is announcing a new weekend program featuring Kathy Romano. The show is titled, “Her Story,” and will air Sundays at 7:30 am. Romano – who works for sister rock station WMMR as part of the “Preston & Steve” show – says, “I’m thrilled to be the host of ‘Her Story’ on 95.7 BEN FM! This is giving me the opportunity for some girl talk that just doesn’t make sense on WMMR’s ‘Preston & Steve’ show. There are so many amazing women with fascinating stories that we just don’t get to hear. Every Sunday morning I’m going to bring listeners the great stories these dynamic women have to tell!”…..Radio One hip hop outlet WKYS, Washington announces that Danni Starr is joining “The Fam in The Morning” as co-host alongside QuickSilva. Radio One DC SVP and general manager Jeff Wilson comments, “Danni is the full package. She’s amazingly smart, well versed in music and community activism. Danni is authentic and transparent about her struggles and victories. That kind of energy and wit will serve our listeners well on-air, in social media and on the street.” Starr has worked in radio for more than a decade and is the face of TLCme on the TLC network.
Midland Pays Valentine’s Day Visit to NASH Campus. New country act and Big Machine recording group Midland is pictured here with “NASH Nights Live” co-hosts Elaina Smith (second from left) and Shawn Parr (second from right).
PPM Analysis: Country. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the ratings performances of country-formatted stations based on Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2016 PPM survey. In this report, see charts detailing country stations’ (6+) numbers over the past six PPM surveys, fluctuations from December to the Holiday survey, comparisons to performances in the Holiday 2015 and Holiday 2016 surveys, station market ranks and more. Click here for more.
CBS Radio Signs Jim Rome to Multi-Year Extension. Sports talk personality Jim Rome and CBS Radio have come to terms on a new, multi-year deal. Rome jumped from Premiere Networks back in January of 2013 to be one of the lead talents on the then-new CBS Sports Radio network. CBS Radio EVP of programming Chris Oliviero says Rome was a key ingredient, “The Jim Rome show was the critical building block in the successful launch of CBS Sports Radio four years ago and brought immediate star power and credibility to the network. We now look forward to writing the next chapter together in the storied history of Jim’s show, which has been and continues to be the standard by which all nationally syndicated sports shows are judged.” As part of the deal, a one-hour highlight podcast of Rome’s show will continue to be available via CBS’ Play.it network. He’ll also continue to anchor three editions of the early afternoon broadcast of the network’s flagship feature, the “CBS Sports Minute.”
Philly Sports Talker Signs with WIP-FM. When Philadelphia sports talk radio personality Jon Marks exited Beasley’s crosstown WPEN-AM/FM after 10 years with the station last fall, there was speculation he would land at CBS Radio’s “SportsRadio 94WIP.” Now, that’s a reality as Marks assumes the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm air shift beginning this evening (2/7). Additionally, Marks will anchor weekday Phillies pre-game and post-game coverage, provide content for CBSPhilly.com and contribute to WIP’s daytime lineup. WIP-FM program director Spike Eskin comments, “Jon’s talent, relationship to Philadelphia sports fans, and history in the marketplace will be a huge addition to WIP. We’re thrilled to have him aboard.” Brian Haddad, who was hosting the evening show, remains with WIP-FM as creative services director.
SRN’s Hugh Hewitt Joins Washington Post as Columnist. Conservative media figure Hugh Hewitt adds another gig – and media outlet – to his resume. The Salem Radio Network talk host is signing on with The Washington Post as a regular opinion columnist. In addition to his daily morning drive show on Salem Radio Network, Hewitt is a regular panelist on “Meet the Press,” is a contributor to NBC News, and teaches constitutional law at Chapman University Law School. WaPo editorial page editor Fred Hiatt comments, “Hugh is one of the most influential and intelligent conservatives in political media, simultaneously thoughtful and provocative. It’s essential to us that we offer readers a range of views, and we’re thrilled that Hugh has agreed to join our diverse team.”
KABC, Los Angeles Adds Tweeden to ‘McIntyre in the Morning’ Show. Radio and television personality Leeann Tweeden was previously heard in the Los Angeles market at iHeartMedia’s sports talk KLAC “AM570 LA Sports” as one half of the “Roggin & Tweeden” show. Now, she joins Cumulus Media’s news/talk KABC as news anchor for the “McIntyre in the Morning” show. KABC operations director Drew Hayes states, “We are delighted to have Leeann sign on as the newest addition to the KABC on-air team. She is not only a bright, high energy, and plugged-in broadcaster, she brings a broad reservoir of life experiences. Leeann is a perfect fit for ‘McIntyre in the Morning’ and the big-personality lineup of News. Talk. Evolved. 790 KABC.” Tweeden’s resume includes time spent as co-host of “UFC Tonight on FOX Sports” and FSN’s “The Best Damn Sports Show Period.” Currently, she makes appearances presenting social and political commentary on FOX News’ “Hannity,” HLN’s “Dr. Drew,” and FOX News’ “Red Eye.”
Comrex to Unveil New Portable Audio IP Codec at NAB 2017. This new portable audio IP codec is called the ACCESS NX, and it’s the latest version available from audio IP transmission leader Comrex. This new unit (pictured at right), builds on the 10-year legacy of the ACCESS Portable. However, this unit adds an audio channel, a larger touch screen, and a digital mixing stage. The five-inch, capacitive touch screen doesn’t require a stylus, which simplifies set up and operation. The ACCESS NX includes a dedicated stereo line input, in addition to a pair of XLR switchable audio inputs. ACCESS NX is compatible with an ACCESS clip-on channel mixer (also pictured at right), a new accessory which adds four mic/line inputs and headphone outputs. Comrex says that the new unit includes CrossLock, the company’s custom reliability layer that enables both powerful error correction and network bonding. CrossLock intelligently monitors network connections and adjusts data allotment in real-time. The features on the ACCESS NX include: Two USB jacks for 3G/4G and Wi-Fi connectivity, Ethernet port, and compatibility with POTS modem (sold separately); two stereo headphone outputs (¼” jacks) with individual controls; digital mixing and headphone busses; digital peak limiting; field-changeable internal lithium battery with built-in charger (5 hours of power); and serial data and four contact closures. Comrex notes that the ACCESS has enabled broadcasters to transmit live programming from war zones, airplanes, bicycles, protests, and natural disasters – “its uniquely portable design has allowed for truly creative programming.”
TALKERS News Notes. WRKO, Boston morning drive personality Doug “VB” Goudie has published a new historical book titled, ACK in Ashes: Nantucket’s Great Fire of 1846. Goudie co-hosts the “Boston.com Morning Show” on the Entercom news/talk outlet with Kim Carrigan. The book tells the story of the July 13, 1846 fire on the island of Nantucket and the challenges the whaling town faced rebuilding after the devastation…..iHeartMedia and partner Advertising Age launch their “Tagline” podcast with season one presenting sponsor Bulleit Frontier Whiskey on board. iHM says, “As the presenting sponsor of “Tagline” season one, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey will work with AdAge and iHeartMedia to craft stories and experiences centered around the cultural frontier. Bulleit and its family of high-rye, award-winning variants will provide inspired cocktails to ‘Tagline’ guests throughout the season and will work with award-winning mixologists to curate cocktails based on each episode’s discussion topic. The premier episode features Jeff Bell, 2013 World Class American Bartender of the Year…..ABC News Radio is presenting a special series titled, “America’s Fentanyl Crisis,” in which senior justice correspondent Pierre Thomas reports on the crisis from New England, ground zero of the Fentanyl epidemic. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic pain killer that has become a popular street drug. During this five-part investigation, Thomas goes inside a Drug Enforcement Administration drug lab, participates in law enforcement ride-alongs, and meets with survivors struggling to stay clean.
Travel Ban Court Battle, DeVos Education Secretary Nomination, O’Reilly vs Putin, Iran Missile Test, Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer Spoof, and Patriots Win Super Bowl LI Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6). The looming court battle over President Donald Trump’s order stopping travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations; the slim margin of support for Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary; the Kremlin’s request for an apology from FOX News for Bill O’Reilly’s calling Vladimir Putin a killer; Iran’s bluster over its recent missile tests and the Trump Administration’s putting it “on notice”; the flap over Melissa McCarthy’s “SNL” performance as Press Secretary Sean Spicer; and the New England Patriots’ comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. At country WUBL, Atlanta “94.9 The Bull,” iHeartMedia names Jeremy “Otis” Maher afternoon drive personality and music director. Otis is psyched about his new gig. He says, “I am so excited to join Brian Michel and the iHeartMedia team on one of the biggest country stations in the nation! I can’t wait to bring a high-energy, ultra-interactive show to The Bull’s listeners.” Most recently, Otis worked as the program director and afternoon host at Alpha Media’s CHR WDJX, Louisville “99.7 DJX.”…..In Colorado Springs, Aaron Zytle exits the program director and afternoon drive personality roles at Bahakel Communications’ KRXP “The Alternative RXP @ 103.9.”…..The weekly, San Diego market Bob Marley program “Brunch With Bob and Friends” is now being heard on alternative XETRA “91X.” The show has been produced in San Diego for the past 13 years and launched on “91X’ on Sunday – what would have been Markey’s 72nd birthday. The show (airing Sundays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon) is hosted by “91X” morning personality Tommy Hough, who created the program in 2004…..CBS Radio CHR WBBM-FM, Chicago “B96” is presenting the “Lectric Leprechaun” EDM show on March 15 at the Aragon Ballroom. The concert will feature Steve Aoki, Krewella, Cash Cash, and Grandtheft…..Beginning Thursday (2/9), Cumulus Media and Westwood One begin presenting an array of special programming, exclusive brand activations, and backstage performances in celebration of the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards. The Westwood One Backstage Live at the GRAMMYS weekend will include live performances from Columbia recording artist and multiple GRAMMY Award-winners Train, Republic recording artist Marian Hill, and Hollywood Records recording artist Ocean Park Standoff. The events take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Thursday from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET and Friday from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm PT. More than 25 radio stations and Westwood One’s nationally syndicated Zach Sang and Adam Bomb shows will be backstage to capture the action as it happens…..The annual Super Bowl-related battle between Dick Broadcasting air personalities got even crazier this year. Each year WKZL, Greensboro personality (and operations manager) Jason Goodman, a.k.a. “The Littlest Patriot” and WKRR, Greensboro personality Chris Kelly (half of the syndicated “2 Guys Named Chris” program) compete to see whose home will host the biggest and greatest Big Game party. Both jocks spent a small fortune trying to outdo each other. (Check out the billboard Goodman rented to park outside the WKRR studios!) Goodman’s party featured door prizes and Oscar-worthy gift bags, while Kelly invested heavily in a state-of-the-art, surround-sound system. The goal: Win the contest by having more friends and co-workers over than your opponent, thus proving Party Superiority! Goodman was declared winner by acclamation…..The WNNX, Atlanta morning show “Bailey and Southside” is running the “Sucks for Bucks” promotion all this month. The contest is simple: When listeners hear a cast member – Jason Bailey, Southside Steve, Brandi Britain or Digi-Dude Nate – on the show sucking (as in performing poorly), they phone in and call them out on it. If a majority of the cast agrees with the caller, the caller wins $100. WNNX says it has allocated “thousands of dollars” for this month-long promotion.
‘REAL 92.3’ Los Angeles Promotes DJ Carisma to Music Director. Los Angeles DJ and mixer DJ Carisma has been with iHeartMedia’s hip hop KRRL “REAL 92.3” since 2015, serving as live DJ/mixer in afternoon drive and as part of the Saturday night “Young California Radio” collaboration with DJ Amen and Dre Sinatra. Now, she’s been upped to music director and mix show coordinator. She says, “I feel like I was born to be a part of the radio world, and the ‘REAL 92.3’ brand is the perfect fit for me. I’m proud of my radio industry track record, and my promotion to music director is mind blowing. I can’t wait to continue to better serve this station and community by doing what I love.”
PPM Analysis: Hot AC. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of hot AC-formatted stations based on the Holiday 2016 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio. In this report, you can see the (6+) ratings battles between in-market competitors, how stations compared to their performances in the December PPM survey, as well as how they performed compared to the Holiday 2015 PPM survey. See it all here.
FCC Chairman Pai Vows to Remove ‘Unnecessary or Counterproductive Regulations.’ At his first press briefing as Federal Communications Commission Chairman, Ajit Pai told reporters that the Commission’s main goal is to “remove unnecessary or counterproductive regulations from the books.” These comments came after the Commission voted 3-0 to eliminate two requirements: (1) that commercial broadcast stations retain copies of letters and emails from the public; and (2) that cable operators maintain for public inspection the designation and location of a cable system’s principal headend. Pai says, “These measures follow directly from Commissioner O’Rielly’s diligent work to identify unnecessary paperwork burdens. In all, this action reduces regulatory burdens on commercial broadcasters and cable operators without adversely affecting the public interest.” It remains to be seen if a Pai-led Commission will move to end the broadcast-newspaper cross-ownership ban in the near future. Remember that Pai issued strong comments against keeping the ban after it was retained in the latest Quadrennial Review under former Chairman Tom Wheeler. Pai also did not comment to reporters about his plans to move to overturn the net neutrality regulations passed during the Obama Administration.
Buck Sexton Takes Over Host Role at Premiere’s ‘America Now.’ The new name of the show is “Buck Sexton with America Now,” and Premiere Networks announces that Sexton will begin hosting the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET show on Monday, February 6. The company says Meghan McCain leaves the show to focus on her expanded role at FOX News Channel. Sexon has been serving as a regular fill-in for Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck. Previously, he’s been a CNN contributor, and radio/TV host for Beck’s TheBlaze. He formerly served as a CIA officer in the Counterterrorism Center and the Office of Iraq Analysis. He completed tours of duty as an intelligence officer in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as other hotspots around the globe. Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott comments, “We couldn’t be happier to welcome Buck as host of ‘America Now.’ He’s smart and engaging, and his previous work with the U.S. Intelligence Community makes him uniquely qualified to lead conversations about the news, events and issues that affect all Americans. We’re confident Buck’s distinct perspective will resonate with America Now’s national audience and create powerful multi-platform opportunities for our partners.”
KXL, Portland’s Lars Larson Joins White House Presser Via Skype. At today’s White House press conference – in which four media outlets will be allowed to ask questions of Press Secretary Sean Spicer via Skype – KXL, Portland and Compass Media Networks-syndicated talk show host Lars Larson will be taking part in the event. The White House announced the launch of the “Skype Seats,” designed to allow media outside of Washington to participate in the daily White House press briefings. Larson says in a statement, “For a long time I wished I had the opportunity to ask questions at a White House briefing. In fact, I’d love to ask questions every day. Years ago I actually inquired about what it would take to get a one- or two-day pass to go to the White House briefing. I would be willing to fly to DC and do that, but you’d only get that one opportunity and not the daily opportunity the major media get.” Larson will be able to ask his question around 2:00 pm ET.
Trump Travel Order/Protests, Gorsuch Nominated for SCOTUS, Sanctuary Cities Order, Dems Block Votes on Cabinet Picks, and Super Bowl LI Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/31). The controversy over President Donald Trump’s order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries and the ensuing protests; Trump names U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch his nominee for the Supreme Court; Trump’s threat to sanctuary cities and the lawsuits planned by several of those cities; Democrats block votes on three of President Trump’s cabinet picks; and the build-up to Super Bowl LI were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Capitol Broadcasting Re-Brands WCLY; Adds FM Translator. Triangle sports talker WCLY-AM adds an FM translator at 95.7 and re-brands the station “95.7 The Ticket.” The station airs largely syndicated sports talk programming plus local and regional play-by-play. Capitol Broadcasting operations manager/program director Dennis Glasgow states, “We couldn’t be more thrilled that with our great weekday lineup and partners, our listeners will have an additional FM signal in Raleigh to enjoy great sports programming.” Capitol Broadcasting also operates sports talk outlets WCMC-FM “99.9FM The Fan” and trimulcast WDNC-AM/W257CS/W243DK “Buzz Sports Radio.”
TALKERS News Notes. New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett appears as the first guest on the “Forbes Under 30” podcast that launched today (2/1) on PodcastOne. The program is hosted by Forbes contributor and former PBS personality Steve Goldbloom. On the show, Bennett talked about his brother’s success in the league and why he continues to play football as he creates children’s books, apps and more. The focus of the new program is on “young innovators, disruptors and entrepreneurs who are changing the world. It features past and present members recognized on the Forbes 30 Under 30 lists, along with up-and-comers who match the profile of future list-makers.”…..Former Minnesota Governor, pro-wrestler and radio talk show host Jesse Ventura is launching a new variety news show titled, “The World According to Jesse,” on RT America beginning this spring. RT America says the program will “tackle both the current news agenda and deeper issues, such as government hypocrisy and corporate deception with Jesse’s distinctive take on stories sidelined by the mainstream media. Ventura will apply his uncensored, bold, and bare-knuckled approach to thought-provoking interviews and on-the-ground reporting alike.”…..As part of its strategy to deliver an enhanced visual hybrid radio station experience beyond the smartphone, TagStation is increasing focused efforts on the connected car. The company is hiring Derek Rohloff as VP automotive business development to spearhead inclusion in the next generation auto dashboard. TagStation’s activity in the dashboard space began in 2012, when it worked with a leading OEM to build a prototype for SmartDeviceLink. NextRadio and TagStation president Paul Brenner states, “Derek brings his proven expertise and deep industry contacts to the team which will help us ramp up quickly. The timing is right for the company, as we are poised and ready to showcase what we can offer to the automotive industry.”
Sean Strife to Program ‘Y957 FM’ Cedar Rapids. Named to the program director role at iHeartMedia’s KOSY, Cedar Rapids, Iowa “Y957 FM” is Sean Strife. He most recently was producer for KIIS, Los Angeles’ “On Air With Ryan Seacrest.” He also produced the “Jesse Lozano in the Morning” show and was an air personality at sports talk KLAC. He’s originally from Boca Raton, Florida and began his career in the radio industry in Gainesville and West Palm Beach before moving to LA in 2013. iHeartMedia Cedar Rapids SVP of programming JJ Cook says, “Sean was the obvious choice for this role – he brings his major market experience, format knowledge and industry connections with him to help ‘Y957 FM’ continue its strong growth in the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City markets.”
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air personality Mike Allen announces he’s leaving his home of the past 10 years – Entravision’s country KNTY, Sacramento “101.9 The Wolf” – for a soon-to-be-announced gig elsewhere. He’s been afternoon host, assistant program director and music director at the station. He’ll continue to host the USRN-syndicated “25 Years of Hits” country program…..There are changes to announce at Entercom’s Austin cluster: The company names Matt Wheeler creative services director for the whole station group and APD for adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5” and hot AC KAMX “MIX 94.7.” Sean Mack is appointed music director for KAMX. And Orphan Andrew is assigned the duty of voice tracking the KAMX evening show from his home at the company’s CHR KDND, Sacramento “107.9 The End,” where he handles middays…..The lineup is set for the Grand Ole Opry at this month’s Country Radio Seminar on February 22 – the kick-off night of the three-day event at Omni Nashville. Playing the show will be: Zac Brown Band, Lady Antebellum, Trace Adkins, Crystal Gayle, LOCASH, Cam, Michael Ray, Chris Lane, Carly Pearce, and Dailey & Vincent. The concert starts at 7:00 pm following the CMA Welcome Reception in the Performance Hall…..iHeartMedia debuts a new country station on Millman, Iowa-licensed translator K243CA (Des Moines market) branded “96.9 The Bull.” The Premiere Networks-syndicated Bobby Bones show will be featured in morning drive. Market president Joel McCrea states, “‘96.9 The Bull’ provides an amazing opportunity for Des Moines by offering a wider variety of music and entertainment. We couldn’t be more excited to connect Des Moines country music fans with the hottest country artists.”
Hubbard Radio Phoenix Names Karis VP/Sales. It marks a return to the day-to-day radio business for Susan Karis, who is appointed vice president of sales for Hubbard Radio Phoenix. She has spent the last nearly four years as group publisher of Cities West Publications and will begin her new duties in several weeks. Hubbard Radio Phoenix market manager Trip Reeb comments, “Having someone of Susan’s stature and background join our cluster and company is an incredible opportunity.” Karis remarks, “Every once in a while, an opportunity comes along that you just know is right – joining Hubbard Radio Phoenix is one of them. I am excited to come back to radio with Trip and his team, and to become part of Hubbard Radio.” For seven years, Karis was Phoenix-based executive vice president of operations for iHeartMedia (Clear Channel); one year as senior vice president of operations; and six years as market manager/director of sales. Prior to that, the Arizona State University grad logged 13 years (1985 – 1998) as general sales manager for Nationwide Communications. Karis replaces Jeff England, who became market manager of Hubbard’s stations in Chicago. The Hubbard Radio Phoenix cluster consists of classic rock KLSX (6.0, #2, 6+, Nielsen Audio PPM, November 2016); KUPD “Arizona’s Real Rock” (5.1, #3, 6+); KDKB “93.3 Arizona’s Alternative” (2.4, #19, 6+); KAZG “Oldies 1440 & 92.7” (1.2, #26, 6+); and KDUS “AM 1060 NBC Sports Radio” (.1, #32, 6+). The market leader is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ (6.3, 6+).
Johnston Joins Beasley Las Vegas As GSM. After five months as senior account executive at crosstown Cox Business, Karolyn Johnston is appointed general sales manager of Beasley Media Group’s five-station Las Vegas cluster. Beasley Las Vegas director of sales Mark Sturcken states that years ago, he “had the pleasure working alongside Karolyn. Her energy, enthusiasm, relationships in the Las Vegas market, knowledge and passion for our business are second to none. With more than two decades of media experience, Karolyn brings tremendous value to our leadership team.” According to Johnston, she is “so happy to be on board. There are great things on deck for us [owing to] Beasley Media Group’s reputation in Las Vegas, along with the smart, seasoned roster of media professionals that make up this group. I simply could not be more delighted to be a part of this team as we move into the new year.” Johnston previously was integrated marketing specialist at iHeartMedia Las Vegas; account executive for Cumulus Media Atlanta; senior account manager for Atlanta’s WQXI-AM “The Zone”; and an account executive for Seattle’s KIRO-TV. From November 2002 to March 2009, she was an account executive at Cox Media Group Las Vegas. With their November 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM (6+) average quarter hour share and market rank in parentheses, Beasley Las Vegas consists of classic hits-oldies KKLZ (7.2, #1); urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” (4.8, #4); country KCYE “The Coyote” (2.5, #15); hot AC KVGS “Star 107.9” (2.3, #19); and talk KDWN (1.1, #24).
Figueredo Named WOKV Director/B&P. Most recently assistant director of branding and programming for Cox Media Group Orlando talker WDBO-FM, Nick Figueredo transfers to similarly-programmed Jacksonville sibling WOKV as director of branding and programming. Cox Media Group Jacksonville director of radio operations Todd Shannon remarks, “After working closely with Nick over the past three months as we interviewed for the position, it became very apparent that he has the passion, vision, and leadership to take WOKV to even greater ratings success.” Figueredo – who has worked for the company’s Orlando cluster the past seven years – notes, “I am very excited and thankful for this amazing opportunity. From the day I was hired at WDBO-FM, I knew my future was with Cox Media Group. I am now taking the next step in my career.” Powered by a hefty October 2016 – November 2016 gain of +1.7 (7.2 – 8.9, 6+), WOKV finishes first in Nielsen Audio’s November 2016 Jacksonville PPM report.
Mason to Mark KEX Homecoming. After leaving KEX, Portland three years ago, Mark Mason will return to the iHeartMedia talk facility for a daily three-hour air-shift beginning next month (1/23). Along with the late Dave Anderson, Mason co-hosted “The Mark & Dave Show” on KEX. He notes that Anderson’s passing and his own health issues involving a blood clot in his leg changed his perspective on life. “It has been such a tumultuous ride that when I found myself able to breathe again, I felt an overwhelming need to take control of my life again,” he writes. “My decision to come back home to KEX was part of it.” Most recently, the public-address announcer for the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers was an on-air talent at crosstown Pamplin’s KPAM-AM. Just over three weeks ago (11/23), Michael Castner departed KEX to begin a podcast. Among persons 6+ in the November 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM, KEX finishes in a four-way tie at #17 (2.1), while Alpha Media talker KXL-FM is at #6 (4.9, 6+). KEX adult contemporary sibling KKCW “K-103” and public KOPB are tied for the lead (7.7, 6+).
Crowley Chosen As NSC Senior Director/Strategic Communications. Immediately rumored to be in line for a position in the Trump administration, former syndicated radio host Monica Crowley will be senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council. “I am deeply honored, humbled, and grateful to be asked by the president-elect to join the extraordinary national security team he is assembling,” the Fox News Channel commentator and Washington Times columnist comments. “With vision, courage, and moral clarity, he is committed fully to re-establishing America’s singular place in the world. He is also committed to selecting the best people for the jobs of keeping the American people safe and the country secure. It will be a great privilege to serve with them.” Prior to her combined 10 years of doing syndicated talk radio for Westwood One and Talk Radio Network, Crowley spent four years as an on-air host in New York City on Cumulus Media talker WABC.
Pinto Promoted to BMG VP/Information Technology. Two-year Charlotte-based information technology director for Beasley Media Group – Nick Pinto – is bumped up to vice president of information technology. The company’s chief technology officer Mike Cooney comments, “Nick has proven himself over the past several years and he was invaluable during our recent Greater Media acquisition. Nick will be overseeing the capital budget for IT and supervising the IT managers in the local markets. His strong customer service skills made him the obvious choice for this new corporate position.” Pinto remarks, “I am honored to join our dedicated Beasley corporate team. I have always believed that working hard will you give you many rewards – this promotion is one of them. My thanks to Mike Cooney for his faith in my abilities and to market manager Bill Schoening for his constant support for more than a decade.” Pinto has been overseeing the IT infrastructure in Beasley Media Group’s Charlotte cluster since 2004.
Public WUSF Adds Colombini as Producer. Former WCBS-AM, New York City reporter Stephanie Colombini is named producer of “Florida Matters,” the public affairs show of University of South Florida-owned WUSF, Tampa. In addition, Colombini will contribute to state and local news coverage as part of the “Health News Florida” team. WUSF Public Media general manager JoAnn Urofsky states, “Stephanie will be a wonderful addition to our news team. She has a wide variety of skills, and I know she will play a major role in enhancing ‘Florida Matters’ and many other WUSF programs; we are fortunate to have her here.” New York native/Fordham University graduate Colombini comments, “It is a real honor to join such an esteemed group of journalists. I am excited to start covering news in the Sunshine State.” WUSF ranks tenth (4.1) among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s November 2016 PPM report, while Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” is the pacesetter with a 9.4 (6+).
Odds & Sods. Budget cutbacks at KNX result in the departure of three familiar voices. Exiting the CBS Radio Los Angeles all-news operation are mid-day anchor Linda Nunez, who had been with the station the past 26 years; sports director Steve Grad (23 years with KNX); and reporter Ed Mertz who transitioned to KNX in 2009 from former news cluster-mate KFWB where he had been since 2000 ….. Word out of the Windy City via reliable source RobertFeder.com is that after three years on Chicago’s WLS-AM, Westwood One’s Michael Savage will disappear from the Cumulus Media talker at the end of the year. WLS-AM had been delay-broadcasting Savage from 9:00 pm – 12:00 midnight ….. Ordinarily, an item about a forthcoming movie wouldn’t warrant much of our attention. In this case, however, it is he identity of the executive producer of “Let There Be Light,” a film about an atheist finding religion, that is noteworthy as it is none other than … Premiere Networks’ host and Fox News Channel talent Sean Hannity ….. In its sixth annual, 17-hour, December 1 “Pasta-thon,” iHeartMedia Los Angeles talker KFI raised over $320,000 and collected 90,000 pounds of food for “Caterina’s Club.” Throughout the KFI “Pasta-thon,” station personalities Bill Handel, Aron Bender, Jennifer Jones Lee, Gary Hoffman, Shannon Farren, John Kobylt, Ken Chiampou and Tim Conway Jr. were on-site, encouraging listeners to donate packaged pasta, jars of pasta sauce, and money to help feed underprivileged children. Everything gathered helps provide a balanced meal every night to more than 1,800 low-income children in over 15 cities in Los Angeles and Orange County ….. Earlier this month (12/3), Alpha Media talker WFTL, West Palm Beach helped to raise more than $40,000 as part of the city’s “Walk to Cure Arthritis.” Station on-air talent Rich Stevens comments, “My mom has been affected by this awful disease and I see the pain it causes her. Now that I have been involved, I know it has nothing to do with age. It can affect anyone at any age, which is why I wanted to be part of this great cause to help find a cure.” Arthritis Foundation development manager Lisa Roeberg remarks, “It was truly inspiring to see so many of our arthritis champions taking another step toward victory.” ….. When Townsquare Media-owned WPGG “Talk Radio 104.1,” Atlantic City (New Jersey) morning man Harry Hurley learned that 100 children who attend Pleasantville’s Christian Ministry Impact of God Church were not going to have Christmas this year, he thought “that was unacceptable” so, the “Hurley in the Morning Charity” is writing a cash grant for the church today (Friday, 12/16). Hurley tells TALKERS, “I have partnered with Atlantic County Toys for Kids program and, we have obtained 100 new children’s toys for the church. I am also going to help raise $500 more in cash donations on-air this morning.”
‘Tis The Season. Celebrating last night (Thursday, 12/15) at the Beasley Media Group Las Vegas Christmas party are Las Vegas-based GNC Network syndicated personality Dr. Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP; market general manager Tom Humm; and KDWN program director-news director-morning anchor John Shaffer.
Trump Transition/Cabinet Nominees Top News Talk Stories for Week of December 12-16. The transitioning of the Trump Administration and President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM for this week. At #2 was the allegation the Russian government was responsible for hacking the DNC computers, tied with the CIA’s refusal to testify before congress on the matter. Coming in at #3 was Donald Trump’s meeting with Silicon Valley executives, followed by the Federal Reserve’s raising of interest rates and the record high Dow Jones industrial average 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.
Cumulus Renews Rush Limbaugh Through 2019. The news/talk icon is heard on 33 of Cumulus Media’s news/talk outlets across the country and today’s announcement insures he’ll be heard there through 2019. Premiere Networks and Cumulus Media are extending the affiliation agreement for the Rush Limbaugh show and the deal is what the latter calls a “multi-million dollar” one that “represents Limbaugh’s increased power and audience appeal as the most-listened-to national radio talk show host in America.” Cumulus throws some ratings data into the presser as well, noting that the Limbaugh show “experienced combined audience growth of +49 % with Persons 12+ and +23% with Adults 25- 54 on Cumulus-owned stations in Chicago (WLS-AM), Detroit (WJR-AM), Washington, DC (WMAL-FM), Dallas (WBAP-AM) and San Francisco (KSFO-AM). Nationwide, the program has experienced significant year-over-year audience growth in 2016 with Persons 12+ (+21%), Adults 25-54 (+13%), Adults 18-34 (+12%) and Women 25-54 (+17%).” All data is credited to Nielsen Audio. Cumulus Media SVP of operations and co-head office of programming Bob Walker comments, “Rush is a unique and true broadcaster, and we’ve had a successful partnership for many years. We’re pleased to continue offering the Rush Limbaugh show on our market-leading brands, which connect with millions of consumers and drive positive results for our partners.”
KABC, Los Angeles and Doug McIntyre Ink Two-Year Extension. Los Angeles radio personality Doug McIntyre and Cumulus Media sign a deal that will keep him hosting the “McIntyre in the Morning” show on KABC-AM for at least two more years. KABC operations director Drew Hayes comments, “We’re thrilled Doug will be with us for at least another two years given the dramatic growth he has achieved for us over the past year.” In the press release, Hayes says McIntyre has achieved “an impressive 61% increase in weekly listeners in the third quarter of 2016 over 2015 and 70.6% growth year-to-year in the key 25-54 demographic. Doug has also been a hit with women listeners.” McIntyre says, “I think we’ve found success by evolving talk radio away from stridency; by striking the right balance between today’s headlines and laughs without beating people over the head with ginned-up outrage and demoralizing partisanship.” McIntyre also writes a popular weekly column for the Los Angeles Daily News and is a regular contributor to The Daily Beast and numerous other publications. He is also a much-in-demand emcee, helming the annual “L.A. Political Roast,” “The Cinema Audio Society Awards,” and the annual “Timothy Coughlin Dinner” in New York, a 9-11 related charity. Next month, McIntyre will host four evenings with comedy legend Steve Martin as part of the Southern California Distinguished Speakers Series. In past years he has performed with Monty Python icon John Cleese, Betty White, Ron Howard and Robert Redford among others.
Joe Bell Returns to Beasley to Lead Philly Cluster. Radio sales and management pro Joe Bell worked for Beasley Media Group for 16 years leading its Fort Myers and Miami operations. Now, almost three years after leaving the company, he returns to serve as market manager of the Philadelphia station group. Beasley president Bruce Beasley states, “Joe made us proud as he served at the helm of our Miami cluster in charge of an iconic heritage sports station WQAM, in addition to his experience with major personalities at WPOW ‘Power 96,’ and Miami’s ‘Kiss Country.’ As our company has grown, we have benefitted tremendously from Joe’s successful team management skills. Joe will hit the ground running in Philly!” In Philadelphia, Beasley operates sports talker WPEN-FM and WTEL-AM, rock WMMR, adult hits WBEN-FM, classic rock WMGK, and talk WWDB-AM.
Cumulus Suing JP Morgan Chase for Hindering Refinancing. In this suit, filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, Cumulus Media is asking the court to take action forcing creditor JP Morgan Chase to follow through on steps that will allow Cumulus’ debt-for-equity refinancing to happen before the January 27 deadline. Cumulus recently announced that it has reached an agreement with bondholders that would allow it to deleverage by as much as $305 million. But the refinance of those senior notes requires borrowing from Cumulus’ $200 million revolving line of credit and JP Morgan has not allowed the transfer of the revolving line of credit to the new lenders and extended a loan amendment giving the company access to the credit line. In the suit, Cumulus says it is being affected by an industry-wide decline in business and its heavy debt load is affecting its prescription for improving ratings and revenue. This refinancing would help ease that burden. There’s been no public comment by JP Morgan Chase on the suit.
iHeartMedia Announces Strategy in Not Repaying 2016 Legacy Notes. Saying that as part of its “ongoing efforts to proactively address its capital structure,” iHeartMedia reports that a Special Committee of independent directors has decided not to repay the $57.1 million of the 5.50% Senior Notes due tomorrow (12/15) held by affiliate Clear Channel Holdings, Inc. It says it will pay the $192.9 million of 2016 Legacy Notes held by other holders. With this, iHeartMedia will continue to have at least $500 million of legacy notes outstanding on December 15 and will therefore not be obligated to grant certain additional security interests in favor of certain of its debtholders under a so-called “springing lien” set forth in relevant debt agreements. The company announces that it also filed lawsuits in the State District Court in Bexar County, Texas, seeking a declaration that the $57.1 million of 2016 Legacy Notes remains outstanding and that the Company is not currently obligated to grant any of its debtholders the “springing lien” on any of its assets.
Baltimore Talk Personality Allan Prell Dead at 79. Longtime WBAL, Baltimore radio personality Allan Prell passed away on Saturday (12/10) at the age of 79. Prell worked at several stations in Baltimore but made his mark in the talk radio business hosting a show in middays on WBAL from 1982 through the early 2000s, according to Prell’s obit on WBAL.com. Prior to his talk host career, Prell was a newsman who won two Edward R. Murrow awards for investigative journalism. As a talk show host, Prell was named to the TALKERS magazine Heavy Hundred (The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America) for three years straight (1999, 2000, and 2001). He also co-hosted a specialty weekend program called “The Movie Show on Radio” for several years in the early 2000s. Check out David Zurawik’s memories of Prell in the Baltimore Sun here.
David Field Sells $1.2 Million of Entercom Stock. In a legal filing disclosed to the SEC, Entercom Communications Corp. reports that company president and CEO David J. Field sold 79,607 shares of Entercom stock in a December 12 transaction valued at $1,268,935.58. Field sold the shares at an average price of $15.94. After the transaction, Field’s stock ownership stands at 2,053,161 shares valued at $32,727,386.
Odds & Sods. Last month, programmer Bob Shomper quietly exited CBS RADIO’s Twin Cities news/talk WCCO-AM. The company is presently searching for WCCO’s new program director…..Westwood One is now serving as the exclusive ad sales rep for the weekly podcast “The Pollsters,” featuring Democratic pollster/political consultant Margie Omero and Republican pollster/political consultant Kristen Soltis Anderson. The program is available via audioBoom, iTunes, Google, Spotify, and others…..College basketball legend John Calipari is the host of a new, weekly podcast on the Midroll platform, owned by E.W. Scripps. The “Cal Cast” gives Calipari “a new way for me to connect with people and to talk honestly with high profile guests who all have very interesting stories and bold opinions.”
Trump Transition/Kanye West Visits Trump Tower, Trump Cabinet Nominees, the Syrian Civil War/Allegations of Atrocities in Aleppo, New Abortion Legislation, Election Recount/Russian Influence Allegations, New Star Wars Flick, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/13). The transitioning of the Trump Administration and rapper Kanye West’s visit to the Trump Tower in NYC; President-Elect Donald Trump’s choices of ExxonMobil chief Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, former Texas Governor Rick Perry as Energy Secretary, and U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke for Secretary of the Interior; the Syrian civil war and allegations that Bashar al Assad’s forces are randomly killing civilians; the 20-week abortion limit passed in Ohio and an attempt to put restrictions on abortions in Oklahoma; the failed election recount started by Green Party candidate Jill Stein and questions about the extent of Russian influence in the recent elections; chatter about the new Rogue One installment in the Star Wars film franchise; and the week’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Entercom Reports Q3 Net Revenue Up 5%. It was a rosy third quarter for Entercom Communications as it reports net revenue was $120.5 million during the period – up 5% from the same period a year ago. Station operating income increased 12% to $37.9 million, and adjusted net income per share increased 8% to $0.27. Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “Entercom delivered another solid quarter of organic top-line and bottom-line growth, demonstrating the strength of our great local brands and our outstanding team. We are also very pleased to have just completed a highly successful refinancing that will lower our annual interest expense by more than $10 million and to have announced a terrific, value-creating acquisition of four stations in Charlotte. We are excited by the opportunities ahead as we look to finish the year on a strong note and get off to a great start in 2017.” Entercom is acquiring news/talk WBT-AM/FM, hot AC WLNK, and sports talk WFNC in Charlotte from Beasley. Currently it is operating WBT-AM/FM and WLNK under an LMA and expects to close on the stations by the first of the year. If the purchase of the stations from Beasley doesn’t close by then, it will start operating WFNZ under an LMA, as well.
CBS RADIO Reports Flat Q3. As parent company CBS Corp. prepares to issue an initial public offering on CBS RADIO stock and create a separate company out of the radio segment, it is breaking out the radio numbers from the Local Broadcasting segment. CBS RADIO’s performance was basically flat comparing the third quarter of 2016 to the same period a year ago. Net revenue was $319 million compared to $318 million in 2015.
Gann Upped to Regional SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia. Programming pro Brian Gann is being elevated to regional SVP/programming for iHeartMedia’s Central Texas Region. Gann has been program director for spoken-word formatted stations in the same region, including news/talk WOAI and sports talk KTKR in San Antonio and news/talk KVET in Austin. In this new role, San Antonio-based Gann will “oversee all on-air content as well as music and digital programming for iHM’s 15 radio station brands in the Austin and San Antonio regions.” He comments, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to program some of the leading radio station brands in Central Texas. Great things are happening for iHeartMedia in Austin and San Antonio and I am humbled to be a part of it.”
Update on Warner Wolf’s ‘Imus’ Exit. No one’s talking on the record – neither Don Imus nor WABC – but it appears that sports anchor Warner Wolf’s surprise departure from his role on the “Imus in the Morning” show based at Cumulus Media’s WABC comes as a result of the wishes of Imus himself. The New York Daily News’ Don Kaplan writes that, when asked why he’s leaving the show, his cagey response was, “You’d have to ask Imus that question.” As TALKERS reported on Friday, WABC personality Sid Rosenberg is returning to the sports anchor role on the show and he’ll continue to co-host the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show with Bernard McGuirk. Read the Daily News piece here.
iHeartRadio Names Peterson and Murphy to SVP Positions. Joining iHeartMedia’s digital platform iHeartRadio are Chris Peterson, to serve as senior vice president of podcasting, and Beth Murphy, as the new senior vice president of marketing. The company says Peterson will oversee iHeartRadio’s overall podcast strategy and grow its profile in the podcast community. He will guide content partnerships, advise the product team on its podcast roadmap, and work with sales to monetize podcast efforts. He most recently was content partnerships manager for TuneIn. He’s also worked as director of operations for The Blaze and the director of affiliate relations for Premiere Networks. Murphy’s charge is to manage brand messaging and the user lifecycle process, as well as optimize user acquisition and retention. She will work closely with iHeartRadio’s Chris Williams, chief product officer and Adam Denenberg, chief technology officer to oversee iHeartRadio’s overall streaming music and live digital radio strategy. Murphy has previously served as chief marketing officer at Deezer and Stitcher.
Sabo: What Are You Going to Do on Wednesday? Media consultant Walter Sabo asks that question of talk radio stations that are talking primarily politics most of the time. What do stations that want to broaden their appeal do after tomorrow’s election? He ticks off a list of stations whose ratings are growing and states, “Those stations, and others that are growing, present a wide range of subjects and hosts with varying points of view. The results indicate that the wider the conversation, the higher the ratings.” Read more from Sabo here.
The St. Louis Post- Dispatch Encourages FCC Complaints About Oldies/Talk KZQZ-AM. The newspaper has taken an unusual step in publishing an editorial encouraging the public to complain to the FCC about the language of talk host Bob Romanik. The station calls itself “The First Amendment Station” and the newspaper says it is a great supporter of First Amendment rights, “but there’s a line between political expression and hate speech that must not be crossed.” Romanik’s voice appears in recorded political ads in which he refers repeatedly to St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern as a cross-dresser and “faggot.” The paper writes, “Listeners must not allow this abuse of the public airwaves to stand. The Federal Communications Commission needs to hear from anyone who believes Romanik’s hate speech deserves sanction. Romanik makes GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump seem like a model of good manners and decorum.” Read the whole editorial here.
Odds & Sods. At Entercom’s sports talk WEEI-FM, Boston, air personality and WEEI.com writer Jerry Thornton announces he’s leaving the company to return to Barstool Sports where he’ll write and host his own football podcast. Thornton joined WEEI two years ago and has been serving as the third voice on the afternoon drive “Dale and Holley” show with Dale Arnold and Michael Holley. He writes of his decision saying, “You don’t walk away from a job situation like this unless you have an opportunity too good to pass up. And that’s what Barstool has offered me.”…..iHeartMedia promotes Matt “Shaggy” Culbreath from his APD position to program director of news/talk WSPD, Toledo…..Former WITI-TV, Milwaukee anchor and reporter Katrina Cravy is signed up to make regular, twice-weekly appearances on the “Mornings with Dave Luczak” show on Saga Communications’ classic rock WKLH, Milwaukee. Cravy exited the TV station in September of this year…..FOX News Radio’s election coverage plans include a 6:00 pm start for anchored content with Jared Halpern, Laura Ingle, along with Fox News contributor Tony Sayegh. Tonya J. Powers and Jon Decker will report live from the Hillary Clinton campaign headquarters while Rachel Sutherland and Gurnal Scott will be on hand live from the Trump headquarters. FNR will have reporters throughout key states and Chad Pergram will cover the congressional race from Capitol Hill.
Beasley Broadcast Group Retains Dan Finn to Lead New Jersey Stations. On the heels of last week’s closing on the Greater Media stations, Beasley Broadcast Group announces that it is formally bringing executive Dan Finn into the company’s fold as senior vice president and market manager for the New Jersey cluster. Finn had been with Greater Media since 2001, first as VP and regional general manager, then as SVP and regional general manager since 2007. Finn comments, “It’s an honor and privilege to now be a part of the Beasley team. My staff and I are excited to continue working with these heritage properties for such a legendary broadcasting company.”
The Presidential Race, U.S. House and Senate Races, FBI Clears Clinton in Emails Matter, ObamaCare Premiums Soar, Daylight Saving Time Ends, and College and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The presidential contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the down-ticket races for the U.S. House and Senate; FBI Director James Comey announces no new investigation into Clinton emails; ObamaCare’s premium increases; the pros and cons of Daylight Saving Time; and the weekend’s college football and NFL games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
John R. Gambling Retires from WNYM, New York ‘AM 970 The Answer.’ The Gambling name is legendary in New York radio history – John B. Gambling started hosting mornings on WOR in 1925, his son John A. Gambling took over the show in 1959, and John R. Gambling joined his father as co-host in 1985. Now, the third Gambling is announcing his retirement from his radio show on Salem Media Group’s WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer.” Gambling told his listeners at the start of today’s program (11:00 am ET) that he’s been dealing with problems recuperating from a broken knee cap that is hastening his decision to step down. Gambling retired from WOR in December of 2013 but later joined WNYM. WNYM general manager Jerry Crowley tells TALKERS, “His grandfather is often credited with inventing talk radio, his dad was # 1 in all radio ratings surveys and John somehow transitioned that genre to contemporary talk radio with a right-of-center view but absolutely never ticked a guest off. No one else ever pulled that off. Radio listeners knew this and appreciated his insightful, courtly way of conducting major league interviews and his amazing insights. When John left WOR the first time around, we were inundated with sacks of mail not for a day or week but months – amazing. When I brought him back to Salem NY You could almost hear the thunderous applause reverberate across the region. John was great in every way and we will all miss his calming, dulcet tones.”
Dave Ramsey Kicks Off the Fall Tour in Dallas. It’s the fall “Smart Money” tour, to be more precise. Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar and best-selling author Dave Ramsey brought his fall edition of his ongoing live event tour to a sold-out crowd in Dallas yesterday (9/15) at First Baptist Church Dallas. The “Smart Money” program focuses on winning with money, getting out of debt and investing for the future. Best-selling author and financial expert Rachel Cruze joined Ramsey on stage. Ramsey combined forces with local affiliate KRLD, Dallas “News Radio 1080” to promote the event. CBS RADIO Dallas local sales manager Paul Davis states, “Dave’s appearances in Dallas are always a huge deal for our listeners, clients and staff. He spent quality, one-on-one time with our partners and then entertained us and about 3,000 others at the sold-out Smart Money event! We wish Dave could come to North Texas more often!” Pictured here are (from l-r): Ramsey; Paul Mann, KRLD news director; Davis and Cruze.
A Rare Golden Mic for Dan Gaffney. In honor of 30 years of serving southern Delaware, WXDE, Lewes “Delaware 105.9” morning personality Dan Gaffney is honored with a golden microphone gifted to him by Kevin Short, owner of local business Mid South Audio. Short acquired the golden mic from the same artisan who crafted the golden microphones for Premiere Networks talk superstar Rush Limbaugh and Premiere/KIIS, Los Angeles personality Ryan Seacrest.
Arnie States Hosts Afternoon Show at KUUB, Reno. The former member of the trio Rob, Arnie, and Dawn – Arnie States – is back on the air hosting a sports talk show on Lotus Communications’ KUUB, Reno “ESPN 94.5.” (Rob and Dawn still host mornings on rock KRXQ, Sacramento as “Rob, Anybody, and Dawn.”) States exited the trio in March of 2015. For a while he was part of KRXQ’s afternoon show before leaving that gig to return to Reno to care for his father. Now, he’s back on the radio doing sports talk.
Galaxy to Enter Events Consulting Biz. The New York State-based broadcasting firm Galaxy Communications announces it is starting up a division focusing on creating event partnerships with fellow radio and television broadcasters. The division is called Galaxy Events Consulting and reports it has commitments to enter 10 new markets in 2017. They include: Buffalo, Rochester, Binghamton, Watertown and Long Island in New York, plus Philadelphia, Charlotte, Raleigh and Sarasota, Florida. Galaxy president and CEO Ed Levine states, “This idea has been percolating for some time. As acknowledged industry leaders in this space, we’ve had many conversations with other radio and TV broadcasters. We think we’ve come up with a model that can generate guaranteed revenue for the partner broadcaster with no risk. Experiential/event marketing is a key element for both radio and television’s future revenue growth. We’ve been in this space for a decade and are now prepared to help other broadcasters navigate these waters.” Galaxy owns 14 radio stations in the Syracuse and Utica-Rome markets. Its Galaxy Events division is responsible for many of the biggest community events in Central New York, highlighted by ‘Taste of Syracuse,’ which draws 200,000 people annually.
The Presidential Race Again Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of September 12-16. For obvious reasons, the presidential race is likely to be the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio through the elections in November and this week was no different with the activities of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton at #1. At #2 this week was the issue of each candidate’s health. Coming in at #3 was the United States’ refugee policy that calls for an additional 110,000 to be allowed into the country, followed by the National Anthem protests 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.
KKOB-AM, Albuquerque Turns on FM Translator. Usually, the acquisition and implementation of an FM translator for an AM news/talk station is not such a big deal. But this one raised some eyebrows because of the price Cumulus Media is paying for K233CG, Sandia, New Mexico at 94.5 FM and its coverage of the market. As has been widely reported in the industry trades, Cumulus is paying owner Martha Whitman $425,000 for the signal. Because she recently closed on her purchase of the translator from EMF for $61,413, by law she has to wait a year before selling it. So, Cumulus is renting it for $1,000 per month and will take ownership in a year with those payments applying against the purchase price. Regarding the signal, as Cumulus notes, “The translator on top of Sandia Mountain is equivalent to a 50,000 watt FM and reaches all of the Albuquerque metro area with its powerful signal. The FM simulcast will broadcast all the same award-winning talk programming that has made 770 KKOB the #1/#2 station consistently for more than 20 years on the new 94.5 FM position, as well as on its 94-year-old home at 770 AM.” Program director Pat Frisch adds, “This is an exciting time for all of us here at KKOB, and one that has been years in the making. We look forward to introducing our great talk radio programming to thousands of new listeners that live on the FM dial.”
Clay Travis Takes Over Mornings on FOX Sports Radio with ‘Outkick the Coverage’ Show. Nashville-based sports media star Clay Travis’ new sports talk radio program “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis” is the new Eastern Time morning drive program (6:00 am to 9:00 am) from FOX Sports Radio, effective Tuesday, September 6. The program bumps “Daybreak with Andy Furman and Mike North” to Sunday mornings. Travis is the founder of OutKickTheCoverage.com from which he’s been producing his video webcast, “OutKick the Show.” He will continue to host the webcast streamed live on Facebook, Periscope, YouTube, FOX Sports GO and FOXSports.com. Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott states, “FOX Sports Radio’s Don Martin, Scott Shapiro and I couldn’t be more excited to add Clay Travis to this already strong lineup. Clay is bold, opinionated and entertaining, and we’re confident ‘Outkick the Coverage’ will be home to some of the most thought provoking sports talk programming each morning, while driving immediate reaction from his large and engaged national audience.”
Nielsen Audio Releases Fourth Round of August 2016 PPM Data. The fourth of four rounds of August 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 August 2016 survey period covered July 14 through August 10. 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.
The Presidential Race Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 29-September 2. The presidential race was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was Donald Trump’s Mexico Visit tied with immigration policy. Coming in at #3 was the Tuesday primary elections and, following at #4 was Colin Kaepernick ‘National Anthem’ protest. 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.
Progressive Host/Commentator Bill Press Interviewed on Harrison Podcast. Multi-media, progressive talk show host and commentator Bill Press steps up to the plate as this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne program “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Press, a veteran of CNN’s heritage political debate show “Crossfire” and a number of other left-versus-right forums, has an extraordinary background in politics, radio, TV, newspapers and books that goes all the way back to the 1970s. Today, he still does it all, including a daily, morning political radio talk show heard on a network of approximately 50 terrestrial stations with a cable TV simulcast and boasting a huge international online listenership. Harrison and Press engage in a not-to-be-missed candid conversation about the presidential election, the state of national politics and the impact modern media is having upon the process of news dissemination. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.
The Yappy Tour Rolls On. It has been a busy week of appearances on some of the biggest and best talk shows in America as author and former radio producer Bernadette Duncan promotes her sizzling new book, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Books, 2016). The book recounts Duncan’s 26-year career as a producer of radio talk shows working with such big-name talents as Larry King, Sally Jessy Raphael, Lou Dobbs, Tom Snyder, Gil Gross, Charles Osgood and many more during modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.” Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature. Duncan (l) is pictured above with talk radio icon Howie Carr (r) after being interviewed by him yesterday (9/1) in his brand new, ultra-modern, multi-media studios in Boston. Duncan’s national “Yappy Tour” will roll on through the remainder of the year. Hosts and shows interested in booking her can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.
Bernadette Duncan’s Highly Anticipated Book About Talk Radio, Yappy Days, Released Today. The long-awaited book is provocatively titled, YAPPY DAYS: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Books, 2016) and it is receiving rave reviews from readers inside and outside the industry. For example, Westwood One syndicated personality Jim Bohannon writes, “How good is a quarterback without the left tackle who has his back? For 26 years, producer Bernadette Duncan was left tackle for some of the biggest quarterbacks in talk radio. From the Super Bowl egos to bone-jarring clashes, Bernadette takes you inside the talk radio huddle. Yappy Days is an MVP – most valuable publication.” Written by the veteran talk show producer and wife of TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, it chronicles her 26-year career in the trenches of big-time talk radio during its most dramatic decades (1983-2009) – set against the backdrop of America’s pre- and post-9/11 realities when in one fateful day, talk radio went from its post O.J. Simpson default of covering celebrity murder mysteries (Gary Condit, Jon-Benet Ramsey, etc.) to an obsession with the reality and ongoing threat of civilian mass murder at the hands of terrorists. She worked for some of the biggest names in the business during their glory days – Sally Jessy Raphael, Larry King, Tom Snyder, Lou Dobbs, Gil Gross, Charles Osgood and many more. She captures through anecdotes and gentle analysis her experiences being a news/talk producer at ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and United Stations Radio Networks as well as local New York City radio landmarks, WMCA and WOR. In addition to dishing insights into “the character of characters,” including literally hundreds of industry and newsmaker names in this extremely candid account, Bernadette makes a compelling case on behalf of the importance of the position of radio producer – which she describes as being “the most under-rated, under-paid and under-appreciated job in commercial media.” Fox Radio and TV star Alan Colmes comments, “Yappy Days is a must read for anyone who ever produced or wants to produce media – and for anyone who ever consumes it. More than a producer’s manual, as you travel with Bernadette on her exciting journey, you realize it’s a life manual as well.” WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley adds, “I couldn’t put the book down. Rarely, if ever do you learn about the radio and television industry from the inside out versus the outside in. With integrity and a flair to properly tell a great story, Bernadette’s Yappy Days delivers the goods.” Although she never worked directly with or for Rush Limbaugh, she interviewed him early in his career for the New York Daily News and crossed paths with him at several key junctures in his career, presenting a compelling study of his evolution in the chapter, “Brushes with Rushes,” that media consultant Holland Cooke describes as “nothing short of poignant.” Bernadette kicks off a national radio/media tour this evening with a guest shot on the Jim Bohannon Show. Producers and hosts interested in booking Bernadette Duncan on their shows can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To read a special review and feature story about the book by TALKERS/RadioInfo VP/executive editor Kevin Casey posted today (8/22), please click here. The book is available at Amazon.com.
Stigall Re-Ups with CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philly. Signing a new, multi-year contract to continue hosting the morning drive show on CBS RADIO’s WPHT is Chris Stigall. Under the terms of the deal, Stigall will continue in his current role, as well as being the face of “Talk Radio 1210 WPHT” with charitable endeavors, events, and digital content creation. Stigall says, “In a blink, five-and-a-half years have come and gone since we launched our show at WPHT. In an ever-evolving industry, I can’t express how grateful I am to CBS RADIO Philadelphia’s leadership for their unflinching support and unwavering commitment.”
Armstrong & Getty Show Added to Four New Cumulus Stations. The KSTE, Sacramento-based “Armstrong & Getty” show adds four new Cumulus Media-owned stations to its growing roster of affiliates. iHeartMedia produces Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty’s program which landed its first Cumulus affiliate earlier this year when venerable KGO, San Francisco added the morning drive program. Now, KKAT, Salt Lake City; KTBL, Albuquerque; KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno; and KVEN, Ventura, California are picking up the program.
Cross Platform Media Files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Former USA Radio Networks owner Cross Platform Media has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. The Sam Hassell-owned Cross Platform sold USA Radio Networks to Liftable Media back in October of 2015. USA Radio Networks syndicates the growing “Trending Today with Rusty Humphries” program. Triangle Business Journal lists Cross Platform’s assets at $1,200 with near $1.5 million in liabilities.
Former WJBO, Baton Rouge Morning Host Kevin Meeks Dies in Motorcycle Accident. The accident that took the life of 60-year-old Kevin Meeks took place on Friday evening (8/19) in Baton Rouge. The Advocate reports that Meeks turned in front of an oncoming vehicle while riding his Harley Davidson. Meeks worked at WJBO from 1996 through 2015. He co-hosted the morning show on the station with partner Matt Kennedy for 14 of those years. Meeks was let go from the station in 2015.
The Presidential Race, Turkish Wedding Terror Attack, U.S. Race Relations/Milwaukee Cop Shooting Aftermath, Lochte Scandal/Rio Olympics, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the deadly attack on a wedding party in Turkey that claimed 51 lives; the state of race relations in the U.S. and the aftermath of the shooting death of an armed black man in Milwaukee by police; the unfolding truth about U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte’s “holdup” in Rio de Janeiro and the wrap-up of the Olympic Games; and the Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Odds & Sods. Nationally syndicated talk radio star Glenn Beck is taking part in the American Gospel Celebration taking place in Louisville September 1-3. The event is organized by Pastor John Hagee, founder of the San Antonio mega-church Cornerstone Church. The Premiere Networks talk host will speak on September 3. Hagee says, “Glenn Beck stands on the front lines of key issues facing America today and speaks boldly about the value of faith and freedom. I can think of no one more fitting to join us as we celebrate these two foundational pillars of our nation at the American Gospel Celebration and as we honor those who have sacrificed for us.”…..At CBS RADIO’s KXNT, Las Vegas, the Compass Media Networks-syndicated Todd Schnitt show is added to the program lineup for the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart…..KEIR, Idaho Falls host Mark Richardson is giving up the daily version of his “Probing America” show that airs from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm for a teaching gig at a local high school. He’ll continue to host “Probing America” on the station Saturdays from 7:00 am to 9:00 am…..Southern Illinois Radio Group flips simulcast WINI, Murphysboro/W228DC, Carbondale, Illinois from news/talk to oldies as “COOL 93.5 and 1420.”…..KBET, Las Vegas talk show host Wayne Allyn Root is joining the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a columnist, appearing in the Nevada local section every Wednesday and Sunday, beginning September 7.
Profile: Multi-Media Industry Player Jennifer Horn. TALKERS magazine managing editor profiles industry pro Jennifer Horn, whose curricula vitae includes: vice president of affiliate sales & marketing for CRN Digital Talk Radio; cast member of “Good Day” with Doug Stephan; co-host of “The Jen & Don Show” (with Don Dix); and cast member on KRLA, Los Angeles’ “The Morning Answer” with Brian Whitman, Ben Shapiro, and Elisha Krauss. Horn, daughter of CRN founder Mike Horn, juggles all of these on-air gigs with her CRN position because she’s a radio lover going all the way back to her childhood, and because she enjoys being a woman on the radio able to express her opinions. She says, “With experience on the air, you own your opinions and explain them in an eloquent way. I feel as though I am just getting to that point in my career.” Read it all here.
Beck Ordered to Identify Two Confidential Sources. In a ruling Tuesday (8/9), U.S. district court judge Patti Saris determined Glenn Beck must divulge the names of two sources cited for comments responsible for the Premiere Networks host to be sued for defamation and slander by a student falsely accused in early reports of involvement in the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. The suit against Beck was filed by Abdulrahman Alharbi, a Saudi Arabian student who Beck claims was the “money man” behind those bombings. He called Alharbi a terrorist – although then-secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said publicly that Alharbi had been questioned about the bombings and he was cleared. Judge Saris categorized testimony about the sources’ information by Beck, producer Joe Weasel, and former The Blaze executive Joel Cheatwood “vague and often contradictory.” She further noted that documents supplied to the court did not validate the story Beck’s people say they were told. On his radio show yesterday (Wednesday, 8/10), Beck emphasized protecting the identities of sources is a longtime First Amendment tradition. The sources, he maintains, are at risk of being killed by “our government or our politicians or political institutions.” Beck, however, was victorious on the issue of applying Massachusetts law – not Texas law – to the case. For that reason, punitive damages will not be awarded. Saris dismissed a claim about another Beck comment that the judge determined applied to the bombers – Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
WPRT Slots “Jared & The GM” in PM Drive. The weekday 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm pairing by Cromwell Group Nashville sports outlet WPRT “ESPN 102.5 The Game” of Jared Stillman and former Tennessee Titans general manager Floyd Reese (“Jared & The GM”) starts next Monday (8/15). Stillman – who will be transitioning from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon – comments, “We have taken great strides to give the city of Nashville the best sports product and have had a lot of fun doing it. We have an unbelievable team and I am absolutely thrilled to be working with Floyd Reese, who is an amazing [football] general manager and a great host – but most importantly – an even better person.” Reese – who moves over from being a “Sports Night” co-host – remarks, “I am really looking forward to our show. Jared was born and raised in Nashville and has been following Nashville sports his whole life. He is extremely passionate about sports and talk radio. As a sidelight, it’ll be a tremendous look at two generations: the baby-boomers, the finest generation ever produced, as well as millennials, who produced Pokémon Go.” Reese is obviously a baby-boomer, while Stillman is a millennial. In Nielsen Audio‘s July 2016 PPM sweep, “The Game” ranks #21 (1.0, 6+), while cross-town format competitor – Cumulus Media‘s WGFX “104.5 The Zone” – is #12 (3.7, 6+); Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9” is on top with an 8.2 (6+).
Kellogg Transfers to Cumulus Fort Walton Beach as OM. Inbound from Columbia, Missouri where he was operations manager for Cumulus Media Columbia-Jefferson City the past 12 years, Chris Kellogg relocates to Fort Walton Beach for similar duties at the company’s five-station Florida cluster. Cumulus Media regional vice president Pete De Simone states, “The addition of Chris to our team will afford us the additional focus we need to continue to grow our ratings and revenue. We are excited to have the collective firepower of this dynamic programming team at work for our brands, listeners, and advertisers.” Kellogg comments, “Pete has created a terrific atmosphere to foster radio excellence. I appreciate his confidence in me and I am excited to collaborate with the programming team.” The Cumulus Media Fort Walton Beach cluster consists of talk WFTW; WKSM “99 Rock”; adult contemporary WNCV “Coast 93.3”; country WYZB “Nash FM”; and CHR WZNS “Z-96.” In addition to his OM duties, Kellogg will program WNCV and WFTW, as well as co-host mornings (with Lisa Captain) on WNCV. He succeeds Hayden Green, who continues programming “Z-96” as he has done the past 16 years and is the station’s afternoon drive talent; Green has been with the cluster the past 23 years.
Neuhoff Names Shamus VP/Programming & Content. Seven-year Neuhoff Communications Lafayette, Indiana operations manager Mike Shamus (“Shamus”) is appointed to the newly created position of corporate vice president of programming & content. Neuhoff Communications chief executive officer Beth Neuhoff comments, “‘Shamus’ is a tremendous talent – a proven manager and leader with a great vision for growing and improving the Neuhoff product lineup. We are confident he will take ‘Media Made Locally’ to a whole new level.” Chief operating officer Mike Hulvey remarks, “We knew we had a rare opportunity to capitalize on Shamus’ vision for connecting with our audiences in meaningful and engaging ways. With our recent expansion, ‘Shamus’ is the guy to motivate and inspire our content and programming teams to create the best local media.” According to “Shamus,” The Neuhoff stations “are truly connected to the communities we serve. Knowing I can enhance that local audience relationship will truly solidify our position as the most important source of information and entertainment in the region.” Neuhoff owns 23 properties in five markets: Bloomington, Danville, Decatur, and Springfield (all Illinois) and Lafayette (Indiana). In addition to his operations manager duties, “Shamus” does morning drive (“Shamus & Annie”) on Neuhoff Lafayette’s WKOA “Lafayette’s Country Leader K-105.”
Odds & Sods. Former Greater Media-owned WMGC, Detroit sports talk host Sean Baligian will co-host Detroit Lions’ pre-game and post-game shows this football season on cross-town Cumulus Media talker WJR. Baligian will be teamed with WJR sports director Steve Courtney. The two see their first action together tonight (Thursday, 8/11) in the initial pre-season game as the Lions play the Pittsburgh Steelers ….. Theater columnist of The New York Post Michael Reidel joins Salem New York talker WNYM “970 The Answer” to host a Saturday 9:00 am – 10:00 am lifestyle show, “On The Town with Michael Riedel.” Vice president and general manager Jerry Crowley comments, “We are thrilled to have Michael on our team. We have a strong desire to support Broadway as the center point of the New York economy and Michael epitomizes both New York City and Broadway. He is going to add a unique quality to our station that is distinctly New York.” ….. McAllen talker KURV shifts Radio America‘s “The Dana Show” to 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. “She communicates the perfect mix of personality, entertainment, and uncompromising values for a new generation of talk listeners,” notes program director Sergio Sanchez.
Bob & Sheri Note Milestone Anniversary. Syndicated from Greater Media-owned flagship WLNK “107.9 The Link,” Charlotte – “Bob & Sheri” traveled to Hudson, New York to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their first affiliate, iHeartMedia hot AC WCTW “98.5 The Cat.” Left to right in front of the WCTW prize wheel are Sheri Lynch, WCTW’s Tina Chambers, “The Cat” operations manager Bill Williams, and Bob Lacey. “Bob & Sheri” now have more than 50 affiliates. Their show airs weekdays 5:00 am – 10:00 am on “The Cat.”
Matchmaker Titus Signs With KMG Networks. Plans are in place through KMG Networks’ Krantz Media Group to roll out a radio show next year featuring matchmaker, relationship/dating expert, and author Matt Titus. KMG Networks founder and chief executive officer Gary Krantz says, “The minute I saw Matt in action, we knew immediately that he is the guy to step up and take the job that has been open in radio for years – that of the ultimate national relationship expert for today’s high tech, mobile listeners, appealing to both men and women. We are excited to launch Matt on radio, streaming, and podcasting through our new talent division and watch him soar.” At first, Titus will be available as a guest to stations on a market-exclusive basis through KMG. Among the stations on which he has already appeared are the morning shows of iHeartMedia Detroit CHR WKQI “Channel 95-5; co-owned classic rock WBGG “Big 105.9,” Miami; and Lotus Communications-owned KLPX “Tucson’s Real Classic Rock.” Titus’ television credits include Lifetime‘s 2009 reality show “Matched in Manhattan” and NBC-TV’s “The Match Off.” In addition, he has written “Why Hasn’t He Called?” and “Why Hasn’t He Proposed?” Earlier this year, KMG Talent, in association with Sungate Partners, launched “Always in Fashion” with Mark Weber.
Burns Fumes Over Nielsen’s Pending Policies. In a letter he sent yesterday (Wednesday, 8/10) to the FCC, the Nielsen Company, and the Federal Trade Commission, 3 Daughters Media chief executive officer Gary Burns addressed several issues including his opposition to the way radio stations are counted in specific markets and total line reporting. Nielsen has told subscribers total line reporting will be available only to qualified subscribers “in good standing.” Burns – who owns and operates eight stations in Virginia – writes, “I have strongly disagreed with the Commission’s policy of outsourcing its responsibility for defining radio markets to two commercial enterprises, Nielsen Ratings and BIA/Kelsey. Under a new Nielsen policy, only clients of Nielsen will be able to dictate how many stations an entity can actually own. Subscribers already dictate what counties are home to the metro. If this proposed new Nielsen rule stands, it seems that the Commission will be required to find a new method of determining how many stations are home to a metro. I respectfully request that the Commission weigh in on this policy and [ask] that Nielsen delay implementation of their new policy in order to insure that station counts are accurate, consistent, and to avoid unintended consequences of this new policy.”
Savage, Westwood One Sign Multi-Year Renewal. Under terms of a just-signed pact, “The Savage Nation” host Michael Savage and Cumulus Media-owned Westwood One will continue their long-term relationship. Westwood One president and Cumulus Media’s executive vice president of corporate marketing Suzanne Grimes comments, “We are proud to extend our relationship with this top-notch talent [who has] a unique voice in American radio. He has some of the most engaged fans and is a proven, consistent, ratings generator. We look forward to many more years together.” Savage states that his Westwood One deal, “caps my winning the National Radio Hall of Fame nomination. My show is famous for my ‘news, views, and reviews,’ and we will take it to new levels in January 2017. We will be doing a three-dimensional show on broadcast stations, as a live stream, and with special segments created only for subscribers.” With a Ph.D. from the University of California – Berkeley, Savage was the 2007 recipient of TALKERS‘s “Freedom of Speech” award. He has authored more than 25 books with his newest – “Scorched Earth” – coming out next month. First aired locally in San Francisco in 1994, “The Savage Nation” now airs nationally on 235 stations.
Who Are Radio’s Highest-Paid Talents? Whether it is professional athletes or movie/television stars, we are constantly fascinated by the salaries of those with an elevated profile. Some will find it curious – if not grossly unfair – for instance, that Alex Rodriguez will draw approximately $27 million next year from the New York Yankees to do basically nothing. There is a curiosity as well about the W-2 forms of certain radio personalities. In a Karen Blankfeld-written Forbes Magazine article, we discover the identity of the industry’s top six moneymakers. The names and perhaps even the order might not totally surprise you, but the figures could. Checking in at #6 is Glenn Beck ($13 million). “Aside from his conservative-leaning news site The Blaze, he makes a small fortune annually from his publishing imprint Mercury Ink,” Blankfeld notes. Bill O’Reilly ($18.5 million) is listed at #5 but his inclusion here is a stretch since the Fox News anchor does not have a long-form radio presence. Fox News stable-mate/Premiere Networks‘ Sean Hannity ($29 million) comes in at #4 with Blankfeld remarking he “remains the go-to host for conversations and confessions with the GOP elite.” By now, you have probably correctly guessed the top three, but in a countdown hat-tip, the radio talent at #3 is iHeartMedia Los Angeles CHR KIIS “Kiss FM” morning star and Premiere Networks’ “AT 40” host Ryan Seacrest ($55 million), who isn’t hurting too much without the “American Idol” checks. With a staggering $79 million, another Premiere Networks personality – Rush Limbaugh – is listed at #2. “He celebrated 28 years with iHeartMedia in August by renewing his contract,” Blankfeld states. Eclipsing everyone though at #1 is Howard Stern ($85 million) and it is perhaps fitting he is first, given his self-described “King of All Media” moniker. “His new five-year, eight-digit contract with Sirius will extend to a new app and video streaming of the show,” Blankfeld explains. Add the figures up for these six stars and the total is approximately $280 million. Forbes bases the list on estimated June 1, 2015 – June 1, 2016 pretax income, before deducting management and legal fees.
Emmis New York City Makes Morgan SVP/Market Manager. It is quite a significant week for Emmis upper management. As we reported yesterday (TALKERS, Tuesday, 8/9), Chuck Williams takes over as senior vice president and market manager of the four-station cluster in the company’s home market of Indianapolis. There, he succeeds Charlie Morgan, who served in that capacity the past seven years before being named interim market manager of Emmis New York earlier this year. Morgan now removes the “interim” title, as he officially is named Emmis New York City’s senior vice president and market manager. Company president and chief operating officer Patrick Walsh declares that, “Charlie is one of radio’s truly gifted leaders. His inspirational leadership has been a catalyst in improving our results in Indianapolis and his deft skills are already having an impact in New York. I am thrilled he has decided to focus this next exciting stage of his career on ensuring [our New York City stations] continue to play an important role in the lives of listeners in the Tri-State area and these brands deliver on their enormous potential.” Morgan comments, “When a 35+-year radio veteran can honestly call his most recent seven years the most fun and most rewarding of his career, you know you are talking to one very fortunate man. That statement is true for me, thanks to the company and the culture that [founder, chief executive officer, chair] Jeff Smulyan, [president of radio programming] Rick Cummings, and Pat Walsh have built and nourished. Add to that the all-star team of talent I have worked with in Indianapolis, and you begin to understand my good fortune. For the past seven months, I have had the rare privilege of working with the talented team at Emmis New York. We have legendary brands in the most vibrant city in America. I have fallen in love with the people, the passion, and the opportunity to build on the legacy in New York.” Prior to joining Emmis, the Butler University alum spent more than 21 years as vice president and general manager of Susquehanna (now Cumulus Media) Indianapolis and he is a former president and chief operating officer of Indianapolis Motor Speedway Productions. In addition, Morgan is board chair of the Country Radio Seminar. Results from Nielsen Audio‘s July 2016 PPM report indicate Emmis New York City urban AC WBLS is in fifth-place (5.1, 6+); rhythmic CHR sibling WQHT “Hot 97” is tenth (3.5, 6+); and co-owned gospel WLIB is #31 (.4, 6+).
Cumulus Media Nashville Names Meltesen Sr. AE/Sponsorship Sales. The former publisher of Nash Country Weekly – Jeff Meltesen – is appointed senior account executive/sponsorship sales for Cumulus Media Nashville. He will focus on clients of the cluster’s two country stations (WKDF and WSM-FM) and sponsorship sales of events/promotions for all Cumulus Media Nashville properties. WKDF “Nash FM” and WSM-FM “Nash Icon” general sales manager Rhonda Rollins comments, “We are thrilled to have someone of Jeff’s experience join our team. His sales, business, and marketing acumen are market tested and will help us elevate the conversation with our customers.” Meltesen remarks, “Cumulus Nashville’s high quality events featuring high profile artists present a unique opportunity for brands that want to make an impact in Nashville. Our sponsorships are backed by the power of our popular Nashville radio stations, so there is built-in media value for our partners.” Before joining Nash Country Weekly, Meltesen was marketing director for Nashville Songwriters Association International. Up a whopping +1.4 from June, WSM-FM “Nash Icon” finishes second (7.3, 6+) in Nielsen Audio‘s July 2016 Nashville PPM sweep, nine-tenths behind Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9” (8.2, 6+). Elsewhere in the Cumulus Media Nashville cluster, urban AC WQQK “92-Q” is #7 (5.2); WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” is #8 (4.6, 6+); and tied at #12 – each with 3.7 (6+) – are sports WGFX “104.5 The Zone” and WKDF “Nash FM.”
A Case of Copyright Infringement? Apparently, that is what Paul Bereswill is thinking, as he becomes the most recent photographer to sue a radio company over a copyrighted photo used on a radio station’s website. Specifically, the case in the southern district of New York has Bereswill alleging that Cumulus Media New York City talker WABC used his pictures of New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey and a post-game photo of the NHL‘s New York Rangers on the WABC website without his prior consent. In addition to attorney’s costs/fees, Bereswill reportedly is seeking damages and profits or the statutory $150,000 per work.
Ex-Talkers Win Minnesota Political Contests. One of Rush Limbaugh‘s former guest hosts – Jason Lewis – defeated Darlene Miller and John Howe yesterday (Tuesday, 8/9) to win the Republican nomination for congress in Minnesota’s second congressional district. Lewis spent ten years on Minneapolis talker KSTP-AM and later was heard on cross-town KTLK-FM. Five years ago to the day, Genesis Communications Network began syndicating his show. Lewis will face Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party nominee Angie Craig and Independence Party candidate Paula Overby in November. Meanwhile in that state’s sixth district, another former talk show host – Republican representative Tom Emmer – won his primary race for re-election. Emmer was a state legislator before co-hosting morning drive with Bob Davis at KTLK-FM in 2011- 2013. Emmer was Minnesota’s Republican nominee for governor in 2010, losing in a very close race to Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party’s Mark Dayton.
Odds & Sods: Starting in four weeks (9/6), “The Sports Junkies,” the 6:00 am – 10:00 am program on CBS Radio Washington, D.C. sports outlet WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan,” will be simulcast on regional cable sports network CSN Mid-Atlantic. WJFK-FM program director Chris Kinard comments, “‘The Sports Junkies’ are the most dynamic radio personalities in [the market] with a dedicated fan base of listeners on radio, streaming, and via podcast. We are thrilled to work with our partners at CSN on this important brand extension of our original programming.” ….. Topics ranging from research and insights affecting radio listeners and advertisers to storytelling will be featured in “Radio Impact Reports,” a new blog from the RAB. According to the first post, the blog will, “share current news, information and insights about broadcast radio, while using this social space to encourage an open dialogue with broadcasters, advertisers, agencies and even listeners. One thing is for certain – our focus will be on continued growth and innovations taking place, ensuring radio’s bright and exciting future.”
Doris Freeman Passes. The class of 2014 Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame inductee died this past Saturday (8/6). Doris Freeman began her career approximately 80 years ago as a feature radio singer and tap dancer. She raised millions of dollars over the decades for organizations such as the West Tennessee Cerebral Palsy Center, Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse, March of Dimes, and the United Negro College Fund. Freeman hosted daily and weekly radio shows on Jackson, Tennessee’s WDXI; a daily children’s television show in Jackson; and headed up Cousin Tuny Enterprises, one of Jackson’s first advertising agencies. As a single mother of four, she became Jackson’s first female radio advertising representative with WDXI in 1948 and later at WTJS, and WJAK. For more than 20 years, Freeman produced/hosted live radio coverage of the Miss Tennessee Pageant. Visitation will be held tomorrow (Thursday, 8/11) 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Jackson, Tennessee’s Northside Methodist Church; funeral service (also at the Northside Methodist Church) is this Friday (8/12) at 11:00 am.
Rush Limbaugh and Premiere Networks Reach Agreement on Extension. There was little doubt from most industry observers that talk radio superstar Rush Limbaugh and iHeartMedia’s Premiere Networks would come to terms on an agreement to continue syndicating Limbaugh’s show. Not surprisingly, today’s announcement from Premiere did not mention the terms of this new deal, but simply called it a “long-term, multi-platform agreement.” Eight years ago, Limbaugh and Premiere announced a partnership agreement that was widely reported to have been worth $400 million. The conventional wisdom is that changes in the radio industry and the backlash from the infamous “Sandra Fluke incident” have negatively affected Limbaugh’s ability to earn the type of ad dollars that would justify that kind of money this time around. At the top of today’s program, however, Limbaugh told his listeners that the deal is for four years and he gets no regular salary but, presumably, a percentage of sales. He said, “I have to make my numbers.” In the press release, Premiere stated, “Ad revenue for ‘The Rush Limbaugh Show’ has also increased by 20% over last year, and the show continues to be the number one program in talk radio.” Limbaugh celebrated his 28th anniversary in national syndication on Monday. He said in the prepared statement, “After 28 fulfilling years, I seriously considered moving on to something else, but Rich [Bressler] and Bob [Pittman] were very persuasive. I’m thrilled to be continuing. And I really want to be on the air if the Russians find Hillary’s emails.”
Former Mercury Radio Arts and TheBlaze Chief Sued by Glenn Beck. In a case filed in District Court of Dallas County, Texas on Friday (7/29), Glenn Beck is suing his former executive, Christopher Balfe, alleging among other things: Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Faithless Servant, Fraud, Breach of Contract, and more. The suit does not specify how much money Mercury Radio Arts is seeking from Balfe, but states it’s asking for actual, consequential and punitive damages; forfeiture of everything Balfe earned from Mercury since he first breached his duties, and more. The lawsuit alleges that Balfe earned more than $13 million between 2009 and 2014 and calls it “a shockingly excessive amount that far exceeds appropriate compensation for companies of Mercury and TheBlaze’s size and financial performance.” It also alleges that Balfe signed a lease for New York office space – the entire 12th floor of Five Bryant Park – for $2 million per year for 10 years that was “motivated by his own self-interest.” The suit calls the $20 million liability an example of Balfe ignoring his duty to Mercury. Beck comments on the case on TheBlaze’s website, saying, “You have all heard me over the last couple of years describing how hard a time it has been. Between being sick, turning over my company, etc…It culminates in a lawsuit that we filed Friday in Dallas between MRA and the former president. I am embarrassed and saddened it has come to this.” It’s difficult to read the suit and not come to the conclusion that Beck hired a man whom he considered a friend who was simply not qualified to serve in the positions in which he did. Scribd has the complaint and you can read it here.
‘Bob & Tom Show’ Rounds Out Cast with Josh Arnold. The nationally syndicated “Bob & Tom Show” adds comic Josh Arnold to the cast. The Westwood One program features show co-founder Tom Griswold, Chick McGee, Kristi Lee, and now St. Louis native Arnold. The press release from Westwood One says Arnold “has established himself as one of the top nationally touring feature comedians in the country. Arnold’s comedy has been heard on Sirius XM Satellite Radio and he’s provided material for Comedy Central’s ‘@Midnight’ and ‘The Burn.’” Griswold says, “We are thrilled to have Josh join us each day…he is one of the funniest, most twisted people I know.”
Cumulus’ Gary Pizzati Announces His Retirement. Longtime Cumulus Media senior vice president Gary Pizzati is retiring from the company and from radio broadcasting at the end of August. Pizzati started his career as an air talent and programmer and then moved into sales and management. He joined Cumulus in 1998 to manage the Augusta, Georgia cluster. Pizzati says, “The past 30 years in radio and 18 with Cumulus have been extremely rewarding. I truly love radio and all the amazing people who power this exciting industry. It’s been a part of my life since my teens and has been a remarkable journey that started from my days on air.” Pizzati rose to SVP in 2005 with responsibility for 27 markets, including two of the company’s largest. Cumulus especially commends him for “turning around several major markets and recruiting some of the best talent into the company.” President and CEO Mary Berner adds, “Known as a strong leader, teacher, and consummate radio guy, Gary’s contributions to Cumulus cannot be overstated. He will be greatly missed by his Cumulus colleagues.”
The Farmer That Roared: Doug Stephan is This Week’s Guest on ‘Up Close and Far Out.’ Radio talk show host Doug Stephan, whose daily generalist news/talk morning show is the third longest-running weekday syndicated program in the industry having launched in 1988 (behind Rush Limbaugh by a few months and “America in the Morning” by four years), is the guest on this week’s installment of the PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Stephan discusses his dual career (and arduous schedule) as both a broadcaster and a dairy farmer. In his role as host of the rapidly growing weekend specialty show, “American Family Farmer” (almost 100 affiliates in less than a year), Stephan has stepped up to the plate as a powerful advocate of the beleaguered people who own and operate small farms in the US, that are slowly but systematically being put out of business by the combined interests of big business (“factory farms”) and big government. He and Harrison also talk about the growing “locavore” movement that ties into this issue. (A locavore is a person whose diet consists primarily of locally produced and sold food.) To listen to this fascinating podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.
Nielsen Audio Releases First Round of July 2016 PPM Data. The first of four rounds of July 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 June 2016 survey period covered June 16 through July 13. 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.
The Presidential Race/Khan Family Controversy, FBI Staffer Guilty of Selling Secrets to China, South China Sea Dispute, Black Lives Matter Movement, Miami Zika Outbreak, Rio Olympics Troubles, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/1). The activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, including the public conflict with the Khan family; former FBI employee Joey Chun pleads guilty to being an agent of the Chinese government; the dispute over China’s claim to territory in the South China Sea; the state of the Black Lives Matter movement; the CDC’s warning about a Zika virus outbreak in an area near Miami; reports of poor conditions and lack of preparedness at the Rio De Janeiro Olympics; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Talk Rumble Video Posted from TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations. One of the highlights of the recent TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations convention – “The Talk Rumble” – is posted today (8/2) on Talkers.com. The panel discussion was part of the 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention that took place May 20 on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY. Moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and co-moderated by CBS News VP Harvey Nagler, participants include (in alphabetical order): Howie Carr, host, Howie Carr Radio Network; Brian Kilmeade, host Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel; Sid Rosenberg, host, WABC, New York; Dr. Daliah Wachs, host Genesis Communications Network; Lisa Wexler, host, WGCH, Greenwich, CT: Larry Young, host, WOLB, Baltimore; and John Ziegler, host Envision Networks. To view the Talk Rumble in its entirety, please click here. Stay tuned to Talkers.com for more videos from TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations that will be posted in the days and weeks to come.
Odds & Sods. WAXY, Miami “790 The Ticket” extends its partnership with the NBA’s Miami Heat to continue broadcasting play-by-play through 2021. The Entercom sports talk station says Mike Inglis and John Crotty will continue to call the games. Tommy Tighe will provide the pre-game, halftime and post-game reporting and Jonathan Zaslow, host of the station’s morning show, will continue as host of the pre- and post-game shows…..FOX Sports Radio personality Ben Maller will join the minor league baseball Bakersfield Blaze for a night of festivities on August 13 as the team takes on the Lake Elsinore Storm. Maller says, “Having been a Dodgers fan my entire life, Bakersfield baseball is near and dear to my heart. My firecracker staff is thrilled to be joining me for this occasion and I’m sure Sam Lynn Ballpark will welcome us with open arms.”
Julie Talbott To Oversee Total Traffic and Weather Network. Oversight of iHeartMedia’s Total Traffic & Weather Network is now a part of Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott’s responsibilities. iHeartRadio and iHeartMedia Networks president Darren Davis makes the announcement that Total Traffic & Weather Network and 24/7 News Network are now a part of Premiere Networks. The company says Talbott will oversee the operations of the newly configured Premiere Networks and will lend her experience, relationships and knowledge of the radio industry to all three network teams. She will continue to report to Darren Davis.
Talent Moves at ‘105.7 The Fan’ in Baltimore. At CBS RADIO’s sports talk WJZ-FM, Baltimore “105.7 The Fan,” a couple of talent moves take place, effective today (8/1). Rob Long moves from the midday show to morning drive to serve as co-host with Ed Norris, replacing Steve Davis, who exits. Taking over his spot on the midday show with Vinny Cerrato is Bob Haynie. The station also notes that after “Baltimore Baseball Tonight,” and when the Orioles are off, Jerry Coleman will handle the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm show.
Capitol Broadcasting Welcomes Steve Logan’s Return for Sports Programming. Former East Carolina head football coach Steve Logan returns to the Capitol Broadcasting organization after a year coaching quarterbacks with the San Francisco 49ers. At Capitol’s sports talk WCMC, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan,” Logan will make one-hour radio appearances on Fridays throughout the football season starting September 2. He’ll also host his own radio show on Saturdays, starting September 3, airing from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. Logan will be paired with WRAL-TV sports anchor Jeff Gravley on Sundays at 11:00 am on WRAL-TV from September 4 through November 27. Additionally, he’ll have television contributions on the Friday 11:00 pm newscasts on WRAL-TV and will produce special weekly video features to stream at WRALsportsfan.com. All of Logan’s efforts will be branded as “The Logan Zone.” Capitol Broadcasting sports radio operations manager and program director Dennis Glasgow says, “We’re thrilled to have Coach Logan back on our team. He’s built up a lot of equity in the Triangle and there’s no one better that will tell it like it is in regard to the NFL and college football.” Logan worked with Capitol Broadcasting from 2013 through 2015 as a football insider.
KRLD-AM, Dallas Chief Meteorologist Bob Goosman Resigns After Twitter Post Controversy. The now former chief meteorologist for CBS RADIO’s news/talk KRLD-AM, Dallas took to Twitter recently to express his thoughts about the appearance of mothers of black men killed by police at the DNC. He Tweeted, “As many of you have probably noticed, I’ve stayed away from politics on FB. The DNC parading the mothers of slain thugs around on their stage has me furious.” Not surprisingly, the comment raised some controversy. Goosman subsequently resigned his position with the station but commented on the Dallas News site saying he did not intend the comment to have racial overtones but understands why his actions caused problems for KRLD and said, had he not resigned, he should have been fired.
The Presidential Race, Rio Olympics Troubles, Chute-less Skydive, Miss Teen USA Controversy, PGA Championship, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, including Trump’s spat with the Khan family; the threats of terrorism at the Olympics and reports of Rio De Janeiro’s state of unpreparedness for the games; the successful parachute-less skydive by Luke Aikins; the controversy over Miss Teen USA Karlie Hay’s past use of the “n-word” on social media; this weekend’s PGA Championship tournament; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Odds & Sods. Sports programming giant ESPN is reporting that its ESPN Radio division had a very good spring from an audience standpoint. The company says ESPN Radio saw a “27% overall increase in impressions from the same time last year, according to Nielsen Audio in PPM markets. Across all affiliates, ESPN Radio now owns a 50% share of all Men 25-54 sports radio listening, up from 42% over the same period last year. In addition, ESPN Radio grew its female audience by 42% over last year.”…..Former Miami Dolphins star Jason Taylor will be part of the radio play-by-play team broadcasting the team’s games this season. Taylor will be an analyst in the booth alongside Jimmy Cefalo and Joe Rose. Taylor has also worked on the radio with both SiriusXM and Westwood One.
2016 Marconi Award Finalists Announced; News/Talkers Dominate Legendary Station of the Year Category. The finalists for this year’s Marconi Radio Awards from the National Association of Broadcasters have been announced. The winners will be announced September 22 at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show at the 2016 Radio Show in Nashville. News/talk stations dominate the Legendary Station of the Year category. The finalists are: KRLD-AM, Dallas; WBAL-AM, Baltimore; WBT-AM, Charlotte; WDBO-FM, Orlando; and all-news WINS-AM, New York. Two Premiere Networks sports talk hosts are finalists in the Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year – Jay Mohr and Dan Patrick – along with Premiere’s Delilah and Elvis Duran plus Entravision’s Erazno y la Chokolata. CBS RADIO’s Mike Francesa (WFAN, New York) and Toucher and Rich (WBZ-FM, Boston) are finalists in the Major Market Personality of the Year category along with KFI, Los Angeles’ Tim Conway Jr. and music radio personalities Mark Curry of KBLX, San Francisco and Woody from KYSR, Los Angeles. See the rest of the finalists here.
Brian Beasley Promoted to Chief Operating Officer of Beasley Media Group. The company announces Brian Beasley is promoted to chief operating officer of Beasley Media Group, Inc. from his EVP of operations post. He comments, “This COO position is a great honor, considering my entire life has been dedicated to the radio business. I’ve benefitted greatly from my hands-on experience at all levels of this business and I’ll be continuing to contribute to the successful operations of our stations for many years to come.”
George Noory Interviewed by Michael Harrison. The nation’s leading late-night talk show host, George Noory is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne hit “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” posted today (7/26). The multi-talented Noory, who has hosted Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM” for the past 14 years, talks about how the show has evolved and expanded from primarily covering the paranormal (UFOs, ESP, time travel, astral projection, etc.) to now include the paranoid (conspiracy theory, the Illuminati, special interest groups, etc.). Harrison and Noory discuss the impact of digital age technology and modern communications on the human nervous system and society. The podcast is coordinated with today’s release of prolific author Noory’s first novel, Night Talk (Forge 2016) – a thriller that tells the story of a late night talk show host (“Greg Nowell”) who gets himself entangled in a web of intrigue that involves the same elements as the subject matter covered by its real life author. To listen to this fascinating podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.
Progressive Talker Nicole Sandler Battling Lung Cancer. A YouCaring fundraising account has been set up to help defray the cost of the medical bills that she says will not be paid by insurance. Radio pro and progressive talk personality Nicole Sandler recently relaunched her Internet radio show in a partnership with fellow talk host Randi Rhodes, whose show follows Sandler’s on the stream. But now she’s facing a diagnosis of adenocarcinoma – Non Small Cell Lung Cancer. Sandler is blogging about her experience – and keeping followers well-informed about her struggles with her insurance company – and she says the cancer does not appear to have spread beyond the one lung but that other tests are pending to determine if that’s the case. You can visit Sandler’s YouCaring page here.
Entercom Launches Late-Night, Syndicated Paranormal Show ‘Beyond Reality Radio.’ The program – Entercom’s first syndication effort – launches on August 1 on 10 company-owned news/talk stations live from 12:00 midnight to 2:00 am ET. It stars Jason Hawes, co-founder of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) and creator and star of Syfy’s blockbuster hit “Ghost Hunters,” and JV Johnson, a longtime paranormal investigator and current publisher and editor of TAPS paraMagazine. Entercom stations airing the program are: KJCE, Austin; WRKO, Boston; WBEN, Buffalo; KEZW, Denver; WSKY, Gainesville; WYRD, Greenville; KMBZ, Kansas City; WWL, New Orleans; KNSS, Wichita; and WILK, Wilkes-Barre. JV Johnson says, “Radio has a long history of programs about the paranormal, dating back to the 1920s, so it’s very exciting to bring ‘BRR’ to the airwaves with Entercom and continue this tradition, but with a contemporary twist. We’ll be engaging with our listeners not only through call-in, but through our digital platforms. So while we’re reaching a larger audience, we’re also creating a community with which we’re intimately connected.”
The Presidential Race/Democratic National Convention, Verizon-Yahoo! Deal, Rio Troubles/Russian Doping Scandal, Cuomo NC Ads Controversy, SoCal Wildfires, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/25). The aftermath of the Republican National Convention, day one of the Democratic National Convention, and the activities of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the acquisition of most of Internet pioneering firm Yahoo! by Verizon; the troubles facing Rio De Janeiro as it prepares to host the Olympics and the related Russian doping scandal; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s state-paid ads aired in North Carolina that critics say violate the Hatch Act; the wildfires affecting Southern California; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Odds & Sods. The regular CBS RADIO Pittsburgh promotion “eat.drink.SUMMER” is taking place on August 12 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Lodge at North Park. Attendees can enjoy samples from some of Pittsburgh’s finest restaurants along with new products, spirits, beers and more. On-air personalities from the CBS Pittsburgh stations will be in attendance throughout the evening…..In the Greenville, South Carolina market, Entercom Upstate – with seven radio stations in the market – is being honored by the Greenville Health System for Entercom’s support and promotion of the Children’s Hospital over the last 10 years. The GHS Children’s Hospital is dedicating its fifth floor Family Room to Entercom Upstate to recognize how the stations have helped the hospital through the Children’s Hospital Radiothon, an annual fundraising event that has raised more than $2.6 million to date and supported thousands of children. The 9th Annual Radiothon will take place on August 4…..The RAB announces the retirement of SVP, research Andy Rainey. Rainey has led the research team at the RAB for the last 23 years. At the same time, Annette Malave, vice president of business development is promoted to SVP, insights, effective August 1.
Republican National Convention Begins Today in Cleveland. Numerous news organizations – in addition to dozens of talk shows broadcasting from the site of the convention – are in Cleveland to report on this week’s Republican National Convention. The team pictured at right is from CBS Radio News and among the four news pros, they have covered 24 national political conventions. The CBS Radio News correspondents are (from l-r): Steve Dorsey, Steve Portnoy, Dan Raviv and Steve Futterman. Also in Cleveland is Salem Radio Network. Pictured at left manning the vacuum cleaner at the SRN broadcast booth late Sunday evening is VP of news & talk programming Tom Tradup. SRN hosts broadcasting from Cleveland will include: Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Eric Metaxas, Michael Medved and Larry Elder. The Westwood One News convention team includes correspondents Bob Costantini, Jim Roope, Alan Scaia and Karin Caifa among its reporter and producer crew. Chas Henry will anchor long-form coverage and Michael Toscano will anchor evening short-form special reports. The team will operate from its Westwood One News broadcast booths inside the arena (pictured at right). Programming will include a live podium feed of all sessions; anchored coverage of the presidential and vice-presidential acceptance speeches and other major events; four special reports per hour during evening sessions; live correspondent Q&A opportunities for affiliates; and a live simulcast of CNN TV coverage.
The Presidential Race/Republican National Convention, Baton Rouge Officers Slain, Attempted Turkey Coup, Rio Olympics Troubles/Russian Doping Allegations, Pokemon Go Craze, and British Open Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump tied with this week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland; the shooting of three Baton Rouge police officers by a lone gunman; the attempted military coup of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan; the troubles facing Rio De Janeiro as it prepares to host the Olympic Games and the related Russian doping allegations; the Pokemon Go craze; and this weekend’s British Open golf tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.
‘The Herd with Colin Cowherd’ Hits 100-Affilliate Mark. Less than a year after sports media personality Colin Cowherd joined FOX Sports from ESPN, his nationally syndicated radio show on FOX Sports Radio, a division of Premiere Networks, gets its 100th affiliate station. Recent additions to the show’s affiliate roster include: WINZ, Miami; KHHO, Seattle; KGME, Phoenix; KDSP, Denver; and KFXX, Portland. Premiere president Julie Talbott states, “The reaction to Colin’s show over the past 10 months has been incredible – we’ve surpassed every goal we set for the first year of the program. The rapid success of ‘The Herd’ is a testament to Colin’s unique voice in the world of sports media and his ability to engage millions of fans across numerous platforms. We look forward to reaching many more milestones together.” Cowherd adds, “You can’t be happier professionally than I am today. The support is so extensive that it only makes me want to work harder and this is just the beginning.” Cowherd also appears on cable’s FS1.
Gow Media Teams with SB Nation for New Sports Audio Content. This relationship means the end of Gow Media’s partnership with Yahoo! Sports Radio as of August 1. At that time, the sports radio network with re-brand as SB Nation Radio. SB Nation is a digital sports brand operated by Vox Media. In a statement today, the two companies say they will “collaborate to develop and distribute audio content, available across SB Nation’s community of over 300 digital properties, as well as Gow Media’s network of over 500 affiliate radio stations, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and other mobile and digital platforms.” They plan to create new “podcast franchises” and “various on-air show formats.” SB Nation staff expected to be part of the radio efforts include: Spencer Hall, Paul Flannery, Dan Rubenstein, Ariel Helwani, Thomas George, “as well as experts from some of SB Nation’s 300 team-specific communities, which will join Gow Media’s existing 24/7 programming lineup and capabilities.” Gow Media CEO David Gow says, “SB Nation is young, fast-paced, and digitally savvy. This is the tone and energy audiences will hear on SB Nation Radio.”
Odds & Sods. In the Houston market, iHeartmedia inks a deal with IMG to be the official radio partner for The University of Texas football and men’s basketball play-by-play broadcasts. KBME “Sportstalk 790 AM” will be the primary outlet for broadcasts but select games may also air on news/talk sisters KTRH and KPRC…..Bravo Mic Communications-owned country outlet KXPZ, Las Cruces, is the new flagship for New Mexico State University football and men’s basketball games, and the coaches’ shows. The deal with Learfield runs through 2021…..Radio news pro Kris Ankarlo joins the news staff at iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles as reporter/anchor. Ankarlo, son of talk radio pro Darryl Ankarlo, most recently served with CBS RADIO’s all-news WNEW-FM, Baltimore prior to that station’s format flip late last year.
4th Annual Radio Talent Workshop Begins Today at WKU. Today begins the 4th annual Kentucky Broadcasters Association Western Kentucky University Radio Talent Institute with 35 broadcasters discovering and preparing young talent with a strong desire to be in the broadcast industry. Twenty four students from across the state and region have been accepted into the Institute and all will be taking the RAB course to become certified as Radio Marketing Professionals. They’ll also learn from broadcasters about other aspects of radio, including: on-air, sports, news, production, promotions and digital/social media. Some of the guest professional faculty are: Steve Newberry, president of Commonwealth Communications; Bud Walters, president of Cromwell Radio Group; Chris Hillard, president of Forever Communications; Kristin Cantrell, owner/CEO of CapCity Communications and Seven Mountains Media; Mike Tarter, president and Terry Forcht, chairman/CEO of Forcht Broadcasting; and Lynn Martin, president of LM Communications. The Ben Davis and Kelly K show (pictured here at last year’s Institute) from WDJX, Louisville will broadcast live from WKU on Friday morning.
Broadcast Veteran Mike Siegel Publishes Book About Pivotal Period in Talk Radio History. In a new book that is part-memoir/part-history, veteran talent Mike Siegel has released a book that covers the early days of talk radio’s modern era following the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine. Titled, Airing the Wave: Talk Radio at the Dawn of the Digital Era (2016 Page Publishing) the book was written with Stan Emert with a forward by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison. Siegel, who currently hosts a national show distributed by Genesis Communications Network (GCN) and does part-time and fill-in work for WRKO, Boston, is available for interviews. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or phoned at 206-510-9494.
Shannon Burke Wins ‘Casting Call’ for WYAY, Atlanta Talk Show. Program director Greg Tantum says audience response to Shannon Burke’s appearance on Cumulus Media’s WYAY, Atlanta “NewsRadio 106.7” during the on-air auditions – or Casting Call – was an “overwhelming audience favorite.” As a result, Burke is inked to a deal to host the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program on WYAY. Burke was most recently with Cox Media Group’s WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone.” He’s also worked on the Bubba the Love Sponge show, iHeartMedia’s WTKS, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1” and WFLF, Orlando “540 WFLA.” Tantum says, “[Burke’s] show creatively combines intelligent talk with humor, entertainment and a connection with the Atlanta lifestyle.”
WCBM, Baltimore’s Tom Marr on Medical Leave After Suffering Stroke. The longtime Baltimore news, talk, and sports radio figure suffered a stroke on Sunday (7/3) that the family says happened as a result of complications from recent back surgery. WCBM, Baltimore’s Tom Marr will be on medical hiatus while he recovers. Marr has been with WCBM since 1988 when the Mangione family acquired the station. Prior to coming to WCBM, Marr spent 21 years at the former WFBR (now WJZ-AM) in Baltimore as a newsman and Orioles play-by-play announcer.
Baghdad, Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh Terror Bombings, The Presidential Race, FBI’s Clinton Email Investigation/Bill Clinton-Loretta Lynch Meeting, The Fourth of July Holiday, and Kevin Durant Joins Golden State Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The deadly terror attacks in Baghdad, three sites in Saudi Arabia and in Bangladesh; the activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the status of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for State Department business, tied with Bill Clinton’s controversial meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch; the Fourth of July holiday; and NBA star Kevin Durant’s decision to join the Golden State Warriors were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Randi Rhodes Returns to Talk Show Hosting; Teams with Nicole Sandler for One-Two Progressive Punch. Florida-based progressive talk host Nicole Sandler (right) tells TALKERS magazine that she and Randi Rhodes (left) are debuting four hours of live progressive talk on the Internet as Rhodes gets back behind the mic for the first time since her Premiere Networks show ended in May of 2014. Sandler says, “Randi Rhodes and I have teamed up to produce and broadcast four daily hours of fierce, independent, entertaining and informative progressive talk radio streaming live weekdays.” The Nicole Sandler Show runs live from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET and The Randi Rhodes Show follows immediately, airing live from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET. Sandler’s show moves from its previous “Radio or Not” home to NicoleSandler.com. Rhodes is broadcasting from her studios in Delray Beach, which were funded by Rhode’s listeners via a Kickstarter campaign. Sandler says that in addition to their own streaming channels and their respective websites, the Randi Rhodes show and the Nicole Sandler show are also heard on The Progressive Voices channel and app, and a few other select streaming stations around the world.
Hyper-Local Online Talk Media Station. For the fifth consecutive year, legendary Western Massachusetts radio personality Brad Shepard served as the voice and emcee of the regionally iconic East Longmeadow Fourth of July Parade yesterday (7/4). Shepard is the GM and star personality on the hyper-local Pioneer Valley Radio (PioneerValleyRadio.com) launched a year-and-a-half ago after Shepard left his long-running morning show at local iHeartMedia news/talk outlet WHYN, Springfield. Shepard tells TALKERS, “Pioneer Valley Radio features a format that can best be described as ‘full-time public affairs with personality.’ We are achieving tremendous traction with this concept and it is gratifying to works within an exciting medium that operates so closely with the heart and soul of its local community. This platform has quickly become the favorite of this region’s most civically active citizens. It is a qualitative bonanza for advertisers that functions within that mindset.”
WGOW-AM/FM, Chattanooga ‘SportTalk’ Host Gary Haskew Dead at 74. Longtime Chattanooga sports reporter and talk host Gary Haskew, a.k.a. “Dr. Basketball” died on July 4 after suffering a massive heart attack. Haskew hosted the afternoon program “SportTalk” on the Cumulus Media station. WGOW interim PD Bill Lockhart comments, “Gary was an incredible talent, an excellent storyteller, a true original, and the largest of larger-than-life characters. In a world of wanna-bes, posers, and imitators, Gary was the genuine article – a man’s man, an entertainer extraordinaire, with a love for people. We are all lucky to have had Gary in our lives.”
TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations – ‘Millennials and the Media’ Panel Now Posted for Viewing. TALKERS continues to add Livestream video recordings of the various presentations, addresses and discussions at TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations. The 19th annual installment of the longest-running and most important national talk media industry convention took place Friday, May 20 on the fabulous campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. The latest event from the convention being posted today (7/5) is the panel discussion “Millennials and the Media” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey. Speakers on the panel include (in alphabetical order): Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM, Springfield, MA “Rock 102”; Ethan Bearman, host, KGO, San Francisco; Vince Benedetto, president/CEO, Bold Gold Media Group; Mike Calta, host, WHPT-FM, Tampa “Rock 102”; Meghan McCain, host Premiere Networks; and John T. Mullen, director of operations, Radio Hofstra University. To view the video in its entirety, please click here.
Odds & Sods. The WOAI, San Antonio-based “Joe Pags Show” – hosted by talk radio personality Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo – renews its relationship with Compass Media Networks to be exclusively distributed by the firm into the next decade. Joe Pags says, “The team at Compass Media Networks is extraordinary. As I focus on putting on a great show and serving my stations, listeners and sponsors, this team is hitting it out of the park consistently bringing in new affiliates and revenue.”…..CBS Radio News is offering coverage of the 2016 political conventions to affiliate stations that will fit their needs. CBS News will provide a variety of coverage from the 2016 Republican and Democratic National Conventions from Cleveland and Philadelphia – long- or short-form coverage, updates several times an hour, one-on-one interviews, and social media opportunities…..Podcasting pioneer Blubrry is partnering with StreamGuys to enable podcasters to expand their audience and reach through internet radio streaming. StreamGuys’ new Podcast2Radio option lets Blubrry customers effortlessly convert podcasts into linear internet radio streams delivered to new audiences through StreamGuys’ robust, cloud-based content delivery network. This increased distribution is complemented by rich analytics and statistics from StreamGuys that enhance the ability for Blubrry users to measure and track their growing listener base…..At Beasley Media Group’s Atlanta sports talk WWWE, “Sports Joc Show” host Wayne Gandy (right) is announcing that Waverly T. Lucas II (left), a former member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem and The Atlanta Ballet is the first recipient of the “Man of Honor” award. This award is presented by ex-NFLer Gandy once a month from June through September. This award pays tribute to men who display integrity, honor, hard work, sacrifice and kindness to others. Lucas is the co-founder and co-artistic director of Ballethnic Dance Company, the choreographer of more than 30 ballets and is the creator of Danseur Development Project, a program with a unique approach to the athletic development and mentoring of young males in dance.
WGN, Chicago Renews Steve Cochran Through 2020. This is the latest in a series of contract renewals at Tribune’s news/talker WGN Radio. Morning drive host Steve Cochran’s pact with the station is extended through 2020. Station VP of content and programming Todd Manley says, “Steve makes it look easy with his affable brand of intelligence, but nobody works harder to gather and share the stories Chicagoans care about. He’s got the raw talent and work ethic we need for many years to come.” The Cochran morning show team includes co-anchor and reporter Andrea Darlas, news by Steve Grzanich, sports by Dave Eanet and traffic by Mary Van De Velde. Last week, the station made public new deals for afternoon drive star Roe Conn and, on Friday, an extension for programmer Manley. Cochran worked at WGN from 2000 through 2010 when he was let go. He rejoined WGN in 2013. In a story this morning by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Cochran speaks glowingly about the new regime at WGN – and rather frankly about the one that fired him. You can read Feder’s piece here.
Melissa Harrison Named AM Co-Anchor at KRLD, Dallas. News pro Melissa Harrison becomes part of the KRLD Morning News alongside Mike Rogers and Scott Sams, beginning Friday, July 1. Harrison has most recently been working as a freelance reporter for KXAS-TV, Dallas-Fort Worth. She formerly worked as a television news reporter in New York, Birmingham, Jackson, Waco, and Abilene. KRLD director of news and programming Paul Mann says, “Melissa’s extensive journalism experience will further strengthen the award-winning KRLD news team. As with co-anchors Mike Rogers and Scott Sams, Melissa’s roots run deep in North Texas and she is passionate about our community.”
‘Brexit’ Vote/Financial Markets Activity, The Presidential Race, SCOTUS Immigration Ruling, Coming SCOTUS Abortion Ruling, Sacramento Rally Violence, and MLB Action and Copa America Final Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and the reactions by the world’s financial markets; the activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton plus the hiring of former Trump aid Corey Lewandowski by CNN; the effects of the recent Supreme Court ruling halting President Obama’s immigration executive orders; this week’s expected ruling by the Supreme Court on Texas’ abortion laws; the violent clash of protestors at a ‘white power’ rally in Sacramento; and MLB action and the Copa America soccer final were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Odds & Sods. Radio personality Anthony Cumia has pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges – third-degree assault and a charge of blocking someone’s breathing – related to an incident with his then-girlfriend in December of 2015. Cumia – former partner of Gregg “Opie” Hughes on both SiriusXM and AM/FM radio – currently hosts an internet talk program. Newsday is reporting that Cumia must complete six months of outpatient alcohol abuse treatment and a six-month batterer’s intervention program. Upon completion of those programs, he can get the charges reduced to non-criminal harassment counts…..Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup tips TALKERS magazine that Chicago media writer Robert Feder is celebrating his 36th year in the business of covering radio and television in the Windy City. Tradup and Feder recently shared a lunch in Chicago where Tradup was once president and general manager of news/talk WLS-AM…..SiriusXM is offering comprehensive live coverage of The Championships, Wimbledon 2016 beginning today through the Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Singles Finals on Saturday, July 9, and Sunday, July 10. The broadcasts are airing courtesy of rightsholder ESPN Audio…..Audio content aggregator TuneIn is now offering Scripps-owned Newsy’s daily news reporting. TuneIn premium subscribers can access two weekly podcasts focused on politics — “Newsy Politics” — and culture — “Givin’ Takes” – plus three daily podcasts focused on U.S. and world news; tech, science and health; and current events…..Alpha Media’s Salina, Kansas news/talker KSAL-AM “NewsRadio 1150” collects two honors in the 2016 Salina Journal Reader’s Choice Awards. KSAL was named “Favorite Radio Station.” KSAL personality Clarke Sanders was chosen “Favorite Radio Host.” Fellow staffers Rich Alexander and Mike Hammett were finalists in the host category. Alpha Salina market manager Bob Protzman says, “We’re very proud of Alpha Media’s representation in the 2016 Salina Journal Reader’s Choice Awards. Once again, ‘News Radio 1150’ KSAL takes ‘Favorite Radio Station’ showing that AM radio is alive and well – all it takes is quality local programming.”
BIA Kelsey Releases State of Radio Industry Report. As part of its state of the radio industry report, BIA Kelsey releases “The Position of Local Radio Stations: Trends for 2016 & Beyond.” Using data from Nielsen Audio, Edison Research, Miller Kaplan, and more, the study looks at AM/FM radio’s reach and revenue over the past five years and projects where radio is likely to be five years down the road. It notes recent industry-wide dips in local station revenue. “We believe local radio stations will be able to turn around this negative over-the-air revenue growth slightly. As long as the economy maintains moderate growth in the next few years, we expect total radio advertising to grow in the 1.0 % to 1.25 % CAGR range.” The BIA Kelsey study also points to digital and live events as pieces of the radio revenue pie that have helped AM/FM survive spot sales declines that will continue to be crucial to radio’s bottom line in the years ahead.
By Mike Kinosian
LOS ANGELES — The third and final installment of our recap of last week’s Hivio 2016 conference sums up three of the 17 sessions presented Thursday (6/2) and Friday (6/3) on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip, literally steps away from the famous Comedy Store. Most of the agenda featured one-on-one interviews conducted by event co-organizer Mark Ramsey, who declares, “Contests on radio are pathetic.” The “attraction to listen,” he notes, is “a one in a million chance to win something.” That incentive to listen, Ramsey stresses, “makes no sense” and the San Diego-based media advisor-strategist/research analyst seamlessly utilizes that statement to introduce Omaze co-founder/co-chief executive officer Ryan Cummins, who Ramsey comments has a “different – better – way [that] will change the way you view contesting.”
Glenn Beck Show Off SiriusXM Over Brad Thor Comments. According to Glenn Beck show general manager Dom Theodore, Beck’s show will return to SiriusXM’s Patriot Channel on Monday (6/6), but it remains to be seen whether that happens or not. The satellite radio company says it objected to the words of Beck’s guest – thriller writer Brad Thor – who asked the hypothetical question, “Who will stand in the way of Donald Trump overstepping his constitutional authority as president? If congress won’t remove him from office, what patriot will step up and do that if – if – he oversteps his mandate as president?” Thor is clearly intimating it would take a person to remove Trump from office via deadly force. Theodore goes on to note that Beck is on vacation this week and will return on June 6. He notes that “Glenn has never — and will never — advocate violence. It wasn’t long ago that he was criticized by some for advocating peace during the Bundy Ranch saga. Glenn is a firm believer in Martin Luther King’s approach to affecting change, not Malcolm X’s. This past summer, he organized an event in Birmingham, Alabama called Restoring Unity, the purpose of which was to unite different groups to commit to come together.” Theodore says the matter is between Beck syndicator Premiere Networks and SiriusXM, but takes a thinly veiled shot at SiriusXM when he says, “For the past several months, Glenn has warned his audience, and anyone else willing to listen, that the current political climate is worse than anything he has ever witnessed or studied in American history. We have been preparing for an assault on Glenn’s voice, and others like it, which only reaffirms the importance and value of independent platforms like TheBlaze, platforms governed not only by ratings but also by principles and values. We are grateful to our partners at Premiere Networks, our many local affiliates, and all of our extended partners who support and celebrate a diversity of opinion. We hope you will reach out to all of them and thank them for having the backbone and integrity to stand-up for all voices, even those with which they may disagree.”
ESPN Radio to Expand Syndication of Paul Finebaum Show. The SEC football expert joined ESPN three years ago in Charlotte after having been based in Birmingham for most of his talk radio career. Now, the sports giant announces that in August it will begin making the Paul Finebaum show available to affiliate stations across the country. The show has been aired on ESPN affiliates in the Southeast where it airs in afternoon drive.
Mueller Appointed Market Manager at Alpha Media Amarillo. Twenty-five year radio pro Robert Mueller, a.k.a. Cisco Kidd, is named to the market manager position at Alpha Media’s Amarillo, Texas that includes news/talk KGNC-AMm country KGNC-FM, and classic hits KXGL “100.9 The Eagle.” Muller has most recently been with Alpha Media at the corporate level as a product manager working closely with VP of interactive Stefan Brock rolling out digital initiatives across multiple markets. Before that, he served with Citadel in Oklahoma City in numerous management capacities. Alpha Media EVP of the Western Division, Larry Bastida, says, “I’ve worked with Robert in varying capacities for over 16 years and he’s always delivered. He’s smart and competitive. Radio and digital run in his blood. More than anything, he has always had great appreciation for his fellow teammates, as well as being mindful of the obligation we have to our advertising partners. Not only am I excited for Robert to have this great opportunity, I’m excited for Alpha to have him in Amarillo!”
The Presidential Race, Cincinnati Zoo Gorilla Case, Battle Against Islamic State, Zika Virus, Deadly Florida EDM Concert, Brazil-Venezuela Economic Woes, and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/31). The activities of the candidates for president, including the ongoing investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for State Department business and scrutiny of Donald Trump’s Trump University; the controversy over the euthanizing of a rare gorilla at the Cincinnati zoo as the result of a child getting into the animal’s enclosure; the military battle against Islamic State and the campaign by Iraq to reclaim control of Fallujah; the spread of the Zika virus and the first child with microcephaly is born in the New York City area; the two deaths and dozens of hospitalizations that took place at a Florida EDM concert over the weekend; the economic tailspin that both Brazil and Venezuela are suffering; 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.
Odds & Sods. The on-air lineup at CBS RADIO’s sports talker KILT, Houston “Sportsradio 610” has been shuffled. Some six weeks after Nick Wright exited the station to join Fox Sports 1 in Los Angeles, the company moves the midday “Mad Radio” show with Seth Payne and Mike Meltser to the morning drive daypart. Now heard in the midday slot are John Lopez (Wright’s former AM drive partner), former NFL star Dante Hall, and Cody Stoots, hosting “In the Loop.”…..In Albany, iHeartMedia’s sports talk WOFX announces its programming changes, adding the local “The Tred Show” with Tred Hulse in the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot. The station is airing the Dan Patrick show live from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon followed by Fox Sports’ “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm. WOFX recently lost local host Rodger Wyland, who is joining crosstown WTMM on July 5.
WLW, Cincinnati’s Bill Cunningham Wrapping TV Show. According to a report by WVXU.org’s John Kiesewetter, longtime WLW, Cincinnati afternoon drive personality Bill Cunningham is declining to renew his deal with Tribune Broadcasting to produce three more seasons of his eponymous TV show that airs on the CW Network. Citing the hectic schedule he has to keep to do both the television program and his WLW and Premiere Networks Sunday evening radio shows, Cunningham told WLW listeners he wants to spend more time with his grandchildren. Cunningham was recruited for the television show by Tribune president of strategic programming and acquisition Sean Compton, a former Clear Channel programming executive who joined Tribune when former Clear Channel Radio president Randy Michaels became chief of Tribune. The first season of the show was syndicated by Tribune but seasons two through five aired on the CW Network.
Cooke: 70 Rocks. Media consultant Holland Cooke writes today about the maturation of the Baby Boomer generation and the value of these consumers to the radio industry. For radio station operators – and for news/talk stations that target a mature audience – this demographic is a big fan of radio and is likely to purchase the products and services for which radio marketing campaigns work so well. Read some of Cooke’s advice for radio stations taking advantage of this generation’s use of radio here.
The Presidential Race, the Battle Against Islamic State, Putin’s NATO Threats, Zoo Gorilla Killing, the Memorial Day Holiday, and the NBA and NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The activities of the candidates for president and the weekend’s Libertarian Party debate; the ongoing fight against Islamic State and the push by Iraqi forces to reclaim Falluja; Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threat to prevent U.S. missiles from being places in NATO countries Romania and Poland; the case of the rare gorilla killed in the Cincinnati Zoo after a child had entered the animal’s enclosure; the Memorial Day holiday and the weekend’s NBA playoff and the start of the NHL Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Another Investor Sues iHeartMedia. This time, the complaint against iHeartMedia comes from Gamco Asset Management Inc., which owns close to 10% of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings public stock. According to a report by Bloomberg, Gamco is saying that shareholders of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings are not being protected first and foremost and that the subsidiary is being given short shrift in order to benefit the parent company. An iHeartMedia spokesman says the asset shift is legal. Gamco was in iHeartMedia’s corner during the recent case iHM won after being sued by senior lenders for the move. Still, Gamco is alleging the stock’s shift to Broader Media Inc., harms CCOH’s ability “to exploit business opportunities.”
Odds & Sods. Over the Memorial Day weekend, the Libertarian Party’s top five candidates held a debate in Orlando that was moderated by Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk radio host Larry Elder. The debate was aired live on C-SPAN. SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says, “As SRN’s newest nationally syndicated host, we are proud that Larry Elder was selected for this high-profile assignment as the unpredictable campaign 2016 continues to unfold.”…..Pro hoops star Jason Terry is launching a new weekly show on SiriusXM’s NBA channel beginning tomorrow at 7:00 pm ET (6/1). “The Runway with Jason ‘The Jet’ Terry” will air Wednesdays and also feature co-host Justin Termine…..ABC News Radio correspondent Alex Stone is seen here positioned near police at the Donald Trump rally in San Diego on May 27. The protest reportedly drew about 1,000 people and was peaceful for three hours until some protestors tried to break a police line. Thirty-five people were arrested.
Red Sox-WEEI Streak Continues. While financial terms of the highly expected deal were not disclosed, Entercom Boston sports outlet WEEI will carry on its role as the radio flagship of the Boston Red Sox through (at minimum) the 2023 MLB season. WEEI and the Red Sox have been partners since 1995. Entercom chief operating officer David Field states, “WEEI and Entercom are delighted to be extending our outstanding relationship with the Boston Red Sox well into the future. It is a true privilege to be partnered with this extraordinary, iconic organization and their world-class team of professionals, both on and off the field. Red Sox fans across the country will continue to hear outstanding Sox play-by-play broadcasts and 24/7 team coverage on WEEI and WEEI.com, the home of Red Sox baseball.” Red Sox president Sam Kennedy comments, “We are pleased to extend our partnership with WEEI for another seven seasons. We look forward to this new phase of our partnership and sharing more winning baseball through the airwaves with our fans across New England.” The WEEI play-by-play crew consists of Red Sox Hall of Fame announcer Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett, who this year succeeded Dave O’Brien (now doing Red Sox telecasts on NESN); Hamden, Connecticut native Castiglione is in his 34th year in the Red Sox radio booth. In addition to WEEI, the Red Sox Radio Network consists of 55 affiliates throughout the six New England states. To see how WEEI-FM and 28 other MLB radio flagships performed in Nielsen Audio‘s March 2016 PPM sweep, please read today’s exclusive TALKERS special features piece which appears below.
PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian introduces Major League Baseball‘s 2016 radio flagships with a ratings overview based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2016 PPM survey period. Highlighted are each key station’s 6+ share; 6+ market rank; month-to-month and year-to-year fluctuations; and a special breakout chart featuring the flagships by league/division. See the first of Mike’s exclusive special feature pieces about MLB flagships here.
TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations Is Nearing a Sellout! If you haven’t made your reservations to attend the forthcoming 19th annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention, now is the time to do so. It is nearing an early sellout and there will be no registrations sold at the door. TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations will take place three weeks from now on Friday, May 20 on the fabulous campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY (on Long Island, just outside of NYC). Featuring a powerful lineup of more than 60 luminous speakers, panel discussions, presentations, breakfast, lunch, closing reception, techno exhibits, live broadcasts and more – this is shaping up to be the most exciting and productive industry networking events of its kind in years. Registration cost is $299 per person and can only be arranged with credit card over the phone. The event is only open to media professionals and communications students. Please call 413-565-5413 for registration, sponsorship, and hotel information. Complete up to date agenda info can be found by clicking here.
Knapp, KCMO-AM Cut Ties. After more than five years as KCMO-AM, Kansas City’s afternoon drive host, Greg Knapp departs the Cumulus Media talk outlet. Regarding his dismissal, Knapp writes on his Facebook page, “I was told repeatedly it was not about my performance. My general manager was very kind in telling me how much she appreciated my show and my work [but] corporate decided it was cheaper to run syndicated programming than it was to pay me a salary. I have consistently had the highest ratings on the station; everyone at Cumulus Kansas City has been very good to me. The good news is I learned a long time ago to always have more than one source of income. I am now ramping up my personal development business [but] I am also looking for new opportunities in radio.” Knapp previously did afternoon drive on KLIF, Dallas; was a syndicated Radio America talk talent; and owned a guest-hosting service. Down or flat for the fourth successive sweep (1.9 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), KCMO-AM ranks #21 in Nielsen Audio‘s March 2016 PPM report for Kansas City; Entercom hot AC KZPT “The Point” is the market leader (6.5, 6+).
Presidential Race Tops “Talkers Ten” for Week of April 25 – 29. Activities of the presidential candidates and the battle for delegates were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 were the European terrorism investigations and the arrest of Salah Abdeslam, tied with the United States’ Syria military policy. Coming in at #3 was the controversy over state laws affecting public restroom use and gender identification, followed by North Korea’s recent missile tests 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.
“Robbins & Markley” Becomes “Markley & van Camp.” Owing to health concerns that have sidelined Scott Robbins since late-August (2015), there is a title change for the weekday program on Alpha Media Portland’s KXL “FM News 101” and co-owned WMBD, Peoria (Illinois). David van Camp will permanently join Jamie Markley for the “Markley and van Camp Show,” which airs 9:00 am – 12:00 noon on KXL and from 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm on WMBD. Alpha Media executive vice president of programming Scott Mahalick comments that, “David van Camp brings a unique perspective to the show and a great balance to Jamie Markley; together, they are magical.” The first official day of the newly-named “Markley and van Camp Show” will be next Monday (5/2).
SiriusXM Q1 Revenue Rises 11%. The increase is to a record $1.2 billion, with SiriusXM net income up 62% to $171 million; adjusted EBITDA improves 11% to $441 million. The satcaster adds nearly one-half million new subscribers, ending with almost 30.1 million. First quarter results exceeded expectations of chief executive officer Jim Meyer who comments, “I am especially pleased we were able to add 465,000 net new subscribers, leading to an 8% increase in subscribers over the prior year. With excellent subscriber growth so early in the year, we are raising our guidance for full year net subscriber additions to 1.6 million. We set first quarter records for revenue, adjusted EBITDA, and free cash flow, and we are on track to achieve all of our financial goals this year. With a new full-time music channel from Kenny Chesney, live broadcasts from major music festivals, special popup channels for David Bowie, and Billy Joel, as well as new talk shows, and unmatched coverage of the presidential primaries, SiriusXM continues to be the leader in audio entertainment. We are always looking to deliver new, compelling content to our subscribers.” Chief financial officer David Frear notes that during the first quarter, “We reduced our outstanding share count by about 3%, spending $588 million to repurchase 159 million shares of our common stock. Our debt to adjusted EBITDA remained low at just 3.4 times, leaving plenty of flexibility to continue capital returns to our stockholders or make acquisitions while also making investments in our technology, content, and new satellite infrastructure.”
State of the New York Market Report Released. Among the findings from a New York Market Radio Association (NYMRAD) overview is that several industries expanded their footprint in the New York area contributing to a strong first-quarter start. NYMRAD executive director Debbie Beagan remarks, “With luxury retailers and department stores opening locations across the Tri-State area, radio offers high-end businesses an engaging environment for reaching consumers with household incomes of $250,000 and higher. New York market radio reaches 91% of high-income households, $250,000+, [as well as] over 90% of those who own a second home; those planning on buying a luxury car; dined in upscale restaurants; purchased fine jewelry in excess of $500; and vacations in excess of $10,000.” The report addresses latest information about New York’s economy, commuting information, radio and politics, and national radio advertising/usage. Analysis of the New York marketplace is designed to help advertisers understand radio’s impact on consumers and its role in the local advertising landscape. NYMRAD’s “State of the Market Report” provides business trends as well as local information from a variety of sources including Nielsen Audio, Media Monitors, and The New York Times.”
Execs Named to Build Digital Content Network for TheBlaze. Three digital media industry veterans have been added to TheBlaze‘s leadership team. Former Core Media Group chief marketing officer Chris Gannett joins as senior vice president of marketing; previously with CNN and the weekend edition of ABC-TV‘s “Good Morning America,” Matt Frucci is appointed senior vice president of content & programming; and Lisa Fowler – from BET Networks – joins as vice president of talent and culture. TheBlaze president Stewart Padveen notes, “TheBlaze is investing heavily in our mission to redefine the way digital media is delivered and consumed. Chris, Matt, and Lisa are a significant part of a new high-performing culture and a diverse lineup of superstar talent.” Ironically, the additions at Glenn Beck‘s TheBlaze come after cuts across offices in New York, Los Angeles, Washington (D.C.), and Columbus, where a documentary group had been based. Sources tell TVNewser, between 35-45 staffers have been pinkslipped. These layoffs follow what a source calls a “brain drain” of talent over the last year. Chief executive officer Betsy Morgan left the company last summer and her interim replacement, former Premiere Networks chief operating officer, Kraig Kitchen, exited earlier this year. According to The Daily Beast, the latest cuts are meant to “satisfy the requirements of a multi-million dollar bank loan taken out recently to keep Beck’s revenue-challenged enterprise running.” TheBlaze is consolidating the company’s operations to its Irving, Texas headquarters.
The Presidential Race, Gender-Bathroom Issue, Islamists Kill Canadian/Battle Against Islamic State, Obama European Trip, and Tom Brady Suspension Reinstated Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/25). The activities of the candidates for president, the debate over the delegate process and today’s Northeast primaries; controversy over laws affecting public restroom use by transgender citizens; the death of Canadian John Ridsdel at the hands of Philippine Islamists; President Obama’s visit to European nations; and the NFL’s four-game suspension of Tom Brady is upheld by a federal appeals court were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Hannity Re-Ups with KDWN, Las Vegas. Nationally syndicated superstar Sean Hannity sews up his Las Vegas affiliate for another three years. The Premiere Networks personality will continue to be heard on Beasley Media Group’s news/talk KDWN through 2019. Station program director John Shaffer says, “We’re ready and eager to continue what has been a very positive partnership with one of the greats in the talk industry.”
WPRO, Providence Personality John DePetro Emcees Trump Rally. Ahead of today’s Rhode Island primary election, the Trump campaign held a rally at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick. WPRO, Providence late morning personality John DePetro served as emcee for the event. He’s pictured here (right) with Donald Trump (center) and DePetro’s son Daniel (left).
Odds & Sods. Eighteen-year Las Vegas radio pro JB King is promoted to operations manager for the CBS RADIO cluster there that includes: news/talk KXNT and sports talk KXST, as well as CHR KLUC, hot AC KMXB, alternative KXTE, and urban contemporary KXQQ…..iHeartMedia fires up new translator W292EG in Eau Claire, Wisconsin to carry the signal of news/talk WMEQ, Menomonie. The 34-watt translator at 106.3 FM lies between the Menononie and Eau Claire centers…..WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte talk show host Keith Larson is organizing his 14th annual motorcycle ride to help kids battling life-threatening illnesses and their families. It’s called Keith’s Ride and it takes place this Saturday (4/30). The event is escorted by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office Motor Unit and supported by several other law enforcement agencies…..The nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” radio show adds Shamrock Communications’ KNEZ, Reno “107.3 KNEWS” as its latest affiliate station…..CBS RADIO’s news/talk KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh is hosting “Allegheny Health Network’s Senior Life Today presented by LubriSyn HA” this Saturday (4/30). The event will feature vendors with informational booths and break-out sessions. KDKA personalities will be onsite throughout the day and the station will broadcast its Saturday programming live from site from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm.
Beck Under Investigation for Trump Threat? According to a story published by KTVT-TV, Dallas, the Secret Service is following up on what it has construed as a possible threat by Premiere Networks syndicated talk host Glenn Beck against GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. During Beck’s Friday program, Beck was speaking about what he would do if here were in Trump’s competitors’ shoes. Beck show cast member Stu Burguiere jokingly asked, “Was it gigantic shoes?” To which Beck replied, “If I was close enough and I had a knife. Really. I mean the stabbing just wouldn’t stop.” Beck and Burguiere said afterward that Beck was clearly making a humorous threat against his co-host but the Secret Service is looking in to whether it was a threat against Trump. See the KTVT-TV story here.
Super Saturday Primaries/Clinton-Sanders Debate, Nancy Reagan Dies, North Korea Nuclear Threats, and Peyton Manning Retires Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The presidential race, Saturday’s primary elections and caucuses, and the Hillary Clinton–Bernie Sanders debate; the passing of former First Lady Nancy Reagan at 94; North Korea’s renewed threats of nuclear force; and the announced retirement of NFL great Peyton Manning were some of the most-talked-about stories discussed on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
KOIL, Omaha Unveils Programming Changes; New Brand. Recent programming changes at NRG Media’s KOIL, Omaha include the addition of Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity to the afternoon daypart leading into Westwood One’s Mark Levin, plus the arrival of Matt Tompkins hosting the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm show. Tompkins – who replaces the recently departed Bob Bruce – hosted at KOIL in the past and is also the co-host/co-creator of “Omaha Live,” a sketch comedy TV show that airs immediately after “Saturday Night Live” on WOWT-TV, Omaha. Additionally, the station changes its brand from “The Mighty 1290 KOIL” to “News Talk 1290.” Station operations manager Dave Tepper states, “Matt provides his listeners with a young, entertaining and fast-paced view of local and national politics and is Omaha’s only local weekday news talk show from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. The addition of Sean Hannity provides Omaha with the best election and national news coverage we can and the move to ‘News Talk 1290’ is a clear description of what we are.”
Delmarva Re-Aligns Programming on Delaware Talk Stations. Wilmington news/talker WDEL-AM/FM and Milford, Delaware talk outlet WXDE-FM have gone through a programming realignment. Here’s what’s changed: Susan Monday is now 9:00 am to 12:00 noon host simulcast on both stations, replacing Al Mascitti on WDEL; the Rick Jenson show is also being simulcast from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on both stations; Jared Morris is hosting the afternoon show on WXDE-FM and Allan Loudell anchors the afternoon news program on WDEL.
Pagliarulo Syndication Building at Healthy Clip. Heavy Hundred member Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo continues his momentum since going into independent national syndication last August. He’s up to 41 affiliates now and TALKERS has learned that a number of stations are looking to add the show this spring and summer. He broadcasts live between 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm ET. Stations interested in the program can learn more by contacting Susan O’Connell at Compass Media Networks at SOConnell@compassmedianetworks.com. To read Mike Kinosian’s recent TALKERS feature about Joe Pags, please click here.
The 2016 Hersky Awards. Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz presents the winners of the 9th annual Hersky Awards for excellence in talk radio advertising. In this annual feature, Herskovitz gives his nod to what he considers the best in several categories: national commercial of the year, best ad campaign of the year, best national live read, best local spot by a national host, best website ad, and, of course, the Nosey Award for the ad or ad campaign that “needs improvement.” See the winners here.
WIP, Philadelphia’s Big Daddy Graham Diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation After Marathon Hiccup Attack. Overnight sports talk personality Big Daddy Graham was smitten with a bout of hiccups that wouldn’t go away while doing his show on WIP-FM, Philadelphia. At first he thought it was kind of funny but when it didn’t stop, he became concerned. According to a story from CBS Philadelphia, he went to the hospital and was subsequently diagnosed with atrial fibrillation – an abnormal heart rhythm. The doctor that treated Graham says the hiccups are not a normal sign of atrial fibrillation but sources of stress can set the hiccups in motion and can do the same for atrial fibrillation. Graham’s hiccups have subsided but not gone away entirely after a three-day stay in the hospital. But he’s back on the radio and back to his standup comedy gigs as well. Read the CBS story here.
Odds & Sods. WGOW, Chattanooga afternoon talk host Brian Joyce recently emceed a live auction at the “HulaBowloo” – an annual event hosted by the Chattanooga Area Food Bank. Joyce reports that the event was a smashing success; more than 700 people attended and it’s expected that $105,000 will be raised for the food bank that helps provide more than 420,000 meals for low-income kids…..CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York “Sports Radio 66AM and 101.9FM” and the New York Yankees announce John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman will continue serving as the radio broadcast team for New York Yankees games this season. Sterling and Waldman have called Yankees games on the radio for the past 11 years…..Pictured here is KHTE, Little Rock talk host Dave Elswick (right) speaking with Project Veritas’ James O’Keefe (left) at last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington…..WGN, Chicago announces it has signed a contract extension with personality Lou Manfredini through December 31, 2020. Manfredini began his career at WGN in 1995 as a guest on the Bob Collins show when he was given the nickname “Mr. Fix It.” He hosts the Saturday morning program, “The Mr. Fix-It Show.”
WPGG, Atlantic City Morning Host Harry Hurley Named TALKERS 2016 Humanitarian of the Year. Heavy Hundred member Harry Hurley has been named by the TALKERS editorial board as the 2016 recipient of the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Talk Show Host. The annual honor, also known as the “Humanitarian of the Year” award, is presented to a radio talk show host who has performed noteworthy charitable or public service initiatives on behalf of his or her listeners and community. For almost a decade, Harry Hurley has used his successful morning show in Atlantic City, New Jersey as a platform for the numerous fundraising activities of his Hurley Morning Show Foundation that have raised more than a half million dollars in support of more than 100 New Jersey charities and service organizations. For example, on the third Friday in June each year, Hurley hosts a blow-out massive charity golf tournament. This year’s installment will take place on June 17, 2016 at the Harbor Pines Golf Club in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey. Hurley’s eighth annual dinner scheduled for Friday, April 8, 2016 at Congress Hall, (America’s seaside resort), co-headlined this year with Joe Piscopo of WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer,” is also a highly successful charity silent auction fundraising event. In making the announcement of Hurley being this year’s choice for the prestigious award, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “This award has special significance to the Harrison family, the TALKERS organization and everyone who knew Sharon personally because it represents the absolute best that the radio industry can be on a fundamental human level. The recipients of this honor stand tall as role models for what the radio industry should be. Harry Hurley is the quintessential positive morning personality and shines as a beacon of hope for radio and humanity. The people of Atlantic City are blessed to have him as a staple of their airwaves. He is a true natural resource like their wonderful beaches and shoreline.” Harry Hurley will be presented the honor during the Awards Ceremony at the forthcoming TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations conference on Friday, May 20, 2016 at Hofstra University. For more conference details see stories below.
Rush Limbaugh to Appear Live on Fox News Channel. As much as the players in Washington pay attention to what talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh says on his show, Limbaugh himself rarely appears on other programs. One of those rare appearances takes place on Sunday as the Premiere Networks star will speak with Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace on the “FOX News Sunday” program. During the live interview, Limbaugh will talk with Wallace about 2016 presidential elections, frontrunner Donald Trump, Super Tuesday results and tonight’s GOP presidential debate taking place on Fox News Channel.
Presidential Race/Super Tuesday Results, Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, Apple vs FBI, Russian Air Strikes in Syria, and U.S. Immigration Policy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/2). The aftermath of the Super Tuesday primary elections; former Hillary Clinton staffer Bryan Pagliano gets immunity in the private email server investigation; the debate over whether Apple should help the FBI get into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists; Russia’s continued air strikes in Syria during the “cease fire” period; and the future of America’s immigration policy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Odds & Sods. Two new shows are added at Hubbard Radio’s sports talk WXOS, St. Louis “101ESPN.” First, the station’s Dan Bettlach partners with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Blues beat reporter Jeremy Rutherford to co-host “St. Louis Hockey Central” every Wednesday evening at 7:00. Also, the “Barclays Premier League Now” soccer talk show will air on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 11:00 am…..This Sunday evening’s Democratic presidential debate from Flint, Michigan on CNN will be simulcast for radio by Westwood One. It will air at 8:00 pm and be moderated by Anderson Cooper…..Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine begins a special six-week series of talk shows on SiriusXM. The program is called “The Mayor,” and will feature Levine – newly elected mayor of one of America’s most diverse cities – to speak with fellow elected officials about important issues facing the country’s cities and states, with topics ranging from crime to the environment to the underreported challenges of improving infrastructure around the country…..Spanish-language broadcaster Lazer Broadcasting Corporation – owner of more than 20 stations – has been selected Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ “2015 Hispanic Radio Station of the Year.” Radio personalities Salvador Prieto and Jessica Calvario, co-hosts of the morning show, “El Show del Prieto,” accepted the award at a recent ceremony in Orlando. Representatives from the charity’s 170 member hospitals gathered with corporate and media partners to honor those who raise critical funds and awareness for children’s hospitals across North America. Lazer Broadcasting Corporation has donated more than $4.3 million since its participation six years ago.
Kenny Smith Podcast Launches on PodcastOne. The latest in a series of NBA-themed podcasts launches on PodcastOne with NBA great Kenny Smith’s new show. Smith – a two-time NBA champ and current TNT personality, kicked off his new show with a Houston Rockets championship team reunion featuring Hakeem Olajuwon, Robert Horry, Clyde Drexler and Sam Cassell. Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller also join the show with some conversation from the recent NBA All-Star weekend in Toronto. The show will also feature Smith’s wife, Gwen Osborne-Smith (pictured here with Smith), who joins the show each week for “60-seconds with Gwen,” a five-question rapid fire with players and celebrities. New episodes will be available every Wednesday.
RAB: Radio’s Off-Air and Digital Segments Extending Medium’s ‘Umatched Reach.’ Using data from Miller Kaplan Arase comparing 2015 revenue data to the same from 2014, the Radio Advertising Bureau states that “radio boasts the broadest mass reach among all media while simultaneously affording narrow targeting capabilities through numerous program formats and networks.” Ending 2015 basically flat at -1% from an industry-wide revenue standpoint, the radio sector enjoyed growth in off-air revenue of 11% ($2.04 billion) and a rise in digital revenue of 5% ($1.02 billion). Spot revenue was down 3% from 2014 to 2015. RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments, “More and more advertisers are extending the unmatched reach of broadcast radio by taking advantage of radio’s off-air and digital options. By using radio stations’ digital and off-air platforms, advertisers are extending the scope and reach of their messaging – and because more and more consumers are enjoying experiential events or spending time on devices, off-air opportunities can build on the strength of broadcast radio and provide the ability to reach them effectively and efficiently.”
Mark Levin Launches New Show on Digital Television Platform. WABC, New York-based, nationally syndicated radio talk star and best-selling author Mark Levin is broadening his media presence with a new TV show in partnership with CRTV. LevinTV is a subscription-based digital television platform that Levin calls “America’s new televised Town Hall meeting” and “the next step in the evolution of digital conservative media.” Beginning March 7, the LevinTV program will stream live at 9:00 pm ET and episodes will be available to subscribers on demand. There’s no green screen for Levin; his show will emanate from the “state-of-the-art studio built exclusively for the show” that you see pictured here. (It looks like a legal eagle’s man cave, complete with pool table and a bar.) As for the program itself, Levin and CRTV say it will be “a commercial-free explosion of Mark Levin’s engaging personality, unique intellect and passionate commentary about history, economics, philosophy and the latest political and current events. The show will also feature exclusive, long-form interviews with compelling guests from all walks of life.” Levin comments, “I have the greatest audience in the world and I give them my best every night. I am thrilled we are expanding our Town Hall meeting place for patriots, by taking TV broadcasting to a new level on multiple platforms where I will speak directly to my audience — uncensored, without middlemen, and commercial free.” The regular, full-year price for access to LevinTV is $69 per year or $7.99 per month.
Presidential Race Continues to Ride Top of Talkers TenTM. For another week, the activities of the candidates for president and the issues comprising the election season were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 were the nation’s immigration and refugee policies. Coming in at #3 was the Middle East military escalation including Turkish-Kurdish violence in Iraq and the ongoing Syrian conflict followed by the replacement of Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court and theories about his death at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week. It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. View this week’s entire chart here.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Names Radio Hosts to Elections Advisory Committee. Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick – former talk radio personality and owner of KSEV, Houston – has appointed six members of the media to the state’s Elections Advisory Committee. Each will serve a two-year term on the committee, whose objective is to “evaluate the reporting and tabulation of unofficial election returns in both primary and general elections. The committee then makes recommendations to the office of the Texas Secretary of State.” KSKY, Dallas talk host Mark Davis and KFYO, Lubbock’s Chad Hasty are two talk personalities serving on the committee. The others are: Ross Ramsey of the Texas Tribune, Pedro Rojas of Univision, Mike Ward of The Houston Chronicle, and Jason Whitely of WFAA-TV.
Round Three of January PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of January 2016 PPM 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 survey period was December 31 – January 27. TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Top Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.
Zidarevich Upped at Premiere Networks. Sixteen-year FOX Sports Radio manager Annie Zidarevich is promoted to vice president, West Coast operations for Premiere Networks. She’s been with FOX Sports Radio since its inception in 2000, most recently as VP, network operations. In that role she also managed studio operations and program staffing needs for Premiere in Los Angeles. In this new role Zidarevich will oversee all West Coast programming operations for Premiere.
Odds & Sods. Pro soccer comes to CBS RADIO’s Houston cluster after it signs a multi-year deal to broadcast Houston Dynamo matches. Both KILT “Sports Radio 610” and KIKK “CBS Sports Radio” will air games with KIKK serving as the primary outlet for MLS matches. KIKK will also air ancillary programming including “The Players Show” and “The Coaches Show.”…..Podcasting pioneer Carl Kozlowski – founder of the podcast platform RadioTitans – is expanding into live event production and is one of the organizers of FERRIS FEST – a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the release of the John Hughes film, Ferris Beuller’s Day Off. The festival takes place the weekend of May 20-22 in the Chicago area. The highlight of the weekend will be a special screening of the film, accompanied by film cast members and hosted by Chicago Sun-Times film critic (and talk radio pro) Richard Roeper.
NYMRAD Reports New York Spot Revenue Up 3% in Q4 of 2015. That figure is based on data from Miller, Kaplan & Arase and the increase was fueled by growth in the communications, health care and food & beverages categories. Getting more specific, the New York Market Radio report indicates wireless carriers increased their radio spend in the market by 10% during 2015 and public utilities spent 22% more during the year. Health care advertising on radio was up 10% for the year as was the food and beverage category.
Johnson Joins WTEM as PD. More accurately, as of next Monday (2/15), Chris Johnson will again occupy the programming chair at Red Zebra Broadcasting sports outlet WTEM “ESPN 980,” Washington, DC – just as he did from 2005 to 2008. Red Zebra Broadcasting chairman Terry Bateman states, “We are excited to have someone with Chris’ experience and skill to help us build and grow ‘ESPN 980.’ We have a great lineup of talent and great content. We look forward to putting it all together to give our listeners the best sports talk radio in the Washington, DC market.” Most recently, Johnson covered MLB‘s Washington Nationals as a reporter for the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. He previously was a producer of NFL and NCAA games for Westwood One; Johnson’s prior connection with WTEM lasted from 1996 – 2008. Down for the third straight ratings period (2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9 -1.6, 6+), “ESPN 980” finishes #20 in the “Holiday” 2015 report, while its format challenger – CBS Radio-owned WJFK-FM “The Fan” – also off for the third successive sweep (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.1 -1.9, 6+) – is #18. The market leader is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH (5.9 – 6.1 – 7.0 – 12.0, 6+).
Trevor Carey Promoted to Afternoons at ‘PowerTalk 96.7’ in Fresno. Radio pro Trevor Carey had been hosting the afternoon drive show on iHeartMedia’s sister “PowerTalk” brand in the Stockton-Modesto market – “PowerTalk 1360” on KFIV and KWSX – in addition to hosting the 6:00 pm hour on “PowerTalk 96.7” (KALZ-FM and KRZR-AM in Fresno-Visalia). Now, with Christopher Gabriel’s recent exit from the PM drive slot, Carey takes over the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show. He’ll also host the 6:00 pm hour on the Stockton-Modesto duo.
New Hampshire Primary/Presidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of February 8-12. Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary and the activities of the candidates for president were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 was the Hillary Clinton email case investigation. Coming in at #3 was the recent financial markets activity and related concerns about a recession followed by the effects of the Syrian civil war at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week. It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine and it is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
Sean Hannity to Speak and Host Breakfast at TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations. In what has become an annual talk media industry tradition, Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel superstar Sean Hannity will host “Breakfast with Hannity” and preside over the opening keynote discussion at the forthcoming 19th annual installment of the field’s largest, longest-running and most important national convention. In making the announcement, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Sean’s contributions to this storied event, as well as to the industry in general, are incalculable. He has spearheaded discussions about crucial issues attendant to the ratings, consolidation, lowering the demos and free speech, just to scratch the surface. He has provided inspiration and encouragement to new generations of broadcasters coming into the field. When Sean walks in the door at this event, all politics are left outside and he becomes a true statesman of the business offering insight, experience and intelligence about the many issues and challenges we face in common. We are delighted that he will again play such an important role in this conference – especially considering its forward-motion theme of bridging the generations.” Over 60 outstanding speakers will participate in TALKERS 2016, set for Friday, May 20 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.
Beasley Broadcast Group 2015 Q4 Net Revenue Up 6.2%. That figure is based on Beasley’s reporting of combined operations – both continuing and discontinued operations – and that’s relative to the 2014 Q4 asset swap with CBS RADIO that saw Beasley exchange five radio stations in the Philadelphia and Miami-Fort Lauderdale markets for 14 CBS stations in the Tampa-St. Petersburg, Charlotte and Philadelphia markets. Net revenue of combined operations for the whole of 2015 was $105.9 million, an increase of 4.4% over 2014. Beasley CEO and chairman George Beasley states, “Throughout 2015 we implemented a broad range of operating, programming, sales and local strategies intended to extract operating and financial synergies from the stations acquired in the 2014 Asset Exchange. I am pleased to report that we achieved our goal of our clusters outperforming the markets that report to Miller Kaplan for the first time in December 2015 and expect this trend to continue in 2016. Success with our integration and profitability initiatives is also reflected in fourth quarter 2015 station operating income of $9 million and an SOI margin of 31.7%, as well as net income of $3.3 million or $0.14 per diluted share.”
CBS RADIO Revenue Dips 5%. Radio is not the primary focus of CBS Corp. but new CBS chairman, president and CEO Les Moonves has always said he likes the radio business – especially its cash flow. Radio is lumped in with CBS Television Stations to make up the Local Broadcasting category, but the company breaks the two apart in these reports and radio’s revenue was down 5% on “continued softness in the radio advertising marketplace and lower political advertising.” The television sector was down 11% compared to the same Q4 period in 2014 – a period that benefitted from mid-term election political spending.
Odds & Sods. WOR, New York’s “Len Berman and Todd Schnitt in the Morning” spoke on the radio with GOP presidential candidate and fellow New Yorker Donald Trump yesterday morning (2/11). Responding to criticism that he doesn’t have the temperament to be president, Trump told the WOR audience, “as we get closer, you will be shocked at how presidential I will be.”…..Talk host Bill Carroll had been doing an afternoon talk show for Corus-owned news/talk CFMJ, Toronto from Los Angeles while he was still working at iHeartMedia’s KFI (a gig he exited in early January). Now, he’s also leaving the CFMJ show with rumors he’s soon to land at a new station in Canada…..A special edition of the Joan Hamburg show will air on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WABC, New York this weekend as the Big Apple radio host covers New York’s annual Fashion Week. For the second year, Hamburg speaks with New York’s fashion elite in “The Business of Fashion Week” airing on Saturday (2/13) from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm ( a special replay will air Sunday night at 9:00 pm). Hamburg speaks with New York Fashion Week founder Fern Mallis, “The Real Housewives of New York City” star Countess Luann de Lesseps, New York style icon Nick Wooster, Harpers Bazaar editor Avril Graham, and Ben Stiller, director and star of the Zoolander films…..AccuWeather appoints Sarah Katt vice president of product development and operations for the AccuWeather Network. She’ll report to John Dokes, general manager of the AccuWeather Network and chief marketing officer of AccuWeather.
Cooke: C.T.A. in Santa’s Sleigh. Radio consultant Holland Cooke reports for TALKERS from the Consumer Technology Association’s annual preview of the enormous Consumer Electronics Show scheduled for Las Vegas in January. (Yes, the Consumer Electronics Association has changed its name to the Consumer Technology Association.) As Cooke notes, the data from the CTA is instructive for radio people. According to CTA research, the top five items being sought by consumers this year are (in order of desire): TVs, tablets, smartphones, notebook/laptop computers, and videogame consoles. Read Cooke’s entire report here.
WPHT, Philadelphia Adds Award-Winning Journalist Dawn Stensland to Rich Zeoli’s PM Drive Show. Respected television journalist Dawn Stensland is joining CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia, as part of the afternoon drive show with Rich Zeoli. According to the company, she’ll join him to provide news, traffic and weather updates as well as her views on the day’s trending stories. Stensland joined CBS’ KYW-TV in 1997 and anchored afternoon and evening newscasts. She hosted the “CBS News Saturday” morning network broadcast in New York and in 2001, she began an eight-year run as the anchor of WTXF-TV’s “Fox Philadelphia’s 10 O’Clock News Hour.” She has numerous “Best of Philly” honors from Philadelphia Magazine under her belt. Station OM Andy Bloom comments, “Dawn is a well-known voice and face to the Philadelphia public. She has two decades of success in Philadelphia, New York and other major markets that will be an asset to ‘Talk Radio 1210 WPHT.’ In getting to know Dawn, I’ve been struck by her charismatic presence and infectious laugh. I think the audience will truly enjoy what she brings to the ‘Rich Zeoli Afternoon Show.’”
Colin Cowherd Performing for FOX Sports. The arrival of sports media personality Colin Cowherd at FOX Sports produced satisfying numbers in its first month for the company. According to FOX Sports and radio syndicator Premiere Networks, “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” had a “total reach” of 19.5 million people between September 8 and October 9. Here’s how FOX and Premiere break it down: video clips of the show drew 11.7 million video views via Facebook, YouTube, FOXSports.com, FOXSportsRadio.com, the live-streaming FOX Sports Go app and Twitter video player; on television, a combined 5.8 million viewers watched at least one minute of the program on FS1 and FS2 (based on Nielsen data); and program podcasts ranked #2 in the Sports & Recreation podcast category on iTunes, netting 1.2 million downloads. On the radio, Los Angeles affiliate KLAC “experienced a 106% gain” in its time slot with Men 25-54 over the previous year.
Odds & Sods. Chicago radio legend Milt Rosenberg’s program at Kovas Communications-owned suburban talk station WCGO, Evanston will end soon with the company citing financial reasons for canceling the two-hour afternoon drive program. Rosenberg’s “Extension 720” program aired for years on Tribune’s WGN, Chicago…..iHeartMedia Denver extends its deal to broadcast University of Colorado sports for another four years. The deal extends Buffalos play-by-play on KOA “NewsRadio 850 AM & 94.1 FM” with select games airing on sister station talk KKZN “Real Talk 760.”…..PodcastOne reports that the first episode of “Heather Dubrow’s World” – the new podcast from the “OC Housewives” star – debuted at #3 on the iTunes chart. PodcastOne says that Dubrow trended on Twitter when the episode was released resulting in hundreds of thousands of downloads.
Chris Krok in ‘The Office.’ WBAP, Dallas evening personality Chris Krok (right) is pictured in this selfie with actor John Krasinski (left) at this year’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Krasinski was the race’s Grand Marshal. Krok is celebrating his third year partnering with the track. This year’s “Krok and His Flock” offered listeners a chance to get a tour of the Sprint Cup Series Garage, a concert with Sammy Hagar and the opportunity to hold the American Flag during the National Anthem, all before watching the race.
2016 Presidential Race/Debate Aftermath, Immigration Policy, Hillary Clinton Wig Flap, Climate Change Controversy, University of Missouri Racial Tensions, Veterans Day, Russian Airliner Crash Investigation, and Early Snow Hits Midwest Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/11). The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and discussion about Tuesday night’s GOP primary debate in Milwaukee; talk about the United States’ immigration policy; speculation about whether Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is wearing wigs; the threat of climate change and the international climate talks scheduled for December in Paris; the racial tensions at the University of Missouri; the observance of Veterans Day; the ongoing investigation into the downing of a Russian airliner in the Sinai desert; and early snow hitting the Upper Midwest were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
Rivers Flows to Scripps Tucson As OM. Beginning next Monday (10/19), former seven-year iHeartMedia Phoenix vice president of programming Smokey Rivers takes over as operations manager of the Scripps-owned stations in Tucson. According to Scripps Tucson vice president and general manager Leon Clark, “It was a long and active search – we are very fortunate to welcome Smokey to Scripps. He is a creative idea generator with an extensive and varied background in several formats. His expertise is perfect for our [Tucson] stations. I am confident Smokey will continue to help grow these very important brands in the Tucson market.” In thanking Scripps management for being “provocative throughout the interviewing and hiring process,” Rivers states, “I look forward to this opportunity to help lead the Scripps Tucson stations to even greater success.” Prior to joining iHeartMedia Phoenix in 2005, Rivers spent more than six years as CBS RADIO‘s vice president of adult contemporary programming. His vast resume also includes a stint as national vice president of programming for Stoner Broadcasting Systems. In addition, Rivers has been director of programming and operations for stations in New York City, San Francisco, Dallas, Washington (DC), St. Louis, Memphis, and Birmingham. He most recently was managing partner of Reeber Hospitality. Among persons 12+ in Nielsen Audio‘s summer 2015 Tucson book, Scripps Tucson adult contemporary KMXZ “Mix” ranks second (7.2) behind Cumulus Media country outlet KIIM (9.4). With their summer 2015 Nielsen Audio 12+ shares/rankings in parentheses, the other Scripps Tucson stations are rhythmic hot AC KTGV “The Groove” (2.1, #11); talk KQTH (1.3, #17); and sports KFFN-AM “ESPN Tucson” (1.1, #19).
SRN’s Hugh Hewitt to Be Panelist on December and March GOP Presidential Debates. For two of the upcoming Republican presidential primary debates, Salem Radio Network talk show host Hugh Hewitt will be part of the journalist panels. CNN and SRN are again working together with SRN handling audio distribution of the debates that will be televised on CNN. The two events are December 15 at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas and March 10 in Florida. Hewitt states, “I am excited by the opportunity to continue to help shape the conversation about which of the candidates ought to be the GOP nominee in 2016. My focus remains on posing questions that elicit answers GOP primary voters will find helpful in casting their ballots.”
Armstrong & Getty to Anchor Mornings on KEIB, Los Angeles. The iHeartMedia news/talker KEIB, Los Angeles “The Patriot 1150” will feature KSTE, Sacramento-based morning duo Armstrong & Getty in the 5:00 am to 9:00 am daypart effective November 2. The show – hosted by Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty and also heard on iHeartMedia stations in markets including San Francisco and San Diego – will bump Premiere Networks’ Glenn Beck to the afternoon drive slot.
JV Inks New Deal with iHM; ‘The Doghouse’ to Air on ‘Talk 910.’ It’s a multi-layered deal for air personality JV, a.k.a. Jeff Vandergrift, as he and iHeartMedia/San Francisco come to terms on a new contract. In part one, “The JV Show,” featuring Vandergrift and co-host Selena, continues on CHR KYLD, San Francisco “WiLD 94.9.” Part two reunites Vandergrift with former partner Elvis, a.k.a. Dan Lay, for an afternoon talk show (4:00 pm to 6:00 pm) on sister station KKSF “Talk 910.” The two worked together at KYLD in the past – as well as at CBS RADIO’s WKRK, New York during the “Free FM” format period. iHeartMedia says JV will also “produce and distribute content through his production company.” To make room for “The Doghouse” on KKSF, Gil Gross moves to 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, followed by Cory & Joel from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. iHeartMedia San Francisco SVP/programming Don Parker comments, “JV is one of the Bay Area’s best and consistently top-rated personalities. We’re thrilled to have him extend his tenure on ‘WiLD 94.9,’ along with fulfilling his passion for talk radio with a new show on ‘Talk 910.’…he will not only continue entertaining the WiLD audience, but he and Elvis are part of a new and exciting generation of talk radio.”
WHAS, Louisville Host Terry Meiners Prevails in Defamation Case. The Kentucky Court of Appeals has ruled that WHAS, Louisville talk show host Terry Meiners did not defame Louisville police officer Sam Cromity when he discussed on his radio show the traffic citation Cromity gave him and compared Cromity to Don Knotts’ television character Barney Fife. Meiners received a speeding ticket in 2011. He spoke about the incident on his radio show and said he did not deserve a ticket and called Cromity a “troubled public servant,” an “out-and-out liar,” and referred to him as “Black Car Barney,” an allusion to the “Andy Griffith Show” character. Not only did Meiners beat the traffic ticket, he won the first round of Cromity’s suit against him in 2013. In the September 25, 2015 Appeals Court ruling, Judge Laurence VanMeter wrote, “Disparaging statements that are not so definite or precise to be branded false cannot support an action for defamation.”
Odds & Sods. The NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and CBS RADIO news/talk WCCO-AM ink a new multi-year radio partnership for the station to continue as the team’s flagship radio station. Under the terms, Alan Horton returns for his ninth season as the Wolves play-by-play announcer and will team up with studio host John Focke to produce the 30-minute pre- and post-game shows…..Cumulus Media extends its deal with IMG to continue as the exclusive flagship radio station for University of Tennessee athletics through Knoxville stations country WIVK-FM and sports talk WNML-AM/FM. The stations are continuing a 40-year relationship with the IMG Vol Network, one of the oldest and largest collegiate radio networks in the country…..Westwood One and client The National Pork Board are presenting content called “daily porkcasts” across the network’s programming. WW1 says “the daily ‘porkcast’…is a fun and engaging consumer brand integration that reminds listeners to create pork-inspired meals to complement the changing season. The campaign, which includes commercials running in Westwood One’s NFL and country programming, will also feature live read spots from CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki Barber during his ‘Tiki & Tierney’ morning radio show. The radio ads will prompt listeners to search for recipes that fit their local, real-time weather forecast based on location. Consumers will be driven to a website where recipes for all seasons are available step-by-step.”
Democratic Candidates Debate/2016 Presidential Race, Russian Syria Military Campaign, U.S. Syria-ISIS Policy, Israel Violence, GOP House Speaker Issue, European Migrant Problems/U.S. Immigration Policy Controversy, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/13). The first Democratic presidential candidates’ debate and the activities of the GOP presidential candidates; Russia’s military campaign in Syria; the United States’ military policy in Syria and with regard to ISIS; the recent violence in Israel; the process of replacing outgoing GOP House Speaker John Boehner; migrant problems affecting European nations and the related U.S. immigration policy debate; and the MLB playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief
LOS ANGELES — Nothing short of sweet serendipity is the fact that the positively fetching young woman confidently seated behind the microphone has such a lilting, lyrical name as Meghan Marguerite, although that represents only two-thirds of her alliteration-intensive, attention-getting moniker.
It is her last name – “McCain” – that makes the striking daughter of Arizona Senator and 2008 GOP presidential nominee John McCain particularly intriguing, while simultaneously putting her under more scrutiny than the typical media personality.
T-Mobile Will Activate FM Chip. The decision by T-Mobile was issued Friday (8/14) via Twitter by president and chief executive officer John Legere, whose actual “tweet” reads, “Hey @NextRadio app – We heard you! We’re saying yes to FM and will push our OEM partners to support!” Expanding his remarks, Legere states, “We are excited about T-Mobile joining Sprint and AT&T as the first carriers to officially request their handset makers activate FM radio chips with NextRadio in their device specifications. Activating the FM chip, already present in every Smartphone in America, allows users to download the NextRadio app and engage in a visually compelling, interactive experience with local radio stations, without the data charges and battery drain of streaming.” NextRadio/Tag Station president Paul Brenner instantly and directly replied to Legere with a video message by commenting, “Hey John, we saw your ‘tweet’ and you made our day. It was so great to see T-Mobile say ‘yes’ to the FM chip. The American radio industry is excited to be behind this effort and to work with T-Mobile going forward to make this a great experience for your customers. We have tens of thousands of T-Mobile customers respond to this program. Just like you always said you would do, you listened to those customers. Thank-you and we look forward to working with you in the future.” T-Mobile’s parent company is Deutsche Telekom.
The Howie Carr Northeast Regional Juggernaut Rolls On — Adds WPOP, Hartford. The independent Howie Carr Radio Network, just over a year old, has added iHeartMedia outlet WPOP, Hartford to its ever-growing roster of affiliates in New England and the Northeast. That raises the total to 23 with more reportedly about to be signed. The network is built around the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET daily program of legendary broadcaster/newspaper columnist/author Howie Carr who tells TALKERS, “We have a lot of listeners in Hartford and now they have an easier way to hear the show on 1410 WPOP.” The network’s VP/sales and marketing Kathy Carr adds, “We are excited to add WPOP in Hartford. WPOP is a great addition to the network and will greatly benefit our sponsors.” Stand by. More affiliates to be added shortly.
WPOP Flips to News/Talk. It was the flip from sports talk to news/talk that opened up the door for Boston-based Howie Carr to get his show cleared on WPOP, Hartford as noted in the story above. The iHeartMedia station returns to news/talk after almost 18 years away from the format. Morning drive features “The Vinnie Penn Project” with host Vinnie Penn – a Connecticut broadcasting pro, comic, and writer who’s worked in local radio on CHR WKCI, New Haven “KC101” and news/talk WELI, New Haven as well as on SiriusXM. The rest of the station’s lineup includes: Boston-based “The Financial Exchange” with Barry Armstrong; Bloomberg Radio; Westwood One’s Mark Levin; and Premiere Networks’ “America Now with Meghan McCain.”
Sun Broadcast Group Recognized by Inc. Magazine for Second Year in a Row. The company will be honored at Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5000 Conference and Awards Ceremony in Orlando later this year for being one of the fastest-growing companies in America. Sun Broadcast Group also is receiving recognition as the fastest-growing company in the broadcast radio industry and the 11th fastest-growing company in all of media. The annual list ranks the country’s fastest-growing private companies according to percentage of revenue growth over three years. Sun reports during that time its revenue jumped more than 629%. It also has added 18 full-time positions between its New York City and Boca Raton offices. SBG CEO Jason Bailey comments, “When we were given the honor of making the Inc. Magazine list in 2014 you could have knocked me over with a feather. Making the list for a second year and being in the top 20% among some of the most incredibly innovative companies in this country is absolutely mind blowing. I’m so proud of the incredible team here at Sun and so thankful to the clients, producers and agency partners who have supported us over the last seven years. The journey has been a mighty one but we always have and will continue to do it our way for the better of our partnerships and for this incredibly industry. Onward!”
PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this year’s second analysis of the performances of stations serving as flagships for MLB play-by-play – this time based on data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2015 PPM survey (6+). As is often the case, MLB teams that appear to be headed for playoff contention (even in June and July) tend to boost ratings for their flagships. The continuing resurgence of the Kansas City Royals has certainly been good for KCSP – the station performed three full shares better in 2015 than during the same period a year ago. Although interestingly, the division leading Houston Astros have only nudged flagship KBME up 0.3 share (1.3 share, 6+) from a year ago. View Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.
‘98.5 The Sports Hub’ Morning Show Now Seen on Comcast SportsNet New England. The WBZ-FM, Boston morning show “Toucher & Rich” – hosted by Fred Toucher and Rich Shertenlieb – is now being simulcast on regional cable channel Comcast SportsNet. The CBS RADIO sports station currently has an agreement with Comcast to simulcast the station’s afternoon drive show, “Felger & Mazz.” Comcast has sold the title sponsorship to UNO Pizzeria & Grill. Comcast SportsNet New England president Bill Bridgen says, “‘Toucher & Rich’ have been incredibly successful by mixing sports and pop culture into one creative daily show. We are thrilled to expand our relationship with ‘The Sports Hub’ into the morning and further establish Comcast SportsNet as the go-to television source for Boston sports programming.”
Odds & Sods. Late Friday afternoon (4:00 pm, 8/14), Cumulus Media Minneapolis flipped trimulcast WGVX, WRXP, WGVZ, “Sports Talk 105 The Ticket” to classic hip hop as “The Vibe 105.” The latest (July 2015) Nielsen Audio PPM figures for the Twin Cities indicate that “Sports Talk 105 The Ticket” ranked #25 of the 25 stations listed with a .1 (6+). Locked on .3 from January to May, “The Ticket” dipped to .2 in June and then to .1 in July. The other two sports stations in Minneapolis-St. Paul are iHeartMedia‘s KFXN “K-Fan” (4.2, #11) and Hubbard‘s KSTP-AM “1500 ESPN” (1.1, #19)…..ESPN Audio announces the return of its “Fantasy Focus” podcast for a ninth season. Field Yates joins as the new co-host with Matthew Berry. Stephania Bell continues her role as a contributor to the podcast, which is produced daily throughout the NFL regular season. “Fantasy Focus” has also accumulated almost 30 million downloads – second all-time among ESPN podcasts.
Townsquare Media to Add to its Live Events Business with NAME Acquisition. The 2015 second quarter net revenue figure for Townsquare Media, Inc. rose 10.5% on the strength of its Live Events division, which saw a year-over-year increase of 50.4%. Now, the company announces it has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire North American Midway Entertainment, LLC (NAME) for approximately $75.5 million (subject to certain working capital and other adjustments). In a press statement, Townsquare says, “NAME entertains more than 15 million people on an annual basis as the owner and operator of amusement attractions, including over 200 state-of-the-art rides, custom-designed food concessions and family-oriented games at approximately 150 fairs per year across the United States and Canada.” NAME’s management team will join Townsquare and become part of its Live Events division. Townsquare chairman and CEO Steven Price states, “We are excited to partner with NAME’s management team and add NAME’s market-leading mobile amusement parks to our Live Events portfolio. Nearly half of NAME’s current events are within 100 miles of a Townsquare market and fit squarely within our core stated strategy of providing affordable, family-friendly entertainment content.”
Levin (Again) Lands At #1. Syndicated talk host Mark Levin’s “Plunder and Deceit” will reportedly debut at #1 on The New York Times bestseller list across all three categories of hardcover nonfiction, e-book nonfiction, and the combined list. This will be his fourth consecutive #1 New York Times bestseller. One of Levin’s previous books, “Liberty and Tyranny,” spent 38 weeks on that bestseller list and sold over one million copies. In a statement to Breitbart News, however, Levin emphasizes that he doesn’t “write books for The New York Times – I write them for people who love their country, want to learn about their country, and want to save their country. ‘Plunder and Deceit’ is a particularly important book. It is intended to stir the citizenry, particularly younger people, to understand what big government is doing to them and how its policies are destroying their liberty and prosperity.” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison asked Levin, “What is the key to your success as a best-selling author so we can share it with other talk hosts who write books.” Levin immediately acknowledged that he is not the only accomplished author among the ranks of radio talk show hosts – then added, “It takes me a year or more to write a book. It involves extensive research and scholarship. You have to be willing to commit a lot of time to it — most weekends, early mornings, and late nights. I don’t have ghostwriters or co-authors, etc. There’s a difference between being an author and having your name on a book.” Landmark Legal Foundation president Levin is syndicated through Cumulus Media‘s Westwood One; “Plunder and Deceit” was released last Tuesday (8/4).
Hoping His Herd Heads with Him to Fox, Premiere. Speculation has become reality now that one of the worst-kept secrets in recent history is official: After a 12-year association with ESPN (the last two days there being controversial owing to his on-air comments questioning the intelligence of Dominican ballplayers), Colin Cowherd will indeed join Fox Sports and Premiere Networks in just over three weeks (Tuesday, 9/8). That is when he will begin hosting “The Herd,” a three-hour program, which will air simultaneously on Fox Sports Radio Network and Fox Sports1 (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm, Eastern). Fox Sports Radio is produced/distributed by Fox Sports and iHeartMedia subsidiary Premiere Networks. “Colin is one of the most powerful and talented personalities in sports media today,” asserts Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott. “His addition to Premiere’s lineup demonstrates our continued commitment to reaching diverse audiences with the