Tag: "Premiere Networks"

Friday, April 18, 2014

| April 18, 2014

unlogo blueTalk Radio Day at the United Nations Set for Thursday, June 19.  TALKERS magazine announces the next installment of its annual international initiative, “Talk Radio Day at the United Nations.”  Presented in conjunction with Talk Radio News Service and in association with the United Nations Foundation, the event consists of a massive radio row held in the heart of the United Nations’ iconic headquarters on the East Side of Manhattan.  Approximately 25 talk show hosts and programs from around the country are given the opportunity to do live shows or simply record interviews on the scene for later playback with a wide variety of special guests including UN officials, foreign ambassadors, international policy experts and representatives of the arts and sciences from around the world.  “This is one of our most prideful annualtrns logo events,” states TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “and I am absolutely delighted that – in spite of the technical and tactical challenges presented by a project of this complexity and enormity – we are able to produce yet another installment in 2014.”  Harrison says, “It accomplishes a number of important things – most notably, it gives a variety of talk show hosts and millions of their listeners in every corner of the country the opportunity to shift gears and discuss international news stories of significant consequence that rarely, if ever, are covered or discussed in the mainstream American media.  Some of these stories have staggering implications on war, peace, life and death.”  Harrison also points out, “Hosts of just about every political and ideological persuasion have raved about this event over the many years we have been doing it saying that it has proven to be a personally rewarding experience for them as much as it has provided a spectacular bit of special programming to their stations and networks.”  “Talk Radio Day at the United Nations” will conveniently take place the day before Talkers New York 2014 when many talk show hosts are already in New York City.  Hosts already on board include Alan Colmes of Fox News RadioDoug Stephan of the “Good Day” show; Larry Young of WOLB, Baltimore; Dr. Joy Browne of Radio America;  Martha Zoller of WGAU, Athens, GA; Ethan Bearman of GCN and KGO, San Francisco; Carole Marks of “A Touch of Grey” and more.  Talk Radio News Service will broadcast the entire day to its hundreds of affiliates across the nation with more to be announced and the event will be covered live on TalkersRadio.  All equipment and broadcast set ups are provided at no cost for the convenience of the participants – but placement is limited and this will fill up rapidly, so interested hosts should call 413-565-5413 quickly to inquire about signing up.

main line broadcastingLarry Wilson’s Alpha Broadcasting and L&L to Merge; Company to Buy Main Line Broadcasting for $57 Million.  A big two-pronged announcement from Larry Wilson’s Alpha Broadcasting and L&L Broadcasting: First, the two companies will merge into one to be named Alpha Media.  Second, the company will purchase 19 stations in four markets from Main Line Broadcasting for $57 million.  Here’s what the companies announce.  “The current corporate team for Alpha Broadcasting and L & L Broadcasting will remain and operate the company from the corporate headquarters in Portland, Oregon.”  Alpha operates six stations in Portland while L&L operates 43 stations in sevenalpha logo markets.  L&L has been overseeing the operation of the Portland stations for the last year pursuant to a management agreement with Alpha.  Chairman Larry Wilson states, “The merger will be the culmination of a long term plan to ultimately combine the two companies and will allow us to streamline our oversight of all 49 stations to take advantage of the many synergies.”  But wait, there will soon be more than 49 stations.  The announcement that L & L Broadcasting is entering into an agreement to acquire 19 radio stations from Main Line Broadcasting for $57 million will expand L&L logothat to 68 stations.  Main Line Broadcasting is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and operates in the Louisville; Richmond-Petersburg, Virginia; Dayton; and Hagerstown, Maryland-Chambersburg, Pennsylvania markets.  L & L Broadcasting president and CEO Bob Proffitt comments, “We’ve worked hard to maintain strong community involvement and an intimate connection with our listeners and advertisers in all of our markets.  I’m confident that we’ll be able to implement our mission of live and local radio in the Main Line markets.”  Main Line CEO Marc Guralnick adds, “I am extremely proud of all of Main Line Broadcasting’s employees who have done a phenomenal job over the years.  I am pleased to have these great broadcasters now under the leadership and vision of Larry Wilson and Bob Proffitt.  There’s not a better company than L&L Broadcasting to ensure this continued success.”

rhodesrandiRandi Rhodes Calls it Quits.  Progressive talk show host Randi Rhodes, according to a press statement from syndicator Premiere Networks, “has decided to end her show” as of May 16.  The presser says, “We wish Randi well and thank her for her years of incredible creativity and unique voice.”  Rhodes – a native New Yorker – was a very successful, longtime local talk host at WJNO, in West Palm Beach who went into syndication with Air America during the early 2000s and moved over to Premiere after Air America’s demise.  Last November it was reported that Premiere would be dropping the Randi Rhodes show but two days later that was reversed.  There’s been no official statement about today’s news from Rhodes herself.

talksmerconishTalk Personality Michael Smerconish to Be Interviewed at Own Book Club Event.  Fans of talk host Michael Smerconish are aware of his regularly scheduled book club events that go back to his days hosting morning drive on WPHT, Philadelphia.  The setup was simple: Smerconish would invite an author he enjoyed to come to town and be interviewed by him in front of a live audience.  The author would then sign books and mingle with fans.  Now, the tables are turning as Smerconish prepares to release his first novel titled, Talk: A Novel (Cider Mill Press 2014), and he will be the one interviewed.  On Wednesday, May 7, at the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, Pennsylvania, Smerconish will sit down with Larry Kane to be interviewed about his new book that deals with “the inner workings of conservative talk radio and campaign politics.”

ppmunitThird Round of March PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the third of four groups of 12 markets for the March 2014 period (February 27 – March 26) has been released by Nielsen Audio.  Those markets include: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all the (subscriber) numbers here.  Managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the report at RadioInfo.com here.

sextonbuckOdds & Sods.  Sitting in for Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh today (4/18) is TheBlaze national security editor Buck Sexton.  The former CIA officer and NYPD Intelligence Division analyst says of sitting in for Limbaugh, “If you told me when I started doing radio in 2013 that by 2014 I would be sitting in for Rush Limbaugh, I would have laughed.  Today, it is happening, and what would have sounded like a joke then is the realization of a dream now.  I couldn’t be more excited, or more thankful, for the opportunity.”…..NFL dierdorfdanbroadcasting icon Dan Dierdorf switches to the college ranks after retiring from CBS.  He’ll become the color man in the radio booth for University of Michigan football alongside play-by-play man Jim Brandstatter (who makes the shift from his color analyst position after 34 years).  Both Dierdorf and Brandstatter played at Michigan during the 1969 and 1970 seasons…..Sports talk personality Jason Goff exits CBS RADIO’s WZGC, Atlanta “92.9 The Game” where he’s been the evening host…..Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace is staying put at the cable news/talker as he’s inked a multi-year renewal that will keep him hosting “Fox News Sunday” and involved with the news operation’s political and elections coverage…..ABC News Radio’s “Perspective” program produces a special Earth Day edition titled, “Going Green,” and is available to affiliate stations today (4/18).  ABC says Iron Chef and host of ABC’s “The Chew” — Michael Symon — shares his gardening tips, the benefits of growing your own vegetables and the many ways you can turn your backyard space into a culinary destination. Experts will also be on hand to debunk common food labels and share their green grocery shopping tips.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Armed American Radio” with host Mark Walters is added to the program schedule at KBIM, Roswell, New Mexico…..The Genesis Communications syndicated “Freedom Feens” with Michael W. Dean and Neema Vedadi joins the lineup at KLID, Poplar Bluff, Missouri and WQXL, Columbia, South Carolina.

Russian Aggression in Ukraine Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of April 14-18.  The continuing aggression by Vladimir Putin’s Russian troops in Ukraine and reports of Jews being targeted with neo-Nazi tactics tied atop the Talkers TenTM chart as the most-talked-about topics on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was criticism of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act.  Following at #3 was income tax return day tied with talk of statistics indicating the number of Americans receiving benefits, and at #4 was speculation about candidates for president in 2016.  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.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

| April 16, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150By Popular Demand, “Talkers New York 2014” is Bringing Back the Talk Rumble!  After several years on hiatus, the legendary (and original) “Talk Rumble” will return to the annual TALKERS conference at Talkers New York 2014.  The session features a large group of local and national talk show hosts – representing a variety of ideologies, genders and ethnicities — in a fast-paced, smokin’ debate of the hottest issues of the day.  It is moderated by an individual sworn to uphold the principles of political non-partisanship and philosophical even-handedness.  This year’s choice to serve in that capacity is WPIX-TV Channel 11, New York commentator (and TalkersRadio host) Lionel.  Rumblers include (in alphabetical order):  Alan Colmes of Fox News Radio, Mike Gallagher of Salem Radio Network, Thom Hartmann of WYD Media, Joyce Kaufman of WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale/Miami, Kevin McCullough of XtreMEDIA, Lincoln Ware of WDBZ, Cincinnati, and David Webb of Sirius/XM Satellite Radio.    Talkers New York 2014 will take place on Friday, June 20 at the India House Club located at One Hanover Square in the heart of New York City’s financial district.  More than 60 speakers will be participating in this year’s 17th annual installment of the talk radio industry’s longest-running and most important convention.  The event is always an early sellout and only open to communications industry professionals working in or closely associated with talk media.  Registrations ($249 per person) are only taken with credit card by phone.  Call 413-565-5413.

justicejonJournal’s KQTH, Tucson Re-Brands; Shifts Jon Justice to Late Mornings.  Leaving the station brand “The Truth” behind, Journal Broadcast Group news/talk KQTH, Tucson is making a few adjustments to its air schedule as well.  As per John Schuster’s piece in Tucson Weekly, the station is taking the slogan “104.1 KQTH, Tucson’s News and Talk.”  Jon Justice, who’s been heard in morning drive since the station debuted on the FM dial seven years ago, is moving to the 8:30 am to 12:00 noon slot where he’ll compete with Rush Limbaugh, heard on Clear Channel’s KNST from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Taking over the morning show on KQTH is program director Bill White, who will host a news wheel show.

ramseyRaleighDave Ramsey Presents Live in Raleigh.  Nationally syndicated talk superstar Dave Ramsey was in Raleigh on tax day presenting his “Legacy Journey LIVE!” event to a sold-out crowd at the Durham Performing Arts Center.  Ramsey’s presentation focuses on how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  His daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined him on stage.  Ramsey worked with Clear Channel affiliate WTKK “106.1 FM” to promote his appearance.  WTKK program director Brian Taylor comments, “When Dave comes to town it’s a reminder that our format is not inherently niche.  Build it and they will come.  Listeners turn out for Dave.  Identifying issues and concerns is one thing — it’s quite another to offer practical and actionable solutions we can all accomplish.  At WTKK Raleigh, all three numbers are solid: Ratings, revenue and attendance.”  Pictured here are (from left to right): Cruze, Clear Channel Raleigh market manager George Allen, Ramsey, program director Brian Taylor and general sales manager Dave Beecher.

krxa logoKRXA, Carmel Valley Signs Consent Decree in Sponsor ID and Indecency Case; to Pay $15,000.  Progressive talk radio outlet KRXA, Carmel Valley, California is owned by Harold S. Ginsberg and is currently in negotiations to be sold to El Sembrador Ministries (which has filed a contingent application to convert it to a non-commercial station).  The Consent Decree which will have Ginsberg pay $15,000 revolves around a brokered show that aired in 2009 that the FCC ruled was not properly identified as a sponsored program.  Also, the Commission ruled that the same program violated indecency regulations.  Though Ginsberg initially argued against both allegations, he reversed course and, due to financial hardship, is paying the fine and exiting the broadcasting business.

millerhannityWelcoming Sean to Boise.  KIDO, Boise morning drive personality Kevin Miller (right) poses for a photo with Premiere Networks talk star Sean Hannity (left) at the recent 2014 Media Solutions Conference in Philadelphia.  Both Miller and Hannity worked at WVNN, Huntsville early in their careers and now are both part of the lineup at Townsquare Media’s KIDO, Boise as Sean Hannity’s program is heard there in afternoon drive.  Miller tells TALKERS, “Sean has always been great to me since our days at WVNN.  It was a pleasure to welcome him to KIDO.”

mccollummaryMcCollum Promoted at Idaho Media Group.  Local sales manager Mary McCollum is promoted to director of regional and national sales at IdaVend Broadcasting, Inland Northwest Broadcasting and KRPL Inc.  McCollum began her career in media as a marketing manager for Ubiquitel (Sprint Wireless), in 2000.   She moved to neighboring Clarkston, Washington in 2009, taking a position in Lewiston as sales manager at Pacific Empire Radio Corporation.  In 2011, McCollum moved to nationally recognized IdaVend Broadcasting as the sales manager for Inland Northwest Broadcasting and KRPL, Inc. in Moscow.  In addition to national and regional sales, McCollum also specializes in political advertising and sponsorship promotions.

Tax Day, ObamaCare Criticism, Boston Marathon Bombing Anniversary, Russian Ukraine Aggression/Obama-Putin Talks, and Harry Reid and Nevada ‘Cattle Battle’ Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/15).  The deadline for filing federal and state tax returns and the increased tax rates many Americans are facing; the anniversary of the deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon; the ongoing tensions in Ukraine as pro-Russian factions press for return to Russian rule and President Obama’s talks with Vladimir Putin; Harry Reid’s involvement in the controversy between a Nevada rancher and the Bureau of Land Management were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, April 14, 2014

| April 14, 2014

weismanstevenRadio and KC Shootings Suspect’s Political ‘Campaign.’  The tragic triple slaying in Kansas City over the weekend in which three people lost their lives at the hands of alleged killer Frazier Glenn Cross sparked memories of his write-in political effort almost four years ago that caused grief for numerous Missouri radio stations.  In a piece published today (4/14), TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes about the radio advertising case that was spurred by Cross’ “campaign.”  Read his piece here.

kiernanedVeteran Baltimore GM Ed Kiernan to Retire.  News/talk WBAL and rock WIYY “98 Rock” vice president/general manager Ed Kiernan informed his staff this past Friday (4/11) that he will be retiring from the Hearst Television Baltimore stations sometime this summer.  Hearst Television president Jordan Wertlieb comments, “Having worked closely with Ed for all these years, I know firsthand how he has enhanced all aspects of the radio business he has managed with his enthusiasm, good humor and leadership.  With Ed at the helm, WBAL has been among the nation’s most honored radio stations and a major community force through the WBAL Radio Kids Campaign.  Throughout his tenure, Ed has built upon 98 Rock’s storied 37-year history, including expanding the station’s presence on the web and in mobile applications.” Hearst director David Barrett comments, “We are so proud of Ed’s stewardship of WBAL and ’98 Rock.’ His commitment and passion for our stations, his team, and the Baltimore community are the hallmark of a truly remarkable career.  We have been blessed by his steady leadership and warm friendship, which indelibly mark his years with Hearst.”  Before joining WBAL and “98 Rock” in 1991, Kiernan spent 17 years at CBS RADIO.  Among the positions he held with that company were vice president/general manager of all-news WCBS-AM, New York and vice president/general manager of CBS Radio Reps.  Upon leaving the Baltimore stations, Kiernan will reportedly relocate to New York state where he and his wife own a home.

gamblingjohnrJohn Gambling Returns to NYC Radio Today.  Just a few months after retiring from his morning show gig at Clear Channel’s WOR, New York, John R. Gambling returns to the air in the Big Apple on Salem Communications’ WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”  Gambling is hosting the two-hour 11:00 am to 1:00 pm show starting today (4/14).  When Gambling’s exit from retirement was announced last month, Salem VP director of spoken word format and VP for the New York marketwnymlogo Phil Boyce said, “When John Gambling left New York radio last December there was a void created for quality morning radio in this market, and we decided to fill it.  John had worked for me for nine years at WABC.  Before and after that he worked for [WNYM GM] Jerry Crowley at WOR.  Jerry and I looked at each other and thought this was something we could not pass up.”

cclogoClear Channel Study Reinforces Power of Personality Endorsements.  The study was the result of collaboration between Clear Channel Media + Entertainment and the University of Southern California surveying 2,700 respondents.  It was designed to look into the connection between consumers and radio personalities and gauge the effectiveness of the latter’s influence in directing consumer behavior.  In press release from Clear Channel detailing some of the findings, the company concludes that “radio is a far more powerful social force than ever before, particularly because of thehannitysean conversations fueled by on-air personalities and the connection listeners feel to on-air local and national talent like Ryan Seacrest, Sean Hannity, Delilah and Bobby Bones.  CC reports some of the key findings were: 1) When comparing radio personalities to other media personalities, 6 out of 10 listeners said that radio hosts are “like a friend,” whose opinions they trust; 2) With even more ways for consumers and on-air personalities to interact, 4 out of 10 listeners feel personalities make more of an effort to foster a personal connection, making the radio experience inherently more social, particularly when compared to TV or streaming playlist services; 3) Listeners equate an on-air personality endorsement to a friend’s recommendation, more so than they do sponsored Facebook posts, sponsored tweets or television commercials; and 4) More than half of the study participants agreed that they trust brands, products and services their favorite on air personality recommend, a finding that is encouraging smart marketers to undertake unique radio-based campaigns.  The press release did not mention breakdowns of results for various demographics.

wilc logoWallis Re-Brands WILC, Washington.  The Laurel, Maryland-licensed station is being operated by Wallis Communications under an LMA.  Management says that after dropping Spanish AC and flipping to talk earlier this year, the station is now using the slogan, “Where Liberty Has a Voice.”  Saying the station is “home to a new libertarian and personality-driven radio format, combining brokered and syndicated shows,” Wallis is airing shows by Dr. Kevin Wallis, Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck, WestwoodOne’s Dennis Miller and John Fredericks.  Station general manager Lisa Miller says, “The goal is to bring a fresh and unique perspective to new listeners by delivering extraordinary content and viewpoints on important topics like politics, world affairs and much more.  We expect that the station will also move into new US markets later this year.”

tradupkinnearSalem Radio News Examines Religious-Themed Movies.  The Salem Communications-owned news division is presenting a special week-long series focusing on the SONY Pictures film version of the New York Times #1 bestseller Heaven Is For Real.  The film is based upon Nebraska pastor Todd Burpo’s account of his son Colton’s near-death experience and the visions of heaven he says happened while doctors were operating on him for a ruptured appendix.  SRN News vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (pictured here at left with actor Greg Kinnear) tells TALKERS that although millions of readers made Heaven Is For Real a bestseller, some theologians have raised concerns about the concept of “heavenly travel” and have condemned both the book and the film version that opens nationwide this Wednesday.  Kinnear stars in the film.  He, along with director Randall Wallace (Oscar-nominated writer of “Braveheart”) and the film’s producer Joe Roth, were interviewed by Tradup for the series.  Also part of SRN’s program will be theology bloggers Tom McMann and Michael Patton who have written about the controversy created by Burpo’s book and the film.  Tradup adds, “There have been a number of Christian-themed box office hits so far in 2014 including “Son of God,” “NOAH,” and “God’s Not Dead.”  I believe – in terms of production values, scope, and the quality of the cast and writing – “Heaven Is For Real” has the potential to eclipse all of them.  Regardless of where theatregoers are in their walk of faith, it is quite simply a powerfully emotional film and, as we will present to listeners, the voices for and against it are part of a healthy debate that should serve the church in America well.”

deptrojohnOdds & Sods.  WPRO-AM, Providence talk show host John DePetro is named winner of the AP “Best Talk Show” award for Rhode Island.  DePetro also had the privilege of sitting in for WestwoodOne nationally syndicated personality Michael Savage for two shows last week.  DePetro comments, “It is great to win best talk show, because it is so competitive.  I work really hard on my show, and it is rewarding to be recognized for it.”…..On Tuesday, April 15, a memorial service will be held in Boston for the victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.  Fox News Radio is offering live, anchored coverage of the memorial service.  Hosted by FNR’s Jeff Monosso, the broadcast will be available on Fox News Radio affiliated stations across the country as well as on the Fox News Radio mobile app, and on the web at www.radio.FoxNews.com…..Matt Perrault exits Absolute Broadcasting-owned sports talk duo WGAM, Manchester and WGHM, Nashua, New Hampshire where he had served as general manager and afternoon personality for the past three years.

scba logoSouthern California Broadcasters Association Launches College Outreach Program.  In an effort to connect with college students and “engage students on the value of radio and its many digital platforms,” Southern California Broadcasters Association president Thom Callahan is embarking on a series of speaking engagements to take place at broadcast and communications classes at colleges and universities in Southern California and in London, England.  The SCBA states that what began as a radio career night at a UCLA radio broadcast class in Los Angeles in March has now expanded to four more speaking engagements over the next 30 days.  Callahan will speak with students “about the entire media landscape using research trends, comparative analysis, and a rich narrative of callahanthomradio’s growth and future in today’s rapidly changing media environment.”  Callahan states, “We are honored to have an honest dialog with what will be the next generation of broadcasters, producers, talent, sales executives, and future management.  Our goal is to open both minds and hearts to the tremendous future of radio and its many audio and digital platforms.”  The SCBA series will be held in April at California State University at both its Los Angeles and Fullerton campuses as well as at Pasadena Community College in Pasadena.  The fourth lecture will be broadcast via Skype to the David Puttnam Media Centre at the University of Sunderland in London, England on May 13.

hahnceleJournalist, State Pol, and Former Station Owner Cele Hahn Dies at 72.  For 20 years, Cele Hahn and husband Curt Hahn owned WNNZ, Springfield, Massachusetts – originally an oldies outlet as WLDM before flipping to news/talk.  The Hahn’s sold WNNZ to Clear Channel in 1998.  In addition to her work as a broadcaster – she was a radio personality on WNNZ along with her ownership role – Cele Hahn was a lifelong journalist, serving with papers including: the Miami Herald, the Huntington (WV) Advertiser, the Sioux City Journal and the Albany Times Knickerbocker News in New York.  She ran for state representative as a Republican in Massachusetts and served four terms before retiring in 2002.  She is survived by her husband Curt, her children and grandchildren.

emorycaptainherbCox Media Group Mourns Death of “Captain” Herb Emory.  Atlanta market traffic reporting legend “Captain” Herb Emory died on Saturday from what appears to have been a heart attack.  Emory reported traffic for CMG’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM and WSB-TV.  WBS reports that according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Emory stopped to help at a car accident when he suddenly fell ill.  He was transported to WellStar Douglas Hospital where he later died.  Emory’s funeral will be private, but there will be a Celebration of Life and Memorial Service for Captain Herb which will be open to all the public.  Details on that event are forthcoming.  Emory had been with WSB Radio and “Channel 2 Action News” since 1991and served as an Alanta traffic reporter since 1971.  Emory watched over the interstates during the week and hosted special traffic and NASCAR broadcast programs with his wife, Karen Emory.  Captain Herb hosted and produced the “WSB Speed Shop” auto racing from 1993 until 2011.  Emory previously was a news/traffic reporter from 1978 through 1991 with WQXI-AM, WSTR-FM and the Georgia Network News.

Friday, April 11, 2014

| April 11, 2014

limbaughrushLimbaugh Commenting on Colbert’s Hiring: “War on the Heartland of America.”  Clearly – not everyone was doing cartwheels regarding yesterday’s announcement that CBS-TV has selected Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman as “Late Show” host when Letterman departscolbertstephen sometime next year.  Colbert will gear up for the new assignment by retiring his fake conservative persona (which he has described as a “well-intentioned, poorly informed, high-status idiot”) on Comedy Central‘s “Colbert Report” at the end of this year.  Perhaps the most vociferous and vitriolic public comments concerning the late-night succession involving Colbert were made by Rush Limbaugh on Thursday’s (4/10) Premiere Networks broadcast.  He claims that CBS-TV’s hiring of Colbert has, “declared war on the heartland of America.  No longer is comedy going to be a covert assault on traditional American values, conservative values.  Now it is just out in the open.  What this hire means is a redefinition of what is funny, and a redefinition of what is comedy, and they’re blowing up the 11:30 format.”  Limbaugh and Letterman are hardly allies, yet Limbaugh noted that, “The world is changing – people don’t want the kind of comedy that Carson gave us, or even Letterman gave us.  It is the media planting a flag.  There is no unity in this hire.”  Furthermore, Limbaugh contends that CBS-TV has, “hired a partisan, [a] so-called comedian, to run a comedy show.”

batchelorjohnbookshowWABC, New York’s John Batchelor to Debut Author Video Series on WABCradio.com.  WABC, New York and WestwoodOne syndicated talk show host John Batchelor begins a new online video program titled “John Batchelor Author Series” (sponsored by online bookseller Entitle) in which he “takes his appreciation of literature, history, and political intrigue to a new level” via long-form interviews with today’s most intriguing authors.  Batchelor comments, “I used to be an author, and I enjoy the enthusiasm of hearing in depth of a new book, well told by the person who survived the research, the writing and the publishing.  It’s fun for me to learn the stories of the making of the stories.”  WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “No one does books better than John Batchelor, and the ‘Author Series’ proves that.  This is a natural extension of John’s passion and we hope that his listeners in New York and across the country will enjoy it.”  The program launches with an in-depth interview of Thomas Cahill the author of Heretics and Heroes.  Future episodes include: Robert Klara author of FDR’s Funeral Train, Eri Hotta author of Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy and George H. Nash author of The Crusade Years 1933-1955.  Fresh episodes will appear weekly on wabcradio.com.

karnlogoKARN-FM, Little Rock Names PD; Seeks Afternoon Host.  Little Rock news/talker KARN-FM names Adam Thomas program director for the station and the Arkansas Radio Network.  Thomas takes over for longtime PD and PM drive host Dave Elswick who, along with morning host Bob Steel and news director Jack Heinritz, exited the station last week.  Thomas is seeking a new afternoon drive personality for the station and says, “The afternoon show should be a compelling blend of information and entertainment.  Opinion and point-of-view are important, but this program must appeal to a broad segment of the Little Rock community.  Candidates must have a mastery of current events, a relentless curiosity, and the ability and desire to talk about more than politics.  A willingness and ability to engage the audience outside the show via personal appearances, digital media and other channels is a must.”  Send resumes and airchecks or links to cumulusradio.jobs@cumulus.com with “Little Rock PM Host” in the subject line.  Cumulus Media is an EOE.

rowlandjohnFormer Governor, WTIC Host John Rowland Indicted on Federal Elections Violations Charges. A week after former Connecticut Governor John Rowland resigned from his afternoon drive talk show on CBS RADIO’s WTIC, Hartford, he has been indicted by a federal grand jury on seven counts related to alleged illegal campaign activity.  Rowland, who resigned from the governor’s office in 2004 and eventually served 10 months in prison after being charged with corruption, is this time accused of scheming to work for two Connecticut political campaigns and trying to conceal from both the public and the Federal Elections Commission that he was being paid by the campaigns.

wtjk logo newWTJK, Janesville to Flip to News/Talk.  The newly acquired Janesville, Wisconsin sports talker that Scott Thompson’s Big Radio purchased from Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Broadcasting is flipping to news/talk as “The Big AM 1380” beginning Monday, April 14.  The station – an ESPN Radio outlet under Good Karma’s ownership – will focus on local content and Scott Thompson will host the morning drive show.  The rest of the day will feature: Glenn Smith from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, Andrew Liebetrau & Andy Gannon from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, Tony Huml from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and Sly from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Program director Andrew Liebetrau comments, “We are incredibly excited to do more for our local listeners, partners and communities.  Not only will we have a lot of great new and local content, but we will continue to offer some of the great local programs we have had for years.”

sportsusaOdds & Sods.  Former NFL quarterback Jake Plummer is producing a weekly podcast for Sports USA Network.  Sports USA president Bob Moore says, “Jake Plummer is a true superstar with a huge following in the college and pro football sports world.  We are excited to add Jake’s show to our growing list of digital audio programs as we continue to produce current, fresh, and informative sports programming.”  Plummer is currently an NFL game analyst on Sports USA’s “Sunday Doubleheader” package as well as a college football analyst on the Pac-12 Television Network…..Alison Cuddy exits Chicago Public Media-owned WBEZ, Chicago where she has been serving as arts & culture reporter and producer.  She leaves to become program director for the Chicago Humanities Festival…..The “Sports Business Radio” show, hosted by creator Brian Berger, celebrates its 10th year on the air.  It debuted on KXL, Portland and then moved to national syndication via Sports Byline USA Network.

ABCNewsRadiocrewMeet the New Boss. The New York-based staff of ABC News Radio poses for a photo with newly named ABC News president James Goldston (at center).  Goldston was given a standing ovation by the ABC News Radio staff when he visited them today just hours after getting the top job at the network.  Goldston, most recently senior vice president overseeing content and development, succeeds Ben Sherwood who is stepping down from the president position in a few weeks after assisting Goldston during the transition phase.

ObamaCare Criticism Top Talk Story for Week of April 7-11.  The ongoing scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act was again the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 was the 2016 presidential race tied with this fall’s mid-term elections.  Following at #3 was global warming and at #4 was the move to charge former IRS official Lois Lerner with contempt tied with Kathleen Sebelius’ resignation as Health and Human Services Secretary.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Friday, April 4, 2014

| April 4, 2014

wtic logoFormer Connecticut Governor John Rowland Resigns from WTIC, Hartford Show as New Corruption Probe Intensifies.  The former Connecticut governor resigned from office in 2004 amidst corruption charges to which he eventually pleaded guilty and served 10 months in federal prison.  He began a talk show host career on CBS RADIO’s WTIC,rowlandjohn Hartford in 2010 – for the first two years with co-host Pastor Will Marotti of the New Life Church in Meriden before going solo – but now that gig is over as Rowland stepped down yesterday without addressing the new allegations.  The Hartford Courant reports that testimony from local businessman Brian Foley and his wife, Lisa Wilson-Foley (a former congressional candidate) stated in federal court that they used a phony consulting contract with Rowland to pay him for political assistance to Wilson-Foley’s failed 2012 campaign.  Rowland faces possible indictment by a grand jury.  WTIC program director Jenneen Lee tells the paper Pastor Will Marotti will step into the afternoon drive slot beginning Monday.  Read the entire Courant piece here.

elswickdaveBig Changes at KARN-FM, Little Rock; PM Driver Dave Elswick Out along with AM Drive’s Bob Steel and ND.  Longtime afternoon drive personality and program director Dave Elswick announces via Facebook that he’s out at Cumulus Media’s KARN-FM, Little Rock.  Here’s his post: “I ask for your prayers tonight.  After nearly 14 years on KARN I was fired by Cumulus Media.  Bob Steel and news director Jack Heintz were also fired.  I have no idea what will be on the station tomorrow.  Know that I love every one of you who have supported me over these years. God Bless.”  There were rumors of change at the news/talk outlet swirling but nothing concrete had been put out.  As of now, the KARN-FM website lists the AM and PM drive dayparts generically.  It’s possible Cumulus is clearing the afternoon deck to move Michael Savage into a live slot from the current late night delayed broadcast.

esiasonboomerCriticism of Mets Infielder’s Paternity Leave Reversed as WFAN’s Boomer Esiason Apologizes.  The decision by New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy to miss two games to be with his wife in Florida after she delivered their son on Opening Day was a hot topic of conversation on New York sports talk radio and both WFAN afternoon host Mike Francesa and morning drive co-host Boomer Esiason opined that two games was too many to miss.  But during the initial chatter, Esiason said that he’d have asked his wife to schedule a C-section in order to be with his teammates for the games.  The MLB CBA allows for up to three days of paternity leave.  Esiason apologized on WFAN’s morning show today (4/4), calling his comments “insensitive” and expressing contrition for having put the Murphy family’s personal lives “under a spotlight.”  He also said his C-section comment was not intended to mean he was telling women what to do with their bodies.

openingday2014Nielsen Audio Quantifies the Obvious: Opening Day Is Big for Radio.  What’s well known to radio practitioners is put into numbers by Nielsen Audio from this season’s Opening Day.  While baseball – from a ratings standpoint – will be good to most MLB flagships this year, some of the Opening Day numbers are truly spectacular.  In Cincinnati, flagship WLW pulled a 46.6 share with Men 25-54 on a 12+ cume of 270,700.  Also, it’s interesting to note the difference in cume and share from the Cubs at Pirates broadcasts where the woebegone Cubs fans in Chicago didn’t appear to have the same passion (via radio, anyway) as the recharged Bucs backers in Pittsburgh.  Check out the data here.

theblaze radio networkGlenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network Reports Streaming Success.  The digital side of Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network reports that it makes its debut as one of the top 20 most-listened-to streams in America, according to Triton Digital‘s February 2014 ranker.  TheBlaze president and chief content officer Joel Cheatwood states, “When we launched TheBlaze Radio Network in January 2013 we did so with the goal of being one of the top online radio stations in America.  In our first month of accredited measurement, it is exciting to see our single stream on the same list as these established multi-stream services.”

mozdiezcarlsonEntercom Boston Boosts Mozdiez to Director of Integrated Media Strategies.  It is a position the cluster specifically crafts for Carlson Mozdiez, who is elevated from director of digital operations.  New responsibilities for the Syracuse University graduate include developing/executing customer-facing brand messaging, including live events, contesting and promotions, external advertising,entercom websites, video, and social media.  Entercom Boston vice president/market manager Phil Zachary comments, “Streamlining our ever-expanding array of digital and marketing channels, which connect the most valuable radio consumers in New England to our brands and our advertisers, makes logistical sense.  Carlson is the ideal leader to spearhead these innovative efforts.”  Mozdiez remarks that, “It is an exciting time as we continue to develop and optimize the ways people interact with our stations while creating new means for advertisers to access our audiences.”  Entercom Boston consists of rock WAAF, sports WEEI-FM, sports WEEI-AM, news/talk WRKO, the Boston Red Sox Radio Network and their respective web properties.  Mozdiez joined Entercom in 2002 as promotion coordinator for WEEI and WRKO.

millerdennisDennis Miller Celebrates Radio Anniversary.  Today marks the seventh anniversary of entertainer Dennis Miller’s nationally syndicated WestwoodOne radio program.  The “Saturday Night Live” alum is commemorating the day with special guests including: Mark Steyn, nationally syndicated columnist and author of After America: Get Ready for Armageddon; Bob Saget, comedian and author of Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian; Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky; David Spade, comedian; Frank Sinatra Jr.; and fellow SNL alum Dana Carvey.

richertlarryKDKA-AM’s Larry Richert to Be Roasted for Charity.  Pittsburgh talk radio personality Larry Richert – co-host of the “KDKA Morning News on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA” will be the guest of honor at a Roast & Toast on Friday, April 25 to be roasted and toasted by friends and co-workers to benefit the Roxsan Betters Albanese Foundation.  This foundation helps financially challenged families with children who are terminally ill or face a life threatening situation.  Fellow KDKA-AM talk host Rob Pratte will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

westcottpaulOdds & Sods.  When Premiere Networks’ “America Now with Andy Dean” hits the air tonight, WTAG, Worcester morning drive talk show host Paul Westcott will be in the host chair.  Westcott has become a regular fill-in for Dean when he’s away…..This weekend’s NCAA Final Four is being covered by SiriusXM.  The satcaster says it’ll offer subscribers comprehensive coverage of this weekend’s action plus analysis on the College Sports Nation channel from hoops experts such as three-time ACC Coach of the Year Bobby Cremins, Hall of Fame Michigan State guard Mateen Cleaves, former Villanova and UMass coach Steve Lappas, former University of Vermont coach Tom Brennan, plus Tim Brando, Mark Packer, Chris Childers and Jason Horowitz…..Birach Broadcasting’s sports talker KXRQ, Des Moines announces it’s the newest affiliate for Kansas City Royals baseball play-by-play……Sunrise Broadcasting strikes an agreement with Sea-Comm Media to use the latter’s translator W240AS, Wilmington at 95.9 FM to augment the signal of its sports talk WMFD “ESPN Wilmington,” heard on 630 AM.

ObamaCare Criticism Remains Atop Talkers TenTM.  The major political issue of the past year – the passage of the Affordable Care Act – continues to be one of the top news/talk radio stories and was again the most-talked-about topic this week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.  Coming in at #2 this week was the deadly Fort Hood Shooting.  At #3 was the looming mid-term elections tied with the potential candidates in the 2016 presidential election, and at #4 was this week’s Supreme Court campaign donation ruling.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Monday, March 24, 2014

| March 24, 2014

businessrockstars radioBusiness Rockstars Radio to Debut. Via a strategic alliance with the Wall Street Business Network, “Business Rockstars Radio” will premier its national radio syndication effort on March 31 on 10 major market stations. Business Rockstars Radio, hosted by Ken Rutkowski, features “rockstar” CEOs, entrepreneurs, and start-ups and targets the 30 million “Wantrepreneurs” in the U.S. The March 31 rollout is the “launchrutkowskiken pad” for the national rollout of the program. Salem Radio Division president David Santrella states, “Salem is excited to be adding more compelling and relevant content to our Wall Street Business Network. We thank the Good Life Network for their efforts in securing the Business Rockstars Radio program for our growing business-format platform, and look forward to a long and mutually successful relationship with both the Good Life Network and Business Rockstars Radio.” The program will air live from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET and debut on: KDOW, San Francisco; KVCE, Dallas; KTEK, Houston; WZAB, Miami; WAFS, Atlanta; KKOL, Seattle; WBZW, Orlando; KYCR, Minneapolis; KSAC, Sacramento; and KGU, Honolulu. Business Rockstars Radio co-founder Steve Lehman comments, “Business Rockstars Radio is loaded with powerful entrepreneurial content presented in a fun, fast-paced, two-hour daily show. The program has big name CEOs, entrepreneurs and start-ups that discuss their adventures in starting, growing and funding businesses. These stories inspire and educate listeners, from billion dollar start-ups to business train wrecks.”

greatermedia logoGreater Media Philly Named a Top Workplace. This is the third successive year the company has earned such recognition from an annual survey conducted by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com.  Hundreds of companies take part in the survey and as Greater Media Philadelphia vice president/market manager John Fullam states, “Great companies start with great employees.  We are fortunate to have an extraordinary team dedicated to serving Philadelphia, our listeners, and advertising partners every day.”  Judges are employees and evaluation for the “Top Workplaces” program is based upon feedback from a fall 2013 employee survey conducted by Workplace Dynamics.  The Philadelphia Inquirer ran a special publication insert yesterday (3/23) to announce the honor.  Greater Media’s four-station Philadelphia cluster consists of adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 Ben-FM,” WMGK “Philadelphia’s Classic Rock,” WMMR “Everything That Rocks,” and sports WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.”

agasepaulCumulus Nabs Agase for VP Sales Post in Chicago.  Chicago market sales pro Paul Agase is named vice president of sales for Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM “Chicago’s Talk Leader” and classic rock WLUP “97.9 FM The Loop.”  Most recently, Agase was general sales manager at CBS RADIO’s all-news WBBM.  He’s also worked in the market at sports talk WSCR “The Score,” triple A WXRT, WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM,” and WBBM-FM “B96.”  Cumulus EVP and co-COO John Pinch comments, “Paul has made a significant impact driving sales for Chicago radio.  His talents are an ideal match for Cumulus Chicago’s iconic stations and we are excited to welcome him to the company.”

comrexComrex Welcomes Torelli as Market Development Manager.  Multi-disciplined media pro Joe Torelli joins Comrex Corporation as market development manager.  The company says that in this role, Torelli will spearhead awareness and drive acceptance of the Comrex LiveShot products in the broadcast, education, worship and government markets.  Comrex managing director Kris Specht states, “Joe comes to Comrex with extensive experience on both sides of the broadcast industry starting as a photojournalist at WFLA-TV, Tampa where he first used Comrex products.  Capitalizing on his field experience there and over a decade at NBC News covering world events, he transitioned to design and delivery of market focused products at Avid, Quantel and, most recently, Apple products that became standards in the industry.  That background will help Comrex grow the acceptance of the LiveShot products.”  Torelli says, “I see LiveShot as truly amazing technology and I’m no stranger to highlighting new technology and differentiating features to the market.  I’m excited about the opportunity to help extend LiveShot’s appeal and acceptance.”  Comrex LiveShot delivers live video and audio over a range of IP networks.  LiveShot is used by TV stations and networks to deliver high-quality, low-latency, full-duplex video and audio from anywhere internet access is available.

bearmanethan2Ethan Bearman Adds KGO, San Francisco to His Roster of Radio Homes.  Multi-platform talk show host Ethan Bearman, one of the 2014 first-time members of TALKERS magazine’s newly published “Heavy Hundred,” has just been named regular host of the Sunday 10:00 am to 1:00 pm slot on KGO, San Francisco.  Bearman has also been retained by the Cumulus San Francisco cluster to do fill-in at KGO’s sister station KSFO where he’ll be keeping the mic warm next week for morning host Brian Sussman (also a 2014 Heavy Hundred inductee) between 5:00 am and 9:00 am on April 3 and 4.  The hard-working Bearman also has a two-hour weekend syndicated show carried by Genesis Communications Network (GCN) and is a regular member of the air staff at Michael Zerling’s nationally famous KSCO, Santa Cruz where he hosts 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm weekdays.  Bearman tells TALKERS, “I am blessed and honored to be working with some of the best professionals in the industry – Michael Zwerling is one of the most ardent examples of a broadcaster dedicated to serving the local community and creating breakthroughs in modern marketing techniques.  Ted Anderson is a dynamo of entrepreneurial innovation, who has built GCN into a powerhouse among the up-and-coming syndicators.  And now, the mighty Cumulus, where I am honored to work at one of the truly legendary sets of call letters in America – KGO – with a staff that is the very embodiment of broadcasting professionalism.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison has been quoted as saying, “I have heard one of the major voices of talk radio’s future and it emanates from a young man named Ethan Bearman.”

cookehollandMedia Usage Research (and What You Can Do With It).  Media consultant Holland Cooke pens a brief synopsis of some of the recent media usage research that’s been published recently and takes it a step further and offers some advice that station operators can use to put their best foot forward.  Smart owners and programmers are not getting depressed about the changing media landscape; they are doing their best to adapt to how people are using media.  Cooke offers some thoughts about working with that mindset.  Read it here.

sorbosamSam Sorbo to Launch Daily Talk Show.  Actress/author and True Feminist CEO Sam Sorbo is beginning a daily, three-hour talk show on Wednesday (3/26).  A press statement says she’s being “tapped by America’s Talk Network, Inc. to host a new daily talk show that will be syndicated and exclusively represented by Talk Radio Network Enterprises.”  The eponymous show will air from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.    CEO Mark Masters says Sorbo is “an ‘independent conservative,’ an accomplished entrepreneur, who has an uncanny ability to connect with the listeners on a visceral level.”  Sorbo states, “I view it as a privilege to be behind the microphone…Ronald Reagan understood the power of humor, satire and good-natured ridicule in ways that created a massive ‘Big Tent of Voters.’  My goal is to follow that model in creating a ‘Big Tent of Listeners’ for ratings success for our stations.”

kcoh logoHouston Judge Allows KCOH Suit Back Before Court.  The months-long dispute between former KCOH, Houston talk show host Michael Harris and South Houston Community Development Corp. president Jesse Dunn will return to the courts after being dismissed last month.  Harris claims Dunn made false representations to induce Harris into obtaining personal lines of credit totaling $130,000 to finance radio station equipment and operations.  Last month the case was dismissed but Harris’ lawyer Robert Collier argued he was unaware of the motion for summary judgment and didn’t have time to respond.  The suit was reinstated on March 11 and, according to the Houston Chronicle, Collier will ask that the court put KCOH assets into receivership for accounting and control.

eastlanratings logoEastlan Adding Three Markets. Tallahassee, Florida; Columbus, Georgia; and Hammond, Louisiana are the metros that the ratings company will begin surveying this spring.  Eastlan president/chief executive officer Mike Gould comments that, “As Eastlan rolls into our fifteenth year, we are grateful to the small and medium market radio leaders who have recognized the value in carefully scrutinizing their radio ratings/vendor relationship.  We never imagined we would be fortunate enough to become the senior radio ratings provider in the United States.” Nielsen Audio is already measuring Tallahassee and Columbus; Hammond was an unrated metro.  Roughly five months ago, Eastlan added 11 other markets in Texas, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas.

stigallswiftChris Stigall and Taylor Swift Goofing in NYC.  WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive personality Chris Stigall (right) takes what he calls the “ultimate selfie” with pop and country superstar Taylor Swift (left) at the 8th Annual Taste of Hope Wine Dinner to support City of Hope in New York City’s Tribeca on March 20.  This event is just one of the fundraising projects City of Hope produces to help raised funds to cure — and ultimately prevent — cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases.

millernooryCoast to Coast AM from Boise.  Nationally syndicated late-night star George Noory (left) poses for a photo with KIDO, Boise morning drive personality Kevin Miller (right) backstage at the Egyptian Theater in Boise during a visit to the city.  The Premiere Networks-syndicated “Coast to Coast AM” personality was in town for a live show at the Egyptian Theater.  Also pictured here is Noory Productions president Tom Danheiser (c).

BTC logoHD Radio Cited in Growth of Broadcaster Traffic Consortium Revenue.  The Broadcaster Traffic Consortium (BTC), is a nationwide broadcasting network that distributes location-based data — including: local traffic, weather, and fuel prices via radio technology to navigation devices and automobile in-dash systems.  The consortium reports that revenue for 2013 continued to grow and it anticipates more growth in 2014.  The consortium was established in 2007 and since that time its total revenue compound annual growth rate is 50.8%.  The addition of HD Radio technology for traffic data in 2011 comprises 20% of the BTC’s total revenue.  Greater Media CEO Peter Smyth says, “Greater Media is now seeing a return on our investment in BTC.  The transmission of traffic data via our HD signals allows us to be an integral part of the digital dashboard.  We are pleased to see that revenue growth is exceeding our expectations.”  Getting traffic data via HD Radio allows users to avoid eating up their allotted data on bandwidth-intense activities like traffic.  The BTC says, “The smooth launch with auto manufacturers Honda and Mitsubishi last year has opened the door for additional automakers to realize the value of HD Radio Data real-time traffic.”  The founding members of the BTC include: Beasley Broadcast Group; Bonneville International Corporation; Cox Radio, Inc.; Emmis Communications; Entercom Communications Corp.; Greater Media; NPR and Radio One.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

| March 5, 2014

wdrc-amBuckley to Sell Connecticut Stations to Connoisseur.  Led by Hartford classic hits outlet WDRC-FM, the Connecticut stations Buckley Broadcasting is selling to Connoisseur Media also includes talk WDRC-AM and its simulcast AMs WMMW, Meriden; WSNG, Torrington; and WWCO, Waterbury.  The price on this deal is not being made public yet.  Buckley is being represented by Richard A. Foreman Associates.  In a memo to staff, Buckley president and CEO Joe Bilotta says, “After much reflection, the Board of Trustees has decided that the reality of the evolving competitive landscape, and our sincere desire to see this historic brand continue, are cause for a change in the ownership of our Connecticut properties.  Our decision to negotiate with, and eventually sell WDRC-AM/FM to Connoisseur, gives our audience, advertisers, and employees access to the considerable resources of this multi-dimensional media and entertainment company.  For over half of a century Buckley Broadcasting has been the steward of these great call letters and there is not a better company than Connoisseur to ensure the continued and accelerated future success of the WDRC brand.”

foxsportsradio logoFox Sports and Premiere Networks Renew FSRN Deal.  The relationship between Clear Channel subsidiary Premiere Networks and Fox Sports goes back to August of 2000 when the two companies agreed to work together to debut the Fox Sports Radio Network.  Now, almost 14 years later, the two companiespremierenetworks new agree to a long-term extension of the partnership.  Premiere Networks will continue to produce and distribute Fox Sports Radio Network to its radio affiliates.  Additionally, “Premiere Networks and Fox Sports will continue working together across multiple platforms to synchronize the audio, digital, online and television assets of Fox Sports, FOXSports.com and Fox Sports Radio, further extending the reach, visibility and engagement of these brands with millions of consumers.  Additionally, with the recently-launched 24-hour television network Fox Sports 1, the radio and television divisions will work closely to increase cross-promotional opportunities and highlight Fox Sports’ established team of top insiders, analysts and personalities.”

nielsen logoNielsen’s Cross-Platform Report: Smartphone Use Rising, AM/FM Use Decreasing.  The numbers are nothing astronomical with regard to the decline in use of AM/FM radio, but they show a trend.  According to the March 2014 Nielsen Cross-Platform Report, the hours of use per day for adults 18+ for AM/FM radio have dropped from 2:53 minutes to 2:46 minutes from the fourth quarter of 2011 through the fourth quarter of 2013.  At the same time, use of smartphones has risen from :48 minutes per day to 1:07 minutes per day over the same three-year period.  Again, this is not a dramatic change but it certainly shows that the use of smartphones continues to rise for adults and the use of the AM/FM radio is declining.  You can check out the report here.

edisonresearchAnd Speaking of Smartphones…The increase in usage of smartphones by Americans has risen to 61% (persons 12+), according to Edison Research and Triton Digital – the two companies presenting their “Infinite Dial 2014” webinar today at 2:00 pm ET.  Edison releases this little teaser in advance of today’s event indicating that in 2009 just 10% of Americans owned smartphones.  That number climbed to 44% in 2012 and has soared to 61% in 2014 and Edison estimates that means about 160 million people in raw numbers.

holdtheirfeet2014Just a Few Slots Left at FAIR’s ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Radio Row.  The topic of immigration reform continues to be a much-discussed one on news/talk radio with related legislation brewing in Congress.  The Federation for American Immigration Reform-sponsored “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row taking place April 9 and 10 in Washington, DC is nearing a full slate.  FAIR communications director Bob Dane tells TALKERS magazine, “It’s ‘last call’ for one broadcast booth remaining in morning drive, one in afternoon drive, and two in midday.”  Broadcast slots are granted on a first-come, first-served basis.  Interested hosts should contact Dane 202-328-7004 ASAP to discuss details.  Dane says, “Attendees enjoy Capitol Hill access to lawmakers, immigration activists, experts and law enforcement working in tandem to secure our borders and to enforce the rule of law.”

langejim‘Radio Guy’ Jim Lange Remembered.  When Jim Lange passed away last week at age 81, he was remembered by most for his role as host of television’s “The Dating Game.”  But as TALKERS managing editor and bureau chief Mike Kinosian writes, “Jim Lange was one of the finest ambassadors radio could ever hope to have.”  A few years back, Kinosian did a profile of Lange and learned more about his radio career – including why he always kept a radio job even during the heyday of “The Dating Game” and his other TV game shows.  He said that if the TV job failed, he always had radio.   Lange told him, “I noticed that all the game show hosts were radio guys.  They were hired because they could adlib.  There is no script on a game show. You have rules, but that is it.”  Read Mike Kinosian’s story about Jim Lange here.

Ukraine-Crimea Unrest/Obama vs. Putin, ObamaCare Criticism, MSNBC Programming Changes, Texas Primaries, U.S. Marijuana Policy, and Hillary in 2016 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/4).  The crisis in the Ukraine and Crimea and criticism of President Obama’s stance against Russia’s Vladimir Putin; ongoing scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the cable news/talk wars and the performance of new MSNBC programs; Tuesday’s Texas primary elections; the changes in marijuana policy in the United States; and speculation that Hillary Clinton will emerge the the Democratic frontrunner in the 2016 presidential election were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Part Two – Taking the Vision and Creating Envision

| February 11, 2014

TALKERS Three-Part Special Feature

The Vision of Envision: The Rise of Radio Syndication Entrepreneur Danno Wolkoff and an Emerging Independent Powerhouse

By Jeff McKay
TALKERS
Special features Correspondent

 

mckayjeffNEW YORK — When Clear Channel came along and bought MJI Broadcasting in November, 1999, and then merging them into Premiere Networks, the idea of leaving and starting his own company was far from his thoughts.  However, Danno Wolkoff soon found out that creating new programs he was trying to push wasn’t in the plans for Premiere at that time, told simply, “If we want a new show we’ll buy it,” which included shows like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.  Wolkoff realized his future wasn’t at Premiere.

At MJI, Wolkoff was accustomed to building programs from the ground-up.  This was not how Premiere was operating at the time, and realizing that sooner or later the end could come for him at Clear Channel and Premiere, Wolkoff began devising “Plan B.”  The question for Wolkoff would be in which direction should he go, to work for someone as he had his entire career to-date, or start his own company?

Read More

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

| February 11, 2014

entercomEntercom Revenue Down 2% in Q4; Dips 3% for 2013.  The 2013 fourth quarter numbers for Entercom are in and the company reports net revenue was down 2% on $99.6 million though adjusted net income per share was basically flat.  Also free cash flow increased by 2%.  For the full year of 2013, net revenue dipped 3%.  Though station expenses decreased slightlyfielddavid during the year, station operating income decreased by 8% to $125.8 million.  Entercom will hold a conference call with investors and analysts at 12:00 noon ET today (2/11).  President and CEO David Field says in a statement, “Entercom’s fourth quarter revenues declined 2% while revenues excluding political advertising posted a 2% increase.  2014 began on a solid note with January revenues up moderately over the prior year.  We are optimistic about 2014 performance based on improving sales capabilities and execution, strong ratings and meaningful local growth opportunities.”

beasley logoBeasley Broadcast Group to Work with Propel Marketing for Online Marketing.  In an effort to expand its online marketing, Beasley Broadcast Group announces it is engaging Propel Marketing to “assist Beasley’s local clients in building and expanding their online marketing opportunities and solutions.”  In a statement, Beasley says that Propel’s products and services include website and mobile site design, search engine optimization, lists and local directories, social media services and online reputation management.  It further states that the “agreement affords Beasley’s local account executives access to a robust portfolio of online marketing services.  Beasley’s relationship with Propel Marketing enhances the on-air and online advertising opportunities already available to existing and future clients, especially small businesses that typically do not have in-house resources to create and implement successful online marketing campaigns.  Propel Marketing will not only create and deliver online marketing solutions, but also provide a dedicated team of specialists to ensure that Beasley’s clients are fully leveraging Propel Marketing products.”  Beasley EVP and CFO Caroline Beasley states, “We are extremelybeasleycaroline excited by this relationship.  It gives us the ability to respond to any request a local advertiser may have that involves exploring a digital component.  The ability to combine radio’s powerful reach with Propel Marketing’s wide assortment of online products and services will greatly enhance a local advertising campaign.”  Newly appointed vice president of digital Stacey Sedbrook adds, “By integrating online marketing with their current radio marketing efforts our clients are able to both extend their audience reach and more efficiently target their messaging.  Beasley sales professionals remain the primary contact for our advertising customers.  Our goal remains helping local businesses build their brands and grow their revenue.  We can now offer integrated marketing solutions under the Beasley Broadcast brand allowing advertisers to streamline their marketing efforts with a trusted local partner.”

mckayjeffTALKERS Posts Part-Two Today of Three-Part Special (2/10-12) Spotlighting Danno Wolkoff and Envision Networks.  Like many people who go to college with a plan for what they want to do when they graduate, Danno Wolkoff went to Syracuse University with a goal of winding up in television production.  Fate, and the prodding from senior management at MJI Broadcasting instead sent him in the direction of sales and affiliate relations.  Wolkoff discovered he had a gift for sales, and doubled his income in one year.  It was through sales and affiliate relations work that he climbed the corporate ladder at MJI, expanding and growing their sales offices nationwide.  When Clearwolkoffdanno Channel acquired MJI and merged it into Premiere Radio Networks (now simply “Premiere Networks”), he became VP of affiliate relations.  However, it wasn’t long before he began to realize that the hands-on and creative approach he had at MJI wasn’t translating to the growth concepts and business model of Premiere and Clear Channel.  Wolkoff faced a career crossroads and would make a decision that would change his life and become an important source of programming and services for radio.  His vision was Envision Radio Networks — a highly successful and forward-thinking company that envisionnetworks newcreates over four-dozen content products and services for radio stations and media outlets nationwide, customizing solutions for clients, producers and affiliates.  It is a company literally founded after another syndication and programming company decided they had a good product that despite making money, didn’t make enough money for their bottom line.  What Wolkoff has accomplished in the span of just 10 years is inspiring and a textbook example of creating a force for productivity and jobs in an industry.  He took the biggest gamble of his life, grabbing a program and three people laid off by an established firm that would become his largest competitor, and growing an independent syndication empire serving over 1,500 radio stations with everything from prep services to music shows, local news and information to weekend talk shows.  His staff has grown over 20-fold in a decade to include an array of producers, salespeople and contract staffers researching, producing, creating and selling more than four-dozen products to radio stations in both the largest and smallest markets.  Now known simply as Envision Networks (they dropped the word “Radio” this past week – more on that later) continues to not only grow, embracing new technology and catering to those needs, but in the process has become an independent force in syndication.  In today’s installment, Wolkoff discusses exactly what it takes to build a formidable syndication firm from scratch and shares his view of the changing nature of the syndication business as well as radio in general.  In the words of Michael Harrison, “The emergence of special individuals like Danno Wolkoff is the force that propels an industry such as ours forward.  I’ve seen this movie many times before.  Danno is the kind of guy who has the makings of being a true giant 10 years down the pike, taking his place among the biggest of the big.”  To read part two of TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay’s extensive profile “The Vision of Envision: The Rise of Radio Syndication Entrepreneur Danno Wolkoff and an Emerging Independent Powerhouse” please click here.  And if you missed part one published yesterday, read that here.

krasnymaxMax Krasny Joins CBS RADIO as VP/Sales and Strategic Alliances.  The former WestwoodOne EVP takes on the vice president, sales and strategic partnerships position with CBS RADIO’s Altitude Group division which focuses on helping brands connect with consumers using CBS RADIO stations, along with CBS Television stations and their digital properties, as well as CBS’s outdoor assets.  Max Krasny reports to the executive leadership of the Altitude Group: Rich Lobel, executive vice president and CMO, and Sue McNamara, senior vice president, sales.  Lobel states, “Max is a seasoned pro who brings a marketing acumen to a client’s business, and knows how to deliver creative excellence that makes brands stand out and get noticed.  No one has a better portfolio of local assets under one roof than CBS including: radio, television, out-of-home, live events, websites, mobile and social apps.”

wls-am logoFCC Socks WLS-AM, Chicago with $44,000 Fine.  The Forfeiture Order comes from the station failing to identify the sponsor of programming that aired back in 2009.  The content was in the form of long-form shows – two two-hour programs, a one-hour show – plus 90-second and 15-second spots and promotional announcements paid for by Workers Independent News.  During the two-week period in question, the FCC determined that 11 announcements were aired without proper sponsor identification and issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for $44,000 – 11 violations at $4,000 per.  Cumulus argued that the commission had in the past reduced fines to a one-time violation amount and that it should just have to pay $4,000.  But the commission ruled that no such precedent had been set and that the forfeiture amounts in failure to identify sponsorships cases reflect the unique aspects of each case and thus the commission considers this case to be comprised of 11 violations, not one.

clarkjackFormer MLB Slugger and Talk Host Jack Clark Apologizes to Albert Pujols.  During a discussion on WGNU, St. Louis, sports talk host and former MLB slugger Jack Clark alleged that former Cardinals player Albert Pujols used performance enhancing drugs during his time in St. Louis.  Pujols threatened to sue and the station ended the contract between Clark’s co-host Kevin Slaten and Clark, cancelling their show.  The station also issued an apology to Pujols.  But for a time Clark maintained his assertion about Pujols and even challenged Pujols to a live debate – an invitation Pujols’ attorney refused.  Now, Clark issues the aforementioned apology and Pujols agrees to withdraw his lawsuit.

farmjournalmedia“Market Rally” Readies for March Launch.  What is said to be the first-ever, long-form agricultural commodity markets-focused national radio program will debut next month (3/10). That is when Farm Journal Media launches Chip Flory-hosted “Market Rally.”  The one-hour weekday program will air at 2:00 pm (CT), immediately following the close of major commodity markets.  Farm Journal Broadcast Division senior vice president Brian Conrady remarks that a “really solid group of stations” is already committed to air “Market Rally” and he anticipates “several more” before the program debuts.  “The show fills a programming void for many stations,” Conrady comments.  “It wraps their day’s farm coverage with a new, information-packed, entertaining program.  It is all about markets, which everyone knows farmers cannot get enough of.”  Flory notes, “We have a long list of guest analysts anxious to share their market perspective with the audience each day.  We will take listener questions/comments via phone, text, and social media.  Our goal is to remove as much confusion as possible from this increasingly volatile marketing environment.”  Flory remains editorial director of Farm Journal’s “Pro Farmer” newsletter and he will host “Market Rally” from FJB’s new studio in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

wmalbeatlesThe Beatles Played in Washington, Too!  As America remembers The Beatles’ arrival in this country 50 years ago this week, much of the attention is focused on the New York-based national broadcast on the “Ed Sullivan Show.”  But Cumulus Media’s WMAL, Washington knows that the group’s first public concert was in Washington, DC.  Pictured here in the WMAL studios are Fox News Channel chief Washington correspondent – and noted Beatles expert – James Rosen (center) and “Mornings on the Mall” co-hosts Brian Wilson (left) and Larry O’Connor (right) after being on the air for Tuesday’s celebration of The Beatles’ first concert on U.S. soil – in the Nation’s Capital.  Among other guests remembering The Beatles on the program were: The Beach BoysMike Love, Rolling Stone Magazine’s David Wild, Herman’s Hermits singer Peter Noone, and local Fox 5 anchor (and former “Good Morning America” weather anchor) Tony Perkins, who discussed his love for the Beatles as an African-American youth growing up in D.C.

wsouhunterOdds & Sods.  Baltimore Orioles broadcaster Jim Hunter recently visited his alma mater Seton Hall University and spoke with student staffers at his old college radio station – WSOU-FM – about making it in sports broadcasting today.  Hunter, pictured here (third from the right) surrounded by students, stressed to them the importance of preparation, noting that the need to do your homework doesn’t end when you graduate from college.  He also shared tips on improving on-air performance and how to tell listeners a good story…..New York City broadcasting legend John Gambling returned to the radio recently, if only briefly, to speak on WABC, New York with Frank Morano on his Sunday “Morning with Morano” program.  Morano and Gambling talked about the state of radio today, the tradition of the Gamblings and covering weather events…..For the 18th consecutive year, ESPN Radio is providing comprehensive coverage of NBA All-Star 2014, culminating with an exclusive radio broadcast of the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, February 16.  Kevin Calabro will describe the action throughout the weekend with analyst Jon Barry.  They will be joined by studio analysts Marc Kestecher and P.J. Carlesimo and reporters Marc Stein and Shelley Smith.

brentmegSCRABrent & Meg Honored for Keeping Studio City, California Free of Dog Poop.  Although they are heard all over the world on TalkersRadio (weekdays 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm PT), the experimental talk station that lives on this website, the dynamic husband/wife radio duo of Brent & Meg (Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald) believe in the concept of cleaning up your own backyard as well as tackling the issues of greater humanity.  This past Saturday evening (2/8) they were honored by some of LA’s top movers and shakers for their community volunteer work in regularly picking up dog poop (no kidding) found on the streets of LA’s Studio City – the neighborhood from which their daily show emanates (as well as their home).  The gala appreciation dinner took place at Carla’s Café on the CBS Studio Center lot.  Pictured here are (from l-r): State Assemblymember, 46th District, Adrin Nazarian; Los Angeles City Councilmember, 2nd District, Paul Krekorian; Meg McDonald (Brent & Meg Show on TalkersRadio); Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; and Brent Seltzer (Brent & Meg Show on Talkers Radio).  Upon learning of Brent & Meg receiving this honor, TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo’s music editor/director Duane Doobie issued the statement: “I seldom listen to talk radio, but when I do, I prefer Brent & Meg.  True, like most talk show hosts, they are full of sh*t… but in a helpful, solutions-oriented way.”

ObamaCare Criticism, Hillary Clinton in 2016, Immigration Reform, Winter Olympics, Winter Weather, and Shirley Temple Black Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/10).  Scrutiny of the implementation and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the release of new documents about the Clintons and Hillary’s possible run for president in 2016; the move in Washington to pass immigration reform legislation; the Winter Olympics games in Sochi, Russia; a new winter storm reportedly heading for the South and East this week; and the death of former child star and U.S. Ambassador Shirley Temple Black were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, February 3, 2014

| February 3, 2014

sileodanSports Talker Dan Sileo New AM Host at ‘The Mighty 1090’ in San Diego.  Sports talk personality Dan Sileo – who’s been working at stations in Florida for the past several years – joins Broadcasting Corporation of the Americas-operated XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” where he’s the new morning drive host beginning today (2/3).  Sileo most recently was hosting a show at James Crystal Radio’s WMEN, West Palm Beach but was fired from that station in early November of 2013 after shooting off a controversial tweet.  Sileo has also worked at Beasley’s WQAM, Miami and Clear Channel’s WDAE, Tampa.  He takes over the morning show at “The Mighty 1090” from market pro Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton who will remain with the station in another capacity.  Program director Mike Shepard says, “I am thrilled to welcome Dan to ‘San Diego’s Sports Leader, The Mighty 1090.’  Dan is a passionate, outspoken, engaging and incredibly knowledgeable sports radio personality.  His track record of major market success is remarkable and Dan is a perfect addition to the Mighty 1090’s top-rated, all-star lineup.”

wilc logoNew Talk Station to Air in DC Market.  The Laurel, Maryland-licensed WILC flips from Spanish music to a hybrid of talk and oldies.  The ZGS-owned signal is being operated by Wallis Communications under an LMA and the new format debuts today (2/3).  In a statement, the company says the program schedule is not complete but the station will be “libertarian and conservative talk radio.”  Chief operating officer and general manager Bryan Berner says, “All of us at WILC and Wallis Communications look forward to serving the people of the region and bringing a common sense, fresh perspective to talk radio in the Washington, DC market.”  Programming will include Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck, Wallis Communications’ “The Dr. K Show,” “The Capitol Hill Show with Tim Constantine” and WestwoodOne’s Dennis Miller.  Overnights will showcase vintage radio as the digitally remastered Wolfman Jack will air.

gallaghermikeMike Gallagher Causes Stir with Hoffman Death Observations.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher’s observations in the aftermath of the untimely death of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman caused such reaction that his post to his MikeOnline.com site logged more than 50,000 views and drew threats to him, his family and even his dog.  Speaking about the suspected heroin overdose that took Hoffman’s life, Gallagher stated, “Another senseless death. This time, one of the greatest actors of our time.  I wonder if he started with marijuana…If you want to get pot lovers mad, dare to even ask the question if an Oscar-winning movie star who is found dead in his bathroom with a needle stuck in his arm started with marijuana.”  Gallagher has stood firm in his stance against the legalization of marijuana as some states move to legalize and decriminalize the drug.

millerchrisTo Get Listeners to Your Website, Don’t Threaten to Bore Them!  Digital media consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller wonders why we tend to turn the marketing part of our brains off when we go “online.”  We can write good, tempting ad copy for radio but all we’ve learned goes out the window when it comes to our websites.  Miller says that one of the worst ways to get someone to your website is to offer them “all of the details” when they get there.  Not very tempting is it?  More details.  Instead, put your marketing skills to work in the same way you would with a spot.  “A good commercial will do a better job getting business through a client’s front door than a bad commercial will.  It’s the exact same thing getting people to go from your broadcast to one of your digital platforms…or move from one digital platform to another.  Opportunity is knocking.”  Read Miller’s entire piece here.

hannityseanClear Channel Tweaks Lineup at WVOC, Columbia.  The South Carolina news/talk station drops the early evening “Sports Talk” show syndicated by Learfield Sports that aired in afternoon drive and adds Premiere NetworksSean Hannity for the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot.  The “Sports Talk” program is hosted by Phil Kornblut, Kevin McCrarey and Tom Hayes.  According to The State, Learfield’s “Sports Talk First Edition” – which aired on CC’s sister sports talk station WXBT “560 The Team” from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm – is also being replaced.  A local sports talk show featuring former South Carolina footballer Rick Sanford will air in the time slot instead.  Learfield tells the paper it is working to place the shows on new affiliates in the market.

francesamikeMike Francesa Fans (and a Few Critics) Gather for FrancesaCon in NYC.  Sports talk pioneer Mike Francesa – afternoon drive host on CBS RADIO’s WFAN-AM/FM, New York – said after learning of the weekend event that the participants would probably be half fans, half critics.  How the numbers came down is unclear but the fact that an estimated 400 gathered at an Upper East Side bar on Saturday (2/1) to celebrate, imitate and even mock Francesa, shows how big he is in New York.  A piece by Jim Baumbach in Newsday tells the story but the short version is as follows: 23-year-old friends Michael Leboff and Ron Haraka came up with the idea of FrancesaCon as a gathering of Mike Francesa fans.  Little did they know that not only would people show up in droves, but they came dressed as Francesa, carried the appropriate props (Diet Coke cans), and did some very good imitations of the man himself.  Some even came dressed as Francesa’s longtime former partner Chris “Mad Dog” Russo and classic Francesa-Russo back-and-forths took place in the bar.  Check out Baumbach’s story in Newsday here.

fccnewFCC Grants Tribune Cross-Ownership Waivers.  The license renewals for several Tribune-owned television stations were being challenged by the United Church of Christ, the Media Alliance and the Teamsters.  The commission handed down rulings on Friday that granted renewals for the licenses though it also granted the petition for reconsideration to the UCC and Media Alliance.  The FCC also reaffirmed the permanent waiver for Tribune in the Chicago market where it owns the Chicago Tribune newspaper, WGN-TV, and WGN-AM.  In making the decision, the commission ruled that “Given the ‘uniquely long-term symbiotic relationship between [Tribune’s] broadcast stations’ and the Chicago Tribune that provides a special benefit of continued cross-ownership, coupled with the slight cost to diversity in Chicago’s massive media market of continued cross-ownership, Tribune has in fact shown sufficiently ‘unique or special circumstances’ to justify the granting of a permanent waiver of the NBCO (newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership) Rule to its Chicago licensees.”

L&L logoL&L Closes on Border Media Trust Stations.  Seven Texas radio stations that were in the Border Media Trust are now owned by Larry Wilson’s L&L Broadcasting.  The stations include San Antonio-licensed outlets news/talk KTSA, sports talk KZDC, adult hits KJXK “Jack 102.7 FM,” regional Mexican KLEY-FM, Jourdanton, regional Mexican KJAH-AM/FM, Pearsall, and CHR KTSM, Floresville.  The station group cost L&L $31 million and puts the company into market #28.

Friday, January 31, 2014

| January 31, 2014

westwoodone logoCuts at Cumulus-Owned WestwoodOne Happening; SVP Amy Bolton Exits.  The names of those being let go are coming out as Cumulus Media begins the cuts at WestwoodOne that have been expected since the acquisition of then-Dial Global closed.  Numerous high-level executives are beingboltonamy shown the door – in many instances where there are duplicative positions between WestwoodOne and the Cumulus Media Networks.  Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey is promising investors he can realize $40 million in synergies and eliminating these positions is one of the ways he hopes to accomplish that.  WestwoodOne  SVP and general manager of news & talk Amy Bolton – who’s been with the organization going back when it was Jones Radio Networks – is let go.  Also reportedly out in this round of cuts are: chief marketing officer Christina Albee; EVP/Eastern director Eileen Decker; and SVP of research Paul Bronstein.

lionelLionel Joins TalkersRadio in Development of New Show to Launch This Weekend.  One of the most original personalities in the business, radio talk show host Lionel, is launching a new program on TALKERS magazine’s online radio station, TalkersRadio, tomorrow morning (2/1).  The self-titled show “Lionel” will air live on the “experimental” talk show platform Saturday mornings between 9:00 am and 10:00 am ET and run as a regular weekly series.  It will feature the intellectually stimulating talk media star in an hour of free-form conversation and reflection about the wide variety of topics that fall within his realm of interest.  Lionel describes his plans for the new program as “spoken thought not spoken word” telling TALKERS, “The show will be the editorial cartoon versus the editorial.  Broadcast idea topiaries.  Stream of consciousness meets targeted subject selection.  No left-right paradigm blather.  No bumper sticker, talkersradio logoplaybook, echo chamber drivel.  As I feel, as I want, as I please.”  A veteran of such major outlets as WABC and WOR, New York among others, as well as being a podcast pioneer at lionelmedia.com, the quirky, satirical and extremely original observer of the human condition has been enjoying tremendous success conceiving, writing, producing and performing daily commentaries on the heritage WPIX-TV, Channel 11 in New York City.  The ex-prosecutor Lionel has also added his insight and experience as its resident legal analyst.  However, he has not forgotten his roots in and love for radio and promises that his 9:00 am to 10:00 am Saturday show will provide Lionel enthusiasts around the country with a version of his work that is “like nothing they have ever heard before.  This will truly be Lionel unchained!”  On making the announcement of Lionel’s joining the station, TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein says, “Lionel joining this ‘audio workout space’ is a perfect example of what TalkersRadio is about and hopes to achieve – and that is to provide select people in this business as well as potentially outstanding newcomers with the opportunity to try and develop things that are not being done in the traditional on-air space for the sake of moving the industry forward.”

kono-am logoCox Flips KONO-AM, San Antonio to Sports Talk.  The AM side of the KONO-AM/FM simulcast flips to sports talk using the CBS Sports Radio Network after more than 20 years airing the classic hits format of sister KONO-FM.  Cox Media Group San Antonio vice president and market manager Dan Lawrie states, “We’re excited to bring this level of quality sports programming to San Antonio.  Additionally, South Texas sports fans should be glad to welcome the return of the Jim Rome show after a two-year absence in the market.”  CBS Sports Radio program director Eric Spitz adds, “We’ve put together a tremendous lineup of experienced hosts with strong opinions and personalities who perfectly capture the passion and excitement of the sports fan.  With sports, the action never stops, and CBS Sports Radio provides listeners with cutting-edge analysis, high-profile interviews and late breaking news.”

harrisleslieWCKG-AM, Chicago Names Leslie Harris Director of Community Programming.  At the Matt Dubiel-run DuPage Radio LLC, market personality Leslie Harris is named director of community programming and host at the suburban talk station.  Harris recently exited NextMedia’s suburban rocker WERV “95.9 The River” and Dubiel comments, “Leslie was the full addition I made at WERV and I am over the moon excited to have a Downers Grove rock mamma as part of our local team.”

wtjk logoGood Karma Sells Janesville, Wisconsin Stations to Local Operator.  Two stations in the Janesville, Wisconsin market – rock WWHG “105.9 The Hog” and sports talk WTJK “ESPN Radio 1380” – are being sold by Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Broadcasting to Scott Thompson who operates stations in nearby Monroe, Wisconsin and Freeport, Illinois.  The Janesville Gazette reports that Thompson plans to keep the staff already in place at both stations and possibly add an employee.  He tells the paper WTJK may air less ESPN content and more local news.  Thompson takes over under an LMA while the transaction works its way through the FCC approval process.

weeidirtywaterWEEI-FM, Boston Begins Friday Night Promotion.  In a partnership with local watering hole The Greatest Bar and local media sources Dirty Water TV and DirtyWaterNews.com, Entercom sports talk WEEI-FM begins broadcasting the “Planet Mikey” show with Mikey Adams live from The Greatest Bar Friday, February 7 from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  The show will feature celebrity guests from the world of sports and entertainment.  WEEI brand manager Kevin Graham, citing the bar’s proximity to the TD Garden, states, “It’s a natural fit to partner with the Dirty Water brand and The Greatest Bar.  Combining Mikey’s unique entertaining style, the Dirty Water connections for guests and content, and the proximity to the TD Garden will make for a fun atmosphere and a great listen on ‘93.7FM WEEI’ and the WEEI Sports Radio Network.”  Bill Fairweather is co-owner of The Greatest Bar and creator of Dirty Water TV.  He says WEEI-FM is the perfect radio partner for Dirty Water’s growing array of media entities. “When we decided to add radio to the growing menu of media options that our brand delivers to Greater Boston and beyond, WEEI – with its strong sports focus – was a natural partner for us.  Entertainment and celebrity mix very well with sports and The Greatest Bar is the perfect location to bring those topics together.  We’re excited to have the opportunity to add these new dimensions to WEEI’s radio offerings.”

Odds & Sods.  In honor of Rosa Parks Day on February 4, the Premiere Networks-syndicated Comedy 24/7 format will air special clips of comics of the civil rights era talking about the issue.  African American comedians including Dick Gregory, Godfrey Cambridge and Slappy White were outspoken about necessary changes to be made in our society during that time and the format will air special tracks by these comedians and others as they spoke out in the language of the times at :57 after the hour all day on February 4…..Former NFL coach and executive Mike Holmgren will serve as a football analyst with Clear Channel’s sport talk KJR, Seattle next season after handling the same duties in 2013…..Milwaukee Brewers radio play-by-play voice Bob Uecker will step back a little bit from his duties with the team beginning this season as he’ll call fewer road games for flagship WTMJ, Milwaukee.  Uecker, who turns 80 this year, will still call all home games and be present for spring training in Arizona.

traduphaitiJoy and Hope Amidst the Misery.  Pictured here with children in Port Au Prince, Haiti is Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup.  He tells TALKERS he is there with Salem Radio News documenting conditions in Haiti on the fourth anniversary of the devastating 2010 earthquake that left 300,000 dead and millions homeless.  He’s embedded with the relief organization Food for the Poor and has been visiting slums, orphanages and feeding centers for the news network’s five-part special series on “The Poorest of the Poor.”  Tradup reports that Salem VP/director spoken word format Phil Boyce (who also is serving as operations manager of the New York stations) is there working on documenting the trip for a New York market broadcast.

deacesteveTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  New York-based XtreMEDIA announces a number of affiliates joining three of the company’s offerings.  First, the daily Kevin McCullough show is added to the program schedule at WCIS-AM, Morganton, North Carolina; WCST-AM, Berkeley Springs, West Virginia; WGEA, Geneva, Alabama; and KNLB-FM, Blythe, California.  The nightly Steve Deace program joins the lineup at WGTK-AM, Louisville; WTOH-FM, Columbus; and WWTC, Minneapolis.  Finally, the weekend “Baldwin/McCullough” show is now heard on WMRC, Milford, Massachusetts and WYPV-FM, Mackinaw City, Michigan…..The GCN-syndicated “America Tonight” with Kate Delaney joins the program schedule at WKVL, Knoxville.

The State of the Union Address Top Talk Radio Story This Week.  According to the Talkers TenTM, the president’s State of the Union Address was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of January 27-31.  At #2 this week was criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.  Following at #3 was new immigration legislation and the prospect of amnesty and at #4 was the extreme winter weather affecting much of the nation.  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 and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

| January 14, 2014

dollarsignJohn Hogan’s Exit from Clear Channel Cushioned with Cash.  Although the official line from former Clear Channel Media + Entertainment chairman and CEO John Hogan and the company is that he wanted to “spend more time with his family” and the time was right, a fair number of jaded industry watchers will never believe he wasn’t forced out – especially just seven months after he was moved to the company’s New York City offices to work more closely with CC Media Holdings chairman and CEO Bob Pittman.  The company’s 8-K filing details what Hogan is walking away with after his time leading the division.  Here’s what he can counthoganjohn on: $900,000, representing the amount previously earned by Hogan pursuant to a supplemental incentive plan with respect to 2012 performance; an annual bonus of $77,250 for performance during 2013; and a prorated annual bonus with respect to the days he was employed during 2014.  Pursuant to the Separation Agreement and in consideration of the extension by Mr. Hogan of certain restrictive covenants applicable to him, the vesting of 93,076 restricted shares of Class A Common Stock of CCMH granted to Mr. Hogan on October 22, 2012 will be accelerated and CCMH will repurchase 83,938 of such shares (the aggregate repurchase amount of such repurchased shares, the “Repurchase Amount”), provided Mr. Hogan does not revoke the Separation Agreement.  Additionally, in exchange for the Separation Agreement, Mr. Hogan’s release of claims and the extension of certain restrictive covenants applicable to him, and provided that Mr. Hogan does not revoke the Separation Agreement, CCB agreed to pay Mr. Hogan: $333,000, representing the remaining amount earned by Mr. Hogan pursuant to a supplemental incentive plan with respect to 2011 performance; an “equity value preservation payment” equal to $1,027,355, paid in a lump sum payment; a lump sum severance payment equal to (x) $1,538,000 minus (y) the Repurchase Amount; a severance payment equal to $3,297,000, paid over 36 months; and a payment of $1,000,000, paid over 12 months, beginning on the first anniversary of the date of separation.  Hogan is also entitled to receive continued healthcare coverage for 36 months, continued secretarial services for 6 months, $20,000 in outplacement services, and a housing allowance of $25,000 per month for up to 9 months, which amount is grossed up for certain applicable taxes; provided, that the housing allowance payments will stop if Mr. Hogan ceases to have obligations under the terms of his current lease agreement.  CCB also will pay up to $25,000 for Mr. Hogan’s reasonable legal fees incurred in connection with the negotiation of the Separation Agreement.

hannityseanSean Hannity to Air on Salem’s WDTK, Detroit.  The Motor City destination for Premiere NetworksSean Hannity show is Salem Communications-owned WDTK.  The program will air live in the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot.wdtk logo  It previously was heard on crosstown news/talk WJR since its 2001 national debut.  WDTK general manager Chris MacCourtney states, “The opportunity to bring Sean Hannity aboard was one we felt we could not pass up.  Sean was an instant hit when he came to Detroit and he continues to be one of the most popular talk personalities in the market.  He will join an already solid lineup of talk talent on ‘News/Talk 1400.’”  Since the first of the year, Hannity’s program had been added to Salem outlets WIND, Chicago; WWRC, Washington; and KSKY, Dallas.

quigleyalexDouble Shot of WGN, Chicago News.  Two items from Tribune’s WGN, Chicago: First, as Chicago media writer Robert Feder reported over the weekend, assistant program director Alex Quigley has been upped to operations manager at news/talk WGN, Chicago.  Quigley worked in the market at former Emmis alternative rock WKQX as interactive program manager.  When he first came to WGN he hosted the weekend show “ChicagoNow Radio” and “Chicago Preps Plus.”  WGN vice president of creative content Todd Manley said in a memo to staffers, “This is a recognition of Alex’s role in our expanding future…He’ll be mentoring producers and searching for new talent that builds our farm system, coordinating special programming, scheduling, digging deep on ratings analysis, and dreaming big dreams.”  Second,jacobsonwalter longtime television news personality Walter Jacobson brings his “Perspective” commentaries to the station beginning this Thursday.  Robert Feder reports that the longtime WBBM-TV anchor who exited the station last February will present his 90-second feature on Thursdays during Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano’s midday show and they will be repeated on the weekend during “The Sunday Spin: Politics with Rick Pearson” program.  Jacobson will also appear as a contributor to various shows on WGN.  Jacobson tells Feder, “Having been listening to WGN Radio since the day I became a reporter, and believing it’s the best in the business, I’m thrilled to be joining the team.  For me, it’s a perfect fit at a perfect time.  The station’s coming back, and 2014 is going to be an intriguing and exciting year in Chicago’s wild and woolly politics.”

salemcommunicationsSalem Communications Buys Eagle Publishing for $8.5 Million.  It had been reported recently that this deal was on the way and now it’s official as Salem Communications enters into a deal to purchase the assets of Eagle Publishing that includes conservative book publisher Regnery Publishing, and digital properties RedState.com and HumanEvents.com.  In a statement, Salem CEO Edward Atsinger IIIeaglepub logo says, “Eagle is one of the most influential companies in the conservative media space.  Its addition to Salem brings together a unique portfolio of conservative media properties and fits with our strategy of integrating traditional media and new media assets all serving the same target audience.  The opportunity we like most about this acquisition is that each of Eagle’s businesses matches up so well with Salem’s extensive media platform.  With 102 radio stations and a dozen major national websites all targeting the conservative community, this provides a perfect marketing platform to promote Eagle’s products to a wider audience.”  The purchase price is $8.5 million and current Eagle CEO Jeff Carneal will exit the organization as a result of the acquisition.

sternhoward‘A-List’ Talent Jon Bon Jovi and John Fogerty Added to Howard Stern Birthday Broadcast.  The January 31 birthday bash broadcast for SiriusXM’s Howard Stern just added two more “A-list” talents as Jon Bon Jovi and John Fogerty will join Steven Tyler, David Letterman and Louis C.K. for the show to be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel live from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.  On his program, Stern announced, “We have told you on the music side of things that we have Steven Tyler coming by to do a little number in honor of my birthday, I’m so honored…[today] I am excited [to announce that]…Jon Bon Jovi is going to perform…I am very excited to see Jon and thank him for that.  And also one of my heroes will perform that night—one of the greats, the all-time greats.  A guy whose every record I bought when he was in Creedence Clearwater Revival, and later his solo stuff, John Fogerty will come by to perform two great songs – I won’t say what the songs are, [but] we’re really excited about that…the list just begins there, Robin, it just begins there [there is] a huge amount of musicians coming by to help us out…it’s great.”

dubayjeffSports Talk Host Jeff Dubay Exits KSTP, Minneapolis in Budget Move.  Twin Cities sports talk personality Jeff Dubay, who fought a public battle against drug addiction to return to the airwaves in the market on Hubbard Radio’s KSTP, has left the station in what he says is a budget-related move.  The Star-Tribune reports Dubay – who worked at Clear Channel’s “KFAN” sports talk brand for 10 years before a crack cocaine addiction sidelined him – sent social media messages indicating that he was let go from the late morning show he co-hosted with Judd Zulgad because of financial reasons.  The station posted a message on its Facebook page confirming the matter was financial and not performance related.  The paper reports KSTP waived Dubay’s non-compete and he is free to work in the market if the opportunity arises.

shannonmikecardsShannon Staying With the Redbirds. St. Louis Cardinals fans will continue to hear Mike Shannon as the voice of the National League team that appeared in the 2013 World Series, as the former MLB player signs a two-year contract extension.  This will be Shannon’s 42nd year as a Cardinals broadcaster and 56th year with the team.  According to club president Bill DeWitt, “Mike’s voice has become the soundtrack to St. Louis baseball.  We look forward to having him back in the booth this season and for years to come.”  It is anticipated that Shannon will call all Cardinals’ home games this year for St. Louis flagship KMOX and roughly 30 road games for the CBS Radio-owned talk station.  Fox Sports Midwest‘s Rick Horton and former lefty relief pitcher Al Hrabosky will do the remaining road games.  Shannon will continue his work throughout the year on KMOX pre-game, post-game, and morning drive call-in segments.

mhblasingamebookGreat Read!  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is pictured intensely absorbing the new book authored by independently syndicated talk show host Jim Blasingame titled The Age of the Customer: Prepare for the Moment of Relevance  (2014 SBN Books).  Blasingame is the longtime host of the very successful program “The Small Business Advocate Show” which is targeted to helping independent entrepreneurs and business owners cope with the day-to-day issues that face people running their own companies during this era of rapidly accelerating change.  This book, Blasingame’s third, is “his best work yet,” according to Harrison and “must-reading for anyone out there on the perilous high seas of today’s turbulent marketplace…especially those who are doing it independently without the backing of the Wall Street/banking/big-time money machine.”  Harrison goes on to say, “This includes those brave and hardy ‘Davids’ owning and operating independent radio stations and small groups, syndication companies and internet communications startups bucking the death grip of today’s mega-corporate ‘Goliaths.’”  The premise of the book is that small business owners are operating at a time that is so momentous it has never happened before.  Blasingame, a veteran of TALKERS magazine’s Heavy Hundred, identifies it as an epochal marketplace shift that’s causing the 10,000 year old Age of the Seller to be replaced by the Age of the Customer.  With an introduction by Steve Forbes, Blasingame’s book reveals how these two ages are existing concurrently in parallel universes, and how much time business-people have left to join the emerging universe.  He says relevance is replacing competitiveness and explains how to recognize when you arrive at the “moment of relevance,” how to connect with “new-influencers” who co-own your brand message; why you must be a good storyteller; the good, the bad and the ugly of social media; and he identifies the “killer app” that wasn’t a part of your past but will dominate your future.  Broadcasters interested in learning more about this book and perhaps scheduling Jim Blasingame as a guest can visit AgeoftheConsumer.com or email jim@jbsba.com.

cpb logoWHYY, Philadelphia-Led Local Journalism Center Awarded CPB Grant.  The recipient organization of a Corporation for Public Broadcasting grant for $1.5 million is the new multimedia local journalism center (LJC), Keystone Crossroads — a collaboration of Pennsylvania public media stations.  The new Keystone Crossroads is led by WHYY, Philadelphia.  Pittsburgh’s WQED and WESA FM, Central Pennsylvania’s WPSU and Harrisburg’s WITF will be partner stations.  The LJC will focus on the challenges the cities are facing, including a shrinking tax base and crumbling infrastructure, and enormous budget deficits.  The Corporation for Public Broadcasting  states, “By combining smart storytelling with energetic civic engagement, Keystone Crossroads will help Pennsylvanians see the challenges of their cities more clearly, understand how they are related, and create a forum for potential solutions at both the local and state levels.”  CPB president Pat Harrison adds, “Local Journalism Centers are really centers of collaboration comprising public media stations working together to report on local stories with significant impact.  This kind of focused collaboration ensures in depth reporting on issues of importance and concern to Pennsylvanians and of interest to all Americans.”  In addition to Keystone Crossroads, CPB  funds six other LJCs across the country, including:  EarthFix based in the Northwest; Fronteras in the Southwest; Harvest in the Midwest; Innovation Trail in upstate New York, the Southern Education Desk in the South, and most recently the Energy LJC in the Rocky Mountains.

Chris Christie Scandal, Hillary Clinton in 2016, New Congressional Spending Deal, ObamaCare Enrollment Status, A-Rod Suspension/Legal Challenge, and Golden Globe Awards Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/13).  The ongoing analysis of the Chris Christie lane closure scandal and apology press conference; speculation about Hillary Clinton’s plans to run for president in 2016; the new $1 trillion spending plan approved by Congress; enrollment in healthcare plans via the Affordable Care Act; Alex Rodriguez 162-game suspension and his plans to challenge the arbitration ruling; and the aftermath of Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

| December 24, 2013

TALKERS Magazine Compiles News/Talk Radio’s Most Talked-About Stories and People of 2013.  As is customary at year’s end, the research editors of TALKERS magazine compile the most-talked-about stories and people of the just-concluded 12-month period.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “2013 was an extremely colorful year with a diversity of subjects and people being discussed.  There was the usual mix of partisan politics, foreign affairs, economic policy and, of course, the shockingly unexpected such as the Boston Marathon tragedy.”  Casey continues, “The President of the United States has always been the most talked about person going back to the very beginning of this publication 24 years ago and George Bush’s involvement in the first Persian Gulf War.  Barack Obama, like his predecessors in the modern age of talk broadcasting, has not left talk show hosts wanting for hot material on a daily basis.”

Stories

1)   ObamaCare Rollout
2)   Benghazi Attack Investigation
3)   IRS Accused of Targeting Conservative Groups
4)   Debt Ceiling/Govt. Shutdown/Sequestration Battle
5)   NSA Domestic Spying/Edward Snowden Case
6)   Boston Marathon Bombing
7)   GOP 2014 and 2016 Strategy
8)   Gun Legislation Debate
9)    Iran Nuke Threat
10)  Syria Civil War
11)  Fed Stimulus Policy/Dow Surpasses 16,000
12)  DOJ Journalist Investigations
13)  Immigration Reform
14)  George Zimmerman Trial
15)  Afghanistan Security Withdrawl
16)  Egypt Violence/Instability
17)  N. Korea Nuke Threat
18)  Detroit Bankruptcy
19)  Pope Francis Replaces Benedict
20)  SCOTUS Gay Marriage Ruling

People

1)  Barack Obama
2)  John Boehner
3)  Nancy Pelosi
4)  Harry Reid
5)  Hillary Clinton
6)  John Kerry
7)  Rush Limbaugh
8)  Ted Cruz
9)  Chris Christie
10)  Paul Ryan
11)  Kathleen Sebelius
12)  Edward Snowden
13)  Vladimir Putin
14)  George Zimmerman
15)  Trayvon Martin
16)  Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev
17)  Kim Jong Un
18)  Pope Francis
19)  Ben Bernanke
20)  Eric Holder

Radio Industry Sees Major Developments and Changes in 2013.  The combined editorial staffs of RadioInfo and TALKERS magazines have posted the 10 biggest stories of importance to the entire radio industry (music and talk) that took place in 2013.  They are as follows in order of importance:

1)      Nielsen Acquires Arbitron
2)      Developments in Emergence of the Connected Car
3)      Network Sports Talk Radio Growth Explosion
4)      Radio Company-Label Deals/Digital Royalty Rate Issue
5)      Cumulus Acquires (Dial Global) WestwoodOne
6)      Growth of Digital Music Service Providers
7)      Limbaugh and Hannity Station Realignment Deals Negotiated
8)      FCC Announces AM Band Revitalization Strategy
9)      Progressive Talk Outlets Continue to Disappear
10)   Country Music Format Enjoys Resurgence

brooksstanIndustry Mourns WINS, New York Senior Correspondent Stan Brooks.  Legendary WINS, New York newsman Stan Brooks passed away yesterday (12/23) at his home at age 86.  He’d been serving as senior correspondent for CBS RADIO’s WINS, New York – the station he’d been with for the past 50 years.  Brooks started working for the station in 1962 when it was a top 40 station and stayed with it through its transition to all-news.  WINS director of news and programming Ben Mevorach says of Brooks, “Like every challenge he has ever faced, Stan met this final one with the same class, dignity and humility that defined every day of his almost 87 years on this earth. There will never be another one like him.”  EVP of operations for CBS RADIO Scott Herman adds, “Not only was Stan Brooks a walking encyclopedia on NYC politics he was one of the finest, decent and most dignified men who ever lived.  We were lucky to have him on 1010 WINS for the past 51 years and we will never ever forget him.”  Read about Brooks’ life and career in a piece from CBS New York here.

wrcn logoJVC Broadcasting Prepares for Launch of ‘Long Island News Radio 103.9’ on Thursday.  Long Island-based JVC Broadcasting announces the lineup for its soon-to-be former rock outlet WRCN, Riverhead, New York branded “Long Island News Radio 103.9.”  TALKERS reported two weeks ago that the station’s studio will be located in the terminal of the Long Island MacArthur Airports – a physical reminder of the local intentions of this new station for the Long Islanders who use the facility.  Now to the lineup: morning drive is being hosted by Jay Oliver; the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show is Fox News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade and Friends; local host John Gomez is handling the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm slot followed by the local, one-hour show “Breaking it Down with Frank Mackay.”  Premiere Networks superstar Sean Hannity is in the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot and Cumulus Media NetworksMark Levin airs from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

bowenrobbyRobby Bowen Upped at CBS RADIO’s ‘105.3 The Fan.’  Sales pro Robby Bowen is promoted to general sales manager for CBS RADIO sports talker KRLD-FM, Dallas “105.3 The FAN.”  Bowen joined CBS RADIO Dallas-Fort Worth in February 2005 as an account executive for the station, which was at that time KLLI-FM.  During his time there he has served as local sales manager and most recently was senior account director.

wjfkholdendannyChanges in Middays at WJFK-FM, Washington Raise Questions.  According to Dan Steinberg’s column in the Washington Post, the midday lineup at CBS RADIO’s sports talk WJFK-FM, Washington, DC is in flux after the station announced Holden Kushner will be moving to other duties including weekends, fill-in and participating in Washington Nationals coverage.  Kushner was paired up with Danny Rouhier who reportedly will host the show solo today (12/24) and then be on vacation through December 30.  What happens after that is uncertain.  The station is expected to announce plans for the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm daypart in the New Year but already the news is cause for speculation.  With the arrival of Don Geronimo from the company’s KHTK, Sacramento earlier this fall (currently hosting evenings), DC radio fans are wondering if he’ll return to a daytime show on the station.  Geronimo and former partner Mike O’Meara held down afternoon drive at the station when it was a hot talker from 1991 through 2008.

walshmattMatt Walsh Exits WLAP, Lexington; Sean Hannity to Air in PM Drive.  Writer and talk show host Matt Walsh announces that his contract with Clear Channel’s WLAP, Lexington, Kentucky is up and as the station is filling the afternoon drive slot with Premiere Networks star Sean Hannity, he’s leaving AM/FM talk radio for good.  In a post on his blog, Walsh explains that although he has nothing but good things to say about his time at WLAP, he’s going to focus on his blog that he says has “between three and five million people” reading it every month.  As for his time at WLAP, he says, “WLAP took a chance on me, gave me a show, gave me the freedom to handle the topics in my own way, and surrounded me with a highly intelligent and passionate supporting cast.  I’m grateful for that, as these things are certainly not a given in this industry.”

nab logoNAB Acquires Two Events: CCW and SATCON.  The National Association of Broadcasters announces it has purchased the assets of the Content and Communications World (CCW) and Satellite Communications Conference and Expo (SATCON) events from JD Events.  The two events are held annually in November and are co-located at the Javits Convention Center in New York City.  In a press statement, the NAB says that “CCW is the leading media, entertainment and communications technology event of its kind in New York with a focus on content creation, management and delivery technologies.  SATCON offers education and exhibits serving companies in the satellite-enabled communications and content delivery industry.”  EVP of NAB Conventions and Business Operations Chris Brown comments, “We have made these additions to the NAB event family with the goal of growing both the attendee and exhibitor base of what has emerged as an important East Coast venue for the content community.  We look forward to developing this event and serving the unique needs of this very important media market.”

nielsen logoNieslen Audio December PPM Data Released.  The December 2013 PPM ratings data is being released by Nielsen Audio – currently numbers for the first 12 markets have been made public – and that information can be found at the site of TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo.  Check out the main page for managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian’s “Ten Takeaways” here or go straight to the full ratings data here.

musciovecchioOdds & Sods.  Premiere Networks-distributed 24/7 Comedy – the 24-hour, all-comedy format – will ring in the New Year with a countdown of the top 247 comedy bits from the top 247 comedians.  The program is compiled by staff and listeners who voted on 24/7 Comedy’s Facebook page or called the laugh-line at 218-Chuckle.  The countdown will air nationwide all day New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day and will feature Chris Rock, Louis C.K., Bill Cosby, George Carlin, Aziz Ansari, Bill Engvall, Jerry Seinfeld and Rodney Dangerfield…..KFMB, San Diego weekend program “It’s Your Money and Your Life” picked up three first place awards from the San Diego Press Club for “Excellence in Journalism.”  The show currently originates from La Jolla’s prestigious La Valencia Hotel and airs Saturdays from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm, hosted by Richard Muscio (left) and Joe Vecchio (right).

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

| December 17, 2013

wpro logoWPRO: John DePetro Not Serving Suspension.  WPRO, Providence program director Craig Schwalb tells TALKERS magazine that the report published at GoLocalProv.com indicating talk show host John DePetro has been suspended until early January is false; DePetro is on vacation.  TALKERS reported thedeptrojohn GoLocalProv.com story earlier today.  DePetro, who has been away from his program since late last week, has been under fire since a local union-led boycott of his station’s advertisers by an organization called “For Our Daughters” ramped up the PR by getting sitting Rhode Island politicians – Governor Lincoln Chafee included – and political operatives to also demand DePetro’s dismissal.  This action stems from words DePetro spoke on the air in September when he referred to some union officers as “parasites, union hags” and “whores,” words for which he has apologized.  In another wrinkle, a new group has popped up called “RI Citizens for Free Speech,” which is supporting DePetro’s right to voice his opinion without being made target of a “smear campaign.”

hannityseanSean Hannity to Air in Washington on Salem’s ‘1260 WRC.’  In the Nation’s Capital, Premiere Networks nationally syndicated superstar Sean Hannity will air on Salem Communications-owned WWRC beginning in the New Year.  Current affiliate WMAL was one of the original affiliates for his inaugural syndication rollout the day before 9/11, but because of Cumulus Media’s split with Hannity, he leaves the station at the end of 2013.  At WWRC, Hannity’s show will wwrc logoair live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Salem Washington VP and operations manager David Ruleman states, “Sean Hannity is a perfect fit on ‘1260 WRC.’  He is poised, informed and intelligent like the rest of the Salem lineup.  In a city where opinion often trumps knowledge and irrational talk reigns, Washington, DC radio listeners have a choice – ‘Intelligent Talk 1260 WRC.’”  Hannity show VP of operations Eric Stanger comments, “We are thrilled to partner with Salem and ‘1260 WRC.’  WWRC is one of the premier news/talk destinations in Washington, DC, and we couldn’t be happier to join their leading lineup of intelligent talkers.”

harrisonmichaelMichael Harrison:  What’s Happening to Progressive Hosts is a Shame and a Waste.  Prompted by the recently announced abandonment of the progressive talk format by WWRL, New York and the all-but-drying-up of the genre across the nation, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison issued the following statement: “What’s happening to progressive hosts is a shame and a waste.  I say this not for any specific political reason – because neither I nor TALKERS magazine is motivated by politics.  Nor do I say it from some self-righteous position of ‘fairness.’  No one knows more than a trade publisher that this is a business and business cannot always be fair.  I say it from the perspective of what’s good for our industry from the standpoints of ratings, business and image and the most productive use of some of our most valuable talent/assets.”  Harrison continues, “It is 2013 and nowhere is it written in stone that the only way to do news/talk radio successfully at this point is to position stationality entirely by political ideology.  Yes, there are clearly more talented stars in this industry who are of a conservative bent for a complex variety of reasons.  However, there is not really enough A-level talent among conservative hosts to build entire stations – in many cases more than one per market – around that one singular position, let alone rest the entire reputation of talk radio upon.  Granted, there doesn’t seem to be enough liberal-leaning hosts available to power entire stations in the progressive direction either.  But talent is talent and there are huge numbers of listeners out there that like political news/talk for its own sake and are willing to listen to someone with whom they disagree – IF that person is talented.”  Harrison concludes, “We as an industry should be saluting – not condemning, mocking and, worst of all, wasting the talents, industriousness and guts of such performers as Ed Schultz, Thom Hartmann, Stephanie Miller, Alan Colmes, Leslie Marshall, Karel, Randi Rhodes, Bill Press and a number of others who through hard work in the face of almost insurmountable obstacles have proven themselves worthy of shots on the big stages of this industry.  Frankly, if I owned a station and my life were on the line, I’d program talents like Sean Hannity and Thom Hartmann back-to-back in a heartbeat.  What harm would happen if every conservative station in America added just one progressive host – either local or national – to their roster?  Would radio come to an end?  I think not.  I think it might be the beginning of a new era in which political news/talk radio breaks out of its own self-inflicted chains and branches out in a wide variety of potentially lucrative directions.”

delcollianojerryJerry Del Colliano:  Keep Your Eye on Generation Y.  They Hold the Key to the Future of Both Music and Talk Radio.  There are over 80 million “Millennials” coming of age, the oldest of whom are already 30-years-old – 12 years older than the youngest 18-49 money demo cherished by advertisers.  Millennials have their own technology just as baby boomers had records, radio and TV.  Except, according to Inside Music Media publisher Jerry Del Colliano, technology has very little to do with the impact that “Generation Y” is making on media and just about everything else.  In an exclusive article posted today (12/17) in sister trade publications RadioInfo and TALKERS, the professorial industry observer and advisor writes, “Sure there is Facebook that they went to college with, and Napster that helped disrupt the record business, iPads, apps, smartphones, Instagram and their latest devilish work – to unbundle cable and make Netflix the new standard for the on-demand content they, well – demand.  Radio consolidated about the time the first Millennials were in grade school and the industry just assumed that young listeners would always be there to like radio.  The music industry that consisted of old white men who were lawyers thought Napster needed to be sued out of existence – and they succeeded.  But the damage was already done.”  To read Jerry Del Colliano’s entire piece, please click here.

andersoncarlClear Channel Gives Added Duties to Premiere EVP Carl Anderson.  In a memo to staff, EVP of national programming Darren Davis announces Premiere Networks EVP of programming Carl Anderson gets additional responsibilities including overseeing programming and operations of the Total Traffic and Weather Network and the 24/7 News with both SVPs Kevin Loftus and Chris Berry now reporting to him.  Anderson will also have more responsibilities for Clear Channel regional markets for which he’ll report to regional markets president of operations Matt Martin.

nprNPR Slated To Receive $17 Million in Grants.  Much of that money is coming from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.  In addition, there are contributions from individual donors such as NPR acting president/chief executive officer Paul Haaga and Heather Haaga; former NPR Foundation vice chair/trustee emeritus William Poorvu and Lia Poorvu; and former NPR board chair/NPR Foundation trustee Howard Stevenson and Fredericka Stevenson.  Each of them is investing in specific elements of NPR’s journalism and innovation strategy. Grant money will fund NPR and member stations WNYC, New York; KPCC, Los Angeles (Pasadena Community College); KQED, San Francisco; WHYY, Philadelphia, WBUR, Boston (Boston University); and Minnesota Public Radio (MPR).  Chief content officer Kinsey Wilson comments, “This support will allow NPR to build transformative platforms that secure the future of public media journalism, and represents a powerful vote of confidence for that vision.  We will be able to dive deep into issues that are at the center of people’s lives, and drive tremendous innovation in how we engage people with those issues.”  Knight Foundation vice president of journalism and media innovation Michael Maness explains, “NPR is responding to the increased demand by audiences for flexibility in consuming content seamlessly across various digital platforms.  The platform will allow listeners to engage in new ways with NPR and its member station partners, making the quality journalism that is so important in a democracy more accessible, especially for a new generation.”  With 34 total bureaus, NPR expects to launch expanded education and global health and development reporting next spring.  It is estimated NPR and its member stations reach a weekly audience of 35 million people.

nabcrystalawardCrystal Radio Award Entry Date Set.  Beginning (Wednesday) January 1, stations may take the first step to be eligible to qualify for an NAB Crystal Radio Award.  That is when they can submit online entries describing their community service for calendar year 2013.  Cutoff date, meanwhile, is (Friday) January 31, with finalists being revealed in late-February.  “Receiving this award is just amazing,” remarks KCVM, Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa program director Teri Lynn, a 2012 Crystal Radio Award honoree. “This is one of the most awesome experiences I’ve had in my entire life.”  Judges with broadcast and community service backgrounds choose 50 Crystal Radio Awards finalists and 10 winners.  Winners will be announced at the NAB Radio luncheon (Tuesday) April 8 during the 2014 NAB Show in Las Vegas.  The Crystal Radio Awards were established in 1987.

markscaroletowersThe Sky’s the Limit for Upper Demo Champion, Carole Marks.  She is one of the longest-running syndicated radio talk show hosts in America, although she purposefully maintains an under-the-radar profile.  Perhaps that’s because she’s too busy traveling the world gathering data about the state of upper-demographic populations domestically and abroad in addition to being a champion in the ongoing battle against ageism.  For more than two decades of continuous broadcasting, Carole Marks has personally brought listeners of her weekend program, “A Touch of Grey,” to some of the most fascinating and exotic places in the world – from the jungles of Africa to the deserts of Asia to the ice sheets of Antarctica to the Outback of Australia to the cultural hotspots of Europe, the Americas and beyond — gathering relevant information for her 50-plus audience.  The nearly 80-year-old dynamo tells TALKERS, “I do what I do to inspire ‘seasoned citizens’ to live their lives to the fullest – physically and intellectually - in addition to using my influence to ‘remind’ Washington not to forget the needs of our senior population.  Broadcasting, traveling and teaching are my passions and I am so lucky to have this radio platform to perform these functions.”  She adds, “Although I deeply wish the advertising agencies and media in general understood the economic power that can be tapped by serving older people – I have been very fortunate as a radio broadcaster to have had the lion’s share of this huge slice of the population pie almost exclusively to myself for all these years via this specialty talk show.”  Carole Marks is pictured here in front of the Petronas Towers, the world famous twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during a just-concluded remote from the Far East.

wabcalum2013WABC, New York Alumni Gathering.  Whom do you recognize in this photo of current and former WABC, New York staffers?  Former Sean Hannity producer Jill Vitale a.k.a “Flirty Flipper” organized the annual WABC alumni holiday bash this year and many former (and some current) employees were able to gather and reminisce.  Some of those who attended included: Phil BoyceLaurie CantilloValerie GellerMitch DolanMitch LebeCurtis SliwaBabita HarianiDavid GoodmanJamie MegargeeAndrew KalbLisa HakimRichard BeyLionelNoam LadenLaura Smith and many others.

Congressional Budget Battle, Judge Rules NSA Program Unconstitutional, ObamaCare Criticism, Pope Francis Responds to Rush Limbaugh, and the ‘War on Christmas’ Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/16).  The budget proposal that’s passed the House and is headed to the Senate; the ruling by a U.S. District Court judge declaring the NSA collecting of phone records unconstitutional; the scrutiny of the Affordable Care Act rollout; Pope Francis’ declaration that he is not a Marxist; and the argument that the left is waging a “war on Christmas” were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, December 13, 2013

| December 13, 2013

westwoodone logoCumulus Announces Closing of WestwoodOne Acquisition.  Although the Department of Justice’s anti-trust division is still reviewing the merger, Cumulus Media Inc. announces the completion of the $260 million deal.  Cumulus says that although the merger was not subject to the pre-closing notification requirements of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act,cumulus logo the review is taking place and it can’t predict if the DOJ will elect to seek, or obtain, any remedies, or the effect that any remedies may have on its business, financial condition or results of operations.  Cumulus maintains it does not believe the deal raises any anti-competitive issues.  Back to the deal, Cumulus notes it consists of approximately $45 million attributable to the equity of WWO and the retirement of $215 million of debt of WWO.  Cumulus used cash on hand, including approximately $238 million in cash proceeds from the Company’s previously completed sale of 53 radio stations to Townsquare Media, LLC.

cookehollandNews/Talk #1 Format Reports Nielsen from Client Conference.  Among the information shared at this week’s two-day Nielsen Client Conference was the capper at the end of day two when Nielsen director of programming services Jon Miller announced the results of the company’s top ten formats of 2013 based on AQH share in the 48 PPM-rated markets.  The news was particularly good for news/talk as it tops the pile with a 6+ AQH share of 9.3.  It’s also been a good year for CHR which comes in #2 with an 8.2 share.  Following, in order, are: country – 7.8 share; adult contemporary – 7.7 share; hot AC – 5.5 share; classic hits – 5.3 share; urban AC 5.0 share; and sports talk and classic rock tie with a 4.3 share.  There was much more discussed as consultant and TALKERS contributor Holland Cooke writes about the attending CEOs who lamented the industry’s status quo mentality as well as more presentations about integrating social media into listener interaction, and much more.  Read Holland Cooke’s piece here.

whitmanbrianBrian Whitman Signs Extension with Salem’s KRLA, Los Angeles.  Longtime Los Angeles radio personality Brian Whitman inks a deal to continue his work as morning drive personality on Salem Communications’ KRLA, Los Angeles.  Whitman will remain part of “The Morning Answer” on “AM 870 The Answer” alongside Ben Shapiro and Elisha Krauss.  Whitman has also worked at such LA signals as KIIS-FM, KLSX-FM and KABC-AM as well as WABC, New York.krlalogo  Salem VP/director, spoken word format Phil Boyce comments, “Brian Whitman is one of the most talented voices on Los Angeles radio, and we are delighted to keep this growing show together for the foreseeable future.  I have worked with Brian since 1996 when I hired him at WABC in New York, and used him across the country as one of the funniest voice over guys on the air.  But his skills go much beyond comedy voices.  He has grown into a very talented talk show host doing morning drive in Market #2.”  Whitman adds, “I’ve been truly blessed to be on the air here in Los Angeles since 1991.  I am excited about the continued growth of our radio show, our station and our brand.  I am so grateful for the truly overwhelming support I’ve received from Salem’s chief executive officer Ed Atsinger, and the entire management team.”

hayworthjdJ.D. Hayworth Subs for Cumulus Media Networks as Huckabee Show Winds Down.  Governor Mike Huckabee did his last live show for Cumulus Media Networks as his show goes into holiday mode before ending on January 3.  Former congressman and talk radio personality J.D. Hayworth is subbing on the network beginning today through January 3 on the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm program.  Hayworth says he’ll be on the radio all of next week as well as December 26 and 27 and January 2 and 3.  “Governor Huckabee was very gracious to allow me to serve as his guest host on several occasions, and I welcome this opportunity as well.  For me, Friday the 13th is a lucky day.  I thank Cumulus for entrusting me with ‘Mike’s mic’ into the New Year.”

ericksonerickErickson to Sub for Rush Limbaugh.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that Georgia-based talk show host Erick Erickson will be fulfilling a dream when he sits in for Premiere Networks nationally syndicated superstar Rush Limbaugh over the holidays.  Erickson – who serves as editor-in-chief of RedState.com in addition to his radio work – will host Limbaugh’s program on December 20, 24 and 26.  Erickson’s regular radio job is afternoon drive personality on Cox Media Group’s WSB, Atlanta where he’s heard from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Erickson tells the AJC, “I’m really excited.  It’s one of the few things I ever wanted to do going back to college.  I listened to him every day.  I’d plan classes around his show so I’d be able to listen in my dorm for a couple of hours.”

deptrojohnRhode Island Governor Signs on to Petition to Oust WPRO’s John DePetro.  According to a report in the Providence Journal, the union-led drive to compel WPRO, Providence to remove talk show host John DePetro from his daily talk show on the station has garnered support from the state’s Governor Lincoln Chafee.  The paper reports that the boycott against WPRO’s advertisers – jewelry dealer Alex and Ani has been singled out – is being coordinated by the AFL-CIO‘s secretary treasurer Maureen Martin, who is also the political activities director of the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals.  Governor Chafee’s spokeswoman, Christine Hunsinger, confirms to the paper that the governor has signed the petition urging the jewelry store to withdraw its advertising from WPRO as long as DePetro is employed there and also says he won’t go on any other show until DePetro is gone.  Lincoln Chafee, a Republican-turned-Democrat who had long been criticized by conservatives in the media as a RINO (Republican in name only), has a history of engaging with instead of ignoring his media critics and DePetro has been a critic of Chafee for some time.  DePetro came under fire from the unions after using what they termed demeaning and sexist language in criticizing female union members’ activities.  DePetro has since apologized for his choice of words.

harrisonmichaelMichael Harrison to speak at 2014 Media Solutions Conference in Philadelphia.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison will make a rare speaking appearance at another trade publication’s industry conference and serve as a special guest faculty member at Inside Music Media publisher Jerry Del Colliano‘s forthcoming 2014 Media Solutions Conference in Philadelphia on March 26, 2014.  The one-day seminar, located at the Rittenhouse Hotel, will help preparedelcollianojerry modern-day broadcasters to solve the major problems and meet the pressing challenges facing the radio business during its rapid transition into the digital era.  Among the topics to be covered include ways to positively “disrupt” radio before your competition does and understand the sensibilities of the “millennial” generation – as well as learn new ways to present commercials, attract new audiences and develop new sources of revenue.  Harrison will be joining “MoreFM” (formerly B-101), Philadelphia owner Jerry Lee as a specially invited faculty speaker at the event.  Upon accepting the assignment, Harrison states, “I am honored to play a role in Jerry Del Colliano’s event and work alongside such a dynamic and independent entrepreneur as Jerry Lee.  Del Colliano is a brilliant thinker, teacher and observer whose bold voice in this industry continues to contribute to radio’s intelligence, health and survival.”  For information about the conference please click here.

btrnlogoMacGregor Joins BTRN as VP/Affiliate Sales.  Twenty-five-year media management veteran Mark MacGregor is named vice president of affiliate sales for Business TalkRadio Network. “Mark brings a wealth of experience to this position and our company,” comments BTRN president Jeff Weber.  “He has a proven track record of success in affiliation and I am confident he will be a tremendous asset to us as we continue to grow the networks.”  MacGregor’s past credits include similar titles to his present BTRN assignment for MyFamilyTV, FamilyNet and ETC Television.  Business TalkRadio Network provides long and short form programming to over 1,000 affiliates.  It currently features such programs as “Investor’s Edge,” “Real Estate Investor Radio,” and the “CEO Show.”

boomercartoncomedyWFAN, New York’s Boomer & Carton to Host Comedy Show.  WFAN, New York morning drive duo Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton will host the “Super Comedy Jam” at the Manhattan Center Hammerstein Ballroom on Wednesday, January 29.  Appearing at the show will be an all-star lineup of comedians, including a couple with radio ties.  The stars performing will include: Jay Mohr (who also hosts his eponymous sports talk show for Fox Sports Radio Network); Nick Di Paolo (previously partnered with Artie Lange for a late night comedy/sports radio show); Dave Attell; Michael Che; Jeff Norris; and John Pizzi.

castnermichaelOdds & Sods.  Clear Channel news/talk outlet KEX, Portland adds another hour to the back end of Michael Castner’s afternoon drive program.  Beginning Monday, he’ll broadcast from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Castner joined KEX this summer after spending the last two-plus years hosting a nationally syndicated program for The Wall Street Journal Radio Network…..The next color voice of the Chicago Cubs is former Cubs infielder Ron Coomer.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports Coomer will sit alongside play-by-play Pat Hughes when the 2014 season begins.  Coomer takes over for Keith Moreland providing analysis on WGN and affiliates across the Midwest…..Premiere Networks announces the continuation of a long-standing “Coast to Coast AM” tradition as listeners “will be treated to live, holiday-themed programming with a ‘Coast-to-Coast’ twist, including music, special guest appearances and surprises on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day.  Host George Noory will be live in studio to celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year with his loyal audience, who will get the chance to share their favorite Christmas memories and stories of miracles during open lines.”

wphtphantasycampWPHT Sends Local Hero to Phillies Phantasy Camp.  WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive host Chris Stigall (center) poses for a shot with Sergeant First Class Brian Keaton, his wife and two of his children in the WPHT studios.  The station, the Philadelphia Phillies and the local chapter of the USO surprised the wounded warrior during Thursday’s program with a trip to the Phillies Phantasy Camp this morning live on the air.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated Mark Levin program is added to the schedule at KOYT, Helena, Montana; the company’s “Savage Nation” with Michael Savage adds the following stations to is affiliate roster: KINN, Alamogordo, New Mexico; WZUS, Decatur, Illinois; WBAP, Dallas; KKOB-AM, Albuquerque; and WLS-AM, Chicago…..Genesis Communications Network-syndicated Jason Lewis is added to the program schedule at KLZ, Denver; WPTK, Raleigh; and KNOX, Grand Forks, North Dakota…..The “Motley Fool Stock Watch” feature joins the programming at KTKZ “AM 1380 The Answer” and KSAC “Money 105.5” in Sacramento.

ObamaCare Criticism Tops Talkers TenTM for 8th Straight Week.  The criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the eighth consecutive week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.  Following at #2 this week was the federal budget deal.  At #3 was the selfie President Obama took with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thornig-Schmidt and his appearance at the Nelson Mandela memorial service followed at #4 by the nuclear talks with Iran.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

| December 12, 2013

quinnandrose‘Quinn & Rose’ Honor Commitments, Forge Ahead in Post-WPGB Career.  Pittsburgh-based talk radio morning show “Quinn & Rose” – Jim Quinn and Rose Tennent – are not looking back after their 10-year relationship with Clear Channel’s news/talk WPGB, Pittsburgh ended last month.  As TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian notes in his story about the duo published today (12/12), not only are Quinn and Tennent continuing to operate their web base warroom.com, they are honoring commitments to listeners, charities and businesses made before their exit from the radio station.  They have also been keeping in touch via social media with many of their P1s who’ve rallied around the duo.  Tennent says, “I thought that I knew our audience was loyal – but I never knew just how loyal and passionate they were about the show. They really seem to care about what is happening to us personally. I am very moved by the response.”  Read more about Jim Quinn and Rose Tennent here.

cookehollandLife After Arbitron: Day One.  Media consultant and TALKERS magazine contributor Holland Cooke reports in from the first day of the Nielsen Audio Client Conference & Jacobs Media Summit in Baltimore.  Presentations focused on operating radio stations in a multi-platform universe; the importance of solving the problem of competing for ad dollars against media that can provide specific data; and the use of social media.  Check out Holland Cooke’s report here.

theblaze logoYear-End Special Available from Premiere and TheBlaze.  Premiere Networks announces the availability of an exclusive, three-hour radio special, “TheBlaze: The Year in Your Ear,” – a comprehensive review of 2013 featuring different perspectives from the hosts and writers of TheBlaze, Glenn Beck’s news, information and entertainment network.   The company states, “From the government shutdown and North Korea missile threats, to the Boston Marathon bombings and the George Zimmerman trial, listeners will be treated to a recap of the biggest national events, news headlines and stories that shaped America in 2013.”  Premiere reports the show is already cleared on KOA, Denver; WOAI, San Antonio; WPGB, Pittsburgh; KPRC, Houston; and KNRS, Salt Lake City, to name a few.  It’s available for air between 12/25 and 1/5/14.

sabowalterThe $1.4 Billion Mystery: What Do Women Want?  According to Sabo Media chairman Walter Sabo, the talk radio industry continues its modern era tradition of turning down a significant piece of the $1.4 billion advertising budget spent annually by the advertising community on female-targeted talk television.  In a newly-posted article, Sabo writes these TV programs discuss:

- Relationships

- Celebrity gossip

- Diet & exercise

- Personal finance

- Parenting

- Balancing home and work

- Shopping

To read Walter Sabo’s entire piece, please click here.

dryerfredFred Dryer to Appear in TV Series.  CRN Digital Talk Radio personality Fred Dryer (also a former pro football star and a seasoned actor) will appear in a recurring role in the NBC series “Crisis.”  Dryer hosts a weekly talk show for CRN called “The PM Show with Fred Dryer” that airs Wednesdays at 7:00 pm ET.  CRN CEO Mike Horn says, “Fred is such a talented, multi-faceted actor.  He’s also a great guy – so as fans of his work and him as a person, we’re very excited.”  Dryer plays Thomas Jefferson Smith, a powerful, confident and wise CIA agent who, despite being in his 60s, can still kick butt.  The Rand Ravich thriller centers on Washington’s most powerful players pulled into an international conspiracy.  To bring the most powerful people in the world to their knees, the conspirator must threaten what everyone holds most dear. The “Crisis” cast includes other stars such as Dermot Mulroney, Gillian Anderson, Rachael Taylor and James Lafferty.

salemcommunicationsSalem Communications Spotlighted by Bloomberg Businessweek.  The business-focused publication shines a spot on Salem Communications after its recently announced purchase of Twitchy.com from conservative media figure Michelle Malkin.  The piece notes that the company is using profits from its radio assets to fund acquisition of digital properties and that fits with its conservative political philosophy.  Felix Gillette writes, “The move may signal that the same forces currently driving consolidation in the digital news industry at large are starting to gain momentum among the ranks of conservative news publishers online.  Since the advent of the internet, a diverse constellation of conservative news outlets has sprung up across the country, creating a rich buffet for GOP-loving readers – and a major logistical challenge for the advertisers hoping to reach them.  In theory, bringing more of the sites under a smaller number of roofs will appeal to the ad buyers who oversee rising digital marketing budgets while simultaneously providing cost savings for the publishers. Thus, the increasing pressure to consolidate.”  The piece reports that in fiscal 2012 Salem “generated $108 million of gross profit on $229 million of revenue.  Of the company’s operating income, significantly more came from its radio group ($47 million) than from its websites ($3.7 million).”  It also points to Politico which says it hears Salem is in talks to buy Eagle Publishing – owner imprints Regnery Publishing, Regnery History, Eagle Financial Publications as well as digital destinations RedState.com and MarkSkousen.com.

ObamaCare Criticism, Budget Deal/GOP Stalls on Nominees, Mandela Tribute Sign Interpreter Controversy, and Obama Selfie-Flirting Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/11).  Scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and criticism of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius; the budget deal and the Republicans’ stall tactics on President Obama’s judicial nominees; the controversy over the sign-language interpreter at the Nelson Mandela tribute; and criticism over President Obama’s taking a selfie and “flirting” with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

| November 27, 2013

huckabeemikeMike Huckabee and Cumulus Media Networks Call it Quits on Daily Talk Show.  Governor Mike Huckabee’s daily commentaries will continue after the New Year but the daily, three-hour talk show will not.  Writing on Facebook, Huckabee says, “I have loved doing the Mike Huckabee show, and its success of going from launch to over 200 stations in less than two years is significant, but the contract was at a decision point for both Cumulus Media and me, and we mutually agreed to conclude.”  Huckabee’s program debuted in April of 2012 with the conservative politician and media personality (who is still seen on weekends on Fox News Channel) promising to host a “different” kind of talk show that offers “more conversation, less confrontation.”  There’s no way to know how successful CMN was in selling the show or how much money Huckabee made but it stands to reason the show was not making enough to justify continuing the effort on the part of either party.

bellpaulMedia Exec Paul Bell Named Business Director for Rush Limbaugh Print and Digital.  Premiere Networks announces the appointment of Paul Bell to the position of business director of Rush Limbaugh print and digital subscriptions.  Bell most recently worked with Dow Jones/The Wall Street Journal and will remain based in New York where he’ll report to CCM+E president of content and affiliate services for national media groups Julie Talbott.  Bell’s focus will be on all aspects of Limbaugh’s subscription businesses including oversight of strategic planning, directlimbaughrush marketing, circulation management, and subscriber acquisition and retention for Rush 24/7; The Limbaugh Letter; as well as The Limbaugh eLetter, the recently-launched digital version of the publication now available via desktop and on mobile devices.  While with Dow Jones/The Wall Street Journal, Bell was charged with overseeing strategy and business operations of The Wall Street Journal Sunday, the WSJ Wine Club and the WSJ and MarketWatch Radio Networks, as well as audio podcasting content licensing.  Prior to that, Bell served as vice president, radio and executive director of The Wall Street Journal Radio Network for seven years.  Julie Talbott states, “We couldn’t be happier to welcome someone of Paul’s caliber to our team.  His extensive background in direct marketing and business operations are a winning combination as we continue to grow Rush Limbaugh’s loyal print subscriber base and digital platforms.”

katzjeffspeaksJeff Katz to Host PM Drive on WRVA, Richmond.  Program director Jimmy Barrett tells TALKERS magazine that talk radio pro Jeff Katz is assuming the afternoon drive show from Clear Channel talk host Leland Conway who’s beenwrva logo doing that program and the midday show on the company’s WHAS, Louisville since the early fall.  With Conway now focused on Louisville, Katz can dedicate his attention to Richmond.  Barrett states, “We’re excited to have someone with Jeff’s experience anchoring our afternoon drive.  Jeff is funny, informative and a great match for the Richmond audience.  Best of all, he’s coming here because this is where he wants to raise his family.”  Katz has been part of the start-up at the Boston Herald’s online venture Boston Herald Radio hosting the morning show.  Katz has been a columnist for the Herald and produces commentary features that air on a number of affiliate stations.  He worked for Clear Channel in Boston on WXKS-AM prior to that station’s flip to sports talk.  He starts at WRVA on Monday, December 2.

greenconnections logo“Green Connections with Joan Michelson” to Debut on TalkersRadio this Saturday.  An exciting new weekly program geared to the environmental movement in modern industry and culture is set for launch this weekend on TalkersRadio – the online experimental talk radio station at Talkers.com.  The program will originate with brand new, one-hour installments on Saturdays at 3:00 pm ET that will be repeated at various timesmichelsonjoan throughout the week.  The program’s tag lines are “live green, work green, earn green” and “making cleantech cool.”  Its host and producer, Joan Michelson, is a highly respected and accomplished Washington, DC-based journalist who specializes in energy and sustainability.  She serves as the green expert on WTOP, Washington and has a blog on the Huffington Post, in addition to a number of major media platforms.  Describing the new show, Michelson tells TALKERS, “We inform, engage, and connect people with the cool things and opportunities in energy and sustainability.  Our stories range from politics and business, to jobs, gadgets, tips and the arts.  I am very excited about bringing this groundbreaking show to such an innovative radio platform as TalkersRadio.”  In announcing the launch, TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein says, “This entertaining and informative program is a radio show whose time has come.  There is a huge information-hungry audience for this and potential advertisers are sprouting up all over the nation creating an exciting new arena of economic growth making it incredibly fertile for talk radio.  Joan Michelson brings a personal likability as well as tremendous knowledge to the discussion.  We are proud to be giving birth to and nurturing what promises to be a major broadcasting entity.  This SO fits the mission of TalkersRadio.”

millerdennisWestwoodOne Bumps Dennis Miller to Noon ET Start.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Dennis Miller’s WestwoodOne program will move to a new time beginning in January.  The company announces the show’s live air time will shift from the current 10:00 am to 1:00 pm ET slot to 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET effective January 6.  WestwoodOne CEO Paul Caine says, “WestwoodOne is happy to have the Dennis Miller show as part of our best-in-class lineup and programming.  Miller attracts a very large and opinionated audience who are actively engaged across audio platforms, including digital.  His show is a prime example of the critical role audio plays in cross-platform integration – a key element in the future of audio.”  Miller, who resides in California, currently hits the air live at 7:00 am PT.  He adds, “Thanks for letting me sleep in and continue to do the job that I love!”

salemcommunicationsSalem Communications Adds AM Signal to Miami Properties.  With the purchase of WOCN-AM, Miami from Deportes Media of Florida, Salem Communications will have another AM signal in the market to complement business talk WZAB, Christian talk WHIM and Spanish Christian formatted WKAT.  The price is $1.2 million for the station and its assets and another $1 million for the property on which the station and its transmitter sit.  WOCN-AM is a class C AM at 1450 currently operating at 1,000 watts in a non-directional pattern.

totaltraffic logoTotal Traffic + Weather Network Partners with TomTom.  The two companies believe the multi-year partnership will augment both their businesses.  Clear Channel’s Total Traffic + Weather Network says the arrangement will combine “TomTom’s industry leading real-time and predictive traffic flow data with Total Traffic + Weather Network’s traffic incident, construction and congestion data to create the mosttomtom logo comprehensive traffic solution available in North America.  The combined data offering will be available across multiple platforms including radio, television, automotive, online and mobile.”  CCM+E EVP engineering & systems integration Jeff Littlejohn states, “We are thrilled about this partnership.  Every day, more than 200 million drivers and thousands of our affiliates depend on TTWN for their traffic information.  We value that trust and are dedicated to delivering the most precise traffic data available. Therefore, we strive for best-in-class, strategic partners to advance our offerings. TomTom is a committed and innovative leader in traffic products. We are excited about creating new solutions together to provide the fastest, most accurate traffic information to drivers every day.”

topturkeysOdds & Sods.  Jack Callaghan leaves the sales end of the business to return to the mic at Clear Channel’s WTAM, Cleveland where he’s the new news director.  Callaghan was most recently eastern regional sales manager at Santa Clara, California-based Beat the Traffic…..Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM and 99.7 FM in Providence produces its second annual “Top Turkeys” countdown that celebrates the notable and notorious from Southern New England.  This year’s winners included Rhode Island native and “Jersey Shore” star Pauly D confirming he’s a baby daddy; former Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey announcing a run for governor only to pull out three days later; and calamari – often a punch line for jokes in Rhode Island – failed to be voted the Official State Appetizer after the State Senate declined to vote on it altogether.  WPRO-AM PD Craig Schwalb says, “Thanksgiving offers WPRO the perfect opportunity to poke fun at some of the most interesting and most absurd news stories that occurred in the great state of Rhode Island this year.”  Check out the web feature here.…..ESPN Deportes Radio reaches what it terms a “sub-license agreement” with Fox to broadcast the UEFA Champions League.  The coverage kicked off with two live double headers: Zenit vs. Atlético and Ajax vs. Barcelona yesterday and CSKA Moskva vs. Bayern and Real Madrid vs. Galatasaray today (11/27).

crowleyjerryIt’s Like Déjà Vu All Over Again.  It is an extremely unlikely narrative – but it actually is happening.  When Clear Channel took over ownership of heritage radio station WOR, New York from Buckley Radio about a year ago, they moved it from its location in an iconic building on Trinity Place next to the historic Trinity Cemetery about a block from Wall Street to their already-established headquarters in a different part of lower-Manhattan.  And as we all know, they also made staff changes in both programming and management. These changes included the departure of longtime WORsantellinoelia VP/GM Jerry Crowley and his executive assistant Noelia Santelli.  Being, as TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes “one of the most savvy, connected and well-liked broadcasting executives in the Big Apple,” it didn’t take long for another radio company to recruit Crowley (as well as Santelli) for their own New York operation.  That company was Salem Communications for whom Crowley brought his talents as VP/GM of talkers WMCA (570) and WNYM (The Answer).  At that time, these stations were located close-by at Salem’s operation across the river in New Jersey.  Now for the good part — on December 9, Salem is taking advantage of the marvelous radio broadcasting space vacated by Clear Channel on Trinity Place and moving the operations of both stations into the same suite of offices and studios previously occupied by WOR.  That means that Crowley and Santelli (who is now Salem New York’s national sales manager and executive assistant to the general manager) will be moving back to their original offices and even the same desks and furniture!  Amazing!

Thanksgiving Holiday, ObamaCare Criticism, Iran Nukes Deal, Immigration Legislation, CBS Gives Lara Logan LOA, and Alec Baldwin Loses MSNBC Gig Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/26).  The holiday weekend and the weather-affected travel situation; scrutiny of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; the negotiations for an Iranian nuclear program deal; President Obama’s proposed immigration legislation; the leave of absence given to CBS reporter Lara Logan in connection with the “60 Minutes” Benghazi report; and Alec Baldwin’s MSNBC show gets cancelled after reports of his “homophobic” language and on-set behavioral issues were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

| November 20, 2013

trn logoMatt Ray New Anchor of ‘America’s Morning News.’  The Talk Radio Network-produced “America’s Morning News” program has a new permanent host in Matt Ray.  Ray — a 12-year broadcast veteran whose stints include KXL, Portland; KGO and KSFO, San Francisco – takes over as anchor of the program heard in more than 140 markets immediately.  Ray states, “It is an exciting opportunity to work with the team at ‘America’s Morning News.’  Our focus continues to be journalism without agenda – the key ingredient to the success of ‘America’s Morning News’: compelling, breaking news and interviews delivered in a fast-paced environment.”  TRN CEO Mark Masters adds, “Matt was a natural fit and he tested overwhelmingly positive.  His credentials are impressive and we think Matt will take the morning news to new levels of success in the years to come.  We are thrilled to see Matt on board at AMN.”

radeltreyFormer ’92.5 Fox News’ Fort Myers Morning Host – Now Congressman – Trey Radel Arrested on Cocaine Charges.  Congressman Trey Radel won his first political race last November taking Florida’s 19th Congressional District seat as a Republican after Rep. Connie Mack chose to give up the seat and run for the U.S. Senate.  But Radel’s experience has been in broadcasting.  He was an anchor on WINK-TV and had made the move to radio as morning host on Meridian Broadcasting’s news/talk “92.5 Fox News” in the Fort Myers market (a trimulcast of WFSX-AM/FM and WNOG-AM).  He left that gig to run for office.  Radel was busted as part of a sting after allegedly purchasing cocaine in Washington’s Dupont Circle.  Radel issued the following statement: “I struggle with the disease of alcoholism, and this led to an extremely irresponsible choice.  Believe me, I am disappointed in myself, and I stand ready to face the consequences of my actions.  However, this unfortunate event does have a positive side: It offers me an opportunity to seek treatment and counseling.  As the father of a young son and a husband to a loving wife, I need to get help so I can be a better man for both of them.”

beckgiffordGlenn Beck Promotes New Book on NBC’s ‘Today.’  Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk host – and founder of the digital destination TheBlaze  – Glenn Beck, sat down with NBC’s Kathie Lee Gifford on the “Today” show to talk about his new book, Miracles and Massacres: True and Untold Stories of the Making of America (Threshold Editions 2013).  In the photo here, Beck is seen being interviewed by Gifford in his Dallas, Texas studios where programming for TheBlaze is produced.  During the interview, Beck talked about the desire to provide more detail and color in fleshing out historical characters and events being the impetus for writing this book.

joycebrianTalk Radio and Social Media Push Local Commercial into the Limelight.  WGOW, Chattanooga afternoon drive talk host Brian Joyce tells TALKERS magazine how the power of talk radio and social media helped create a sensation out of a local TV commercial.  He says, “Around 2:00 am last Friday morning, I saw a commercial on local television for a small business called Mike’s Golf Shop.  It was so awful, so hilarious, and so awesome that I had to share it with my listeners!  So I played the commercial on my show Friday afternoon, then I shared it on Facebook and sent it to a friend of mine whowgow logo writes for Jimmy Fallon.  At the time, the commercial had 27 views on YouTube. By Monday morning, it had 64,000 views.  Today, it has 70,000 views.  Tosh.O just shared it on their Facebook page, MSNBC and Comedy Central featured in on their websites, and Mike’s Golf Shop is trending on Yahoo!”  Joyce says the lesson in this story is that it all started on “Talk Radio 102.3.”  What’s more, it’s likely to bring in business.  “We met with Mike on Monday morning.  He was so excited about what we had done for him that now he wants to advertise with us regularly.  The power of talk radio and social media is alive and well, and stronger than ever!”  You can see the commercial here.

matthewskevinKevin Matthews to Take On Voice and Imaging Role at WGN.FM.  Chicago radio legend Kevin Matthews’ voice is returning to a Chicago-based audio platform after years of full-time work in his resident city of Grand Rapids.  According to Chicago media writer Robert Feder, the radio pro that rose to prominence on rocker WLUP-FM “The Loop” will be the imaging voice of Tribune’s online audio platform WGN.FM, currently host to Jonathon Brandmeier’s program and other shows.  Matthews, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2008, returned to his hometown of Grand Rapids in 2005 and was a personality at Cumulus Media classic rock WLAV for several years.  He’s been out of terrestrial radio for a while but has been contributing to Steve Dahl’s podcast efforts.  Matthews will continue to work from his home studio in Grand Rapids.

superbowl logoWestwoodOne to Rank Best Audio Super Bowl Ads.  WestwoodOne – the radio home of Super Bowl XLVIII – is preparing to launch its Super Bowl Audio Index, the first-ever consumer-driven index ranking the most creative audio commercials aired during the Super Bowl.  The company says that the index will be comprised of all commercials aired on the 700-plus radio stations that broadcast its exclusive, play-by-play coverage of the game.  Each of the commercials will be available for consumer voting throughwestwoodone logo WestwoodOne.com on February 2, 2014.  Two awards will be announced across WestwoodOne’s on-air and online broadcast network.  The first will be Listener’s Choice, selected by consumers through an online voting process that can also be leveraged by marketers through social media, and activated through SoundHound, to create even more engaging experiences for listeners.  The second will be Media Choice, selected by an advisory council comprised of leading advertising, media and creative executives across multiple consumer categories.  WestwoodOne CEO Paul Caine states, “For brands wanting to engage a captive audience with the largest reach, there is no comparison to the Super Bowl.  We created the Index as a new way for all brands to leverage the power of sound and capitalize on this massive advertising moment.  The index enables marketers to engage more intimately with 26 million-plus listeners, expanding their campaigns and maximizing their marketing dollars.”

sternhowardOdds & Sods.  SiriusXM superstar Howard Stern announces he will return for another season of “America’s Got Talent.” Stern told listeners to his radio show on Tuesday that although he’d like more personal time, “that big black hole inside of me that demands attention” won and he’ll return for his third season judging on the show…..Main Street Radio Network president Jane Silk will debut her own weekly radio show this Saturday, November 23.  Silk, who has provided commentary for her company’s Alan Nathan show, will host the one-hour show which airs live from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm ET…..Chicago radio personalities Steve King and Johnnie Putman – longtime overnight hosts on Tribune’s WGN – are returning to the station for fill-in work.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder tips us that the husband-and-wife duo will sub for morning drive host Steve Cochran during Christmas week.  King and Putman retired from the station in December of 2011…..AARP has renewed its radio representation agreement with Media Management Group for 2014.  MMG continues to be responsible for ad sales, distribution and business development for the Baby Boomer-targeted feature programming.  AARP’s radio content can be heard on hundreds of stations across the country.

adlargelogoAdLarge Media and PromoSuite Enter National Advertising Sales Rep Agreement.  The exclusive pact covers inventory already measured in Nielsen Audio’s RADAR service and moving into AdLarge’s Return On Investment (ROI) Network.  AdLarge co-founder/chief executive officer Gary Schonfeld comments that the partnership “gives our national advertisers access to an enormous amount of inventory, and intensifies our already strong coverage in major markets.”  AdLarge co-founder/president Cathy Csukas adds, “Our objective when we created the ROI Network was to offer clients a wide-reaching, RADAR-measured network with solid top-market coverage and a non-controversial format environment.  With the inclusion of PromoSuite‘s vast array of music-formatted radio station inventory, we are proud to have surpassed that goal.”  Meanwhile, PromoSuite chief executive officer Rocco Macri remarks, “It is inevitable that our two companies struck up a partnership.  You have two independent, forward-thinking companies that are agile enough to make quick decisions, yet big enough to have an impact.  Together, we will continue to build and maintain relationships within the radio and advertising communities.”  Customized advertising sales rep AdLarge was founded in 2010; PromoSuite services more than 1,500 radio stations and is included in all top 50 markets.

mohrgordonMixing in Pop Culture.  Fox Sports Radio Network host Jay Mohr (right) poses for a photo with Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman (left) in the FSR studios.  Gorman was in town to talk about his new tour with the Black Crowes, his new band Trigger Hippy as well as chat about sports.  The two discussed the controversial end to the Monday Night Football game between the Patriots and Panthers and Gorman also participated in the first-ever Jay Mohr Sports Front Man Draft.  As part of the segment, the crew drafted a team of various band front men, including Steven Tyler, Freddie Mercury and the Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson.

sweeneyMHBHPutting on the Greasepaint.  Pictured here are TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (right) and his wife Bernadette Duncan Harrison (left) with TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (center) in costume for his role as Beadle Bamford in the Monson, Massachusetts-based Greene Room Productions presentation of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

ObamaCare Criticism, JFK Assassination Anniversary, Iran Nukes Talks, Sinking Obama Approval Numbers, Toronto Mayor Case and Midwest Tornadoes Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/19).  Scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and the state of the government’s health care sign-up website; the coming anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy; the potential talks with Iran about its nuclear policy and the debate in Washington over increasing economic sanctions against the Islamic state; the sinking approval ratings for President Obama; the bizarre case of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford; and the aftermath of the devastating tornadoes that swept across the Midwest were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio.

Monday, November 18, 2013

| November 18, 2013

milhaventornadocoverageTornado Damage Reported Via Multi-Media on McGraw Milhaven Show.  The series of tornadoes that swept across the Midwest on Sunday left serious damage in New Minden, Illinois – about an hour East of St. Louis.  The photo you see here is from the video component of KTRS, St. Louis morning host McGraw Milhaven’s online platform.  Since the spring, Milhaven has been partnering with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s StlToday.com site to present his program in a video format.  Today, he used that medium to his advantage as reporter Michael Golde was able to report back to the studio via Skype and show viewers scenes from the storm-damaged town and converse with Milhaven and news anchor Kelly Jackson.  In posting the video on YouTube, Milhaven comments, “KTRS Radio in St Louis is the only radio station in the country to show live video of storm-damaged areas of Ill. to listeners on laptops, desktops and smartphones as well as the radio.”

wrcnlogoJVC Media to Flip Rock WRCN, Long Island to News/Talk After Christmas.  Longtime rocker WRCN, Riverhead, New York has stopped playing “everything that rocks” and has gone Christmas music through the holidays.  But after Christmas, the station will emerge as a news/talk outlet dubbed “LI News Radio 103.9.”  JVC Media president and CEO John Caracciolo explains the company’s thinking in a statement: “WRCN has a long history and heritage on Long Island – many of us have grown up with the station and it has become an intricate part of our lives.  But as our lives change so does our soundtrack.  What we listened to growing up is not necessarily what we listen to now and what was important to us as teenagers maybe doesn’t seem so important anymore.  That’s why we made the decision to change WRCN and develop and program a radio station that fits the needs of Long Island…Long Islanders are starving for local news and information.  Why should we have to wait 22 minutes to hear about the world when all we really want is Islip to Southampton?  What’s the traffic like on the 347 merge or Sunrise Highway in Oakdale?  This station will not only serve as your information source but it will be your sounding board for issues that influence your life, your community and your business.”  Talent that has been announced to be part of the new format includes Premiere Networks nationally syndicated star Sean Hannity and Cumulus Media Networks personality Mark Levin as well as local hosts Ernie Fasio, Vic Fusco, John Gomez, Kevin Law, Steve Levy, Frank McKay, and Jay Oliver.

thomaslindaLinda Thomas to Exit KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Morning news anchor and reporter Linda Thomas announces she will be leaving Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle at the end of the year for a new opportunity that, as she says, “doesn’t involve being at work by 2:00 am.”  In a blog post at the company’s Mynorthwest.com, she writes, “My Bonneville Seattle bosses understand and support my decision too, even though they don’t want me to leave.  That’s what family members do.  I’ll always be grateful for them, and for you.”  Thomas first worked at KIRO in 1988 as an overnight editor and became morning drive anchor in 1993.  She left the station to work as a freelancer but returned to KIRO-FM as morning anchor in 2010.  She adds, “KIRO’s news, talk and online teams are the best in the business.  It’s been an honor to work alongside amazing talent.  I’ve learned a lot from all my co-workers.  They encourage me, challenge me, and make me laugh on a daily basis. I really do love them.”

wrightmichelleMichelle Wright Let Go from All-News WYAY, Atlanta.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho tips us that morning drive co-anchor Michelle Wright has been let go from Cumulus Media’s all-news WYAY, Atlanta “All-News 106.7.”  Andy Rose remains in AM drive solo.  The speculation is that the recent hiring of Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson to host a talk show in middays and the acquisition of Atlanta Braves baseball required some cuts in other areas of the station and Wright was the unfortunate victim.  She was one of the original staffers when Cumulus decided to turn WYAY into an all-news station in May of 2012.  She had previously worked at Atlanta-based CNN Radio before joining Cumulus.

pittmanbobCEOs Make the Grade.  Clear Channel’s Bob Pittman and EmmisJeff Smulyan were both the subjects of feature stories in newspapers over the weekend – Pittman in The New York Times and Smulyan in thesmulyanjeff Indianapolis Star.  In a Q&A titled, the Value of Dissent, Pittman says he encouraged dissenters in his organization because they serve a valuable purpose.  “I want us to listen to these dissenters because they may intend to tell you why we can’t do something, but if you listen hard, what they’re really telling you is what you must do to get something done.  It gets you out of your framework of the conventions of what you can and can’t do.”  Read that piece here.  Jeff Smulyan tells the Star in his Q&A that the best piece of advice he’s received has to do with employer-employee relationships, “Attract the best people, treat them well, and let them do their job.  If you want people to go through walls for you, you have to go through more walls for them.”  Read that story here.

millerchrisThe View of Radio from the Digital World’s Perspective.  Noted radio digital consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller writes, “Those of us in digital media know that our world will continue to change drastically, over and over again.  We also know that we will be bigger and better three years…five years…10 years from now.  Plus, we hear how radio compares itself to online listening choices, and we see how you use your digital platforms.  And here’s what we think.”  In a new column posted today (11/18) Miller goes on to state that digital-only people still have “transmitter envy” and that even though more and more people and media are moving online, the stick is still a formidable asset.  Regardless, he points out that many digital-only professionals think that over-the-air radio companies are “crazy” for cutting talent, still selling 60-second commercials, and not being cognizant of just how much entertainment is changing.  He clearly explains what digital pros see as radio’s “dangerous assumption.”  He observes, “I look at a lot of different radio social media, websites, database emails and texting programs, and it’s clear you’re making some dangerous assumptions.  Digital content doesn’t work like you think it should.  It doesn’t work like you wish it did.  It works like it works.  We see you on Facebook and Twitter talking about almost anything…except what people really love about you.  Your websites are a mish-mosh of broad-based content, but if you look at your web stats, there are fewer than half-a-dozen features at your site that, combined, get the lion’s share of your page views.  There is nothing special or exclusive about the emails you send your listeners, and your open rates prove it.  Radio people know a lot about how people use radio.  Meanwhile, you are using all these other media as if knowing how they work doesn’t matter.  One key thing we’re doing to drive our online success is to track everything we can to see what really makes a difference.  We don’t have the luxury of having opinions about what should work.  Either the clicks are there, or they aren’t.  What we do either works, or it doesn’t.  If it doesn’t, you dig in, diagnose the problem, and adjust.”  To read Chris Miller’s entire column, please click here.

rhodesrandiPremiere Reverses Course; Keeps Randi Rhodes on Syndication Menu. There are no reports indicating just what happened between Randi Rhodes and syndicator Premiere Networks but the latter is confirming the widely reported news that Rhodes will continue to be syndicated by Premiere, at least through 2014.  Premiere SVP of affiliate relationspremierenetworks logo Peter Tripi emailed affiliates, “In a happy turn of events, we are pleased to announce that Premiere Networks will continue to produce and distribute the Randi Rhodes show.  In an industry of constant change, it’s a pleasure to provide good news about a talk talent we think so highly of.  We apologize for any inconvenience the previous announcement caused, but look forward to a very successful 2014 with the Randi Rhodes show.”  Several weeks ago, Rhodes began telling her audience she was foreseeing the end of her program and later Premiere notified affiliates the relationship would be ending.

herskovitzalIt’s Pop-Up Time.  No, not the kind of pop-up we associate with websites – pop-up ads – but those retail stores that “pop up” in vacant storefronts during the holiday shopping season.  Sales maven and H&H Communications president Al Herskovitz writes about getting these seasonal businesses advertising on your station this year.  He notes that many of these retailers are big name brands that choose to expand their physical space during this time of year and they include Vera Bradley, Louis Vuitton and the National Football League.  Read Al Herskovitz’s entire column here.

abcnewskennedyABC News Radio Offers Kennedy Assassination Programming.  As the nation marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, ABC News Radio is offering a two-hour special broadcast, “Three Shots Rang Out: An ABC News Special – The JFK Assassination 50 Years Later,” anchored by ABC News’ Diane Sawyer.  It’s an audio-only program that will be heard by ABC News Radio affiliates.  In addition, a special expanded show will be available via download at Audible.com as part of a new digital audio relationship between ABC News Radio and Audible.  The Audible.com version of this program will include an additional 40 minutes of historical audio available exclusively to Audible listeners.

ruthronRon Ruth Passes.  Former 19-year Radio Advertising Bureau executive vice president of stations Ron Ruth died early Saturday (11/16) in Florida of a heart attack.  The 75-year-old Ruth had been struggling with health issues the past two months.  CBS Radio president and chief executive officer Dan Mason was among those quickly noting their sympathies regarding Ruth’s passing. “I just spoke with him at the Radio Show this past September in Orlando,” Mason writes on Facebook. “He was so up and happy – I am sad tonight.”  Also on that social media platform, Tom Birch notes, “Ron lived life to its fullest and was a joy and inspiration to everyone who had the opportunity to know him.  Ron was the midwife to Birch Research.  He opened doors for me, encouraged me and guided me.  I am deeply honored to have worked for Ron at WQAM, Miami in the 1970s, and to have remained friends with him for the next three decades.” According to former RKO General eastern vice president Perry Ury, “Ron Ruth was a friend and our house skeptic at RKO.”  Former Tele Media Broadcasting vice president and chief operating officer Ira Rosenblatt adds, “We’ve lost a friend and true broadcaster.”  Doing afternoon drive in Boston early in his radio career, Ruth roomed with two other on-air talents who went on to stardom – George Carlin and Jack Burns of Burns & (Avery) Schreiber.  He held sales manager positions for Unistar Radio Networks, as well as at the local level in markets such as New York (WOR-FM), Chicago (WNUS), Washington, DC (WGMS), and Buffalo (WYSL).  Ruth left Unistar to join the RAB in 1992.  Most recently, he was consulting the Radio Advertising Bureau.

wmalbonginoA Man of His Word.  The man having his head shaved live on the air on Cumulus Media’s WMAL, Washington, DC is former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino.  Not too long ago, Bongino said on the WMAL airwaves that he would shave his head if President Obama apologized for the gaffes in the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.  And since the president did offer an apology of sorts, Bongino agreed to honor his statement live on the air and did so on Friday, November 15.

Friday, November 15, 2013

| November 15, 2013

rhodesrandiPremiere Reverses Course; Keeps Randi Rhodes on Syndication Menu. There are no reports indicating just what happened between Randi Rhodes and syndicator Premiere Networks but the latter is confirming the widely reported news that Rhodes will continue to be syndicated by Premiere, at least through 2014.  Premiere SVP of affiliate relationspremierenetworks logo Peter Tripi emailed affiliates, “In a happy turn of events, we are pleased to announce that Premiere Networks will continue to produce and distribute the Randi Rhodes show.  In an industry of constant change, it’s a pleasure to provide good news about a talk talent we think so highly of.  We apologize for any inconvenience the previous announcement caused, but look forward to a very successful 2014 with the Randi Rhodes show.”  Several weeks ago, Rhodes began telling her audience she was foreseeing the end of her program and later Premiere notified affiliates the relationship would be ending.

kabclogoKABC and KLOS Could Fetch Roughly $90 Million. Before you start feverishly looking for loose change behind sofa cushions and envision putting together a consortium, that is the estimated price for (just) the real estate of the Cumulus-owned talk and rock combo.  For decades, KABC and KLOS have operated from a 45,000-square-foot broadcast facility that sits on a 10-acre Los Angeles site at La Cienega and Jeffersonkloslogo Boulevard.  It is close to a stop on the Expo Line rail route connecting downtown LA and Culver City.  In an article in yesterday’s (11/14) Los Angeles Times, Roger Vincent notes that, “The area is considered ripe for mixed-use development that might include apartments, offices and stores.  Real estate experts familiar with transit-oriented development say the Baldwin Hills site could command $200 a square foot, or more than $90 million,” although Cumulus reportedly has not officially set a price for the KABC-KLOS property.  The LA Times piece quotes an unnamed Cumulus spokesperson who indicates company officials feel the Los Angeles property is a “greatly underutilized asset.” Cumulus has decided to sell it “to free up cash to redeploy in other areas of the business.”  One option under consideration would be to have KABC and KLOS remain as tenants at the location following the sale.

nielsen logoNielsen Trims Payroll by as Many as 500 Positions.  The statement from Nielsen is vague company-speak – “As part of the integration of Nielsen Audio, Nielsen is implementing changes across the company to enhance growth and to align our resources to meet and exceed client needs. These changes will improve productivity and innovation for the benefit of our organization, clients and shareholders.”  However, unsubstantiated reports swirling through the industry are that as many as 500 former Arbitron staffers are being let go as Nielsen brings the radio ratings division fully into the parent company.  The move is not surprising – or shouldn’t be – to anyone who’s been in this business for a while.  Nielsen reported to shareholders that it would be able to realize $20 million in “synergies” and that money has to come from somewhere.  In late September, when TALKERS wrote that staffers at Arbitron are wondering how many jobs will be cut as a result of the acquisition, Nielsen was quick to issue a statement saying the company had, “no plans to reduce headcount at this time,” which we reported on October 2.  TALKERS sees the dismantling of the Arbitron brand and all that it stood for in this clandestine manner as a red flag that should not go by without at least comment.  Those who recall the sale of the iconic trade publication Radio & Records to Nielsen in 2006 will remember the company making similar statements about its intentions to use its formidable resources to grow the magazine and increase its services to the radio industry.  However, in 2009, Nielsen shut the publication down.  In a recent speech at the NAB Radio Show in Orlando, TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison stated that for radio to thrive, let alone survive, in his new digital era – it must celebrate and protect its “radio-ness,” and avoid being assimilated into the multi-media soup of the 21st century at the expense of its unique industry and cultural identity.  We hope that the powers-that-be at Nielsen show more respect for the specialness of radio in the days going forward and that they will be held accountable for significant discrepancies between their words and actions.

ordwayglennGlenn Ordway Lands Weekend Gig at SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio.  Longtime WEEI, Boston sports talk personality Glenn Ordway will begin hosting “The Big Weekend Show with Glenn Ordway” on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio channel this weekend.  Ordway’s show will air Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 am to 11:00 am.  Ordway – who spent the early part of his radio career as a Boston Celtics commentator – was instrumental in the building of Entercom’s WEEI, Boston where he created “The Big Show” afternoon drive program.  His work in sports talk radio in Boston goes back to his days at talker WRKO where he hosted “Sportscall,” beginning in 1981.  He worked at WEEI from 1987 until leaving the station in the spring of this year.

duncanchrisWXOS, St. Louis Renews with Chris Duncan; Announces New Program Schedule.  Hubbard Radio’s WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” announces it has signed a contract renewal with sports talk host – and former St. Louis Cardinals star – Chris Duncan.  The term of the contract was not announced.  Program director Chris “Hoss” Neupert states, “We are excited to have Chris continue with ‘101ESPN,’ he is a tremendously talented guy and a hard worker who prepares in great depth every day to entertain and inform the ‘101ESPN’ audience.”  At the same time, the station announces its new post-morning drive lineup effective 11/25: Kevin Wheeler, 9:00 am to 12:00 noon; “The Turn” with Chris Duncan and Anthony Stalter, 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm; and “The Fast Lane” with Randy Karraker and D’Marco Farr (with Brad Thompson joining the show on Monday, January 6th, 2013) from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

fccnewFCC Approves Hiking Foreign Ownership Limit; NAB Approves.  The mood at the Federal Communications Commission was ebullient as all five commissioners signed on to a policy change that would allow for foreign investment in U.S. broadcasting signals.  The new policy would not put a strict limit on the percentage of interest allowed but would only kick in the FCC’s scrutiny if the stake goes above 25%.  The days of concern over foreign control over content on American airwaves are long over and the NAB weighed in on the change, with president and CEO Gordon Smith stating, “NAB applauds the FCC for providing flexibility in commission rules allowing increased foreign investment in broadcast TV and radio stations.  We are especially pleased the FCC recognized that local broadcasters routinely provide ‘local news, Amber Alerts and public safety information’ to serve our communities.  Today’s vote provides broadcasters greater access to capital that will allow local stations to continue our indispensable role as the primary purveyor of news, entertainment and lifeline information to the American people.”

blairderricknowitsthenewsTalk Media Network Brings Weekly Satirical News Program into the Fold.  “Now It’s the News with Derrick Blair” joins the Josh Leng-led Talk Media Network.  The company says in a statement, “While many shows embrace talking points and are overly predictable, Derrick Blair brings a refreshing approach to ‘Now It’s The News,’ in the genre of ‘enlightened entertainment’ that includes ‘The Colbert Report’ found on Comedy Central.”  Blair adds, “In the truest spirit of bipartisanship, ‘Now It’s The News’ will continue to mock the left, the right, the center, and all points in between.”  Josh Leng comments on the one-hour, weekly program, “’Now It’s The News with Derrick Blair’ appeals to core radio listeners who love news and politics, but also to a much wider audience who simply enjoy a good laugh and quality entertainment.  Derrick’s show is 100% original, and serves as a perfect bridge between political and non-political programming, giving listeners a humorous transition. It’s also a great way to laugh off some of the stress that can build up during the week.”  The program has been in syndication since 2010.

cumulus logoCumulus-Townsquare Deal Closes.  Yesterday, Cumulus Media announced that it had completed the sale to Townsquare Media, LLC of 53 radio stations in 12 small and mid-sized markets for approximatelytownsquare logo $238 million in cash, and the swap with Townsquare of 15 radio stations in two small and mid-sized markets in exchange for five radio stations in Fresno, California (together, the “Townsquare Transaction”).  Cumulus reports in an 8-K filing that it intends to use the cash proceeds from the Townsquare Transaction to fund a portion of the purchase price payable to complete its previously announced acquisition of Dial Global, Inc., now known as WestwoodOne.  This acquisition is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2013.

marksidWPHT, Philadelphia Celebrates 57 Years of Sid Mark’s Broadcast Career. The Philadelphia broadcaster is best known these days for his nationally syndicated weekly program “The Sounds of Sinatra.”  Home base – news/talk station WPHT, Philadelphia – is celebrating the career of Sid Mark tonight at a special, sold-out event at Galdo’s in Philadelphia to celebrate his 57th year hosting “The Sounds of Sinatra.”  The evening will feature Bobby Rydell and the sounds of the 17-piece big band City Rhythm Orchestra paying tribute to Sid Mark.  CBS Radio Philadelphia SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield says, “Sid is not only a Philadelphia treasure, but a national treasure as well.  His legendary voice has insured that another legendary voice has remained quite legendary.  We are honored to have him as a member of our team at WPHT.”  Sid Mark launched “The Sounds of Sinatra” in Philadelphia 57 years ago after a caller suggested that Sid spin one hour of Frank Sinatra songs.  That tradition developed into “Friday with Frank,” as well as “Sunday with Sinatra” which presently airs on 1210 WPHT on Sundays from 9:00 to 1:00 pm.  “The Sounds of Sinatra,” now heard on more than 100 radio stations from coast to coast, is the only radio program of its kind to have been personally authorized by Frank Sinatra.

ramseygreenvilleDave Ramsey Fills the House in Greenville.  Nationally syndicated talk superstar Dave Ramsey is pictured here on stage in Greenville, South Carolina last night presenting his new “Legacy Journey LIVE!” The program discusses how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  His daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined Ramsey on stage. Ramsey combined forces with local affiliate WORD, to promote the event.  Entercom Upstate director of news and programming Bob McLain states, “As a heritage partner with Dave Ramsey it’s a pleasure to be able to welcome Dave and Rachel Cruze to the Upstate…The opportunity for ‘WORD 106.3’ to partner with Dave in this venture, as we do on the air, just helps to cement the personal relationship our listeners have with Dave and the station.”  Also, on Wednesday, Ramsey hosted his “EntreLeadership 1 Day Event” in Birmingham, Alabama with speaker Chris Hogan addressing how to run a business using the same common sense principles that Ramsey practices in his own company of more than 350 employees.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Envision Radio Networks’ “America Weekend” featuring hosts Paul Harris, Turi Ryder and Rob Carson, is added to the program schedule at Blount Broadcasting Corporation’s talk WKVL and rock WNFZ in Knoxville, Tennessee…..Genesis Communications Networks-syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs joins the program lineup at WZGM, Asheville, North Carolina.

ObamaCare Rollout Criticism Tops Talkers TenTM.  The ongoing criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the fourth straight week.  At #2 this week was the GOP strategy for the 2014 and 2016 elections tied with analysis of the November 5 elections.  Following at #3 was President Obama’s declining poll numbers tied with the new Benghazi allegations and at #4 was the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s chart here.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

| November 13, 2013

petersonkimWYAY, Atlanta Host Kim Peterson Recovering from Heart Attack.  A week after returning to the talk radio business on Cumulus Media’s all-news (now mostly news with Peterson’s midday show) WYAY, Atlanta “All News 106.7,” Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson is off the air and recovering from what doctors say was a serious heart attack.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports Peterson felt what he described as a “gripping pain” in his chest while driving on Sunday, pulled over and proceeded when the pain subsided.  Though he didn’t feel completely better on Monday, the former Marine did the Veterans Day show but finally checked himself into the hospital on Tuesday morning and learned about his condition.  It’s not known when he’ll be ready to return to work but producer and sidekick Pete Davis hosted the show on Tuesday and former producer Wayne “No Offense” Kitchens may help out as a substitute host.

premierenetworks logoRandi Rhodes and Premiere to Part.  Though an official statement from Premiere Networks has not been issued, it’s been confirmed that the company will not renew its deal with the progressive talk host and her show will cease being distributed in January.  Randi Rhodes started the chat about her relationship with Premiere on herrhodesrandi show and listeners took to her website’s message board lamenting the demise of the show.  Rhodes has been syndicated by Premiere Networks for more than four years and is heard on approximately 40 affiliate stations.  She went national during the movement to develop progressive talk radio in the early 2000s after enjoying success in the South Florida market.  She was one of the original personalities that worked for the ill-fated Air America and continued her national efforts after its demise, finally joining Premiere.  Her last live show for Premiere will be December 13.

murphysteveWCCO, Minneapolis News Anchor Steve Murphy Robbed on Way to Work.  The CBS Radio news/talk station’s sister TV outlet WCCO reports morning news anchor Steve Murphy was jogging to a bus stop on his way to the radio station on Thursday, November 7 when he noticed a white SUV driving slowly past him.  After changing his route the vehicle caught up with him and three men jumped out, grabbed him from behind, choking him and took his wallet while pinning him to the ground.  He was able to get on the bus where the driver insisted he should go to the hospital since it was on the route.  He was treated for cuts and bruises.

kleinaaron34-Year Old WABC Weekend Talk Show Host Making Waves Across Planet.  WABC, New York weekend talker Aaron Klein simply breaks all of the stereotypes of today’s news/talk show hosts.  He’s just 34-years old.  He does not lean liberal or conservative, nor does he speak in political talking points.  He does not love or hate President Obama, or stand on the ground of anyone’s political party.  He’s an accomplished author – the writer of six books – and he has another blockbuster book on the way.  His radio show doesn’t just talk about the news – in many cases it breaks the news – broadcasting half a world away.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, the radio industry should know more about this outstanding young journalist.  In an exclusive story posted today (11/13) by special features correspondent Jeff McKay, TALKERS presents an in-depth profile of Aaron Klein.  To read it, please click here.

ukrabstudyBritish RAB Study Shows Effectiveness of Radio Advertising.  A new study from the United Kingdom RAB, which calls it a “world first,” evaluates radio advertising effectiveness in detail in terms of revenue return on investment (ROI) across a broad dataset.  Executed by the firm Holmes & Cook, the study used confidential ROI data supplied by nine econometrics agencies representing all major media agency groups, covering over 2,000 individual media campaigns across 517 separate advertising campaigns.  For radio sales practitioners, the nugget to show to clients comes from the study’s conclusion that “On average radio advertisers get their money back 7.7 times over, although some categories show exceptional performance, notably automotive and retailer brands, as well as impulse products.  This makes radio the medium with the second-highest return on investment (TV is first), out-performing press, outdoor and online.”  The study also suggests that since radio (in Britain) carries 6% of all advertising budgets,  if budgets were reallocated to give radio a 20% share of total spend – with no increase in overall expenditure – the total campaign ROI raises by over 8%.

brucedamonKNBR, San Francisco Host Damon Bruce Returns.  Off the air for a couple of days after a rant about the negative effects of women on the world of sports, KNBR sports talk host Damon Bruce is returning to work with Cumulus Media San Francisco saying that while Bruce’s words were “regrettable,” he is contrite and will not lose his job over the incident, although he is being taken off the San Francisco 49ers pre-game show.  Local media – especially the San Francisco Chronicle – picked up on the story and took Bruce to task for his words but reports indicate he also received a fair amount of support as well.

cookehollandConsumer Electronics Show Sneak Preview.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke offers TALKERS readers a glimpse into the coming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.  Cooke is an annual attendee covering the event, wading through the truly massive amount of consumer electronics displayed and deciphering just what the trends in consumer technology-related behavior mean to radio operators.  He was in New York yesterday for the Consumer Electronics Association‘s annual “Holiday Sales and End-of Year Trend Analysis” and writes about that event here.

grandephilPhil’s Gang Returns to Southern California Markets.  Nationally syndicated financial talk radio program “Phil’s Gang,” hosted by Phil Grande, is returning to Southern California on Ontario Broadcasting’s KSPA, Ontario “Financial News & Talk” and on North County Broadcasting’s KFSD, Escondido.  A statement from the Phil’s Gang organization says, “The ‘Phil’s Gang’ radio show expanding affiliate roster shows unprecedented growth, recently in major markets.  This partnership with ‘Financial News & Talk’ will provide ‘Phil’s Gang’ an even broader listening audience so the show’s host Phil Grande can spread dependable, up-to-date news and all the information that Wall Street and the government don’t want you to know.”

nj1015malloybigjoeNew Jersey 101.5 Personalities Go Head-to-Head in Culinary Challenge Benefit.  Tonight (11/13) WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” personalities Big Joe Henry (left) and Dennis Malloy (right) will compete against each other in a culinary challenge dubbed “The New Jersey 101.5 Cook-Off” at L’Affaire Fine Catering, in Mountainside, New Jersey.  Attendees will pay $15 for admission to sample food from participating New Jersey restaurants and view the cook-off, which will include cooking demonstrations of appetizers and main entrées by the two popular radio personalities.  Ten attendees will be randomly picked from the audience to judge Dennis and Big Joe’s appetizers and then entrées.  At the end, a winner will be crowned best chef at New Jersey 101.5!  A portion of the proceeds will be donated back to the Chef Romanowski Memorial Fund, a 501c3 charity that provides individuals with a passion for the culinary arts the help they need to get into a culinary school.  NJ101.5 brand manager Eric Johnson states, “We’re all very excited to see the cook-off in action.  The trash talking has been escalating on air for weeks now and will culminate tonight.”

ObamaCare Implementation, Iran Nukes Deal, Philippines Typhoon Aftermath, Toronto Mayor Drug Case, Fate of Amnesty Legislation, and Alec Baldwin Stalker Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/12).  Scrutiny of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; the possibility of a John Kerry-brokered nuclear arms deal between the U.S. and Iran; the aftermath of deadly Typhoon Haiyan; new turns in the drug use admission case of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford; the question of whether Congress will address the Obama Administration’s legislation to provide amnesty to illegal immigrants; and the happenings at the trial of Alec Baldwin’s alleged stalker were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

| October 30, 2013

cumulus logoLew Dickey: Cumulus to Hire 50 More Sales Staffers.  During the Cumulus Media Q3 conference call with investors yesterday, CEO Lew Dickey said the dividends of investing in the company’s sales strategy are paying off.  Dickey told analysts, “We’ve made a lot of investment in training over the last couple of years that is really now gaining traction…in fact, as we look into 2014, we’ve now given the order here to go and hire 50 more people as we get down to the end of the year based on anticipated demand as we get into ’14.  So we really have a very well-functioning sales organization today that is the byproduct of an awful lot of work on systems and training — everything from pricing to CRM to activitycbssportsradiologo management, improving coverage, ad packaging – all the different things that we’ve been working on to make us more competitive in the local market.”  When asked about radio’s share of the ad market versus television and other media, Dickey was very bullish, saying, “I would say that…radio in general is, I think, starting to experience a little bit of a renaissance as we’re starting to see a much greater buzz for the medium for audio advertising in general.  The space seems to be expanding.  And people are realizing the value of audio advertising and how efficiently they can do it on a mass market basis with great targetability using local broadcast radio.  So it’s a terrific value for advertisers and I think they’re starting to realize it…I think it’s a trend that’s going to take some time to play out. But I do think that it is a tailwind rather than a headwind, I think, that we’re experiencing as we move into 2014, and that’s all positive.”  Updating analysts on what he calls the company’s four key growth initiatives – CBS Sports Radio, Nash FM, Right Now Traffic and SweetJack – Dickey said the country brand Nash FM will finish rolling out across the country in early 2014 with all of the company’s country stations taking on the “Nash” brand.  He called WNSH, New York the “second-most-listened-to” country station in America.  He said the CBS Sports Radio Network exceeded expectations for 2013 and that upfront sales on the network for 2014 are “off to a strong start.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the conference call transcript.  Members can read the entire transcript here.

wheelertomSenate Confirms Tom Wheeler as FCC Chairman; Republican Michael O’Rielly Also Confirmed.  After being nominated by President Obama in May, the U.S. Senate finally votes on the confirmation of Tom Wheeler to replace Julius Genachowski as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.oriellymichael  Wheeler, former managing director at DC-based Core Capital Partners LP as well as a former lobbyist in the wireless and cable TV industries, states, “I am humbled by the Senate’s confirmation and I look forward to taking the oath of office in the coming days.  I am deeply grateful to President Obama for his confidence in nominating me for this position.  Chairwoman Clyburn has led the Commission with dedication and vision for six months.  We all owe Chairwoman Clyburn a huge thank you.  The Chairwoman, along with Commissioners Rosenworcel and Pai and the FCC staff dealt with important issues that kept policy and the country moving forward.”  Michael O’Rielly comes from inside Washington as he most recently was an advisor to Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn.  He fills the seat of Republican Robert McDowellNAB CEO Gordon Smith comments, “NAB strongly supported the nominations of both Tom Wheeler and Michael O’Rielly and we are pleased with their confirmation.  We also salute the superb job done by Mignon Clyburn during her tenure as acting chair.  Broadcasters look forward to working with a full complement of commissioners in the months and years ahead.”

tubbssteffanKOA, Denver Apologizes After F-Bomb Goes Out Over the Air.  Morning drive co-host Steffan Tubbs at Clear Channel’s KOA, Denver thought the mic was off when he made a comment about reality television star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi but his assessment about her appearance that contained the f-word went out over the air.  Listeners began commenting on the station’s Facebook page and the station issued the following statement: “We are aware of a recent inappropriate comment that was made on-air by Steffan Tubbs.  While Steffan made the comment in what he thought was a private conversation, it was still thoughtless and insensitive and we apologize to anyone whom it offended.  We take matters of this nature very seriously and we will take appropriate disciplinary action.”

tmzsports logoPremiere Expands Relationship with TMZ to Offer ‘TMZ Sports’ Program.  Premiere Networks has been working with entertainment news organization TMZ since the two partnered on the “TMZ Radio” vignette in 2011.  Now, the pair announced the development of “TMZ Sports” – a new one-hour, weekday radio program available to sports and news/talk stations.  Premiere states that the show is “an adaptation of the sports entertainment website, www.tmzsports.com – where TMZ is constantly breaking exclusive stories.  At ‘TMZ Sports,’ hits, runs and errors are totally out of bounds because it’s all about the personalities and athletes.  The show is centered around the ensemble of reporters in the TMZ newsroom who break these exclusive stories that have an impact on the players, their future and the teams.  ‘TMZ Sports’ also welcomes guests, athletes and people from all over the world sounding off on Skype, phones and various social media.”  The Hollywood-based show is available to stations between 7:00 pm and 12:00 midnight local time.  Stations adding the show so far include KLAC, Los Angeles;  WINZ, Miami; KBAD, Las Vegas; WHOO, Orlando; and KXIC, Iowa City/Cedar Rapids.  TMZ executive producer Harvey Levin says, “The show is going to attract people who love sports so they can learn more about the athletes they follow.  It will also attract lots of people who don’t follow sports but like watching the drama and the fun.”  Clear Channel SVP of sports operations Bruce Gilbert adds, “The launch of ‘TMZ Sports’ on radio and iHeartRadio is a natural extension of the powerful and relevant TMZ brand.  TMZ’s unmatched ability to break stories and present in-depth, unfiltered, entertaining information on all things sports will provide fans with great insight into the stories they are talking about with their friends.”

kinosianmikeMike Horn’s CRN Digital Talk Radio Celebrates 30th Anniversary.  Thirty years ago, Los Angeles -based radio broadcaster Michael Horn had what, at the time, was considered a wild, if not inconceivable notion of placing radio station audio onto cable television systems around the country. Whether or not such a wacky idea would survive threecrn logo decades down the road is not something over which Horn anguished.  Instead, he immersed himself in concentrating on doing something new and different.  As passionate as founder/chief executive officer Horn was regarding the idea of launching CRN (Cable Radio Network), no one could have predicted that it would morph into the juggernaut it has become today as CRN Digital Talk Radio.  Some transmutation of the long-standing cliché that television is simply “radio with pictures” perhaps triggered Cable Radio Network not only to come to fruition but also to thrive.  In addition to producing its own shows, CRN over the last three decades has collaborated with other broadcasters seeking cable coverage and has syndicated programs to terrestrial broadcast radio.  Across multiple networks, Horn’s 1983-founded property has originated/and or distributed dozens upon dozens of different programs.  Read TALKERS managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian‘s special feature posted today (10/28) profiling Mike Horn and looking back at the colorful history of CRN by clicking here.

totaltraffic logoGary Larkin Joins Clear Channel as EVP of Total Traffic Network and Weather Network.  A statement from Clear Channel Media and Entertainment notes that Gary Larkin has spent much of his career with Fox Sports Media Group where he was SVP of digital sales.  Clear Channel states that its newly re-branded Total Traffic and Weather Network (TT+WN) “reaches more than 200 million monthly listeners across more than 200 markets, and the expanded division now includes weather reports and localized weather information such as surf and heat index reports to its portfolio as well as new sponsorship opportunities.”  CCM+E chairman and CEO John Hogan says, “Gary has a proven track record of driving revenue and achieving success in tough and demanding sales environments and will be a great leader for our Total Traffic and Weather Network sales division.  By working closely with our local and national sales teams, Gary will be able to seamlessly integrate the massive reach and unique assets of the Total Traffic and Weather Network’s platform into our offerings for clients.  We’re very pleased to have him on board in such a key position and eager to put his experience, expertise and leadership to work.”

meinersterryDefamation Suit Against WHAS, Louisville’s Terry Meiners Dismissed.  The defamation suit filed against WHAS, Louisville talk show host Terry Meiners by Louisville Metro Police officer Sam Cromity has been dismissed by a Jefferson Circuit Court judge.  The case goes back to March of 2011 when Meiners was pulled over by Cromity and issued a speeding ticket.  Meiners poked fun at the officer on his radio show because he felt Cromity was confrontational during the traffic stop and began referring to him as “Black Barney” – a reference to TV’s Barney Fife and the black Mustang Cromity was driving.  Meiners beat the speeding ticket in 2012 and Cromity filed his suit claiming that Meiners’ words on the radio were “irresponsible, reckless and dangerous.”  The judge ruled Meiners’ words were “non-actionable expressions of opinion.”

nationalradiotalentsystem logoConfer Radio Talent Institute to Take Place at Bloomsburg University Next Summer.  Dan Vallie’s National Radio Talent System is locating a Radio Talent Institute at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania next July 7 through 16.  Broadcaster Kirby Confer – owner of 70 radio properties – is sponsoring the program.  Confer says, “When I was asked to be the Kellar Radio Talent Institute keynote speaker at Appalachian State University a few years ago, I found myself engaged with dozens of young people vitally interested in all phases of radio.  The quality of the mentor teachers assembled for the 10 day ‘radio immersion’ was amazing.  I thought at the time, ‘this is just what our industry needs,’ and as the digital age is upon us, it couldn’t come at a more opportune time.  Art Kellar started something very important by sponsoring the Kellar Radio Talent Institute and I’m excited to be able to extend the National Radio Talent System to Pennsylvania and the Northeast United States starting next summer at Bloomsburg University.”  The mission of Vallie’s National Radio Talent System includes having a Radio Talent Institute on a college campus in every region or state in America so students can attend in their home state, and so radio stations can recruit from their own region of the country, or nationally.  The Institutes are taught by radio professionals, which insures students/young broadcasters learn what you need them to know.  Vallie says that 70% of the students who have completed the Institute have gotten their first job in radio or a related field and are working for CBS, Clear Channel, Beasley Broadcast Group, Entercom, Greater Media, Curtis Media, Centennial Broadcasting, CNN and others.

Odds & Sods.  Jay Vise exits the digital content manager position at Entercom’s news/talk WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans where he’s been for the past six years…..ESPN Radio announces that NBA veteran Jon Berry will serve as the lead analyst for the network’s coverage of NBA action for the next three seasons.  Berry will team with ESPN Radio’s Kevin Calabro during this season.  Also, ESPN Radio says that P.J. Carlesimo will work with Marc Kestecher on select NBA game broadcasts this season…..At SiriusXM, Duke University coach Mike Krzyzewski returns to host his weekly “Basketball and Beyond with Coach K” this season with the first program airing tomorrow (10/31) at 6:00 pm ET on the SiriusXM College Sports Nation channel.

Florida Talk Host Bob Haa Dies at 65.  Longtime WWJB, Brooksville, Florida talk show host Bob Haa (pronounced Hay) passed away on Monday, October 28 after what is being reported as related to cardiac and respiratory complications.  According to the Tampa Bay Times, Haa missed several weeks of his program last year due to respiratory issues.  The paper quotes WWJB station manager Steve Manuel saying, “In my opinion, Bob was the best at what he did.  He had a passion for it and an edge that could stimulate callers and feedback.  And that’s what you want to have in this business.”

ObamaCare Implementation and Website Troubles, Staged Fallen Soldiers Ceremonies Controversy, State of the GOP, NSA Spying Case, and the World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/29).  The problems with the Affordable Care Act enrollment site and the rollout of ObamaCare; controversy over the Defense Department’s admission of the staged return of fallen American soldiers; the divisions within the Republican Party; the case of the NSA spying on heads of state; and the World Series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, October 25, 2013

| October 25, 2013

pittmanbobBob Pittman Tells Los Angeles Times: ‘Not limited to our towers and transmitters.’  In an interview with the Los Angeles TimesRyan Faughnder, Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman says this is a “time of feast” for radio as the internet has helped radio expand its reach.  Pittman spoke with the Times prior to Wednesday’s Katy Perry album release event at the Burbank studio that is now the company’s iHeartRadio Theater Los Angeles.  Pittman expresses his belief that the company’s multi-media approach to distributing content – AM/FM, internet, live events, and television – is helping create excitement around it that will help the radio business evolve.  “Our view is, we need to be everywhere our listeners are,” Pittman tells the paper.  “We’re about massive reach and we’re about relationships with the consumer.  We build something big, powerful and strong and we’ll figure out how to make money on it.  We’ve built this theater, and we haven’t pre-sold anything.  We don’t know how we’ll make money on it, but it’s important to who we are.  Right now, there’s probably no one that does anything like what we’re doing with the iHeartRadio Theater in L.A., the iHeartRadio Theater in New York, the iHeartRadio music festival and the iHeartRadio Pool Party in the spring.  We’re building out all these major events for our listeners, and they’ll all come together financially, eventually.”  Read the entire L.A. Times piece here.

hannityseanSean Hannity Assists Fired ObamaCare Worker.  Premiere Networks nationally syndicated star Sean Hannity’s recent call to the government hotline set up to assist people with questions about the Affordable Care Act resulted in phone operator Erling Davis getting fired.  Hannity phoned the help line on his program with the goal of showing his audience what people who call the hotline go through and Davis, who was aware she was going to go on the radio and gave her permission to be on the show, took the call.  However, the next day Davis was fired for talking with the media – something she says she was not told was against policy.  Hannity had the woman on his program and told the mother of two he’s going to gift her a salary of $25,000 and help her find a new job. He’s also enlisting help from listeners to visit Hannity.com or email jobs@hannity.com with job opportunities in the Panama City, Florida area to help Davis.

beasleyBeasley Broadcast Group Announces Third Quarter Revenue Rises 5%.  Net revenue for the period ending September 30 was $26 million – up 5% over the same period a year ago.  Same station net revenue increased by 2.7%.  The company reports that the “$1.2 million, or 5%, rise in net revenue during the three months ended September 30, 2013 compared with the same period in 2012 reflects strength in the company’s Philadelphia and Miami-Fort Lauderdale market clusters as well as the acquisition of KOAS-FM in Las Vegas in the 2012 third quarter and KVGS-FM in September 2013.”  Chairman and CEO George Beasley comments, “The third quarter marks Beasleybeasleygeorge Broadcast Group‘s fifth consecutive period of top-line growth as third quarter net revenue rose 5% and same station net revenue increased 2.7%.  Excluding the benefit of political advertising in the year-ago quarter, same station net revenue rose approximately 4.4%.  The third quarter revenue increase reflects growth in local and digital revenue, strength in our largest market clusters in Philadelphia and Miami, and continued growth in Augusta. Overall, for our five markets that report to Miller Kaplan – which represent approximately 76% of our total third quarter revenue – Beasley station clusters grew revenue by 6.8% while the total revenue for all reporting radio stations in these markets declined by 1.4% for the quarter.  Our out-performance continues to highlight our organization-wide focus on strong core programming and targeted localism, both of which are contributing to the company’s ratings strength in its markets.”

siriusxmSiriusXM Reports Q3 Revenue Up 11%.  SiriusXM Satellite Radio reported its 2013 third quarter financial numbers yesterday and says its Q3 revenue was up 11% compared to the same period in 2012 after record revenue of $962 million.  However, net income dropped 17.3% comparing third quarters from this year to last “including losses on extinguishment of debt of $108 million (in 2013) and $107 million (in 2012).”  In a statement, CEO Jim Meyer says, “SiriusXM had a great quarter, with the 513,000 net subscriber additions and the 373,000 self-pay net meyerjimadditions setting post-merger records for the third quarter.  We also saw double-digit growth in revenue for the seventh consecutive quarter, a new quarterly record for adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margin, and significant growth in free cash flow.  With continued growth in new automobile sales and an increasing number of existing self-pay subscribers selling their cars and rotating back into our trial funnel, we are increasing our guidance for net subscriber additions and reducing our guidance for self-pay subscriber additions by equal amounts.  We are also pleased to increase revenue guidance for 2013 and introduce new guidance for continued growth in 2014 in both revenue and adjusted EBITDA.”  The company says it expects revenue in 2014 to surpass $4 billion.

millerstephanieStephanie Miller ‘Sexy Liberal Comedy’ Tour Hits Seattle.  WYD Media Management announces another stop on Stephanie Miller’s “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” as it hits the Paramount Theater on December 14.  The program features Miller and comics Hal Sparks and John Fugelsang delivering an “evening of sexy political comedy!”  The “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” has been a very successful money-maker and profile-raiser for Miller’s morning drive radio program which emanates from Clear Channel’s progressive talk KTLK, Los Angeles.

washingtonstacyKFTK, St. Louis Debuts Stacy Washington Weekend Program.  Stacy Washington has been a contributor to the “Allman in the Morning” program on Emmis’ KFTK, St. Louis, a sub for daily host Dana Loesch, a guest on Fox News Channel and TheBlaze TV as well as a writer for Freedom Works and Townhall Magazine.  Beginning Saturday,kftk logo November 2, Washington will hit the St. Louis airwaves each weekend with her own radio show titled, “Stacy on the Right with Stacy Washington” every Saturday from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Program director Jeff Allen says, “We are thrilled to get the chance to add Stacy to our regular weekend lineup.  The show will be issues, lifestyle and opinion as only Stacy can deliver them.  I think the show will attract a big following in a short period of time.”  Stacy Washington is the daughter of an Army police cfficer and budget analyst who spent the majority of her childhood growing up in Germany.  She later enlisted in the Air Force as a weapons system analyst during which time she served on the Elgin Air Force Base Honor Guard and completed a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Shield.  She comments, “I’m honored to join the major voices of conservative thought on ‘FM NewsTalk 97.1,’ leading the metropolitan St. Louis area in ratings and most importantly,  in reporting the truth.  I can’t wait to get started!”

dahlsteveSteve Dahl Plans Not to Attend Radio Hall of Fame Induction; Ebert Widow Asks Him to Reconsider.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder published an open letter to Chicago radio personalities Steve Dahl and Garry Meier from Chaz Ebert, wife of the late Roger Ebert.  Ebert wrote the letter after Federmeiergarry reported that Dahl said he would not attend the November 9 ceremony at the Museum of Communications in Chicago because of his “general disinterest in the proceedings” and because Meier did not return a phone call to talk about the induction of the pair.  In her letter Ebert asks the two to bury the hatchet and attend the event for the city of Chicago and to help put an end to 20 years of resentment.  But in a post today, Dahl thanks Ebert for her thoughts and kind words but says his numerous attempts over the years to reconcile with Meier and his family have been ignored and he believes the two should go in together, not at separate tables at an event or one without the other.

kalinerpeteNews/Talk WWNC, Asheville Makes News with Resignation of Local Pol After Appearance on ‘The Daily Show.’  An appearance on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” by local North Carolina GOP precinct chair Don Yelton to discuss the North Carolina voter ID law turned into “radio gold” for Clear Channel’s WWNC, Asheville after Yelton resigned from the position on the station’s Pete Kaliner program.  According to WWNC program director Brian Hall, Yelton was made to look rather racist in the edited version of the segment that ran on “The Daily Show” and after he resigned on Kaliner’s program, numerous media outlets – including CNN, The Huffington Post, Salon and The New Yorker – were in contact with WWNC to request confirmation of the resignation and further flesh out the story.

nab logo

NAB Backs Foreign Ownership Proposal.  In response to Acting FCC Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn circulating a proposal that would make it easier for broadcasters to attract foreign investors, NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith states, “NAB applauds Acting FCC Chairwoman Clyburn for proposing that the Commission should consider foreign investment in U.S. broadcast properties the same way it considers such investments in other telecommunications properties.  This is fundamentally fair and will serve the public interest. Permitting new potential sources of capital for American radio and TV stations will strengthen our ability to continue providing compelling news, entertainment and sports programming and to remain competitive in a multichannel digital world.”

infotrak logoOdds & Sods.  The syndicated public affairs program “INFOTRAK” celebrates 10 years on the air on October 26.  The weekly show airs in 24 of the top 25 markets, and in most of the top 100 markets.  WestwoodOne manages national advertising sales for the show.  Host Chris Witting says, “Stations tell us that ‘INFOTRAK’ is the one public affairs show their listeners actually want to hear.  We consider that a real compliment.”…..ESPN Deportes announced the return of “Dream Job: El Reportero,” the nationwide search to find the final member joining the network’s team of soccer experts in Brazil to report from World Cup 2014.  The contest will launch at a live casting event in Los Angeles on November 3 at the Regal Theater starting at 2:00 pm PST.  Returning for its third installment, ESPN Deportes will give aspiring sports journalists across the nation the chance to compete for the opportunity to serve as a social media reporter for ESPN Deportes in Brazil.  Different from the previous casting tours, this year’s search will be driven by social media participation and supplemented by TV studio programs, the network’s top soccer talent, ESPNDeportes.com and ESPN Deportes Radio.

cookeworldseriesHolland at the World Series.   Radio consultant Holland Cooke reports to TALKERS magazine about his adventure making it to last night’s game two of the World Series: Long day yesterday, when I awoke pre-dawn in Minnesota, and began the trek that ended last night at Fenway Park.  It was the third time I’ve been to a World Series game, but only once was being there really about the game.  And how COULDN’T it have been, at game seven in Minneapolis, 1991, a game even Twins fans didn’t want to end, Morris vs. Smoltz, wow.  I had USA Today tickets, when I was doing Sky Radio there then, and we were entertaining darn-Minnesota-nice execs from Northwest Airlines that night…and they WERE entertained.  Also saw Toronto at the Phillies, in those rowdy 700 section seats, in the rain, at the old Vet.  Then last night, bundled-up, just like ya gotta be in April at Fenway.  Being there is less about the game itself than a word we heard repeatedly from Apple CEO Tim Cook at this week’s product introduction event: the “experience.”  ICYMI, you owe it to yourself to watch that Apple event, at apple.com.  Witness the media landscape where we now compete.  When listeners hear your station, what do they “experience?”  On behalf of my client stations that are Your Cardinals Baseball Stations, “Go Redbirds.”  But, just between you and me…

hendriephilTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  WYM Media’s Phil Hendrie is added to the program schedule at WQXL, Columbia, South Carolina in the 10:00 pm to 1:00 am slot.  The Leslie Marshall show is also added to the station’s programming in the 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot…..“Armed American Radio with Mark Walters” is added to the program schedule at the following stations: WHFT, Avon Park, Florida; WENY, Elmira, New York; WENI, Corning, New York; WRTA, Altoona, Pennsylvania; WLVA-AM/FM, Lynchburg, Virginia; WJXY, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and WXJY, Georgetown, South Carolina…..The “Motley Fool Stock Watch” is picked up by affiliates WBNW, Boston; WPLM, Plymouth, Massachusetts; WESO, Southbridge, Massachusetts; and WRAY, Princeton, Indiana…..Talk Media Network announces both “Fat Guys At The Movies” with hosts Kevin Carr and Kristin Dreyer Kramer and “Legends of Success” have been added to the lineup at WDBL, Springfield, Tennessee.  “Legends of Success” has also been added to the schedule at WBCF-AM/FM, Florence, Alabama…..“Freedom Feens” with Michael W. Dean and Neema Vedadi is added to the program lineup at KIXZ, Amarillo, Texas.

ObamaCare and HealthCare.gov Criticism Top Talkers TenTM.  The scrutiny of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the problems with the HealthCare.gov website was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of October 21-25.  Following at #2 was the infighting in the Republican Party.  At #3 was the state of the economy followed by the recent teacher slayings at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top people and stories discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is posted every Friday at Talkers.com.  To see this week’s entire chart, click here.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

| October 15, 2013

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity Return to Philly on WPHT.  CBS Radio brings Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh back to Philly on its news/talk WPHT.  Premiere’s Sean Hannity will also return to the station delay broadcast in the evening.  WPHT drops no daytime local programming but changes the times of the current shifts to accommodatewpht logo Limbaugh.  Morning drive host Chris Stigall wraps his show at 9:00 am, Dom Giordano airs from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  After Limbaugh, Dick Morris and Gary R’nel begin the PM drive show at 3:00 pm.  It does appear that Casey Bartholomew’s late night program will end to make way for the Hannity show.  CBS Radio Philadelphia SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield states, “We couldn’t be more pleased to bring Rush and Sean home to WPHT.  They are leaders in the format and the standard by which talk radio is measured.  Rush will be the lead-in for Dick Morris who has been developing a strong program the past six months.”

savagemichaelMichael Savage to Conference Call with New Station Management.  On Thursday at 12:00 noon ET, Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated talk host Michael Savage will host a conference call with program directors and station managers in anticipation of his move to the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET show time to which the program moves in the New Year.  In a statement, Savage says, “I am thrilled that the new timeslot debut is just around the corner.  This call will give station managers the chance to hear direct from me what the coveted drivetime means for ‘The Savage Nation.’”  The company reports that the program will air on more than 200 affiliates of Cumulus Media Networks, including 60 stations owned and operated by Cumulus.  It says “Some of the cities where ‘The Savage Nation’ will air during drivetime include: New York (WABC), Chicago (WLS), Dallas (WBAP), Washington(WMAL), San Francisco (KSFO) and WJR (Detroit).

bobandtomBob & Tom to Leave Premiere Networks for Cumulus Media Networks.  Longtime WFBQ, Indianapolis-based morning drive team Bob Kevoian (left) and Tom Griswold (right) – known simply as Bob & Tom – are leaving longtime syndicator Premiere Networks and are partnering with Cumulus Media Networks for “operational and advertising sales” beginning in January 2014.  The show is currently heard on some 130 affiliate stations across the country as well as on the American Forces Radio Network.  Griswold states, “We have enjoyed a tremendous relationship with Premiere Networks and Clear Channel Media & Entertainment for many years.  Cumulus Media stations have always supported the Bob & Tom show in some of our largest markets, and once I had an opportunity to meet with John Dickey, it became clear that our visions aligned for the future.  We really appreciate the years of dedication from Julie Talbott and the staff at Premiere Networks, and we look forward to continuing to work with Clear Channel stations in the future.”

wdbz logoCincinnati Trombo Looks to Lewis as VP/GM.  Radio One‘s Blue Chip Broadcasting, Cincinnati appoints John Lewis vice president/general manager.  He will oversee urban contemporary WIZF “The Wiz,” urban oldies WOSL “Old School 100.3,” and talk WDBZ “The Buzz.”  Regional vice president Jeffrey Wilson comments, “John brings an outstanding blend of experience, vision, professionalism, and integrity to our mission to lead and serve the people of Cincinnati.”  Lewis notes, “I look forward to helping Radio One, Cincinnati realize its full potential.”  Lewis previously held management positions for Cumulus-owned stations in Lexington, Kentucky; Pensacola, Florida; and Albany, Georgia.

murphyjimBrahmin Broadcasting Brings in Murphy as Group PD.  Veteran programmer Jim Murphy is appointed group program director for 24 Brahmin Broadcasting Western Division stations. Murphy – who most recently was director of career services at the Ohio Center for Broadcasting - will begin his new duties next Monday (10/21); he will be based in Cheyenne, Wyoming.  “Jim will direct and oversee the programming and operations for all our Western stations,” explains Brahmin Broadcasting Corporation president Steven Silberberg.  “Jim started his broadcast career in New England, but for the last 20 years, he has managed the day-to-day operations and programming for a number of top broadcast companies in the Rocky Mountain West.”  Murphy spent 15 years at Jones Radio Networks, where he was vice president/country and recently programmed Cumulus country outlet KATC, Colorado Springs for 14 months.

krel logoFormer MLB Pitcher Mark Knudson to Manage KREL, Colorado Springs.  Radio Colorado Network announces former Major League Baseball pitcher Mark Knudson is named general manager for its sports talk outlet KREL, Colorado Springs “ESPN 1580.”  After retiring from baseball Knudson entered sports media working as an on-air host at KOA, Denver; AM 950 ‘The Fan’ and ESPN Radio.  He’s also been a contributing editor for Mile High Sports Magazine and helped launch Mile High Sports Radio.  Additionally, the company announces Warren McCarty is named program director for the station.  McCarty spent 11 years in pro football coaching, scouting, and in management prior to launching the “My Passion is Football” radio show.

garcettiericKNX, Los Angeles Begins Quarterly ‘Ask the Mayor’ Show.  Newly elected Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will make his first appearance on CBS Radio’s KNX, Los Angeles on October 24 at 10:00 am for the first in a quarterly series of “Ask the Mayor” programs.  The live, listener call-in-formatted show will be hosted by KNX news anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman and, says the station, “will give Angelinos the opportunity to put the mayor in the hot seat.”  Angelinos can call the show or Tweet their questions to the mayor.

gallaghermikeOdds & Sods.  CBS Radio names Craig Heist sports reporter at its Washington, DC cluster.  Heist will do sports updates on all-news WNEW-FM and on sports talker WJFK-FM.  Heist worked in the market for almost 15 years at Hubbard’s crosstown all-news WTOP…..Texas Governor Rick Perry appeared on Salem Radio Network’s Mike Gallagher show on Monday to promote his Americans for Economic Freedom non-profit that will buy ads on cable news/talk and talk radio to promote conservative policy.  On Gallagher’s show he said of the organization, “These are some folks that wanted to highlight the differences in policies between the states, and identify what works to create jobs, freedom and opportunity.”…..WEEI, Boston midday sports talk host (and former Red Sox player) Lou Merloni is sitting in the broadcast booth alongside Joe Castiglione and Dave O’Brien as a commentator for all of the ALCS games at Fenway Park.  Merloni co-hosts the midday show on WEEI with Mike Mutnansky.

sandersbobChicago Radio Legend Bob Sanders Passes.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder tips us that longtime WBBM-AM, Chicago personality Bob Sanders has died at age 89.  Sanders and his wife Betty were a duo who reigned in middays on WBBM-AM as the station transitioned from music to talk and later all-news.  Sanders joined WBBM in 1956 and the two began broadcasting as a husband-and-wife team in 1972.  They were let go from the station in 1982 and worked at crosstown WCFL for two years after that.

goslingooseFormer KDKA Sports Personality Goose Goslin Dies.  CBS Radio’s KDKA, Pittsburgh reports that Marvin “Goose” Goslin died over the weekend.  Goslin, who retired from radio in 2003, was a sports personality on the station for 25 years.  During much of his time at KDKA, Goslin would do both morning and afternoon drive sports.  He is also being remembered for singing the national anthem before Penguins games and for knowing how to sing the Canadian national anthem in French.

Government Shutdown, Debt Ceiling, ObamaCare Implementation, MLB Playoffs and ‘Redskins’ Controversy Among Top News Stories Yesterday (10/14).  The negotiations on Washington to end the government shutdown and its effects; the congressional battle over the debt ceiling; the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and the controversy over the Washington Redskins name were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, October 4, 2013

| October 4, 2013

kkoblogoStill More Positive News/Talk Radio Stories.  For the past several days, TALKERS magazine has been writing about some of the individual success stories of news/talk stations that are performing well or even enjoying a ratings bounce during a time when the mainstream media (and some of the trades) are presenting the idea that news/talk radio is dead, dying or, at the very least, suffering from some malady.  TALKERS editors believe this too-broad approach to describing the state of a whole radio format that’s heard across an entire continent is detrimental to the industry.  And apparently many of the industry’s practitioners agree as we are being besieged with accounts of success from PDs, talent andkoil logo anonymous station staffers (who want to keep a low profile).  Cumulus Media’s KKOB, Albuquerque has long been a ratings-getter in the market and program director Pat Frisch tells TALKERS things are going particularly well for new PM drive host Scott Stiegler.  “He is #1 Persons 25-54 in afternoon drive.  It took Stig kmjlogojust six months to take the afternoon show from 8th to 1st in Persons 25-54.  They are also listening to the Stig show an hour longer a week than they were six months ago in the key demo.”  Frisch also commends Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh for his recent success.  “The rock of the station, Rush, is #1 Persons 25-54 and they are listening an hour longer per week to Rush in the key demo, as well.  Conservative talk still works and works well if you are a true conservative and stick to your principals.”  At NRG Media’s KOIL, Omaha, talk radio pro Tom Becka says his story – exiting crosstown KFAB, doing a year in Fargo, and returning to the market on KOIL – is indicative of how success can be achieved without headline-grabbing stats. “We hit our sales quota for the year two months ago and I am beating or competitive with KFAB in my time slot in the demo.  Advertisers that are looking ahead to 2014 are putting us in their mix when we were a non-issue at this time last cainhermanyear.  I don’t have to beat (Clear Channel’s) KFAB to win.  But it is good to know that good local programming that responds to the needs of the listeners still wins.”  Reports from KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno (a Peak station soon to be owned by Cumulus Media) indicate the station’s efforts to rebuild its programming after losing Premiere shows to Clear Channel’s new crosstown news/talker have worked in “retaining format leadership in the Fresno market.”  Finally, TALKERS is getting reports that the Cox Media Group-WestwoodOne effort syndicating Herman Cain is getting good traction and results. The WSB-AM, Atlanta-based Cain is #5 in that market with Men 25-54 (6.1 share); #1 at WHIO, Dayton with Men 25-54 (10 share); and #3 with Men 18-49 at KRMG, Tulsa (8.1 share).  Thanks to all the folks who’ve reported positive news/talk stories over the past few days.  We look forward to hearing – and reporting – more of them in the future!  For those attending the Talkers Los Angeles 2013 conference at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood next Thursday, this will be one of the focal points of the event.

wqamlogoWQAM, Miami Names Andy King PD; Channing Crowder and Brandon Guzio to PM Drive.  Beasley Broadcast Group’s Miami sports talker WQAM fills the afternoon drive slot and program director position that had been open since Jorge Sedano left to join ESPN.  The station ups APD Andy King to PD. kingandy King started at WQAM in 2005 as producer of the Dan Le Batard show, eventually became executive producer of the Jorge Sedano show and took the position of assistant program director in May 2012.  WQAM reports that in King’s first crowderchanningyear there, he helped the station grow nearly a full share point in the coveted Men 25-54 target audience.  The new permanent PM drive program is the Channing Crowder show featuring the former University of Florida and Miami Dolphins star along with co-host Brandon Guzio.  Crowder began his radio career with WQAM while still playing professional football and joined the station full time in October 2012 as co-host of the “Kup & Crowder” show.  Guzio joined the station’s Jorge Sedano show in 2013 and is also currently the host of “The Post Game Show” following every Miami Dolphins game.  With Crowder moving to afternoons, longtime WQAM personality Captain Curtis Stevenson joins Adam Kuperstein for the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm “Kup & Curtis” show.

ktthanniv logoPrime Opportunity for Conservative Talker in Seattle.  As Bonneville’s conservative talk outlet KTTH, Seattle celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, program director Jason Antebi tells TALKERS he is preparing to add another local talk show to the station’s lineup.  Antebi says, “The station has been sharpening its vision – who do we want to talk to, what do we talk about and what unique value can we provide to our listeners?  We are passionate about our beliefs, yet we also want to move the community conversation forward in a meaningful way and make a difference where we live and work.  I’m lucky to work at a company like Bonneville where we’re able to truly provide a place to passionately advocate for traditional American values (like freedom, community, and personal responsibility) without having to be a bomb-thrower.”  Antebi says he’ll be looking for “talk show hosts who feel they have what it takes to stay on top of breaking news with insightful, civil and forward-thinking analysis and constructive conversation.”  Those interested in learning more about the position should contact him at jantebi@bonneville.com.

wolfsoncarlProgressive Talk Radio to Return to Portland on New FM.  KXRY, Portland (HERP of 8 watts at 91.1 MHz) is currently dark but owned by not-for-profit Common Frequency, Inc. and is expected to go on the air as a non-commercial station in the near future with a progressive talk and music hybrid format.  Writing on BlueOregon.com, Carla Axtman says the goal ofhartmann “XRAY.FM” is to fill the gap left by the demise of former progressive talker KPOJ.  It plans to air former KPOJ AM drive host Carl Wolfson (who is running his own internet station) as well as WYD Media’s Thom Hartman, who made Portland his home base for a number of years.  Axtman also writes, “Why the sudden audio activism? October 2013 marks the only opening for new independent radio licenses granted by the FCC – a one-week window after a 15-year battle.  Congress has allowed commercial radio stations to snatch up nearly all available frequencies (and the ears of billions of listeners) for a long time. This is XRAY.FM’s chance to bring Thom Hartmann, Carl Wolfson and the music of independent artists back to your local dial.  XRAY.FM is partnering with community organizations around Oregon to make sure that the whole state can enjoy the sweet sounds of progressive radio once again.”

rutherforddaveOdds & Sods.  The Los Angeles Lakers and ESPN agree to extend the club’s relationship with KSPN, Los Angeles “ESPNLA” for another seven years with the station airing Lakers play-by-play through the 2019-2020 season.  John Ireland and Mychal Thompson will continue to call the games…..WBBM-AM and WCFS, Chicago part-time anchor and reporter Brandis Friedman leaves CBS Radio to join public television station WTTW-TV, Chicago as a full-time correspondent for the “Chicago Tonight Program,” according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder…..Dave Rutherford begins contributing daily commentaries to Rogers’ CFFR, Calgary.  Rutherford exited Corus’ crosstown CHQR where he hosted a talk show prior to the expiration of his contract after he criticized that station’s coverage of the flooding in Alberta in June.

levinmarkTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Cumulus Media NetworksMark Levin show becomes part of the programming at WEZO, Augusta, Gerogia; KVML, Sonora, California; and WLVA, Roanoke, Virginia…..Cumulus’ Mike Huckabee is added at WGDJ, Albany; KVRC, Arkadelphia, Arkansas; and WBKK, Wilton, Minnesota…..The Wall Street Journal Radio Network’s “The Wall Street Journal This Morning” is added to the lineup at KOKC, Oklahoma City and KJCE, Austin.  Additionally, KFAQ, Tulsa expands its carriage of the show to 4:00 am to 6:00 am…..GCN’s “The Freedom Feens” with Michael W. Dean and Neema Vedadi is added to the program schedule at WSZL, Barstow, Californnia…..“Armed American Radio” with Mark Walters joins the programming at WGTK, Louisville, Kentucky.

McKenzieHudsonJennifer Hudson on ABC News Radio.  Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson (right) sits down with ABC News Radio’s Joi-Marie McKenzie (left) to discuss her latest movie “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete” which hits theaters on October 11.

Government Shutdown Tops Talkers TenTM.  The shutdown of the federal government and the political battle to re-open was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of September 30 – October 4.  Coming in at #2 this week was the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  At #3 was U.S.-Iran relations and at #4 was the IPCC’s climate change report.  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 and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Tuesday, October 1, 2012

| October 1, 2013

zacharyphilEntercom Brings Phil Zachary to Boston as VP/Market Manager.  A day after losing Jeff Brown to Cumulus Media’s Atlanta operations, Entercom announces Phil Zachary will take over as vice president and market manager effective October 21.  Zachary will lead sports talk stations WEEI-FM, ESPN on WEEI-AM, rock WAAF, news/talk WRKO and The Boston Red Sox Radio Network.  The company says, “This represents a homecoming of sorts for Zachary, whose first weei logopaid radio job was as a part-time, on-air announcer at WAAF.   Zachary is a 41-year radio veteran, a Connecticut native and graduate of Holy Cross in Worcester.  After beginning his career in Worcester, he moved on to stints in Providence and Boston. While in Boston, Zachary served as operations manager at the old WITS 1510.  There his role included direct oversight of both Red Sox and Bruins play-by-play.  Zachary comes to wrkologoEntercom from Curtis Media Group in Raleigh where he was president and chief operating officer, overseeing the company’s entire slate of radio stations, networks, digital and interactive divisions and print publications.   Prior to joining Curtis Media in 2002, he was VP/market manager for CBS Radio in Washington.  Entercom group president Weezie Kramer says, “Phil is the right person at the right time for Entercom Boston.  He is a leader and a listener.  He understands the challenges we face but he also sees the tremendous opportunity we have.  Phil believes in the strength of our brands, the dynamic nature of our content and the true potential of our team.”  Zachary comments, “The only reason to leave a great job in radio is for one of the absolute best jobs in radio.  Make no mistake – WAAF, WEEI and WRKO are not only some of the greatest call letters in Boston radio history, but some of the best brands in our industry.  This amazing opportunity brings me back to my New England roots and the place I started my radio career. There are great challenges ahead, not to mention best-in-class competition, but I look forward to it and can’t wait to get started.”  Management consultant Joel Hollander has been retained by Entercom to assist in the transition.

iheartradiotalkTurner Broadcasting Content to Be Available on iHeartRadio Talk.  A deal between Turner Broadcasting and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment will see select audio content including news from CNN, entertainment clips from TBS‘s “CONAN” and sports programming from Bleacher Report, in its new iHeartRadio Talk feature.  The content will also include segments from “Anderson Cooper 360,” “New Day,” “Piers Morgan Live,” and “The Lead with Jake Tapper.”  Full episodes of “Anderson Cooper 360,” “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” “State of the Union,” and “Erin Burnett Out Front” will also be accessible via iHeartRadio Talk.  Clear Channel president of digital Brian Lakamp states, “This marks yet another significant milestone for iHeartRadio Talk.  We are continuing to identify and add quality partners to iHeartRadioTalk to continue to deliver our listeners even more content that is relevant and entertaining anywhere they are.”

hannityseanSean Hannity Receives GOP Statesman of the Year Award in Florida.  An enthusiastic, record-breaking crowd welcomed Sean Hannity to Sarasota, Florida, this past Friday night (9/27) to witness his acceptance of the Statesman of the Year award.  The event, underwritten by the Republican Party of Sarasota County, drew nearly 2,000 people to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota to hear a lineup of state notables, such as Florida Governor Rick Scott and State Attorney General Pam Bondi, laud the radio and TV talk show host and to listen to his acceptance remarks.  TALKERS magazine sales expert Al Herskovitz was in attendance at the event.  Hannity in his acceptance, adhered to his well-known partisan positions in line with his radio and TV point of view.  However, the speech was generously laced with numerous personalherskovitzal anecdotes about his family, career and upbringing and peppered with much good humor.  He even poked a few light-hearted jabs at his former TV co-host, Alan Colmes, but pointed out that Alan and he remain friends.  During the VIP reception, Hannity personally and individually greeted a nearly block-long line of well-wishers posing for photos, signing autographs, shaking hands and holding mini-conversations.  This step took over an hour by itself.  In spite of the frenzied attempts by various factions and individuals in the crowd trying to get the popular talk show host’s attention, literally pulling him in all directions, Hannity remained calm, friendly and good-humored, making it a point to speak with as many individuals in a one-on-one manner as humanly possible.  Commenting on Hannity’s ability to “work a room,” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Sean Hannity is more skilled at mingling with a large crowd and making everyone in it feel good than any radio personality I have ever witnessed.  He might have a completely opposite view of politics than Bill Clinton – but he shares the former president’s supreme skills at pressing the flesh and connecting with people in person.  It is because of this gift, coupled with his steadfast loyalty to the principles and listening constituency he represents, that Sean Hannity would make a magnificent candidate for national office.  Obviously, I am not the only one with this opinion as evidenced by Hannity receiving so prestigious an award from the GOP.”  The radio talk show industry was well-represented in the audience.  Among them was Barb Yoder, the general manager of WGUL, Tampa and WLSS, Sarasota – part of the Salem Broadcasting Group in the area.  Also on hand was Andi (she uses only her first name) of the morning team of Ken Walsh & Andi on News/Talk 1260, WFTW, Fort Walton Beach — a Cumulus property.  The annual Statesman of the Year award has taken on growing importance. Recent recipients were former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and financier Donald Trump, who sent along video-taped wishes to Hannity.

meyerbillTALKERS PROFILE:  Bill Meyer of KMED, Medford, Oregon – Super Serving Local Listeners, a Blueprint for Talk Success.  If you leave Portland, Oregon and head just over four hours south down Interstate 5, before you reach the California border you’ll drive right into the town of Medford.  About 75 miles inland through rugged terrain from the Pacific Ocean, Medford is a small town with a population of 76,000, but is also an economic hub for Southern Oregon and a home for the state’s growing wine industry.  Medford is also the home of KMED-AM (1440), a news/talk station owned by kmed logoBicoastal Media and the oldest radio station in Medford.  Its weekday lineup includes syndicated superstars Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, along with Glenn Beck and Alex Jones.  However, what drives the station is their morning show, and extremely talented host Bill Meyer has not only made the morning show his own, he has been able to create a blueprint of how to package a large-market type of local show and imprint that on a small-market audience, giving the station a very sellable show, while the listeners get the interaction and local flavor they would not get with a nationally syndicated program.  And, he does it all on his own – without a show producer.  Read TALKERS magazine special features correspondent Jeff McKay‘s profile on Bill Meyer and KMED by clicking here.

espndeportesJournal Goes Spanish Sports in Wichita.  Flipping KLIO, Wichita from its true oldies format, Journal Broadcast Group moves to service the Spanish-speaking population in the market with sports talk using ESPN Deportes.  Journal Wichita vice president and general manager Eric McCart says, “We are very excited to join with ESPN Deportes to broadcast live 24-hour unparalleled sports content in Spanish, including SportsCenter updates, soccer, Major League Baseball and much more.  ESPN Deportes on 1070AM will deliver a passionate and relevant sports listening experience to Latino sports fans who have been underserved in our market.  It will also provide a unique opportunity for local advertisers to connect with our community’s growing Hispanic population.”

sandlernicoleOdds & Sods.  Florida-based talk show host Nicole Sandler is sitting in for Gloria Neal (7:00 am to 10:00 am MT) on Clear Channel’s progressive talk KKZN, Denver today (10/1) through Friday.  Sandler will also be subbing for Premiere Networks nationally syndicated host Randi Rhodes the week of October 21 -25…..ESPN Radio begins its 16th season of Major League Baseball playoff game broadcasts tonight.  “Sunday Night Baseball” play-by-play voice Dan Shulman and analyst Orel Hershiser will call the National League Wild Card game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates, the National League Division Series (NLDS) between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves, the National League Championship Series (NLCS) and the World Series.  ESPN Radio’s “Sunday Night Baseball” team of Jon Sciambi and analyst Chris Singleton will describe the American League Wild Card game (Tampa Bay Rays against the Cleveland Indians), the American League Division Series (ALDS) between the AL Wild Card winner and the Boston Red Sox, and the American League Championship Series (ALCS). Additionally, Dave Flemming and analyst Rick Sutcliffe will call the NLDS between the NL Wild Card winner and St. Louis Cardinals while Michael Kay and analyst Aaron Boone will describe the ALDS between the Oakland Athletics and Detroit Tigers.

scba logoSCBA to Honor Radio Advertisers.  The Southern California Broadcasters Association  and its General Sales Managers Council will honor the Southern California Ford Dealers, AIS Insurance, In-N-Out Burger, and Cedars-Sinai with its annual Outstanding Achievement in Radio Awards on October 24 at a luncheon to be held at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City.  The awards are voted on by the GSM Council and represent the very best in creative radio commercials using both Southern California’s Radio and digital platforms.  SCBA president Thom Callahan states, “We are thrilled by the client and agency excitement and response to attending this prestigious Radio Awards luncheon.  The senior management from each client honored will be in attendance.  These special clients really understand the ubiquitous reach and power of Southern California Radio and we are excited to give them the public recognition they so richly deserve.”

beasleyawards13Beasley Broadcast Group Honors Staff with Company Operating Awards.  Beasley bestowed Company Operating Awards during its annual management meetings held in Naples, Florida.  The company reports it gathered corporate management and station leadership from the 11 markets in which it operates to celebrate achievements and contributions from individual employees and radio stations over the preceding 12 months. The 2013 honorees include:   WXTU-FM, Philadelphia – Radio Station of the Year; Tom Humm– General Manager of the Year/Las Vegas; Robin Wood – Business Manager of the Year/Fayetteville, NC; Matt Smith – Sales Manager of the Year/WXTU-FM and WRDW-FM, Philadelphia; Shelly Easton– Program Director of the Year/WXTU-FM, Philadelphia; Charlie McCoy – Engineer of the Year/Augusta, GA; Sam Floyd– CEO Award of Excellence/ Executive Vice President.  Founder, chairman and CEO George G. Beasley comments, “Each year, as we honor our company’s highest achievers, I’m reminded of the quality of professionalism within Beasley Broadcast Group.  The ladies and gentleman we recognize this year have certainly earned our respect and it is my privilege to acknowledge their accomplishments and congratulate each and every one of them.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Sam Floyd; Mac Edwards (accepting for Robin Wood); president Bruce Beasley; EVP Brian Beasley; Natalie Conner (accepting for WXTU; Shelly Easton & Matt Smith); chairman & CEO George Beasley; EVP/CFO Caroline Beasley; Tom Humm; and Kent Dunn (accepting for Charlie McCoy).

hannitydeanwokvSean Hannity and Andy Dean Help WOKV, Jacksonville ‘Stand Up for America.’  Cox Media Group’s Jacksonville news/talk outlet WOKV held its annual “Stand Up for America” event at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Jacksonville over the weekend and Premiere Networks stars Sean Hannity and Andy Dean were there.  The station reports that “thousands of fans gathered at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts where Hannity and Dean, along with former presidential candidate Herman Cain and veteran Washington reporter Jamie Dupree, appeared on a panel to discuss a wide range of topics, including ObamaCare, Syria, taxes, spending, dependency on foreign oil and much more.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Jamie Dupree, Sean Hannity, Herman Cain and Andy Dean.

Government Shutdown, ObamaCare, U.S.-Iran Relations, Scrapped Hillary TV Movies, and Syria Weapons Inspections Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/30).  The eve of the shutdown of the federal government; the beginning stage of the implementation of ObamaCare; relations between the United States and Iran; two scrapped TV movies about Hillary Clinton; and the start of the inspection of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, September 27, 2013

| September 27, 2013

glasgowdennisDennis Glasgow Named OM/PD at Capitol Broadcasting’s Sports Properties.  Sports talk radio programming pro Dennis Glasgow joins Capitol Broadcasting as program director and operations manager for the company’s sports talk operations including WCMC-FM, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan”; WDNC, Durham “620 The Buzz”; WCLY, Raleigh “ESPN Deportes”; and WCMC-HD3 “99.9 The Ticket.”  During his career Glasgow has served as vice president and operations manager for Red Zebra’s WTEM, Washington; PD at KFXX, Portland and KNML, Albuquerque; and most recently programmed Pamplin’s news/talk KPAM, Portland.  Capitol Sports Radio general manager Brian Maloney says, “Dennis brings passion and a wealth of knowledge about radio along with experience and understanding of social media and web, both of which are a key part of the sports radio listener lifestyle.”  Glasgow adds, “Having the opportunity to work for Capitol Broadcasting and their sports properties is a genuine thrill.  I look forward to continuing the commitment of great sports radio in the Triangle region.”

TalkersLA2013“Shotgun” Tom Kelly to Speak at Talkers Los Angeles 2013 on October 10.  For the first time in the 16-year history of TALKERS magazine’s annual convention, a music radio “disc jockey” will be presented as an official speaker in the agenda line-up.  KRTH, Los Angeles “K-Earth 101” late afternoon/early evening legend “Shotgun” Tom Kelly will be participating as a panelist at “Talkers Los Angeles 2013″ – a one-day, power-packed gathering of movers and shakers from the talk radio industry representing talent, sales, management and ownership.  Kelly will be on a panel moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison titled “The Big Picture” which, in addition to Kelly, will include Phil Boyce, VP Spoken Word Format, Salem Communications; Kraig Kitchin, CEO,kellytomshotgun Sound Mind, LLC; Mike McVay, SVP programming, Cumulus Media; and Harvey Nagler, VP, CBS Radio News.  The session will be introduced by Don Martin, SVP sports programming, Fox Sports Radio.  In making the announcement of Kelly’s inclusion on this panel and as a speaker at this conference, Harrison states, “This particular panel has always dealt with the broad strokes overview of where talk radio fits into the overall radio scene – not just now but over the horizon – and where radio, in general, fits into the larger media/cultural landscape.  At this point in the evolution of radio, it is appropriate that the beleaguered role of the music radio disc jockey be examined because we believe that the very existence of music radio in the new digital age DEPENDS upon the revitalization and to a certain extent, the reinvention, of the position within the mix of elements that will keep radio a distinct and unique genre capable of warding off exotic digital age competition and the perils of being assimilated into the utilitarian ‘sameness’ easily imposed by the internet.  We also believe that in order for talk radio to have a healthy future within the context of being ‘radio’ we need to preserve the health and viability of music radio as well.  ‘Shotgun’ Tom Kelly is the quintessential radio disc jockey whose mastery of the art form and ability to survive and thrive decades of change while still going strong makes him the perfect person to perform this function as a speaker at the conference.”  The sold-out “Talkers Los Angeles 2013″ is open only to members of the working media.  It is being presented in association with the Los Angeles Press Club at the historic Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood on Thursday, October 10 between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm.  For information and remaining sponsorship opportunities call 413-565-5413.  To see the entire up-to-date agenda, please click here.

conwaysimonSimon Conway is a Busy Man.  WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive talk host Simon Conway is pulling double duty today and on Monday.  Conway will host his 4:00 pm CT show on the Clear Channel news/talk outlet and then sit in as host on Premiere Networks’ “America Now with Andy Dean” this evening.  On Monday, Conway will sub in morning drive on Clear Channel’s WFLF, Orlando “News Talk WFLA FM 104.5 and AM 540” in addition to his regular show on WHO.

sternhowardSiriusXM’s Jim Meyer Says Howard Stern and NFL Remain Important to Satcaster.  At the Goldman Sachs Communacopia taking place in New York during Advertising Week, SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer told analysts that two of the big contracts the company would like to renew when they come up at the end of 2015 are those of Howard Stern and the NFL.  Meyer said the company is very comfortable with the amount of money it is spending on content right now and sees both franchises as important.  Regarding Stern, Meyer said, “I will be clear with you today.  As long as Howard Stern wants to work and as long as Howard Stern is as motivated as he is today to make a show as good as it is today, we want him on SiriusXM Radio.”  But in a follow-up question from an analyst, Meyer said Stern would have to remain exclusive to SiriusXM for him to remain.

le batard danOdds & Sods.  As had been predicted, CBS Radio’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” signs a deal to serve as the flagship radio station for Boston Celtics basketball.  It’s a multi-year deal that brings the Celts to WBZ-FM from Entercom-owned crosstown rival WEEI which chose not to renew with the team after last season…..Dan Le Batard’s nationally syndicated sports talk program debuts on ESPN Radio Monday, September 30.  Le Batard – whose show emanates from Lincoln Financial Media’s WAXY, Miami “The Ticket” – will continue to do a local hour from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm but goes national from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Le Batard also is featured on ESPN2’s “Dan Le Batard is Highly Questionable.”…..Collegiate multimedia rights holders IMG College and Learfield Sports extend their deals with SiriusXM through June of 2016.  The new pacts will allow listeners to hear live coverage of NCAA football and men’s basketball games from the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12, American Athletic Conference and Army, as well as basketball from teams from the Big East and several mid-major conferences.  In addition, it will feature select coaches’ shows and college athletic programming on SiriusXM College Sports Nation.

wmallogoWMAL, Washington’s Mark Weaver Retires After 45 Year Career.  DCRTV.com’s Dave Hughes reports that WMAL, Washington afternoon news anchor Mark Weaver is working his last shift for the Cumulus Media news/talk outlet today (9/27) and will retire to Florida.  Weaver worked for WMAL for the last 25 years of his 45-year career.  Weaver will be replaced at WMAL by news pro Rachel Sutherland who most recently worked at America’s Radio News Network.  Prior to that, she served for 10 years at Metro Networks in the DC market.

stephandougTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Cumulus Media NetworksMichael Savage is added to the program schedule at WGTK-FM, Greenville, South Carolina and WIQO, Lynchburg, Virginia…..Cumulus’ Mark Levin picks up new affiliates KBND, Bend, Oregon; KPSI, Palm Springs; and KYYA, Billings…..Doug Stephan’s nationally syndicated “Good Morning” program adds a dozen new affiliate stations.  They are: WTNT-AM/FM, Washington; WVWI, San Juan, Puerto Rio; KLPW, St. Louis; KLO, Ogden, Utah; WVOV, Chattanooga, Tennessee; WRHL, Rockford, Illinois; WCCM, Manchester, New Hampshire; KBTM-AM/FM, Jonesboro, Arkansas; WRPW-FM, Bloomington, Illinois; WRIK, Paducah, Kentucky; WATX, Algood, Tennessee; and WFLN, Arcadia, Florida…..Talk radio personality Chris Markowski – host of the weekly “Watchdog on Wall Street” show, also produces the free, daily feature called “Money Minutes.”  That feature is added to the programming at WMPL, Hancock, Michigan…..Talk Media Network’s “Frontlines of Freedom” with Lt. Col. Denny Gillem is added to the program schedule at WENY, Elmira and WENI, Corning, New York.

The Implementation of ObamaCare Tops Talkers TenTM for week of September 23-27.  The move by some Republicans to defund the Affordable Care Act and controversy over what the implementation of the law will mean was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  Coming in at #2 on the Talkers TenTM was the threat of a government shutdown.  At #3 was Iran’s nuclear program and the nation’s diplomatic overtures to the U.S., and at #4 was the continuing unrest in Syria and the United States’ policy regarding the use of chemical weapons.  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 and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  You can view this week’s entire chart here.

dreslercherCher Chats with ABC News Radio.  Hollywood icon Cher (l) sits down with ABC News Radio’s Andrea Dresdale (r) during Cher’s visit to ABC TV’s “Live with Kelly and Michael” to promote her new album “Closer to the Truth.”

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

| September 25, 2013

nielsenarbitronNielsen Says No Plans to Reduce Headcount.  In covering the Nielsen conference call with investors that took place on Monday, TALKERS took note of Nielsen CEO David Calhoun’s statement about realizing $20 million in synergies and, due to the fact that broadcasting companies often use that term to define the cost savings from elimination of duplicative positions and consolidation of duties after a merger or acquisition, interpreted his comment to mean the acquisition of Arbitron would mean exactly that for some of the Arbitron staff.  However, Nielsen tells TALKERS, “In fact, there are no plans to reduce headcount at this time, and as a growing business, we have many opportunities to redeploy talent.  Mr. Calhoun’s comment on a ‘logical and steady pace’ was related more to the pace of global expansion.”

wmyt logoTalk Media TV’s WMYT, Wilmington, North Carolina Holds ‘Ribbon Cutting’ Tomorrow.  News/talk outlet WMYT, Wilmington, North Carolina announces the “official ribbon-cutting ceremony” at its Wilmington broadcast studios — sponsored by the North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce – taking placewrightcurtis show logo Thursday, September 26 at 10:30 am.  The station is owned by Talk Media TV principals Curtis Wright and George Bell who put the station on the air on July 22.  The two say they built the station to appeal to conservative talk radio listeners whom they believe had lost a voice in Southeastern North Carolina.  They add, “WMYT 106.7 FM has returned America’s top syndicated conservative talk, subject talk and spoken-word shows to FM and the region.  Since the launch of WMYT 106.7 FM, five new locally produced shows have been added to its lineup, while expanding its audio streaming on the web.”  Wright hosts his “On the Beat” morning drive show from 6:00 am to 9:00 am.  The station also features Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck and Sean Hannity plus Courtside Entertainment’s Laura Ingraham.  George Bell is the former Brunswick County GOP chair and a life-long business professional in the region.  Talk Media TV’s business plan includes acquiring additional radio stations, expanding its internet broadcasting capabilities, and adding cable broadcasting over the next several months.

pittmanbobBob Pittman Stands Up for Radio at Goldman Sachs Ad Week Conference. Clear Channel chairman and CEO Bob Pittman is working the “Advertising Week” events in New York this week and today (9/25) he laid down the case for what he sees as radio’s rightful place in an advertising mix at the “Goldman Sachs Communacopia” investor conference.  The Hollywood Reporter’s Georg Szalai is covering the event and reports Pittman is saying (about radio), “’The sector is way under-represented’ while TV is over-represented in marketers’ media mix…‘TV is wonderful, is very effective, but doesn’t deserve quite as much money as it has.’”  Pittman argues that TV gets three times the rate that radio does but “all the studies show the impact is about the same.”  He then explains how advertisers could benefit by moving 15% of their ad spend into radio.  Clearly, when Pittman says, “There is a huge opportunity in radio…We need to monetize it better, sell it better,” he is trying to get the message through at the agency level, where an industry-wide sea change must take place.

mhNAB2013Michael Harrison’s NAB/RAB Radio Show Address Now Posted on TALKERS TV.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison’s annual address at the NAB/RAB Radio Show drew a standing-room-only crowd and rave reviews from those in attendance.  The speech which runs 56:33 includes an information-packed “countdown” of the 10 most important things AM/FM radio must do to remain culturally relevant and thrive in the digital age of the 21st century.  In this ambitious and far-ranging overview of the state of broadcast radio, the man dubbed by the mainstream press as “The Wise Old Owl of the Radio Industry” connected the dots between Edward R. Murrow broadcasting live on rooftops from World War II bombing raids over London — to Murray the K anointing himself the “Fifth Beatle” — to today’s transitional period between the “old country” of the 20th century to the “new world” of the digital age – to the potential emergence of 21st century “Homo Technicus” listening to internet broadcasts piped directly into the temporal lobes of the brain via nanotechnology.  Harrison fearlessly speaks his mind about today’s debt-soaked radio mega-corporations that have emerged as a result of consolidation – to the dangers of mindless, product-less “branding” that plays to the shortcut mentality crippling today’s creative process in broadcasting. The speech received an ovation and was later described on the air by WSOY, Decatur morning host and Marconi Award winner Brian Byers as “sensational.”  Byers told his listeners it was “smokin’” and a “barn burner” saying, “He fired me up.  I looked around and the rest of the room was electric.  You could feel it in the air.  I can’t tell you how good it was!” To see Michael Harrison’s speech please check out the TALKERS TV box at the top of the right-hand column of this page.

sabowalterWALTER SABO: The Return of the Neat Idea.  Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo celebrates what he says it’s going to take to get radio back in a forward-moving position: the return to creatively operating the business.  In this new column, Sabo writes, “The current economic depression celebrates ‘operators’ — executives with shrewd ‘operating’ skills who are known for their ability to cut costs, cut staffs, sell their story to Wall Street and keep their company within its COMFORT ZONE.  They do not have, nor are they required to have, vision.  Knowing what’s next is the key to growth in any industry.  No vision, no growth.”  Sabo offers five steps to establishing an environment for the birth and implementation of neat ideas with pragmatic results.   Read this important column here.

cookehollandRadio Sales Lead: ObamaCare.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke says forget what people on the radio are saying about ObamaCare, start thinking about how your marketing department can get some of the advertising that’s coming from it.  He recommends a video webinar available from the RAB.  In it, Cooke says veteran broadcaster Dave Burke shares some of his research into the impact of the law on the stakeholders.  Cooke writes, “AP estimates that $684 million will be spent on the initial activation period; and Burke reckons that 2014-2015 and beyond will be even bigger than 2013-2014: ‘I believe that this category, all-in, could be the biggest category on your stations.’”  Read Holland Cooke’s column here.

kassof coContinuing Concern for Radio to Placate Men 18 – 34.  Something new can now be added to the growing list for those who grumble, “They don’t make them like that anymore.” Unfortunately, that item is radio.  A Mark Kassof & Company-conducted research project indicates that more than half (53%) of U.S. radio listeners aged 18 – 64 agree that, “Radio is not as good as it used to be.”  Approximately four in 10 (41%) disagree, while 6% are not sure.  “The perception that radio is not as good as it used to be seems pervasive in the industry,” Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Kassof comments. “This research reveals that a majority of listeners agree.”  The most criticism regarding radio’s overall quality can be found among those 18 – 34, with more than six in 10 (61%) concurring that what they are hearing these days through their radio speakers has slipped; 31% however disagree and the remaining 8% are neutral.  Men tend to be more pessimistic about the current state of the medium than women are.  Consistent with the above-stated trend – and highly noteworthy – Men 18-34 are the most negative, as two of every three in that demo (67%) are of the opinion that radio has seen better days.  Results of this Kassof study are based on slightly less than 1,000 online interviews conducted among U.S. radio listeners earlier this month (9/12 – 9/15).  Reacting to the findings of the Kassof study, TALKERS magazine sister trade, RadioInfo’s  music editor/director Duane Doobie states, “It reminds me of the famous line in Bob Dylan’s ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ that so powerfully says ‘you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.’”

wbenNo More FM Signal for News/Talk WBEN, Buffalo.  Entercom is dropping the simulcast on news/talk WBEN, Buffalo and will install a different format on WLKK 107.7 licensed to Wethersfield Township (some 30 miles southeast of downtown Buffalo) beginning Thursday, September 26 at 12:00 noon.  WBEN program director Tim Wenger tells Buffalo Business First that research tells the company 95% of the listening to WBEN is done on the huge 930 AM signal.

schnitttoddOdds & Sods.  Compass Media Networks syndicated and WFLA, Tampa-based talk host Todd Schnitt was in court on Monday suing his former attorney Phillip Campbell for legal malpractice.   Campbell was arrested for DUI while representing Schnitt in his defamation suit against Bubba the Love Sponge but the DUI case was dismissed in July after prosecutors agreed Campbell was set up.  Schnitt maintains it damaged his case.  Schnitt paid Campbell $1 million and owes another $1 million but he’s suing to get the first $1 million back, according to myfoxtampabay.com…..The Fourth Period continues its relationship with SiriusXM and the media site that calls itself “hockey’s only lifestyle destination” adds a program dubbed “The Players’ Lounge” to the SiriusXM NHL Network Radio channel airing Friday’s from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET.  This is an addition to “TFP Live” which returns to the channel airing from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET hosted by TFP editor-in-chief David Pagnotta and VP Dennis Bernstein.

Government Shutdown Threat, ObamaCare Defunding/Implementation, U.S.-Iran Talks, and Kenya Mall Massacre Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/24).  The looming threat of a government shutdown; the fight to defund the Affordable Care Act and the consequences of its implementation; relations between the U.S. and Iran; plus the ongoing stalemate after a massacre by militant Muslims at a mall in Nairobi, Kenya were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, September 20, 2013

| September 20, 2013

marconiawardBig Day for All-News at Marconi Awards: WBBM-AM, Chicago Wins Legendary Station Award.  The NAB/RAB Radio Show is the site of the annual Marconi Awards and this year, CBS Radio’s WBBM-AM, Chicago took home the Legendary Station Award.  Other news and talk-related winners included:  Cox Media Group’s KRMG-FM,wbbm Tulsa taking home Medium Market Station of the Year; CBS Radio’s WBZ-AM, Boston winning News/Talk Station of the Year; Brian Byers of WSOY, Decatur, Illinois winning Medium Market Personality of the Year; and KTCK, Dallas taking home Sports Station of the Year.  This year’s “NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show” was hosted by “Shotgun Tom” Kelly of CBS Radio’s KRTH-FM in Los Angeles. The show also featured a performance by Grammy Award-Winning band The Mavericks from Big Machine Label Group.

limbaughNABRush Limbaugh Tells Affiliates Taking Show to Satellite Radio Would Be a “Betrayal.”  Speaking at a party in his honor to celebrate 25 years in national syndication hosted by syndicator Premiere Networks, talk radio superstar Rush Limbaugh told industry insiders – many of whom were station owners and programmers who carry his program – that “I can’t thank you all enough because without you and all of the people who run the radio stations I’m on, I wouldn’t be possible.”  Speaking about the importance of the relationship between the personality and the radio station, Limbaugh said from his earliest days in radio, he’s always believed that “it takes the radio station to make the personality, the personality can’t make the radio station.”  He said that at industry gatherings such as the Radio Show he is invariably asked if he would ever go to SiriusXM and he said, “The first moment the question was asked, I’ve always looked at that as a betrayal, if I were to do that because of the opportunity to be on your radio stations has provided me and I honestly believe it’s a lifetime commitment.  I don’t think it’s a debt I can ever fully repay.”  Limbaugh went on to allude to the controversial nature of talk radio – and his image in particular – when he added, “And Lord knows, I’ve put you through hell.”  (The room responded with rousing laughter.) “Probably more times than even I know!  I’m aware of the times I know.  I can’t tell you how much it means to me that whatever the obstacle or controversy – whenever it pops up – that you all hang in there.  One thing that’s such a blessing of freedom: I don’t have to worry when those things happen that you’re going to be affected by whatever the media is attempting or whatever detractors are attempting.  The one thing that fuels me and gives me confidence and strength is I know I’m not going to lose you all…and I’m going to be forever grateful.”

brennan25thKMOX, St. Louis Personality Charlie Brennan Celebrates 25 Years at CBS News/Talker.  St. Louis talk show host Charlie Brennan (pictured here at left) celebrated his 25th anniversary on news/talk KMOX today (9/20) with a live broadcast in front of a packed audience at the Anheuser-Busch Biergarten.  Brennan first began broadcasting on KMOX on September 20, 1988.  He was joined on the air this morning by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews – his very first guest on KMOX.  Also calling in with kudos today were:  Joe Buck, Bob Costas, Larry King, Morley Safer, Juan Williams, Jennifer Griffin, Senator John McCain, Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, singers Ricky Skaggs and Michael McDonald, Tony La Russa, Joe Garagiola, Bob Pettit, Ted Koppel and George Vecsey.  Through a proclamation, Mayor Francis Slay declared today “Charlie Brennan Day” in St. Louis.

hillangelaHill Joins WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans.  Former WWL-TV, New Orleans news anchor Angela Hill will come out of her short-lived retirement September 30 to begin 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm duties on Entercom news/talk station WWL-AM/FM.  “It doesn’t get any bigger than this,” Entercom New Orleans vice president and general manager Chris Claus states.”  Angela is one of the most respected, popular, and beloved personalities in New Orleans.  Hill retired from WWL-TV earlier this year and comments that she was “always looking for the next chapter” of her life.  “Radio allows you to connect with and engage people on a more personal level.  When you add the power and reach of WWL radio, we can do great things.  My show will be engaging, fun, and attract big-time guests – the sky’s the limit.”  According to WWL operations/program director, Diane Newman, “Angela Hill is a trusted journalist, an amazing interviewer and a great listener.”  Hill will succeed “Talk Gumbo with John ‘Spud’ McConnell,” but Claus points out McConnell, “isn’t going anywhere.  We have big and exciting plans for him” that apparently will be announced on-air on Monday, September 23.

noorywhoopiPremiere’s George Noory Appears on ‘The View’ with Whoopi Goldberg.  On Thursday, September 19, “Coast to Coast AM” host George Noory made an appearance on ABC TV’s “The View” for the debut of a new segment called “Out of this World with Whoopi,” which showcases Whoopi Goldberg’s fascination with the paranormal.  During the segment, Noory shared a few stories of ghost sightings and cursed objects, and told the audience how his fascination with the paranormal began as a child.  Goldberg asked him about peoples’ fascination with the unexplained and Noory said, “People want to know why we are here, who we are, and is there life after death….and that’s what we do, we try to find answers.”

westcottpaulOdds & Sods.  ESPN Radio personality Mike Greenberg – co-host of the “Mike & Mike” morning drive program – is named grand marshall of Northwestern University’s Homecoming Parade.  Greenberg is an alumnus of the school and will revisit the campus the weekend of October 4-5 and be an honored guest during the festivities…..WTAG, Worcester morning drive host Paul Westcott sits in for nationally syndicated talk host Andy Dean tonight (9/20, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET) on his Premiere Networks program “America Now with Andy Dean.”…..Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett signs a deal to become an on-air personality on CBS Radio’s WSCR, Chicago where he’ll make weekly appearances on the “Boers and Bernstein” show at 5:00 pm every Monday during football season, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.

U.S.-Russia Tensions Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 16-20.  Scrutiny over the Obama Administration’s relationship with Russia and president Vladimir Putin relative to the Syria issue was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Following at #2 was the deal for Syria to turn its chemical weapons over to Russia to avoid a U.S. strike.  At #3 was the Washington Navy Yard slayings, and at #4 was the ongoing debate over the funding and implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is posted every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

| September 19, 2013

radioshow2013Radio Show Leadership Breakfast.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke was on the scene for TALKERS Thursday morning at the NAB/RAB Radio Show Leadership Breakfast to report all of the great one-liners delivered by some of the industry’s most outspoken leaders.  Alpha Broadcasting and L&L Broadcasting chief Larry Wilson’s brutally frank assessment of the concept of voice tracking and the state of radio commercials were some of the highlights.  Wilson was joined by Cumulus Media’s Lew Dickey, NRG Media’s Mary Quass, and Connoisseur Media’s Jeff Warshaw as the group heads were interviewed during the program.  Read Holland Cooke’s coverage of the Leadership Breakfast here.

cookehollandNAB/RAB Radio Show Day 1.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke reports from Orlando and sales was on HC’s mind as he sat in on sessions throughout the day yesterday.  Sales expert Paul Weyland’s session on producing better commercials  was chock-full of useful tidbits that sales people and production personnel can take to the bank.  Plus, get Holland’s summary of some of the key speeches – RAB CEO Erica Farber’s presentation at the Advertiser Luncheon, NAB CEO Gordon Smith’s speech and acting FCC chairman Mignon Clyburn’s address.  Read more here.

gellerryderConsultant Valerie Geller Wows at “Art of Storytelling” Session.  Geller Media International consultant Valerie Geller presented a session targeted largely, but not exclusively, to talk radio talent and programmers titled, “The Art of Storytelling.”  In addition to Geller, talk show host Turi Ryder (recently of WGN, Chicago and heard nationally on Envision Radio Network’s “America Weekend”) and nationally syndicated personality Phil Hendrie (who appeared via phone from L.A. due to illness) took part.  The session focused on developing the skills of effective storytelling – a skill crucial to pulling in and keeping listeners.  Geller stated, “The key to growing an audience one by one by one is to engage them.  And the crack cocaine of engagement is, ‘Let me tell you a story, once upon a time…’ and the moment you think in your heart of hearts, ‘and then what happened?’ we have now hooked the fish and that is the essence of human communication.  It is the essence of the pleasure in connection with other people, the essence of humor…the story is the goal of the power of radio.”

dbagnation‘105.3 The Fan’ in Dallas Moves ‘G-BAG Nation’ to Middays.  KRLD-FM, Dallas’ Gavin Spittle says, “We are excited to move Gavin and Chris and the ‘G-BAG Nation’ to middays, as well as to welcome the newest Nation member, (former Rangers pitcher) Mike Bacsik.  The Nation has great entertainment value; it makes you feel like you’re part of a big, fun, crazy family.”  Spittle is vice president of news/talk/sports for CBS Radio Dallas-Fort Worth and he’s talking about Gavin Dawson’s (left) and Chris Arnold’s (right) program and the new lineup.  The other change is “K&C Masterpiece” taking over the 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm timeslot at the station, moving in from the weekend schedule.  Spittle says, “’K&C Masterpiece’ is a natural fit for the evening timeslot as Kevin Hageland and Cory Mageors have done a great job for us. They’re both native North Texans who have followed our local teams their entire lives.”

sykescharlieWTMJ, Milwaukee Host Charlie Sykes and Journal’s RightWisconsin.com Name Margaret Thatcher Award Winner.  Former Wisconsin Lt. Governor Margaret Farrow is honored with the first annual Margaret Thatcher Award celebrating Farrow’s “contributions, courage and leadership as one of Wisconsin’s ‘Iron Ladies.’”  RightWisconsin.com is a business unit of the Journal Broadcast Group and WTMJ, Milwaukee midday personality Charlie Sykes serves as editor-in-chief.  Farrow will receive the award at a black-tie dinner on October 18 at which Wisconsin Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and Sykes will host the awards event.

wpenamfmOdds & Sods.  Greater Media’s sports talk WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “The Fanatic” announces “The Peter Laviolette Show,” featuring Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette will debut on October 1 from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm and air weekly throughout the season with co-hosts former Flyer and radio play-by-play color analyst Chris Therien plus Jason Myrtetus…..Hubbard Radio’s sports talk WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” signs a contract extension to air St. Louis University men’s basketball games through the 2014-15 season with an option for a third season.  Bob Ramsey and Earl Austin, Jr. will continue to call the games…..Digital content aggregator TuneIn announces a partnership with Radio Disney that will bring the kids- and tweens-friendly radio format to the TuneIn platform.  TuneIn CEO John Donham says, “TuneIn strives to make the best content available to people regardless of where they are.  With Radio Disney on TuneIn, millions of people can enjoy some of the best family friendly programming available, for free.”

ok2talk logoNAB Announces ‘Unprecedented’ Support for ‘OK2Talk’ PSA Campaign.  The National Association of Broadcasters announces local radio and TV stations across America have donated airtime valued at over $12 million for its ‘OK2Talk’ mental health public service announcement campaign that includes over 106,600 airings on local TV and radio stations.  NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith says, “NAB salutes the efforts of broadcasters across America to make a real difference on the issue of mental health.  As stewards of the airwaves, local radio and television broadcasters and our network partners have a unique megaphone and a remarkable capacity to change attitudes in a positive way.  Mental health issues are often the common thread in tragedies like the Navy Yard shooting this week.  We thank our broadcast brothers and sisters for their support for the NAB campaign, and urge them to continue carrying these pro-social messages that encourage a meaningful dialogue on mental health.”  The PSA campaign, launched on July 23, directs people to OK2TALK.org, a Tumblr-based community where teens and young adults struggling with mental health problems can share personal stories of recovery, tragedy, struggle or hope.  By inviting young people, their families and friends to add their voice in a safe, moderated space, the campaign encourages an organic conversation about mental health challenges and recovery stories. The site also includes resources for those seeking help.

knx logoKNX, Los Angeles to Report Live from Sunday’s Primetime Emmy Awards.  CBS Radio all-news KNX, Los Angeles boasts its coming coverage of the Primetime Emmy Awards show from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday.  KNX says it will be the only radio station reporting live from the Emmys beginning at 3:00 pm PT featuring news anchors Jim Thornton and Brian Ping along with KNX’s entertainment reporter Ross Crystal.

donahuetomTalk Host Tom Donahue Takes on New Roles.  Talk radio pro Tom Donahue is named program and promotions manager at Talk Stream Live.  Donahue has served TSL as a media consultant previously.  At the same time, Donahue is debuting a new program called “TSL Talks” – a joint venture “teaming the digital and social media platform of Talk Stream Live” with Donahue’s experience.  The interview-formatted program will “seek to engage our political and media guest newsmakers and elicit their candid comments for dissemination in micro clips and long form interviews through TSL’s cutting edge social and new media venues.”  Also, Donahue is returning to Orion Talk Radio to host a weekly talk show beginning Sunday, September 22 at 7:00 pm ET.

Monday, August 26, 2013

| August 26, 2013

ktrsKTRS, St. Louis at Center of Skirmish Over Texas Governor Rick Perry’s Industry Recruitment Blitz.  CH Holdings-owned news/talk stations KTRS, St. Louis is making national news after station manager Mark Dorsey canceled an ad campaign bought by the state of Texas that sought to convince Missouri businesses they’d be better off moving to the more industry-friendly Texas where “businesses flourish and jobs are created.”  Dorsey posted a statement on the KTRS website saying, in part: “When the order was placed, KTRS was under the assumption these commercials were going toperryrick promote tourism to Texas.  Once we, the management of KTRS realized these commercials were instead focused on stealing locally owned companies away from St Louis, we suspended airing these commercials immediately.  We understand people have different viewpoints on public policy and we welcome that debate everyday on our airways.  But as one of the few remaining locally owned radio stations in the country, we feel the need to stand strong with other small locally owned businesses and defend our region.  Governor Rick Perry, Don’t mess with Missouri, and don’t mess with St Louis.”  In the ad, Perry criticizes policies of the Missouri governor and state legislature, accusing them of being less friendly to business.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the ads are running on radio and TV stations in St. Louis and other Missouri markets as Perry prepares to visit the region this week.

nielsen logoReport: ESPN at Center of Nielsen-Arbitron Deal.  The New York Post reports today that Disney-owned ESPN could be the media company that has the biggest say in whether the Federal Trade Commission approves Nielsen’s $1.26 billion purchase of Arbitron.  At issue here is the multi-media use of Arbitron’s PPM in which – via Project Blueprint – ESPN is licensing the technology to measure audience consumption of its product overarbitron television, radio, smartphones, tablets and computers.  The Post reports that sources tell it, “The license expires soon, and the ability of ESPN to squeeze a promise from Nielsen that it will be able to continue to license the software is likely integral to the merger getting federal approval.”  The FTC’s concern is that if the new Nielsen-Arbitron owns both the old set-top box methodology for rating television and the PPM technology for on-the-go measurement, there will be little ability for competitors to emerge.  The FTC is expected to decide this week whether to challenge Nielsen’s purchase of Arbitron.

digilionickNick Digilio New Overnight Host on WGN, Chicago.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that longtime WGN, Chicago part-time personality Nick Digilio will assume the overnight talk host position beginning September 4.  Digilio takes over for Bill Leff who moves to the daylight hours co-hosting the new 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program.  Digilio will also host the 8:00 pm to 12:00 midnight Saturday show.  As Feder reports, Digilio first appeared on WGN in 1985 on Roy Leonard’s midday show to talk about movies.  It developed into a regular segment and then into part-time work.  As a way of paying back his mentor, Digilio will have the now-retired Leonard on his Saturday program in a regular segment to talk about movies.  About his new position with Tribune’s WGN, Digilio tells Feder, “I couldn’t be more thrilled.  And I really want to thank everyone who has supported me through the years.”

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh Announces New Deal with Cumulus; Will Move to WOR, New York in January.  Confirming what many in the industry have been expecting all along, Rush Limbaugh announced on his radio program Friday that Premiere Networks, EIB and Cumulus Media agreed to terms earlier this week to renew his program for three more years beginning in January of 2014 and running through the end of 2016.  He told listeners that the one change would be his move from Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York to Clear Channel’s crosstown WOR, New York beginning in January.  Limbaugh’s program is currently heard on 35 Cumulus Media-owned stations.

laymandickWHO, Des Moines Newsman Dick Layman Dies Suddenly at 59.  Morning drive news anchor Dick Layman served with Clear Channel’s WHO, Des Moines for the past 16 years.  He died Friday, August 23 suddenly and at this time it is not known publicly what the cause of death was.  WHO news director Jim Boyd posted the news of Layman’s death on the WHO website and wrote about Layman, in part: “Dick was also from the old school of broadcast journalism.  The school that said ‘confirm and reconfirm the facts’ before they would be put into a story for you to hear.  He cared about content and quality.  But he also was someone who could take the most complicated of stories and boil them down to the bare fact so you could understand it…and to do so at times in 20 seconds or less…There is a hole right now in the WHO Radio Family…a hole that won’t close easily and there is a chair in our newsroom that will be very, very difficult to fill.  That’s what happens when you have a man the caliber of Dick Layman on your team.  Our prayers go out to his wife, Janet, and daughter Meredith.”

kxro logoTyler Media to Debut Sports Talk ‘107.7 The Franchise’ Today.  According to Oklahoma City online publication The Lost Ogle, Tyler Media’s plans to bring a new sports talk outlet to the city will become reality today around 2:00 pm when KRXO flips from classic rock to sports talk.  The lineup will be largely local and is reportedly as follows: “The Show” with Steely, Lump and (John) Rohde; “The Mid-day Mayes” with Sam Mayes; “The Gee Men” with Kelly Gregg and Erik Gee; and “Casillas & Company” with Tony Casillas and David Garrett in PM drive.  The station will be an NBC Sports Radio Network affiliate.  Oklahoma City has about seven other sports talk outlets in and around the market including Cumulus Media’s WWLS-FM “The Sports Animal.”

conwayetalWHO, Des Moines PM Drive Host Simon Conway Producer Changes.  Afternoon drive host Simon Conway (r) reports that his long-serving producer Andrew Downs (l) is moving to the cluster’s sister sports talk station KXNO where he’ll serve as assistant program director.  Taking over for Downs is Des Moines native Jenna Wizenburg who moves back to the market from Florida.  Conway states, “I always said I had the best producer in the building.  Andrew has rightly been recognized and although I will miss him, he richly deserves this opportunity.  I have worked with Jenna before at WFLA, Orlando and I’m excited as we begin this adventure together.”

gallagherannieMike Gallagher to Shave His Head for Fallen Officers Fund.  Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk host Mike Gallagher is preparing for his role in the South Carolina Children’s Theatre Production of “Annie” (he’s pictured here in the Greenville Journal with lead actress Georgia Kay Wise).  Gallagher decided that instead of going with a skull cap for the role as the chrome-domed Daddy Warbucks, he would shave his head on Wednesday at Frank’s Gentleman’s Salon on Coffee Street in Greenville if listeners put up $5,000 or more via his Gallagher’s Army Fallen Officers Fund which provides grants to families of police officers killed in the line of duty.  The goal was reached and Gallagher will play the role with an authentic pate when the show opens on September 6.  Photo courtesy of the Greenville Journal.

hendricksoncaseyOdds & Sods.  Retired NFL coach and executive Mike Holmgren will make regular in-studio appearances on KJR, Seattle’s Mitch Levy program this season.  Holmgren, who left his general manager position with the Cleveland Browns after the team changed owners, still resides in Seattle after coaching the Seahawks for 10 seasons…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch reports Federated Media’s WOWO-AM/FM, Fort Wayne adds the “Casey Hendrickson Weekend” program to its lineup in place of “Fox News Sunday.”  Hendrickson hosts the PM drive show on Federated’s WTRC-AM, Elkhart, Indiana and WTRC-FM, Niles, Michigan.

Friday, August 2, 2013

| August 2, 2013

cclogoClear Channel Posts 2% Revenue Increase in Q2.  That’s for the Media and Entertainment division – the radio stations, Premiere Networks and Total Traffic Network – on revenue of $805.6 million for the second quarter of 2013 compared to the same period a year ago.  During yesterday’s investors’ conference call, chairman and CEO Bob Pittman spoke positively about the growth of iHeartRadio and SVP of investor relations Gregory Lundberg noted that it has 34 million registered users and that represents growth of 162% year-over-year.  Regarding the makeup of the company’s revenue, he stated, “National sales for the stations grew 5%, with local up 1%.  Excluding the impact of political advertising, in both quarters, national sales rose 7% and local was up 2%.  Our strongest performing ad categories remained financial services, retail and telecom.  Digital sales continue to grow in the double digits as we monetize our station’s online presence and keep growing iHeartRadio, where total listening hours were up to 36% in the second quarter.  We also saw good year-over-year growth at Premiere Networks.  Partially offsetting this growth rate were revenue declines in the traffic business from lost contracts and from lower sales resulting from integration activities.  Operating expenses increased $42 million or 9%, reflecting a $21 million expense credit from one of our performance rights organizations, which we received in the second quarter of last year.”  He stated pacing for the third quarter for the stations was up 3% and up 1% for the division as a whole.  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Members can read it all here.

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xmradio logoClear Channel Sells Its SiriusXM Interests for $135.5 Million.  Way back in 1999 when XM Radio was gearing up its operations, Clear Channel was an initial investor putting in $83.1 million and getting the right to program some of the satcaster’s music and talk channels.  Now, CC sells its interest in the company for $135.5 million – the value of the stock – and that means most of the CC-programmed content will disappear from the XM Radio platform.  That’ll include some of the company’s music FMs such as hip hop WGCI, Chicago; country signal WSIX, Nashville and hot AC WLIT, Chicago.  But two of the CC-radio channels are expected to stay on the XM platform – WHTZ, New York and KIIS, Los Angeles.  It also means the talk radio channel on the XM platform will see talent like Glenn Beck, Bob & Tom, Todd Schnitt as well as Fox Sports Radio programming go away.

arbitronArbitron Reports Q2 Revenue Rises 2.9%.  As it prepares to be acquired by ratings giant Nielsen, Arbitron issues its 2013 second quarter financial reports and states that on revenue of $107.4 million dollars it is reporting net revenue of $7.1 million or $0.26 per share.  The cost of the potential Nielsen deal ate into the company’s earnings before interest and income tax expense (EBIT) as it shelled out $6.1 million during the quarter in preparation for the acquisition.  President and CEO Sean Creamer states, “In the second quarter, we maintained focus on our long-term priorities: investing in and growing our core radio services, evaluating and implementing quality initiatives to enhance the value and utility of our offerings, and exploring emerging opportunities with an emphasis on those that allow us to highlight the power and advantages of radio.  As the media and advertising marketplaces continue to evolve and new technologies permit consumers to consume content virtually anytime and anywhere, it is important we keep pace with these changes to ensure radio gets full credit for its audience – regardless of the delivery platform.  Radio is growing and vibrant – and we are committed to helping the radio industry tell and validate its complete and compelling story.”

sabowalterThe Job of the Program Director in Five Years.  According to noted consultant and TALKERS columnist Walter Sabo, if you want to know which way the job of PD is heading in radio, just take a look at what has happened to the same titled position at television stations.  In a new column posted today (8/2) Sabo writes “As more on-air content decisions are made at the corporate level and delivered from a central source, the program director job will morph to meet the demands of the tasks that must be completed.  Smart companies will evolve the position to one that has been desperately needed: ‘Program and Public Relations Director.’”  Sabo goes on to list other combinations of tasks and responsibilities that will be added to the title “Program Director” on the radio station level.  To read his entire column, please click here.

kbme logoKBME, Houston Ousts Adam Wexler and Matt Jackson from AM Drive; Adds Fox Sports Radio’s Jay Mohr to Middays.  In a realignment of programming at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s sports talk KBME, Houston, Adam Wexler and Matt Jackson have been let go from the station and their morning drive gig and Lance Zierlein and Adam Clanton take over the AM show.  Zierlein co-hosted the afternoon show with Charlie Pallilo but, as the Houston Chronicle notes, had also worked on the morning drive show alongside Wexler and Jackson in the past.  Adam Clanton has hosted sports talk radio in the market at CBS Radio’s crosstown KILT as well as having worked at KPRC-TV.  The addition of Fox Sports Radio’s nationally syndicated Jay Mohr to the lineup from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm forces some other changes.  Greg Koch and N.D. Kalu now air from 9:00 am to 11:00 am; Charlie Pallilo hosts solo from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm; and Matt Thomas is on the air from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

radioshow2013Michael Harrison to Speak at NAB Radio Show.  In what promises to be a riveting and inspirational hour, TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison will address the forthcoming NAB Radio Show in Orlando (September 18-20) on “Radio’s Evolving Role in Popular Culture.”  Harrison, fresh off a rousing keynote speech at the Conclave, will further elaborate on the theme of the challenges facingharrisonmichael radio in its quest to remain societally iconic in the digital age of the 21st century at a specially scheduled Info-Session sponsored by TALKERS.  Harrison says that for radio to remain competitive with all the emerging “exotic” competition of this “wildly new era,” it must maintain “ownership” of the scenes it addresses whether they are music, politics, news, sports or any other expression of the human condition.  He says radio should maintain a foreground, active position that protects it from being marginalized as a passive delivery system and discusses options and opportunities to carry out the mission.  (To see a brief clip of Michael Harrison’s Conclave keynote speech addressing these subjects please click here.  The full speech will be posted to both RadioInfoTV and TalkersTV shortly, stay tuned.)  Consultant Holland Cooke introduces this popular annual NAB Radio Show session featuring the venerable programmer, air personality, entrepreneur and trade magazine publisher who has been accurately describing radio and popular media’s road ahead for the past 45 years.  The Info-Session is scheduled on Thursday, September 19 between 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm and is open to all attendees of the NAB Radio Show.

davisbobClear Channel Makes Morning Changes at KTCN, Minneapolis.  Morning drive talk show host Bob Davis and Clear Channel Minneapolis part company and the station fills the morning drive slot with former evening hosts Jack Tomczak and Ben Kruse, at least for now.  Bob Davis had been paired up with Tom Emmer for mornings but Emmer exited the station in June to make a run for the congressional seat being vacated by Michele Bachmann.  Davis made national news when, during a discussion about gun control, he said on the air he would tell the Newtown families to “go to hell” for their role in shaping the gun debate.  He later apologized for the tenor of his comments.

radiatemedia logoRadiate Media Promotes Ivan Shulman to President.  Seven months after joining Radiate Media as executive vice president of sales and chief revenue officer, the company promotes Ivan Shulman to president.  CEO Chris Rothey states, “Ivan has a deep shulmanivanbackground in sales, marketing and media, and his leadership experience makes him a great fit for us.  Since joining us in November of 2012, we have experienced quarter-over-quarter revenue growth, including the launch of Radiate360 – our integrated marketing platform to drive hyper-local business.  Ivan will continue to lead that initiative as well as overseeing the day-to -day activities of our broadcast radio, TV and digital lines of business.”  The company is bullish on its new product Radiate360 which it describes as “an easy-to-use, online platform that empowers businesses to expand their reach and connect with their customers.  With Radiate360’s revolutionary suite of tools, businesses can establish an online presence, engage customers through social and mobile media, and promote to the local audience that matters most.”  Shulman says of his promotion, “I joined Radiate because I was excited about future opportunities.  Our growth on both the broadcast and digital side has been phenomenal and I look forward to working with broadcasters to help bridge the gap between digital and traditional media.”

sileodanDan Sileo Takes Over Midday Program at WMEN, West Palm Beach.  Florida sports talk personality Dan Sileo – most recently midday host at WQAM, Miami – moves into the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm slot at JCE Licenses’ WMEN, West Palm Beach “640 Sports” effective Tuesday, August 6.  Sileo – who worked for years at WDAE, Tampa prior to his stint with WQAM – is filling in for Travis Rodgers on KLAA, Los Angeles today and on August 5.  Sileo is, by his own admission, an edgy personality whose willingness to push the envelope has gotten him fired from his last two radio gigs.  He maintains he achieved excellent ratings while with Clear Channel at WDAE and that the station pulled in a lot of revenue from his program.

deggansericEric Deggans to Leave the Tampa Bay Times for Gig at NPR.  Journalist Eric Deggans has covered first music, then media for the Tampa Bay Times for the past 18 years.  Now, he exits the Times to become a TV critic and correspondent for NPR News.  Deggans has been a contributor to NPR in the past but joins the organization full time.  He states in a press release, “For many years, I have been a fan of NPR’s super-smart journalism and I often fantasized of what it might be like to join their ranks as a contributor.  A position like this one is beyond my wildest dreams; I’m honored and excited by the opportunity to help shape NPR’s coverage of television and pop culture.”  Deggans has been an excellent reporter covering the Tampa Bay media scene over the years but also could be viewed as a polarizing writer.  He’s been a critic of talk radio on a number of levels as indicated in his recent book Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation (Palgrave Macmillan 2012).  Photo by Carrie Pratt.

jacksonkevinOdds & Sods.  Dial Global announces it has signed an exclusive terrestrial, three-season deal with London-based talkSPORT to broadcast live coverage of Barclays Premier League, FA Cup and Capital One Cup.  The partnership includes play-by-play commentary of nearly 400 soccer matches per year, in both English and Spanish…..  “The Black Sphere” talk show host Kevin Jackson joins the advisory board of the Steamboat Institute, an institution that “defends freedom and advocates for liberty.”  Jackson says, “Witnessing the progress of the organization first hand, I am overjoyed to be part of the advisory board and play a role in the future direction of the Steamboat Institute, an organization that will undoubtedly mold political discussions and policy in the future.”

gillemdennyTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Update.  Statewide syndicated sports talk host Bill Michaels is added to the lineup at WOZN, Madison, Wisconsin…..Kevin Jackson’s “Black Sphere Radio” show is now airing on WEZO, Augusta, Georgia…..Talk Media Network announces affiliate additions for three of its programs: “Fat Guys At The Movies with Kevin Carr & Kristin Dreyer Kramer” joins WKVL, Knoxville; “The Financial Fitness Show with Chip Cummings & Tony Rubleski” is added to WRSB, Rochester, New York; and “Frontlines of Freedom with Lt. Col. Denny Gillem” joins the lineup at WZFG, Fargo.

ObamaCare Implementation Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of July 29 – August 2.  The implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the cost of the program was the top news/talk topic during the week.  Following at #2 was the Anthony Weiner sexting case and the political fallout.  At #3 was the 2016 presidential race followed by the Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity contracts flap at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

| August 1, 2013

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh Celebrates 25 Years in Syndication Today.  It was 25 years ago today that Rush Limbaugh began his national syndication based at WABC, New York.  When Ed McLaughlin’s EFM Media Management began producing and distributing the Rush Limbaugh program in August of 1988 on 56 affiliate stations, many in the industry thought the idea of a midday national talk radio program was absurd and would fail.  But Limbaugh’s EIB Network flourished and the rest is history.  Of course, Premiere Networks now syndicates the show that’s heard on close to 600 radio stations.  In a statement, Limbaugh says, “The relationship we’ve established here – between the audience and myself – is everything.  It’s meant more to me than I’ll ever be able to fully describe.  It’s the best three hours of the day!  We’re going to do this for a long time to come.”  Premiere Networks notes, “Mr. Limbaugh also pioneered an entirely new model for talk radio.  Defying industry convention, he does not book guests on his program. Centered on the news of the day, he describes his unique approach as ‘a serious discussion of issues, combined with irreverent humor.’  He has enjoyed uninterrupted status since the early 1990s as the leading talk radio host in the U.S., and the program continues to expand its reach.  In the past year alone, ‘The Rush Limbaugh Show’ has experienced an 11% audience increase (Source: Arbitron, Nationwide).

saboonfoxbusMedia Biz Buzzing About Newspaper-Online Radio Ventures.  Pictured here is Sabo Media (r) CEO Walter Sabo appearing on Fox Business with “Markets Now” host Dennis Kneale (l) discussing the Boston Herald’s online talk radio station project, “Boston Herald Radio.”  Kneale quizzed longtime radio executive and consultant Sabo about what the two media bring to the table in joint ventures such as these.  Sabo stated that the talk radio programs can help deliver a younger and more engaged audience to the newspaper world (which has suffered circulation and revenue declines) and the radio shows benefit from working with an experienced news gathering organization.  “It allows them to bring those stories to life instantly, which has always been their (the newspaper’s) biggest challenge.”  Watch Sabo’s appearance on Fox Business here.

cbsradio logoCBS Reports Q2 Revenue for Radio ‘Even.’  CBS quarterly investors’ conference calls have always been pretty much about television and yesterday’s 2013 Q2 call was no different.  It’s not that CBS doesn’t care about radio.  President and CEO Les Moonves has stated in previous calls that they like radio.  He doesn’t gush about it like he does about TV but CBS has no debt on the radio side and therefore it’s a cash business for the company.  During yesterday’s call CBS COO Joseph Ianiello termed radio “even” during the second quarter compared to the same period a year ago and told investors the division is pacing flat for Q3.  For CBS, total revenue was up 11% year-to-year due mostly to fees paid by television operators to carry CBS TV stations as well as international syndication deals and digital streaming revenue.

journalbroadcastgroupJournal Broadcast Group’s Radio Division Up 2.3% in Q2.  Journal Communications announced 2013 second quarter financials yesterday and the Journal Broadcast Group breaks out the radio division from the television segment.  It reports that, compared to the same quarter a year ago, revenue from radio stations increased 2.3% to $19.9 million, or 4.7% excluding political revenue.  Radio political advertising revenue was $0.1 million, compared to $0.5 million.  Local advertising revenue — excluding political — increased 5%, primarily due to an increase in retail advertising.  National advertising revenue — excluding political — decreased 4.9% to $1.8 million, primarily due to a decrease in media advertising.  Operating earnings from radio stations were $3.8 million compared to $4.4 million, a decrease of 13.8% or a decrease of 19.0% excluding acquisition costs in both years.  Radio operating expenses increased 7.1%, or 9.3% excluding acquisition costs in both years, primarily due to employee-related expense increases and the impact of credits received from an industry-wide music licensing fee settlement in 2012.

frontier50 graphicTALKERS Magazine’s Frontier Fifty 2013 Will Be Posted on Wednesday, August 7.  The new installment of one of the most popular and certainly important TALKERS magazine annual features — “The Frontier Fifty” — is set to be unveiled this coming Wednesday, August 7.  The Frontier Fifty is officially described as a Selection of Outstanding Talk Media Webcasters.  This year’s format will depart somewhat from the features’ early approaches by including executives who have built valuable platforms for internet talk broadcasting as well as talent who do talk shows and/or podcasts on the web.  In addition it will be a numbered list in which designees are ranked according to importance as determined by the TALKERS editorial board.  As followers of this feature know, TALKERS did not publish a 2012 installment of the feature because as the publication’s VP/executive editor Kevin Casey puts it, “This arena has evolved and grown at such a dizzying speed, we wanted to be sure that we presented this important snapshot of the state of the internet talk radio’s movers and shakers as accurately and relevantly as possible.  We took an extra year off to study the scene and get it as close to being right as possible…no easy task.”  This year’s Frontier Fifty is being sponsored by Broadcasters General Store.

wxtg logoRed Zebra Shucks Two Signals in Norfolk-Virginia Beach for $1.2 Million.  Dan Snyder-owned Red Zebra sells sports radio combo WXTG-AM/FM “The Game” to local operator Local Voice Media which will flip the duo to a triple A format soon.  The price of the stations and seven acres of property in Hampton is $1.2 million and according to the Daily Press, the stations will continue to air Washington Nationals baseball through the rest of the season and will be Washington Redskins affiliates during the 2013 season.  Additionally, the paper reports that two staffers – AE and air talent Greg Bicouvaris and production director Brock Briggs will remain employed with the new owners.  Local Voice Media also operates triple A WTYD, Williamsburg, Virginia “92.3 The Tide.”  The Daily Press notes Richmond, Virginia investment firm Blue Heron Capital recently completed a $3 million investment in Local Voice Media, formerly known as Davis Media.  The firm began investing in the company two years ago and has helped it expand into Columbia, South Carolina and Wilmington, North Carolina.

deanmichaelwQuick-and-Dirty Three-Minute Sound Conditioning.  Large corporations and government bureaucrats will often spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on soundproofing and sound conditioning for an audio studio.  They’ll even spend tens of thousands of dollars simply on the consultants to tell them how to soundproof and sound condition a studio.  That may make sense to you if you’ve got venture capital money to burn and don’t mind being out of business in a few years.  It may also make sense if you’re working for the government because the money is someone else’s and you think you’ll never go out of business.  But according to syndicated talk show host Michael W. Dean, co-host of GCN‘s “The Freedom Feens,” “The rest of us have to make do with what we have.”  In a new column posted today (8/1), Dean writes, “The advent of ip hardware codecs has allowed talk radio hosts to produce nationally syndicated shows from our homes.  And people working for corporate radio are often called to do remotes in a variety of environments.  You can buy portable devices that acoustically isolate a microphone, but using one is basically like sticking your head in a small box.  That is not conducive to doing a good show, especially if you’re doing on-the-spot interviews with a variety of guests.  Today I’ll show you how to temporarily sound condition a room in three minutes at no cost.  This will vastly improve the audio reaching your microphone, and thus, your audience.  First, you have to understand the difference between soundproofing and sound conditioning.  Many people use these two terms interchangeably.  However, they are not the same thing.  Soundproofing keeps outside sounds out and inside sounds in. Sound conditioning dampens native reverberation in a room.  Effective soundproofing is a lot more expensive and complicated than sound conditioning.”  To read Michael W. Dean’s entire column, please click here.

podcastone logoPodcastOne Adds Sports USA Programs to Offerings.  Yesterday, TALKERS reported that NFL Hall-of-Famer Joe Namath would begin producing podcasts for Sports USA throughout the 2013 football season.  Now, Norm Pattiz-founded PodcastOne and Sports USA announce the Namath podcast as well as “Conversations with Joe Morgan,” “The Ross Tucker Football Show” and “Against the Grain with Dave Miller” will be available via PodcastOne.  Pattiz states, “Joe Namath invented the sports media icon as we know it.  He knows what it means to break new ground and likes to do things his way.  We’re a guaranteed perfect fit.  I am looking forward to working with Bob Moore and the talented team at Sports USA as we create great experiences for listeners and opportunities for advertisers.”

kesn logoMLB Great Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez  to Contribute to ‘ESPN Dallas 103.3.’  “Pudge” Rodriguez played for the hometown Texas Rangers twice during his MLB career (he won a World Series ring with the Florida Marlins in 2003) and he and his family are putting down roots in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.  ESPN O&O KESN and sister Spanish sports talk “ESPN Deportes Dallas” (KZMP-AM) have brought Rodriguez aboard to serve as a baseball contributor through the rest of the 2013 season.  ESPN says Rodriguez will serve in several capacities for both stations including a bi-weekly call-in segment, the voice of featured “Pudge’s Eye” vignettes, as well as personal appearances.  ESPN Dallas VP/GM Pete Dits states, “We are extremely excited and proud to have one of the greatest catchers in MLB history as a part of our team.  As the radio flagship of the Texas Rangers in English and Spanish, this only solidifies our commitment to bringing the best Rangers and baseball coverage to the sports fans in DFW.”

kxsp the drive logoJournal’s Sports Talk KXSP, Omaha Adds New PM Drive Show.  Joe Quinn and Nick Handley are the new afternoon drive sports talk team at Journal Broadcast Group’s Omaha sports talker “590 ESPN Radio” (KXSP).  Quinn was producer and co-host for the past three years on Des Moines’ KXNO.  Handley, a 14-year sports veteran who most recently co-hosted the “Hail Varsity Radio Show” airing in Lincoln and Columbus, Nebraska was the sports director for the Three Eagles cluster of stations in Columbus.  KXSP program director Kurt Owens says, “The new show will be called ‘The Drive’ and will bring a fresh new approach to afternoon sports talk in Omaha.  Joe and Nick’s combined experience of covering sports in Nebraska and Iowa mirrors our huge AM 590 signal.  AM 590 listeners will really enjoy these two young-yet-experienced broadcasters bringing their perspective to sports each afternoon.”

nbcsportsradio logoNBC Sports Radio Network Passes 300-Affililate Mark.  The nationally syndicated sports talk radio programming initiative NBC Sports Radio Network – a cooperative effort of Dial Global and NBC Sports – announces it has passed the 300-affiliate mark.  Dial Global Sports EVP and general manager Chris Corcoran says, “Signing more than 300 affiliates so quickly is a true testament to the mass appeal of our talent and programming, creativity of our producers, and hard work of our exceptional sales and affiliate teams.  We are especially honored to partner with such great radio stations across the country as we work together to connect avid sports fans, consumers, and advertisers.  We continue to be motivated to reach more audiences by the amazing feedback we regularly receive from our local station owners, program directors and listeners.”

callahanbrownpanmassWEEI-FM, Boston Staffers Take Part in Pan-Mass Challenge.  “93.7 FM WEEI”  morning drive co-host Gerry Callahan (r) and Entercom Boston vice president and market manager Jeff Brown (l) will take part in the Pan-Mass Challenge – a two-day bike ride across Massachusetts that can be as long as 190 miles – to benefit the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  WEEI will help recognize and celebrate this year’s event with a live broadcast of the Salk & Holley show on Friday, August 2 from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. from the PMC’s opening ceremonies in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.  Billy Starr, founder and executive director of the Pan-Mass Challenge says, “Entercom and WEEI have both been fabulous friends and partners.  They have ensured that the PMC message is heard – and understood – far, wide and often.”  Jeff Brown comments, “I am proud to continue Entercom’s support of the Pan-Mass Challenge and we are also proud to be raising additional money through our dedicated team of riders and virtual riders.  Our own Gerry Callahan will be taking part in his sixth ride and it is such an honor, both for WEEI and for all of us at Entercom Boston, to be a part of this dynamic cause and help the dedicated Dana-Farber doctors and researchers discover cures for cancer.”

ObamaCare Implementation Battle, Anthony Weiner Scandal, NSA Surveillance Program, Chris Christie-Rand Paul Feud, and Looming MLB Suspensions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/31).  The fight in Washington over the implementation and funding for the Affordable Care Act; the political fallout from the Anthony Weiner scandal; reports of the vast nature of the NSA surveillance program, Republican in-fighting over policy and the Chris Christie-Rand Paul feud; and the expected suspensions of numerous MLB players were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

| July 30, 2013

cumulusCumulus Revenue Up 3.1% in Q2; No Comments from Lew Dickey on Limbaugh Situation.  As Cumulus Media prepares to hold an investors’ conference call this morning at 11:00 am ET, the company releases Q2 revenue figures that highlight a 3.1% increase in net revenue on $289.7 million compared to the same quarter one year ago.  The company notes, “This increase was attributable to a $4.3 million increase in local advertising revenue, a $3.9 million increase in revenue related to digital initiatives and a $2.8 million increase in revenue due to the addition of stations in the Bloomington and Peoria markets we acquired from Townsquare Media in July 2012.  These increases were partially offset by a decrease of $2.3 million in cyclical political revenue.”  Chairman and CEO Lew Dickey issued the following statement, “This was a solid quarter earmarked by revenue growth and strong expense management.  Our targeted growth initiatives are ramping on schedule and our merger integration and problem market turnarounds are largely complete.”  During today’s investors’ conference call, Dickey pre-empted any questions about negotiations with Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity saying he wouldn’t comment while the company is in negotiation mode.  When asked later the call if the company makes money on the Rush Limbaugh program, Dickey reiterated his unwillingness to comment but said he’ll have more to say after the process is complete and believes that will be sooner rather than later.  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the call transcript.  Members can see the whole call here.

bresslerrichardCCM&E Parent Clear Channel Media Holdings Names Richard Bressler President and CFO.  Richard Bressler has served as chief financial officer of Time Warner and Viacom and managing director at Thomas H. Lee Partners.  His installment as president and CFO of Clear Channel Media Holdings means he replaces Tom Casey, who served in that position for the past three years.  The company says, “As president of CC Media Holdings, Inc. and Clear Channel Communications, Inc., Bressler will work closely with Bob Pittman on the further development of strategies and initiatives to ensure that Clear Channel capitalizes on its unique assets.”  In a statement, Pittman comments, “I know Rich very well, and we have even worked together – twice – at Time Warner.  He has been an invaluable strategic partner for us in his position at Thomas H. Lee Partners, and now he will play an even bigger role in helping Clear Channel fully maximize our unparalleled assets, working closely with me, John Hogan and William Eccleshare and the rest of our leadership team to continue to build the leading multi-platform media and entertainment company in the U.S. with global reach.  I recruited Rich for this role because there are few people who have as deep an understanding as he does of our company and the opportunities we have to lead the industry in helping marketers meet the demands of increasingly connected consumers.  I’m confident that he’ll add another layer of expertise and experience as we take the company to its next level of growth, and will be a tremendous leader for our financial team.  His keen strategic, financial and analytical skills will be a huge asset to all of Clear Channel.”  In reporting this story The Wall Street Journal notes that “CC Media reported that its [2013] first-quarter loss sharply widened as revenue dropped, while sister company Clear Channel Outdoor logged a wider loss amid higher expenses tied to interest, depreciation and amortization.”

colmesalanAlan Colmes: Regarding Limbaugh and Hannity, the Liberals Have it All Wrong.  Fox News Radio talk show host and Fox News Channel commentator Alan Colmes, who is also publisher of the liberal blog alan.com, writes an opinion piece for TALKERS magazine in which he states that liberals who are jumping for joy over the mainstream press stories trumpeting Rush Limbaugh’s and Sean Hannity’s possible departure from 40-some Cumulus Media talk stations, need to examine the facts.  Colmes says, “Seeing liberal bloggers declare victory about how a boycott of these shows’ sponsors led to this makes my hair stand on end for four reasons.”  The first reason, Colmes says, is the most important in that “that’s not at all what happened.”  Read Colmes’ entire piece here.

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh Addresses Premiere-Cumulus Negotiations on Monday Program.  Rush Limbaugh didn’t go into any detail – because it wouldn’t be appropriate while negotiations are going on – but he did address the flap that began with a Politico piece that ran over the weekend alleging that Cumulus Media is considering dropping his and Seanhannitysean Hannity’s programs from some 40 O&O stations due to a breakdown in contract renewal talks.  Limbaugh told listeners that “what you’re being treated to is just a public business negotiation.”  He implied one party is leaking to the press but assured listeners nothing is likely to change but if it does, the program will be available on even more stations.  “And someday, someday I am looking so forward to being able to detail all of this for you, but suffice to say nothing is gonna happen that you will notice.  Nothing is going to change…You are gonna be able to get this radio program on as many, if not more, radio stations down the road than it’s on now.”

siriusxmArt Bell to Return to Broadcasting Via SiriusXM.  Rumors of Art Bell’s return had been bubbling for several weeks but now the cat is out of the bag as SiriusXM announces the man who took late-night talk of all things paranormal to the front burner of popular culture in the late 1990s will return from self-imposed retirement with a nightly show on thebellart satcaster.  Bell’s new program, “Art Bell’s Dark Matter,” will air from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET and will debut from a studio in Bell’s rural Nevada home on September 16.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “We are excited to be the exclusive home of Art Bell, who has captivated a nation of listeners throughout his career with his intelligent and inquisitive, yet entertaining style.  Art Bell left terrestrial radio after the biggest possible successes.  We are honored that Art now wants to work with SiriusXM to write his next chapter.  His vision takes advantage of our best strengths and his new show will be uncensored, unrestricted, uncluttered and utterly unique.  With his return to radio on SiriusXM, he will be able to reach millions of longtime listeners and new fans everywhere in the nation.”  Bell tells the AP’s David Bauder he’s excited about working on satellite radio, “It seems to me they are the next step in technology.  I’ve always been a technological junkie.  The mix of what they’re giving me, the freedom that they’re giving me, is priceless.”  After Bell left the Premiere Networks-syndicated “Coast to Coast AM,” George Noory took over as the regular host.  He recently signed a contract renewal to continue that role and TALKERS spoke with him about his work.  See the next story for more.

noorygeorgeGeorge Noory to Lead Legions of Late Night Listeners for Years to Come.  Premiere Networks and “Coast to Coast AM” host George Noory recently announced the two sides had just inked a new contract to keep Noory in the host position for years to come.  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian took the occasion of this new deal to speak with Noory about his career, the “Coast to Coast AM” program and much more.  Noory says one of the things about his audience that amazes him is the spread of its demographics.  “We have received phone calls from 11-year-olds and we hear from people in their 90s.  This show is very strong [among 25-54s], but talk radio skews a little older – especially at night.  People in older demos still have a lot of money and our advertisers are very happy.  People will say that their father used to listen to Art Bell and now they listen to me.  This is an all-encompassing show that blankets the entire population.”  Read Mike Kinosian’s entire story here.

bergmansandiMEDIA BROKER SPOTLIGHT: Roger Rafson of CMS Station Brokerage.  In this week’s installment of Media Broker Spotlight, Sandi Bergman of RadioTVDeals.com interviews media broker Roger Rafson of CMS Station Brokerage in Pittsburgh.  Rafson has been in radio since he was 11 years old and has a passion for the medium.  He is also optimistic about the deal business and agrees with this publication’s philosophy that now is a good time for out-of-work top executives and first-time entrants to get into ownership and roll up their sleeves at some really fine local opportunities.  His company specializes in small- and medium-market station sales.  He says, “I’ve never felt comfortable pontificating about the state of the media brokerage/station sales category as a whole.  What I can tell you about is what comes across my desk.  Yes, we are busy.  We sold 14 stations in 2012 and already in 2013 we’ve sold nine.  I do get the sense that the worst of the recession is behind us.  Better days lie ahead.”  He offers up several of these opportunities as well.  To read the entire installment of Media Broker Spotlight, please click here.

handelmanallanAllan Handelman Returns to the Air in Triad Market.  Curtis Media Group’s WSJS, Greensboro, North Carolina announces talk show pro Allan Handelman makes his return to the Triad market after a 16-month hiatus.  Beginning Monday, August 5, Handelman takes over afternoon drive on “The Triad’s NewsRadio 600 WSJS.”  His predecessor, Bob Campbell, is leaving talk radio to pursue his passion in music radio.  WSJS operations manager Matt Clark states, “WSJS airs more locally originated news and talk programming than any other radio station in the region.  Allan Handelman brings world-class credentials to our lineup while upholding our core mission of reflecting the unique tastes and perspectives of local listeners across the Piedmont Triad.”  Handelman was last heard in the market on the former “FM Talk 101.1” WZTK where he hosted a daily show from 2005 to 2012.  The station abandoned the talk format in April, 2012.  Handelman continued his national syndication efforts with both “The Allan Handelman Show” and “Rock Talk.”  Handelman says he’s eager to be back on local radio.  “I really missed that afternoon connection with North Carolina listeners from the Triad region.  There are so many interesting things to talk about that most other shows either neglect or don’t know how to handle.”

cookehollandSales Lead, Programming Heads-Up: “The Fixer Mindset.”  Radio consultant Holland Cooke writes that the mindset of the contemporary American talk radio listener is ripe for the picking (or selling, if you prefer) of goods and services that appeal to their post-recession desire to make more last longer.  But it’s about more than just sending a sales guy or gal out to see if the local independent auto shop wants to advertise on your radio station.  There’s a whole thought process that goes along with programmers and sales staffers approaching this client base the right way…plus, there are cool digital opportunities awaiting the client and the marketing department.  Read Holland Cooke’s insights here.

wepnlogoOdds & Sods.  Dickey Broadcasting’s sports talk WCNN, Atlanta “680 The Fan” announces it has signed Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan to appear every Tuesday during football season on its “ The Front Row” program with Ray Mariner, Sandra Golden and former Falcon Brian Finneran…..ESPN O&O WEPN-FM, New York extends its reach onto Long Island beginning Monday, August 5 as the station’s programming will be simulcast on Livingstone Broadcasting’s WLIR-FM, Hampton’s Bay, New York from 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight.  That includes shows hosted by Mike Lupica, Stephen A. Smith & Ryan Ruocco, Michael Kay, and David Rothenberg…..KOZN, Omaha PM drive co-host John Bishop will handle play-by-play duties for broadcasts of Creighton University Men’s basketball this season.  He’ll be accompanied by color analyst and former Bluejay Nick Bahe who begins a daily midday sports talk program on NRG Media’s KOZN on August 5.

sternbethHoward Stern’s Wife Beth to Guest Host ‘Animal Radio’ This Weekend.  Beth Stern is well known as a model, actress, the wife of radio legend Howard Stern and an animal rights activist.  This weekend she’ll be the guest host on the nationally syndicated “Animal Radio” program.  Beth Stern serves as the spokesperson for the North Shore Animal League and she spends countless hours fostering animals, cats in particular, in her New York home.  The Stern’s live with four adopted cats — Walter, Apple, Leon Bear and Charlie Boy.  This doesn’t include the many cats that she’s fostering until they are able to adopt them.  Beth (pictured here with a canine friend) says she uses her husband’s SiriusXM show to help find good homes for some of the animals.  When asked if her highly visible husband is involved in the fostering process, she replies, “He’s right there with me. He photographs them.  He names them.  He cried like a baby the other day when I had to hand-off a litter of cats to their new family.”

Limbaugh-Hannity/Cumulus Flap, Weiner Case Political Ramifications, Immigration Legislation, Pope Francis Gay Comments, and ObamaCare Implementation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/29).  The mainstream media coverage of negotiations between Premiere Networks and Cumulus Media over carriage of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity; the political repercussions of the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal; the battle in congress over immigration legislation and amnesty; comments by Pope Francis about homosexuality; and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, July 29, 2013

| July 29, 2013

bostonheraldradio logoBoston Herald Radio Launches August 5 at 6:00 am ET.  The concept of the full-blown, digital-age “media station” predicted and described for the past decade by Michael Harrison and other radio industry visionaries will be taking a giant leap toward coming to fruition at 6:00 am ET on August 5.  The Boston Herald newspaper is unveiling its ambitious new initiative “Boston Herald Radio” – a Boston-centric news/talk/sports radio station that will begin its life as a venue for four live three-hour shows running weekdays from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm.  These programs include:

katzjeffspeaks-          6:00 am to 9:00 am – “Live from the Newsroom with Jeff Katz” (Katz is a well-known talk industry personality most recently heard in Boston on WRKO and Talk 1200.)

-          9:00 am to 12:00 noon – “Morning Meeting with Jaclyn Cashman and Hillary Chabot” (Cashman is a former Springfield, MA TV anchor/reporter and multimedia consultant and Chabot is the chief political reporter with the Boston Herald.)

-          12:00 noon to 3:00 pm – “The Michael Graham Show” (Graham is a former WTKK host and current Boston Herald op-ed grahammichaelcolumnist.)

-          3:00 pm to 6:00 pm – “Sports Town with Jon Meterparel and Jen Royle” (Meterparel is a former WEEI personality and current Boston College play-by-play announcer and Royle is an Emmy-award winning Major League Baseball reporter, TV/radio host.)

This will be the first news/sports/talk radio platform in the Boston market backed up by a full multimedia newsroom under the brand of a major newspaper and one of a handful of such operations beginning to pop up around the country.  News reports will be provided capalboshattuckthroughout the broadcast day by Boston Herald editors and reporters.  Feature elements will include Boston Herald music, TV, movie reviews, political and business reports, style and food segments as well as live reports from staff reporters who travel with all four major teams and provide extensive high school sports coverage.  The stream will be managed by Backbone Networks (the same company working on the forthcoming mid-August launch of TalkersRadio) and carried by Tune In as well its home base on the Boston Herald website and its mobile news and sports apps.  The shows will be streamed from a studio adjacent to the Boston Herald newsroom.  The studio team includes executive producer Tom Shattuck (formerly of WRKO and WTKK) and two part-time producers (Shattuck pictured at right, is here with Backbone Networks VP of engineering development George Capalbo, at left).  Boston Herald editor-in-chief Joe Sciacca tells TALKERS, “Consumers want news and information that is mobile, and they want to be active participants connecting and collaborating on the issues of the day, not passive receptors being lectured to.  That is our mission in print, online, in video presentations and now Boston Herald Radio.”  Sciacca adds, “I see myself not as a newspaper editor but as the leader of a news organization that creates high-quality, original content for use across platforms — whether it is print, web or broadcast.”   According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, who was writing and speaking about the potential of newspaper websites providing radio broadcasters with powerful platforms to operate on the internet as long as 10 years ago,  “This amazing development in Boston marks the tipping point in the evolution of the digital-age news and entertainment platform.  The brilliant and obvious idea of newspapers and radio stations rubbing their two sticks together (literally and figuratively) will send sparks flying that will potentially proliferate into a  21st century ‘media station’ wildfire.  By ‘media station’ I mean an online platform that has the cultural stationality of a radio station, a television station, a newspaper and a magazine combined – all in one location – fueled and synergized by the combined resources of each.”  Harrison maintains that the internet alone is not a practical platform.  He says, “By itself, the internet has no form, no definition and no prestige, similarly neither do the so called ‘airwaves’ of 20th century audio and video media.  The key is to build prestigious, well-defined platforms that will sail across the internet — the way ships, yachts and ocean liners sail the seas and the way glorious theaters give Broadway its pizzazz or great stadiums separate the big leagues from sandlot baseball.  If an actor, dancer or musician is performing ‘on Broadway,’ that could mean they are doing their act on the stage of the Winter Garden or on the sidewalk in front of the Winter Garden.  It is the same thing with the internet.  Prestigious, well-resourced platforms give you a place to put the key to monetization: a box office!”  Walter Sabo, CEO of the New York City-based consultancy firm Sabo Media (whose clients have included SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Parade magazine and numerous leading radio firms and talent), says, “When Jeff Katz or Michael Graham are on the air doing their shows in a studio right next to the Boston Herald newsroom, they will be one door away from an-in house news gathering and processing operation that employs hundreds of journalists.  This is a brilliant move!”  Sabo adds that his firm has been developing a new division for the past several months that will specialize in advising newspapers in executing this kind of move, stating, “I have been hearing from a number of publications – dailies and weeklies – that are very interested in pursuing these exciting new opportunities, but they realize that they not only need people with on-air broadcast experience, but people who have broadcasting management insight as well.  The Boston Herald was smart to hire Tom Shattuck.”  Summing up the synergy aspect of his new media station, Boston Herald editor-in-chief Sciacca tells TALKERS, “Our multimedia reporters are producing award-winning purcellsciaccavideo reports every day, producing broadcast-quality segments with compelling interviews and streaming content.  Is this a TV newsroom?  An online newsroom?  A radio station?  A newspaper?  It’s today’s Boston Herald.”  He continues, “The power of Boston Herald Radio when it comes to breaking news will be incredible.  Listeners can be confident they will be not only engaged and entertained by our talk shows, but will be insiders on breaking news in real time.”  Boston  Herald publisher and president Patrick J. Purcell (pictured at left with Joe Sciacca, right, in the Boston Herald newsroom) says, “Internet radio is exploding and it makes sense that the Herald rounds out our multimedia platform with talk radio programming.  It’s perfect synergy.  Boston Herald Radio will be fast-paced, uncensored, entertaining, completely interactive and, most important, very respectful to our listeners.  We have a terrific team of seasoned hosts who are smart, respected and extremely versatile.  They live in our communities and fully understand and appreciate the complexities of issues folks care about.”

sabowalterMemo to Newspapers on the Verge of Launching Radio Stations on Their Websites:  Do it Correctly!  Noted radio consultant Walter Sabo is no stranger to working in the intersection between print media and talk radio.  In a new advice column posted today (7/29), he offers several key points from a list of essential ingredients that are required for talk-oriented media stations based on publication websites to achieve success and longevity.  He advises newspaper executives to hire experienced radio executives to lead the station as well as seasoned, accomplished talk hosts to execute it.  He suggests protecting and growing the brand by taking advantage of the traffic already on the website and creating programming that delivers topics in which newspaper readers are already interested.  Most of all, understand that talk show hosts are like newspaper columnists – more so than reporters.  Listeners realize this and do not expect the spoken word of opinion to mimic the printed word of editorial fact and objectivity.  To read Walter Sabo’s entire piece, please click here.

cumulusAnother Report of a Cumulus Split from Limbaugh and Hannity.  We’ve heard these rumors before about Cumulus Media dropping Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and the latest comes from Politico.  The mag reports that inside sources say Cumulus is not satisfied with the results of negotiations to reduce the cost of airing the Limbaugh and Hannity programs on their 40-some news/talk stations that carry them.  Both contracts reportedly are limbaughrushup at the end of this year.  As most industry insiders are aware, there are cash considerations as well as inventory that airs outside the actual programs associated with carrying Limbaugh and Hannity and that, presumably, is what the bone ofhannitysean contention is.  Politico does report that a Cumulus spokesperson said the company does not comment on negotiations with talent under contract.  Cumulus holds its Q2 conference call tomorrow morning but don’t hold your breath waiting for Lew Dickey to comment on the Limbaugh/Hannity issue.  The tone of the Politico piece makes it sound as though this is about the politics of Limbaugh and Hannity and whether the “Sandra Fluke case” is still haunting the sales efforts.  If that were the case, negotiations over the cost of the programs would be irrelevant.  Ultimately, the Dickeys’ decision will likely be based upon whether they make enough money off of Limbaugh and Hannity to justify the cost while considering what the company could do with personalities such as Michael Savage, Mark Levin and Mike Huckabee to cover the time slots now held by Limbaugh and Hannity.

millerchrisThe Social Media Trick You Don’t Know You Know.  Although the term “call to action” has a slightly different application in broadcasting than it does in social media, it is increasingly growing in importance as a concept to managing content in the digital arena.  In a new column posted today (7/29), noted digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller says that radio broadcasters can apply “call to action” concepts with which they are very familiar from their broadcasting experience to social media with merely a few tweaks and turns of a phrase.  To read Miller’s entire column, please click here.

kjce-am logoEntercom Splits KJCE-AM/FM, Austin Simulcast; New Lineup for KJCE-AM.  The FM side of Entercom’s KJCE, Austin becomes an urban AC outlet as the new “96 R&B” featuring Premiere NetworksSteve Harvey in morning drive.  KJCE-AM remains news/talk as “News Radio 1370” with some additions to the lineup, returning Talk Radio Network’s “America’s Morning News.”  Entercom Austin vice president and market manager Alan Kirshbom states, “By bringing back ‘America’s Morning News’ from 5:00 am to 8:00 am and moving Courtside Entertainment’s Laura Ingraham to live programming from 8:00 am to 11:00 am, KJCE once again proves it is Austin’s and Texas’ Talk Station.”  The station is also bringing back Dial Global’s Dennis Miller to air from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm followed by Dave Ramsey and Premiere NetworksSean Hannity.

kroi logoRadio One’s All-News KROI, Houston Partner with KHOU-TV for Weather.  Radio One all-news “News 92 FM” announces a partnership with CBS TV O&O “KHOU 11” for the latter to provide weather for KROI.  Radio One regional vice president Doug Abernethy states, “Why compete with the best when you can team up with the best?  KHOU 11 has built a stellar reputation as a local weather leader in Houston and we are thrilled to welcome KHOU 11 and their outstanding meteorologists to join our 24-hour ‘News 92 FM’ team to provide our audience the best, most accurate, up-to-the-minute weather coverage.”

michaelsbillSyndicated Bill Michaels Sports Talk Program Adds Madison.  Based at Entercom sports talk WSSP, Milwaukee, the statewide syndicated Bill Michaels program announces it will add Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s WOZN-AM, Madison “The Zone” beginning August 8.  The midday sports talk show airs live from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and is in its second year of syndication.  “We’re delighted to welcome another Mid-West Family Broadcasting station to the Bill Michaels Sports Network,” says Michael Keck, vice president and market manager for Entercom Wisconsin.  “Bill’s enthusiasm and talent is contagious and that’s a big reason we continue to grow.”  Michaels comments, “This is a dream come true.  I feel like I’m now able to reach all Wisconsin sports fans.  I’m anxious to connect with the strong sports fan base that is represented in Mad-town.”

jacksonkevin‘The Black Sphere’ Radio Show Gaining Traction.  The Kevin Jackson-hosted “Black Sphere Radio Show” announces it adds WEZO, Augusta, Georgia to its list of affiliate stations.  Earlier this year the program added Salem Communications’ WGUL and WLSS in the Tampa-St. Petersburg and Sarasota markets.  Program senior producer Mickey White says, “Kevin is gaining in popularity and we will be adding markets and new sponsors in the very near future.  Kevin’s blend of entertainment with politics is getting lots of attention.  We are in talks with stations across the country, including some large market stations in Nevada, Colorado and California and we expect to make a lot of big announcements in the near future.”

rhodesaustinMan Arrested After Threatening WGAC, Augusta’s Austin Rhodes.  A 25-year old Augusta, Georgia man was taken into custody last week and held on $2,600 bond after allegedly threatening WGAC, Augusta talk show host Austin Rhodes with bodily harm.  After Darnell Tyray Chambers made what Rhodes considered a threatening statement about him on Facebook, he reported the threat as per Beasley Broadcast Group company policy.  According to the Columbia County News-Times, police arrested Chambers on charges of making terroristic threats and acts.

handel20yearsKFI, Los Angeles Celebrates 20 Years of Bill Handel.  Clear Channel news/talk giant KFI, Los Angeles is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Bill Handel as the morning drive talk personality on the station.  Handel began hosting the program in July of 1993 but the station says it will officially celebrate the anniversary with an extravaganza for listeners in November but on Friday, July 26, Rich Marotta, Michelle Kube, Mike Nolan, Neil Saavedra and Gary Hoffmann reminisced about their favorite Handel moments during the 5:00 am hour of the program.  To say that Handel is important to the station’s success would be an understatement.  Handel is consistently one of the highest-rated daily talk radio programs in the country in terms of cume.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

| July 18, 2013

pendlchrisGet Credit for Your Hard Work, Audit Your PPM Encoding.  Bonneville Seattle creative director Chris Pendl writes in this TALKERS column that it’s a very wise move to take the time to audit your PPMppmunit encoding ASAP.  Pendl says, “With radio audiences fragmented on different distribution platforms, it’s important to confirm all of our published content has the proper encoding to receive listening credit.  Regardless if you’re simulcasting commercials on your digital platforms, if you’re not using PPM-encoded audio to distribute content you’re missing out.”  In this must-read piece targeted to programmers, Pendl details why this is so important and provides a step-by-step plan for working with the good folks at Arbitron to make sure your PPM encoding is up to snuff.  Read his entire column here.

noorygeorgeGeorge Noory to Stay with ‘Coast to Coast AM’ for Many Years to Come.  Premiere Networks announces it has signed a new, multi-year contract renewal with “Coast to Coast AM” host George Noory.  Premiere says that “Under the new agreement, Noory will continue his current role as host of ‘Coast to Coast AM,’ the most-listened-to overnight radio program in North America.  Heard by nearly 3 million weekly listeners on nearly 570 radio stations in the U.S., Canada, Guam and Mexico, the program is ranked #1 in several markets, including Los Angeles, Houston, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Sacramento, Cleveland, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Providence and Hartford.  In addition, Coast to Coast AM’s audience has grown 13% over the past two years, and in the past year alone, has experienced double and triple digit gains in major markets, including New York (+23%), Los Angeles (+25%), Houston (+121%) and Philadelphia (+167%).”  George Noory talks about his new deal, saying, “By renewing my deal with Premiere Networks, I’ll be around when astronauts land on Mars.  I want to thank Premiere and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment for having the confidence in me and our amazing team to take ‘Coast to Coast AM’ into the future.  I look forward to many more years of bringing riveting programs during the late-night hours to our millions of listeners around the world.”

harrisonshannonshomperThe Conclave Is Off and Running in Minneapolis.  The nation’s longest-running national radio conference is in full swing in Minneapolis.  Conclave 38 featured a multi-dimensional, all-afternoon presentation yesterday (7/17) by Fred JacobsJacobs Media titled “Jacobs Media Summer School.”  This morning (7/18), TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison delivered the keynote.  In it he addressed the future role of talent as radio continues to evolve and adapt itself to the new digital era.  He drew applause when he stated that music radio must bring back the active disc jockey and reclaim ownership of the music culture – just as news/talk radio has claimed ownership of the political culture and sports talk radio has claimed ownership of the sports culture – in order to survive.  Look for extensive coverage of the three-day event including a video of Harrison’s speech shortly in TALKERS.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Conclave executive director Bob Shannon; WCCO, Minneapolis, PD, Bob Shomper; and Harrison at the Conclave this morning.

baileyjasonJason Bailey Moves to Atlanta for AM Drive Gig on ‘92-9 The Game.’  CBS Radio announces Rick Kamla moves from “The Morning Grind” to the midday show alongside Jamie Dukes and former WTKS, Orlando personality Jason kamlarickBailey a.k.a. “Buckethead” (not the famous guitar player) partners up with Randy Cross and Kristen Ledlow for mornings.  WZGC notes that “some of Jason Bailey’s sports accolades include hosting the WYGM Pre-Game Show, voice of the Orlando Rage, and color commentary for Predators radio broadcasts.  Bailey has also been the sideline reporter for the Orlando Predators and Tuskers, as well as a host for WWE and TNA Wrestling.”  WZGC program director Terry Foxx says, “As we continue to position ‘Sportsradio 92-9 The Game’ for success, we are excited to have Jason join us to bring his unique and entertaining personality to our team.”

hortonstacyMedia Management Group Appoints Stacy Horton EVP of Sales and Affiliations.  Media affiliate sales pro Stacy Horton joins the team at Media Management Group as executive vice president of sales and affiliations.  The company states that in this new role, “Stacy will execute the affiliate growth strategy for the MMG Radio Network, as well as play an integral role in revenue growth and content development.”  MMG VP of business development Alan Eisenson says, “When we launched MMGRN in April with Warren Eckstein’s ‘The Pet Show,’ we had no idea it would grow so quickly.  There’s a great demand for quality, niche weekend programming, and Stacy will be invaluable in not only adding affiliates for Warren, but also as we continue to expand our roster of programs and services to affiliates.”  Horton comments, “This is an exciting time for the media industry and I’m thrilled to be joining the amazing team at MMG.  The company is ideally positioned at the nexus between talent, technology, and content.  My job will be to leverage those synergies, and create value to fuel growth for the company, our partner stations, and the personalities we represent.”  Horton started her radio career in the early 1990s as part of the marketing team that launched the Universal Studios Radio Broadcast Center, which hosted thousands of A-list radio personalities from around the world for live remote broadcasts during which Horton would join the guests for on-air banter.  Most recently she was VP of affiliate sales at the Business TalkRadio Network.  Prior to that, she was a producer and affiliate relations manager at Yahoo!, USRN, Launch Radio and Sony Music where she produced content and managed relationships with hundreds of stations around the United States.

pinchjonFinding Radio Advertising Solutions.  Radio is fighting for its piece of the American ad budget pie and numerous industry experts have been calling for better creative and better production in order to compete with the trend that ismarshallrobin moving tremendous amounts of ad dollars to the digital frontier.  In a piece published today (7/17), TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian offers a brief shout-out to a couple of the industry’s legendary creative talents and then spotlights Cumulus Media’s marketing initiative Sound Solutions.  In this story he speaks with EVP/COO Jon Pinch and production manager Robin Marshall about how the company is using this division to woo advertisers to a medium that has a strong history of creating memorable spots that deliver results.  Read his story here.

midwestcomm logoMidwest Communications Latest Company to Face Copyright Infringement Complaint.  The bottom line for radio station website operators here is that if you didn’t take the picture, pay the copyright holder for the photo or receive it as a promotional photo from the copyright holder or owner, then you don’t have permission to use it and you may end up negotiating a settlement that will cost you money.  That’s more than likely what Midwest Communications will end up doing after BWP Media filed a complaint in United States District Court Western District of Wisconsin alleging country WBFM, Sheboygan, Wisconsin “B93” posted a copyrighted photo on its website without permission.  As is usual in these cases, BWP is seeking $150,000 per infringement but it will probably be settled out of court for much less and that will remain confidential.  The photo in question was of Hugh Hefner’s girlfriend in a bathing suit with the caption “Hugh Hefner’s Girlfriend Looks Like a Pregnant Barbie Doll.”  Many station websites feature – or have in the past featured – these copyrighted photos and continued the practice because no complaint was filed.  Now more than ever though, companies such as BWP Media are actively patrolling the web to catch violators in order to protect their property.  Radio station digital brand managers must be vigilant in staying within the law.

kgme logoClear Channel’s KGME, Phoenix to Carry Arizona Men’s Sports.  IMG College owns the rights to University of Arizona football and Men’s basketball and the organization announces that Clear Channel sports talk outlet KGME, Phoenix “Fox Sports 910” will carry the play-by-play as well as coaches shows and affiliated programming under a newly signed deal.  CC Phoenix Scott Hopeck says, in a statement, “Teaming up with the Arizona Wildcats to provide full University of Arizona football and Men’s basketball coverage is a significant addition to our new ‘Fox Sports 910’ brand.  We are happy to serve the large base of fans and alumni who now have a new radio home where they can follow their Wildcats anywhere in the Valley.”

Zimmerman Verdict Aftermath, Rolling Stone Tsarnaev Cover, Soaring Dow/Fed Policy, Eastern U.S. Heatwave, IRS Conservative Targeting Scandal, and Internet Sales Tax Proposal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/17).  The ongoing aftermath of the George Zimmerman verdict; controversy over Rolling Stone magazine’s cover featuring the surviving Boston Marathon bomber; the high-flying U.S. financial markets and the Federal Reserve’s policies; the heat wave affecting the Eastern United States; the Internal Revenue Service’s scrutiny of conservative organizations and individuals; and the proposed tax on internet sales were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

| July 16, 2013

hubbardbroadcastingHubbard to Buy 10 Sandusky Stations for $85.5 Million.  The deal gives Hubbard Radio five stations in the Phoenix market and five in Seattle.  It includes Phoenix outlets: classic rock KSLX, active rock KUPD, rock KDKB, oldies KAZG-AM, and sports talk KDUS-AM; and Seattle stations: standards, KIXI-AM, CHR KQMV, talk KKNW-AM, AC KRWM, alternative KLCK.  Hubbard board chair Ginny Morris says in a statement, “This is an exciting opportunity to expand Hubbard Radio into two top 20 markets.  We have known and respected the Rau/White family, Sandusky’s owners, for many years.  We admire what they have accomplished and we are honored that they would agree to sell us these established stations.  We are committed to maintaining the dedication to excellence and to community that Sandusky has made such an important part of their radio operations.”  This sale signals the end of the radio business interests for Sandusky as the company turns its total focus to its print and digital operations.  For Hubbard, it bumps the number of stations it will own from 20 to 30.  Hubbard president and CEO Bruce Reese says, “Hubbard is excited about the chance to add these great stations to our existing operations in Chicago, Washington, DC, Minneapolis/St. Paul, St. Louis and Cincinnati.  Sandusky runs very successful radio stations and we plan on continuing that precedent.  We look forward to working with our new colleagues.”

wmgc logoWait Is on to See if Greater Media Flips AC WMGC, Detroit to Sports Talk.  Rumors have been heard in Detroit for a few months now that Greater Media is considering a format flip to sports talk for moribund soft rock “Magic 105.”  Now, those rumors are getting hotter and Crain’s Detroit Business reports in a story by Bill wxyt-fm logoShea that sources say that switch could happen next month.  The publication notes that WMGC’s ratings have been in decline since longtime morning host Jim Harper retired 19 months ago.  But the switch would mean taking on CBS Radio’s highly rated WXYT-FM – no easy feat, even in a market most would consider a “sports town.”  Shea’s report cites insiders saying Greater Media is talking with former employee Drew Lane who – along with partner Mike Clark – were not renewed for the morning show at the company’s rock WRIF two months ago, although they had good ratings and enjoy excellent credibility in the market.  In his piece, Shea states that, “WXYT’s rating dominance is largely because it has the rights to air live all four of Detroit’s professional sports teams’ games.  The radio contracts for the Detroit Lions, Tigers, Red Wings and Pistons don’t expire until 2015, meaning it would be more than a year before a flipped WMGC could theoretically pursue and air pro games.”  Although the value of play-by-play is real, and there’s no doubt the combination of excellent talk show talent and game broadcasts is a winning formula, TALKERS would hesitate to say the station’s success is largely because of play-by-play.  Ultimately it’s all about revenue and rights to those games are very expensive while WXYT’s personalities and the advertising rates they command are extremely valuable to the station.

ramseydaveDave Ramsey Show Jumps to KXLY, Spokane.  Nationally syndicated financial talk star Dave Ramsey’s program moves to Queen B-owned news/talk outlet KXLY, Spokane after years on Clear Channel’s crosstown KQNT.  Dave Ramsey vice president of broadcast Brian Mayfield says, “We are excited to have the Dave Ramsey show as part of the lineup on KXLY in Spokane.  We are equally excited at the opportunity to partner with the team at Queen B Radio in bringing Dave to town with his latest ‘Legacy Journey Live Event’ on October 17.”  Premiere NetworksSean Hannity show is moved from KXLY to crosstown KQNT and KXLY Radio Group VP Brian Paul Lubanski states, “We were one of the early adopters of Sean’s show and thank Sean for 12 great years on KXLY.  I’m very excited to have Dave on our station, he’s kicked our butt in the ratings in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 timeslot the past couple of years!”

wilsonlarryLarry Wilson’s L&L Broadcasting to Acquire YMF Media’s Jackson, Mississippi Cluster.  The six-station Jackson station group Larry Wilson’s L&L Broadcasting is set to buy includes three FMs and three AMs: urban contemporary WKXI “Kixie 107 FM,” hip hop WJMI “99 Jams,” sports talk WRKS “ESPN 105.9 The Zone,” news/talk WJNT, gospel WOAD, and oldies WJQS.  No price has been announced yet but in a statement, Wilson says, “The YMF Media cluster in Jackson will be a great addition to our Mississippi footprint.  As the state capital, Jackson is an energetic and thriving city with endless opportunities for growth.  We’re excited to bring these heritage stations into the L&L family.”

bergmansandiMEDIA BROKER SPOTLIGHT:  George Kimble of Kozacko Media Services.  In this week’s installment of Media Broker Spotlight, Sandi Bergman of RadioTVDeals.com interviews media broker George Kimble of Kozacko Media Services in Tucson, Arizona.  Kimble has been in radio since he was 13, as his father was a station owner.  By the time he was 17 and a senior in high school, he was also the morning man at his local hometown station.  He went on to be a radio and television station owner himself for some 40 years.  Kimble agrees with the editorial philosophy expressed in this trade publication that there are indeed opportunities for displaced, experienced radio management in local ownership if they are willing to roll up their sleeves and personally work all ends of it.  He states, “There are plenty of good opportunities available.  The prices have come down to the lowest in years — so NOW is certainly the time for action.  While there are no national financial sources of money — local banks will still back an on-scene, experienced operator with the help of the SBA.  And, seller financing is available in a number of smaller market opportunities.”  Kimble shares several hot listings in this piece.  To read the entire installment of Media Broker Spotlight, please click here.

hartmannThom Hartmann to Receive Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Goddard College.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Thom Hartmann will receive the honorary degree in September from the Plainfield, Vermont-located school.  Goddard College president Barbara Vacarr writes to Hartmann: “This award is designed to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to both the worlds of academe and activism and who, through their work and study, help propel the ideals and aspirations of Goddard College: to advance cultures of rigorous inquiry, collaboration, and lifelong learning, where individuals take imaginative and responsible action in the world.  By bestowing you with this honorary doctorate, Goddard College wishes to honor your lifelong work as an author, commentator, entrepreneur, philanthropist, activist, academician, radio talk show host and lifelong learner.  Your impact is deep and far reaching in a wide array of areas.  Your extensive and groundbreaking work and writing on the subject of ADD would by itself qualify you for this doctorate.  Coupled with your lifelong activism and creativity in the fields of broadcast journalism, communications, progressive politics, and humanitarianism, you are truly an outstanding example of an American citizen actively engaged in engendering civil discourse that is provocative and designed to be.”

nbcsportsradio logoNBC Sports Radio Shows to Broadcast from Celebrity Charity Golf Tourney.  The American Century Championship, the “premiere celebrity golf tournament,” is owned and produced by NBC Sports and sponsored by American Century Investments.  The annual tournament (in its 24th year) features some of the sports and entertainment world’s biggest celebrities and raises funds for local and national charities including Expect Miracles Foundation and American Cancer Society‘s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.  To date, American Century Investments and NBC Sports have raised more than $4 million through the American Century Championship.  Celebrities scheduled to play for the $600,000 purse include: NBC Sports Radio host Rodney Harrison and NBC Sports Radio senior contributor Chipper Jones, as well as Emmitt Smith, Charles Barkley, Aaron Rodgers, Ozzie Smith, Ray Romano, John Elway, Jerry Rice, Marshall Faulk, Goose Gossage, and many more.  Both “Under Center with McNabb & Malone” featuring Donovan McNabb and Mark Malone, and “Amani and Eytan” with Amani Toomer and Eytan Shander will be broadcasting live from the event this Thursday and Friday from the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

kileypatrickFormer Talk Host Patrick Kiley Sentenced in Ponzi Scheme.  Seventy-five-year-old Patrick Kiley was the fourth of a group of defendants to be sentenced for his part in a Ponzi scheme that prosecutors say defrauded victims of $194 million.  He was sentenced by a Minnesota judge to 240 months in federal prison.  Kiley hosted a nationally syndicated radio program called “Follow the Money” distributed by the Worldwide Christian Radio Network.  According to WCCO-TV, in Minneapolis, Kiley and co-conspirators “Trevor Cook, Jason Bo-Alan Beckman, Gerald Joseph Durand and Christopher Pettengill – were all solely and jointly ordered to pay $155,359,411 in restitution to their victims.”  Kiley was convicted of 12 counts of wire and mail fraud.

OAzimmermanOpie & Anthony Host Robert Zimmerman, Jr.  In the aftermath of the verdict in the case of George Zimmerman, SiriusXM Satellite Radio hosts Opie & Anthony had Zimmerman’s brother Robert Zimmerman, Jr. in the studio for an extended interview.  During the program, Zimmerman blamed the media for the way the story evolved, saying, “I think when this happened in the beginning, there was just George and Trayvon Martin — for about a day.  And I think that after, in my view, Ms. Fulton and Mr. Martin had grief like any parent would.  I think their grief was exploited — that’s really what I feel in my heart — by Mr. Benjamin Crump and Ms. Natalie Jackson.  And they started a race narrative, a smear campaign that the media was all too happy to…[be a part of].”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Opie Hughes, Zimmerman, Jr., Anthony Cumia, and Jim NortonPhoto: Erik Nagel

funniestreportersNational Media Personalities to Star in Eighth Annual New York’s Funniest Reporter Show Sponsored by TALKERSThe eighth annual New York’s Funniest Reporter Show (www.nyfunniestreporter.com) will take place this Sunday, July 21 at 5:00 pm at Comic Strip Live comedy club on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.  It will feature seven media professionals each doing five minutes of stand-up comedy in order to raise money for the Humane Society of New York.  At the end of the night, a winner will be declared.  Competing in the show this year will be: Peter Schiff of the Peter Schiff Radio Show, Magee Hickey of WPIX Channel 11, Laurie Dhue of Glenn Beck‘s TheBlaze TV, Charles Payne of Fox Business Channel, Janice Dean of Fox News Channel, Bob Bodwon of Choice Media, Chris Serico of Newsday, and Dr. Manny Alvarez of Fox News Channel.  2012’s NYFR Show Champion Clayton Morris of Fox News Channel will be performing but, not competing.  Hosting the show will be comedian Mark Anthony Ramirez.  Show judges will be Jane Velez-Mitchell of HLN, and Mark Goldman and Ryan McCormick of Goldman McCormick PR.  All participants are offered the opportunity to work with a professional comedian and receive a crash course in stand-up comedy.  The Comedy Mentor also helps them to prepare their material and iron out and pre-stage nervous jitters.  The cost of admission is $20.  To make a reservation, please call (212) 861-9386.

millercowgirls KIDO, Boise’s Kevin Miller Cowboys Up.  KIDO morning drive host Kevin Miller is pictured here with the Idaho Rodeo Queens during a recent broadcast live from the Snake River Stampede.

Zimmerman Verdict, Edward Snowden Status, Jenny McCarthy Joins ‘The View,’ ‘Glee’ Star Dies, and SyFy’s ‘Sharknado’ Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/15).  The aftermath of the “not guilty” verdict for George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin; the uncertain status of former NSA consultant Edward Snowden; Jenny McCarthy replaces Elisabeth Hasselbeck on “The View,” “Glee” star Cory Monteith dies in Vancouver, BC hotel; and the sensation over SyFy channel’s “Sharknado” movie were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

| July 10, 2013

siriusxmSiriusXM Moves Past 25 Million Subscriber Mark.  SiriusXM Radio announces it has added 715,000 net new subscribers in the second quarter, and that brings its total subscriber number to more than 25 million.  The satcaster cites strong automotive sales for helping drive 15% growth in net additions over the second meyerjimquarter of 2012 and setting “a post-merger record for quarterly net subscriber additions.”  As a result, SiriusXM is raising full-year guidance for total net subscriber additions to 1.5 million from its previous guidance of 1.4 million.  Company CEO Jim Meyer states, “The new subscriber additions in the quarter have helped SiriusXM reach an exciting new milestone that reflects the popularity and reach of SiriusXM programming and services.  The quarterly results bolster SiriusXM’s leadership position in a dynamic audio entertainment marketplace as we continue our trend of strong, profitable growth.  Additionally, we are raising 2013 subscriber guidance to 1.5 million net additions based on our record performance in the quarter.”  Also, the company reiterated its existing 2013 guidance for 1.6 million self-pay net subscriber additions.

yankees logoClear Channel’s WOR, New York Bidding on Yankees Broadcast Rights.  According to a report by Phil Mushnick and Don Burke in the New York Post, Clear Channel-owned WOR, New York is entering thewor710 bidding war over rights to New York Yankees baseball play-by-play.  The reporters cite inside sources that say the company has offered a figure surpassing the current $14 million CBS Radio pays to air games on its all-news WCBS.  CBS Radio has held the rights for the past 11 years and bidding (contracts for both the Yankees and the Mets expire after this season) was expected to be hot with WFAN’s addition of an FM signal in the market and ESPN-owned WEPN also gaining an FM signal.  Whether Clear Channel really wants the Yankees or not is up for speculation – it’s not unusual for companies to enter into the bidding process to drive up the cost for its competition.  It’s a pretty good bet that CBS Radio wants to keep the Yankees but if the price gets too steep will the company let the games go to WOR?  Time will tell.  Meanwhile, unlike Buckley Broadcasting (WOR’s previous owner) Clear Channel has a lot of experience owning flagship baseball signals at its other stations across the country.

tribuneTribune to Split Broadcast and Publishing Entities into Two Companies.  Tribune Company is reporting that it is beginning the process of dividing its assets into two distinctive companies: Tribune Company will contain WGN-AM, Chicago and all of the television stations and TV production units while Tribune Publishing will be the parent ofwgnlogo its newspapers including the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Hartford Courant and others.  Like similarly structured companies, Tribune is focusing on its entertainment properties and the recent plan to acquire Local TV Holdings’ 19 TV stations is proof of that.  During its long bankruptcy proceedings, Tribune had its newspapers on the market but was unable to execute a deal.  News Corp. just announced it would execute a similar move and is splitting its TV and entertainment holdings (including Fox News Channel) into one company – 21st Century Fox – while keeping its publishing assets in the entity called News Corp.

baribeaurachelRachel Baribeau Exits ’92.9 The Game’ in Atlanta.  One of the cast members of CBS Radio sports talk WZGC, Atlanta “92.9 The Game” exits for a gig with Raycom SportsRachel Baribeau leaves the PM drive show where she appeared alongside Kordell Stewart and Carl Dukes to join the company that owns the television rights to ACC basketball and football and, through a sublicense with ESPN, is the syndicator of ACC football and basketball.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports Dukes and Stewart mentioned her departure on the air with Dukes stating, “We love Rachel and we’ll stay in contact with her.  She’s moving on to a great opportunity for herself.”

luciarayNationally Syndicated Financial Talk Host Ray Lucia Fined Over Investment Strategy Claims.  Ray Lucia and his Raymond J. Lucia Cos. Inc. were fined by administrative-law judge Cameron Elliot after the judge agreed with the original SEC complaint that Lucia’s “Buckets of Money” investment strategy – which claimed it had back-testing to support the success of its strategy – had “scant, if any, actual back-tests.”  According to a report in Investment News, Lucia was fined $50,000 and his company was fined $250,000.  Additionally, his advisor registration was revoked by the judge.  Investment News reports that Elliot ruled Lucia “misrepresented for years ‘the validity of purported back-testing in seminars for prospective investors’ interested in his Buckets of Money strategy for retirement savings.”  Lucia and his company have 21 days in which to appeal the decision.

ligginsalfredRadio One and TV One Bring Roland Martin to Radio and TV with “News One Now.”  Radio One president and CEO and TV One chairman Alfred Liggins announces to Multichannel.com that his companies are developing a newmartinroland program featuring former CNN journalist Roland Martin to be called “News One Now” that will debut in the fall prior to the Congressional Black Caucus’ Annual Legislative Conference.   Liggins says, “This is a further evolution of TV One’s commitment to better and more important television for African-Americans, and is also an extension of Radio One’s history and philosophy of making sure we inform, entertain and advocate for the African-American community.  This is the first time a network has approached African-American news on this type of commitment tvone logolevel.”  Liggins adds, “About 50% of African Americans get their news from cable news networks so we now have the opportunity to set the table on a daily basis.  The show will serve as the nexus of black thought – when you talk about what’s happening politically, socially, culturally in our communities, this is the place where people will be able to have those discussions.”  The three-hour radio show will air from 7:00 am to 10:00 am with the last hour simulcast on television via TV One and will “offer news and analysis of politics, entertainment, sports and culture from an African American perspective.”  Martin has been hosting TV One’s Sunday program “Washington Watch” but with the new venture, that show will not return in the fall.

freebeerCompass Media Networks’ ‘Free Beer & Hot Wings’ Morning Show Renews with Flagship WGRD, Grand Rapids.  Townsquare Media’s rock WGRD, Grand Rapids announces it has struck a new deal with the nationally syndicated young male-targeted “Free Beer & Hot Wings” morning drive show hosted by Gregg “Free Beer” Daniels, Chris “Hot Wings” Michels, and Eric Zane.  The new deal keeps the program on the station through 2018.  Townsquare Grand Rapids vice president/general manager Russ Hines tells MLive.com, “Gregg, Chris and Eric continue to entertain and grow their audience every day and amuse their listeners with quality humorous content.  Their decision to stay in West Michigan and continue to raise their families here is another indication of what makes Grand Rapids special.”

hannityseanKQNT, Spokane Adds Sean Hannity for Middays.  Clear Channel-owned news/talk KQNT, Spokane adds Premiere NetworksSean Hannity program to the schedule to air in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm following Premiere’s Rush Limbaugh.  KQNT program director Bob Castle states, “Sean Hannity is a media superstar and his addition to our lineup now provides our listeners and advertisers with the most popular talk show hosts in the country, all on one station.”

fifty & five logoGary Landis Named Director of Client Relations at Fifty & Five.  Former Westwood One vice president and longtime media consultant Gary Landis joins Fifty & Five as director of client relations.  Based in Redondo Beach, California, Fifty & Five is a four-year-old firm that landisgaryspecializes in social media marketing for brands, products and services including the radio industry.  Speaking about his new opportunity, Landis states, “With over 40 years of national broadcasting experience behind me, I am looking forward to working with CEO Lucas Vandenberg and EVP of client relations Peter Evans, plus the most incredible team of social media talent on the planet.  This is not your mother’s social media agency.  Beyond what is being done by every radio station today, there are new ways to employ social media that can profoundly impact the bottom line.”  Peter Evans says, “With Gary’s diverse experience and expertise in the broadcast media, we can only anticipate great things from him in the coming months and years.” Landis can be reached at 612-581-7581 or by e-mail at gary@fiftyandfive.com.

dreambigamerica logoDoug Stephan’s ‘Dream Big America’ Kicked Off This Week.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Doug Stephan – heard around the country on his “Good Day” morning program – debuted the “Dream Big America” first-ever live radio show that pits new entrepreneur ideas against each other.  The inaugural lineup of contestants appeared on Tuesday, July 9, at 9:00 am on “Doug Stephan’s Good Day.”  Three entrepreneurs each pitched their business ideas.  Then a panel of noted business executive/celebrities cross-examined each contestant.  Next, listeners were invited to call stephandougspecial voting numbers to select a weekly winner.  Weekly winners will be invited back to face off in the “Finals Show” on the last Tuesday of the month.  The final winner will receive cash, support and valuable resources for their business, according to Stephan.  The first three entrepreneurs were: Conscious Box, which enables customers to discover healthier, environmentally focused products by sending a monthly sample box of 10-20 products to a subscriber’s front door, presented by CEO Patrick Kelly, Jr.; myEDmatch, a job-matching site for educators that connects schools and teachers with shared missions, beliefs, and goals, presented by CEO Alicia Herald; and Stemulation, the first luxury skin-care product that uses adult mesenchymal stem cells to rejuvenate the skin, presented by president and CEO Laurie Nicoll.  Speaking about the debut program, Doug Stephan says, “What a powerhouse group of entrepreneurs for the ‘Dream Big America’ inaugural show.  We are coming out of the box with a bang!  Each one of these new ventures is very impressive in their own right.  I can’t wait to see how America will vote between these three companies.”  The “Dream Big America” program is a collaboration between Stephan’s “Good Day,” the Kansas City-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and its 1 Million Cups start-up education program, and the San Diego-based Nutritional Capital Network.

hasselbeckelisabethElisabeth Hasselbeck to Join Fox News Channel’s ‘Fox & Friends’ Morning Show.  Longtime cast member of ABC TV’s “The View,” conservative Elisabeth Hasselbeck, will become part of Fox News Channel’s morning show, replacing current co-host Gretchen Carlson who is going to be anchoring her own daytime show on the cable news/talker beginning in September.  In a statement, FNC chairman and CEO Roger Ailes says, “Elisabeth’s warm and engaging personality made her a star on ‘The View.’  She has proven to be an excellent conversationalist and I am certain she will make a great addition to our already successful morning franchise.”

mikeandmikeOdds & Sods.  Salem Radio Network announces a month-long, multi-platform initiative in August designed to highlight what it calls “the battle over America’s culture wars” and reporting that SRN’s nationally syndicated talk hosts – as well as the network’s 24/7 Washington, D.C.-based SRN News service – will all focus interviews and special features on “the current challenges to traditional American values.”…..WTOP, Washington’s “Best of Washington” kicks off this week with new and returning “Top 10” categories.  Hubbard’s broadcast and digital news operation says it wants to know the best things in the Washington area.  This week on WTOP.com listeners can nominate their favorites in these ten categories: pizza, local charity, food truck, burger, wings, fries, local brewery, happy hour, farmer’s market, and shopping mall.  During the week of July 15 -19 the finalists will be announced and voting will begin.  The winners of WTOP’s “Best of Washington” will be unveiled weekdays July 22 through August 2…..ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike — Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic – will describe the action over the Citi Field PA system for those at the stadium during the 2013 Chevrolet Home Run Derby, Monday, July 15, at 8:00 pm at the MLB All Star Game festivities.  Greeny and Golic will be positioned on the field to provide commentary and player interviews during this year’s event.

Illegal Immigration Legislation/Amnesty Program, ObamaCare Implementation, George Zimmerman Trial, Egypt Turmoil, Aaron Hernandez Case, NSA Surveillance Program, Texas Abortion Bill, and Mexico Grabs Obesity Crown Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/9).  The debate over new immigration legislation and the proposed amnesty policy; implementation of the Affordable Care Act; the trial of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin; new details linking Aaron Hernandez to the shooting death of Odin Lloyd; debate over the National Security Agency’s surveillance program; the Texas House’s passing of new abortion legislation; and Mexico’s rise to the most obese nation were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, May 6, 2013

| May 6, 2013

limbaughrushLimbaugh-Cumulus Talk Radio Sales Issue Plays Out in Consumer Press.  In a piece in the New York Daily News published over the weekend, the war of words over challenged sales of talk radio time at Cumulus Media properties (specifically WABC) became public as the paper quoted a “source close to Limbaugh” said, in effect, that Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey needs to stop blaming Rush Limbaugh for sales trouble at his news/talk stations.  Dickey has made public dickeylewstatements – at both investor conference calls and in media appearances – about the negative effect of Rush Limbaugh’s February 2012 Sandra Fluke “slut” controversy that he says is still dragging down sales at his major market news/talk stations.  As the Daily News story reports, Cumulus claimed that the high-profile controversy was responsible for lost millions in the first two quarters of 2012.  But the story quotes the Limbaugh source stating, “Dickey keeps complaining about falling revenue, but his stations have long lagged behind their competitors in sales by a substantial margin.  Rush Limbaugh’s ratings have outperformed every other program on WABC and many other Cumulus stations for years.”  The piece notes that Cumulus is not commenting on this latest salvo.  Limbaugh’s Premiere Networks contract with WABC, New York expires at the end of 2013 and with Clear Channel’s recent purchase of crosstown WOR, some industry watchers expect his program will move to WOR in 2014.

savagemichaelMichael Savage-TRN Actions Still in the Courts.  The legal activity surrounding talk radio host Michael Savage’s successful bid to free himself from his Talk Radio Network contract last fall and subsequently sign on with Cumulusmastersmark Media Networks is still in the courts.  Michael Savage celebrated a Thursday, May 2 ruling in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in which Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers upheld the arbitration panel’s decision to release him from his contract and award him $863,454 plus other money from earnings.  Responding to the ruling, Original Talk Radio Network CEO Mark Masters states, “We are appealing this ruling.  We are confident of a successful outcome for OTRN in this next round of appeals.”  Speaking to World Net Daily, Savage attorney Dan Horowitz says the case “establishes the ability of radio talent to break away from an employer like any other employee.”

becknraGlenn Beck Delivers Keynote Address at NRA Convention.  Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk radio host and television and digital media entrepreneur Glenn Beck delivered the keynote address at this year’s NRA Convention held in Houston over the weekend.  He’s pictured here during the speech holding a rifle given to him prior to an appearance in Kentucky.  His 1 hour and 40 minute presentation was far more than a typical keynote delivered from behind a podium.  Glenn Beck’s skills as a speaker and performer were clearly evident as he kept the audience rapt and engaged during what might have been an interminable amount of time to witness a lesser talented public speaker work.  The politics of his message aside and from a purely industrial standpoint, his keynote at this event was a great example of how a top-notch communicator effectively delivers a message and shows why he stands above so many of his colleagues.  See the speech here.  Glenn Beck will also be speaking at the Talkers New York 2013 industry conference (although for a shorter period of time) on Thursday, June 6 where he will be receiving the 2013 Freedom of Speech Award.

weismanstevenPhotograph Case Brings Legal Issues Home for Broadcasters.  TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman says the legal issues surrounding the use of a photograph of a young man with Down Syndrome by Cox Media’s WHPT, Tampa on its website are numerous and serve as an excellent case from which broadcasters can learn.  As we reported recently, the family of the young man – Adam Holland, who was 17 when the picture of him was taken in 2004 – is suing Cox Media in federal court in Tennessee for invasion of privacy, misappropriation of a likeness, defamation, intentional infliction of emotion distress and violation of a Tennessee statute regarding commercial exploitation of a person’s photograph.  Weisman writes that photos such as the one of Adam Holland can become internet memes — images, videos, photographs or phrases that rapidly spread throughout the internet by way of search engines, social networking services, social news sites or video hosting services.  Weisman states, “Often these memes may be altered for purposes of parody of the original work, a use that is protected in accordance with a long line of court decisions.  However, other times there are serious intellectual property issues when an original work is used or adapted for commercial purposes as was the case with the use by WHPT.  While the exception to the intellectual property laws of ‘fair use’ may apply when a piece is altered and used, as often is done on the internet, for non-commercial purposes, this defense does not apply when intellectual property is used for commercial purposes.”  Read more of Weisman’s analysis of this case here.

millerchrisUsing Facebook to Turn News/Talk Radio Social Media Initiatives into a “Loyalty Content Marketing” Program:  In a new article posted today (5/6), noted digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chis Miller advises readers, “You can turn your social media into a ‘loyalty content marketing’ program for those ultra-passionate fans you have.”  Miller points out, “Unfortunately, just about all news/talk stations with a Facebook page have the same problem.  There’s a lot of content posted about news.  However, there is almost no content about what the talk shows are doing.  I’m sure syndication is one reason for this; if the talk host is not in the building, how are you going to know what he or she is planning to talk about, and when?  Even so, this is a problem with local talk hosts, too.  I don’t see a lot of social media content about local shows.  Those local talk host posts that I do see often don’t offer a lot of specifics.  I’m not told when to listen; I’m not told why I would want to listen; I’m not invited to engage.”  Miller shares a couple of basic but extremely valuable tips about how to use Facebook and Twitter more effectively for your news/talk station.  To read the entire article, click here.

cookehollandHolland Cooke Asks:  Do Your Station Promos Sound ‘Like Blah, Blah, Blah?’  In a new article posted today (5/6) noted radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke tackles the ever-important goal of increasing Time Spent Listening (TSL).  He says one of the keys to accomplishing this is to make effective use of station promos stating:  “Nothing we say about the station on air adds listeners, because the only people who hear promos are already listening.”  He says it is vital to think about your demos and specifically what they are doing and care about while listening when writing and producing promos.  He addresses each of these considerations in the article, concluding, “Give a listen, outside the station and outside the box.  Every time you hear your station say-something-about-itself – live format language, or produced promo — ask yourself: Will THAT cause a listener to come back again another time?”  To read Holland Cooke’s entire column, click here.

rakestrawgregIndiana Sports Broadcaster Greg Rakestraw to Program WFNI, Indianapolis.  Emmis Communications announces Indiana sports broadcaster Greg Rakestraw is the new program director for its sports talk WFNI, Indianapolis “1070 The Fan.”  The position opened up when Alan Furst left WFNI and sister news/talk WIBC-FM to join Radio One’s all-news KROI, Houston back in December.  The company upped then-WFNI PD David Wood to programmer for WIBC, leaving the slot open.  Rakestraw has worked at numerous Indianapolis stations including sports talkers WNDE and WXLW as well as at cable TV operation Home Town Sports Indiana.

deptrojohnWPRO, Providence Late-Morning Host John DePetro to Host Live Interview Series.  WPRO, Providence talk show host John DePetro is hosting a live interview series at the newly re-opened Greenwich Odeum theater in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.  On Wednesday, May 8, DePetro will host former Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri, Alex and Ani CEO Giovanni Feroce, and Father Bernie Healey, pastor of Our Lady of Mercy, who also serves as Chaplain of the Rhode Island Capitol Police.  He’ll speak with each for 30 minutes before a live audience as part of a fundraiser for the theater as all proceeds will go to the Odeum.  DePetro says he chose the three guests for their interesting background and ability to tell good stories.  He also likes the chance to facilitate a discussion before a live audience, telling the Warwick Beacon, “All of these people are very, very well skilled in the art of being good conversationalists.  I’m more of a mechanism to get them to tell their stories.  It’s been really fun to put it together with the speakers. They’ve been very receptive.”

greenbergthemessMike Greenberg Survives “The Mess.”  ESPN Radio’s Mike Greenberg proudly brandishes the trophy he was awarded for completing the “Mike & Mike the Mess” obstacle course at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World.  Greenberg (second from left) is pictured here with his family – wife Stacy, son Stephen and daughter Nicole – after making good on his wager with co-host Mike Golic in the “Mike & Mike Sheets of Integrity Challenge Presented by Werner Ladder.”  The annual challenge pits the two hosts against each other as they fill out their March Madness brackets prior to the annual college hoops tourney.

Jacobs Media Summer School 4 to Kick Off Conclave jacobssummerschoolLearning Conference.  The Conclave announces the high impact sessions for Jacobs Media’s Summer School 4 which kicks off the 38th annual Conclave Learning Conference on Wednesday, July 17.  Executive director Bob Shannon states, “Conclave 38 begins with what has become a tradition, the fourth annual Jacobs Media Summer School.  This year, as part of our commitment to provide ideas that folks can actually take back to work and use, we’ll learn how winners think, how great morning shows are built, and how non-media companies are using social media in ways radio has never thought of. And, that’s just the first day of this year’s Conclave.  Stay tuned for more agenda announcements this week.”  The Summer School curriculum will include: One-to-one with Jaye Albright; Talent Development; Mobile 2.0; Simply Social; Inside the Mind of Dave Hamilton; Jobs To Do and much more.  Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs says, “We have a great lineup for this year’s Summer School, including the star power of Rockwell inductee Jaye Albright to the legendary Dave Hamilton.  Plus, the social media guru from the Mall of America – Bridget Jewell – and Target stores – Joe Curry.  And we’ll have great sessions including social media effectiveness, what’s new in mobile apps and the challenge of the ‘digital dash.’”

Friday, May 3, 2013

| May 3, 2013

cc media logoClear Channel Highlights Artist Promotion Deals at Investor Conference Call; Radio Down 2% in Q1.  At the top of the conference call for investors for Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings (the publicly traded arm Clear Channel Media Holdings) chief financial officer and EVP Thomas Casey made it a point to shine a light on Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s work with high-profile artists.  He said, “I want to highlight with you one recent example of the opportunity Clear Channel is leveraging to monetize our multi-platform reach, and it’s the launch of the new Justin Timberlake album, ‘The 20/20 Experience.’  I’m using this as an example because it shows how we are constantly working with major advertisers to adjust their specific marketing challenges by developing innovative new caseytomproducts, services, content and events that bring new advertising dollars into the company.  Two months ago, Clear Channel utilized most of our key assets: radio, online, mobile, outdoor, entertainment, events, contests and talent relationships, in an innovative and coordinated partnership with national retailer Target to launch Justin Timberlake’s new album.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment ran a first-of-its-kind, two-minute live road block across 800 stations, in essence, a virtual press conference, simulcast across all the stations at the same time that enabled Justin to both introduce his new album and kick off the exclusive ‘iHeart Album Release Party with Justin Timberlake.’”  Casey stated there are many other examples of CC using its many platforms to create coordinated campaigns for advertisers.  As for the numbers, Casey reported that CC premiere networks 2Media Holdings was down 0.5% compared to the same quarter in 2012 and the Media and Entertainment division revenue was down 2%.  But he said solid growth in radio and digital was offset by the traffic business that company is continuing to integrate.  Addressing the radio division, Casey reported, “For the quarter, national sales for our stations were up 2%, outpacing global.  Excluding the impact of political advertising, national sales were up 4%, and local was about up approximately 1%.  Our fastest growing larger advertising categories were financial services, retail and telecom.  We also saw a strong lift in digital revenue, with our iHeartRadio listening hours growing 31% over the first quarter of 2012. Although today digital listening for the industry represents only 7.6% of all audio listening, we are excited about the growth of iHeart and its new features, content and other innovations.”  Speaking to a question about network radio, Casey alluded to Premiere Networks having had a soft start to 2013 and said “that has modulated back” and the company feels good about that aspect of the business. Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the call transcript.  See the whole call here.

journalbroadcastgroupJournal Communications Q1: Radio Up 6.7%.  The radio division of Journal CommunicationsJournal Broadcast Group reported an increase of 6.7% on revenue of $15.9 million.  The company reports that is 2.8% on a same-station basis.  The numbers break down this way: Local advertising revenue, excluding political, increased 7.2%, or 3.3% on a same-station basis, primarily due to an increase in retail advertising; National advertising revenue, excluding political, increased 2.1%, but decreased 1.3% on a same-station basis, primarily due to a decrease in communications advertising; Operating earnings from radio stations were $2.4 million compared to $2.9 million, a decrease of 15.3%; Radio operating expenses increased 11.9%, or 8.1% on a same-station basis, primarily due to employee-related expense increases and a non-cash building impairment charge of $0.2 million.

unitednationsTalk Radio Day at the United Nations Set for Friday, June 7.  After a one-year hiatus, TALKERS magazine announces the revival of its annual international initiative, “Talk Radio Day at the United Nations.”  Presented in conjunction with Talk Radio News Service and in association with the United Nations Foundation, the event consists of a massive radio row held in the heart of the United Nations’ iconic headquarters on the East Side of Manhattan. trns logo Approximately 20 talk show hosts and programs from around the country are given the opportunity to do live shows or simply record interviews on the scene for later playback with a wide variety of special guests, including UN officials, foreign ambassadors, international policy experts and representatives of the arts and sciences from harrisonmichaelaround the world.  “This is one of our most prideful annual events,” states TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “and I am absolutely delighted that we have been able to bring it back after a year off in 2012.”  Harrison says, “It accomplishes a number of important things – most notably, it gives a variety of talk show hosts and millions of their listeners in every corner of the country the opportunity to shift gears and discuss international news stories of significant consequence that rarely, if ever, are covered or discussed in the mainstream American media.  Some of these stories have enormous implications on war, peace, life and death.”  Harrison also points out, “Hosts of just about every political and ideological persuasion have raved about this event over the many years we have been doing it saying that it has proven to be a personally rewarding experience for them as much as it has provided a spectacular bit of special programming to their stations and networks.”  Talk Radio Day at the United Nations conveniently takes place the day after Talkers New York 2013 when many talk show hosts are already in New York City.  Hosts already on board include Alan Colmes of Fox News Radio, Michael Berry of Clear Channel, Doug Stephan of the “Good Day” show, Martha Zoller of WGAU, Athens, GA, Ethan Bearman of GCN and KSCO, Santa Cruz, Carole Marks of “A Touch of Grey” and more.  All equipment and broadcast setups are provided at no cost for the convenience of the participants – but placement is limited and this will fill up rapidly, so interested hosts should call 413-565-5413 quickly to inquire about signing up.

humphhart“The Hartmann and Humphries Show” Brings Two Different Hosts, Ideologies and Programs Together for Rare Simulcast.  It was one of those spontaneous one-time events that really clicked as TRN syndicated host Rusty Humphries (left) stopped by WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann‘s Washington, DC studiohumphhartgreen (Hartmann at right) during a recent visit to the nation’s capital and the two personalities did a simulcast of their individual shows which ran on both of their collective affiliates.  The Heavy Hundred performers engaged in refreshingly civil but spirited banter bringing their opposite points of view on a number of hot issues to the table.  Both hosts tell TALKERS that they enjoyed the experience and received very positive feedback from their respective audiences which encourages them to do it again sometime down the road.  In the photo at top left shows the two shots of each host the producer sees in the booth with background images in place.  The lower picture shows Humphries and Hartmann chatting in the studio in front of the green screen.

ktrstvbigKTRS, St. Louis Morning Drive Show Gets Video Accolades.  The McGraw Milhaven morning show on CH Holdings’ KTRS, St. Louis has been producing an online video component of its program for two months and the show has already surpassed the one million viewer minutes mark, according to the station.  The station has a full-time video director in Andrew Dowd and he utilizes four HD cameras as well as pictures, graphics, video and sports highlights to help tell the story each morning.  Also, guests can “skype” into the show and bring the listener moving pictures to go along with their spoken words.  The video segments of Milhaven’s radio show are then re-tweeted and shared through social media.  Milhaven tells TALKERS that even St. Louis Post-Dispatch TV critic Gail Pennington gives the video a thumbs up.  “It’s the best internet TV I’ve ever seen.  It’s so clear, and the video and graphics are amazing.”  Milhaven himself tells TALKERS, “We had a feeling people were going to enjoy the enhanced TV side of the broadcast, but we had no idea so many people would embrace it.  The time spent listening, or watching I should say, is off the charts.  One million viewer minutes in just over two months?  Wow, we wanted to let it grow naturally as we worked out all the kinks, but these numbers are better than we had ever expected.  All these people watching and we have just scratched the surface of what we can do with the TV side.”  In the image you see here is sports reporter Jason Lamar (left) interacting with Milhaven (right).

jtthebrickWEEI-FM, Boston Brings J.T. the Brick Back to Overnights.  The Fox Sports Radio Network star has aired on Entercom’s WEEI in the past and, as vice president of programming Jason Wolfe states, with much success.  “Even though he’s a diehard Yankees fan, J.T.’s show has always been extremely popular here in Boston.  The show was a winner for us when we aired it years ago, and I’m very pleased to be able to bring him back now.  Adding J.T.’s show provides a great balance to our overnight portfolio as we already air a very solid program in ESPN Radio’s SportsCenter Tonight on 850 AM.”

noorygeorgeOdds & Sods.  Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM” with George Noory takes over the 12:00 midnight to 4:00 am slot at Emmis’ KFTK, St. Louis beginning Monday, May 6…..Entercom is making sports talk WMC-AM, Memphis a CBS Sports Radio Network affiliate beginning next week.  The station will carry the network lineup plus local and regional play-by-play.  Entercom also operates ESPN Radio affiliate WMFS-AM/FM in the market…..WEPN-FM, New York “ESPN New York 98.7” adds Mike Westhoff and Ray Lucas to the pre-game show for New York Jets broadcasts this fall.  The duo will make regular appearances on WEPN-FM during the season and former Jet Lucas will also continue his role on the post-game show…..Morris Communications’ KHAR, Anchorage flips from adult standards to sports talk using CBS Sports Radio Network programming.

carrremote13WRKO’s Howie Carr Promotes New Gangster Book.  WRKO, Boston afternoon drive host (and longtime Boston Herald columnist) Howie Carr is pictured here with listener Lori Vozzella and her daughter at Thursday’s remote broadcast from La Verdad Mexican Restaurant in the city’s Fenway neighborhood.  Carr did his show live from the restaurant to promote his latest book on an infamous Boston crime figure – Steven “Rifleman” Flemmi.  Carr’s book, Rifleman (Frandel LLC 2013) details the grisly career of the notorious mobster.  Carr has also written books about brothers Billy and Whitey Bulger and Johnny Martorano.

fema logoFEMA and Premiere Networks Cooperate on EAS Service.  Radio syndicator Premiere Networks and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are announcing a cooperative effort to provide an alternative method for radio stations to receive emergency information during a national emergency.  FEMA has added Premiere Networks as a Primary Entry Point station, which delivers information and instructions to the public in an emergency when there is no commercial power.  As part of the cooperative effort, Premiere, would use its satellite program receivers in thousands of affiliate radio stations across the country as another tool for delivering national Emergency Alert System (EAS) messages.  The radio affiliates would in turn broadcast the emergency messages to the public within its network.  FEMA’s Damon Penn states, “This cooperative effort between FEMA and Premiere Networks is one of the latest initiatives to engage the private sector’s cooperation in raising community preparedness across the nation.  We count on the broadcasting industry to alert and warn the public through the standard broadcast Emergency Alert System (EAS) including AM, FM, and satellite radio, as well as broadcast, cable and satellite TV, if a national emergency occurs.”

Boston Marathon Bombing Aftermath Remains Top Talk Radio Story for Week of April 29 – May 3.  The aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, spurred by the arrests of several of suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s friends and the ongoing investigation into the planning and execution of the attack, was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was immigration legislation.  Coming in at #3 was the Benghazi attack investigation followed by Syria tensions at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio across America and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Can the Radio Station Overcome Smothering Debt and Become
a Viable Business Again?

| May 2, 2013

Mike Kinosian, Managing Editor
RadioInfo and Talkers

LOS ANGELES — Chalk it up to misreading the economic tealeaves or perhaps to good old-fashioned avarice, but several radio groups have fallen victim to the, “(S)he who has the most toys, wins” hypothesis.

Debt #1Monopoly Board“Winners” managing to run the board in today’s all too real game of Radio Monopoly are rewarded by becoming further ensconced in deeper, darker, debt.

Administer sodium pentothal to a cross-section of radio managers and the overwhelming majority will vociferously state that, owing to its cookie-cutter nature and mounting pressure to deliver grossly unrealistic percentages to the bottom line, the business is no longer fun. Countless executives at high-billing, strong ratings performing outlets have been unduly placed in the gut-wrenching position of laying off personnel and making other vital cutbacks – forced to share the load of paying for what could be considered out-of-control acquisition sins at the corporate level.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

| April 24, 2013

dyerjohnJimmy Hayes to Retire from Cox Enterprises President and CEO Post; Executive Structure Transitions Announced.  Jimmy Hayes has served as president and CEO of Cox Enterprises since 2008 but now he will retire from the company in April of 2014 and John Dyer, who becomes chief operating officer of Cox Enterprises, will succeed him when he steps down.  Hayes will maintain a seat on the company’s board of franklindougdirectors.  In related moves, Doug Franklin, currently president of Cox Media Group, moves up to become EVP and chief financial officer of Cox Enterprises.  Cox Media Group executive vice president Bill Hoffman moves up to become president of Cox Media Group.  Cox Enterprises chairman Jim hoffmanbillKennedy says of Hayes, “Jimmy has led an impressive career at Cox, and I consider it a privilege having worked alongside him for so many years.  I thank Jimmy for his loyalty and service to Cox, and am delighted to work with him over the next 12 months to carefully and thoughtfully transition Cox’s next senior leadership team.”  Kennedy also addressed Hoffman’s rise to president of Cox Media Group.  “Bill is a talented senior executive who will provide strong leadership, continuity and direction at Cox Media Group.  His innate understanding of the integration of broadcast, print and digital media will help ensure Cox outlets maintain their enviable rankings in a highly competitive media landscape.”

quincyjohnWTMA, Charleston Names John Quincy PD.  Cumulus Media’s WTMA, Charleston, South Carolina — “Charleston’s Big Talker” announces John Quincy is promoted from assistant program director to program director of the station.  Quincy also serves as producer of the station’s morning program “Tara on TMA” hosted by Tara Servatius.  Quincy has worked in the Charleston market since 1981 and he’s been with WTMA since 2002.  He says, “I’m honored to have the opportunity to helm this legendary radio station.  As WTMA celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2014, I’m more passionate than ever about its news/talk format.”

michaelsnickImaging Master Suggests Slowing Down Voice Presentations to Be Noticed in “Hyper-Communicated World.”  Highly respected radio/TV voice-over and imaging professional Nick Michaels, author of the concept, “over-communicated world,” tells TALKERS that we are now quickly moving past it to what he describes as the “hyper-communicated world” which he says can be “a very uncomfortable place.”  He says, “One of the downsides of too many messages is the inability to focus on any one thing long enough to enjoy it.  The by-product of the over-communicated world is the feeling that life is moving faster, even though we are sitting still.  An occasional ride on a roller coaster is fun, but living on one is a nightmare.”  Michaels suggests that radio personalities and commercial producers can make their work stand out in this dizzying environment by stepping back and slowing things down by adding drama and variety to their pacing.  He advises, “Media, and especially advertising and promotion, can take advantage of this by making their messages slower and lower.  In audio messages, speak softly and use the power of the pause. In the over-communicated world, messages that subliminally make you feel more comfortable have an advantage over those that do not. That advantage can be the difference between your message being received or rejected.”  To read a recent interview with Nick Michaels that appeared in TALKERS magazine’s sister publication for music radio, RadioInfo, click here.

lifecoachnews2013B

wgstlogoClear Channel to Return WGST-AM, Atlanta to News/Talk.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho tips us that Clear Channel Media and Entertainment plans to drop the Spanish sports on WGST-AM, Atlanta and return to news/talk with a syndicated lineup of stars including Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck, independently syndicated financial talk sensation Dave Ramsey, Talk Radio Network rising star Andrea Tantaros and “The Wall Street Journal This Morning” featuring Gordon Deal for AM drive.  The rest of the schedule is not known at this time.  It’s been eight months since CC dropped the news/talk – including local hosts Rob Johnson in mornings and Rusty Humphries (who did a separate program from his successful TRN syndicated show) in PM drive and opted for Spanish sports talk via ESPN Deportes.

cunninghamkeithKeith Cunningham Named Vice President of Programming at Clear Channel Seattle.  Moving in from his most recent position as broadcast consultant for Jacobs Media, Keith Cunningham takes the VP of programming position and will be in charge of the programming at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s cluster in Seattle.  Cunningham says, “The past seven years with Jacobs Media has been a wonderful experience and I feel fortunate to now have the opportunity to return to Clear Channel to work with Seattle’s great brands like ‘Kiss,’ KUBE, KJR-AM and FM and ‘The Brew.’  The Clear Channel Seattle cluster is well positioned for growth – the resources available to the team are second to none and each brand is loaded with great talent, both on and off the air.”  The company’s Seattle properties include: hip hop KUBE, classic hits KJR-FM, rock KKBW “The Brew,” CHR KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM,” and sports talk simulcast KJR-AM and KNBQ-FM.

koa broncosClear Channel’s KOA, Denver Extends Deal with NFL’s Broncos.  The relationship between Clear Channel’s KOA, Denver and the Denver Broncos is extended for another four years through the 2017 season.  As part of the new deal, Broncos play-by-play will also air on Clear Channel’s classic rock KRFX “103.5 The Fox” beginning with the 2013 season.  As in the past, the relating programming includes exclusive interviews with starting quarterback Peyton Manning, executive vice president of football operations John Elway and head coach John Fox as well as Broncos-themed talk shows.  KOA’s Dave Logan is entering his 24th season in the Broncos broadcast booth and 17th season as the radio play-by-play voice of the team.  Former Broncos wide receiver Ed McCaffrey will be back for his second year as color commentator.  KOA serves as the flagship for more than 60 affiliate stations in nine states.

kirofm logoKIRO-FM, Seattle Adds Weekend Boat Show.  Bonneville Seattle’s news/talk KIRO-FM announces the addition of “KIRO Radio On the Water” – a one-hour Sunday morning program hosted by Captain Bob McLaughlin.  The program promises to discuss “nautical subjects from the latest boat maintenance techniques and models; to water sports and safety tips; to the cruise ship industry and marine life in the Puget Sound.”  McLaughlin is not just any boat aficionado, he’s a founder and board member of Seawolf Rescue and Research, a non-profit organization that provides the expertise and equipment to rescue and relocate wild marine and terrestrial animals, while documenting the process for future educational and research opportunities. The group has conducted research and observational work for both the U.S. and Canadian governments.  McLaughlin took part in the only successful reintroduction of an orphaned marine mammal being reunited with its family, and has co-produced an Emmy and Columbia Peabody award-winning documentary on the plight of killer whales.

cbsradionewsOdds & Sods.  CBS Radio News has been honored with five 2013 Headliner Awards and, for the third consecutive year, finished in first place in both the Network Newscast and Breaking News or Continuing Coverage categories.  The National Headliner Awards recognize journalistic merit in the communications industry.  In the Network Newscast category, correspondent Sam Litzinger and editor Dianne James won for the hourly newscast for coverage of the Newtown massacre; CBS Radio News also won in the Breaking News or Continuing Coverage of a Single News Event category for its Newtown coverage; and correspondent Heather Bosch won in the News Series category for her programs on “Women Warriors.”  In the five-part series that aired for 2012 Memorial Day, Bosch talked to women who have been on the front lines in Afghanistan and are struggling to overcome the effects of PTSD…..CBS Radio’s KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia was honored by the Radio Television Digital News Associationjournalbroadcastgroup (RTDNA) with three regional Edward R. Murrow awards, standing out among other very competitive major market stations in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania…..Journal Broadcast Group’s news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee and country KTTS-FM, Springfield, Missouri were also honored with regional Edward R. Murrow awards.  WTMJ picked up six including Best Breaking News, Continuing Coverage and Overall Excellence and KTTS-FM was honored with five awards including Best Newscast, Breaking News Coverage and Overall Excellence.

webbbrewerDavid Webb Explores Immigration with Governor Jan Brewer.  With the subject of immigration reform front-and-center, SiriusXM Patriot channel evening talk host David Webb conducted a special one-hour interview program with Arizona Governor Jan Brewer called “David Webb’s American Forum with Jan Brewer” that aired on April 23 (encore airings will take place on April 27 at 10:00 am and 7:00 pm ET).  Topics covered included immigration, border security, states’ rights and responsibilities.  Webb and Governor Brewer posed for a photo at the satcaster’s New York studios.

Boston Marathon Bombing Aftermath, Immigration Reform Legislation, New Gun Law Proposals, Domestic Drones Issue, and Keystone Pipeline Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/23).  Debate over terrorism policy in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing; new proposals for immigration reform legislation; gun law proposals; the lethal domestic drone debate and Washington, DC discussion over the Keystone Pipeline project were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, April 19, 2013

| April 19, 2013

premiere networks 2Premiere Networks Partners with Dave Kolin for Comedy Content.  Premiere Networks announces a partnership with comedy production pro David “Dr. Dave” Kolin that will involve a variety of content including services for radio talent, stations, digital outlets, video projects and more.  Additional details will be announced inkolindavid the near future.  Premiere EVP of music programming Jennifer Leimgruber states, “Dr. Dave is a fantastically creative person with a demonstrated record of success in a variety of media.  We were delighted when the opportunity to work with him presented itself.”  Dr. Dave states, “It is a dream come true and the opportunity of a lifetime to be able to apply my talents and skills with people who share the same vision for entertaining consumers in this multimedia world.  I look forward to revealing Dr. Dave 2.0.”  Kolin’s resume states that he was founder, director and president of DB Communications, Inc., a radio syndication company.  That company served as the nucleus for USRN, which he co-founded in 1994.  During his time with USRN, he wrote and performed much of the comedy product distributed by the network and served as the executive producer of the comedy department.  In addition, he served on the company’s board of directors and executive produced Pulse Comedy Prep.  He also has two decades of extensive television credits, including FOX, ABC, HBO and MTV.

wqamlogoJohn Renshaw Takes Midday Slot at WQAM, Miami.  Beasley Broadcasting promotes weekend sports talk host John Renshaw to the daily 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show left open by the departure of Dan Sileo back in early March.  According to the Sun-Sentinel, Renshaw will be joined on the air by Miami Hurricanes broadcaster Alex Donno.  WQAM program director Jorge Sedano tells the paper the move “made a lot of sense.  I know how smart, funny, entertaining and self-deprecating he is.  He’s everything you want in a sports talk radio show host.”

hillschlerethOdds & Sods.  Fox Sports Radio Network will simulcast the television program, “UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Melendez,” on Saturday, April 20.  The fight originates from the HP Pavilion in San Jose and features four fights plus the main event, Benson Henderson versus Strikeforce Champion Gilbert Melendez.  Following the fights, mixed martial arts expert Larry Pepe will host a Fox Sports Radio wrap-up show with interviews and call ins from 10:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET…..ESPN Radio will be live from New York next Thursday for the NFL Draft. Coverage begins Thursday, April 25 at 7:00 pm and will feature Mike Hill and Mark Schlereth (pictured here), co-hosts of the network’s Hill & Schlereth evening show.  They’ll anchor from Radio City Music Hall and will be joined by ESPN.com senior NFL writer John Clayton and ESPN Draft guru Mel Kiper, Jr. providing analysis of each first-round pick…..The New York Post reports that it is slow going for Al Jazeera’s new American cable news/talk network – the former Current TV it purchased from founder Al Gore.  The paper says the Qatari government-owned network’s goal of launching in June is not doable and sources tell the Post it’s looking more like August or September.  So far the network has hired former CNN business analyst Ali Veshi and investigative reporter Ed Pound but has not been able to ink a news chief.  The piece noted one exec said he felt squeamish about the source of the network’s funding.

beckasingsKOIL, Omaha’s Tom Becka Channels the Rat Pack.  Omaha talk radio personality Tom Becka is pictured here at the Omaha Press Club Show giving attendees at taste of 1960s Las Vegas lounge singing as he does a take-off on Dean Martin’s “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head” with the chorus changed to “there’s better things up ahead.”  Becka tells TALKERS magazine, “The show is an annual event that raises thousands of dollars for journalism scholarships.  Over the years the show has featured such dignitaries as Chuck Hagel, Warren Buffett, Herman Cain, Bill Gates and others.  They asked me to write and sing a song chronicling the year I had, starting with getting fired from Clear Channel, and ending with landing on my feet at NRG Media’s Mighty 1290 KOIL.”

raytomIP in Our Broadcast World:  Don’t Fear the Internet.  Noted consultant and TALKERS technical editor Tom Ray points out that the subjects of IP and IP codecs are increasingly becoming a major concern among broadcasters – a conversation that quickly escalated when Verizon quietly started telling customers in the northeast that ISDN was soon to be history. In the latest in his enlightening series on the subject (must-reading for programmers and management charged with taking a more hands-on approach to the tech end of things in this new economic environment), Ray responds to a question he heard raised at the recent NAB Show in Las Vegas: “Would you trust your high dollar sports remote to an IP connection over the public internet?”  Apparently, CBS television has answered that question in the company’s recent coverage of college basketball’s Final Four.  Ray explains how and takes us deeper into understanding the growing importance of IP and IP codecs in the radio broadcasting world.  Basically it comes down to embracing the internet, not fearing it – and learning everything you can about IP and IP codecs.  To read Tom Ray’s column, click here.

KFWB300Dial Global and NBC Radio Sports Reps Visit KFWB, Los Angeles.  Following last week’s announcement of KFWB, Los Angeles’ new sports talk programming, representatives from Dial Global and NBC Radio Sports stopped by KFWB’s studios in Los Angeles yesterday (4/18) to meet the staff.  Pictured (l-r): Diane Sutter, president of the KFWB Asset Trust, co-host Eytan Shander of The Amani & Eytan Show weeknights 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm on KFWB, Dial Global EVP/GM Chris Corcoran, NBC Sports Radio program director Jack Silver and KFWB general manager Valerie K. Blackburn.

wpg100benztown100WPGG (“WPG Talk Radio 1450″), Atlantic City Wins Benztown Contest to Receive a Year’s Worth of Free Voiceover and Imaging Service.  Burbank, California-based syndication and imaging company, Benztown tells TALKERS that Townsquare Media-owned Atlantic City radio station, WPG Talk Radio 1450, is the winner of its “Love Your Station, Elevate Your Sound” contest. The news/talk station will receive a full year of free voice-over services from voice-over icon, Joe Cipriano. WPGG will also receive a full year of free professional imaging services from the company.  WPGG PD/brand manager Chris Coleman, explains “I was a huge fan of Benztown before winning the contest. WPGG went on the air this past October (six days before Hurricane Sandy passed over Atlantic City) and when I was building the station, I wanted and needed a big, news/talk voice. However, with a tiny budget, I was really concerned that how I wanted the station to sound wasn’t going to be possible… then I found Benztown. Through Benztown, I was able to hook up with Greg O’Neill, who is nothing short of excellent to work with. Being able to launch a news/talk station with the voice of Fox News made us sound HUGE on day one.”  Coleman continues, “Fast forward a few months and I found Benztown’s “Love Your Station, Elevate Your Sound” contest and entered it. Much to my surprise, Masa Patterson called me and told me I won! Being the PD/brand manager of a six-month-old news/talk station that has access to two of the biggest voice-over guys in the country, on top of the world-class imaging and production that Benztown has to offer, is truly amazing.” In addition to being the PD/brand manager of WPGG,  Coleman also handles afternoon drive on Townsquare’s country station and is the production director for their five-station cluster. No doubt, his prize will come in handy!

bq_41913Blanquita Cullum Continues to ask The Hard Question.  Controversy continues to surround the future of the Keystone Pipeline. Is the pipeline a symbol of an environmental movement? Or is the country about to capitalize on the greatest economic opportunity from our neighbor to the North – Canada.  The second in the series of “The Hard Question” debates hosted by talk radio veteran and former U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors member Blanquita Cullum recently (4/10) tackled the critical discussion over the Keystone Pipeline at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.  Participants included U.S. Senator Don Nickles (retired, R-OK); U.S. Senator Bryon Dorgan (retired, D-ND); Anthony Swift, Natural Resource Defense Council; Chris Faulkner, Breitling Oil & Gas; Doug Cain, Lake Truck Lines; Brian Ambrose, Vencedor Energy Partners and Lane Sloan, Greater Houston Partnership. To view highlights of the debate click here.  “The Hard Question” is a weekly TV news program and quarterly debate series hosted by Blanquita Cullum to get to the root of critical energy issues that impact the US and the world. The pilot TV programs were aired on June 24th and July 15th in 2012 on KTRK-TV (ABC) in Houston and won the top spots in their time periods. The program will go national in 2013 on MHz Networks national channel and plans are in place to launch a radio/audio version of the program.

earthdaylogoCBS Radio Philadelphia Gets a Jump on Earth Day.  Tomorrow (4/20) CBS Radio Philadelphia will be involved in its Fourth Annual Earthfest Celebration in partnership with the Clean Air Council.  The 5K Run for Clean Air is Philadelphia’s leading green run. For 2013, the Run’s Earth Day Celebration has moved to the base of the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps. CBS Radio participation will include the KYW Newsradio Kidcast Mobile Studio, presented by United Healthcare, on-site. This opportunity gives kids a chance to be a KYW news anchor. Kids can download and listen to their very own news report, and share it with family and friends.  Sports talk WIP’s “Tailgate Team” will offer participants the opportunity to play games to win prizes and get involved in a sports conversation about all the Philadelphia sports teams.  98.1 WOGL’s Ross Brittain will be providing “music and fun for everyone.”  Talk Radio 1210 WPHT “Big Money” host Steve Cordasco, will present his weekly radio program live from 7:00 am to 10:00 am. Steve will discuss the growing popularity of green or socially conscious investing.  Over the past 32 years, the 5K Run for Clean Air has grown into Philadelphia’s largest Earth Day Celebration.  Earth Day is Monday April 22.

Boston Marathon Bombing the Top News/Talk Story for the Week of April 15-19.  The bombing at Monday’s Boston Marathon and the subsequent deaths and injuries were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, landing atop the Talkers TenTM for the week.  Following at #2 was gun legislation activity in Washington.  At #3 was the immigration bill debate followed by the DC ricin incidents at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s chart here.

Monday, March 25, 2013

| March 25, 2013

beckglennGlenn Beck’s Plans for TheBlaze Require More Funding; Media Pioneer Seeks $40 Million.  Techcruch tips us that in an SEC filing, Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze is seeking $40 million in funding to take the company to the next level.  According to the filing, TheBlaze has already raised $1.5 million as it is offering equity in the company through New York-based broker Hypatia Capital Advisors, LLC.  Beck’s online venture began in 2010 and subscriptions to TheBlaze have reportedly been bringing in a steady flow of cash but the organization has made no secret of its desire to get broader distribution for the video content via cable TV.  Currently, TheBlaze is carried by Dish Network.  On the subject of Glenn Beck’s entrepreneurism, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison recently stated the following strong words about the high-profile talk show host in a media interview, “Most people, particularly talk media consumers, view Glenn Beck through the lens of politics and judge him solely on their reaction to his often-times provocative views and ideology.  Those of us behind the scenes, however, see a much larger and more complex individual whose importance to broadcasting extends way beyond the boundaries of his public persona and programs.  The work that Glenn Beck has tirelessly accomplished in building an audience, developing a brand, utilizing the many emerging 21st century vehicles of communication, and then inventing and perfecting amazingly bold and innovative delivery systems for distribution and business models for monetization will stand as a historic starting point for a new chapter in ‘popular’ media.  Future generations of broadcasters will look back at Beck the way today’s automakers look at Henry Ford.”  And there’s more Beck news below…

theblaze logoGlenn Beck and SiriusXM Strike Deal for Beck Channel.  SiriusXM and Glenn Beck announce in a joint press release that the satcaster will debut a new channel dedicated to Beck’s TheBlaze content called, “TheBlaze Radio Network” that will appear only on the SiriusXM Internet Radio service.  This comes as part of the deal that has Beck’s “TheBlaze Radio News” providing hourly news updates on SiriusXM’s conservative talk Patriot channel.  “TheBlaze Radio Network” will feature not only Beck’s radio program but the other shows featured on TheBlaze including Doc Thompson, Jay Severin, and Pat Grey & Stu Burguiere.  Beck states, “TheBlaze is successfully becoming a true multi-platform news, information and opinion network.  We are excited to further our long relationship with SiriusXM with the launch of ‘TheBlaze Radio Network,’ and feel that SiriusXM Patriot is the perfect home for our news updates which will prove that the truth has no agenda.”  SiriusXM SVP of talk and entertainment programming Jeremy Coleman says, “As ‘TheBlaze’ brand and SiriusXM continue to grow, SiriusXM is pleased to expand our relationship with Glenn Beck with the creation of ‘TheBlaze Radio News’ and the addition of ‘TheBlaze Radio Network’ to our lineup.”

millerchrisSOCIAL MEDIA POSTING:  When and How Often?  Radio digital consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller answers two of the most asked questions he receives from radio broadcasters regarding their social media initiatives:  “When are the best times to post?” and “How often should we post?”  In a concise article posted today (3/25) he writes, “Now, neither of them is as important as making sure you have the right content for your fans.  That’s the big thing.  But let’s assume you’re good to go, content-wise.  When you post and how often you post will be different depending on the platform you’re talking about.  Keep in mind that getting seen only by your fans is not enough.  When they start re-tweeting, sharing, commenting, favorite-ing and liking what you show them, that’s when more and more people will see what you posted.”  To read Chris Miller’s entire article, click here.

nms2013logoTalkers New York 2013 to Exhibit the Latest in Practical Radio Broadcast Tech Equipment.  Gone are the days when the only person in a radio station concerned with microphones, mixing boards, frequency extenders and the various pieces of gear that go into actually making and delivering programs was the chief engineer.  Today, with single station chief engineers becoming an endangered species and the advent of remote broadcasting and proliferation of entrepreneurial internet startups, radio programmers and managers are finding themselves increasingly responsible for selecting and purchasing the equipment it takes to run a radio operation.  This is true for major market heritage stations as well as desktop-studio podcasters.  Two of the most important and respected companies in this arena will be at Talkers New York 2013 displaying and explaining a variety of practical (meaning basic and reasonably priced) equipment that “everyone in radio today needs to know about” – Comrex Corporation and Broadcasters General Store.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “We are constantly being asked by radio broadcasters from GMs to PDs to talent to people wanting to launch home media stations how to go about developing or upgrading production and delivery setups for today’s extremely flexible and highly opportune environment.  I can think of no two companies in the business today that provide the answers to these questions better and more completely than Comrex and BGS.  Their presence, patient and friendly level of service adds a vital dimension to the conference.”   In addition, one of the radio industry’s most respected technical experts, Tom Ray, president of Tom Ray Broadcast Consulting and TALKERS technical editor, will be speaking at the conference and available to give attendees practical advice throughout the day.  Talkers New York 2013 takes place Thursday, June 6 and is on track to being an early sellout.  Because of space limitations, registration is only open to working members of the media and can only be taken via telephone at 413-565-5413.  Stay tuned to Talkers.com for more agenda details about speakers, panels, presentations and award recipients coming in the immediate days ahead.

twitterlogoTwitter as a Broadcaster’s Tool:  Use it Wisely.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke writes that “Twitter invites more voices into your on-air and digital conversation; even more so than Facebook.”  In this primer and reminder for practicing broadcasters using social media, Cooke delivers some information that will help you optimize this technology.  Read his piece here.

warelincolnWDBZ, Cincinnati Talk Host Lincoln Ware Celebrates 40 Years in Radio.  Cincinnati talk host Lincoln Ware – who was recognized as one of the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America by TALKERS (#36 this year!) – is celebrating his 40th anniversary in radio this year.  In a nice write-up in the Cincinnati Herald, the story notes that Ware began his radio career on WCIN in 1973 after returning from a tour of duty with the U.S. Marines.  After five years of spinning records, Ware transitioned his program to talk.  Over the years, he worked at local stations WPBF, WLW, and WHKK.  He came to WDBZ in 2000 and has been there ever since.  Check out the full story here.

kgmzlogoKGMZ, San Francisco Adds Josh Reddick to A’s Coverage.  The Entercom sports talk station announces 2012 Gold Glove winner and A’s outfielder Josh Reddick will become part of the station’s Oakland A’s coverage, appearing weekly on “The Wheelhouse” with John Lund and Greg Papa Tuesdays at 12:30 pm PT.  Reddick joins A’s GM Billy Beane and manager Bob Melvin as A’s personnel adding to 95.7 The Game’s coverage of the team.  Program director Jason Barrett states, “We wanted to strengthen our A’s coverage for 2013 and few players are more productive at the plate and entertaining on and off the field than Josh Reddick.  Whether he’s talking about his beard, an important series against an AL West opponent, or his passion for pie and the WWE, Josh will captivate the audience.”

zollermarthaOdds & Sods.  WGAU, Athens, Georgia-based Martha Zoller is sitting in for WSB-AM/FM, Atlanta’s Erick Erickson on the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm show this afternoon.  Both stations are owned by Cox Media Group…..Nicole Sandler is filling in for Premiere NetworksRandi Rhodes on her nationally syndicated talk program all this week…..SiriusXM talk hosts Ron & Fez had Ronnie Spector on their program on Friday to promote the service’s new “Girl’s Room” channel hindeswallyfeaturing all girl groups, Spector’s new one-woman show “Beyond the Beehive” and her takes on the Phil Spector movie starring Al Pacino – which she said she will not watch…..Gay marriage will be a huge news/talk radio topic this week as the Supreme Court hears arguments in two cases: challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8.  Salem Radio Network tells TALKERS magazine its U.S. House correspondent Wally Hindes will be among a select few broadcast journalists credentialed to be inside the U.S. Supreme Court tomorrow.

krlashootKRLA, Los Angeles Hosts Get Range Practice.  In the photo here are KRLA, Los Angeles “AM 870 The Answer” personalities (from l-r) Ben Shapiro, Phillip Naman and Brian Whitman.  Naman hosts the Saturday “The Firing Line” program on the stations and Shapiro and Whitman are co-hosts on “The Morning Answer” with Heidi HarrisCRN Digital Talk’s Jennifer Horn (who also co-hosts with Doug Stephan on his “Good Day” program) was sitting in for Harris today and snapped this photo of the boys showing off their targets from a weekend outing with Naman.  It was Whitman’s first time at the range – not bad for a beginner!

Friday, March 22, 2013

| March 22, 2013

genachowskiFCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to Step Down.  FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski officially announces his decision to step down from the agency in the coming weeks.  The initial report came from Politico Thursday evening but Genachowski’s departure from the FCC has been expected for some time.  He became chairman in 2009 and has not always been viewed as the friendliest of FCC chairmen to radio as the thrust of his tenure has been promoting broadband as the communications avenue of the future.  Politico reports that there are a number of possible successors to Genachowski and names Core Capital Partners Managing Director Tom Wheeler; current sitting Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel; former ambassador to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Karen Kornbluh; former FCC chief of staff and primary author of the commission’s National Broadband Plan Blair Levin; and National Telecommunications and Information Administration chief Larry Strickling.  The NAB‘s Gordon Smith offers the following statement on Genachowski’s departure: “NAB salutes Chairman Genachowski for his years of service at the FCC.  The FCC chair is arguably one of the most difficult jobs in Washington, and yet Julius consistently performed with dedication and focus.  We may have disagreed on occasion, but America’s broadcasters wish him well in his journeys ahead.”

foxsportsradio logoFox Sports Radio Network to Offer Big Ten Football Show in Fall.  Working in conjunction with the Big Ten Network, Fox Sports Radio announces it will offer a third season of “BTN Live” – a daily Big Ten football show.  Beginning August 26, the program will be available for air Monday through Friday, 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET.  FSRN says of the show, “Throughout football season, ‘BTN Live’ will take fans inside every Big Ten locker room as teams prepare for games, and provide the latest news, expert analysis, and interviews with players and coaches.  The nightly show will be hosted by Big Ten Network personalities Dave Revsine, Mike Hall and Rick Pizzo, with Big Ten Network analysts Gerry DiNardo, Howard Griffith and other special guests.

jacksonmichaelLos Angeles Talk Radio Legend Michael Jackson Subs on CRN Digital Talk Radio; Richard Riordan and Roger Moore Guest.  Iconic Los Angeles talk radio personality Michael Jackson sits in for Chuck Wilder on his CRN Digital Talk Radio program that airs at 12:00 noon PT today (3/22).  Jackson will speak with high-profile guests former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and actor Sir Roger Moore.  Jackson states, “I’m pleased to have the opportunity to fill in for Chuck and talk to one of the all-time, legendary actors in Sir Roger Moore and to also chat with one of the city’s greatest leaders, former Mayor Riordan.  Anytime you have outstanding guests as these, you’re always going to have an exciting and compelling show for the audience.  I’m looking forward to it.”

greggcherriKYW, Philadelphia’s Cherri Gregg to Be Honored by Philly NAACP.  This Sunday, the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP will honor 104 influential black women from the Philadelphia area.  KYW Newsradio community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg has been named to the list of honorees.  The NAACP is recognizing African American women comprised of elected officials, entrepreneurs, non-profits, civic leaders, educators, labor leaders, members of the clergy, media, health care providers, government agencies and corporate America leaders.  Gregg says, “I am humbled and excited to be named one of the NAACP’s 104 most influential Black women in Philadelphia.  It’s truly an honor to be included on such a distinguished list of African American women, and this recognition will fuel my continued effort to strive for excellence in covering the communities of Philadelphia.”

clarkrussKBLU, Yuma Host Russ Clark Resigns; Moves to Crosstown KCYK.  Yuma, Arizona TV station KSWT-TV reports talk show host Russ Clark resigned from his program on El Dorado Broadcasters’ KBLU on the air, surprising listeners and his employer.  Clark tells the TV station he’s taking his show across town to MonsterMedia’s country KCYK “Outlaw Country 1400” beginning April 2.  “They had no idea. They took away my morning show and gave me a one-day-a-week, which, I think was an effort to keep me somewhat engaged without having me be directly opposed to them or directly in competition.  But, of course, I need to get back on air.  I need to get back to what I was doing.”  Clark says KBLU management wanted more news and less talk in the AM drive.

wiplogoCBS Radio’s WIP, Philadelphia Personalities to Host Comcast SportsNet Philly Program.  All next week, personalities from CBS Radio’s Philadelphia sports talk outlet WIP will guest host the daily 5:00 pm ET show, “Daily News Live,” that’s seen on the Comcast cable network and the Xfinity ON Demand service.  Al Morganti, Rhea Hughes, Anthony Gargano, Glen Macnow, and Big Daddy Graham will handle hosting duties, each sitting in for one day.  CBS Radio Philadelphia SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield says, “SportsRadio WIP has been the authority in Philadelphia sports radio for 25 years so it will be a treat for Delaware Valley sports fans to see some of their favorite hosts set the agenda on ‘Daily News Live.’  We’re thrilled to showcase our talent on Comcast SportsNet.”

patrickmattPatrick in for Cunningham Sunday Night.  Houston talk show host Matt Patrick will fill in again this Sunday, March 24, for Bill Cunningham on the Premiere Networks nationally syndicated “Live on Sunday Night, It’s Bill Cunningham” program.  Patrick, whose “day job” is hosting the morning drive program on Clear Channel’s KTRH, Houston and the afternoon program on sister KPRC, is a regular fill-in host for Cunningham as well as Portland talk host Lars Larson.

Sequester Effects Top Talk Radio Topic for Week of March 18-22.  This is the fifth straight week that the sequester effects and related budget battle have been at the #1 spot on the Talkers TenTM as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio.  This week, at #2 is President Obama’s trip to Israel.  Coming in at #3 is North Korea’s threats followed by Iran’s nuclear ambitions 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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

| March 20, 2013

Tom Leykis (#1)Feature: Tom Leykis One Year Later.  Talk radio legend Tom Leykis is preparing to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the digital-only version of his eponymous talk program.  Operating under the umbrella of his New Normal content company, the show began last April 2 and, Leykis tells TALKERS magazine managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian, “In terms of listenership and media recognition, we are ahead of where we expected to be at this point.”  The venture got off the ground after Leykis’ old contract with CBS expired and he was able to move ahead on his own.  Using Triton Digital‘s Webcast Metrics, Leykis says he is on a projected pace of 9.6 million connections for 2013.  This version of his show is embarking on new frontiers but he says he wouldn’t have it any other way.  “Many people in the radio business, including some I really respect, said I was insane.  They felt I had a long history in radio and should not be walking away from it at this time.  I was leaving the big-box, broadcasting business to be in the hand-crafted, small-batch business.  This is a boutique content company in the P1 business, as opposed to trying to get P1s, P2s, P3s, P4s, and P5s.”  The candid Leykis admits the show is not profitable yet, but points to start-up costs in the first year as a major factor for that.  He’s very bullish on this delivery system for content and his business plan.  Read this entire piece here.

nms2013logoTalkers New York 2013 Adds “Navigating A Talk Radio Hosting Career” Panel.  Being a radio talk show host in 2013 involves a lot more than just getting a good job at a good station (or network) and doing a great show every day (although there’s certainly nothing wrong with that).  Managing a meaningful and productive career as hosts in today’s turbulent radio industry demands an increased level of entrepreneurism in addition to a keen knowledge of the internet and social media.  Add to the mix an understanding of the role intellectual property plays today as a negotiating chip in talent/management (employee/employer) deals as well as a sensitivity to the demands of sales and it becomes apparent that today’s talent lives and works in a far more competitive, complex and economically challenging environment than ever.  These subjects and more will be discussed on the panel titled, “Navigating a Talk Radio Hosting Career,” at the forthcoming Talkers New York 2013 conference by the following personalities (in alphabetical order):  Michael Berry, KTRH, Houston (and others); Alan Colmes, Fox News Radio;  Andy Dean, Premiere Networks; Thom Hartmann, WYD Media; Tom Leykis, The New Normal; Steve Malzberg, Newsmax.com; Phil Valentine, Cumulus Media; David Webb, Sirius/XM; and Lisa Wexler, WFAS, Westchester, New York.  The panel will be moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey.  Talkers New York 2013 takes place Thursday, June 6 and is on track to being an early sellout.  Because of space limitations, registration is only open to working members of the media and can only be taken via telephone at 413-565-5413.  Stay tuned to Talkers.com for more agenda details about speakers, panels, presentations and award recipients coming in the immediate days ahead.

raytomABIP:  Being Prepared for an FCC Inspection.  TALKERS magazine technical editor Tom Ray says there is help for most broadcasters in preparing for – and in most cases avoiding – an FCC inspection.  And it’s not about getting away with anything, it’s about finding possible violations before they become FCC violations.  Ray writes about the Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program, “Just about every State Broadcaster’s Association runs an ABIP program.  For a nominal fee, the Association will send an inspector in to run your station through an FCC-type inspection.  The good news is, we’re not the FCC.  If we find something amiss, you have the opportunity to fix it.”  Ray continues, “When the [ABIP] certificate is issued, the local FCC office is informed that your station(s) have passed the ABIP inspection.  The FCC will then stay away from your facility for three years when they are going around doing routine inspections.  The inspection immunity does not count if they show up on a complaint, or if they are going around checking a specific item, like EAS compliance or tower lights.”  Find out more about the ABIP in Tom Ray’s most recent column here.

twitterlogoTwitter as Talk Radio Teleprompter.  Radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke offers this quick tip for talk show hosts:  Try writing your on-air hour open on Twitter.  For two reasons: 1) The loud-and-clearcookeholland headline we’ve gleaned from PPM data: Every…single…syllable…matters.  And…any…given…minute…could earn you another Average Quarter Hour of listening credit.  Why your hour open needs to be so distilled and instantly inviting?  Listeners believe station promos, which invite more occasions of listening from your P1s, and invite cross-cuming music radio P1s to “CHECK-IN, FOR A QUICK NEWS, TRAFFIC, AND WEATHER UPDATE, EVERY HOUR, ON-THE-HOUR, THROUGHOUT YOUR BUSY DAY.”  Then, many of those music listeners are back-to-the-tunes…unless, quicker than an index finger can make it from the steering wheel to the FM button, you can engage.  So imposing Twitter’s 140-character limit on your open is a useful discipline.  2) And doing this does double duty!  Not only have you distilled your on-air proposition, you’ve got a ready-to-launch Tweet.  Try this. You’ll like the results.  For 8 more reasons radio talkers should bear-hug Twitter – and some specific recommendations for making yourself darn handy to The Boss – don’t miss my session, “Resourceful and Remarkable” at Talkers New York 2013 on June 6.

wmvpESPN O&O WMVP, Chicago Makes Program Schedule Changes; ‘Waddle & Silvy’ to PM Drive.  Chicago sports talker “ESPN 1000” swaps midday and PM drive shows, moving former Chicago Bear Tom Waddle and Marc “Silvy” Silverman from their midday slot to the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm show.  Current afternoon hosts John “Jurko” Jurkovic and Carmen DeFalco move to the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm shift.  The change allows the station to air the first hour of ESPN Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” from 9:00 am to 10:00 am. Changes take effect on April 1.

duemigsteveWDAE, Tampa Bay’s Steve Duemig Forced Off Air by Management.  According to a piece in the Tampa Bay Times by columnist Eric Deggans, WDAE sports talk host Steve Duemig is off his afternoon drive show indefinitely at management’s insistence.  Duemig tells the paper he’s still under contract, ready and willing to work but Clear Channel management has pulled him from his show with two months left on his deal.  According to Duemig, a clause in his contract allows him to talk with other stations 60 days before the contract ends (presumably with the right of first refusal if it matches the new offer).  He says management tried to pressure him to sign a new deal before that window opened.  That contract was signed before ratings-challenged WHFS “Sports Radio 98.7” was put on the air by CBS Radio and it’s possible the company will try to steal him away.  For now, Tom Krasniqi is hosting the PM drive show.

deanandyPremiere Networks Nationally Syndicated Andy Dean Hits 100-Affliate Mark.  Talk show host Andy Dean, with the addition of new affiliates including WOR, New York; WLAN, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; KEEL, Shreveport, Louisiana; WHYN-AM, Springfield; KTSM, El Paso; and WMAN-AM/FM, Mansfield, Ohio, tops the 100 affiliate mark.  Syndicator Premiere Networks reports that “the program’s audience has increased by more than 170% year-to-year (Source: Arbitron FA’11 to FA’12, Nationwide, Exact Times, AQH, P 12+) and is currently heard by approximately one million weekly listeners.”

karmazincraigSportsBusiness Journal to Honor Good Karma Chief Craig Karmazin.  The publication will recognize Good Karma Broadcasting founder and CEO Craig Karmazin as one of its “Forty Under Forty” for 2013 at a black-tie gala on Thursday, April 4 at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Florida.  Karmazin, son of media executive Mel Karmazin, founded Good Karma in 1997 shortly after his college graduation from Emory University with the purchase of three radio stations in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.  Since then, he’s expanded the company into five additional markets, including Milwaukee, Madison and Janesville, Wisconsin; Cleveland and West Palm Beach, Florida.  His company operates nine ESPN-affiliated sports talk stations.  Karmazin has expanded beyond broadcasting into the sports marketing field as well as the events and wireless retail businesses.

smithlauraWABC, New York Adds Live Saturday Evening Program.  The new show, “The Saturday Cafe with Laura Smith,” airs in the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot that opened when longtime WABC personality Mark Simone left for crosstown WOR.  Smith tells TALKERS magazine the evening variety show focuses  on a weekend mindset and “is all about fascinating conversations with fascinating people — everyone from celebrities, actors, authors, gurus, non-profits, musicians and the best psychics/mediums — the whole gamut on the spectrum of interesting stories and conversations for listeners.”  She says a recent program involved guests such as: a psychic interior designer, a beautiful singer songwriter who lost her leg in a tragic accident and now is a motivational speaker to returning troops, a NY deacon talking about the new Pope, a non- profit organization called Heart 911 that is rebuilding homes after Hurricane Sandy, and an upcoming Aretha Franklin concert.

gillemleng‘Frontlines of Freedom’ Wins Michigan Association of Broadcasters Award.  The weekly military news/talk radio program, “Frontlines of Freedom,” hosted by Lt. Col. Denny Gillem, U.S. Army (Retired)(pictured here at right), wins “Best in Category” Regularly Scheduled Weekend Broadcast Personality or Team; and “Best in Category” Special Show Broadcast Personality from the Michigan Broadcasters Association.  Gillem says, “To be recognized again for producing a top-notch program is not only good for our show’s team, but it sends the message to all radio stations that you too can add winning shows to your station’s weekend schedule.  Our affiliates already know that, and we thank them for it.”  Executive producer Josh Leng (pictured at left) notes, “We made the decision to expand ‘Frontlines of Freedom’ to two hours based on listener response, the host’s desire, advertiser demand, and radio program directors’ feedback to have a longer show that offers a better TSL opportunity to improve their ratings.  The two-hour program also ensures we always have enough time to fully cover all the important military news and issues of the day.”

sweettonyUniversal Broadcasting Network Launches.  The initiative is the effort of Global Voice Broadcasting founder Tony Sweet and award-winning TV, film and stage actress Ann Walker.  The duo have partnered on the launch of Universal Broadcasting Network – what they describe as “a brand new, international media platform that includes an internet-based multimedia radio network.  The Hollywood-based operation broadcasts from the Sunset Gower Studios and is already host to a diverse spectrum of talk radio shows, including those geared towards entertainment, children and walkerannfamily, love and relationships, LGBT and women’s issues, and sports and fitness, among many others.  UBN says it currently broadcasts 16 shows, and is quickly growing, with the capability to host up to 100 in the future.  Tony Sweet – who hosted his own program, “On Air with Tony Sweet,” — says, “Universal Broadcasting Network is my child, my vision and my creation of what I have always dreamed to build: a multi-media company that entertains, inspires and educates.  To me, UBN Radio is a place that combines Reality Radio with honesty, integrity and entertainment without limits.  My vision is for it to become an international Internet television and radio station that will take us into the new age of technology and media.”  Ann Walker was originally a co-host with Sweet on his program but then also became a host of her own popular show which now broadcasts on UBN.  She now serves as CEO of the company and says, “When Tony approached me about starting a new station, I was intrigued by the possibility and opportunities that new technologies bring to our industry and decided to jump on board as his partner.  Having been an actress for 35 years, I was excited about a new adventure that still holds true to what I set out to do all those years ago, which is to entertain, inspire and connect.  UBN not only allows me to do this, but provides a platform for other voices and entertainers to do the same.”

Broadcasters Seeking Input in Ithaca Radio History.  As CBS News Radio correspondent Peter King notes, a number of the radio business’ successful talent got their start working at radio stations in Ithaca, New York.  King, in association with his brother Rick Sommers – former WLTW, New York staffer and currently broadcast liaison for the New York Local of SAG-AFTRA – are gathering material to chronicle the history of radio in Ithaca New York.  He tells TALKERS, “We both got our professional starts as students at Ithaca College (and WICB-AM/FM), and later, WTKO, and the litany of talent that came through town is amazing – not just at WICB and WTKO  — but WVBR, WHCU and later, the FMs that began broadcasting there!”  King says this labor of love could use some help from other broadcasters who’ve worked in the market.  They are looking for cans of photos, memorabilia, sales material, promotional items, etc.  Anyone wishing to help can contact the project via email at  ithacaradioproject@gmail.com.  Rick Sommers can be contacted directly at rick.sommers@sagaftra.org .

President Obama Visits Israel, Sequester Effects, North Korea Tensions, Gun Legislation, and Cyprus Bank Tax Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/19).  President Obama’s trip to Israel; the ongoing discussion over the effects of the sequester; North Korea’s alleged cyber-attack on South Korea; legislative moves to advance new gun legislation; and the bank tax on Cyprus financial institutions and its repercussions were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

| March 19, 2013

DG-logoHorizontalMore Big Changes at Dial Global as Spencer Brown and Ken Williams Resign; Time, Inc. CRO Paul Caine to Take Over as CEO.  Dial Global announces that Paul Caine has resigned his post as chief revenue officer at Time, Inc. to become the chief executive officer of Dial Global and become a member of the cainepaulboard of directors.  Spencer Brown resigns his post as CEO and Ken Williams does the same as president.  The two will stay on until April 4 when the change takes place.  The company says, “Caine joins to create a new opportunity for Dial Global to expand the marketing and monetization of audio, starting with the Company’s lineup of premier sports, entertainment and news content that includes the NFL primetime games (including the Playoffs and Super Bowl), the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, CBS Radio News, NBC News Radio, the brownspencerNBC Sports Radio Network, and the Grammys. As mobile platforms continue to multiply the occasions for listening, the demand for premium digital audio content is growing fast. This represents a substantial, undeveloped opportunity for content providers, distribution partners and marketers alike.”  Paul Caine says of joining the company, “Dial Global will propel the growth of audio as the essential medium for the mobile experience.  We have premium content, top-tier distribution, and prestigious live event assets.  Our opportunity is to expand these experiences for consumers, broaden our repertoire of content partners, and integrate our on-air, digital and live event offerings to create compelling engagement for advertisers.”  In a statement from the company, Spencer Brown comments on his exit, “Along with our former partner David Landau, Ken and I have taken Dial Global a long way.  Now the company needs a chief executive with a different skill set to steer it through its next phase of growth.  We believe Paul is uniquely well-qualified to do just that.”

Cumulus Reports 2012 Q4 Net Revenue Up 1% on Strong Political.  Cumulus Media announces 2012 Q4 numbers and financial figures for the whole of 2012.  For the fourth quarter of 2012, Net revenue was up $2.9 million – 1% — on revenue of $284.2 million, compared to $281.3 for the same period a year ago.

cumulusLew Dickey Says with Promised Synergies in Place, ‘Cumulus Optimizes’ and ‘Invigorates’ Radio Networks Division.  During Monday’s conference call with analysts, Cumulus Media chairman and CEO Lew Dickey explained some of the company’s strategies and recognized the programming effortsdickeylew that included “launching shows with Governor Mike Huckabee, Geraldo Rivera, Sanjay Gupta and Michael Savage as well as some other initiatives that we have focused on.  We also announced the launch of, huckabeemikeimportantly, the CBS Sports Radio Network in collaboration with CBS, and the launch of Right Now Traffic in partnership with Radiate Media. These give us strong ownership positions going forward into two key verticals, sports and traffic.”  Lew Dickey reiterated the company’s happiness with the purchase of the former WFME, Newark, calling it “a tremendous value at just $40 million.”  As expected he promoted Cumulus’ country music strategy, saying the new WNSH, New York “enabled us to bring the country format back to New York for the first time since the mid-90s…with a very strong brand, ‘NASH FM.’  The NASH brand was extremely well received by listeners, advertisers, general media and particularly the Nashvillenashbashsheltonsmall entertainment community, and we further capitalized on this with a three-day concert for our advertisers and listeners last savagemichaelmonth, which was the ‘NASH BASH’ at the Roseland ballroom.  NASH FM will become the flagship for our larger national country initiative that we are in the process of rolling out throughout the rest of this year. It will ultimately be a multimedia platform brand for Cumulus, targeting that key audience segment, which is about 85 million Americans.  It will be through our O&O group as well as syndicated through our network…as well as through a mult-imedia platform.”   Dickey told analysts he expects the NASH FM, traffic, CBS Sports and digital platforms to break even in 2013 and be poised for profit in 2014 saying they are, “in essence, startup businesses, new entrants into respective arenas such as sports, and traffic in particular.”  Dickey was asked about the network business, the talk business in particular and he referenced, without naming names, the Rush Limbaugh-Sandra Fluke incident.  “Clearly, it’s been well documented that the talk side has been challenged – most of that due to some of the issues that happened a year ago.  So there has been residual hangover on the talk side in terms of advertisers sitting out and not placing there…that’s had an impact not only on our network business but it’s had an impact on some of the news/talk stations in the top markets in our O&O group.”  Dickey reported that business that is typically placed in the first quarter was, in many cases not placed until the late part of the first quarter of this year and a lot of that business “is now starting to come back into the marketplace.”  The Cumulus Media conference call details come courtesy of Seeking Alpha.  See more at SeekingAlpha.com.

kprc logoKPRC, Houston Re-Brands; Adds Janine Turner for Daily PM Drive Show.  Clear Channel Houston talk outlet KPRC finalizes its shift from a more “hot talk” format to a more traditional news/talk format and swaps turnerjaninebranding, leaving behind the “9-5-0 Radio Mojo” and implementing the new “Houston’s More Stimulating Talk Radio” positioner.  The lineup includes: Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo in morning drive; Premiere’s Glenn Beck; local host Michael Garfield; local personality Matt Patrick (who’s also heard in AM drive on sister KTRH); and Janine Turner.  Texas-based Turner – the actress known for her work on the 1990s TV show “Northern Exposure” – has been producing her own radio show for a couple of years now and is added to the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot on KPRC.

greatermediaGreater Media Philly Honored with Top Workplaces Accolades for Second Straight Year.  In a survey of employees conducted by Workplace Dynamics for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philly.com, Greater Media’s Philadelphia cluster of stations was named among the Top Workplaces again this year.  VP and market manager John Fullam says, “Great companies start with great employees.  We believe the workplace environment is an essential part of creating a successful organization.  We are fortunate to have such an outstanding team dedicated to serving Philadelphia, our listeners and advertising partners every day.”  Greater Media operates rock WMMR, classic rock WMGK, adult hits WBEN-FM and sports talk WPEN-FM.

arbitronArbitron Releases the RADAR March 2013 Radio Network Ratings.  Arbitron reports that the RADAR (Radio’s All Dimension Audience Research) March 2013 “is the standard currency for national network radio ratings and measures 46 individual radio networks.”  The networks are operated by American Urban Radio Networks, Crystal Media Networks, Cumulus Media Networks, Dial Global Inc., Premiere Networks, and United Stations Radio Networks.  The survey concludes “that nearly 180 million Persons 12 and older, or approximately 68% of this demographic, heard one or more network radio commercials in an average week of the survey period.”  Further, the survey states commercials that aired on the 46 radio networks measured reached: 68.2 % of Persons aged 12+ (179,923,000 Persons); 68.6% of Persons aged 18+ (163,738,000 Persons); 68.1% of Persons aged 35+ (113,417,000 Persons); 70.9% of Persons aged 18-49 (95,091,000 Persons); and 71.7% of Persons aged 25-54 (89,654,000Persons).

premiere networks 2Premiere Networks Touts ‘Strong Rankings’ in RADAR 116.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment-owned Premiere Networks sells 17 of the 46 networks included in Arbitron’s RADAR 116.  In this survey, Premiere lays claim to having “earned the number one spot in rankings for AQH and Cume among all 46 measured RADAR networks in RADAR 116 for Persons 12+.  Premiere FOX News Advantage ranked number one on an AQH basis for Persons 12+ (All Broadcasts, Monday-Sun 5AM-12M, AQH) and Premiere Spectrum debuted in RADAR 116 as the highest-reaching network for Persons 12+ (All Broadcasts, Monday-Sunday 12Midnight-12Midnight broad daypart, Cume).  Premiere also points to the performance of its networks based on lifestyle groupings, stating, “Young Influencers and Premiere Super Moms ranked number one and two, respectively, in reaching Moms 25-54 (Women 25-54 with children under 12).  Premiere Super Moms took the lead position followed by Premiere Young Influencers in reach for Working Women 25-54 (work status: full time/part time) among all 46 measured RADAR networks in RADAR 116 (All Broadcasts, Monday-Sunday 12Midnight-12Midnight broad daypart, cume audience).  The RADAR 116 sample consists of 395,844 diary keepers/PPM panelists/respondents.  PPM panelists comprise approximately 53% of the total respondent listening sample.

Effects of Sequester/Budget Battle, State of the Republican Party, Cyprus Bank Deposit Tax, Steubenville Rape Case, and Tom Perez Named Labor Secretary Nominee Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/18).  The budget battle in Washington and the effects of the sequester; analysis of the state of the Republican party and its future; the Cyprus bank deposit tax and its effect on world markets; the guilty verdicts in the Steubenville, Ohio rape case; and President Obama’s nomination of Tom Perez as labor secretary were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

| March 12, 2013

podcastone logoPodcastOne to Distribute CBS Evening News.  Norm Pattiz-founded Lauchpad Digital Media’s new PodcastOne.com enters into an agreement with CBS to present the “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” as a podcast available at the destination website.  The PodcastOne.com site also features CBS products “CBScbseveningnews image Weekend Roundup,” “Face the Nation” and “60 Minutes.”  PodcastOne.com launched in February and the company says it is “home to over 200 popular podcasts including Adam Carolla, Dennis Miller, Ron Paul, Penn Jillette, Laura Ingraham, Maria Menounos, Tom Green, Dr. Drew and many more.”  On the deal with CBS, Pattiz states, “Anytime we can work with CBS Radio News on anything, we jump at it.  Our relationship with them at Westwood One goes back over two decades and we’re delighted to be working with them now in the on-demand digital world.”  CBS Radio News vice president Harvey Nagler says, “We are excited to work with Launchpad in expanding CBS Radio News’ on-demand audio offerings and making our newscasts available for audiences to enjoy whenever, wherever and however they like.”

radioonelogoRadio One Awards Bonuses to Founder Cathy Hughes and CEO Alfred Liggins.  In a filing with the Securities Exchange Commission, Radio One announces bonuses of $1.5 million for company CEO Alfred Liggins and $500,000 for founder Cathy Hughes.  The company’s compensation committee decided that ligginsalfredHughes’ involvement in sales activities of its One Solution division “resulted in significant advertising commitments and revenue generation.”  For Liggins, the bonus was based upon the radio division’s 2012 performance.  The committee decided that “the radio division had met its EBITDA plan for the calendar year 2012.”  The committee also noted that Liggins’ involvement in TV One – which saw revenue up 8% and the division’s EBITDA increased to approximately $40 million – was also reason for the bonus.

atsingeredSalem Communications Signs New Contract with CEO Ed Atsinger.  The new contract for CEO Ed Atsinger to continue in that role with Salem through 2016 takes effect after his current deal ends on June 30.  For the next three years, Atsinger will make base salaries of $925,000 in 2013-14, $950,000 in 2014-15, and $975,000 in 2015-16.  That contract will expire on June 30 of 2016.  As is usually the case with chief executive officers, Atsinger will be eligible for bonuses at the discretion of the board of directors.

kantar media logoRadio Ad Spending Up 3% Says Kantar Media; Network Radio Up 16%.  The figures for ad spending across all media according to research from Kantar Media were recently released and, according to the company, radio ad spending was up 4% in the fourth quarter of 2012 and up 3% for the whole of 2012.  For the year, local radio spending was flat; national spot radio was up 3% and network radio – despite a down fourth quarter (-2%) – was up 16%.  National spot radio spending enjoyed a very good Q4 – up 8%.  Kantar Media North America chief research officer Jon Swallen comments on ad spending across all media.  “The advertising market has grown for three consecutive years and in 2012 it added more than $4 billion in spend, with the Summer Olympics and political advertising contributing about one-half of the gain.  Large advertisers also played a significant role.  After reducing their media budgets in 2011 as a precaution against slowing economic growth, the top 100 marketers reversed course in 2012 and invested more.”

limbaughrushOn the Nashville Talk Radio Scene, Premiere Networks Begs to Differ.  Last week TALKERS ran an item from WWTN, Nashville-based talk host Phil Valentine in which he claims to have the highest-cuming talk show in the marketvalentinephil based on the Arbitron Fall 2012 survey and beats  Premiere Networks hosts Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck.  Premiere tells TALKERS that, while technically that’s true, the claim is misleading.  The company states, “Valentine has five more hours of programming per week than Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity, and 10 more hours of programming than Glenn Beck — a key factor in Cume calculations; Rush has a larger Average Quarter Hour, Share and TSL; Valentine is on the FM dial during PM Drive in his home market; not only are they in different dayparts, but the Avg. Weekly Cume for the market is also greater during PM Drive than it is for 11:00 am to 2:00 pm; the PUR is also greater.”

grahammichaelTalk Host Michael Graham Announces Digital Initiatives.  Talk radio personality Michael Graham – who spent the past seven years hosting a show at Greater Media’s former news/talk WTKK, Boston – announces a new digital component to his brand to coincide with his recently announced Massachusetts-wide show heard on three Bay State signals.  Graham says his show is now able to be heard online and via smartphones through an app available at his site MichaelGraham.com.  That’s also where he’s operating his blog.

harrisonmichaelMichael Harrison Talks Candidly About Radio and its Future on WNYM (970 The Answer), New York.  In an interview conducted by weekend talk show host Frank Morano (morning host Curtis Sliwa‘s executive producer) this past Saturday morning (3/9), TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison discusses his views on the state and future of AM/FM radio.  In it Harrison states that the longevity of what is increasingly being marginalized as “terrestrial radio” will be determined by its broadcasters themselves and their dedication to preserving its legacy and pertinence to life in the 21st century.  Harrison offers his unfiltered remedy for radio’s problems and offers a simple-but-powerful formula for its continued relevance.  To hear Frank Morano’s interview with Michael Harrison click

 
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wachspawnstarDr. Daliah Wachs Becomes a Pawn Star!  Las Vegas-based medical doctor and nationally syndicated talk show host Daliah Wachs appeared on the March 11 edition of History Channel’s super-successful “Pawn Stars” show.  She’s pictured here with the show’s Rick Harrison during a break in the shoot.  During the program Daliah brought in an old pair of dental pliers used for tooth extraction and sold it for $170.  Members of the TALKERS editorial board who saw the show last night raved that Daliah was “articulate, charming, and her adorable self.”

KKOBbreakingbadBreaking Bad at KKOB.  Stars of the AMC hit series “Breaking Bad” visited Cumulus Media’s KKOB, Albuquerque – the city in which the quirky and compelling series is set – to discuss the show’s final season and much more.  Pictured here are (from l-r): actor Bryan Cranston, who plays protagonist Walter White; actor Steven Michael Quezada, who plays DEA agent Steven Gomez; KKOB morning show host Bob Clark; and morning show producer Jeniffer Davis.

North Korea Threats, New York Soda Ban Stayed, Unemployed and Job Seekers Down, Papal Conclave, Washington Sequester Battle and Funding of ObamaCare Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/11).  North Korea’s nuclear threats and dismissal of 1953 truce; New York Mayor Bloomberg’s sugary drinks ban hits judicial roadblock; unemployment figures down along with numbers of unemployed still seeking work; the search for a new Pope; the ongoing battle in Washington over the sequester; and Republican funding attacks on the Affordable Care Act were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

| February 20, 2013

cclogoClear Channel Media and Entertainment Up 4% in Q4 of 2012; Premiere National Sales Down.  The Media and Entertainment division of CC Media Holdings was up 4% in the fourth quarter of 2012 on revenue of $821.5 million.  But that figure was helped greatly by the $40 million in political advertising the division realized.   Otherwise it would have been down by as much as $9 million.  During yesterday’s conference call with analysts, CFO Tom Casey also said, “We increased national advertising sales by 17% over last year’s fourth quarter, or 3% caseytomexcluding political, and local revenues grew 5%.  We also saw a nice lift in revenue from digital, with our listening hours up 68% over the fourth quarter of 2011, fueled by increased iHeartRadio usage, which reached 118 million total listening hours in December.”  But both Premiere Networks and the Total Traffic Network had down fourth quarters and are off to sluggish starts in 2013.  The company does not break down specific numbers for these divisions.  Casey did say Total Traffic Network is still struggling with the merger of Metro Networks.  As for Premiere, he simply said national sales were weak for the division.  For the full year of 2012 Casey reported, “Media and Entertainment revenues grew 3% to $3.1 billion.  National revenue rose 9%, driven by both our new national advertising efforts and political.  Local revenue was up 2% for the year.  Our top advertising categories were auto and telecommunications.  Political advertising reached $70 million for the year.”

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to Remain on WABC, New York – for Now.  During yesterday’s CC Media Holdings conference call with analysts, chief financial officer Tom Casey did not give specifics when asked about thehannitysean much-speculated-upon move of Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh from his current and longtime home at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York to Clear Channel’s crosstown WOR.  But he did say, “No decisions have been made…we’re working through our options.”  Contracts with WABC for both Limbaugh and Sean Hannity run through the end of 2013 and it doesn’t appear CC is preparing to exercise the 90-out clause and move the shows to WOR.  Still, the option to move them to WOR in January of 2014 after their deals with WABC end must seem like a nice, clean way of doing it – if that is the company’s ultimate goal.

salkmikeSports Talk in Boston Is “Its Own Breed.”  That’s the sentiment from sports talk personality Mike Salk, who is preparing to return to his native Boston to join Michael Holley for the PM drive shift on Entercom’s WEEI in mid-March. He says he can’t say enough about the people of Seattle and how much he’s enjoyed his time at Bonneville’s KIRO-AM co-hosting with Brock Huard.  But he also says, “The passion and intensity of Boston sports fans – the frustration when things don’t go as they’d like – those things are different in Boston than anywhere else in the country.”  Salk will fill the void in the afternoon show that opened whenholleymichael longtime Boston sports personality Glenn Ordway was let go from the station last week.  Salk tells TALKERS the fact that Boston is such an intense sports town helps make WEEI “the gold standard for sports radio.  It’s why people have always talked about it as one of the biggest sports stations, if not the biggest and most important sports station in the country.”  Salk says the opportunity to work in his hometown at WEEI is one thing, but the goal is to capitalize on it and he’s excited about working with Michael Holley.  “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to talk sports with him every day.  Not just talk sports but ‘banter.’  That’s the fun thing about sports radio, it’s not always arguing, it’s not always angry or fighting; I think of it more as bantering – two guys going back and forth with a smile on their faces.  Sometimes it gets heated, sometimes it’s just straight fun, but it’s banter.”  Salk is a rabid Boston Bruins fan and he says he’s looking forward to getting back to a hockey town.  “It’s in wolfejasonmy blood.  I grew up watching those games.”  Salk and Huard helped build the midday show at KIRO-AM to the point they hit the #1 mark in men 25-54 last September.  He’s been a part of the ESPN Radio network since 2007, hosting “SportsCenter Saturday” and serving as a regular fill-in host over the past few years.  Prior to going to Seattle in 2009 he worked for ESPN 890 in Boston (WAMG) for four years co-hosting middays with Bob Halloran.  Vice president of programming Jason Wolfe says, “Mike Salk has a proven record of success, and I couldn’t be more excited to bring him back home to Boston.  He’s a very skilled broadcaster, a fun personality and a passionate sports fan.  I’m really looking forward to the new dynamic that he and Michael Holley will provide on a daily basis.”

wfni logoEmmis Adds FM Translator to Sports WFNI, Indianapolis Brand.  The translator W298BB at 107.5 FM is simulcasting part of sister WFNI-AM’s programming but is carrying ESPN Radio’s midday programming of Colin Cowherd and SVP & Russillo from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  In a statement, Emmis Indianapolis SVP and market manager Charlie Morgan says, “The launch of ‘FM 107.5 The Fan’ demonstrates Emmis’ deep commitment to making ‘The Fan’ Indy’s dominant sports brand.  Given that Emmis is credited with creating the first sports talk station in the United States, it only seems fitting that we would deliver the city’s first FM sports station to Indy’s sports-loving fans.”

niewkathleenIllinois Attorney and Radio Host Found Liable in Missing Money Case.  Illinois attorney Kathleen Niew, her husband and her law firm were found partially liable in DuPage County Court for the some $2.3 million that a local couple claims Niew misappropriated.  Niew hosts a brokered financial advice program on Salem Communications’ WIND, Chicago.  The couple, Jamal and Leda Khoury, deposited the money in an account controlled by Niew.  According to the Chicago Tribune, her former attorney stated in court filings that the Niews are victims of the same crime as a third party is responsible for the missing money.

wtoplogoOdds & Sods.  Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTOP, Washington reports a big January in the Arbitron PPMs.  Vice president of news and programming Jim Farley says the station went up dramatically from January a year ago in the 25-54 demo.  He also says, “WTOP is # 1 25-54 full week and both drives, #2 nights and #3 middays and weekends.  Note the incredible 11.4 share in persons 25-54 in morning drive and the even more eye-popping 14.4 women 25-54.  Full week we’re also # 1 with women 25-54 and I give the credit on that to WTOP PD Laurie Cantillo.”…..In another note from WTOP, the station announces it is adding Wall Street Journal Network news anchor Joan Jones to its roster of news anchors.  Jones has been a network business anchor for Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal Radio Network since 2008, writing and anchoring network broadcasts and customized business updates for major market stations.  Prior to joining WSJ, Jones was the morning news anchor at WPHT in Philadelphia and the morning co-host of “Chris and JJ” on Philly’s B101.  She states, “What an honor to join this legacy radio station and to work alongside the best in the business.”…..WFLA, Tampa-based news anchor Martin Giles is retiring from Clear Channel on March 1.  In a report from the Tampa Bay Times, the 76-year-old Giles says he’s leaving the place he’s been for 28 years due to the workload where the company requires them to do news for Orlando, Jacksonville, Tallahassee and other markets as well.  “It’s an overload of work they were handing us.  I’ve had a little trouble with it…I am really worn out when I go home on Friday.”…..The Heritage Foundation-produced “Istook Live!” talk show – hosted by former Oklahoma Congressman Ernest Istook – adds C.J. Wheeler as co-host and executive producer.  In the additional role of executive producer, Wheeler will oversee the show’s content across radio, digital and TV platforms.

Sequestration/Deficit Reduction, Gun Control Issue, Immigration Reform, Soaring Gas Prices, and Oscar Pistorius Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/19).  The Washington battle over who’s responsible for the looming sequestration; the ongoing dialog over new gun control measures; the Obama Administration’s policy on immigration reform; the fast-rising prices at the pump; and the murder case of Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, January 25, 2013

| January 25, 2013

schnitttoddSchnitt vs Bubba Trial Delayed for One Day After Schnitt’s Attorney Arrested for DUI.  It’s a rather bizarre twist in what is a high-profile case in Tampa.  The judge in the case granted a one-day delay in the trial after Charles Philip Campbell, Jr. was taken into custody Wednesday evening on suspicion of DUI.  He refused to take a blood alcohol test andbubba was released on $500 bond.  The trial will resume today as nationally syndicated talk host Todd Schnitt is suing Bubba the Love Sponge (Todd Clem) for defamation.  Schnitt spent most of two days on the witness stand Tuesday and Wednesday.  Clem’s attorney tried to score a few public sympathy points telling Fox 13 Tampa, “I’m shocked that the case was continued.  I feel horrible for this jury that has been sequestered and pulled from their jobs, their lives and their families.”  He told the TV station he didn’t understand why Schnitt’s other attorneys couldn’t handle the case.

martinezjrKFI, Los Angeles Adds J.R. Martinez for Sunday Evening Program.  The “Dancing with the Stars” champ, best-selling author and retired U.S. Army soldier begins his permanent role as host of the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm Sunday program on Clear Channel’s KFI, Los Angeles this Sunday.  J.R. Martinez was deployed to Iraq in 2003 and, shortly after arriving, his Humvee hit a roadside bomb that trapped him inside the burning vehicle.  He suffered severe burns over 34% of his body and spent 34 months at Brooke Army Medical Center recovering.  In October of 2012 he published Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength and Spirit (Hyperion 2012) that became a New York Times best-seller.  KFI program director Robin Bertolucci says, “He’s so inspirational and dynamic.  He filled in for Bill Carroll during the holidays and I just had to have him join our line up!  I’m thrilled he jumped at the opportunity and I’m excited to see what he will do with his own show.”  Martinez replaces the David Cruz program.  Cruz is concentrating on his four-hour daily program on sister progressive talk station KTLK.

wcnnfrontrowWCNN, Atlanta Goes Local in Late Mornings.  Dickey Broadcasting’s sports talker WCNN, Atlanta “Sports Radio 680 The Fan” is adding the new local show “The Front Row” for the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart.  The show stars Ray Mariner, Sandra Golden and Brian Finneran (pictured here from left to right).  Golden and Finneran are also part of the “Rude Awakening” AM drive show (which will be trimmed by an hour to a 9:00 am stop beginning Monday).  Mariner was co-host of the morning show on Lincoln Financial Media’s crosstown CHR WSTR “Star 94” until he exited that post back in May of 2012.  The show replaces Fox Sports Radio/DirecTV’s Dan Patrick program.

cookehollandAre You Ready for Some Baseball?  Okay, so much of the country is in Super Bowl mode right now, but radio consultant Holland Cooke reports to TALKERS that with so many news/talk stations (as well as sports talk signals) carrying MLB play-by-play in their markets, now’s a good time to begin preparing to take advantage of those expensive rights.  Cooke writes about ways to take ownership of the play-by-play beginning during spring training.  Once the season starts, use brief promotional slots – like top-of-the-hour IDs – to promote the next game.  Check out more on this in Holland Cooke’s Friday piece here.

esiasonboomerBoomer Esiason Tackles TV and Radio on Super Bowl Sunday; Dial Global Handles Exclusive Radio Coverage.  The NFL’s Super Bowl is usually the biggest TV event of the year but for the millions of Americans who can’t be near a TV, Dial Global’s exclusive radio play-by-play delivers the game.  This year, Boomer Esiason and Kevin Harlan will be in the booth calling the game for Dial Global.  But Boomer is also a CBS Sports employee (in addition to his AM drive work on WFAN, New York) and he’ll be on CBS TV as part of the pre-game show and the halftime broadcast.  After he finishes the pre-game show from the field, he’ll move upstairs to the radio booth to call the game with Harlan.  Talk about a busy day for Boomer!  Dial Global’s coverage of the event also includes such experienced talent as James Lofton, Mark Malone, Jim Gray and Scott Graham.  Joining Jim Gray for pre-game and halftime programming are NFL stars Tom Brady and Larry Fitzgerald.  Hall of Fame defensive back Rod Woodson will also be part of the extended pre-game program.

wfva logoWFVA, Fredericksburg, Virginia Returns to News/Talk on Monday.  After two years as an adult standards-formatted station, Centennial Broadcasting’s WFVA, Fredericksburg returns to airing a news/talk format using largely syndicated talent.  The program schedule will include: Cumulus Media NetworksDon Imus, Mike Huckabee, Mark Levin and Michael Savage as well as Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck.  Ten year WFVA veteran Ted Schubel will continue as the station’s news director and will also host a one-hour local program titled, “Town Talk With Ted,” airing weekdays at 8:00 am.  The show will introduce listeners to local businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence the Fredericksburg region.  Centennial Fredericksburg market manager Tom Hamilton says, “It has been nearly two full years since WFVA changed from a news/talk station to adult standards format.  During that time, we have paid attention to what our listeners have said.  Overwhelmingly, they told us they wanted news/talk back on WFVA.  By providing many of the most-listened-to talk show hosts in the nation, along with community involvement, local news and public affairs programming, we will better serve our listeners, our local businesses and our community.”

jonesalexKFNX, Phoenix Adds New Syndicated Programming.  Genesis Communications Network’s Alex Jones is part of the new lineup at Francis Battaglia-owned KFNX, Phoenix where he airs in the overnight time slot.  Also added to the station’s program schedule is Dial Global and Cox Media’s Herman Cain from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm; Dial Global’s Dennis Miller from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon; and Cumulus Media NetworksMichael Savage who returns to the station to air in the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot.

Obama Second Term Agenda Top News/Talk Story During Week of January 21-25.  The second term agenda of President Obama as outlined in his Inauguration Day speech was the top story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Following at #2 this week was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony.  At #3 was the battle in Washington over reducing the deficit and at #4 was the North Korea nuclear threat.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio across America and is based on ongoing research from TALKERS.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Monday, January 14, 2013

| January 14, 2013

wolfsoncarlCarl Wolfson Back in the Talk Media Business.  The former KPOJ, Portland morning drive host returns to the talk media game on Inauguration Day via the internet after raising $52,000 and counting via KickstarterCarl Wolfson was the morning host on Clear Channel’s former progressive talk outlet KPOJ, Portland before it flipped to sports talk in the New Year.  Wolfson decided to use Kickstarter to fund a new avenue to get his brand of talk to the public and the “Elect ‘Carl in the Morning’ to a Second Term” campaign raised more than $52,000.  So, beginning on January 21, Wolfson will stream live from 7:00 am to 8:30 am and make his show available via podcast.  Wolfson says the money will go to buy office space, utilities, equipment, server costs and more.  KPOJ was one of the country’s longest-running and more successful progressive talk stations and the news of its flip to sports talk that broke in November was disappointing to progressive talk fans in the market.  As morning drive anchor and the local host, Wolfson attracted a loyal following on KPOJ.  Now, he’ll get the chance to make a go of it in the digital realm.

hartfordjakeWLS-AM, Chicago’s Jake Hartford Dead at 63.  Chicago talk radio personality Jake Hartford (Jim Edwards) passed away after suffering a heart attack.  Hartford was a longtime weekender and fill-in host on WLS, beginning his career there in 1989.  Most recently he had been co-hosting the late morning show with John Kass from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.  His family, via the WLS-AM website, gives the following statement: “We’re currently mourning the loss of Jake Hartford, a husband, father, and friend.  This is devastating news for everyone in our family, and we greatly appreciate all of the kind words that have been offered to us during our struggle.  It’s truly incredible how many people he has affected positively through pursuing the work that he loved so dearly.  Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts as we do our best to ‘spring forward.’”

schnitttoddThe Todd Schnitt-Bubba the Love Sponge Case Goes to Trial Today.  Actually the jury selection process begins today in Hillsborough County, Florida.  The real interesting part will follow and is expected to last about three weeks.  Todd Schnitt – who then battled Bubba the Love Sponge in morning drive in Tampa – filed suit against Todd Clem (BTLS) in 2008 claiming “false, highly offensive and defamatory statements” made by Clem about Schnitt and his wife MichellebubbaSpecifically, Schnitt’s suit claims that Clem’s attacks on him and his wife – an assistant state attorney – went beyond name calling between public figures.  He alleges Clem accused him of illegal activities including rigging the Arbitron ratings and taking “plugola.”  Schnitt also claims Clem encouraged his listeners to physically attack him and his wife and that led to four encounters with Bubba listeners including being forced off the road by another car, being harassed at dinner and having their house egged.  Schnitt’s claims are going to be hard to prove.  First, he’ll have to show actual malice on the part of Clem plus he’ll have to prove some real harm came to himself and his wife.  But the cast of witnesses should prove interesting in and of itself.  The Tampa Bay Times reports Randy Michaels, Hulk Hogan, Cowhead, and other local media personalities are listed as possible witnesses.

cookehollandPlatform Plays Huge Influence on Public’s Perception of Content.  According to noted radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke, the stage upon which a production is delivered plays a significant role in shaping the potential audience’s expectation of its content and value.  Keeping this important piece of media theory in mind, FM and AM radio still have a tremendous advantage over podcasting and internet radio in giving its content instant gravitas simply because it is “on the radio.”  Of course, as time goes by, this psychological advantage will dissipate unless radio continues to deliver product worthy of high expectations.  Cooke illustrates this point by citing the fascinating story of the world-class concert violinist, Joshua Bell who performed as a non-descript street musician playing a $3.5 million Stradivarius in the Washington, DC subway system.  If you don’t know the story, you should — especially if you are a podcaster.  To read Holland Cooke’s piece, click here.

millerchrisTruth is More Effective than Hype in the Online Space.  According to noted radio digital consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller, broadcasters should be mindful that the kind of hyperbole that marks the tone of on-air promotion doesn’t translate well on the internet.  Radio broadcasters should tone down the sizzle and hype when translating on- air messages to their websites. In an exclusive article for TALKERS, Miller writes, “For anyone old enough to tell truth from fiction when the internet first really got hot, there is still a stigma about online information.  It’s automatically suspect.  What you say online (especially on your site) needs not only be true; you also need to present it in a way that convinces your fans that you are telling the truth.  On the air, we like to add sizzle and excitement to what we promote, so we write promos and liners in call-to-action language and we gloss over important detail points.  That’s fine on the air.  When I was a PD, I would not have accepted a promo that was just a laundry list of rules for a particular promotion.  When you go online with that info, your tone needs to change.”  To read Chris Miller’s entire piece click here.

castnermichaelThe Wall Street Journal Radio Network to End “The Daily Wrap” Program.  Launched in the spring of 2011, the early evening program hosted by Michael Castner will end in 90 days as The Wall Street Journal Radio Network has decided to pull the plug on “The Daily Wrap.”  WSJRN brought Castner to the show from Clear Channel’s WRNO, New Orleans where he’d been hosting the morning drive program.  “The Daily Wrap” is a newsy look at the top stories of the day airing from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET.  Whether the end of the program is the result of intense competition in the syndicated talk radio marketplace or the inability to have it make financial sense at a time when ad sales in the news and talk radio realm are extremely challenging, either way the show’s departure from the landscape will leave one less well-produced, newsy product on the air.

langeartie

The DirecTV-Produced “Nick & Artie Show” Becomes “The Artie Lange Show.”  Affiliates of the “Nick & Artie Show” – featuring comedians Nick DiPaolo and Artie Lange – will hear just Artie Lange when the DirecTV-produced late night talk show returns this evening.  On the show’s Facebook page, it simply states that Nick DiPaolo is pursuing “some great opportunities” and the show becomes the Artie Lange show immediately.  The program airs on DirecTV’s Audience Network channel and is distributed to radio affiliates via Premiere Networks.  The program has a handful of radio affiliates including Cox Media’s WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone,” Beasley’s hot talk WRXK, Ft. Myers and Americom’s sports talk KBZZ, Reno “The Buzz.”

Americom Flips KBZZ, Reno to Sports.  The former hot talk outlet adopts the sports talk format using CBS Sports Radio Network.  It will continue to air the Don Geronimo morning program (imported from CBS Radio’s KHTK, Sacramento) and the local Panama show in middays.

dubayjeffHubbard Broadcasting Brings Jeff Dubay Back on KSTP, Minneapolis.  Twin Cities sports talk personality Jeff Dubay returns to the radio after an absence of more than four years due to a high profile drug bust and his rehabilitation.  Dubay worked at Clear Channel’s crosstown “KFAN” for 14 years before his dismissal in 2008.  Now, Dubay joins Judd Zulgad for the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program beginning today.  Dubay had been very open about his arrest and subsequent rehab for substance abuse.  He appeared on numerous Twin Cities media outlets over the past year or so to talk about his rise and fall.  KSTP makes other lineup changes set to take effect in February: Patrick Reusse and Phil Mackey move to 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm and Joe Soucheray’s “Garage Logic” slides to the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot.  Soucheray and Reusse continue to host the 3:00 pm hour together.

giordanodomWPHT, Philadelphia’s Dom Giordano Featured in Philly Magazine Piece.  Late morning WPHT, Philadelphia talk host Dom Giordano is the subject of a full-length feature piece by Sandy Hingston in Philly Magazine this month.  The piece is written with the November election as its backdrop and with a hint of admiration for Giordano by the writer who is clearly far to the left of Giordano on the political spectrum, but who finds his success and his story fascinating.  Read the piece here.

wgnlogoWGN, Chicago and Northwestern Agree to Three-Year Sports Extension.  Wildcats football and Men’s basketball will continue to air on Tribune’s WGN, Chicago through the 2015-16 season the two sides announce.  The Big Ten school’s football and Men’s basketball play-by-play have been heard on WGN since 1996.  The school’s vice president for athletics and recreation Jim Phillips states, “The Northwestern athletics brand has experienced substantial growth over the past several years due in part to the massive reach and presence of WGN radio.  We’ve been extremely proud to call the station home for 17 years, and to have a wonderful partner in telling the stories of our world-class student-athletes.”

rossdaveDave Ross to Host One Hour with Luke Burbank on KIRO-FM, Seattle.  In TALKERS magazine’s report about Seattle radio personality Dave Ross moving to the news-intensive morning drive daypart (1/11/13), we stated that Ross is giving up his talk show with midday host Luke Burbank on Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle.  That’s not exactly true.  Ross and Burbank will work on the air together for the 9:00 am to 10:00 am hour before Burbank goes solo from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.

zwerlingharrisonOn a Blustery Seaside California Day.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison paid a visit last week to the Monterey Bay area of California and the good folks at Zwerling Broadcasting’s AM talk siblings KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz as part of a fact finding tour on the effectiveness, importance and future of local radio in America.  According to Harrison, “KSCO and KOMY are exceptional examples of the magic and special place that the good old-fashioned local radio station maintains in our culture.  I came away from my visit there invigorated and optimistic about the future of this industry.”  Pictured seated on what is affectionately referred to as the “corporate bench” overlooking Monterey Bay and the blue Pacific are (l-r) Michael Zwerling, owner and CEO, Zwerling Broadcasting; Harrison; and Rosemary Chalmers, PD of KSCO/KOMY and morning host of KSCO.

Friday, January 11, 2013

| January 11, 2013

gunsGun Control Issue Surges as Talk Radio Topic.  The Newtown, Connecticut tragedy has stimulated a tremendous amount of talk about guns in America.  Usually it is one of those topics — like abortion — that hosts and programmers try to avoid because there are seldom new angles and little give and take between sides.  Sandy Hook has changed that.  It is this week’s number one talk radio topic.  So, how have talk hosts and stations been handling this issue?  TALKERS recently spoke with a number of leading talk hosts and programmers across the country about their views both on and off the air on this issue.  Find out what personalities including Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes, Lionel, Lars Larson, Thom Hartmann, Doug Stephan, Kevin McCullough and others are saying about this here.

rossdaveDave Ross Moves to AM Drive on KIRO-FM, Seattle.  The two-month experiment of having talk host John Curley do the morning drive show with Linda Thomas on Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM is over and KIRO and market veteran Dave Ross has moved to the seat alongside Thomas for the news-intensive morning program.  KIRO-FM general manager Carl Gardner told Curley they were moving him off the show because, simply put, “It isn’t working.  I thought that it would, but it’s not.”  That quote comes from the Seattle Times’ story about the change, as told by Curley.  John Curley was hired for the evening talk show and did well there.  Management thought he would work well in AM drive but ratings started to plummet after the move.  Curley stays on the payroll and the Times story indicates the station would like to find a place for him.  As for Ross, he’s not thrilled with a 3:30 am wake-up call but understands the business.  “(Changes) always happen.  That’s part of the job,” he says.  He had been co-hosting the late morning program with Luke Burbank, who will continue solo.

colemankenKen Coleman Begins Daily PM Drive Show on WDUN-AM/FM, Gainesville.  The Jacobs Media Corp. station ups talk host Ken Coleman from his weekly Saturday afternoon program to a new, two-hour PM drive show airing from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm starting Monday.  Director of radio operations for Access WDUN and Jacobs Media Bill Maine states, “We are all very excited about this move.  Ken Coleman has proven himself to be a dynamic interviewer and his fan base just continues to grow.  Ken Coleman just has this energy about him, and instead of just talking at you, he talks to you.  It really is a one-on-one conversation.  Ken leaves you with information you can actually use in your everyday life.  I think Ken Coleman will add a much-needed voice to the weekday line up, and we are all very excited to see what new guests he will bring.” Coleman is eager to begin a new stage in his media career.  “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to create a new and refreshing conversation that is needed now more than ever.  Radio was the first medium to create community over the airwaves.  The entire focus of my show is to be a place that offers insightful, invigorating and inspiring conversations about personal growth, marriage, parenting, careers, money and legacy.  It’s going to be real-life conversation that matters.”

ces20132013 Consumer Electronics Show: Big Implications for Radio.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke has been at the huge Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and he reports the relevant news for radio operators.  It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the new technology and to be impressed by such items as the “connected TV” and the voice activated TV remote from LG.  But Cooke says the gadgets won’t impress in the long run, “But even with transmitters making radio ‘real,’ people will filter it out unless it’s real special, no matter how many dashboard buttons we get.”  Read Holland Cooke’s report from the 2013 CES here.

kennerellenOdds & Sods.  Providence-based, nationally syndicated weekend talk host Dr. Ellen Kenner celebrates the beginning of her 17th year hosting her eponymous radio program.  Dr. Kenner is a romance author and clinical psychologist…..Dr. Daliah Wachs – a Las Vegas-based physician and talk show host whose program is distributed via Genesis Communications Network – celebrates her 4th anniversary on the radio…..WEPN-AM, New York “ESPN Deportes Nueva York” and Madison Square Garden Company reach an agreement for the station to carry select New York Knicks games in Spanish throughout the remainder of the season.  Play-by-play coverage will be led by Clemson Smith Muñiz, who is also the voice of the New York Jets on 1050AM, and Tiny Cains. Jerry Olaya and Felipe López will also contribute.

gottliebknmlCBS Sports Radio’s Doug Gottlieb Visits Albuquerque.  Nationally syndicated sports talk radio personality Doug Gottlieb was in Albuquerque on Wednesday to handle TV color commentary for CBS of the New Mexico vs. UNLV basketball game.  He did his national program from Cumulus’ KNML, Albuquerque studios and made some appearances on the station’s local programs. He’s pictured here on the station’s “Sports Bar” program speaking with personality David Jubb.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The Kevin McCullough show – produced and distributed by XtreMedia – adds nine affiliates to push it over the 300-station mark.  Some of the new adds include: WWRC, Washington, DC; WGKA, Atlanta; KRCN, Denver; and WCRU, Charlotte…..Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck program is added to the lineup at Emmis’ KLBJ, Austin.  The program airs in the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot…..“America’s Financial Headquarters” talk show is added to the program schedule at WTKF, Atlantic, North Carolina and KRMS, Osage Beach, Missouri.

Gun Legislation Debate Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 7-11, 2013.  The debate over new gun legislation and the administration’s threat of executive order was the most-talked-about story of the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Following at #2 was President Obama’s cabinet nominees.  At #3 was the proposed Afghanistan troop withdrawal and at #4 was the looming debt ceiling and the trillion dollar coin flap.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Cool Job Openings.

wnax logoFarm Broadcaster/News. WNAX Radio in Yankton, South Dakota, your Big Friend in the Midwest, is looking for a farm/markets/news broadcaster.  WNAX has one of the largest radio signals in the United States and signed on in 1922.  This is an EXCELLENT broadcast opportunity for the right person.  If you want to work for an incredible company, RUSH your audio, resume and cover letter to: Steve Crawford, OM WNAXJOBS@sagacom.com Saga Communications is an equal opportunity employer.

townsquaremediaTownsquare Media has an incredible opportunity for a News/Talk Brand Manager.  You must have a proven track record in programming news/talk.  In addition, candidates should be digitally savvy and demonstrate a deep, rich understanding of interactive branding including social media, loyalty programs, content creation, streaming platforms, mobile and texting. Additionally, you should feel comfortable being on-air.  Candidates need to possess outstanding verbal and written skills as well as being highly organized, driven and comfortable delegating responsibility.  You will be working in unison with digital, sales, promotion and engineering staff.  It is essential that you have a strong working knowledge of digital audio systems and online media platforms, develop production and schedule all on-air content.  In addition to the above, you will work to build the identity of the station within the community.  If you can’t tell, this isn’t your typical 9-5 job.  But don’t worry, we work hard and we have fun doing it!  If you’re a fun, dynamic, creative, proven winner, send all of your materials, including references, to Chuck Armstrong at chuck@townsquaremedia.com.  Townsquare Media is an equal opportunity employer.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

| January 9, 2013

cclogoClear Channel Hires Bruce Gilbert for New Sports SVP Post.  Most recently, Bruce Gilbert has been the vice president of news, talk and sports programming at CBS Radio Dallas where he’s been in charge of KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan,” KRLD-AM “Newsradio 1080,” and the Texas State Network.  Now he joins Clear Channel Media and gilbertbruceEntertainment for the newly created position of senior vice president of sports operations.  CC says Gilbert will be “responsible for the creation, development and direction of sports programming at CCM+E, including Premiere Networks and the Fox Sports Radio Network.  He will also work with the National Programming Platforms team to expand sports branding across the company’s multiple platforms.”  Prior to CBS, Gilbert headed up Washington, D.C.-based Red Zebra Broadcasting as CEO, where he grew the company from three to 13 stations.  Gilbert also held the role of VP/general manager for the ESPN Radio Network, where he led programming, affiliations and sales for the network, and worked with owned-and-operated ESPN stations.  Premiere Networks EVP of news, talk and sports programming Carl Anderson states, “We are ecstatic to have one of the nation’s leading sports executives join our company.  Bruce has an amazing track record and unmatched dedication to building winning teams.  His credibility in the sports arena brings a wealth of expertise, knowledge and leadership to CCM+E.”  Some industry observers have noted Clear Channel has been lagging behind other major companies – especially CBS Radio and Entercom – in developing sports talk stations.  The arrival of Gilbert could signal a change and the company may begin to consider operating more sports talk stations.

tantarosandreaFox News Channel’s “The Five” Soaring in Ratings.  The 5:00 pm ET program “The Five” on Fox News Channel – co-hosted by Andrea Tantaros – has been climbing steadily in the ratings.  Last Friday, for example, the program logged more than 2 million viewers (Persons 2-plus), 339,000 viewers (Persons 25-54) and 807,000 (Persons 35-64), easily doubling its closest competitors on the other cable news/talk channels.  Andrea Tantaros is also host of her own talk radio program on Talk Radio Network (airing live from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon) alongside best-selling author Jason Mattera.  TRN CEO Mark Masters says he believes she’s the only female broadcaster to star in a weekday TV program and host a nationally syndicated talk radio program.  “In a post 2008-2009 economy, we have been seeking shows that are highly entertaining, yet responsible and profitable for our station affiliates and advertisers.  Andrea has the ability to do both.  She’s a fresh voice who will inject new energy to the airwaves.”

moorebobBob Moore Joins Sports USA Media.  He’ll assume the title of president of Sports USA Media in his role with the independent sports play-by-play content syndicator.  Sports USA Media founder and CEO Larry Kahn says of him, “I’ve known Bob Moore for over 30 years.  His experience in working with play-by-play sports rights and creating programming around them is a perfect fit for us.  Bob has worked with multiple teams, including the L.A. Dodgers, the L.A. Kings, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Anaheim Ducks, the Oakland Raiders, the USC Trojans, the New York Giants, and the Brooklyn Nets.  Bob’s knowledge and background will be key factors in the continued growth of Sports USA Media.”  Moore states, “I have long admired Larry for building the largest independent play-by-play sports network and am eagerly looking forward to helping him expand his play-by-play business and making a major statement in the digital space.  We all know the demand for live sports is growing for both the audience and the radio stations.  We will be announcing several major expansions for Sports USA Media over the next several months.  If NBC, CBS and ABC can dedicate 24-hour sports television and radio networks, I think we can say the space is secure.”

thompsondocTalk Host Doc Thompson Joins TheBlaze Radio Network.  Talk radio pro Doc Thompson – recently heard on stations including WLW, Cincinnati and WRVA, Richmond – becomes part of the lineup at Glenn Beck’s online TheBlaze Radio Network hosting the morning drive program.  Program director Dom Theodore says of Thompson, “Doc Thompson has an amazing track record of success at some of America’s biggest talk stations, in addition to his many years of guest hosting for Glenn Beck.  His humorous style and unique approach make him the perfect choice for mornings on TheBlaze Radio Network.”  Also from TheBlaze, Chris Peterson signs on with the network to serve as assistant program director.  Peterson has served with Premiere Networks for the past five years.

zollermarthaMartha Zoller Back on the Radio.  After a run for Congress in Georgia that took her off the radio for the better part of 2012, talk host Martha Zoller returned to the air this week on Cox Media’s WGAU, Athens, Georgia alongside co-host Tim Bryant for the Zoller & Bryant morning drive program.  Prior to her run for office, Zoller was heard on Cox Media’s WXKT.  At the time the station was a talk and sports hybrid but has since flipped to a classic hits format.

wssp logoEntercom’s Sports Talk WSSP, Milwaukee Drops Fox for CBS.  The change will take place on Friday, January 11.  Entercom’s Milwaukee sports talk outlet WSSP “SportsRadio 1250” ends its affiliate relationship with Fox Sports Radio Network to begin airing the new CBS Sports Radio Network.  WSSP airs local programming during much of the day but will use CBS for the evening, late night, overnight and weekend dayparts.

bullmichaelOdds & Sods.  Michael Bull’s Atlanta-based “Commercial Real Estate Show” goes into national syndication via the Wall Street Business Network.  The program was founded in 2010 by commercial real estate broker Michael Bull on WAFS, Atlanta in 2010 to examine national commercial real estate and business issues and feature high-caliber guests from around the country, including well-known analysts, accountants, brokers, lenders, developers, attorneys and architects.  About the expansion, Bull states, “I’ve been delighted at the impact the show has had in just two years, and I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to continue to extend its reach.  We can tell by the location of podcast downloads that the content is relevant to audiences across the globe.  As we continue to add stations, the show’s comprehensive analysis and enlightening bohannonjimconversations will reach a much larger audience.”…..Dial Global nationally syndicated late night and early morning talk host Jim Bohannon will be one of six Inauguration Parade announcers who’ll be stationed along Pennsylvania Avenue on January 21 addressing the crowd.  Bohannon says, “This is quite an honor, and I’m eager to do it again.  I also announced the Carter parade in 1977, so I seem to do this every 36 years.  Guess I’d better enjoy it since I’m not sure how many 36 year increments I have left.  It should be fun announcing, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the Southeast A&P Remedial High Marching 37, as they form a giant grid…and a giant lock…in honor of this year’s inaugural theme!’ (applause).”

pressmanalanDr. Alan Pressman Moves to WOR, New York.  After 11 years on Access.1’s WWRL, New York, Dr. Alan Pressman takes his “Health Radio News” program to Clear Channel’s WOR, New York for a Sunday 8:00 am ET airing.  He says the show will be a live, caller-driven program.  Dr. Pressman states, “There are so many breaking stories about health and nutrition; stories the general public does not have easy access to.  We’ll be discussing issues in the news from around the world.  It’s really hard-hitting information.”

Gun Control Legislation, RGIII Controversy, Looming Additional Tax Battles, Obama Cabinet Nominations, and Flu Epidemic Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/8).  Gun legislation proposals; the controversy over Robert Griffin III’s playing time in the Redskins’ loss to Seattle; future tax hike debates in Washington; President Obama’s cabinet nominations and the flu epidemic that has hospitals overwhelmed were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, January 4, 2013

| January 4, 2013

simonemarkMark Simone Begins Late Morning Show on WOR, New York.  Longtime WABC, New York personality Mark Simone is heading downtown to begin a new chapter in his career with Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s WOR.  Simone tells TALKERS he’s excited to begin hosting the daily 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program.  He says, “It’ll be a fast and fun daily look at what’s going on in the world, the city, entertainment, politics, tech, gossip, food, nightlife, my life, lives and whatever else they want to talk about.  Lots of great guests and listener calls, too.”  Simone says his 13 years at WABC wor710were great.  Management was always good to him and he’s finding it hard to leave his fellow co-workers but he’s encouraged to be re-joining general manager Steve Borneman who recently left WABC and is now with WOR.  “He’s a great leader and the best GM we ever had on the 17th floor at WABC and everyone on the air there would tell you that they would follow him anywhere.  He’s also hiring the best and smartest programming mastermind around.  This is just the beginning.  So, while I hate leaving the best co-workers in radio, it may not be long before many of them decide to join me here.”  Simone’s program fills the slot on WOR previously held by Salem Radio Network’s Mike Gallagher.

valicenti show logoWPRO, Providence Makes AM Drive Change; Gene Valicenti to Anchor.  Cumulus Media’s WPRO & 99.7 FM, Providence announces WJAR-TV co-anchor Gene Valicenti (pictured at left) is the new host of its “WPRO Morning News” program.  The station says “Gene brings more than 20 years of Rhode Island news broadcasting experience to the ‘WPRO Morning News’ each and every weekday.  With an intimate knowledge of Rhode Island and neighboring Massachusetts, the ‘WPRO Morning News with Gene Valicenti’ will help listeners get their weekday started with news, traffic, weather and the unique touch of Gene Valicenti.”  For more than two years Valicenti has been hosting his eponymous Saturday morning show on WPRO.  He says, “Rhode Island has been waking up to WPRO since the days of Salty Brine.  It goes without saying that hosting the ‘WPRO Morning News’ is a real honor for me.”  TALKERS columnist and respected industry consultant Holland Cooke, who happens to be a longtime resident of Rhode Island, comments that he believes this to be a very good move.  “I’ve been a big Gene Valicenti fan for years, but who here in Rhode Island isn’t?  His NBC10 newscasts have consistently led the ratings.  Beyond those impressive news chops, Gene’s approach to talk radio demonstrates what I hear as a welcome new trend, an antidote to the format’s caricature.  His Saturday radio show SMILES more than most other talkers I hear; and, though topical, he’s not obsessed with politics.  Gene strikes me as ‘a next-gen Salty Brine.’”  In related news, current morning news host Tara Granahan is promoted to assistant program director for the station.

kinosianmikeTALKERS magazine’s Sports Radio Feature, Part 3.  Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian wraps up a special three-part sports talk radio feature with a look at the December 2012 PPM ratings for sports talk stations in those markets.  Numbers freaks will enjoy checking out how some of the nation’s most prominent sports talk outlets performed during that period.  Peruse that data here.  Mike Kinosian’s three-part feature kicked off with a thorough look at the new CBS Sports Radio Network that debuted on Wednesday.  If you missed that, read it here.  The second part of this piece covered the new sports talk venture from NBC and Dial Global that premieres its weekend programming tomorrow prior to a full launch in April.  You can read that piece here.

noorygeorgeGeorge Noory Celebrates 10 Years as Host of ‘Coast to Coast AM.’  It was 10 years ago this weekend that George Noory took over the permanent host gig at Premiere Networks’ super-successful overnight program “Coast to Coast AM” and he plans a special show Sunday evening to celebrate.  The show will feature appearances by many fan-favorite guests, including paranormal investigator Joshua P. Warren and internationally known psychic Joseph Jacobs.  Noory will also share memorable interviews and highlights from the past decade.  Of the anniversary, Noory says, “It’s amazing how fast 10 years goes by and I’m looking forward to 10 more.  We have grown the affiliate base from 445 stations when I came on to 564, and have increased our digital, multi-platform audiences tremendously.  I want to thank my staff of dedicated producers and engineers, our affiliates, as well as the entire Premiere Networks team – they are the best in the business.”  Premiere Networks EVP of news, talk and sports programming Carl Anderson states, “After 10 successful years, George continues to take ‘Coast to Coast AM’ to new heights.  His ability to not only entertain and engage his loyal following of sleep-deprived listeners across multiple platforms, but also deliver positive results for stations and sponsors, is what makes him a stand-out star in the world of talk radio.  We look forward to celebrating many more milestones together.”

DG-logoHorizontalBig NFL Weekend for Dial Global Sports.  The first round of the NFL playoffs is here and Dial Global is providing radio broadcasts of the four Wild Card round games this weekend.  Play-by-play of the NFL playoffs has been a successful venture for Dial Global (and Westwood One before that).  Last year, the company commissioned a study by Edison Research to calculate listenership to the playoff games and the Super Bowl which, according to Edison, pulled in 23.1 million unique listeners to last year’s championship game, underscoring how many Americans aren’t able to be near a TV and turn to the radio to hear the big game.

snlkaganSNL Kagan Reports Current TV-Al Jazeera Deal a Challenge for Middle East Operator.  The pending $500 million sale of Al Gore-founded cable news/talk channel Current TV to Qatar-operated Al Jazeera is a bounty for Al Gore and Joel Hyatt but will likely be a big hurdle for Al Jazeera.  SNL Kagan states, “We think Al Jazeera may have to drop the license fee to zero in order to gain widespread support for carrying the channel in the U.S., a move that would certainly imperil its economic model, which relies upon license fees for 80% of the network’s revenue.  But maybe this is the only way for Al Jazeera America to gain a solid foothold in the U.S…In the U.S., the channel is available only in New York; Washington; Burlington, Vt.; Toledo, Ohio; and Bristol, R.I., versus 250 million households across the world in 120 countries.”

weei logoEntercom’s WEEI Expands Its Brand in the Granite State.  New England’s Boston-based WEEI sports talk radio brand expands in New Hampshire adding its eighth affiliate – Great Eastern Radio’s WZEI, Meredith.  WZEI is a class A FM covering the Lakes Region of New Hampshire.  The station will carry the entire WEEI daily sports talk lineup, its weekend programming and Boston Celtics basketball.  Great Eastern CEO Jeff Shapiro says, “We are very excited to bring coverage of everything New England sports to the Lakes Region of New Hampshire with 101.5 WZEI.  Great Eastern Radio and WEEI have a great partnership that has been key to great sports programming in northern New England for the past few years, and we look forward to extending that for years to come!”

kgologoKGO, San Francisco Wins Regional News Awards.  Cumulus Media’s KGO, San Francisco picks up two 2012 awards for broadcasting excellence from the NorCal Radio Television News Directors Association.  The station won “Best News Broadcast” for the in-depth coverage of the Occupy protest and closure of the Port of Oakland anchored by Bret Burkhart and Chris Brecher; produced by Linnea Edmeier and Laura Podolak.  The judges said it “grabs you right out of the box (with) passionate and engaged reporting (and) paints a good word picture of what was going on.”  KGO reporter Scott Lettieri won “Best Light Feature Reporting” for his “Spotlight 810” piece on inmates performing Shakespeare in San Quentin.  The judges said it was “interesting and meaningful,” with a “great mix of dramatic Shakespeare readings, music, (and) inmate reflections on what they’re gaining personally by taking part.”  KGO program director Paul Hosley says, “We’re humbled by these awards.  The 5:00 pm hour is highly popular with listeners and features contributions from the entire news team.  We’re thrilled to have Scott Lettieri recognized for his remarkable work as well.  Scott is a master story teller and it showed in this report about inmates performing Shakespeare behind bars.”

Bloomberg’s WBBR, New York Celebrates 20th Anniversary.  Bloomberg’s WBBR, New York is celebrating its 20th anniversary as Bloomberg Radio – the 24-hour business and financial news outlet in the Big Apple.  To mark the occasion, anchor Tom Keene and reporter Charlie Pellett will join staffers at the New York Stock Exchange to ring the closing bell.

‘Fiscal Cliff’ Legislation Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of December 31 – January 4.  Debate over and passage of the laws designed to avoid the “fiscal cliff” was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, putting it at #1 on the Talkers TenTM.   Coming in at #2 was the Boehner House Speaker vote.  At #3 was financial markets activity followed by Hurricane Sandy aid legislation at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

| January 3, 2013

johnkenKFI, Los Angeles’ John and Ken Appear on WOR, New York.  New WOR, New York owner Clear Channel Media and Entertainment has begun airing talk radio duo John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou in the evenings on the station.  On Wednesday night, a simulcast hour from the final hour of the pair’s highly rated KFI, Los Angeles wor710program aired at 9:00 pm followed by a 10:00 pm hour of custom programming for the New York station.  John and Ken are no strangers to the region having grown up in the New York area and having gotten their start on radio stations in the Tri-State Area.  They rose to prominence during their stint at Trenton-based “New Jersey 101.5” (WKXW).  John and Ken have been syndicated in the past.  During a brief period in the late 1990s, the duo began a national syndication effort under Fisher Entertainment but that ended when they moved to KABC, Los Angeles to take the morning drive slot.

nbcsportsradioPeacock Sports Network Playing the Hits.  In TALKERS magazine’s second part of its three-part series on the new sports talk radio players (and the growing field in general), managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian gets inside the heads of those involved in the new NBC Sports Radio Network that is launching its weekend programming this weekend and its full daily slate in April.  NBC Sports Radio kinosianmikeprogrammer Jack Silver tells TALKERS his network is focusing on finding talent it believes is the next generation.  “The weekday and weekend lineups mirror the network’s mission statement, which is to be a new wave of sports talk.  We did not hire the more traditional names.  The developmental mindset we have is to find new sports talk talent.  CBS Sports Radio has veterans like Jim Rome and Scott Ferrall.  We are looking for the next versions of people like that, as well as Dan Patrick and [ESPN Radio morning personalities] ‘Mike [Greenberg] & Mike [Golic].’  We are producing this sports network like a rock station, with in-your-face production.  To my ear, it feels like an FM talk station – which is my specialty. It is based on opinions and talk show topics.”  Read Mike Kinosian’s entire piece here.

cumulusCumulus Media Returns 44 Markets to Arbitron Diary Service.  After three years with no Arbitron diary ratings service, Cumulus Media-owned stations in 44 markets will resume subscription to the service effectivearbitron immediately.  Cumulus Media and Arbitron announce they have agreed to a multi-year contract that brings Cumulus stations in the 44 markets back into the fold and renews the company’s PPM ratings service deal in the 17 PPM markets in which it operates.  Arbitron states that the deal covers all 450 Cumulus stations in the 100 Cumulus radio markets currently surveyed by Arbitron.  It also renews ratings agreements in 39 diary markets.  In addition to diary and PPM local market ratings, the agreement also provides Cumulus with access to Arbitron software applications, Scarborough consumer profile services, dickeylewand national and network radio ratings for Cumulus Media Networks.  Cumulus has also agreed to collaborate with Arbitron on cross-platform services that would quantify the total impact of the Cumulus radio brand.  Cumulus chairman and CEO Lew Dickey says, “With this agreement, Arbitron and Cumulus are demonstrating a long-term commitment to collaborate for the benefit of the radio industry.  We will work closely with Arbitron on its ongoing quality and service enhancement initiatives.  Specifically, we look forward to participating in the development of an integrated, total radio audience service that gives broadcasters full credit for our audiences regardless of how listeners access our content.”

cainhermanHerman Cain is Coming and Consultant Holland Cooke Predicts Success.  Businessman, talk show host and one-time presidential candidate Herman Cain is prepping to take over the WSB, Atlanta and Cox Media syndication of the Neal Boortz program when Boortz retires this month.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke predicts Cain will succeed and offers eight reasons why, beginning with: “He’s a radio natural, as we heard when he filled-in for Sean Hannity last summer.  Even if Cain’s primary run hadn’t made it so familiar, his voice jumps-out-of the speaker.  And he speaks in sound bites that are made for AM radio.”  There’s more.  Read Cooke’s piece here.

mendtelarryLarry Mendte Exits Merlin’s WWIQ, Philadelphia.  Announcing his departure from the Philadelphia talk outlet via his Facebook page, talk personality and former market TV news anchor Larry Mendte states the reason was not due to ratings as his show was “by far the highest-rated local show.”  But Mendte, who joined the station in May of last year, says in his post that he believes his exit will spur rumors the station is for sale.  He says he hopes that’s not true as he believes the station “fills an important void.”  Mendte was hired to work the morning show alongside programmer and co-host Al Gardner.  Earlier in the fall, New York-based multi-media star Lionel was brought in to work with Gardner for a portion of the morning program.  WWIQ’s website lists both Gardner and Lionel as co-hosts of the 5:00 am to 9:00 am program.

woky logoClear Channel to Flip WOKY, Milwaukee to Sports Talk.  Beginning Monday, January 7, Clear Channel-owned classic country WOKY, Milwaukee will become a sports talk outlet as “The Big 920.”  The station will feature regional sports talk personalities as well as Fox Sports Radio Network syndicated programming including Dan Patrick and Jay Mohr.  According to a report in The Business Journal, the station will run the same programming that airs on CC’s Madison sports talk station WTSO “The Big 1070.”  The station will air a talk show featuring morning drive hosts Mike Lucas and Matt Lepay from 6:00 am to 8:00 am.  It will be in competition in the market with Good Karma’s WAUK and Entercom’s WSSP.

wqrtlogoWQRT, Cincinnati to Drop Talk; Station Will Go Dark, Launch New Format in February.  The Cincinnati market sports and talk station WQRT “Real Talk 1160” will go dark after the broadcast of the BCS National Championship game on January 7 and take the rest of the month to prepare for a new format.  Christian Broadcast System owner Jon Yinger tells the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter the station did not perform as the company had hoped despite hiring numerous local personalities over the course of the past few years to challenge competitors in the market.  Local staffers including morning host Dean Miuccio, news staffer T.C. Summers, afternoon sports talk hosts Dennis “Wildman” Walker and Jeff Piecoro have been let go and the station will air syndicated programming until it signs off.  The station recently lost operations manager Rob Williams and sports talk host and producer Rick Ucchino who left to join Cumulus Media’s crosstown WCFN which debuted the CBS Sports Radio Network format on Wednesday, January 2.

currenttvAl Gore’s Current TV Bought by Al Jazeera.  The Al Gore- and Joel Hyatt-owned Current TV cable news/talk channel has been purchased by the Qatar-based Arab world cable news operation Al Jazeera for a reported $500 million.  Bloomberg reports Gore and Hyatt paid $60 million for the media outlet in 2004.  Bloomberg notes in its report that Time Warner Cable Inc., the second-biggest U.S. cable company, said it would stop carrying Current TV with the ownership change.  “Our agreement with Current has been terminated and we will no longer be carrying the service…We are removing the service as quickly as possible.”  Time Warner Cable currently carries the Al Jazeera English-language programming in New York City however it does not offer Al Jazeera in the Los Angeles market.  The Associated Press reports the acquisition will give Al Jazeera access to about 40 million more homes.  It also states that Al Jazeera – owned by the government of Qatar – plans to gradually transform Current TV into a network called Al Jazeera America by adding five to 10 new U.S. bureaus beyond the five it has now and hiring more journalists.  More than half of the content will be U.S. news and the network will have its headquarters in New York City.

mohrjay

Fox Sports Radio Network’s Jay Mohr Debuts on 70-Plus Stations.  The new late-morning program on the Fox Sports Radio Network hosted by long-time FSRN fill-in host, comedian and actor Jay Mohr hit the ground running with about 70 affiliates yesterday.  Fox Sports reports the show aired in markets including: Los Angeles, Atlanta, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Portland and Pittsburgh.  Mohr’s program fills the slot held for so many years by Jim Rome who left Premiere Networks for the new CBS Sports Radio Network.

keelerbillBill Keeler to Host Mornings on WIBX, Utica.  Local media personality Bill Keeler will begin hosting the morning drive program on Townsquare Media’s news/talk WIBX, Utica, New York on Monday, January 14, according to WKTV-TV, Utica.  Keeler, who has been hosting a restaurant program on WKTV-TV, has also worked in the market in radio at CHR WSKS and rock WXUR.  He says, “I am so excited about doing mornings on WIBX.  This is a heritage radio station that’s been around for 87 years and it remains one of the top stations in the market.  I can’t wait to get on the air and get started.”  Keeler will be joined by news anchor Kristine Bellino.

mcmichaelsteveWMVP, Chicago Personality Steve McMichael Pulled from Broadcasting After Equal Time Request.  Former Chicago Bears great and WMVP, Chicago sports talk personality Steve “Mongo” McMichael was yanked from Sunday’s program prior to the final Bears game of the season after the mayor of Romeoville, Illinois filed an equal time request with the station.  McMichael filed papers on December 26 to get on the ballot to run for mayor of Romeoville in April and one of his opponents, current Mayor John Noak, filed the request citing equal time regulations.  McMichael tells the Chicago Tribune, “I was ready to go on and talk football.  I by no means used that pre-game show as a political platform this year.  But if that’s the law, it’s the law and I have to accept it.”

wtmjJournal’s WTMJ, Milwaukee Announces Record Results for Holiday Toy Drive.  WTMJ, Milwaukee program director Joe Scialfa announces the Journal Broadcast Group station collected more than 19,000 toys during its 2012 “Kids to Kids Christmas”  Scialfa says more than 50 schools in the region participated in the charity drive that encouraged children to shop with their parents for toys to donate to those less fortunate.  Scialfa states, “The listeners of Newsradio 620 WTMJ are amazing.  Again this year, they have shared the message of giving with their kids in a record setting way!  We couldn’t be prouder to come to work each day to inform and entertain this great audience.”

‘Fiscal Crisis’ Bill Signed, Hurricane Sandy Aid Controversy, Financial Markets Activity, Hillary Clinton Health Status and Gun Control Debate Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/2).  The aftermath of the bill signed to avert the “fiscal crisis”; the anger over Congress’ bypassing Hurricane Sandy aid; financial markets respond to “fiscal crisis” legislation; the health status of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; and ongoing debate of gun laws in the United States were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

| December 20, 2012

obamabarackPresidential Election Tops List of Most-Discussed Stories on News/Talk Radio in 2012.  Obama is Most Talked-About Person.  According to TALKERS magazine’s tabulations, the Presidential Election ranks as the most-talked-about story of 2012 on the nation’s news/talk radio stations and programs.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “It isn’t even close.  The election stood out far and away as a topic in its own right, as well as a catalyst for so many of the other subjects that comprise the meat and potatoes of news/talk conversation ranging from economics to foreign policy to personality gossip.  It is difficult to track and calculate a list of this nature because stories and subjects overlap and play into and off of each other.  The presidential race is both an ongoing process and then a climactic event that brings so many different issues into play; it permeates the very fiber of what this format is all about.”   Casey adds, “Interestingly, there is so much overlap and interplay between stories that even with the effort to sort them out individually certain stories are so connected that we list them as ties in the Top 10 – such as the connection between the so called Fiscal Cliff and Euro Zone Troubles, or the Benghazi Attack and the Petraeus-Broadwell Scandal.”

The following are the 10 most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio in 2012:

1)      2012 Presidential Election

2)      ‘Fiscal Cliff’/Euro Zone Troubles

3)      SCOTUS ObamaCare Decision

4)      Benghazi Attack/Petraeus-Broadwell Scandal

5)      Newtown Massacre/Aurora Theater Slayings

6)      Syria Revolt/Egypt Instability

7)      Rush Limbaugh “Slut” Controversy

8)      Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Ambitions

9)      Trayvon Martin Case

10)    Hurricane Sandy

Other major news/talk radio topics worthy of mention include the Wisconsin Recall Election, the “Fast and Furious” Investigation, the Sandusky Trial and the Facebook IPO.

President Barack Obama tops the TALKERS list of the most-talked-about people on news/talk radio in 2012 which according to limbaughrushKevin Casey is no surprise: “The President of the United States has topped this survey in all of the 22 years that TALKERS magazine has been conducting it – election year or not.  This includes George Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.”  It is interesting to note that Rush Limbaugh is on this year’s list – not the first time it has happened – indicating what a huge newsmaker the format’s most-listened-to-player is in addition to being someone who talks about key figures.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “The colorful people who perform on this great stage love to talk about the medium itself.  Limbaugh, of course, is constantly in the news and has long been an ongoing topic as well as talker.  Others who fit this bill over many years include Howard Stern, Michael Savage, Don Imus and Dr. Laura Schlessinger to name the standouts. They sure do bring a lot to the table.”

The following are the 10 most-talked-about people on news/talk radio in 2012.  Note, in cases in which two people are intrinsically connected in terms of the story in which they were co-players, they are listed as tied for their position:

1)      Barack Obama

2)      Mitt Romney

3)      John Boehner

4)      Hillary Clinton

5)      John Roberts

6)      David Petraeus/Paula Broadwell

7)      Christopher Stevens/Susan Rice

8)      Adam Lanza/James Holmes

9)      Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman

10)    Rush Limbaugh/Sandra Fluke

tantarosandreaTRN Entertainment Debuts the Andrea Tantaros Show in January.  National talk programming syndicator Talk Radio Network Entertainment announces it is bringing political commentator, syndicated columnist and Fox News Channel personality Andrea Tantaros to the radio for a three-hour program to air live in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET slot formerly held by Laura Ingraham.  Tantaros is a co-host of the popular FNC program, “The Five.”  TRNE describes the program saying it “will engage listeners who want to be informed and entertained with smart, edgy, and funny but matterajasonresponsible commentary on politics, pop culture, Wall Street and entertainment.  The show is designed to attract the broadcast spectrum of listeners profitably for its station affiliates.”  Tantaros will be joined by Jason Mattera, a two-time New York Times best-selling author, the youngest editor of a national periodical, Human Events, and the host of “The Jason Mattera Show” on weekends at WABC in New York.  TRNE CEO Mark Masters says, “In a post 2008–2009 economy, we have been seeking shows that are highly entertaining, yet responsible and profitable for our station affiliates and advertisers.  Andrea has the ability to do both.  She’s a fresh voice who will inject new energy to the airwaves.”  Tantaros says she’s delighted to partner with TRN on this project.  “They’re the best in the business at making sure affiliates and audiences get hard-hitting and informative commentary that keeps them coming back for more.  I promise you this: it’s going to be fun.”

DG-logoHorizontalLaunchpad Digital Media and Dial Global Partner for Podcast Programming.  This deal gives Dial Global an avenue for podcasting from its talent pool – Dennis Miller, “Loveline,” Billy BushCharles Osgood, country programming, DG Sports and NBC Sports Radio – via the Courtside Entertainment digital division Launchpad Digital Media.  Dial Global co-CEO Spencer Brown states, “Defining great media means delivering the highest quality content to the largest launchpad logobrownspenceraudience.  This new partnership with Launchpad Digital Media significantly augments Dial Global’s capability to do both by opening new creative avenues for top talent and new doors for advertisers to access the widening on-demand podcast audience.”  Courtside Entertainment founder and Launchpad chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Since we announced our move into podcasting the response has been off the charts.  The partnership between Kit Gray and Courtside establishes Launchpad with a proven track record of revenue generating success.  We have now added new programming which is currently delivering over 90 million downloads per month, including our deal with Dial Global.  We are excited to partner with Dial Global to bring some of the most well-known and trusted brands in sports, news and entertainment to the growing roster of Launchpad podcast offerings.”

kinosianmikeNovember Was Very Good to All-News Radio.  Arbitron’s November PPM data was, in general, very good to the nation’s all-news outlets.  Recently, TALKERS managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian detailed his analysis of news/talk’s November PPM data, concluding it was generally a very good month for that format.  Here, Kinosian runs the numbers for major all-news outlets and gives four-month trends for those stations.  See his analysis of the nation’s all-news stations here.

kmjlogoKMJ-AM/FM, Fresno Names John Broeske and Jennifer Lipp Midday Partners.  Peak Broadcasting’s KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno announces a new local talk program that will air from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm on both KMJ-AM and KMJ-FM, beginning January 2.  The John and Jen show will feature current KMJ-FM morning drive host Jennifer Lipp (who will continue to host the 6:00 am to 8:00 am program) and longtime Fresno market radio lippjenpro John Broeske.  A release from KMJ says Broeske has been a talk host, programmer, manager and consultant.  He led the station from 1987 to 2007, “directing it to the leadership position that continues to this day.”  KMJ and Peak Broadcasting SVP Patty Hixson says, “There is simply no better choice for this important time slot than the merger of two of the biggest names in Central California radio…they will bring their extensive experience and name recognition to a broad-based, advertiser-friendly show that will be a big success on KMJ for years to come.”  Operations manager Skip Essick adds, “The John and Jen show will be a fast-paced, topical, entertaining view of life in Central California as lived by two people who know the area very well.  From politics to pop culture, local or national, if it matters to the Central Valley, it will be covered by John and Jen on KMJ every day.”

pinkusgeoffWCKG, Chicago Adds Geoff Pinkus for Middays.  Suburban talk outlet WCKG, Elmhurst, Illinois announces local personality Geoff Pinkus will host the midday show on “The Voice of DuPage County” beginning January 7.  In a press release, Pinkus states, “For years I was told I’d get a daily show ‘when hell freezes over!’  The Twinkie is gone.  The Mayan calendar is ending…and now WCKG finally decides to hire me?  Coincidence?  Maybe.  All I know is I’ve got some storable food, water stockpiles, good cigars, and a microphone ready.  Starting January 7, 11:00 am, we’re rockin’ the suburbs.  We’re going to have fun on the radio again with real people.”  WCKG airs “Mancow in the Morning,” and Dan Patrick among other syndicated programs.

jonesadamCBS Radio’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” Tabs Adam Jones for Evening Show.  With the departure of Damon Amendolara to CBS Radio Sports Network to host his “D.A. Show” in the overnight slot on the network, CBS Boston woos Adam Jones away from ESPN to take over the 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm program on “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  Jones had been working for ESPN Radio handling a fill-in role and hosting the online Adam Jones show.  Before that he had been working with WBZ-FM as a fill-in host and co-hosting a weekend show with Boston sports writer Dan Shaughnessy.  CBS Radio Boston vice president of programming Mike Thomas says, “It’ll be great to have Adam back at ‘The Sports Hub.’  We had a lot of very good candidates apply for this job, but with his previous work here and the experience he gained after leaving ‘The Sports Hub,’ Adam was the clear choice.  Damon did a fantastic job coming into this market and hosting the evening show.  I’m confident Adam can pick up where D.A. left off and continue to grow the audience.”

nielsen logoNon-Subscriber Station Exec Speaks His Mind on Arbitron/Nielsen Merger.  Fred Lundgren, CEO of talker KCAA, Yoma Linda, California, hopes that Nielsen will change what he describes as thearbitron “exclusionary methodology” of Arbitron.  In an opinion piece posted today (12/20) in TALKERS, Lundgren writes, “Moreover, let’s hope Nielsen’s acquisition will lead to comprehensive listener surveys across all platforms, which will add value to our industry, rather than further draining resources from traditional media already stagnated by the economy and over-consolidation.”  In a biting commentary, Lundgren asks, “According to Arbitron, nobody listens to KCAA.  Are we to believe that KCAA has no listeners to any of 50-plus locally produced, weekly programs on subjects ranging from a vegan lifestyle to marijuana legalization?  According to Arbitron, no one listens to any broadcaster on KCAA, not even Roseanne Barr, Joyce Riley, Don Imus, Dave Ramsey, Alex Jones or Ed Schultz.   Read Fred Lundgren’s article here.

noorygeorgePremiere Networks’ George Noory Hosts “End of the World” Show Friday.  With the ancient Mayan calendar possibly predicting the end of the world on Friday the 21st, “Coast to Coast AM” personality George Noory is hosting a special “End of the World” edition of his program.  The show will feature a number of special guests and experts, including author/prophecy expert John Hogue and author/lecturer/aerospace engineer Mike Bara, who will share their predictions, in addition to conversations with listeners.  Noory shared his own doomsday prediction in a December 19 Huffington Post story in which he states, “Any calamity that might occur doesn’t affect one, it affects all of us, and we’ll get through it together as a team, one way or another.”

hayworthjdTalk Host J.D. Hayworth Keeps Busy This Holiday Season.  Former Arizona Congressman and talk radio pro J.D. Hayworth is all over the radio this holiday season on a series of fill-in gigs.  Hayworth tells TALKERS magazine he’s sitting in on the morning show at Clear Channel’s “Rush Radio” in North Carolina – WPTI, Greensboro and WRDU, Raleigh – December 26 – 31.  He’ll be in afternoon drive on Cumulus’ KABC, Los Angeles December 24 – 28 (with a break on Christmas Day).  Plus, he’ll sit in for Mike Huckabee on his national program December 26 – 28 and January 2 – 4.  Additional appearances include guest stints at KSFO, San Francisco; WLS, Chicago; and WMAL, Washington…as well as continuing fill-in work in Philly on WPHT.

tuneinlogoTuneIn Adds 18 Broadcasters to the Service.  Digital content aggregator TuneIn announces it has signed deals with 18 more broadcasters to distribute their programming via TuneIn’s global digital application.  New broadcasters include Doug Stephan’s “Good Day” program, Motley Fool Radio, Progressive Voices and others.  The company states, “This news comes at a period of continued growth and momentum for TuneIn, which has 40 million monthly active listeners, 70,000 AM, FM, HD and Internet radio stations and more than two million on-demand programs streaming from every continent.  As part of these alliances, TuneIn will provide each broadcaster with access to free, industry-leading tools, such as analytics through TuneIn Amplifier, and access to the audio service’s ad platform.”

Gun Law Changes, Mental Health Care System, ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Debate, Benghazi-State Department Report, and Mayan ‘Doomsday’ Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/19).  The debate over changes to America’s gun laws; discussion about mental health care and screenings in the U.S.; the debate in Washington over avoiding the “fiscal cliff”; the report on the State Department’s handling of the Libya situation; and the Mayan calendar’s “end of the world” prediction were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

| December 19, 2012

foxsportsradio logoFox Sports Radio Network Taps Jay Mohr for Midday Slot.  Longtime Fox Sports Radio Network fill-in host Jay Mohr is picked to fill the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET slot on the network that’s opening when Jim Rome moves over to CBS Sports Radio Network on January 2.  The actor, comedian and radio personality will hostmohrjay “Jay Mohr Sports” beginning on January 2.  In a press release, he says, “After spending the last 15 years guest hosting, I couldn’t be happier to get the opportunity to host my own show!  I’m looking forward to talking sports, connecting with listeners, and interviewing amazing guests every day, while being a part of the Fox Sports Radio family.  It was worth the wait.”  Premiere Networks executive vice president of news, talk and sports programming Carl Anderson states, “Jay has done a great job guest hosting for Premiere Sports and Fox Sports Radio’s flagship station AM570 FOX Sports LA, and I know his sense of humor and extensive sports knowledge will provide just what our listeners are looking for.  He’s a perfect addition to our leading, multi-platform, sports entertainment lineup.”

allenmattWPRO-AM & 99.7 FM, Providence Produces Special “Protecting Our Children” Show.  This evening at 7:00, Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM & 99.7 FM, Providence produces a special edition of the Matt Allen program titled, “Protecting Our Children” in response to the Newtown killings.  Allen and his panelists will discuss various aspects of the tragedy including school preparedness, police policies and responses, Rhode Island gun regulation, speaking to children about such tragedies and Rhode Island mental health policies. Joining Matt Allen will be Colonel Steven O’ Donnell, superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police; Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education commissioner Deborah Gist; and Dr. Susan Erstling, senior vice president, Family Service of Rhode Island and an expert on children affected by crimes.

yukelsondanBob Moore Exits Courtside Entertainment; Dan Yukelson Joins as EVP/CFO.  After almost a year with Norm Pattiz-founded Courtside Entertainment in a consultant capacity, Bob Moore exits and prepares to announce hismoorebob next venture in the New Year.  Meanwhile, joining Courtside Entertainment is Dan Yukelson who will take on the role of executive vice president and chief financial officer.  Yukelson comes to Courtside from Premiere Networks where he held the same title.  Yukelson will be responsible for financial operations and overall management of both Courtside and sister initiative Launchpad Digital Media.  Yukelson joined Premiere in 1995 and was instrumental in its sale to Jacor Communications in 1997.  He left in 1998 and returned in 2002.  Norm Pattiz says, “Dan Yukelson’s experience streamlining financial operations and proven revenue generation know-how are a perfect fit for Courtside as we continue to rapidly expand our offerings in radio and aggressively enter the digital space.”  Yukelson says the new post is “a tremendous opportunity to join a company that is breaking new ground with a focused strategy emphasizing on-demand media and digital content, in addition to its long tradition of quality radio programming.”

conwaysimonWHO, Des Moines Host Simon Conway Keeps Busy.  News Radio 1040 WHO Des Moines afternoon drive host Simon Conway is earning some extra Christmas cash this week and next as he’s doing double duty filling in on the morning drive show today through Friday on Clear Channel’s WFLF, Orlando.  Conway is also scheduled to fill in for Andy Dean Wednesday through Friday during Christmas week on the Premiere Networks‘ “America Now” program.  Then on Saturday, December 29, he will be hosting the nationally syndicated “The Weekend” show.

powerswayneWBT-AM/FM, Charlotte Taps Wayne Powers for Two-Week Stint.  Greater Media’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte “News Talk 1110” announces veteran broadcaster and TV personality Wayne Powers will be guest hosting the Brad & Britt show on Christmas Eve.  He’ll then take the helm of the long-running John Hancock show from December 26 through January 4.

wmalfisherawardA Token of Their Appreciation.  In recognition of the nine years of fundraising Cumulus Media news/talk outlet WMAL-AM/FM, Washington, DC has organized to benefit the Fisher House Foundation and the more than $4 million collected, Fisher House presents WMAL with its Patriot Award.  Pictured here from left to right are: WMAL general sales manager Todd Freundlich, Fisher House Foundation president Dave Coker and WMAL program director Bill Hess.  Fisher House builds comfort homes where the families of wounded warriors can stay while their loved one is being treated at a military or VA hospital.  There are nine Fisher Houses in the Washington, DC area, and a total of 58 across the country.

Newtown Massacre Aftermath, ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Negotiations, Benghazi Review and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/18).  The aftermath of the massacre of 27 in Newtown; the negotiations in Washington over avoiding the “fiscal cliff”; the review of the assault on the Benghazi consulate; and the action in the NFL as the playoffs approach were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, December 3, 2012

| December 3, 2012

Michael Savage Bashes “Bash Obama” Programming Philosophy.  Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated talk host Michael Savage appeared on WABC, New York’s “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” program last night and told Klein’s audience that talk radio conservatives are “committing suicide” by incessantly criticizing Barack Obama.  Savage, who recently left longtime syndicator Talk Radio Network and subsequently signed on with Cumulus Media Networks, said, “Many people on the conservative side of the dial are making the same mistakes now that the liberals made when Bush was in power.  “Air America went bankrupt, why? Because all they did was…Bush bashing and they were just crazy in the Bush bashing.  Boring.  Boring.  How much could you listen to?  It wasn’t even clever Bush bashing.  This is what’s going on now with the conservatives.  They’re committing suicide.  Just attacking Obama – although he deserves it – is not good radio…Remember one thing, radio is primarily an entertainment medium.  It was not created to be the voice of the Republican Party or the Democrat Party.”  Savage’s program begins airing on Cumulus O&O WABC tonight from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

CBS Radio Dallas Offices Hit by Gunfire.  The offices of CBS Radio’s Dallas operations that house its radio stations was hit by gun shots on Friday and police are still investigating the source of the bullets.  CBS Dallas is reporting the shots hit the outside panes of glass on two floors of the 12-story building that abuts the busy Central Expressway.  One of the offices hit was that of NewsRadio 1080 KRLD’s promotions director Matt Stacks.  The other window hit was above the KRLD offices belonging to former police officer and practicing attorney Pete Schulte who tells CBS, “It sounded like a rifle.  It was clearly a loud bang, and as soon as I heard the loud bang the glass shattered in my office.”  Schulte says he was frustrated by how long it took the police to take action.  “I should think police should at least canvass the area to see if they can find anyone with a long gun.”  The CBS story notes police did canvass the area a little over an hour later and that Schulte was told the call had been mis-categorized as a criminal mischief call instead of an active shooter case.  The building also houses CBS Radio’s other Dallas stations including sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan,” AC KVIL “103.7 Lite FM,” adult hits KJKK “100.3 Jack FM,” classic hits KLUV, and Spanish WMKV, “Mega 107.5 FM.”

WLS, Chicago Adds Early-Morning Newscast.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder tips that Cumulus Media-owned news/talk WLS, Chicago began a 4:30 am newscast anchored by John Dempsey this morning (12/3).  The move means WLS is cutting the second half of The Wall Street Journal Radio Network’s “This Morning” program that aired from 4:00 am to 5:00 am.  “The 89 WLS First Morning News at 4:30” also uses ABC Radio News London-based correspondent Tom Rivers as a contributor.

Radio One to Consolidate Syndication One Division with Reach Media in January.  Radio One will increase its ownership stake in Reach Media from 53% to 80%.  The consolidation of Radio One-owned Syndication One and the Tom Joyner- and David Kantor-founded Reach Media will, according to Radio One, create an “assembly of top talent, programming and prime national advertising inventory that make Reach Media the leading radio network with the ability to speak directly to the African-American audience.  In 2013, Reach Media will use its strong affiliate lineup and relationships with leading urban stations to also launch a new network.  Reach Media’s new network is expected to be in the top tier of radio networks and have one of the largest African-American audiences of any radio network.  Reach Media will expand its dedicated sales and marketing staff to sell the radio network advertising inventory along with web and event sponsorships.”  The company will offer talk and music radio talent including: Tom Joyner, Rickey Smiley, Russ Parr, Yolanda Adams, Reverend Al Sharpton, Warren Ballentine and CoCo Brother.  It indicates it has plans to acquire more urban-targeted talent in the near future.  Radio One CEO Alfred Liggins says, “Radio One has a commitment to be the leader in radio and online programming with compelling entertainment and information for the African-American audience.  Combining our assets under Reach Media offers an incredibly broad platform for affiliate stations and advertisers to connect with our loyal audience.”  Reach Media CEO David Kantor states, “In bringing together the most compelling urban programming in radio, we’ve created a platform that can focus on outstanding talent for our affiliates and the delivery of an incredibly responsive consumer base.  We look forward to expanding our offerings and becoming the primary radio network for advertisers to reach African- Americans.”

Pat Miller Returns to PM Drive on WOWO, Fort Wayne.  Longtime WOWO, Fort Wayne talk show host Pat Miller re-joins the station for the afternoon drive slot beginning in January.  Miller exited his full-time role at the station last spring but continued to do a two-hour weekend program.  After Gregg Henson exited the program director and PM drive posts at WOWO at the end of the summer Federated Media plugged in Premiere NetworksSean Hannity.  But Hannity has been moved to the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot with Casey Hendrickson filling in on the PM drive show.  Hendrickson also hosts the morning drive show at Federated’s WTRC-AM/FM, South Bend, Indiana “Michiana’s News Channel.”

Dave Ramsey Moves to Daytime in Atlanta on WCFO.  Nationally syndicated financial talk star Dave Ramsey’s program is moving to new affiliate JW Broadcasting’s WCFO, Atlanta beginning today where he’ll air live in the 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm time slot.  Ramsey’s program most recently was heard in the 10:00 pm to 1:00 am slot on Cox Media’s WSB-AM and WSBB-FM.  Prior to being picked up by WSB in 2011, Ramsey aired in afternoons on Clear Channel’s WGST.  Brian Mayfield, vice president of broadcast for The Lampo Group, says, “We are very excited that Dave can now be heard live in Atlanta.  Our audience has been asking for this, and we are proud to partner with WCFO to deliver on this request.”

Five Practical Digital Lessons Radio Can Learn from the Obama Campaign.  Noted radio digital consultant Chris Miller says broadcasters should look to the recent Obama Campaign’s effective use of digital media for promotional and branding initiatives.  In this piece, he illustrates how 1) all the various platforms we use today are inter-connected and must be treated as such; 2) every platform has a specific purpose and should be used to achieve clearly defined goals; 3) remember that it is all a “show” and just because it is digital or “social media” doesn’t mean it isn’t show biz; 4) make sure your emails are likely to be opened by labeling them with irresistible subject lines; and 5) create “community,” not just “conversation.”  Read Miller’s entire piece here.

Jason Pugh Exits WEFL, West Palm Beach for DC TV Gig.  Jason Pugh is leaving his positions at Good Karma’s “ESPN 760” WEFL, Tequesta, Florida where he partnered with Jeremy Marks-Peltz for the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm show and his sportscasting gig at WPTV-TV for a position at NBC O&O WRC-TV, Washington, DC.  Pugh also worked in the play-by-play booth for Florida Atlantic University football games.  The Florida Sun-Sentinel reports Pugh joined Good Karma in 2006 and began hosting his own program in 2009.

ESPN New York O&Os Re-Up with NFL’s Jets.  The New York City ESPN O&O stations – WEPN-FM “ESPN New York 98.7” and WEPN-AM “ESPN Deportes New York 1050” announce they have extended their contract to be the exclusive New York radio partners of the NFL’s New York Jets.  Included in the deal are three ancillary programs — the “Jets Player Spotlight” (Mondays at 3:30 pm) a weekly interview with Jets head coach Rex Ryan (Mondays at 5:15 pm) and “Inside the Jets” (Mondays at 7:00 pm).   ESPN New York vice president and general manager Dave Roberts states, “We’re excited to continue our relationship with the Jets.  The Jets have a huge fan base in the New York metropolitan area and we look forward to continuing to serve them.”

XtreMedia Talk Hosts  DoGood.com  Charts Giving Success.  XtreMedia talk show hosts Dani Johnson, Kevin