Tag: "Radio America"

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

| February 5, 2014

bennettseatedsmallStill Pioneering After All These Years – 74-Year-Old Alex Bennett Is Building New Platform and Inventing “New” Talk Format.  Some view their own age and/or that of others as a roadblock – a barrier to achieving an untold number of additional hopes and dreams.  To others, age – more correctly – is merely a meaningless number with no attached strings or restrictions.  It would have been quite easy and understandable for radio legend Alex Bennett to take leave and retreat from the business in which he has been an integral part for several decades. After all, the legendary broadcaster was 73-years-old when Sirius XM unceremoniously pink-slipped him last June after more than nine years of service at the satcaster (he turned 74 two months ago).  Notwithstanding an imposing and lengthy list of accomplishments and vitae, which the native Californian could trumpet as an entree to retirement, he has become an entrepreneur with “Alex Bennett’s Great American Broadcasts” being the centerpiece of his novel take on talk radio.  Bennett is innovatively and opportunistically using Skype to create “citizen panels” of up to 10 callers per clip interacting with him in on-air conversation at a time.  To learn more about this creative venture and the ongoing adventures of one of radio’s truly cooler characters, read TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian’s feature piece posted today (2/5) in its entirety by clicking here.

siriusxmSiriusXM Reports Revenue Up 12% in 2013.  During yesterday’s Q4 conference call, SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer told investors and analysts that the company delivered on all of its guidance for 2013 and enjoyed a revenue spike of 12% for the year plus saw its subscriber base rise to 25.5 million.  Meyer, like Mel Karmazin before him, is touting the company’s dedication to increasing free cash flow and, to that end, Meyer reports free cash flow was up 31% to $927 million for the year.  Looking back onmeyerjim 2013 Meyer underscored the importance of deals that get SiriusXM radios into new cars and stated the satellite service is now available in 71% of cars sold in the United States.  Meyer also spoke about the company’s strategy with regard to the “connected vehicle,” saying, “We’ve acquired a smart team of technology engineers who are accelerating development of our overall connected car architecture, including the combination of satellite receivers with LTE hardware, a strategy that should also yield benefits to our existing audio business…We expect connected vehicle services to deliver close to $100 million of revenue this year, and we expect to grow this at strong double-digit rates over the next many years.  We are in the process of fully integrating the CV business into SiriusXM, and its financial results are embedded in our guidance today.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the conference call transcript.  Members can check out the entire conference here.

missanellimikeGreater Media Suspends WPEN, Philadelphia’s Mike Missanelli for Gay Slurs.  This story goes to show how even a seasoned pro like Philadelphia sports talk host Mike Missanelli can make the mistake of engaging with a critic online.  Greater Media has suspended afternoon personality Mike Missanelli after he called a critic a “latent homosexual” in an email exchange.  The station issued the following statement, “We are aware of the email communications between Mike and one of his listeners.  This individual has been harassing Mike by email for several years, which is cause for concern, and we are working with Mike to try to identify this person and stop the abuse.  However, that does not excuse Mike’s conduct.  The content of his emails is unacceptable and does not reflect our values as a company.  Mike has been suspended and understands that future similar conduct will not be tolerated.”  The story broke after the email exchange was posted on Deadspin.com.

beasley logoBeasley Broadcast Group Beefs Up Digital Division.  In announcing the hiring of three new regional digital directors, Beasley reveals its dedication to digital sales efforts.  In a statement, vice president of digital Stacey Sedbrook speaks about the expectations after bringing Eddie Thorpe, Adam Meltzer and Carolyn Cope aboard.  “The formation of this team will surely be the foundation of our success.  Having the right people on my team is as important to me as having the right products and services to sell.  Eddie, Adam and Carolyn were hand selectedsedbrookstacey for their talents, capabilities and, most importantly, their nimble thinking.  Our objective is to drive revenues for our advertisers, especially those smaller businesses and growing brands in the communities we serve.  To achieve this goal, our regional digital directors will assist Beasley’s local market sales teams in creating enhanced advertising campaigns that include digital products and services tailored to the specific needs of our existing and new clients.”  Eddie Thorpe comes to Beasley from the Tampa Bay Times where he was senior digital director.  He’s responsible for the Miami and Fort Myers-Naples markets.  Adam Meltzer is responsible for the Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware markets.  He most recently was multimedia sales manager for Wicked Local.  Carolyn Cope also served with Wicked Local as senior digital account executive of major accounts and is now overseeing the Augusta, Georgia; Fayetteville, North Carolina; and Eastern North Carolina markets (Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville).  Sedbrook is responsible for the company’s Las Vegas group.

klattlenKlatt Yields the Winning Run.  In this case, that is a good thing as The Winning Run is the name of the full-service consultancy that Len Klatt is opening.  The former Premiere Networks senior vice president/director of research is gearing the new undertaking – which will have Los Angeles and New York City offices – to national media companies and talent, programming services and advertisers.  Among his clients are Sound Mind, Compass Media Marketing, Big Shoes Productions, Reel World, and The Blaze Radio Network.  “Len continues to do the best job industry wide in both interpreting audience numbers and explaining them to clients interested in exploring the value premise of audience engagement on radio, online, and in digital media,” comments Sound Mind president Kraig Kitchin, Premiere’s former president/chief operating officer.  “We are fortunate to have his talents for the benefit of our sponsors.”  Klatt remarks, “It is not just about columns and numbers, it’s about how they can be used to shape the story in such a way to advance my clients’ vision.  With The Winning Run, I want to cover all the bases.” Before the nearly two decades he spent at Premiere, Klatt was Westwood One‘s New York City-based director of research.  He began his media research career at Media Buying Services International.

learfieldsports logoLearfield Adds to Footprint with Nelligan Acquisition.  One of the leaders in college sports play-by-play rights is adding 41 schools to its roster with the acquisition of Nelligan Sports MarketingLearfield Sports will now hold the multi-media rights to 92 schools, which puts its total above that of its fiercest competitor – IMG Sports, which holds the rights to 79 schools.  Learfield president and CEO Greg Brown tells SportsBusinessDaily, “In some cases, this will open up new markets for us.  In other cases, it will further fortify what we’re doing…Early on in our discussions with Providence [Learfield owner Providence Equity Partners], we identified some strategic opportunities that would be productive for our business.  Nelligan is consistent with the business we’re already in.  This was right down the middle of the fairway for us.”  Nelligan Sports founder T.J. Nelligan will remain with the new company in a leadership role.  He comments that he doesn’t expect attrition with this merger.

wtoplogoOdds & Sods.  Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington is helping the National Multiple Sclerosis Society by naming it the station’s WTOP Charity of the Month recipient for February 2014.  Through the program the MS Society will receive more than $20,000 worth of in-kind contributions to support Multiple Sclerosis awareness and programs, including 64 promotional announcements on WTOP and sister station Federal News Radio.  Additional content and exposure for MS Society will be included on WTOP.com and FederalNewsRadio.com throughout the entire month of February…..Tribune Company’s WGN, Chicago announces the next in its “Blackhawks Live” series when forwards Kris Versteeg and Brandon Saad take part in the live event at the Old Town Pour House in suburban Oakbrook on February 24.  The event includes a photo op with the players, an autographed photo and dinner, tax and tip.  “Blackhawks Live” is a series of one-hour radio broadcasts hosted over dinner throughout the year featuring current Blackhawks players, legends and management.  Blackhawks radio broadcasters John Wiedeman and Troy Murray host the event that includes a question-and-answer format between the hosts and the featured Blackhawks guests…..The New Jersey Broadcasters Association has created PSAs for member stations reminding drivers in the Garden State that it’s illegal to drive a vehicle that hasn’t had the snow and ice properly cleared off it.  Interested stations can visit www.njba.com for information…..The Radio Television Digital News Association names WBIR-TV, Knoxville news director Christy Moreno to its board of directors, representing Region 8, which includes Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia.

ww1sochiWestwoodOne to Present Exclusive Coverage of Winter Olympics.  When the 2014 Olympic Winter Games commence in Sochi, Russia on Friday, WestwoodOne will be the exclusive network for audio coverage.  WestwoodOne’s programing will include: shortform coverage Olympic updates three times an hour, 24/7, from February 7- February 23; longform coverage – “Today in Sochi” including two hours of longform coverage for 17 consecutive nights; coverage of all U.S. Olympic Hockey (Men’s and Women’s) plus the gold medal games in Men’s and Women’s hockey regardless of who is playing.

loeschtheviewDana Loesch Visits ‘The View.’  Conservative talk media figure Dana Loesch – who just entered national syndication for her daily talk radio show via Radio America – appeared on ABC TV’s “The View” on Monday in her stead as a host on Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze where she hosts a daily, 5:00 pm program.  Pictured here (center) between the program’s Jenny McCarthy (left) and Sherri Shepherd (right), Loesch spoke about her conversion from a progressive liberal to her current conservative philosophy and fielded questions from the four co-hosts.

Obama Administration Splits with Some Democrats, Philip Seymour Hoffman Death/Heroin Use in America, Hillary in 2016, Immigration Legislation/Amnesty Component, ObamaCare Criticism, Financial Markets Activity, and Sochi Olympics Troubles Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/4).  The reported rift between Democrats on Capitol Hill and the Obama Administration on some issues; the aftermath of the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman and the light it’s shed on heroin abuse in America; the prospect of Hillary Clinton running for president in 2016; the proposed immigration legislation working its way through Congress and the possibility of amnesty for current illegals; ongoing scrutiny of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; activity on the U.S. and world financial markets; and reports of the problems Russia is facing getting Sochi ready for the Winter Olympics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, January 17, 2014

| January 17, 2014

wbbmlogoChicago Radio Revenue Dips.  Yesterday RadioInfo reported the increases in radio revenue in the New York City market and the Los Angeles/Southern California market.  The news wasn’t as good for the country’s third largest market (as reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder) as Chicago saw radio revenue for the year 2013 sink 2.5%.  Feder reports market radio revenue dipped to just under $420 million from the almost $431 million billed in 2012.  The Chicago report is based on Miller Kaplan Arase numbers and in a rundown of the top billers in the market for 2013, Feder notes CBS RADIO’s all news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM simulcast landed in first place billing almost $42 million.  At #2 was Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WTMX with $37.5 million and following at #3 was Tribune news/talk WGN with $29.2 million.  Check out the entire list here.

loeschdanaLoesch to Launch Nationally Later This Month. Conservative talk host Dana Loesch goes national one week from Monday (1/27) via Radio America with “The Dana Show” airing daily from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET.  “She isradioamerica feisty and fearless without being abrasive and shrill,” comments Radio America chief operating officer Mike Paradiso.  “She connects with younger listeners, while still appealing to the core talk demo.  We think Dana is everything talk programmers have been looking for, but have not been able to find.  We are excited to be partnering with Emmis on her syndication.”  Loesch is heard on Emmis talk outlet KFTK, St. Louis and co-owned Indianapolis talker WIBC.  KFTK program director Jeff Allen states, “Dana’s unique take on issues, along with her ability to make them entertaining, has made her successful here in a very short time.  She has made a huge impact for us in ratings and revenue.  No other syndicated radio program sounds like ‘The Dana Show.’”  A former newspaper columnist, Loesch is the 2012 winner of Accuracy in Media‘s Grassroots Journalism award and the Breitbart Spirit Award.

szokesandraGreater Media Brings Sandra Szoke Back to Charlotte Duo.  At the Charlotte duo of news/talk WBT-AM/FM and hot AC WLNK, Greater Media announces sales pro Sandra Szoke returns to take on the director of sales role.  Most recently, Szoke served as local sales manager at Time Warner Cable in Charlotte.  Prior to Greater Media’s purchase of the stations from Lincoln Financial Media in 2008, Szoke had worked with them as senior account executive, assistant director of business development /marketing and public affairs director.   Senior vice president and market manager Rick Feinblatt says, “We are thrilled to welcome Sandra back in the role of director of sales to the Greater Media Charlotte family.  Her leadership, knowledge of the market and familiarity of WBT and WLNK made her the perfect choice for the position.”  Szoke comments, “I’m humbled and grateful for the opportunity to lead such an accomplished team of professionals.  I’m equally excited to represent Greater Media, WBT and WLNK in the community.  Charlotte is filled with businesses that have grown and thrived by telling their stories on WBT and WLNK over the years.  It’s an honor to represent these legendary stations alongside this talented staff.”

mancowMancow Issues Statement Announcing Separation from TRN-FM.  Talk show host Erich “Mancow” Muller officially announces his separation from former syndicator Mark Masters-run TRN-FM.  A press statement indicating Mancow is focusing on new projects including TV and the continued syndication of his Chicago-based morning radio program was released.  In it, Mancow says, “I have enjoyed my time with Mark, TRN-FM and the TRN-FM team immensely.  I now move on to exciting projects on TV and radio.  I deeply appreciate everyone that has helped me to get to where I am today.”

rathertbrandonBranden Rathert Re-Ups with WNRP, Pensacola.  Award-winning afternoon host Branden Rathert signs a new contract to remain with ADX Communications-owned news/talk station WNRP, Pensacola “NewsRadio 1620” for another three years.   Rathert – who joined the station in 2009 – has garnered two awards from the Florida Associated Press for his documentaries. The first investigated the plight of the homeless in Escambia County and the second shed light on the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department Tactical Unit.  He has also won two Edward R. Murrow news awards, one for his local coverage of the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting.  Rathert hosts “Pensacola Right Now” from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

wtoplogoWTOP, Washington Adjusts Anchor Lineup.  The anchor lineup at Hubbard Radio all-news WTOP, Washington changes on Monday, January 20 as Joan Jones joins Mike Moss to co-anchor morning drive from 5:00 am to 10:00 am.  WTOP anchor Bruce Alan, formerly co-anchor of morning drive, moves to middays, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, where he joins current anchors Mark Lewis and Debra Feinstein.  Alan and Lewis will share anchor duties across the entire week, with Lewis picking up Saturdays and Alan adding Sunday anchor duties.  Rounding out the midday team is sports reporter George Wallace and traffic reporter Reada Kessler on weekdays, with traffic reporter Dave Dildine on weekends.  Shawn Anderson and Hillary Howard will continue to co-anchor afternoon drive with Bob Marbourg in the WTOP traffic center and Dave Preston with sports.  Veronica Robinson’s role expands to five nights a week, joining Dimitri Sotis at the anchor desk from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight with Bob Immler reporting on traffic and Jonathan Warner on sports.  Anchor Dean Lane will continue to host overnights from 12:00 midnight to 5:00 am.  WTOP program director Laurie Cantillo says, “These moves further WTOP’s commitment to inform and engage our listeners with quality information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  You won’t find a stronger lineup of dedicated broadcast journalists anywhere in America.”

westcottpaulOdds & Sods. Sports journalist and broadcaster Jason Whitlock debuts his new podcast series via ESPN Audio.  “Real Talk with Jason Whitlock” premiered this week with two podcasts – the first featuring ESPN’s Dan Le Batard and the second a discussion with Isiah Thomas about college athletes, how some are not prepared academically for college and who is responsible.  The podcasts are available via the ESPN app and iTunes…..WTAG, Worcester morning show host Paul Westcott sits in for Andy Dean on Premiere Networks’ nationally syndicated “America Now” show tonight (1/17).

regional reps logoMiller Fink Joins Regional Reps.  Cleveland-based Regional Reps Corp. announces Kathleen Miller Fink will become a member of its account management team on February 10.  Regional Reps Corp. calls itself “the country’s oldest and one of the largest independent sales representatives specializing in small and medium market radio stations.”  Miller Fink has worked at Interep as well as having served selling time locally in the Atlanta market.  She says of her new position, “I am very excited to be joining the Regional Reps team.  Their passion to provide the highest quality of service speaks volumes to the commitment they have for their station clients and advertising partners.  I look forward to playing an essential part of the company’s growth.”

sullivanboWHYN, Springfield Morning Personality Bo Sullivan Battling Cancer.  Longtime morning personality at Clear Channel’s news/talk WHYN, Bo Sullivan, has gone public with his battle against testicular cancer.  Reported in the Springfield Republican, Sullivan tells the paper he was ultimately diagnosed in mid-December and that the cancer had begun to spread to his lungs.  After seeking treatment at Boston’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Sullivan is currently undergoing chemotherapy and is half way through that part of the treatment.  He says the doctors tell him they are happy with how the treatment is progressing.  Sullivan co-hosts the “Brad & Bo Show” with Brad Shepard.  He’s been a part of WHYN’s on-air staff for more than 16 years.

KRLD-FM eggJustin Bieber Egg Roulette.  In honor of pop star Justin Bieber being investigated for egging his neighbor’s house, the cast of “G-Bag Nation” at CBS RADIO’s KRLD-FM, Dallas “105.3 The Fan” played a game of egg roulette on the air.  The concept is simple: the cast members each took turns crushing an egg against his forehead; four of the eggs were hard-boiled, one was not.  Here you see cast member Alex Alexander “losing” on his second try.  Also playing the game were Gavin Dawson, Chris Arnold and Mike Bacsik.

stockgallagherLive from Las Vegas.  Talk radio hosts Mike Gallagher (left) and Alan Stock (right) pose for a photo from the KDWN, Las Vegas broadcast booth at the SHOT show in Las Vegas this week.  SHOT stands for Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Travel and the huge confab is hosting a number of talk personalities as they broadcast live from the event.  Mike Gallagher is heard nationally via the Salem Radio Network and Stock hosts morning drive at Beasley’s KDWN.

wexlerscienceshowWFAS, Westchester, New York Host Lisa Wexler Spearheads Awards Program for Science-Minded High School Students.  In addition to her daily afternoon program (4:00 pm to 6:00 pm) that addresses general and local issues, talk show host Lisa Wexler created the “Acorda Scientific Excellence Award Program” that airs on the station on Sundays.  Wexler tells TALKERS the goal of the show is to spotlight students excelling in the STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – and the research they are doing in related fields.  Acorda Therapeutics is a Westchester-based biotech firm that sponsors the program and Wexler serves as host.  On Thursday, January 16, a special ceremony and live broadcast was done from the Westchester County offices during which students received plaques recognizing them for the impressive research of which they are a part.  The program and event is a collaboration of WFAS, Acorda Therapeutics and the Westchester County Youth Bureau and Office of Economic Development.  Pictured here with six of the participating students are: WFAS senior marketing executive Andrew Castellano (far left), County Executive Robert P. Astorino (fourth from left), Wexler (center), and Tierney Saccavino, senior vice president, Corporate Communications at Acorda (third from right).

mcculloughkevinTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Cumulus Media Network’s “Savage Nation” with Michael Savage is added to the program lineup at KBHS, Hot Springs, Arkansas…..The daily Kevin McCullough show from XtreMedia is added to the schedule at KOOW, Ft. Collins, Colorado; KSIK/KMKZ, Greeley, Colorado; WMFJ, Daytona Beach; and KNLB, Lake Havasu City, Arizona…..“Free Talk Live” with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is part of the programming at KVNA, Flagstaff, Arizona; WELW, Willoughby, Ohio; KSET, Beaumont, Texas; and WLOH, Lancaster, Ohio…..WYM Media Management’s Leslie Marshall show is added to the lineup at KPHX, Phoenix…..The “Car Care for the Clueless” feature hosted by Pam Oakes is now heard on CBS RADIO stations including WINS, New York; WBZ-AM, Boston; KRLD-AM, Dallas; and KNX Los Angeles.

Chris Christie Scandal Top News/Talk Story for Second Week.  The lane closure scandal that’s rocking New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s administration was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the second week in a row.  Coming in at #2 on the Talkers TenTM was the controversy over former Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ memoir in which he is critical of President Obama’s administration.  Following at #3 was Hillary Clinton’s possible run for president in 2016 and at #4 was criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.  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.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  To view this week’s entire chart, click here.

Monday, December 16, 2013

| December 16, 2013

wwrllogoNew York Losing Progressive Talk Outlet WWRL.  Progressive talk host Karel – whose Long Beach, California-based talk show is heard on Access.1’s WWRL, New York – reports the station says it will flip to Spanish-language programming on December 27.  The station airs progressive talk programming including Ed Schultz, Thom Hartmann, Premiere’s Randi Rhodes, and Leslie Marshall as well as non-political shows including Radio America’s Dr. Joy Browne, WYD Media’s Phil Hendrie plus various health and wellness shows.  New York’s Amsterdam News reports the station is telling employees “low advertising revenue” is the reason for the format flip.

browndarrellBrown Boosted to Bonneville International President.  KSL Broadcast Group president Darrell Brown is promoted to president of parent company Bonneville International.  Brown will oversee Bonneville’s 12 radio properties in Los Angeles, Seattle, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City, as well as Salt Lake City television outlet KSL-TV.  “Bonneville International is known across the industry for its integrity and quality,” he comments. “As a group, these stations are committed to serving and building-up their local communities.  I am honored to be part of Bonneville’s legacy.”  Brown joined KSL last August, after having previously spent 28 years at McGraw-Hill Broadcasting.

boomercartonchilisSports Talker WFAN, New York Sponsors Red Hot Chili Peppers-Headlines Show at Barclay Center.  With the Super Bowl just across the river the next day, CBS Radio sports talk giant WFAN, New York is sponsoring a big event across the other river at the Barclays Center titled, “WFAN’s Big Hello to Brooklyn.”  The announcement was made this morning as WFAN morning team Boomer Esiason (left) and Craig Carton (right) welcomed Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith (center) into the studio and announced his band will be headlining the show on Saturday, February 1, 2014.  The concert will also include: New Politics, MS MR, J. Roddy Walston & The Business, and Basic Vacation.  CBS calls it “the biggest weekend in sports and entertainment, and is the exciting conclusion to Barclays Center’s “Kickoff In Brooklyn” series which also includes championship boxing (1/30/2014) and a match-up between the Brooklyn Nets and the Oklahoma City Thunder (1/31/2014).  CBS Radio SVP, strategic events and partnerships Amy Stevens says, “The intersection of sports and music is never bigger than during the weekend of the Super Bowl.  Red Hot Chili Peppers are an American institution and rock ‘n’roll icons, and what better way to celebrate football’s championship than with this incredible lineup of artists for local fans and the thousands in New York from around the world.”

francesamikeWFAN’s Mike Francesa to Exit YES Network.  The New York TV simulcast of WFAN, New York’s Mike Francesa will end on January 31 after the current contract expires and WEPN-FM afternoon drive host Michael Kay’s program will take over the time slot on the Yankees-owned cable channel.  The New York Daily News reports that the change was a financial matter and that CBS Radio was asking more for the rights to the program than YES wanted to pay.  The Daily News piece speculates that cable’s Madison Square Garden Network may have the “inside track” with Francesa as he’s considered close to Garden management.  The story also notes that fledgling cable channel CBS Sports Network, which is airing WFAN’s Boomer & Carton morning show, is not enticing to Francesa because he fears he’d have to change his content to appeal to the national audience.

shapirosteakSteak Added to WCNN Menu.  In addition to existing members Sandra Golden and Brian Finneran, “The Front Row” on Dickey Broadcasting, Atlanta’s WCNN “Sports Radio 680 The Fan” will be comprised of Stephen “Steak” Shapiro as well.  Formerly the 17-year host of “Mayhem in the AM” on Lincoln Financial Media’s crosstown WQXI “790 The Zone,” Shapiro has won numerous Georgia broadcasting awards and starts his daily 9:00 am – 12:00 noon assignment on Januarywcnn logo 2.  WCNN president/general manager David Dickey comments, “I am excited to have ‘Steak’ back on ‘The Fan.’  He is one of the best-known and most-talented sports personalities in the country.  ‘Steak’ will become an important part of what is already the region’s biggest and most-experienced sports-talk line-up.  His homecoming is yet another example of Dickey Broadcasting’s ongoing commitment to invest in the best talent, the best content and the biggest partnerships.”  Shapiro, who replaces Ray Mariner, adds, “‘The Fan’ gave me my start and is the reason I moved to Atlanta [from Boston] almost 20 years ago.  I am ecstatic to be back doing what I love.  ‘The Fan’ has been the number one sports talk station in the south for so many years.  To be able to be a part of such a winning team with so many folks I have worked alongside in the past and consider friends is really thrilling.”  Shapiro founded Big League Broadcasting in 1997 and was its president for roughly 14 years.

millerchrisDare to be Crap-Free.  When it comes to online content, it’s easy to think you have a staffing problem or a time management problem or a resources problem, when what you really have is a crap problem.  In a new column posted today (12/16) by noted digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller, he writes, “There’s stuff on your site that is irrelevant to your station and is keeping people from finding what they DO want to find there.  Your social media is probably influenced more by what everyone else is doing in social media, rather than what will cause your biggest fans to love you all the more.”  To read how Chris Miller can help you get crap-free and focused on results for 2014, please click here.

jonesmaryOdds & Sods.  Connecticut talk show host Mary Jones announces she’ll retire from Buckley Broadcasting-owned news/talk station WDRC-AM, Hartford as of December 23 in order to spend more time with her husband and enjoy winters in Florida.  Jones tells TALKERS it was a big decision but she is excited about the change…..  WMAL-AM/FM, Washington “Mornings on the Mall” co-host Larry O’Connor is doing some double duty during the holiday season.  O’Connor will sub for WABC, New York-based Geraldo Rivera beginning December 20 through the end of the year (and the end of hisoconnorlarry national syndication run) and will also sit in for WestwoodOne-syndicated personality Dennis Miller on January 2 and 3 – the last two days of his 10:00 am to 1:00 pm airing (the show begins airing from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm on 1/6)…..“Libertarian-conservative” media personality Wayne Allyn Root will be guest host on Cumulus Media Networks’ “Savage Nation” with Michael Savage from December 23 – 30.  Root is author of The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide (Regnery 2013) and serves as a commentator on Fox News Channel and TheBlaze.

bearmanKIONliveshotKSCO, Santa Cruz Personality Ethan Bearman’s Profile Rising.  Talk radio personality and writer Ethan Bearman is getting more recognition in the Santa Cruz market as his locally focused talk show on Zwerling-owned KSCO, Santa Cruz grows in popularity.  Recently, Bearman was a go-to media voice for a KION-TV news piece (captured here) on the anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  View that video here.  Also, Bearman, who has intensely covered the hot issue of dirty needles, trash and other refuse in the town’s parks that’s making it unsafe for people to use, was part of a clean-up crew that made the news for its work.  Read about that issue in a piece in the Santa Cruz Patch here.  Bearman is a visible example of a growing trend in news/talk radio in which talk hosts are eschewing monolithic political party doctrine and instead are approaching their programs on an issue-by-issue basis.

hawkinstommyHawkins Scores With CRN Special. Over the weekend (Saturday, 12/14), former NBA player Tommy Hawkins premiered his CRN Digital Talk Radio holiday special “We Wish You a Jazzy Christmas.”  According to CRN chief executive officer Michael Horn, “‘We Wish You a Jazzy Christmas’ is filled with holiday-themed jazz music, along with Tommy’s infectious, warm personality.  His love of jazz and the holidays combine for such a treat.  It is the perfectcrn logo accompaniment for an evening by a Christmas tree.”  Following a standout collegiate career at Notre Dame (where he was a two-year All-American), Hawkins went on to play in the NBA for the Los Angeles Lakers and Cincinnati Royals (now the Sacramento Kings).  He later became vice president of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.  For approximately 15 years beginning in 1970, “Hawk” was a staple on Los Angeles siblings KABC and KLOS.  As part of his basketball-to-broadcasting transition Hawkins not only became KABC’s sports director, he also did “Sports Snorts” weekday mornings with remarkably talented Frazer Smith on KLOS.  In addition to doing weekends on KKJZ “K-Jazz,” Los Angeles, Hawkins has written “Life’s Reflections: Poetry for the People.”  His CRN special will play throughout the holiday season.

kfxx eventOver $120,000 Raised in KFXX Special Olympics Radio-thon.  Entercom-owned sports outlet KFXX “1080 The Fan” afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) hosts Isaac Ropp (pictured here at left with some female fans) and Jason Scukanec (second from right) anchored the third annual 28-hour Special Olympics Oregon radio-thon, which brought in more than $120,000.  Program director Jeff Austin comments, “We are proud to partner with Special Olympics Oregon.  The overwhelming support of our station’s staff, our listeners, and advertisers was a testament to the bond Isaac and Suke have with their audience.”  Scukanec (“Suke”) states, “We cannot thank our listeners enough – Portland is a special community and this is a very special cause.  We talk about sports and high-powered athletes every day, but these Olympians are the real athletes.  They are the real champions and we are privileged to honor their spirit and dedication.”  Special Olympics Oregon chief development officer Kim Bergstrom adds, “We are honored to partner with [KFXX]. Isaac and Suke’s radio-thon helps raise funds to support year-round sports training and competition opportunities for thousands of individuals with intellectual disability.  In addition, they generate immeasurable awareness of the importance of Special Olympics Oregon programs for athletes and their families.”  This year’s $120,000 radio-thon total surpassed last year’s mark by more than $45,000.

broadcast electronics logoBroadcast Electronics Bumps Up Bealor To President.  Effective immediately, Broadcast Electronics executive vice president of product development Tim Bealor is upped to president of the Quincy, Illinois-based company.  “I am honored to be asked to lead BE into its 55th year and the next phase of the company’s growth,” he comments.  “Next year is going to be an exciting time for Broadcast Electronics and its customers.”  Bealor began his Broadcast Electronics career as a technician in 1975.  Over the past 38 years, he has held a variety of technical, support, product management, sales leadership, and marketing positions with the company.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

| May 29, 2013

trn logoCalifornia Judge Sends TRN Anti-Trust Suit to New York; Courtside Interference Allegation Dismissed.  There’s been some action in the suit filed by Talk Radio Network against the 14 defendant entities as United States District Judge Jesus G. Bernal moves the case from the Central District of California to the Southern District of New York.  At the same time, Judge Bernal grants Courtside Entertainment Group’s motion to dismiss based on Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction.  In a nutshell, the judge ruled that since the bulk of the defendants are headquartered in New York, that’s where TRN’s case arguing anti-trust practices against Dial Global, Compass, and WYD should be heard.  As for the suit against Courtside for allegedly interfering with talk hosts Michael Savage and Laura Ingraham (then under contract to TRN), the judge ruled that allegation is not related to the anti-trust case and he dismissed it without prejudice.  TRN could file a separate suit against Courtside in that matter if it so chooses.

talkersradio logoTALKERS Magazine to Launch TalkersRadio - Debut to Broadcast Entire “Talkers New York 2013″ Live.  TALKERS magazine announces the launch next week of “TalkersRadio” – a 24/7/365 streaming spoken-word internet radio station that will be available to listeners on the trade publication’s website, www.talkers.com and feature a unique brand of stationality that, as publisher Michael Harrison describes, “views the world through the lens of the talk media industry.”  TalkersRadio’s mission will be to serve as 1) a laboratory for interesting new concepts and talent in talk; 2) a farm system to help develop deserving up-and-comers; 3) a real-time stage for talent to audition for specific jobs and opportunities; 4) a platform for “bridge shows” - a new device by which suddenly terminated AM/FM talk show hosts can do a series of final shows to say goodbye to their listeners and/or announce their upcoming plans within a radio show context; 5) a vehicle for “orphan shows” – programs that do not conveniently fit into prevailing AM/FM station format categories; 6) a showcase for new and adventurous programming concepts and ideas; and 7) a medium to exclusively broadcast TALKERS magazine live events such as the annual convention next week and Talk Radio Day at the United Nations the following day.  TalkersRadio will also carry several “regularly scheduled” programs to give it, as Harrison describes, “the feel and consistency” of a real radio station.  Some of these will be talk shows about the industry and others will just be talk shows about life in general.  “The key,” according to Harrison, “is most of the programming will be the type that is unavailable elsewhere.”  TalkersRadio has been in development for the past year and a half and is a joint project between TALKERS parent company Talk Media, Inc. and Westborough, Massachusetts-basedbackboneMH communications firm Backbone Networks Corporation.  It will feature a leading-edge concept in broadcasting technology developed by Backbone that makes it extremely convenient and affordable for talk show hosts to do a fully produced program – with live callers and guests – from an amazingly simple technical remote and portable set up.  According to Harrison, “Our partners at Backbone are technical wizards.  Having them power this operation will give us the flexibility and means to really make a significant contribution to talk radio as both a cultural art form and a 21st century-rooted business — the ongoing mission of TALKERS magazine.”  Further developments about TalkersRadio will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  Pictured at the recent deal signing are (l-r): Richard Cerny, Backbone CEO/president; Michael Harrison, TALKERS publisher; George Capalbo, Backbone VP/CTO; and Paul Kamp, Backbone VP/business development.

ccme horiz logoClear Channel Study of Consumers Indicates Media Attitudes.  A recent study of about 1,000 Americans conducted by Vision Critical for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment came to a number of conclusions about how consumers view media and media devices.  Some of the takeaways from this study include:

  • Media multitasking is now mainstream across all media channels.  65% of respondents have been online while watching TV at the same time; 59% have been online while listening to music; and even 25% of respondents watch TV and listen to music at the same time.
  • When it comes to smartphones and tablets, women are actually more likely than men to own these gadgets — 52% of women have smartphones vs. 43% of men; and 31% of women have a tablet or e-reader compared to 25% of men.
  • Only one in ten consumers (11%) think it is “no big deal” if they accidentally leave their smartphone at home for the day.  A large majority (78%) keep their smartphones in the bedroom at night, with 60% keeping their phones within arm’s reach on the nightstand.
  • Respondents would rather keep their computer and give up their TV, smartphone and tablet if they could only use one device for a year.

parksandyAndy Parks’ Washington Times Radio Show Moves to Salem’s WRC, Washington.  The talk radio initiative between The Washington Times and longtime DC talk radio personality Andy Parks moves from Metro Radio-owned WTNT where it aired in afternoon drive to Salem Communications’ crosstown WRC for an 11:00 am to 1:00 pm air time.  In a statement, Parks says, “The combination of the resources of The Washington Times and WRC 1260 provides a greatwrc logo opportunity to explore the news of the day, examine the big issues and break stories.  I look forward to bringing those elements of the show to the listeners at WRC.”  Salem Washington DC market manager Thomas Moyer states, “The Washington Times is the only Washington-based newspaper that is committed to conservative American values.  WRC 1260 is the only Washington-area talk radio station committed to similar conservative American values.  This is a partnership that makes sense.  This is a unique opportunity coming to our lineup.”  Parks was a fixture for many years on Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WMAL.

focus 360 logoFocus 360 and Radio America’s Dr. Joy Browne Agree to Exclusive National Ads Sales Deal.  The sales and marketing firm Focus 360 has signed a deal with Radio America nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Joy Browne to serve as exclusive national ad sales representative.  Focus 360 ad sales VP Dick brownejoySilipigni states, “An alternative to political talk radio, Dr. Joy’s dynamic personality, combined with her no-nonsense advice on issues ranging from relationships, marriage, finance, work and career, has garnered her millions of devoted listeners.  The addition of Dr. Joy’s show to our repertoire creates more opportunities for our advertisers to reach engaged listeners.”  Based for many years at the WOR Radio Network, Dr. Joy Browne’s program is now syndicated by Radio America whose chief operating officer Mike Paradiso says, “Dr. Joy’s show has been a successful ratings winner for over 15 years.  Partnering with Focus 360 will increase our revenue from national advertisers.  We look forward to working with them as we continue to grow the Dr. Joy Browne radio program.”

kuhnerjeffWRKO, Boston Adds Hour to Jeff Kuhner’s AM Drive Show.  Entercom’s Boston news/talk outlet WRKO announces it is adding an hour to morning drive host Jeff Kuhner’s program and shifting “The Financial Exchange” with Barry Armstrong to the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.  Previously, “The Kuhner Report” aired from 6:00 am to 9:00 am with Armstrong’s show airing from 9:00 am to 11:00 am and Kuhner returning for an 11:00 am to 12:00 noon program.  Vice president of programming and operations Jason Wolfe states, “Jeff Kuhner is one of the hottest talents to hit Boston talk radio in years.  He’s got great energy, passion and tremendous credibility discussing the issues that matter most to this community and to the country.  Barry Armstrong is Boston’s foremost financial expert and since he’s started with us, has provided top-notch commentary on a program that provides important information to our audience.  Adding another hour to ‘The Kuhner Report’ in morning drive and shifting ‘The Financial Exchange’ to start at 10:00 am allows the station a seamless transition from show to show throughout the day.”

hunterrobKTAR-FM, Phoenix Moves Rob Hunter to Middays with Karie Dozer.  The Bonneville news/talk station announces long-time producer and weekend talk host Rob Hunter moves into the midday slot on KTAR-FM alongside Karie Dozer for the newly named “Rob & Karie Show.”  The station says Rob and Karie will be an opinionated and interactive look at the most topical and locally relevant news stories of the day.  The show will include listener calls and heavy social media integration.  Bonneville Phoenix vice president of content and operations Ryan Hatch states, “Rob is a rising star.  He and Karie will have diverse and interesting points of view that will bring a thought provoking jolt of energy to the KTAR middays.”  Hunter takes over for current midday co-host Chuck Powell who takes his creative talents to a new digital content position in which he will contribute to all three Bonneville Phoenix media brands.  He will also host a sports podcast with his former sports radio partner Vince Marotta on arizonasports.com.

kingRTLarry King to Join Cable News Channel RT for Political Show.  Russian news/talk cable TV network RT America announces the debut of a new Larry King program that is scheduled to begin airing in June called, “Larry King Now.”  The program is described in a press release as a “mold-breaking political talk show.”  In a video accompanying the release featuring King himself talking about the new show, he says, “I would rather ask questions of people in positions of power instead of speaking on their behalf.”  The program is being produced by King’s own Ora.TV and will be recorded in RT’s Washington, DC and Los Angeles studios.

bott logoBott Radio Network Joins CC’s iHeartRadio.  Christian talk radio content creator Bott Radio Network announces it is providing its programming to Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio for distribution on the digital audio service.  Bott Radio Network shows are heard on approximately 90 stations across the country.

Odds & Sods.  ABC News Radio names Scott Goldberg staff correspondent.  He will split his time between reporting and anchoring newscasts.  ABC says Goldberg’s work has taken him around the globe, from the U.S. to Latin America, Western Europe and Asia.  For several years Scott was a freelance correspondent for NewsOne after spending nearly a decade covering business, political and breaking news for local stations in the South and Midwest…..SiriusXM teams with Relevent Sports to bring the 2013 Guinness International Champions Cup to its listeners.  The tournament opens on July 27 and will feature eight club teams – including Inter Milan, Juventus, Los Angeles Galaxy, Real Madrid and others – that will compete over seven days at different venues across the United States.

Record Number of American’s on Disability, Justice Department Journalists Investigations, Radical Islamist Attacks, and Chinese Hack U.S. Weapons Systems Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/28).  Data indicating that more than 10 million Americans are on disability; the Justice Department’s investigation into journalists; the recent spate of attacks on soldiers by radical Islamists; and the alleged hacking of U.S. weapons systems by Chinese hackers were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

BQparadeBlanquita Cullum Emcees National Memorial Day Parade.  Veteran radio talk show host, former member of the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors and host of the television program “The Hard Question,” Blanquita Cullum is pictured here (c) with National Memorial Day Parade marshalls Gary Sinise (r) and Joe Mantegna (l) on Constitution Avenue in Washington, DC on Monday, May 27.  Cullum served as an emcee for the parade alongside Mark Kesseler, who serves as the Washington Redskins stadium announcer.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

| April 18, 2013

smithgordonBoston’s Radio Stations to Observe Moment of Silence on Monday.  Boston radio stations are planning a moment of silence on Monday, April 22 to honor the victims of this week’s Boston Marathon bombing.  The 60-second tribute will air at 2:50 p.m. – one week from the moment of the detonation of the first bomb – on local radio stations, including those owned by CBS Radio, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, Entercom and Greater MediaNational Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Gordon Smith says, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who were impacted by the horrific act that took place in Boston.  This moment of silence will serve as a time of reflection, honoring those lost and injured in this tragic event, and recognizing the countless acts of heroism and kindness that we saw on Monday and which continue today.  As first informers in times of crisis, broadcasters want to take this opportunity to salute the first responders and the many unsung heroes who do so much during emergency situations.”

kaufmanhtfttfWFTL, Fort Lauderdale Talk Show Host Joyce Kaufman Honored at Hold Their Feet to the Fire.  Some 50-plus radio talk show hosts from around the nation are gathered on Capitol Hill for the annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row designed to galvanize both citizen and media pressure upon lawmakers to take meaningful action on immigration policy in the United States.  The event, organized by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), began yesterday and continues today (4/17-18) conveniently coinciding with the controversial Amnesty Bill currently being pushed through the U.S. Senate by the so-called “Gang of Eight.”  Critics of the bill claim that it would have a disastrous effect upon this country’s already-dysfunctional immigration policy and deal yet another terrible blow to the American worker.  The radio row is bringing several hundred guests including lawmakers, government officials, experts, law enforcement officers and border state ranchers to the airwaves of America.  During the course of presentations at last evening’s cocktail reception at the event, WFTL, Fort Lauderdale talk show host and highly influential Florida political voice Joyce Kaufman (pictured here) was honored as the recipient of one of FAIR’s highest honors, the “We the People” award, for her longtime commitment to and measurable impact upon the immigration reform movement.  Media industry and political observers have long recognized the leadership role conservative news/talk radio has played in the immigration reform movement and by the looks of things at this year’s rally this influence is continuing to be a significant factor in the issue.

larsonbarlettaMr. Larson Goes to Washington.  Compass Media Networks syndicated talk host Lars Larson – who’s also regionally syndicated in the Pacific Northwest from home base KXL, Portland – is pictured here (r) with Congressman Lou Barletta (l) at the “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row in Washington, DC.  In addition to hosting both programs from Washington yesterday and today, Larson will head to affiliate WCHV, Charlottesville, Virginia to broadcast his programs on Friday, April 19.

brownejoyDr. Joy Browne Returns to NYC Airwaves.  After more than two decades as a staple on New York City talk radio, Radio America-syndicated psychologist Dr. Joy Browne returns to the city’s airwaves on Access.1’s WWRL, New York beginning Monday, April 22.  WWRL general manager Adriane Gaines comments, “We are very pleased that Dr. Joy Browne is joining the ‘RL lineup and bringing her on-air advice to our listeners.  Joy’s unique blend of wisdom, balance and practical solutions to coping with life’s challenges has made her one of America’s leading clinical psychologists.”  Radio America calls Dr. Joy Browne’s program “the longest running of its kind in syndication,” and reports it is airing on more than 125 stations across the country.

tribunetowerOdds & Sods.  WGN, Chicago partners with the Illinois Department of Transportation to raise awareness for “Work Zone Safety Week.”  The photo you see here is the Tribune Tower lit up in orange to help raise public awareness of the construction season and the need to drive safely to help save lives.  The promotion also includes WGN’s Allstate Showcase Studio where three  interactive kiosks positioned around the tower will accept safe driving pledges and photos that can be taken and shared with loved ones…..CNN Radio’s Emma Lacey-Bordeaux was honored by the Atlanta Press Club on Tuesday, April 16 with the 2012 Excellence Award for her digital/online reporting.  Her body of work on Soundwaves, CNN Radio’s audio blog, was cited for the award with a specific call-out on a story about deportation and immigration reform…..WTOP, Washington was honored with six Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters Awards receiving a first place finish in every category it entered.  In addition to being honored with Best Website for wtop.com, WTOP was also recognized with accolades in the Continuing Coverage category for “A Date with Sandy,” the Documentary/In-Depth category for “Battleground Virginia,” the Feature category for “Keeping the Drive-In Alive” and in the Editorial category for “Core Values.”  The station was also awarded Meritorious in the Feature category for “Commuter Idle.”…..Salt Lake Community College’s The Grand Theatre will be the broadcast site for KUER public radio’s presentation of NPR’s “Science Friday” on April 19, 2013.  The live broadcast will be heard by more than 1.3 million listeners via hundreds of public radio stations across the United States.  Randall Irmis, Brooks Britt, and science writer Brian Switek will discuss paleontology during the show’s first hour.  Irmis is an assistant professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Utah and the curator of paleontology for the Natural History Museum of Utah.  Brooks Britt is an associate professor of geological science at Brigham Young University.  He is the former director of the Stewart Museum in Odgen, Utah and the curator of paleontology for the Museum of Western Colorado in Grand Junction, Colorado.  Brian Switek is a science writer whose new book My Beloved Brontosaurus was released on April 16 by Scientific American & Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

smerconishmatthewsSmerconish Continues SiriusXM Show Launch Blitz.  During the first week of his new program on SiriusXM’s POTUS channel, talk media personality Michael Smerconish (r) is moving full-steam ahead promoting the switch.  He’s pictured here in the Washington, DC studios of SiriusXM with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews (l) discussing – what else? – the public relations issues the two believe the Republican party is having dealing with the Obama Administration and the electorate.  That wasn’t the only issue the two discussed but Smerconish and Matthews spent a good portion of their time analyzing the Republican party of today and comparing with the Republican part of the Ronald Reagan era.  Smerconish’s new program airs from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.  He left AM/FM radio, including home base WPHT, Philadelphia to join the satcaster.

rotellapaulNJBA President Paul Rotella Responds to Smerconish in Letter to Philly Inquirer.  In a letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer addressing talk show host Michael Smerconish’s exit from WPHT and move to Sirius Satellite Radio – which Smerconish writes about here — , New Jersey Broadcasters Association president Paul Rotella responds to that editorial expressing “dismay that a former broadcaster could have such ‘sour grapes’ for the industry that has given him some fame and probably some fortune.”  Rotella goes on to say that broadcast radio is the standard by which “successful radio broadcasters judge their achievements.  Look at Ryan Seacrest, Rush Limbaugh, and so many other radio superstars.  They have managed to create vast audience niches that exemplify their talent…they didn’t have to run away from the dial.”  No word if the paper will print Rotella’s piece.

Boston Marathon Bombing Aftermath, Immigration Legislation, Gun Law Proposals, and Ricin Letters Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/17).  The aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing; proposals for new immigration legislation – including amnesty to illegal aliens; proposed gun laws and the defeat of an amendment to extend background checks to gun shows and internet sales that was defeated in the Senate; and the ricin-tainted letters sent to Washington, DC were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, April 12, 2013

| April 12, 2013

wls-am logoWLS, Chicago Celebrates 89th Anniversary with Special Event.  Afternoon drive co-host Roe Conn will emcee a star-studded array of the biggest names in Chicago radio – past and present – who will be taking part in a special broadcast this evening from historic Navy Pier to celebrate 89 years of WLS Radio entertaining Chicago.  Joining Conn at the event will be some of the biggest names from WLS’ past — Dick Biondi, Catherine Johns and Wayne Messmer – plus special birthday greetings from Larry Lujack, Jeff Hendrix, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Rep. Peter Roskam and Notre Dame Football Coach Brian Kelly.  Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will be on hand to present WLS with a special proclamation.   “The Big 89” launched the careers of many celebrities, including Gene Autry, Larry Lujack and Bob Sirott.  Other local personalities like Dick Biondi and John Records Landecker are still heard on Cumulus Media’s sister classic hits WLS-FM.  Landecker states, “When I got into radio I never expected one set of call letters to mean so much to me, and to so many listeners.  WLS, ‘The Big 89,’ truly is the 50,000 watt blow torch of the Midwest.”  The station debuted on the evening of April 12, 1924 from the Sherman House Hotel in Chicago.  The WLS call letters were taken from the nickname – World’s Largest Store – for Sears-Roebuck’s West Side Headquarters on Homan Avenue.  Cumulus COO John Dickey says, “What started as the world’s largest store has become one of the world’s legendary stations.  Happy birthday 89. You don’t sound a day over 40!”

sternhowardAppeals Court Sinks Stern’s SiriusXM Suit.  A New York state appeals court rejected SiriusXM personality Howard Stern’s argument that the satcaster should have paid him bonus money based on the subscriber count of XM Satellite Radio.  Stern, through his production company One Twelve, had argued that when he was paid stock awards for performance based upon subscribers to Sirius, the company should also have counted subscribers to XM which merged with Sirius in 2008.  Stern lost the $330 million suit in the lower level court and appealed the decision.  But the appeals court – in a one-paragraph decision – stated that Stern’s 2004 contract with Sirius was “unambiguous” and denied the appeal.

fishercommunicationsSinclair to Keep Fisher’s Seattle Radio Stations.  In reporting yesterday’s announcement of the acquisition of Fisher Communications by Sinclair Broadcast Group, we questioned whether Sinclair – which got out of the radio business almost 14 years ago – would want to keep the three Seattle stations or offload them once the deal is consummated.  But during a conference call with analysts, Sinclair chief financial officer, executive vice president,komologo secretary of SCI and secretary of Sinclair Television Group Inc. David B. Amy addressed the radio stations, “Our understanding is that they work very closely with the Seattle television stations, and are complementary to, and benefit the Seattle television stations.  So we’ve been in radio in the past, and we’re familiar with what works and what doesn’t work within a television market in that regard.  So it will take us some time to, I guess, verify those comments that are being made to us. But at this point, no, we haven’t made any decision to do anything but to continue the way they are.”  Fisher owns hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5,” all-news KOMO-AM and news/talk KVI.  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript of the call.  You can read it in its entirety here.

weei logoDavid Field to Speak to Entercom Boston Staffers Today.  Bruce Allen’s Boston Sports Media Watch is reporting that Entercom CEO David Field is making an appearance at the Boston offices in a “town hall meeting”fielddavid style in which he’ll attempt to deal with what Allen is calling a “toxic environment” at the cluster.  Allen writes that he’ll presumably “attempt to assuage hard feelings and improve morale.  The source says the meeting is to tell employees that ‘everything is fine, and to enjoy the brand.’”  This comes on the heels of Boston Red Sox Network air personality Jon Rish’s decision to exit the network as the baseball season is just beginning rather than take what was reported to be a 30% pay cut.  Allen also is reporting that his source says Field will take questions from the staff but that questions had to be submitted in advance.

wphtWPHT, Philadelphia Moves Gary R’nel to Afternoon Co-Host Position; Rich Zeoli to Evenings.  At CBS Radio news/talk WPHT, Philadelphia, current afternoon drive co-host Rich Zeoli is moving to the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot as Gary R’nel moves to the afternoon drive slot as new afternoon host Dick Morris’ partner.  In February, WPHT announced that political consultant and former Fox News Channel contributor Morris would join the station for PM drive as part of changes to accommodate the move of longtime WPHT host Michael Smerconish to SiriusXM.  Zeoli posted the confirmation of his status on his Facebook page when he wrote, “It’s official, starting April 15th I will be moving to 6:00 to 10:00 on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT.  Thanks friends for your support and encouragement the last several weeks.”

fair50 Talk Show Hosts Heading to DC Next Week for Live Broadcasts Discussing and Opposing the Senate Amnesty Bill – More Invited to Participate from Home.  Wednesday, April 17 and Thursday, April 18 are the dates set for this year’s annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” mega-radio row held in the nation’s capital by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).  50 talk show hosts will be originating their programs during those two days from Capitol Hill, interviewing a parade of high-profile guests from politics, government, the media and public policy organizations.  Due to the overwhelming interest expressed by far more hosts than can be accommodated on the scene at this live event, FAIR is encouraging interested talk show hosts around the country to participate from their home markets with a “concentrated, collective and loud” nationwide push to alert listeners, who might be so pre-disposed, to oppose amnesty.  FAIR communications director Bob Dane has issued the following statement to hosts around the nation: “Please join 50 of your colleagues at ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ by devoting some, or all, of your program on April 17 and 18 to talking about the massive immigration giveaway moving through Congress.  The bill is complex but the call-to-action is simple.  As we did successfully in 2007, we need you to ask your listeners to call their lawmakers, say ‘no,’ and flood the Capitol switchboard on those two days.” For more information click herehttp://www.fairus.org/VoicesAgainstAmnesty

kupersteinadamNBC Sports Radio Network Adds Weekend Shows. Rounding out its weekend programming, the NBC Sports and Dial Global sports radio network initiative announces that last Sunday, the network debuted “Kup and Schultz,” featuring Miami’s Adam “Kup” Kuperstein and Huffington Post sports columnist Jordan Schultz.  “Kup and Schultz” will air schultzjordanregularly on Sundays from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.  Also, the network assigns a weekend show to weekday overnight host Dan Schwartzman as he debuts “Schwartzman Saturdays,” airing from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET. Kuperstein states, “I’m honored to be in such good company on the NBC Sports Radio team. Our show will be a fast-paced, fun, fresh look at sports.  I can’t wait to get started!”  Schultz adds, “I’m thrilled to be hosting a new show for NBC Sports Radio where I can bring my Huff Post perspective and passion for sports to a new audience.  It’s a tremendous opportunity to work with a highly respected network that already provides great sports talk.”

hedgecockrogerRadio America’s Roger Hedgecock Adds Six New Affiliates.  Six more stations add the nationally syndicated and San Diego-based Roger Hedgecock program to their lineups.  They are: KMJ-AM, Fresno; KGNC, Amarillo; KION, Monterey-Salinas-Santa Cruz, California; KHQN, Salt Lake City; WLFJ, Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina; KCNR, Redding, California.

kozntorreNRG Media’s KOZN, Omaha Broadcasts from Bob Gibson Statue Unveiling.  NRG Media sports talker KOZN, Omaha “The Zone” broadcast from the recent unveiling of a statue of St. Louis Cardinals great Bob Gibson by the Sarpy County (Nebraska) Sports Commission and the minor league Omaha Storm Chasers at the club’s Werner Park on April 11.  During the five-hour live remote, KOZN Damon Benning and Gary Sharp welcomed numerous high-profile guests including former MLB manager Joe Torre.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Benning, Torre and Sharp.

Obama 2014 Budget Top Talk Story for Week of April 8-12. President Obama’s Fiscal 2014 Federal Budget along with the sequester and other spending issues were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was gun legislation proposals followed by North Korea missile threats at #3.  At #4 was the immigration reform bill.  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.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

| January 17, 2013

brownejoyDr. Joy Browne Joins Radio America.  The longtime WOR Radio Network syndicated talk star signs with Radio America for national distribution of her radio program.  Dr. Joy Browne – a licensed clinical psychologist – had been a staple of WOR, New York and the associated network for more than 15 years.  Now, she makes her debut in the 12:00 noonradioamerica to 3:00 pm ET slot on the Radio America network on Monday, January 21.  Browne states, “What a great way to start the New Year, surrounded by loyal affiliates, being discovered by a whole new audience and working with the terrific group at Radio America.  Yay!”  Radio America CEO Mike Paradiso says, “We are very excited about working with Dr. Joy.  Talk radio listeners are hungry for engaging programming that covers relevant issues outside of politics and Dr. Joy is a perfect fit.  She will be a great addition to our existing lineup.”

schnitttoddDay One of Testimony in the Bubba the Love Sponge –Todd Schnitt Case.  Nationally syndicated talk host Todd Schnitt (a former CHR morning show host in Tampa) is suing Bubba the Love Sponge (a.k.a Todd Clem) for defamation and day one of that trial got underway in a Hillsborough County, Florida court room yesterday.  Clem spent about six hours on the stand answering questions from Schnitt’s attorney.  He defended his use of the word “whore” inbubba describing Schnitt’s wife Michelle, implying his listeners did not really think she’s a prostitute because he used the word.  Schnitt’s lawyer is going to try to paint a picture of a battle in which Clem went overboard, causing the Schnitts and their kids to fear for their safety as the result of attacks from the “Bubba Army.”  It’s difficult to predict how a jury is going to respond to the evidence but the key for Schnitt appears to be convincing them Clem went too far in encouraging the kind of behavior that caused the Schnitts’ house to be egged and to have ice cream thrown at their car.  Case law would indicate Schnitt and his wife are public figures and even Clem’s use of the word “whore” to describe Michelle Schnitt is protected speech.  Proving actual damages in this case might be difficult and it will be Schnitt’s lawyer’s job to convince the jury the Schnitts were truly in fear and thus, suffered psychological damage as a result of Clem’s behavior.  There are more than 150 potential witnesses and the case could go on for another three weeks.

agnewbobKLAA, Anaheim Names Bob Agnew Program Director.  Sports talk programming pro Bob Agnew takes the PD post at Arte Moreno-controlled KLAA, Anaheim – the flagship station for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  Agnew spentklaa years programming KNBR, San Francisco and building it into one of the nation’s most successful sports talk outlets.  KLAA general manager David Baronfeld says of Agnew, “If there were a Mt. Rushmore for sports radio programmers, Bob would be one of the faces you’d see.  His impact in creating the most successful sports radio station on the West Coast is undeniable and having him join KLAA is truly exciting.”  Of his new gig, Agnew says, “This is a great opportunity to continue to grow and develop AM 830 KLAA into one of Southern California’s premier sports radio stations. There has been a tremendous growth of sports programming across the county and I am excited to put my experience and expertise to work with the KLAA staff.  I look forward to working alongside Roger Lodge, Travis Rogers and the rest of the very dedicated staff.”

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Fox Sports Radio Network Announces Super Bowl XLVII Coverage.  As the sports world prepares for the Super Bowl, Fox Sports Radio Network announces its broadcast plans for the week leading up to the game.  For the 13th straight year, FSRN will be producing talk shows live from radio row, this year at the Ernest N. Morial mohrjayConvention Center, with Andy Furman, Artrell Hawkins, Steve Hartman, Pat O’Brien, Matt “Money” Smith and Petros Papadakis leading the coverage.  Fox Sports Radio reports that “as part of the week-long broadcast, ‘Jay Mohr Sports’ will host the first-ever virtual experience from radio row at the Super Bowl.  Utilizing video conferencing technology, Mohr will transport his show to New Orleans each day via a 46” big screen TV, enabling him to chat with athletes, celebrities and guests in real-time as they come face-to-face with his life-size image atop the official Fox Sports Radio stage.”

dellabategaryHoward Stern Producer Gary Dell’Abate’s HIV/AIDS Prevention Work Includes New Initiative.  The man most know as Baba BooeyHoward Stern producer Gary Dell’Abate – also serves as president of the nonprofit organization Lifebeat whose goal is to use the music industry to reach young people with messages of HIV/AIDS prevention.  Dell’Abate got involved with LifeBeat after his brother died of AIDS.  Lifebeat: Music Fights HIV/AIDS and the MTV Staying Alive Foundation are hosting a celebration today for The Arches of Hope interactive art installation.  The event takes place at The Out NYC Hotel.  The art installation was conceived and created by Patrick Duffy, creative director of the gay-oriented hotel.  The Advocate reports that today through January 24, Lifebeat is asking people from around the country to participate in the campaign by tweeting messages that recognize the installation’s message of hope for an HIV-free generation with the hashtag #ArchesofHope.  Messages will then be beamed to jumbo screens in Times Square and displayed via digital ticker tape embedded in the installation, and then shared across 12 major social media sites. Dell’Abate says, “We are also encouraging the public to sign a petition calling on President Obama and Congress to designate April 10 as National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day.”

scheinadamSiriusXM Sports Talk Host Adam Schein Offends “Snooki.”  “Jersey Shore” star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi was visiting the SiriusXM studios to promote her new TV show when sports talk host Adam Schein walked past her in the hallway.  Schein tweeted that after the encounter, he “needed a shower.”  The Tweet was quickly found by Polizzi and the followers of the two engaged in a Twitter war.  According to Breitbart.com Polizzi complained to SiriusXM management and is “trying to get Schein fired” for the Tweet.  This is one of those special moments that cause all of us at TALKERS to reflect on the beauty and value of social media.

Obama Signs Gun Controls, Americans Taken Hostage in Algeria-Mali Violence, Notre Dame Star Hoax, and Boeing 787 Fleet Grounded Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/16).  President Obama signs gun controls, and asks Congress to do more; American’s taken hostage in Algeria in response to French involvement in Mali; Notre Dame star Manti Te’o’s involvement in a death hoax; and Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is grounded after numerous battery fires were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

| January 10, 2013

crowleyjerrySalem Communications Ups Sean O’Neil in NYC; Names Jerry Crowley VP/GM of WNYM and WMCA.  Former WOR, New York general manager Jerry Crowley joins the Salem Communications New York operations as vice president and general manager of news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and Christian WMCA “New York’s Christian Talk.”  Sean O’Neil is promoted from GM to market manager for the NYC cluster.  Crowley, who had been with Buckley Broadcasting until late December when Clear Channel assumed control of WOR, reports to Salem Communications vice president and director of spoken word format Phil Boyce.  He states, “With Jerry’s longtime tenure running one of the nation’s leading talk radio stations, we could not have found a better match for our stations in New York.  I admired Jerry’s work across town during my 14 years programming WABC.  To get him on my new team at Salem is a huge opportunity to grow the station’s revenue and make an impact in New York radio.”

gillsteveTalk Host Steve Gill to End Radio Program.  Nashville, Tennessee-based talk host Steve Gill announces he will end his nationally syndicated talk program – including the local appearance on Clear Channel’s WLAC from which he operates – and focus his energy on his Gill Media enterprise that provides consulting and has seen him an increasing amount of public speaking.  Gill reports to TALKERS that “as part of the expansion plan under the Gill Media umbrella, his Gill Report published at www.gillreport.com will broaden its platform as the ‘go-to’ source for news and commentaries while introducing a variety of new ventures and service offerings.  The media company strives to enable its clients to better utilize both traditional and new media opportunities to communicate more effectively within various mediums.”  Speaking about leaving his talk show, Gill states, “While I have truly enjoyed my tenure at Radio America and WLAC, the commitment and restrictions associated with a daily, weekday morning show limit my ability to thrive in the areas where I can truly ‘give back’ in a more hands-on, one-on-one format.  Our time on the air has allowed us to make a difference, particularly in the political arena.  Rather than simply talking about the problems we face, I am excited to redirect our focus from radio to support clients, small businesses and individuals in a creative, results-oriented environment.”

kkoblogoKKOB, Albuquerque Notches 50th Straight Arbitron Book at #1 12-Plus.  Cumulus Media’s news/talk KKOB, Albuquerque garnered a 7.6 share in the Fall 2012 Arbitron book (Mon-Sun 6:00 am to 12:00 midnight) and hitting the top spot in the market for the 50th straight ratings period.  Operations manager Pat Frisch tells TALKERS, “When you think about it, that’s a long time – 12 ½ years at #1.  I hear it is the longest streak of any talk station in the top 70 markets.  I have been here 13 ½ years now.  And Rush and Hannity blew away the competition in middays 12-plus with an 11.2 share.”

DG-logoHorizontalBig NFL Divisional Playoff Weekend for Dial Global.  The play-by-play of this weekend’s NFL playoff games is carried exclusively on radio by Dial Global.  The schedule is as follows: on Saturday the Baltimore Ravens take on the Denver Broncos.  Kevin Kugler has the play-by-play, along with analyst Mark Malone and sideline reporter Scott Kaplan.  The action continues when the Green Bay Packers meet the San Francisco 49ers.  Kevin Harlan serves as play-by-play announcer, along with Hall of Famer Dan Fouts as analyst and Hub Arkush as sideline reporter.  On Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks go head-to-head with the Atlanta Falcons.  Dave Sims has the play-by-play, with Hall of Famer James Lofton as analyst and sideline reporter Tony Boselli.  Following the conclusion of that game, the Houston Texans face the New England Patriots.  Ian Eagle has the play-by-play, along with analyst Trent Green and sideline reporter Lewis JohnsonScott Graham hosts the pregame, halftime and postgame shows for all four broadcasts.

rodriguezmattMatt Rodriguez Named General Sales Manager at KFWB, Los Angeles.  He comes to the KFWB Asset Trust news/talk station from Amaturo Group Ltd.’s Southern California cluster where he served as general manager.  Matt Rodriguez will be in charge of the sales efforts for its news and talk programming as well as Los Angeles Clippers basketball.  General manager Valerie Blackburn says, “Putting Matt in charge of our overall sales and sports efforts is a great win for KFWB.  He has raised the bar in generating sales wherever he’s worked and is a valuable addition to our team.”

robelotjaneAward-Winning Journalist Jane Robelot Anchors WMUU, Greenville, South Carolina Morning News.  Former CBS News correspondent and anchor Jane Robelot begins her position with Salem Communications’ WMUU, Greenville, South Carolina “Conservative Talk 94.5” today (1/10).  Robelot worked for CBS News in New York from 1995 through 1999 where she co-anchored “CBS This Morning.”  While at CBS News in New York, she won two national Emmy awards for journalistic excellence, and a national Emmy nomination.  Robelot returned to her hometown of Greenville in 2006 where she and her husband, Mario DeCarvalho, created their own production company, Carolina Zoom Productions.  She is a contributing anchor and reporter for Hearst-owned NBC affiliate, WYFF-TV in Greenville.  In 2009, Jane and her team won the prestigious Peabody Award for “Chronicle: Paul’s Gift,” a documentary about organ donation.  She also co-hosts a nationally syndicated Christian radio program, “Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef.”

KKSPlogoCrain Media Moves Little Rock Talk Station; Adds Full Time Sports Outlet.  Little Rock-based Crain Media announces it is moving the news/talk programming on KKSP — “Fresh Talk” — from its 93.3 FM dial position to the 96.5 position currently occupied by CHR KHTE beginning today (Thursday, January 10).  The station will add Cumulus Media’s Mike Huckabee and Dial Global’s Dennis Miller in the midday where sports talk shows currently air.  At the same time, the company is debuting a new full-time sports talk station branded “Fox Sports Radio FM93.3 Little Rock” using Fox Sports Radio Network programming as well as local shows “Game On with Wess and Michael” and Bo Mattingly’s sports talk show.  Station president Tatum Owenby says, “Our goal is to provide the Little Rock metro area with the most relevant and entertaining sports talk programming.  We are confident that Fox Sports Radio’s first-class lineup, combined with quality local content, will be a perfect fit for the sports fans in our market.”

wntb logoWNTB and WLTT, Wilmington, NC Combo Adds Local Shows.  The Wilmington, North Carolina simulcast of WNTB, Topsail Beach and WLTT, Bolivia – owned by Hometown Wilmington Media and branded as “The Big Talker 93.7 & 106.3” – announces two new local programs.  Port City Daily sports writer and local media personality Joe Catenacci will begin hosting a one-hour daily sports talk show from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Monday, January 14.  Also, local community leader L.S. “Bo” Dean Jr. debuts the Saturday morning “Hometown Solutions” show dedicated to featuring citizens, organizations and businesses that are agents of change in the local community focused on generating success for health and wellness, education, employment, economic development and other facets impacting quality of life in the Cape Fear region.  Program director Aimee Bowen states, “We are very excited to launch these two new programs that highlight the regional citizens and organizations working toward a better tomorrow and our incredible local sports scene.”

wxos logoWXOS, St. Louis Debuts New Weekend Programs.  Hubbard Broadcasting’s WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” announces three new weekend programs: “The Hot Corner” airs Saturdays from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm hosted by 101 ESPN’s Cardinals insider Brian Stull and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Cardinals columnist Derrick Goold will be talking all things Cardinals baseball; “MMA Hit Squad” a show dedicated to mixed martial arts/ultimate fighting starts January 19 and airs from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Saturdays.  It will be hosted by Jesse Finney and Chad Range; and, with the return of NHL hockey, “St. Louis Faceoff Today” begins airing Sundays from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm hosted by Fox Sports Midwest St. Louis Blues play-by-play voice John Kelly and St. Louis Post-Dispatch Blues beat reporter Jeremy Rutherford.  WXOS program director Kent Sterling states, “The next step in the growth of 101 ESPN will be in the weekends.  St. Louis is a seven-day-a-week sports town, and where there is hunger for unique content, 101ESPN will provide it.”

osgoodawardHappy Birthday, Charles Osgood!  Respected veteran Dial Global radio personality Charles Osgood, host of the popular “Osgood File” broadcasts, celebrated his 80th birthday on Tuesday. He’s pictured here posing for a photo in his newly revamped studio.  He’s holding a plaque presented by Dial Global executives and featuring a rhyme by his late father, “Early to bed, early to rise.  Work like a dog and advertise.”

Biden Gun Control Meeting/Executive Order Threat, Morgan-Jones CNN Debate, Obama Afghanistan Troop Withdrawal Proposal, and ‘All My Babies’ Mamas’ Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/9).  Vice President Joe Biden’s gun control meeting and threat of executive order to change gun laws; the contentious debate over gun laws between CNN’s Piers Morgan and talk host Alex Jones; the proposal to draw down the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the flap over the Oxygen channel’s “All My Babies’ Mamas” program were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, September 21, 2012

| September 21, 2012

Radio Show Presents a Talk Radio Panel (or Was It Really an All News Radio Panel?).  The NAB/RAB Radio Show presented a panel for the talk radio format semi-prejudicially titled “ Is News the New Talk for Radio?” featuring Phil Boyce, VP spoken word format, Salem Communications; Mark Masters, president/CEO, Talk Radio Network; and Ed Shane, CEO, Shane Communications.  It was moderated by Jim Farley, VP news and programming, WTOP-FM, Washington, DC.  Farley set the topic up by mentioning the Rush Limbaugh ad boycott and asked the question “[With big time advertisers shying away from talk radio and controversial products] is it time to consider all-news as the new talk for the future?”  He referenced the success of WTOP which is undeniable.  The station has been the #1 biller in the nation for two straight years.  Ed Shane gave a case study for what they have done at “92 News” in Houston, a Radio One station.  He said there were three things you have to have if you want to create an all-news station: guts, money, and patience.  He talked about the expense of running that station, saying they took on $2 million in talent costs and had to re-build the radio station’s facility.  Shane played some of the imaging for the station which uses the slogan “All News, No Spin.”  TRN exec Jim Watkins subbed for Masters who was unable to attend at the last minute.  Watkins said smaller stations can do the all-news format using his company’s America’s Radio News Network.  He claimed 500 affiliates when you add them up. (Some are taking the top-of-the-hour product,  just under 200 take the morning drive show and the other stations taking some  of the other long-form shows,  AARN has all-news product from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm.)  BOYCE STEPS UP TO THE PLATE:  After all the conversation about how talk is dead and all-news is the savior,  Phil Boyce started by saying “I feel like the last man standing at the U.S. embassy in the Middle East, with the protesters outside calling for my head and chanting ‘Death to Talk’.”  Boyce repeated the line “Listeners have a Vote” and did his best to convince the crowd that while there was some short-term damage from the Rush boycott, it did not hurt traditional talk radio.  He mentioned that both Sean Hannity and Mark Levin told him this week their sales are up 20%-25% over last year, despite the boycott.  “There is a website out there listing all the advertisers Rush still has on encouraging the protestors to go after.”  Boyce mentioned some of them and said there were 68 of them on this list.  “Not bad for a show that has 18 minutes a day of network commercial time.”  He then pointed out, “The Premiere sellers have figured out that there are a lot of advertisers who are bullet-proof when it comes to ad boycotts.  They just don’t care because they know talk radio moves product, and they know the 1,000 angry e-mails or Facebook posts do not come from their client base.  If the angry tweet says, “We’ll never shop with you again,” they can check their database and discover they never shopped there in the first place.  These direct advertisers are who we need to do business with.  The transactional big-name advertisers may never come back, but there are plenty out there who can replace them.”  Boyce went on to mention the new movie “2016 Obama’s America” had record box office business and used talk radio as its primary advertising medium.  He said, “This ad boycott thing is nothing new.  They tried to kill Glenn Beck two years ago, and at one point had a list of 100 advertisers who would not advertise with him and they claimed victory in driving him off the Fox News Channel, dancing on his grave.  The problem was, he was not in that grave and one year ago this month he went out and formed his own TV news channel with 300,000 subscribers.”  Boyce did the math for the panel…$32.4 million a year, from subscriptions.  “That does not count his book sales, appearance fees, and the $100 million dollar five-year deal they just did with Premiere.  What they meant to kill him only made him stronger.”

2012 Marconi Awards Presented at Radio Show.  The 2012 National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Radio Awards were announced last night (9/20) at the annual NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show held at the Radio Show in Dallas.  Winners in the spoken-word formats included:  “Legendary Station” – KSTP, St. Paul;  “Network/Syndicated Personality” – Dan Patrick, Direct TV/Premiere Networks;  “Major Market Station” – WTOP-FM, Washington, DC;  “Medium Market Station” – WHO-AM, Des Moines;  “Major Market Personality” – Mike Francesa, WFAN, New York;  “Medium Market Personality” – Jan Mickelson, WHO-AM, Des Moines;  “News/Talk Station” – WTOP-FM, Washington, DC;  and “Sports Station” – WEEI-FM, Boston.  Marconi finalists were selected by a task force of broadcasters, and the winners were voted on by the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Selection Academy. The votes were tabulated by an independent firm.

NAB/RAB Radio Show Wraps Up Today.  More than 2,000 radio broadcasters from around the nation are wrapping up their gathering and saying their goodbyes at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas this afternoon as the annual “Radio Show” jointly presented by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) comes to its conclusion.  Most observers agree it has been a productive and successful three-day industry event.  The main topics covered include radio’s pressing need for the smartphone radio chip to be “turned on” as well as debate and concern over music royalty fees; the pros and cons of streaming; the challenges facing commercial spot sales/programming; living in a PPM world; cross platform audience measurement;  and the challenge of generating digital revenue.  On a basic level, the underlying concern of the conference was the very survival of terrestrial radio in the unfolding digital era and mapping out a course to achieve the industry’s vitality and relevance in it.

Roger Hedgecock to Appear on Bill Maher’s “Real Time” Show on HBO Tonight.  Radio America nationally syndicated talk show host Roger Hedgecock will get national TV exposure on a very popular HBO show as he’ll be one of the guests on “Real Time with Bill Maher.”  Hedgecock will appear on the program with Chris Matthews, Salman Rushdie, Eugene Jarecki and Rana Foroohar.  The program airs live tonight from 10:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET.

Mel Making Out Swell.  According to an SEC report on insider trading Siruis XM CEO Mel Karmazin has exercised options and sold over 76.7 million shares of Sirius XM stock since April 18 – including 20.36 million shares on Wednesday (919).  That brings his overall take to $172 million since April 18.  Either he’s raising a lot of money for something, or he’s exercising options before he either leaves on his own or is asked to leave by Liberty Broadcasting head John Malone who has been adding to his stake in Sirius as Mel has been cashing in shares.  Definitely fuels speculation that Mel’s days with Sirius might be numbered.

Advice for the Industry in Tough Times.  Nationally syndicated talk radio sensation Dave Ramsey is pictured here speaking to a packed Wedgwood Ballroom inside the Hilton Anatole at the NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas yesterday (9/20).  In this Super Session titled “Succeeding in This Economic Environment,” Ramsey delivered inspirational ideas and strategies for thriving in the radio industry.  The Ramsey organization says the proven business concepts discussed were developed over Ramsey’s 20 years in the radio business.

WCOA, Pensacola PD and ND Allen Caudle Exits Station.  TALKERS hears program director and news director Allen Caudle leaves Cumulus Media’s Pensacola, Florida news/talk outlet WCOA after four-and-a-half years on the job.  He’s looking for his next opportunity and can be reached at 850-324-7149.

Tax Relief for New Jersey Town Credited to Governor’s Show on New Jersey 101.5.  A bout of tax relief coming to residents of Monroe Township New Jersey is being credited to the monthly “Ask the Governor” show on Townsquare Media’s New Jersey 101.5.  Governor Chris Christie hosts the monthly show with NJ101.5’s Eric Scott and during the August program callers protested high property tax increases.  Christie blasted Monroe Township Mayor Richard Pucci and promised to look into the matter.  He recently reported on Jim Gearhart’s morning drive show on NJ101.5 that the tax hike violated the state’s property tax increase cap and all residents would be credited for the overage.  Christie is pictured here at New Jersey 101.5’s studios.  (Photo by Annette Petricionne.)

Premiere Networks Host Clyde Lewis Featured in Portland Magazine Piece.  The very popular Portland, Oregon-based nighttime talk show host Clyde Lewis was the subject of a lengthy piece in the city’s About Face magazine on his radio show “Ground Zero” that’s being syndicated nationally by Premiere Networks.  The extensive interview covers Lewis’ takes on any and all conspiracy theories and paranormal subjects that can be part of his show content.  Lewis’ program is produced by Alpha Broadcasting’s KXL, Portland, airs nightly from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am PT and was put into national syndication by Premiere after it became one of the most-listened-to shows on Portland radio.  Read the piece here.

New Studios Dedicated.  Tribune’s WGN, Chicago will officially unveil its refurbished Allstate Showcase Michigan Avenue studio on the Garry Meier show this afternoon.  This past May WGN announced the new partnership with longtime sponsor Allstate.  Following the station’s move to the 7th floor of Tribune Tower this summer, the Allstate Showcase Studio underwent technical upgrades and an interior studio wrap featuring WGN Radio and Allstate graphics was installed.

Waikiki Weekend.  Fox Sports Radio Network “Loose Cannon” Vic “The Brick” Jacobs (r) is pictured here with one of the winners of the show’s annual “Waikiki Weekend” contest getting ready for a canoe ride.  “Loose Cannons” Jacobs, Steve Hartman and guest co-host and NFL Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson accompanied the winners to Waikiki last weekend for the trip that included a live broadcast and, of course, lots of fun Hawaiian-style.

Mitt Romney’s 47% Comments Top the Talkers TenTM for the Week of September 17-21.  Mitt Romney’s comment that President Obama’s 47% support was dependent on government and the fallout from it was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.  Following at #2 was the anti-America protests tied with the Libya consulate attacks analysis.  At #3 was the cost of ObamaCare for the middle class and at #4 was the presidential race polls.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See the charts in their entirety for this week here.

Friday, September 7, 2012

| September 7, 2012

Contentious End to Democratic National Convention for Some Talkers on Radio Row…But Not All.  By now, many talk media people are aware of a piece by conservative pundit John Fund in the National Review Online that beats up the Obama Administration in which he alleges it kept high-level Democrats from appearing on radio programs hosted by conservatives that camped out on radio row at the convention.  Radio America’s Roger Hedgecock and Breitbart Radio’s Larry O’Connor are quoted in the piece saying they were frozen out from getting any decent guests.  Hedgecock reportedly packed up and left early while KRLA, Los Angeles morning show co-host Ben Shapiro says his attempt to get John Podesta on their show with Heidi Harris and Brian Whitman was stopped when Podesta’s handler intervened.  However, nationally syndicated talk host Kevin McCullough (also principal of content creator XtreMedia) has a different take.  He writes, “If talk show hosts are outraged that big names aren’t sitting down to speak with them in Charlotte, then they are only weakening their own brand.  Have we not learned anything from the attacks on Limbaugh and fellow talkers?  Are we actually claiming that guests are the prerequisite for what should be our own success?  We have the bully pulpit of a live microphone every day, and if a talker can’t turn that into a distinct advantage for their own purposes every day, then they are simply in the wrong business.  Talk hosts, but specifically CONSERVATIVES, should be slow to anger when liberals refuse to go on our platforms.  As a conservative, I’m eager to go on liberal outlets, because I actually have the chance to put my ideas in front of people who disagree with me — I actually have a chance to win them over. Whining because people who disagree with you won’t come on your show is pretty much the polar opposite of that idea.  As idea generators we should never be dependent upon someone sitting across a table from us to be interesting, to have something to say, or to be able to say it well.  I hope that the younger generation of talkers will observe this fundamental truth…The more you depend on other people to generate YOUR success, the less successful you will ever be!”

Newsy Approach at the DNC Gets the Guests.  TRN-operated America’s Radio News Network reports it had no problems getting high-profile Democrats to sit in front of its microphones.  ARNN – which provides 15 hours of long-form news content to its more than 350 affiliates – reports to TALKERS that on day three of the convention it delivered reports to its stations that included interviews with: Rev. Jesse Jackson, Delaware Governor Jack Markel, Senator Kent Conrad, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, among others.

Talk Host Ray Lucia Responds to SEC Actions.  Yesterday, TALKERS magazine reported nationally syndicated financial advice talk host Ray Lucia’s company – RJL Companies – is being charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with misleading potential investors and violating several sections of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.  Lucia says his company will vigorously defend itself in the case against a slide presentation his company has not used in two years.  He cites former SEC Commissioner, Roel Campos, who is now the head of Locke Lord’s SEC Enforcement and Regulation practice, who made the following statement: “It is disappointing that the SEC would file an administrative matter because it principally disagrees with an inflation rate that has been used regularly by economists and other professionals.  No harm is alleged to have occurred to any investors and this matter appears to reflect an honest disagreement about statistics and estimates of investor returns under hypothetical situations.  Mr. Lucia disagrees strenuously with the SEC’s allegations that affected his estimates of possible returns.  This type of matter should have been resolved during the inspection process.”

Talk Host Phil Hendrie Disagrees with Syndicator’s Suit Against Dial Global Et Al.  Consider TRN-FM-syndicated talk show host Phil Hendrie not one who supports the suit by TRN CEO Mark Masters against Dial Global and numerous other industry program suppliers.  Hendrie issued a statement that after reading the suit and, especially the paragraph that states, “Today, by bringing this Action, Plaintiffs stand not only for themselves, but also for every smaller independent syndicator, network or programming producer, and for the hosts, producers, technicians and other Americans whose livelihoods are dependent upon these independent syndicators,” his response is as follows: “I’d like to make it very clear that TRN does not represent my views and I certainly don’t need them ‘standing up’ for me in regard to this lawsuit, which I don’t support.  My livelihood is not dependent on TRN.”

ESPN Makes Inroads Against WFAN in New York City.  In a piece in the New York Daily News, writer David Hinckley reports ESPN’s WEPN-AM/FM – to split apart when the AM side becomes ESPN Deportes today – climbed a hair above longtime CBS Radio’s sports talk market dominator WFAN in the midday slot of 10:00 am to 1:00 pm in the ratings (we’re assuming persons 6-plus) for Colin Cowherd’s and Mike Lupica’s shows.  Hinckley’s story points out that WEPN’s David Roberts admits the flip of WEPN-AM to Spanish language may affect some of its English-speaking audience but the new 98.7 signal has been a smash for the station overall.  Read Hinckley’s piece about sports talk in New York City here.

Barron’s Names Ric Edelman #1 Independent Financial Advisor in America.  The radio and television talk show host and principal of the Edelman Financial Services firm – which manages more than $7.9 billion for more than 17,000 clients – is named the number one independent financial advisor in the nation by Barron’s for the third time.  Edelman states, “I am excited and honored.  We are committed to sharing our knowledge with consumers across the country.  To be recognized by Barron’s repeatedly for these efforts is truly gratifying.”  In addition to his independently syndicated talk radio program, “The Truth About Money,” that emanates from flagship WMAL-AM/FM, Washington and is heard in 57 other markets, Edelman hosts a public TV program of the same name.

President Obama’s Record Tops the Talkers TenTM for the Week of September 3-7.  The president’s record during his first four years in office was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, set against the backdrop of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.  Coming in at #2 this week was the DNC speeches.  At #3 was the controversy over God and Jerusalem in the Democratic Party platform and at #4 was the United States’ slide on the global competitiveness scale.  The Talkers TenTM – a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio – is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The XtreMedia-produced Sunday evening “Dani Johnson Radio Show” is picked up by affiliates: KTUR, Salt Lake City; KKVV, Las Vegas; WDRU-AM/FM, Raleigh/Durham; WTRU-AM/WSAL, Winston-Salem; WTRU-FM, Greensboro; WLES-AM/FM, Richmond, Virginia; and KTIA, Des Moines…..“Free Talk Live” featuring hosts Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is picked up by WDOV, Dover, Delaware…..Premiere NetworksBob & Tom show is added to the morning drive slot at KGON, Portland…..“Into Tomorrow” with Dave Graveline is added to the program schedule at WXDE, Lewes, Delaware and WSOY, Decatur, Illinois…..The weekend “Café Mocha” show hosted by MC Lyte, Loni Love and Angelique Perrin joins the programming lineup at WHUR, Washington, DC; WKJS/WKJM, Richmond, Virginia; WKZJ, Columbus, Georgia; WBGA, Brunswick, Georgia; KZWA, Lake Charles, Louisiana; and KKST, Alexandria, Louisiana.

Talkin’ and Walkin’ After Midnight.  Syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs of KDWN, Las Vegas; Genesis Communications Network, and Sirius XM Satellite Radio is the current star of TALKERS TV (see video box at upper right) where she is seen and heard singing the Patsy Cline classic “Walkin’ After Midnight” (although Dr. Daliah tells TALKERS she was doing the more recent Kelly Clarkson arrangement).  The impromptu performance took place at TRN-syndicated host Jerry Doyle‘s Labor Day BBQ at his home near Las Vegas.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

| June 7, 2012

New Media Seminar Takes Place in NYC Today.  The first of this year’s two one-day installments of the New Media Seminar kicks off at 9:00 am ET today on Manhattan’s East Side with more than 70 industry leaders set to address a capacity crowd of more than 350.  Attendees include professionals from all aspects of the talk media industry including talk radio, television, satellite and internet shows, stations, networks, syndicators and companies. The keynote speaker is Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity with solo addresses being presented by MSNBC‘s Ed Schultz, Cumulus Media‘s Governor Mike Huckabee, WFAN morning co-host Boomer Esiason, TRN and CRN legend Barry Farber, consultants Walter Sabo and Holland Cooke, CBS News VP Harvey Nagler, WTOP VP Jim Farley and WOR afternoon drive host Governor David Paterson.  Panels will tackle such topics as the “General State and Future of Spoken Word Radio,” “Challenges Facing News/Talk PDs,” “How to Make Money Doing Talk,” “Managing a Talk Hosting Career,” and “Finding Digital Success in Talk.” The event will also feature the ever-popular “Talk Rumble” moderated this year by Dial Global star Jim BohannonTALKERS magazine will provide full coverage of the event in the days and weeks ahead.

G. Gordon Liddy to Retire from Talk Radio Career; Financial Expert Peter Schiff to Fill Time Slot for Syndicator Radio America. It’s been almost 20 years since Watergate figure G. Gordon Liddy got behind the microphone to do his first talk radio show. He began a regular program with then-Infinity Broadcasting‘s WJFK-FM, Washington, DC before moving into national syndication via Westwood One. His program began a syndication run with Radio America in 2003. Radio America announces the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET daypart will be filled by financial expert Peter Schiff – investor and author of three best-selling books including his most recent, The Real Crash: America’s Coming Bankruptcy – and How to Save Yourself and Your Country (St. Martin’s Press 2012). In fact, today (6/7) Schiff is testifying before a Congressional subcommittee giving about the potential negative impact of more generous FHA loan guarantees currently being considered by Congress. Radio America states, “Schiff’s program combines his unique outlook on current events, economics and political developments.  Unlike other radio hosts who only view the world through the prism of politics, Schiff connects today’s news to the world’s of business and finance.  Schiff’s daily program has been airing on Radio America since August, 2011. Liddy’s last program for the network will be July 27 although he will still work for the network as a commentator and on special projects.

Michele McPhee Returns to the Air at WRKO, Boston.  Former Boston Herald crime reporter and author Michele McPhee gets back on the Boston talk radio scene when she takes over the midday slot on Entercom‘s WRKO, Boston Monday, June 11. McPhee hosted the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show on WRKO in 2011 for seven months and worked at crosstown WTKK-FM for three years prior to that. Program director Jason Wolfe says, “It’s great to have Michele back at WRKO. She did a terrific job for us before and I’m very excited about getting her back on the air in this expanded midday role. Michele is Boston. An outstanding reporter with tremendous credibility, she will provide our listeners with high energy and passion every day.” On returning to WRKO, McPhee says, “While I loved breaking stories for ‘Team 5 Investigates’ and worked alongside some of Boston’s legendary TV personalities, I missed fighting for the common man in the Commonwealth on WRKO. So much outrage, so little time. I’m looking forward to engaging in the conversation again.”

Program Director Steve Holbrook is Out at WDBO-AM/FM, Orlando.  No comments yet from Cox Media‘s Orlando cluster or from Holbrook, but Radio-Info‘s Tom Taylor is reporting that the Orlando message board is full of comments about the departure of Holbrook from the program director role at the news/talk station. The report is Holbrook’s exit was not voluntary. He’d been with Cox for 30 years and also programmed the cluster’s two country stations WCFB-FM and WWKA-FM.

Sun Broadcast Group to Handle Network Sales for Ben Ferguson Show.  The Sunday evening Ben Ferguson show is produced by Ferguson’s own ICON Radio Network and is heard on more than 100 stations across the country. Now, Sun Broadcast Group announces Ferguson’s program joins its roster with Sun handling network sales for the program. Ferguson also hosts the 9:00 am to 11:00 am program on Cumulus Media‘s WBAP-AM/FM, Dallas.

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  Hubbard Radio‘s WTOP, Washington, DC and sister station WFED pick up more than a dozen Associated Press awards from the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association. WTOP was recognized for Outstanding News Operation; Outstanding Website; Year Round Sports Coverage; Outstanding Spot News and more…..Football writer and SportsUSA game analyst Ross Tucker begins writing an exclusive column for the SportsUSAMedia.com website. Tucker, a popular NFL expert, is writing a Tuesday column and will add a Friday column once the NFL season begins…..SiriusXM is providing coverage of the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly known as Euro 2012, offering play-by-play broadcasts of every match to listeners nationwide. Subscribers will have access to both English and Spanish-language broadcasts, provided by ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes Radio, from the Group Stage matches starting Friday, June 8, through the Final on Sunday, July 1…..Entercom‘s sports KGMZ-FM, San Francisco is giving listeners a chance to win “The Ultimate Bay Area Baseball Package” that includes 4 tickets to the entire As vs. Giants series June 22-24, the chance to meet players and two Southwest Airline ticket round-trip vouchers for being the contestant who uses Facebook, Twitter or some other means to get a celebrity to call 95.7 The Game on their behalf and go on the air next week. PD Jason Barrett says, ““It will be fun, unpredictable and the winner will get an amazing baseball experience.”…..WITF-FM, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is the latest non-commercial station to drop its music format – in this case classical – to air a news/talk format. The change takes place on June 25.

Walker Survives Wisconsin Recall Election, 2012 Presidential Race, Financial Markets Activity, Al Qaeda Drone Strike and Ray Bradbury Death Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/6).  Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker‘s victory in a recall election; the 2012 presidential campaign, the turbulent global financial markets, the recent drone strike that killed a high-level al-Qaeda leader, and the death of author Ray Bradbury were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

| May 30, 2012

Tom Finneran to Exit WRKO, Boston; Todd Feinburg Takes Over AM Drive.  Former Massachusetts Speaker of the House and AM drive host at Entercom’s WRKO, Boston for the past five years, Tom Finneran, will leave the station after his program on Thursday, May 31.  In a statement, Finneran says, “Over the past several days, Jason Wolfe and I have been talking about various plans and opportunities which lie ahead for me and for the station.  Those opportunities are of interest to me, but are not compatible with the hours I keep and the effort I make to prepare for, and to execute, a well-informed show every morning.  I try to learn from history and from our listeners, who in sharing some of their own histories, have been great teachers.  I thank them and WRKO for a fast and fun five years.”  Program director Jason Wolfe announces that Finneran’s co-host for the past few years – Todd Feinburg – will take over as sole host of the morning show on WRKO beginning Friday, June 1.  Whether or not a co-host is eventually added to the AM drive show remains to be seen.  The Boston Herald’s Jessica Heslam reports former WFXT-TV, Boston anchor Kim Carrigan – who has sat in on the AM drive show several times since exiting her TV gig – is offering no comment on the rumor she will become Feinburg’s co-host.  She tells the Herald, “It’s no secret that I’ve filled in a few times and that’s been a ton of fun, but outside of that I don’t have any comment at this point.”

Triton Digital Names John Rosso President of Market Development.  The former president of the Citadel Media Networks – a company he exited with the change of ownership as Cumulus acquired it – now takes the newly created post to lead Triton’s digital audio platforms in the sales and marketing realm.  Triton Digital chief operating officer Mike Agovino states, “John’s combination of broadcast and digital experience makes him a great choice for this important new position at Triton.  The explosive growth in listening to internet audio is attracting major attention from both local and national advertisers.  John and the rest of the Triton team are completely focused on fostering this medium by helping marketers and audio publishers come together to engage audiences.”  On his new challenge, Rosso says, “Audio is among the fastest-growing media today, and Triton is innovating at the center of it all, with both publishers and advertisers.  This marketplace is still young and I look forward to facilitating this connection to accelerate the growth and success.”

WHBO, Tampa and Tom Krasniqi Part Ways.  Afternoon drive sports talk host Tom Krasniqi and Genesis Communications WHBO, Tampa-St. Petersburg are unable to come to terms on a new contract.  WHBO has not announced a permanent replacement for host of its “Prime Time” PM drive show.

Bruce Williams Announces Plans for “Made in America Broadcast Network.”  The talk radio pioneer says he has nothing against international commerce but “as a small network can offer this service by accepting advertising only from American companies producing jobs and products.”  Bruce Williams – who is currently streaming and podcasting his program via The American Entrepreneur on taeradio.com – says he wants to offer radio programs that are supported by advertising from companies whose products are at least 90% made in America with American labor and American materials because he wants to keep jobs in America.  “The network knows many people interested in buying American products and they will be an excellent resource.  Made in America Broadcast Network believes this is the first company to offer this service.”

Car Talk: The Musical Debuts in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  You know you’ve made it when they produce a musical production based on you.  NPR’s “Car Talk,” hosted by actual Cambridge, Massachusetts mechanics Tom and Ray Magliozzi, is the inspiration for the play with book, lyrics and direction by Wesley Savick and original music by Michael Wartofsky.  The play will run this summer produced by the Underground Railway Theater at Central Square in Cambridge “just a stone’s throw away from the Good News Garage in Cambridge, Massachusetts (our fair city).”  The production will feature voice-overs from the Magliozzi brothers.  Here’s the plot as reported by BroadwayWorld.com: “Our hero – the overweight, always-late invertebrate Rusty Fenders – has racked up as many miles as his ‘93 KIA. Attempting to salvage happiness from the junkyard of his life, he collides with his ruthless boss Beaulah Gasket, his unrequited office romance Sheila, and the red-hot fantasy car Miata C. LaChassis.  Can the Wizard of Cahs put the brakes on Rusty’s musical wipe-out?”

WBZ, Boston Talk Host Lovell Dyett Passes Away at 77.  The TV and radio broadcaster and community activist died after a long illness.  Lovell Dyett began his talk radio career at WBZ in December of 1971 with an eponymous Sunday call-in program that dealt with the issues of the day.  As noted on CBS Radio Boston’s website, “For nearly 40 years, Dyett covered topics and issues that affected people of all walks of life, discussing topics that were often times contentious, like busing and the desegregation of Boston’s schools, and sometimes uncomfortable, such as interviews with former members of the Ku Klux Klan.  Dyett was a major player in many organizations including the Workshop on Cable Television for Minority Municipal Officials, serving as chief media consultant of the Congressional Black Caucus, as board member of the Roxbury YMCA, Roxbury Chapter of University Without Walls, Boston Chapter of the Urban League, and was also a long standing member of the NAACP.”

Syria Massacre, 2012 Presidential Race, Memorial Day Remembrances, Euro Zone Jitters and Iran Nukes Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/29).  Global outrage over the latest massacre of civilians in Syria; the 2012 presidential campaign; tributes to fallen U.S. military personnel; concern over the unstable euro zone economy and its repercussions; and the Iranian nuclear weapons program were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

“Gas We Can Gill-er Up” Draws Bargain Hunting Motorists.  WLAC, Nashville-based Radio America syndicated talk show host Steve Gill (l) is pictured here with listener Jill (r) who took advantage of the show’s promotion with the Daily’s Shell chain to offer gas at $1.84 per gallon to the first 150 listeners to get in line at 7:00 am yesterday (5/29).  Gill tells TALKERS that the $1.84 per gallon price was the national average on January 20, 2009 – the day President Obama was sworn into office.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

| May 8, 2012

Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey Reports Limbaugh Boycott Cost Company Millions.  During Monday’s first quarter conference call with analysts, Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey announced that the advertiser boycott of Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh show – which is carried on 38 Cumulus-owned stations – cost his company “a couple of million” in the first quarter of 2012 and another “couple of million” in the second quarter.  Dickey says everything seems pretty much back to normal for June but he blames about 1% of the company’s 3.5% drop in revenue on the Limbaugh boycott.  Dickey also addressed the debut of the Mike Huckabee show which airs live in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET slot and is seen by some observers as a direct competitor to Limbaugh.  He says they are very close to having Huckabee on 200 affiliates and he’s viewing the show as a long-term project.

Cumulus Media’s 2012 Q1 Revenue Down 3.5%.  The first quarter of 2012 saw Cumulus Media report net revenues down 3.5% on earnings of $245.3 million – down from $254.2 million for the same period a year ago.  Free cash flow was up almost 95% to $37 million, up from $19 million for the first quarter of 2011 and EBITDA was up 12.2% to $76.8 million.  CEO Lew Dickey states, “The first quarter of 2012 was marked by significant progress in our integration of Citadel as we build Cumulus into a robust platform company that strategically monetizes content, distribution and technology.  Complementing this progress was the continued deleveraging of our balance sheet, as well as strategic portfolio management that will enable us tremendous financial flexibility going forward.”

FCC Up to Full Complement.  Six months after they were nominated, Republican Ajit Pai and Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel have been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to seats on the Federal Communications Commission.  Senator Charles Grassley had been keeping the confirmation from taking place due to his concern over the commission’s handling of the LightSquared case.  Grassley has been investigating the FCC’s dealings with the troubled satellite venture suspecting that LightSquared has been given special treatment by the commission.

Pat Miller Cuts Back Duties at WOWO, Fort Wayne; Gregg Henson to PM Drive.  Afternoon drive talk show host Pat Miller is leaving his role at the legendary Federated Media station to focus on his own local business.  Director of programming operations Gregg Henson takes over the PM drive host duties effective immediately.  Miller will remain with the station in several capacities.  He’ll host a weekly Saturday afternoon program and he’ll make regular appearances as the station’s expert political analyst.  Henson says of Miller, “Pat is a great asset to WOWO and we look forward to redeploying him in other areas to take advantage of his strengths.  He is a tremendous resource.  Pat’s loyalty and love for Fort Wayne are indisputable and we look forward to his continued relationship with WOWO.”  Henson assumed the programming duties at WOWO and sister station WKJG a year ago.  He says he’s excited about taking over the PM drive show.  “WOWO has a special relationship with this community and I look forward to being a part of it.”

Talk Radio Hosts Converge on Washington, DC for “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” Radio Row.  More than 60 talk radio hosts are in Washington, DC today and tomorrow for a radio row sponsored by the Federation for American Immigration Reform.  The event is being led by Radio America syndicated talk show host Roger Hedgecock who organized the first radio row dedicated to this issue in 2007 to protest the Senate Amnesty Bill.  Talk show hosts taking part have the opportunity to interview numerous legislators and experts on illegal immigration and related topics over the course of the two days.  FAIR communications director Bob Dane tells TALKERS, “Once again, talk hosts from across the country are gathering to focus on immigration reform and this election year is the most critical of all.  The Obama administration continues to dismantle interior enforcement at a frightening pace and is using unconstitutional backdoor methods to grant amnesty to hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens.  With November looming, May is the ideal time to set clear expectations for candidates of all stripes.  Responsive politicians respect and listen to the electronic town hall of talk radio and ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ is a yearly bellwether of public sentiment on the immigration issue.”

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  Peter Sessa has been the vice president of marketing and communications at Westwood One for the past five years.  He stayed with the operation after it was merged with Dial Global but now exits and is seeking his next opportunity…..Tribune’s WGN, Chicago eliminates a news position as midday anchor Jim Gudas is let go for financial reasons…..Phil Cioppa joins the Greenwich, Connecticut-based Business TalkRadio Network where his show which “tackles global and national events and translates them into how they affect the average American’s pocketbook” now airs on some 140 affiliates…..SiriusXM announces it is launching an expanded suite of 30 play-by-play channels dedicated to streaming the official radio broadcasts of every MLB team on the SiriusXM Internet Radio App and online at SiriusXM.com…..WTOP-FM, Washington offers prizes to listeners in the area with the worst commute.  Dubbed “Commuter Idle,” listeners must submit stories of their commute online and the winner receives $1,000 in gas money and a limo ride.  Runners-up get $150 gas cards…..Merlin Media’s WEMP-FM, New York lets managing editor Doug O’Brien go.  The Former WINS, New York staffer has been with FM News 101.9 since its inception last summer…..Yahoo! Sports Radio pairs up Yahoo! Sports columnist Dan Wetzel with college sports writer Pat Forde for a weekly Thursday evening sports talk show on the network…..Bonneville’s KSL, Salt Lake City (the AM side) celebrates its 90th anniversary serving the market…..Sports USA announces its 18-game college football schedule for this fall that kicks off with Michigan State hosting Boise State and wrapping up with the Sun Bowl on New Year’s Eve.

Putin Returns, Anti-Austerity Backlash in Europe, 2012 Presidential Race, New American Obesity Stats, Student Loan Rate Debate, and Terror Plot Foiled Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/7).  The return of Vladimir Putin to power in Russia; voters in Europe show anti-austerity backlash; the 2012 presidential race; the latest statistics on obesity in America; Congress to take on student loan rate debate; and a plot to destroy a U.S. airliner is foiled were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Generations.  Television stars Robert Conrad (l) and Jorge Garcia (r) pose for a photo at the Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles at the grand opening of an exhibit titled, “50 Years of Warner Brothers.”  Conrad, who hosts a weekly talk radio program on CRN Digital Talk Radio, was the star of “The Wild, Wild West.”  Garcia starred in “Lost” and currently is featured in “Alcatraz.”

 

Friday, April 20, 2012

| April 20, 2012

Ed Schultz Added to Growing Lineup of Movers, Shakers and Stars at New Media Seminar.  “Big Eddie,” star of MSNBC’s nightly “The Ed Show” and nationally syndicated progressive talk radio sensation has been named to deliver the annual “State of the First Amendment” address at the forthcoming New Media Seminar in New York City on Thursday, June 7.  The speech, which has a rich history dating back more than two decades, is a longtime tradition in the talk show industry and will take place during the Freedom of Speech Ceremony at this year’s event.  WTOP, Washington VP of news and programming, Jim Farley will be this year’s recipient of the prestigious Freedom of Speech Award.   This year’s NMS/NY will feature a lineup of more than 50 industry speakers addressing a variety of topics including the state of programming in talk radio, methods of generating revenue during tough times, the challenge of selling controversy, designing successful digital and social media strategies, the changing role of news, the continuing growth of sports talk, and lots more.  A detailed agenda for the June 7 event will be posted at Talkers.com this coming week.  This year’s New Media Seminar marks the innovative launch of an updated model sensitive to the tough economic and stressful conditions of the times.  Significant restructuring has been applied to lower the costs of registration (only $99), accommodations and travel as well as moving the event from the weekend to a weekday. According to TALKERS founder Michael Harrison, “Both conferences will be national in scope and regional in flavor, a recipe that worked amazingly well at last year’s successful experiment, the Los Angeles Regional Talkers Forum.”  NMS 2012 will consist of two one-day conferences.  The first will be held in New York City on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at the Concierge Conference Center on Manhattan’s East Side.  According to its organizers it is on the verge of a sellout.  The second – presented in association with the Los Angeles Press Club – will take place on Thursday, October 11 in Los Angeles at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood.  Harrison says, “We learned a tremendous amount at last year’s ‘happening’ in L.A. There is something very exciting, fulfilling and productive about one single, power-packed day with no time-wasting fat or money-wasting frills.  It was executed purposefully under the radar to test the waters for this new model on a national scale and it succeeded beyond our wildest expectations, reaching maximum registration capacity in a matter of days.  Although the New Media Seminar has actually grown consistently larger and has been a sell-out every year of its existence, we recognize that conditions are such that a change would eventually be necessary as well as beneficial to the working person in our business – at least during this stressful period of tight budgets and high industry economic uncertainty.  At TALKERS we insist on being ahead of the curve.  Industry conferences need to include and be accessible to professionals in the trenches as well as the corporate elite.  This new model is a gift to the business.”  Because quick sell-outs for each event are expected, registration is limited to working media. (As indicated, New York is on the verge of a sellout.)  For registration and sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413 or e-mail her at barbara@talkers.com.

UPDATE!!!  HOTEL INFORMATION FOR NEW YORK ATTENDEES.  The Doubletree by Hilton Metropolitan New York at 569 Lexington Avenue (3 blocks away) has rooms available for $359 per night for a limited time.  You may register online via www.dtnewyork.com. On the main page, click on reservations and type the letters TNM in the group code box.  Or you can call 800-222-8733 and give the code TNM when speaking to the guest services staff. 

Arbitron Reports Q1 Revenue Up 5.5%.  The first quarter of 2012 has been good to Arbitron Inc. as the company states net income increased 9.6% on revenue growth of 5.5% during the period that ended March 31.  Total revenue for the quarter was $106.4 million and it came primarily from annual rate increases, including the continued phase-in of price increases for the PPM.  Arbitron CEO Bill Kerr states, “Our results and our activities in the first quarter are well aligned with our long standing priorities for enhancing our core services and for generating revenue growth.  We unveiled our marketing mix modeling service at the recent Advertising Research Foundation convention.  We expect to have the complete service up, running and ready to improve radio’s visibility among the top agency media planners by the middle of the summer.”  Kerr also said, “Digital radio remains a key priority as we continue our work to follow radio onto its new digital platforms in order to quantify this growing audience segment thereby enabling customers to monetize it.”  Guidance for the rest of 2012 indicates Arbitron expects revenue to be up between 5% and 7%.

Cox Media Announces Talent Lineup for New Tampa FM Talker “The Bone.”  Last week Cox Media Group announced it would drop the rock music on WHPT-FM, Tampa – “The Bone” – built around the success of AM drive talent Bubba the Love Sponge and PM drive counterpart Cowhead.  Now, the company announces the rest of the lineup consisting of talent already working in the Cox stable.  Following Bubba from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon is former WTKS-FM, Orlando – Real Radio 104.1 – personality Drew Garabo, who currently is AM drive host on the Cox Tampa cluster’s rock WSUN-FM.  From 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm Cox imports Billy Madison and his KISS-FM, San Antonio morning show crew for a midday talk program.  Following Cowhead in PM drive is Bubba cast member Matt “Spice” Lloyd who’ll host the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm program.  Cox Radio Tampa vice president and market manager Keith Lawless says of the new direction of The Bone, “The top-rated performance on our current shows clearly tells us that Tampa Bay likes what they hear and is asking for more.  We have worked hard to insure we are giving them what they want with these compelling new shows.  This is an exciting time in Tampa Bay radio.”

Clark Howard Sponsors 46th Habitat for Humanity House.  Cox Media nationally syndicated financial and consumer issues talk host Clark Howard announces he’s challenging the Tulsa community to help him build a Habitat for Humanity house in the city.  Howard is putting up half the money it’ll take to build the house — $35,000 – and is asking listeners to Tulsa affiliate news/talk KRMG-AM/FM to donate the rest.  The Tulsa Habitat build will be parallel to a build in Joplin, Missouri that Clark is also sponsoring on the one-year anniversary of the devastating tornado as part of his on-going “Project Home” campaign.  The Tulsa home will be the 46th Habitat for Humanity home that Howard has helped sponsor.

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  New York talk radio personality Loose KannonRob Stevens – is heard on the WOR, New York internet stream from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm daily beginning Monday, April 23.  Stevens previously was heard on Salem Communications’ WNYM, New York internet stream.  He tells TALKERS he’ll be heard between former New York Governor David Paterson and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee on the stream…..Main Street Radio Network president Jane Silk is publishing a new book on May 5 titled The Poetic Gourmette (Changing Lives Press 2012).  The book is billed as a “compilation of uniquely formed recipes inspired by emotional challenges experienced by the author at the time of creation.”  Silk says, “I would move on to cooking and experimenting with various ingredients, which to me were like words.  Every time I mixed an ingredient, I was expressing another feeling.  When I completed my recipes, I felt that I had dealt with whatever the world had sent my way.”…..ESPN Radio and USC agree to a multi-year deal to allow the sports giant the exclusive national broadcast rights to Trojans home football games…..The Automotive Journalism Society of America names talk host Jeff Shade’s syndicated, KRKO, Seattle-based “Talk About Cars” the “Best Automotive Radio Show” for 2012.  Shade’s program is heard on KRKO, Seattle; WIXC, Melbourne, Florida; and WAMT, Orlando to name a few and is gaining new affiliates each week…..KYKN, Salem, Oregon talk host Bill Post’s program is expanded from two to three hours daily, now airing from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.  General manager and station owner Mike Frith states, “I’m delighted with the way in which Bill Post has taken the show from a compelling hour to a second hour and now a third hour of great local, Oregon oriented talk.  He has consistently kept the show topical, fun and informative and our listeners have responded very positively to the show.”

2012 Presidential Campaign Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 16-20.  The ongoing 2012 presidential campaign returned to the #1 spot on the Talkers TenTM chart of the week’s most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio.  Following at #2 this week was President Obama’s proposed oil industry regulations.  At # 3 was ongoing debate in Washington over the federal budget deficit and the death of the ‘Buffett Rule’ in the Senate.  And at #4 was the scandals involving the Secret Service and the Government Services Agency.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is published each Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Revolution on the Hill.  That was the name of the first event held on the Capitol Hill lawn on Monday, April 16 and sponsored by former presidential candidate Herman Cain.  The purpose of the rally was to draw attention to tax reform, fiscal responsibility and the importance of electing true conservatives in government and included such speakers as Dick Morris, Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist.  Also taking part were some important talk show hosts.  Pictured here at the event are (from l-r): Cox Media’s Neal Boortz; Talk Radio Network and WGST, Atlanta’s Rusty Humphries; and WLAC, Nashville-based Radio America-syndicated host Steve Gill.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliation Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge adds WRHL, Rochelle, Illinois and Montana tri-mulcast KYLW, Billings; KBSR, Laurel; and KHDN, Hardin…..Better Health Network’s Dr. Bob Martin health talk program is added to the weekend lineup at KFWB, Los Angeles.

Monday, February 13, 2012

| February 13, 2012

Stephanie Miller Riding High on Radio, Live Show and Comedy Record Success.  WYD Media Management and Dial Global syndicated progressive talk radio host Stephanie Miller rolls into 2012 surfing the wave of success she began in 2011 using her popular radio show – and social media – to help promote her “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” and the recently released comedy album of the same name that’s topping the charts.  With the help of comedian pals John Fugelsang and Hal Sparks – both of whom make weekly appearances on Miller’s Los Angeles-based radio show – the “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” has been selling out shows across the country and grossed more than $1.4 million over the last 12 months.  Miller is astounded by the success of the tour and the album.  “Last spring when we performed in Madison, Wisconsin to support the recall efforts of Governor Scott Walker we had no expectations that the show would be as well received as it was, let alone set upon a nationwide tour raising money for locally focused progressive causes,” Miller says.  The resulting comedy album, released digitally, has been hugely successful.  Miller tells TALKERS, “The ‘Stephanie Miller’s Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour’ has become the first political comedy album to reach # 1 on the comedy charts for iTunes, Amazon and Billboard, and has remained on the Billboard Comedy Album charts for six weeks since its release in late-December, 2011.  The idea of progressive comedy making such a connection to people across America must be causing some serious Republican angina…at least I hope so!”  Miller, Fugelsang and Sparks continue to hit the road with the live show stopping at the Orpheum Theatre on Phoenix on February 25 and the Chicago Theatre in Chicago on March 3.

WQAM, Miami’s Sid Rosenberg Back in the News with Alleged Gambling Debt.  The Miami Herald is reporting that WQAM, Miami PM drive sports talk host Sid Rosenberg has a gambling debt of more than $44,000 he owes to an offshore gambling operation called www.1betvegas.com.  Gossip Extra columnist Jose Lambiet quotes a man named Frank Soviero who says he works for the gambling site – based in Costa Rica – and says he’s been in Miami for two months now trying to collect the debt.  Soviero tells Lambiet, “We can’t sue Sid since what we do is illegal in the United States.  I’ve tried everything.  He comes up with 100 bucks here and there, and he gives me a big hug.  It ticks me off because I talked my boss into giving Sid a few chances.  And I’ve seen [my boss] do things when he gets mad.”  Neither Rosenberg nor WQAM have commented to the paper.  Rosenberg was off the air for six weeks prior to the holidays and there was speculation then that he was being punished by the station for trying to repay a gambling debt via plugola – something Rosenberg vehemently denied to TALKERS.  Station management also did not confirm the story to local media but only said that Rosenberg was off and would return on January 2, which he did.  When asked by TALKERS to specifically clarify why he was off the air during that time, Rosenberg did not reply.  Read the Miami Herald story here.

WLW, Cincinnati’s Bill Cunningham Gets Big Network Pickup for TV Show.  Tribune Company launched “The Bill Cunningham Show” last September on a number of its O&O TV stations.  Now, Tribune announces the show is being picked up by the CW Network and will air in the 3:00 pm ET slot beginning in September.  Tribune Broadcasting president of programming and entertainment Sean Compton – one of the few remaining former Clear Channel execs brought to Tribune by Randy Michaels – tells the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter, “Since the launch of ‘The Bill Cunningham Show’ six months ago, the show has exceeded expectations and found a strong voice in the daytime talk landscape…The renewal and expansion of the show to a national platform are a testament to Bill’s staying power.”  Kiesewetter reports that Cunnigham’s TV show is more popular in New York, Chicago, Miami and Dallas than it is in his hometown of Cincinnati.  While taping the show, Cunningham does his WLW program from studios in Manhattan.

Lou Sipolt and Heather Burnside Exit WOW-FM, Des Moines After Five Weeks.  The duo moved over to the news/talk sister station from Cumulus Media Group’s classic rock KGGO-FM in January after 13 years as a duo in morning drive there.  But after just five weeks hosting the AM drive show on 98.3 WOW (KWQW-FM), Sipolt and Burnside surprised their listeners with an 8:40 am announcement on Friday, February 10 that they were leaving local radio to pursue other interests.  Sipolt does a motorsports talk show on Fox Sports Channel.  Burnside isn’t saying what she’ll do next.

Fox Business Network Drops Three Prime Time Shows; Will Replay Early Evening Programs.  The four- and a half-year-old Fox Business Network cancels the three prime time shows airing between 8:00 pm and 11:00 pm ET – “Freedom Watch,” hosted by Andrew Napolitano; “Power & Money” with host David Asman; and “Follow the Money” with Eric Bolling – and will re-air its 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm programming.  The move puts what Fox execs consider their top personalities on in prime time: “The Willis Report” with Gerri Willis; “Cavuto” with Neil Cavuto; and “Lou Dobbs Tonight” hosted by Lou Dobbs.  David Asman co-hosts the 4:00 pm “After the Bell” program and will continue in that role while Eric Bolling remains in his role on Fox News Channel co-hosting “The Five.” Fox executive vice president Kevin Magee states, “Neil Cavuto, Lou Dobbs and Gerri Willis are the most trusted names in business news, and this new lineup affords Fox Business viewers additional access to their no-nonsense take on the day’s financial events.”

Talk Show Hosts Wow 275 at American Jewish University Panel.  Approximately 275 avid talk radio fans showed up for a two-hour panel discussion held Sunday (2/12) afternoon at American Jewish University in Bel-Air, California.  Moderated by veteran Los Angeles broadcaster Bill Moran, the panel featured Bill Handel and Bill Carroll of KFI, Los Angeles; Patt Morrison of KPCC, Los Angeles and Southern California Public Broadcasting; and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.  The fast-paced discussion blended a spectrum of hot topics in the news – everything from health care to Israel/Iran tensions to social media to Whitney Houston – plus behind-the-scenes radio shop talk and ended with a spirited question and answer session with the audience.  This was the fifth annual installment of this panel, one of AJU’s most popular events in its outstanding speakers series.

Salem Radio Network and Radio America Reach News Service Deal.  A pact between Dallas-based Salem Radio Network and Washington-based Radio America is being struck that will make SRN News the exclusive top- and bottom-of-the-hour news service distributed by Radio America.  This move adds some 400 Radio America affiliates as potential carriers of SRN’s news product.  SRN president Greg Anderson states, “The potential of adding up to 400 Radio America affiliates to our roster of almost 1,300 current SRN News affiliates is very exciting for us.  We look forward to a great partnership with Radio America and their affiliates in the days ahead.”  Radio America COO Mike Paradiso comments, “SRN News is a great fit in our lineup of talk programs and will serve our 400-plus stations well in this election year.  We’re excited to be partnering with SRN on this venture.”

Blue Star Media Promotes Jon Patch to VP of Affiliate Sales.  Jon Patch has been with Blue Star Media Group’s Business TalkRadio Network and Lifestyle TalkRadio Network for the past 15 years serving in numerous capacities, most recently working in affiliate sales and hosting the 21 year-old talk radio show “Talkin’ Pets.”  Now, Blue Star ups Patch to vice president of affiliate sales for the organization.  Patch says, “I believe in working with our stations as partners and offering the best service possible since, by keeping them happy, it in turn keeps the hosts, listeners and all others involved satisfied and happy as well.”

Bonneville’s Arizona Sports Enters into Marketing Agreement with University of Phoenix.  Bonneville International’s Phoenix-based sports media initiative – Arizona Sports – agrees to a broadening of its relationship with University of Phoenix that includes the naming rights to the Arizona Sports studios.  Bonneville describes Arizona Sports as “a first-of-its-kind sports marketing and media super brand encompassing all of Bonneville Phoenix sports media properties including: Arizona Sports 620 KTAR-AM, Arizona Sports.com, Arizona Diamondbacks baseball, Arizona Cardinals football, Phoenix Suns basketball, Arizona State football and men’s basketball, ESPN radio, AIA and the Fiesta Bowl.”  Bonneville Phoenix VP of news and sports content Ryan Hatch says, “Bill Pepicello (University of Phoenix president) and his entire team have been a great partner of ours for many years.  We’re excited that – from “Mike and Mike in the Morning” to “Doug and Wolf on the drive home – all of our shows will now be broadcast from the University of Phoenix Studios.”

CBS Radio’s KNX, Los Angeles Continues “On Your Corner” Series in Culver City.  The CBS Radio Los Angeles all-news outlet will broadcast live from the Culver Hotel in Culver City on Friday, March 9 as part of its series that provides an “in-depth look at Southern California’s diverse communities.”  The day’s broadcasts will include civic and business leaders, along with colorful personalities connected to Culver City’s rich history and revitalization who will be featured guests as the city marks its 95th anniversary.  Additionally, a business mixer open to the public beginning at 5:00 pm will culminate the day’s events.  A special luncheon for invited business leaders will be hosted by Frank Mottek prior to his KNX Business Hour broadcast.

KMOX, St. Louis Holds Spring Training Correspondent Contest.  In conjunction with sponsor Lindenwood University, CBS Radio’s KMOX, St. Louis is conducting a contest to give one lucky winner a spring training correspondent position alongside sports director Tom Ackerman in Jupiter, Florida.  The winner gets an all-expenses-paid trip and will perform on-air and online Spring Training reports.  The station has been holding open auditions for the past month.  Nearly 200 people auditioned and 10 finalists have been announced.  Listeners to KMOX can vote on their favorite through February 21.

 

Monday, January 9, 2012

| January 9, 2012

Talk Radio Hosts Invade New Hampshire.  The New Hampshire Primary election is tomorrow (1/10) and in what has become a talk radio tradition – the New Hampshire Primary Radio Row – is putting the candidates and the issues on the air for local listeners and national audiences alike.  The radio row event is organized by TALKERS magazine and the Talk Radio News Service and includes more than 45 programs broadcasting live from the Manchester Radisson.  National programs include: Dial Global’s Neal Boortz, Thom Hartmann and Michael Smerconish; Radio America’s Roger Hedgecock; Genesis Communications Network’s Kate Delaney; Syndication One’s Al Sharpton and Warren Ballentine; Main Street Radio Network’s Alan Nathan; “A Touch of Grey” with Carole Marks; Michael Skoda; Dr. Gina Loudon; and Ed Morrissey.  Local talk hosts include: WOR, New York’s John Gambling; WTKK-FM, Boston’s Jim Braude and Margery Eagan; WTKK’s Michael Graham; Stephen K. Bannon of KABC, Los Angeles; Marc Bernier of WNDB, Daytona Beach; Michael Berry of KTRH, Houston; Lee Davis of WYDE-FM, Birmingham; Scott Hennen of KNOX, Grand Forks, North Dakota; Mark Skoda of WMPS, Memphis; Lisa Wexler of WFAS, Westchester, New York; Ken Pittman and Phil Paleologos of WBSM, New Bedford; Richard Girard of WGAM, Manchester; Paul Westcott of WGIR, Manchester; Dan Mitchell of WKBK, Keene; George Russell of WSMN, Nashua; Mark Johnson of WDEV, Waterbury, Vermont; Steve West of WKVT, Brattleboro, Vermont; John Harper of WUVR, Dartmouth, New Hampshire; Tony Lopes of WVBF, Taunton, Massachusetts; and Jeff Santos of WWZN, Boston.

SCOTUS Hears Indecency Arguments Tomorrow.  This day seems like a long time coming but tomorrow the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments about the FCC’s handling of broadcast indecency.  The case comes to the Court with regard to television violations but the rules are the same for radio.  Recent fines against ABC and Fox were overturned by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals after the court ruled the regulations are vague and unevenly applied – especially concerning the difference between how the rules are applied to over-the-air broadcast versus cable and satellite.  That’s what ABC and Fox will argue tomorrow.  The FCC will argue that even in the current era, most Americans expect broadcast TV (and radio by extension) to be “relatively safe” media for family consumption.  Many legal observers believe that the likely ruling from the Supreme Court will be the request that the FCC make the indecency rules very clear and that its method of enforcement be just as clear.  Interestingly, former FCC chairman Michael Powell – who now works for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association – is quoted by Bloomberg saying if he were voting on the cases in question again, he would dissent this time.  “I’ve always been deeply troubled by the way the First Amendment changes when you change channels.”

Programmer Neil Larrimore Lands KFYI/KGME, Phoenix PD Position.  Clear Channel Phoenix names former KMBZ, Kansas City program director Neil Larrimore PD for news/talk KFYI and sports talker Xtra Sports 910 (KGME).  CC Phoenix director of operations and programming Smokey Rivers states, “Neil is the perfect complement to our Phoenix programming team.   He is totally immersed in the flow of news and sports.  In this ‘that’s so thirty seconds ago’ age, having a quality programmer focused solely on the output of our information products is essential to maintaining our quality edge.”  Larrimore, who recently exited Entercom’s Kansas City news/talk outlet, says, “Information is the lifeblood of all media, now more than ever.  The opportunity to work with these powerful brands and continue to evolve them on-air, on-site and online, is extraordinary!  I can’t wait to get started!”

Rick Barber Retires from KOA, Denver.  After 30 years on the air in Denver, Rick Barber retires from his late-night talk show on Clear Channel’s KOA, Denver.  The Clear Channel station is filling the time with Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM.”

Drew Steele Takes Over AM Drive on WFSX-FM, Fort Myers; Trey Radel Exits to Run for Congress.  Trey Radel announces his candidacy for Florida’s 14th Congressional District seat and exits the morning drive show at Meridian’s “92.5 Fox News” (WFSX-FM) in the Ft. Myers/Naples market.  Meridian hands the reins of the morning drive show over to Drew Steele.  Radel is a longtime media figure in the market serving as anchor on WINK-TV for years before joining “92.5 Fox News.”  Radel is running as a Republican for the seat being vacated by Connie Mack who’s running for the U.S. Senate.

ESPN Radio Celebrates 20 Years in Operation.  Once just a small part of the ESPN cable television-focused broadcasting company, ESPN Audio is now a major component of the ESPN brand.  In January of 1992, ESPN Radio consisted of weekday drive-time commentaries on about 100 affiliates.  The network now has 300 full-time affiliates and ESPN owns four stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas.  SVP of ESPN Audio Mo Davenport states, “In 20 years, we’ve gone from airing only weekday, drive-time commentaries on 104 radio stations, to the amazing success of “Mike & Mike,” “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” Scott Van Pelt, Doug Gottlieb, and having ESPN Radio become the most-listened-to sports stream on the planet.  Additionally, our local markets give fans the local angle on air and online. It is a tribute to our listeners and our team, which pushes us forward to greater success in serving the sports fan.”

Jim Rome Takes TV Show to CBS Sports Network.  There’s no official confirmation from ESPN or Jim Rome’s camp but Big Lead Sports is reporting that Jim Rome’s “Rome is Burning” show will soon disappear from ESPN2 and Rome will begin a TV presence on the new CBS Sports Network.  The site reports that Rome was offered a multi-year deal to remain with ESPN but he’s choosing to begin TV life anew with CBS’ new cable initiative.  There would appear to be no affect on Rome’s radio program with Premiere Networks as a result of this.

KNX, Los Angeles Business Series Offers “The Business of Going Green.”  The next event in all-news KNX, Los Angeles’ Business Breakfast Series is titled, “The Business of Going Green” and takes place Friday, January 20 at 8:00 am at the Los Angeles Convention Center.  CBS Radio Los Angeles says “KNX Business Hour” host Frank Mottek will moderate a discussion that will explore how a sustainability strategy can be good for generating revenue and why being socially responsible doesn’t have to mean being fiscally irresponsible.  The free event will include a resource expo, continental breakfast and expert panelists H. David Nahai and Paul Polizzotto.  Nahai was senior advisor to the Clinton Climate Initiative and is president of David Nahai Consulting Services which advises and assists public and private entities involved in the environmental sector.  Polizzotto is president of EcoMedia, a division of CBS Corporation, whose mission is to raise public awareness about environmental issues.

KIRO-FM, Seattle Debuts New Local Food Show.  Hosted by local restaurateurs Tom Douglas and Thierry Rautureau and produced by Tina Cole, “Seattle Kitchen” airs Saturday mornings at 8:00 and Sundays at 10:00 am.  As you’d expect, the program will feature restaurant reviews of Puget Sound eateries as well as recipes and, of course, fielding listeners’ questions.  Program director Larry Gifford says, “Tom and Thierry are a natural fit and great addition.  For the weekend chef, who better to learn from, laugh with and relax to than these guys?”

Friday, August 19, 2011

| August 19, 2011

Tom Leykis Joins Speaker Roster for “Los Angeles Regional Talkers Forum 2011.” Legendary nationally syndicated and longtime LA-based talk radio personality Tom Leykis will be among the growing lineup of speakers participating in the forthcoming “Los Angeles Regional Talkers Forum 2011” being described as a “Who’s Who of Southern California Talk Radio.” The event is the first in a series of regional conferences dubbed by its organizers as “a new kind of industry gathering.” Leykis, currently sitting out a CBS contract keeping him off the air until 2012, is the president of the internet-based broadcast platform, “The New Normal.” He was one of the hits of the recent New Media Seminar 2011 in New York City and according to TALKERS managing editor Kevin Casey, “We are pleased to be able to make his sharp and innovative insights on the state and future of talk broadcasting in Southern California available to our attendees from the industry in that region.” Presented by TALKERS magazine in association with the Los Angeles Press Club, it will take place on Thursday, October 20 between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm. Registration (including breakfast, lunch and all discussions) is free to working members of the media and press but seating will be limited and reservations are already nearing capacity. To make reservations call Barbara at 413-565-5413. For agenda updates click here. (August 19, 2011)

Radio America to Syndicate the Peter Schiff Show. World-famous economist, author and media personality Peter Schiff’s radio program is being syndicated by Radio America and will air live in the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET time slot beginning Monday, August 29. Schiff is well-known for predicting the economic meltdown of 2008 in his books Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse (Wiley 2007) and The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets: How to Keep your Portfolio Up When the Market is Down (Wiley 2008). He is president and CEO of Euro Pacific Capital and Euro Pacific Precious Metals. Radio America states in a release, “From the U.S. debt crisis, to the college tuition bubble Schiff says is on the horizon, Peter delivers common sense analysis on the issues of the day and practical advice to his listeners. Unlike other radio hosts who only view the world through the prism of politics, Peter connects the dots between the worlds of finance, business, politics and economics. He not only illustrates what’s going wrong, but offers real alternatives that can help the country and his audience get back on track.” (August 19, 2011)

WTOP’s Jim Farley Joins Associated Press Managing Editors. The APME was founded in 1933 and Farley – vice president of news and programming at WTOP – becomes the first broadcaster to join the organization. He’s also been nominated to the APME’s board of directors. The APME Board recently made the decision to open its ranks to broadcast outlets, educators and top students in an effort to unite journalists from all media platforms and recognize their various accomplishments in journalism. Farley states, “I am honored to join such a prestigious organization of industry leaders in APME. It is exciting to be the first broadcaster ever to join APME’s illustrious ranks and I look forward to offering my support and expertise in the future as part of APME’s board of directors as we strive to protect journalistic integrity in newsrooms across the country.” (August 19, 2011)

Cashin Exits WOOD and WTKG, Grand Rapids. Program director Paul Cashin exits his position at Clear Channel’s talk stations WOOD and WTKG, Grand Rapids and cluster music program director Kelly Iris takes over the PD duties at the two talk stations. (August 19, 2011)

Border Media Partners to Launch Local Internet Talk Station in Austin. BMP recently blew up the news/talk format on KXBT-FM, Austin – The Big Talker – due to poor ratings. But the company isn’t giving up on local talk for the Austin market. The Austin Statesman’s Gary Dinges reports BMP will debut austintalkin.com on September 7 and former KXBT-FM morning talk host Sean Rima will take his program to the web for the 5:00 am to 8:00 am program. There’s no word about other talent appearing on the site for now but Dinges writes that Rima’s show will be repeated from 12:00 midnight to 3:00 am. (August 19, 2011)

“America Tonight” Host Kate Delaney Publishes New Sports Book. Kate Delaney, host of the nationally syndicated “America Tonight” late night talk show, publishes her new book, Level the Playing Field: Balls, Brats and B.S. (or really fun sports facts) (Tullamore Publishing 2011). Delaney launched the book with a party at Top Golf in Dallas last night (8/18) with part of the proceeds to benefit Dallas Youth Golf Programs. Kate – the “Sports Princess” — tells TALKERS, “The book is based on the ‘Sports Shorts’ radio segment and is full of little known sports facts, personal stories about traveling with the Dallas Cowboys and covering sports mixed in between.” She calls it a fun, easy read. At last night’s event, Howard Berg, the world’s fastest reader, consumed the 174-page book in 10 minutes and reviewed it. The now Dallas-based Delaney has worked at WFAN, New York in addition to other sports broadcasting positions over the course of her interesting career. (August 19, 2011)

Radio’s Steve Harvey Developing TV Talk Show for Fall 2012. Urban radio legend Steve Harvey – who’s also host of the popular TV game show “The Family Feud” – is developing a TV talk show that will debut in the fall of 2012. Harvey is working with Endemol USA to develop the show that will be distributed by NBC Universal Television Distribution. Harvey tells B&C, “I think it’s an interesting angle to have a guy in daytime television who’s actually built his platform around not only being funny but also being empowering and insightful for women. I hope to offer women an interesting take on a lot of different things from the male perspective, and I also want to be empowering to people and give them great information. It’s a triple threat combination.” Harvey’s nationally syndicated radio show is distributed by Premiere Networks. (August 19, 2011)

Talent Shuffle at Sports WNST, Baltimore. Rex Snider resigns from his position as host of the afternoon drive show at WNST. He’s being replaced by the station’s Glenn Clark who is promoted to the PM drive show. Also, Luke Jones partners up with Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” AM drive program. (August 19, 2011)

Fox Sports Radio Network to Feature Mixed Martial Arts Events. The Ultimate Fight Championship (UFC) and Fox Sports Media Group – the umbrella entity representing Fox Networks Group’s sports platforms – inks a three-years deal that will put UFC events all over Fox-owned television and the Fox Sports Radio Network which will broadcast all UFC events live. (August 19, 2011)

Obama Town Hall Tour Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 15-19. TALKERS research indicates President Obama’s bus tour to address the public about economic issues was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week and landed at #1 on the Talkers Ten. Following up at #2 was U.S. debt concerns. At #3 was the 2012 presidential race and at #4 was the European financial crisis. The Talkers Ten is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio across America each week and is published every Friday at Talkers.com. Click the banner below to view the entire chart. (August 19, 2011)

 

TALKERS Weekly Affiliation Roundup. The Wall Street Journal Radio Network’s “The Wall Street Journal This Morning with Gordon Deal” picks up WXNT, Indianapolis; WBZS, Providence; KNWZ, Palm Springs, California; and WHBY, Appleton, Wisconsin…..“Free Talk Live” with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge adds new affiliates WNIS, Norfolk; WXXM-FM, Madison; KQEW-FM, Fordyce, Arkansas; WVNJ, Oakland, New Jersey; and WGGH, Marion, Illinois…..Business TalkRadio Network has a number of its shows picked up by WCAR, Livonia, Michigan including: Ray Lucia , “Travel with Stephanie Abrams ,” “Muscle Cars on the Radio ,” and more…..“Beyond the Beltway” with Bruce DuMont is added to the lineup at KMJ-FM, Fresno…..“Armed American Radio” with Mark Walters is picked up by WPNW, Holland, Michigan…..“The Small Business Advocate” with host Jim Blasingame picks up KBNP, Portland; KOAN, Anchorage; KBTK-FM, Flagstaff, Arizona; and WLRT, Lexington, Kentucky…..The independently syndicated Karel show hosted by Charles Karel Bouley adds KJFK, Reno to its growing affiliate roster. (August 19, 2011)

Talkin’ with the Rev. WJIM, Lansing, Michigan-based regionally syndicated talk show host Michael Patrick Shiels (r) poses for a photo with Rev. Jesse Jackson (l) at his storefront radio/TV studios. Jackson visited Shiels and appeared on his program that is syndicated to Citadel’s WJRW, Grand Rapids and the 10 stations in the Michigan Talk Network. (August 19, 2011)