Tag: "Rick Buckley"

Thursday, March 15, 2012

| March 15, 2012

Rush Limbaugh Controversy Brings Political Attack Tactics to Talk Radio.  Perhaps it’s because the nation is in the grips of a still-stagnant economy during a contentious election year or maybe it’s just a sign of the times.  But, the talk radio industry is being invaded by political special interest groups and their hard-nosed tactics and it appears some broadcasters are playing along.  Broadcasters – and radio stations more specifically – have traditionally competed with each other intensely on many levels.  But going after each other’s advertisers with threats of guilt-by-association in order to hurt the other’s business is something in which they have rarely engaged.  The reason is simple: It pollutes the same body of water from which all broadcasters drink.  If one day your programming is poison to sponsors, who’s to say my programming won’t be tainted next week.  And the special interest groups are noticing this and employing it as well.  Media Research Center founder and president L. Brent Bozell III has written an open letter to MSNBC president Phil Griffin taking the cable news/talk network to task for what he terms its hypocrisy.  Bozell notes MSNBC talent Ed Schultz, Al Sharpton and Lawrence O’Donnell spent part of their March 13 programs “attacking Rush.”  He then lists statements made by Ed Schultz over the years as “vile, repugnant venom coming out of Schultz’s mouth.”  Bozell promises he’s not going to let up on MSNBC, either.  So, what are some broadcasters guilty of with regard to this case?  Potentially bringing harm to the entire talk media industry – especially the already hard-hit radio side – by willingly allowing special interest groups that do not represent the actual listeners of these programs to provide ammunition against one of their own (a broadcaster) for the sake of what is really a political goal and not a business goal.  Broadcasters willing to join the political battle at the expense of maintaining the integrity of their broadcasting business model may find out down the road that attempting to serve two masters – politics and the business of broadcasting – is a very difficult task to handle successfully.  If you wish to read Mr. Bozell’s piece, it’s here.

Problematic Data: Bloomberg Poll Concludes America Wants Limbaugh Fired.  That’s the result of a Bloomberg poll of 1,002 Americans conducted from March 8 to 11 asking questions about the GOP candidates, how they feel about the birth control coverage issue and, whether Premiere Networks star Rush Limbaugh should be fired for his remarks about Sandra Fluke and her testimony.  According to the Bloomberg data, 53% of Americans believe Limbaugh should be fired for his remarks and 30% of those who expressed that point of view were Republicans to boot!  TALKERS is not questioning Bloomberg’s polling techniques but as alluded to in the story above, it should be underscored that the poll in question doesn’t survey Rush Limbaugh’s regular listeners.  It doesn’t even survey regular talk radio listeners.  Therein lays the problem.  Consumer media will grab hold of the result of this poll and conclude that the end is near for Limbaugh since a majority of the country wants him fired.  But as TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison has been telling the dozens upon dozens of media outlets he’s spoken with on this issue since it began, Rush Limbaugh doesn’t broadcast to a majority of the country.  He broadcasts to a niche audience – a sizeable one to be sure – but a niche nonetheless.  Asking a sample of all Americans how a talk radio station should be programmed is analogous to asking the same sample about how to program the Golf Channel.  Read the Bloomberg poll story here.

First Spot on Tom Leykis’ New Talk Show Sells on eBay for $1,225.  FishbowlLA reports the first spot on Tom Leykis’ soon-to-debut talk show that will hit the internet on April 2 has been purchased by Stitcher chairman Noah Shanok for $1,225.  Leykis tells FishbowlLA’s Richard Horgan, “The winning bid, in my view, proves what I have always believed, which is that the reason that some people say that internet content cannot be monetized is because they try to sell advertising for new platforms the same way it’s sold in so-called ‘old media.’  What these new platforms really require is out-of-the-box thinking and a completely different approach.”  Leykis has been paid by CBS Radio since his program based at the former hot talk KLSX-FM, Los Angeles was dropped along with the rest of the format.  Leykis’ The New Normal will broadcast his new talk program as the CBS contract comes to an end.

Buckley Broadcasting Chief Rick Buckley to Be Honored Posthumously by Broadcasters Foundation of America.  At the Broadcasters Foundation of America breakfast held in conjunction with the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas on April 18, the late president and CEO of Buckley Broadcasting will be honored with the Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award.  The award honors an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.   It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Clear Channel Foundation and Wiley Rein, LLP.  The BFoA states, “Rick Buckley was a beloved and highly respected broadcaster who passed away suddenly this past July from a brain embolism.  For more than four decades Buckley led the family-owned Buckley Broadcasting, which includes renowned WOR Radio in New York.  He was a longtime member of the Broadcasters Foundation Board of Directors and served as its treasurer for many years.  In recognition of his commitment to the charitable mission of the Broadcasters Foundation, The Rick Buckley Memorial Fund was established shortly after his passing.”

ESPN Montana to Provide Local Focus.  The Montana Radio Company is bringing the Worldwide Leader in Sports to Montana – a state without any professional sports franchises.  Tucker Sargent is project manager for ESPN Montana and he tells the University of Montana’s Montana Kaimin they are developing a website that will serve as the web hub for the three FM stations that will be simulcast in the Helena, Missoula and Great Falls markets.  Ben Cately, who does play-by-play for the Missoula Osprey minor league baseball team is hosting the morning drive show that will be featured across the network.  Sargent says the network will cover local schools as well, “High school sports have been pretty much completely ignored everywhere in the country.  Most other places with an ESPN station are in major markets that have professional and college teams that dominate the scene.  And while we still think that the professional teams need to be talked about, the high school sports matter quite a bit and need to get reported on as well.”

GOP Primaries/ 2012 Presidential Race, Afghanistan Civilian Massacre Aftermath, Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program, Syria Violence and Soaring Gas Prices Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/14).  The tightening GOP primary race after Rick Santorum’s Tuesday victories and the 2012 presidential race in general; the fragile state of the Afghanistan operations after the killing of 16 civilians by a U.S. soldier; ongoing concern over Iran’s nuclear weapons projects; the Syrian violence against its citizens; and the American public’s concern with rising gasoline prices were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

| September 8, 2011

WEEI Goes FM in Beantown; FM Sports Talk War Begins.  Two years ago CBS Radio made major changes to its FM properties in Boston and created WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” to challenge Entercom’s WEEI, even hiring away some of the younger staff that had been working at WEEI.  A strong, quick climb in the ratings by WBZ-FM – especially in younger demos – showed that station to be a worthy competitor to WEEI.  Now, Entercom fires back by dumping the classic hits format on WMKK-FM “Mike FM” and simulcasting WEEI on FM, beginning Monday, September 12.  Entercom will make the announcement official today (9/8) at 8:00 am ET on the Dennis & Callahan morning show.  WMKK-FM is licensed to Lawrence – north of Boston – and that will certainly help with coverage.  WEEI, although a 50k directional station at 850 AM, has a notoriously sketchy signal.  In fact, one of the amazing things about WEEI’s success over the past 20 years has been its ability to thrive with the poor signal.  Now, though, Entercom hopes to gain younger demos by being on FM along with its new, improved FM home in the sports-crazy Boston market.

From the Broadcast Booth to the Campaign Trail: Martha Zoller to Run for Congress.  What was reported by TALKERS earlier comes to pass as Gainesville, Georgia-based talk show host Martha Zoller announces she will run as a Republican for the newly created congressional seat in North Georgia next year.  Zoller’s camp states she has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission .  Zoller is based out of Cox Media Group’s WXKT-FM, Gainesville and the company’s legal counsel advises her that she may remain on the air until she becomes a “qualified candidate” with Georgia officials next spring, according to an Associated Press report.  Zoller states, “I have been involved in radio for 15 years now, not just giving my opinion, but helping my listeners analyze the critical issues of the day.  Most importantly, I have given people a chance to be heard.”  Zoller is a popular conservative talk host, not only in the North Georgia region, but nationally due to her work on cable news/talk TV and other high-profile appearances.  However, she is not the only Republican to be interested in running for the seat representing the new district.  Georgia Republican State Representative Doug Collins – a former U.S. Air Force chaplain and floor leader for Georgian Governor Nathan Deal – is also seeking the seat.

CBS Radio Names Rona Danziger WXYT, Detroit PD.  CBS Radio is splitting off WXYT-AM from the current AM/FM simulcast of sports talk “The Ticket” and debuts Talk Radio 1270 AM WXYT on September 12.  The company announces it is bringing Detroit programming pro Rona Danziger aboard to manage the station’s shows.  Danziger – who most recently programmed Clear Channel’s crosstown sports WDFN – begins her duties immediately.  She says, “I’m thrilled to be part of the launch of Talk Radio 1270.  I can’t wait to work with Charlie Langton and the terrific staff at CBS Radio.  I’m excited to program a radio station that will bring edgy, opinionated and highly entertaining conservative talk radio to Detroit.”  The station also features Premiere Networks’ Glenn Beck and “Coast to Coast” with George Noory; Talk Radio Network’s Laura Ingraham and Rusty Humphries; Genesis Communications Network’s Jason Lewis; and Compass Media NetworksTodd Schnitt.

Tom Leykis on TALKERS TV.  In what can be described as the “Dance of the Lifestyle Hosts” or talk radio’s version of “Beauty and the Beast,” the legendary Tom Leykis is caught on video in a rare conversation recorded at the recent New Media Seminar 2011 in which he shows his charming (yet provocative) side.  He is interviewed by New Jersey 101.5 evening relationships show star Michelle Jerson and the two quickly become engaged in a good-spirited, but somewhat sparky, verbal battle of the sexes.  This is not to be missed.  Check it out on TALKERS TV on this page.

“America’s Morning News” Now Heard on More Than 135 Affiliate Stations.  The Talk Radio Network Entertainment and Washington Times collaborative morning news radio program “America’s Morning News” has added some 45 new affiliate stations this year alone to surpass the 135-affiliate mark.  The program, based at The Washington Times’ DC studios and anchored by John McCaslin and Dana Mills, is touted by its developers as “the leading source for breaking news coverage on radio, features an innovative long-form news format aimed at showcasing investigative reporting, and accountability journalism directly from the nation’s capital.”  The program is heard in 23 of the top 50 metros, according to TRNE CEO Mark Masters who says, “‘America’s Morning News’ is the direct result of a close relationship with Talk Radio Network Entertainment, The Washington Times and all of our valued syndication partners.  Working together, we’ve developed the next generation news radio programming that is rapidly gaining national audience share with over 135 affiliates secured to date.”

O’Connell and Moran Promoted at WSJRN.  Susan O’Connell is promoted to senior director of affiliate sales and Susan Moran is upped to director of affiliate marketing at The Wall Street Journal Radio Network.  WSJRN executive director Nancy Abramson says in a release, “Susan O’Connell and Susan Moran are both my mentors in the radio network business and it is a privilege to have them on my team.  Their accomplished careers and knowledge of the industry will help ensure our continued success.”  O’Connell is responsible for affiliate relations and marketing for the company’s “Wall Street Journal Report,” “Dow Jones Money Report,” “The Wall Street Journal This Morning, “The Wall Street Journal This Weekend,” and “The Daily Wrap with Michael Castner.”  Moran continues to be responsible for affiliating radio stations and overseeing the marketing and advertising for WSJRN and its affiliates.

Beth Sugrue Joins Merlin Media as Director of Integrated Programs.  Sugrue comes from CBS Radio Chicago where she was director of new business development for the past nine years.  In her new position with Merlin Media she’ll be responsible for managing the non-traditional revenue of the company’s three stations as well as the digital, non-spot and interactive sales operations.  Sugrue will report from EVP of revenue Greg Janoff who states, “Beth is a true talent who recognizes the essence of the integrated approach in the radio industry.  She has the keen ability to really understand the needs of a company and create a specialized program to solve those needs.”

Rick Buckley Memorial Service to Be Held Today.  A memorial service for Buckley Broadcasting president Rick Buckley will be held today (9/8) at 11:00 am at Christ Church Greenwich in Greenwich, Connecticut.  Buckley died unexpectedly on July 31 after suffering a brain embolism.  He had served as the president of the family broadcasting business since 1972.

 

GOP Debate, 9/11 Anniversary and Obama Jobs Speech Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/7).  The GOP presidential debate in held in Simi Valley, California last night, the approaching anniversary of 9/11 and President Obama’s scheduled address before a joint session of Congress and the nation on his jobs creations plan were three of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.