Tag: "Rick Roberts"

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

| May 1, 2013

siriusxmSiriusXM Reports Positive Q1 with Revenue Up 12%; Company Involved in Digital Dashboard Technology Rollout.  That 12% percent increase over the same period a year ago is on revenue of $897 million.  New permanent CEO Jim Meyer had every reason to be bubbly during his first investor conference call as official chief executive officer of the satcaster.  He reports the company grew its subscriber base to a new record high on new subscriptions of 453,000 during the quarter.  From a financial perspective he stated, “We are proud to have achieved the highest suggested EBITDA margin in the history of the company in the first quarter.  We expect to achieve a 30% adjusted EBITDA margin this year, up from 27% last year and we continue to target 40% plus margins over time.  You will see us move over the next few years to become one of the highest margin businesses among major media companies in the United States. meyerjim Our ability to convert the bulk of that EBITDA in the free cash flow is also unmatched in the subscription media world.”  He said the company is riding the “tailwind in the new car market as it recovers.”  Meyer told investors the company is committed to having the best content, spoke about new channel additions as well as new talent joining the company and mentioned talk host Michael Smerconish.  Addressing the specific question about GM’s plans for its future “digital dashboard,” Meyer said he couldn’t talk about any one manufacturer’s plans but was able to state, “I believe GM is on a leadership strategy in terms of where I believe the auto industry will go in general.  And that is, I believe, over a mid and long period of time — you can define how many years that is — you will see automakers move to what I will call embedded connectivity that will be LTE-based that will give them lots of options for what they want to do for their customers and their vehicles.  I think it’s very important that Sirius XM participates in that rollout of technology as it occurs over the next three to seven years and that’s exactly what we’re all about when we referred to our connected-car strategy.  This is something that…I want to reiterate again today, that we’re moving and reprioritizing a lot of our technical resources and frankly now our commercial programming resources towards making that goal happen as we go out over time.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the conference call transcript.  You can read the whole shebang here.

wheelertomTom Wheeler Gets Nod from Obama for FCC Chief.  On the political side of things, many Democrats wanted to see President Obama select a woman for the post being vacated by Julius Genachowski, but the president nominated a man with a telecommunications background who was very helpful in getting him elected.  Politico reports that managing director of Core Capital Partners, Tom Wheeler, (along with his wife) worked Iowa for six weeks straight during the president’s first campaign.  Although Wheeler will get some grief from those who are suspicious of his past tenure as a lobbyist with both the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and the CTIA (Cellular Telephone Industry Association), he has experience in the industry having founded numerous cable and communications services businesses.  National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Gordon Smith states, “NAB welcomes the nomination of Tom Wheeler as chairman of the FCC. He has the experience and temperament to serve the agency with distinction, and we look forward to working with him.”

nms2013logoTalkers New York 2013 Approaching Sellout Today.  At the present rate of registration bookings, all available seats to the forthcoming Talkers New York 2013 will be sold out by the end of business today (5:00 pm ET).  The 16th annual installment of the talk industry’s longest-running and most important annual convention has broken the record for reaching advance registration earlier than ever before.  TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “We are amazed and gratified that this conference has reached a sellout almost five weeks in advance of its actual date, which is a testimony to the vibrancy of the talk format and the enthusiasm of the industry that produces it.”  The one-day, power-packed event takes place on Thursday, June 6 in New York City between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm.  It features a speaker roster of more than 50 industry leaders from programming, sales, talent, management, technology and ownership. Registration ($199 for all events and food services) is open exclusively to members of the working media and can only be booked by phone with credit card.  Call 413-565-5413.  For complete registration and sponsorship information including an up-to-the-minute agenda, click here.

walton&johnsonWalton & Johnson Take Over Mornings on KPRC, Houston.  Just four months after the Walton & Johnson [John Walton (left) and Steve Johnson (right)] morning show was dropped from Clear Channel’s classic rock KKRW, Houston “97.3 The Arrow,” the program is brought back to the Houston airwaves as the new morning program on the company’s news/talk KPRC.  The duo was replaced on “The Arrow” by longtime St. Louis radio personality J.C. Corcoran.  Clear Channel Houston director of AM programming Bryan Erickson says, “We are thrilled to have Walton & Johnson back on KPRC.  They have a proven track record of great ratings and we look forward to them continuing that success on KPRC.”  Walton & Johnson made KPRC their flagship beginning in 2007 but moved to “The Arrow” in 2009.  Off KPRC as a result of the move is Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo who is based at Clear Channel’s WOAI, San Antonio and is heard there and on other Clear Channel news/talk stations.

armstronggettyArmstrong & Getty to Join KFMB, San Diego in June.  Morning show duo Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty will be heard in the San Diego market beginning June 3 as their program bumps current morning host Mike Slater to the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.  Armstrong & Getty are based at Clear Channel’s KSTE, Sacramento and heard in other markets in Northern California including San Francisco on KKSF.  This is a big move for the duo as they are added to a non-Clear Channel station – Midwest TV’s KFMB.  Program director Dave Sniff states, “Like any great radio morning show, Armstrong and Getty have that unique ability to not only connect with the listener but to become their companions.  They fit in amazingly well among the great storytellers that are part of 760 KFMB’s character and lineage.  They’re not so much a ‘talk show’ as a ‘mock show.’”

wokv logoCox Media’s WOKV, Jacksonville Adds 104.5 FM Signal.  Market news/talk powerhouse WOKV got a little more powerful as Cox Media Group gives the 104.5 FM signal long-occupied by now-defunct rock station WFYV to the station to boost its coverage of the region.  WOKV program director Mike Dorwart says, “Our listeners told us loud and clear that we needed more power.  Moving to 104.5 FM means that, for the first time, our listeners can hear us crystal clear, everywhere in northeast Florida, both day and night.  The most noticeable improvement will be heard by listeners in Baker, Clay, St. Johns, and Nassau counties.  They now have full coverage from WOKV, 24/7, on 104.5 FM.  Duval residents will also hear a big difference, especially those who listen at work.  Our new signal also gives reliable coverage to listeners in Flagler, Putnam, Bradford, Union and Columbia counties in Florida, as well as Camden and Charlton counties in Georgia.”  The station has been simulcast on the 106.5 FM frequency but that class A FM is much smaller.  WOKV will continue to be heard on 106.5 as the company directs listeners to the new 104.5 frequency.

sabowalterFive Critical Steps for Radio to Achieve Success with Online Video.  Noted media consultant and TALKERS columnist Walter Sabo outlines five crucial pointers that radio broadcasters should keep in mind when utilizing video in their digital initiatives.  In a column posted today (5/1) he suggests: 1) bad equipment is usually the best; 2) online video is NOT television (TV);  3) 80% of all videos are watched within 72 hours of posting; 4) most of the biggest stars of the internet (“webstars”) are self-cast; and 5) late evening is the best time to post.  To read the entirety of this timely and informative article, click here.

wnox logoThe End of an Era for Knoxville News/Talk; Country to Take Over 100.3 Frequency.  With Journal Broadcast Group’s acquisition of Oak Ridge FM’s news/talk WNOX, Knoxville about to close, the company is preparing to move the country format currently heard on its WCYQ to the much stronger 100.3 signal currently occupied by news/talk on WNOX.  A country simulcast will begin tomorrow on the two FMs (5/2) and the news/talk programming now on WNOX will move to Blount Broadcasting’s WKVL, a daytime AM at 850.

americaweekendlogoKTRS, St. Louis Newest Affiliate for Envision’s ‘America Weekend.’  The weekend news/talk radio program being nationally syndicated by Envision Radio Networks announces CH Holdings’ KTRS, St. Louis is the latest station to add the programming to its weekend offerings.  Envision calls “America Weekend” “the winning antidote to bad brokered programming and tiresome ‘Best-of’ shows.  Hosted by Paul Harris, Rick Roberts, and Turi Ryder, ‘America Weekend’ is designed to increase ratings while providing an innovative system for maintaining or even increasing revenue from brokered programs.  The flexible ‘America Weekend’ system provides the perfect platform to break away for sports and other special programming as needed. Since ‘America Weekend’ is broadcast live via satellite, it is able to stay current by addressing breaking and developing stories of national interest as they happen.  The program airs live each Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.”

midwestcomm logoFargo Stations Sales Close: Fargo-Moorhead Radio Cluster to Midwest Communications; Triad Broadcasting Group to Larry Wilson’s L&L.  The sales of both of these Fargo market station groups were announced last year and were approved by the FCC months ago.  Now the transactions close with Wausau, Wisconsin-based Midwest Communications taking ownership of the former Fargo-Moorhead Radio cluster that includes: news/talk KFGO, sports KVOX, CHR WDAY “Y-94,” country KBVB “Bob FM,” talk KRWK “101.9 Talk FM,” and adult hits KMJO “Popster FM.”  Midwest Communications vice president of programming Jeff McCarthy tells the Forum of Fargo Moorhead he doesn’t anticipate any immediate programming changes.  Larry Wilson, whose Alpha Broadcasting operates stations in Portland, Oregon, also is a principal in L&L Broadcasting and his company is closing on Triad Broadcasting’s stations that include: oldies KQWB “True Oldies,” classic rock KPFX “The Fox,” hot AC KLTA, country KVOX “Froggy 99.9,” full service KBMW, and rock KQWB “Q98.”  Triad vice president and market manager Michael Brooks also tells the paper he does not anticipate any immediate changes.

weei logoWEEI Names John Ryder to Red Sox Broadcast Team; Grande and Merloni to Handle Fill-In Role.  In announcing John Ryder’s ascension to a permanent role on Red Sox broadcasts as host of pre- and post-game coverage, the company says, “Ryder has been with WEEI since 1998 and is a regular contributor to the ‘Planet Mikey’ show, in addition to hosting ‘Red Sox Review’ and ‘Celtics Rewind’ after Sox and Celtics games.”  The company is also announcing that Sean Grande and Lou Merloni will join the broadcasts filling in for Dave O’Brien, who will miss Monday night games during the season due to his responsibilities for ESPN.  Grande has been the voice of the Boston Celtics since 2001, after having served as the TV voice of the Minnesota Timberwolves for three years.  Merloni is currently co-host of the “Mut and Merloni” show on WEEI 93.7 FM.  Merloni also enjoyed a nine-year professional career in Major League Baseball, the first five with the Red Sox.  Entercom Boston vice president of programming Jason Wolfe says, “John has done a stellar job in every role we’ve had for him and has absolutely earned this promotion.  He’s hosted the pre- and post-game shows for the Sox many times before and was a natural choice for us to fill this important job.  Sean’s play-by-play experience speaks for itself. He’s one of the greats in the industry right now, and Lou’s expertise is second to none.  There’s no baseball man in Boston who knows the Sox better than Lou.”

hayworthjdOdds & Sods.  Result Radio’s Christian contemporary KJJK, Fargo will flip to sports talk on Monday, May 6 using programming from Fox Sports Radio Network including Dan Patrick, Jay Mohr and the “Loose Cannons” with Pat O’Brien and Steve Hartman.  The station will continue to serve as a Minnesota Twins affiliate…..Personality J.D. Hayworth – co-host of the “Hacksaw & Hayworth” show on sports talk XEPRS, San Diego – does some news/talk fill-in work this week when he sits in for Cumulus Media Networks host Michael Savage tonight through Friday from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET.  He’ll also sit in for the company’s Mike Huckabee tomorrow from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET…..Bouyed by coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing and the Texas fertilizer warehouse explosion, cable news/talk channel CNN has improved in the ratings compared to the same period a year ago.  Based on April Nielsen numbers as reported in Deadline.com, CNN saw its total day viewers number rise 79% compared to April 2012.  CNN was also up in prime time, achieving an 81% increase in total viewers over the same period a year ago.  The network was able to climb over MSNBC into second place behind Fox News Channel in both ratings categories.

Benghazi Cover-up Investigation, ObamaCare Effects, Boston Marathon Bombing Aftermath, Slow Job Growth Reports, and Immigration Legislation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/30).  New inquiries into the Benghazi attack; the effects of the Affordable Care Act; the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing and the search for possible co-conspirators; newly released reports indicating slow job growth in the United States; and debate over immigration legislation were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

| March 13, 2013

americaweekendlogoRick Roberts Joins Envision Radio Networks’ ‘America Weekend.’  Longtime San Diego news/talk personality Rick Roberts becomes part of the talent at Envision Radio Networks’ weekend talk radio programming “America Weekend.”  The six hours of live news/talk radio airs from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm onrobertsrick Saturdays and Sundays and Roberts will host the Saturday 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm portion of the program.  Most recently at KFMB, San Diego, Roberts’ career has also taken him to such legendary stations as KOA, Denver; KCMO, Kansas City; KRLD, Dallas; and KOGO, San Diego.  Roberts states, “I’m extremely pleased to be a part of ‘America Weekend’ and I look forward to bringing 19 years of major market talk radio experience to radio stations across America.  The next great step in talk radio begins right here every weekend.”  Envision describes “America Weekend” as “the new ratings-friendly programming alternative to low-rated brokered shows and “Best Of” programs.”  Executive producer Kipper McGee says of Roberts, “Breakthrough programming needs breakthrough talent.  ‘America Weekend’ will provide the perfect showcase for Rick’s versatility and considerable talents, and we are thrilled to have him on the team.”  Roberts joins radio pros Paul Harris and Turi Ryder as hosts of the program.

conclavegamedayThe Conclave Adds Sports Component.  Dubbed “Game Day,” the Conclave announces a new aspect of the radio gathering at this July’s 38th Annual Learning Conference by presenting a day exclusively devoted to sports broadcasting.  “Game Day” will be held on Friday, July 19, at the Doubletree Park Place Hotel inshannonbob Minneapolis, site of the 2013 Learning Conference.  Conclave executive director Bob Shannon states, “Our line up starts with Bruce Gilbert, senior vice president of sports operations for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.  Bruce built ‘The Ticket’ in Dallas, was recruited by ESPN to create their national radio brand, and has just joined Clear Channel.  Clearly, he is one of our nation’s sports programming experts.”  The day will conclude with a reception at the Minnesota Twins flagship station, Northern Lights’ new adult contemporary KTWN, which is just a short walk across the street from Target Field in downtown Minneapolis followed by a ballgame between the Twins and the Cleveland Indians.

hendriephilPhil Hendrie Accelerates Podcast and Social Media Initiatives with LEG Digital and Launchpad Digital Media Partnerships.  Media personality Phil Hendrie – nationally syndicated on radio via Talk Radio Network – recently entered into partnerships with creative agency LEG Digital and Launchpad Digital Media for his strategic efforts in digital content and social marketing platforms.  Launchpad is representing LEG Digital for advertising sales.  LEG Digital reports that to date, results have shown that in the last four months, Hendrie’s Twitter followers are up 28%, his Facebook audience is up 667% and his daily podcast monthly downloads are up 500%.  The company also launched the weekly “Phil Hendrie’s Mmm-Hmm, The Bobbie Dooley Podcast” on its podcast network, TheSideShowNetwork.com, Hendrie’s own PhilHendrieShow.com, iTunes and Launchpad’s PodcastOne.com.  The first Dooley podcast garnered more than 15,000 downloads in three days.  LEG Digital managing partner Darrin McAfee states, “I’ve been a huge fan of Phil’s for the last 15 years.  Knowing and enjoying the magnitude of his talent, it’s obvious to me that he’s well on his way to the next plateau of his career.”

arbitronArbitron Issues Social Media Guidelines for Dealing with Respondents.  Calling this a list of “Dos and Don’ts,” Arbitron notifies broadcasters of the potential pitfalls that can cause ratings trouble if the company’s rules are violated using the ubiquitous social media.  Arbitron states up front: “Ratings data can be among the most valuable tools broadcasters have for programming and sales.  It’s important to protect the integrity of your station’s ratings by following Arbitron’s guide to using social media.  While these platforms create more personalized communication with listeners, social media can also lead to rating bias or rating distortion if not managed properly.”  Some of the “Dos” include: Notify Arbitron if a respondent reaches out to the station via social media (or any other means); remind station staff that social media comments are subject to the same guidelines as on-air comments; contact Arbitron for a confidential pre-review if you are unsure about comments you wish to post; contact Arbitron if your staff sees posted comments directed to an Arbitron respondent; and contact Arbitron if the station learns the identity of an Arbitron respondent (by any means).  The “Don’ts” are pretty obvious to broadcasters who’ve been aware of Arbitron’s rules prior to the advent of social media but bear repeating:  Don’t attempt to learn the identity of Arbitron respondents.  The station may be delisted, even if the attempt doesn’t succeed; don’t address comments to panelists or diarykeepers; don’t discuss ratings (even ratings success) on social networking sites.  Doing so may prompt respondents to disclose their participation; don’t post comments encouraging listeners to participate as panelists or diarykeepers; don’t offer anything of value to self-identified panelists or diarykeepers.

sagaSaga Communications Reports 2012 Q4 Net Operating Revenue Up 10.3%.  For the whole of 2012, Saga reports its net operating revenue was up 4% on earnings of $130.3 million compared to $125.3 million for all of 2011.  Free cash flow increased 9.5% to $25.1 million for the year of 2012.  Station operating expense decreased approximately 1.0% to $90.3 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations).  Net income for the period was $17.9 million ($3.16 per fully diluted share) compared to net income of $12.6 million ($2.23 per fully diluted share) for the same period last year.

townsquaremediaCool Job Opportunity.  Townsquare Media has an incredible opportunity for the position of Brand Manager and morning show host for a news/talk station.  You must have a proven track record in programming a news/talk station. In addition to a strong ratings background, candidates should be digitally savvy and demonstrate a deep, rich understanding of interactive branding, including social media, loyalty programs, content creation, e-commerce, streaming platforms, mobile and texting.  In addition, you should feel comfortable being on-air in the news/talk format and understand what it means to be the local voice in your community. You are able to keep a morning show entertaining and energetic while delivering relevant and interesting information to your audience.  Candidates need to possess outstanding verbal and written skills as well as being highly organized and driven. As Brand Manager, you must also be willing to do any job within the station. Teamwork is a must as you will be working in unison with the digital, sales, promotion and engineering staff. It is essential that you have a strong working knowledge of digital audio systems and online media platforms, and be prepared to develop production and schedule all on-air content.  In addition to the above, you will work to build the identity of the station within the community.  As you can tell, this isn’t your typical 9-5 job. But don’t worry, we work hard and we have fun doing it! If you’re a fun, dynamic, creative and proven winner, send all of your materials, including references, to Chuck Armstrong at chuck@townsquaremedia.com. Townsquare Media is an equal opportunity employer.

hubbardstanleyThe Broadcasters Foundation of America Announces Stanley S. Hubbard to Receive Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award.  The chairman of Hubbard Broadcasting, Inc. will be the recipient of this year’s “Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award.”  The Award will be presented to Stanley Hubbard during the BFoA Breakfast on April 10, at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, in conjunction with the National Association of Broadcasters Show.  The BFoA notes that “Hubbard Broadcasting has stayed on the industry’s cutting edge, pioneering innovations in radio, television and satellite broadcasting.  The company owns 13 television and 17 radio stations, F&F Productions REELZCHANNEL – TV About Movies, and is the controlling shareholder of Ovation TV.”  The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting 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 Broadcasters Foundation has provided millions of dollars in aid to colleagues who lost their livelihood through a catastrophic event, debilitating disease, or unforeseen tragedy that left them unable to work or support themselves.  Individual membership is only $150 a year.  Donations also can be made to the Guardian Fund, and corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative.

DC Sequester Battle, Ryan Budget Plan, ‘Killing Jews is Worship’ Ad Controversy, Obama Approval Rating Down, Papal Conclave, and ‘Fat Lesbians’ Study Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/12).  The effects of and debate in Washington over the sequester; Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal; the controversial San Francisco bus ad campaign featuring quotes from militant Muslims; the Washington Post’s latest poll showing President Obama’s approval ratings sinking; the conclave in the Vatican; and NIH-funded study on the cause of obesity in lesbians were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

| August 16, 2012

Sirius XM Stock Soaring While John Malone’s Liberty Media Inches Toward Control.  Yesterday’s $2.55 closing figure was satcaster Sirius XM’s (“SIRI”) best showing in more than four years.  That’s the good news for CEO Mel Karmazin and his crew.  The worrisome news, however, is the undeniable fact that John Malone’s Liberty Media – the company that rescued Sirius XM in 2009 by investing in 40% of the company at a bargain price – is closing in on acquiring the needed 50.1% ownership that would give it a controlling interest.  Subsequent to the 2009 bail out, Liberty has been buying Sirius XM stock on the open market recently purchasing about 90 million shares at around $2.50 each. According to TALKERS sister trade publication Radio-Info, those transactions plus a “forward sale” agreement would bring Liberty’s interest to about 48% creating a behind the scenes radio reality show nail-biter.

Rick Roberts Lands at America’s Radio News Network. Veteran radio talk show host Rick Roberts has been named news co-anchor at America’s Radio News Network.  Roberts, also a lawyer, has been heard in his 20 year career on such heritage outlets as KOA, Denver; KCMO, Kansas City; KRLD, Dallas; KOGO and most recently KFMB in San Diego. His is known for a distinctive style of getting the story “behind the story.”  Commenting on how pleased he is to be working with ARNN CEO Mark Masters, Roberts tells TALKERS, “He is a man of true vision.  Masters’ groundbreaking concept of journalism without agenda is needed in America now more than ever.” America’s Radio News Network, which offers 15 hours of syndicated long-form programming per week is now heard nationally on over 340 affiliates taking one or more of its five three-hour news segments.

Sandusky Scandal Impacts Pennsylvania Radio Station.  Political scandal and questionable talk host remarks are not the only form of controversy that impacts spoken word radio’s ability to sell advertising and maintain a balanced competitive image.  According to an Associated Press  report, after 20 years of faithfully broadcasting Penn State football games to its loyal fandom, talker WAEB, Allentown, Pennsylvania finds itself at a crossroads between airing the school’s upcoming season (which kicks off September 1 against Ohio University) and pleasing the overwhelmingly large percentage of listeners who have let the station know they want to hear the games — while dealing with timid sponsors who are less enthusiastic about being associated with the scandal.  Station management states they need about 10 sponsors to fund a full season of Penn State football.  Prior to the Jerry Sandusky scandal it was always an instant sellout.  So far they only have four.

Odds & Sods.  The Minnestota Twins will be moving their live broadcasts from Hubbard-owned 1500ESPN, Minneapolis at the end of the season and begin airing games on KTWN 96.3FM beginning with the 2013 season.  Their new radio home is owned by the Pohlad family – same folks who own the team.  This is the first time the Twins games will be aired exclusively on FM….None other than President Obama was interviewed on sports talker KXNO, Des Moines to talk sports but Politico reports he snuck in a bit of politics when asked how playing sports was similar to being president stating, “It also turns out that political reporters are a lot like sports reporters.  They’ve all got opinions, even if they didn’t play.”….Premiere Networks has launched a new satellite radio talk show featuring lifestyle expert and interior designer Moll Anderson heard Saturdays 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET on Sirius XM’s “Talk Radio” XM channel 168…Sports talker WFAN, New York’s annual talent search “Fantasy Phenom 111 Challenge”  has narrowed its field to five finalists who will vie for the Grand Prize of a chance to host a once a week air shift on the legendary station for one year.  The finals will take place on Friday, August 24 at Bar A in Lake Como, New Jersey.  All finalists are New York Metropolitan area locals and were chosen from thousands of fans and listeners who showed up at auditions held at area Simon malls in July as well as online entries.

Obama Leaks, Family Research Council Shooting, Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/15).  The ex-Navy SEALS video critical of President Obama for allegedly allowing dangerous leaks involving the shooting of Osama bin Laden and the shooting of a guard at the Washington, DC headquarters of the conservative Family Research Council, followed by the devastating effects of the drought brought on by the heat wave and violence in Syria were the most talked about topics on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing TALKERS research.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

| November 8, 2011

Critiquing Talk Hosts a Challenging Two-Way Street.  Many talk radio programming pros agree that critiquing – or air checking – talk show hosts is something that is almost a lost art in the current talk radio environment.  Both at the network and the station levels, programmers working with talent to improve their on-air product is challenging enough given the egos of the managers and talent and the myriad programming philosophies out there.  But add in the hectic schedule of today’s talk PD and “challenging” becomes a mild term for the state of the talent critique.  TALKERS special features correspondent Mike Kinosian speaks with programming pros including Salem Radio Networks VP of news and talk programming Tom Tradup, Sound Mind chief Kraig Kitchin and others about the state of critiquing talk talent.  Read the story here.

Roger Hedgecock Moves to KFMB, San Diego in New Year.  We have a clearer picture of what’s happening in San Diego now.  Yes, as reported earlier, longtime KOGO PM drive host Roger Hedgecock will move his Radio America-syndicated program to Midwest Television’s crosstown KFMB beginning January 2.  KFMB program director Dave Sniff says of the move, “KFMB has always been about mirroring our community, and Roger is synonymous with San Diego.  No host reflects the views and concerns of San Diegans better than Roger.”  Sniff does not mention current PM drive host Rick Roberts in the release.  Meanwhile, Hedgecock stays on the AM side at Clear Channel’s KOGO – which began simulcasting on FM this week – while LaDona Harvey handles the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm show on the FM side.  So far, it’s the only split of programming for KOGO’s AM and FM broadcasts.  Also, KOGO debuts talk host Bryan Suits in the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot and Bob “Sully” Sullivan in the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm time slot.

Willy Daunic Joined by Joe Dubin for PM Drive at Sports WPRT-FM, Nashville.  The Cromwell Group’s new FM sports talk station in Nashville adds market television sports personality Joe Dubin to “The Sports Revolution” program hosted by Willy Daunic.  Dubin will serve as co-host and executive producer.  Daunic worked at crosstown WGFX-FM with George Plaster’s “The Sports Zone” program before Plaster left the station suddenly just prior to the Cumulus-Citadel merger.  Daunic stayed with Cumulus briefly but the two sides could not agree on a contract.  Daunic says, “I am glad to have Joe aboard to launch “The Sports Revolution.”  His energy and enthusiasm are going to be an asset.  He also loves Nashville having grown up here, and has built a great following over the years.”  Dubin worked in Nashville TV for 15 years and has won two Murrow Awards and a local Emmy.

WBAL, Baltimore to Try Out Marc Unger in Evening Slot.  DCRTV.com’s Dave Hughes reports comic, actor and Baltimore sports talk personality Marc Unger is getting an on-air tryout at Hearst’s WBAL, Baltimore in the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight slot.  Beginning tonight (11/8), Unger will host a program dealing with politics, social issues and sports in the time slot where the station had been airing reruns of its midday Ron Smith program.

Sign of the Times?  As the media landscape changes and delivery of content moves inexorably from analog over-the-air to a digital combination of wired and wireless, perhaps this photo of America’s first licensed commercial radio towers coming down is truly worth 1,000 words.  WBZ, Boston director of news and programming Peter Casey photographed the felling of WBZ’s first towers atop the old Westinghouse plant in Springfield, Massachusetts – some 85 miles west of Boston – as a piece of radio history is dismantled.  What you see here is one of the two 100-foot towers that served as the original transmitters for WBZ when it began operation 90 years ago.  We posted photos of the two towers atop the buildings in September as CBS Radio’s WBZ celebrated its 90th anniversary on September 19.

New Cain Accusation, Iran Nukes, Penn State Scandal, Italy Economic Trouble and ‘OWS’ Movemement Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/7).  The latest accusation of sexual misconduct by GOP candidate Herman Cain, the reports of Iran’s advancing nuclear weapons program, the Penn State sexual assault scandal, Italy’s contribution to the Euro zone economic problems and the ‘OWS’ movement were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday.

Monday, November 7, 2011

| November 7, 2011

Seventh Annual Domestic Violence Radio Row Set for December 8.  For the seventh consecutive year, TALKERS magazine will present “It’s Time to Talk Day” — a massive radio row produced in association with its sister firm, Talk Radio News Service, and the corporate sponsorship of Liz Claiborne, Inc.  Held in the fashion showroom of the Midtown Manhattan corporate offices of Liz Claiborne, Inc., the ambitious event brings together some 20 talk radio and TV hosts from around the country who broadcast their shows live or record interviews for delayed broadcast interviewing a non-stop parade of experts, victims, celebrities and public officials from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm on the insidious societal problems of domestic violence and teenage sexual abuse.  Major broadcast participants at this event over the years include Dr. Joy Browne of WOR RadioAlan Colmes of Fox News Radio and Fox News ChannelDoug Stephan of “Good Day,” Mark Riley of WWRL in New York, Thom Hartmann of Dial GlobalLionel of LionelMedia.com and WPIX-TV Channel 11 in New York, Carole Marks of “A Touch of Grey” and many more.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “‘It’s Time to Talk Day’ is certainly one of our most important annual events.  It raises consciousness about a societal problem that impacts a frighteningly large segment of the population and it cuts across all gender, ethnic and demographic boundaries.  There isn’t a spoken-word format that doesn’t find the topic of domestic violence applicable to its audience and extremely compelling.  Most importantly, we get feedback each year that this radio row, upon reaching millions of talk radio listeners, really does make a huge difference in the lives of real people.  It doesn’t get better than that.  We are grateful to Liz Claiborne, Inc. for their public-mindedness in supporting such a valuable project.”  Broadcasters interested in participating in this year’s installment of “It’s Time to Talk Day” should e-mail Barbara – barbara@talkers.com – while space is still available.

Cumulus Cuts Hit Providence, Detroit and Colorado Springs Markets.  The staffing cuts at Cumulus-owned stations continue and while most of the following staff reductions have not been officially confirmed, here are some of the folks on the news and talk side who are reportedly out:  At KVON, Colorado Springs, news and on-air staffers David John McCoy and Jackie Craddock are out (although at the time of this posting their names still appear on the station website); in Detroit, WJR news anchors Donna Barbera and Dayna Clark plus reporter John McCulloch have been let go;  and in Providence WPRO/WEAN-FM evening producer and fill-in host Tony Cornetta is out as is digital reporter Bob Plain.  More cuts are expected to come in these markets so stay tuned.

KOGO, San Diego Adds FM Simulcast.  Clear Channel’s KOGO, San Diego is heard on the FM band beginning today (11/7).  The company drops country on KUSS-FM at 95.7 and KOGO is now branded “FM News and Talk 95.7 and AM 600 KOGO.”  Clear Channel San Diego president and market manager Debbie Wagner says, “AM 600 KOGO has an incredibly strong brand in San Diego with its award-winning news and talk format.  The simulcast of KOGO on 95.7 FM allows us to provide complete expanded signal coverage of KOGO’s market leading news and talk programming to better serve our local community as well as our advertisers.”  The station is also announcing the addition of KFI, Los Angeles weekend talk host Bryan Suits and Bob “Sully” Sullivan as co-hosts of a new local daily program.  Longtime KOGO talk host Roger Hedgecock – whose program is syndicated by Radio America – is not mentioned in the press statement from Clear Channel, which leads to the next item…

Roger Hedgcock Announces Move to KFMB, San Diego. Roger Hedgecock has been a part of Clear Channel’s KOGO San Diego since its flip to news/talk in 1994.  For the past several years he’s been syndicated nationally by Radio America but still operating from his base at KOGO.  Now, Hedgecock tells TALKERS that, as rumored, his nationally syndicated program will move its San Diego base to the PM drive slot at crosstown KFMB beginning in the new year.  Rick Roberts currently hosts the PM drive show at KFMB and there’s no announcement from the Midwest Television-owned station on his status.  Hedgecock is excited about the move and states, “KFMB offers me the TV connection and, with their new 8.2 cable station, the simulcast that will be available (probably March) for all digital devices.”

Clear Channel’s Sports KJR, Seattle Expands to FM.  Clear Channel drops country on KNBQ-FM, Seattle and begins a simulcast of sports KJR.  CC expects the move to improve the station’s geographic reach in the metro – not to mention the younger demos listening to FM.  KJR PD Rich Moore says, “This is an extremely exciting day for our brand, clients and listeners.  It has always been our goal to deliver the most compelling and entertaining sports talk to the Puget Sound region.  We will increase our coverage and will now broadcast KJR in crystal-clear FM, providing more fans our unique local content with a Louder Sports Voice.”

Longtime KDKA, Pittsburgh Talk Host Perry Marshall Passes Away.  KDKA, Pittsburgh program director Marshall Adams tells TALKERS legendary KDKA talk personality Perry Marshall passed away at age 86 after suffering a heart attack while on a cruise several weeks ago from which he never recovered.  “Perry was an institution in local radio, hosting the ‘Marshall’s Office’ overnight talk show for 25 years on KDKA, in addition to work on stations WWSW, WTAE, WJAS, WEEP, KQV and WIND Chicago…I think we all agree a big piece of Pittsburgh radio history died today with him.”