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Glenn Beck’s Plans for TheBlaze Require More Funding; Media Pioneer Seeks $40 Million. Techcruch tips us that in an SEC filing, Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze is seeking $40 million in funding to take the company to the next level. According to the filing, TheBlaze has already raised $1.5 million as it is offering equity in the company through New York-based broker Hypatia Capital Advisors, LLC. Beck’s online venture began in 2010 and subscriptions to TheBlaze have reportedly been bringing in a steady flow of cash but the organization has made no secret of its desire to get broader distribution for the video content via cable TV. Currently, TheBlaze is carried by Dish Network. On the subject of Glenn Beck’s entrepreneurism, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison recently stated the following strong words about the high-profile talk show host in a media interview, “Most people, particularly talk media consumers, view Glenn Beck through the lens of politics and judge him solely on their reaction to his often-times provocative views and ideology. Those of us behind the scenes, however, see a much larger and more complex individual whose importance to broadcasting extends way beyond the boundaries of his public persona and programs. The work that Glenn Beck has tirelessly accomplished in building an audience, developing a brand, utilizing the many emerging 21st century vehicles of communication, and then inventing and perfecting amazingly bold and innovative delivery systems for distribution and business models for monetization will stand as a historic starting point for a new chapter in ‘popular’ media. Future generations of broadcasters will look back at Beck the way today’s automakers look at Henry Ford.” And there’s more Beck news below…
Glenn Beck and SiriusXM Strike Deal for Beck Channel. SiriusXM and Glenn Beck announce in a joint press release that the satcaster will debut a new channel dedicated to Beck’s TheBlaze content called, “TheBlaze Radio Network” that will appear only on the SiriusXM Internet Radio service. This comes as part of the deal that has Beck’s “TheBlaze Radio News” providing hourly news updates on SiriusXM’s conservative talk Patriot channel. “TheBlaze Radio Network” will feature not only Beck’s radio program but the other shows featured on TheBlaze including Doc Thompson, Jay Severin, and Pat Grey & Stu Burguiere. Beck states, “TheBlaze is successfully becoming a true multi-platform news, information and opinion network. We are excited to further our long relationship with SiriusXM with the launch of ‘TheBlaze Radio Network,’ and feel that SiriusXM Patriot is the perfect home for our news updates which will prove that the truth has no agenda.” SiriusXM SVP of talk and entertainment programming Jeremy Coleman says, “As ‘TheBlaze’ brand and SiriusXM continue to grow, SiriusXM is pleased to expand our relationship with Glenn Beck with the creation of ‘TheBlaze Radio News’ and the addition of ‘TheBlaze Radio Network’ to our lineup.”
SOCIAL MEDIA POSTING: When and How Often? Radio digital consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller answers two of the most asked questions he receives from radio broadcasters regarding their social media initiatives: “When are the best times to post?” and “How often should we post?” In a concise article posted today (3/25) he writes, “Now, neither of them is as important as making sure you have the right content for your fans. That’s the big thing. But let’s assume you’re good to go, content-wise. When you post and how often you post will be different depending on the platform you’re talking about. Keep in mind that getting seen only by your fans is not enough. When they start re-tweeting, sharing, commenting, favorite-ing and liking what you show them, that’s when more and more people will see what you posted.” To read Chris Miller’s entire article, click here.
Talkers New York 2013 to Exhibit the Latest in Practical Radio Broadcast Tech Equipment. Gone are the days when the only person in a radio station concerned with microphones, mixing boards, frequency extenders and the various pieces of gear that go into actually making and delivering programs was the chief engineer. Today, with single station chief engineers becoming an endangered species and the advent of remote broadcasting and proliferation of entrepreneurial internet startups, radio programmers and managers are finding themselves increasingly responsible for selecting and purchasing the equipment it takes to run a radio operation. This is true for major market heritage stations as well as desktop-studio podcasters. Two of the most important and respected companies in this arena will be at Talkers New York 2013 displaying and explaining a variety of practical (meaning basic and reasonably priced) equipment that “everyone in radio today needs to know about” – Comrex Corporation and Broadcasters General Store. According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “We are constantly being asked by radio broadcasters from GMs to PDs to talent to people wanting to launch home media stations how to go about developing or upgrading production and delivery setups for today’s extremely flexible and highly opportune environment. I can think of no two companies in the business today that provide the answers to these questions better and more completely than Comrex and BGS. Their presence, patient and friendly level of service adds a vital dimension to the conference.” In addition, one of the radio industry’s most respected technical experts, Tom Ray, president of Tom Ray Broadcast Consulting and TALKERS technical editor, will be speaking at the conference and available to give attendees practical advice throughout the day. Talkers New York 2013 takes place Thursday, June 6 and is on track to being an early sellout. Because of space limitations, registration is only open to working members of the media and can only be taken via telephone at 413-565-5413. Stay tuned to Talkers.com for more agenda details about speakers, panels, presentations and award recipients coming in the immediate days ahead.
Twitter as a Broadcaster’s Tool: Use it Wisely. Radio consultant Holland Cooke writes that “Twitter invites more voices into your on-air and digital conversation; even more so than Facebook.” In this primer and reminder for practicing broadcasters using social media, Cooke delivers some information that will help you optimize this technology. Read his piece here.
WDBZ, Cincinnati Talk Host Lincoln Ware Celebrates 40 Years in Radio. Cincinnati talk host Lincoln Ware – who was recognized as one of the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America by TALKERS (#36 this year!) – is celebrating his 40th anniversary in radio this year. In a nice write-up in the Cincinnati Herald, the story notes that Ware began his radio career on WCIN in 1973 after returning from a tour of duty with the U.S. Marines. After five years of spinning records, Ware transitioned his program to talk. Over the years, he worked at local stations WPBF, WLW, and WHKK. He came to WDBZ in 2000 and has been there ever since. Check out the full story here.
KGMZ, San Francisco Adds Josh Reddick to A’s Coverage. The Entercom sports talk station announces 2012 Gold Glove winner and A’s outfielder Josh Reddick will become part of the station’s Oakland A’s coverage, appearing weekly on “The Wheelhouse” with John Lund and Greg Papa Tuesdays at 12:30 pm PT. Reddick joins A’s GM Billy Beane and manager Bob Melvin as A’s personnel adding to 95.7 The Game’s coverage of the team. Program director Jason Barrett states, “We wanted to strengthen our A’s coverage for 2013 and few players are more productive at the plate and entertaining on and off the field than Josh Reddick. Whether he’s talking about his beard, an important series against an AL West opponent, or his passion for pie and the WWE, Josh will captivate the audience.”
Odds & Sods. WGAU, Athens, Georgia-based Martha Zoller is sitting in for WSB-AM/FM, Atlanta’s Erick Erickson on the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm show this afternoon. Both stations are owned by Cox Media Group…..Nicole Sandler is filling in for Premiere Networks’ Randi Rhodes on her nationally syndicated talk program all this week…..SiriusXM talk hosts Ron & Fez had Ronnie Spector on their program on Friday to promote the service’s new “Girl’s Room” channel featuring all girl groups, Spector’s new one-woman show “Beyond the Beehive” and her takes on the Phil Spector movie starring Al Pacino – which she said she will not watch…..Gay marriage will be a huge news/talk radio topic this week as the Supreme Court hears arguments in two cases: challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8. Salem Radio Network tells TALKERS magazine its U.S. House correspondent Wally Hindes will be among a select few broadcast journalists credentialed to be inside the U.S. Supreme Court tomorrow.
KRLA, Los Angeles Hosts Get Range Practice. In the photo here are KRLA, Los Angeles “AM 870 The Answer” personalities (from l-r) Ben Shapiro, Phillip Naman and Brian Whitman. Naman hosts the Saturday “The Firing Line” program on the stations and Shapiro and Whitman are co-hosts on “The Morning Answer” with Heidi Harris. CRN Digital Talk’s Jennifer Horn (who also co-hosts with Doug Stephan on his “Good Day” program) was sitting in for Harris today and snapped this photo of the boys showing off their targets from a weekend outing with Naman. It was Whitman’s first time at the range – not bad for a beginner!
By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief
LOS ANGELES — Anyone connecting the dots to the impressive vitae and past history of one of America’s brightest comics/rock solid actor will not be the least bit astonished that agent “Bob Sugar” in the mid-1990s smash “Jerry Maguire” is on his way to establishing a potent presence in sports talk radio.
Second-year (2009-2010) plotline for CBS-TV’s “Gary Unmarried” called for its lead character to lessen his role as a housepainter as he transitioned to what he had always wanted to do – host a call-in sports radio program. “It is this crazy scenario that I actually wound up doing in real life what I was doing in a make belief sitcom,” remarks Jay Mohr, whose “Jay Mohr Sports” debuted January 2 on Fox Sports Radio.