Tag: "Ron St. Pierre"

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

| August 28, 2013

whptlogoCox Media Trims Two Positions at Hot Talk “102.5 The Bone” in Tampa.  The Tampa Bay TimesEric Deggans reports the firing of two air personalities at Cox Media Group’s hot talk WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone” – evening host Matt “Spice” Lloyd and early morning personality Chris Fisher.  Fisher tellsspice Deggans he wasn’t surprised by his dismissal saying he didn’t believe Cox was going to continue to pay him a full-time salary to host the 3:00 am to 5:00 am “The Fisher Experiment” program.  “I knew overnights were just a placeholder until they could figure out what to do with me.  It wasn’t about performance…I just realized this is part of the business.”  As for Lloyd – a former member of WHPT-based Bubba the Love Sponge’s morning show – he Tweeted that his ratings were good (#1 in his demo and time slot) but that his contentious relationship with Bubba may have led to his departure.  “Revenge is the best revenge…right Bubba? Just checking…”  How much influence Bubba has over the station’s lineup is unknown.  Regardless, there’s a hole in the station’s lineup from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm on the WHPT website for now.

cumulusRumors of the Biggest Radio Deal of the Year Wake Industry from End-of-Summer Doldrums.  Numerous industry sources and trade journals are speculating that Cumulus Media is very close to announcing a deal to acquire Dial Global.  The enticing story is further enhanced by rumors that the Dial Global programming could soon be heard under one of its previously-owned and utilized banners, Westwood One – the name to which Dial Global still has the rights after the high profile “merger” of the companies back in 2011 in which parentDG-logoHorizontal company Triton Media Group absorbed Westwood One into its Dial Global property – and that Cumulus Media plans to offset some of the cost of the acquisition by selling some of its small- and medium-market stations to Townsquare Media which has been in an acquisition mode.  If consummated, Cumulus would have the sports play-by-play that’s been the bread and butter of the former Westwood One and would also obtain the Dial westwoodoneGlobal 24/7 music formats, some of which would be duplicative of its own music formats that came with the acquisition of the old ABC Radio Networks.  This is not to mention, of course, the sales and programming staff that come with each.  The big question on everyone’s mind is what does this all mean in terms of a master business strategy and how implementation of that strategy will influence jobs and the various players’ control over the marketplace?  First of all, everything already published in the industry about this has been based on rumor and speculation with little clarified information being directly provided by the principals involved.  That being acknowledged, should such a deal or set of deals come to fruition, it is highly likely that the answers to these questions will come as an afterthought…or certainly after the deals are consummated.  As for now, the main impetus at work is the intense need on the part of both Cumulus and Dial Global to avoid or at least forestall the debt crisis facing each of them in a mutually advantageous way and, hopefully, make some sense out of the pieces after the new configuration resulting from such a deal fall into place.  As far as Townsquare is concerned, if all of this is true, they are being intelligently opportunistic in their move to build a larger and more potent ownership of viable radio broadcasting outlets and are probably staying up late at night sharpening their pencils.  Stay tuned!

cookehollandHOLLAND COOKE: The Best of the West.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke’s end-of-summer vacation to California provided him the chance to pocket some consultant “gold nuggets” in the form of in-market observations of some the best radio in the West.  There’s a lot of good radio being done in the Golden State but Cooke offers up three examples that really stuck with him and that apply to practitioners of both talk and music formats.  Take a few minutes to dig into HC’s thoughts about KGO’s Ronn Owens; CBS Radio’s “K-Earth” and baseball on the radio here.

gloverhelenHelen Glover Out at WHJJ, Providence; Ron St. Pierre to Take Over AM Drive.  The Providence Journal’s Andy Smith reports that Clear Channel news/talker WHJJ, Providence has let morning host Helen Glover go and will replacestpierreron her with Ron St. Pierre.  Though the hiring of St. Pierre for the morning show has not been confirmed, Glover – a 2002 “Survivor” finalist – confirms to Smith she’s out, “I always knew this would happen one day, I just didn’t know it would be today.”  Glover had been with WHJJ for almost eight years.  Ron St. Pierre exited WPRO earlier this year.  He had served as program director at WPRO for many years, hosted morning drive and was executive producer of the Buddy Cianci program at the time he left the Cumulus Media news/talk station.

piattstanStan Piatt Announces Retirement from WNIR, Akron After 36 Years.  Morning drive personality Stan Piatt will retire from Media Com’s WNIR, Akron at the end of July next year – or earlier depending on the success of the station’s search for a replacement.  The Akron Beacon Journal reports that Piatt has a girlfriend working in Pittsburgh to whom he’d like to be closer and that he’s finally decided to leave for the Steel City.  As for WNIR, program director Bill Klaus is beginning the hiring process for the next morning show host at one of the country’s first FM talk stations.  He says, “We are seeking a morning drive personality or team with the skills to be fun, funny and engaging in a live ad-lib environment.  Applicants should email a resume and aircheck to wnirradio@gmail.com.  Media-Com is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

ktrsMissouri Governor Jay Nixon Fires at Texas Governor Rick Perry Via Ad on KTRS, St. Louis.  Regarding the story TALKERS reported on Monday (8/26) about CH Holdings-owned news/talk outlet KTRS, St. Louis pulling the ads purchased by the state of Texas after it was discovered they were not promoting tourism but were touting reasons Missouri businesses should consider moving to Texas, there’s been a development.  Missouri Governor Jay Nixonmilhavenmcgraw voiced his own spot that’s been airing on KTRS that counters many of the arguments Governor Rick Perry tries to make in support of Texas’ business-friendly atmosphere.  According to a transcript published by KDSK-TV, St. Louis, Nixon states: “One: Missouri has lower property taxes than Texas.  And lower sales taxes.  Two: Our students score higher on standardized tests.  Graduation rates are higher. Three: Missouri’s unemployment rate; below the national average for 4 years.  And unlike Texas, Missouri has a perfect Triple-A credit rating…And as for the Governor of Texas, he’ll learn you don’t mess with folks here in the Show Me State.”  Nixon says the money KTRS received for his spot makes up for what it lost by cancelling the Texas ad.  KTRS morning drive host McGraw Milhaven tells TALKERS he will have Rick Perry on his program Thursday morning to discuss the issue.

russochrisSiriusXM and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo Extend Contract.  Sports talk host Chris “Mad Dog” Russo extends his deal with SiriusXM for another three years.  The extension means the Mad Dog Radio channel will continue through the end of 2016.  In addition to the extension, Russo – who gained his fame as a sports talk host working alongside Mike Francesa on CBS Radio’s WFAN, New York – will also host a program on the MLB Network that will be simulcast on the MLB Network Radio channel on SiriusXM.  In addition to programming the Mad Dog Radio channel, Russo hosts “Mad Dog Unleashed,” – a three-hour afternoon program.  Russo states, “I’ve always loved the on-air freedom that comes with being on SiriusXM.  I can do the kind of show here that I wouldn’t be able to do anywhere else and I’m fortunate to be able to continue to give my listeners my kind of sports talk radio each and every day on ‘Mad Dog Unleashed.’  I’ll also get to emphasize my passion for baseball with my new role on MLB Network Radio and MLB Network, where I’ll be talking to dyed-in-the-wool baseball fans like me throughout the year.  This is a terrific opportunity that allows me to do what I do best, while also reaching new audiences.”

aguilerachristineWestStar MultiMedia Entertainment Turns to Aguilera. In this case, we are referring to the parent company of “The Kim Komando Show” appointing Christine Aguilera chief operating officer of WME and president of WestStar Merchandising.  As part of Aguilera’s duties in this brand new role, she will oversee network advertising and digital sales, marketing, business development, human resources, public policy, and communications.”  Christine’s unparalleled marketing, advertising, direct response, and consumer experience make her a natural fit for our company’s future,” comments Kim Komando, who in addition to her high-profile, on-air capacity, is WestStar’s chairman/chief financial officer.  Aguilera previously was president of SkyMall, where she spent 16 years.  On the board of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Christine – not Christina Aguilera – mentioned in a Huffington Post interview that she frequently has to “explain” her name so she is not confused with the famous pop star, whose string of hits includes “I Turn to You,” “Beautiful,” “Genie in a Bottle,” What a Girl Wants, and “Feel This Moment.” Christine jokes, “That happens a lot.”

TalkersLA2013Erica Farber to Moderate “The State of Radio Advertising and Sales” at Talkers Los Angeles 2013.  In what promises to be a “don’t-miss” sequel to one of the highlights of the recent Talkers New York 2013 June convention, RAB president/CEO Erica Farber will follow-up her excellent performance as moderator of the panel discussion, “The State of Radio Advertising and Sales” at the forthcoming Talkers Los Angeles 2013 on Thursday, October 10 in  Hollywood, California.  Only this time around, it will be with a new set of panelists and the focus will be on the local level of radio station and program operations.  Scheduled to joining Farber on the panel are Terry Fahy, VP/GM, Salem Los Angeles; Ron Hartenbaum, CEO/president, WYD/WYM Media;farberericanew Christopher Pendl, creative director, Bonneville Seattle; Paul Vandenburgh, president/GM/host, WGDJ, Albany, NY; and one more to be announced.  The panel will take a sweeping overview of the issues facing radio sales today including concerns about commercial quality and clutter, selling in a PPM world, maximizing ratings-credit, the image of talk radio on the agency level and marketing across multi-media platforms, among others.  The gathering is already closing in on being an advance sellout so it is advisable for media professionals interested in attending to register now.  A sellout is expected by the end of this week.  It is again being presented in association with the Los Angeles Press Club and held at the historic Steve Allen Theater on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm. Registrations – $149 per person – can only be taken over the phone.  So don’t wait – avoid being shut out.  For sponsorship information or to register, call 413-565-5413.

schultevalerieNAB’s Valerie Schulte to Retire.  National Association of Broadcasters announces the retirement of NAB general counsel Valerie Schulte, effective Friday.  Schulte has served with the NAB since 1980 and, according to EVP of communications Dennis Wharton, “has worked on many of the most important issues before the FCC for free and local broadcasters – including children’s television regulations, the digital TV transition, digital radio issues, and legal issues related to satellite radio.  The NAB family wishes Valerie nothing but the best in her retirement.”

Curtis Media Buys Greensboro Translator CP.  Through Eastern Airwaves LLC, Curtis Media purchases the construction permit for FM translator W228CM in Greensboro, North Carolina.  Curtis is buying the property for $125,000 from Wake Forest UniversityBob Heyman of Media Services Group was the exclusive broker representing Curtis.

U.S. Weighs Syria Attack, March on Washington Anniversary, Fort Hood Verdict, Miley Cyrus MTV VMAs Performance, and Spokane Vet Beating Death Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/27).  President Obama’s looming decision whether attack Syria; the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s March on Washington; the verdict in the Fort Hood slayings; ongoing commentary about Miley Cyrus’ performance at the MTV VMAs on Sunday; and the aftermath of the beating death of a Spokane WWII veteran were some of the most talked about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, February 18, 2013

| February 18, 2013

blazergraceGrace Blazer Lands at Clear Channel Miami.  Former WTKK, Boston program director Grace Blazer is the new PD at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s news/talk WIOD and sports WINZ, Miami.  She exited the Greater Media talk station when it flipped to rhythmic AC at the end of 2012.  Prior to WTKK, Blazer programmed WPHT, Philadelphia.  In a statement, Blazer says, “The depth of Clear Channel’s resources is phenomenal.  Working for our industry’s leading media company and programming WIOD and WINZ is a superb opportunity.  I’m excited to partner with Alex Tear, Lonny Anger and the talented staffs of ‘News Radio 610/100.3FM’ and 940’s ‘Sports Animal’ to grow these stations.”  The programming position at WIOD and WINZ opened up when Ken Charles moved up to the VP of programming position at Clear Channel’s Sacramento cluster.

cainhermanHermain Cain Joins Fox News Channel as Contributor.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Herman Cain becomes part of the Fox News Channel stable of contributors.  Cain, who took over the late morning slot long held by talk radio pioneer Neal Boortz at Cox Media’s WSB, Atlanta and his national syndication distributed by Dial Global, will make regular appearances on FNC where EVP of programming Bill Shine says in a statement, “Cain’s impressive resume makes him a valuable addition to the Fox News and Fox Business lineup.  As a political expert with business savvy, he brings an important voice to the nation’s debates.”  In addition to his recent run for president, Cain also was CEO of the Godfather’s Pizza chain and held the CEO position at the National Restaurant Association.

wfan logoNY Post Reports CBS Radio New York Weighing WFAN-AM/FM Options.  The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick writes that the brass at CBS Radio in New York City is weighing its programming options for the sports talk tandem of WFAN-AM and FM as the company must be eager to get the fledgling CBS Sports Radio Network programming on in the largest market in the country.  Currently, the full schedule of WFAN programming is heard on both signals but the need to get the new national network some Big Apple exposure is pressing.  A statement from the company to the Post goes, “We have a number of great options and are closely examining each one.”  At issue is the fact that WFAN-AM’s 660 signal is huge and the 101.9 FM signal is decent but nowhere near as far-reaching as 660 AM.  Will the local sports talk remain on 660 AM and the national network appear on 101.9 FM?  Will it be the other way around or a mixture of the two?  As Mushnick hints, you can bet some of the WFAN stalwarts – including PM driver Mike Francesa and AM drive duo Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton – would like to stay on the huge 660 AM signal.  CBS Radio is expected to make a decision within the next few months.

DG-logoHorizontalDial Global to Cease SEC Reporting.  The company cites, among other things, “the relatively limited historical volume of trading in the Company’s common stock and the applicable federal securities laws” as one of the reasons it will suspend its reporting obligations under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  Dial Global’s board of directors determined that such action would be in the best interests of the company.  It says, “In reaching this conclusion, the Company’s Board of Directors considered numerous factors including the compliance costs associated with filing periodic reports with the SEC and the diversion of management attention from other matters that result from being a reporting company.”  Dial Global left the NASDAQ and its stock is traded on OTC Pink.  It states, “There can be no assurance, however, that a trading market in the Company’s common stock through the over-the-counter market or any other market will be maintained.”

landaudavidDavid Landau Gets Nice Severance from Dial Global.  Technically it’s not a severance but regardless, former co-CEO of Dial Global David Landau will receive $600, 000 per annum for the next two years plus other unspecified benefits after the company decided to re-align its corporate management structure and make Spencer Brown sole CEO and former co-CEO Ken Williams president.

stpierreronWPRO, Providence Lets Ron St. Pierre Go.  In a move that appears to be about saving money, Ron St. Pierre exits his role as PM drive host Buddy Cianci’s sidekick/executive producer.  GoLocalProv.com reports that this is the latest in a series of moves at the Cumulus Media station that began with the ouster of Andrew Gobiel from the WPRO morning show and the re-assignment of Tara Granahan from the AM show to other news duties.  The station brought WJAR-TV anchor Gene Valicenti in to host the morning program.  St. Pierre has served at WPRO as program director – the first time in 1988 – as general manager, and as host of the station’s morning show.  Ron can be reached at ron.stpierre@cox.net.

millerchrisGood Writing Is at the Core of Digital Success.  Writing for the internet is a very different art form than writing for the radio.  Noted radio digital consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller says, “Good writing is at the heart of what we do online, and how we communicate with our fans.  Don’t just do it for the art of it; do it because it can help stretch your few thousand Facebook fans into tens of millions of annual impressions.  Do it because it will help get your tweets re-tweeted.  We’re talking about building your numbers here!”  Miller advises TALKERS readers to avoid three common mistakes in writing for the web: 1) over-selling; 2) being boring; and 3) social desperation.  Read his entire piece here.

raytomWINTER ADVICE:  Be Sure to Install Deicers on your Antenna.  It is not too late to do it or to be concerned.  The failure to properly install deicers on your antenna to save a few bucks in the short term can not only interfere with the quality of your signal, it can put you off the air entirely, not to mention cause severe costly damage to your components and even create a major fire hazard.  TALKERS technical editor and noted engineering consultant Tom Ray says, “While money is tight all over, the last thing you need is your transmitter and/or building to be a smoking hulk.  Consult with someone qualified to guide you.  Think of it like buying an insurance policy.  You may not want to spend the cash, but it could save you a bundle in the long run.  Read Tom Ray’s entire article here.

trumpdonaldTrump-Maher Suit “Stretches Credulity.”  TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes that the $5 million suit Donald Trump is filing against Bill Maher has no chance of success, little chance of getting a day in court and could incur sanctions against Trump and his attorney for filing a frivolous lawsuit.  In case you missed it, Maher went on “The Tonight Show” in January and – based on the color of Trump’s hair – joked that he would donate $5 million to a charity of Trump’s choice if he would produce his birth certificate to show he is not the son of an orangutan.  Read more of Weisman’s account about why this spat is still going on and upon what legal ground the complaint stands (or doesn’t as the case may be).  It’s here.

johnsondanistudioXtreMEDIA Syndicated Host Dani Johnson Profiled in Forbes.  The host of the weekly XtreMEDIA-syndicated Dani Johnson program was profiled on Forbes.com on Thursday and, according to XtreMEDIA CEO Kevin McCullough, the story went viral “with 15,700 shares on Facebook in a little more than a day.  Heading into the weekend it was still the ‘Most Popular’ and ‘Most Read’ piece on Forbes.com.”  McCullough tells TALKERS, “Her story as a broke homeless woman to becoming a multiple millionaire to even now helping others get out of debt, restore relationships, and expand their influence is a story that rocketed her from one affiliate station in January of 2012 to 95 stations and counting in January of 2013.  Dani is the most important voice in all of American media – not just talk radio – that most of the nation still hasn’t heard from.  Hundreds of thousands of lives changed for the better, only proves the point that she has something that real audiences are looking for… connection!”  Read the Forbes story here.