Tag: "Rush Limbaugh"

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

| February 21, 2017

Mary Walter Joins WMAL-AM/FM, Washington’s ‘Mornings On The Mall.’  Radio pro Mary Walter is named the co-host of the “Mornings On The Mall” program on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-AM/FM, Washington.  Walter is working with co-host Brian Wilson.  She takes over for Larry O’Connor, who recently moved to the afternoon drive daypart.  Walter was most recently with iHeartMedia’s WHAS, Louisville, hosting the evening program.  She’s been a frequent guest host on WMAL in addition to guest host stints on FOX News Radio and SiriusXM’s The Patriot channel.  WMAL program director Bill Hess comments, “Mary’s experience, energy, and familiarity to our audience made her the perfect addition to our team.”

WTMJ, Milwaukee Announces New Midday Show.  The new midday show at E.W. Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee is being unveiled.  The station moved Jeff Wagner to the late morning slot that opened up with the retirement of Charlie Sykes at the end of last year.  Now, taking over the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot is the “Scaffidi & Bilstad” show with Steve Scaffidi (center) and executive producer Erik Bilstad (left).  Scaffidi was most recently mayor of suburban Oak Creek and an account executive at the Leonard & Finco Public Relations firm.  He’s resigned from both posts to join WTMJ.  Station VP/GM Tom Langmyer states, “We’re pleased to welcome Steve to our team. He brings a great depth of knowledge and local connection to add to his take on the news of the day.  Steve is a Wisconsin native, has a deep background and so much life experience, beyond broadcasting.”  News anchor and reporter Colleen Boland (right) will man the newsroom during the program.  The show debuts on February 28.

ABC News Radio Makes Staffing Changes; Gearing Towards Covering Breaking News.  An ABC News Radio spokesperson tells TALKERS magazine that the news organization is making staffing changes that signal a shift from putting its primary resources into newscasts and focusing more intently on the coverage of breaking news, “reflecting immediacy and producing additional program content” for their approximately 1,575 affiliates.  ABC News Radio says it has parted ways with a handful of employees but is in the process of hiring for a number of positions that will exceed those eliminated.  Those include: Affiliate Solutions Manager, Associate Producer, Country Reporter/Producer, Urban Reporter/Producer, and WGA Newswriter/Producer.  An ABC News Radio spokesperson tells TALKERS, “These changes allow ABC News Radio to provide more two-ways, breaking news and anchored coverage which have become more important to stations.  It is never easy when fellow employees leave and we wish the very best to these colleagues.  The media landscape is always evolving and it’s critical we’re meeting stations’ needs every step of the way.”

Erik Kuselias to Host Daily Talk Show on Genesis Communications Florida Talk Stations.  Known primarily for his work in the sports media business, Erik Kuselias is expanding his reach in Florida by hosting a daily, two-hour talk show on Genesis Communications-owned news/talk outlets WWBA, Tampa and WIXC, Titusville (on the Space Coast).  Kuselias – a former ESPN and NBC Sports personality – currently hosts a morning drive sports talk show on the company’s sports talk duo WHBO, Tampa and WHOO, Orlando.  He’s continuing in that role in addition to the new program that airs from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  WWBA program manager Tom Paleveda states, “This is a natural progression for EK.  We launched EK on the sports stations in both Tampa and Orlando last year.  He is incredibly talented and will produce one of talk radio’s best programs.  He will also continue to provide his brand of content on the company digital platforms, ‘News Talk Florida’ and ‘Sports Talk Florida.’”

Bubba the Love Sponge Files New Counterclaim Against Nielsen.  The first time Bubba the Love Sponge filed a counterclaim against Nielsen, the court denied the motion ruling that it was difficult to discern the relevant facts due to the heavily redacted documents supplied by plaintiff Nielsen.  That counterclaim included third parties Cox Media Group and CMG employee (and WHPT, Tampa personality) Mike Calta.  But the denial was without prejudice, allowing Bubba’s lawyers to try again.  And he has, this time leaving Cox and Calta out of the counterclaim.  The counterclaim still alleges Nielsen entered into a conspiracy with Cox Media Group to get Bubba off the air in Tampa and interfere with his ability to do business with Beasley Media Group (owner of Tampa affiliate WBRN).  The specific counterclaims are: Tortious Interference with Contractual and Business Relationships, Violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, and Civil Conspiracy.

KFYO, Lubbock, Texas Names Dave King & Matt Martin Morning Hosts.  Friday (2/17) was the last day for the “First News with Tom Collins and Laura Mac” on Townsquare Media’s news/talk KFYO, Lubbock, Texas.  Assuming the morning show role are Dave King (right) and Matt Martin (left).  The station says, “Both Dave and Matt are easy going, view the world from a conservative viewpoint, and want to interact with KFYO listeners.  King is owner of Dave King Advertising in Lubbock.  Matt Martin is a realtor with The Wyatt Team at Keller Williams.

Neuhoff Ups Byerly to DOS and Associate GM for Decatur Station Group.  Moving up from her general sales manager position at Neuhoff Communications’ Decatur, Illinois cluster is Kathy Byerly.  She’s now director of sales and associate general manager for the group that includes news/talk WSOY, sports talk WDZ, hip hop WCZQ “HOT 105.5,” CHR WSOY-FM “Y103,” and country WDZQ “95Q.”  Neuhoff COO Mike Hulvey states, “Kathy is a wonderful success story.  She has grown a career from the front desk to market leadership.  You can’t get much better than that.  The group of Decatur stations and digital products are not only the market leaders, they also have been recognized among the best in the industry.  Kathy will help support those traditions while driving more business to our advertising partners.”

Hanging Out at the Club.  Nationally syndicated Westwood One talk host Michael Savage and his son, Rockstar energy drink founder Russ Weiner, crossed paths with President Donald Trump at the chief executive’s famous Palm Beach, Florida private club, Mar-a-Lago, this weekend.  They were attending a dinner hosted by Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy when the president stopped by to say hello.  Pictured (l-r): Ruddy, Trump, Savage, and Weiner.

Limbaugh-Touted Book Debuts at #6 on NYT Bestseller List. The latest book by conservative writer David HorowitzBig Agenda: President Trump’s Plan to Save America – debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list at #6 in the hardcover nonfiction books and e-book/hardcover nonfiction categories.  Newsmax reports that the book was released the week of President Trump’s inauguration and is being praised by Rush Limbaugh, among other conservative media figures, for its predictions about Trump’s agenda.  Horowitz is founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

New Trump Travel Order, McMaster Named National Security Advisor, Trump’s Sweden Comment, McCain vs Trump, UK’s Anti-Trump Debate, Uber Sexual Harassment Scandal, Yiannopoulos Controversies, and NBA-NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/20).  The Trump Administration issues new travel order exempting green card holders; President Donald Trump names Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster national security advisor; the controversy over Trump’s allusion to crime in Sweden and filmmaker Ami Horowitz’s allegations that violent crime there has spiked due to immigrants; Republican Senator John McCain’s role as a major critic of Trump’s policies; the British House of Commons debates denying President Trump’s state visit; the allegations of sexual harassment at Uber’s corporate headquarters and the company’s hiring former AG Eric Holder to investigate; the controversies surrounding media figure Milo Yiannopoulos, including his being uninvited to CPAC and Simon and Schuster refusing to release his book; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes.  Phoenix market broadcast legend Pat McMahon is being roasted on March 15 at local comedy club Stand Up Live in an event being organized by Bonneville news/talk outlet KTAR-FM.  The “Tip of the Hat to Pat” roast is being hosted by KNIX personality Tim Hattrick and will feature rock legend Alice Cooper, as well as local celebrities Jude LaCava from Fox 10, John Holmberg from KUPD, authors Jana Bommersbach and Rita Davenport and former ADL director Bill Straus.  McMahon says, “I’m feeling both honored and terrified at the prospect of this event.  But you can be sure that I’ll be able to dish it out, just as well as I can take it.”…..New York Mets flagship station WOR, New York announces it will air play-by-play for 15 spring training games, beginning on February 24 when the Mets take on the Boston Red Sox…..The New York Times recently published a feature story about Premiere Networks host George Noory.  In the piece, the “Coast to Coast AM” host discusses how “Coast to Coast AM” has evolved over the years, his open approach to stories and topics, and his relationship with his audience.  Read the story here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At the Atlanta cluster of Cox Media Group, Jaleigh Long is promoted to director of sales.  She moves up from her general sales manager role.  She’ll oversee the sales efforts for news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, CHR WSB-FM “B98.5,” classic hits WSRV “97.1 The River,” urban contemporary WALR “Kiss 104.1 FM,” and country simulcast WNGC/WTSH “Your Georgia Country.”…..At Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s rock WXRX, Rockford, Illinois “104.9 The X,” Zander – who’s been morning host and PD since joining the station in August of last year – moves to the afternoon drive slot.  At the same time, Lori joins the station from crosstown competitor WKGL “96.7 The Eagle.”…..In the Lexington, Kentucky market, iHeartMedia drops sports talk on the simulcast of WWTF-AM and translator W239DJ at 97.7 FM and flips it to rock as “WTF 97.7 Lexington’s Rock Alternative.”  Air personalities include Aly, Big Rig, Audrey, and Shroom…..Binnie Media says good bye to classic music on its WBQX, Thomaston, Maine and translator W245AA, Portland at 96.9 FM.  WBQX takes on the classic hits format “FRANK FM” while the translator is simulcasting country station WTHT, Auburn “99.9 The Wolf.”

iHeartRadio Music Awards Announces Best New Artist Nominees.  When the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards take place on Sunday, March 5 at the Forum in Los Angeles, one of the awards to be given will be the Best New Artist.  The ultimate winner will be chosen by fans from all categories of popular music.  The first step was naming the nominees in each category.  Now, the finalists have been named.  They are: Best New Rock/Alternative Rock Artist: The Strumbellas; Best New Country Artist: Kelsea Ballerini; Best New Hip-Hop Artist: Chance the Rapper; Best New Latin Artist: CNCO; Best New Regional Mexican Artist: Joss Favela; Best New Pop Artist: The Chainsmokers; and Best New R&B Artist: Bryson Tiller. The awards show will be televised live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET and simulcast on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide, as well as on iHeartRadio.

Talk Radio, Recalibrated for The Trump Era?

| January 17, 2017

By Holland Cooke
Media Consultant

 

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — Radio’s top format now pivots, as the 2016 vote shoulders conservative talkers with the “mainstream media” mantle they have relentlessly disdained.

Positioning as fringe always seemed dubious, while station reps were touting radio as the #1 reach medium.  So take the win.  It’s a face-saving opportunity to tell listeners (and advertisers) things are good now.  There’s a psychological component to recession, and historically, we’re overdue for one.

In my December newsletter, I offered a format forecast for talk radio.  If you missed the download TALKERS offered then, help yourself at HollandCooke.com.  No login or email required.  On the home page, scroll down to “Voices Radio Will Miss in 2017.”  As we prepare to witness history this week, an update…

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

| December 14, 2016

Cumulus Renews Rush Limbaugh Through 2019.  The news/talk icon is heard on 33 of Cumulus Media’s news/talk outlets across the country and today’s announcement insures he’ll be heard there through 2019.limbaughrush15  Premiere Networks and Cumulus Media are extending the affiliation agreement for the Rush Limbaugh show and the deal is what the latter calls a “multi-million dollar” one that “represents Limbaugh’s increased power and audience appeal as the most-listened-to national radio talk show host in America.”  Cumulus throws some ratings data into the presser as well, noting that the Limbaugh show cumulus-logo“experienced combined audience growth of +49 % with Persons 12+ and +23% with Adults 25- 54 on Cumulus-owned stations in Chicago (WLS-AM), Detroit (WJR-AM), Washington, DC (WMAL-FM), Dallas (WBAP-AM) and San Francisco (KSFO-AM).  Nationwide, the program has experienced significant year-over-year audience growth in 2016 with Persons 12+ (+21%), Adults 25-54 (+13%), Adults 18-34 (+12%) and Women 25-54 (+17%).”  All data is credited to Nielsen Audio.   Cumulus Media SVP of operations and co-head office of programming Bob Walker comments, “Rush is a unique and true broadcaster, and we’ve had a successful partnership for many years.  We’re pleased to continue offering the Rush Limbaugh show on our market-leading brands, which connect with millions of consumers and drive positive results for our partners.”

KABC, Los Angeles and Doug McIntyre Ink Two-Year Extension.  Los Angeles radio personality Doug McIntyre and Cumulus Media sign a deal that will keep him hosting the “McIntyre in the Morning” show on KABC-AM for at least two more years.  KABC operations director Drew Hayes comments, “We’re thrilled Doug will mcintyreinamlogo17be with us for at least another two years given the dramatic growth he has achieved for us over the past year.”  In the press release, Hayes says McIntyre has achieved “an impressive 61% increase in weekly listeners in the third quarter of 2016 over 2015 and 70.6% growth year-to-year in the key 25-54 demographic.  Doug has also been a hit with women listeners.”  McIntyre says, “I think we’ve found success by evolving talk radio awaymcintyredoug from stridency; by striking the right balance between today’s headlines and laughs without beating people over the head with ginned-up outrage and demoralizing partisanship.”  McIntyre also writes a popular weekly column for the Los Angeles Daily News and is a regular contributor to The Daily Beast and numerous other publications.  He is also a much-in-demand emcee, helming the annual “L.A. Political Roast,” “The Cinema Audio Society Awards,” and the annual “Timothy Coughlin Dinner” in New York, a 9-11 related charity.  Next month, McIntyre will host four evenings with comedy legend Steve Martin as part of the Southern California Distinguished Speakers Series.  In past years he has performed with Monty Python icon John Cleese, Betty White, Ron Howard and Robert Redford among others.

Joe Bell Returns to Beasley to Lead Philly Cluster.  Radio sales and management pro Joe Bell worked for Beasley Media Group for 16 years leading its Fort Myers and Miami operations. Now, almost three years afterbelljoe leaving the company, he returns to serve as market manager of the Philadelphia station group.  Beasley president Bruce Beasley states, “Joe made us proud as he served at the helm of our Miami cluster in charge of an iconic heritage sports station WQAM, in addition to his experience with major personalities at WPOW ‘Power 96,’ and Miami’s ‘Kiss Country.’  As our company has grown, we have benefitted tremendously from Joe’s successful team management skills.  Joe will hit the ground running in Philly!”  In Philadelphia, Beasley operates sports talker WPEN-FM and WTEL-AM, rock WMMR, adult hits WBEN-FM, classic rock WMGK, and talk WWDB-AM.

Cumulus Suing JP Morgan Chase for Hindering Refinancing.  In this suit, filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, Cumulus Media is asking the court to take action forcing creditor JP Morgan Chase to follow through on steps that will allow Cumulus’ debt-for-equity refinancing to happen before the January 27 deadline.  Cumulus recently announced that it has reached an agreement with bondholders that would allow it to deleverage by as much as $305 million.  But the refinance of those senior notes requires borrowing from Cumulus’ $200 million revolving line of credit and JP Morgan has not allowed the transfer of the revolving line of credit to the new lenders and extended a loan amendment giving the company access to the credit line.  In the suit, Cumulus says it is being affected by an industry-wide decline in business and its heavy debt load is affecting its prescription for improving ratings and revenue.  This refinancing would help ease that burden.  There’s been no public comment by JP Morgan Chase on the suit.

iHeartMedia Announces Strategy in Not Repaying 2016 Legacy Notes.  Saying that as part of its “ongoing efforts to proactively address its capital structure,” iHeartMedia reports that a Special Committee of independent directors has decided not to repay the $57.1 million of the 5.50% Senior Notes due tomorrow (12/15) held by affiliate iheartmedia-logo-smallestClear Channel Holdings, Inc.  It says it will pay the $192.9 million of 2016 Legacy Notes held by other holders.  With this, iHeartMedia will continue to have at least $500 million of legacy notes outstanding on December 15 and will therefore not be obligated to grant certain additional security interests in favor of certain of its debtholders under a so-called “springing lien” set forth in relevant debt agreements.  The company announces that it also filed lawsuits in the State District Court in Bexar County, Texas, seeking a declaration that the $57.1 million of 2016 Legacy Notes remains outstanding and that the Company is not currently obligated to grant any of its debtholders the “springing lien” on any of its assets.

Baltimore Talk Personality Allan Prell Dead at 79.  Longtime WBAL, Baltimore radio personality Allan Prell passed away on Saturday (12/10) at the age of 79.  Prell worked at several stations in Baltimore but made his prellallanmark in the talk radio business hosting a show in middays on WBAL from 1982 through the early 2000s, according to Prell’s obit on WBAL.com.  Prior to his talk host career, Prell was a newsman who won two Edward R. Murrow awards for investigative journalism.  As a talk show host, Prell was named to the TALKERS magazine Heavy Hundred (The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America) for three years straight (1999, 2000, and 2001).  He also co-hosted a specialty weekend program called “The Movie Show on Radio” for several years in the early 2000s.  Check out David Zurawik’s memories of Prell in the Baltimore Sun here.

David Field Sells $1.2 Million of Entercom Stock.  In a legal filing disclosed to the SEC, Entercomfielddavid Communications Corp. reports that company president and CEO David J. Field sold 79,607 shares of Entercom stock in a December 12 transaction valued at $1,268,935.58.  Field sold the shares at an average price of $15.94.  After the transaction, Field’s stock ownership stands at 2,053,161 shares valued at $32,727,386.

Odds & Sods.  Last month, programmer Bob Shomper quietly exited CBS RADIO’s Twin Cities news/talk WCCO-AM.  The company is presently searching for WCCO’s new program director…..Westwood One is now serving as the exclusive ad sales rep for the weekly podcast “The Pollsters,” featuring Democratic pollster/political consultant Margie Omero and Republican pollster/political consultant Kristen Soltis Anderson.  The program is available via audioBoom, iTunes, Google, Spotify, and others…..College basketball legend John Calipari is the host of a new, weekly podcast on the Midroll platform, owned by E.W. Scripps.  The “Cal Cast” gives Calipari “a new way for me to connect with people and to talk honestly with high profile guests who all have very interesting stories and bold opinions.”

Trump Transition/Kanye West Visits Trump Tower, Trump Cabinet Nominees, the Syrian Civil War/Allegations of Atrocities in Aleppo, New Abortion Legislation, Election Recount/Russian Influence Allegations, New Star Wars Flick, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/13).  The transitioning of the Trump Administration and rapper Kanye West’s visit to the Trump Tower in NYC; President-Elect Donald Trump’s choices of ExxonMobil chief Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, former Texas Governor Rick Perry as Energy Secretary, and U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke for Secretary of the Interior; the Syrian civil war and allegations that Bashar al Assad’s forces are randomly killing civilians; the 20-week abortion limit passed in Ohio and an attempt to put restrictions on abortions in Oklahoma; the failed election recount started by Green Party candidate Jill Stein and questions about the extent of Russian influence in the recent elections; chatter about the new Rogue One installment in the Star Wars film franchise; and the week’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

| October 26, 2016

Beasley Ups Justin Chase to EVP of Programming.  After seven-plus years of service with Beasley Media Group, most recently vice president of programming, Justin Chase is promoted to executive vice president ofchasejustin programming for the company.  Chase says, “When I joined Beasley in 2009 as a program director in Las Vegas, I never imagined that I would have been given the opportunity to serve this great company at this level.  Every day, I get to learn and work with some of the finest program directors in the industry and the amazing leadership team at the corporate office.  I want to sincerely thank Caroline Beasley, Bruce Beasley, Brian Beasley and of course, our founder George Beasley for their confidence in me to lead the programming strategy of this growing company.”  Chase represents Beasley Media Group on several industry boards, including: the Media Ratings Council, the Nielsen Advisory Council, and the Council for Research Excellence.

Buzz Knight to Transition to Beasley as VP of Programming.  The company announces that when the Greater Media acquisition is complete, programmer Buzz Knight will remain in the programming department with Beasley Media Group as vice president of programming.  Knight has served as SVP, program development knightbuzzfor Greater Media, in which he’s been responsible for overseeing content and brand strategies for the company.  He’s been with Greater Media since 2002.  Knight will replace Justin Chase, who has been elevated to EVP of programming.  Knight comments, “I’ve long admired the great leadership of Justin Chase in his role with Beasley and I look forward to being a part of the Beasley team.  I am honored to follow Justin into this position and I’m incredibly excited to begin a new chapter with Beasley Broadcast Group as the company expands their portfolio of stations with the Greater Media acquisition.”

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Rush Limbaugh Hosts Media Partners.  At a recent, private event at the beautiful Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida, nationally syndicated talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh, the EIB Network, and iHeartMedia hosted an intimate gathering of Limbaugh’s closest radio partners.  Dr. Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale College and Rebecca and Andrew Hagelin of Rebecca Hagelin Communications and Marketing, represented this finest of America’s colleges at the reception and dinner.  Rebecca Hagelin (pictured above with Limbaugh) says, “Rush is not only the unqualified leader of intelligent talk radio, he’s a hero of liberty and the U.S. Constitution, which makes him a great American and a perfect partner for Hillsdale College.  (And besides all that, he’s a terrifically fun friend!)  Hillsdale seeks to teach every American who wants to learn – who wants to understand what makes our country exceptional and how we can preserve our freedoms and our nation for future generations.  Over 1.3 million have taken a free Hillsdalelimbaugharnn16 online course and some 3.5 million subscribe to Imprimis, Hillsdale’s free, monthly speech digest.  Rush has been critical in helping to spread the word about these stellar Hillsdale resources.”  Pictured at right are Limbaugh and Dr. Arnn.  Also in attendance at this event were: iHeartMedia COO & CFO Rich Bressler; EIB’s Kraig Kitchin; Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott; Premiere Networks EVP, personality sales Dan Metter; iHeartRadio president Darren Davis; iHeartMedia president, national sales & marketing partnerships Tim Castelli; iHeartMedia president, national sales Jeff Howard; Premiere Networks EVP, sales Alan Korowitz; and Premiere Networks SVP, affiliate marketing Hosea Belcher.

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Round Two of October 2016 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of October  2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The October 2016 survey period covered September 8 (the first game of the NFL season) – October 5.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

‘The Financial Exchange’ Expands in New England.  The business talk radio show “The Financial Exchange with Barry Armstrong and Chuck Zodda” adds two more signals to its footprint in New England.  The show will be heard on Binnie Media’s WNNH-FM, Concord “NH1 News Radio” and WEMJ-FM, Laconia in New Hampshire, effective October 31.  The program is currently heard on 12 stations in the Northeast.

The 2016 Election, Down-Ticket Races, Voter Fraud-Tampering Issues, ObamaCare Premium Increases, Battle Against Islamic State in Mosul, U.S.-Philippines Relations, Giants Cut Josh Brown, World Series Begins, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/25).  The race for president; the U.S. House and Senate races and fight to control Congress; allegations of potential voter fraud and concerns over poll tampering; skyrocketing health care premiums under the Affordable Care Act; the battle against Islamic State for the Iraqi city of Mosul; the deteriorating relations between the U.S. and the Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte; the New York Giants release kicker Josh Brown after his admission of abusing his ex-wife; baseball’s World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians begins; and National Football League action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  WTOP, Washington national security correspondent JJ Green receives a prestigious invitation to lead a panel discussion at the 2016 Concept Development and Experimentation Conference in Sofia, Bulgaria in November.  The conference is an international, co-sponsored annual event between NATO ACT and the United States Joint Staff which provides a unique opportunity for the international community to discuss the most current issues of concept development and experimentation in support of capability development.  Green was chosen to moderate a panel discussion, “Preparing for the Future, Today,” specifically because of his familiarity with and knowledge of national security issues after more than a decade of national security reporting at WTOP…..Beasley Broadcast Group announces it will report its 2016 third quarter financial results before the market opens on Wednesday, November 2.  The company will host a conference call and webcast at 10:00 am ET that morning to review the results…..Townsquare Media will release its third quarter 2016 financial results before the market opens on Tuesday, November 8.  The company will host a conference call to discuss certain third quarter 2016 financial results that morning at 8:00 ET…..The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs show is added to the program lineup at KWBW, Hutchinson, Kansas…..The “Freedom Feens” weekend talk show, hosted by Michael W. Dean, is now heard on KRFE, Lubbock, Texas.

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Valerie Geller Brings Her ‘Power’ to the Land Down Under.  Noted American radio consultant and author Valerie Geller brought her internationally famous “Creating Powerful Radio” session to the IMBA workshop in Sidney, Australia.  She tells TALKERS, “Radio down under is alive and well!”  She (the only one without a book) is pictured with a large group of exuberant young broadcasters displaying her popular book, Beyond Powerful Radio: A Communicator’s Guide to the Internet Age (Focal Press, 2011). The IMBA (International Media and Broadcasting Academy) is an Australian-based, professional broadcast training institute operating in the Asia Pacific, Africa and Middle East.

Monday, October 10, 2016

| October 10, 2016

smart-conferenceRamsey Hosts Smart Conference in Atlanta. Syndicated talk show host Dave Ramsey hosted a daylong “Smart Conference” in Atlanta this past Saturday (10/8) at North Point Community Church. Promoting the event was Ramsey’s Atlanta affiliate, iHeartMedia talker WGST. “These events certainly increase tune-in and listenership as we lean into them,” comments iHeartMedia Atlanta region president Justin Schaflander. “Far more importantly, they truly impact the lives of our listeners as it helps them find inspiration and answers on everything from finances to parenting and just life in general. The events create a deeper relationship between our listeners and Dave’s team, which in turn, create a far more beneficial connection between our sponsors and clients as they interact with Dave’s audience. It is a win on all fronts.” Along with Ramsey were Chris Brown, Rachel Cruze, Chris Hogan, Inky Johnson, Dr. Meg Meeker, Anthony O’Neal, and Dr. Les Parrott. Attendees were provided information on how to win with money; strengthen their marriages; build parenting skills; and excel in their careers.

kinosianmikemlb-logo2PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. Based on data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2016 PPM survey period, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of Major League Baseball flagships. In this special feature report, you will find charts listing stations by format and (6+) AHQ share; ratings fluctuations from August 2016 to September 2016; ratings comparisons from September 2015 to September 2016; how MLB key stations ranked in their respective markets; and how they did by league/division. See it all here.

hughes-cathyhoward-logoHughes’ Howard University Honor. In a ceremony that will take place one week from this Sunday (10/23), Howard University‘s School of Communications will be renamed the Cathy Hughes School of Communications, as a tribute to Radio One‘s founder and chairperson. The announcement comes after a multi-million dollar gift to the Washington, DC school from Hughes’ son, Radio One president and chief executive officer Alfred C. Liggins III. Howard University president Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick comments, “The Howard community is thrilled that Mr. Liggins has chosen to honor his mother in this manner for her pioneering work in the field of communications. The gift will have a transformational impact on the school’s commitment to serve the communications industry and as a high-level producer of diverse media specialists.”

caldwell-meghanCox Media Group Tampa Boosts Caldwell to Digital Sales Manager. Two-year Cox Media Group Tampa digital media strategist Megan Caldwell is promoted to digital sales manager for the company’s six-station cluster. Vice president and market manager Keith Lawless remarks, “Megan knows the digital cox-media-group-tampaspace, knows our marketing partners, and knows what it takes to compete and win in this competitive, fast moving space.” Director of sales Jason Meder comments, “We are so excited to have Megan lead our digital sales efforts in Tampa. With a background in digital content, Megan brings unique experience to this role. Her knowledge – combined with her ability to create solutions for advertisers – is an amazing resource for Cox Media Group Tampa.” Caldwell adds, “I am beyond excited to be leading our team in digital. As the digital sales manager, I will be focused on driving initiatives that help us continue to build long-term relationships with our clients.” The 2012 University of Central Florida graduate previously spent two years as Cox Media Group Tampa’s digital producer and was social media manager for New Age Skincare. With their September 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM 6+ AQH share and market rank in parentheses, CMG Tampa consists of adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” (9.3, #1); WXGL “Classic Hits 107.3 The Eagle” (6.0, #3); adult contemporary WWRM “Magic 94-9” (5.3, #6); CHR WPOI “Hot 101.5” (4.7, #7); talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone” (2.3, #18); and alternative WSUN “97-X” (2.3, #18).

simon-conwayWHO’s “Puppy Jake Foundation” Raises $22,000. Last Friday’s (10/7) third annual “Puppy Jake Foundation” fundraiser brings in more than twice as much as the combined total of year one ($4,000) and year two ($6,000). WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive talent Simon Conway staged a free sandwich giveaway in the parking lot of the iHeartMedia talker and – in two hours – collected more than $22,000 to benefit the charity, which acquires, raises and professionally trains service dogs for physically and mentally wounded veterans. Conway states he was “speechless for about two seconds. People drove long distances; handed over huge sums of money; and donated enough to acquire, train for two years and ultimately hand over for free a service dog for a wounded veteran.” Thus far this year, the charity has given 11 dogs to veterans; nine more canines will graduate the program next March.

bush-billyNBC-TV Suspends Bush. By now, you know it was a rough weekend for former radio talent Billy Bush, who was believed to be groomed as a possible replacement for Matt Lauer on NBC-TV‘s “Today Show.” The network has suspended the ex-“Access Hollywood” host for his role in a 2005 video with Donald access-hollywoodTrump that surfaced on Friday (10/7). Bush is heard laughing and encouraging the now Republican presidential nominee as they engaged in a vulgar conversation about women. The Washington Post published the tape of Trump, who is heard on a hot microphone boasting to Bush about kissing, groping, and having sex with women, saying that, “When you’re a star, they let you do anything – I don’t even wait.” At first, it seemed Bush was going to appear on “The Today Show” this morning (10/10) to apologize, but by last night, NBC decided he would not go on the show; instead, executive Noah Oppenheim issued the suspension. There is no immediate information about how long it will last. “Let me be clear,” Oppenheim writes in a staff memo, “There is simply no excuse for Billy’s language and behavior on that tape. NBC has decided to suspend Billy, pending further review of this matter.” In a statement he released on Friday, Bush notes he is “embarrassed and ashamed” of his role in the 2005 video. “This happened 11 years ago. I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along.” His weeknight (7:00 pm – 11:00 pm) “Billy Bush Show” debuted on April 14, 2008; Westwood One ended production of it in late-December 2014. Prior to that radio project, a mix of music and celebrity banter targeted to CHR and hot AC stations, Bush did wakeup duty on WWZZ “Z-104,” Washington, DC (now Radio One‘s WPRS “Praise 104.1”). In advance of starting his senior year at Maine’s Colby College, Bush scored a summer internship at Bill O’Shaughnessy’s WVOX in Westchester, New York.

Why Talk Radio Is Not Dying, Part 2.

| October 3, 2016

By Phil Boyce
Salem Media Group
VP/Director, Spoken Word Format

Operations VP, New York Region

 

boycephilwriter16NEW YORK — Two years ago,  after getting disgusted with talk radio haters predicting the death of this format,  I wrote a column published here in TALKERS magazine called, “Why Talk Radio is NOT Dying.”  I received more than 200 “likes” from people who thanked me for standing up for the format that we all have come to know and love.  I recently found the column by accident and thought it’s time to re-visit it two years later.

To paraphrase the great Mark Twain, “The rumors of our death have been greatly exaggerated.”  Usually when you find people predicting the demise or death of this format it comes from two sources:  a) people who don’t truly understand this format and, b) people who do understand it, and loathe it.  When Jerry Del Colliano predicted the death of talk radio would come in 2014, I asked him what he thought about the format in general, and he admitted he hated it.

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Radio Show Wrap-Up

| September 23, 2016

By Holland Cooke
Media Consultant

cookewriterNASHVILLE – 2,272 of us came to Music City, up from the 2,170 attendees at 2015’s Radio Show in Atlanta, the biggest crowd since the RAB partnered-into NAB’s event in 2010.

If you missed them, here are:

Below: My notes from sessions I attended on Thursday.  And first things first.  Want some money?

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Friday, September 16, 2016

| September 16, 2016

John R. Gambling Retires from WNYM, New York ‘AM 970 The Answer.’  The Gambling name is legendary in New York radio history – John B. Gambling started hosting mornings on WOR in 1925, his son John A. Gambling took over the show in 1959, and John R. Gambling joined his father as co-host in 1985.gamblingjohnr  Now, the third Gambling is announcing his retirement from his radio show on Salem Media Group’s WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer.”  Gambling told his listeners at the start of today’s program (11:00 am ET) that he’s been dealing with problems recuperating from a broken knee cap that is hastening his decision to step down.  Gambling retired from WOR in December of 2013 but later joined WNYM.  WNYM general manager Jerry Crowley tells TALKERS, “His grandfather is often credited with inventing talk radio, his dad was # 1 in all radio ratings surveys and John somehow transitioned that genre to contemporary talk radio with a right-of-center view but absolutely never ticked a guest off.  No one else ever pulled that off.  Radio listeners knew this and appreciated his insightful, courtly way of conducting major league interviews and his amazing insights.  When John left WOR the first time around, we were inundated with sacks of mail not for a day or week but months – amazing.  When I brought him back to Salem NY You could almost hear the thunderous applause reverberate across the region.  John was great in every way and we will all miss his calming, dulcet tones.”

ramseydallas16wb

Dave Ramsey Kicks Off the Fall Tour in Dallas.  It’s the fall “Smart Money” tour, to be more precise.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar and best-selling author Dave Ramsey brought his fall edition of his ongoing live event tour to a sold-out crowd in Dallas yesterday (9/15) at First Baptist Church Dallas.  The “Smart Money” program focuses on winning with money, getting out of debt and investing for the future.  Best-selling author and financial expert Rachel Cruze joined Ramsey on stage.  Ramsey combined forces with local affiliate KRLD, Dallas “News Radio 1080” to promote the event.  CBS RADIO Dallas local sales manager Paul Davis states, “Dave’s appearances in Dallas are always a huge deal for our listeners, clients and staff.  He spent quality, one-on-one time with our partners and then entertained us and about 3,000 others at the sold-out Smart Money event!  We wish Dave could come to North Texas more often!” Pictured here are (from l-r): Ramsey; Paul Mann, KRLD news director; Davis and Cruze.

gaffneydangoldenmicA Rare Golden Mic for Dan Gaffney.  In honor of 30 years of serving southern Delaware, WXDE, Lewes “Delaware 105.9” morning personality Dan Gaffney is honored with a golden microphone gifted to him by Kevin Short, owner of local business Mid South Audio.  Short acquired the golden mic from the same artisan who crafted the golden microphones for Premiere Networks talk superstar Rush Limbaugh and Premiere/KIIS, Los Angeles personality Ryan Seacrest.

Arnie States Hosts Afternoon Show at KUUB, Reno.  The former member of the triostatesarnie Rob, Arnie, and DawnArnie States – is back on the air hosting a sports talk show on Lotus Communications’ KUUB, Reno “ESPN 94.5.”  (Rob and Dawn still host mornings on rock KRXQ, Sacramento as “Rob, Anybody, and Dawn.”) States exited the trio in March of 2015.  For a while he was part of KRXQ’s afternoon show before leaving that gig to return to Reno to care for his father.  Now, he’s back on the radio doing sports talk.

galaxycommunicationsGalaxy to Enter Events Consulting Biz.  The New York State-based broadcasting firm Galaxy Communications announces it is starting up a division focusing on creating event partnerships with fellow radio and television broadcasters.  The division is called Galaxy Events Consulting and reports it has commitments to enter 10 new markets in 2017.  They include: Buffalo, Rochester, Binghamton, Watertown and Long Island in New York, plus Philadelphia, Charlotte, Raleigh and Sarasota, Florida.  Galaxy president and CEO Ed Levine states, “This idea has been percolating for some time.  As acknowledged industry leaders in this space, we’ve had many conversations with other radio and TV broadcasters.  We think we’ve come up with a model that can generate guaranteed revenue for the partner broadcaster with no risk.  Experiential/event marketing is a key element for both radio and television’s future revenue growth.  We’ve been in this space for a decade and are now prepared to help other broadcasters navigate these waters.”  Galaxy owns 14 radio stations in the Syracuse and Utica-Rome markets.  Its Galaxy Events division is responsible for many of the biggest community events in Central New York, highlighted by ‘Taste of Syracuse,’ which draws 200,000 people annually.

talkersten-logoThe Presidential Race Again Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of September 12-16.  For obvious reasons, the presidential race is likely to be the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio through the elections in November and this week was no different with the activities of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton at #1.  At #2 this week was the issue of each candidate’s health.  Coming in at #3 was the United States’ refugee policy that calls for an additional 110,000 to be allowed into the country, followed by the National Anthem protests at #4.  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 magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Bernadette Duncan’s “Yappy Days” Released Today

| August 22, 2016

Highly anticipated historical memoir reveals candid behind-the-scenes look at talk radio and its big-time stars of the day from the perspective of a young female producer during the genre’s golden decades

 

By Kevin Casey
TALKERS
VP/Executive Editor

caseywriterSPRINGFIELD, MA — Bernadette Duncan spent 26 years as a radio talk show producer between 1983 and 2009.  In her newly released book, YAPPY DAYS: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Brooks, 2016), she vividly recounts her adventures in the trenches of big-time talk radio during its most dynamic decades – set against the dramatically changing backdrop of America’s pre- and post-9/11 cultural realities.

Juicy stories and details

Bernadette writes interesting details about hundreds of names – from the high-profile hosts for whom she worked, tobernadettebook the many more she met and knew, to the non-stop parade of famous celebrity and newsmaker guests she booked (and, in many cases, babysat) along the way.  And she’s not shy about sharing the juicy tidbits of her experiences with these personalities as well as her recollections about the very processes that make talk radio fascinating.  The book is about “the character of characters.”

The candidly told story focuses on Bernadette’s first-hand impressions of the sometimes-quirky, extremely talented, performers whom she served as a producer during her career.  Namely, Larry King, Sally Jessy Raphael, Tom Snyder, Gil Gross, Charles Osgood and Lou Dobbs.  In the process, the reader follows her growth from innocent, wide-eyed, newbie – who at the tender age of 12 sent a fan letter to Sally Jessy Raphael – to becoming a seasoned media professional standing her ground in hostile toe-to-toe situations with such broadcasting bruisers as Lou Dobbs and Geraldo Rivera.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

| August 10, 2016

savage, michaelSavage, Westwood One Sign Multi-Year Renewal. Under terms of a just-signed pact, “The Savage Nation” host Michael Savage and Cumulus Media-owned Westwood One will continue their long-term relationship. Westwood One president and Cumulus Media’s executive vice president of corporate marketing Suzanne Grimes comments, “We are proud to extend our relationship with this top-notch talent [whoSavage Nation has] a unique voice in American radio. He has some of the most engaged fans and is a proven, consistent, ratings generator. We look forward to many more years together.” Savage states that his Westwood One deal, “caps my winning the National Radio Hall of Fame nomination. My show is famous for my ‘news, views, and reviews,’ and we will take it to new levels in January 2017. We will be doing a three-dimensional show on broadcast stations, as a live stream, and with special segments created only for subscribers.” With a Ph.D. from the University of California – Berkeley, Savage was the 2007 recipient of TALKERS‘s “Freedom of Speech” award. He has authored more than 25 books with his newest – “Scorched Earth” – coming out next month. First aired locally in San Francisco in 1994, “The Savage Nation” now airs nationally on 235 stations.

Top Earning RadioWho Are Radio’s Highest-Paid Talents? Whether it is professional athletes or movie/television stars, we are constantly fascinated by the salaries of those with an elevated profile. Some will find it curious – if not grossly unfair – for instance, that Alex Rodriguez will draw approximately $27 million next year from the New York Yankees to do basically nothing. There is a curiosity as well about the W-2 forms of certain radio personalities. In a Karen Blankfeld-written Forbes Magazine article, we discover the identity of the industry’s top six moneymakers. The names and perhaps even the order might not totally surprise you, but the figures could. Checking in at #6 is Glenn Beck ($13 million). “Aside from his conservative-leaning news site The Blaze, he makes a small fortune annually from his publishing imprint Mercury Ink,” Blankfeld notes. Bill O’Reilly ($18.5 million) is listed at #5 but his inclusion here is a stretch since the Fox News anchor does not have a long-form radio presence. Fox News stable-mate/Premiere NetworksSean Hannity ($29 million) comes in at #4 with Blankfeld remarking he “remains the go-to host for conversations and confessions with the GOP elite.” By now, you have probably correctly guessed the top three, but in a countdown hat-tip, the radio talent at #3 is iHeartMedia Los Angeles CHR KIIS “Kiss FM” morning star and Premiere Networks’ “AT 40” host Ryan Seacrest ($55 million), who isn’t hurting too much without the “American Idol” checks. With a staggering $79 million, another Premiere Networks personality – Rush Limbaugh – is listed at #2. “He celebrated 28 years with iHeartMedia in August by renewing his contract,” Blankfeld states. Eclipsing everyone though at #1 is Howard Stern ($85 million) and it is perhaps fitting he is first, given his self-described “King of All Media” moniker. “His new five-year, eight-digit contract with Sirius will extend to a new app and video streaming of the show,” Blankfeld explains. Add the figures up for these six stars and the total is approximately $280 million. Forbes bases the list on estimated June 1, 2015 – June 1, 2016 pretax income, before deducting management and legal fees.

morgan, charlieEmmis New York City Makes Morgan SVP/Market Manager. It is quite a significant week for Emmis upper management. As we reported yesterday (TALKERS, Tuesday, 8/9), Chuck Williams takes over as senior vice president and market manager of the four-station cluster in the company’s home market of Indianapolis. There, he succeeds Charlie Morgan, who served in that capacity the past seven years before being named interim market manager of Emmis New York earlier this year. Morgan now removes theEmmis “interim” title, as he officially is named Emmis New York City’s senior vice president and market manager. Company president and chief operating officer Patrick Walsh declares that, “Charlie is one of radio’s truly gifted leaders. His inspirational leadership has been a catalyst in improving our results in Indianapolis and his deft skills are already having an impact in New York. I am thrilled he has decided to focus this next exciting stage of his career on ensuring [our New York City stations] continue to play an important role in the lives of listeners in the Tri-State area and these brands deliver on their enormous potential.” Morgan comments, “When a 35+-year radio veteran can honestly call his most recent seven years the most fun and most rewarding of his career, you know you are talking to one very fortunate man. That statement is true for me, thanks to the company and the culture that [founder, chief executive officer, chair] Jeff Smulyan, [president of radio programming] Rick Cummings, and Pat Walsh have built and nourished. Add to that the all-star team of talent I have worked with in Indianapolis, and you begin to understand my good fortune. For the past seven months, I have had the rare privilege of working with the talented team at Emmis New York. We have legendary brands in the most vibrant city in America. I have fallen in love with the people, the passion, and the opportunity to build on the legacy in New York.” Prior to joining Emmis, the Butler University alum spent more than 21 years as vice president and general manager of Susquehanna (now Cumulus Media) Indianapolis and he is a former president and chief operating officer of Indianapolis Motor Speedway Productions. In addition, Morgan is board chair of the Country Radio Seminar. Results from Nielsen Audio‘s July 2016 PPM report indicate Emmis New York City urban AC WBLS is in fifth-place (5.1, 6+); rhythmic CHR sibling WQHT “Hot 97” is tenth (3.5, 6+); and co-owned gospel WLIB is #31 (.4, 6+).

meltesen, jeffCumulus Media Nashville Names Meltesen Sr. AE/Sponsorship Sales. The former publisher of Nash Country Weekly Jeff Meltesen – is appointed senior account executive/sponsorship sales for Cumulus Media Nashville. He will focus on clients of the cluster’s two country stations (WKDF and WSM-FM) and Cumulus-Nashvillesponsorship sales of events/promotions for all Cumulus Media Nashville properties. WKDF “Nash FM” and WSM-FM “Nash Icon” general sales manager Rhonda Rollins comments, “We are thrilled to have someone of Jeff’s experience join our team. His sales, business, and marketing acumen are market tested and will help us elevate the conversation with our customers.” Meltesen remarks, “Cumulus Nashville’s high quality events featuring high profile artists present a unique opportunity for brands that want to make an impact in Nashville. Our sponsorships are backed by the power of our popular Nashville radio stations, so there is built-in media value for our partners.” Before joining Nash Country Weekly, Meltesen was marketing director for Nashville Songwriters Association International. Up a whopping +1.4 from June, WSM-FM “Nash Icon” finishes second (7.3, 6+) in Nielsen Audio‘s July 2016 Nashville PPM sweep, nine-tenths behind Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9” (8.2, 6+). Elsewhere in the Cumulus Media Nashville cluster, urban AC WQQK “92-Q” is #7 (5.2); WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” is #8 (4.6, 6+); and tied at #12 – each with 3.7 (6+) – are sports WGFX “104.5 The Zone” and WKDF “Nash FM.”

WABC-AMA Case of Copyright Infringement? Apparently, that is what Paul Bereswill is thinking, as he becomes the most recent photographer to sue a radio company over a copyrighted photo used on a radio station’s website. Specifically, the case in the southern district of New York has Bereswill alleging that Cumulus Media New York City talker WABC used his pictures of New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey and a post-game photo of the NHL‘s New York Rangers on the WABC website without his prior consent. In addition to attorney’s costs/fees, Bereswill reportedly is seeking damages and profits or the statutory $150,000 per work.

lewis, jasonEx-Talkers Win Minnesota Political Contests. One of Rush Limbaugh‘s former guest hosts – Jason Lewis – defeated Darlene Miller and John Howe yesterday (Tuesday, 8/9) to win the Republican nomination for congress in Minnesota’s second congressional district. Lewis spent ten years on emmer, tomMinneapolis talker KSTP-AM and later was heard on cross-town KTLK-FM. Five years ago to the day, Genesis Communications Network began syndicating his show. Lewis will face Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party nominee Angie Craig and Independence Party candidate Paula Overby in November. Meanwhile in that state’s sixth district, another former talk show host – Republican representative Tom Emmer – won his primary race for re-election. Emmer was a state legislator before co-hosting morning drive with Bob Davis at KTLK-FM in 2011- 2013. Emmer was Minnesota’s Republican nominee for governor in 2010, losing in a very close race to Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party’s Mark Dayton.

Odds & Sods: Starting in four weeks (9/6), “The Sports Junkies,” the 6:00 am – 10:00 am program on CBS Radio WJFK-FM Sports JunkiesWashington, D.C. sports outlet WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan,” will be simulcast on regional cable sports network CSN Mid-Atlantic. WJFK-FM program director Chris Kinard comments, “‘The Sports Junkies’ are the most dynamic radio personalities in [the market] with a dedicated fan base of listeners on radio, streaming, and via podcast. We are thrilled to work with our partners at CSN on this important brand extension of our original programming.” ….. Topics ranging from research and insights affecting radio listeners and advertisers to storytelling will be featured in “Radio Impact Reports,” a new blog from the RAB. According to the first post, the blog will, “share current news, information and insights about broadcast radio, while using this social space to encourage an open dialogue with broadcasters, advertisers, agencies and even listeners. One thing is for certain – our focus will be on continued growth and innovations taking place, ensuring radio’s bright and exciting future.”   

freeman, dorisDoris Freeman Passes. The class of 2014 Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame inductee died this past Saturday (8/6). Doris Freeman began her career approximately 80 years ago as a feature radio singer and tap dancer. She raised millions of dollars over the decades for organizations such as the West Tennessee Cerebral Palsy Center, Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse, March of Dimes, and the United Negro College Fund. Freeman hosted daily and weekly radio shows on Jackson, Tennessee’s WDXI; a daily children’s television show in Jackson; and headed up Cousin Tuny Enterprises, one of Jackson’s first advertising agencies. As a single mother of four, she became Jackson’s first female radio advertising representative with WDXI in 1948 and later at WTJS, and WJAK. For more than 20 years, Freeman produced/hosted live radio coverage of the Miss Tennessee Pageant. Visitation will be held tomorrow (Thursday, 8/11) 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Jackson, Tennessee’s Northside Methodist Church; funeral service (also at the Northside Methodist Church) is this Friday (8/12) at 11:00 am.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

| August 2, 2016

Rush Limbaugh and Premiere Networks Reach Agreement on Extension.  There was little doubt from most industry observers that talk radio superstar Rush Limbaugh and iHeartMedia’s Premiere Networks limbaughrushwould come to terms on an agreement to continue syndicating Limbaugh’s show.  Not surprisingly, today’s announcement from Premiere did not mention the terms of this new deal, but simply called it a “long-term, multi-platform agreement.”  Eight years ago, Limbaugh and Premiere announced a partnership agreement that was widely reported to have been worth $400 million.  The conventional wisdom is that changes in the radio industry and the backlash from the infamous “Sandra Fluke incident” have negatively affected Limbaugh’s ability to earn the type of ad dollars that would justify that kind of money this time around.  At the top of today’s program, however, Limbaugh told his listeners that the deal is for four years and he gets no regular salary but, presumably, a percentage of sales.  He said, “I have to make my numbers.”  In the press release, Premiere stated, “Ad revenue for ‘The Rush Limbaugh Show’ has also increased by 20% over last year, and the show continues to be the number one program in talk radio.”  Limbaugh celebrated his 28th anniversary in national syndication on Monday.  He said in the prepared statement, “After 28 fulfilling years, I seriously considered moving on to something else, but Rich [Bressler] and Bob [Pittman] were very persuasive.  I’m thrilled to be continuing.  And I really want to be on the air if the Russians find Hillary’s emails.”

Former Mercury Radio Arts and TheBlaze Chief Sued by Glenn Beck.  In a case filed in District Court of Dallas County, Texas on Friday (7/29), Glenn Beck is suing his former executive, Christopher Balfe, alleging among other things: Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Faithless Servant, Fraud, Breach of Contract, and more.  The suit mercuryradioarts logodoes not specify how much money Mercury Radio Arts is seeking from Balfe, but states it’s asking for actual, consequential and punitive damages; forfeiture of everything Balfe earned from Mercury since he first breached his duties, and more.  The lawsuit alleges that Balfe earned more than $13 million between 2009 and 2014 and calls it “a shockingly excessive amountbeckglenn that far exceeds appropriate compensation for companies of Mercury and TheBlaze’s size and financial performance.”  It also alleges that Balfe signed a lease for New York office space – the entire 12th floor of Five Bryant Park – for $2 million per year for 10 years that was “motivated by his own self-interest.”  The suit calls the $20 million liability an example of Balfe ignoring his duty to Mercury.  Beck comments on the case on TheBlaze’s balfechriswebsite, saying, “You have all heard me over the last couple of years describing how hard a time it has been.  Between being sick, turning over my company, etc…It culminates in a lawsuit that we filed Friday in Dallas between MRA and the former president.  I am embarrassed and saddened it has come to this.”  It’s difficult to read the suit and not come to the conclusion that Beck hired a man whom he considered a friend who was simply not qualified to serve in the positions in which he did.  Scribd has the complaint and you can read it here.

‘Bob & Tom Show’ Rounds Out Cast with Josh Arnold.  The nationally syndicated “Bob & Tom Show” adds comic Josh Arnold to the cast.  The Westwood One program features show co-founder Tom Griswold,arnoldjosh Chick McGee, Kristi Lee, and now St. Louis native Arnold.  The press release from Westwood One says Arnold “has established himself as one of the top nationally touring feature comedians in the country.  Arnold’s comedy has been heard on Sirius XM Satellite Radio and he’s provided material for Comedy Central’s ‘@Midnight’ and ‘The Burn.’”  Griswold says, “We are thrilled to have Josh join us each day…he is one of the funniest, most twisted people I know.”

Cumulus’ Gary Pizzati Announces His Retirement.  Longtime Cumulus Media senior vice president Gary Pizzati is retiring from the company and from radio broadcasting at the end of August.  Pizzati started his pizzatigarycareer as an air talent and programmer and then moved into sales and management.  He joined Cumulus in 1998 to manage the Augusta, Georgia cluster.  Pizzati says, “The past 30 years in radio and 18 with Cumulus have been extremely rewarding.  I truly love radio and all the amazing people who power this exciting industry.  It’s been a part of my life since my teens and has been a remarkable journey that started from my days on air.”  Pizzati rose to SVP in 2005 with responsibility for 27 markets, including two of the company’s largest.  Cumulus especially commends him for “turning around several major markets and recruiting some of the best talent into the company.”  President and CEO Mary Berner adds, “Known as a strong leader, teacher, and consummate radio guy, Gary’s contributions to Cumulus cannot be overstated.  He will be greatly missed by his Cumulus colleagues.”

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallThe Farmer That Roared: Doug Stephan is This Week’s Guest on ‘Up Close and Far Out.’  Radio talk show host Doug Stephan, whose daily generalist news/talk morning show is the third longest-running weekday syndicated program in the industry having launched in 1988 (behind Rush Limbaugh by a few months and “America in the Morning” by four years), is the guest on this week’s installment of the PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Stephan discusses his dual career (and arduous schedule) as both a broadcaster and a dairy farmer.  In his role as host of the rapidlystephandoug growing weekend specialty show, “American Family Farmer” (almost 100 affiliates in less than a year), Stephan has stepped up to the plate as a powerful advocate of the beleaguered people who own and operate small farms in the US, that are slowly but systematically being put out of business by the combined interests of big business (“factory farms”) and big government.   He and Harrison also talk about the growing “locavore” movement that ties into this issue.  (A locavore is a person whose diet consists primarily of locally produced and sold food.)  To listen to this fascinating podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of July 2016 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of July 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The June 2016 survey period covered June 16 through July 13.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

The Presidential Race/Khan Family Controversy, FBI Staffer Guilty of Selling Secrets to China, South China Sea Dispute, Black Lives Matter Movement, Miami Zika Outbreak, Rio Olympics Troubles, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/1).  The activities of  presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, including the public conflict with the Khan family; former FBI employee Joey Chun pleads guilty to being an agent of the Chinese government; the dispute over China’s claim to territory in the South China Sea; the state of the Black Lives Matter movement; the CDC’s warning about a Zika virus outbreak in an area near Miami; reports of poor conditions and lack of preparedness at the Rio De Janeiro Olympics; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

talkersrumble16Talk Rumble Video Posted from TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations.  One of the highlights of the recent TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations convention – “The Talk Rumble” – is posted today (8/2) on Talkers.com.  The panel discussion was part of the 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention that took place May 20 on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.  Moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and co-moderated by CBS News VP Harvey Nagler, participants include (in alphabetical order): Howie Carr, host, Howie Carr Radio Network; Brian Kilmeade, host Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel; Sid Rosenberg, host, WABC, New York; Dr. Daliah Wachs, host Genesis Communications Network; Lisa Wexler, host, WGCH, Greenwich, CT: Larry Young, host, WOLB, Baltimore; and John Ziegler, host Envision Networks. To view the Talk Rumble in its entirety, please click here.  Stay tuned to Talkers.com for more videos from TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations that will be posted in the days and weeks to come.

Odds & Sods.  WAXY, Miami “790 The Ticket” extends its partnership with the NBA’s Miami Heat to continue broadcasting play-by-play through 2021.  The Entercom sports talk station says Mike Inglis and John Crotty will continue to call the games.  Tommy Tighe will provide the pre-game, halftime and post-game reporting and Jonathan Zaslow, host of the station’s morning show, will continue as host of the pre- and post-game shows…..FOX Sports Radio personality Ben Maller will join the minor league baseball Bakersfield Blaze for a night of festivities on August 13 as the team takes on the Lake Elsinore Storm.  Maller says, “Having been a Dodgers fan my entire life, Bakersfield baseball is near and dear to my heart.  My firecracker staff is thrilled to be joining me for this occasion and I’m sure Sam Lynn Ballpark will welcome us with open arms.”

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

| July 12, 2016

wfsx-fmDrew Steele to Exit Mornings on ‘92.5 FOX News’ in Fort Myers/Naples.  Current WFSX, Estero, Florida (Fort Myers/Naples market) morning personality Drew Steele is leaving Sun Broadcasting’s news/talk station to join KSL-TV, Salt Lake City.  Theradeltrey News/Press reports that station management is talking to former morning show host – and former U.S. Rep. – Trey Radel, among others, about the position.  Radel left the morning show host position at the station in 2012 to successfully run for congress in Florida’s 19th District.  However, he resigned from the seat in January of 2014 after a cocaine possession conviction in late 2013.  Station manager Jim Schwartzel tells the News/Press they have talked with Radel as well as other candidates about the open position.

Bill Michaels Upped to OM for Cumulus Toledo Cluster.  Programmer Bill Michaels – responsible for leading classic rock WXKR, sports talk WLQR “106.5 The Ticket,” talk WTOD-AM, and alternative WQQO-michaelsbillToledo16HD2/W264AK – is promoted to operations manager for Cumulus Media’s Toledo cluster and Monroe, Michigan property country WMIM “98.3 NASH Icon.”  The cluster also includes country WKKO “K100” and classic hits WRQN.  This is a newly created position and in addition to his new responsibilities, Michaels will continue to program WXKR, “100.7 The Zone,” WLQR and WTOD as well as host the WXKR midday show from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  Cumulus RVP and market manager Andy Stuart says, “Bill and I have worked together for a long time and while I am quite certain that he has the experience, intuition and leadership skills necessary to lead our stations to greatness, I’m also quite certain he can handle my penchant for emailing and texting him at 3:00 am.”

Dan Conry Assumes PM Drive on ‘Power Talk 1360/1280’ in Modesto/Stockton.  Talk show host Danconrydan Conry joins iHeartMedia’s news/talk simulcast KFIV, Modesto and KWSX, Stockton – “Power Talk kfiv1360/1280” for the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show.  Conry says, “I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity with iHeartMedia in the Modesto/Stockton market.  I’m excited to work with this team to take ‘Power Talk’ to the next level and I am very grateful to the leadership in Milwaukee, Madison and Sacramento talk radio for allowing me to sit in for some of the best talk talent in the country and keeping my show in the game.”

Dallas Cop Slayings Aftermath, The Presidential Race, Hillary Clinton Email Case, Michigan Bailiffs Slain, and NBA’s Tim Duncan Retires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/11).  The aftermath of the slayings of five Dallas police officers and the deaths of two black men at the hands of police in Baton Rouge and Minneapolis; the activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the GOP’s move to investigate whether Hillary Clinton lied to the FBI about the email issue; two Michigan bailiffs are slain in a courthouse; and NBA great Tim Duncan announces his retirement were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  This Thursday, ESPN is covering the Celebration of Life service honoring legendary Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt.  The 7:00 pm ET broadcast will also be covered by ESPN Radio’s Ryan McGee, co-host of “Marty & McGee.”…..KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh “SportsRadio 93.7 The Fan” is holding its 2016 Fan Kickoff to the PNC Champions Club at Heinz Field on September 8.  The CBS RADIO station’s event allows fans to take part in an exclusive evening that includes appetizers, cocktails, desserts, and unique cigars – this year at the Pittsburgh Steelers’ home stadium.  It’s also a fundraiser for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society via live and silent auctions featuring sports memorabilia, experiences and other items…..SRN Broadcasting (InternetFM.com,) and David Rusch Media (HomeImprovementUSA.net,) are launching the Home Improvement USA Radio Network that will air a variety of programs and features from across the country on a 24/7 basis.  It will serve as a clearinghouse for programming for other terrestrial or Internet radio stations.  Programming will center on home improvement, lawn and garden, energy efficiency, sustainable living, and product safety, among others…..“Motley Fool Money” with Chris Hill adds two New Hampshire affiliates to its roster: WNNH-FM, Concord and WTSN, Dover/Portsmouth…..SiriusXM is presenting live coverage of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.  Beginning Monday, July 18 for the Republican National Convention and Monday, July 25 for the Democratic National Convention, SiriusXM will transform its non-partisan P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of The United States) channel into “Convention Radio” featuring uninterrupted, gavel-to-gavel coverage from the convention floor.  P.O.T.U.S channel hosts including Tim Farley, Michael Smerconish, Julie Mason, Michael Steele, and Rick Ungar will broadcast from each convention city, with White House correspondent Jared Rizzi reporting live from the convention floor.

Think Radio Is Challenged? Try TV

| May 16, 2016

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — It’s tempting to credit “House of Cards” for inventing binge watching.  But Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Roku, and YouTube are following – not leading – consumers’ on-demand expectation, and their appetite for more than just more-of-the-same.

Radio is late to the party, playing catch-up as podcast TSL swells, and radio dollars leak to digital.  Ask any GM about car dealers; and how corporate is barking for more digital revenue.

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Will 2016 Be AM Radio’s Last
Presidential Election?

| May 10, 2016

By Holland Cooke
Media Consultant

 

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — Today, the USA’s top-billing radio station is multi-FM simulcast WTOP, Washington.  I remember a discussion in the newsroom there in the 1980s, when we were a stand-alone at 1500AM: We wondered aloud how soon the AM band would be repurposed.  “Maybe for hailing cabs” one among us theorized?

Soon, Rush Limbaugh led the vaunted Talk Radio Revolution, and rejuvenated radio’s senior band.  Music formats moved to FM; and for the next couple decades AMs talked about politics a lot, and ask-the-expert shows became popular and profitable weekend fare; then the all sports format came about.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

| April 12, 2016

2016HH imageTALKERS 2016 ‘Heavy Hundred’ Published.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine announces the posting of the 2016 installment of the publication’s annual feature, “The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America.”  This is the 21st consecutive year that the talk media trade journal (that is about to mark its 26th anniversary) has been compiling and publishing the list – also known as “The Heavy Hundred.”  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “This year’s list includes a number of familiar faces (and voices) as well as new up-and-comers and some radio pros who are in new situations.”  Casey continues, “Needless to say, compiling this list is extremely challenging – especially since it draws upon both objective and subjective factors – and is the source of heated debate every year among our editors for months leading up to its release.”  View the 2016 Heavy Hundred here.

steeledanDan Steele Exits WHP, Harrisburg.  Radio pro Dan Steele informs his listeners that he’s exited iHeartMedia’s news/talk WHP, Harrisburg where he co-hosted the morning drive program with RJ Harris.  Sixty-nine-year-old Steele tells TALKERS magazine that he was a victim of “economics” and was let go by the station he’d been with for 12 years.  Steele – real name Louis Braasch – says he started his radio career in Harrisburg in 1971 as a part-timer at WKBO.  Over the years he worked at such signals as KTSA, San Antonio; WPGC, Washington; and WFEC, WSFM and WHBO in Harrisburg.

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh’s Leukemia and Lymphoma Cure-A-Thon Raises $3.3 Million.  Aided by a $650,000 donation from Rush Limbaugh and his wife Kathryn, the Limbaugh program helped raise more than $3.3 million for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of America during last Friday’s 26th annual Cure-A-Thon broadcast.   Limbaugh dedicated portions of his three-hour show to encourage listeners to join the effort to find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.  Over the past 26 years, Limbaugh and his audience have collectively raised more than $47 million dollars for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, helping provide much-needed research and support for individuals and families affected by blood cancer diseases.  Limbaugh says, “Every year I think it’s going to be the year that we finally have topped out and we’re not going to be able to beat the previous year.  And I’ve never been right.  I and everybody at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of America thank you from the bottom of our sizable beating hearts.”

The Presidential Race, Panama Papers Fallout, European Terror Bombings Investigation, Battle Against Islamic State, North Korea Nuke Threats, and North Carolina-Mississippi Anti-LGBT Laws Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/11).  The activities of the candidates for president and the controversy over delegate acquisition; the ongoing investigations into the perpetrators of the Paris and Brussels terror bombings; the fight against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria; the threats of nuclear attack on South Korea and the U.S. by North Korea; and the fallout over anti-LGBT laws in North Carolina and Mississippi were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of March 2016 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of March 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The March 2016 survey period covered February 25 – March 23.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

klivstaffKLIV, San Jose to Flip from News to Classic Country; Cost of Operation ‘Too Great.’  Soon the programming at KLIV, San Jose “Silicon Valley News” will flip from news to classic country as Empire Broadcasting makes a change that station president Robert Kieve tells listeners is a function of economics.  He posts on the station’s website that “the high expenses of running a news station and declining ad revenues have become too great.  Indeed, in the 30 years that KLIV has been a local news station, it has never made a profit; it has lost money every year. 2015 was the worst year in our history.  We’ll retain many features that have made KLIV distinctive – Carl Guardino’s weekly programs, our traffic reports, the voice of John McLeod, Phil Cosentino’s Produce Reports, commentaries about local issues, speakers from the San Jose Rotary Club and from the Commonwealth Club…We will miss our small news staff, especially its leader, George Sampson. They’ve done a wonderful job.”  The KLIV staff is pictured here with Kieve (bottom, left).

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Interviews KOZT Co-owner Tom Yates About the Past, Present and Future of FM Album Rock Radio.  In an extraordinary conversation covering the big picture view of FM album rock radio, the man “still living the dream,” KOZT, Fort Bragg, CA co-owner and air personality Tom Yates, talks about his experiences at the helm of one of the few remaining full-service “AOR” stations (album oriented rock) still in existence on this week’s installment of the PodcastOne international hit, “Up Close and Far Out withyatestom Michael Harrison.”  Yates and his wife (and business partner) Vicky Watts, bought the small Mendocino County station a quarter century ago, hired an air staff of accomplished “refugees” from major market West Coast rock radio, and installed a format that continues in the tradition of FM album rock radio in its golden era.  Yates, one of the pioneers of the genre, was the first program director of KLOS, Los Angeles in the early 1970s and left his fingerprints on such major outlets along the way as PD of KMPX and KLSX in Los Angeles; KSAN and “The City” in San Francisco, as well as stations across the nation as a consultant and managing editor of the then-influential trade publication, Goodphone Weekly.  Since its launch, KOZT (known as “The Coast”) has been nationally recognized and honored as a fantastic station picking up, along the way, an NAB Marconi Award for Best Rock station as well as three of that organization’s Crystal Awards for outstanding community service.  The station is ranked #1 in adults in the Mendocino County market and is a great example of a small broadcast station developing a huge and loyal online following across the nation and around the world.  KOZT is a great radio story and you can hear it in its entirety by clicking here or clicking on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page at Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Odds & Sods.  In what Westwood One is calling an unprecedented distribution arrangement, five all-news andwestwood one news logo news/talk stations in New York – WABC, WINS, WCBS, WOR and WBBR – will air the network’s coverage of Thursday night’s Democratic debate live from the Duggal Greenhouse at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.  The debate airs live from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm on the radio and on CNN with Wolf Blitzer moderating…..Wyoming radio company Legend Communications names Mark Crump executive vice president and general manager of the Big Horn Radio Network – a nine-station, Cody-based cluster including: hot country KZMQ-FM, hot AC KKLX-FM, classic rock KCGL-FM, hot AC KTAG-FM, oldies KYTS-FM, classic country KCWB-FM, news/talk/sports KWOR-AM and KODI-AM, and oldies KZMQ-AM.

Entertainment Is Cardillo’s Driving Force

| March 31, 2016

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

 

kinosianlgMIAMI — As the Ronald Reagan presidency was winding down, one particular 14-year-old St. Francis Prep student had already perceived himself as a conservative Republican.

It is a political philosophy that just “made sense” to the teenager, who a number of years later would go on to make $30,000 annually as a Bronx patrol cop.

Nowadays though, Queens native John Cardillo is doing double-duty, hosting a 9:00 am – 10:00 am show on Salem Media Group Miami’s WZAB “880 The Biz” and surfacing two hours later each weekday on Mike Horn’s CRN Digital Talk Radio for a two-hour (12:00 noon – 2:00 pm, ET) talkfest.

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Thursday, March 3, 2016

| March 3, 2016

hurleyharryWPGG, Atlantic City Morning Host Harry Hurley Named TALKERS 2016 Humanitarian of the Year.  Heavy Hundred member Harry Hurley has been named by the TALKERS editorial board as the 2016 recipient of the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Talk Show Host.  The annual honor, also known as the “Humanitarian of the Year” award, is presented to a radio talk show host who has performed noteworthy charitable or public service initiatives on behalf of his or her listeners and community.  For almost a decade, Harry Hurley has used his successful morning show in Atlantic City, New Jersey as a platform for the numerous fundraising activities of his Hurley Morning Show Foundation that have raised more than a half million dollars in support of more than 100 New Jersey charities and service organizations.  For example, on the third Friday in June each year, Hurley hosts a blow-out massive charity golf tournament.  This year’s installment will take place on June 17, 2016 at the Harbor Pines Golf Club in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey.  Hurley’s eighth annual dinner scheduled for Friday, April 8, 2016 at Congress Hall,hurleycongresshallevent (America’s seaside resort), co-headlined this year with Joe Piscopo of WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer,” is also a highly successful charity silent auction fundraising event. In making the announcement of Hurley being this year’s choice for the prestigious award, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “This award has special significance to the Harrison family, the TALKERS organization and everyone who knew Sharon personally because it represents the absolute best that the radio industry can be on a fundamental human level.  The recipients of this honor stand tall as role models for what the radio industry should be. Harry Hurley is the quintessential positive morning personality and shines as a beacon of hope for radio and humanity.  The people of Atlantic City are blessed to have him as a staple of their airwaves.  He is a true natural resource like their wonderful beaches and shoreline.”  Harry Hurley will be presented the honor during the Awards Ceremony at the forthcoming TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations conference on Friday, May 20, 2016 at Hofstra University. For more conference details see stories below.

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh to Appear Live on Fox News Channel.  As much as the players in Washington pay attention to what talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh says on his show, Limbaugh himself rarely appears on other programs.  One of those rare appearances takes place on Sunday as the Premiere Networks star will speak with Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace on the “FOX News Sunday” program.  During the live interview, Limbaugh will talk with Wallace about 2016 presidential elections, frontrunner Donald Trump, Super Tuesday results and tonight’s GOP presidential debate taking place on Fox News Channel.

Presidential Race/Super Tuesday Results, Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, Apple vs FBI, Russian Air Strikes in Syria, and U.S. Immigration Policy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/2).  The aftermath of the Super Tuesday primary elections; former Hillary Clinton staffer Bryan Pagliano gets immunity in the private email server investigation; the debate over whether Apple should help the FBI get into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists; Russia’s continued air strikes in Syria during the “cease fire” period; and the future of America’s immigration policy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  Two new shows are added at Hubbard Radio’s sports talk WXOS, St. Louis “101ESPN.” First, thewxos logo station’s Dan Bettlach partners with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Blues beat reporter Jeremy Rutherford to co-host “St. Louis Hockey Central” every Wednesday evening at 7:00.  Also, the “Barclays Premier League Now” soccer talk show will air on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 11:00 am…..This Sunday evening’s Democratic presidential debate from Flint, Michigan on CNN will be simulcast for radio by Westwood One.  It will air at 8:00 pm and be moderated by Anderson Cooper…..Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine begins a special six-week series of talk shows on SiriusXM.  The program is called “The Mayor,” and will feature Levine – newly elected mayor of one of America’s most diverse cities – to speak with fellow elected officials about important issues facing the country’s cities and states, with topics ranging from crime to the environment to the underreported challenges of improving lazerbroadcasting logoinfrastructure around the country…..Spanish-language broadcaster Lazer Broadcasting Corporation – owner of more than 20 stations – has been selected Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ “2015 Hispanic Radio Station of the Year.”  Radio personalities Salvador Prieto and Jessica Calvario, co-hosts of the morning show, “El Show del Prieto,” accepted the award at a recent ceremony in Orlando.  Representatives from the charity’s 170 member hospitals gathered with corporate and media partners to honor those who raise critical funds and awareness for children’s hospitals across North America.  Lazer Broadcasting Corporation has donated more than $4.3 million since its participation six years ago.

smithkennyPodcastOneKenny Smith Podcast Launches on PodcastOne.  The latest in a series of NBA-themed podcasts launches on PodcastOne with NBA great Kenny Smith’s new show.  Smith – a two-time NBA champ and current TNT personality, kicked off his new show with a Houston Rockets championship team reunion featuring Hakeem Olajuwon, Robert Horry, Clyde Drexler and Sam CassellCharles Barkley and Reggie Miller also join the show with some conversation from the recent NBA All-Star weekend in Toronto.  The show will also feature Smith’s wife, Gwen Osborne-Smith (pictured here with Smith), who joins the show each week for “60-seconds with Gwen,” a five-question rapid fire with players and celebrities.  New episodes will be available every Wednesday.

rabRAB: Radio’s Off-Air and Digital Segments Extending Medium’s ‘Umatched Reach.’  Using data from Miller Kaplan Arase comparing 2015 revenue data to the same from 2014, the Radio Advertising Bureau states that “radio boasts the broadest mass reach among all media while simultaneously affording narrow targeting capabilities through numerous program formats and networks.”  Ending 2015 basically flat at -1% from an industry-wide revenue standpoint, the radio sector enjoyed growth in off-air revenue of 11% ($2.04 billion) and a rise in digital revenue of 5% ($1.02 billion).  Spot revenue was down 3% from 2014 to 2015.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments, “More and more advertisers are extending the unmatched reach of broadcast radio by taking advantage of radio’s off-air and digital options.  By using radio stations’ digital and off-air platforms, advertisers are extending the scope and reach of their messaging – and because more and more consumers are enjoying experiential events or spending time on devices, off-air opportunities can build on the strength of broadcast radio and provide the ability to reach them effectively and efficiently.”

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

| January 12, 2016

podcastone bPodcastOne Reports 1.5 Billion Downloads in 2015.  Actually, the advertiser-supported podcast network says that its download total for 2015 surpassed the 1.5 billion mark for its approximately 200-program lineup thatpattiznorm includes shows featuring: Adam Carolla, Shaquille O’Neal, Dan Patrick, Steve Austin, Radiolab, Bret Easton Ellis, Freakonomics, Heather Dubrow, Brandi Glanville and more.  PodcastOne states it worked with more than 100 major brand partners in 2015.  Chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz comments, “When we started this journey three years ago, we wanted to be able to provide national advertisers and our programming partners a single destination for consumers to experience the best that podcasting has to offer.  So far, so good.  We’re grateful to our hosts, producer-publishers and, of course, our partner Hubbard Broadcasting.  We look forward to doing our part in making 2016 the year of the podcast.”

The Presidential Race/Trump-Cruz Birther Flap, Hillary Clinton Email Investigation Intensifies, Sean Penn-El Chapo Controversy, Obama State of the Union, Battle Against Islamic State, Sinking Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activity, NFL Wild Card Weekend, Record Powerball Jackpot, and David Bowie Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/11).  The activities of the candidates for president and the related “birther” issue between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz; the intensifying FBI probe into Hillary Clinton’s private email server use; the controversial interview between actor Sean Penn and Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman; President Obama’s Tuesday State of the Union Address; the battle against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria; plummeting oil prices and the effect on the world’s financial markets; the NFL’s Wild Card weekend games; the record $1.4 billion Powerball jackpot; and the death of rock legend David Bowie were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

ronjp WDAEJP Peterson Joins WDAE, Tampa to Co-Host Midday Show with Ron Diaz.  The iHeartMedia Tampa sports talker adds broadcast sports pro JP Peterson to the midday show, partnering up with current show host Ron Diaz for “The Ron and JP Show.”  The station notes that Peterson has covered sports in the Tampa Bay market since 1997, most recently hosting “Extra Inning” and “Inside Pitch,” the Tampa Bay Rays pre- and post-game shows on WDAE.  He previously served as the lead sports anchor for WFLA-TV, Tampa where he also did sideline reporting and studio work for the Buccaneers Preseason Broadcasts, covered the Super Bowl, Stanley Cup Finals, four Final Fours and four NCAA National Football Championship Games.  WDAE APD John Mamola states, “WDAE is thrilled to add JP Peterson to an already established and successful show and as part of iHeartMedia Tampa.  We look forward to Ron and JP’s successful future entertaining Tampa Bay listeners with a lighter side of the sports we all care so deeply about.”

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallAustralian Rock Radio Legend Trevor Smith Shares “Down Under” Perspective of Radio, Music, Politics and Pop Culture.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is joined on this week’s installment (1/12) of PodcastOne’s hit program for media freaks, “Up Close and Far Out,” by Australian rock radio legend Trevor Smith.  Smith, a former programsmithtrevor director of the legendary Sidney FM album rocker, Triple-M, is now head of the Australia-based production house Aloha Media  (www.alohamedia.com.au/radio/), producers of major syndicated radio programs and specials heard on hundreds of radio stations across the nation/continent.  The long-time friends engage in an extensive discussion of all things media from a Land Down Under perspective – radio, music, politics, and pop culture.  To listen to the entire conversation, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player boxes located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh Turns 65 Today.  Happy birthday wishes go out to Premiere Networks-syndicated talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh, who celebrates his 65th birthday today (1/12).  The news/talk giant will have been in national syndication for 28 years this August and has long and often been credited will breathing fresh life into the news/talk format and, many would also argue, extending the lifespan of the AM band in America.

chillngtalesPodcastOne to Launch Dramatic Series Called ‘Chilling Tales.’  This new partnership between PodcastOne and Chilling Tales for Dark Nights – a premiere multi-media brand specializing in the production of audio entertainment, short films and published works – will bring both published and unpublished literary projects to life with the new scripted series “Chilling Tales: The Podcast.”  The program is being narrated by Master Broadcaster and host of the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival, Steve Taylor.  Chilling Tales founder and director Craig Groshek comments, “Our content has been made possible over the last few years by dozens of voice actors, actresses, authors, editors, composers and sound designers.  We’re thrilled to join the PodcastOne family and share our passion for storytelling with an entirely new audience.  We can’t thank Norm Pattiz and rest of the PodcastOne team enough, and we look forward to what the future brings with this new platform partnership.”  Pattiz says, “I have long wanted to do a series rooted in literature.  These are great works.  Not only are we giving voices to stories that went unpublished but deserve to be heard, but, from the content to production value, there’s nothing like this in the podcast arena.”

salazarmartaSalazar Joins Entravision as Political Outreach Director.  Former Fox Television Washington, DC account executive Marta Salazar is named political outreach director of Entravision Communications. Salazar will oversee political advertising sales for the company’s radio and television stations. The company’s chief revenue officer Mario Carrera remarks, “We are delighted to welcome Marta to Entravision and have her skills and experience to lead our political sales efforts. Her strongEntravision foundations in local market broadcast, in addition to her unique experience in political media, make her the ideal candidate to be our political outreach director. Marta joins us during a presidential election cycle as the United States Latino vote continues to increase in influence in our key battleground markets. We are well positioned and look forward to Marta’s leadership in this important and growing part of our business.” Salazar states, “I am thrilled to be joining the Entravision organization. I am both honored and excited to be at Entravision and look forward to working with the team to help further expand the U.S. Latino voice in this exciting and dynamic political climate. I feel fortunate to be joining such a respected company, committed to both the United States Latino community and to top quality media platforms.” During the 2012 political election season, Salazar – a Florida International University graduate – was responsible for Scripps’ national political advocacy media sales. Entravision owns 23 radio outlets in California; 12 in Texas; four each in Arizona and Colorado; three in Nevada; and two each in Florida and New Mexico.

Odds & Sods.  Digital platform Glimmerglass Radio launches its own green-focused radio program ingreenamericanliving conjunction with its second anniversary.  Glimmerglass radio founder John Kosmer calls his platform “a self-contained online streaming talk radio station broadcasting about 50 shows 24/7.”  The new program, “Green American Living,” is the only program Glimmerglass Radio produces itself.  Kosmer adds, “Our new ‘Green American Living’ hennermoneyeddie16show offers radio stations and their listeners extensive in-depth green news reporting on issues that are becoming increasingly important to people around the world.  The independent shows aired on Glimmerglass Radio comprise one of the most comprehensive radio green news gathering services in America.  ‘Green American Living’ now brings the breadth and scope of that green news reporting to a regularly scheduled, one-hour broadcast intended for distribution.”…..Talk radio personality Hugh Hewitt’s associate producer – Marlon Bateman – has exited the Salem Radio Network in order to join the press operation of GOP presidential hopeful U.S. Senator Marco Rubio…..Sun Broadcast Group’s Marilu Henner (right) is pictured here with rocker Eddie Money (left) who appeared as a guest on her nationally syndicated radio program recently…..Powerball-mania haspowerball America talking and SiriusXM is airing a special program tonight at 6:00 PM ET on its Insight channel 121 called, “Dumb Luck Radio: An Idiot’s Guide to Instant Billions.”  SiriusXM says the show will be a “live, one-hour, call-in special broadcast, to answer listeners’ questions including, ‘What happens if you actually win the Powerball jackpot?’”  SiriusXM’s Kenny Curtis will host and guests will include: psychiatrist Dr. Michael Aronoff discussing the mental health aspects of acquiring unimaginable wealth; plus Eric Bradlow on statistics and a player’s real probabilities of picking the right numbers; and Kent Smetters will explain the best option – lump sum or annuity, finding the right financial investor and investing wisely to protect one’s winnings.

The State of Women on Talk Radio – Part 5

| November 6, 2015

Why aren’t there more?

womentalkart15

By Jeff McKay
TALKERS
Special Features Correspondent

 

Continuing  today (11/6), TALKERS presents the conclusion of a five-part feature story about the status of female talk show hosts in the radio business that has run throughout this week.

Part 5:  Summing it up, what does it all really mean?

mckayjeffwriterNEW YORK – It was established in the first four installments of this article about the state of women on talk radio – particularly “news/talk” radio – that although there are many successful female practitioners of the art (assuming that the performance of talk radio is an “art”) heard around the country, male hosts continue to outnumber females by a startling ratio of approximately seven-to-one.  The question is why?

In the course of the dialogue sparked by the writing of this story, it became evident that the question of why there aren’t more women doing this has both a simple answer as well as a more complicated one.

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The State of Women on Talk Radio – Part 4

| November 5, 2015

The Two Toned Talker(2015) revWhy aren’t there more?

By Jeff McKay
TALKERS
Special Features Correspondent

Continuing  today (11/5), TALKERS presents a multi-part feature story about the status of female talk show hosts in the radio business that will run throughout this week.

Part 4:  Where is it going?

mckayjeffNEW YORK – It was established in the first three installments of this article about the state of women on talk radio – particularly “news/talk” radio – that although there are many successful female practitioners of the art heard around the country, male hosts continue to outnumber females by a startling ratio of approximately seven-to-one.  The question is why?

Another question: Where is it all going?

Would an increase in the number of women on news/talk radio change the “nature” of the medium?

And, of course, that leads to the bigger question, should talk radio be looking to expand its nature and target audiences by hiring more women?

Can the spoken word medium successfully expand into more of a variety of directions and attract new female-skewing audiences via an increase in females on the air?   Is that a risky move?

What do women want to hear enough to make talk radio of any genre part of their daily habit and routine?

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Monday, September 28, 2015

| September 28, 2015

bubbaNielsen Investigating ‘Evidence of Ratings Tampering’ in Tampa Market; Bubba the Love Sponge at Center of Scrutiny.  The statement issued on Friday by Nielsen Audio doesn’t mention Beasley Broadcasting’s WBRN-FM, Tampa-based personality Bubba the Love Sponge, but Beasley has been informed of the investigation by Nielsen and the company says it is cooperating.  It isn’tnielsen logo commenting on Bubba’s status with the company but the station is airing “best of” content today (9/28).  Nielsen stated on Friday, “We became aware of evidence of attempted ratings distortion activity in the Tampa market.  We are working to resolve this issue and will provide additional details when they become available. Nielsen is committed to maintaining the highest standards of data integrity and acts swiftly to ensure that those standards are upheld.”  Nielsen will be delaying the September 2015 PPM report for the Tampa/St. Petersburg market.  The rest of the markets will be released as scheduled, tomorrow and Wednesday.

andersoncarlCarl Anderson Named Tucson Market President for iHeartMedia.  Company programmer Carl Anderson will take on the role of market president and SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s seven-station Tucson cluster.  Anderson added brand manager for the company’s news/talk/sports stations to his EVP of programming Midwest responsibilities back in March.  Now, along with the new role in Tucson, Anderson will retain the news/talk/sports brand manager responsibilities.  Andersonknstlogo comments, “The career opportunities within iHeartMedia are truly amazing.  I’m honored and humbled in this new venture of leading the Tucson team as well as remain engaged as brand manager for news/talk/sports.  This combined role enables me to grow in a new position while furthering my passion of developing and growing spoken-word programming for the company.”  iHeartMedia’s Tucson holdings include hot AC KMIY “My92.9,” CHR KRQQ, country KYWD “Wild Country 97.1,” hip hop KOHT “HOT 98.3,” news/talk KNST, and Spanish music outlets KTZR and KXEW.

cowherdcolinFOX Sports’ Colin Cowherd Lashes Out at ESPN.  A piece by Matt Bonesteel in the Washington Post details the recent comments by sports talk personality Colin Cowherd on his Fox Sports Radio Network-syndicated show in which he criticizes former employer ESPN.  The foundation for Cowherd’s criticism is the company’s conservative nature.  He says the company has become increasingly “reactionary” over the past “three or four years.”  He specifically criticized the “Mike & Mike in the Morning” show, saying, “We used to call it ‘Mickey and Mickey in the morning.’  It’s very Disney, it’s very safe, it’s very likeable, nobody’s going to get yelled at.  It’s a very easy place for advertisers to come in, park their insurance commercial and nobody’s going to be offended.”  Cowherd left ESPN in August after 12 years for a new deal with FOX Sports.  He was taken off the air by ESPN a week before his final show after comments about the education level of Dominican baseball players caused a stir.  Read Bonesteel’s piece here.

limbaughrushNational Talk Shows to Reap Super PAC Money from Promise I.  As reported in the New York Post by Claire Atkinson, the Super PAC Promise I – supporting GOP presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz – will spend $1 million on a national talk radio ad campaign.  Atkinson reports the programs destined to be part of the buy include Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity as well as the Laura Ingraham show.  See her story here.

jelli logoFocus 360 Adds Stations to Programmatic Radio Network.  Nine new radio stations are being added to the programmatic networks “Powered by Jelli” from Focus 360.  The company is working in conjunction with Envision Networks for affiliate sales.  Jelli’s cloud-basedenvisionnetworks new programmatic ad platform “traffics, serves and reports campaigns allowing stations and show producers to generate incremental revenue with virtually no time constraints added to in-house sales teams.”  Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “Ad agencies are increasingly demanding programmatic buying opportunities, and the Focus 360 radio networks powered by Jelli’s technology platform fulfill this growing need.  Jelli’s platform delivers and monitors commercials as they are broadcast, relieving stress on station traffic departments by not requiring them to schedule and report those spots every day.”

simonemarkCantor15WOR, New York’s Mark Simone Raises Funds for Charity at Cantor Fitzgerald.  The annual 9/11 Charity Day at financial firm Cantor Fitzgerald brings celebrity traders into its offices to execute trades with the commissions going to various charities.  WOR, late morning personality Mark Simone and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani are two of the celebs who participate each year.  Pictured here is Simone manning the phones.  During the day, Simone made a $750 million trade of U.S. treasury bonds – the biggest trade of the day.  All together, $12 million was raised for charity.  Simone’s portion of the commission is being donated to the The Police Athletic League of New York City.  Cantor Fitzgerald’s offices were at the top of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and the company lost 700 employees that day.

The Importance of Talk Radio

| July 30, 2015

By Chris Stigall
WPHT, Philadelphia
Talk Show Host

 

stigallchris writerPHILADELPHIA — A listener called the show today to define talk radio as he saw it.  He called it a place where average Americans of all means, politics and professions can discuss and explore important issues.  It’s not a matter of being famous, or being a member of an editorial board or Congress.   It’s not a nightly news anchor reading the teleprompter, delivering their version of the news.  Talk radio is of the people, by the people, and for the people, he said.

Simply, it’s the purest form of honest dialogue available in all of media.

Earlier this week at a live event, a listener explained the importance of talk radio in her life.  Not only does it help her through her days as her parents’ full-time caretaker, but she honestly believes there would be no publicly available opposing view to most media coverage today.

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Monday, July 6, 2015

| July 6, 2015

limbaughrush15Programming Changes Take Effect in Indy; Limbaugh Moves to WNDE.  Today, Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh moves from his longtime place on Emmis’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis to iHeartMedia-owned crosstown sports talk WNDE – a move announced earlier this year.  At WIBC-FM,wibclogo the new lineup sans Limbaugh includes the new show “The 10@10 with Mike Wilson and Ray Steele,” a program and will run down the top 10 stories of the day at 10:00 am.  Greg Garrison moves to the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm slot and Radio America-syndicated “The Dana Show” with Dana Loesch airs from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  The “Chicks on the Right” with Daisy and Mockarena airs from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm and “Abdul at Large” with local political writer, educator and media personality Abdul-Hakim Shabazz from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

cookehollandCooke: Turning Digital Disappointment into Direct Success.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke presented at two state broadcasters’ conferences recently and he says the common thread from all three sessions was the following: “Recent years’ radio revenue data has many shrugging that ‘flat is the new up.’  Less so in small and medium markets, where local direct retail comprises more of radio’s income than in big markets where transactional business is the ball game.  And in every market, digital is the shiny object sucking dollars away from legacy media.  Especially ours.  Ask car stores: Detroit is telling them to move radio money online.”  And while digital is expected to eclipse all other ad platforms by 2017 (in terms of dollars spent), there are those who dare to question digital’s efficacy relative to ‘legacy’ media.  In today’s column, Cooke offers some advice for reigniting the power of radio as a sales vehicle.  Read the entire piece here.

kgo logo newCumulus Draws Local Criticism from Press, Unions for Closing KGO’s South Bay Bureau.  Noting that the South Bay bureau of news/talk KGO, San Francisco has been open for more than four decades, the San Jose Mercury NewsScott Herhold laments the decision of Cumulus Media to shutter the two-staffer office in San Jose without notice.  Reporting thatsagaftra logo Jennifer Hodges and Jeanne Lynch were let go June 26, the paper says even San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo wrote Cumulus’ Lee Hammer writing, in part, that the closure “wouldn’t serve the station well to abandon the region’s biggest city and hope that folks could simply phone it in.”  SAG AFTRA (which represents also registered its displeasure by asking listeners to do the same via a petition at its savelocalradio.org site.

savagemichaelMichael Savage Announces Winners of $100,000 Scholarship Contest.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Savage announced the five winners of his “What Does It Mean to Be an American?” essay contest on July 2.  The winners – Alex Peterson, James Lutack, Heather Fisher, Curtis Butterfield and Mark Bragg – will each receive a $20,000 scholarship over a two-year period.  The Westwood One-syndicated host says he launched the unprecedented $100,000 scholarship fund in early 2015 with the intention of promoting traditional American values among conservative college students.  Savage says he received approximately 1,700 entries, and the five carefully selected winning essays “honor the principles that America was built upon and discuss the country’s past, present and future.”  You can read the winning essays here.

bearmanbookcoverHeavy Hundred Host Ethan Bearman’s New Book, Liars & Whores: How Big Government and Big Business are Working to Save their Own Assets, Not Yours (Talkers Books, 2015), Released Today. Praised by the TALKERS editorial board as being “one of the rising stars of talk radio – a new voice of Generation X” – KSFO, San Francisco (local) and GCN (national) radio talk show host Ethan Bearman adds “published author” to his growing list of credentials with the official release today of his new book, Liars & Whores; How Big Government and Big Business Are Working to Save Their Own Assets, Not Yours (Talkers Books, 2015).  The book – a populist, non-partisan approach to the economic and social challenges faced today by the average person trying to make a living and feed his or her family against the backdrop of an increasingly corrupt corporate and government culture – addresses the key issues of these times and marks the return of TALKERS magazine to the book publishing business after a 10 year hiatus.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “What makes this book so fresh and exciting is the fact that it is a manifesto that ‘works’ in any of today’s competing political ideologies… that is what makes Ethan Bearman such an effective up-and-coming host with razor-sharp teeth, and now a superb guest for any talk show that deals with current events.”  For more information about Ethan Bearman and the book, please click here.  To schedule Ethan Bearman for a talk radio interview call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Odds & Sods.  The Minneapolis Star-Tribune is reporting that, based on a recent memo from American Public Media CEO Jon McTaggart there are cuts coming to the public radio corporation this month.  Saying theamericanpublicmedia company “cannot succeed with ‘business as usual,’” he tells staffers, “We will stop some programming and create capacity for new content and innovative audience services.  We will eliminate and change positions in some departments, and create capacity for new positions in others.”…..Saga Communications is relocating the newly acquired Illinois Radio Network from Chicago to the state’s capital of Springfield.  According to a report from WAND-TV, Springfield, WTAX, Springfield news director Alex Degman adds ND duties for the network to his responsibilities, replacing Jim AndersonDave Dahl stays aboard at the capitol and will add WTAX morning anchor duties.  WTAX’s Will Stevenson assists the network with Springfield and Capitol coverage.  Current IRN staffers John Gregory and Jason Goch will continue to be based in Chicago.

shepardMH4th15Hyper-Local Radio.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (the hipster on the left wearing the Broadcasters Foundation baseball hat) stopped by the reviewing stand at the East Longmeadow (MA) Independence Day Parade on Saturday (7/4) to say hi to his buddy Brad Shepard (right) who was serving as emcee of the annual event.  Shepard is the general manager and star host of the recently launched, hyper-local online station, Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com), designed to super-serve the Western Massachusetts communities of the Greater Springfield Metropolitan Area.  The station’s format is best described as “personality-oriented public affairs” geared to the community, its leaders and most-active citizens. Harrison, a primary backer of the internet media station, says, “Everyone knows that I am a strong advocate and supporter of local radio as well as non-traditional online programming.  How could I resist getting involved with and supporting a project of this nature in my own backyard?  Of all my many projects, Pioneer Valley Radio is one of the most exciting and fulfilling.  The positive response from the good folks who keep the wheels turning in this region has been incredibly gratifying.”

barberdaveMichigan and Rhode Island Talk Personality Dave Barber Dead at 60.  Family, friends, the talk radio business and the Rhode Island political scene are remembering Dave Barber today after he succumbed to what his brother Larry called a “catastrophic health event” in Michigan 10 days ago.  Barber – who had been serving as host of the Rhode Island General Assembly’s TV program “Straight from the Gavel” – was put into a medically induced coma after choking during a rehearsal dinner for a friend’s wedding.  Complications ensued and Barber was not able to emerge from the coma.  He died on Saturday (7/4).  Barber was a longtime Flint, Michigan talk host – serving at such signals as WTRX, WTAC, and WFDF – before joining WPRO, Providence in 2006.  Two years later he took up the “Straight from the Gavel” gig and had been doing it ever since.  You can see a tribute video of Dave Barber from Art Vuolo here.

wbtlogoWBT, Charlotte’s John Hancock Kicks Off Fourth Peanut Butter ‘N’ July Food Drive.  WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte afternoon drive personality John Hancock is working with local merchant Harris Teeter and peanut butter manufacturer Jif for the “Peanut Butter ‘N’ July” benefit for Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.  Saying that the high protein food is one of the most requested items for those who benefit from their services, WBT has launched a campaign to bring attention to the importance of this product.  Hancock and other WBT personalities will be appearing at Harris Teeter locations during the month of July to collect unopened jar of peanut butter.

troopathon158th Annual Troopathon Raises $280,000.  Co-hosts Melanie Morgan of KSRO, Santa Rose, California (left) and WABC, New York personality Rita Cosby (right) share a laugh with Premiere Networks superstar Rush Limbaugh via Skype during the recent “Troopathon” fundraiser organized by the group Move America Forward.  The organization has been raising cash to send care packages to troops on the front lines in Afghanistan and raised $280,000 during this year’s program that ended June 25.  Cosby says, “The participation of radio personalities played a huge role in the success of this year’s Troopathon.  This year, we were joined by my co-host Melanie Morgan, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Geraldo Rivera, Brian Kilmeade, Dennis Miller, Adam Corolla, and Herman Cain.”  Celebrities who assisted with the effort included rock legend Ted Nugent, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Super Bowl Champion quarterback Joe Theisman, singer Tony Orlando, TV host Nancy Grace, and many more.

Monday, June 15, 2015

| June 15, 2015

2015 NYC 150Packed Talkers New York 2015 Conference a Hit with Attendees.  Talk media industry practitioners jam-packed the India House in Manhattan’s Financial District on Friday, June 12 for a full day of presentations, panels and speeches as TALKERS magazine celebrated its 25th anniversary serving the talk radio industry at its 18th annual New York-located national conference.  The day began with a continental breakfast and reception titled, “Breakfast with Hannity,” sponsored by the Premiere Networks-syndicated talk radiokilmeadeHannityFrancesa15 superstar.  WFAN, New York sports talk legend Mike Francesa kicked off the presentations with a powerful and informative welcoming speech.  Panel discussions included such topics as “The State of Radio Ratings,” “The Big Picture,” “Generating Talk Radio Revenue,” “Programming Talk Radio in 2015,” “Variety, The Spice of Life,” and “Navigating a Talk Host Career.”  The program also included a one-on-one “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Cumulus Media EVP, content & programming John Dickey, plus the TALKERS quiversTalbott15Awards Presentation during which WOLB, Baltimore morning host Larry Young received the “Humanitarian of the Year Award,” Howard Stern co-host Robin Quivers received the “Woman of the Year Award,” CBS Radio News VP Harvey Nagler was presented the “Lifetime Achievement Award,” and ABC Television, director, business continuity Howard B. Price received the “Freedom of Speech Award.”  Michael Harrison states, “We are deeply gratified, humbled and grateful by the SRO turnout and the tremendous love and support we have consistently received that has allowed TALKERS and all its various projects to make it to the quarter-century milestone.  This conference exuded a level of confidence about the future of the talk industry held by its key players that we haven’t seen in years!”  Video of each of the sessions and presentations will be made available online via Talkers TV, along with detailed story and photographic coverage of the conference, beginning next week.  Above right, FOX News’ Brian Kilmeade, WFAN’s Mike Francesa and Sean Hannity share a joke.  Lower left, Premiere Networks’ Julie Talbott (left) presents the Woman of the Year Award to Robin Quivers (right).

limbaughrush15iHeartMedia to Create New Boston Home for Rush Limbaugh on WKOX.  Dropping the Spanish music format “Mia 1430,” iHeartMedia will launch “Talk 1430” WKOX on Monday, June 29 with Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh as the centerpiece along with company stalwarts Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck surrounding him.  WKOX is licensed to Everett, Massachusetts and its primary signalwkox logo covers the city of Boston and reaches many of its suburbs.   iHeartMedia is going with a sports and talk hybrid using FOX Sports Radio content in addition to syndicated talk programming.  Here’s the lineup: “FOX Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman & Mike North” in AM drive; Glenn Beck from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon; Limbaugh; Sean Hannity from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm; “America Now” from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm; Westwood One’s Mark Levin from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight; and FOX Sports Radio during overnights.  iHeartMedia Boston market president Alan Chartrand says, “We are excited to bring this powerful lineup of talk show hosts to our cluster here in Boston.  We are confident that the biggest names in the talk radio format will serve our listeners and advertisers well.”

voltair imageCanada’s Numeris Orders Voltair Units Disabled Until Further Notice.  Canada’s Numeris – formerly called the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement – has ordered all Canadian radio stations to disconnect their Voltair units from their audio chains.  The audio processor manufactured by 25-Seven – a division of TelosAlliance – has been a controversial topic within U.S. broadcast circles recently for reportedly enabling stations in Nielsen’s PPM markets to “amplify” the encoding that PPM receivers use to “hear” in order to give stations credit for listening.  As was discussed at the Talkers New York 2015 conference on Friday (6/12) on the “State of Radio Ratings” panel, Voltair is currently being tested by Nielsen but no such edicts have been issued here.  Canada’s Numeris states in a letter to station owners that the order to shut off Voltair comes because of the “importance of a level playing field.”  Numeris admists it doesn’t know if the technology is affecting ratings or not but that it expects to have an analysis of Voltair done within 60 days.

hessbillCumulus Media Elevates Hess to Corporate PD of News/Talk. A session moderator at last Friday’s (6/12) “TALKERS New York 2015,” Bill Hess takes on corporate responsibilities in addition to his role as program director of Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talker WMAL-AM/FM. According to Cumulus executive vice president of content and programming John Dickey, “Bill is one of the format’s best minds. We look forward to sharing him within our company.” Senior vice president of content and programming Mike McVay comments, “This promotion enables us to take advantage of Bill’s previous experience as a corporate programmer and rewards him for the amazing job that he is doing at WMAL.” Hess remarks, “I deeply appreciate – and am incredibly energizedCumulus by – this opportunity to work with John Dickey, Mike McVay, and our team of talented programmers as we continue to drive the success of the industry’s leading platform of news-talk brands, both on-air and digitally.” Formerly senior vice president of programming for Air America Radio, Hess was brand manager for Clear Channel/iHeartMedia and was PD of talk stations in Providence (WHJJ); Springfield, Massachusetts (WHYN-AM); and Worcester, Massachusetts (WTAG), as well as operations manager of Washington, DC progressive talker WWRC, sports WTEM, and conservative talk WTNT. The Philadelphia native has programmed FM music stations in Washington, DC (adult contemporary WASH and classic rock WBIG); Providence (hot AC WSNE and classic hits-oldies WWBB); Springfield, Massachusetts (hot AC WHYN-FM); and Worcester, Massachusetts (adult contemporary WSRS).

wrkologoNew Course Set at WRKO, Boston.  In a press statement announcing the hiring of Alison Harris as sales manager for Entercom’s news/talk WRKO, Boston, VP and market manager Phil Zachary says filling this two-year-vacant post signals the station’s readiness to forward with the next step inharrisalison its evolution.  He comments, “Like every talk radio station in America, WRKO has been evolving with the changing media habits and demographic shifts in our society.  We did not want to fill this important position until our course was set for the future and we found the perfect candidate.  I’m thrilled we’re now at that point and that Alison was available to us.”  Harris is a 22-year media pro who was most recently with Clear Channel Outdoor’s Washington, D.C./Baltimore Division as vice president of sales.  The Boston news/talk will part with Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh next month and says it will announce its new, official lineup a little later this month.

Odds & Sods.  Boston journalist and talk show host Michele McPhee told her listeners on Friday afternoon that she expects to beat the charges leveled against her after a late night incident on Thursday that resulted in her beingmcpheemichele arrested for DUI, resisting arrest and assaulting an officer.  McPhee – heard on WMEX, Boston in afternoon drive – says she can’t comment specifically on the advice of her attorney.  She was pulled over after a police officer reported seeing her car swerve on I-93 in South Boston.  The Boston Herald reports she became belligerent with the officer and even sustained a head injury while the officer was arresting her…..Salem Media Group names Randy Bush general manager of its Little Rock station group that includes Christian contemporary KKSP, Christian teaching KDIS and news/talk KHTE “96.5 The Answer.”…..Townsquare Media announces Mike “Sandman” Sanders is the new operations manager for its Billings, Montana cluster that includes news/talk KCHH “Newstalk 95.5.”  He was most recently with Riverbend Communications as music director and afternoon personality at adult contemporary KCLE, Idaho Falls “Classy 97.3.”

Nielsen Audio Releases Fourth Round of May 2015 PPM Data.  The fourth and final round of May 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The May 2015 survey period covered April 23 through May 20.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

njba logoNJBA Conference and Gala Begins This Week.  The annual New Jersey Broadcasters Association Conference and Gala opens this week in Atlantic City with his year’s theme: “Broadcast Has  New Attitude.”  NJBA president  & CEO Paul Rotella states, “We’re going to hear from a variety of voices during this conference which  will provide you with the latest and most substantial evolution in research, technology and advancement in audience measurement.”  During the conference, the NJBA will be honoring FOX News’ Judge Andrew P. Napolitano as its recipient of the Howard L. Green Humanitarian of the Year.  Also, Greater Media’s Peter Smyth will induct Dan Finn, Harry Hurley, Dick Swetits, and Kevin Williams into the NJBA Hall of Fame.

hobbsgabe‘Get Well’ Wishes to Gabe Hobbs.  Longtime radio pro and Gabe Hobbs Media principal, Gabe Hobbs is recovering from a ruptured disc in his lower back.  He writes to the industry that he’s been largely unable to communicated while literally “on his back” in the hospital for the better part of the last two weeks.  He writes, “As some of you may have heard, I have been hospitalized with a ruptured disk in my lower back for a couple of weeks.  My back just seemed to explode on the afternoon of May 26th and I’ve been largely unable to answer emails, phone calls or texts ever since.  I couldn’t even sit up or walk for 9 days.  I’m finally able to do a little work on the computer and have somewhat cogent phone conversations at this point…My apologies as I know many of you are wondering if I just dropped off the face of the earth.  Everyone at TALKERS wishes Gabe a speedy recovery.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

| June 10, 2015

gallaghermikeSalem Radio Network Presents ‘National Town Meeting’ on Police and Race Issues.  This “national town meeting” will be a local and national simulcast with KSKY, Dallas morning personality Mark Davis and Salem Radio Network syndicated personality Mike Gallagher and will air tomorrowdavismark (6/11) from 9:00 am to 12:000 noon ET.  Salem says, “In the wake of recent high-profile incidents including urban riots in Baltimore and last weekend’s suburban ‘pool party’ controversy in McKinney, Texas, Gallagher and Davis…will co-anchor an SRN National Town Meeting on minority/police relations in America.  Gallagher adds, “We hope this SRN National Town Meeting will continue a nationwide dialogue on why so many recent incidents have been magnified by the issue of race, and also produce solid answers on how we can all — Americans of all colors and creeds — move forward together as a society.”

wdbofm logoCox Media Group’s Orlando Stations to Produce ‘Unity in the Community.’  Both news/talk WDBO “News 96.5” and urban contemporary WCFB “Star 94.5” in Orlando will simulcast a special program called “Unity in the Community: A Live Discussion About thewcfb logo Current Role of Both Law Enforcement and Citizens in our Communities” tonight at 7:00 pm.  The program will feature a panel of experts to share what law enforcement is doing in Central Florida, and answer questions from concerned citizens.  They will discuss the roles and responsibilities of both law enforcement and citizens when dealing with each other.  Panelists will include: Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demmings, Orlando Police Chief John Mina, Sanford Police Chief Cecil Smith, former Chief Judge Belvin Perry, and Crimeline executive director Barb Bergen.  The panel discussion will be co-moderated by WDBO’s Joe Kelley and WCFB’s Monica May.

usaRadioNetworksUSA Radio Networks to Syndicate Kevin Jackson Show.  The Kevin Jackson program is being syndicated live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET by USA Radio Networks, beginning July 20.  The young, black conservative contributes to Breitbart, Human Events, and American Thinker and is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity, “The Factor with Bill O’Reilly” and MSNBC. He is the author of Thejacksonkevin Big Black Lie (Black Sphere 2009) and Sexy Brilliance and Other Political Lies (FastPencil Wavecrest 2011).  On his new relationship, Jackson comments, “I’m happier than a tornado in a trailer park to be part of the USA Radio Networks family, and can’t wait to take on Rush Limbaugh.  Conservative talk radio has needed new blood for some time, and I’m just happy to know a vampire.  America will get something different, and I couldn’t be more excited to bring it.”  USA Radio Networks chief content officer Tim Maranville says, “Kevin blurs the lines that have so divided our country yet does it in a way that creates a conversation about solutions.  Plus he’s wicked funny!”

mendtelarryLarry Mendte Named Morning Host at WILM, Wilmington.  Former longtime Philadelphia TV news anchor and radio host Larry Mendte is named morning drive personality at iHeartMedia’s Delaware news/talk stations WILM, Wilmington and WDOV, Dover.  Company regional market president Chris Walus states, “Larry is an extraordinary talent who has the unique ability to engage audiences across all demographics.  He has an impressive record of success in Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Diego.  Delaware listeners will be incredibly impressed with his ability to connect, engage and inform.”  In addition to his work in Philadelphia, Mendte has served at 77WABC in New York; “Access Hollywood” in Los Angeles, WBBM-TV and WLS-AM in Chicago.

wgvx logo‘105 The Ticket’ in Minneapolis Drops Local Talk.  Ousted local radio personality Bob Sansevere tells the Pioneer Press that the Cumulus Media-owned trimulcast of WGVX, WRXP, and WGVZ – branded as “105 The Ticket” – wasn’t able to put up a ratings fight against the sports talk competition in the market and that’s probably why his show and “Radioactive Sports” with Mike Morris and Ben Holsen were canceled.  The station is now airing the entire slate of CBS Sports Radio Network programming.

thomasjoeTVscreenshotWCHV, Charlottesville Talk Host Joe Thomas’ Morning Show Simulcast on Television Outlet.  The “Joe Thomas in the Morning” program on WCHV, Charlottesville, Virginia is now being simulcast on Gray Television’s “all-local, all-the-time Newsplex Now” channel.  Thomas, who also serves as program director for Monticello Media-owned WCHV, comments, “I was told back in the Bayside (NY) High School TV studio that I should go into radio because I would never be happy in television since I would never be able to have the irreverent fun I displayed in class.  It took 32 years, but I’m going to prove my teacher wrong!”  Thomas says he’s also on the lookout for short-form video content that could be included in the TV broadcast to create a unique viewer experience.  Reach out to him with suggestions at jthomas@cvillestations.com.

Odds & Sods.  The Los Angeles Lakers and ESPN O&O KSPN, Los Angeles announce they have agreed to an extension of their radio play-by-play deal through the 2021-22 season.  “ESPNLA” will carry all 82 regular-season games as well as the entire preseason and every playoff game.  John Ireland will continue as the play-by-play commentator for the Lakers radio broadcasts, with Laker great Mychal Thompson remaining as the color analyst.sextonbuck  Both are ESPNLA personalities – Ireland co-hosts the “Mason and Ireland” show and Thompson co-hosts the “Thompson and Trudell” program…..TheBlaze Radio Network’s Buck Sexton fills in for Rush Limbaugh on the Premiere Networks syndicated program today (6/10).  TheBlaze says Sexton is the only personality who has guest hosted for Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck.

lindanielleIndia15Syndicated Talk Host Danielle Lin Takes Show to India.  Dynamic health and lifestyle talker Danielle Lin took her syndicated radio talk show, “The Art of Living and the Science of Life,” to Bangalore, India reporting on the new trend of “Medical Tourism.”  She tells TALKERS, “Going global makes perfect sense in a podcast world.  I have discovered first hand that international expansion is not only lucrative…it’s essential in a digital world.  With a strong list of sponsors primed from US relations, linking countries like India was a natural fit for expanding my US brand.  The money flows in both directions as companies create bonds by targeting niche markets.  By producing valuable content on the national platform, we were able to translate the same conversation with the growing middle market in Bangalore. We started early enough in our planning to build a base that would connect us to a worldwide listenership.” Lin adds, “The local and international conversations are relevant to everyone when it comes to improving life.”  Lin (second from left) is pictured here with the leading Ayurvedic physcians at AyurVAID Hospital in Bangalore.

Texas Pool Party Incident, ISIS Military Progress/U.S. Iraq Policy, Obama Trade Deal, New York Prison Break, News from Apple WWDC, Bilderberg Group/G7 Meetings, Caitlyn Jenner Case, and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/9).  The fallout from a police officer’s actions at a Texas pool party; the continuing success of ISIS in Iraq and questions about the U.S. military’s policy in Iraq; the TTP trade deal and concerns over lack of understanding of what the pact contains; the search for two convicted murderers who escaped from a New York prison; news of the new digital music platform from Apple from the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference; questions about future global policies as the Bilderberg Group meets in Austria and the G7 summit takes place; ongoing chatter about the Caitlyn Jenner case and transgender issues; and the NBA and NHL Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, June 8, 2015

| June 8, 2015

schoenbergertoddWGMD, Rehoboth Beach Afternoon Host Sanctioned by SEC.  The new PM drive host at Resort Broadcasting’s WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware – Todd Schoenberger – has been sanctioned by the Securities Exchange Commission for fraud.  According to the News Journal, Schoenberger admitted to fraudulent conduct in a case in which he convinced four investors to pony up $130,000 for a hedge fund he said had $65 million under management, but in reality contained no assets at all.  Schoenberger began his new gig with the station on June 1 and this story broke later in the week.  He was still with the station on Friday (6/5), however it’s unclear what his status with the station will be going forward.  Schoenberger has been a regular guest on Fox News, CNBC, CNN and Bloomberg.

rollinsrussWTKS-FM, Orlando Morning Host Russ Rollins Sued by Estranged Wife.  The bit aired on iHeartMedia’s WTKS-FM, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1” in which Monsters in the Morning ringleader  Russ Rollins was served divorce papers while on the air has led Rollins’ estranged wife Samanthawtks logo Boomer to sue him.  According to the Orlando Sentinel, Boomer, who is being represented by Gloria Allred, is suing alleging defamation and invasion of privacy.  The suit seeks damages for emotional distress from the video of the bit and the related social media postings.  The complaint states that Rollins (and employer iHeartMedia) “decided to take something that is painful, personal and private and make it public entertainment for profit and ratings.  This public disgrace and embarrassment has caused so much pain and disruption that I had to contemplate moving my family from the community that I love.”  During the bit, it was implied that Boomer asked that the papers be served while Rollins was on the air.  That was not true and iHeartMedia published a retraction on the station’s website but that was too late for Boomer.

kohanskireneeMentally and Emotionally Coping with the Uncertainty of Speech No-Go Zones.  According to psychiatrist and TALKERS contributor Renee Kohanski, MD, coping with the uncertainty of “Speech No-Go Zones” can be emotionally challenging to a radio talk show host trying to strike a balance between being provocative, authentic, original and edgy – without falling victim to the often-stifling forces of political correctness that can instantaneously terminate a talent’s career in a puff of controversy.  Kohanski offers several tips to talkers on how to manage the stress of this situation and be prepared personally, professionally and even legally for that unwanted knock on the door by the political correctness police.  They include such measures as staying up-to-date on industry issues and standards in this regard, keeping documentation of key conversations about artistic expectations with corporate superiors, developing a relationship with a trusted mentor and maintaining a personal support system of advisors and representatives.  To read Dr. Kohanski’s entire article, please click here.

salemmediagroup logoSalem Media Group to Buy Two More former Radio Disney Signals.  The two stations are in the Dallas and Boston metros.  The Texas station is KMKI-AM, Plano, Texas and is a class B with 5,000 watts daytime.  The Boston signal is WMKI-AM, another 5,000-watt class B at 1260 on the dial.  The prices for the two are $3 million and $500,000 respectively.  Salem Media Group already airs its news/talk format in the Dallas market on KSKY and this will be signal number six for the company in that market.  As for the Boston station, Salem owns three signals in the market – Spanish Christian teaching on WWDJ, and English Christian teaching on both WROL and WEZE.  Will the company bring its news/talk format populated by Salem Radio Network personalities to the market on WMKI?  The tantalizing speculation that the company could provide Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh (soon to exit WRKO) with a new home on WMKI if it chooses to go news/talk, is already being discussed by industry watchers.  But Limbaugh would likely cost Salem a lot of cash and the company does not have a history of paying big money for a talent like Limbaugh when it has its own stable of quality, conservative talk hosts.  Still, eyes will be on Boston as this transaction develops.

browndarrenWEEO, McConnellsburg, PA Hires Mayor for AM Drive.  The Magnum Broadcasting-owned news/talk station serving the Chambersburg, Pennsylvania region is hiring Chambersburg borough Mayor Darren Brown to serve as morning host.  A story in Public Opinion News says 35-year-old Brown began doing an “Ask the Mayor” show on WEEO “NewsTalk 103.7 FM” in January of this year and he decided he’d like to try radio full time.  Station general manager Patrick Ryan tells the paper he was up for it.  “Can you think of a better host for a local news radio show than the mayor?  As mayor he certainly knows how to talk.  He’s at every ribbon-cutting in town and champions local issues that everyone needs to know about.”  The station says he’s currently the “anchor-in-training” for the “First News” program.  There’s no word on how the station will handle the equal time issue if and when Brown runs for re-election.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

| June 3, 2015

limbaughrush15Rush Limbaugh to Air on WNDE, Indianapolis and New Translator.  Currently, the iHeartMedia-owned WNDE-AM is a sports talk outlet and there’s nothing in the press release from the company that indicates a format change is imminent – it says the Rush Limbaugh program will be airing along with the local sports talk show hosted by Jake Query and John Schultz as well as the FOX Sports Radio Network programming currently being heard there.  The new translator – W248AW at 97.5 FM – is licensed to Franklin, Indiana (approximately 25 miles south of downtown Indianapolis) and should go on air at the end of June.  It will simulcast with WNDE effective July 6.  Earlier this year, Emmis-owned WIBC-FM announced it would not renew its deal with Premiere Networks to continue carrying the Rush Limbaugh show and will go with local programming in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot.

DGitalMedia logoDGital Media to Acquire WYD Media Ad Sales.  After last week’s announcement that former Dial Global and Westwood One execs Spencer Brown and David Landau are launching the audio engagement firm DGital Media comes news that the new company is acquiring WYD Media Ad Sales from founder Ron Hartenbaum.  DGital Media says the deal “instantlyhartenbaumron expands its research, analytics and sales capabilities.  As part of the deal, Hartenbaum is named managing director of DGital Media and WYD Media’s John Murphy joins DGital as president.  DGital defines its role on the media space as one that “partners with media brands to create, distribute, and monetize spoken-word audio products.”  To that end, Spencer Brown says this acquisition “expands DGital’s capabilities in the marketplace providing us with research, analytics accounting and, of course, a deeper sales force.  We now have the ability to build creative audio content for client brands and personalities and monetize them on all three major audio platforms – broadcast, satellite and online.”  The deal does not include Hartenbaum’s WYD Media Management or the Debbie Greenbaum-run WYM Media.  In addition to New York-based WYD Media Ad Sales, new offices in Detroit and Los Angeles (the latter to be headed by Steven Cohen, SVP of West Coast sales) will open.  WYD’s current client rosters includes a dozen brands and personalities including FOX News Radio, Thom Hartmann, Michael Smerconish, Ed Schultz, Stephanie Miller, and others.  Ron Hartenbaum says, “I have worked with co-founders Spencer Brown and David Landau before and look forward to this new association.  Joining DGital gives us the opportunity to expand upon the work we have been doing by broadening our client roster and menu of ad sales solutions.”

NBC Sports RadioNBC Sports Radio Finalizes Belmont Stakes Coverage. More than 175 stations will carry NBC Sports Radio‘s coverage of this Saturday’s (6/6) Belmont Stakes. The broadcast will be produced in partnership with Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN) and distributed by Westwood One. Having already won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, American Pharoah would garner horse racing’s “Triple Crown” with a victory; Affirmed (1978) was the last “Triple Crown” winner. Among those joining Jon Stashower on his pre-race show (2:00 pm – 5:00 pm, ET) will be American Pharoah trainer BobPrint Baffert; Steve Cauthen – the last jockey to win the Triple Crown (riding Affirmed in 1978); and racing analysts Hank Goldberg and Paul Lo Duca (a former MLB catcher). HRRN’s Mike Penna anchors coverage of the following two hours (5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, ET), which will include pre-race ceremonies, interviews, predictions, NBC Sports’ Larry Collmus’ call of the race, and post-race interviews. Analysts Jude Feld, and Kurt Becker, as well as former jockeys Sean Clancy and Jeff Bloom, will also be part of the coverage team.

kspnlogoKSPN, Los Angeles Names Mike Trudell Co-Host with Mychal Thompson.  The midday show at KSPN, Los Angeles “ESPNLA 710” is now composed of longtime personality and former Laker Mychal Thompson and veteran Lakers broadcaster Mike Trudell.  Thompson has been hosting the show with a series of rotating co-hosts.  Speaking about the new Thompson & Trudell Show,” ESPNLA VP/GM Scott McCarthy says, “We are thrilled to have Mike join our team as Mychal’s daily on-air partner.  The duo of Thompson and Trudell will provide fans with an insightful and entertaining take on everything that matters to the LA sports fan.”

Odds & Sods.  Good news for Salem Radio Network personality Michael Medved as he tells his listeners thatmedvedmichael he has been declared cancer free by his doctors.  Medved took leave from his syndicated program from February through April to undergo treatment for throat cancer…..WCBS, New York afternoon news anchor Steve Scott is elected the new president of the New York Press Club, taking over for Larry Seary, who steps aside to assume a trustee role.

conway dogWHO, Des Moines’ Simon Conway Helps Raise $25,000 for Puppy Jake Foundation.  The Puppy Jake Foundation acquires, trains and delivers service dogs to wounded combat veterans and it’s been the official charity of the Simon Conway show on WHO, Des Moines for the past year.  Conway was left speechless during a remote broadcast from a local restaurant after a woman who wished to remain anonymous came in and donated $20,000 to the charity.  Conway tells TALKERS, “I was numb for a few seconds.  The lady wanted complete anonymity.  Her dad was a Vietnam vet who had left her some money and she wanted it to go to a Veteran’s cause. She said she’d been listening to me for weeks and simply had to come in and make the donation. Just incredible.”  The restaurant donated 10% of its profits from the broadcast to the cause.  Conway is pictured here with a puppy that Puppy Jake Foundation named Simon, in Conway’s honor.

2016 Presidential Prospects, New Obama Approval Numbers, SCOTUS Headscarf Ruling, ISIS Military Progress, Hillary Clinton Email Issue, Caitlyn Jenner case, FIFA Scandal, and NBA and NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/2).  The potential candidates for president in 2016 and the entrance of Democrat Lincoln Chafee into the race; new lower approval ratings for President Obama are published; the aftermath of the Supreme Court headscarf ruling; the military success ISIS is having in Iraq and Syria and questions about U.S. military policy in the region; the ongoing probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email for State Department business; the case of Bruce Jenner’s transformation into Caitlyn; the FIFA scandal and the exit of Sepp Blatter as president; and the NBA and NHL Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

| June 2, 2015

pew logoLatest Pew Research Report on Political News Consumption Prompts Questions About Ever-Shifting Definition of ‘News.’ The just-published “Millennials and Political News” report from the Pew Research Center is subtitled “Social Media – the Local TV for the Next Generation?”  It looks at how three different generations – Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers – get their political news today and, not surprisingly, suggests that Millennials get more of their political news from social media than do the other two groups (especially Baby Boomers, who cite Local TV as their primary source).  However, the study goes deeper than just that conclusion and presents some interesting data illuminating media usage among these three generations.  But the study also reminds us that social media as a conduit of news isfacebooklogo personalized from the start.  “Understanding the nuances of the social media news environment is complicated: The experience is individualized through one’s own choices, through the friends in one’s network and their proclivities, and through algorithms – all of which can change over time. We are only limbaughrushbeginning to understand these complex interactions.”  Although good for marketing purposes, does the suggestion that social media makes it easier for people to “swim with their own” make them less likely to be introduced to ideas or opinions they’ve not experienced before?  How does the “narrowcasting” of political news affect the electorate?  But a question perhaps more relevant to TALKERS readers is what ishannity the definition of a news source?  The Pew survey asks respondents about specific programs, networks, newspapers, or news outlets and asks each generation about their use, awareness and trust of each.  Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck were listed among the beckglenn36 sources for political news (as was Comedy Central’s The Daily Show), and this brings up the old question of whether a talk radio show (or even a TV comedy show) are news programs in the same way the “CBS Evening News” is a news program.   The 36 sources were suggested to the respondents by Pew and one has to wonder how different the list of cited political news sources might be if respondents were asked to name their most used and trusted sources, instead of choosing from a list.  Regardless, this study certainly serves as a reminder that models of presenting news are changing almost as fast as the definition of what news is.  See the Pew study here.

clarkedavidMilwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke to Host Podcast on TheBlaze Radio Network.  The new weekly podcast available from Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network is called “David Clarke: The People’s Sheriff,” hosted by Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.  Saying that Clarke is well known for being “an outspoken defender of individual liberties,” TheBlaze the show will “focus on law enforcementtheblaze radio network issues, knowing your rights, commentary on current affairs, racial issues, 2nd Amendment matters, and the importance of empowering individuals rather than the state.”  On his new venture, Clarke states, “What an honor to be a part of TheBlaze Radio Network!  This podcast is an opportunity to add to the conversation of well-thought-out reason on issues confronting America.  I look forward to being a part of TheBlaze family, working to keep the public well informed.”

hamburgjoanWABC, New York Announces Pre-Tony’s Program with Joan Hamburg.  Big Apple talk radio personality Joan Hamburg will be broadcasting a special show this week from the famous Sardi’s Restaurant in the heart of Times Square on 77WABC to celebrate Sunday’s Tony Awards.  On Wednesday, June 3, Hamburg will speak with special Broadway guests and 100 of her loyal listeners during this sold-out luncheon event.  The show will air on Saturday, June 6 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  Guests will include Tony nominees: Jason Alexander, Geneva Carr, Marc Kudisch, Tyne Daly, Harriet Harris, Brian Darcy James, Christian Borle, Brad Oscar, Chita Rivera, Kelli O’Hara, Robert Fairchild, and Kelsey Grammer.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallLeading Progressive Talk Show Host Thom Hartmann Interviewed on Latest Installment of “Up Close and Far Out.”  Top 10 Heavy Hundred member and multi-platform talk star, Thom Hartmann, is this week’s guest on PodcastOne’s international hit series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Hartmann and TALKERS  publisher Michael Harrison discuss what they both describe as the “messed up state” of much of the categorical labeling (left, right, center) that is used to describe both talk show hosts andhartmannthom politicians involved in the national discussion of complex issues.  Hartmann – branded by industry observers and the media as a “liberal,” and/or “progressive” who approaches his show from a “left” position — says, “There really is no ‘left’ in America as there is in other countries.  There is the ‘right,’ the ‘far right,’ and the ‘center.’  No real ‘left’ to speak of.”  Hartmann describes himself as a lifelong “serial entrepreneur who hasn’t had an employer in about 40 years.”  He says, “There is no truth in the idea that liberals hate business.”  Hartmann goes on to cite a number of “fundamental American” issues upon which “both progressives and Tea Partyers agree.”  Hartmann cites issues upon which he agrees with conservative Cumulus/Westwood One host Mark Levin (who will be Harrison’s guest on next week’s installment of the podcast) and points out that, although he disagrees with just about every political position taken by Cumulus/Westwood one star Michael Savage, he greatly admires the host’s skill as a talk broadcaster.  Hartmann says he loves broadcasting as much as he loves politics.  To hear the entire podcast click here or click the player box in the right hand column of every page on TALKERS.com.

bostonheraldradio logoBoston Herald Radio Tweaks Lineup.  New personalities are being added to the lineup at Boston Herald Radio effective today (6/2).  The morning program “Boston Herald Drive” – airing from 7:00 am to 9:00 am – will add John Sapochetti as co-host alongside current personality Adriana Cohen.  Sapochetti’s progressive takes will provide some balance to Cohen’s conservative stance.  Also, in mid-afternoons, “Fargo Street,” airing from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and featuring hosts Chris Villani and Tyler Sullivan, will cover “current events, sports and entertainment.”  Villani comments, “I love the chance to broaden all of our horizons a bit.  It is a big world and there are big conversations to have.”  Also announced by the Herald is executive producer Tom Shattuck’s powering up the multimedia center in the Herald’s City Hall bureau to deliver daily news from City Hall.

Odds & Sods. An FM signal is added to Beasley’s South Florida business talk outlet WSBR, Boca Raton.  Via translator W245BC – whose primary signal covers an area to the northwest of Fort Lauderdale – the “740 AM MoneyTalk Radio” format will be heard on 96.9 FM as well…..Pubcaster WBUR, Boston is launching a six-week pilot season of “You’re the Expert,” a new science and comedy program hosted by comedian Chris Duffy. Each episode is recorded in front of a live audience and features a guest expert in a specialized field, such as a doctor who studies Neanderthal DNA or a researcher who examines bacteria from the New York Public Transit System.  A panel of comedians then uses questions and games to try and guess what the expert does and why his or her field is important…..Salem Media announces that it is declaring a quarterly dividend of $0.065/share payable on June 30 for shareholders of record as of June 16…..Talk show host Charles Butler fills in for Jerry Doyle on his Talk Radio Network program this week.

hurleyHarryMissAmerica15Miss America Pageant Returns to Atlanta City.  And WPGG, Atlantic City morning legend Harry Hurley got to spread the news of the beauty pageant’s return to the city with 2015 Miss America Kira Kazantsev in the studio to talk about it.  The pageant returned to Atlantic City in 2013 after six years in Las Vegas.

2016 Presidential Prospects/Lindsey Graham Joins GOP Race, TSA Fails Explosives Test, Patriot Act Expires, SCOTUS Head Scarf Ruling, Hastert Indictment, ISIS Military Success/U.S.-Trained Tajik Colonel Defects, and Bruce Jenner Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/1).  The potential candidates for president in 2016 and Republican Lindsey Graham’s entering the race; the controversy over the TSA’s failure to detect fake explosives 97% of the time; the expiration of the Patriot Act and questions about NSA phone surveillance in the aftermath; the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of a Muslim woman who was denied a job because of her head scarf; former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert charge with violating banking laws; the military success of ISIS in Iraq and Syria and a U.S.-trained Tajikistan colonel’s defection to ISIS; and the ongoing transition of Bruce Jenner into Caitlyn were among the top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

| May 28, 2015

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh’s Boston Situation Has the Industry – and the Media – Talking.  After Entercom’s WRKO, Boston announced it would end its relationship with Rush Limbaugh and Premiere Networks when the current contract expired this summer, the show was thrust into the spotlight as radio industry watchers and special interest groups wondered aloud why Entercom is letting Limbaugh go and where the show might land in the nation’s #10 radio market.  Recently, Boston mediawrkologo reports have crosstown WMEX management saying that it will not pick up the show.  As TALKERS noted during its initial coverage of this story, the list of quality AM signals in Boston likely to add a news/talk program are few and many wonder if the show will end up on a suburban AM.  While organizations such as Media Matters might like to take credit for the Entercom decision – that they successfully showed advertisers the show is “toxic” – without detailed comments from Entercom or Premiere Networks, no one can say for sure.  However, it’s likely the decision was more financial and less politically judgmental in nature.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Politics is a double-edged sword for talk radio.  Taking ownership of it in the era following the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine has proven to be a magic elixir that has given additional life and longevity to not only spoken-word programming but, by osmosis, the entire medium of radio itself.  The downside, of course, is the reality that politics – unlike its conceptual cousin, sports – is more than a ‘game’ and people do get hurt.  It is a dirty, ruthless business – a blood sport – that often brings out the worst in people that seek victory rather than truth.  This mindset has splashed over into the armchair analysis of events in radio.  Limbaugh – being the political poster child of the medium – is the target of so much vitriol, from both within and outside the industry, that any bump in the road that he suffers on a business or economic level is seized as evidence of his complete demise directly due to his alleged ‘wrongness’ and ‘toxicity.’  Also fueling the fires of anger seeking to burn Rush at the stake is widespread resentment toward Clear Channel – that runs much deeper than its rebranding as iHeartMedia can sidestep – being the primary symbol of the so-called evils of consolidation.  The truth is – just like almost everyone and every company in this business – Rush has an economic set of difficulties and hard choices to make, based on the financial realities of the radio business in 2015 and the fact that his act is more than a quarter century old.  Cut him some slack… yes, he has a problem in a couple of major markets — he ain’t the only one.  In their zeal to destroy the guy who has lots of miles left in his treads, I hope his critics don’t castrate radio of its greatest asset – the courage to be controversial, irritating, politically incorrect and even ‘wrong.’”

JohnandLeahShow logo‘The John & Leah Show’ Lands New York Affiliate WNYM.  The syndicated weekend talk show “The John & Leah Show” is now being heard on Salem Media Group-owned news/talk WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer.”  Hosted by radio pros John Ziegler and Leah Brandon, the Envision Networks-syndicated show that deals with “the week’s news focusing on media, politics, sports and pop culture” airs Sundays at 10:00 pm.  Salem Media Group New York VP/GM Jerry Crowley says, “‘AM 970, The Answer’ in New York is excited to air the ‘John and Leah Show’ each Sunday night…John Ziegler and Leah Brandon provide our listeners with up-to-date news and opinion and New Yorkers have a chance to call-in and let them know how they feel about it.”

cumulus logoCumulus Names Sutherland to Providence VP Market Manager Post. Taking over the VP/market manager position in Providence after Barbara Haynes’ exit last week is John Sutherland, who moves up from his VP of sales position with Cumulus Media’s Worcester, Massachusetts cluster.  Prior to joining Cumulus in 2013, he was chief visual officer for Sutherland Marketing Group.  He was also awpro logo vice president with iHeartMedia.  Cumulus SVP Gary Pizzati says, “Placing John at the helm of Cumulus Providence is a perfect fit for that dynamic group of stations and will maximize our position in the market.  John has many years of broadcast history in the Northeast and his tremendous track record speaks for itself.  This is another example of the opportunities for advancement and growth Cumulus offers to our employees.  We congratulate John and are pleased to present him with this well-deserved battlefield promotion.”

KMZQ-AMYahoo! Sports Radio About to Score in Vegas. The affiliation between Kemp Communications’ KMZQ “The Score,” Las Vegas and Yahoo! Sports Radio will start next Monday (6/1). Yahoo! Sports Radio chief executive officer David Gow states, “We have had a significant presence in Las Vegas through our great partnership with the [Las Vegas hotel and resort] Palazzo. It is so exciting to welcome our newest Las Vegas partner and to build on our deep connection with the market through a terrestrial signal. It’s going to be a big win for everyone.” KMZQ executive vice president and general manager Marty Basch comments, “Yahoo! has built locally-rooted connections with its national programming across the country. We are excited to be an integral part of its Las Vegas presence. From special events to nightly broadcasts, this is a great opportunity for KMZQ and its listeners to connect locally; get their national sports information; and be represented nationwide.” The lineup on KMZQ will include: Steve Czaban; “Prime Cut” with Sean Salisbury and John Granato; Leigh Steinberg; and “Sports X Radio” with Ken Thomson, who originates his Yahoo! Sports Radio show from the Palazzo. KMZQ is currently a Fox Sports Radio affiliate; the station did not appear in Nielsen Audio‘s April 2015 PPM report for Las Vegas.

Odds & Sods.  Talk pro Michael Bower (WUCS, Hartford and SiriusXM’s Maxim Radio) will fill in for WINZ,bowermike Miami’s Jeff “Defo” DeForrest on June 8 and 9…..New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will be a weekly contributor to WEPN, New York “ESPN New York 98.7FM” on the Michael Kay show.  Beginning September 3, Beckham will join Kay and co-host Don LaGreca each Thursday to talk Giants football and the NFL.

wgnhofplaqueWGN, Chicago to Induct ‘Walk of Fame’ Class.  In a ceremony that will be open to the public (and broadcast live on WGN, Chicago) and hosted by personalities Steve Cochran and Bob Sirott, the station will honor 10 broadcast legends.  The WGN Radio Walk of Fame Induction and Ceremony will take place tomorrow (5/29) on Pioneer Court in front of Tribune Tower from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm.  The 2015 inductees include: Steve Bertrand, Lyle Dean, Dave Eanet, Steve King, Franklyn MacCormack (represented by Rick Kogan), Lou Manfredini, Johnnie Putman, Ward Quaal (represented by 2014 Walk of Famer Orion Samuelson), Ron Santo (represented by his wife Vicki) and Eddie Schwartz (represented by his brother Hal Ross).

tradupKrauthammer15Conservative Commentator Krauthammer to Join Salem Conference.  On Wednesday, June 17, Salem Radio Network talk hosts Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher and Michael Medved will host a V.I.P. “Preview Dinner” in Washington, DC to kick-off the 2015 Road to Majority conference and conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer (pictured here at right with SRN VP/News & Talk Programming Tom Tradup at left) will be a special guest.  Former SRN talk host and GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum will also be featured at the conference, along with Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee and others.

2016 Presidential Prospects/Rubio Claims Assault on Christianity, FIFA Scandal/Clinton Donations, Deadly Texas and Oklahoma Floods, ISIS Military Progress, Baltimore Violent Crime Wave, Hillary Clinton Emails Issue, IRS Data Theft Case, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/27).  The potential candidates for president in 2016 and Marco Rubio’s assertion that Christianity is under assault in America; the FIFA corruption scandal and its donations to the Clinton Family Foundation; the continuing, deadly heavy rains and flooding in Texas and Oklahoma; ISIS’ military successes in Ramadi and Palmyra; the increase in violent crimes in Baltimore since the Freddie Gray case; the ongoing scrutiny of Hillary Clinton’s use of private emails for State Department business; the theft of data from IRS computers that is suspected to have been Russian in origin; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

| May 20, 2015

donovanjohnnyJohnny Donovan Retires from WABC, New York.  Capping a WABC, New York career that goes back to 1972, legend Johnny Donovan is retiring from the Cumulus Media-owned news/talk station.  He’s been handling daily announcing and production director duties at WABC.  In a press release announcing his retirement, the company notes that Donovan was a music jock during the influential WABC top 40 era.  When the station flipped to talk in 1982, he remained on as staff announcer and productionwabc logo director – a position he held for more than 30 years.  An amateur radio operator in his youth, Donovan became a DJ on WHVW in Hyde Park, New York after helping build the station in 1963.  He went on to work at radio stations in Kingston (WBAZ) and Binghamton (WENE), New York, with a stop at Atlantic City, New Jersey’s WMID.  In 1968, Donovan arrived in New York City as an overnight music host on WOR-FM. Four years later, Donovan brought his talent to the AM band and WABC.  Cumulus SVP content and programming Mike McVay states, “Johnny Donovan was THE sound of 77 WABC.  He joins the ranks of legends like Don Pardo, Ed McMahon and Ernie Anderson.  His production and imaging skills are legendary.  He will be missed at WABC, but more than that, he will be missed in our industry.”  Donovan will continue to be heard as the voice of the Rush Limbaugh show – a position that he’s held since 1988 – and will continue his own voice-over business.

stigallchrisGoodbye, Mr. Letterman.  And Thanks!  Philadelphia morning drive personality Chris Stigall says farewell to his professional inspiration in a column published at TALKERS today (5/20).  Tonight will air the final new episode of “Late Night with David Letterman” and the WPHT, Philadelphia talk host shares his personal admiration — perhaps even obsession – with one of the undisputed legends of late night talklettermandavid wide television.  In the piece, Stigall explains his attraction to Letterman as a performer.  “I was a high school kid with big dreams of hosting his own show one day, but never felt like I was attractive or popular enough to make it.  David Letterman taught me there’s something very good, right, and rewarding about being an individual.  The more I watched and read about Letterman, the more fixated I became.  Not just his comedy – which I loved.  It was his ‘damn the torpedoes’ approach to this hallowed thing called television.  It was everyday people from his shows’ staff cast in bits.  It was random souvenir shop and deli owners turning into unintentional comedy stars.”  Read Stigall’s entire piece here.

herskovitzalCreative Promotions Lead to New Sales.  Radio marketing pro Al Herskovitz writes in a column published today that a radio sales pro worth his or her salt should never overlook the value of a creative radio promotion to solidify current clients and attract new ones. He says commonplace ticket giveaways and the like are fine but do little to make a client’s goods or services memorable, and such prizes usually go to station P1s anyway.  How about having your morning host attempt to give a lion a bath?  Sound too dangerous?  Read Herskovitz’s entire column here for the details and his thoughts about using the promotion as a sales tool.

boldgoldfounationBold Gold Foundation Inaugural Event Draws Hundreds.  The inaugural fundraising and awards event for the Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation took place over the weekend at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Northeast Pennsylvania and drew hundreds of supporters who gathered to cheer on and support the organization’s efforts to help prepare tomorrow’s broadcast and media leaders.  The Foundation celebrated broadcast radio’s legacy, while positioning to help lead the effort to bring new recruits into the news and talk ranks.  Bold Gold president Vince Benedetto laid out the Foundation’s mission, explaining, “Broadcast radio continues to be the modern day town square where the news and issues of our times are related, debated and discussed in communities across America.  The power of this medium, now amplified and synergized with the power of mobile and social media, can be positioned to influence the local and national narratives in more powerful ways than ever before.  Our work will be focused on helping the best and brightest get the education and resources they need to write the next chapters of communication history.”  Honored at the event was Northeast Pennsylvania entrepreneur and philanthropist Bob Tambur.  He was presented the 2015 Atlas Award for Citizenship.  Benedetto says Tambur is “an example of someone who builds and creates, sees problems and boldly sets out to fix them.  He shows what is possible to achieve in a free society and is the standard by which all future recipients will be measured.”  Special guest speaker, citizen-journalist James O’Keefe of Project Veritas, provided a riveting audio and video presentation showing his past and ongoing efforts to expose corruption and hypocrisy in government and media.  Benedetto says, “James shows what just one person, armed with the courage to report the truth is able to accomplish.”  The event was emceed by David Madeira, morning show host of Bold Gold’s Scranton-based talk station, WTRW “94.3 The Talker.”

Odds & Sods.  An extension of the affiliation deal just completed between ABC Radio News and Tribune’s WGN-AM, Chicago includes an expansion of shared editorial resources in the Chicago market.  Simultaneously, WGN’s Ryan Burrow will be a contributor to ABC News Radio and report from Chicago and around the country.  ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones comments, “Ryan Burrow is a talented, award-winning reporter who understands how to tell stories that capture an audience’s interest.  Through ABC News Radio’s expanded partnership with WGN, Ryan will cover stories of interest to our national audience from across the Midwest region and around the country.”…..Washington-based political consultant Raynard Jackson sits in for Roland Martin on his nationally syndicated radio show “News One Now” airing from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm ET…..Joe Ligotti is named morning host at WMEX, Boston, replacing the syndicated “Dr. K Show.”

podcastone logoDee Snider Podcast to Launch on PodcastOne.  Musician and media personality Dee Snider is debuting a new, weekly podcast called, “Snider Comments,” on the PodcastOne Network.  The program promises to “pull back the curtain on the world of rock and expose the raw and untold stories of current and past rock ‘n’ roll superstars.”  PodcastOne CEO Norm Pattiz states, “This is the latest music insider podcast on the PodcastOne Network.  There are plenty of places for consumers to listen to their favorite music, but very few to get a more personal, behind-the-scenes view from the artists that live in that world every day.  Dee is not only a rock star and an icon, he’s a great personality and a terrific communicator.  I couldn’t be more pleased to have him on our network.”

romejimKXTG-AM15Jim Rome Visits Portland’s KXTG-AM.  Appearing in the Portland market from affiliate KXTG-AM “750 & 102.9 The Game” was CBS Sports Radio’s Jim Rome.  He hosted his national syndicated sports talk show from Alpha Media’s SKYPE LIVE STUDIO on Friday, May 15.  Guests joining Rome in the studio included Oregon Ducks head football coach Mark Helfrich, Portland Trailblazers president Chris McGowan, and Fox Sports analyst Joey Harrington.  Pictured here (from l-r) are: Alpha Portland SVP/GM Milt McConnell, KXTG-AM promotions director Derek House, Rome, and KXTG-AM program director Mike Ragz.

Hillary Clinton Email Controversy, Stephanopoulos Clinton Donation Scandal, 2016 Presidential Prospects, ISIS Takes Ramadi, California Oil Spill, N. Korea Nuke Threats, Saudi Beheadings Controversy, and ‘Deflategate’ Matter Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/19).  The ongoing talk of Hillary Clinton’s private emails that are alleged to have been used for State Department business; the scandal involving George Stephanopoulos’ donations to the Clinton Family Foundation; the potential candidates for president in 2016 including talk of Democrat Martin O’Malley officially entering the race; the taking of Ramadi, Iraq by ISIS; the coastal California oil spill; North Korea’s saber-rattling and talk of its new nuclear technology; the increase in beheadings in Saudi Arabia; and the latest on the NFL’s “Deflategate” case were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

| May 19, 2015

limbaughrushLimbaugh to Leave WRKO, Boston – Again.  This is not the first time that Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh might not be heard on the Entercom news/talk outlet.  His show was heard on iHeartMedia-owned crosstown WXKS-AM for a little more than two years before returning to WRKO in 2012.  Now, Premiere says in a statement that it and Entercom management were unable to come to terms on a renewal deal.  “We were unable to reach agreeable terms for the Rush Limbaugh show to continue on WRKO.  A final broadcast date will be announced in the near future.  Rush Limbaugh airs daily in every measured media market in America, and we look forward to announcing exciting news for our Boston listeners soon.”wrkologo  iHeartMedia flipped WXKS-AM to business news using Bloomberg after its time as a news/talker with Limbaugh and such local personalities as Jeff Katz.  It will be interesting to see where the Limbaugh show pops up in Boston.  Unless there’s a format flip to talk in the future for an iHeartMedia FM – and we doubt that’s likely – the list of potential quality AM signals that might be a home to the show are few.  Still, it’s possible that this is just a stage of the process that will see the two sides come to terms eventually.  It would be a shame to see Limbaugh’s show languish on an inferior AM signal – seems like a lose-lose situation for both sides.

amfaminsuranceNielsen: Radio Gives ‘Brand Lift’ to American Family Insurance.  From a study with the help of Katz Radio Group looking to prove the effectiveness of radio advertising, Nielsen Audio engaged in a study to measure the brand impact of a radio campaign on insurance decision makers (ages 25-64).  The analysis included insurance decision-makers who tuned in to one or more stations airing American Family Insurance commercials and compared their engagement with the company to that of decision-makers who did not listen to those stations.  Nielsen says, “The results of the study showed that radio increased brand health metrics, particularly among decision-makers seeking new insurance, in the areas of favorability, recommendation and intent to request a quote from American Family Insurance.  The study found that insurance decision-makers who heard the campaign were 25% more likely to request a quote from American Family Insurance than those who didn’t hear it. And brand-switchers who were exposed to the campaign were nearly twice as likely to request a quote, highlighting radio’s ability to influence the insurance company’s best prospects.”  Read more here.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallHoward B. Price:  For AM/FM Radio, Doing Good is Good for Business.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison speaks with the ABC Television Networks director of business continuity, Howard B. Price on this week’s installment of the international hit podcast, “Up Close and Far Out,” about the responsibility licensed AM, FM and television stations have to serve the public with timely and accurate information during both natural and man-made disasters.  According to Price, “This is why we hold the license.”  Aside from all the entertainment elements that radio provides and that Price says he “enjoys as much as anyone else,” he points out, “That is not, however, why radio stations are licensed – they are licensed to serve the public interest, convenience and necessity.”  Price continues, “And while that definition can certainly include quality entertainment andprice howard programming that stimulates and enlightens – at the end of the day, what it is all about is being there in times of crisis… making sure that our communities stay informed, that decision-makers have the information that they need in real time, and to be able to apply the necessary time and resources to be able to deal with emergent events.  This is the role that radio was born to play.”  Price explains what he describes as the essential element of this truth.  “If you want to keep people focused on the idea that terrestrial radio is still relevant, that electrons flying out of tall sticks on a single channel is still a very important thing for us to preserve and enhance, then you not only have to talk the talk – you have to walk the walk.  And ‘walking the walk’ means that when your community is in crisis, you’ve got to be there to inform them.  You’ve got to be able to put people on the street, you’ve got to be able to go to the scene of wherever news is breaking, and make sure that people have the information that they need both to calm them and comfort them as well as provide them with the essential information that allows them to make the right decisions for themselves and their families and businesses.”  Price adds, “The old line for radio still exists… you go to any old-time sales manager and he’ll tell you radio is a street business, it’s a retail business and nothing is truer about that than when it comes to reporting the news in local communities.”  According to Price, nothing can be more important to the survival of terrestrial radio than remaining visible and relevant to their local communities.  He also explains how this philosophy applies to music radio as well as talk and all-news formats, citing examples including how, in the wake of 9/11, Scott Shannon and Todd Pettengill flipped their WPLJ, New York morning music show around “on a dime” from being an entertainment show into serious news mode without the benefit of having a news department.  They became “comforters in chief” and did an extraordinary job of rising to the occasion.  Price points out that music stations that cede listeners to talk and all-news stations during a serious crisis are foolish to give their listeners reasons to punch out because they might not come back.  Harrison and Price also discuss ways in which any radio station – regardless of budgetary and resource limitations – can be fully prepared to serve its listeners in this fashion during a severe emergency explaining that in this day and age of convenient digital communications and citizen journalism, there is no excuse not to be ready to go into action.  Michael Harrison states, “Although many people still believe that the idea of radio rising to the occasion and super-serving its audience in times of crisis might seem idealistic, quaint, naïve, and unrealistic  – even ‘boy scout’ – that it ironically might be THE answer to AMs and FMs maintaining their importance and relevance going forward.”  Harrison concludes this fascinating podcast by suggesting that terrestrial radio should always treat its audience with compassion, empathy, and a deep-seated desire to be helpful and give anyone who might be listening the support they need just getting through the pain, rigors and hardship of day-to-day life as a human being in a highly pressured, dangerous world.  To listen to the entire podcast please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box in the right hand column of every page of Talkers.com. “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” is a presentation of Podcast One.  Howard B. Price will be receiving the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech at Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12.

fccnewBobby Bones EAS SNAFU to Cost iHeartMedia $1 Million.  The Federal Communications Commission has laid down a $1 million fine for country WSIX-Nashville and Premiere Networks parent company iHeartMedia for the misuse of the EAS tones.  The company admits to misuse of the tones and will pay the penalty.  The agency writes in its ruling that the “FCC has long prohibited the transmission of actual or simulated EAS tones in circumstances other than a real alert or an authorized test.”  WSIX-FM, Nashville – Bobby Bones’ flagship station – aired a false emergency alert during the broadcast of the nationally syndicated show and, as the FCC writes, “broadcast or transmission of bonesbobbyemergency tones outside an emergency or authorized test violates FCC regulations designed to protect the integrity of the EAS system.  False broadcast of an emergency signal can cause unnecessary public concern and undermine the urgency of real alerts.  While commenting on an EAS test that aired during the 2014 World Series, Bobby Bones, the show’s host, broadcast an EAS tone from a recording of an earlier nationwide EAS test.  This false emergency alert was sent to more than 70 affiliated stations airing [the show] and resulted in some of these stations retransmitting the tones, setting off a multi-state cascade of false EAS alerts on radios and televisions in multiple states.”  In the last six months, the Commission has taken five enforcement actions totaling nearly $2.5 million for misuse of EAS tones by broadcasters and cable networks.

rtdna logoRTDNA: Technology in Newsrooms.  The fourth part of a series from the Radio, Television, Digital News Association and Hofstra University professor emeritus Bob Papper focuses on newsroom technology and the plans news directors have to upgrade or add to current equipment.  Though the bulk of the article deals with television news, radio is addressed.  Papper reports that, according to his questionnaires returned by news directors, plans to acquire new technology have nosedived over the years.  “Three years ago, 38% of radio news directors and general managers said they’d be making no technology purchases in the next year.  Two years ago, the number rose to 44%.  Last year, 69.3% said nothing.  This year, the abstention crowd is up to an astonishing 78.6%.”  Read more from the study here.

Odds & Sods.  Jim Fronk exits Great Eastern Radio’s Concord, New Hampshire where he wore two hats as co-host of the “New Hampshire Wake-Up Show” on news/talk WTPL and as midday jock on sister classic rock WLKZ “104.9 The Hawk.”

kalteralanCBS Sports RadioVoice of ‘Letterman’ Visits CBS Sports Radio.  “Late Show With David Letterman” voice Alan Kalter visited CBS Sports Radio’s “Gio and Jones” program to talk about the final three shows hosted by David Letterman.  Kalter chatted about his favorite sports guests on the show and his first day on the job at Letterman.  He also teased the surprises to come on the final show that airs Wednesday (5/20) on CBS TV.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Gregg Giannotti, Kalter, and Brian Jones.

2016 Presidential Prospects/Iraq Policy Questions, Stephanopoulos Clinton Donations Scandal, Hillary Clinton Emails Case, Deadly Texas Biker Brawl, and Iran Nukes-Gulf Military Actions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/18).  The potential candidates for president in 2016 and the issue of the U.S.’s Iraq policy being put before the Republican candidates; the scandal at ABC News over George Stephanopoulos’ donations to the Clinton Foundation; the continuing investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email matter; the deadly biker brawl in Waco, Texas over the weekend that took the lives of nine bikers; and the Iran nuclear program questions and the Gulf nation’s current naval operations in the region were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

YES-YOU-CAN Sell Rush Limbaugh

| May 1, 2015

By Holland Cooke
Holland Cooke Media
Talk Radio Consultant

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — Since his Sandra Fluke faux pas, a relentless boycott effort has scared-off big national advertisers.  Yet — and I speak from experience at client stations — this show sure can be a local money-maker.

  • This guy moves product.  Evidence: additional national inventory, since the boycott, to make-up for departed blue-chip accounts (those live spots Rush sneaks-in after the stopset). They’re there because they get results.  Many are Direct Response deals, no guesswork there.  And non-traditional B-to-B radio advertisers like Mahindra Tractors are selling high ticket stuff to the like-minded out thar’ on The Fruited Plain.

Read More

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

| April 15, 2015

FAIRHold2015Ninth Annual ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Event Kicks Off Today.  The annual Washington, DC radio row produced by the Federation for American Immigration Reform is taking place today and tomorrow at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill.  As in the eight years prior, the event consists of some 45 radio talk hosts from across the country broadcasting live, debating immigration policy while interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists and citizens who live along the border.  FAIR says that “this year’s event is focusing on the aftermath of President Obama’s amnesty and his continued abuse of executive power, the GOP’s internal battle over how to tackle immigration and the ongoing border crisis with its implications for national security risks.”  EventgarrisonMH15 general manager and FAIR spokesman Bob Dane comments, “Politicians fear and respect the amplitude of talk radio.  Hold Their Feet to the Fire speaks for millions of radio listeners and, this year, is proving that the mic is mightier than Obama’s pen.”  Pictured here are WIBC-FM, Indianapolis late morning host Greg Garrison (left) and TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison (right).  Harrison appeared on Garrison’s program to discuss talk radio’s role in the immigration issue and the relative First Amendment component.

nabcrystalawardNAB Announces 2015 Crystal Radio Award Winners.  At yesterday’s NAB Show Radio Luncheon, the winners of the 2015 Crystal Radio Awards were announced.  This was the 28th presentation of the Crystal Radio Awards designed to recognize radio stations for their outstanding, year-round commitment to community service.  The winners were chosen from thekevinbean 50 finalists.  They are: news/talk KRMG-FM Tulsa; news/talk WSB-AM Atlanta; country KTTS, Springfield, Missouri; news/talk WSOY, Decatur, Illinois; hot AC WAFL, Milford, Delaware; hot AC WTMX, Chicago; classic rock WDRV, Chicago; news WTOP-FM, Washington; news WINS, New York; and hip hop WUSL, Philadelphia.  NAB Crystal Radio Award finalists were chosen by a panel of judges representing broadcasting, community service organizations and public relations firms.  Also at the luncheon, Kevin Ryder and Gene “Bean” Baxter (pictured here) of CBS RADIO’s modern rock KROQ, Los Angeles were inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

cookehollandCooke: Report from NAB Show and NMX in Las Vegas.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas this week covering the NAB Show and the co-located NMX and files this report.  Cooke says two presentations stuck out for him on Tuesday including the NMX’s “Make Your Marketing Memorable with Visual Storytelling” by Ekaterina Walter.  For radio practitioners, the internet is the place to use images and Cooke reports some data he heard is eye-opening as Walter said, “Thinking in pictures is our nature.  Images act like shortcuts to the brain” and “speak to the heart and tell stories.”  She noted that “scientists say the average modern adult attention span is between 2.8 and 8 seconds,” and that “90% of all information transmitted to the brain is visual.”  Cooke says the NAB’s “Small and Medium Radio Markets Idea Exchange” alone is “worth the trip.”  Read more from Holland Cooke here.

garganoanthonyReport: New AM Show Slated for WPEN-FM, Philadelphia.  Calling it the “worst-kept secret” in Philadelphia sports radio, a report at Philly.com is saying former WIP-FM personality Anthony Gargano will be paired up with current WPEN-FM midday host Jon Marks for the morning drive show on Greaterwpen-fm logo Media’s “97.5 The Fanatic” before the month is out.  Gargano left the CBS RADIO sports talker recently after receiving what he called a “low-ball offer” to remain with the station.  Jon Marks had been co-hosting the midday show at WPEN-FM with Sean Brace but Brace exited the station earlier this month.  Currently, the station airs ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike show.  If Gargano and Marks do end up in mornings together, it leaves a vacancy in the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm show.

ppmunit altNielsen Audio Releases Second Round of Mach 2015 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of March 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The March 2015 survey period covered February 26 through March 25.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh’s Leukemia & Lymphoma Cure-A-Thon Raises $3.3 Million.  Last Friday, Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh program held its 25th annual Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Cure-A-Thon during which Limbaugh dedicated the entire three-hour show to encouraging listeners to join the effort to find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.  During the broadcast and in the days that followed, on-air and online donations for the fundraiser totaled $3.3 million dollars.  Over the past 25 years, Limbaugh and his audience have collectively raised nearly $44 million dollars for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Limbaugh states, “I want to thank everyone once again who donated, contributed to our 25th annual Cure-A-Thon last Friday for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Every year, the people in this audience, you, just continue to come through.”

Odds & Sods.  Former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling joins Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston as a baseball analyst.  The Red Sox star will be part of the Dennis & Callahan show every Wednesday at 8:05 am during baseball season.schillingcurt  Schilling is also part of the broadcast team for ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball.”…..KOA, Denver weekend personality Ross Kaminsky is spending some time this week filling in for Rod Arquette on iHeartMedia’s KNRS, Salt Lake City (Tuesday and Friday).  Recently, Kaminsky has also filled in for Mandy Connell on KHOW, Denver; Leland Conway on WHAS, Louisville; and for the TRN-syndicated Jerry Doyle.

Marco Rubio Declaration/2016 Presidential Prospects, ISIS Military Action in Iraq, Iran Nuclear Program Negotiations, Obama’s Cuba Policy, Tax Day, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/14).  The declaration of his candidacy for president by Florida Senator Marco Rubio and the rest of the field of Republican prospects and Democrat Hillary Clinton; the military action by ISIS in Iraq; the ongoing controversy over Iran’s nuclear program and the negotiations with the West; President Obama’s policy regarding Cuba; chatter about Tax Day; and the young MLB season action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, April 13, 2015

| April 13, 2015

masondanDan Mason Announces Retirement from CBS RADIO; Andre Fernandez to Assume President Role.  In a letter to company staffers president and CEO Dan Mason announces he’s stepping down from his post this month.  Here’s the text of his letter: “After an unforgettable eight years leading CBS RADIO, I am announcing today my retirement at the end of April.  Witnessing all that we’ve accomplished and knowing the bright future ahead for our company has not made this an easy decision.  It has been an honor and privilege to serve as president and CEO and I want to express my gratitude to all of you.  My passion and love for this industry is well known and I’ve enthusiastically watched as we’ve transformed our broadcast business and simultaneously evolved our digital product.  I couldn’t be more proud of our accomplishments – everything from creating new music formats, andcbsradio logo launching sports on FM, to the evolution of Radio.com and now Play.it, our on-demand podcast network.  We’ve made it easier than ever before for listeners to experience our content through new online, mobile and event platforms.  However, as much fun as I’ve had, it’s now time to “pivot” in my personal life.  With four kids either grown, out of the house or on their way to college, I would like to do some “retirement” type things like leisure travel and spending more time doing my favorite hobbies.  Broadcasting will always be part of my life.  I am happy to continue with CBS RADIO on a consulting basis, and I will also be doing more work for the Broadcaster’s Foundation, a cause that I believe so much in.  Finally, this fall I will be doing play-by-play for select college basketball games, a passion I followed early in my career.  I guess you never get rid of the disc jockey blood you’re born with.  Most people are lucky enough to have one great run at the helm of an organization – I’ve had two.  My thanks to Leslie Moonves who has been so supportive of every new road we traveled down since this extraordinary second time around began for me in 2007.  His desire for great content has been an inspiration for all of us and will no doubt continue to be the foundation of the company.  Thank you as well for facing everyfernandezandre opportunity with optimism and dedicating yourselves to teamwork, excellence and creativity. You have been great colleagues.  I look forward to seeing you all grow in the years ahead, adding to a long list of successes.”  CBS Corp. has announced that former Journal Communications president and COO Andre J. Fernandez will be the radio division’s new president effective next week.  The company says that Fernandez will oversee the direction and management of the division, which includes 117 stations in 26 major markets as well as a growing collection of digital assets.

cookehollandAnalysis: RAIN Summit West.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas covering not one but three conventions for TALKERS magazine this week.  His piece covers the RAIN Summit West, which historically precedes the annual NAB Show.  Cooke writes that it’s impossible to go out in public and not see people interacting with their iPhones so it only stands to reason that this is the new frontier on which consumers need to be reached.  He reports that on one panel dealing with podcasts, PodcastOne CEO Norm Pattiz extolled the virtues of the podcast format.  “Podcast listeners are P1 listeners because they have to perform a positive task” by connecting.  Pattiz reckons these “lean-forward listeners” are “much-more engaged” than “lean-back” AM/FM/TV users.  Cooke says social media was also front-and-center at RAIN and on one panel discussion, “Jumpwire Media’s Gavin McGarry sounded almost stern:  ‘Social media is NOT for marketing.  It’s about building community.  And he urged that stations take it seriously: ‘Outsourcing social media to your interns is not an option.’  Your brand is at stake.”  Read Cooke’s entire report here.

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh to Seek New Home in Indy.  In a statement from both Premiere Networks and Emmis-owned news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis, the former’s Rush Limbaugh program will cease to be heard on WIBC-FM after July 3.  The statement doesn’t say which party chose not to renew the contract nor where the show will be heard after the current deal expires.  Emmis Indianapolis SVP/market managerwibclogo Charlie Morgan comments, “Premiere has been a great partner, and Rush has been an iconic part of WIBC’s heritage and success.  WIBC has a strong lineup of live-and-local personalities delivering great radio, and we will continue to be Indianapolis’ home for listeners with a passion for conservative values and principles.”  Premiere president Julie Talbott adds, “We’ve had a wonderful partnership with Emmis for many years, including a long history of ratings success for the Rush Limbaugh Show in Indianapolis.”

lowenbergjustusCumulus Names VP/Sales … Right Now. The vice president of sales position is landed by Justus Lowenberg and it is actually for Cumulus Media‘s Right Now Traffic Network in San Francisco. Cumulus vice president of sales for news-talk Jaysson Reno remarks, “Justus will be a strong addition to our sales leadership team in San Francisco. His track record and experience will take our Right Now Traffic Network to new levels and provide maximum value for our community of listeners and advertisers.” Lowenberg comments, “With a top notch staff and elite brand of call letters, I am excited to be joining the Cumulus San Francisco team. The Right Now Traffic Network offers advertisers an unparalleled opportunity to connect with Bay Area listeners as they seek out route information in one of the most traffic congested markets in the country.” Lowenberg previously was in network sponsorship sales for iHeartMedia‘s Total Traffic Network and was national sales manager for Entravision Communications. He began his radio sales career at Infinity Broadcasting – CBS Radio in 1999 as an account executive.

kaufmannjustinWGN, Chicago to Debut Justin Kaufmann Show on April 16.  Recently recruited from Chicago public radio outlet WBEZ, Justin Kaufmann will begin his regular program on Tribune’s WGN this Thursday.  “The Download” will air from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm as reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder today (4/13).  WGN VP of content and programming Todd Manley tells Feder “The Download” is a “daily mirror on Chicago revealed in multiple chapters.  You’ll hear a variation of WGN talk soup thatwgn logo new replays pieces of interviews from earlier in the day not in ‘best of’ style, but to challenge ourselves to be more reflective and less reactive.  Justin has a passion for revealing the hidden stories in breaking news, and we’ll pack one hour each night with A-list guests, too.  We also look forward to town hall conversations on location and some deep dives into music and comedy.  You’ll be treated to a kind of sonic architecture you won’t hear anywhere else.”  Kaufmann was most recently executive producer at WBEZ, in charge of the local shows “The Morning Shift” and “The Afternoon Shift,” among others.

SmartphonesIndiana Senate Passes Resolution To Activate FM Radio In Smartphones. More specifically, Senate Resolution 28 addresses the importance of Indiana residents having a link to emergency information from broadcasts of local radio stations via their Smartphones. A chip enabling Smartphone owners to monitor FM radio stations already exists in Smartphones available in the United States. Founded in 2013 – and with partial funding from NAB Labs – wholly owned Emmis Communications subsidiary TagStation – developed the NextRadio hybrid radio Smartphone app that combines the devices’ built-in FM tuner and the Internet. Ever since September 2013, Sprint customers have been able to listen to FM stations through that carrier’s android devices. Comparable legislation is scheduled for review in other states.

Odds & Sods.  This week, WGOW, Chattanooga afternoon personality Brian Joyce will be filling in for talk host Michael Graham on WYAY, Atlanta “NewsRadio 106.7” on Tuesday (4/14) after having subbed for him earlier injoycebrian the month.  Both talk stations are owned by Cumulus Media…..Tribune’s WGN Radio is partnering with the McCormick Foundation, WGN TV, Chicago Tribune and Hoy to launch the Illinois Tornado Relief Effort 2015 to help communities struggling with the devastation caused by the April 9 tornadoes.  The Illinois Tornado Relief Effort will support nonprofit agencies providing disaster relief and recovery efforts to those communities hardest hit by the tornadoes.  The McCormick Foundation will match the first $500,000 raised at 50 cents on the dollar.  Additionally, during an interview on April 10 with Roe Conn on WGN, Chicago, Governor Bruce Rauner made a personal donation of $100,000 to the Illinois Tornado Relief Effort…..A change in formats in Spokane as iHeartRadio flips sports talk simulcast KZFS/K257FX at 99.3 to contemporary Christian branded as “UP 99.3.”…..West Virginia morning personality Kay Murray retires from West Virginia Radio Corp.-owned news/talk WAJR, Morgantown after 35 years on the air…..The NBA’s LA kfwb wlogosClippers and sports talk KFWB, Los Angeles “The Beast 980” are announcing a new exclusive multi-year broadcast rights agreement.  The station will continue to be the official radio home of the Clippers for all preseason, regular season and playoff games as well as present comprehensive year-round coverage.  Play-by-play duties will be handled by Brian Sieman in his eighth season calling Clippers action on the radio, while the “Voice of the Clippers,” Ralph Lawler, and former Clipper Michael Smith team up with Sieman to call all nationally televised games not shown on Fox Sports PRIME TICKET.   Long-time Clippers broadcaster Isaac Lowenkron will continue to host Clippers pre-game, halftime and post-game shows.  “The Beast 980” personalities George Wrighster and Brett Winterble also host “Clippers Hardcore” before every game.

daviesrichardRichard Davies Retires from ABC News Radio; Begins New Weekly Podcast Venture.  After an almost 30-year career with ABC News Radio, Richard Davies is leaving the network to pursue his own project called “How Do We Fix It?”  Davies’ venture is a weekly podcast that allows him to perform as a talk radio host, speaker and broadcaster.  This new weekly project will entail Davies and fellow journalist, Jim Meigs, former editor-in-chief of Popular Mechanics, calling on experts and seeking solutions to vital maters that concern the public — from getting out personal debt to finding better teachers for kids to the probing the future of space exploration, “How Do We Fix It?” proposes to present “positive views on challenging matters.”

itsonlasvegasRAB and NBA Partner for Las Vegas Radio Sales Event.  In partnership with the Radio Advertising Bureau, the Nevada Broadcasters Association presented a gathering of Vegas-area radio stations along with local advertising agency, marketing and client executives for “Radio. It’s On In Las Vegas!”  The April 9 event was described as a “thought leadership, content-infused networking seminar.”  Featured speakers included primetime television and radio host, best-selling author, Jeffrey Hayzlett; Bill Rose, senior vice president, Nielsen Audio; and Erica Farber, president & CEO, Radio Advertising Bureau.  For the event’s finale, top Las Vegas radio talent engaged in a roundtable during which they discussed the personal connections and relationships they form with listeners across the local community every day.  Talent included: KWNR’s JoJo Turnbaugh, KSNE’s Marco in the Morning, KOMP’s Brittney & Sparks, KLUC’s Chet Buchanan, KMXB’s Mercedes, KKLZ’s Mike O’Brian, KDWN’s John Shaffer, and KWWN’s Mitch Moss.

krokDuckTexas Motor15Chris Krok at Texas Motor Speedway.  WBAP, Dallas personality Chris Krok (pictured here at the mic) speaks to a group of listeners and some of the “Duck Dynasty” clan at the Texas Motor Speedway during his “Chris Krok and His Flock” live event promotion.  This took place just prior to the Duck Commander 500 race.  Krok MC’d “Racing with Faith,” an event that included him interviewing NASCAR drivers about their faith as well as “Duck Dynasty” stars Phil Robertson and his son Alan.  Krok tells TALKERS magazine, “We’ve been doing this great event at Texas Motor Speedway for two years now, but this was by far the most incredible one yet!  What a privilege for me to do this.”

WW1WodonFrozenFour15The Frozen Four Airs on Westwood One Sports.  The radio sports network broadcast the college hockey finals over the weekend – dubbed The Frozen Four – live from Boston’s TD Garden as the Providence Friars came back to beat Boston University in the final game, 4-3.  Pictured here is Westwood One’s Adam Wodon (left) interviewing the Friars’ Brandon Tanev (right), who scored the winning goal.

larsonlarsBarrett15First Amendment Friday Benefits Youth Athletics.  Portland-based talk show host Lars Larson is pictured here holding a Barrett .50 caliber rifle that was raffled off to benefit the St. Helen’s Girls Softball League.  The raffle was part of a series of remotes the KXL, Portland and Compass Media Networks personality does from his favorite local gun store, NW Armory.  Larson says the team asked for his help in raising funds last year and he’s been happy to help.  The league netted $34,000 from last year’s raffle and hopes to achieve similar results this year.  Larson says the league bought a small tractor for field maintenance, some automatic electronic defibrillators, and a number of other things.

Opinion: Getting Back to the Basics

| March 31, 2015

Talk Radio in 2015

By Bill Brady
Futures & Options, Inc.
President/CEO

bradybillwriterJUPITER, Fla. — Over the last year, the Nielsen Audio PPM ratings have shone a light on the struggles of the talk format.  It’s not a pretty picture.

Since 2008, same station ratings in a select group of top 50 markets have declined by 39%.  While some stations still earn respectable ratings, many have lost significant audience share and fallen dramatically in rank.  A drop of that magnitude is likely to have a significant impact on the revenue side and endanger a station’s pricing structure and advertiser demand levels.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

| March 17, 2015

courtsidelogoMike Agovino Named to New Executive Vice Chairman Role at Courtside Entertainment/PodcastOne.  After Triton Digital was acquired by private equity firm Vector Capitol late last week, Triton co-founder and COO Mike Agovino leaves that company to join Norm Pattiz’s Courtside Entertainment and PodcastOne to serve in the newly created post executive vice chairman.  A press statement from Courtside says that Agovino will “work withagovinomike chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz, president Kit Gray and COO Greg Batusic across all divisions of PodcastOne and Courtside Entertainment, contributing his extensive experience in new media technology, audience analysis and development, and revenue growth for the continued expansion of the groundbreaking podcast network.”  Pattiz states, “Mike has been a pioneer in the audio industry and brings a unique global perspective of the digital audio business to PodcastOne.  He shares our vision that on-demand premium content is a key driver in the future of audio, and I look forward to working with him as we continue to build audience and revenue, while creating new opportunities across this powerful and growing platform.”  Agovino’s career began at Katz Media where he spent 18 years rising to become president of Katz Radio before launching Katz Interactive and later Clear Channel Radio Sales as president/COO.  He departed Katz to become co-COO of Interep Radio Sales, leaving several years later to start Triton.

klac logo 15The LA Dodgers and iHeartMedia Re-Brand Sports Talker KLAC, Los Angeles.  Big changes come to sports talker KLAC, Los Angeles as now-co-owners iHeartMedia and the Los Angeles Dodgers re-brand the station to reflect this new relationship.  The new brand is “AM 570 LA Sports” and it comes with some programming changes.  (Oh yes, it also includes the Dodgers’ spiffy new 2015 slogan, “We Love LA!”)  The programming lineup is as follows: Dan Patrick from 6:00 am to 9:00 am; the newly created “LA Today with Bill Reiter and Leann Tweeden” from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon; Jay Mohr from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; “The Petros and Money Show” with Petros Papadakis and Matt “Money” Smith from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm; plus another new addition, “Dodger Talk featuring David Vassegh and Kevin Kennedy,” which will air immediately following Dodgers baseball games or at 7:00 pm Monday through Friday.  That show will air year round starting with Spring Training and throughout the regular season.

starlingmarkMark Starling New AM Host/News Director at WWNC, Asheville.  From his most recent gig as afternoon drive anchor at Cox Media Group’s WDBO, Orlando “News 96.5FM,” Mark Starling heads North to Asheville, North Carolina to serve as the morning host and news/director at iHeartMedia’s wwnc logoWWNC “News Radio 570.”  Starling says if his new challenge, “Making the jump to the Asheville market is exactly the kind of move I have been after for several reasons. Not only is it the chance to get back to doing mornings, but the chance to really create a hyper-local morning show concentrating on the news and information the community is really looking for.  It’s an adventure I can’t wait to get started on.”  Starling starts March 25.

giffordlarryLarry Gifford: Radiodays Europe – Day Two.  Consultant and talent coach Larry Gifford is in Milan, Italy attending the Radiodays Europe 2015 conference and files this special report to TALKERS magazine.  On day two, Gifford covered, among other things, a keynote speech by iHeartMedia/Premiereduranelviseuro15 Networks morning show star Elvis Duran (pictured here).  The “Z100”-based morning personality says over the years he’s come to appreciate his work even more than when he was young.  That’s based in part on his believing that he’s not bigger than the show.  He says he’s also found new joy in helping people – especially listeners – tell their stories.  Also included in this report is a “psychoanalysis” of radio and Australian personality Mel Greig’s thoughts about her infamous prank call to a London hospital that resulted in a nurse committing suicide.  Read Gifford’s full report here.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of February 2015 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of February 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The February 2015 survey period covered January 29 through February 25.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS magazine and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

fisherkageTVposterFisher and Kage Launch New Program on Digital Platform.  Tampa Bay radio pros Chris Fisher and Jesse Kage are launching a videocast to stream live Monday through Thursday from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm ET via their “Fisher and Kage” app and www.fisherandkage.com.  The duo says the “uncensored show” will also be available on-demand and will stream from a brand new studio at Jannus Live in downtown St. Petersburg.  They’ve named “Special” Ed Grubbe as executive producer.  Fisher hosted mornings at WSUN, Tampa “97X” from 2001-2011 and worked at WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone” before exiting in 2013.  Jesse Kage worked at “97X” from 2004 to 2007 before moving to WXTB, Tampa “98Rock” where he worked afternoons until last year.

Odds & Sods.  On-air changes take place at Dot Com Plus-owned sports talk WNSP, Mobile “Sports Radio 105.5 FM” as Chip Ramsey is replaced in the AM drive chair by PM drive co-host Mark Heim.  Afternoon co-host Randy Kennedy recently assumed programming responsibilities from Ramsey…..SiriusXM announces the debut of an all-new channel curated and presented by multi-media star Andy Cohen.  The host of “Watch What Happens Live” on Bravo will also host a weekly radio show in addition to producing the new Radio Andy channel.

carrRush15Meeting of Mega-Mouths.  The Palm Beaches in sunny Florida have become one of the talk radio capitals of the nation as evidenced by the chance meeting the other evening of syndicated stars Rush Limbaugh and Howie Carr at a local PB eatery.  Carr and his dynamic wife Kathy Carr were on the scene taking a brief break from the frozen, snowy tundra that has gripped New England this winter.  The Carrs will be two of approximately 65 speakers who will be addressing a sold-out, packed house at the forthcoming Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12.

2016 Presidential Prospects, Hillary Clinton Email Probe, Ferguson Cops Shootings, Iran Nukes/GOP Letter, Fate of Netanyahu, Battle Against ISIS, Russia Flexes Military Muscle, 49er Borland Retires at 24, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/16).  The potential candidates for president in 2016 and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s visit to New Hampshire last weekend; the ongoing controversy over Hillary Clinton’s use of private email for State Department business; the case of the two officers shot in Ferguson; the negotiations with Iran over its nuclear policy and the GOP letter to the Iranian government; the Israeli elections and the fate of Benjamin Netanyahu; the continuing battle against ISIS; Russia’s ramping up of military activity and Vladimir Putin’s talk of nuclear readiness; the early retirement of 49ers linebacker Chris Borland at age 24 due to concerns about brain injury; and the field for the NCAA men’s basketball tourney were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

The Artist’s Secret: The Force that Guides Successful Radio Personalities

| March 9, 2015

By Bill McMahon
The Authentic Personality
CEO

mcmahonbillEAGLE, Idaho — I’ve been coaching radio personalities and studying gifted artists for over 25 years.  I’ve been privileged to work with some remarkable performers like Kidd Kraddick, Jeff of Jeff and Jer, Rush Limbaugh, and Dr. Laura.  I’ve observed successful songwriters, authors, screenwriters, and creators of TV shows.  I’ve learned a lot about where great artists get their inspiration and how they create.

I’ve discovered successful artists across the media spectrum — those who’ve created hit songs, blockbuster movies, best selling books, top-rated TV shows, and the most listened to radio shows — are guided by a common force I’ve come to call “The Artist’s Secret.”  It has three elements.

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Thursday, March 5, 2015

| March 5, 2015

limbaughrushReport That WLS-AM, Chicago to Drop Limbaugh Denied by Cumulus.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reported earlier today (3/5) that inside sources at Cumulus Media Chicago say news/talk WLS-AM is preparing to drop Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh from the daily lineup due to sagging ratings and revenue.  However, after Feder reported that Cumulus initially had no comment on the matter, the company is now telling him the report is “not at all accurate.”  Regular TALKERS readers are aware that WLS-AM has been revamping its lineup, recently announcing the arrival of Jonathon Brandmeier to the program schedule for the 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot but Cumulus is insistent that the initial Limbaugh story is not true.

infinitedial2015Cooke: Analysis of Infinite Dial 2015.  The Infinite Dial 2015 study was released by the folks at Edison Research and Triton Digital on March 4 and the results are, in the words of consultant Holland Cooke, “must-reading for anyone, in any format, in radio.  And ‘anyone’ includes sales.”  This year, the annual study was based on data from answers to questions posed to 2,002 persons 12+ (during January and February of this year) and addresses the broad query of media usage in various circumstances.  What’s not particularly surprising is the continued rise in preference for Internet-based media by consumers.  But the actual numbers shed some light on how and why people are going to a particular medium for content.  See Holland Cooke’s summary and commentary on the study here.

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: News/Talk (Part 2).  TALKERS magazine managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents the second of his two-part analysis of the performances of news/talk stations based on data from the January 2015 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  This second part focuses on non-commercial talk stations.  Kinosian says it’s true that many non-com or public stations more variety outlets, so he clarifies the definition.  “Stations comprising this base lean toward spoken-word programming (specifically talk and news – locally originated and/or from NPR).  Some might play music as well – from alternative to bluegrass to classical and practically anything else in between. ‘Variety’ or another such label could be affixed to these stations, but we are choosing to group them under ‘talk’ (since that is their primary thrust) with an added ‘noncommercial/public’ designation.  See the entire report here.

2015 NYC 150Don’t Be Shut Out of Talkers New York 2015.  Registrations are being booked at a rapid pace as Talkers New York 2015 is heading toward being an early sell-out.   A power-packed, informative agenda and fantastic business/career networking opportunities will be part of the day-long conference set for Friday, June 12 at the India House Club in the Big Apple’s historic Financial District.  Registrations are priced at $299 per person.   Registrations, which are only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities.  The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees are again expected. Join such figures as (in alphabetical order): Mike “Bax” Baxendale, Ethan Bearman, Mike Bendixon, David Bernstein, Michael Berry, Jim Bohannon, Phil Boyce, Dr. Joy Browne, Tony Bruno, Howie Carr, Kathy Carr, Kevin Casey, Alan Colmes, Mandy Connell, Holland Cooke, John Dickey, Erica Farber, Mike Francesa, Steve Goldstein, Sean Hannity, Michael Harrison, Ron Hartenbaum, Thom Hartmann, Bill Hess, Karen Hunter, Brad Kelly, Mike Kinosian, Tom Langmyer, Carole Marks, Tom Marr, Jimmy Mathis, Mike McVay, McGraw Milhaven, Greg Moceri, Todd Schnitt, Joe Sciacca, Julie Talbott, David Webb, Dan Yorke, Larry Young and many more as the roster of outstanding speakers continues to be announced in the days ahead.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card.  To register, call 413-565-5413; for sponsorship information, email info@talkers.com; and for local hotel information please click here.

lundinloriLori Lundin Wins a Gracie.  A big TALKERS congratulations to WTOP, Washington, DC news reporter Lori Lundin upon being announced a winner of a Gracies Award for her special report titled “Libido in Limbo.”  The piece deals with the dearth of sexual dysfunction drugs on the market for women and a new potentially helpful drug, Flibanserin, that has been going through the testing phase.  Lundin reports, “Declining hormones, job stress and other problems can take their toll in the bedroom and on relationships.  And while the airwaves are saturated with ads for sexual dysfunction drugs for men… where are the sex drive drugs for women?”  Lundin’s Gracie Award is for the category “Local Market Outstanding Reporter/Correspondent.” She will receive it from the Alliance for Women in Media at a special awards luncheon at the New York Hilton on Monday, June 22.  What makes this award particularly special is the fact that the past few years have been exceptionally challenging for Lundin.  She was a breast cancer survivor, still in recovery, when she was let go from her anchor position at Mark MastersAmerica’s Radio News Network when that operation unexpectedly shut down in 2013.  Facing tough going in a shrinking radio news job market, the seasoned radio newswoman turned to WTOP where she was given part-time and fill-in work as she began to regain her health and get back on her feet.  It was during this stint that she has won the aforementioned honor.  On hearing about Lundin’s achievement, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “I have been following the saga of Lori Lundin since this outstanding woman first came to my attention during the sad ARNN fiasco.  She is not only an extremely talented, intelligent and hard-working broadcast journalist in the truest sense of the term – but she is an extraordinarily brave human being as well.  It warms my heart to see her honored with a Gracie in this manner.  God bless you Lori! You are an inspiration!”  To hear Lori Lundin’s report, please click below.

      Libido In Limbo

 

Odds & Sods.  Moving up to program director and web editor at Dot Com Plus-owned sports talk WNSP, Mobile, Alabama is afternoon drive co-host Randy Kennedy.  He takes over for Chip Ramsey and he will remain co-host of “The Afternoon Sports Drive” alongside Mark Heim…..Broadcast journalist and bestselling author Jane Velez-Mitchell launches a new show on ConnectPal.com.  The former CNN personality will present original video content that takes viewers behind the scenes of her latest venture, the social media news operation –JaneUnChained.com…..College Station, Texas gets an FM sports talker as Brazos Valley Communications flips rock KJXJ “Rock 103.9” to sports using ESPN Radio content and branding the station “ESPN Aggieland.”…..“The Successful Farming Radio Magazine” recently celebrated the 5,000th installment of the daily agricultural radio feature.  Show host and creator Darrell Anderson and his wife, Maureen, started North Shore Productions to syndicate and produce the program which debuted January 1, 1996, with 44 affiliate stations, mostly in the Midwest.  It now airs on 133 stations in 20 states.

kfwb sportsCool Job Opportunity.  KFWB, Los Angeles “980 The Beast” is seeking a Promotion Manager.  This person will develop and manage from inception to completion all station promotions, events and contests.  Regular activities will include aggressively establishing the station’s street presence; building key relationships; managing, hiring and training Street Team staff; creating collateral materials including writing copy and press advisories; ordering merchandise; managing promo inventory; growing the station’s database and subscription services.  Candidate will serve as a liaison between the programming and sales departments to help achieve ratings growth and develop client promotions.  See more info and apply here.

Hillary Clinton Email Probe, SCOTUS ObamaCare Case, Fed’s Ferguson Discrimination Report, Iran Nukes Issue, 2016 Presidential Prospects, South Korea Ambassador Attacked, and Winter Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/4).  The investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email for State Department business; the Affordable Care Act case being heard by the Supreme Court; the scathing report on Ferguson, Missouri’s record of discrimination and harassment of minorities; the issue of a treaty that would allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons; the potential candidates for president 2016; the knife attack of the U.S.’s ambassador to South Korea; and the ongoing wintry weather across much of the country were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Determining How Long It Will Take for a Radio Show to Succeed (and How Long to Give It)

| February 23, 2015

By Bill McMahon
The Authentic Personality
CEO

mcmahonbillEAGLE, Idaho — There are lots of variables to think about. Here are some questions to consider in order to come up with a realistic answer:

  • Let’s start with a reality check. How much time do you have to reach what ratings level? If you work for Bonneville or Hubbard you probably have more time than if you work for Cumulus or iHeartMedia? If you’re a GM or PD, it doesn’t really matter what you think is reasonable if your boss has other ideas. Find out what the bosses’ realities are. That’s your reality. If you don’t think the bosses’ ratings expectations are reasonable, better let him or her know up front. Matched expectations are good for job security.

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Monday, January 26, 2015

| January 26, 2015

limbaugh logoLongtime Rush Limbaugh Staffer Kit Carson Dies After Battle with Cancer.  TALKERS magazine has learned from Sound Mind LLC principal Kraig Kitchin that longtime Rush Limbaugh staffer Christopher “Kit” Carson passed away this morning (1/26), in New Jersey.   The cause was brain cancer.  Kitchin says Carson had suffered a bout of cancer four years ago but found his way to recovery two years later and was given a clean bill of health.  In the last several months, the cancer returned.  Kit Carson was the “chief of staff” of Limbaugh’s program since the early 1990s.  He became part of the program’s staff in 1989.  Kitchin says Carson wanted to be an actor, but fell in love with his work on the program.  He screened calls, opened and answered the mail, and he took every opportunity to be invaluable.  And he became invaluable.  Later, he was nicknamed “H.R.” with Limbaugh naming him after Nixon Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman.  A clearly shaken, limbaughrushtearful Rush Limbaugh announced the news at the top of his radio program today (1/26).  He said, “We are all experiencing a huge void in all of our hearts here today.”  Limbaugh praised Carson as never having a bad word to say about anyone and was always a mediating force for good and harmony among the staff.  Limbaugh said that Carson was the longest-running employee of the show and quickly proved himself to be the new program’s number one defender, champion and evangelist.  Limbaugh also credited Carson with coming up with many ideas and angles that he used as his own on the air—and was also a tremendous force for Rush maintaining optimism and positivity in his work and attitude about life.  Clearly he was the one guy who Limbaugh never once doubted – “I had total trust in him.”  Limbaugh said, “Even at 58 he had an innocent exuberance about him.”  Carson is survived by his wife, Theresa, and two sons.

cookeTalkersTVNow Showing on TalkersTV: Writing Commercial Copy That Produces RESULTS.  Just try not to flinch when you hear The Six Most-Dreaded Words in Radio Sales: “We tried radio, it didn’t work.”  Even when the retail business and the station fit-like-a-glove — AND the client buys enough frequency — the campaign can flop, and the disappointed advertiser gives up on radio entirely.  WHY?  Consultant and TALKERS contributor Holland Cooke explains, “Too often, it’s because the commercial copy was ineffective.  Not surprisingly, this can happen because cutbacks have cost the station a creative department and reps are writing their own spots… too often banging out scripts quickly, so they can get back on the street to close new business — which they’re under pressure to do, because of churn.  Why does this often happen?  You guessed it: Because clients cancel…because they didn’t get results…because the copy didn’t work.  It’s a vicious cycle.”  Cooke adds, “Ironically, the same problem is common at stations that HAVE a creative person or department.”  And he cites three reasons:

1.  The conveyor belt is out of control.  With four, five or six stations under one roof, the writer gets overwhelmed.

2.  ESPECIALLY this time of year, when stations stage the annual first quarter “one day sale,” piling even more work on the writer; in many cases spots that will air long-term (or until the disappointed client cancels).

3.  The writer, back at the station, didn’t share the rep’s in-person contact with the prospect during the important Needs Assessment step.  Cooke figures that “account executives are, potentially, better writers than…writers, because they know clients’ stories first-hand.”

“Potentially,” Cooke stipulates, “because account executives need to speak to the listener (the advertiser’s client) the same way they approached the advertiser.  Reps are natural sellers, but don’t always apply their persuasive talent to copy writing.”  In a video now showing on TalkersTV, Cooke outlines what he calls “the dance steps of a 60-second commercial script,” based on his work helping client station reps craft copy for local retailers.  See Cooke relate what he terms “The Five Steps of Selling Anything to Anybody” (how reps got the order) to the copy-writing process.  See the TalkersTV box at the top right-hand column of this page and every page of Talkers.com.

mussonchristinaKMJ-AM/FM, Fresno Names Musson Co-Host.  The new late morning show at Cumulus Media’s Fresno news/talker KMJ-AM/FM launches today as “Broeske & Musson.”  KMJ program director Blake Taylor announces the station promotes Christina Musson from station executive producer to co-host of the program alongside John Broeske.  Taylor says, “We tried out dozens of potential co-hosts for John, but we only needed to look down the hall for the perfect answer.  ‘Broeske & Musson’ is going to be a dynamic show with tons of energy.  They’ll continue to deliver the hard-hitting and fun topics of the day that our listeners expect.”  Musson has been executive producer the past six years.  Her resume also includes production and reporting work at Fresno’s KMPH-TV KGPE-TV as well as KAPP-TV in Yakima, Washington.  She says, “I’m excited to take the next step in my career at such an amazing station and to partner with John Broeske – someone I admire and respect.  I grew up listening to KMJ, so it’s a dream come true.”

knxawards15Radio & Television News Association of Southern California Presents Awards.  The 65th annual Golden Mike awards were presented by the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California (RTNA) on Saturday evening (1/24) in Universal City.  The awards are presented annually for excellence in radio, TV and Internet broadcast journalism.  CBS RADIO’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles was recognized with seven Golden Mike awards in the following categories: Best New Broadcast Over 15 Minutes – “KNX Morning News”; Best Live Coverage of a News Story – “LAX Shooting”; Best News Reporting – “Nanny Nightmare” by Charles Feldman; Best Spot News Reporting – “The Great UCLA Flood of 2014” by Desmond Shaw, Ed Mertz, and Pete Demetriou; Best News Public Affairs Program – “Ask the Mayor”; Best Trafficgregorysteveawards Report – KNX Traffic at 6:15 am; and Best Sports Reporting – “Watts Bears”  by Ed Mertz.  Pictured above left are (from l-r) KNX staffers Ron Kilgore, Frank Mottek, Kathy Kiernan, James Tuck, Ric Schroeder, Wendy Thermos, and Pete Demetriou accepting the award for Best Live Coverage of a News Story.  iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KFI and reporter Steve Gregory also took home seven Golden Mike awards (see photo at right) in the following categories: Best Radio News Special – “Breaking Down The Border Crisis” by Steve Gregory and Oswaldo Borraez; Best Radio Investigative Reporting – “Mold School” by Steve Gregory and Oswaldo Borraez; Best Radio Light Feature (less than a minute) – “Valentine’s Day Flower Inspection” by Steve Gregory; Best Radio Serious Feature (less than a minute) – “Operation Boo” by Steve Gregory; Best Radio Hard News Series – “Trial Of Jailed Marine In Mexico”; Best Radio Internet News Reporting – “Operation Boo” by Steve Gregory and David Perez; and Best Radio Newscast (under 15 minutes).  KFI program director Robin Bertolucci comments, “We have the best news team here at KFI, these folks rock and Steve is a prime example of the caliber of talent that makes us so proud!”

ppmunitRound Four of Holiday PPM Data Released.  The fourth of four rounds of Holiday 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The survey period was December 4 to December 31.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

franklinjoeNew York Talk Legend Joe Franklin Dies at 88.  The New York talk television and talk radio icon who was famously parodied by Billy Crystal on “Saturday Night Live,” died after a long battle with cancer on Saturday (1/24).  Joe Franklin hosted a television program interviewing celebrities and offbeat characters beginning in the early 1950s.  He worked in radio later in his career at such stations as WOR, New York and most recently on the Bloomberg Radio Network.  Franklin ranked 71st in the 2010 TALKERS magazine 20th Anniversary Heaviest Hundred list (which ranks “the 100 most important radio talk show hosts of all time”) and appeared a number of times as a special guest speaker at the annual TALKERS Convention in New York City.  Publisher Michael Harrison would introduce him to the attendees from out of town as a famous New York City “tourist attraction as legendary as the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and Central Park.”  Franklin juggled so many careers in the media that it’s a good thing he stopped to write a book every few years – in fact, 23 in all — to capture his amazingly colorful life.  His autobiography Up Late With Joe Franklin (Scribner, 1995) is jam-packed with celebrity-rich-anecdotes — from Eddie Cantor and Rudy Vallee to Howard Stern, for example.  According to the Library Journal, “He actually knew those early entertainers and knew many of those currently entertaining.”  What originally made him a household name — even before the highly touted “Saturday Night Live” parodies by Billy Crystal — was Franklin’s late night variety program “The Joe Franklin Show,” which ran from 1950 through 1993.  The Guinness Book of World Records lists it as the longest running TV talk show in history manned by one host.   And what a show it was!  Much like visiting your favorite neighborhood hardware store, you never knew what unexpected gems would pop up among the variety and clutter.  A sample show would feature a sculptor, belly dancer, an up-and-coming comic, a podiatrist and then maybe a famous actor or singer.  According to Publisher’s Weekly (1994), his program’s “total guest list ran between 200,000 and 300,000.”  and included such names as Frank Sinatra Jr., Bing Crosby, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Vincent Price, Howard Stern, Buddy Hackett, — as well as first TV exposure for eventual stars like Sammy Davis Jr., Bill Cosby, Woody Allen, Barbra Streisand and Julia Roberts.  “It would be easier to list the few who did not appear than to catalogue those who did,” PW says. Franklin started and ended his long show business career in radio.  His first job, at 16, was working behind the scenes at WNEW, New York where he became “the record librarian,” (or really “the record picker”) for Martin Block’s popular “Make Believe Ballroom” radio program.   Once station management recognized his unique expertise in vaudeville and entertainment trivia, they offered him a 15-minute program dedicated to nostalgia.  Eventually that became his calling card and part of the schtick he’d weave into shows, whether radio or television.  The self- proclaimed “King of Entertainment” had an encyclopedic knowledge of “all things entertainment” from the first half of the 20th Century:  silent films, Broadway stage shows, musicians and singers.  With that, he also earned the title the “king of nostalgia.”  After his television show ended, Franklin focused on his long-running “Memory Lane” radio program, which ran on WOR on weekend overnights.  He’d tell stories about many of the entertainers whose records he would play.  In recent years, up until the time of his death, he hosted a weekends-only series of six-minute segments on Bloomberg Radio Network called ‘The Business of Show Business.’  Audio podcasts are still available at Bloomberg.com.  Throughout his career, the round-faced, jovial Franklin was commonly called back to television to do guest spots on the big late night and daytime talk shows such as those hosted by Regis Philbin and David Letterman.   Considered a good luck charm for the start of a new talk show due to the length of his show’s run, Franklin often kicked off day one of a show – and did so on the first broadcasts of “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and “This American Life.”  Though Franklin may never have wanted to act in movies – like his childhood friend Tony Curtis – he did appear as himself in “Ghostbusters” and “Broadway Danny Rose,” just to name two of the 34 titles that IMDb lists.   Franklin was born in 1926 in the Bronx, New York.  He met his model/actress wife when she was a secretary and he was “a kid of 24 just doing radio… and we were married on the TV show called ‘Bride and Groom,’” where real-life couples tied the knot after being quizzed about their relationship on national television.  Perhaps what sums Joe Franklin up best is his favorite personal quote: “It’s nice to be important, but it’s even more important to be nice.”

Odds & Sods.  Former “Regular Guys” personality Eric Von Haessler begins hosting his “The Von Haessler Doctrine” show on Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB, Atlanta airing Sundays at 1:00 pm.  Since exiting his “Regular Guys” co-host position at Cumulus Media’s crosstown rock WNNX “96 Rock” in June of 2014, Von Haessler has been doing fill-vonhaesslerericin work at WSB and podcasting…..Boston sports talk personality Danny Picard launches his new eponymous podcast at the same time he debuts his new website and celebrates the opening of his new studio inside Beantown Athletics in Dorchester, Massachusetts.  Picard is a weekend personality on Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston and is part of the “Patriots Pre-game and Post-Game Live” shows on Comcast SportsNet New England…..Westwood One is picarddannyannouncing some of the details of its Super Bowl programming as the official network radio partner for the National Football League.  It will feature a full schedule of game day programming leading up to kickoff.  Westwood One’s live game coverage features Kevin Harlan, handling the play-by-play duties for the Super Bowl for the fifth straight year, and Boomer Esiason, serving as the color analyst.  Hall of Famer James Lofton and Mark Malone will once again report from the sidelines.  Emmy Award-winning host Jim Gray will anchor the pregame and halftime coverage…..FOX Sports Radio is also on the scene in Glendale, Arizona this week leading up to the Super Bowl.  FSRN announces that as part of its continuous coverage “Jay Mohr Sports” news anchor Dan Beyer and J.T. The Brick will broadcast live from radio row while the Dan Patrick show and the Rich Eisen show will broadcast from the DIRECTV Super Fan Festival at the Pendergrast Family Farm in Glendale’s Sports and Entertainment District across from Phoenix Stadium.  Also, former NFL player Lincoln Kennedy will broadcast a special edition of the network’s Saturday morning program Gargano & Kennedy…..CBS Sports Radio’s plans for coverage of the big game include live-from-Glendale broadcasts all week by the network’s Jim Rome, Doug Gottlieb and the Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney program.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

| January 22, 2015

ramseydaveDave Ramsey Surpasses 550 Affiliate Mark.  Nationally syndicated financial talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey announces his program is now heard on more than 550 AM/FM affiliate stations and, according to the Ramsey organization, is heard by more than 8.5 million listeners weekly.  “‘The Dave Ramsey Show’ is clearly positioned as the third largest talk radio show in the country behind only Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.”  Vice president of Ramsey Media Brian Mayfield comments, “‘The Dave Ramsey Show’ continues to grow and make a difference in the radio world, as well as in the lives of our listeners.”  Recently, the Dave Ramsey show experienced upgrades in a few major markets including moving to a live timeslot from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm on KTAR-FM, Phoenix and expanding the timeslot to 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm KEIB, Los Angeles.  Beginning in February, the show will move to a live timeslot from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm on KXNT, Las Vegas.

carsonrobNew AM Host and Talent Shuffle at KCMO, Kansas City.  Talent moves will take effect on February 2 at Cumulus Media’s news/talk KCMO, Kansas City.  Current morning drive personality Greg Knapp is moving to afternoon drive and new in the morning slot will be Rob Carson.  At the same time, WMAL, Washington personality Chris Plante will also air on Kansas City on KCMO in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noonplantechris slot.  The rest of the schedule will be: Dave Ramsey from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm; Michael Savage from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm; Mark Levin following Knapp from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm and John Batchelor airing from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  Cumulus Kansas City SVP and general manager Mark Sullivan says, “I’m thrilled to have two of the industry’s best joining our lineup.  I’m anxious to hear Rob Carson and Chris Plante on our airwaves and I’m sure that Kansas City is going to feel as strongly about kcmo logotheir talent to entertain and inform as I am.  I’m also pleased to have Greg Knapp hosting our afternoons, as his dynamic and in-depth discussions keep me glued to the radio and I know that the local presence that he brings will be outstanding.  These are exciting times here at the broadcast center!”  Carson comments, “This is a real homecoming for me and my family.  We’ve been away from Missouri too long, and it’s a real blessing to get a spot on one of the country’s premiere talkers, KCMO.  I’m excited to join John Dickey, Mike McVay and Mark and [PD] Gary Nolan at Cumulus.”

ppmunitRound Two of Holiday PPM Data Released.  The second of four rounds of Holiday 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The survey period was December 4 to December 31.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

mcconnelldaveWTOP, Washington’s Dave McConnell Celebrates 50 Years with Station.  WTOP, Washington reporter Dave McConnell began his career with the station on January 18, 1965.  McConnell spent most of his career serving as Capitol Hill correspondent – a title he holds today that makes him the only full-timewtop logo NEW 1-15 congressional correspondent for a local radio outlet in the country.  WTOP news director Mike McMearty relates, “It is part of WTOP lore that while other kids were skipping school to see the Washington Senators play at Griffith Stadium, Dave was skipping school to hear the real Senators debate on Capitol Hill.”  McMearty adds, “Dave McConnell is a class act.  He’s a mixture of hustle, honesty and humbleness.  Dave lets the members of congress express their point-of-view without inserting opinion or commentary.  He is, and has always been known as, an honest broker.  I consider it an honor to have worked with him for more than 20 years of his illustrious career.”  Even after 50 years, McConnell has no plans to retire anytime soon.

Odds & Sods.  Financial talker Ray Lucia inks a deal with BizTV and BizTalkRadio for the companies to exclusively produce and syndicate his programs.  As part of the new agreement, the national radio show expands to two hours airing luciaraylive from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm ET…..In addition to the almost 400 AM/FM affiliate stations that aired ESPN Audio’s broadcast of the College Football Playoff Championship on January 12, the sports giant reports that the game averaged 69,000 listeners in the average minute across network and affiliate streams.  The ESPN Audio Streaming Network audience (including the ESPN Radio website and mobile app, the SportsCenter mobile app, Tune In Radio, Slacker Radio, and Apple iTunes Radio) grew 103% from last year’s BCS National Championship game. The 69,000 listeners is the third-highest network stream in history, trailing only two 2014 FIFA World Cup matches.

kfbklogoCool Job Opportunity.  Legendary KFBK, Sacramento has an immediate opening for a full-time morning news co-anchor and writer.  Our ideal candidate has strong news broadcasting experience and is able to multi-task and take direction well.  You will work alongside Amy Lewis, our long-term KFBK co-anchor, in a fast-paced, challenging and friendly environment.  Must be an aggressive self-starter who can hit the ground running, cut up sound on the fly, report live from the street or in-house, love big breaking news, write conversationally, and stay on top of social media – all while creating and contributing daily content to the web and Facebook.  You will need to be able to write short, tight copy, adlib well, anchor short-form newscasts or long-form event coverage when necessary, and understand news coverage in the digital/social media age.  Conversational and credible on-air news delivery, creative broadcast news writing skills and the ability to communicate effectively are prerequisites for this position.  You must be able to work under pressure in a fast-paced environment, meet deadlines, have a strong knowledge of current events and work positively as part of a team.  For more information and to apply, click here.

wkzoCapitolCovering the State of the State.  WKZO, Kalamazoo broadcast its Wayne Powers morning drive show live from the office of State Rep. Aric Nesbitt at the Michigan Capitol in Lansing yesterday (1/21) the morning after Governor Rick Snyder’s State of the State Address.  The Midwest Communications news/talk station reports that it was able to talk with Michigan lawmakers and leaders from both parties throughout the morning, including Michigan Lt. Governor Brian Calley and Michigan House Speaker Kevin Cotter as well as local senators and representatives including Senators Margaret O’Brien, Tonya Schuitmaker and John Proos and Representatives Aric Nesbitt, Jon Hoadley, Brandt Iden and Dave Maturen.  WKZO brand manager Jeremy Lawrence comments, “It is such a pleasure to be able to serve our listeners by talking with our leaders at the Capitol.  Being that we are the eyes and ears of the listener, we value our ability to let them know what is happening in our government.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Nesbitt, Maturen, O’Brien, Schuitmaker, Cotter, Lawrence, Midwest Communications VP/Market manager Mike Klein, and (seated) Powers.

State of the Union Address/Obama Tax Plan, ISIS Holds Japanese Men for Ransom, Abortion Legislation Debate, 2016 Presidential Prospects, ‘American Sniper’ Film Criticism, and the NFL’s Deflategate Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/21).  Tuesday’s State of the Union Address and President Obama’s tax proposal; the case of the Japanese nationals being held for ransom by ISIS; the GOP’s decision to drop new abortion legislation; the potential candidates for president in 2016; continuing criticism of the film “American Sniper”; and the controversy over deflated footballs used by the New England Patriots were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, January 9, 2015

| January 9, 2015

berrymichael2Michael Berry Show Now Heard in PM Drive on WRNO, New Orleans.  Houston-based talk show host Michael Berry – the “Czar of Talk Radio” – adds another affiliate to his growing affiliate base this week as his show begins airing on iHeartMedia’s New Orleans news/talker WRNO.  Berry’s program – emanating from flagship KTRH, Houston – replaces the show hosted by John Osterlind, who exits the company.  Other stations around the country airing Berry’s program include: KEX, Portland; WGY, Albany; WGST, Atlanta; WJBO, Baton Rouge; and KFXR, Dallas.

kkoblogoKKOB, Albuquerque Again Rises to the Top.  Program director Pat Frisch checks in to report that after having the station’s 55-book streak of #1 Nielsen Audio ratings finishes (persons 12+) ended in the spring and summer surveys in which it finished #2, Cumulus Media’s news/talk KKOB, Albuquerque returns to #1 in the Fall 2014 survey.  Frisch reports that morning host Bob Clark is #1 in the market (12+), beating the next closest morning show by more than three full shares, while Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage finished in first place in the 12+, persons 25-54, and men 25-54 demos.  The station finished #6 in the market in the persons 25-54 demo with a 3.6 share.

nellesmitchthunderMitch ‘Thunder’ Nelles Joins Sports WOKY, Milwaukee.  The iHeartMedia sports talker announces that Mitch “Thunder” Nelles becomes part of sports talk WOKY “The Big 920” to serve as sports account executive and serve as an on-air contributor.  Nelles most recently was with crosstown sports talk WAUK in the sales department.  Until last spring, Nelles also worked on air with Steve “The Homer” True on WAUK’s “Homer & Thunder” program before he exited his on-air duties to focus on sales.  Nelles joins WOKY on Monday, January 12.  Program director Tim Scott states, “We are VERY excited that Mitch is joining our team.  The addition of ‘Thunder’ just deepens our local commitment to Milwaukee sports fans.”  Nelles will also contribute a blog and podcasts.

cookehollandSound Bites from CES 2015.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke files another report from Las Vegas as he covers the International Consumer Electronics Show for TALKERS magazine.  Today’s report delivers the takeaways from the numerous sessions Cooke has attended during the week that have something relevant for radio practitioners.  Issues such as the importance of understanding the ways different platforms are used, the challenges of being creative in different media spaces, and effective use of YouTube are all covered in Holland Cooke’s report which you can read here.

emmisEmmis Q3 Radio Revenue Rises 29%. Actual comparative figures are $34.8 million to $44.9 million. This includes reported revenue from New York City urban AC WBLS and gospel cluster-mate WLIB; Emmis started operating those two facilities under a Local Marketing Agreement about 10 months ago. In crediting his company’s employees, Emmis president/chief executive officer/chair Jeff Smulyan states that, owing to them, “Emmis’ stations againsmulyanjeff dramatically outperformed our markets, marking the 12th consecutive month of share gains.” Smulyan points out that Los Angeles rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106” is “up 18% in a flat market. Our New York cluster was up for the quarter and is now significantly outperforming the market. With an improving labor market and lower energy prices helping to put more money into the hands of consumers, we are excited about the economic backdrop as we head into 2015.” In October, Emmis-led industry initiative NextRadio launched a new version with “LiveGuide” and Smulyan explains, “NextRadio is pre-loaded in 33 Smartphone models and we’ve had more than 1.4 million activations. All major radio companies support the effort. I couldn’t be more pleased with the effort and the momentum we have.” Emmis’ Q3 operating income increases from $8.7 million to $13.1 million, while station operating income advances year-to-year by $4 million to $18.1 million.

Odds & Sods.  Seattle sports talker KIRO-AM programming is being aired on Mapleton-owned KGA, Spokane.  A deal between KIRO-AM owner Bonneville and Mapleton has KIRO-AM’s 7:00 am to 4:00 pm programming – including Brock & Salk, Michael Gray, and Bob & Groz – airing on the station.  KIRO-AM also recently struck a deal to air the same programming on Ingstad Radio’s KJOX in the Tri-Cities, Washington market…..Noted broadcaster Pat O’Brien is debuting a new radio program to go into national syndication.  Beginning early this year, O’Brien will host KLEAN Radio, a new, weekend mental health radio show broadcasting out of KABC, Los Angeles.  A companion TV show – Klean Daily – is launching as well…..KXNO, Des Moines personality Ken Miller exits the station to pursue a yet-to-be-announced gig with former partner Marty Tirrell in the market.  The two first worked together in Des Moines doing sports talk back in 1996.

bubbaarmyBTBBubba’s Army Turns Up for ‘Bury the Bone’ Stunt.  The image you see here is of a long line of what Bubba the Love Sponge estimates was the 650-plus cars (with some 1,000 loyal listeners) who showed up for his “Bury the Bone” stunt.  Bubba and his staff – Manson, Ned, and 25 Cent – promised “Bury the Bone” tee-shirts to all who drove through the GoodFellas Pizza parking lot that sits just a few hundred yards from his old flagship station, Cox Media Group’s WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone.”  WHPT dropped Bubba’s show from its lineup in September and filled the morning daypart with former Bubba intern and then-afternoon drive host Mike Calta.  Bubba’s show began airing on Beasley Broadcast Group’s