Tag: "Saga Communications"

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

| November 8, 2017

John Hancock Signs New Deal with WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  Afternoon drive personality John Hancock signs a multi-year contract extension with Entercom’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  Hancock began his career at WBT in 1990.  Over the course of those 27 years, he’s broadcast on almost every daypart on the station.  Earlier this year, he was inducted into the “WBT Hall of Fame” and carries the distinction as the only Hall of Fame member who is still actively broadcasting.  Entercom Charlotte VP and market manager Matt Hanlon states, “John represents one of the most unique radio personalities in America today.  He’s a WBT Hall of Famer and still delivers a contemporary message every day that the listeners can count on.”

iHeartMedia Third Quarter Radio Revenue Basically Flat.  Reporting 2017 third quarter financial numbers, iHeartMedia’s consolidated revenue was down 1.9% compared to the same period in 2016.  But the radio division was up a hair — $2.4 million or 0.3% — compared to the third quarter of 2016.  For the first nine months of 2017, the radio division is up 1.5%.  COO and CFO Rich Bressler notes that the positive figure for the radio division extends “year-over-year revenue growth to eighteen consecutive quarters.”  Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “As a true multi-platform, 21st-century media company, we continue to expand the innovative ways for us to engage consumers and to reinvent how we do business with our advertising and marketing partners.  At our iHeartMedia business, in addition to building out a data-first programmatic advertising platform, we are continually growing our content offerings, including iHeartRadio’s podcast platform, with virtually all of the top 200 U.S. podcasts.”

Salem Media Group Q3 Broadcast Revenue Dips 5.1%.  For the third quarter of 2017, Salem Media Group reports total revenue decreased by 8.2% to $65.4 million from $71.3 million during the same period in 2016.  Breaking down the company by segments, net broadcast revenue was $48.4 million, a decrease of 5.1% from $51.1 million in 2016.  Digital media revenue decreased 12.9% to $10.4 million from $12.0 million the year prior.  Salem’s publishing revenue was down 20.2% to $6.6 million from $8.2 million in Q3 of 2016.

Saga Reports Revenue Increase in Third Quarter.  Reporting third quarter financials, Saga Communications says net revenue was up 1.3% to $30.3 million compared to the same quarter a year ago.  Station operating expense was flat compared to Q3 2016 at $21.8 million and operating income was $5.5 million compared to $6.8 million for the same period last year, with the reduction primarily due to a gain of $1.4 million recognized from the sale of one of the company’s towers in Norfolk, Virginia during the third quarter last year.  On a same-station basis, net revenue declined 1.1% to $29.6 million.

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the first of four reports on the performances of stations based on data from the October 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  Today, Kinosian reports on public news/talk radio.  He says, “Almost half the stations on this public news/talk panel improve September 2017 – October 2017 (47%, 6+) while roughly one of every three is down (34%); the remaining 19% of the sample remains flat (6+).”  When comparing 6+ numbers year-over-year, “Not quite two of every three stations from our eligible public news/talk sample are up (63%,), meanwhile, approximately one in four (27%) decline; the remaining 10% are unchanged.”  Ten public radio news/talk stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets in October and two ranked #1.  KQED hit the #1 spot in both the San Francisco and San Jose markets while KUOW was #1 in Seattle.  See Kinosian’s complete report here.

Virginia and New Jersey Gubernatorial Elections, Trump China Visit, North Korea Nuclear Tensions, Texas Church Massacre Aftermath, Trump-Russia Investigation, Saudi Arabia-Iran Conflict, Sexual Assault Cases, NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/7).  Yesterday’s gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey; President Trump’s visit to China; the ongoing nuclear tensions between North Korea and the U.S.; the aftermath of the church shooting in Texas that claimed the lives of 26; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; Saudi Arabia’s claim Iran fired a missile at Riyadh from Yemen; the sexual assault case of actor Kevin Spacey and the report of Harvey Weinstein’s hiring spies to track actresses and journalists; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Bohannon Visits Janesville Affiliate. Pictured above is Westwood One syndicated late-night personality Jim Bohannon (left), Mark Finnegan of the veteran’s organizations Vetsroll.org (center), and Tim Bremel, operations manager and host of “Your Talk Show” on WCLO Janesville, Wisconsin at a remote broadcast at a Culver’s Restaurant.  WCLO is an affiliate of Bohannon’s program.

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Reno radio pro “Big Chris” Hart is named program director at Cumulus Media’s classic hip hop KNEV, Reno “95.5 The Vibe.”  Hart previously served in the market programming and serving on at KWFP and, before that, working at KUUB.  Hart says, “This is one of those opportunities that you dream about in this business.  I’ve competed against and known the Cumulus team in Reno for 17 years.  Now, it’s my distinct pleasure to be joining the best team around and do some great, fun, plain ol’ kick-butt radio with Cumulus, KNEV and the good people of the greatest market in the universe, Reno!”…..Premiere Networks’ “The Woody Show’ is joining the American Forces Network beginning Monday (11/13).  The KYSR, Los Angeles “Alt 98.7”-based Woody Show will be added to the lineup on the AFN alternative music channel…..iHeartCountry and Premiere Networks are presenting multi-platform coverage of tonight’s “The 51st Annual CMA Awards.”  In addition to carrying the ABC-TV telecast audio across the 80-some iHeartCountry radio stations, for the first time, iHeartCountry will, among other things, present a Facebook live broadcast of the red carpet arrivals hosted by award-winning radio and CMT personality Cody Alan.

Monday, October 9, 2017

| October 9, 2017

Moskowitz, Siegel Named VP/Sales for iHM New York. The appointment of Todd Moskowitz as vice president of sales of iHeartMedia New York City news/talk WOR “The Voice of New York” and the promotion of Marc Siegel from sales manager to VP/Sales of co-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock Station” are effective immediately. Both will report to senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia New York Bernie Weiss who states, “Marc and Todd are proven sales leaders with a long track record of delivering results for clients, teams and stations. They have the talent and experience to coach their teams in coming up with the most effective marketing solutions to maximize the ROI for their clients.” Moskowitz remarks, “I am excited to lead sales for one the most legendary radio stations in New York City and work with some of the best and brightest people in our business.” Siegel comments, “Classic rock is a format that transcends time and is as popular as it has ever been. I am very excited for this opportunity and I look forward to the next step in the journey with my iHeartMedia colleagues.” Moskowitz most recently was market president for Townsquare Media’s Danbury, Connecticut cluster. He began his career with CBS Radio Hartford, before joining Cumulus Media Bridgeport, Connecticut and eventually CBS Radio New York City all-news WINS. Before arriving at iHeartMedia New York at the end of 2016, Siegel was head of global audio sales at Bloomberg Media, and was local sales manager for New York public outlet WNYC, where he managed radio, podcasting, digital, and events sales.

TALKERS Founder Michael Harrison Guests on Debut Holland Cooke Show on RT America.  Says Donald Trump Has Been A Boon to Talk Media Business.  As reported last week in TALKERS, noted media consultant and TALKERS correspondent Holland Cooke was named to fill the big shoes of Thom Hartmann as host of television network RT America’s long-running “The Big Picture” program.  His debut installment of the half hour weekend show aired this past Friday (10/6) and is being met with positive reviews.  Cooke divides the opening show into two segments.  In the first, he welcomes panelists Brian Keane and Harvey Wasserman to discuss renewable energy… which could be the silver lining as Puerto Rico recovers from Hurricane Maria. And in the second segment, he asks TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison and talk media pundit Steve Malzberg, “Are we really THAT angry?” referring to the tone of today’s conversation in talk media.  Asked if Donald Trump is the best thing that could happen to talk radio and television, Harrison replies, “From a purely business standpoint – getting ratings, giving us material to use, creating interest, keeping people tuned to their radios and TVs – he’s the best thing that’s happened in years. I don’t remember anything like it.”  To view the entire program, please click here

Sirott Selected to Call Bruins Action. Inbound from Tribune Chicago news/talk WGN-AM, where he was studio host for the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks, Judd Sirott becomes the game caller for the Boston Bruins, whose NHL games are carried on CBS Radio Boston sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.” CBS Radio Boston vice president of programming/CBS Radio vice president of sports programming Mike Thomas comments, “We are very excited to have someone with the exceptional reputation and experience that Judd has join our team at ‘The Sports Hub.’” Sirott adds, “I am incredibly fortunate, privileged, and humbled to be the radio voice of the Boston Bruins on ‘98.5 The Sports Hub.’ I didn’t just hit the lottery – I hit the Powerball. [The Bruins are] an ‘Original Six’ [NHL] team in a spectacular hockey market and one of the world’s greatest cities.” He succeeds Dave Goucher, who left last summer to become the television play-by-play voice for the Vegas Golden Knights, and joins analyst Bob Beers. An interesting note about Bruins’ radio play-by-play announcers: The only ones serving in that capacity going back to 1924 are Frank Ryan (28 years); Bob Wilson (25.5 years); Goucher (16 years); Fred Cusick (13 years); Bob Neumeier (five years); Bill Harrington (three years); Jim Laing (one year); and Dale Arnold (one-half year).

Cumulus DC Combo Arranges Blood Drive for Vegas Shooting Victims. Coordinated by Cumulus Media Washington D.C. news/talk and hot AC cluster-mates WMAL “Where Washington Comes to Talk” and WRQX “Mix 107.3,” the “Vegas Victims’ Blood Drive” will be held this Wednesday (10/11) from 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner in suburban Washington D.C. (McLean, Virginia). WMAL program director Bill Hess states, “The injured – including some from our area – face a lengthy recovery. This is one thing we can come together and do to help in our own individual way. We invite our friends and listeners to roll up their sleeves and join us in this effort.” WRQX program director Rob Roberts notes, “Distance doesn’t lessen the impact of what happened in Las Vegas. This is our chance to help someone and it costs nothing but a little time. We’re proud to do our part.” On a side note, “Mix” assistant program director/music director/mid-day talent Ashley Nickels is a Las Vegas native. Excluding the shooter, 58 people were killed last Sunday night (10/1) in Las Vegas. The dead included 36 women and 22 men; the oldest was 67, the youngest 20. Six of the dead were from Nevada, 35 from California, 13 from other states, and 4 from Canada. An additional 489 people were injured. The attack became the deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual in the United States, having surpassed the death toll of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, where 50 died, including the gunman.

Broadcast Station Mergers, Acquisitions Hit $4.47 billion in Q2. The top radio deal was the $82.8 million sale of Emmis Communications’ Los Angeles rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106” to Meruelo Media. According to estimates from Kagan, a media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence, the transaction was the largest single radio station sale since 2012 and represents nearly 34% of the quarter’s $245 million radio deal total. The second-largest radio transaction was the radio portion of Sinclair’s acquisition of Tribune Media with an estimated value of $58.4 million for news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago and the programming of one additional FM station. That was followed by Educational Media Foundation‘s purchase of three FMs from Entercom for $57.5 million – classic rock KSWD “100.3 The Sound,” Los Angeles; KSOQ-FM, which simulcasts KSON-FM “New Country,” San Diego; and WGGI, which simulcasts WGGY “Today’s Best Country – Froggy,” Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Next was the sale of four Alpha Media AM stations, 14 FM outlets, and two FM translators to Dick Broadcasting Company for $19.5 million. Saga Communications sold its six-remaining owned-and-operated television stations and three LMAs to Morgan Murphy Media for $66.6 million, while at the same time, expanded its radio business with the third-largest radio deal of the quarter, paying $23 million to Apex Media for seven FM stations, one AM, and four translators.

Levy Exits KJR-AM. Related to his August 26 arrest for soliciting a prostitute, KJR-AM morning show host Mitch Levy departs the iHeartMedia Seattle sports talk outlet after a 23-year tenure there. According to a report in The Seattle Times, Levy entered which is known as an “Alford plea,” an acknowledgment of enough evidence for conviction without a formal guilty plea. He was sentenced to two years of probation plus a deferred sentence that will be dismissed if he completes probation without being charged with another crime. Levy was one of 110 men arrested in an undercover operation called “Operation on Demand.” The 50-year-old Levy reportedly placed $160 in cash on a bedside table in anticipation of a half-hour of sex. On Twitter, he wrote, “As most of you realize by now, my 23-year tenure at KJR is over. I am fully aware that I have disappointed so many from the loved ones closest to me to all of you who have given me the opportunity to entertain you on weekday mornings. I’m deeply sorry. I’d like to thank KJR and iHeartMedia for the golden opportunity that was never taken for granted. Now, I must continue tending to me, my emotional demons and my family. Some day I hope you’ll allow me the opportunity to earn back your trust and respect.”

CPR’s Wycisk Sets Retirement Plans. It won’t become effective for another eight months, but 40-year Colorado Public Radio (CPR) president Max Wycisk is announcing he will retire on June 30 (2018). Board chair Dean Salter remarks, “On behalf of the CPR board of directors, we thank Max for his service and for the many notable accomplishments achieved during his tenure. Max is recognized as a pioneer in public broadcasting and his vision set CPR on the path to its current success. He leaves one of the strongest public radio organizations in the country with a sound financial base, a talented and committed staff, and loyal listeners. We look forward to an orderly transition to ensure the continued success of CPR.” According to Wycisk, “While the world has undoubtedly changed over the past 40 years, CPR’s mission has remained steadfast and our importance has grown. The organization is stronger than it has ever been – a testament to our dedicated staff, the donors who support us, and the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on us each and every day. It has been an honor to lead the development of a vital community resource that’s uniquely positioned to have an even greater future ahead.” Prior to becoming CPR’s president, Wycisk was a program director and an on-air announcer there. Among other things, he is responsible for transforming CPR from a single-signal station to a statewide network, which includes CPR News, CPR Classical, and CPR’s triple A Open Air, which are broadcast on 34 statewide signals and online.

WGN Slots Chicago Inno Tech Briefs. Starting today (10/9), Tribune Chicago news/talk WGN-AM adds “The Inno Minute,” a 60-second breakdown of Chicago’s top tech news. Airing weekdays in the 5:00 am hour on “The Opening Bell with Steve Grzanich,” the segment is a snapshot of topics covered at ChicagoInno.com. WGN-AM vice president of programming & content Todd Manley notes, “The stories that the team at Chicago Inno chases and shares are so powerful we wanted them on WGN every day.” Reporter Katherine Davis and Chicago Inno associate editor Jim Dallke will serve as producers. “Chicago Inno is incredibly excited to be working with WGN radio on ‘The Inno Minute,’” Dallke comments. “Chicago’s entrepreneurship scene is thriving, and we are thrilled to be able to work with WGN to inform Chicagoans on the innovation that is driving the city forward.” Elsewhere on the station, former Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka will appear for football commentary each Monday in morning drive with Steve Cochran and every Friday with afternoon driver Roe Conn. Ditka formerly had a similar radio arrangement in the market on WMVP “ESPN 1000.”

Salem Talk Hosts Headed Back to the White House. Approximately two and a half months ago (7/25), Salem Radio Network talk hosts Mike Gallagher and Hugh Hewitt conducted day-long broadcasts from the White House. The two will return to the Nation’s Capital next Tuesday (10/17) for live “Tax Reform Day” broadcasts from the White House. Hewitt (right) and Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup are planning for invited guests including treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin and commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, as well as other senior White House and administration staff.

Cavaliers, Monsters, iHM Cleveland Sign Multi-Year Extensions. As part of the new pact, all 82 regular-season contests, as well as five preseason and all playoff games of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers will air on iHeartMedia Cleveland news/talk WTAM and co-owned rocker WMMS. In addition to these two flagships, the Cavs are on a 30-station radio network. John Michael returns for his seventh season as the franchise’s play-by-play announcer, while Jim Chones is back for his eighth year as analyst. The Cavs have reached an extended agreement with Murray Hill Broadcasting to continue broadcasting all of its games in Spanish. Meanwhile, for the second consecutive year, all 76 regular-season games of the AHL Cleveland Monsters will be broadcast on iHeartMedia Cleveland alternative WMMS-HD2. Tony Brown returns for his third season as the radio and television play-by-play voice of the Monsters. Brown spent two years in the NAHL as the voice of the Odessa Jackalopes; one season in the USHL with the Omaha Lancers; became the radio voice of the Indy Fuel in the ECHL; and then came to the Monsters in their Calder Cup-winning season of 2015-2016.

Osgood As It Gets. The longtime host of Westwood One’s “The Osgood File” – Charles Osgood – was presented with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” last night (Sunday, 10/8) from the News and Documentary Emmys. Celebrating with Osgood (in the center with his trademark bowtie) backstage were his family and colleagues, including Westwood One executive vice president of news and talk Bart Tessler, and senior vice president of Affiliate Sales Dennis Green.

 

TALKERS News Notes. Fill-in host Rob Carson – who will be on iHeartMedia Phoenix news/talk KFYI and CBS Radio Las Vegas’ similarly-formatted KNXT next week – recently joined the conservative-leaning LibertyOne TV/video podcasting network and he explains, “My experience as an audio/video podcaster and live Facebook/YouTube podcaster is propelling my career forward in many ways. I hope to consult talk hosts about the new digital platforms. I’ve only been on for two weeks and my LibertyOneTV.com show attracted 18,000 viewers last Friday [10/6]. After two months, my daily podcast on PodcastRadioNetwork.com is their second-biggest podcast. This journey beyond terrestrial radio is incredible.” ….. The appointment of Karen Wishart as an Urban One executive vice president becomes official on January 1, 2018, when she replaces Linda Vilardo as chief administrative officer. In the meantime, those two will work together to transition Vilardo’s duties. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Wishart will be paid a base salary of $425,000 with an opportunity to make up to $150,000 in bonuses ….. The official charity of iHeartMedia Des Moines news/talk WHO afternoon drive talent Simon Conway is The Puppy Jake Foundation, which acquires, raises, and trains service dogs for physically and mentally wounded veterans. Last Friday (10/6), the fourth annual, two-hour free sandwich giveaway to benefit The Puppy Jake Foundation raised more than $28,500. The event brought in $4,000 in year one; $6,000 the second year; and $23,000 last year. Conway remarks, “People drove long distances and handed over huge sums of money. My show’s sponsors stepped up too, one of them called in and doubled his initial $1,000 donation.” Over 200 pounds of meat, buns, and sauce were all donated. So far, 22 service dogs have been provided to veterans; five more dogs will graduate the program in March ….. As of next Monday (10/16), Genesee Media Brockport-Rochester, New York sports talk WRSB “97.5 The Team” will transition to Spanish variety as “Mi 97.5.”

 

 

Delilah Taking Leave of Absence Following Her Son’s Suicide. On Saturday (10/7), the 7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight host posted on Facebook about the suicide, which occurred early Tuesday morning (October 3). “I will be absent from the radio and on social media for a time as I grieve and try to process this loss with my family,” Delilah (Rene) wrote as she grieves the loss of her teenage son Zachariah, who battled a long bout against depression. In what reportedly will be the only statement at this time by the Premiere Networks’ personality, Delilah states, “My dear friends, I need to share some devastating news with you. My son, Zachariah, took his life. He was being treated, counseled, and embraced fiercely by family and friends while battling depression. My heart is broken beyond repair and I cannot fathom how to go on, but I have to believe he is at peace with the Lord and that God will get us through. We will be playing some of my favorite shows from the recent past. I’ll look forward to my return, as you all lift me up so very much. Please pray for my beloved Zacky, and I will pray for all suffering from this debilitating disease called depression.” In a Facebook post earlier this year, Delilah revealed that Zack was autistic. The mother of 13 children, including ten she adopted, Delilah previously lost a son, Sammy, who died in 2012 from complications of sickle-cell anemia. According to The New York Daily News, Sammy’s death came two years after he was adopted from a Ghanaian refugee camp in West Africa. Delilah’s nightly show is heard on 180 (mainly adult contemporary) stations and on the American Forces Network. She was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Broadcasting Hall of Fame in April, following her November 2016 induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Delilah has updated her Facebook home page to include the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), which offers free, 24-hour emotional support for people in distress, as well as resources that provide aid.

iHeartMedia Philadelphia Taking Bids to Beat Breast Cancer. The cluster is doing so in its annual “Bid for Breast Cancer” fundraiser to benefit the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). It begins today (10/9) and will include an auction through next Monday (10/16). According to iHeartMedia Philadelphia vice president of programming Brian Check, “We have again pulled together all the resources of our six stations to collect one-of-a-kind autographed items to benefit a cause that affects many women in our community. AACR is known for bringing together the greatest minds in cancer research and helping patients worldwide, as well as right here in the Philadelphia area.” AACR Foundation executive director Mitch Stoller explains that this year, “More than 300,000 women will hear the words, ‘You have breast cancer.’ The AACR’s mission is to prevent and cure all cancers, including breast cancer which is the second-most common cause of cancer-related death among women in the United States. We are grateful to iHeartMedia Philadelphia and the community for their support in this ‘Bid for Breast Cancer.’ Proceeds will enable the AACR to fund groundbreaking cancer research that will lead to more cancer discoveries, saving more lives.” Auction items include an Ed Sheeran-autographed guitar; a guitar autographed by Brad Paisley; a Green Day-autographed guitar; jacket autographed by Bruno Mars; Rolling Stone Magazine autographed by Harry Styles; and a Red Hot Chili Peppers-autographed guitar. In a similar “Bid for Breast Cancer” event last year, iHeartMedia Philadelphia raised over $15,000.

Chicago’s “B-96” Reveals “Jingle Bash” Lineup. The 18th annual Pepsi “Jingle Bash” from CBS Radio Chicago CHR WBBM-FM “B-96” is roughly two months away (12/7) and will be headlined by Taylor Swift, along with Backstreet Boys, Fifth Harmony, Khalid, Logic, and Sabrina Carpenter. Vice president of programming for CBS Radio Chicago/WBBM-FM program director Todd Cavanah states that the “B-96” “Jingle Bash” has been a “must-see holiday event in Chicago for almost two decades. This year, we are thrilled to have the world’s biggest superstar – Taylor Swift – as our headliner. In the holiday season, the ‘Jingle Bash’ is a wonderful way for our community to come together and celebrate an exceptional night of pop music.” Breaking the news on-air was “B-96” afternoon air talent “Tyler.” The station’s December 7 “Jingle Bash” will be held in Rosemont (Illinois) at the Allstate Arena. In other station concert news, Emmis New York rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” will present “Hot for the Holidays” on December 14 at the Prudential Center. Scheduled to appear are Chris Brown, 21 Savage, Meek Mill, Cardi B, and Dave East & Tee Grizzley. Meanwhile, CBS Radio San Francisco CHR KMVQ “99.7 Now” will have Taylor Swift headline its December 2 “Poptopia” concert at San Jose’s Sap Center. Slated to perform as well are Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers, Fifth Harmony, Niall Horan, Khalid, Logic, and Dua Lipa.

WDVE Radio-thon Raises $814,000. Easily surpassing last year’s total of $605,000, iHeartMedia Pittsburgh’s WDVE “102.5 Rocks” raised just over $814,000 during the tenth annual “DVE Rocks for Children’s Radio-thon.” The beneficiary is Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, which is the fundraising arm of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. WDVE morning show personalities Randy Baumann, Bill Crawford, Val Porter, and Mike Prisuta, as well as Michele Michaels and Sean McDowell, shared stories from patients, families, and staff from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh during the two-day radio-thon. Market president for iHeartMedia Pittsburgh – West Virginia Tim McAleer comments, “The ‘DVE Rocks for Children’s Radio-thon’ continues to exceed our expectations. WDVE has terrific listeners who rally for the kids. I am in awe of the dedication and efforts of our on-air talents to raise funds for the children in our Pittsburgh community.” Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation president Greg Barrett adds, “It is truly unbelievable to witness the generosity of WDVE, their loyal listeners, the corporate sponsors and partners, and this amazing Pittsburgh community who have supported the radio-thon over the past ten years. Without this remarkable support each and every year, providing this level of expert, compassionate care to our patients and their families simply would not be possible.” Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, comedian Billy Gardell (“Mike & Molly”), and WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon made donations by phone. The “DVE Rocks for Children’s Radio-thon” has raised nearly $5 million to benefit Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, leading provider of pediatric care in the Pittsburgh community.

Duran Supports Third Annual “Carney Awards.” A joint production between The Elvis Duran Group and Radcliffe Road Pictures, the third annual “Carney Awards” will be held in approximately three weeks (10/29) at Santa Monica’s Broad Stage. Named in honor of the Oscar and six-time Emmy winning actor Art Carney, the Carney Awards were created by Elvis Duran Group CEO David Katz, his brother – Emmy-winning producer Jim Katz, and Carney’s son – actor voice-over artist, Brian Carney. Duran is morning personality on iHeartMedia New York CHR WHTZ “Z-100” and syndicated by Premiere Networks. “I never understood why the hardest-working actors in Hollywood were almost always excluded from receiving awards and recognition for the great work that they do,” Duran comments. “We created the Carney Awards to rectify that injustice. Character actors are the backbone of almost every movie and television show ever made. It’s time for them to get the recognition they so deserve. I don’t want people pointing anymore saying ‘Hey, it’s that guy.’” David Katz notes, “Elvis is the first to admit that his co-hosts are the backbone of his radio show. Our desire to celebrate those in supporting roles has picked up great momentum and has caught the attention of Hollywood, which is always good for radio.” This year’s honorees are Xander Berkeley, William Fichtner, Richard Kind, William H. Macy, and Wendie Malick. Past honorees include Bob Balaban, Steve Buscemi, Gary Cole, Conchata Ferrell, Dan Hedaya, and David Paymer. Tom Bergeron of ABC-TV’s “Dancing with the Stars” will host the awards program. Tickets are complimentary to radio industry members.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. The guest emcee at the 73rd annual Congressional Correspondents Dinner in just over two weeks (10/25) at the National Building Museum will be Bobby Bones, whose eponymous weekday morning show originating from iHeartMedia Nashville’s country WSIX-FM is heard on more than 100 affiliates. In addition to his Monday through Friday Premiere Networks’ syndicated morning program, Bones hosts a weekend “Country Top 30” countdown and authored “Bare Bones: I’m Not Lonely If You’re Reading This Book.” The event’s headline entertainer will be “Daily Show with Trevor Noah” correspondent Roy Wood, Jr.; house speaker Paul Ryan will deliver keynote remarks ….. General sales manager of iHeartMedia Pittsburgh classic rock WDVE and country WPGB “Big 104.7” Bobbie Loesch is promoted to regional senior vice president of sales for the Pittsburgh-West Virginia region. The company’s region president Tim McAleer remarks, “Bobbie’s extensive experience in our region makes her the perfect fit to oversee sales for our robust media and entertainment assets. We are lucky to have her; she is an expert at multiplatform sales and consistently helps our partners reach their goals.” Loesch – who begins her new duties next Monday (10/16) – adds, “I have worked with the iHeartMedia Pittsburgh team for over a decade, so I am excited to lead such a talented group. It is great that we are such a tight-knit team and that we are all passionate about helping our partners succeed.” ….. Starting next Monday (10/16), Cameron Moore takes over 10:00 am – 3:00 pm duties on Beasley Media Group Charlotte CHR WNKS “Kiss 95.1.” Operations manager/program director John Reynolds comments, “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Cameron to Beasley’s Charlotte team. [Her] expanded experience in every aspect of radio programming will help ‘Kiss’ continue the solid growth we have been having all year. Cameron is a great example of our goal to mentor and groom excellent talent within our company.” Moore adds, “It is an honor to be part of the ‘Kiss’ team. I look forward to playing all of the hottest hit music and getting out on the streets to meet all of [our] loyal listeners.” Winston-Salem native Moore most recently worked at Midwest Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Missouri cluster ….. The yearly signature event for CBS Radio Chicago triple A WXRT “93-XRT” is its Goose Island Holiday Jam. The ninth such event will feature performances by Spoon with special guest Real Estate and takes place in two months (12/10) at the Chicago Theatre. WXRT program director and operations manager Greg Solk explains, “The WXRT Goose Island Holiday Jam was created to showcase some of the most dynamic talents around, and to offer a memorable annual holiday event for Chicago music fans. This year’s fabulous double bill of Spoon and Real Estate will certainly accomplish that goal.” ….. As of today (10/9), 2016 Texas Radio Hall of Fame inductee Gary Lee Love joins John Walton classic country KXXF “105.3 Free,” Beaumont (Texas) for afternoon drive duties. Station owner John Walton states, “It is quite a coup for [us] to acquire a partnership with the Gary Lee Love Show. Gary is a bigger-than-life personality who is a household name in Southeast Texas and a great entertainer. Love most recently did a similar shift on cross-town Cumulus Media-owned KAYD “Nash-FM.”

Hundreds Attend “The House FM” and “My Praise FM” Kid DJ Day. The sixth annual “Kid DJ Day” was held over a week ago (9/30) at the 89.7 “The House FM Where Christian Hits Live” and 88.7 “My Praise FM” studios. More than 550 Kid DJs and 888 total family members attended the free event. “The House FM” and “My Praise FM” founder and chief executive officer Doyle Brewer remarks, “We had such a great day hosting 888 guests. The families were making such great memories with the petting zoo and so many other activities. Our ministry has always been focused on supporting families on the air with our programming and any other way we can.” Kids were invited to be DJs for a day, receiving a tour of the radio station and having a turn on-air. They were asked to discuss a variety of different topics, prompted by the DJ; parents received an email recording of their child’s on-air time. Listener-supported Christian radio network “The House FM” broadcasts from Oklahoma City to Wichita; sister network “My Praise FM” broadcasts in northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas.

Austin’s September 2017 Report to be Re-Released. Owing to audience estimates being inadvertently omitted for Austin subscribing HD-multicast KKMJ-HD3, Nielsen Audio will issue a revised September 2017 PPM ratings report for that Texas market this Wednesday (10/11) at 12:00 noon. Reporting for Entercom urban AC KKMJ-HD3 apparently had not been entered into one of Nielsen Audio’s internal systems. Audience estimates for other Austin stations will reportedly not be affected. Prior to August’s +.1 to 1.6 (#19, 6+), KKMJ-HD3 hadn’t had an increase in five consecutive sweeps for a net loss of nine-tenths (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+) but disappeared from print in the September sweep that was released last week.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

| August 3, 2017

Saga Communications Reports Q2 Financials; Net Revenue Down 1.9%.  That figure is based on revenue of $30.3 million for the second quarter of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.  For the six months ended on June 30, Saga Communications reports net revenue of $56.4 million – a decrease of 3.3% compared to the first six months of 2016.  Saga recently signed off on its intent to sell its television stations in Joplin, Missouri and Victoria, Texas to Morgan Murphy Media for approximately $66.6 million and is acquiring eight radio stations in the Charleston and Hilton Head, South Carolina markets from Apex Media for $23 million.  The television stations are reported as discontinued operations and are not included in the above figures.  As for net income, Saga is reporting a figure of $4.5 million, down 5.9% from $4.8 million in Q2 of 2016.

E.W. Scripps Radio Division Revenue Down 5.6%.  Television is the majority of E.W. Scripps business, with radio and digital taking a back seat.  For the company as a whole, revenue was $232 million – up 2% from that same period a year ago.  Breaking the company down into segments, radio revenue was $17.2 million, down 5.6% from $18.2 million in the second quarter of 2016.  The company says segment profit in the radio division was $2.9 million in the second quarter, down from $3.9 million a year ago.  Looking at the digital segment for a moment, while revenue was up 27.2% to $19.3 million during the second quarter, expenses were up to $23.5 million for a segment loss of $4.2 million – down a bit from the loss of $4.7 million in Q2 of 2016.  Scripps reports that it is expecting third quarter radio revenue to be down in the mid-single digits.

ESPN Promotes Marcia Keegan to VP, National Radio Programming and Production.  This is a promotion from her previous title as vice president, production.  ESPN says that in this new role, Marcia Keegan will oversee all talk programming content on the ESPN Radio national network, including such shows as “Golic and Wingo,” “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” “The Ryen Russillo Show,” “The Right Time with Bomani Jones,” and “Jalen & Jacoby.”  She will continue to be responsible for ESPN’s packaged show productions – the unit that handles approximately 1,000 hours of programming produced by outside vendors.  ESPN SVP Traug Keller comments, “I’m so happy to welcome Marcia to the ESPN Audio team.  Her new perspective, strategic thinking and creativity strengthen an already formidable ESPN Audio talk programming lineup.”

TALKERS News Notes. Radio pro Smitty O’Loughlin is retiring from the radio biz after a 36-year career.  O’Loughlin has been serving as the market manager for Community Broadcasters’ Elmira, New York station group for the past four years.  He says, “It is bittersweet as I turn the page to a new chapter in my life.  Broadcasting is and will always be part of my life regardless of what retirement brings.  I cherish the moments and memories with so many professionals, helping so many people throughout the years, and the personal fulfillment with all the community outreach.”  O’Loughlin began his career in the Fort Smith, Arkansas market in 1981…..There’s a change in the on-air team for Tennessee Titans football broadcasts this season as former Titans tight end Frank Wycheck is taking the season off and is being replaced by former NFL coach Dave McGinnis as color analyst.   Wycheck continues his role on “The Wake-Up Zone” heard on Cumulus Media’s Titans flagship WGFX, Nashville “104.5 The Zone.”  The team released the following statement, “After multiple discussions with Frank, it was agreed that he will take this season off from the radio broadcasts and return next season. With the season quickly approaching, we have reached an agreement with Dave McGinnis to fill-in for Frank this season. Coach Mac has a deep knowledge and passion for the game, along with eight years as a coach with the Titans.  He is very excited about taking on this role and we think he will fill in admirably.”  Wycheck has been vocal about how concussions from his playing days have affected his health and its believed that this move is designed to, at least temporarily, lighten his workload.

Russian Sanctions/U.S.-Russia Relations, Fate of ObamaCare, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Iran-Nukes Deal, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake’s Book, West Wing Power Struggle, Trump Immigration Plan, Affirmative Action College Admissions, Dow Hits 22k, MLB Action and NFL Training Camps Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/2). President Donald Trump sign’s Russian sanctions bill and the tense relations between the U.S. and Russia; the GOP’s continuing efforts to build consensus for repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it; North Korea’s nuclear threats and U.S. diplomatic/military options; both sides in the Iran nuclear deal accuse the other of violating the pact; Arizona Senator Jeff Flake’s new book, A Principled Conservative, rankles fellow Republicans for its anti-Trump content; chatter about the ongoing West Wing power struggle and whether adviser Stephen K. Bannon will be next to exit; the Trump Administration’s plan to curtail immigration numbers; concerns by minority advocates the DOJ will investigate race-based admission policies at U.S. colleges; the Dow closes at a record 22,000-plus for the first time; Major League Baseball action; and news from the NFL’s training camps were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Completely Posted Today (8/3) with the Presentation of the “College Broadcaster of the Year Award” to WRHU, Hofstra University student manager Maria Santana by Doug Stephan (with introduction by Newsmax TV host/executive producer Bill Tucker).  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions have been posted to Talkers.com.  They include:

–          The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).

–          The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).

–          The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).

–          The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).

–          The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.

–          A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.”  They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess(introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri), a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA  Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young, and a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram; a conversation between The New Normal CEO/founder/host Tom Leykis and syndicated host Michael Berry; a conversation between The Weiss AgencyEVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade; and a conversation between WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano and GCN syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs  (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield). At the conclusion, Dr. Wachs is presented the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” award by Michael Harrison.

–          Three memorial tributes by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon dedicated to major talk show personalities and longtimeTALKERS Convention participants who passed away this past year:  Tom MarrDr. Joy Browne and Alan Colmes.  (Introduction by Stephan Multimedia CEO/host, Doug Stephan.)

–          Presentation of the 2017 “Woman of the Year” award to Cumulus Media president/CEO Mary Berner by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.

–          Special luncheon greeting by Salem Radio Network syndicated host Joe Walsh (with introduction by SRN VP Phil Boyce).

–          TODAY (8/3) completes the agenda with the posting of the presentation of the 2017 “College Broadcaster of the Year” award to WRHU, Hofstra University student manager Maria Santana by Doug Stephan (with introduction by Newsmax TV host/executive producer Bill Tucker).

Every session will remain online for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  There’s a plum gig open in Milwaukee as Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” is seeking an air personality for its “Morning Mix” AM drive show alongside market pro Elizabeth Kay.  Interested radio pros should apply via Entercom’s website here…..On-air and programming pro Johnny Maze exits Adams Radio Group’s rock WZBH, Salisbury/Ocean City “93.5 The Beach” and sister classic rocker WGBG “BIG 98.5.”  Maze, who was the afternoon drive personality at WZBH, also served as program director for both stations.  He says in a Facebook post, “I am ‘officially’ ON THE BEACH! As of today, I am no longer with ‘93.5 The Beach’ in Salisbury/Ocean City.  I had a good time, accomplished some great things and I made some awesome friends.  Looking forward to finding my next opportunity and challenge.”…..The “Dudley & Bob with Matt” show – heard in mornings on Emmis classic rock KLBJ-FM, Austin is celebrating 25 years on the air at a special show on August 12 at Austin’s Paramount Theatre.  The program will honor show founders Dale Dudley and Bob Fonseca.  The event will feature a dedication from Austin’s mayor as well as performances by comedians and local music acts.  The show was nominated for a Marconi Award in 2007 for Medium Market Personality of the Year.   They were inducted in to the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in 2009…..Superadio promotes two to new positions.  Rich O’Brien rises to the newly created position of EVP of programming and affiliate relations and Eric Faison is elevated to SVP of programming and affiliate relations.  Superadio COO Jack Bryant states, “Both Rich and Eric are seasoned veterans of the industry and both epitomize the high standards for which the company is known.  All programming, talent, and affiliate matters are in the best of hands with the team of Rich and Eric.”

Ice Cream for a Good Cause. Pictured here in the WPLJ, New York studios are (from l-r): Jason Street from Applegate Farm, WPLJ morning co-host Jayde DonovanMelinda Street from Applegate Farm, and Philip Salerno from Children’s Specialized Hospital.  They are holding the two winning ice cream flavors – Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate Chunk and S’mores Fluff-A-Nutter – that WPLJ jocks and listeners created to be featured at Applegate Farm in Montclair, New Jersey through October.  Ninety-five cents from every cone sold will be donated to Children’s Specialized Hospital.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

| May 25, 2017

Today It’s Hannity, Tomorrow It May Be You.  Nashville-based Westwood One nationally syndicated talk show host Phil Valentine writes today about the campaign being waged against Fox News Channel and Premiere Networks talk show host Sean Hannity for his reporting on and opining on the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich.  Media Matters is targeting Hannity’s advertisers in what is likely an attempt to get Fox to take action against Hannity.  Valentine says that those on the left cheering and those on the right standing idly by are potentially risking their own hides somewhere down the road if this effort is successful.  “The radical left loves to call conservatives fascists, yet there is nothing more fascist than shutting down people who dare utter something counter to your world view.  That goes for both sides of the aisle.  It’s one thing to simply stop patronizing a business because of the causes or people they support.  It’s another thing altogether to launch a vicious e-mail campaign of threats and intimidation.”  Coincidentally, Sean Hannity will be presented with TALKERS magazine’s Freedom of Speech Award at Talkers 2017: A New Era in New York on June 2. Read Valentine’s entire piece here.

Chris Berry Appointed SVP of News, Talk and Sports for iHeartMedia. Radio programming, sales and management pro Chris Berry takes on the SVP of news, talk and sports post for iHeartMedia.  The company says that Berry “will oversee our news, talk and sports brands, where he’ll provide strategic guidance for our spoken-word formats and connect key advertisers with iHeartMedia’s news, talk and sports audiences.”  Berry has been serving as SVP/general manager for NBC News Radio and 24/7 News Network, a position he’ll maintain.  During his career, Berry has been VP/GM for ABC News Radio and VP/GM of WMAL, Washington, to name a few.  He joined 24/7 News Network as senior vice president and general manager in March 2011 and has spearheaded NBC News Radio’s editorial content since 24/7 News began syndicating the network in July 2016.  Meet Chris Berry at Talkers 2017: A New Era in New York City on June 2.  See details here.

WBAL, Baltimore Names Jeff Wade News Director.  Baltimore news/talk WBAL “Newsradio 1090” names Jeff Wade news director, effective June 5.  Wade comes to the Hearst Television-owned station from his most recent position with Binnie Media’s Concord, New Hampshire operations as director of news and talk programming.  During his career, he’s also served with Saga Communications at news/talk WGAN, Portland as news director.  WBAL president and general manager Cary Pahigian states, “Jeff has a deep appreciation for WBAL’s zealous commitment to 24/7 news coverage.  His leadership, along with the skills and experience of our news team, will allow WBAL to fortify its position as Maryland’s leading radio news source.”  Speaking about his new gig, Wade remarks, “I’m excited to be joining WBAL and the Hearst team.  This is one of America’s iconic radio stations with a proud legacy as a news leader staffed by an all-star team of experienced and knowledgeable talent.”

iHeartMedia Promotes Programmer Brian Hall. Programming pro Brian Hall is upped to senior vice president of programming at the company’s Asheville operations.  Hall has most recently been serving as program director for the company’s news/talk WWNC “News Radio 570,” progressive talk WPEK “880 The Revolution” in Asheville and WGVL, Greenville, South Carolina “FOX Sports 1440.”  Music stations in the cluster include: adult hits W249AR “97,7 The Brew,” country WKSF “99.9 Kiss Country,” CHR WQNQ “Star 104.3,” and classic rock WQNS “Rock 105.1.” iHeartMedia area president for Asheville, Greenville and Greensboro Bill McMartin states, “Brian’s vast experience in Asheville will really help us continue to dominate the market in every format.  We have an experienced team in Asheville who all have great respect for Brian and his ability to lead our programming efforts.”

Adam Carolla and Dennis Prager Begin Crowdfunding Effort for Free Speech Film.  Yes, that’s right, conservative media figure and divinity scholar Dennis Prager, and podcaster/comic and atheist Adam Carolla are teaming up to produce a film titled, No Safe Spaces, that addresses the effects of political correctness on America’s college campuses.  The idea for the film came about after the unlikely duo’s recent scheduled appearance at UC Northridge was cancelled by the administration.  The event did go on after their lawyers pressured the college and their speeches were taped for the film.  Now, they are beginning an Indiegogo campaign to raise $1 million over the next few weeks to complete production of the feature-length film that will examine the effects of political correctness on college campuses and how the phenomenon will affect America’s future as restrictions on free speech move beyond the campus to American society.  Prager comments, “This is a story that must be told because the future of our country literally depends on what happens on these campuses.  If these students don’t understand the very concept of free speech, our whole nation is in trouble.”  The film takes Prager and Carolla to college campuses across the country, interviewing students and professors, comedians and commentators on the left and right, and those who have been impacted by the silencing of different voices on campus, analyzing the value of so-called safe-spaces.

PPM Analysis: Baseball Flagships.  How did the first month of the 2017 Major League Baseball season go for radio play-by-play flagships?  TALKERS magazine editor Mike Kinosian addresses that very question, reporting on the 6+ performances of baseball flagship stations based on data from the April 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  Ten stations saw their 6+ numbers go up at least one full share, with CBS RADIO’s KMOX, St. Louis shooting up 2.2 shares to an 8.4 share (and good for a #1 market rank).  iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati was close behind, rising by 2.1 to a 9.3 share.  See the whole report here.

TALKERS News Notes. In Chicago, Salem Media Group adjusts its programming on news/talk WIND by moving the Salem Radio Network’s Larry Elder show from overnights (1:00 am to 3:00 am) to the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot, followed by its “Jay Sekulow Live” program at 9:00 pm.  The shows bump the Dave Ramsey program from the station’s program schedule, effective June 1…..Next season, Detroit Pistons games will be heard on CBS RADIO’s sports talk WXYT-FM, moving from Beasley’s crosstown WMGC.  The NBA club’s games were originally heard on WMGC when it was a sports talk station – “Detroit Sports 105.1” – and remained there after the station flipped to classic hip hop and R&B.  In the event of conflicts on WXYT-FM, Pistons games will move to the company’s all-news WWJ-AM.

Manchester Bombing Aftermath, Trump’s International Trip, Trump-Russia Investigation, Obama MS-13 Controversy, China Criticizes U.S. Ship Movement, Trump Budget Proposal, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/24). The arrests of family members of Manchester bomber Salman Abedi and the task of preventing more attacks; President Donald Trump’s trip abroad; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia; a whistleblower alleges Obama’s Unaccompanied Children policy allowed MS-13 gang members to be settled in the U.S.; China lashes out at the U.S. after a Navy destroyer sails within 12 miles of its military, man-made island; the Congressional Budget Office’s report on the Trump Administration budget proposal; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cool Programming Opportunity.  The Springfield, Illinois operations of Mid-West Family Broadcasting is seeking an operations manager for the four-station cluster consisting of news/talk WMAY-AM, adult contemporary WNNS, rock WQLZ, and country WUSW.  The company is seeking candidates who possess the following qualifications: Love to coach and develop talent, especially in the talk format; can do an airshift in multiple formats; understand that a digital plan is not a banner ad and a station stream; realize that a remote appearance is the exact opposite of being remote to listeners; know how to make Selector sing; have the instincts to do it your way and not wait for a corporate mandate.  If this sounds too good to be true, it’s not.  It’s Mid-West Family Broadcasting in the Land of Lincoln: Springfield, Illinois.  Mid-West is an employee-owned company.  If you want to talk in strict confidence, send an e-mail, resume and salary requirements to Harvey Wells at: hwells@mwfbmedia.com.  What’s sent to Springfield stays in Springfield.  Mid-West Family Broadcasting is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minority candidates are encouraged to apply.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. With the move of rock radio pro Jay Philpott from Cumulus Media’s WNNX, Atlanta to its Twin Cities rocker KQRS, the company is seeking Philpott’s replacement for the afternoon drive show on WNNX…..Hubbard Broadcasting VP/regional manager of Minnesota Dan Seeman announces that Jeff Hilborn is named general manager for the Hubbard Broadcasting radio stations in Brainerd, Minnesota.  Hilborn will oversee adult contemporary WJJY, classic rock KLIZ-FM “The Power Loon,” country KBLB “B93.3,” oldies KUAL “KOOL 103.5,” sports talk KLIZ-AM and business news KVBR-AM.  The stations were part of the group of 16 Omni Broadcasting outlets acquired by Hubbard the 2015 transaction.  Hilborn will replace retiring general manager Mike Boen.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

| May 4, 2017

iHeartMedia Posts Q1 Consolidated Revenue Dip of 2.4%.  In today’s release of 2017 first quarter financial data, iHeartMedia reports consolidated revenue was $1.32 billion – down 2.4% from the same period in 2016.  That figure includes the Americas Outdoor and International Outdoor segments, which both saw revenue decreases.  The iHeartMedia segment’s revenue was $757 million – up 2.5% from the first quarter of 2016.  The report also notes that the revenue increase was “driven primarily by increases in trade and barter, sponsorship and other revenues surrounding our live events, and digital, as well as our core radio business.  These increases were partially offset by a decrease in political advertising revenues and lower revenue from our traffic and weather business.”  Once again, the company includes language about its tenuous debt situation in a section that details its payments and coming obligations: “For the year ended December 31, 2016, we adopted a new accounting standard that requires us to evaluate on a quarterly basis whether there is substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern for a period of 12 months following the date our financial statements are issued.  A substantial amount of our cash requirements are for debt service obligations.  Although we have generated operating income, we incurred net losses and had negative cash flows from operations for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, as well as for the quarter ended March 31, 2017. Our current operating plan indicates we will continue to incur net losses and generate negative cash flows from operating activities given iHeartCommunications’ indebtedness and related interest expense.  During the quarter ended March 31, 2017, we spent $570.4 million of cash on payments of principal and interest on our debt, net of facility draws and proceeds received, and anticipate having approximately $1.7 billion of cash interest payment obligations for the full year 2017. At March 31, 2017, we had debt maturities totaling $316.5 million, $324.2 million and $8,369.0 million in 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively.  Our debt maturities at March 31, 2017 include $305.0 million outstanding under our receivables based credit facility, which matures on December 24, 2017, and $112.1 million of 10% Senior Notes due January 15, 2018. Based on the significance of the forecasted future negative cash flows, including the maturities of the $305.0 million receivables based credit facility and the $112.1 million 10% Senior Notes due January 15, 2018, and the uncertainty of the outcomes of the notes exchange offers and term loan offers, management has determined that there is substantial doubt as to our ability to continue as a going concern for a period of 12 months following May 4, 2017 as a result of uncertainty around our ability to refinance or extend the maturity of our receivables based credit facility, to achieve our forecasted results and to achieve sufficient cash interest savings from the pending notes exchange offers and term loan offers.”

Radio Advertising Down 8.7% in First Quarter for Radio One; Company Name Change to Urban One Effective Tomorrow.  The radio advertising sector of Radio One, Inc’s first quarter of 2017 garnered $46.1 million – a decrease from the same period in 2016.  Net revenue for the entire company was $101.2 million – down 7.1% from Q1 in 2016.  Radio One president and CEO Alfred C. Liggins, III says, “A combination of tough political comps in radio, and non-recurring major client spending at Reach Media, made for a weak start to the year in radio advertising.  TV One ratings held up well overall (+4% Household, and flat 24-54 total day), although we were down in the younger-end demographic. Despite this, we were able to post growth in Adjusted EBITDA for the division.  Our digital business will be bolstered by the acquisition of the Bossip and Madame Noire brands, which will be immediately accretive.  MGM National Harbor continues to perform well, and we have accrued approximately $1.5 million of income in the first quarter.  We remain committed to growing our cash flow in 2017, despite the slow start to the year.  Our name change to Urban One will become effective on May 5th, and will better reflect our diversified multimedia platform.”

Saga Communications Down 4.1% in First Quarter.  Net revenue for the first quarter of 2017 for Saga Communications was $31.4 million, down 4.1% from the same period a year ago.  The company attributes that decline primarily to reduction in political revenue of $1.3 million from the same quarter in 2016.  For the quarter, station operating expense increased 1.5% to $25.1 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations).  Operating income decreased $1.9 million to $3.5 million. Free cash flow for the quarter was $3.2 million.

GOP Health Care Bill, Comey Hearing, Hillary Clinton Interview, Colbert’s Anti-Trump Rant, North Korea Tensions, Cop Slays Texas Teen, French Presidential Race, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/3).  The GOP’s plans to put its American Health Care Act to a vote today; the controversy over FBI Director James Comey’s testimony about notifying Congress about new emails in the Hillary Clinton investigation just days before the election; Hillary Clinton’s interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour; the flap over Stephen Colbert’s use of sexual language in his anti-Trump rant; North Korea’s jab at China and its threats against the U.S.; the slaying of a 15-year-old black boy by a Balch Springs, Texas cop; the French presidential race between far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and moderate Emmanuel Macron; and MLB, 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. Former “Saturday Night Live” star and current WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” morning personality Joe Piscopo announces he will not be running for Governor of New Jersey, after all.  Piscopo had been entertaining running as a Republican but now says he’ll back current Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno…..Anthem Broadcasting LLC, the parent of USA Radio Networks, announces a “$1.25 million investment” in the company by Florida based Innerself Marketing.  Anthem Broadcasting LLC was formed by Liftable Media Inc in 2015 to acquire the assets of USA Radio.  USA Radio CEO Floyd Brown says, “We have experienced and amazing turnaround at USA Radio since the fall of 2015.  But it is about to get better.  Innerself Marketing is the perfect partner to strengthen and build USA Radio Networks.  Innerself is a marketing dynamo, and the combination of an outstanding radio platform and an advertising powerhouse will lead to even greater success.”…..NPR sports commentator Frank Deford announces that he’s retiring from his gig on the “Morning Edition” program.  Deford was working for Sports Illustrated when he began doing commentaries for NPR back in 1980…..The real-life couple Kate Fagan and Kathryn Budig are launching a new podcast called “Free Cookies” from espnW and ESPN Audio.  Fagan writes for espnW and makes appearances on “SportsCenter.”  Budig is a best-selling author and yoga expert.  In the premiere episode, the two speak to soccer star Abby Wambach…..The “America Outdoors Radio” program that focuses on fishing, hunting and shooting sports, announces it signs up new affiliate stations  KBRV, Soda Springs, Idaho; KNYN, Evanston, Wyoming; and KELA, Centralia, Washington.  “America Outdoors Radio” is hosted and produced by John Kruse and is sponsored by Media Index Publishing…..This Saturday is the 143rd running of the Kenturcky Derby and Westwood One is presenting national radio and audio streaming coverage of the race in conjunction with NBC Sports Radio and the Horse Racing Radio NetworkMike Penna is serving as anchor.  Derby coverage is also being presented on SiriusXM.

Dave Ramsey Celebrating 25th Anniversary of Radio Show. This year, Dave Ramsey is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his nationally syndicated radio program.  He begins today by including special anniversary segments on the show.  Ramsey’s show launched in 1992 and the Ramsey Solutions company says that “no one could have predicted the show’s longevity or its continued growth.”  Dave Ramsey says, “The radio show happened by accident.  I lost everything because I was stupid and borrowed too much money.  When I discovered and applied common-sense financial principles in my own life and began teaching them, a friend invited me on a little brokered radio station to help people with their money problems.  I’m sure our delivery was horrendous, but we offered truth, instruction and hope.  We’ve refined that over the years, because that’s what people need.”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Detroit morning show Dave & Chuck – Dave Hunter and Chuck “The Freak” Urquhart with co-host Lisa Way – are re-upped for four years by Beasley Media Group to continue hosting their program on rock WRIF.   The show launched at WRIF in 2013 and has since added co-host Andy Green, producer James Campbell and video editor Jason Watson. Beasley Detroit market manager Mac Edwards says, “Of course, we extended their contracts!  Dave and Chuck have crushed the competition and dominated Detroit’s morning radio for men and women, ranking #1 in every key demo including 18 to 34, 18 to 49 and 25 to 54!  We value their amazing talent and are fortunate to work with them.”…..Hubbard Radio’s classic rock WDRV, Chicago “The Drive” announces it has hired Chicago media pro Jill Egan to serve as producer for the “Sherman & Tingle” morning show, featuring Brian Sherman and Steve Tingle.  Egan says, “Producing a radio show is the most challenging, but also the most rewarding, position I’ve held in my broadcast career.  Sherman and Tingle are both extraordinarily talented, hilarious, hard-working, and genuine guys.  I share the same drive to succeed as they do.”…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Kathy Hart – one half of the WTMX morning show team with Eric Ferguson – has been off the show since April 27 with little explanation from management.  Feder writes that Hubbard Radio Chicago VP and market manager Jeff England is simply saying, “Kathy is taking some time off.”  Co-host Ferguson is apparently also in the dark as to what’s going on.  Read Feder’s column here.

CBS RADIO Creates MusicTown Venue in Detroit. A new multi-use space called MusicTown is being constructed by CBS RADIO Detroit, in association with Olympia Entertainment.  It’s designed to “host and celebrate music, culture and entertainment in the city of Detroit.”  It will be located inside Hockeytown Café, within the 50-block, mixed-use sports and entertainment development known as The District Detroit.  MusicTown will consist of a new broadcast studio, recording studio and performance space.  CBS says it will “support artists, educate children of all ages and celebrate the Detroit community and its visitors through lifestyle, collaboration and entertainment.”  CBS RADIO Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “We are strongly committed to continuing Detroit’s tradition as a great ‘Music City.’  By identifying new talent and sharing the many music stories that Detroit has inspired, this initiative will help celebrate a once-booming industry in our great city, stimulating significant economic growth in the region along the way.”

Tuesday, March 8, 2017

| March 7, 2017

Saga Communications Reports Net Revenue Up 4.7% in Q4; Radio Segment Rises 2.6%.  The company operates both radio and television stations and the 4.7% net revenue increase on $37.3 million is for the company as a whole.  The radio segment’s fourth quarter net revenue was $30.3 million – an increase of 2.6%.  For the whole of 2016, the radio segment was up 6.2% on net revenue of $119 million.

Radio One Fourth Quarter Revenue Rises 3.8% on Strength of Television and Political Advertising.  Of the four major categories of revenue that Radio One reports – radio advertising, political advertising, digital advertising, and cable television advertising the latter three saw healthy increases while radio advertising dipped 8.5% in the fourth quarter of 2016.  It’s far and away the biggest category with net revenue of $51.02 million.  Cable television advertising was up 18.1% on net revenue of $22.67 million.  For the year of 2016, Radio One’s radio broadcasting net revenue was down 1.5% on $194.5 million.

DGital Media and Essence Partner for ‘Yes, Girl!’ Podcast.  A new collaboration between audio entertainment firm DGital Media and Essence results on the new podcast “Yes, Girl!”  The weekly podcast – available via iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn and more – “allows Essence editors to marry two things that they love: podcasts and buzzworthy interviews with bold, beautiful and brilliant women of color.”  The show is hosted by Essence editors Cori Murray and Yolanda Sangweni — along with relationships editor and resident “love guru” Charli Penn.  “Yes, Girl!” will also feature conversations with celebs and influencers.

TALKERS News Notes.  A group of podcast producers is working together throughout the month of March to promote podcast listening to the public.  Dubbed #trypod, the movement includes the hosts of hundreds of podcasts encouraging listeners to seek out friends who aren’t podcast listeners to get them to try it.  Listeners are encouraged to share their favorite podcasts and why they listen with the hashtag #trypod.  Content creators and platform operators involved include: NPR, WNYC, iHeartRadio, Midroll, ESPN, and others…..United Stations Radio Networks names Neil Barry to its advertising sales department as executive director/brand sponsorships.  Barry has spent the past 25 years in the media industry serving with companies including: CBS RADIO, CBS Local, Cox Digital Solutions and ABC Radio Networks…..Emmis Communications adds another FM signal to its sports talk radio brand “The Fan” originating from WFNI, Indianapolis.  Translator W298BB at 107.5 FM will begin airing the station, effective March 30.  Emmis says that it is working with the FCC to resolve the interference problem from translator W228CX at 93.5, the signal that’s been the format’s FM presence…..Westwood One EVP of News & Talk Bart Tessler announces that Westwood One News renews some of its key top 10 market client stations and adds a couple more.  The company says it renews with CBS RADIO all-newsers WINS, New York; KYW, Philadelphia; WBZ, Boston; and adds WWJ, Detroit.  Now, also carrying Westwood One News are the Bloomberg major market stations WBBR, New York; WDCH, Washington; WXKS-AM, Boston; and KNEW-AM, San Francisco.  Westwood One News is also airing on SiriusXM’s POTUS and Progress channels.

ObamaCare Overhaul, North Korean Missile Threat, Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Allegations, Ben Carson Speech Flap, New Travel Ban Signed, Sessions-Russia Case, and NBA-NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/6).  The Trump Administration’s and the GOP’s plans to alter the Affordable Care Act; North Korea’s aggressive development of its missile program and the U.S.’ moving forward with installing an anti-missile defense system in South Korea; The Trump Administration’s continuing charge that President Obama ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower; the reactions to HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s allusion to slaves as immigrants; President Trump signs the new travel order; Attorney General Jeff Sessions statements that he did not mislead the confirmation committee by not disclosing his meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak; 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.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  By splitting KDEY-FM, Ontario, California off the simulcast of Los Angeles urban signal KDAY, Meruelo Media re-launches hip hop KDEY-FM as “The New Wild 93.5” in the Riverside-San Bernardino market.  Meruelo Media president and COO Otto Padron says, “This much-awaited Riverside metro launch comes after a long process of engineering, design and market studies.  It adds a key radio asset to our growing portfolio of highly recognized media brands in one of the fastest-growing markets.  The saving and growing of heritage Los Angeles radio station KDAY has been a thrilling, three-year ride – we owe it to our music fans to keep innovating and expanding – Riverside is key.”  Program director Adrian “AD” Scott adds, “Los Angeles loves KDAY – Riverside will love ‘WILD!’  This is the Inland Empire’s new home for hip hop and R&B, listeners in the ‘I.E.’ will know the difference and love the sound that the new ‘Wild 93.5’ brings.”…..Longtime KNCN, Corpus Christi “C101” rock radio personality Dan Rios returns to the iHeartMedia rock station where he had been half of the “2 Guys in the Morning” show with Rex Gabriel from 1996 through 2006, reuniting with Rex for the new “2 Guys” show.  Rios had been hosting afternoons at Withers Family Texas Holdings’ crosstown alternative KYRK “106.5 The Shark.”…..On the heels of Sean McMasters’ recent exit from its Albany country outlet WGNA, Townsquare Media brings market pros Brian Cody and Chrissy Cavotta aboard to host the “Brian and Chrissy” morning drive show.  The pair was most recently at Pamal’s crosstown CHR WFLY…..Entravision Communications chief strategy officer Esteban Lopez Blanco is named the recipient of Borrell Associates’ 2017 Award of Merit for outstanding leadership and innovation in local media.  The award was presented yesterday (3/6) before the more than 300 media executives at Borrell’s 8th annual Local Online Advertising Conference at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan.  Borrell Associates CEO Gordon Borrell comments, “Esteban is one of those internal guiding forces that any company would be lucky to have.  His work with Entravision’s TV and radio group has made the company a shining example among not only Hispanic media, but all local media, about how to embrace the future and make it their own.”

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

| November 8, 2016

Salem Third Quarter Net Broadcast Revenue Up 3.2%.  Chief executive officer Edward Atsinger said on the Q3 conference call that Salem Media Group’s total revenue was up 5.6% but expenses were up 7.3%, “resulting in a 1.5% decrease in adjusted EBITDA.”  Atsinger said the expenses increase was almost entirely the result of salemmediagroup-logoincreased health care costs.  Back to the numbers, in the Broadcast segment, net broadcast revenue was $51.1 million, an increase of 3,2% over the same period a year ago.  However, station operating income decreased by 2.1%.  Atsinger reported that although they booked $1 million of broadcast political revenue during the quarter, that was down about 20% from the same period during the 2012 campaign.  However, Atsinger adds, “Network revenue was up 29.2% for the quarter.  Obviously, this extraordinary political year is a major driver in this revenue growth, and our nationally syndicated hosts have significantly increased their profile beyond the exposure of their own radio programs, which has resulted in an increased time spent listening to their shows and better response for advertisers, all of which has led to higher renewals, higher rates of renewals, and additional advertising clients.”

Townsquare Media Net Revenue Flat in Q3.  On a pro forma basis, Townsquare Media’s Local Marketing Solutions segment – the one that includes broadcast and digital – saw net revenue increase 3.8% over the same period a year ago.  It was the Entertainment segment – live events – that had a tough quarter and drew the company down to a net revenue decrease of 0.8%.  Townsquare Media chairman and CEO Steven Price says, “On a protownsquaremedia forma basis, our Local Marketing Solutions segment continued its positive momentum by delivering another quarter of solid growth, with net revenue increasing approximately 4% over the prior year period.  These results were offset by a decline in our Entertainment segment due primarily to exceptionally poor weather at four of our largest fairs.  Excluding those fairs, Townsquare’s pro forma net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA increased approximately 2% and 3%, respectively.”  For the first nine months of the year, Townsquare’s (pro forma) net revenue is up 2.2% and the Local Marketing Solutions segment is up 5.1%.

sagaSaga Communications Q3 Net Revenue Rises 6.8%.   Reporting financial data for the third quarter of 2016, Saga Communications’ net revenue was $36.1 million – an increase of 6.8% over the same period a year ago.  Breaking the radio segment out from the television segment, radio’s net revenue was $29.8 million – an increase of 4.6% over 2015’s third quarter.  For the year so far, Saga’s net revenue is $105.3 million – up 8.3% over the first nine months of 2015.

WABC, New York Officially Names Sid Rosenberg Imus Sports Anchor.  A press release from Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York officially announces that Sid Rosenberg is returning to the “Imus in the Morning”rosenberg show to serve as sports anchor, however the presser makes no mention of Warner Wolf, who exited the show suddenly on Friday (11/4).   WABC program director Craig Schwalb comments, “Sid’s triumphant return to ‘Imus In The Morning’ has reunited him with an incredibly gifted cast.  Their collective chemistry is exceptional.”  Rosenberg adds, “I’m really excited to be back with Imus and the guys in the same role where it all started for me nearly 17 years ago.”  Rosenberg will continue to co-host the late morning show with now-fellow Imus cast member Bernard McGuirk.

NAB to Sue FCC Over Quadrennial Review.  This suit must be filed by Monday and that is presumably what the National Association of Broadcasters will do as EVP of media relations Dennis Wharton says it’s nab-logodifficult to believe the Federal Communications Commission could recommend (on a 3-2 party line vote) going forward with decades-old policy when technology isfccnew moving the industry ahead at the speed of light.  The cross-ownership rules seem particularly out of date considering what’s been going on in other sectors of the media, says Wharton, who tells Broadcasting and Cable, “Broadcasters want to compete in the digital age and continue being a trusted source for local news and information, but FCC rules need to reflect 2016 and not the 1960s.  It defies belief that the FCC allows AT&T/DirecTV and Charter/Time Warner mergers while barring two Topeka TV stations from combining, or a radio station from buying a newspaper.”

Today’s Presidential Election; the U.S. House and Senate Races; Voter Fraud and Poll Hacking Concerns; UVA Administrator Awarded $3 Million in Rolling Stone Rape Story Case; Hillary Clinton’s Emails Troubles; and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/7).  The presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the down-ticket races for U.S. House and Senate seats; concerns over voter fraud and the possibility of hacking the electronic polls; a jury awards a University of Virginia administrator $3 million in her case against Rolling Stone and the author of a discredited story about a gang rape at the school; the private email server case surrounding Hillary Clinton’s campaign; and the weekend’s NFL Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Ginny Morris to Chair RAB Board of Directors.  The Radio Advertising Bureau announces the new slate of officers recently to its board of directors and new, incoming directors.  Chairperson and CEO of Hubbard Radio Ginny Morris is elected chair of the RAB board of directors.  Cox Media Group RVP Susan Larkin ismorrisginny the vice chair.  The finance chair is Steve Newberry, president and CEO of Commonwealth rabBroadcasting.  The secretary is Mike Hulvey, COO, Neuhoff Communications, and immediate past chair is Hartley Adkins, president, Northeast Division & Corporate Operations, iHeartMedia.  Newly elected directors are: Brian Beasley, EVP, chief operating officer, Beasley Media Group; Jonathan Brewster, CEO/president, Cherry Creek Radio LLC; Mike Tarter, president/CEO, Forcht Broadcasting; and Sabina Widmann, VP, general manager/director of sales, radio, Univision Radio.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber says, “We are excited to have Ginny Morris at the helm of the RAB board of directors.  With Ginny’s tremendous experience and passion for this industry, the organization is well-positioned to continue to lead and advocate for radio.”

Monday, August 8, 2016

| August 8, 2016

rufer, chadCBS Sacto Raises Rufer to VP/Programming. Hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5,” Sacramento program director Chad Rufer is boosted to vice president programming of CBS Radio‘s five-station cluster – which includes “Now 100.5” – in California’s capitol city. CBS Radio Sacramento senior vice president and market manager Steve Cottingim comments, “I am looking forward to working with Chad on cluster-wide programming initiatives. HeCBS Radio Sacramento has consistently delivered outstanding results. I am confident that he will have a significant impact growing ratings for the cluster.” Rufer remarks, “I am very humbled by the trust that Steve Cottingim and the executive team at CBS Radio has in me. Taking on this new role and being surrounded by such an all-star programming team is truly a dream come true.” Prior to joining CBS Radio Sacramento six years ago, Rufer was director of programming for Fort Myers Broadcasting Company; programmed KKMG, Colorado Springs; and operations manager of Saga Communications Clarksville, Tennessee. With each station’s July 2016 6+-share and 6+-rank in parentheses, the CBS Sacramento cluster consists of adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96” (7.6, #2); hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5” (4.7, #5); country KNCI (4.4, #7); rhythmic CHR KSFM “KS-102.5” (3.5, #10); and KHTK “Sports 1140” (1.3, #20).           

KSPNLA Rams Ready NFL Return with Radio Team. The city of Los Angeles welcomes back the NFL with the return of the Rams from St. Louis. As TALKERS reported last Friday (8/5), former Rams player D’Marco Farr announced that after seven years, he is leaving Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” and the afternoon drive “The Fast Lane” show for “newLos Angeles Rams Logo opportunities.” From the “That Didn’t Take Long” file, the “new opportunity” for Farr is handling sideline reporting for the team’s English-language radio broadcasts on flagship ESPN Sports KSPN “ESPN LA 710” and simulcast partner Entercom classic rocker KSWD “100.3 The Sound.” Set to call game action and analysis are J.B. Long from the Pac-12 Network and former UCLA, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Oakland Raiders running back Maurice Jones Drew. KNBC-TV (channel 4), Los Angeles weekend sports anchor Mario Solis and Fox Deportes’ Troy Santiago will call the games on the team’s Spanish-language flagship – Lotus Spanish sports KWKW “ESPN Deportes 1330.” KSPN vice president and general manager Scott McCarthy states, “We could not be more thrilled about the broadcast team who will be bringing Rams games to life for listeners in Southern California and beyond. J.B., Maurice, and D’Marco are experienced and outstanding play-by-play broadcasters. We look forward to hearing them on ‘ESPN LA 710’ during Rams games and also during the week.” KWKW director of programming Juan Rodriguez comments, “Mario Solis and Troy Santiago are admired by the Latino sports enthusiasts for their professionalism and the profound emotion which they bring to each and every broadcast.” Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff remarks, “We are excited these two dynamic teams will bring our games to fans across the region in our first season back in Los Angeles. All of these announcers combine unique experience, passion for the game, and ties to Southern California, which will help connect our fans to Rams football during this historic year.” KSPN midday co-host Steve Mason; former Raiders, Jaguars, and Buffalo Bills linebacker Kirk Morrison; and former NFL cornerback Eric Davis will do KSPN’s three-hour pre-game show. Meanwhile, KSPN morning co-host Travis Rodgers will host the two-hour post-game show, while Jeff Biggs will report at halftime. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s July 2016 PPM report for Los Angeles, KSWD ranks #16 (2.6); KSPN #32 (1.0); and KWKW is unlisted.

paulis, daveMax Media Norfolk Cuts Ties With Nielsen Audio. When Max Media LogoNorfolk PPM ratings information was released last Thursday (8/4), five Max Media outlets were noticeably absent and the reason was a financial decision. In a message to clients and agencies, Max Media Norfolk general manager Dave Paulis explained why the cluster is no longer a Nielsen Audio subscriber. “This decision is one we have been discussing for many years,” he writes, “and it comes down to one simple issue – return on investment. Since the advent of PPM in this marketplace in 2008, ratings have dwindled to the point where even the leading stations are not in the position to price [themselves] to match their market position. The elimination of this burdensome subscription will allow Max to diversify, make our products better, and free up dollars to market the radio stations.” Noted with June 2016 6+-rank and 6+-share in parentheses, Max Media Norfolk includes classic hits-oldies WVBW “92.9 The Wave” (#3, 6.0); country WGH-FM “Eagle 97.3” (5.0, #7); CHR WVHT “Hot 100.5” (#9, 3.8); sports WVSP “ESPN Radio 94.1″ (#12, 2.3); and gospel WGH-AM “Star 1310” (#15, 1.9).

turnbeaugh, jojoTurnbeaugh Takes Over As iHM Nevada/Central California Programmer. Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Las Vegas JoJo iheartmedia-logo-small2Turnbeaugh is elevated to senior vice president of programming for the company’s stations in Nevada and central California. According to Nevada/central California region president Glynn Alan, “JoJo’s broad scope of both format and multi-market experience – combined with his winning attitude and track record – will bring extensive benefits to our region.” The region’s executive vice president of programming Steve Geofferies comments, “JoJo has a history in the central California region and he knows the brands in each of those markets. He added new duties earlier this year and created exceptional results in Las Vegas. We expect more of the same for our region.” Turnbeaugh remarks, “I am honored by the faith and trust that Glynn Alan and Steve Geofferies are placing in me. I am also very excited to work with the great team of leaders already in the region.” Turnbeaugh previously programmed KCCY, Colorado Springs; was assistant program director for KKFN “104.3 The Fan,” Denver; and was an on-air talent at KYGO, Denver.

gupta, sanjaya better life logoWestwood One, Dr. Gupta Extend Their Partnership. Practicing neurosurgeon and CNN‘s multiple Emmy award winning chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta signs a multi-year agreement to continue hosting Westwood One’s “A Better Life with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.” Westwood One chief operating officer Charles Steinhauer comments, “Dr. Gupta is one of the most trusted voices on health issues. We are delighted to extend our relationship so that we can continue to meet the demand of listeners who want to live better lives.” Dr. Gupta notes, “I am tremendously excited about the opportunity to share the secrets of a happier and healthier life that I have learned as a doctor and as a roving reporter who has traveled the world for the last 15 years. There are little things we can do to live a better life and I will teach you how to make them a part of your life.” The weekday, 60-second feature airs on 400 stations, including nine of the top ten markets.

RioThe Presidential Race, US Cash Payment to Iran, Rio Olympics Troubles/Action, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend (8/6-7).  The activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the controversy over the US’ payment of $400 million to Iran the day Americans were released from that country; the problems facing Rio De Janeiro (as well as the actual action of the games) as it entered its opening weekend; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this past weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Undeniable Joe BuckOdds & Sods. Returning for its second season this Thursday (8/11) is “Undeniable with Joe Buck,” a weekly show produced for radio by AT&T/DirecTV, and Vince Vaughn‘s Wild West Television. Affiliates include Entercom sports outlet KGMZ “The Game,” San Francisco; CBS Radio Washington, D.C.’s WJFK “106.7 The Fan”; iHeartMedia-owned KGME, Phoenix; and CBS Radio St. Louis talker KMOX. Among those Buck will interview in season two are Brett Favre, Sugar Ray Leonard, Joe Torre, Joe Theismann, and Kerri Walsh Jennings ….. Oldies WKVA, State College-Lewistown (Pennsylvania) becomes the 38th affiliate of “Animal Radio News Update,” a minute-long, weekday segment featuring worldwide pet news. Host Hal Abrams comments that, “America’s love affair with their pets is growing at breakneck speed. With the pet industry nearing $63 billion dollars yearly, more and more stations are realizing a new way to increase revenue with our weekday offerings.”

Thursday, June 2, 2016

| June 2, 2016

claytonjohnJohn Clayton to Host Daily Show on KIRO-AM, Seattle.  Seattle-based ESPN writer and commentator John Clayton expands his role with Bonneville sports talker KIRO-AM “710 ESPN” to include hosting a daily 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show, effective June 6.  Clayton has been appearing onkiro the station’s local shows for several years and he’ll continue to be heard weekdays at 7:15 am on “Brock and Salk,” weekdays at 4:00 pm on “Danny, Dave & Moore,” and Saturdays on his own 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  Clayton says, “I’ve spent 30 years in the Pacific Northwest, and the time couldn’t have been better to expand my local presence here at 710 ESPN Seattle.  I’m also excited to focus on the Seahawks, Mariners and the Seattle sports scene in an expanded role for 710sports.com.”  Station VP/GM Dave Pridemore adds, “We are thrilled at the opportunity to include the most highly acclaimed local sports media personality to our local weekday lineup.  With over 1.4 million Twitter followers and a Hall of Fame résumé, John Clayton will be a tremendous addition for both 710 ESPN Seattle and 710sports.com.”

The Presidential Race, Hillary Clinton Emails Investigation, the Zika Virus, UCLA Professor Shooting, Cincinnati Gorilla Case, and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/1).  The activities of the candidates for president; the ongoing investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for State Department business; concerns about the spread of the Zika virus and the Obama Administration’s plans to combat the spread of the virus; the murder of a UCLA professor allegedly by a student upset about his grades; the aftermath of the euthanizing of a rare gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo after a child entered the animal’s enclosure; and the NBA and NHL Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

digiuseppegaryLongtime Central Arkansas Newsman Killed in Auto Crash.  KARN-FM, Little Rock morning news anchor Gary Digiuseppe was driving from his home to the station early yesterday morning (6/1) when his car was struck head on by a woman driving the wrong way on I-430.  Both Digiuseppe and the unidentified woman died in the accident.  Digiuseppe anchored the news on KARN-FM’s “First News with Kevin Miller.”  He leaves behind his wife, Mary.

palmerdeirdreDeirdre Palmer Named GSM for Beasley Las Vegas.  Sin City sales pro Deirdre Palmer joins the Beasley Media Group, Inc. cluster there to serve as general sales manager.  The company says that Deedy Palmer’s experience in the Las Vegas market includes two decades of radio industry experience, along with magazine and custom publishing, and most recently, vice president of sales at Las Vegas-based Kemp Broadcasting (operator of hip hop KVEG and hot AC KVGQ).  Beasley Vegas director of sales Mark Sturcken says, “Deedy’s professional success and client relationships have secured millions of dollars in business over the years.  I’ve had the pleasure working alongside my colleague Deedy for 10 years as senior account executives and most recently, I competed against her!  Her talent, relationships and passion for our business in the Las Vegas market are second to none.”

Odds & Sods.  Winston-Salem, North Carolina news/talk WSJS is moving its studios from the current location in Winston-Salem east to the town of Kernersville where the two other Crescent Media Group stations are based.  Station manager Al Bunch tells the Winston-Salem Journal that the move allows them to centralize their operations.  WSJS has been at its current location for almost 50 years…..Saga Communications is announcing it is paying a quarterly dividend of $0.25 per share for shareholders of record on June 15.  The dividend is payable on July 8…..SiriusXM is serving as the exclusive national radio broadcaster for the 116th U.S. Open Championship.  The satcaster will offer listeners extensive coverage from historic Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania throughout U.S. Open week, including all four days of Championship play – June 16 through 19…..AudioBoom and the podcast series “Undisclosed” announces they’ve expanded their partnership with an exclusive premium ad sales agreement.  The podcast investigates possible wrongful convictions, and producers say the series generated more than 80 million listens in its first season last year with a deep-dive into the case of The State of Maryland v Adnan Syed.   The show is hosted by attorneys Rabia Chaudry, Susan Simpson, and Colin Miller.  The weekly podcasts are followed by an addendum featuring Emmy Award-winning actor Jon Cryer.   

harrisonUpCloseFarOutBold Gold Media Group CEO Vince Benedetto Interviewed on ‘Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.’  One of the rising young stars of radio station group ownership, Vince Benedetto, is the guest on this week’s installment of the PodcastOne international hit “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Benedetto, who just turned 40, bought his first station at 29.  In slightly more than a decade, he has built Bold Gold Media Group into a chain that owns and operates nine radio stations, fifteen broadcast frequencies, and multiple digital media platforms throughout Eastern Pennsylvania and Upstate New York.  Benedetto is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, a former Air Force captain and Air Force OSI special agent, where he worked on counter-intelligence, counter-terrorism and felony level investigative efforts for the Department ofbenedettovince Defense.  In 2013, Bold Gold was nominated for a Pennsylvania Governor’s ImPAct Award for Entrepreneurialism and Vince was recently named by RadioInk magazine as one of the “Top 30 Under 40 Rising Stars in the Radio Industry.”  Benedetto also established and runs a non-profit foundation providing support for young people entering broadcasting and studying the U.S. Constitution.  In the podcast, Harrison and Benedetto discuss the extremely positive aspects of radio ownership that still exist in 2016 and analyze broadcast radio’s transition into the digital era.  They examine the differences between the Boomer and Millennial generations (as well as Generations X and Y) and Benedetto applies his experience in the US intelligence community to the principles of operating a media business as well as commenting on the nation’s present positioning in the struggle against international terrorism.  To listen to the entire podcast please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

| May 5, 2016

Talkers2016 logo lgTALKERS 2016 Conference to Feature Podcasting Panel.  Attendees at this year’s TALKERS 2016 Bridging the Generations conference at Hofstra University on Friday, May 20 will have the opportunity to hear PodcastOne chairman and founder Norm Pattiz moderate “The Podcasting Session.”  This panel will feature: Panoply/The Slate Group chief content officer and co-founder Andy Bowers; WOR, New York program director Tom Cuddy; Hubbard Radio SVP of programming Greg Strassell; and Edison Research VP of strategy Tom Webster.  This panel discussion willpattiznorm delve into the issues relevant not only to the podcasting platform itself, but also into issues AM/FM broadcasters who are also producing podcasts are dealing with.  TALKERS magazine executive editor Kevin Casey says, “Podcasting is obviously a hot topic in the radio industry right now.  Talk radio practitioners are eager to learn about the best practices for producing and selling this digital content and this panel discussion, led by industry pioneer Norm Pattiz, will send them home with actionable information on this nascent form of broadcasting.”  TALKERS 2016 Bridging the Generations is nearing a sellout.  For complete agenda information click here.  To register or for sponsorship information, call 413-565-5413.

emmis logoEmmis Fiscal Q4 Revenue Down 6%.  The Indianapolis-based company functions on a fiscal calendar and its 2015 fourth quarter ended on February 29 of this year.  Emmis Communications reports its radio net revenue was $36.4 million, down 6%.  For the full fiscal year of 2015, radio revenue was $169.2 million, compared to $176.3 million in the prior year, a decrease of 4%.  President and CEO Jeff Smulyan states, “Emmis’ fourth quarter was weak,smulyanjeff mostly due to expected underperformance in Los Angeles.  The good news is our first quarter is much improved and currently pacing flat to the prior year.  New York’s performance has been stellar, ratings in LA have begun to grow again, and ratings across our other radio markets are very strong.  NextRadio is coming off a fantastic National Association of Broadcasters convention, and momentum is building.  At NAB, it was announced that PRSS, the distribution network for public radio, is being integrated into NextRadio.  Carrier and handset conversations are robust, and advertiser interest is high.  In addition, we will launch in our first international market, Peru, in the coming weeks.  I couldn’t be more pleased with the efforts of Paul Brenner and his team in bringing NextRadio to our industry and to listeners everywhere.”

salemmediagroup logoSalem Media Group Broadcast Revenue Rises 4.2%.  It was a quarter of increases all the way around for Salem Media Group.  Its total revenue increased 4.4%.  The broadcast segment saw revenue rise 4.2%.  Digital media was up 4.6% and publishingatsingered revenue increased 6.5%.  CEO Ed Atsinger says the 4.2% broadcast sector increase “compares favorably to the market generally which was up about 1.7% at least in the markets in which we operate according to Miller Kaplan.  Our block programming had another solid quarter, up 7.1%, local spot revenue grew 3.6%, network revenue grew by 16.7%. And geographically, we had a strong market performance in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, while facing some weakness in the Dallas market.”

radioonelogoRadio One Reports First Quarter Revenue Hike of 3.1%.  Company president and CEO Alfred Liggins III says the good first quarter news is continuing into the second quarter.  For Q1 of 2016, Radio One net revenue was approximately $109.1 million, an increase of 3.1% from the same period in 2015.  Station operating income was approximately $39.6 million, an increase of 10.1% from the same period in 2015. Liggins states, “We saw a sequential monthly improvement in our radioligginsalfred revenues as the first quarter progressed, and that positive momentum is continuing into Q2 where we are pacing up low single digits.  Political revenues were strong, which augurs well for the fourth quarter when we historically receive the bulk of political radio advertising. TV One had a strong first quarter, with growth in both advertising (+3.5%) and affiliate revenues (+12.3%).  All four of our reportable segments posted year-over-year, double-digit adjusted EBITDA growth.  Overall I was pleased with our 13% growth in consolidated adjusted EBITDA, the stabilization of our radio revenues, and growth of radio cash flow.”

sagaSaga Communications Net Revenue Up 12.7%.  For the radio segment of Saga Communications, the pro forma net operating revenue was up 4.6% on revenue of $27.5 million for the first quarter of the year.  The company closed on its purchase of classic rock WLVQ, Columbus during the quarter and had been operating the station under an LMA since last November.  Saga reports that free cash flow increased 35.4% to $4.9 million and operating income increased 40.1% to $5.3 million.

lundjohnSports Talker John Lund Crosses Street to KNBR, San Francisco.  The Bay Area sports talk personality leaves Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” to become co-host of the afternoon drive show at Cumulus Media’s KNBR with Tom TolbertJohn Lund co-hosted the midday “Papa & Lund” show with Greg Papa at KGMZ.  He’s also worked at KXTG-AM, Portland; KESN-FM, Dallas; WXYT-FM, Detroit; WEAE-AM, Pittsburgh; and KZNS-AM, Salt Lake City.  KNBR program director Lee Hammer says, “John brings a wealth of sports knowledge and experience to KNBR.  He’s worked in San Francisco for several years, and has keen insights into our Bay Area teams.  KNBR fans are in for a real treat when he’s teamed up with Tom Tolbert in afternoon drive.  It will definitely be ‘appointment listening.’”

ramseydaveRamsey, Rich Headlining Radio Show. In a vCreative-sponsored session, financial expert/radio host Dave Ramsey will keynote this year’s Radio Show. Part of his “Cutting Edge Trends in Marketing” address at the confab, produced by the Radio Advertising Bureau and the National Association of Broadcasters, will include a conversation with country music artist John Rich (right) of the duo Big & Rich. According to RAB president and chief executiveJohn Rich officer Erica Farber, “We are delighted and honored that Dave Ramsey and John Rich will join us at this year’s conference. These two incredible innovators will share some great ideas. Radio Show attendees will walk away with tremendous takeaways they can then put to use immediately.” NAB executive vice president of radio John David comments, “The power of radio has contributed to the successful careers of both Dave Ramsey and John Rich. We are pleased to present these talented and engaging individuals at the Radio Show.” Ramsey’s daily syndicated eponymous radio program is heard on more than 550 stations, while his “Financial Peace” and “Total Money Makeover” books have sold more than a combined 10 million copies.  He was inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2013 and into the National Radio Hall of Fame two years later. The Radio Show will be held in more than four months (9/21 – 23) at Nashville’s Omni Hotel; The Ramsey-Rich session takes place the first day of the conference, Wednesday, September 21.

podcastone bPodcastOne and MediaDC Launch Two New Podcasts.  Two new shows are debuting on the PodcastOne platform.  MediaDC, publisher of The Weekly Standard and Washington Examiner, is working with PodcastOne to present “Examining Politics by Washington Examiner” and “Weekly Standard Confab.”  Washington Examiner senior congressional correspondent David Drucker hosts “Examining Politics” which will revolve around the publication’s editorial content.  It’ll feature Drucker and a roundtable of staff.  “The Weekly Standard Confab” is hosted by managing editor Eric Felton, who will be joined by a different guest each segment to talk about topics ranging from politics, policy and international affairs, to arts and culture.  PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “There’s just too much going on this election season for PodcastOne not to be part of it.  In partnering with MediaDC to produce and distribute podcasts from The Weekly Standard and Washington Examiner, we’ve accomplished our mission.”

Odds & Sods.  The USA Radio Networks-syndicated “Trending Today USA” with Rusty Humphries moves tohumphriesrusty the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET daypart and adds a new affiliate in iHeartMedia’s WGST, Atlanta.  Station PD Dan Hunt says, “Rusty has a great history in Atlanta and we are excited to have him back on Talk Radio 640 WGST.  ‘Trending Today USA’ provides our listeners with the latest news and information in real time, while bringing a fresh perspective that can’t be duplicated anywhere else in the market.”…..KCSP, Kansas City sports talkers Danny Parkins and Carrington Harrison were disturbed by the Kansas City Chiefs’ decision to draft Tyreek Hill after the football player had pleaded guilty to hitting and choking his pregnant girlfriend.  They decided to do something positive about it and started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the Rose Brooks Center domestic violence shelter.  So far they have raised more than $12,000.

The Presidential Race, Hillary Clinton Email Server Case, Battle Against Islamic State, North Korea Nukes, Russia-NATO Tensions, California Ups Legal Cigarette Purchase Age, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/4).  GOP candidate Donald Trump secures the nomination with a victory in the Indiana primary election; allegations by Romanian hacker Guccifer that he accessed Hillary Clinton’s private email server; the death of a Navy SEAL in Iraq and the ongoing battle against Islamic State; the reported build-up of nuclear weapons by North Korea; Russia’s military posturing and threats against NATO; California becomes the second state to make tobacco purchases legal for those 21 and older; 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 magazine.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

| March 8, 2016

sagaSaga Communications Net Revenue for 2015 Flat; Down 2.1% in Q4.  Fourth quarter and 2015 full year financial figures have been released by Saga Communications and the company’s net revenue for all of 2015 was $132.9 million (basically flat at -0.9%).  Comparing 2015 Q4 net revenue to the same period in 2014, the company was down 2.1% (including political).  Saga reports that free cash flow increased 2.9% to $21.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2015.  Gross revenue without political increased 0.7% for the year.  Station operating expense decreased 1.2% to $97.3 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations).  Operating income decreased $1.9 million.  Net income for the year was $13.4 million ($2.29 per fully diluted share).

The Presidential Race, Battle Against Islamic State, Oberlin Prof. Controversy, Netanyahu Cancels White House Visit, U.S. Illegal Immigrant Tally, and Erin Andrews Jury Award Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/7).  The activities of the candidates for president and today’s Super Tuesday 2 primaries; the U.S. drone strikes on Islamic State militia; the controversial case of an Oberlin College professor’s Israel-Jewish conspiracy theories; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s abruptly cancelled visit with the White House; a report indicating an estimated 15 million immigrants are in the U.S. illegally; and sports reporter Erin Andrews wins a $55 million jury award in her case against the man who videotaped her and the hotel at which it happen were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Explores a Wide Swath of Media Theory from Cave Painting to Virtual Reality.  In the latest episode of the weekly PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” the TALKERS publisher presents a dynamic series of provocative connections casting a wide net from prehistoric cave painting to humanity’s “wiring of the solar system.”  Referring back to early technology, music (“Garland to Gaga”) and culture (including his own childhood memories of playing kiddie records on a phonograph), Harrison talks about the extraordinary influence that the smart phone and other modern appliances are having on the modern human nervous system going forward into the digital era.  This is a tour de force certain to stimulate Harrison’s following of “media freaks” both inside the industry and beyond.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

bahenickKOZN, Omaha’s Nick Bahe Returns to Air This Week.  Sports talk host Nick Bahe is planning to return to the air on NRG Media’s KOZN, Omaha “1620 The Zone” after being off the air since February 17 to have a tumor removed from his chest.  The midday personality called in to his own program yesterday (3/7) to tell listeners that the tumor is benign and he will be back on his show this week.  NRG reports that podcast plays of the program tallied close to 17,500.  KOZN operations manager Dave Tepper states, “Nick has had an incredibly challenging few months with his health.  His ‘Zone’ team and listeners share relief in learning his test results are healthy and that he’ll back entertaining his listeners soon.”

kinosianmikeKinosian: John & Leah Show 1st Year Progress Report.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian recently spoke with Envision Networks-syndicated talk personality John Ziegler about the progress his Sunday evening show is making a year into its national distribution effort.  The three-hour show that features co-host Leah Brandon (who also serves as WERC, Birmingham morning news anchor) is currently heard on 22 affiliate stations – 15 of which are in the top 28 markets.  Ziegler tells Kinosian, “So far, I am surprised there has not been more of a bandwagon effect.  Many stations are missing aJohnandLeahShow logo fantastic opportunity to get their weekdays started in a strong way with this great reason for people to tune in on Sunday nights.  I think this is a real missed opportunity for many stations around the country.  We would like to help them take advantage of that opportunity.  If every medium market manager saw our ratings success in Louisville, they would be calling Envision immediately because it is a remarkable story.”  Ziegler understands the challenges of building a national show but he says he’s confident because he believes in the quality of the show.  “There is so much clutter out there.  If content means anything, this show will be a huge success because our content is better than [that of anyone else].  We are the only show that together has a male and a female with the expansive and unique backgrounds that Leah Brandon and I have.  We are also the only show that can do both hard news and soft news in an informative and an entertaining way.  No one else can bridge that gap.”  Read more here.

Odds & Sods.  A joint venture between Salem Radio Network and David Leach’s The Strident Conservative will give a network platform to the latter’s two-minute daily radio commentary.  Leach says, “I am delighted to begin this new partnership with the Salem broadcast family.  The SC combines poignant and honest opinion, mixed with a touch of sarcasm and satire, in ways that will appeal to listeners who still believe in the America envisioned by our Founding Fathers. I believe we are a perfect fit for the Salem network.”…..Sports talker KLWB, Lafayette, Louisiana is adding Houston Astros baseball to its programming this season.  Delta Media Corporation says that will the addition of Astros baseball, it marks the first time in more than 10 years that the Houston club’s games have been heard in Acadiana…..According to Media Monitors, during the last 10 days, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton ran the most spots on the radio with a total of 6,815 ads – 3,738 spots from her campaign, 2,906 spots from her Super PAC Priorities USA ACTION and another 171 spots were purchased by the SEIU COPE (Service Employees International Union); Bernie Sanders was in second place with 4,589 spots (of those, the National Nurses United Patient Protection PAC placed 123 spots and the CWA Working Voices PAC added 68 spots; Ted Cruz was in third place airing 3,024 spots; 979 from his campaign and 2,045 spots by the Keep The Promise I PAC; Donald Trump For President ran 338 spots putting him in fourth place; and Marco Rubio cleared 261 spots, with 208 spots bought by the Super PAC Conservative Solutions and 53 spots by the Cuba Democracy Public Advocacy Corporation…..Dielectric will be at the 2016 NAB Show in Las Vegas in April displaying its purpose-engineered antennas and RF systems for TV and radio broadcasters.  There it will display its new low- and high-power antennas to cover all power requirements; and a common case FM combiner that supports channel multiplexing across a lighter infrastructure.  Dielectric general manager Keith Pelletier says, “Dielectric has invested significant engineering effort into developing economical antenna and RF solutions for FM broadcasters.  Innovations include a panel antenna design for low-power broadcasters that reduces the size of the feed system by half, and a ring-style solution for high-power stations that greatly lowers the costs and complexity of sidemount installations.  Inside the transmitter building, we’re returning precious real estate to tenants by eliminating components traditionally associated with the filtering process, while simplifying channel tuning.  The result is high-quality engineering with a quicker return on investment for the broadcaster.”

Talkers2016PodcastOne Founder and CEO Norm Pattiz to Moderate ‘The Podcasting Session’ at TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations.  In a panel discussion designed to serve as one of the informational centerpieces of the forthcoming TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations conference, PodcastOnepattiznorm founder/CEO Norm Pattiz will serve as moderator.  “The Podcast Session” will feature the legendary radio broadcasting visionary and original Westwood One founder along with an all-star array of successful talent and leading-edge executives in the emerging field of podcasting.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says, “We are delighted that Norm Pattiz will guide this extremely important session.  He is clearly one of the leading experts, movers and shakers in the rise of podcasting – not just as a medium of communication – but as a mighty extension and new platform for the growth of both advertising and subscription-driven digital broadcasting, journalism and entertainment.  That will be the focus of this intense panel discussion.  Stand by as we announce the panel members over the coming days.”  TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations will take place on Friday, May 20, 2016 on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.  It will be the 19th annual installment of the talk radio and talk media’s longest-running and most important national convention.  For more information see stories below.

westwood one sportsWW1: Nielsen Data Highlights Strengths of NCAA Tourney Radio Audience.  Stating its case for the quality of the radio audience for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, Westwood One presents data from Nielsen studies analyzing that group of consumers.  The first study analyzed the NCAA listening audience in 48 Portable People Meter markets, examining reach accumulation across the entire NCAA basketball season.  The second study of 1,000 college hoops fans titled, “A Day in the Life of an NCAA Fan,” investigates how the March Madness audience follows the tournament across social, video, audio and digital platforms in a variety of locations.  WW1’s goal is to show that the NCAA radio audience is a more dedicated audience that its other media counterparts and presents numbers to argue for that.  Among the key findings are: NCAA radio listeners are more engaged fans and consume more games on average than the general NCAA basketball audience; 87% of NCAA basketball listeners will follow/watch/listen to the full tournament through the Final, compared with 78% of the overall NCAA basketball audience; and the average number of NCAA tournament games consumed by AM/FM listeners is 12.3, compared to 10.2 for the total NCAA basketball audience.  See more from the study here.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

| January 6, 2016

kfwb sportsKFWB, Los Angeles Reportedly Sold.  According to Los Angeles radio maven Don Barrett, there is finally a buyer for KFWB and it involves Charlie Banta-led Mercury Capital Partners.  The Los Angeles Times also reports the story but does not name a buyer.  The Times writes that staffers were told about the sale on Tuesday (1/5).  As many TALKERS readers are aware, KFWB has been in the KFWB Asset Trust (while still benefitting CBS RADIO’s bottom line) for a long time.  Some in the market have griped that CBS hasn’t been trying very hard to sell it and was basically getting away with violating the ownership limit.  Regardless, in September of 2014 the station flipped from news/talk to sports talk as “The Beast 980” and is serving as the flagship for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, as well.  Barrett Tweets that the new owners will assume control in February and since Mercury’s M.O. is ethnic programming and brokered radio, we’re likely to see a format change next month.  That would put local sports talk personalities Fred Roggin, Bill Plaschke, Jeanne Zelasko, Chris Myers, Wes Clements and more out on the street.  The Times reports that a format change is a certainty.

aceekevin‘The Mighty 1090’ in San Diego Names Kevin Acee Evening Host.  San Diego sports talk outlet XEPRS “The Mighty 1090” is naming San Diego sportswriter Kevin Acee the host of its evening program, “Trending Now.”  Acee is a columnist for the San Diego Union Tribune, a position he will continue to hold.  Acee also spent seven years as the San Diego Chargers beat writer and two years covering San Diego State football.  Station VP of programming and operations Mike Shepard comments, “Kevin is a multi-media sports voice in San Diego who has the unique ability to connect and provide insight to sports fans on a variety of platforms.  ‘Trending Now’ is the perfect showcase of his many talents, and we enthusiastically welcome Kevin to the full-time, all-star lineup on San Diego’s Sports Leader.”

ap logoAssociated Press Offers 2016 Radio Campaign Kit.  A new service for this year’s presidential election is being offered by the Associated Press.  It’s called the 2016 Radio Campaign Kit, and AP calls it “a turnkey advantage that gives radio members election returns and AP journalists’ digital and on-air reporting on the presidential campaign in the months leading to Election Day and the inauguration of the 45th president in January.”  AP has already inked Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington, among other stations.  AP says that subscribers will receive verified vote counts in their home state and surrounding areas in primaries and the November 8 general election up to 12 times an hour via online maps and other modules.  The modules will show delegate counts for both political parties, the popular vote, Electoral College totals for U.S. president and the balance of power in the U.S. Congress.  In addition to dynamic election-night maps, the 2016 Radio Campaign Kit provides a suite of embeddable white-label interactives for use on AP members’ digital and on-air properties, optimized for display on mobile devices, desktops and tablets.  AP director of election services Brian Scanlon comments, “The AP’s 2016 Radio Campaign Kit represents an important step for us as we continue to push to make our services responsive to our members’ needs around big-event stories such as the presidential campaign.”  Interested stations can contact Paul Memoli at AP via email at pmemoli@ap.org or phone 212-621-6923.

Odds & Sods.  Springfield, Illinois talk personality Ray Lytle exits Saga Communications-owned news/talk WTAX in a budget-related move.  Lytle had been with the station for the past two years after previously serving with Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s crosstown news/talk WMAY…..CFRA, Ottawa legendary personality Lowell Green is retiring from his daily radio show at the Bell Media talk station.  The 79-year-old Green began his career in the news department at CFRA in 1960.  He became a talk host six years later and has been hosting the Lowell Green show on the station since 1993.  He won’t be in full retirement mode as he’ll continue to make appearances on the station…..Weekend technology talk show “Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline” announces the addition of some new affiliate stations as WGKA, Atlanta “AM 920 The Answer”; WRKO, Boston; and CKLW, Windsor, Ontario/Detroit are now carrying the program.

newyorkfestivalsNew York Festivals 2016 International Radio Program Awards Opens Entry Process.  In addition to the announcement that the New York Festivals 2016 International Radio Program Awards are open for entries, comes news that there are three new categories this year.  Those include: Biography/Profiles, Climate Change & Sustainability, and Music.  The worldwide competition honoring the World’s Best Radio Programs℠ has been taking place since 1982 and receives entries from radio stations, networks, and independent producers from 32 countries around the globe.  Radio program awards executive director Rose Anderson states, “New Yorkandersonrose Festivals recognizes the ever-evolving nature of the radio industry.  Time does not stand still in the radio industry – new ways of reaching listeners and new ways of telling the important stories of our day drive change.  So, every year, we work with our advisory board and we update some categories as well as create new ones.  It is an organic ecosystem. We embrace the new while keeping the best practices of what has come before.”  Anderson says the three new categories will provide a platform for those with a distinctive voice and point of view regarding issues and topics of interest.  Anderson continues, “In our ever-changing world, radio is the original social media.  There is a universal language of radio which connects us all – giving us the ability to meet directly in each other’s imagination and guided by the textures of sound to understand each other.”  New York Festivals Radio Awards enlists jurists from all over the world to become members of the Grand Jury.  The Grand Jury includes some of the most recognizable voices and captivating programming producers in the industry.  Entries are judged on production values, organization, presentation of information, creativity, and use of the medium.  The ceremony for the World’s Best Radio Programs takes place at the Manhattan Penthouse in New York on June 20.  The deadline for entries is March 18.  To enter, log in here and find all the information you need.  Inquiries can go to Gayle Mandel at: gmandel@newyorkfestivals.com.

Obama Gun Control Plan, Presidential Race, ‘White Anger’ Report, Saudi-Iran Diplomatic Break/Shiite-Sunni Tensions, Oregon Armed Protestors Standoff, Battle Against Islamic State, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/5).  The executive order gun control plans announced by President Obama; the activities of the candidates for president; the Esquire/NBC News “American Rage” poll determining white Americans are the “angriest”; the diplomatic break between Saudi Arabia and Iran and the reported growing rift between Shiite and Sunni countries in the Middle East; the case of the armed protestors occupying an Oregon wildlife preserve; the recent military actions against Islamic State-held parts of Iraq; and this weekend’s NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

cookeCES16hashtagCES 2016: Home and Health.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas reporting from the enormous Consumer Electronics Show and today he files a story tipping us to some of the new technology and gadgets that some believe will be ubiquitous in both our homes and our cars in the not-too-distant future.  Cooke writes that many of the technological helpers for around the home can be operated from the “remote” device most of us already carry – the smartphone – and that device is where “smart broadcasters are also publishing.”  Read today’s full report here.

Friday, December 4, 2015

| December 4, 2015

wyay logo newCumulus Media Nabs Rob Stadler for WYAY, Atlanta Mornings.   Market news pro Rob Stadler is joining Cumulus Media’s WYAY-FM, Atlanta “News Radio 106.7” to serve as executive producer and host of “The Morning News.”  Stadler was the voice for morning news and information on crosstown CHR WSTR “Star 94” for almost 30 years.  During that time, he wasstadlerrob named “Atlanta’s Best Newscaster” 10 times by the Achievement in Radio Awards (AIR) while serving as the station’s news director.  He also earned two Edward R. Murrow awards from the RTDNA for broadcast journalism excellence, and was also recognized by the Georgia Associated Press for “Best Newscast.”  He’ll make his inaugural appearance for “News Radio 106.7” as host for the “Making Miracles Marathon” on Friday, December 11, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and he’ll begin hosting the morning show on December 16.  WYAY program director Greg Tantum states, “Rob has been a part of the Atlanta morning landscape for nearly three decades – not only on the radio, but with his community involvement.  Rob has the unique ability to blend his deep news background with the understanding of how to keep an audience engaged and entertained while dealing with nightmare commutes in Atlanta.”

price howardPrice: It’s Not IF Anymore…But WHEN.  It may be a reality that no one wants to face, but ABC Television director, business continuity Howard B. Price writes in a column for TALKERS/RadioInfo today (12/4) that radio stations need to prepare for the possibility that an act of destructive violence can happen in their markets.  In reference to Wednesday’s San Bernardino shootings, Price says that local news/talk radio stations he monitored stayed with national programs while the story was breaking.  Yes, those shows were talking about the shootings, but he believes stations in the market should “own” the story in a way out-of-market stations don’t have to.  “Even if we acknowledge the cost constraints that today make it so difficult to sustain a round-the-clock news operation at most stations, in my personal view, operators do a disservice to their communities if they don’t at least have a PLAN for flushing their formats and throwing any and every live body into coverage of catastrophic local events.” Read Price’s column here.

cookehNCC15More from the Nielsen Audio Client Conference.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke (pictured here) reports from the first day of the Nielsen Audio Client Conference (formerly the old “Consultant Fly-In”).  This batch of notes comes from yesterday afternoon’s sessions and covers Dr. Ed Cohen’s presentation of data from his study, “The Class of 2015: Four Years in the Lives of Digital Natives”; podcasting and its relationship with radio; plus more research about the behavior of radio’s P1s.  See Holland Cooke’s notes here.

wiplogoWIP, Philadelphia’s Wing Bowl 24 Scheduled for February 5 at the Wells Fargo Center.  What started as a small promotion 23 years ago has grown into one of sports talk radio’s biggest events that now fills Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center each year.  The annual chicken wing eating contest has evolved to present winners in three divisions: the overall winner, the local winner and the collegiate winner.  WIP morning show co-host Al Morganti, co-founded Wing Bowl 23 years ago with host Angelo Cataldi, and he says, “In a year where everything has seemed to go wrong with sports in Philadelphia, it never goes wrong at Wing Bowl!  We win every year so if you’re disappointed with Philadelphia’s sports teams, you won’t be disappointed with this year’s ‘Game of Bones’ – Wing Bowl 24.”  Tickets go on sale on December 8.  This year’s event is presented by title sponsors Steven Singer Jewelers and SugarHouse Casino.  Prizes this year include: For the overall winner, a 2016 Harley-Davidson FLSTF Softail Fat Boy Motorcycle courtesy of Barb’s Harley Davidson, a custom Wing Bowl 24 championship ring and $10,000 in cash courtesy of Steven Singer Jewelers; the local winner receives a 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe courtesy of Colonial Hyundai of Downingtown; and the top collegiate eater will win $5000 in cash.

Odds & Sods.  After 18 years in morning drive Bob Levy and wife Marianne Levy are shuttering the Bob &bobmarianne Marianne in the Morning show on Townsquare Media’s news/talk WOBM-AM, Lakewood Township, New Jersey.  Marianne Levy will continue her role with the station on the Preferred Home Health Care-sponsored “Preferred Company” show that airs from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays.  Taking over mornings on WOBM-AM is Jeremy Grunin, effective January 4.  Bob Levy will continue to host the Sunday “Topic A” public affairs program that airs on WOBM-AM and sister AC WOBM-FM…..An FM translator is boosting the signal of Saga Communications’ sports talk simulcast (now trimulcast!) francesamikeWISE/WYSE in the Asheville, North Carolina market.  “ESPN Asheville” is now heard on W247BV at 97.3 FM…..Legendary New York sports talk radio personalities Mike Francesa and Christopher “Madrussochris Dog” Russo are teaming up for a charity reunion show at  Madison Square Garden to benefit MSG’s Garden of Dreams Foundation.  Sports talk fans have been anticipating some sort of reunion of the two after recent reports of friendly chat between them about the possibility.  They haven’t worked together since their split in 2008 when Russo left CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York for SiriusXM Satellite Radio.  The reunion event takes place on March 30…..NUVObobandtom labeled managing editor (and Indy radio personality) Ed Wenck conducted an interview with Bob Kevoian of the nationally syndicated Bob & Tom show to mark Kevoian’s retirement from the show and the business at the end of the year.  This cool piece touches on everything from how Kevoian and Tom Griswold became radio partners to how their show took off at WFBQ, Indianapolis in the mid-1980s.  Check it out here.

talkersten logoSan Bernardino Shootings/Gun Control Top Talk Radio Stories This Week.  The most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the week of November 30- December 4 was the deadly San Bernardino shootings tied with the related topic of gun control, tying atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the 2016 presidential race.  Coming in at #3 was the Paris climate summit followed by Russia-Turkey tensions 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.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

| November 5, 2015

womentalkart15The State of Women on Talk Radio: Part 4.  Today (11/5), TALKERS magazine continues its multi-part story looking at the status of women on talk radio in 2015.  Written by special features correspondent Jeff McKay, it addresses one of the most-asked questions TALKERS editors hear: Why aren’t there more women on talk radio?  Today we explore the question: What is the future for women on talk radio?  Consultant Valeriegellervalerie Geller says that developing shows hosted by women, like most new programs, takes time.  “Oprah’s audience was made for women, hosted by a woman and got a huge female audience.  You also have to give shows time to grow and find their audience.  Both Rush and Sean had that.  Many female hosts are given an opportunity, but management gets scared and pulls the plug too soon — shows take time to grow — you have to be willing to believe in, develop and then give a talent the time it takes to grow, male or female.”   At Tribune’s WGN, Chicago, VP/content and programming Todd manley, toddManley says his station has numerous female voices – both in news and on talk host positions – and they’ve been brought aboard because they have specific attractive qualities.  Wendy Snyder co-hosts middays and Patti Vasquez hosts solo at night.  Manley says, “Wendy is just simply curious.  She flies into every show without pretense.  Plus, she has an engaging lack of filter, which works for her because she’s loving.  Patti has an investigative gene and she’s quickly becoming Chicago’s favorite community activist.  You throw in her comic genius and you get great laughs with the tears.”  Read the entire piece here.

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Q3 Consolidated Revenue Down 3.1%.  For the third quarter of 2015, iHeartMedia is reporting that although its consolidated revenue increased slightly during the period, unfavorable impact from movements in foreign exchange rates caused its reported consolidated revenue to drop to $1.57 million – down 3.1% compared to the same period a year ago.  The iHeartMedia segment, excluding Americas Outdoor and Internation Outdoor, saw revenue increase $22 million, or 3%, excluding political advertising revenues.  On a reported basis, revenue increased $16 million, or 2%, during the third quarter 2015 as compared to the third quarter 2014 driven primarily by sponsorship revenue related to the iHeartRadio Music Festival, barter and trade revenue and digital revenue.  Partially offsetting these increases was a decrease in political advertising revenues, lower core broadcast radio revenue and prior year revenue from the radio towers sold this year during the second quarter of 2015.

townsquare logoTownsquare Media Q3 Revenue Up 4.2% on Pro Forma Basis.  There are a number of ways to look at the third quarter financial numbers announced by Townsquare Media and the company’s acquisition of non-radio assets is important in sifting through the numbers.  The 4.2% increase in net revenue on a pro forma basis means “pro forma for the acquisitions of WE Fest and NAME [North American Midway Entertainment] on October 31, 2014 and September 1, 2015, respectively, as well as for the divestiture of certain of our towers on September 1, 2015.”  However, thepricesteven company’s net revenue for Q3 increased over the same period a year ago by 9.7% (excluding the NAME acquisition) and 7.1% including NAME and on a constant currency basis.  In a press release, chairman and CEO Steven Price states, “We believe our third quarter performance again demonstrates the strength of our diversified strategy.  Our results were in line with our guidance and our strong cash flow generation also allowed us to strengthen our balance sheet through the voluntary repayment of $20 million of our outstanding term loan debt.”  Looking a little closer, local advertising net revenue increased just $0.6 million, or 0.7% over the same period a year ago.

bellart15Art Bell’s ‘Midnight in the Desert’ Clears on KABC, Los Angeles.  Many in the talk radio industry are by now aware that late-night paranormal talker Art Bell has returned to hosting a nightly program that is being offered in syndication to AM/FM stations.  The former host of “Coast to Coast AM” is putting his show on the internet via his ArtBell.com but recently began affiliate efforts.  Now, TALKERS learns the show is now being cleared on Cumulus Media’s KABC, Los Angeles, delayed by an hour from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am PT.  Bell recently spoke with TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison on Harrison’s hit podcast for media freaks called “Up Close and Far Out” on the PodcastOne platform.  Listen to it here.

radioonelogoRadio One’s Radio Segment Down 6.6% in Third Quarter.  Chief executive officer and president Alfred Liggins says the radio segment of Radio One continues to be challenged with its stations underperforming.  The dip of 6.6% in net revenue compared to the markets in which they operate – down just 2.2% — should change in the future.  “We are seeing some signs of stabilization in our Washington, DC and Houston clusters, as well as strong performances from Dallas, Philadelphia and St Louis.  During the quarter we experienced double-digit ratings growth in 11 of our 15 markets, and our four largest markets showed ratings growth of 15% on average from July to September.  This positiveligginsalfred ratings momentum should lead to improved monetization in 2016.”  The company’s TV One and Reach Media have performed better, helping to offset the radio sector’s performance.  The company as a whole reports net revenue up 3.3% for the quarter.  Liggins adds, “Fourth quarter core radio advertising revenues, excluding political advertising, are currently pacing (8.3%) YTY.  We remain focused on correcting our underperforming radio clusters, while delivering increased cash-flow through overall cost containment, and revenue growth in the cable television business.  I am excited that David Kantor has accepted the role as CEO of our radio platform, including our local stations, network and syndication business.  Bringing together all of our radio assets under one leadership structure will enhance our ability to compete and transform our business for the future.”

sagaSaga Communications Q3 Net Revenue Down 1.6%.  The third quarter report from Saga Communications, Inc. shows the company’s net revenue was down 1.6% on income of $33.8 million.  The company also reports that free cash flow increased 11.3% to $5.5 million for the quarter and station operating expense decreased $2.0 million to $24.3 million.  For the nine month period from January through September 30, net revenue was down just 0.4% on income of $97.3 million.

carollaadamAdam Carolla Re-Ups with PodcastOne.  One of podcasting’s most successful personalities is continuing his relationship with the Norm Pattiz-founded PodcastOne advertiser-supported podcast network.  Carolla Digital and Adam Carolla ink an exclusive sales and marketing deal for anpodcastone b additional five years.  On top of repping the Carolla Digital lineup of programs, the companies will work closely on production and development of new programming.  Carolla has been represented by PodcastOne since the company launched.  The terms of the deal were not disclosed.   Pattiz comments, “I learned one lesson very early in life – if you want to do something, do it with the best.  I’ve been working with Adam since his ‘Loveline’ days and I hope that my obituary is read on his show first.”

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Talks About the State of Journalism with CBS News Radio VP, Harvey Nagler.  In the latest installment of the international hit PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out,”  Michael Harrison engages in an in-depth conversation about electronic journalism in the digital age with CBS News Radio VP Harvey Nagler.  Nagler is one of the most respected and decorated executives in the realm of radio journalism. The two discuss the role of news on radio today as well as radio’s changing role in the convergence of traditionalnaglerharvey platforms.  It is a substantive conversation covering everything from media responsibility and the impact of citizen gatekeepers on the state of truth to the evolving mission of journalism schools and emerging opportunities for young people entering the field of news in this very new environment.  Harrison and Nagler reflect upon the legacy of Edward R. Murrow and compare what he did in the 1940s and 50s to today’s multimedia 24 hour news cycle.  Yes, they even mention Donald Trump and the public’s ever-increasing fascination for politics as an entertaining spectator sport in the current presidential election cycle.  To listen to the entire conversation, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

kabclogoKABC, Los Angeles to Be Subject of Panel Discussion at SoCal Media Convention.  The convention at the Holiday Inn Media Center in Burbank is being presented by SPERDVAC – the Society to Preserve and Encourage Radio Drama, Variety And Comedy and it takes place this weekend.  In addition to a lot of recreations of Golden Age of Radio theatre and celeb appearances, there will be panel discussions.  One will feature talk about legendary Los Angeles station KABC.  Moderating it will be radio pro and former KABC host Bill Moran.  On the panel will be Eric Tracy, Carole Hemmingway, Tommy Hawkins, Royale Oaks, George Green, Ira Fistell, and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (via Skype).  Moran says they discuss what made KABC legendary and how the station’s talk programming has changed since it assumed the spoken-word format in the 1960s.  For more information about the convention, visit sperdvac.com.

CCraneRibbonCuttingC. Crane’s Impressive New Building.  The family-owned-and-operated C. Crane company has been in business since it was founded at the Crane family’s kitchen table in 1983 selling AM antennas for the love of talk radio.  Pictured here, you see the staff of the AM/FM radio and accessories vendor posing during the ribbon-cutting outside C. Crane’s newly remodeled 14,000 square foot facility.  Local dignitaries and employees decided they might as well celebrate Halloween at the same time since a big move like this is kind of scary.  Company founder Bob Crane says the new digs provide improved efficiency and better access for customers to the new showroom.  He says, “Our ability to design and manufacture new proprietary radio products has dramatically accelerated with the new facility.”

2016 Presidential Race, Tuesday’s Election Results, Russian Airline Crash, Syria-Russia Relationship, Illinois Cop Case, European Migrant Troubles-U.S. Immigration Policy, and Quentin Tarantino Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/4).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016, including the controversy surrounding Donald Trump’s scheduled appearance hosting “Saturday Night Live” this weekend; the results of various gubernatorial and mayoral elections on Tuesday; the investigation into the crash of a Russian airliner in the Sinai and the possibility ISIS is responsible; the military relationship between Syria and Russia; the case of the Illinois cop, at first thought killed by attackers and now believed to have committed suicide to hide his theft of funds; the ongoing migrant troubles in European countries and U.S. immigration policy; and the flap over director Quentin Tarantino’s support of a rally against deadly police violence were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday September 10, 2015

| September 10, 2015

francesamikeWFAN’s Mike Francesa Show to End Fox Sports Cable Simulcast.  New York sports talk legend Mike Francesa told his WFAN listeners on Wednesday that his show would cease being simulcast on Fox Sports’ cable channel after this Friday.  As the New York Post reports, Francesa had problems with the relationship almost from the beginning and griped to listeners about being pre-empted by soccer or moved to the FS2 channel.  Francesa said, “First, let me say that the blame is mine.  I tried to do something a little different.  The Fox guys were eager and I’m not going to say money wasn’t an issue, because it was the biggest.  I had some trepidation, but I saw some promise and it just didn’t work.”  The Post reports that Francesa is beginning to look for a new cable simulcast partner and MSG Network is a possible destination.

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corralangelaCorral Named News Director at KGO, San Francisco.  This is a promotion from assignment editor to news director for Angela Corral.  She’s been with Cumulus Media’s KGO since October of 2013.  She’s worked in news in the Bay Area for the past 17 years, having joined CBS RADIO’s crosstown all-news KCBS in 1998 as a production assistant.  On her new gig, Corral comments, “It’s a true honor to be selected as news director of this legendary station.  I’m looking forward to working with an amazing staff of dedicated journalists as we move KGO forward.”

fairRadio Pro Bob Dane Rises to Executive Director at FAIR.  The Federation for American Immigration Reform announces Bob Dane is promoted to executive director of the organization after approval from the board of directors.  Dane, whose years of experience in network radio, marketing and communications led him to join FAIR in 2006 as director of communications, will be just the fourth executivedanebob director of FAIR since its founding in 1979.  In this new role, Dane will oversee the organization’s Washington, D.C.-based and national operations.  FAIR president Dan Stein comments, “With nearly a decade of experience in FAIR’s media department, Bob has spearheaded valuable and unique initiatives, bringing to light the public’s often-overlooked concerns about immigration.”  Chairman of the Board Donald Collins Jr. adds, “For many years, Bob has continually demonstrated media expertise, innovative ideas and able management.”  During his career, Dane also served in a policy and budgeting position within the Reagan administration.  He received a degree in public administration and management from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Odds & Sods.  After retiring from full-time work at Chicago all-news outlet WBBM-AM in 2004 after a 35-year career, Sheman Kaplan returned to the station on a freelance basis, according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  In a column today, Feder reports that Kaplan is again retiring from the station where he was co-anchoring midday newscasts and “The WBBM Noon Business Hour” alongside Kris Kridel…..Los Angeles-based talkelderlarryNEW1-15 personality Larry Elder will host presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson on his show today (9/10).  Elder’s program airs on CRN Digital Talk Radio at 3:00 pm ET and on Salem-owned KRLA, Los Angeles at 9:00 pm PT…..United Stations Radio Networks is now offering a sports radio prep service called Total Sports Prep.  USRN says it is intended for use by air personalities in sports talk or any krntprogramming that delves into sports content…..Bob Kempf  joins TV and online public media producer WGBH Boston as vice president for digital services.  Kempf was previously VP/general manager of digital services for NPR…..Saga Communications drops adult standards on KRNT, Des Moines and goes sports talk as “ESPN Des Moines.”  In addition to carrying ESPN Radio programming, it will carry Chicago Cubs baseball, Drake University play-by-play, and be an affiliate of the Green Bay Packers Radio Network…..Entercom flips from business talk on KWOD, Kansas City to sports talk using both CBS Sports Radio and Fox Sports Radio.

wipRadiothon15WIP, Philadelphia’s Eagles Radiothon Raises $200,000.  Another Eagles Radiothon is in the books and the event organized by the NFL club and CBS RADIO’s WIP-FM, “SportsRadio 94WIP raised $200,000 for the Eagles Youth Partnership.  As part of the annual radiothon, Eagles fans and 94WIP callers were provided the opportunity to bid on exclusive experiences involving their favorite Eagles players and 94WIP radio personalities.  Eagles Youth Partnership, Eagles Social Responsibility president Christina Weiss Lurie says, “We continue to be amazed each year by the generous contributions and devoted support from our fans during the Eagles Radiothon.  As an organization, we are always looking to deliver one-of-a-kind experiences for our fans.  The annual Radiothon provides us with the opportunity to do that, while also supporting the vital health and education programs of Eagles Youth Partnership.  On behalf of EYP, I would like to express a heartfelt thank you to 94WIP for their steadfast commitment and support of this event.”

tradupBosworth15Salem Radio Network at 90 Minutes in Heaven Premiere.  The new film 90 Minutes in Heaven – based on the New York Times bestselling book by Don Piper – opens this weekend and Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (left) was in Atlanta this week for the media premiere of the film.  Tradup says that on the heels of the Christian-themed film War Room being tops at the Labor Day weekend box office last week, fans of faith-based movies are also expected to turn out this weekend for the nationwide opening of 90 Minutes in Heaven.  Tradup is seen here speaking with actress Kate Bosworth (right) who plays Piper’s wife Eva Piper.  In a story based on Don Piper’s own experiences, she helps him recover from a car crash after being pronounced legally dead for 90 minutes.  The film also stars Hayden Christensen and Fred Thompson.

ewscrippsConspiracy Theory Gets Two Suspended from Scripps Springfield, MO Stations.  The host and the on-air producer of the Sunday morning “Cracker Barrel” show have been suspended by E.W. Scripps after suggesting the on-air slayings of Roanoke TV crew Alison Parker and Adam Ward were a hoax designed to spur stricter gun control laws.  Host Joe Rios and producer Rick Masters are heard on the both company’s country KTTS and news/talk KSGF-AM/FM.  Station manager Rex Hansen apologized to the station’s listeners for the commentary.  It’s not known how long the two will be suspended from the weekly community forum program.

Hillary Clinton Emails Apology, Trump Candidacy, 2016 Presidential Candidates, European Migrant Crisis, Brandon Marshall’s Brady vs NFL Racism Charge/ESPN Spygate Story, Iran Nuclear Deal, and Russia-Syria Military Connection Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/9).  Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton apologizes for use of private email server for State Department business; the criticism and analysis of the top-polling Trump for President campaign; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the migrant crisis affecting European nations; the aftermath of the Tom Brady vs the NFL case and Brandon Marshall’s charge that Tom Brady is treated different because he’s white, plus the related ESPN Spygate story; the controversy over the Iran nuclear deal; and reports of Russia sending military aid to Syria were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

| August 4, 2015

sagaSaga Communications Reports Q2 Revenue Up 1.6%.  Net revenue for the second quarter of 2015 for Saga Communications was $34.4 million – an increase of 1.6%.  The company reports that free cash flow decreased $281 thousand to $5.7 million.  Station operating expense increased $812 thousand to $24.3 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations).  Operating income was $7.5 million.  Net income for the period was $4.5 million ($0.77 per fully diluted share).  Taking a look at the radio division, net operating revenue was $29.1 million, an increase of 0.6% over the same period a year ago.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Chats with Former FEMA Director (and Current KHOW, Denver Talk Host) Michael D. Brown as 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina Approaches.  It was almost a decade ago (August 23-31, 2005) that Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast of the United States with winds of up to 175 mph and flood waters of biblical proportions rising from the ocean and falling from the sky — leaving in its wake almost 1,900 fatalities, $108 billion in damages, and countless casualties and lives upended.  Michael D. Brown – the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at the time and Under Secretary of Homelandbrownmichael Security (“Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job”) became the official poster boy for everything that went wrong with the federal government’s too-little-too-late response to one of the greatest disasters in American history.  Some of the criticism that fell upon Brown was deserved – but much of it wasn’t.  After all, it was an epic crisis and involved numerous overlapping agencies, governments, and politicians charged with making things right.  Brown took a severe beating from the media as well as a proverbial bullet for the team and stepped down from his position with the Bush Administration.  A lawyer by trade, Brown went on with his life, taking away an enormous amount of wisdom and experience from the episode.  Undaunted, he began speaking to groups around the country about the insidious side of politics, and the human complexity of management and team play. He wrote a candid book about his role (and responsibility) in Katrina — Deadly Indifference: The Perfect (Political) Storm, Hurricane Katrina, the Bush White House, and Beyond (Taylor Trade, 2011).  He also began a successful talk show hosting career in Denver – first at KOA and then at KHOW, where he presently presides over a daily program 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm MT.  In the newly posted installment of the weekly international hit podcast “Up Close and Far Out” (8/4), Brown is interviewed by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison about inside-Washington politics, the war on terror, the nature of the political mind, the psychological profile of presidents, the general state of media and journalism as well as what his life is like as a big market talk show host 10 years after Katrina.  To hear this must-listen conversation, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of July 2015 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of July 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 July 2015 survey period covered June 18 through July 15.  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.

daviesrichardReport from Podcast Movement.  Longtime ABC News Radio journalist Richard Davies has been working with his co-host Jim Miegs on their podcast “How Do We Fix It?” since retiring from the network news radio business.  He recently attended the Podcast Movement conference in Fort Worth, Texas.  Davies reports that the recent success of “Serial” and the PR Marc Maron received for President Obama’s appearance on his “WTF?” podcast has given hope to the thousands of podcast “newbies.”  “Marketers and tech firms are taking note of podcasting’s recent growth.  Some companies sponsored booths and took part in Q&A sessions at Podcast Movement.”  Read Davies’ entire report here.

Odds & Sods. Sports talk station KHTK, Sacramento has a new program director as Kevin Sherrets returns to the station where he began his career 18 years ago.  Sherrets leaves his APD gig at Bonneville’s KKFN, Denver “104.3 The Fan” to join the CBS RADIO sports outlet…..FOX News Radio is providing GOP debate coverage to its affiliate stations.  It will offer live anchored coverage of the Cleveland debates with Jared Halpern anchoring and Debbie Georgatos serving as analyst.

Nielsen’s ‘Audio Today’ Report: Blacks and Hispanics Account for Almost One Third of National AQH Audience.  The quarterly radio audience report from Nielsen finds that “the broad national radio audience (those 12 or older) has hit an all-time high for the second year in a row: 245 million.”  This 2015 Q2 report focuses on minority listening and Nielsen’s data shows that a “record 71.7 million Blacks and Hispanics combine to account for almost a third (29.3%) of the national AQH audience.  These Black and Hispanic consumers spend more time with radio each week than any other group, and possess enormous buying power for advertisers looking to reach a qualified audience when they are away from home and in the marketplace ready to purchase.”  See Nielsen’s report here.

2016 Presidential Candidates-Trump Criticisms, Planned Parenthood Videos Scandal, Cecil the Lion Death, New Obama Emissions Regulations, Battle Against ISIS, Baltimore Violence, and Search for MH370 Debris Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/3).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016, the criticisms of Donald Trump and the possible entrance of Vice President Joe Biden in the race; the potential vote to defund Planned Parenthood in the wake of the videos scandal; the continuing outrage over the hunting of Cecil the lion; President Obama’s new power plant emissions regulations; the air strikes on ISIS targets in Syria; the Baltimore police request federal assistance as violent crime continues to skyrocket; and the search for more potential debris from flight MH370 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

| May 5, 2015

berrymichaelMichael Berry Renews with iHeartMedia.  Houston-based talk show host Michael Berry inks a new long-term deal with iHeartMedia that runs through 2020.  Berry’s program is based at news/talk KTRH, Houston and is heard on iHeartMedia stations in 13 additional markets.  The former Houston city councilor started his talk radio career with the company in 2005.  Berry states, “While I’m loyal to the company I’ve worked with for so long, this agreement is about the future, not the past. From Bob Pittman, our chairman and CEO, and Rich Bressler, our president, COO and CFO, to Kelly Kibler, my EVPO; Eddie Martiny, my market manager; and Marc Sherman and Bryan Erickson, our programming directors in Houston — every single one of them is committed to our show, our team, and the way we do things.  They’ve provided a platform for me to serve my sponsors, entertain our listeners, and raise money for Veterans, and I’m incredibly excited about our future.”  Bob Pittman comments, “Michael is a great talent, and his audience loves and relies on him – both for the news and important information he provides every day, and for his strong commitment to his community of listeners and the causes important to them.  We are very pleased that Michael will continue his strong work for us, and delighted that he’ll continue to be such a key part of our team.”

lewisloriCumulus Brings Digital and Social Media Pro Lori Lewis Aboard.  This new relationship brings industry-respected digital and social media maven Lori Lewis together with Cumulus Media as she becomes the company’s new vice president of social media.  A press release says in her new position, she’ll work with Cumulus’ programming and sales teams to develop integrated social media strategies for the company’s radio stations and the Westwood One network.  She will also provide social media solutions to Westwood One’s affiliate partners as part of the company’s Enterprise Solutions Group.  Lewis will report directly to president and CEO Lew Dickey.  Lewis was most recently with consulting firm Jacobs Media.  Lew Dickeycumulus logo comments, “Lori is our industry’s foremost authority on social media.  She has architected successful social strategies for many of the biggest brands in radio.  We are excited for Lori to bring her unique experience and expertise to our station group as well as to our affiliate partners at Westwood One.”  On joining Cumulus, Lewis says, “I am honored to take this newly created role within Cumulus, and to create real value and impact socially for our audiences, advertisers and affiliate partners.  Many mistake social for volume, when in fact it’s about differentiating.  This move, on behalf of Lew Dickey and [Cumulus SVP] Gary Pizzati, speaks volumes of their leadership and foresight in moving Cumulus forward, and I thank them for that.”

entercomEntercom Promotes Kramer to COO, Names Levy to Board of Directors.  Station group president Louise Kramer is promoted to chief operating officer for Entercom Communications Corp.  In a press statement, the company says, “Kramer is a media veteran who has been withkramerweezie Entercom since 2000, most recently serving as station group president.  In this role, she spearheaded the company’s reinvention efforts, focusing on enhancing the company’s future growth and directly overseeing several of the company’s markets.  Ms. Kramer is a member of Entercom’s operating committee and, since 2013, has served as chairperson.  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “Weezie is an enormously talented and effective leader who has made a huge impact on our organization since she joined Entercom in 2000.  Like so many great leaders, she is totally and selflessly committed to her team’s success, bringing levydavidher vast energy, intelligence, creativity, and high standards to our entire organization.  I am thrilled to see her continue to rise to the highest levels of our company.”  Also, the company reports that David Levy is named to the board of directors.  Levy has served as president of Turner Broadcasting System since 2013.   In this role he oversees all creative and business activities of the Turner signature entertainment networks —TBS, TNT, Turner Classic Movies, truTV, Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Adult Swim — and their digital brand extensions, as well as Turner Sports.

wmal logoCumulus Has a Buyer for WMAL, Washington Transmitter Site.  According to Bethesda Magazine, Cumulus Media has a deal with two prominent area home builders who will turn the Bethesda, Maryland site of WMAL-AM, Washington’s transmitter into a 76-acre housing development.  Winchester Homes and Toll Brothers are reported as the buyer but no sale price has been announced yet.  According to real estate firm CBRE, the land could hold up to 300 homes on quarter-acre lots in accordance with current zoning regulations.  Cumulus will relocate the WMAL-AM transmitter.

younglarry and cohostsRadio One Revamps WOLB, Baltimore’s Larry Young Show.  The urban morning drive talk show lead by radio personality Larry Young is now being simulcast on Radio One’s translator W291BA at 106.1 FM.  That signal airs Christian music and is branded “PRAISE 106.1.”  Joining Young (center) and co-host Coach (left) is former WWIN, Baltimore “Magic 95.9” midday personality Tim Watts (right).  The station says, “We’re combining the best of the Praise format with the information, entertainment and ‘ground level’ interaction that our listeners already expect from Larry’s show.  For additional color, we’ve welcomed Tim Watts back to be part of this daily roundtable of all things Baltimore and our community.”

gordonmaryGordon Named Sales Manager for iHeartMedia Tampa. The appointment of Mary Gordon as sales manager for iHeartMedia‘s Tampa cluster takes effect in four weeks (6/1). Senior vice president of sales Fernando Bauermeister comments that, “Mary’s experience of leading successful teams made her a natural choice for the position. We are excited to have Mary join our staff and we look forward to her helping our clients grow their business.” Gordon states, “I am extremely excited to be given the opportunity to join the team of talented professionals at iHeartMedia Tampa. I look forward to utilizing the amazing assets that iHeartMedia has in its arsenal to find solutions to the key marketing objectives in the west Florida region.” Gordon’s background includes a stint in sports marketing for IMG (International Management Group), as well as being general sales manager – and later director of sales – for Cumulus Media Atlanta’s country WKHX “Kicks 101.5” and WYAY. The eight-station iHM Tampa cluster includes: urban contemporary WBTP “The Beat”; WDAE “Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio”; talk WFLA; CHR WFLZ “The Hit Music Channel”; country WFUS “US-103.5”; talk WHNZ “Impact Radio”; hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7”; and WXTB “98 Rock.”

hoyttomHoyt Heads to Louisville as Salem Media Group GM. Founder-president of Missouri-based AdAbilities Tom Hoyt – is named general manager of Salem Media Group Louisville talk outlet WGTK “The Answer” and WFIA “The Spirit – Christian Talk & Praise.” Salem vice president of operations Mike Moran notes, “We were looking for a general manager with a combination of strong leadership skills, management experience, and a proven sales orientation. I believe with Tom we found a man who delivers on all those fronts and brings the additional benefit of knowing and loving the city of Louisville.” Hoyt comments, “I cannot imagine a more ideal opportunity than this position with Salem Media Group in Louisville. The stations are heritage properties with a veteran staff. I am thankful that Mike has selected me and I am looking forward to building on the success the team has established.” Hoyt – who succeeds Tim Hartlage at the Louisville talk combo – previously worked in the market for Cox Media Group; was vice president and chief sales officer for CommunityLink Publications; general sales manager of Emmis St. Louis; and director of sales for Barnstable Broadcasting‘s stations in Greenville, South Carolina. Hartlage continues working for Salem, focusing on local ministry.

sagaSaga Communications Q1 Revenue Down 1.2%; Radio Division Dips 2.6%.  For the first quarter of 2015, Saga Communications is reporting net revenue decreased 1.2% on income of $29.1 million.  Revenue for the radio segment was $24, 276,000 – a decline of 2.6% compared to the same period a year ago (the TV segment was up).  Other data reported included free cash flow up 5.2% to $3.6 million for the quarter ended March 31, compared to $3.4 million for the same period last year.  Station operating expense decreased 0.8% to $22.8 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations) compared to $23.0 million for the same period last year.  Operating income was $3.8 million.  Net income for the period was $2.1 million ($0.36 per fully diluted share).

Odds & Sods.  Philadelphia news/talker WPHT will play a role in the local appearance of Kentucky Senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul.  After his press conference at the People’s Plaza on Independence Mall onwpht logo Monday, May 18, the senator will make a special appearance at the Independence Seaport Concert Hall for a discussion focused on his book, Taking a Stand: Moving Beyond Partisan Politics to Unite America.  WPHT host Dom Giordano will moderate…..Longtime WGN, rosenbergmiltChicago radio host and current WCGO, Chicago personality Milt Rosenberg was recently honored by the City of Chicago for among other things, “bringing the world of ideas to millions of listeners, combining a scholar’s understanding of the humanities broadened our citizens’ engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand Americans’ access to important resources in the humanities.”

2016 Presidential Prospects, ‘Prophet Drawing Contest’ Shooting, Clinton Family Foundation Scrutiny, Baltimore Aftermath, and California Drought Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/4).  The influx of new candidates for president in 2016 including independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and Republicans Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee; the aftermath of the weekend’s shooting of two purported ISIS followers at a “prophet drawing contest” in Garland, Texas; Bill Clinton’s dismissal of criticism of the Clinton Family Foundation finances; the civil and political situation in Baltimore and questions about how Freddie Gray died; and the worsening drought in California and the battle over water policy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, April 10, 2015

| April 10, 2015

lawrencebobSaga Looks to Lawrence as VP/Group PD. Former Pinnacle Media Worldwide president and chief executive officer Bob Lawrence succeeds Steve Goldstein as vice president and group program director of Saga Communications. Goldstein left Saga late last month after nearly 30 years with the company to start Amplifi Media. Saga president and chief executive officer Ed Christian comments, “We have worked with Bob Lawrence and Pinnacle for years, and have always been impressed with his radio knowledge, analysis, and solutions to problems. He already understands the Saga culture [so] this will be a seamless transition for him and us. I welcome Bob as a member of our team.” Lawrence states, “I am so very honored and thrilled that Ed Christian has invited me to join the many talented managers and programmers at one of the most respected and successful media companies in the industry. Leaving such a labor of love as Pinnacle Media after so many years is indeed difficult. I haveSaga Logo created so many wonderful lifelong friendships, but I am very blessed and grateful for this new and exciting chapter with Saga.” Lawrence initiated Pinnacle Media Worldwide at the end of 2000. He previously programmed KIOI “K-101,” San Francisco and, for 10 years, was senior vice president of Broadcast Architecture. His on-air career includes a stint at Philadelphia’s WCAU-FM (now CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WOGL) in 1981.

westwood one news logoWestwood One News Celebrates 100-Day Mark with Growing Affiliate Base.  It’s been 100 days since Cumulus Media’s subsidiary Westwood One debuted its eponymous news service, and the syndicator says to date it has more than 700 affiliate stations.  WW1 calls the service a “next-generation, full-service news network powered by CNN. Westwood One News is filling a void in the marketplace by catering to stations looking to leverage customized news content with greater flexibility and local branding opportunities.”  SVP of affiliate sales Dennis Green says, “We are proud to be bringing the news from around the world to stations in an innovative manner.  In a short period of time, over 700 stations have joined our growing network and can now provide their listeners with news that offers greater flexibility than any other national radio new network.  The future truly is now, and we look forward to welcoming more stations in the next 100 days and beyond!”

stephanAmFamFarmerDoug Stephan Launches ‘American Family Farmer’ Show.  Talk radio industry insiders may be aware that nationally syndicated talk show host Doug Stephan has a second career as a dairy farmer, operating the Eastleigh Farm in the suburban Boston town of Framingham.  As a dedicated lifelong family farmer, Stephan is more than qualified to discuss matters germane to the family farming community, and he does so on his new, weekly talk show, “Doug Stephan’s American Family Farmer.”  The show will be produced in addition to his news/talk radio program, “Doug Stephan’s Good Day.”  American Family Farmer providesstephandoug information and an advocacy forum targeted specifically to the beleaguered sector of the American agriculture industry comprised of small independent operators – just like Stephan.  On American Family Farmer, Stephan is a tell-it-like-it is advocate of the political and economic interests of the farmers his program is designed to serve.  Stephan explains, “The family farmers in America have a tenuous relationship with Big Government and Big Ag.  It is obvious to most that the many problems we are trying to solve have come about as a result of too much meddling in the affairs of the American family farm.  We are aggressively addressing these problems with solution-based discussions each week.”  Stephan continues, “We’re dedicated to becoming the voice for hard-working people who play such an important role in the economic and nutritional well-being of our nation and are basically being stepped on by the combined partnership of Big Government and Big Business.”  In addition to hosting his new show, Stephan is available for interviews to discuss how American Family Farmer will continue the discussion of the current and future of Big Agriculture and the effect it will have on future generation of American family farmers.  For more information on the show, contact Bob K & Associates Radio Consultants at 774-643-6450 or bobk@dougstephan.com.

medvedmichaelMichael Medved Updates Fans on Throat Cancer Treatments.  Speaking to his listeners for the first time in more than two months, Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk host Michael Medved said the chemotherapy and radiation treatments he received to treat his throat cancer appear to have been entirely successful but they come at a cost.  That cost, he says is that one has to recover from these treatments and that’s why he’s been off the air for the past couple of months.  Still, Medved says his doctors say he is ahead of schedule for recovery and he hopes to be back on the radio as soon as possible.

Odds & Sods.  Philadelphia news pro Tony Hanson is retiring today (4/10) after a 37-year career at CBS RADIO’s KYW, Philadelphia…..Word comes from Louisville that WHAS afternoon talk personality Terry Meiners just inked a deal to continue hosting his show on the iHeartMedia-owned heritage talk station.

kallen jackieForthcoming Fight Subject of Interest on Talk Radio.  The upcoming welterweight championship boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao (May 2) has become a hot topic for the entire talk media, beyond just sports/talk, points out Jackie Kallen, boxing expert and commentator for BoxingInsider,com.  Kallen (pictured here) is one of boxing’s first and most successful female managers as well as a seasoned journalist.  Since Ali, Tyson, and the quartet of Herns, Hagler, Duran and Leonard, there haven’t been a lot of marquee names in the business.  Kallen says that Mayweather has been dubbed the villain because of a dubious past personal history which includes a prison stint for domestic violence, and Pacquiao as the hero, admired in his native Philippines and for his honorable personal and professional behavior here in the US.  “Pacquiao is a quiet family man, adored by everyone in his homeland and Mayweather is crass and boastful and flaunts his wealth and is easy to peg as the one in the black hat.”  This colorful fight has found its way out of the sports sections and shows and into the front pages and headlines.  Talk show hosts seeking to find subjects other than the current political scene are finding this vastly promoted and covered match-up a topic that is engendering lots of general listener interest.  Talk hosts and producers interested in booking experts on boxing and this particular fight can find them in the TALKERS Expert Guests section by clicking here.

talkersten logoIran Nuclear Negotiations/Obama-Netanyahu Relationship Tie for #1 Spot on Talkers TenTM.  The ongoing controversy over Iran’s nuclear program and the related tensions between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tied for the most-talked-about stories during the week of April 6-10.  Coming in at #2 on the chart was the religious freedom acts in several states and the case of the Indiana pizza joint being targeted by activists for supporting that state’s law.  At #3 was the shooting death of an unarmed black motorist by a South Carolina police officer.  Following at #4 was the Rolling Stone rape story case.  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.

wbtwlnk duo logoCool Job Opportunity.  Greater Media Charlotte is seeking a production/imaging director with WBT and WLNK.  The ideal candidate is experienced directing voice talent and must work well in a fast-paced environment and effectively juggle multiple projects.  The production/imaging director must possess exceptional imaging and commercial production skills and use creativity to enhance station brands.  Concept development, voiceover, and copywriting skills required. Strong communication and interpersonal skills and should possess: Ability to create original ideas and see them though the production process; Extensive experience with digital editing equipment; Skill at developing marketing concepts; Experience in coaching and directing voice talent; Ability to develop systems for organizing production elements; Knowledge of VCreative,  Adobe Audition, Audiovault, and Marketron or similar systems; Sense of time management and ability to meet regular deadlines; Basic knowledge of traffic processes and the capacity to interface with traffic and continuity directors; A minimum five years major market production and imaging experience preferred.  Charlotte Market experience a plus. Send resume and mp3 to: Greater Media Charlotte, WBT/WLNK Human Resources, One Julian Price Place, Charlotte, NC  28208. hired@gmclt.com.  704-338-3079 (fax).  No Phone Calls Please.  EOE.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

| April 9, 2015

naglerharveyCBS Radio News VP Harvey Nagler to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at Talkers New York 2015. The editorial board of TALKERS magazine has named longtime radio news executive Harvey Nagler, VP of CBS Radio News, the recipient of the publication’s 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award. The award will be presented to Nagler during the Awards Ceremony at the forthcoming Talkers New York 2015 convention on Friday, June 12. Nagler, a native of Brooklyn, New York began his distinguished career in 1966 as a reporter for WCTC-AM, New Brunswick, NJ upon graduating from Rutgers University with a degree in American History. He was named Vice President, CBS Radio News in January, 1998. In this position, he is responsible for CBS News’ radio operations worldwide, including news gathering and2015 NYC 150 programming and its relationship with its thousands of affiliated stations around the country. In his distinguished career, Nagler had served as general manager, CBS Radio News (1997-98). During his tenure at CBS Radio News, the network has won dozens of national and international awards. He was chosen Radio News Executive of the Year in 2006 and 2008 in a poll taken by Radio & Records magazine. In 2010, CBS Radio News won the coveted Edward R. Murrow “Overall Excellence Award” from the Radio Television News Directors Association for the fourth year in a row. In March, 2010, Nagler was honored with the RTNDA’s First Amendment Service Award, which is presented to a person of distinction who works in an off-air, management capacity. In 2014, he received the Radio Television Digital News John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes an individual’s contributions to the journalism profession and freedom of the press. Prior to joining CBS Radio News, Nagler was director, news and programming for WCBS-AM, New York “Newsradio 88,” (1987-97). During that time, the station achieved record ratings and was honored with many national and local awards for excellence in reporting. Nagler developed and implemented several practices which have since been adopted or imitated by hundreds of stations across the country, including the slogan, “traffic and weather, together on the ‘eights’” and “guaranteed weather,” as well as the broadcast of the Standard & Poor’s future numbers in each morning’s business report. He joined WCBS-AM from the United Stations Radio Networks, where he had been VP, news and sports (1985-87) and director of news operations (1979-84, when it was the RKO Radio Networks). The network grew from a small group of stations to a news organization serving 500 affiliates. Before that, Nagler worked for the ABC Radio Network in a variety of capacities (1968-79). Upon making the announcement of the board’s decision, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison stated, “What a wonderful choice! Harvey is the face of and force behind one of the finest operations in all of radio. At a time when the very reputation of journalism is in jeopardy and its role as a distinguished, vital institution in a great nation is in flux, CBS Radio News has stood proudly and strong as a bastion of consistency, quality and dependability. We are all indebted to Harvey Nagler for being a champion of all that is good about our business, not to mention humanity in general. We are honored that he will be attending our event and receiving this award.” Former recipients of this award include Norm Pattiz, Jim Bohannon, Barry Farber and Don Barrett. The award will be presented at Talkers New York 2015 along with awards for Humanitarian of the Year, Woman of the Year and Freedom of Speech. WOLB, Baltimore host Larry Young has been named recipient of the Humanitarian of the Year Award. The recipients of the other two will be named in the coming days. Talkers New York 2015 is on the verge of a sell-out. For information, call 413-565-5413 or click here.

Bob SchiefferCBS’ Schieffer Calling it Quits. Speaking last night (Wednesday, 4/8) at the annual Schieffer Symposium at his alma mater (Texas Christian University), CBS News‘ “Face the Nation” anchor Bob Schieffer revealed a major career decision. “Because this is where my professional career began, this is where I wanted all of you to be the first to know: This summer I am going to retire,” states the 78-year-old Schieffer, who has interviewed every president since Richard Nixon. After Schieffer’s intentions were made public, CBS News president David Rhodes issued a memo to staff, which reads, in part, “[Bob] has been an inspiration and a mentor to so many colleagues – and frankly – to me [but] it is not over yet. He will be on the air this Sunday from the Washington, DC bureau – and for a number of Sundays to come. An important 2016 campaign season is beginning, but this is Bob’s night and I hope we can all celebrate with him the remarkable achievement which is his career here at CBS.” In his 46 years with CBS News, Schieffer has been the network’s chief Washington, DC correspondent since 1982 and has hosted “Face the Nation” (which has a radio edition) since 1991. Schieffer anchored the Saturday edition of “CBS Evening News” for 23 years and was interim anchor of the “CBS Evening News” from March 2005 to August 2006. He is one of the few reporters in Washington, DC to have covered the Pentagon, the White House, Congress, and the State Department.

Saga LogoSaga Acquires Harrisonburg Quintet. The amount of the transaction was not disclosed, but Saga Communications is purchasing five VerStandig Broadcasting outlets and one translator in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Saga Communications president and chief executive officer Ed Christian comments, “These stations fit very well into our model of owning heritage radio stations that are very tightly focused on serving their local communities. We look forward to working with the existing staff to continue the great heritage that these stations have established. Saga intends to continue building its business in both the radio and television markets by identifying and acquiring middle market stations.” Involved in the sale are WHBG “ESPN 1360″; adult contemporary WJDV “Fresh 96.1”; CHR WQPO “Q-101”; talk WSVA; and rock WTGD “105.1 Bob.” The translator is W221CF. Saga’s other two Virginia clusters are in Norfolk and Charlottesville. While subject to FCC approval, the deal is expected to be finalized in two months. VerStandig keeps its four Hagerstown, Maryland facilities.

cbssportsradiologoCBS Sports Radio Brings Two ‘Eye On’ Shows to Roster.  Returning to the CBS Sports Radio Network program schedule are two of the network’s “Eye On” programs.  “Eye On Baseball,” begins this Saturday, April 11, with CBS Sports Radio’s Adam Gerstenhaber and baseball analyst CJ Nitkowski co-hosting.  It will air every Saturday from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET through the World Series.  The first show will feature former Colorado Rockies general manager and current MLB Network analyst, Dan O’Dowd.  “Eye On Basketball” will focus on everything basketball and features CBS Sports Radio’s Jody McDonald and CBSSports.com’s Ken Berger.  That show debuts Saturday, April 25 and will air every Saturday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET through the end of the NBA playoffs.

Odds & Sods.  A familiar voice to Boston news junkies will be gone after June when 36-year station news personality Anthony Silva retires from CBS RADIO-owned all-news WBZ, Boston.  Silva turns 65 and stationsilvaanthony director of news and programming Peter Casey says in a memo to staff: “While I’m happy that Anthony is able to determine his own fate and announce his retirement, I’m also thinking that the loss of his voice, experience, and his gentlemanly manner will be a challenge for us to replace.  We could not be happier for him to be able to plan the next phase of his life on his own terms.”…..The weekly sports talk show “Talk of Fame” begins airing on Dickey Broadcasting-owned WCNN, Atlanta this Saturday (4/11).  The two-hour show is hosted by award-winning sports journalists and Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Selectors Ron Borges, Rick Gosselin and Clark Judge.  Dickey Broadcasting president David Dickey says, “Dickey Broadcasting Company is thrilled to team up with Skyview Networks to carry ‘Talk of Fame’ on WCNN.  The content is compelling, and we look forward to making it available to our many loyal listeners.”…..CBS RADIO’s WCCO, Minneapolis will receive the 2015 Service to America Award from the National Association of Broadcasters’ Education Foundation (NABEF).

SRNtradupJesusSalem Radio News Investigates Hollywood and Christianity.  Pictured here with Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (left) is Argentina-born actor Juan Pablo DiPace (right) who is currently seen in the role of Jesus Christ in the NBC series, “A.D.: The Bible Continues.”  DiPace sat for an interview with Tradup in Dallas as SRN is producing a series of reports on how Hollywood depicts scriptural passages in films and on TV.

Iran Nuclear Negotiations, South Carolina Black Motorist Slaying, Rand Paul Bid/2016 Presidential Prospects, Russian Hack of White House, Tsarnaev Verdict, Yemen Military Action, Clinton White House Years, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/8). The negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program; the case of the shooting death of a black motorist by a South Carolina police officer; Rand Paul’s bid for president and other 2016 prospects; allegations the Russians hacked the White House computers; the guilty verdicts for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev; the Saudi-led military action in Yemen; Kate Andersen Brower’s book about the White House behind the scenes; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

| March 26, 2015

RamseyPhoenix15Ramsey Entertains and Informs in The Valley.  Nationally syndicated talk radio star and best-selling author Dave Ramsey (pictured here on stage at beautiful Symphony Hall in Phoenix) visited The Valley with the promotional help of affiliate station KTAR “News 92.3.”  He presented to a sold-out audience his “Smart Money” program – which explains how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence – on Wednesday, March 25.  Financial expert and speaker Chris Hogan joined Ramsey on stage.  While in Phoenix, Ramsey also hosted his “EntreLeadership 1 Day Event” whichRamseyPhoenixstaff15 addresses how to run a business using the same common-sense principles that Ramsey practices in his own company of more than 400 employees.  Pictured at right is Ramsey (center) with vice president of content and operations for Bonneville Phoenix Ryan Hatch (right), and Bonneville Phoenix VP and market manager Scott Sutherland (left).  Hatch comments, “Dave’s consistent success in providing important and helpful content that delivers large audiences on KTAR ‘News 92.3 FM’ is well known.  What really puts Dave over the top is the personal touch and powerful connection he makes with our market when he comes to Phoenix.  It’s become a must-see event for our listeners and clients, which is why you see sold-out crowds on March 24 and 25.”

wallkevinTalk Host Kevin Wall Returns to Air in Nevada.  Las Vegas talk radio personality Kevin Wall returns to the air in the market on Silver State Broadcasting’s KBET “790 Talk Now” and in the Reno market on Evans Broadcasting’s KKFT-FM “99.1FM Talk” beginning March 30.  The show is produced by Battle Born Radio Corp. and is titled, “Live and Local Now!”  It will air weekdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Wall comments, “I am so excited to be reunited with my thousands of listeners across southern Nevada.  The opportunity to talk with thousands of new listeners in northern Nevada is something I’m really looking forward to.  What a brilliant idea, linking northern and southern Nevada.  These two independent broadcasters, without the shackles of corporate radio, are preparing to unleash a whole new brand of conservative talk on listeners across the Silver State.  I can’t wait to get started on March 30th!”

weei logoWEEI to Host Baseball Show at Gay Boston Sports Bar.  Boston sports talk outlet WEEI says it will make history this weekend when it broadcasts its Hot Stove Baseball Panel live from Cathedral Station Sports Bar and Pub – a prominent gay bar in the city – on Sunday (3/29) from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  The Entercom sports talker says the program will feature panelists Rob Bradford and John Tomase of WEEI.com, former Red Sox player and WEEI-FM midday personality Lou Merloni and Sam Kennedy, EVP/Chief Operating Officer of the Boston Red Sox.  The moderator will be Boston Herald sports columnist and WEEI-FM fill-in host Steve Buckley.  Entercom Boston VP and market manager Phil Zachary says, “When you look at just how far we’ve come as a society at large, it makes sense to openly embrace sports fans from every segment of our richly diverse community.  Sunday’s event is WEEI’s official and public declaration of welcoming Boston’s LGBT sports fans to our extended radio family.”  The event is co-hosted by Boston Spirit Magazine, the premier LGBT publication in the Massachusetts and New England area.

sykescharlieAnnual Charlie Sykes ‘Insight’ Show to Feature Scott Walker One-On-One.  The WTMJ, Milwaukee personality is announcing that the 2015 edition of his annual live event titled, “Insight,” will feature an exclusive one-on-one interview with Governor Scott Walker.  The live program takes place on Wednesday, April 1 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm at the Harris Theater in suburban Brookfield and audio will be played on WTMJ at 8:30 the next morning.  The station says, “620 WTMJ’s Charlie Sykes Insight is a radio show taped in front of a studio audience.  Charlie Sykes will interview the All Star panel and the audio will be played back on 620 WTMJ…The show features the biggest and brightest conservative leaders to review policy and politics in a unique setting.”  In addition to Governor Scott Walker, guests appearing on the panel include: Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson (via video), Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, and Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, Jr.

Odds & Sods.  Sports author, columnist and media personality John Feinstein begins hosting a weekly golf show on SiriusXM’s PGA Tour Channel.  The show will be a one-hour production titled, “A Good Walk Spoiled with John Feinstein,” and will air Monday’s from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.  Feinstein recently exited the CBS Sports Radiofeinsteinjohn Network.  He comments, “I’m happy to be back at SiriusXM and I’m grateful to Scott Greenstein and Steve Cohen for the chance to talk golf, as well as hoops.”…..New York media personality (and WOR talk host) Mark Simone made a recent appearance on Australian television speaking about his relationship simoneAussieTVSinatrawith and knowledge of Frank Sinatra and his music as the late singer’s 100th birthday would have been this year.  Simone is pictured here at left appearing on Melbourne, Australia’s “9News.”…..ESPN Radio is announcing it is preparing to begin its 18th Major League Baseball season of broadcasting more than 66 games that will include multiple appearances from several top teams, including the defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants, defending American League Champion Kansas City Royals, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.  The sports giant notes that its radio network will also be the home to the Gillette Home Run Derby and the 86th MLB All Star Game from Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati on Monday, July 13, and Tuesday, July 14.  kdkaEvery MLB postseason game will be broadcasted for the 18th consecutive year….. CBS RADIO Pittsburgh stations KDKA-AM and KDKA-FM have been honored by the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters with 2015 Excellence In Broadcasting Awards.  “Newsradio 1020” KDKA-AM received honors for Outstanding Radio Commercial for “Alcosan Open House,” and for Outstanding Public Service Announcement/Campaign for “A Salute to Veterans.”  Sports talker “Sportsradio 93-7 The Fan” KDKA-FM received the award for Outstanding Coverage Of A Local Sporting Event for its coverage of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 2014 postseason.

hurleyharryNJBA Hall of Fame Class Includes WPGG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley.  The New Jersey Broadcasters Association is announcing the inductees for its 2015 Hall of Fame Class.  This year’s group includes: Harry Hurley, Dan Finn, and Kevin Williams. NJBA president and CEO Paul Rotella comments, “In addition, Richard Swetits was named our Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, and he will enter the NJBA Hall of Fame as part of this extraordinary honor for a lifetime dedicated to our industry and the NJBA.  The 2015 NJBA Hall of Fame Class of Inductees is comprised of true pioneers, innovators, and visionaries, with their accomplishments spanning the state and the region.”

Iran Nukes Issue, Obama-Netanyahu Relationship, 2016 Presidential Prospects, ObamaCare, Germanwings Flight 9525 Mystery, Bo Bergdahl Case, Yemen Tensions, Russian Military Aggression, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/25).  The negotiations over a West-approved nuclear program for Iran; the strained relationship between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; the potential candidates for president in 2016; scrutiny of the effectiveness of the Affordable Care Act; the investigation into the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps; the decision to charge Bo Bergdahl with desertion; tensions in the Middle East as Saudi Arabia begins military operations in Yemen; the ongoing buildup of military activity by Russia; and the NCAA men’s hoops tourney were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

| March 4, 2015

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: News/Talk (Part 1).  TALKERS magazine managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents the third in a four-part series of reports analyzing the performances of spoken-word radio stations based on January 2015 PPM survey data from Nielsen Audio.  This story focuses on commercial news/talk stations.  Kinosian writes that the first reports published “presented overviews of the truly astonishing January 2015 PPM ratings performances turned in by news and sports outlets.  Those extraordinary stats notwithstanding (especially with all-news), we have quite possibly saved the best for last in analyzing the most omnipresent genre under the spoken-word umbrella, talk stations.  For several reasons, we have separated “talk” into two groups – commercial, and non-commercial/public.  The January 2015 ratings overview of commercial talkers appears today, while the companion piece for non-commercial/public talk stations will be posted tomorrow.  Either way you slice it though, it was a strong sweep for both groups and the numbers will confirm that as being the height of understatement.”  Check out the analysis here.

wbzTsarnaevtrialCovering the Boston Marathon Bombing Trial.  With one of the nation’s most-watched trials beginning in Boston, CBS RADIO’s WBZ-AM, “Newsradio 1030” is announcing its coverage plans that include a weekly podcast produced by WBZ reporters Lana Jones and Carl Stevens called, “The Boston Marathon Bombing Trial Podcast: U.S. v. Tsarnaev.”  The station says, “WBZ NewsRadio 1030 will have comprehensive reporting in newscasts throughout the day as well as digital and social media real-time reporting while court is in session.  In an effort to reach those listeners who need their news ‘on-demand,’ WBZ debuts today a weekly podcast of the highlights of the ground-breaking trial.”  The podcast will be published each Friday morning.  Pictured here outside the WBZ Mobile Newsroom are (from l-r): Stevens, Jones, and studio producer Peter Clarke.

henckmitchMitch Henck Returns to Madison Airwaves with iHeartMedia.  After exiting iHeartMedia’s news/talk WIBA, Madison in June of last year, Henck began producing his own daily webcast.  Now, he returns to the Madison airwaves on WIBA’s sister WXXM-FM daily 8:00 am to 11:00 am.  Additionally, he’ll also be available via the iHeartRadio platform.  Henck says, “I’m thrilled to be returning to the iHeartMedia airwaves where I got my start in talk radio.”  The station says that “politics, culture, history, media, education, religion, along with Mitch’s favorites – standup comedy, professional golf, and college basketball – will be daily fare on 92.1FM beginning Monday, March 23.”

wgan logoChris Mac to Exit WGAN/WZAN Brand Manager Post; Plum Gig Opens.  After some 25 years with Saga Communications’ talk stations WGAN and WZAN in Portland Maine, brand manager and news director Chris Mac is exiting the radio business for a post at a local financial institution.  That means a really cool gig is opening and here’s how Saga is advertising it: Portland Brand Manager/News Director.  Saga Communications has an opening to lead its top news/talk radio WGAN and its sister brands in beautiful Portland, Maine.  Successful candidates will exhibit an ability to lead a five-person news department, develop and coach local talent, direct programming, develop and curate a contemporary sound for the entire station in delivery and production.  Please send your resume and supporting material to Bob Adams, general manager, Portland Radio Group Badams@portlandradiogroup.com. EOE/MF.

jackoftradeappsRadio Apps Built by Radio People.  In a story published today (3/5), TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay focuses on a company that is designing and servicing apps for radio stations that are affordable and custom-tailored to each client’s station.  Jack of Trade Apps is headed by principals Paul Varga and Andrew Davis.  Varga tells McKay, “Our app is developed for the traditional radio station cluster or stand-alone.  With every app there’s a content management system, and it is an extension of the unique brand you are building.  We’ve priced it for the independent owner or cluster or regional owner to make it affordable.  We know budgets are tight and the importance of return on investment is paramount.”  Read more about Jack of Trade Apps here.

Netanyahu Speech, Hillary Clinton Email Probe, SCOTUS ObamaCare Hearing, Homeland Security Department Funding, Amnesty Issue, and 2016 Presidential Prospects Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/4). Wednesday’s speech before Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the Iran nuclear threat; the investigation in Hillary Clinton’s using private email for State Department business; today’s hearing at the Supreme Court on the Affordable Care Act; the funding of the Homeland Security Department through September and John Boehner’s decision to not fight the amnesty order via funding; and the potential candidates for president in 2016 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, October 31, 2014

| October 31, 2014

2014hhsports-header only 200TALKERS Magazine Presents 2014 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk.  Today (10/31), the editors of TALKERS magazine present the third annual Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk – The 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America.  This list ranks sports talk hosts, duos or ensembles from 1 to 100, based upon a set of criteria that includes a combination of hard and soft factors.  The genre of sports talk radio has evolved greatly and grown exponentially over the past 10 years to go from being a fringe format to an important sub-genre of spoken-word radio programming.  With this in mind, the editors of TALKERS debuted the Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk in 2012 to acknowledge the hard-working air personalities on sports talk radio.  The results of this list are, admittedly, subjective.  Being  true to the realities of the media business, ratings and revenue are two of the major factors – some would say they are the only factors worth considering – but the editors also took into account other qualities that help create a list that is reflective of the industry’s diversity and total flavor and still give credit where credit is due.  Those qualities include: courage, effort, impact, recognition, service, talent and uniqueness.  The other concrete qualification for inclusion is hosts must be working – that is, have a regularly scheduled professional show on the air at a minimum of one terrestrial or satellite radio station – at the time of publication.  Now you know the criteria, so who’s #1 this year? Number two, and three?  Click here to find out.

ppmunitRound Four of October PPM Data Released.  The fourth of four rounds of October 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 September 11 through October 8.  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.

salemcommunicationsTwo More Salem News/Talkers Take ‘The Answer’ Brand.  Joining the 11 Salem Communications-owned news/talk station to begin using “The Answer” as their brand are WRC, Washington and KLUP, San Antonio.  Beginning November 4, they become “AM 1260 The Answer” and “AM 930 The Truth,” respectively.  Salem VP director of spoken word format Phil Boyce comments, “Since this is decision day in America, we felt the perfect time to make the brand name switch was on Election Day, and both markets were ready to go.”  Boyce says the brand has resonated with listeners in the markets where the company is using it.

napabroadcasting logoSchechtman Launches Local Digital Effort NapaBroadcasting.com.  Napa Valley broadcasting pro Jeff Schechtman – for the past 10 years the GM of radio stations KVON and KVYN in the region – is launching an online radio station targeting the Napa Valley community.  Schechtman is partnering with Napa Valley College and the operation’s offices and studios are located on the school’s campus.  In a press release, Schechtman notes that since leaving KVON and KVYN, former local talk station KVON flipped to sports using Fox schechtmanjeffSports Radio and he says both stations have outsourced their news.  “There is currently no original audio reporting and no chance for the community to hear the voices of local leaders, opinion makers or other citizens.”  He says his venture hopes to provide that local content.  “Suddenly it became clear to me and others in the community that there was a huge need for local programming that wasn’t being served.  Napa also provides a unique economic opportunity, because in addition to local news and talk, we can expand the effort to incorporate wine, food and health programing, which has both local and worldwide appeal.  We can use the internet for both local, regional and worldwide purposes.”  The partnership with Napa Valley College provides both programming and creative personnel.  Music programing will also start in January.  Schechtman believes that being on a college campus helps provide the energy and creativity that represents what this effort is about.  “This is radio for the way we live now,” he explains.

r'nelgaryOdds & Sods.  With the move of evening host Rich Zeoli from the evening shift to afternoon drive at CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia, current afternoon drive co-host Gary R’nel slides back into the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm time slot.  R’nel has been working with Dick Morris who exits the station on November 5…..New general managers are named by Salem Communications for its San Diego and Sacramento station groups.  Dale Hendry relocates to San Diego to lead the team there. He moves south from the company’s Sacramento cluster where he’s been serving as GM.  Taking over Hendry’s role in Sacramento is Mark Durkin who is promoted from his director of sales position.  And Scott Hamilton becomes general sales manager in Sacramento.

B&OLive showBig Bax & O’Brien Bash in Springfield.  The long-running, highly-successful morning talk team of Bax & O’Brien (Mike “Bax” Baxendale and John O’Brien) of Saga Communications’ classic rocker, WAQY (Rock 102), Springfield, Massachusetts presented their second annual “Thursday Night Live” show last night (10/30).  The bawdy, irreverent comedy spectacular played before a sold-out house of more than 200 core fans at downtown Springfield’s prestigious City Stage theater whoharrisongoldsteinBOsmall paid $27 each for the honor of being entertained by a slew of guests and performers that included salty crooner Red Peters & the Alan Pinchloaf Singers, show producer/newsman/sidekick Steve Nagel, a “mystery guest,” comedic appearances by several high-profile local sponsors as well as hilarious video drop ins from Lionel of LionelMedia.com and show regular, Fitsy. Pictured above (l-r):  Bax & O’Brien on stage.  Pictured at right (l-r): Saga Communications EVP Steve Goldstein and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison with a photo bomb appearance of associate publisher Matthew B. Harrison taken at a selfie machine set up in the theater lobby.

journalcommunicationsJournal Reports Radio Revenue Up 5.1% in Q3.  Bucking the industry-wide third quarter trend, Journal Communications is reporting a downright outstanding quarter for its radio and television division.  On the radio side, operating earnings were up 16.1% and the net revenue figure of $21.6 million saw a percentage hike of 5.1%.  Television net revenue was up 22.8% but publishing fell 5.4%.  The irony here is that Journal is entering into a complex deal with E.W. Scripps that would put the combined TV and radio properties into one company and the publishing platform into another called Journal Media Group.  Journal Communications CEO Steve Smith states, “Journal benefitted from continued growth in television retransmission revenue along with significant political and issue advertising spending in a number of our markets.  Our focused broadcast sales efforts grew both television and radio revenue, excluding retransmission and political, by approximately 3% and drove television and radio digital revenue up 22% and 31%, respectively.”  Journal has fared better than other radio station owners in the political advertising arena by luck of the draw – it owns stations in states and markets with tight and high-profile races and ballot issues.

wmaldiner10-14Another Stop on the ‘WMAL Diner Tour.’  This photo is from the latest stop on the October “WMAL Diner Tour” in which the station broadcasts (each Friday this month) live from a different diner in Maryland or Virginia.  It’s all part of the station’s content leading up to Tuesday’s elections.  Seen here are (from left to right): guest Ed Henry, Fox News White House correspondent; WMAL “Mornings On The Mall” hosts Larry O’Connor and Brian Wilson.

Mid-Term Elections Take Over Top Spot on Talkers TenTM.  After three weeks of the Ebola pandemic threat as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio, the run-up to Tuesday’s mid-term elections was the prevailing topic this week.  At #2 was the domestic Ebola cases and the threat of a global pandemic.  Coming in at #3 was the battle against ISIS in Iraq and Western citizens joining the radical organization, followed by the 2016 presidential prospects 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.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

KFWBsports legendsLos Angeles Sports Media Legends.  The opening of the Los Angeles Clippers 2014-15 season was the reason for the remote broadcast from “Fan Fest” outside the Staples Center in Los Angeles for the team’s flagship KFWB “The Beast 980.”  Pictured here are (from left to right): Ralph Lawler, who appears on the station at 7:30 each morning; midday personality Fred Roggin; and late morning syndicated talk host Jim Rome.  Additionally, the station’s other weekday personalities Marques Johnson, Jeanne Zelasko, Brett Winterble and George Wrighster appeared at the broadcast.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

| June 3, 2014

pahigiancaryHearst Baltimore Hires Pahigian as President/GM.  Former Saga Communications Portland, Maine president and general manager Cary Pahigian will succeed Ed Kiernan in the same capacity at Hearst Baltimore talker WBAL and WIYY “98 Rock.”  Kiernan recently announced his retirement.wbal  According to Hearst president Jordan Wertlieb, “Having worked for some of the nation’s most honored radio stations, including most recently overseeing stations of various formats, Cary brings a wealth of experience.  He is a passionate advocate for local broadcasting and understands the importance of community service and how it is the fabric of leading radio stations.”  Prior to his tenure at Saga’s Portland properties, Pahigian was station manager at heritage Boston outlet WBZ-AM; operations manager and program director of Philadelphia sports station WIP-AM; vice president of operations at Sconnix Broadcasting; and vice president and general manager of Boch Broadcasting on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

markowskichrisChris Markowski and Jenna Laine to Co-Host New AM Show at Genesis’ Tampa and Orlando Stations.  On the news/talk simulcast of WWBA, Tampa and WAMT, Orlando, Genesis Communications debuts the new “Your Wake Up Call” morning drive program co-hosted by Chris Markowski and Jennawwbawamt logos Laine with news anchor Robert Pankau and entertainment reporter Kurt Shriner.  Markowski is known for his nationally syndicated weekend program “Watchdog on Wall Street.”  Laine most recently served as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Insider for Sports Talk Florida.  Markowski comments, “I couldn’t be more thrilled to be covering all the important news and events in one of the most important areas in the country: Tampa Bay, Orlando and the entire I-4 corridor.”  Laine adds, “Whether it’s news or sports, the one constant for me as a journalist has always been ‘people.’  I love telling your stories and I care very much about issues that affect our communities.”

kitchinkraigKitchin Elected to Museum of Broadcast Communications Board.  Radio pro and Sound Mind co-president Kraig Kitchin is elected to the board of directors of the Museum of Broadcast Communications.  Downtown Chicago’s MBC has housed America’s only National Radio Hall of Fame since 1992.  MBC founder-president-chief executive officer Bruce DuMont comments that, “Kraig is one of the most talented and respected radio executives in America.  He will bring his energy and vision to the museum, and help raise awareness of our mission nationally.”  Kitchin remarks that for over 25 years, “The Museum of Broadcast Communications has done a remarkable job of recognizing great accomplishments in both radio and television.  I am thrilled to join the MBC board and help chart the future of the museum and the National Radio Hall of Fame.  More than ever, it is important to recognize the great work done by broadcasters behind the microphone and in front of the camera.”  Sound Mind was launched in 2008 and offers management services to radio, television, and production companies.  Kitchin works with radio personalities in both talk and music genres.  He previously was the longtime president/chief operating officer of the Premiere Radio Networks.  Kitchin is a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame Steering Committee that supervises the induction process; the NRHOF Class of 2014 will be announced later this week.

roundstomRadio Industry Mourns Tom Rounds. With considerable recent focus on the plight and deteriorating health of iconic personality Casey Kasem, it is an unfortunate, eerie twist of irony that the man who in 1970 – with Kasem and producer Don Bustany – launched and marketed “American Top 40 with Casey Kasem” passed away on Sunday (6/1).  To state that Watermark founder Tom Rounds was a broadcasting innovator is actually an understatement.  Many within the industry are still in shock regarding the death of the 77-year-old Rounds (he would have been 78 this coming Friday, 6/6) who expired in Los Angeles, reportedly from complications related to a “minor surgical procedure.”  His wife – Barbara Rounds – was with her longtime husband when he passed away.  By the 1980s, “American Top 40” was heard on more than 500 U.S. radio stations.  Approximately three years following ABC’s 1982 acquisition of Watermark, Rounds founded and was chief executive officer of entertainment program supplier Radio Express; by the late-1990s, Burbank (California)-based Radio Express was producing most of its own product.  It presently handles syndication outside the United States for American radio programs such as “The Rick Dees Weekly Top 40″ and “American Country Countdown.”  Radio Express vice president of sales Jessica d’Agostin notes, “We are deeply saddened by T.R.’s passing.  We will profoundly miss his humor, his wisdom, and his kindness.  He was a great man.  He loved his wife, his family, and radio with all his heart.  We will continue to move forward at Radio Express in his honor and as a living tribute to the example ‘T.R.’ set for excellence in all things.”  Amherst College (Massachusetts) alum Rounds entered radio at the campus station in the late-1950s.  Shortly thereafter in a stunt at Hawaii’s KPOI, he would set a record for staying awake on the air for 260 consecutive hours, while doing his show at a department store.  By the mid-1960s, he landed in San Francisco to program top 40 KFRC.  Among those commenting on Facebook regarding Rounds’ passing is Ed Mann of MannGroup Radio who states, “I’m just sick about it.  Tom was my first producer at MannGroup Radio.  I had the opportunity to work ideas with him for years after.  He was truly one of the great guys in this business.  He was my model as a businessman – such a great combination of creative and manager.  We had not talked in years, but this hurts plenty.  [Mann’s wife] Mindy and I send our condolences to Barbara and the family.”  Former Radio & Records (R&R) country editor/Clear Channel director of production Jim Duncan recounts, “When I first moved to Los Angeles from San Diego to be part of R&R, I had lunch with Tom and [R&R founder/publisher] Bob Wilson.  He tried to get me to come do some production at Watermark.  I chose to work at Westwood One producing shows.  I saw Tom many times over the years and he kept trying to get me to work with him.  Sorry I didn’t – he was somebody very special.”  Veteran programmer and imaging voice Charlie Van Dyke writes, “Tom Rounds, of course, was a successful program director and part of the original Watermark organization that gave birth to ‘American Top 40.’  He was a great friend to me over the years.”  Another legendary voiceover talent, Joe Cipriano, states, “I was honored to co-host with Adrienne Walker the ‘World Chart Show’ for Tom for several years.”  Former KIIS “Kiss-FM”, Los Angeles general manager Wally Clark is among the many to simply remark, “Sorry to hear this news.”  Sabo Media‘s Walter Sabo describes Rounds as a “great gentleman,” while Sonoma Media Group president Michael O’Shea opines that Rounds was, “a great guy.  Radio, as an industry, suffered today.”  Former Radio Et Cetera sales manager and ex-general manager of suburban Los Angeles adult contemporary FM trimulcast KLIT, KNJO, & KXEZ Rick Lemmo remarks that, “Tom was a true gentleman.  I loved working with him in so many ways.”  Ed Scarborough, who has programmed numerous stations, including Los Angeles CHR KKHR and San Antonio adult contemporary KQXT, succinctly declares that Rounds was, “a legend.”  MultiBrand Media International owner/president Bill Pasha reflects that he recently made a new friend.  “His name was Tom Rounds.  Through business, I was fortunate enough to enjoy the wit and wisdom of the man who founded the largest syndication company in the U.S., Watermark.  He was a good friend of my pals – Toby Arnold and Tom Merriman – who passed away before ‘T.R.’  I enjoyed his war stories of the biz we both love. About three weeks ago, I spent almost two hours on the phone laughing, chatting and learning from this wonderful guy who was not too busy to offer me advice on how to grow my business. Good men are never truly gone.  They live on in our hearts and in the contributions they made to our industry.  Tom Rounds was one of those guys.”  Salem Media of Hawaii program director Phil Abbot summarizes his thoughts by declaring, “I am speechless. Thank you ‘T.R.,’ for all the help and the masterful instruction along the way.”  When Norm Garr was on the air in Oxnard-Ventura-Santa Barbara (California), his station was an “AT 40” affiliate.  The station’s on-air talents were allowed to buy a copy of the year-end program.  “After I left radio and moved into TV,” Garr recollects, “I wrote Tom the next year asking if I could buy a copy of the next year’s year-end show.  For the longest time, he sent me a copy at no charge.  What a ‘mensch.'”  One of Rounds’ former employees, Cindy Jo Hinkleman, remarks, “I am in shock to receive this news about Tom Rounds passing.  Working for Radio Express was one of the highlights of my life so far.  He believed in me and gave me the most amazing opportunities to shine.  He will stay dear to my heart.  I will always remember his smile.”  Offering philosophical perspective, Mark Brower writes, “I learned a very difficult lesson today on how precious life is.  The world lost one of the best.  Not only my boss but also a wonderful friend.  He was a wonderful teacher of life, a wonderful storyteller and a wonderful person – definitely my mentor.  He was very passionate and music was definitely his life.  I learned a lot from Tom Rounds – I will never forget you.”  His wife Barbara; a daughter Michelle; a son Tommy; a stepdaughter Debbie; and four grandchildren survive Tom Rounds.  A memorial service will be held this Sunday (6/8) at 5:00 pm at Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills.  Memorial donations may be made to City of Hope Cancer Center.

cainepaulCaine to Bloomberg.  Former WestwoodOne CEO Paul Caine joins Bloomberg Media Group to serve as chief revenue officer.  Caine was with WestwoodOne for not quite a year before that company’s acquisition by Cumulus Media forced him out.  Prior to that, Caine spent 23 years at Time Inc. during which he rose to president and group publisher of the Style & Entertainment Group.

whio logoCox Media’s Multi-Media Convergence in Dayton Analyzed.  There are only a few instances in which media operators are producing content and selling advertising for radio, TV, newspapers and digital and Cox Media Group’s Dayton operation is one of them.  Michael Depp at NetNewsCheck.com writes a multi-part piece on how WHIO-AM/FM and siblings WHIO-TV, the Dayton Daily News and its affiliated digital properties are performing three years after merging the media into one cohesive effort.  From a news and information perspective, the piece begins by illustrating how news staffers produce for all four media.  Check it out here.

Odds & Sods.  One of Charlotte’s favorite summer traditions returns as Greater Media’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM and sister AC WLNK team with the Charlotte Knights minor league baseball club to “SkyShow Charlotte” – a fireworks spectacular – on July 4 at BB&T Ballpark.  The station says WBT’s “SkyShow” continues its tradition of providing a great free street festival including a ferris wheel, interactive kids’ activities and livewbtlogo entertainment…..Hubbard Radio-owned WFED, Washington “Federal News Radio” launches a new weekly program titled, “Women of Washington,” a weekly interview series featuring some of Washington D.C.’s most ambitious and influential female executives.  The program is hosted by Aileen Black and Gigi Schumm.  WFED program director Lisa Wolfe says, “I’m very excited about this particular program, not only because Aileen and Gigi are so well informed about the federal market, but because they have a higher goal to inspire young women to reach and excel at the executive level.”…..World-renowned pastor Joel Osteen gets his own channel on SiriusXM as the satcaster announces the debut of “Joel Osteen Radio” this fall.  The programming will include services from his Lakewood Church in Houston as well as content from his catalogue of past sermons and more…..The Voice of America signs a new agreement with digital call-to-listen platform AudioNow for the latter to provide VOA programming inside the United States.  The new agreement expands an on-going relationship between VOA and AudioNow, which already distributes programming from VOA in 34 languages by phone.

Bergdahl Prisoner Swap Controversy, Russian Aggression-U.S. Allies Support, Texas Open Carry Demonstration, Male Unemployment Stats, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/2).  Controversy over the Guantanamo prisoner swap for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl; Russian aggression in Ukraine and the Obama administration’s seeking $1 billion for NATO allies; the furor over the Open Carry Texas-orchestrated open carry demonstration and the NRA’s response; new statistics indicating one of every six young American males is unemployed; 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, March 12, 2014

| March 12, 2014

2014header - final for KCTALKERS Posts 2014 Heavy Hundred.  The 2014 installment of one of TALKERS magazine’s most popular and, perhaps, controversial annual features – “The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” – debuted on March 11.  Also known as “The Heavy Hundred,” the ranked listing of 100 hosts and talent teams from around the country is based on a number of both quantitative and qualitative criteria and is determined by collective analysis of the TALKERS editorial board with input from a wide variety of industry leaders.  It includes local and national hosts from an array of genres falling under the umbrella of “general” talk or “news/talk” radio covering politics, health, finance, relationships, consumer electronics, popular culture and a variety of specialties. (TALKERS launched a special and completely separate annual “Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk” two years ago.)  Hosts on the list are selected from those working at the time of its publication on platforms that include commercial and public AM/FM radio as well as satellite radio (internet-only talk hosts are ranked by TALKERS in an annual feature titled “The Frontier Fifty”).   According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “It is no secret that economic restraints facing the industry these past few years have contributed to shrinking the number of individuals working on the air across the nation.  Although the 2014 edition of the Heavy Hundred will, of course, include many familiar names, the need for new blood, fresh voices and potential up-and-comers has never been greater.  Readers will find this year’s roster will feature a number of new names and first-timers, which is quite exciting!”  To view the entire 2014 Heavy Hundred, please click here.

kgmzlogo‘Game’ Changes in San Francisco.  KGMZ “95.7 The Game” is modifying its weekday on-air lineup.  Among the adjustments at the Entercom-owned San Francisco Bay Area sports outlet are the importing of former cross-town KNBR talent Damon Bruce to afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) and shifting current PM drivers Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend (below left, respectively) to mornings, replacing “The Rise Guys” — Whitey Gleason, Mark Kriedler and Dan Dibley.  Entercom San Francisco vice president and market manager Steve DiNardo states, “This is a brucedamongreat day for our station and for Bay Area sports fans.  For years, Damon Bruce has been one of the strongest, most opinionated, and passionate personalities in Bay Area sports.  He understands what it takes to compete and win in this market.  Just as exciting is moving Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend to morning drive.  In just 14 months, they have developed strong chemistry and a loyal following.  We feel like we have the perfect team in the perfect time slot to grow ‘The Game.'” According to Bruce, “The Bay Area has a one-of-a-kind sports scene, one of the hottest and most exciting buchertownsendin the country today.  Bay Area fans are some of the most passionate fans in the country. I can’t wait to start and kick off a new drive-time experience for Bay Area sports fans.”  Bruce was with KNBR from 1998 – 2000, and returned in 2005.  He gained national exposure hosting “Sports Overnight America,” before leaving to become a SportsCenter anchor on ESPN Radio. Bruce has filled in for Jim Rome and has hosted SportsCenter for ESPN International. His other credits include fill-in host on Fox Sports Radio; Sporting News Radio; CBS Sports Network; and hosting pre and post-game shows for the San Francisco Giants and San Francisco 49ers.  The revised KGMZ lineup – which begins in just over two weeks (3/31) – will include “Bucher and Towny” with Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend (6:00 am – 10:00 am); Haberman & Middlekauff (10:00 am -12:00 noon); “The Wheelhouse” with John Lund & Greg Papa (noon – 3:00 pm); and “The Damon Bruce Show” (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm).

salemcommunicationsSaga’s Ed Christian “Hoping for a Little Better” in Q4.  The 2013 fourth quarter and full year fiscal reports for Saga Communications saw the company’s net operating revenue dip 5% in Q4 of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012.  But gross revenue increased 3.8% during the quarter excluding political.  For the full year, the company’s gross revenue was up 3.3% (ex-political).  In a conference call with investment analysts, Saga CEO Ed Christian christianedstated, “I was hoping for a little better in Q4, we can always do a little more, we can always do a little better but I’m not disappointed.  We’re just pleased with the results.”  Christian said it’s hard not to put some blame on the winter weather for the economic sluggishness.  “Saga operates in a lot of mid-America markets and a lot in New England and I really don’t have to tell you what the last four months have been like.  In those markets it’s just outright miserable…I was talking with one of our managers the other day and he said people are irritable and it’s gloomy and people are lethargic.”

beasley logoBeasley Declares Cash Dividend.  The company’s board of directors is announcing the company is declaring a quarterly cash dividend of $0.045 per share of its Class A and Class B common stock.  The dividend is payable on April 10, 2014, to shareholders of record on March 31, 2014.

linnmanpaulKEX, Portland Personality Accused of Assault.  Morning show personality Paul Linnman – host at Clear Channel’s news/talk KEX, Portland – is being accused by a co-worker of assault after he allegedly groped her buttocks and licked his lips as he stared at her breasts.  Kailee Kinney is bringing the suit against Clear Channel and Linnman in Multnomah County Court.  Kinney is a producer and account executive at CC Portland.  She’s seeking $325,000 in damages.  The complaint alleges Linnman “came up behind plaintiff and groped her buttocks, a sexually intimate part of her body.  Linnman used an open palm to slap Plaintiff’s buttocks and then grabbed and squeezed plaintiff’s buttocks.”  It further alleges that “Linnman approached plaintiff for a second time, stating, ‘I should apologize but that black dress…you look great in that black dress,” during which he “licked his lips and stared at Plaintiff’s breasts as he made this comment to plaintiff.”

postbillSalem, Oregon Talk Host Suspends Show After Equal Time Complaint.  In the Salem, Oregon market, Willamette Broadcasting employee Bill Post has suspended his daily talk show on KYKN due to his campaign for state representative and a complaint from a primary opponent about violation of equal time rules.  Post announced his campaign for the seat in December.  Last month, Barbara Jensen announced her bid for the seat but Post continued to work on the air.  Jensen complains that Post and the station have been violating FCC rules and election laws but also asserts Post has violated other campaign laws but did not specify what they are.  In a story in the Statesman Journal, Post says the station was prepared for Jensen’s complaint and that he believes the station and his campaign manager have operated within the law.   Jensen’s complaint implies that once Post worked on air after opponents joined the race, the station must then provide equal time.

journalcommunicationsJournal Communications Shows Off New Brand.  The parent company of radio and TV station firm Journal Broadcast Group unveils a new company brand with three cohesive new logos representing Journal Communications and its two major business segments, the Broadcast Group and Journal Publishing.  As part of the new brand, the company also launched a fully redesigned corporate website at