Tag: "Salem Radio Network"
iHeartRadio Names Michael Berry News/Talk Personality of the Year. This award for best news/talk personality is a first and the competition was open only to talk hosts who work for iHeartMedia stations. KTRH, Houston-based, independently syndicated talk personality Michael Berry is named the iHeartRadio News/Talk Personality of the Year. Berry says, “We’re on live for five hours a day, so our approach is not to be the loudest screamer in the political market. Our listeners seem to enjoy talking about parenting, food, culture, with a mix of politics as well. It’s entertainment, and hopefully it’s engaging. That’s the goal, rather than getting pigeonholed into ‘political talk.’” Speaking about his show’s success, Berry says, “First, we draw back the curtain and let the listener join us in our lives. We open up, we share our medical ailments, we brag on our kids, we discuss our fears and worries, we are usually the butt of our own jokes. Relatability is key. They can identify with what we’re going through, because it’s what they are going through. The second factor is that we are a team, rather than just one guy talking. We draw material and parodies from our board ops, show producers, and even a few listeners, to look more like the ‘SNL’ writing team than an AM talk show. It makes for a show that dares to be funny, which makes for better entertainment.” The award will be given in Los Angeles on March 5 at the iHeartRadio Music Awards.
WUTQ, Utica Flips to Talk. After a weekend of stunting, Roser Communications Network-owned WUTQ-FM changes formats from adult contemporary to news/talk. The station keeps its “Talk of the Town” morning show with personalities Dave Coombs, Jay Aiello, and Beth Coombs. It had also been simulcasting three hour-long newscasts from NBC affiliate WKTV-TV, and continues to air those at 5:00 am, 12:00 noon and 5:00 pm. Joining the program lineup are: Premiere Networks’ Glenn Beck from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon; Courtside Entertainment’s Laura Ingraham from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm; Dave Ramsey from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm; Premiere’s Buck Sexton from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm; Westwood One’s Michael Savage from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight; and “Red Eye Radio” for overnights.
Cumulus Re-Fi Plan Shot Down by Manhattan Judge. On Friday, Cumulus Media got bad news from U.S. District Court Judge Katherine Polk Failla who ruled that Cumulus cannot use a revolving credit line from JPMorgan Chase to help reduce a portion of its debt. In December, a majority of the holders of $610 million in unsecured senior notes voted to approve the plan that would have reduced that debt to $305 million and granted them a portion of the equity. JPMorgan Chase disagreed that the revolver could be used for this purpose and the judge agreed. Cumulus issued the following statement after receiving the news. “While we are certainly disappointed by the court’s decision, we will continue to review all available options to address our balance sheet issues. We are making solid progress in our turnaround and remain focused on exploring strategies that would give us the runway needed to fully execute our plan.”
TALKERS News Notes. Orlando hot talk outlet WTKS “Real Radio 104.1” adds the evening syndicated relationships show “CONNECTIONS” to its programming schedule. The program is hosted by Al “Blackjack” Spry, Glenda “G-Love” Chauncy, and Melissa Foxx. WTKS program director Jack Bradshaw comments, “For nearly quarter of a century, ‘Real Radio 104.1’ has been at the forefront of live entertainment talk radio and we are happy to welcome ‘CONNECTIONS’ to our evening lineup, marking the return of live late-night talk radio to the airwaves of Central Florida.” “CONNECTIONS” is consulted by Sabo Media…..Focus 360 and Envision Networks renew their deal for the latter to continue serving as affiliate sales representative for Focus 360’s “Powered by Jelli” Networks. Focus 360 uses Jelli’s cloud-based ad platform to transform broadcast radio into a real-time medium by providing national advertisers with increased accountability and campaign analytics on par with the latest digital platforms. Envision Networks president and CEO Danno Wolkoff states, “The successful partnership between Focus 360 and Envision Networks has delivered exceptional results to affiliated radio stations. Focus 360 affiliates are reaping revenue-generating benefits and relieving the stress on their traffic departments. We are delighted to continue offering this opportunity to radio stations.”
Trump vs News Media, Muhammad Ali Jr. Detained at Airport, Kansas Bar Slaying, Sunday Night’s Oscars Awards, Actor Bill Paxton Dies, and NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. President Donald Trump’s ongoing battle with the news media and last week’s shutting out of several news organizations by the White House press office; the son of boxing legend Muhammad Ali is detained by authorities at a Florida airport for having an “Arabic-sounding” name; an Indian man is slain at a Kansas bar; the build-up to Sunday’s Oscar Awards show; actor Bill Paxton dies at age 61; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Live from the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Orlando. Pictured above at this morning’s opening session of the National Religious Broadcasters 2017 convention in Orlando are Salem Radio Network host Hugh Hewitt (left) with Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel personality Sean Hannity (right) as the two discuss politics, last night’s Oscars, and the new film Let There Be Light (for which Hannity served as executive producer). Also broadcasting this week from the NRB are SRN hosts Mike Gallagher, Eric Metaxas and Larry Elder.
Snell Appointed SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia Augusta, Georgia. At its Augusta, Georgia cluster, iHeartMedia names Tim Snell, a.k.a. Minnesota Fattz, senior vice president of programming. He’s one half of the “Fattz and Cher Morning Show” on urban AC WKSP “96.3 Kiss FM.” He also is PD for the station and sister hip hop outlet WPRW “Power 107.” In this role, Snell will also be responsible for the day-to-day programming operations of the cluster’s four other stations – adult contemporary WBBQ, classic rock WEKL “Eagle 102.3,” country WLUB “105.7 The Bull,” country WLUB-HD/W292EE.
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Weekend and fill-in personality Cody Whistler is promoted to full-time jock handling the evening show at Entercom’s alternative KNDD, Seattle “107.7 The End.” Whistler began his career with the station in the promotions department and started his on-air work three years ago…..iHeartMedia promotes Rob Scorpio to regional SVP of programming for the San Diego and Riverside markets. Scorpio has been serving as SVP of programming for the Riverside cluster and program director for hip hop KSSX, San Diego “Jam’n 95.7.” He takes over for John Peake, who recently became PD for KOST and KBIG in Los Angeles…..Also at iHeartMedia, Kid Jay is promoted from his music director role at KGGI, Riverside to program director for the station. Kid Jay also hosts the evening air shift at the rhythmic CHR station…..WRNS, Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina morning host Jim Mantel is being inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame. Mantel has worked in radio for 35 years, beginning in West Texas at KNFM, KRYS, and KKBQ. He spent 18-plus years hosting the morning show at WGAR, Cleveland. During his career, he’s won the CMA Personality of the Year award and is an inductee in the Ohio Radio and Television Broadcasters Hall of Fame…..Milwaukee non-commercial triple A celebrated its 10th anniversary as “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” on Sunday (2/26). The self-supporting, non-profit station acknowledged that it has become “recognized for its unique mix of new and Milwaukee music; its ‘community stories’ features; and for fostering community engagement and positive change. It announced a number of activities to commemorate the 10th anniversary including: an all-day free street concert outside its studios on June 24; the unveiling of April 14 as “414 Day,” a new feature to connect Milwaukee music to listeners everywhere; plus a new narrative audio and video series, “In The Wings: Bringing Our Community to Center Stage,” that each month this year will highlight the positive work of Milwaukee individuals in a variety of categories.
Round Four of January PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s January 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s January 2017 PPM survey period covered January 5 – February 1. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets.
1) Austin – Down by one share in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia’s KASE “101 FM Today’s Country” answers with a +1.6 (4.9 – 3.9 – 5.5, 6+) as it leaps from ninth to a fourth-place tie with co-owned KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” (5.4 – 5.5, +.1, unchanged at #4, 6+). The latter is coming back from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2016. Back at #1 after being ousted in “Holiday” 2016 from the top spot it held in November and December, Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” rings up a +1.1 (7.7 – 8.8, 6+). KBPA had been in the lead each month in calendar year 2016, before seguing to second in October. By gaining four-tenths in June, “Bob” halted three successive downward trends that produced a combined -1.3 (9.4 – 9.1 – 8.6 – 8.1, 6+). “Bob” regressed by -.5 in July; rebounded with a +1.1 in August; and declined -.8 in September. It succeeds Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5” (12.6 – 7.4, -5.2, 6+), which drops to #3. Over the course of five straight up or flat trends, “Majic 95.5” nearly tripled its 6+-share (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 12.6, 6+). Furthermore, with the 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016, KKMJ outdid its own mark for Austin’s highest-ever 6+ PPM stat (previously 11.4). Powered by a +1.2, KUT (6.4 – 7.6, 6+) bumps up from third to second. The University of Texas at Austin outlet was a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” (9.0 – 7.4 – 6.4, 6+), falling from the runner-up slot it occupied the previous five ratings periods. Significant month-to-month swings are common for KUT, which was +1.2 (December 2015); -.1.0 (April 2016); +.7 (July); +1.3 (August); -.9 (September); +1.3 (October); -1.6 (December); -1.0 (“Holiday” 2016); and now +1.2 in January 2017. Prior to August, the last time KUT crossed the eight-share barrier (6+) was February 2011 when it reached 8.5. With a +.9 (1.3 – 2.2, 6+), Univision Radio’s KLJA “Mas Variedad 107.7” (#22 to #17) reaches the two-share level (6+) for the first time since May 2016 (2.3), while co-owned regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3” picks up seven-tenths to 3.9, halting three straight downward trends (4.5 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+) as it enters the top ten (#11 to #9). Adding one-half share are Emmis’ KROX “101-X Alternative Austin” (3.2 – 3.7, #11 to #10, 6+) and triple A cluster-mate KGSR “93.3 Radio Austin” (2.0 – 2.5, #17 to #16, 6+). Remaining in that Emmis cluster, while talk KLBJ-AM is up by six-tenths (3.6, 6+), KLBJ-FM “93.7 The Rock of Austin” and their regional Mexican sibling KLZT “107.1 La Z” (5.4 – 4.9, fourth to seventh, 6+) drop one-half share. This marks the eighth straight sweep without an increase for “The Rock of Austin” which is -2.1 in that stretch (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). Meanwhile, KLBJ-AM ends three consecutive downward moves that accounted for a -.8 (3.8 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+); KLBJ-AM and KLBJ-FM are tied at #11.
2) Milwaukee – Having regressed by a combined -1.6 in four straight down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” recaptures all of it and another one-tenth to spare (5.7, +1.4, 6+), jumping from #12 to a three-way tie at #6. Talk cluster-mate WISN rebounds from a -.9 in “Holiday” 2016 to a +1.2 (5.5 – 4.6 – 5.8, 6+), as it zooms from ninth to fifth. Elsewhere in the talk arena, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee-owned WUWM is up seven-tenths (2.6 – 3.3, 6+) to progress from #15 to #13. Locked on 5.9 (6+) in October 2016 and November, Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” gained two tenths in December; stumbled by -1.2 in “Holiday” 2016; and now breaks out a +.8 (6.1 – 4.9 – 5.7, 6+) to climb from seventh to that three-way logjam at #6. Advancing in December 2016 by one-half share to 6.3 for its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2015’s 6.5, Saga Communications-owned WKLH returned all of that +.5 in “Holiday” 2016 only to bounce back with a +.7 in January 2017 (5.8 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+); “96.5 – Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” jumps from fourth to second. More than two full-shares ahead of it is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits,” which – despite a -2.4 (11.2 – 8.8, 6+) – is #1 for the 22nd consecutive sweep. Recent (6+) fluctuations for “Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” include +1.7 (October 2015); -.7 (November 2015); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2015); -5.7 (January 2016); +1.3 (February); +1.1 (April); -.6 (May); -1.1 (August); -.6 (September) +1.2 (November); -.5 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2016); and January 2017’s -2.4. After four straight progressive trends that netted a +4.6 (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 8.3, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s adult contemporary-turned hot AC-turned adult contemporary (again) WLDB “B-93.3 The 80s to Today” forfeits roughly 80% of that gain (4.6, -3.7, 6+) and freefalls from #2 out of the top ten (#11). The third member of the aforementioned three-way tie at #6 is iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Jams” (down from #5), which is without an increase in four consecutive sweeps for a collective loss of one share (6.7 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+).
3) Indianapolis – Eight-tenths of a share separates the top six Indy stations in this survey period (6+). Unlisted for nearly five years (March 2012), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “K-LOVE” returns in dramatic fashion with a +1.7 (5.6 – 7.3, 6+) to land in third-place. Dusting itself off from a -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016, Entercom’s WZPL responds with a +1.3 (7.3 – 6.2 – 7.5, 6+) leaping from fourth to a first-place tie. Its running-mate at #1 is Cumulus Media‘s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5,” which had its string of consecutive up or flat trend gains that netted a combined +.7 (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+) end in “Holiday” 2016 with a -1.4. “Classic Hits 104.5,” regains all but three-tenths of that deficit (7.8 – 6.4 – 7.5, +1.1, 6+), moving from third to that penthouse tie. After six successive positive trends for a collective +1.7 (5.3 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.0 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+), co-owned WFMS was off by -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016 but “95.5 The Country Station” recaptures all but one-tenth of that loss (70 – 5.9 – 6.9, 6+) and carries on at #5. December’s 7.0 was the highest 6+share for WFMS in more than three years (7.6, 6+, November 2013). A December drop of two-tenths by Emmis’ similarly-formatted WLHK “97.1 Hank” concluded three straight sweeps without a decline for a combined +.6 (4.7 – 4.7 – – 5.2 – 5.3, 6+). “Hank” was off by one full-share in “Holiday” 2016 and rebounds with a +1.1 (5.1 – 4.1 – 5.2, 6+), yet backslides from eighth to ninth. When it added one-tenth in October, “Hank” ended four successive down or flat sweeps for a combined May through September -1.6 (6.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+). Exiting the top spot after back-to-back sweeps and seguing to #6 is adult contemporary sibling WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” (17.7 – 6.7, -11.0, 6+). Its loss of 11 shares comes after a +.9 in “Holiday” 2016. “B-105.7” improved in three straight sweeps (August – September – October) for a cumulative +1.1 (6.4 – 6.6 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+), before declining by one-half share in November. Still staying in that Emmis cluster, talk WIBC (3.7 – 4.7, steady at #10, 6+) and sports WFNI “The Fan” (2.3 – 2.8, #13 to #14, 6+) improve by one share and one-half share, respectively. Steady between 5.4 – 5.7 (6+) for five straight sweeps, iHeartMedia’s WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock” sputtered by nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 to 4.6 only to bounce back with a +.7 in January 2017 (5.3, flat at #7, 6+). Within 2.1 – 2.8 range (6+) the past ten survey periods, including 2.1 (#14) in “Holiday” 2016, Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting’s WFYI disappears from print.
4) Providence – Albeit flat at #5, iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” erases its “Holiday” 2016 -.8 with an increase twice that magnitude (4.6 – 6.2, +1.6, 6+). Floundering by one share in “Holiday” 2016, Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music 92 PRO FM” reels it all back with a +1.0 (8.7 – 7.7 – 8.7, 6+) and remains in the runner-up position. Jumping by nine-tenths each are Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” (6.6 – 7.5, unchanged at #4, 6+) and Entercom sports outlet WVEI (3.7, 6+), which advances from eighth to seventh. “Cat Country” was off by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, while WVEI recaptures the nine-tenths it has lost since November (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). Owing to an increase of seven-tenths (to 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101” applies the brakes to four straight declines that yielded a -1.4 (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 3.9, 6+) and continues in sixth-place. A collective +8.5 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (9.5 – 10.6 – 18.0, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” erodes by -7.3 (10.7, 6+), but is #1 for the sixteenth successive ratings period. “Lite Rock 105” registered three straight progressive trends (July – August – September) netting one-half share (9.4 – 9.6 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+) and was a cumulative -.4 in October and November (9.9 – 9.8 – 9.5, 6+). Unchanged at #9, rhythmic CHR sibling WWKX “Hot 106” records a +.3 (to 2.3, 6+), thus curtailing three consecutive sweeps without an increase that accounted for the loss of one share (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+).
5) Raleigh – Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC notched a 7.7 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps and was in 7.6 – 7.8 range the past six monthlies, but it floundered by nine-tenths. Not only does the public outlet more than double the size of that loss with an increase in January 2017 (6.8 – 8.7, +1.9, 6+), it marches from third to first. Displaced from the lead and shifting to the runner-up slot is Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5,” whose 15 recent (6+) fluctuations include +.5 November 2015; +.6 December 2015; +5.7 Holiday 2015; -7.2 January 2016; +.6 February; +.6 March; -.6 April; +.5 May; +.5 July; +.9 September; +1.0 October; -.5 in November 2016; +.9 December; +5.2 “Holiday” 2016; and now a -5.3 in January 2017. In an October 2015 – December 2016 timeframe, “Mix 101.5” was in sole possession of first-place eight times and shared top honors three times. Locked on 5.7 (6+) in November and December, iHeartMedia talker WTKK dipped by -1.3 in “Holiday” 2016 but wipes out that loss with a +1.9 (4.4 – 6.3, 6+), climbing from eighth to sixth. A -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016 by Curtis Media Group’s WQDR ended at five its streak of consecutive progressive trends which netted a +1.5 (5.6 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 7.1, 6+). “94.7 Today’s Best Country,” however, bounces back with a +.9 (6.0 – 6.9, 6+) and moves from sixth to fourth. Gaining seven-tenths each are adult hits sibling WBBB “Radio 96.1” (4.9, tenth to ninth, 6+) and Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5” (5.4 – 6.1, steady at #7, 6+). “Radio 96.1” halts three straight declines that produced a -1.0 (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.5 – 4.2, 6+). Spiking by six-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are its classic hits-oldies and CHR cluster-mates WKIX “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” (4.0, flat at #11, 6+) and WPLW “Pulse FM” (2.8 – 3.3, #14 to 313, 6+). The +.6 by “Kix 102.9” ends three consecutive negative trends that produced a -.8 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+). Conversely, owing to a -1.5 to 5.1 (6+), Radio One gospel WNNL (fourth to eighth) sees its successive string of up or flat trends conclude at seven (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 6.1 – 6.6, 6+); “103.9 The Light” netted a cumulative +2.8 in that stretch.
6) Norfolk –Over and above marching from fifth to third by notching its third consecutive increase netting a combined +1.7 (5.3 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 7.0, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” reaches the seven-share level (6+) for the first time in its history as a PPM subscriber. On the strength of a +1.2 to 5.5 – its best 6+-share since July 2016’s 5.9 – classic rock cluster-mate WAFX “106.9 The Fox” advances from sixth to fifth. After being #1 for 55 straight ratings periods, Entercom urban AC sibling WVKL “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” was bumped to second in “Holiday” 2016 by adult contemporary sibling WWDE “101.3 2WD.” It’s time for them to switch places in January 2017 though as WVKL registers a +.7 (11.0 – 11.7, second to first, 6+), while “2WD” (+7.1 in “Holiday” 2016) erodes by -6.4 (13.4 – 7.0, first to second, 6+). This is the ninth time in the last ten sweeps that “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” is in 11.0 – 12.7-share range. In fact, the last time WVKL was not in double-digits (6+) was when it registered a 9.8 three years ago – January 2014. WWDE gained a collective one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (4.8 – 5.2 – 5.3, August – September – October, 6+) before slumping by eight-tenths in November to 4.5, its lowest 6+-share since June 2015’s 4.4. Off eight-tenths via three successive (slight) negative moves (2.4 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WNOH “Now 105” regains six-tenths to 2.2 (6+) and inches up from tenth to eighth. It is tied there with rhythmic hot AC sibling WMOV “MOViN 107.7,” which sputters by roughly 70% (7.4 – 2.2, -5.2, 6+) and drops from third. Its combined +5.5 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (1.9 – 4.0 – 7.4, 6+) curtailed three straight downward trends resulting in a loss of eight-tenths (2.7 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9, 6+).
7) Nashville – The top six January 2017 finishers are separated by nine-tenths of a share (6+). Just as WVKL, Norfolk was unseated in “Holiday” 2016 by a cluster-mate after more than 50 consecutive ratings periods at #1 (see above), the same fate happens this sweep in “Music City USA.” Specifically, the successive reign at the top spot ends at 59 for Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9,” which has its 6+-share basically slivered in half and shifts to third (13.1 – 6.6, -6.5, 6+). “Mix” was up four shares in “Holiday” 2016 and returned to double-digits for the first time since February 2016. A +.2 back in August 2016 stymied seven straight downward trends that yielded a net loss since the “Holiday” 2015 report of -7.4 (15.6 – 10.7 – 10.2 – 9.7 – 9.6 – 9.1 – 8.3 – 8.2, 6+). Knocking “Mix” from first – and vaulting from sixth – is co-owned adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want.” Its +1.6 to 6.9 (6+) stops at three WCJK’s consecutive string of down or flat trends (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.3, 6+). This is the best 6+-performance for “Jack” in exactly one year (7.1, January 2016). After sputtering by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive and Encouraging K-LOVE” turns around with an approximately 80% increase (1.9 – 3.4, +1.5, #16 to #13, 6+). Posting a one-share gain, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98” (eighth to sixth) extends its streak of up or flat trends to four and a net +1.6 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+). One of its country rivals – Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM – improves by eight-tenths (5.6, 6+). “95.5 Nash Icon” moves from tenth to eighth and ends three consecutive downward moves (6.0 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 4.8, 6+), which accounted for a -1.2. In addition to “Nash Icon,” urban AC cluster-mate WQQK “92-Q” (5.6 – 6.4, flat at #5, 6+) and iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat” (5.9 – 6.7, third to second, 6+) are up by eight-tenths as well. Prior to a -.5 in “Holiday” 2016, “92-Q” was without a decrease in the previous five sweeps for a cumulative +.9 (5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 6.1 – 6.1, 6+). By losing one-share to 4.9 (6+) in December, “The Beat” (which was up one-share in “Holiday” 2016) broke an August to November pattern of 6.1 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.9 (6+) and sent WUBT below a five-share (6+) for the first time since July 2013 (4.8). A string of three consecutive progressive trends by Cumulus Media’s WWTN produced a combined +.8 (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+). “Super Talk 99.7” (flat at #7) forfeited that eight-tenths entirely in “Holiday” 2016 but rebounds in January 2017 with a +.6 (5.2 – 5.8, 6+). After each declined by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN (4.9, unchanged at #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia talker WLAC (1.7, #19 to a three-way tie at #16, 6+) improve by seven-tenths and one-half share, respectively. WPLN returned December’s +.5 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to “Holiday” 2016’s -.5, WLAC had been up the previous three ratings periods (.8 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+) for a combined +.9. Up or flat for the sixth consecutive time (0.5 – 0.6 – 0.6 – 0.6 – 0.6 – 0.9 – 1.6, 6+), Cromwell Group’s WQZQ “Classic Hits 93.3” has more than tripled its 6+-share since September and cracks the top 20 (#19). Not only does Cumulus Media’s WGFX plummet from third to tenth, sports “104.5 The Zone” has its third straight decrease for a combined -2.3 (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3, 6+). When WGFX lost two-tenths in November, it ended a string of three consecutive improvements which resulted in a +4.1 since July (3.7 – 4.0 – 5.4 – 7.8, 6+).
8) Greensboro – Roaring back from a -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016, Entercom adult hits WSMW “Simon” dials up a two-share increase (8.3 – 10.3, 6+) to jump from fourth to second. Moreover, “Simon” registers its strongest 6+-performance since August 2016’s 10.5. Four-tenths ahead of “Simon” is co-owned urban AC “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School,” which records its second straight +.4 (9.7 – 10.1 – 10.5, 6+), moving from third to first with its best 6+-share since May 2016’s 10.7. Departing the top spot and seguing to fourth-place is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG (6.2, 6+), which ends three consecutive upward moves which netted a +8.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 9.7 – 15.2, 6+). Its most recent 12 (6+) fluctuations are -.9 (March); +.5 (April); +.9 (May); -.3 (June); -.7 (July); -.5 (August); +.7 (September); -.6 (October); +.4 (November), +2.4 (December); +5.5 in “Holiday” 2016; and now -9.0 (January 2017). Over and above inflating the format’s (6+) share by +1.8, the market’s two country FMs swap positions: WMAG cluster-mate WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” is +1.0 (4.7 – 5.7, seventh to sixth, 6+), while Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” is +.8 (4.8 – 5.6, sixth to seventh, 6+). In “Holiday” 2016, “Q-104.1” and “The Wolf” were each down by four-tenths. November’s +.3 by “Q-104.1” ended three successive down-trending monthlies that produced a cumulative loss of more than two shares (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.5 – 5.1, 6+). Prior to reaching 5.0 in October, “The Wolf” had been in 4.2 – 4.8 range (6+) the previous eight sweeps. Back in September, “Q-104.1” held a 1.9-share lead over “The Wolf.” Forfeiting the +1.1 it gained in October and November (3.9 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+) with a -1.1 in December and “Holiday” (5.0 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+) iHeartMedia talker WPTI gains nine-tenths to 4.8 (6+) but stays at #8. Inching up from fifth to fourth, CHR sibling WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM” is a collective +1.3 via three consecutive increases (4.9 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.2, 6+). Following four successive sweeps in the lead, WJMH “102 Jamz The Hip-Hop Station” dropped to second in “Holiday” 2016. Now in three straight declines (12.4 – 11.7 10.5 – 9.5, 6+), the Entercom rhythmic CHR is -2.9 and falls to third. A -.7 in December halted five straight increases that generated a collective +3.8 since June (8.6 – 9.8 – 10.0 – 10.1 – 10.6 – 12.4, 6+); 12.4 in November 2016 was the best-ever (6+) showing for “102 Jamz” in its PPM-history. This is the 18th successive sweep that Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” is in two-share range (2.7 – 2.9, +.2, flat at #10, 6+).
9) West Palm Beach – Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, WLRN racked up ten consecutive up or flat trends netting a +1.0 (1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). The public station (Dade County School Board) lost one-half share but rebounds in January 2017 with a +1.0 (2.8 – 2.3 – 3.3, 6+) and remains in ninth-place. Steady at #4, Alpha Media’s WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” gains six-tenths and is without a decrease for the fifth straight time for a combined +1.3 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+). Improving by six-tenths as well is hot AC sibling WRMF (7.7 – 8.3, 6+), which returns to the top spot from #2. Prior to “Holiday” 2016, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. A collective +1.9 in August and September, WRMF followed October’s -.8 with a November loss of six-tenths. It fell to second in July, after 23 successive sweeps at #1; September 2016’s 9.1 was its strongest 6+-stat since February 2016’s 9.3. Adult contemporary cluster-mate WEAT “Sunny 107.9” surrenders its +2.7 (and two-months more) from “Holiday” 2016 (9.1 – 6.2, -2.9, 6+) and trades places with WRMF. December’s +.4 by “Sunny” curtailed a three-month slide for a cumulative -1.9 (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.3 – 6.0, 6+). Off by seven-tenths and steady at #3 (5.9, 6+) is iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5,” which had been up the past three sweeps for a +1.8 (4.8 – 5.7 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+). Following a “Holiday” 2016 increase of one-half share, WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF relinquishes more than twice that gain (4.8 – 3.7, -1.1, 6+), sliding from sixth to eighth.
10) Jacksonville – The combination of a +2.1 by iHeartMedia’s WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” (10.7 – 12. 8, 6+) and a -.6.6 by Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ “Lite 96.1 – Today’s Variety” (14.7 – 8.1, 6+) eventuates in WQIK advancing from second to first and WEJZ sliding from first to third. This is the best-ever 6+-performance by WQIK in its PPM-history. Owing to December’s +4.5 (6.8 – 11.3, 6+), “Jacksonville’s Country” jumped from fifth to first, but with a -.6 in “Holiday” 2016 it fell to second. Prior to a modest one-tenth gain in November, WQIK was down two full-shares as a result of being without an increase since February (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.7, 6+). On the strength of a +.8 to 5.6 (eighth to seventh, 6+), its format rival – Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country” – wipes out its recent combined -.7 (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). A +.5.8 in “Holiday” 2016 (8.9 – 14.7, 6+) returned AC cluster-mate WEJZ to double-digits (6+) for the first time since July 2016’s 10.2. Sandwiched between WQIK and WEJZ in the runner-up slot (up from #5 in “Holiday” 2016) is Cox Media Group talker WOKV, which posts a +1.7 (to 8.3, 6+). That follows a collective -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (8.9 – 8.1 – 6.6, 6+). November 2016’s 8.9 was the highest 6+-stat for WOKV since November 2012 (9.9). With a one-half share improvement to 6.6 (6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat” (sixth to fifth) has its best 6+-showing since October’s 7.0. In four successive declines (9.1 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.4 – 5.9, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” erodes by -3.2, tumbling from third to sixth. Co-owned WJGL “Eagle 96.9 Jacksonville’s Classic Hits” falters by one-half share (7.4 – 6.9, 6+) and slips from third to fourth. By gaining three-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, “The Eagle” pulled the plug on three consecutive monthlies without an increase that produced a -2.2 (9.3 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 7.1, 6+).
11) Memphis – Down a cumulative -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (5.1 – 4.4 – 3.9, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” breaks loose with a +1.9 to 5.8 (6+), climbing from ninth to seventh. October’s +.3 curtailed three successive negative trends by “Kix 106” that produced a -.7 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). Even though co-owned WXMX improves by six-tenths (4.8, 6+) to halt three successive sweeps without an increase that produced the loss of one share (5.2 – 5.2 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+), “98.1 Max FM Maximum Rock” actually backslides from eighth to ninth. On the flipside, a one-tenth decline notwithstanding (9.1 – 9.0, 6+), urban-rhythmic oldies sibling WRBO “Soul Classics & Today’s R&B,” which was up one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, advances from third to first. “Soul Classics & Today’s R&B” had been in the runner-up spot for seven successive survey periods prior to “Holiday” 2016. Back-to-back modest declines in August and September produced a combined loss of seven-tenths (8.5 – 8.2 – 7.8, 6+), but WRBO wiped that out with a one-half share gain in October and a +.8 in November. It was just a one ratings period residence at #1 for Entercom adult contemporary WRVR, which segues to third-place. “104.5 The River” surrenders in its entirety the five shares it gained in “Holiday” 2016 (7.1 – 12.1 – 7.1, 6+). When “The River” added one share in December, it ended three straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.6 (7.7 – 7.1 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). Sputtering by -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia talker WREC responds with a +.7 (3.2 – 3.9, 6+) and carries on at #10. WREC was off by one-tenth in November, ending four consecutive progressive trends which netted a +.9 (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.6, 6+) but was then +.8 in December. A gain of one-half share to 5.5 (6+) by urban-rhythmic oldies sibling WDIA “1070 The Heart & Soul of Memphis” pulls the plug on four straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a +.9 (5.9 – .9 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+). Elsewhere though in that iHeartMedia cluster, urban contemporary WHRK “K-97.1” (7.3 – 6.5, flat at #4, 6+) and urban AC KJMS “V-101” regress by eight-tenths and one-half share, respectively. On top for ten consecutive monthlies before sliding to #2 in “Holiday” 2016, “V-101” is without an increase for the ninth consecutive time and is -3.7 since May 2016 (12.5 – 11.6 – 10.7 – 10.5 – 10.2 – 9.9 – 9.9 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 8.8, 6+).
12) Hartford – Going into the “Holiday” 2016 report with six straight increases netting a +2.7 (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.8, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting‘s WNPR wound up forfeiting approximately half that increase (4.4, -1.4, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues as the public outlet dials up a +1.3 to 5.7 (6+) and moves from eighth to seventh. Bouncing back from a one-half share dip in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia CHR WKSS “Kiss 95.7 – All the Hits” is +1.1 (5.2 – 4.7 – 5.8, 6+) to inch up from seventh to sixth. As a result of December’s +.2, “Kiss” curtailed five successive down or flat trends that produced a collective -1.5 since June (6.5 – 6.3 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+). Posting a gain of one-half share in December, co-owned classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” was -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 but bounces back with a +1.0 (6.6 – 7.6, 6+ (6+) and climbs from fifth to third. The -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 completely erased the cumulative +1.5 that “The River” picked up in four straight improvements (6.6 – 7.3 – 7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1, 6+). After slipping by six-tenths the HD2 channel of Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WMRQ improves by nine-tenths (2.5 – 1.9 – 2.8, #11 to #9). Even though it gains back one-half of the -1.4 from “Holiday” 2016 (8.2 – 6.8 – 7.5, +.7), iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92-5” backslides from fourth to fifth. After three straight regressions producing a collective -2.3 and the station’s lowest 6+-share since March (10.1 – 9.7 – 9.2 – 7.8, 6+), “Country 92-5” picked up four-tenths in December. Albeit that is off by more than eight shares (18.4 – 10.2, -8.2, 6+), CBS Radio adult contemporary WRCH is #1 for the fifth consecutive ratings period. “Lite 100.5” had been up September through “Holiday” 2016 (9.3 – 9.6 – 10.1 – 10.8 – 18.4, 6+), producing a cumulative +9.1 (nearly doubling September’s 9.3). In November, “Lite 100.5” returned to double-digits (6+) after a two-month hiatus. It had been in double-digits (6+) for 13 straight ratings periods before posting a 9.3 in September and a 9.6 in October; 9.3 was its lowest 6+-showing since August 2015, when “Lite” recorded an 8.7. Entering the September sweep, WRCH was on top for 15 straight ratings periods and 23 of the previous 24 but it decreased by -1.1 and dropped to second-place. A gain of three-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 by rhythmic CHR sibling WZMX pulled the plug on four consecutive negative trends that accounted for a loss of nearly three shares (7.5 – 7.4 – 6.2 – 5.9 – 4.8, 6+), but “Hot 93.7” regresses by one-half share to 4.6 (6+, sixth to eighth). Gone from print are Connoisseur Media WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” (#9 in “Holiday” 2016), which was without an increase for the past seven straight sweeps accounting for a -2.6 (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+) and co-owned talk WDRC-AM (.7, #13 in “Holiday” 2016).
CBS Reports Q4 2016 and Full-Year Financials; CBS Presented as Discontinued Operation. The latter is due to the pending merger of CBS Radio with Entercom and it means that CBS did not present any revenue information or operating income metrics for the radio division. Here’s what the company has to say about the Entercom deal: “In connection with the transaction, which is expected to be tax-free to CBS Corporation and its stockholders, the Company intends to split-off CBS Radio through an exchange offer immediately prior to the merger. The merger will create a well-capitalized company with a market cap in excess of $2 billion, a strong balance sheet, significant free cash flow, and the ability to pay an attractive dividend. The combined company is expected to generate meaningful cost synergies within 12-18 months after the merger. The Company expects to complete the transaction in the second half of 2017, subject to customary closing conditions.” In a press statement, CBS Corporation chairman and CEO Les Moonves states, “2016 was a phenomenal year for the CBS Corporation, with all-time highs in revenue, operating income, and EPS [earnings per share] that came in above $4 for the first time in our Company’s history; and as we begin 2017, I couldn’t be more excited about our growth prospects in the years ahead.” During yesterday’s investor conference call, COO Joseph Ianniello addressed the radio deal, saying, “CBS shareholders who participate in this split-off will own 72% of the combined company which will have best-in-class assets and will clearly be the best capitalized radio company in the industry. The combined radio business will benefit from increased scale, stronger cash flow and real operational synergies which should drive higher profitability. The new company will also have the ability to pay an attractive dividend.”
Cumulus Extends Early Tender Date for Note Exchange. This is the third extension of Cumulus Media Inc’s offer for its previously announced private exchange offer for 7.75% Senior Notes due 2019 issued by Cumulus Media Holdings Inc. Obviously not satisfied with the number of takers, the company is extending the early tender date to March 6 (5:00 pm ET). The company explains that “Eligible Holders tendering their Outstanding Notes prior to the Early Tender Date, as extended that are accepted for exchange, will receive the ‘Total Exchange Consideration.’” That exchange includes “revolving loans, the participation interests, the trust certificates and the shares of Class A common stock (or warrants, if applicable), Class D common stock and Class E common stock.”
TALKERS Editorial Board Tackling Freedom of Speech Award Decision. The TALKERS magazine editorial board has begun the sensitive and often-controversial task of deciding its annual roster of major award recipients in the categories of “Lifetime Achievement,” “Woman of the Year,” “Humanitarian of the Year,” and “Freedom of Speech” – the latter being the most potentially contentious of all – especially in today’s highly charged, politically polarized news/talk environment. In his weekly address to the editors, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison stated, “This award is always a sensitive issue because freedom of speech is one of the most difficult concepts to explain and the award is doubly difficult to defend – especially when a significant percentage of people immediately assume that the organization presenting the honor necessarily endorses the political position of the recipient.” Harrison continued, “TALKERS has a distinguished history of non-partisanship in its editorial coverage of political news/talk media and this has been reflected in the diversity of positions held by the recipients of this prestigious award over the decades. The award is not a reward for saying something ‘controversial’ with which we necessarily agree but, rather, for conducting oneself as a broadcaster in a manner that clearly displays the tenets of the First Amendment in action, as well as showing the courage of one’s convictions in facing the negative blowback and consequences of one’s public stance.” Harrison cited Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity, Salem Radio Network’s Michael Medved and former WTMJ, Milwaukee host Charlie Sykes among worthy candidates to be considered for this year’s honor, stating, “Hannity showed amazing courage coming out early and unswervingly for Donald Trump when it was not clear which way his core audience would swing and what the outcome of the primary and general election would be. Medved, also a conservative, came out early against Trump and then stuck to his guns as an objective observer of the candidate and now-president’s pros and cons as he sees them – even against negative criticism from his listeners and even members of his own syndication company. Sykes actually let his cool job in Milwaukee slide away rather than back down from his perception of the truth.” Harrison concluded, “And there are many more examples of news/talk hosts having to take a principled stand with uncertain consequences as a result of this turbulent but exciting chapter of talk radio history in the making.” The TALKERS awards will be presented on Friday, June 2 at Talkers 2017: A New Era in New York City. For information about the 20th annual installment of the talk industry’s longest running and most important national convention, please click here.
TALKERS News Notes. Beginning with this year’s 2017 NFL season, Washington Redskins football play-by-play (including some pre- and post-game programming) will be heard on Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington. The games will continue to air on Red Zebra properties WTEM, Washington “ESPN980”; WWXT, Prince Frederick, Maryland; and WWXX, Buckland, Virginia. This is a homecoming of sorts for Redskins football; the team’s games have aired on WMAL-AM from time-to-time as far back as 1942. WMAL-AM/FM vice president and GM Jake McCann comments, “We are excited and honored to be working with the Redskins again. The Redskins and WMAL were partners during the team’s three glorious Super Bowl-winning seasons. We look forward to bringing the combined assets of WMAL to this exciting, renewed partnership.”…..NBA All-Star 2017 begins today and SiriusXM is offering coverage with special, live programming from New Orleans on its NBA Radio channel, in addition to the live broadcast of the 66th NBA All-Star Game. Coverage will be hosted by Milwaukee Bucks guard Jason Terry, former players Eddie Johnson and Tim Legler, as well as Frank Isola, Jason Jackson, Joel Meyers, Justin Termine and Brian Geltzeiler…..The Forbes on PodcastOne network premieres “The Forbes List” today (2/16), featuring an in-depth look at the world’s top billionaires. The show – hosted by Jordan Harbinger dives into the stories behind Forbes’ most famous lists, including the Forbes 400 list featuring the wealthiest Americans, as well as lists covering celebrities, music, sports, entrepreneurs, companies and the world’s most powerful people. PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz comments, “This makes our third launch of a new Forbes podcast and points out the strong relationship between Forbes and PodcastOne. Jordan Harbinger has hosted “Art of Charm,” which consistently ranks in iTunes’ top 10. This provides a combination that’s tough to beat.”
Violent Tragedy Strikes Dominican Radio Station. Two radio journalists were shot dead and a third staffer was seriously wounded in a raid on a radio station in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday. Numerous news outlets are reporting that news presenter Luis Manuel Medina and station director Leonidas Martinez were killed when unidentified men entered the station and shot Medina while he read a newscast and Martinez as he sat in his office. Medina was streaming his newscast live on Facebook at the time of the attack. It took place at radio station 103.5 FM in San Pedro de Macoris, a town near Santo Domingo. The AFP reports that the organization Reporters without Borders states that journalists that investigate corruption and the drug business are often the victims of violent attacks.
Sports, Music, Politics and Talk Media. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is joined in a free-wheeling dialogue by his long-time friend, New York City radio broadcaster Richard Neer as his guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.” The two talk about the public’s and media’s obsession with Donald Trump, with an emphasis on the infiltration of sports and entertainment by political passions. Richard Neer brings his diverse background as a legendary Big Apple music radio host (WNEW-FM), sports talker (WFAN) and best-selling author of the landmark book FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) to the discussion which focuses on the rapid morphing of the traditional left/right talk media paradigm into a more complex resistance/revolution chess game. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Trump Campaign Russia Communications/Flynn Exit, Puzder Withdraws From Labor Secretary Nomination, Reince Preibus’ Status, Trump vs Intelligence Community, Fate of ObamaCare, and NBA-NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/15). The controversy over the resignation of National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn and questions about the depth of communications between the Donald Trump campaign and Russian agents; Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder withdraws from consideration for the cabinet position; questions about the status of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus after unconfirmed reports President Trump is unhappy with his work; the contentious relationship between Trump and the intelligence community; the fate of the Affordable Care Act after Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini told the Wall Street Journal the program is in a “death spiral”; 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. The performer and host lineups have been announced for the March 5 iHeartRadio Music Awards taking place at the Forum in Los Angeles. The evening will be hosted by Ryan Seacrest and will air live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET will be broadcast on iHeartMedia-owned stations nationwide, as well as on the iHeartRadio. Performers will include: Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers, Shawn Mendes, Thomas Rhett, Noah Cyrus and Big Sean, in addition to the previously announced Bruno Mars…..Entercom San Diego is expanding the platform for its culinary audio feature, “Lick the Plate,” which has been airing on alternative KBZT “FM94/9,” adult contemporary KXSN “Sunny 98.1,” and country KSON. The David Boylan-hosted program will now be available in podcast format via the stations’ websites. The radio stations will continue to promote the show via on-air teaser segments. These changes take effect on February 27…..Radio programming for the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards from Westwood One is being announced. Westwood One and Cumulus Media are the official national radio partners for the ACM Awards. There will be a three-hour ACM Nomination Special, hosted by Thomas Rhett, on March 25 from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight as part of “NASH Nights Live.” The ACM Radio Row will take place on Friday, March 31 from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm ET and Saturday, April 1 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm ET. Then, the five-hour ACM Night Of Event Coverage will happen on Sunday, April 2 from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight…..Beasley Media Group’s adult hits WBEN-FM, Philadelphia is announcing a new weekend program featuring Kathy Romano. The show is titled, “Her Story,” and will air Sundays at 7:30 am. Romano – who works for sister rock station WMMR as part of the “Preston & Steve” show – says, “I’m thrilled to be the host of ‘Her Story’ on 95.7 BEN FM! This is giving me the opportunity for some girl talk that just doesn’t make sense on WMMR’s ‘Preston & Steve’ show. There are so many amazing women with fascinating stories that we just don’t get to hear. Every Sunday morning I’m going to bring listeners the great stories these dynamic women have to tell!”…..Radio One hip hop outlet WKYS, Washington announces that Danni Starr is joining “The Fam in The Morning” as co-host alongside QuickSilva. Radio One DC SVP and general manager Jeff Wilson comments, “Danni is the full package. She’s amazingly smart, well versed in music and community activism. Danni is authentic and transparent about her struggles and victories. That kind of energy and wit will serve our listeners well on-air, in social media and on the street.” Starr has worked in radio for more than a decade and is the face of TLCme on the TLC network.
Midland Pays Valentine’s Day Visit to NASH Campus. New country act and Big Machine recording group Midland is pictured here with “NASH Nights Live” co-hosts Elaina Smith (second from left) and Shawn Parr (second from right).
PPM Analysis: Country. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the ratings performances of country-formatted stations based on Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2016 PPM survey. In this report, see charts detailing country stations’ (6+) numbers over the past six PPM surveys, fluctuations from December to the Holiday survey, comparisons to performances in the Holiday 2015 and Holiday 2016 surveys, station market ranks and more. Click here for more.
Feature Story: Internet Radio’s Backbone. As far as TALKERS magazine is aware, nobody gets audio content on the Internet with the ease and sophistication (not to mention affordable rates) the way Backbone Networks does. In this piece published Friday (2/10), managing editor Mike Kinosian delves into how Backbone – in the words of president and CEO Rich Cerny, “the only completely integrated radio station service comprising live production, automation, storage, streaming, syndication, live assist, and call-in phone system,” works for content creators. Plus, interwoven into this feature is how Cerny’s past experience in fiber optics and television broadcast production played into the creation of Backbone Networks. Read it all here.
Hillman to Lead Sales at Beasley Media’s Southwest Florida Group. Sales pro Allyson Hillman is named director of sales for Beasley Media Group’s Southwest Florida cluster that includes news/talk WJBX, sports talk WWCN, CHR WXKB, rock WRXK, adult contemporary WJPT, and Spanish music W251AL. Beasley says, “Allyson brings three decades of broadcasting and advertising to this position. She served in management for 10 years in Detroit radio and has relocated to Southwest Florida from Savannah-Hilton Head. Allyson has worked in the radio, television, Internet, digital and outdoor industries, including careers as retail sales manager, local and general sales manager, director of business development and director of sales.”
Steve Deace Show Thriving on CRTV. In our recent reporting Salem Radio Network’s addition of Chicago-based talk host Joe Walsh to its evening lineup, TALKERS wrote that the Steve Deace show had been bumped from the schedule by Walsh. But Deace tells us there’s more detail to how the change took place. Deace’s show is, and has been, produced by Conservative Review TV (CRTV). Late last fall, CRTV and Deace chose to move the show from SRN to CRTV’s own platform. That initiated the change in SRN’s evening schedule. Deace says, “Fifteen months ago, we debuted on Salem with 11 affiliates. We’re leaving with approximately 70. They did a great job for us, never interfered with my content on the air, and I have no complaints whatsoever. I still have the same high regard for [Salem SVP] Phil Boyce I’ve always had.”
TALKERS News Notes. The FCC filing for Michael Crute’s purchase of WRRD-AM, Waukesha (Milwaukee market) from Good Karma Broadcasting is public, so we now know the price of the signal is $767,000. Crute, who with partner Dominic Salvia co-hosts the progressive talk show “Devil’s Advocate,” is programming a
progressive talk lineup on the station. The duo was formerly based at iHeartMedia’s WXXM, Madison, Wisconsin when it was progressive talk outlet “92.1 The Mic.” The station flipped formats after the holidays. The “Devil’s Advocate” airs in afternoon drive on WRRD…..Berkshire Broadcasting’s news/talk WLAD-AM, Danbury, Connecticut is now heard in the market on the FM dial after the station adds translator W231DJ at 94.1 FM to the station’s broadcast.
Trump’s Travel Ban Strategy, ICE Raids/Cost of Mexico Wall, Russia-Snowden Relationship, Flynn-Russia Talks Controversy, North Korea ICBM Tests, ‘SNL’ Trump Sketches, Nordstrom-Ivanka Trump Flap, Yale Changes College Name, and Al Jarreau Dead at 76 Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The ongoing legal clash over President Donald Trump’s travel order and the possibility he writes a new order this week; the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau begins raids to capture “known criminals” and the related issue of the U.S.-Mexico wall and Trump’s promise to reduce the cost; conflicting reports about whether Russia will turn Edward Snowden over to the U.S. to curry favor with President Trump; the status of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn over reports he engaged with Russia prior to Trump being sworn in as president; the test of a mid-range ICBM by North Korea; the numerous sketches poking fun at Trump and administration officials on “Saturday Night Live”; Nordstrom’s dropping of the Ivanka Trump lines; Yale changes name of Calhoun College due to John C. Calhoun’s advocacy of slavery; and musician Al Jarreau’s death at age 76 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Dr. Dave Returns to Dayton Air on 80s Rock WZLR. Radio personality Dave Gross, a.k.a. Dr. Dave, is back on the radio in Dayton on Cox Media Group’s 80s-intensive classic hits simulcast WZLR/W266BG. Back in the late 1980s, Dr. Dave was the ringleader of the “Z93 Morning Zoo” on then-CHR WGTZ – the program that dominated the morning ratings in the market. His new show, “Dr. Dave and the Eagle Morning Zoo,” is the first show with a live personality on the station. In a piece in the Springfield News-Sun, Cox Ohio VP of marketing Nick Roberts says the Dayton market is one of the biggest in the nation for 80s rock. See the whole story here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. At its urban contemporary WHQT, Miami “HOT 105,” Cox Media Group announces syndicated personality Michael Baisden is taking over the afternoon drive show, effective February 20. WHQT director of branding and programming Phil Michaels-Trueba states, “Michael was a part of the ‘Hot 105’ super brand from 2007 to 2013 with a proven track record of success. I am happy to welcome Michael, George Willborn, and Tamara G back home to our already stellar lineup of icons.”…..iHeartMedia names Todd Zarnitz, a.k.a. Carson, afternoon drive personality for CHR stations KPWK, Seattle “Power 93.3” and KKRZ, Portland “Z100.” Pacific Northwest Region SVP of programming Tim Herbster states, “We are excited to add Carson to our teams here in Portland and Seattle. His passion, enthusiasm and wealth of experience will be a great addition to help us grow ‘Z100’ and ‘Power 93.3.’”…..In Indianapolis, WLHK “HANK FM” afternoon personality JD Cannon announces he’s retiring from the station – and from full-time work in radio – on April 28. Cannon will remain with the Emmis station as “brand ambassador.” In announcing his semi-retirement, Cannon says he’s been blessed to have had a 44-year career on country music…..Townsquare Media announces programming pro Dusty Hayes is assuming the operations manager role at its Shreveport-Bossier, Louisiana station group that includes news/talk KEEL, country KXKS, adult contemporary KVKI, CHR KRUF, and rock KTUX…..Townsquare Media names Braden Smith operations manager for its Amarillo, Texas cluster consisting of news/talk KIXZ, country KATP, adult contemporary KPRF, hot AC KMXJ, and CHR KXSS. He’ll serve as brand manager for KATP. He comes to Townsquare from his previous position with Alpha Media country outlet WLFV, Richmond “The Wolf.”
Salem Radio Network Adds Nightly, Syndicated Joe Walsh Show to Lineup. The change takes place on February 20 when WIND, Chicago-based talk show host (and former Congressman from Illinois) Joe Walsh takes over the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET show on the Salem Radio Network, bumping the Steve Deace syndicated show from the timeslot. Walsh hosts the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm show on WIND and will continue in that role, adding the syndicated, late night show to his duties. Salem SVP Phil Boyce comments, “We have been watching Joe work locally in Chicago and have seen outstanding development. His audience there continues to grow and we felt he would continue to do well on the national stage. Joe is a courageous and fearless warrior on the conservative side, who encourages his audience to take a strong stand for what is right.”
Casey Bartholomew to Program WFSX, Fort Myers-Naples. Longtime New Jersey-based talk radio pro Casey Bartholomew announces he’s been named the new program director at Sun Broadcasting’s news/talk WFSX, Fort Myers-Naples “92-5 FOX News.” He writes in a Facebook post, “This will, for a time, require me to give up being on the air on a daily basis. But, I will still be able to do my fill-in work, and it may provide a chance for me to do a daily show on the station in the future. This is an exciting, new opportunity for me and I hope it all works out the way I’m hoping. But, nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
Brad Fanning Co-Hosts Afternoons at KCSP, Kansas City. Kansas City sports talker KCSP “610 Sports” names Brad Fanning co-host of the afternoon program, “The Drive,” alongside Carrington Harrison and producer Ben Heisler. Fanning takes over the slot vacated by Danny Parkins who moved to Chicago to co-host middays at WSCR “The Score.” Fanning previously worked in the Kansas City market as a sports reporter for KCTV-TV.
Jeff Pantridge Assumes Afternoon Duties at ‘ESPN 94.1’ in Norfolk. Norfolk sports talk outlet WVSP “ESPN Radio 94.1” names Jeff Pantridge afternoon sports talk personality, taking over the role vacated by Nick Cattles, who moved to Boston for a gig at WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.” During his career, Pantridge has served with CBS Radio at the former WHFS-FM, Tampa and he produced the WFLA-AM, Tampa show hosted by Todd Schnitt. He’ll continue to work with Max Media staffers Matthew Steinberg and A.J. Risser, who’d been co-hosting the afternoon show after Cattles’ departure.
Scripps News/Talker WTMJ, Milwaukee Debuts ‘Mobile’ Podcast Network. Milwaukee news/talk outlet WTMJ is unveiling its new “WTMJ Mobile” – a podcast network that includes popular WTMJ shows on-demand in addition to locally based podcasters from Milwaukee and Wisconsin. The Scripps-owned station says this pilot program also includes exclusive podcasts for the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks. WTMJ and WKTI VP news, talk, and sports programming for radio Tom Langmyer states, “This uniquely Wisconsin platform expands our content offerings, builds strong third party partnerships and takes Scripps’ Milwaukee brands to new levels.” WTMJ director of programming Eric Brooks adds, “‘WTMJ Mobile’ helps ensure our continued leadership position in spoken-word content. Our live programming every day is valued content for our listeners. With the podcast network, our audiences have full access to choose the unique, digital-first content they want and when. Our diverse list of offerings will continue to increase the impact of WTMJ throughout the region.” In addition to station-created content, WTMJ has partnered with Milwaukee organizations, including NEWaukee, the Milwaukee Brewing Company, Startup Milwaukee and many more to create a uniquely Wisconsin podcast experience. Director of marketing and innovation J. Pat Miller says, “With podcasting, WTMJ has exponentially expanded the amount of content we provide, while championing more local voices to engage our connected, vibrant listeners.”
New Sales Roles Filled at CBS Radio in Chicago. With the transition of John Cravens to a consulting role for CBS Radio in Chicago, the company announces that Chad Feldman is assuming the position of director of news and sports sales, in which he’ll oversee sales activities of all-news WBBM-AM, sports talk WSCR “The Score,” and play-by-play assets for Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears broadcasts. At the same time, the company names Joe Mackay director of music sales for CHR WBBM-FM “B96,” triple A WXRT, country WUSN “US99,” and classic hits WJMK. Feldman – an 11-year CBS Radio Chicago staffer – was most recently GSM for WSCR. Mackay was serving as national sales manager for CBS Radio’s Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh stations. About his new role, Feldman comments, “After a career devoted to sports radio, it’s humbling for me to be given the good fortune to lead four of the most iconic Chicago radio brands ever. Coming here from Washington, DC 15 years ago, I would never have imagined I would be given this opportunity. I am grateful and excited about what is to come.” The company also names general sales managers for four of its stations. They are: Paul Agase for WBBM-FM, Dan Richman for WXRT, Carla Ross for WJMK, and Sheila Mulcahy for WUSN.
Now Playing on Talkers TV: ‘Needless to Say…’ Consultant Holland Cooke says, “Your voice is competing for attention with a barrage of noise, thousands of other messages that vie for your listeners’ attention every day. To ‘break through,’ broadcasters and podcasters must ‘communicate clearly.’” Check out the Talkers TV video in the upper right-hand of this page in which Cooke offers specific coaching advice.
Comrex to Display New IP Audio Gateway at NAB Show 2017. This new product is called Opal – a portmanteau for Opus Portal – and it’s an IP audio gateway that creates a studio internet audio portal. Install it in your studio and then anyone accessing it through a computer or Android device (with a microphone, earpiece, and browser) is able to broadcast from their computer or phone in high fidelity. High quality return audio is also provided to the guest. This product is optimal for audio programs and news departments that regularly use remote guests. It allows them to deliver “studio quality” sound without the need for any special equipment on their end. Comrex notes that “Opal is ideal for users who need to coordinate call-ins with non-technical remote guests – guests can simply click a link and connect instantly. Opal establishes the link using the Opus encoder, for excellent fidelity and low delay. Opal can support two connections at once and provides two independent professional audio I/O ports to the studio. Opal occupies 1/2U of rack space, and two can fit side-by-side in a 19” rack shelf. Connections to Opal can only be made from browsers that support WebRTC (Chrome and Firefox) at this time. Check it out in Las Vegas April 22-27.
TALKERS News Notes. And the winner is… Motel 6! The hospitality chain takes home the gold in the Westwood One Sports Sound Awards – the fourth annual contest to determine the most popular audio commercials aired the Super Bowl broadcast. The winner was Motel 6’s ad in which spokesman Tom Bodett tries to incorporate millennial lingo to promote the hotel chain. Bodett says the ad truly was “on fleek.” In 2nd place was also Motel 6 with their ad “Disclaimer,” which found Bodett trying his best to not mention certain trademarked names that would land the hotel chain in legal trouble. Finally, in 3rd place was Hagerty Insurance’s spot in which it pulled on the heartstrings of car lovers everywhere while taking listeners back to the first car they owned…..SiriusXM announces the appointment of political analyst and former Hillary Clinton aide Zerlina Maxwell as director of progressive programming. In this new role, Maxwell is overseeing the editorial direction of the Progress 127 channel. SiriusXM says, “With the addition of the progressive and feminist stalwart, the left-leaning channel has positioned itself with a renewed focus on both activism and resistance to the actions of the new Trump administration.” Maxwell served as the Clinton campaign’s director of progressive media. She’ll report to SiriusXM VP/GM of talk programming Dave Gorab…..Radio station operators currently using satellite AMC-8 (139 degrees West Longitude) have until June 30 to repoint their satellite dishes to migrate to the new AMC-18 at 105 degrees West Longitude. There are five networks that use AMC-8 and are moving their service to AMC-18: Learfield, Orbital Media Networks (OMNi), Premiere Networks, Skyview Networks and Westwood One, in addition to syndicators who lease their satellite time from these five companies…..American Private Radio, distributor of “Our American Stories” to more than 40 U.S. radio markets is offering a Presidents Day special for radio stations that would like to air the program on Monday, February 20. Host and APR CEO Lee Habeeb says the Presidents Day special will be “a beautiful tribute to arguably the most important historical figure in U.S. history, our first President George Washington. We will weave together anecdotes, memoirs and biographical accounts of the public – and personal – life of Washington, including magnificent story-telling authentically narrated by two-time Pulitzer-Prize winning author and biographer David McCullough, who has written extensively about our nation’s first President.” For information on securing this special presentation, contact Our American Stories at 239-470-9297 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trump Travel Ban Court Fight, Elizabeth Warren vs. Jeff Sessions, Trump and U.S. Murder Rate, U.S.-Yemen Relations, Kremlin Demands Apology from FOX News, and Status of ObamaCare Repeal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/7). The court battle over President Donald Trump’s order preventing travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations; Senator Elizabeth Warren is silenced for impugning a fellow senator in the debate over Jeff Sessions’ AG nomination; controversy over President Trump’s statement that the U.S. murder rate is the highest it’s been in 47 years; Yemen requiring permission for further strikes against Islamic State targets after its claim that civilians were killed in the recent U.S. raid; the Kremlin’s demand for an apology from FOX News after Bill O’Reilly called Vladimir Putin a killer during his Sunday Trump interview; and the administration’s and GOP’s plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
WFTL’s Rich Stevens Visited by an ‘Angel.’ Pictured above is WFTL, West Palm Beach late morning host Rich Stevens sitting in the studio with “Charlie’s Angels” star Cheryl Ladd. The actress and 1970s icon made a rare, in-studio appearance with Stevens. The two talked about her work on the classic TV program, golfing with O.J. Simpson and her being on the “Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson, among other things.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Program director Mike Preston is exiting Entercom’s country KKWF, Seattle “100.7 The Wolf” and rhythmic oldies KHTP “HOT 103.7” to pursue his next radio gig. Preston says that, after seven years with the company in Seattle, he’s ready to move on. “I’m very proud of what my teams have accomplished, making ‘The Wolf’ the top country brand in the market and putting our newest brand, ‘HOT 103.7,’ on the map in a big way. I’m grateful to Jack Hutchison, Dave Richards, Pat Paxton, and Mike Moore for the opportunity to put country ‘under my belt’ and to pioneer the classic hip hop and R&B format.” Entercom Seattle VP of programming Dave Richards will be in charge of the stations as a successor to Preston is sought…..The Adams Radio Group cluster in Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland has a new vice president and general manager. Paul Burton joins the company from the crosstown iHeartMedia cluster where he was vice president of sales. Adams CEO Ron Stone comments, “It is rare that you get an opportunity to partner with someone that literally can change your life. I have spent the past several months as the interim GM while searching for the right person to lead our organization in Delmarva. Paul is that person. His excitement and commitment to excellence is second to none.”…..Afternoon personality and assistant program director Todd Michaels exits Beasley Media Group’s country KCYE, Las Vegas “102.7 The Coyote” after two years with the station.
New Documentary About ‘70s Rock Band Gunhill Road Showcased at Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The early seventies NYC-based album rock band, Gunhill Road – best known for one big hit single ‘Back When My Hair Was Short” – got a lot of media attention a couple of years ago with the unexpected release of their reunion album “Every 40 Years.” Now a new documentary (also titled “Every 40 Years”) chronicling the group’s colorful story, spearheaded by the filmmaker son of one of the band’s members, had its world premiere Monday evening (2/6) as a special feature of the prestigious Santa Barbara International Film Festival. For 25 years, director Eric Goldrich knew close to nothing about his dad’s (Steve Goldrich) band Gunhill Road. A tribute concert to the band’s old manager and owner of the famous nightclub The Bitter End incited the band’s return to the stage. With the excitement of seeing his father play music with Gunhill Road again, Eric sought to document the performance. They were billed with Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey (of Peter, Paul and Mary) that night, along with many other legendary musicians, but what the future held was unknown. Two years later, Gunhill Road reunited to record a brand new 19-track album, consisting of unrecorded songs that they had written in the ’70s and ’80s. Eric convinced co-director Benjamin Friedberg to join him on the unique journey of creating a documentary following the return of Gunhill Road. Through Eric and Ben’s discovery, they learned how much Gunhill Road meant to its fans, and how close they got to breaking out as successful artists. They were the only band ever managed by The Bitter End’s owner, Paul Colby, and Kenny Rogers produced their second album. They opened for some of the greatest acts in history, including George Carlin, Bette Midler, Soupy Sales, Jim Croce, Lily Tomlin, Poco, the Carpenters, and many more. As a band, one could say they failed. They’re even called a “One Hit Wonder.” Yet, in their 60’s, they came back to play together again 40 years after they broke up. A story of courage, doubt, regret, and liberation, the new film documentary “Every 40 Years” is described as being about chasing your dream down one more time. The band played a special concert for its fans at the nearby Santa Barbara club, The Red Piano, following the screening of the film. Eric Goldrich tell TALKERS that plans are in the works to showcase the documentary at other film festivals around the country and eventually find it a home on one of the cable or internet film channels. To view the trailer for the film, please click here.
Gunhill Road stopped by heritage rocker KTYD-FM, Santa Barbara to do an interview on the station’s morning show in conjunction with the premiere of their documentary at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Pictured (back row l-r): Gunhill Road members Steve Goldrich and Paul Reich, and KTYD-FM morning co-hosts Lin Aubuchon and David Perry. (Front row): Gunhill Road member Glenn Leopold.
CBS Radio Signs Jim Rome to Multi-Year Extension. Sports talk personality Jim Rome and CBS Radio have come to terms on a new, multi-year deal. Rome jumped from Premiere Networks back in January of 2013 to be one of the lead talents on the then-new CBS Sports Radio network. CBS Radio EVP of programming Chris Oliviero says Rome was a key ingredient, “The Jim Rome show was the critical building block in the successful launch of CBS Sports Radio four years ago and brought immediate star power and credibility to the network. We now look forward to writing the next chapter together in the storied history of Jim’s show, which has been and continues to be the standard by which all nationally syndicated sports shows are judged.” As part of the deal, a one-hour highlight podcast of Rome’s show will continue to be available via CBS’ Play.it network. He’ll also continue to anchor three editions of the early afternoon broadcast of the network’s flagship feature, the “CBS Sports Minute.”
Philly Sports Talker Signs with WIP-FM. When Philadelphia sports talk radio personality Jon Marks exited Beasley’s crosstown WPEN-AM/FM after 10 years with the station last fall, there was speculation he would land at CBS Radio’s “SportsRadio 94WIP.” Now, that’s a reality as Marks assumes the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm air shift beginning this evening (2/7). Additionally, Marks will anchor weekday Phillies pre-game and post-game coverage, provide content for CBSPhilly.com and contribute to WIP’s daytime lineup. WIP-FM program director Spike Eskin comments, “Jon’s talent, relationship to Philadelphia sports fans, and history in the marketplace will be a huge addition to WIP. We’re thrilled to have him aboard.” Brian Haddad, who was hosting the evening show, remains with WIP-FM as creative services director.
SRN’s Hugh Hewitt Joins Washington Post as Columnist. Conservative media figure Hugh Hewitt adds another gig – and media outlet – to his resume. The Salem Radio Network talk host is signing on with The Washington Post as a regular opinion columnist. In addition to his daily morning drive show on Salem Radio Network, Hewitt is a regular panelist on “Meet the Press,” is a contributor to NBC News, and teaches constitutional law at Chapman University Law School. WaPo editorial page editor Fred Hiatt comments, “Hugh is one of the most influential and intelligent conservatives in political media, simultaneously thoughtful and provocative. It’s essential to us that we offer readers a range of views, and we’re thrilled that Hugh has agreed to join our diverse team.”
KABC, Los Angeles Adds Tweeden to ‘McIntyre in the Morning’ Show. Radio and television personality Leeann Tweeden was previously heard in the Los Angeles market at iHeartMedia’s sports talk KLAC “AM570 LA Sports” as one half of the “Roggin & Tweeden” show. Now, she joins Cumulus Media’s news/talk KABC as news anchor for the “McIntyre in the Morning” show. KABC operations director Drew Hayes states, “We are delighted to have Leeann sign on as the newest addition to the KABC on-air team. She is not only a bright, high energy, and plugged-in broadcaster, she brings a broad reservoir of life experiences. Leeann is a perfect fit for ‘McIntyre in the Morning’ and the big-personality lineup of News. Talk. Evolved. 790 KABC.” Tweeden’s resume includes time spent as co-host of “UFC Tonight on FOX Sports” and FSN’s “The Best Damn Sports Show Period.” Currently, she makes appearances presenting social and political commentary on FOX News’ “Hannity,” HLN’s “Dr. Drew,” and FOX News’ “Red Eye.”
Comrex to Unveil New Portable Audio IP Codec at NAB 2017. This new portable audio IP codec is called the ACCESS NX, and it’s the latest version available from audio IP transmission leader Comrex. This new unit (pictured at right), builds on the 10-year legacy of the ACCESS Portable. However, this unit adds an audio channel, a larger touch screen, and a digital mixing stage. The five-inch, capacitive touch screen doesn’t require a stylus, which simplifies set up and operation. The ACCESS NX includes a dedicated stereo line input, in addition to a pair of XLR switchable audio inputs. ACCESS NX is compatible with an ACCESS clip-on channel mixer (also pictured at right), a new accessory which adds four mic/line inputs and headphone outputs. Comrex says that the new unit includes CrossLock, the company’s custom reliability layer that enables both powerful error correction and network bonding. CrossLock intelligently monitors network connections and adjusts data allotment in real-time. The features on the ACCESS NX include: Two USB jacks for 3G/4G and Wi-Fi connectivity, Ethernet port, and compatibility with POTS modem (sold separately); two stereo headphone outputs (¼” jacks) with individual controls; digital mixing and headphone busses; digital peak limiting; field-changeable internal lithium battery with built-in charger (5 hours of power); and serial data and four contact closures. Comrex notes that the ACCESS has enabled broadcasters to transmit live programming from war zones, airplanes, bicycles, protests, and natural disasters – “its uniquely portable design has allowed for truly creative programming.”
TALKERS News Notes. WRKO, Boston morning drive personality Doug “VB” Goudie has published a new historical book titled, ACK in Ashes: Nantucket’s Great Fire of 1846. Goudie co-hosts the “Boston.com Morning Show” on the Entercom news/talk outlet with Kim Carrigan. The book tells the story of the July 13, 1846 fire on the island of Nantucket and the challenges the whaling town faced rebuilding after the devastation…..iHeartMedia and partner Advertising Age launch their “Tagline” podcast with season one presenting sponsor Bulleit Frontier Whiskey on board. iHM says, “As the presenting sponsor of “Tagline” season one, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey will work with AdAge and iHeartMedia to craft stories and experiences centered around the cultural frontier. Bulleit and its family of high-rye, award-winning variants will provide inspired cocktails to ‘Tagline’ guests throughout the season and will work with award-winning mixologists to curate cocktails based on each episode’s discussion topic. The premier episode features Jeff Bell, 2013 World Class American Bartender of the Year…..ABC News Radio is presenting a special series titled, “America’s Fentanyl Crisis,” in which senior justice correspondent Pierre Thomas reports on the crisis from New England, ground zero of the Fentanyl epidemic. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic pain killer that has become a popular street drug. During this five-part investigation, Thomas goes inside a Drug Enforcement Administration drug lab, participates in law enforcement ride-alongs, and meets with survivors struggling to stay clean.
Travel Ban Court Battle, DeVos Education Secretary Nomination, O’Reilly vs Putin, Iran Missile Test, Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer Spoof, and Patriots Win Super Bowl LI Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6). The looming court battle over President Donald Trump’s order stopping travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations; the slim margin of support for Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary; the Kremlin’s request for an apology from FOX News for Bill O’Reilly’s calling Vladimir Putin a killer; Iran’s bluster over its recent missile tests and the Trump Administration’s putting it “on notice”; the flap over Melissa McCarthy’s “SNL” performance as Press Secretary Sean Spicer; and the New England Patriots’ comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI 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. At country WUBL, Atlanta “94.9 The Bull,” iHeartMedia names Jeremy “Otis” Maher afternoon drive personality and music director. Otis is psyched about his new gig. He says, “I am so excited to join Brian Michel and the iHeartMedia team on one of the biggest country stations in the nation! I can’t wait to bring a high-energy, ultra-interactive show to The Bull’s listeners.” Most recently, Otis worked as the program director and afternoon host at Alpha Media’s CHR WDJX, Louisville “99.7 DJX.”…..In Colorado Springs, Aaron Zytle exits the program director and afternoon drive personality roles at Bahakel Communications’ KRXP “The Alternative RXP @ 103.9.”…..The weekly, San Diego market Bob Marley program “Brunch With Bob and Friends” is now being heard on alternative XETRA “91X.” The show has been produced in San Diego for the past 13 years and launched on “91X’ on Sunday – what would have been Markey’s 72nd birthday. The show (airing Sundays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon) is hosted by “91X” morning personality Tommy Hough, who created the program in 2004…..CBS Radio CHR WBBM-FM, Chicago “B96” is presenting the “Lectric Leprechaun” EDM show on March 15 at the Aragon Ballroom. The concert will feature Steve Aoki, Krewella, Cash Cash, and Grandtheft…..Beginning Thursday (2/9), Cumulus Media and Westwood One begin presenting an array of special programming, exclusive brand activations, and backstage performances in celebration of the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards. The Westwood One Backstage Live at the GRAMMYS weekend will include live performances from Columbia recording artist and multiple GRAMMY Award-winners Train, Republic recording artist Marian Hill, and Hollywood Records recording artist Ocean Park Standoff. The events take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Thursday from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET and Friday from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm PT. More than 25 radio stations and Westwood One’s nationally syndicated Zach Sang and Adam Bomb shows will be backstage to capture the action as it happens…..The annual Super Bowl-related battle between Dick Broadcasting air personalities got even crazier this year. Each year WKZL, Greensboro personality (and operations manager) Jason Goodman, a.k.a. “The Littlest Patriot” and WKRR, Greensboro personality Chris Kelly (half of the syndicated “2 Guys Named Chris” program) compete to see whose home will host the biggest and greatest Big Game party. Both jocks spent a small fortune trying to outdo each other. (Check out the billboard Goodman rented to park outside the WKRR studios!) Goodman’s party featured door prizes and Oscar-worthy gift bags, while Kelly invested heavily in a state-of-the-art, surround-sound system. The goal: Win the contest by having more friends and co-workers over than your opponent, thus proving Party Superiority! Goodman was declared winner by acclamation…..The WNNX, Atlanta morning show “Bailey and Southside” is running the “Sucks for Bucks” promotion all this month. The contest is simple: When listeners hear a cast member – Jason Bailey, Southside Steve, Brandi Britain or Digi-Dude Nate – on the show sucking (as in performing poorly), they phone in and call them out on it. If a majority of the cast agrees with the caller, the caller wins $100. WNNX says it has allocated “thousands of dollars” for this month-long promotion.
‘REAL 92.3’ Los Angeles Promotes DJ Carisma to Music Director. Los Angeles DJ and mixer DJ Carisma has been with iHeartMedia’s hip hop KRRL “REAL 92.3” since 2015, serving as live DJ/mixer in afternoon drive and as part of the Saturday night “Young California Radio” collaboration with DJ Amen and Dre Sinatra. Now, she’s been upped to music director and mix show coordinator. She says, “I feel like I was born to be a part of the radio world, and the ‘REAL 92.3’ brand is the perfect fit for me. I’m proud of my radio industry track record, and my promotion to music director is mind blowing. I can’t wait to continue to better serve this station and community by doing what I love.”
PPM Analysis: Hot AC. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of hot AC-formatted stations based on the Holiday 2016 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio. In this report, you can see the (6+) ratings battles between in-market competitors, how stations compared to their performances in the December PPM survey, as well as how they performed compared to the Holiday 2015 PPM survey. See it all here.
Profile: FOX Sports’ Colin Cowherd. Seventeen months into his deal with FOX Sports – one that puts him on television, in national radio syndication and makes him part-owner of his own content – Colin Cowherd speaks with TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian in a profile published today (2/3). Cowherd tells Kinosian that the change from ESPN to FOX Sports was moving from “one great company to another.” But he’s happier with the vibe at FOX. “The reality is that radio should be more dangerous. It is unedited, ad-libbed, and free-form. There’s a little stand-up, a little ranting, a little painting and you are going to spill a little on the canvas. I think my personality fits the FOX ecosystem a little better than the current ESPN ecosystem, which has gotten much more politically correct in the last several years.” Read the whole piece here.
Beasley to Unload Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina Cluster for $11 Million. The buyer is CMG Coastal Carolina and Beasley Media Group says it will use the cash to pay down debt. The stations affected are: blues WNCT-AM, Greenville; classic hits WNCT-FM, Greenville; classic rock WSFL-FM, New Bern; hip hop WIKS-FM, New Bern; adult contemporary WMGV-FM, Newport; and rock WXNR-FM, Grifton. CMG Coastal Carolina, which is affiliated with Curtis Media Group, intends to spin off WNCT-FM to Inner Banks Media, LLC. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “Since the Company’s founding in 1961, Beasley has established a long-term record of successfully optimizing its station portfolio through both strategic acquisitions and divestitures to drive returns for our shareholders. Last November we completed the accretive acquisition of Greater Media, adding 17 stations (net of divestitures) and four attractive new markets to our operating footprint. We are making continued progress with the integration of the new stations as we apply our proven strategies that focus on strong core programming and targeted localism to support ratings and market leadership. We are confident that the stations being divested will continue to offer listeners in Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville great local programming.”
2016 Banner Year for SiriusXM. The financial figures from the fourth quarter of 2016 and the entire year are being reported and SiriusXM says it beat its guidance “on all metrics.” The satcaster’s net income for the fourth quarter of 2016 was $205 million – up 52% from the same period in 2015. For the year, net income was $746 million – up 46% from 2015. As for its subscriber numbers, SiriusXM reports a net subscriber growth of 1.75 million for the year. It now reports more than 31 million subscribers with nearly 26 million self-paying subscribers. CEO Jim Meyer comments, “Last year was a phenomenal year for SiriusXM’s business, and we expect continued success in 2017. We finished ahead of our guidance across the board, with record revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow. With more than 31 million subscribers, SiriusXM has never had more paying customers. We’ve issued guidance for continued growth in 2017, and we expect a record adjusted EBITDA of more than $2 billion.”
Michael Harrison Says a New Golden Age of News/Talk Radio is at Hand – IF Broadcasters Rise to the Challenge. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison addressed this month’s meeting of the magazine’s editorial board with optimistic observations about the news/talk format’s future as the world enters the Donald Trump era. But he also pointed out that the format’s inherent multi-genre potential can only be reached if broadcasters have the vision and courage to significantly alter the current paradigm and “take advantage of the political passions that have engulfed a wide swath of the American population, way beyond the traditional conservative core audience.” Harrison was clear that he thinks traditional conservative news/talk radio is here to stay although “enthusiasm for Trump has bent some of the tried-and-true guidelines that provided a dependable ideological template for hosts connecting with their audiences way beyond what were once considered to be their breaking points.” Harrison explains, “Conservative listeners will remain extremely loyal to their brand of talk radio because they fear opposition to Trump will water down the changes he promised to bring America in ‘making it great again,’ adding, “There is indeed room within conservative talk radio for hosts to be critical of Trump on occasions that warrant nuanced alternative perspectives… but then again, that has always been the case. Conservative news/talk has never been as monolithic as its political critics have implied.” However, it is the new potential of progressive talk radio or as Harrison puts it, “resistance talk” that is truly exciting in expanding the boundaries of spoken word strategies on the commercial radio dial. “Intense, passionate and obsessive opposition to Trump has galvanized and ignited a hitherto non-focused target audience for news/talk hosts, programs and stations,” states Harrison. “The door is open for performers such as Thom Hartmann, Stephanie Miller, Joe Madison, Alan Colmes and countless others of the progressive perspective to tap into a potentially vast audience of listeners who, since the election of Trump, deeply care about their message – as long as these messengers are talented by radio standards. The Trump era offers the talk radio industry the opportunity to double its reach by providing a platform for both the ‘revolution’ (Trump) and the ‘resistance’ (anti-Trump) passions that are clearly exploding in the American marketplace of ideas. Both sides feel embattled.” Harrison adds, “If radio misses this opportunity, it would be the equivalent of missing the British Invasion of the sixties, the disco craze of the late seventies, and the rise of conservatism in the nineties.”
Trump Travel Order/Protests Top Talk Story for Week of Jan. 30-Feb. 3. The travel order banning people coming into the U.S. from seven predominantly Muslim nations and the protests over the presidential order was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 was the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the vacant seat on the Supreme Court. Coming in at #3 was the violent protests at UC-Berkeley over the planned speech by Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, followed by the U.S. putting Iran “on notice” over its test of a missile at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
Rick Thomas to Oversee Operations at CMG Tampa. Most recently with CBS Radio’s CHR WBMP, New York “92.3 AMP Radio” as program director, Rick Thomas heads south to Tampa to serve as operations manager for Cox Media Group’s six-station cluster there and to program CHR WPOI “HOT 101.5.” Thomas will oversee operations for adult contemporary WWRM “Magic 94.9,” alternative WSUN-FM “97X,” hot talk WPHT “102.5 The Bone,” adult contemporary WDUV “105.5 The Dove,” and classic hits “107.3 The Eagle,” plus all digital content. CMG Tampa VP and market manager Keith Lawless says, “CMG is very fortunate to have Rick join our Tampa team. Rick is a successful and innovative leader in our business with an exceptional track record. I’m proud to partner with Rick and I have no doubt that his contributions will help Tampa compete and win, even more.”
TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher (pictured here) poses for a photo with a young Guatemalan girl during his trip to the Central American Nation. The Salem Radio Network personality is there this week with fellow SRN hosts Larry Elder and Mark Davis in the company of international relief agency Food For The Poor…..New Yorkers won’t have to miss the sound of Mike Francesa’s voice when the WFAN afternoon personality finishes his contract with the CBS Radio sports talk station at the end of this year. The “Pope” told former partner Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, on the latter’s SiriusXM program, that he’ll be doing something on January 3, 2018. “I’m not promising it’ll be conventional. It’s something new,” he said. Read the New York Post’s take on it here.
Longtime ABC News Radio Staffer Bob Benson Passes. News radio pro Bob Benson passed away on Sunday (1/29) after a four-decade career in radio. Benson started in radio while still in high school. In 1966 he joined ABC as news director at WLS, Chicago, then moved to the company’s KGO, San Francisco. In 1974, Benson launched AP Radio in Washington. He returned to ABC as vice president of ABC News, managing the news and sports for the radio networks.
Is It Possible to Teach Media and Politics in Today’s Environment without Expressing (or Being Accused of) Expressing a Significant Degree of Bias? This is just one of several key questions that are explored in an extremely candid conversation between TALKERS founder Michael Harrison and veteran talk radio programmer David Bernstein posted today (1/31) on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Bernstein’s stellar career in radio includes stints as program director of such politically diverse powerhouses as WTIC in Hartford, WPRO in Providence, WRKO and WBZ in Boston, and a 10 year run at WOR in New York. He even served for a brief period as VP/programming at Air America. Today, he is the general manager of the experimental “workshop” platform TalkersRadio and going into his second full year as an adjunct professor of media studies at Caldwell University in New Jersey. Harrison and Bernstein explore the characteristics, habits and challenges facing Millennials with a focus on those considering careers in the media. The discussion includes an analysis of the public’s across the board obsession with politics inspired by the rise of Donald Trump permeating all aspects of daily American life. Don’t miss this one! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Zannie K. Named PM Drive Host at ‘105 The Vibe’ in Twin Cities. In the Minneapolis market, Cumulus Media announces that on-air pro Zannie K. is the new afternoon personality and assistant program director at classic hip hop outlet WGVX “105 The Vibe.” He also hosts the weekend “Zannie K’s Throwback Theory” Saturday nights at 10:00 pm. Additionally, he’s going to host the Sunday midday show for Westwood One’s 24/7 AC, hot AC and CHR affiliates. Cumulus Media Minneapolis OM (and corporate VP of classic rock) Scott Jameson comments, “We’ve seen consistent growth with ‘The Vibe,’ and adding Zannie to afternoon drive will no doubt sustain the positive momentum for our listeners and advertisers.”
Music Radio News and Career Moves. On Monday (2/6), married morning show personalities “Chadd & Kristi” (at right) debut their program on Beasley Media Group’s newly launched adult contemporary WBRN “B98.7.” The station was formerly a rock outlet and the Tampa affiliate of the Bubba the Love Sponge show, but Beasley flipped it to AC on January 5…..Country superstar Luke Bryan chatted with Westwood One Sports NFL host Scott Graham on Thursday (2/2). Bryan appeared as part of Westwood One’s nightly “The Road to Super Bowl LI” broadcast that aired live. On Sunday, Bryan will sing the national anthem before the Super Bowl LI broadcast…..Townsquare Media launches the new KAMM, Missoula, Montana as an alternative rock outlet branded “ALT 101.5.” The brand manager for the new station is Angel Hughes, who will also serve as the station’s morning personality…..Rock radio jock Spam joins Sun Broadcasting’s alternative WXNX, Fort Myers “93X” as host of the morning show. Spam comes to Sun from his most recent gig at Entercom’s cross-state alternative rocker WSFS, Miami “104.3 The Shark.” Spam was a longtime personality at CBS Radio’s WHFS, Baltimore/Washington…..In Reading, Pennsylvania, Jimmy Steele exits iHeartMedia’s hot AC WRFY and Spanish AC WRAW after a restructuring of the cluster’s staff.
WSCR, Chicago Unveils New Lineup; Windy City Native Parkins Comes Back from KCSP, Kansas City. The recent retirement of original “Score” personality Terry Boers led industry watchers to expect at least an addition to the staff and that’s what program director Mitch Rosen is announcing. Chicago native and recent six-year KCSP, Kansas City sports talk host Danny Parkins is heading home to partner with Matt Spiegel to co-host the 9:00 am to 1:00 pm “Spiegel and Parkins” show. Current midday personality Jason Goff moves to the afternoon drive slot (1:00 pm to 6:00 pm) to partner with Dan Bernstein for the “Bernstein and Goff” show. The changes take effect next Tuesday (1/17). Rosen states, “The retirement of beloved ‘Score original’ Terry Boers after 25 years, coupled with the exciting achievements of the station over the last year, led us straight to Jason as the perfect match with Dan in afternoons. As a hometown native, Danny brings passion to middays, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to hear what he and Matt create together for our loyal listeners.” Goff first started with “The Score” in 2000 as a producer. He’s worked on air at CBS RADIO’s WZGC, Atlanta, as well as SiriusXM.
Suit Against Glenn Beck and Others By ‘Clock Boy’ Family Dismissed. The family of Ahmed Mohamed sued Glenn Beck, his company The Blaze, Center for Security Policy’s Jim Hanson, talk host Ben Shapiro and others for defamation in the aftermath of the then-13-year-old’s 2015 arrest. The boy had made a homemade electronic device in a small briefcase using parts from a clock and batteries that he brought to school to show his teacher. The teacher mistook it for a bomb and called authorities. He was initially charged with making a hoax bomb but charges were soon dropped. But the media attention to the case made it a viral story. Beck and other defendants opined and speculated about the case, including whether the incident was planned by Mohamed’s father in order to draw sympathy. Some defendants questioned that he’d built a clock at all and suggested what he made was something that looked like a small suitcase bomb. Regardless, under a Texas anti-SLAPP suit measure, a Texas judge dismissed the complaints against all except Shapiro, whose motion-to-dismiss hearing will take place on January 30. NBC News is reporting that the family intends to appeal the dismissals.
2017 New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards Open for Entries; TALKERS Publisher Michael Harrison Named to Advisory Committee. The 2017 New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards is now open for entries. The awards program – now in its 35th year – honors “the World’s Best Radio Programs,” receiving entries from radio stations, networks, and independent producers from more than 30 countries around the world. NYF Radio Program Awards executive director Rose Anderson says, “From hard-hitting investigative journalism to breath-taking theater of the mind, radio today engages listeners as never before across a growing spectrum of genres and platforms. Storytelling, the power of the individual voice, and the immediacy of the medium – all testify to the universal language of radio. And so, every year we augment our categories not only to be in sync with the industry but in order to stay ahead of the curve as visionaries around the world raise the bar of what is possible.” Additional categories added this year to address the breadth of radio programming emerging in today’s marketplace include: Best Live News Special and Heroes Documentary. NYF also added two new podcast categories for Music and Personal Lives. This year New York Festivals Radio Awards adds two new members to the Advisory Board: TALKERS magazine editor and publisher Michael Harrison and SiriusXM VP/talk production & operations Todd Stack. NYF calls Harrison “one of America’s leading authorities on radio, communications, and public opinion as it is expressed in the media.” The Advisory Board is comprised of prominent international executives recognized as thought-leaders in the radio broadcasting industry. These individuals function as a sounding board for the competition’s executive director, offering suggestions for category updates and sharing ideas, trends, and other concerns that impact radio broadcasting. Their guidance insures that the competition is relevant and in step with the ever-changing radio industry. For information about submitting entries, click here.
Trump Press Conference, Russian Hacking Allegations/McCain Releases ‘Trump Dossier,’ Trump Business Separation Plan, Trump Cabinet Nominations Hearings, Obama Farewell Address, ObamaCare Repeal Efforts, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/11). President-Elect Donald Trump’s first press conference since winning the White House; the allegations Russia was behind the hacking of the DNC emails and John McCain’s delivering the “Trump dossier” purportedly documenting bizarre sexual behavior by Trump while staying in Moscow to BuzzFeed; Donald Trump’s plan to put his business into a trust run by his sons in order to avoid conflicts of interest; the hearings of Trump cabinet nominees Rex Tillerson and Jeff Sessions; President Barack Obama’s Tuesday evening “Farewell Address”; the efforts by the GOP to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act; and the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Michael Medved’s New Book Cracks NYT Bestseller Top 10 in Religion Category. Nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Medved’s latest book, The American Miracle: Divine Providence in the Rise of the Republic (Crown Forum 2016), has cracked the top 10 in The New York Times Bestseller list in the religion, spirituality and faith category. The Salem Radio Network talk host’s book looks at important moments in the history of the United States and suggests that “at moments of crisis, when the odds against success seem overwhelming and disaster looks imminent, fate intervenes to provide deliverance and progress.” He writes that many notable leaders over the years have believed that the country’s good fortune came straight from the hand of God. Read more about the book here.
Talk Media Network Names Willis Damalt to Senior Affiliate Relations Post. Affiliate relations pro Willis Damalt joins talk radio programming syndicator Talk Media Network as senior affiliate relations representative. During his career, Damalt has served with the WOR Network as senior director of affiliate relations, at USRN, and SFX. Talk Media Network CEO Josh Leng says, “We’ve been on the lookout for the right person to join our fun, but focused team, and having Willis Damalt aboard at Talk Media Network is a great way to start the New Year. In the past 30 days, we’ve added 30 new show clearances, with Willis already contributing to our growth and providing great affiliate service.” Damalt will serve stations primarily in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Upper-Midwest and Southwest and affiliate relations director Ken Silverstein covers the rest of the country.
Odds & Sods. 77 WABC, New York is expanding the weekend “Always in Fashion” show featuring host and fashion business leader Mark Weber. The show, dedicated to business and fashion, has been airing Saturday evenings from 10:00 pm to 11:00 pm for the past year. Beginning this Saturday (1/14), the program will now be broadcast Saturday evenings from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm and on Sunday afternoons from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm…..Southern California journalist and award-winning public radio news host Alex Cohen will become KPCC-FM, Pasadena’s voice of “Morning Edition.” The native Angeleno is well known to KPCC listeners as co-host of “Take Two,” the station’s morning news magazine for the past four years…..Scripps announces that on this week’s “Cal Cast” podcast with Kentucky basketball head coach John Calipari, UConn women’s basketball head coach Geno Auriemma will be the guest. Auriemma is on the verge of breaking his own record of consecutive wins with his UConn Lady Huskies. On January 10, Auriemma coached his team to its 90th consecutive win – tying the record his teams set in 2010. UConn faces Southern Methodist University on the road this Saturday (1/14), with a chance to notch a record-breaking 91st consecutive win…..Call for entry for the 26th annual Radio Mercury Awards is now open. Entries are being accepted for outstanding creative spots, campaigns and innovative radio work from advertising agencies, radio stations, production companies, colleges, universities, and advertisers. Chief judge Mark Gross, along with a soon-to-be-announced team of final round judges, will disburse over $87,000 in cash prizes including the $50,000 Best of Show prize. Winners will be announced at the 2017 Radio Mercury Awards event on June 1 in New York…..SiriusXM announces “The Big Bang Theory” star Jim Parsons is hosting a new, limited-run show on Andy Cohen’s SiriusXM channel, Radio Andy. It’s titled “Jim Parsons Is Too Stupid for Politics” and will feature Parsons “breaking down today’s often confusing political climate, while exploring how U.S. citizens can become better participants in our government system.”
Debbie Mazella Named Program Director at AC WMGQ, New Brunswick, New Jersey. Ten-year WMGQ staffer Debbie Mazella is promoted to program director for Beasley Media Group’s Central New Jersey adult contemporary outlet. Mazella has been assistant program director for the past nine years while serving as midday host at “Magic 98.3” – a duty she will continue in addition to her new PD responsibilities. Mazella states, “Ever since my childhood, I wanted to be involved in radio and I’m extremely grateful to the mentors who have influenced, encouraged and helped me on my career path. It’s even more exciting to know that I am the first female PD in Magic’s 40 year history!”
Dave & Mahoney Return to CBS RADIO’s KXTE, Las Vegas. Sin City alternative rock KXTE “X107.5” welcomes back morning personalities Dave & Mahoney, effective Monday, February 6. The duo was most recently hosting the morning daypart at the company’s KHMX, Houston “Mix 96-5.” They hosted the morning show on “X107.5” beginning in 2009, before leaving the market. KXTE program director Ross Mahoney says, “Dave & Mahoney live and breathe Las Vegas and are ingrained in the history and lifestyle of ‘X107.5.’ They know the music, the community and understand what the ‘X107.5’ brand means to the listeners. I couldn’t be more excited to have the boys come home and do what they do best – entertain Las Vegas!”
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. In San Diego, program director and afternoon personality Mike Halloran exits Local Media San Diego’s alternative XETRA “91X.” His bio has been scrubbed from the station website…..At Entercom’s hip hop KQKS, Denver, 17-year station personality Kendall B. exits the “KS1075” morning show…..John St. John is named operations manager for Midwest Communications’ Duluth, Minnesota station group that includes: country KTCO, classic country KDKE “102.5 Duke FM,” classic rock KQDS, adult contemporary KDAL-FM, news/talk KDAL-AM, news/talk WDSM-AM/W251CD and sports talk WDUL…..Beasley Media Group’s Detroit classic rocker WCSX is hosting the “Cold as Ice,” ice fishing tournament at Lake St. Clair Metropark on Saturday, January 28. Fishermen (and fisherwomen!) participating have the chance to win prizes for the top 10 catches. First place prize of $1,000 goes to the fisher who catches the heaviest perch! The fisher who catches the largest pike will win $500 cash and the one who catches the heaviest pan fish will win $250.
Memorial Set for Legendary KLOS, Los Angeles Personality Bob Coburn. A memorial service for Bob Coburn is set for Saturday, January 21 at Malibu Presbyterian Church in Malibu, California at 2:00 pm. The service will be followed by a reception at Ollo Restaurant in Malibu. If attending, you are asked to RSVP either via Rockline@gmail.com or by texting or calling 818-636-6160. Coburn died in December at age 68 after a battle with lung cancer. His weekly, syndicated “Rockline” show aired from 1981 through 2014.
By Phil Boyce
Salem Media Group
VP/Director, Spoken Word Format
Operations VP, New York Region
NEW YORK — Two years ago, after getting disgusted with talk radio haters predicting the death of this format, I wrote a column published here in TALKERS magazine called, “Why Talk Radio is NOT Dying.” I received more than 200 “likes” from people who thanked me for standing up for the format that we all have come to know and love. I recently found the column by accident and thought it’s time to re-visit it two years later.
To paraphrase the great Mark Twain, “The rumors of our death have been greatly exaggerated.” Usually when you find people predicting the demise or death of this format it comes from two sources: a) people who don’t truly understand this format and, b) people who do understand it, and loathe it. When Jerry Del Colliano predicted the death of talk radio would come in 2014, I asked him what he thought about the format in general, and he admitted he hated it.
Kim Guthrie Named to Replace Retiring Bill Hoffman as President of Cox Media Group. After 38 years with Cox, Bill Hoffman is retiring from his Cox Media Group president post at the end of the year. Taking over in January will be current executive vice president of national ad platforms and president of Cox Reps, Kim Guthrie. Cox Enterprises president and CEO John Dyer says, “Kim has been with Cox for nearly 20 years and is an inspirational leader who has helped our media properties transform. She played a key role in the successful creation of Cox Media Group in 2008 and has been recognized as one of the media industry’s most influential leaders. She is a natural fit to ensure Cox Media Group continues to deliver innovative products and compelling news content.”
Report: CBS RADIO to Take on $1.5 Billion in Debt. This report from Reuters, says that sources are telling it that CBS RADIO is preparing to take on as much as $1.5 billion in debt ahead of its initial public offering that’s expected to take place but still has no firm time frame. According the report, the bulk of the proceeds would be paid back to parent CBS Corp. with the rest to be used by CBS RADIO for “general corporate purposes.” In its report, Reuters notes that “a radio company IPO may be a tough sale as new digital competitors have emerged and depressed advertising sales for the medium for years.” Read the Reuters story here.
Lew Dickey Pens Book on Changing Media Landscape. The book is published by Tourbillion International – a subsidiary of the Dickey family-owned Modern Luxury Media – and is titled, The New Modern Media – Remaking Media for a Mobile Culture. We now know what Lew Dickey has been doing since he was ousted from the Cumulus CEO role last year. The book is described as “an indispensable guide to the profound and disruptive changes rocking the media industry. It examines the implications of a new, mobile culture and challenges the widely held belief that most media companies’ true source of profits is their content. It makes the case for the importance of distribution as a key driver of firm value in the legacy media business model, be it a newspaper, magazine, record label, television network, local broadcast television or radio station.” In the book Dickey makes the case for why traditional “radio broadcasters will be unlikely to benefit from subscription revenue for their core service, leaving them highly exposed to the ad markets.” iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman is quoted reviewing the book, “I’ve spent my entire professional life in the media business, and today technology is enabling media to evolve at an ever-faster pace to meet consumers’ changing needs. Lew’s book is a timely resource for anyone working or investing in the media industry – shedding an important light on some of the critical challenges and opportunities inherent in today’s vibrant and complex media landscape.” Pittman’s iHeartRadio just announced a two-tier subscription service last week – clearly another step in the grand plan to transform iHeartMedia from a legacy radio company to a competitor in the digital entertainment industry. But getting back to Lew’s book, it’s a safe bet this will be the talk of the radio business this week.
Mike Gallagher Broadcasts from Hofstra University. In advance of tonight’s first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Salem Radio Networks syndicated personality Mike Gallagher broadcast his program from Hofstra University on Long Island, the site of tonight’s debate. Gallagher’s guests included pollster Pat Caddell, Republican National Committee communications director Sean Spicer, Trump campaign co-chair Sam Clovis, and, via telephone, vice presidential candidate Mike Pence. Gallagher says, “I’ve bird-dogged these candidates through the primaries and caucuses and both national conventions. So, it is a thrill to bring my audience into the final hours of preparation for this historic debate which is expected to draw 100 million or more via radio and TV.”
iHeartMedia Launches New Tucson Talk Station. This will be a sister talk station to iHeartMedia’s existing news/talk KNST and consists primarily of syndicated fare. KTZR flipped from Spanish music to talk this morning (9/26) as “The Talk of Tucson.” The programming lineup is: Premiere’s Glenn Beck in morning drive, followed by USA Radio’s “Trending Today USA with Rusty Humphries,” Westwood One’s “The Savage Nation,” KTRH, Houston-based, syndicated personality Michael Berry, local personality Rob Hunter, Premiere’s “AMERICA Now with Meghan McCain,” “Ground Zero,” “AMERICA Now Rewind,” and GCN’s Alex Jones.
Alan Henry Memoir Published. One of the progenitors of modern day talk radio and the all-news formats has written his memoir. Alan Henry’s new book is titled, A Man And His Medium: An Indelible Signature on Radio Television Cable. It was a young Alan Henry – charged with turning around Metromedia’s poorly rated KLAC, Los Angeles – who hired raconteur Joe Pyne to host the evening program. Pyne had just been fired by crosstown KABC. Henry and programmer Jim Lightfoot gave Pyne control over his show content and the program took off, eventually being syndicated to more than 250 radio stations. Henry’s influence continued when, after leaving KLAC, he joined Westinghouse in New York and proposed a new all-news format for WINS. He was named sales manager of the station and, although it took a while to bring advertisers around, history reveals its eventual success.
The Presidential Race/First Debate, Police Shootings of Blacks, Syrian Civil War/U.S.-Russian Military Tensions, George Bush-Michelle Obama Photo, Growing National Anthem Protests, MLB Playoff Push and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the buildup to this evening’s debate; the aftermath of the recent Tulsa and Charlotte shooting deaths of black men by police; the Syrian civil war and Russia’s role in the bombing of Aleppo and air convoys; Saturday’s dedication of the African American History Museum in Washington and chatter about the widely published photo of Michelle Obama hugging George W. Bush; National Anthem protests spread to the college football ranks; the playoff push in Major League Baseball, and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Odds & Sods. There are changes in the air talent lineup at ESPN-owned/Cumulus operated KESN-FM, Dallas. Matt Mosley leaves the station and his afternoon drive partner Tim Cowlishaw. Midday personality Mark Friedman also exits the station where he co-hosted with Steve Dennis. There are rumors in the market that Dennis will join Cowlishaw in afternoons and Jean-Jacques Taylor and Will Chambers will take over the midday show…..Radiohio-owned sports talker WBNS, Columbus “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” extends its relationship with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets for another three seasons. WBNS’ partner – Southeastern Ohio Broadcasting System’s alternative WWCD “CD102.5” – will serve as the secondary signals for the team’s games…..GatesAir announces three important wins in Vietnam that signify the over-the-air TV and radio transformation taking shape across the Asia-Pacific region. Vietnam Television recently placed two orders for transmitter network expansions. On the radio side, Vietnam is investing in existing FM infrastructure with improvement and expansion projects. Voice of Vietnam, the national radio broadcaster, recently ordered five Flexiva air-cooled solid-state transmitters — two 5kW and three 10kW models — for VOV4, which serves as the broadcaster’s Ethnic Languages Channel.
The Yappy Tour Rolls On. Prolific radio talk show producer turned author Bernadette Duncan recently brought her “Yappy Tour” to the television viewers of Western Massachusetts by appearing as a guest on the WGGB-TV (ABC-40) “Western Mass News” to discuss her buzz-worthy book, Yappy Days; Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Books, 2016). The book recounts Duncan’s 26-year career as a producer of radio talk shows working with such big-name talents as Larry King, Sally Jessy Raphael, Lou Dobbs, Tom Snyder, Gil Gross, Charles Osgood and many more during modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.” Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature. Above, Duncan (left) is pictured with newsman/show host Chris Pisano (right) on Channel 40’s “Western Mass News” midday talk show. Duncan’s national “Yappy Tour” will roll on through the remainder of the year. She has already appeared on more than 25 local and syndicated programs. Hosts and shows interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.
KSPN, Los Angeles Revamps Programming; Live and Local Lineup Launches September 21. Rumors about these changes have been leaking for a week or so but now ESPN reports the official changes for O&O KSPN “ESPNLA 710AM.” These alterations to the current schedule also line up in more traditional dayparts. First, the 5:00 am to 7:00 am “Kelvin & Travis” show is gone and the all new “Mornings with Keyshawn, Jorge and LZ” airs in the 6:00 am to 9:00 am slot with Keyshawn Johnson, Jorge Sedano and LZ Granderson. While it appears that Travis Rodgers is off the station, Kelvin Washington moves to afternoons – 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm – with incumbent Marcellus Wiley (Wiley went solo after partner Max Kellerman joined the company’s ESPN2 for the “First Take” show). The current “Thompson & Trudell” program expands by an hour, airing from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon. “Mason & Ireland (12:00 noon to 3:00 pm) and “ESPNLA Rewind” (7:00 pm to 9:00 pm) remain in their current positions. The 9:00 pm to 6:00 am block will feature ESPN Radio Network programming. Station VP/GM Scott McCarthy comments, “With an extremely powerful all live-and-local lineup, we are ensuring that ESPNLA continues to be the destination station for Los Angeles-area sports fans. Fans want context and analysis after our L.A. teams play, and our local focus – especially in morning drive – will super-serve them with the best in L.A. sports talk.”
PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations that serve as flagships for Major League Baseball based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2016 PPM survey. In this report you’ll find charts listing: stations by format and (6+) AHQ share; ratings fluctuations from July 2016 to August 2016; ratings fluctuations from August 2015 to August 2016; and how stations ranked in their respective markets. See it all here.
Cumulus Media Files with SEC to Ask Shareholders for Reverse Stock Split. This move is an effort to get Cumulus stock above the $1 threshold on the NASDAQ so it doesn’t get delisted. If shareholders agree, it would set the company on course to try to get far fewer shares of class A, B, and C stock trading at a higher price. Under the 1 for 8 split, shareholders would get one share for every eight they own. If the Reverse Stock Split is effected it would mean the number of authorized shares of Class A Common Stock goes from 750,000,000 to 93,750,000, of Class B Common Stock from 600,000,000 to 75,000,000 and of Class C Common Stock from 644,871 to 80,609. The shareholders with the most stock in Cumulus include Crestview Radio Investors holding 30.2% of Class A stock; Lew Dickey, Jr. with 11.2%; and Greywolf Event Driven Master Fund with 5.5%. Lew Dickey owns 100% of the Class C stock.
Genuine Austin Radio to Buy Sports Duo KTXX-FM/KLGO-AM ‘The Horn.’ The sports talk duo branded “The Horn” – KTXX-FM and KLGO-AM in Austin – is being sold to Bob Cole-led Genuine Austin Radio, LLC for an undisclosed sum. Genuine has been operating the stations under an LMA and will continue to do so until the sale closes. The seller is Total Austin Sports Radio, LLC. The stations are the home of the University of Texas Longhorns sports as well as other local and regional sports franchises. Broker on the transaction is DEFcom Advisors, LLC which represents the seller.
WYSL, Rochester Personality and New York State Assemblyman Bill Nojay Dead at 59. The cause of death was an apparent suicide for Republican New York State Assemblyman, attorney, and radio talk show host Bill Nojay. According to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Nojay apparently took his own life at his family’s cemetery plots in the Rochester area on Friday (9/9), the same day he was to appear in federal court to answer to fraud charges related to a trust fund he managed in his capacity as an attorney. He was also running for re-election for his assembly seat. Nojay hosted the 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm daily talk program on Radio Livingston-owned WYSL, Rochester/W221CL “Newspower 1040.”
The Presidential Race/Clinton Health Concerns, 9/11 Anniversary, North Korea Nuke Test, Samsung Note 7 Troubles, Friday’s Dow Dip, NFL Season Opens, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, especially Clinton’s abrupt exit from 9/11 ceremonies and news of her pneumonia diagnosis; the anniversary of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001; North Korea’s announcement of a successful nuclear weapon test; Samsung’s recall of the popular Galaxy Note 7 and reports of fires caused by exploding batteries; The Dow drops almost 400 points on Friday over concerns about interest rate hikes; the 2016 NFL season opens and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Odds & Sods. A deal between CBS Sports Radio and Westwood One has the latter serving as the exclusive ad sales rep for the new “Jim Rome’s Daily Jungle” podcast that launched back in August on the iTunes and Play.It platforms. WW1 is selling endorsements, live reads, pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll advertisements…..The nationally syndicated “Joe Pags Show” announces a number of recently added affiliates to the WOAI, San Antonio-based program. Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo reports that his roster now numbers 66 stations across the country, including: KUIK, Portland; WAVL, Latrobe, Pennsylvania; WHBY, Appleton, Wisconsin; WAAM, Ann Arbor, Michigan; WJNT, Jackson, Mississippi; WATT, Cadillac, Michigan; WMKT, Charlevoix, Michigan; WHIR, Danville, Kentucky.
On the Road Again. With coverage of Campaign 2016 in full gear, the Salem Radio Network talk hosts – including Mike Gallagher, Hugh Hewitt, and Dennis Prager – are hitting the road “to rally conservative voters in battleground states like Colorado, Ohio and Pennsylvania.” Pictured here on the Great America PAC bus en route to a rally in Orlando, Florida today (9/12) are (from l-r): Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, Prager, Hewitt, and actor Jon Voight.
Cool NewsRadio Morning Drive Opportunity. Delaware’s NewsRadio 1450 and 1410 (WILM-AM and WDOV-AM) in Wilmington, Delaware is looking for a morning host to take them to the next level on their spoken-word stations. The right candidate will have a contagious personality with 3 years or more experience doing spoken-word formats. You’ll live the target listener lifestyle and have a successful track record in growing ratings and revenue as an “ambassador in our community.” You’ll be known on a first-name basis with their local business owners, politicians and non-profits. You’ll engage listeners on important subjects, on-air, with a sense of responsibility to inform and entertain. And, you’ll love meeting listeners at station promotions and non-profit or civic events. If this sounds like you, you will love iHeartMedia in Delaware. They work hard and play harder, all the while being so close to beaches, bays, big cities and breathtaking getaways. If you are a sports fanatic, you will love living on the I-95 corridor surrounded by three major markets with easy access to dozens of college and professional sports teams. They offer a modest salary with exceptional opportunities to supplement your pay, a good health and benefit package, excellent facilities with a support team ready to help you win! If this sounds like your next step, send your “zipped” package (MP3, resume and cover letter) to: email@example.com. iHeartMedia is an Equal Opportunity Employer. NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE!
Republican National Convention Begins Today in Cleveland. Numerous news organizations – in addition to dozens of talk shows broadcasting from the site of the convention – are in Cleveland to report on this week’s Republican National Convention. The team pictured at right is from CBS Radio News and among the four news pros, they have covered 24 national political conventions. The CBS Radio News correspondents are (from l-r): Steve Dorsey, Steve Portnoy, Dan Raviv and Steve Futterman. Also in Cleveland is Salem Radio Network. Pictured at left manning the vacuum cleaner at the SRN broadcast booth late Sunday evening is VP of news & talk programming Tom Tradup. SRN hosts broadcasting from Cleveland will include: Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Eric Metaxas, Michael Medved and Larry Elder. The Westwood One News convention team includes correspondents Bob Costantini, Jim Roope, Alan Scaia and Karin Caifa among its reporter and producer crew. Chas Henry will anchor long-form coverage and Michael Toscano will anchor evening short-form special reports. The team will operate from its Westwood One News broadcast booths inside the arena (pictured at right). Programming will include a live podium feed of all sessions; anchored coverage of the presidential and vice-presidential acceptance speeches and other major events; four special reports per hour during evening sessions; live correspondent Q&A opportunities for affiliates; and a live simulcast of CNN TV coverage.
The Presidential Race/Republican National Convention, Baton Rouge Officers Slain, Attempted Turkey Coup, Rio Olympics Troubles/Russian Doping Allegations, Pokemon Go Craze, and British Open Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump tied with this week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland; the shooting of three Baton Rouge police officers by a lone gunman; the attempted military coup of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan; the troubles facing Rio De Janeiro as it prepares to host the Olympic Games and the related Russian doping allegations; the Pokemon Go craze; and this weekend’s British Open golf tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.
‘The Herd with Colin Cowherd’ Hits 100-Affilliate Mark. Less than a year after sports media personality Colin Cowherd joined FOX Sports from ESPN, his nationally syndicated radio show on FOX Sports Radio, a division of Premiere Networks, gets its 100th affiliate station. Recent additions to the show’s affiliate roster include: WINZ, Miami; KHHO, Seattle; KGME, Phoenix; KDSP, Denver; and KFXX, Portland. Premiere president Julie Talbott states, “The reaction to Colin’s show over the past 10 months has been incredible – we’ve surpassed every goal we set for the first year of the program. The rapid success of ‘The Herd’ is a testament to Colin’s unique voice in the world of sports media and his ability to engage millions of fans across numerous platforms. We look forward to reaching many more milestones together.” Cowherd adds, “You can’t be happier professionally than I am today. The support is so extensive that it only makes me want to work harder and this is just the beginning.” Cowherd also appears on cable’s FS1.
Gow Media Teams with SB Nation for New Sports Audio Content. This relationship means the end of Gow Media’s partnership with Yahoo! Sports Radio as of August 1. At that time, the sports radio network with re-brand as SB Nation Radio. SB Nation is a digital sports brand operated by Vox Media. In a statement today, the two companies say they will “collaborate to develop and distribute audio content, available across SB Nation’s community of over 300 digital properties, as well as Gow Media’s network of over 500 affiliate radio stations, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and other mobile and digital platforms.” They plan to create new “podcast franchises” and “various on-air show formats.” SB Nation staff expected to be part of the radio efforts include: Spencer Hall, Paul Flannery, Dan Rubenstein, Ariel Helwani, Thomas George, “as well as experts from some of SB Nation’s 300 team-specific communities, which will join Gow Media’s existing 24/7 programming lineup and capabilities.” Gow Media CEO David Gow says, “SB Nation is young, fast-paced, and digitally savvy. This is the tone and energy audiences will hear on SB Nation Radio.”
Odds & Sods. In the Houston market, iHeartmedia inks a deal with IMG to be the official radio partner for The University of Texas football and men’s basketball play-by-play broadcasts. KBME “Sportstalk 790 AM” will be the primary outlet for broadcasts but select games may also air on news/talk sisters KTRH and KPRC…..Bravo Mic Communications-owned country outlet KXPZ, Las Cruces, is the new flagship for New Mexico State University football and men’s basketball games, and the coaches’ shows. The deal with Learfield runs through 2021…..Radio news pro Kris Ankarlo joins the news staff at iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles as reporter/anchor. Ankarlo, son of talk radio pro Darryl Ankarlo, most recently served with CBS RADIO’s all-news WNEW-FM, Baltimore prior to that station’s format flip late last year.
4th Annual Radio Talent Workshop Begins Today at WKU. Today begins the 4th annual Kentucky Broadcasters Association Western Kentucky University Radio Talent Institute with 35 broadcasters discovering and preparing young talent with a strong desire to be in the broadcast industry. Twenty four students from across the state and region have been accepted into the Institute and all will be taking the RAB course to become certified as Radio Marketing Professionals. They’ll also learn from broadcasters about other aspects of radio, including: on-air, sports, news, production, promotions and digital/social media. Some of the guest professional faculty are: Steve Newberry, president of Commonwealth Communications; Bud Walters, president of Cromwell Radio Group; Chris Hillard, president of Forever Communications; Kristin Cantrell, owner/CEO of CapCity Communications and Seven Mountains Media; Mike Tarter, president and Terry Forcht, chairman/CEO of Forcht Broadcasting; and Lynn Martin, president of LM Communications. The Ben Davis and Kelly K show (pictured here at last year’s Institute) from WDJX, Louisville will broadcast live from WKU on Friday morning.
Broadcast Veteran Mike Siegel Publishes Book About Pivotal Period in Talk Radio History. In a new book that is part-memoir/part-history, veteran talent Mike Siegel has released a book that covers the early days of talk radio’s modern era following the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine. Titled, Airing the Wave: Talk Radio at the Dawn of the Digital Era (2016 Page Publishing) the book was written with Stan Emert with a forward by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison. Siegel, who currently hosts a national show distributed by Genesis Communications Network (GCN) and does part-time and fill-in work for WRKO, Boston, is available for interviews. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or phoned at 206-510-9494.
FCC’s Wheeler Refuses to Loosen Cross-Ownership Regulations. Perhaps it’s not shocking, but broadcasters are disappointed by the news that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is not going to relax the newspaper-radio cross-ownership ban. Wheeler announced to the rest of the commission his intentions for the 2010/2014 Quadrennial review and rules. Wheeler says that if these rules are adopted, they “will take into account the evolving media marketplace and the Commission’s obligation to conduct timely review of the rules.” Many broadcasters would disagree that Wheeler’s unwillingness to budge on the cross-ownership ban takes into account the evolving media marketplace. The NAB issued the following statement: “We’re disappointed that Chairman Wheeler continues to ignore the will of both the courts and Congress by proposing to retain broadcast ownership rules that long ago outlived their usefulness. It is shocking that regulators who bless mammoth mergers like AT&T/DirecTV and Charter/Time Warner Cable would still bar common ownership of two TV stations or broadcast/newspaper combinations in a local market. Ultimately, NAB hopes the five-member FCC, Congress, or the courts end this indefensible FCC charade, and that meaningful ownership reform is adopted for the benefit of the millions of Americans reliant on free and local broadcasting.”
Salem to Operate KTRB, San Francisco; Will Air SRN Programming on ‘860 AM The Answer.’ In the San Francisco market, Salem Media Group announces it is entering into an LMA with Susan L. Uecker, Receiver of the estate of Pappas Radio California, to operate KTRB. Salem will air the entire slate of Salem Radio Network on the full-market AM as “860 AM The Answer.” This is the 26th station Salem has branded “The Answer” and Salem Media Group president David Santrella says, “We are thrilled and excited to enter market #4 with a station that reaches the entire metro population. Just in time for the run-up to the biggest presidential election of our lifetime, we’re adding the entire lineup of Salem’s outstanding network talk talent.” The lineup will be: Hugh Hewitt, 3:00 am to 6:00 am; Mike Gallagher, 6:00 am to 9:00 am; Dennis Prager, 9: 00 am to 12:00 noon; Michael Medved, 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; Larry Elder, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm; and Steve Deace, 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.
What Exactly IS a Podcast? On the new episode of the PodcastOne award-winning weekly program, “Up Close and Far Out,” host Michael Harrison opens the show with a discussion about the very definition of the term “podcast” itself. Harrison expresses two perspectives on the concept. The first is the current popular view – that a podcast is a pre-recorded program (mostly audio) delivered directly and instantaneously to the consumer on a digital device via the Internet and available for play “on demand” without delay or interference from a radio station schedule, transportation vehicle or brick-and-mortar store. He then takes the broader approach to the concept showing how video and text files (programs) also enjoy that same convenience in the digital age – making the point that a file containing a movie, song, article or book are similarly “podcasts” although we don’t necessarily call them that. Harrison says that the vinyl phonograph record was an early version of a pre-Internet-era podcast insomuch as the consumer could buy the file and then have access to play it on demand without having to make an appointment or be subject to the whims of a DJ or playlist by waiting to hear it on the radio. Harrison says this is basically obvious but he is surprised by the number of people who still find podcasting “mysterious and daunting” and ask all kinds of questions about how they can go about hearing his show. They ask questions like, “Do I need special equipment to hear it?” or “How do I find it?” According to Harrison, he is even asked these kinds of questions by people already in the broadcast business. “How do I record a podcast?” “Do I need a special microphone or device?” “What’s the secret?” Part two of this week’s episode contains excerpts from earlier episodes of the “Up Close and Far Out” series including conversations with pop legend Linda Ronstadt, planetary scientist Alan Stern, former governor Jesse Ventura, cosmic consciousness guru Deepak Chopra, former FEMA director (now talk show host) Michael Brown, talk host Mark Levin, sports talker Mike Francesa and “digital goddess” Kim Komando. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box in the right-hand column of every page on Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.
‘Brexit’ Vote Aftermath, the Presidential Race, SCOTUS Abortion Ruling, U.S. Immigration Policy, SCOTUS Overturns McDonnell Bribery Conviction, and MLB Action Among Top News/talk Stories Yesterday (6/27). The aftermath of Britain’s referendum vote to leave the European Union, including the effects on the world’s financial markets; the activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the Supreme Court overturns abortion regulations enacted by Texas; the ongoing conversation about immigration policy in the United States; former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s bribery conviction is overturned by the Supreme Court; and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
KARN, Little Rock News Anchor Donna Kelley Dies at 66. Little Rock radio news pro Donna Kelley – a longtime anchor and reporter for Cumulus Media’s KARN “Newsradio 102.9” – died at her home on Sunday (6/26) from natural causes. Cumulus Media Little Rock VP/market manager Keith Liesmann made the following statement: “All of us at Cumulus are tremendously saddened by the sudden and shocking passing of Donna Kelley. Donna was an outstanding reporter/anchor who served with the highest degree of journalistic integrity at KARN for a decade-and-a-half. Donna was at her happiest when she was working on a news story and never let anything keep her from getting her job done. She was a friend to everyone she worked with. We will all miss her.” This is the second death at KARN in a month. Morning news personality Gary DiGiuseppe died in a car crash on June 1 after a driver traveling the wrong direction on I-430 crashed into his car.
Herskovitz: Yelling and Obfuscation. Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz writes today about the rampant “yelling and obfuscation” he’s hearing (and seeing) too much of in today’s advertising. He suggests that what might serve clients better than the cryptically worded claims or annoying splash ads is a well-done radio campaign using the techniques that have worked so effectively for the medium over the years. Read Al’s piece here.
Health and Wellness Syndicated Host Optimistic About State of Radio Industry in Mixed Media Environment. Long-running talent/entrepreneur Danielle Lin, C.N. – host and producer of the successful, independently syndicated program, “The Danielle Lin Show: The Art of Living and the Science of Life” – believes that the combination of old media, new media and specialized, targeted programming with built-in advertising prospects is a winning combination for successful radio going forward into the digital age. In an exclusive article posted today (6/28) in TALKERS, Lin states, “Advertisers and agencies see the marriage of terrestrial radio with streaming, as the perfect way to enhance audience continuity. Quality weekend programming is seeing an increasing audience and the locking in of frequencies.” To read the entire article, please click here.
Odds & Sods. Three nationally syndicated shows from Genesis Communications Network add new affiliates: Doug Stephan’s “Good Day” morning program is now airing on Cumulus Media’s KBGG, Des Moines; the “Daren Streblow Comedy Show” is added to the program schedule at Northeast Colorado Broadcasting’s KPRB, Fort Morgan, Colorado; and “America’s Health Care Advocate” joins the lineup at Eastern Sky LLC’s WZXI, Lancaster, Kentucky…..This Friday (7/1), WEPN-FM “ESPN New York 98.7FM” is presenting “The Ultimate Kickoff Party” with “The Michael Kay Show” and “Hahn & Humpty” to mark the beginning of summer. The event is being held at Martell’s Tiki Bar in Point Pleasant, New Jersey from 12:00 noon to 7:00 pm and will feature the hosts of both shows – Michael Kay, Don LaGreca, Peter Rosenberg, Alan Hahn and Rick DiPietro – will welcome guests including Yankees great Bernie Williams, Super Bowl champion and former New York Jet Willie Colon and entertainment provided by Willie Wilson and the 98.7 All Stars.….Producer Tom Delach (left) and host John Trout (right) show off their Bronze Trophy from the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards. The Westwood One program “America in the Morning” was honored with the trophy for its achievements in the “News Magazine” category.
TALKERS 2016 Video Presentations Launch Today! A special feature presenting Livestream video recordings of the recent TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations gathering launches today on Talkers.com. The 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most important national convention took place on the fabulous campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on Friday, May 20. Beginning today, the industry will be able to view the event’s main panels and presentations kicking off with three outstanding sessions – event emcee, Dr. Joy Browne’s “Welcoming Remarks;” media consultant Holland Cooke’s presentation, “Talk Media: The Next Generation;” and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel talk radio and television star Sean Hannity being interviewed by Michael Harrison in a one-on-one “Fireside Chat.” More speeches, panels and presentations from the dynamic event including WFAN, New York icon, Mike Francesa’s “Morning Sports Radio Keynote;” the TALKERS “Awards Ceremony;” the “Talk Rumble” and much more will be added in the days and weeks to come. To view this must-see presentation, please click here.
Republican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai Condemns ‘Net Neutrality’ Ruling. Among those in Washington who disagree with the Appeals Court’s 2-1 ruling defining broadband as a common carrier utility service is Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai who states, “I am deeply disappointed by the DC Circuit’s 2-1 decision upholding the FCC’s Internet regulations. For many of the reasons set forth in Judge Williams’ compelling dissent, I continue to believe that these regulations are unlawful, and I hope that the parties challenging them will continue the legal fight. The FCC’s regulations are unnecessary and counterproductive. Indeed, as Judge Williams put it: ‘The ultimate irony of the Commission’s unreasoned patchwork is that, refusing to inquire into competitive conditions, it shunts broadband service onto the legal track suited to natural monopolies. Because that track provides little economic space for new firms seeking market entry or relatively small firms seeking expansion through innovations in business models or in technology, the Commission’s decision has a decent chance of bringing about the conditions under which some (but by no means all) of its actions could be grounded—the prevalence of incurable monopoly.’”
Singer Bo Bice Guest Hosts on WYAY, Atlanta. Atlanta news/talker WYAY “NewsRadio 106.7” welcomed singer Bo Bice to its airwaves as part of its weekly Casting Call Atlanta program. Casting Call Atlanta is the Cumulus Media station’s search for the next Atlanta talk star. As part of the initiative, three listeners with little or no professional radio experience have participated weekly in the Wednesday Radio Fantasy Camp. Each given one hour between 9:00 am and 12:00 noon for live, on-air auditions. Bice was runner-up to Carrie Underwood on the fourth season of “American Idol.” According to a press release announcing Bice’s appearance on the station, Bice is a self-described talk radio fan and regular listener to “NewsRadio 106.7” when at his home in Lake Jackson, Georgia. WYAY PD Greg Tantum says, “Bo’s appearance captures the spirit of the Casting Call program in that it encourages all voices in the Atlanta community to participate. Not just experienced or seasoned personalities. Casting Call affords the opportunity to discuss relevant issues from all the unique perspectives that make up the fabric of the metro area lifestyle.”
Orlando Host Jim Turner Suspended from WBZW for Anti-Gay Facebook Post. According to a report in the Orlando Sentinel, afternoon talk host Jim Turner has been suspended from his gig at Salem Media Group’s business talk WBZW after posting comments on Facebook minimizing the deaths of gay victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre. Turner’s comments criticizing the media’s coverage of “sexual deviancy” have been deleted and his Facebook account closed. It’s not clear how long he’ll be off the air. His presence remains on the WBZW website.
Cumulus Media Ousts Market Manager John Sutherland in Providence Market. This report comes from GoLocalProv.com and indicates that Providence market manager John Sutherland has been let go from his position with Cumulus Media after just a year on the job. Sutherland replaced Barbara Haynes, who managed the five-station cluster for the previous 10 years. The GoLocalProv.com piece references last year’s death of WPRO-AM afternoon host Buddy Cianci and states ratings and revenue are down at the station. However, the news/talk station has seen its (6+) PPM numbers increase over the last three months, rising from 4.8 share to a 5.4 share.
Orlando Massacre Aftermath, Paris Cop Murder, Gun Control, the Presidential Race, London Sexy Ad Ban, Appeals Court Broadband Ruling, and NBA Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/14). The investigation into the possible motives of Omar Mateen and the aftermath of his massacre of 49 at the Pulse in Orlando; the live-streamed murder of a Paris police officer and his wife by an Islamic militant; renewed calls for gun control legislation; the activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; London’s Muslim mayor bans “sexy ads” in city’s tube stations; Appeals Court affirms ‘net neutrality’; and the Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Nielsen: Sports Talk Format Seeing Seasonal Surge. This monthly report from Nielsen Audio based on data from its PPM survey shows sports talk seeing a seasonal, format-wide ratings uptick. Moreover, the May 2016 PPM numbers show audience share up slightly compared to previous May reports. Comparing April to May, among persons 6+ the sports talk format jumped from a 4.5% share in April to a 4.9% share in May. The share among 18-34 audience climbed from 3.2% in April to 3.6% in May, and the sports core demo of adults 25-54 rose a half point to a 5.5% share in May.
Odds & Sods. A couple of Salem Radio Network notes to report: First, SRN talk host Larry Elder was a featured speaker at the 17th annual Orange County “Flag Day Celebration.” In addition to his own speech, Elder introduced U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK) who discussed the GOP’s 2016 battle to retake to White House. Second, SRN personality Michael Medved welcomed actor/musician Kevin Bacon and musician Michael Bacon to his Seattle studios on June 14. The Bacons are on tour as The Bacon Brothers Band. They discussed the band’s tour, Kevin’s acting career and “America’s deep political divide over this week’s Orlando massacre vs. the unity we had following the 9/11 attacks.” Pictured here are (from l-r): Kevin Bacon, Medved, and Michael Bacon…..Ahead of the 2016 NFL season, Westwood One inks a multi-year partnership with Loyal Ears Digital to provide “Fantasy Free” to affiliate stations. The content provider says that the Fantasy Free package allows stations to tap into the heavily engaged fantasy sports audience with free games that are legal and that “bring all the excitement that comes with fantasy gaming.” The games are integrated into a station’s website, with station and client branding opportunities…..Neuhoff Media CEO Beth Neuhoff is named recipient of the 2016 Vincent T. Wasilewski Broadcaster of the Year honor from the Illinois Broadcasters Association. The award was presented on June 14 on day one of the IBA’s annual two-day convention. IBA immediate past chairman Sarah Hautala says, “Since taking the reins of Neuhoff Communications, Beth has shown strong leadership and has expanded her operations here in Illinois. She continues to support local broadcasting and the interests of broadcasters.”
Townsquare Media Reports Q1 Net Revenue Up 6.7%. The addition of North American Midway Entertainment to Townsquare Media’s portfolio has been a boon to revenue, helping drive net revenue to $94.4 million in the first quarter. But looking at the Local Advertising segment – which it defines as revenue from “broadcast, digital and mobile advertising on our stations, streams, websites and mobile application” – net revenue was still up 4.4% on a pro forma basis. Excluding political advertising, net revenue in the Local Advertising segment was up 2.7%. Chairman and CEO Steven Price states, “Townsquare’s first quarter performance marked a solid start to 2016, driven by strong results across the company. We grew pro forma net revenue 6.7% and saw particular strength in many of our local markets.”
Crowe Joins KNBR Programming Team. Sports talk programmer and producer Jeremiah Crowe joins Cumulus Media to serve as program director for KTCT “KNBR 1050” and assistant program director for KNBR in San Francisco. Crowe comes to Cumulus San Francisco from Entercom’s crosstown sports talk KGMZ “95.7 The Game” where he was APD. He’s also served as producer at ESPN Radio working with such shows as “Mike and Mike in the Morning,” “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” “SportsNation,” “NFL Countdown to Kickoff,” “College Gameday,” “RaceDay,” and “Fantasy Focus.” KNBR and KTCT operations manager Lee Hammer says, “We’re about to re-launch KNBR 1050, and we’re excited to have Jeremiah join our programming team to lead this effort. In addition, he’ll be working closely with me on new strategic programming initiatives at KNBR 680, plus helping to expand our growing social media platforms.”
Cooke: Is the 2016 Election AM Radio’s Last? In a piece teasing some of the content media consultant Holland Cooke will deliver during his presentation at next week’s TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations conference at Hofstra University, he writes today questioning whether this year’s election will be the last presidential race covered with intensity by AM radio-based talk stations. Cooke notes that recent research shows people between the ages of 18-34 – Millennials – are less familiar with AM radio than their elders and ownership of a non-car radio among that demographic is about 33%. Read more from Holland Cooke here.
Nielsen Audio Releases First Round of April 2016 PPM Data. The first of four rounds of April 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). The April 2016 survey period covered March 24 to April 20. You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here. Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.
The Presidential Race, North Carolina Bathroom Law, Kerry ‘Borderless World’ Speech, Facebook Anti-Conservative Content Allegations, Russian Military Build-Up, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/9). The activities of the candidates for president, today’s West Virginia primary election, and Donald Trump’s relationship with GOP leaders; the ongoing controversy over the North Carolina law mandating a person use the restroom consistent with their gender on their birth certificate; Secretary of State John Kerry’s Northeastern University commencement address in which he told graduates to prepare for a “complex and borderless world”; a report that Facebook tweaks its trending list to suppress conservative topics; Russia’s reported military build-up and its tensing relations with NATO; 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.
Cool Radio Sales Opportunity. Salem Media Group is seeking an account executive to work at one of the finest broadcast companies in America! Salem Radio in New York is looking for a dynamic individual to join the sales team for “AM970 The Answer,” which is news/talk format, and the legendary WMCA “AM570 The Mission, New York’s Christian Talk.” This is an amazing opportunity to make money! One to three years of media sales experience a must. Undergraduate degree required. To apply, visit the company website here. To schedule an interview, contact general manager Jerry Crowley’s assistant Laura Sheaffer at email@example.com or 212-857-9639. Salem Media Group is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
KTTH, Seattle to Address ‘Bathroom Rights’ Issue at Next ‘Freedom Series’ Event. Having explored the topics of race, religion, minimum wage laws, gun rights and more via its KTTH AM 770 Freedom Series, the station will tackle the hot-button issue of bathroom use rights at a June 29 public forum at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma. KTTH-based nationally syndicated Salem Radio Network talk show host Michael Medved, KTTH afternoon host Todd Herman, and transgender activist and Seattle LGBT commissioner Mac McGregor will discuss “Transgender Restroom Rights: Values, Safety and the Law.” The station says the event is the latest in a series of events designed to examine issues where individual rights come into conflict in the Northwest. KTTH program director Jason Antebi states, “This is one of the most controversial and emotionally charged topics and it deserves a civil dialogue looking at all sides. I have no doubt that this will provide another opportunity for our community, on all sides of the issue, the chance to come together for a meaningful discussion with an eye toward finding understanding.”
Odds & Sods. Detroit news/talker WJR-AM “News Talk 760” was honored with the Station of the Year award from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. Additionally, the Cumulus Media station took home 14 Best in Category and nine Merit Awards for its “outstanding talk talent, its news, sports and marketing departments, its community involvement and public affairs excellence, and for its new media and commercial production.”…..A new, weekly podcast is being produced by Second City Works and Tribune’s WGN, Chicago titled, “Getting to Yes, And,” with Kelly Leonard. The program will feature interviews with “visionaries, authors and leaders who operate at the intersection of creativity and commerce.” Some guests will include” Neil Stevenson, managing director of IDEO Chicago; cognitive psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman, author of Wired to Create; and Dartmouth scholar Sydney Finkelstein, author of Superbosses…..Production service Phantom Producer is awarded a U.S. patent on its radio imaging and production tool. The service is an online interface that allows subscribers to create sweepers and other interstitial programming elements “with a couple of mouse clicks in a matter of seconds.”…..ABC Radio is providing three, one-hour specials for use over the Memorial Day Weekend: “Tribute to the Troops 2016,” hosted by Scott Goldberg; “Summer Survival Guide 2016,” with Brad Mielke and “Return of the Summer Sequels,” hosted by David Blaustein…..WBAP, Dallas talk show host Chris Krok recently returned to his Alma Mater of Western Illinois University to accept the 2016 “Alumni of the Year” award for radio. Krok (pictured here at left with WIU professor Dr. Roger Sadler at center and Krok’s former colleague, Will Buss, who’s now on staff in at WIU’s Journalism Department at right) received the award “in recognition of contributions to the broadcast industry and the Western Illinois University Department of Broadcasting.”
CBS Radio News Icon Harvey Nagler to Co-Moderate ‘Talk Rumble’ at TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations. In what promises to be one of the most interesting and exciting editions of the “Talk Rumble” in years, CBS Radio News VP and recipient of last year’s TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award, Harvey Nagler, has agreed to serve as co-moderator with Michael Harrison of this year’s debate – a traditional component of the talk media convention. The “Talk Rumble” is the ever-popular session at the annual TALKERS conference in which a panel of diverse, highly opinionated talk show hosts engage in a lightning-fast face-off on the hottest issues of the day. As TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey explains, “The Talk Rumble is the only session at the convention in which actual public policy issues are discussed in depth. It is a talk show, by talk show hosts, for the talk show industry… and it gets wonderfully wild, not to mention extremely fun and entertaining! Plus it is a marvelous showcase for these fascinating characters to display their talents.” Casey continues, “This year the Rumble features a heavyweight lineup of hosts representing a spectrum of nuanced differences across the spectrum of ideology and opinion.” Rumblers include (in alphabetical order): Howie Carr, Howie Carr Radio Network; Thom Hartmann, WYD Media; Brian Kilmeade, Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel; Sid Rosenberg, WABC, New York; Mark Simone, WOR, New York; Doug Stephan, Stephan Multimedia; Larry Young, WOLB, Baltimore; and John Ziegler, Envision Networks. Michael Harrison states, “This is obviously a tough event to moderate, it moves very quickly, requires meticulous fairness and neutrality, tough questioning, a solid knowledge of the issues — and I am delighted to have a broadcast journalist of Harvey Nagler’s experience and reputation at my side as we navigate what promises to be nothing short of a heart-pounding, verbal thrill ride! By May 20th, the election conversation will be so hot that it alone guarantees we’ll have a treasure chest of topics to bang around.” The Talk Rumble is just one of a power-packed day of non-stop events that will take place at TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations set for Friday, May 20 on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY. As in years past, the event, the 19th annual installment of the talk media industries’ longest-running and most important national convention (open only to media professionals), is nearing an early sellout. For registration, hotel and sponsorship information, please click here.
The Presidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of April 11-15. The activities of the candidates for president were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. Coming in at #2 was the United States’ military policy regarding Islamic State. At #3 was increased Taliban activity in Afghanistan followed by the U.S. Navy-Russian jets incident at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
Nielsen Audio Releases Fourth Round of March 2016 PPM Data. The fourth of four rounds of March 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. The March 2016 survey period covered February 25 – March 23. You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here. Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.
SRN’s Mike Gallagher Reports on Trump Protest at Grand Central Station. Nationally syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher found himself in the middle of an unannounced protest against GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump at Grand Central Station in New York City. He quickly began documenting the event with his phone and posted it to Facebook and Twitter. Salem Radio Network VP, news & talk programming Tom Tradup says, “In yet another sign that ‘terrestrial’ radio needs to embrace every available platform to maximize its reach to listeners, Mike Gallagher was in the thick of an unruly mob Thursday evening as the streets of midtown Manhattan erupted. As thousands of anti-Donald Trump protesters rallied across the street from the Grand Hyatt Hotel where Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich were attending a black-tie fundraiser, Gallagher brought the breaking-news action to his listeners via video posts on Facebook and Twitter.” Gallagher adds, “The news happens 24/7, so talk radio needs to break out of self-imposed three-hour, on-air restrictions and plug-in our most loyal listeners while events like tonight’s protests are really news, not just tomorrow’s headlines.” See Gallagher’s video here.
Odds & Sods. A new podcast launches today featuring sports media personality Doug Gottlieb. Titled, “Doug In,” the show is a partnership between CBS Sports Radio and Westwood One and features Gottlieb’s favorite highlights from his daily sports radio show, with “fresh, insightful, and entertaining commentary from the top sports stories of the week.”…..Cumulus Media’s Oklahoma City sports talker WWLS “98.1 The Sports Animal” is presenting the Bob Barry Jr. Inaugural Memorial Golf Classic on August 8 in memory of the WWLS late morning host who passed away last June.
Cumulus Reports Q4 and 2015 Full-Year Numbers; Net Revenue Dipped 7.5% in 2015. The net revenue numbers for Cumulus Media were not pretty but there was no expectation that they would be. The company’s net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2015 was $308.8 million – down 6.2% from the same period in 2014. For all of 2015, net revenue was $1.1 billion; that represents a dip of 7.5% compared to all of 2014. Other fourth quarter numbers reveal big drops in the digital sector (- 42.7%) and in political advertising (- 78.3%). However, broadcast advertising was relatively flat (- 0.5). Breaking that down further, local advertising was flat (- 0.6) but national advertising was off 10.5% and network advertising was down 2.8%. New Cumulus CEO Mary Berner was brutally frank about the state of the company she’s been leading for five short months. She told investors during yesterday’s conference call, “As you can see by the continued underperformance we experienced this quarter versus our peers, we have a lot of work to do to stabilize the business. We are organizing that work around four foundational issues which I believe are responsible for our underperformance, and I will give you some context for the moves we are making to correct Cumulus’ trajectory. First, a well-constructed operational plan wasn’t or couldn’t be executed at Cumulus due to a lack of management tools and information, as well as a misalignment of authority and responsibility across many functions. Second, the company had a corporate culture characterized by a lack of focus, accountability, and collaboration and under-investment in human capital which collectively resulted in significant turnover and economic leakage. Third, revenue was meaningfully impacted by multi-year declines in ratings across the entire platform in part due to a command and control operating strategy that often ignored local market dynamics. And finally, a substantial amount of leverage on the balance sheet has reduced the company’s capital flexibility while increasing the pressure to execute in operational turnaround quickly. Our operational turnaround strategies thus are organized around these issues and are as follows; enhanced operational blocking and tackling, institute initiatives to improve the company’s culture and drive ratings growth.” Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the conference call transcript. Members can read the whole transcript here.
Analysis: The 2016 Infinite Dial. Yes, AM/FM radio is still the dominant audio listening device in-car, but, according to the most recent Infinite Dial study from Edison Research and Triton Digital, listening to podcasts and use of digital devices (especially smartphones) is continuing to rise at a steady rate. Consultant Holland Cooke attended yesterday’s webinar on the study and files this story for TALKERS magazine. Among some of the more interesting findings: 93% of persons 12-24 own a smartphone; 21% of those surveyed own no AM-FM device in their home; and 60% own an Internet-connected television. See more here.
The Presidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of March 7-11. The activities of the candidates for president, the primary elections, and the debates were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 was the Hillary Clinton private email server matter. Coming in at #3 was U.S. immigration policy followed by the European migrant issues at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
Garry Meier Enters Podcast World. According to a tip from Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Windy City radio legend Garry Meier is launching a new podcast on his garrymeier.com platform. The first show will stream on Saturday night. Meier is hoping to build a subscriber base, converting the free listeners into paying customers. Initially, he will produce three one-hour shows per week for free. His first guest on the program will be Howard Stern, who Feder notes has called podcasting “for losers.” Meier has been off the radio since Tribune cancelled his show on WGN.fm in November of 2014. Read Feder’s story here.
Gallagher Anchors SRN’s GOP Debate Coverage. Nationally syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher was in Miami last night (3/10) anchoring Salem Radio Network’s coverage of the GOP debate at the University of Miami. The debate was aired on CNN and the audio simulcast was provided by SRN. Gallagher is pictured here speaking with GOP frontrunner Donald Trump after the conclusion of the debate. SRN personality Hugh Hewitt served on the CNN panel that questioned the four remaining GOP candidates.
Odds & Sods. Conservative Review published a short piece about viewers tuning out of last night’s GOP debate and leaving the post-debate coverage on both Fox News Channel and CNN for Mark Levin’s new LevinTV.com. The story features Twitter messages from people announcing their unhappiness with the Fox and CNN coverage and desire to get analysis from LevinTV…..At the Kevin Adell-owned religious urban-targeted station WFDF, Detroit, Oakland county executive L. Brooks Patterson is being paired up with radio pro Nancy Skinner for a program called “B.S. on 910.” The weekly show will air from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm. Patterson is a staunch conservative and Skinner is a liberal. Patterson is not being paid for his role on the program…..ABC News is offering a new podcast from staffer Dan Harris, author of the best-selling book 10% Happier. The book recounts Harris’ reluctant journey into meditation. The podcast is called “10% Happier with Dan Harris,” and will involve Harris interviewing gurus, scientists, teachers, celebrities, athletes and executives about their meditation practices “as he investigates whether enlightenment is real and whether there is anything beyond just 10%.”
Saga 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.
Michael 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.
KOZN, 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.”
Kinosian: 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 a 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.”
PodcastOne 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, PodcastOne 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.
WW1: 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.
PodcastOne Founder Norm Pattiz Joins Michael Harrison for Candid Chat About Podcasting… and Then Some. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison celebrates the first anniversary of the PodcastOne international hit, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” by interviewing the platform’s founder Norm Pattiz about podcasting and the general state of commercial audio talk media. Pattiz and Harrison have been involved in radio projects together since the late 1970s going back to the groundbreaking album rock countdown, “The Great American Radio Show with Mike Harrison” – one of the first shows syndicated by Pattiz’ then-fledgling Westwood One. Obviously, the two have the tremendous perspective of experience under their belts and they uninhibitedly share it in an information-packed dialogue that covers not only the past, present and future of podcasting – but offers the interested listener real inside information about the nuts and bolts of digital age commercial broadcasting. This conversation is must-listening for anyone involved in podcasting and online broadcasting on a professional level. To listen to it in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player boxes located in the right-hand column of every page on Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.
iHeartMedia Adds DelToro to Political Sales Division. In this new Washington, DC-based position Brendon DelToro will report to SVP of political sales and strategy Kenny Day. His title is vice president, political strategy and his role will be to “manage iHeartMedia’s high-level relationships with conservative candidates, parties, independent expenditures, super PACs and other political organizations.” iHeartMedia says he’ll work closely with Adam Weiss, the company’s vice president, political strategy for progressive candidates and organizations, to help run the company’s iHeartMedia Campaign 2016 Command Center that will track more than 2,000 national, statewide and local elections across more than 150 markets. DelToro has worked with numerous political campaigns including Marlin Stutzman’s campaign for U.S. Senate in Indiana; Indiana Congresswoman Jackie Walorski’s election and re-election campaigns; and as deputy campaign manager for Governor Jack Dalrymple in North Dakota.
Death of Justice Antonin Scalia/Replacement Strategy, Presidential Race, Syrian Conflict/Russian Military Strikes, Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activity, N. Korea Weapons Build-Up, New Mizzou Prof Video, Kanye West Debt Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/15). The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and the brewing battle over how he’ll be replaced on the Court; the activities of the candidates for president; the escalating Syrian civil conflict and Russia’s military strikes in the country; the state of oil prices on the world’s markets and its effect on financial markets; North Korea’s recent missile launch and concerns about its nuclear ambitions; new video of Missouri professor Melissa Click swearing at police during a protest; and rapper Kanye West’s plea for help with $53 million in debt were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Katz-Commissioned Study Seeks to Identify ‘Opportunity Vote.’ In this study by Nielsen Audio commissioned by Katz Radio Group, the “opportunity vote” is that group of registered voters who are “still open to be influenced by political messaging.” The study – “The Local Vote 2016” – is a 12-week effort designed to capture Americans’ most-current political viewpoints and voting preferences within 10 individual states, two weeks prior to key primary elections. The first release of data focuses on three Super Tuesday states – Colorado, Texas and Virginia. It concludes that radio “leads all other media in reaching the critical ‘opportunity vote’ in Colorado, Texas and Virginia (93.2%), followed by broadcast television (89.9%), cable TV (89.8%), the internet via computer (87.8%) and mobile internet (64.4%). Further, the study finds that one in three opportunity voters invest more time listening to radio than watching television. On average, these voters listen to nearly two hours of radio daily (1:52), while watching less than one hour of TV (:52). The study draws upon Nielsen’s sample of local citizens who are currently part of the Scarborough Research Panel. Katz Radio Group selected the states in the study which are expected to have a high incidence of competitive races across several categories: presidential, gubernatorial, senate and congressional, and include Colorado, Texas, Virginia, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
Radio: Political’s Weapon of Choice. Radio sales maven Al Herskowitz writes today about this year’s political advertising season and says reports from the NAB about a high volume of political ads on talk radio in advance of South Carolina’s Saturday primary can bode well for talk stations elsewhere. “For a stretch covering a little bit more than the past month, the NAB says Hillary Clinton is leading the way for Democrats with, thus far, airing close to 600 commercials. And on the Republican side Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush are well within the same range if not higher. Why all this interest in advertising on talk radio? Because it works!” Herskovitz also reminds stations to get a jump on your local candidates and, as fall approaches, any issues that may be on ballots in your market. Read Herskovitz’s piece here.
Odds & Sods. Colorado media personality Gail Fallen is named host of the 9:00 am to 11:00 am show at Broadcast Media LLC-owned news/talk KFKA, Greeley/Fort Collins. Her show replaces the Stacey Petty show. Fallen previously co-hosted the morning show at iHeartMedia’s crosstown KCOL with Keith Weinman…..Tucson talk pro Jim Parisi is taking his “PowerTalk” format completely online and ending his lease of KEVT. In a post on Facebook, Parisi – who previously hosted shows at KNST and KVOI in the market – says that the LMA of the station has become cost-prohibitive, but he says “more and more people” are listening to the stream…..It appears KCMO-AM, Kansas City program director and late morning host Steve Sutton has exited the station. While there’s been no official announcement from Cumulus Media, Sutton’s info has been wiped from the station website.
Covering the Premiere of Risen. Pictured here are actor Joseph Fiennes (left) and Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (right) at last night’s Dallas premiere of the motion picture Risen. The AFFIRM/SONY Pictures film opens nationwide on Friday and depicts the events of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Bill Bennett to Give Up Daily AM Duties; Hugh Hewitt Moves to Morning Drive at SRN. Ending an 11-year run as host of Salem Radio Network’s morning drive program “Bill Bennett’s Morning in America,” Bennett will step back a bit from the mic as of April 4 when he becomes senior correspondent. He’ll produce a daily feature titled, “Making America Work,” that will also be formatted as a one-hour weekend program. In the series, he’ll interview successful American business owners and entrepreneurs. Moving to the morning drive daypart (6:00 am to 9:00 am ET) will be current early evening host Hugh Hewitt. Hewitt will re-locate to Washington, DC for the new program. Salem Media Group notes Hewitt’s “radio career has taken off in the last year with a new-found love for breaking news and what to think about it. He was given an opportunity to expose his great knowledge and talents to the country when he was selected as a panelist on the CNN presidential debates. He has already conducted more interviews with the presidential candidates than any other host, and has become the ‘go to’ show for this campaign.” Hewitt comments, “In 25 years of broadcasting on television and radio I have never been as excited as by this opportunity to build on the enormous platform Bill Bennett has constructed. It is already a show for influencers across the country, and I plan to maintain that influence, making this a ‘must listen’ for every mover and shaker in America, from a stay-at-home mom or dad to CEOs and government leaders.” Bennett says of his time on the radio, “Engaging in an illuminating and entertaining conversation with the American people has been one of the most enjoyable and rewarding episodes of my career. I now look forward to another phase of work with the Salem Radio Network. The seminars and in-depth discussions in our new ‘Making America Work’ series that we are planning for 2016 and beyond will write a new chapter in radio. I simply want to express my gratitude to Salem for its continued confidence in me and to my audience – the greatest radio audience in America – for its loyalty and its candor, intelligence and goodwill.”
WYAY, Atlanta’s Michael Graham Offers to Consult Candidate to Oppose Georgia Legislator Who Defended the Klan. According to a piece in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, WYAY, Atlanta “Newsradio 106.7” late morning personality Michael Graham has advertised in the Jackson Herald his willingness to put his political consulting acumen to use for a candidate who will challenge Republican State Representative Tommy Benton. This comes after Benton defended the Ku Klux Klan while discussing proposed legislation he authored to protect institutions named after Confederate military figures and revert street names back to their original names, if they honored such historical people. One street was named after Confederate General John B. Gordon, an early Georgia Klan leader. In discussing the issue, Benton defended the Klan, saying it “made a lot of people straighten up.” He also said it “was not so much a racist thing but a vigilante thing to keep law and order. I’m not saying what they did was right. It’s just the way things were.” Graham’s ad requests any Jackson County resident wishing to challenge Benton’s seat to contact him. Graham promises to donate his time and political consulting expertise as well as help promote fundraising. Read the AJC story here.
Presidential Race, Super Bowl 50, North Korean Missile Launch, Zika Virus, and European Anti-Islam Rallies Among Top Weekend News/Talk Stories. The activities of the candidates for president; the build-up to Sunday night’s Super Bowl 50; North Korea’s launch of a long-range satellite missile; concerns over the Zika virus and a potential pandemic; and the anti-Islam rallies held in Europe over the weekend were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Westwood One Provides Radio Coverage of Super Bowl 50. The exclusive radio play-by-play of Super Bowl 50 was provided by Westwood One. As part of its post-game program, WW1’s James Lofton (right) interviews Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller (left) who was named MVP of the game.
Odds & Sods. The Indianapolis Business Journal reports iHeartMedia Indy market manager Rick Green is being promoted to a regional president post for the Mid-Atlantic region where he’ll be based in Richmond, Virginia. A new Indianapolis market manager should be named soon…..The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman is reporting that John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman just re-signed to broadcast New York Yankees games on CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York for two more seasons……iHeartMedia promotes longtime company sales pro Sherri Griswold Holladay to the regional vice president of sales position for the Mid-South region…..Beasley Media Group names Steve Griesbach director of engineering for the Las Vegas cluster. Griesbach most recently served with Cumulus Media’s Green Bay, Wisconsin station group.
Scheduling Announced in Nielsen v Bubba Suit. Both sides of the $1 million suit by Nielsen against Tampa-based morning personality Bubba the Love Sponge are digging in for a fight. Now, we know the timeline for the legal skirmish. If the matter goes all the way to trial, it’ll start next January 3. Before that, however, there are discovery deadlines, a mandatory attempt to settle via mediation and a pre-trial conference in December. Nielsen probably has lawyers on retainer, but this is still going to be expensive for both parties.
Presidential Race/Iowa Caucuses Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of February 1-5. The results of the Iowa Caucuses and the activities of the candidates for president were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week. Coming in at #2 was Russia’s Syria military operations. At #3 was the controversy over the United States’ $1.7 billion payment to Iran as part of the recently negotiated nuclear agreement, followed by concerns over the Zika virus at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on talk radio during the week. It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine and is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
Odds & Sods. At its South Florida cluster, Entercom appoints Katerina Perez general sales manager of alternative WSFS “104.3 The Shark” and sports talk WAXY-AM, “The Ticket.” Perez is a native Canadian who spent most of her life in South Florida. Most recently she was SVP of sales at iHeartMedia’s Seattle cluster. Entercom South Florida VP/market manager Doug Abernethy states, “Katerina has a proven track record of success and will be a valuable addition to our management team. Her experience, relentless focus on the customer and her sales management skills will enable us to develop more impactful advertising campaigns for our clients and substantially grow our business.”…..Hugh Hewitt got some love from USAToday recently. The publication wrote a profile piece of the Salem Radio Network-syndicated talk personality as the result of his increased presence in the national media this election season. As regular TALKERS readers know, Hewitt has been participating in the GOP primary debates produced by CNN (and simulcast for radio by SRN). As the story indicates, Hewitt has also been a much-sought-after political pundit by such program hosts as CNN’s Anderson Cooper, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, and NBC’s Chuck Todd. Read the USAToday piece here.….Beasley Media Group promotes Katy Lollis to director of sales for the company’s Fayetteville, North Carolina station group. Market manager Mac Edwards states, “Katy has been a valued employee of our company for nearly a decade. Her experience, market insight and incredible work ethic have always been highly valued and deeply respected. Now, we are confident Katy will take our sales team to new heights in 2016 and beyond!”
Comprehensive Holiday PPM Overview. RadioInfo and TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2015 PPM survey. The move to all-Christmas or Christmas-intensive music playlists on the part of AC, hot AC and CHR stations brings about an annual “anomaly” to the radio ratings. Kinosian has detailed the performances of AC, hot AC and country stations recently but this report also shows the effects on other radio formats – including sports, news/talk and all-news. Kinosian writes, “Among other tidbits, this comprehensive analysis summarizes all stations that finish #1 and #2 in Holiday 2015; differential between the top two spots; and perhaps most vital of all – formats most dramatically/negatively influenced by all-Christmas music programming. For that, we have broken it out by format and by each PPM-market.” See the entire report here.
National Radio Talent System’s Student Initiative Heads to Pacific Northwest. The Dan Vallie-founded National Radio Talent System heads to the Pacific Northwest in conjunction with Hubbard Radio. Four previous institutes have taken place in the South and the East but June 13 -22 the Hubbard Radio Talent Institute will take place at Central Washington University in Washington State. Hubbard Radio chair and CEO Ginny Morris comments, “Compelling and relatable on air talent is what separates local radio from all other audio entertainment services. Our investment in the National Radio Talent System at Central Washington University is an extension of Hubbard Radio’s commitment to do our part to nurture and grow the talent pipeline for the industry. We are proud to partner with Dan Vallie and his team in this important initiative.” The school’s assistant dean of student development Keith Champagne says, “Having a nationally award winning college radio program in KCWU-FM, the partnership with Hubbard Radio and the National Radio Talent System was simply a perfect match. Giving student broadcasters opportunities they can’t find anywhere else is a cornerstone of Central Washington University. The Hubbard Radio Talent Institute will be another great example of that.” The Radio Talent Institute says its curriculum builds upon “the already quality education students are receiving at the university and through working at their college radio station. All sessions in the Institute are taught by professional broadcasters in each of their areas of expertise.”
Alliance for Women in Media Announces New Board Members. New board members have been announced for the Alliance for Women in Media and its Foundation. Kristen Welch, SVP of global content operations at Discovery Communications will continue the role of chair for both organizations. Continuing as chair‐elect of AWM/F is Sarah Foss, vice president of product management and media at Imagine Communications in New York City. The treasurer of AWM/F is Keisha Sutton-James, vice president, Inner City Broadcasting Corp. in New York. The treasurer‐elect of AWM/F is Christine Travaglini, president of Christal Radio/KRG Partnerships in New York City; and past chair of AWM/F is Kay Olin, principle of Kay Olin and Associates, in St. George Island, Florida. Serving directors at large of AWM are: Robin Alston, director of business & legal affairs, A&E Television Networks; Karla Ballard Williams, founder and CEO of YING; Heather Cohen, EVP at The Weiss Agency; Sandy Girard, vice president of entertainment at SiriusXM; Susie Hedrick, SVP sales, North America at Wide Orbit, Inc.; Annie Howell, founder and co-president at The Punch Point Group; Jill Luckett, SVP program network policy, National Cable & Telecommunications Association; Kimberly Maki, corporate vice president, corporate communications & public relations, Bright House Networks; Laura Martinez, senior director, affiliate sales, Cumulus/Westwood One; Christine Merritt, president, Ohio Association of Broadcasters; Deborah Parenti, publisher, Radio Ink/RBR-TVBR; and Josie Thomas, EVP & chief diversity officer, CBS Corporation. Serving as directors at large of AWMF are: Karla Ballard Williams; Valerie Blackburn, project manager, CBS Radio; Heather Cohen; Michelle Duke, vice president, NAB Education Foundation; Sandy Girard; Annie Howell; Jill Luckett; Kimberly Maki; and Christine McLaughlin, of counsel, Sciarrino & Shubert, PLLC.
Kristi Lee’s Exit from Bob & Tom Show Official. On December 16, TALKERS magazine reported that there were rumors Bob & Tom Show cast member Kristi Lee might not return to the program after the holiday break due to a negotiations breakdown. Now, comes word via the Indianapolis Star that Lee has officially left the show, though her statement to the paper indicates she exited “to pursue new opportunities.” Bob Kevoian retired from the show in December and the nationally syndicated program is continuing with Tom Griswold and Chick McGee. The Star reports WTHR, Indianapolis news anchor Pat Carlini – a former Bob & Tom cast member – has been filling Lee’s role on the show, but there’s no indication whether or not the move is permanent.
WLW, Cincinnati Hearing Criticism Over Roethlisberger Bit. Dredging up six-year-old allegations of sexual misconduct by Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, iHeartMedia news/talker (and Cincinnati Bengals flagship) WLW, Cincinnati aired a mock PSA that warned young females of Roethlisberger’s presence in the area. Needless to say, much of the criticism of the bit was not out of concern over Roethlisberger’s reputation but because some believe the bit treated the issue of sexual assault lightly by using it as the basis for a joke. Here’s the copy from the bit: “This is a severe Ben Roethlisberger update from 700 WLW. The Tri-State is currently under a severe Big Ben warning from now through early Sunday morning. The Steelers quarterback has been spotted in the downtown Cincinnati area. All females ages 18-40 are to use extreme caution, especially if heavily consuming alcohol. Males should also be on the lookout, just in case. If you see Big Ben and he flashes Little Ben, you are asked to report it to authorities immediately. He poses the greatest threat to 18-to-40-year-olds, especially those with boob jobs in the downtown Cincinnati area. You are safe if you live in Butler or Clermont counties, pretty much anywhere in Kentucky and most of southeast Indiana.”
Obama Guns ‘Town Hall,’ Presidential Race, Hillary Clinton Emails Probe Heats Up, Philly Cop Attack, NYC Gang Rape Case, Record Powerball Jackpot, Sunday’s Golden Globes Awards, and NFL Wild Card Action Among Top Weekend News/Talk Stories. The aftermath of the CNN/White House produced “town hall” on guns in America; the activities of the candidates for president; the increasingly damning content of Hillary Clinton’s emails on her personal server; the attack on a Philadelphia police officer by an allegedly radicalized Muslim man; the case of a New York woman gang raped at an NYC playground; the fervor over the record Powerball jackpot; the anticipation of and coverage of Sunday’s Golden Globes Awards; and the weekend’s NFL wild card games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Jeremy Grunin Assumes AM Drive Role at WOBM, Lakewood Township, New Jersey. Ocean County, New Jersey champion Jeremy Grunin takes over the morning drive program on Townsquare Media’s news/talk WOBM, Lakewood Township. He replaces the husband and wife team of Bob and Marianne Levy. Marianne Levy remains with the station co-hosting the Preferred Home Health Care-sponsored “Preferred Company” show that airs from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Grunin is an investor, developer and the executive director of the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation with over 20 years’ experience in retail sales and management, business development, investment and leadership capacity building. About his new gig, he comments, “I am thrilled to be partnering with the great team at Townsquare Media on WOBM-AM. I am looking forward to the upcoming months of building on Bob and Marianne’s loyal listeners with new ways of connecting our great residents and visitors to the Jersey Shore.”
Experts Discuss the Future of Media. TALKERS magazine sales and marketing specialist Al Herskovitz joined a panel of broadcasters at a recent forum presented by the Brandeis University National Committee in Sarasota, Florida, to discuss the future of the media. A standing-room-only crowd greeted the panelists. According to event chairperson Anne Sherwood it was “the largest crowd ever to attend one of our forums.” Pictured here from (l-r) are: media broker Burt Sherwood, Herskovitz, former president of ABC Television James Duffy, Florida Media Roundtable chairman Irwin Starr and (standing) Anne Sherwood.
Hugh Hewitt Sits on ‘ABC This Week’ Panel. Nationally syndicated talk show host Hugh Hewitt is pictured here on the set of “ABC This Week with George Stephanopoulos” yesterday (1/10). The Salem Radio Network personality has been getting a lot of national facetime, including appearing on CNN’s GOP primary debate panels.
Odds & Sods. Florida talk personality Marc Bernier is celebrating his 25th anniversary on WNDB, Daytona Beach with a special broadcast and reception on January 21. The event is taking place at the News Journal Center in Daytona with a live broadcast of his afternoon drive program and a private reception to follow…..Westwood One announces it is making some changes to its “Real Estate Today” – the official radio program of the National Association of Realtors. The program has a new host in Stephen Gasque and is being redesigned with some new features to appeal to a wider segment of home buyers and real estate investors. The program currently airs on 180 stations nationwide.
Top Management Changes at CBS RADIO Chicago; Tim Pohlman to Lead Cluster as Zimmerman and Day Exit. Today, CBS RADIO COO Scott Herman announced that Tim Pohlman is assuming the SVP and market manager position at the company’s Chicago cluster. This news comes a day after the staff was notified that Rod Zimmerman was let go as was VP and director of sales Mark Day. Pohlman has served with CBS in the same capacity at its Phoenix station group for the past six years. The initial press release from CBS did not mention Day’s exit but the company later stated that it does not have a replacement for him yet. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that the changes are the result of underwhelming fiscal performances by the stations in the group. The 63-year-old Zimmerman had been with CBS RADIO since 1978. He ascended to the market manager position in 2003. CBS RADIO operates all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, sports talk WSCR, CHR WBBM-FM “B96,” country WUSN “US 99.5,” triple A WXRT, and classic hits WJMK. CBS says news of Pohlman’s replacement in Phoenix will come at a later date. Read Feder’s account here.
Emmis’ Fiscal Q3 Radio Revenue Down 5.1%. In announcing its fiscal third quarter figures, Emmis reports that its radio net revenue for the period was down 5.2% compared to local radio market revenue which rose 0.2%. The company says the battle in Los Angeles between its hip hop KPWR and iHeartMedia’s recently launched competitor KRRL has affected revenue there and was “substantially all of our radio division’s shortfall against its markets.” The Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Austin clusters all beat their markets for the quarter. Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan states, “Radio industry growth has been disappointing in 2015. Our markets are down 2.4% through the first eleven months of 2015. This general decline, coupled with the competitive situation in Los Angeles, led us to take a series of steps yesterday, including staff reductions and pay cuts for senior executives, to restructure our expenses to better align them with the current operating environment. We remain confident that we have the best team in media and the solution, in NextRadio, to return the radio industry to growth. Our ratings are quite strong in most of our markets, and our investments in content, sales hiring and training, and NextRadio and Digonex will begin to yield stronger results in 2016.”
Salem to Launch ‘1570 Wellness Radio’ in the Twin Cities. Calling it a first-of-its-kind format, Salem Media Group is launching “Wellness Radio 1570 KDIZ AM” on Monday, January 11 at 7:00 am. Salem says the station will be “the first of its kind to dedicate its entire format to health and wellness programming.” Salem Media Group Twin Cities general manager Nic Anderson states, “We’re thrilled to be on the forefront of such an exciting opportunity for our company and the Twin Cities. Health and wellness is a point of emphasis in the Twin Cities and we believe the Twin Cities will both greatly enjoy and benefit from our daily programming.” Featured programming includes “Dr. Asa On Call,” airing weekdays from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm. Salem says, “Dr. Asa’s show currently is the fastest-growing, health-related talk show in the country with more than 2 million weekly listeners every week.”
Dave Ramsey to Air in Middays in Seattle. Nationally syndicated financial talk superstar Dave Ramsey’s daily program begins airing in the Seattle market from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm on Salem Media Group’s KLFE “AM 1590 The Answer,” effective Monday, January 11. Salem Seattle general manager Andrew Adams says, “Dave Ramsey is a welcome addition to the AM 1590 The Answer lineup. Every day Dave offers up real, workable solutions to money issues and they’re presented in an easy to understand manner, so that anyone can benefit from listening to his program.”
Postell Promoted to Senior VP Sales. Director of sales Ann Postell is boosted to senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia Sacramento. According to iHeartMedia Sacramento market president Sara McClure, “Ann has demonstrated that she possesses the leadership skills needed to successfully lead a sales organization in today’s environment. As senior vice president of sales, Ann will be the centerpiece in the growth of our business in the years ahead. I look forward to working with her in that effort.” Executive vice president of operations Hartley Adkins comments, “Ann’s sales talent and leadership will be a true asset to the iHeartMedia Sacramento team. She has demonstrated the desire and motivation to lead the sales efforts; I know she will inspire the team to not only meet but to exceed revenue expectations.” Postell remarks, “I am fortunate to advance in such a dynamic media company. I look forward to working with Sara McClure and the iHeartMedia team in developing solutions for existing and new clients. I am thrilled to be a part of iHeartMedia’s visionary strategy.” Prior to working for iHeartMedia Sacramento, Postell held sales and sales management positions in New York City, San Francisco, and Boston. With each station’s 6+ December 2015 Nielsen Audio PPM share and market rank in parentheses, iHM Sacramento’s cluster includes news/talk KFBK (#2, 8.3); urban-rhythmic oldies KHYL “V-101.1 (#10, 3.6); adult hits KQJK “Jack-FM” (#14, 2.8); KBEB “B-92.5 #1 New Country” (#16, 2.6); and talk KSTE (2.4, #17).
SRN’s Hugh Hewitt to Appear on CNN’s ‘Guns in America’ Town Hall Coverage. There’s much more political television in Hugh Hewitt’s future, starting with tonight’s appearance on CNN’s special program following President Obama’s town hall broadcast on guns. The Salem Radio Network personality will join several other national political observers in analyzing the president’s town hall. Also this week, Hewitt will be in New York City appearing on ABC TV’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” on Sunday. Hewitt will also be a featured questioner on CNN’s next Republican presidential debate on March 10, at the University of Miami in Florida. Regarding tonight’s broadcasts, President Obama will join CNN’s Anderson Cooper for an exclusive one-hour, live town hall on gun control at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia titled “Guns in America.” Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup says, “With ongoing appearances on ‘Meet The Press,’ FOX News Channel, ‘Face The Nation,’ CNN and elsewhere, Hugh Hewitt has become a fixture on the national political scene that adds to his already established credentials as one of America’s best radio talk show hosts.”
Obama Guns Town Hall, Presidential Race, N. Korea H-Bomb Claim, Saudi-Iran Break/Shiite vs Sunni Tensions, Chinese Stock Crash, Oregon Armed Protestors Standoff, and Record Powerball Jackpot Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/6). The White House and CNN-produced televised town hall on guns taking place this evening; the activities of the candidates for president; North Korea’s claim that it has test-detonated a hydrogen bomb; the diplomatic break between Saudi Arabia and Iran and the larger Shiite-Sunni tensions in the region; the Chinese stock implosion and the world financial markets’ reactions; the ongoing armed protestor standoff at an Oregon wildlife sanctuary; and the record $500 million Powerball jackpot were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
CES 2016: Disrupt, or Be Disrupted. Radio consultant Holland Cooke continues his reporting from Las Vegas and the Consumer Electronics Show 2016. In today’s report, Cooke presents highlights from presentations by the Consumer Technology Association’s Gary Shapiro, Netflix’ Reed Hastings, and General Motors’ Mary Barra. It was during Barra’s presentation that the 2017 Chevy Bolt EV (pictured) was rolled out. For those broadcasters watching the evolution of the “connected car,” Cooke writes that this vehicle syncs with the owner’s smartphone as you approach it and “Apple Play and Android Auto are built-into a dashboard screen ‘bigger than iPad air.’” Read Cooke’s entire report here.
Odds & Sods. Longtime New York City radio engineer Frank D’Elia announces he’s retiring from Cumulus Media’s WABC and WPLJ, New York after a 40-year career at the heritage Big Apple stations, effective January 29. D’Elia has served as WABC’s senior production engineer for the past 32 years…..Salem Radio Network is presenting three prime-time specials covering the Iowa Caucus, and the primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina. The Iowa Caucus special will air on February 1 featuring Steve Deace in Iowa. New Hampshire primary programming will emanate from Washington or New Hampshire on February 9 with Hugh Hewitt and the South Carolina program will be hosted by Mike Gallagher on Saturday, February 20 from Gallagher’s base at WGTK in Greenville. All programs will air from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET…..This weekend Westwood One Sports is presenting its exclusive coverage of the National Football League’s Wild Card Weekend games. Scott Graham hosts the pre-game, halftime, and post-game shows for all eight broadcasts…..ESPN Radio is launching a new weekend lineup this Saturday that includes the debut of espnW’s “The Trifecta with Spain, Jane and Kate.” The program, airing from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET, is hosted by espnW writers Kate Fagan, Jane McManus and Sarah Spain. Fagan will also co-host “Will & Kate” with ESPN contributor Will Cain, airing Sundays from 7:00 am to 10:00 am ET.
Radio Pro Rich Minaya Launches Campaign to Fight Colon Cancer. Long time radio pro Rich Michaels – WGR, Buffalo; WTAM, Cleveland and a.k.a. Rich Minaya at WIOD, Miami – has been fighting Stage 3 colon cancer since the spring of 2015. He recently started a campaign to “Drop Your Pride! Drop Your Drawers.” Minaya says, “Many people, especially men, are still reluctant to get screened for colo-rectal disease, but it is one of the most beatable cancers – if you catch it early.” After a brutal bout with chemo, Minaya was found to be cancer free on December 28 and he tells TALKERS, “Avoid the pain and agony for your family, loved ones and fans. Get screened. And encourage your listeners. Old schoolers hate the idea, but it may save a life.” Minaya can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cool Job Opportunity. Greater Media Charlotte has a rare opportunity for an anchor/reporter with news/talk WBT-AM/FM. The ideal candidate is a news reporter with experience anchoring and reporting radio news on air who also has the ability to generate content for populating station websites. This position is for a radio newsroom employee familiar with working under regular newscast deadlines. Good news writing skills are a must. Primary job duties include, but are not limited to, anchoring regular on-air news shift, mainly but not exclusively weekdays. Candidate will be required to assemble and deliver, using Newsroom computer system, regular half-hourly local newscasts, including audio. The news reporter’s role requires coverage of and generation of news stories for use in newscasts during other dayparts, including recording stories for next day’s use. This includes the ability to write and feed stories from the field, if necessary. In addition, position requires web and social media skills with the upmost attention to updating station’s website with news content. Send resume and mp3 to: Greater Media Charlotte, WBT/WLNK Human Resources, One Julian Price Place, Charlotte, NC 28208. Or email to : email@example.com. No phone calls, please!
Price: Weighing Public Safety vs Risk of Assisting Threatmongers in Reporting to Your Listeners. The recent terroristic threats against the New York City and Los Angeles public school districts – which turned out not to be true – present a bit of a potential problem for radio stations and news organizations. ABC Television director, business continuity Howard B. Price writes today in TALKERS, “Critical to the discussion is the hard reality that those who make these threats are banking on a response from both authorities AND the media. Thankfully, even in these troubled times, most threats are hoaxes made to seize on public fear. The hoaxers find out about that response the same way the rest of us do – through the media. SO what to do? As with most professional challenges, the process begins with an internal conversation, specific to your station and market. For example, do you have a policy document to guide your decision making in such dynamic breaking news situations?” Read more here.
Cumulus Media Names Suzanne Grimes to President of the Westwood One Division and EVP of Corporate Marketing Roles. According to Cumulus Media, this new role of president of the Westwood One Division “creates a unified structure that maximizes opportunities across the division’s national content and sales platform.” Steve Shaw, president of Westwood One, will continue to lead ad sales, and Charles Steinhauer, COO of Westwood One, will continue to lead operations, both reporting directly to Grimes, who in turn reports to company CEO Mary Berner. Grimes was most recently president and COO of Clear Channel Outdoor. Berner states, “When it comes to anything in media, Suzanne’s the full package. With 30 years of experience building content businesses into high-performing brands, she brings valuable perspectives from leadership roles in outdoor, mobile, social, digital, print and experiential sectors for both public and private companies, so she’s a natural choice for these important roles. I look forward to her contribution as we build a stronger, more operationally focused organization.”
Newly Re-Organized Corporate Structure at Cumulus Includes Tommy Page and Mike McVay Taking on New Responsibilities. As part of her memo to Cumulus Media staff of Suzanne Grimes’ new role, CEO Mary Berner also explained some of the other changes atop the corporate structure at the company. Working for Grimes will be the company’s chief marketing officer Pierre Bouvard and VP of social media Lori Lewis. Berner announces Tommy Page’s new title will be SVP of brand partnerships & NASH in which he’ll continue his role as leader of platform events initiatives and brand partnerships, corporate marketing function, and new duties including the development and execution of the NASH brand strategy. Berner says the company is creating a new Office of Programming in which SVP of content & programming Mike McVay will operate to “lead our content strategy across the platform, including talent recruitment and development and label relations.” Tom Schurr, SVP of operations, will work with McVay in a new role overseeing the business aspects of programming, including organization and prioritization, resource allocation, and budget responsibilities. Berner concludes, “Our belief with regard to ratings is that more local insight and more effective corporate support will result in an improved outcome. The new Office of Programming will be responsible for executing this strategy to drive ratings growth and will be rolling out more details in the coming weeks.”
Jim Bohannon to Exit ‘America in the Morning’; Continues Late Night Show. Hall of Fame broadcaster Jim Bohannon is cutting back on his duties for Westwood One and is leaving the hosting role for “America in the Morning” after the December 18 broadcast. He is continuing his work as host of the late night Jim Bohannon show. He signed a multi-year contract extension with Westwood One in February of this year. Bohannon has been the sole host of “America in the Morning” since its first broadcast in 1984. The morning magazine program airs on more than 250 stations nationwide. Taking over for Bohannon is the show’s regular guest host John Trout. He officially begins on Monday, January 18, 2016. Bohannon comments, “It’s time for me to cut back the daily schedule a bit and focus my attention on the research, interviews, and calls for my weeknight Jim Bohannon show. But I’ll still be contributing my daily feature, the ‘Offbeat,’ and my newsmaker interviews to ‘America in the Morning.’ Listeners will love John Trout as host. He’s got a stellar track record and he’s been a terrific fill-in. The show is in great hands and I wish him much success.”
Tom Leykis’ New Normal Projecting Another Profitable Year. New Year’s Eve will be the sixth anniversary of The New Normal – the audio content company founded by radio legend Tom Leykis after exiting his CBS RADIO talk show in 2009. Leykis has long been a vocal proponent of the digital delivery system for taking audio content into the future. Today, he reports that as 2015 winds down, The New Normal is financially continuing on an upward trend. Leykis tells TALKERS that revenue is up for the third straight year. Profits will increase from $23,000 in 2014 to almost $100,000 in 2015. He adds, “This means that, for the second year in a row, we will be more profitable than the top two radio companies combined.”
Odds & Sods. Are there wrinkles in the future of the Bob & Tom Show post-Bob Kevoian? TALKERS sources are hearing that negotiations between the syndicated program’s management and staff are hitting snags. Kevoian announced his retirement at the recent Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony and although the show is moving forward with Tom Griswold continuing his role, rumors are that negotiations for contract renewals with longtime cast member Kristi Lee and contributor Ron Sexton are facing challenges…..Software platform provider Mediaocean announces it is integrating iHeartMedia within its Spectra platform. As a result, within one central system, ad agencies are able to seamlessly manage, research, and buy local digital audio inventory across the iHeartMedia digital platform. Mediaocean says users will be able to compare iHeartMedia’s audience data side-by-side with other digital audio platforms to better plan campaigns and engage the right audiences at the local level.
Covering the GOP Debate. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is seen here gesturing as he makes a point while speaking with Salem Radio Network personalities Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager and Michael Medved (who are out of the picture to the right) while SRN VP news & talk programming Tom Tradup holds the mic. The exchange took place during SRN’s exclusive radio distribution of the Republican presidential debate. SRN talk host Hugh Hewitt appeared on the CNN debate panel asking questions of the GOP hopefuls.
Run-Up to Last Night’s GOP Debate/2016 Presidential Race, Refugee and Immigration Policy, Los Angeles and New York Schools Terror Threats, Battle Against Islamic State, Freddie Gray Trial, Government Shutdown Threat, and New Star Wars Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/15). The build-up to last night’s GOP primary debate in Las Vegas and the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; debate over policy regarding refugees from Syria and over immigration in general; terror threats against the New York and Los Angeles public school districts and criticism over LA’s decision to cancel school; the battle against Islamic State; the wait for the verdict in the case against the first of six Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray; the move in Congress to avert a government shutdown; and the hype over the new Star Wars film were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
Howard Stern Renews with SiriusXM in Landmark 12-Year Audio/Video Deal. The wait is over – Howard Stern and SiriusXM are announcing the two sides have agreed to an extension to keep Stern’s live program on the satellite radio service for another five years. But the new deal also includes an agreement that will allow SiriusXM to use Stern’s extensive audio and video library – drawn from performances, specials, and shows spanning his more-than-30-year broadcasting career – for the next dozen years. The details of the video plans will be announced at a future date. This will be SiriusXM’s first venture into the video realm. Under the new deal, Stern’s show will continue to be broadcast live exclusively from 7:00 am to 11:00 am ET, with replays throughout the day, and on demand online and through the SiriusXM app. Additionally, Stern will continue to produce his Howard 101 channel, which includes current and classic episodes of the Howard Stern show as well as original special programming throughout the day. Stern is currently working a three-day week and the press release does not indicate any changes there so we’ll assume that remains the same. Also, the financial details are not being announced. Stern says, “As a broadcaster, it does not get better than working at SiriusXM and I’m truly excited for the future with this great company. I happen to think that its best days are ahead…I am living a dream here on satellite radio and Jim Meyer is my life partner and the baby we are about to have is our new streaming video app. The joy we are going to bring you in the very near future will make you feel like Christmas is every day. Ho, Ho, Howard…out.” SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein comments, “Howard is better than ever. Howard is a one-of-a-kind interviewer, who always delivers a provocative, engaging and headline-grabbing show. We look forward to providing fans even more and deeper ways to experience Howard, and his world-class talent and insights.” Noting that the deal has been worked on for months, Stern agent Don Buchwald adds, “Jim, Scott, and I have been discussing this arrangement for some time. Obviously, the terms and conditions of a deal of this nature required a lot of give and take, as well as creative thinking on everyone’s part, and I am grateful to them both for the hard work they invested to make this deal a reality. Howard and I are excited to enter into this cutting-edge and truly unique broadcasting agreement with SiriusXM that I believe will further the legacy of Howard Stern.”
Art Bell Tells TALKERS He Doesn’t Want to Be Off the Air. Legendary late night talk host Art Bell abruptly quit his most recent return to a regular program on Friday (12/11), stating that he’s been the victim of attempts on his life that make it impossible for him to do the program. The sudden end to “Midnight in the Desert,” which was steadily picking up affiliate stations, caused some in the business to think, “Oh no, here we go again.” But Bell tells TALKERS magazine he wants to be on the radio. Citing three incidents on October 21, November 23 and December 8, Bell says his wife has said, “Enough.” Bell says, “If this jerk is caught I will be back, if not I will wait for some time to pass without incident and then do some non-scheduled shows. I would like my fellow radio people to know this is not what I want.”
Kirby Wilbur to Host Late Morning Show on KVI, Seattle. Last month, Sinclair-owned KVI-Seattle announced that market conservative talk pro Kirby Wilbur would return to the air and KVI in the New Year. Now, the station announces Wilbur will host the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot, effective January 4. Wilbur will be joined for the first hour by current morning drive host John Carlson, then host the next two hours solo. The station is dropping Glenn Beck’s Premiere-syndicated show to make room for Wilbur. KVI program director Rick Van Cise states, “It’s clear our listeners want more local conservative conversation on Seattle radio. And who better to have back-to-back than two of the original Northwest conservative voices who made KVI great.” Wilbur has been off the radio for the past six years. Most recently he’s been the Washington director for Americans for Prosperity heading up the Washington, DC-based National Journalism Center. Wilbur comments, “I’m glad to be back with a new knowledge of the workings of the other Washington as we address local and national issues affecting all of us here.”
WOWO, Fort Wayne Switches FM Frequencies. This is a bit of a downgrade as far as market coverage is concerned since the move of news/talk WOWO, Fort Wayne’s FM simulcast is from class A FM WFWI to 75-watt translator W298BJ at 107.5 FM. The heritage station has been heard on WFWI’s 92.3 frequency since Federated Media signed it on in March of 2012. Program director Ryan Reker says, “It’s just a different place to listen to us. The change from 92.3 FM to 107.5 FM means our listeners will need to update their radios to get the same news, weather and talk coverage they listen to now.” WOWO-AM is heard very well throughout northeastern Indiana on its 50,000-watt 1190 kHz signal. No plans have been announced for WFWI-FM’s new format.
Talk Host Kate Delaney Talking Pete Rose Across the Country. Nationally syndicated general issues show host Kate Delaney is guesting on scores of radio shows today (12/15) because of her sports expertise and her knowledge of the Pete Rose decision that came down yesterday from the Major League Baseball commissioner’s office. The commissioner is continuing the ban on Rose working in baseball because of his cover-up of his gambling on baseball while manager of the Cincinnati Reds. Prior to her “America Tonight” program, Delaney spent a good part of her career in the sports media world covering 15 Super Bowls, 10 Final Fours, 10 U.S. Opens and numerous other sporting events. She also served as sports director of KRLD, Dallas and did a stretch at sports talk WFAN, New York. In addition to her regular show Delaney currently does a weekend shift on the NBC Sports Radio Network.
Odds & Sods. San Francisco all-newser KCBS-AM is being honored with a special finalist citation by the 2016 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Awards for reporter Doug Sovern’s “Unholy Water,” a series of investigative reports that exposed the San Francisco Archdiocese’s installation of an illegal plumbing system at St. Mary’s Cathedral that poured water on homeless people at night to keep them from sleeping in the cathedral doorways, in the middle of the worst drought in California history. The CBS RADIO-owned station will be recognized at a ceremony hosted by veteran newsman Tom Brokaw at Columbia’s Low Library on January19, 2016…..Former WFED, Washington afternoon drive personality Francis Rose is handling a lot of fill-in work this week and next. Rose is sitting in for Larry O’Connor on WMAL-AM/FM, Washington’s “Drive at Five” all this week, and Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday next week. Rose is also in for Westwood One’s Jim Bohannon tonight and that company’s John Batchelor on Wednesday and Friday of this week…..The 27th annual Holiday Magic Radiothon on Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle to benefit Treehouse raised more than $512,000. Treehouse is a nonprofit organization that addresses the essential education and enrichment needs of kids in foster care…..In advance of tonight’s GOP primary debate, Salem Radio Network talk hosts Michael Medved (left) and Dennis Prager (right) are seen at right broadcasting from the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Salem Radio Network is partnering with CNN to provide the audio to radio stations across the country. All five SRN daytime syndicated personalities are broadcasting from Las Vegas. Additionally, SRN is presenting both pre- and post-debate programs co-hosted by Hugh Hewitt and Mike Gallagher. Hewitt is also serving as one of the media panelists on the debate…..Premiere Networks announces it is broadcasting four college bowl games. Available to sports stations nationwide, Premiere will distribute the live play-by-play for the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl, Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl, Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl and Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, all of which are produced by RedVoice Productions LLC…..Cumulus Media announces that the 2015 Mitch Albom S.A.Y. Detroit Radiothon raised $1,002,748 during last Thursday’s event. Albom is afternoon drive host on the company’s news/talk WJR, Detroit. This was the fourth year of the charity broadcast and included special guests Hugh Jackman, Paul Stanley, Billy Bob Thornton, Jane Pauley, JK Simmons, Craig Ferguson, Alice Cooper, Dr. Phil, Tim Allen, Howard Schultz, Dave Barry, John Pizzarelli, Mayor Mike Duggan, Bruce Cornblatt, Kevin Eubanks, Charles Woodson, Kirk Cousins, Matt Stafford, Stan Van Gundy, Brad Ausmus, Dan Gilbert, and Bernie Smilovitz. Pictured here is Mitch Albom (at center) on the remote set during the radiothon.
2016 Presidential Race/Tonight’s GOP Debate, Government Shutdown Threat, Paris Climate Summit Agreement, Battle Against IS/Islamic Anti-Terror Alliance, Refugee/Immigration Issues, Looming Freddie Gray Verdict, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/14). The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and the build-up to tonight’s GOP primary debate in Las Vegas; the temporary spending bill and the threat of a government shutdown; the agreement that came out of the Paris Climate Summit and the larger topic of global warming; the battle against Islamic State and the news of a Saudi-led anti-terror coalition; the status of Syrian refugees and the issue of immigration policy in the United States; the expected verdict in the first phase of the Freddie Gray trials in Baltimore; 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.
Art Bell Ends Latest Talk Show Effort Citing Attempts on His Life. Quite suddenly on Friday evening, Art Bell posted on his ArtBell.com website that he would not be going on the air that evening – or ever again, in fact – and explained that he and his family are in danger after recent attempts on his life. Here’s what Bell posted: “I am sorry to have to announce this but I will not be on Tonight or any other night, yes I am going to hang it up. Whoever this crazy person is, they are not stopping and it has come to the point that we as a Family do not feel it is worth the risk. While I think the person or persons are after me, my Wife and now my Daughter are really scared, the other night after the latest incident my Daughter was off in the corner of her bed scared to death as the Police cars came screaming up. I will not put my Family through this. As you all know I dearly love what I do but not at the expense of never ending Terrorism. I want to thank those of you who have shown so much support and it has been my joy, short as it has been to have cracked that Mic open for a last time. This was a Family decision. The girls stuck with me and still would but if one of them were harmed because of what I love doing my life would be over.” Bell had returned to AM/FM radio with a late night program called “Midnight in the Desert” via his Dark Matter Radio Network earlier this fall after years away from broadcast radio. To say this is controversial in the minds of his fans is an understatement. Chatter on the website DreadCentral vacillates between those who are sympathetic to Bell’s claim and those who simply don’t believe a word of it. Regardless, Bell is off the air, seemingly for good. The network intends to provide programming to affiliates for the next 30 days with Rowland Communications Network airing either previous Art Bell-hosted shows or Heather Wade hosting the program.
Three More Years at Salem for Mike Gallagher. Nationally syndicated talk radio personality Mike Gallagher will remain in his 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET program on the Salem Radio Network through the end of 2018 after signing a three-year extension. He’s currently heard on some 300 stations nationwide, including new affiliate WIND, Chicago “AM 560 The Answer.” Gallagher states, “After 15 years with Salem, I’m still amazed at how fortunate I am to have a radio home at this amazing company. I’m ecstatic and humbled to be continuing for at least another three years with this world-class organization.” Salem Media Group SVP Phil Boyce comments, “Mike is one of the most talented, entertaining, and informative hosts in the country. What a pleasure it has been to be reunited with him at Salem, and be able to have a small part in the next generation of his talk show host career.”
Legal Analysis: What Do Sam Goldwyn and Geraldo Rivera Have in Common? TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman offers his take on the suit against Cumulus Media filed by ousted WABC, New York talk host Geraldo Rivera:
Sam Goldwyn was a legendary movie producer from the early days of Hollywood. In fact, the G in MGM was for Goldwyn. Goldwyn died in 1974. Geraldo Rivera is a legendary and prize winning investigative reporter and media personality who is very much alive. So what do they have in common? Sam Goldwyn was quoted as saying that “An oral contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.” Once you get over trying to figure out the logic of this statement, the essential truth remains that relying on and proving an oral contract is a difficult task indeed. Geraldo Rivera recently filed a lawsuit in state court in New York alleging that Cumulus Media, Inc., the owner of WABC – 770 AM radio in New York breached an oral, one-year contract with him pursuant to which he was to be paid $600,000 for 2016. In addition, he alleges that Cumulus locked him out of his studio at WABC where he already was working as a talk show host. Geraldo alleges that he had negotiated the contract with then vice president of Cumulus, John Dickey during a lunch meeting in July. However, the contract was never reduced to writing and nothing was signed by the parties. In the fall, there was a change of management at Cumulus in which its founder and CEO Lew Dickey along with John Dickey no longer were involved in active management of the company. Although Cumulus has not, as of the writing of this, responded officially to Rivera’s complaint in court, Cumulus has responded with a statement by Davidson Goldin on behalf of the company which states, “We offered Geraldo Rivera a new contract commensurate with the value of his show and our offer was repeatedly rejected.” As for locking Rivera out of his studio, no contract requires a radio station to give air time to someone under contract. All the station is required to do is to pay the talent. In this case, it would appear that Cumulus would have rather eaten the rest of Rivera’s present contract which would terminate under its own terms at the end of December rather than permit Rivera to air his grievances over the air. As for Rivera, he has stated, “It is not about the money. Because of their unforgivable disrespect, I will fight them and they will end up costing their battered company far more in damages than they expect to save in salary.” What are the real facts? That will be determined in court where Goldwyn’s comment may take on new meaning.
Bubba Lawyers Again Filed Motion to Dismiss Nielsen’s $1 Million Suit. On Friday (12/11), lawyers for Bubba the Love Sponge filed a motion to dismiss the $1 million fraud suit filed against their client by Nielsen Audio. Bubba’s attorneys say that Nielsen can’t prove that it has been damaged by their client’s ratings tampering incident, that allegations of additional attempts to tamper with the ratings have not been proven and Bubba’s already been punished for the one case to which he’d admitted. They also point to Nielsen’s statements after the tampering became public knowledge that the company was able to root out the panelist in question and the rest of the market’s ratings were not adversely affected as proof Nielsen can’t show damages. This filing comes just days after Beasley Media Group re-branded Bubba’s flagship station WBRN, Tampa from “Bubba 998.7” to “98.7 No Rules Rock,” bringing into question whether the business relationship between Bubba and Beasley in Tampa will continue in the New Year.
NYMRAD Issues Third Quarter State of the Market Report. The latest edition of this quarterly report from the New York Market Radio Broadcasters Association is a “comprehensive analysis of the New York marketplace designed to help advertisers understand radio’s impact on consumers and its prominent role in the local advertising landscape.” NYMRAD executive director Deborah Beagan states, “In third quarter, retailers effectively used radio leading up to the holiday shopping season. Radio has always done a terrific job of reaching people on the go, and is a huge benefit for influencing consumers closest to their point of purchase.” Regarding radio advertising in the market, the report’s “research on the department store, mass merchandiser, home improvement, and fast food sectors found that exposure to radio ad campaigns increased sales, number of buyers, and dollars spent. For department stores alone, sales increased by 10%, the number of buyers increased by 3%, and dollars spent per customer increased by 6%.” See the report here.
Odds & Sods. The patriotic rock band Madison Rising is beginning its preparation for its 2016 national tour with the release of its “Soldier’s Christmas” song and video. The presentation honors the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for this nation, along with their families who endure their loss throughout the year and during the holiday season in particular. The band (pictured at right) is on a mission to reignite authentic American culture through great rock music. Its new album American Hero (RED) is dedicated to the men and women of our armed forces, along with the police, firefighters and other first responders. The band just completed a 70-city tour, and is preparing to launch its next stretch on January 9…..Toledo market sports talkers WLQR-FM, Delta, Ohio, flips affiliations from CBS Sports Radio Network to ESPN and begins airing much of the latter network’s sports talk shows. The Cumulus-owned station is keeping local personalities Bob Frantz (3:00 pm to 5:00 pm) and Mike Miller (5:00 pm to 7:00 pm) on the program schedule…..There’s end-of-year programming available from ABC News Radio with programs including: “Playback 2015” with Cheri Preston and Aaron Katersky; a year-end edition of “Perspective”; “World News This Year”; “2015 As it Happened”; “The Economy 2015 Year in Review” with ABC News’ chief business and economic correspondent Rebecca Jarvis and ABC News correspondent Richard Davies…..KEGL, Dallas “The Eagle” afternoon personality Russ Martin is thanking police for their work rescuing him after he was the victim of a home invasion. A story in the Frisco Enterprise reports that three masked men ambushed him outside his home, bound him and stole items from his house before escaping in Martin’s 2010 Dodge Challenger. The men have not been apprehended yet. Martin was not harmed.
‘Tis the Season for Sports Talk Radio. Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz writes in a column posted today that this time of year represents what can be a boon for sports talk radio. With the NFL’s season zeroing in on the playoffs and basketball, hockey and college sports also in high gear, the opportunities to get creative from a sales standpoint are numerous. He notes some of the sponsored segments he’s recently encountered during play-by-play broadcasts. “‘The collision of the game’ sponsored by a vehicle repair shop; The ‘injury time-out’ sponsored by a medical group; ‘The gem of the game’ (the best play) sponsored by a jewelry store. I even heard one that was called ‘The catch of the game.’ It was sponsored by a bait and tackle shop! Laugh if you must, but this special creativity has to be acknowledged.” Read the entire column here.
Sid Mark Signs Contract Extension to Continue Hosting ‘Sound of Sinatra.’ The program has been airing in one form or another in Philadelphia for the past 59 years – the last 16 on CBS RADIO’s WPHT – and radio pro Sid Mark will continue to host the nationally syndicated “Sound of Sinatra” after recently inking a contract extension. Mark comments, “My thanks to the management of WPHT, our sponsors and, of course, my listeners for making this possible. Look forward to a big bash for the 60th.” CBS RADIO SVP/market manager for Philadelphia David Yadgaroff adds, “What Frank Sinatra is to music, Sid Mark is to radio. We are so happy to continue the tradition that Sid started 59 years ago.” As legend has it, “The Sounds of Sinatra” began with a call from a listener, who suggested that Mark spin one hour of Frank Sinatra songs. That tradition developed into “Friday with Frank,” as well as “Sunday with Sinatra,” which presently airs on WPHT on Sundays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. It’s still heard on more than 100 radio stations from coast to coast and is the only radio program of its kind to have been personally authorized by Frank Sinatra.
Bringing Joy to the Ugly. Nationally syndicated (GCN) talk star Dr. Joy Browne invited listeners to enter photos on Facebook for her annual “Ugliest Christmas Sweater” contest. She came up with two winners – both who work as interns at the York Theatre Company’s current Broadway production of a musical titled “Plaid Tidings.” Pictured (l-r) Daniel Lees, Dr. Joy Browne, and Lucas Camp. York Theatre Company’s slogan is “Where musicals come to life.”
Government Shutdown Threat, Paris Climate Summit and Tomorrow’s GOP Debate Top Weekend News/Talk Stories. The passage of a week-long spending bill and the threat of a government shutdown after this week; the ‘Paris Agreement’ climate deal inked among the U.S. and 185 other countries; and tomorrow night’s GOP primary debate in Las Vegas were some of the top news/talk stories discussed on weekend talk radio programs, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
Williams to Program Denver’s KKFN & KEPN. Currently the program director of Townsquare Media Albany (New York) sports outlet WTMM-FM “104.5 ESPN The Team,” Armen Williams will join Bonneville Denver’s KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” and KEPN “1600 The Zone” in a similar capacity the middle of next month. According to Bonneville Denver vice president and market manager Bob Call, “Armen brings a perfect balance of winning sports radio programming, plus an exceptional knowledge of digital media. Armen has worked with a number of high-profile sports personalities through his career, plus he developed some solid NFL play-by-play network experience.” Williams – who co-hosts WTMM’s afternoon drive show in addition to his PD duties – states, “I am excited to be part of one of the best sports radio brands in the country. ‘The Fan’ is a first-class organization and Bonneville is a great company. I am looking forward to working with the extremely talented staff to continue giving Denver sports fans the highest quality of sports talk radio.” Before his tenure at Albany’s “Team,” Williams was a producer for CBS Radio-owned KRLD “The Fan,” Dallas, where he worked with the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network; he previously worked in the promotions department at KESN “ESPN Radio,” Dallas. According to 6+ stats from Denver’s most recent (November 2015) Nielsen Audio PPM results, KKFN ranks #16 (3.6, up one full-share from September‘s 2.6) and KEPN is #33 (.1); Entercom classic rocker KQMT “The Mountain” is #1 with a 6.3 (6+). The only stations listed in Nielsen Audio’s summer 2015 report for Albany are five iHeartMedia outlets.
Gallagher Meets Cruz on Campaign Trail; Salem Preparing for December 15 GOP Debate Coverage. While in South Carolina on the campaign trail, GOP presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) stopped to speak with Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher in Greenville. Gallagher (right) is pictured here conducting the one-on-one with Cruz (left). (A Monmouth University study has Cruz polling ahead of Donald Trump in Iowa right now with 24%.) Meanwhile, Salem Radio Network has exclusive radio distribution of the CNN/Facebook Presidential Debate at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. SRN says Bill Bennett, Gallagher, Michael Medved, Dennis Prager and Hugh Hewitt will all originate their programs from the hotel on December 14 and 15. SRN’s Hewitt will serve on the CNN debate panel as well. SRN SVP Phil Boyce will serve as live announcer for the network’s radio coverage, and SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup will be executive producer of all on-site SRN shows and the CNN/Facebook Debate coverage.
WMAL-AM/FM, Washington Raises $316,000 for Fisher House Foundation. Last Friday and Saturday (12/4-5), Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL-AM/FM, Washington held its second annual “Operation Fisher House 2015 Radiothon” and raised $316,000 for the charity that builds and provides group homes for families of America’s wounded servicemen and women as they undergo treatment. The station reports that over the past 12 years WMAL listeners have donated almost $5 million dollars to the Fisher House Foundation. Station program director Bill Hess comments, “Our listeners step up year after year. Their response to our talent and the stories of these heroes and their families is incredibly rewarding.”
More Than $277,000 Raised at Annual WOAI Elf Louise Broadcast. The Elf Louise Christmas Project charity was founded in 1969 and this year iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI, San Antonio held its 20th annual two-day radiothon on December 4 and 5 to raise funds for the charity that helps buy Christmas presents for more than 19,000 children in the area. In addition to listeners donating money, several benefactors helped, including local attorney Thomas J. Henry whose family pledged to match 25% of every donation up to $200,000 and ended up donating $50,000. Pictured here at the broadcast are (from l-r): WOAI personalities Cari Laque, Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo and charity founder Louise Locker.
Odds & Sods. Programmer Jeff Beck is promoted to operations manager for the Alpha Media Fredericksburg, Virginia cluster that includes news/talk/sports simulcast WNTX-AM/W243BS at 96.5 FM…..Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle is hosting the 27th Annual Foster Child Holiday Magic Radiothon on December 10 to benefit the Treehouse, a non-profit agency that ensures that kids in foster care have access to the essential services required to help them make it to high school graduation and beyond. The past three years, KIRO Radio Foster Child Holiday Magic Program has raised more than $500,000 each year through listener donation and sponsor matching funds. “Ron & Don Show” co-host Don O’Neill says, “Each year at KIRO Radio we strive to give every foster child in Washington State a gift during the holiday season. A holiday gift is a symbol, a reminder to a young person that they are important, they are part of our village, and they have not been forgotten! We can’t wait to spread a little Holiday Magic again this year, with the help of all our great listeners throughout the Pacific Northwest!”
Obama’s San Bernardino Address, Trump Anti-Muslim Rhetoric/2016 Presidential Race, Battle Against Islamic State, Turkey-Russian Tensions, Iran Missile Test, NFL Action, and New Star Wars Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/7). Reaction to President Obama’s Sunday evening national address on the San Bernardino shootings; GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s post-San Bernardino statements about preventing any Muslims from entering the United States and the activities of the other candidates for president in 2016; the military campaign against Islamic State in Iraq, Syria and beyond; the ongoing tensions between Turkey and Russia; allegations Iran has fired a test rocket in violation of the recently signed nuclear deal; the weekend’s NFL action; and anticipation over the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens film were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.