Tag: "Sam Hassell"

Monday, August 22, 2016

| August 22, 2016

Bernadette Duncan’s Highly Anticipated Book About Talk Radio, Yappy Days, Released Today.  The long-awaited book is provocatively titled, YAPPY DAYS: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Books, 2016) and it is receiving rave reviews from readers inside and outside the industry.  For example, Westwood One syndicated personality Jim Bohannon writes, “How good is a bernadettebookquarterback without the left tackle who has his back?  For 26 years, producer Bernadette Duncan was left tackle for some of the biggest quarterbacks in talk radio.  From the Super Bowl egos to bone-jarring clashes, Bernadette takes you inside the talk radio huddle. Yappy Days is an MVP – most valuable publication.”   Written by the veteran talk show producer and wife of TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, it chronicles her 26-year career in the trenches of big-time talk radio during its most dramatic decades (1983-2009) – set against the backdrop of America’s pre- and post-9/11 realities when in one fateful day, talk radio went from its post O.J. Simpson default of covering celebrity murder mysteries (Gary Condit, Jon-Benet Ramsey, etc.) to an obsession with the reality and ongoing threat of civilian mass murder at the hands of terrorists.  She worked for some of the biggest names in the business during their glory days – Sally Jessy Raphael, Larry King, Tom Snyder, Lou Dobbs, Gil Gross, Charles Osgood and many more.  She captures through anecdotes and gentle analysis her experiences being a news/talk producer at ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and United Stations Radio Networks as well as local New York City radio landmarks, WMCA and WOR.  In addition to dishing insights into “the character of characters,” including literally hundreds of industry and newsmaker names in this extremely candid account, Bernadette makes a compelling case on behalf of the importance of the position of radio producer – which she describes as being “the most under-rated, under-paid and under-appreciated job in commercial media.”  Fox Radio and TV star Alan Colmes comments, “Yappy Days is a must read for anyone who ever produced or wants to produce media – and for anyone who ever consumes it.  More than a producer’s manual, as you travel with Bernadette on her exciting journey, you realize it’s a life manual as well.”  WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley adds, “I couldn’t put the book down.  Rarely, if ever do you learn about the radio and television industry from the inside out versus the outside in.  With integrity and a flair to properly tell a great story, Bernadette’s Yappy Days delivers the goods.”  Although she never worked directly with or for Rush Limbaugh, she interviewed him early in his career for the New York Daily News and crossed paths with him at several key junctures in his career, presenting a compelling study of his evolution in the chapter, “Brushes with Rushes,” that media consultant Holland Cooke describes as “nothing short of poignant.”  Bernadette kicks off a national radio/media tour this evening with a guest shot on the Jim Bohannon Show.  Producers and hosts interested in booking Bernadette Duncan on their shows can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To read a special review and feature story about the book by TALKERS/RadioInfo VP/executive editor Kevin Casey posted today (8/22), please click here.   The book is available at Amazon.com.

Stigall Re-Ups with CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philly.  Signing a new, multi-year contract to continue hosting thestigallchris morning drive show on CBS RADIO’s WPHT is Chris Stigall.  Under the terms of the deal, Stigall will continue in his current role, as well as being the face of “Talk Radio 1210 WPHT” with charitable endeavors, events, and digital content creation.  Stigall says, “In a blink, five-and-a-half years have come and gone since we launched our show at WPHT.  In an ever-evolving industry, I can’t express how grateful I am to CBS RADIO Philadelphia’s leadership for their unflinching support and unwavering commitment.”

armstronggettyArmstrong & Getty Show Added to Four New Cumulus Stations.  The KSTE, Sacramento-based “Armstrong & Getty” show adds four new Cumulus Media-owned stations to its growing roster of affiliates.  iHeartMedia produces Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty’s program which landed its first Cumulus affiliate earlier this year when venerable KGO, San Francisco added the morning drive program.  Now, KKAT, Salt Lake City; KTBL, Albuquerque; KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno; and KVEN, Ventura, California are picking up the program.

Cross Platform Media Files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.  Former USA Radio Networks owner Cross Platform Media has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.  The Sam Hassell-owned Cross Platform sold USA Radio Networks to Liftable Media back in October of 2015.  USA Radio Networks syndicates the growing “Trending Today with Rusty Humphries” program.  Triangle Business Journal lists Cross Platform’s assets at $1,200 with near $1.5 million in liabilities.

Former WJBO, Baton Rouge Morning Host Kevin Meeks Dies in Motorcycle Accident. The accidentmeekskevin that took the life of 60-year-old Kevin Meeks took place on Friday evening (8/19) in Baton Rouge.  The Advocate reports that Meeks turned in front of an oncoming vehicle while riding his Harley Davidson.  Meeks worked at WJBO from 1996 through 2015.  He co-hosted the morning show on the station with partner Matt Kennedy for 14 of those years.  Meeks was let go from the station in 2015.

The Presidential Race, Turkish Wedding Terror Attack, U.S. Race Relations/Milwaukee Cop Shooting Aftermath, Lochte Scandal/Rio Olympics, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the deadly attack on a wedding party in Turkey that claimed 51 lives; the state of race relations in the U.S. and the aftermath of the shooting death of an armed black man in Milwaukee by police; the unfolding truth about U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte’s “holdup” in Rio de Janeiro and the wrap-up of the Olympic Games; and the Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  Nationally syndicated talk radio star Glenn Beck is taking part in the American Gospel Celebrationbeckglenn taking place in Louisville September 1-3.  The event is organized by Pastor John Hagee, founder of the San Antonio mega-church Cornerstone Church.  The Premiere Networks talk host will speak on September 3.  Hagee says, “Glenn Beck stands on the front lines of key issues facing America today and speaks boldly about the value of faith and freedom.  I can think of no one more fitting to join us as we celebrate these two foundational pillars of our nation at the American Gospel Celebration and as we schnitttoddhonor those who have sacrificed for us.”…..At CBS RADIO’s KXNT, Las Vegas, the Compass Media Networks-syndicated Todd Schnitt show is added to the program lineup for the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart…..KEIR, Idaho Falls host Mark Richardson is giving up the daily version of his “Probing America” show that airs from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm for a teaching gig at a local high school.  He’ll continue to host “Probing America” on the station Saturdays from 7:00 am to 9:00 am…..Southern Illinois Radio Group flips simulcast WINI, Murphysboro/W228DC, Carbondale, Illinois from news/talk to oldies as “COOL 93.5 and 1420.”…..KBET, Las Vegas talk show host Wayne Allyn Root is joining the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a columnist, appearing in the Nevada local section every Wednesday and Sunday, beginning September 7.

kinosianmikeProfile: Multi-Media Industry Player Jennifer Horn.  TALKERS magazine managing editor profiles industry pro Jennifer Horn, whose curricula vitae includes: vice president of affiliate sales & marketing for CRN Digital Talk Radio; cast member of “Good Day” with Doug Stephan; co-host ofhornjennifer “The Jen & Don Show” (with Don Dix); and cast member on KRLA, Los Angeles’ “The Morning Answer” with Brian Whitman, Ben Shapiro, and Elisha Krauss.  Horn, daughter of CRN founder Mike Horn, juggles all of these on-air gigs with her CRN position because she’s a radio lover going all the way back to her childhood, and because she enjoys being a woman on the radio able to express her opinions.  She says, “With experience on the air, you own your opinions and explain them in an eloquent way.  I feel as though I am just getting to that point in my career.”  Read it all here.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

| January 15, 2015

wgn logo newWGN Makes it Official: Roe Conn to PM Drive.  Thanks to Chicago media writer Robert Feder, the arrival of longtime, former WLS-AM personality Roe Conn to the afternoon drive daypart at Tribune Media’s news/talk WGN is not a surprise – Feder broke the news last week.  But now, the company officially announces Conn will move into PM drive and bump Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder to late mornings with John Williams leaving that daypart and connroebeing featured as part of WGN’s Saturday programming.  Williams also hosts a daily show at CBS RADIO’s WCCO, Minneapolis and had been doing double duty.  The changes take effect on January 26.  WGN Radio VP of content and programming Todd Manley says, “Roe craves what’s behind the curtain of breaking news.  He’s a master of investigative conversation, so you’ll learn and you’ll laugh.”  WGN-TV meteorologist Tom Skilling and news anchor Mark Supplesa will be regulars on Conn’s program.  Manley adds, “We’re building an even stronger bridge between our radio journalists at the Tribune Tower and the incomparable newsroom at WGN-TV.”   Regarding the new Saturday programming, Manley says a Saturday edition of “The Business Lunch” with host Steve Bertrand will follow the Kathy & Judy show from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm.  “The World of John Williams” will air from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and will integrate with mobile app urVibe, a news-polling social platform that he developed.  Sports talk show “The Beat,” with hosts Jarrett Payton, Connor McKnight and Adam Hoge, will air from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

messinajoeUSA Radio Networks Adds Late Night Show.  Soon to air in the 12:00 midnight to 3:00 am ET slot on USA Radio Networks is “The Real Side Radio Show with Joe Messina.”  USA Radio Networks says, “Research reveals a growing number of workers are clocking in for the graveyard shift.  Once reserved for blue-color workers, there are now a significantly increasing number of white-collar employees working evenings or nights.”  Tim Maranville is chief content officer at USA Radio Networks’ parent company Cross Platform Media Group.  He says, “Now second and third shifters can continue a live engaging conversation about America with Joe Messina’s ‘The Real Side.’  They deserve a straight shooter like Joe.”  Cross Platform CEO Sam Hassell adds, “Joe is a tremendous asset to our expanding platform of programs.  Overnights is a significantly under served time period for live national content.  Another win for our affiliate and sponsorship partners.”

beasleymediagroupBeasley Modifies Corporate Name for Radio Group.  In a move that the company says reflects “the broad and expansive reach of on-air, digital and collateral radio products that are available to Beasley’s listeners and advertisers,” Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. reports that the various entities that previously held the company’s portfolio of 53 radio stations in 12 markets now become Beasley Media Group.  The publicly traded parent company, headquartered in Naples, Florida, remains Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. and continues to trade as “BBGI” on NASDAQ.

arnolddaleWEEI, Boston Rewards Dale Arnold with New Contract.  Longtime Boston sports media figure Dale Arnold – sometimes criticized for being stodgy and “old school” – assumed the afternoon drive co-host slot alongside Michael Holley last spring and was told if he helped bring the ratings up in the daypart, he’d get a new deal.  Today, Entercom announces that after 10 months on WEEI in afternoons, “ratings are up 59% with WEEI’s target audience of Men 25-to-54, and their program routinely ranks in the top three, up from sixth place last winter.”  So the company is signing Arnold to a new contract.  WEEI brand manager Kevin Graham says, “Dale Arnold has one of the most complete and diverse sports resumes in Boston broadcast history.  He is the only person to have done play-by-play for the Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics and Revolution in addition to having called college football, basketball and hockey.  Most importantly, Dale’s name is synonymous with class and character, and the impact he’s made since returning full time is undeniable.”

sabowalterSabo: The Lessons of Lowell Bud Paxson.  Media consultant Walter Sabo worked with Lowell Bud Paxson – the founder of the Home Shopping Network – who died earlier this week.  In a column published recently, Sabo relates some of the media lessons he learned from working with Paxson and observing his operation.  While Paxson was better known for his creation of the Home Shopping Network and Pax TV, Paxson owned radio stations during his career.  Flying in the face of convention and trusting one’s instincts are two of the character traits Paxson had.  Read more from Walter Sabo about what radio operators can take away from the life and legacy of Lowell Bud Paxson here.

Odds & Sods.  Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is in the hot seat today as he appears on all-news KNX, Los Angeles’ “Ask the Mayor” program airing at 10:00 am PT.  KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman will co-host the program and listeners are invited to call or Tweet questions.  Topics to be discussed include: the city’s crime rate, the mayor’s agenda for the New Year, safety at LAX, Barbara Boxer’s U.S. Senate seat and theknx city’s preparedness for a terrorist attack…..Glimmerglass Radio – which bills itself as “the only green living talk radio station in America” – marks its one-year anniversary in business and says it has completed its programming lineup of 54 radio programs dedicated to news and information related to all things green.  John Kosmer founded the Upstate New York-based digital station “to meet the rising interest in energy, the environment and healthy lifestyles.”…..Basketball legend Oscar Robertson will host a special Martin Luther King Jr. Day program on SiriusXM’s NBA Radio channel on Monday.  The hour-long program will be co-hosted by SiriusXM’s Jason Jackson during which Robertson will share his experiences in the civil rights struggle and discuss what Dr. King’s legacy has meant to players of his era as well as those in today’s NBA…..Yahoo! Sports Radio will be part of the media mayhem that leads up to the NFL’s Super Bowl this year.  The network will broadcast 17 hours daily from Glendale, Arizona including the Steve Czaban, Travis Rodgers, “Prime Cut with Sean Salisbury and John Granato,” “Sports X Radio” shows plus a special weekday series of “Talk of Fame.”…..Westwood One Sports continues its broadcast coverage of the NFL postseason with broadcasts of this weekend’s NFC and AFC Conference Championship games.

bennettOtterSRN’s Bill Bennett Addresses Idaho Legislature.  Pictured here with Idaho Governor Butch Otter (left) is Salem Radio Network personality and former U.S. Secretary of Education Bill Bennett (right).  Bennett, who hosts the “Morning in America” program, spoke before the Idaho legislature on the topic of education, commending the station on its education program and encouraging lawmakers to “provide more and better STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum in the state’s schools.”

Charlie Hebdo Aftermath/Islamic Extremists, ISIS Syria Strikes/Boko Haram Violence in Africa, Obama Immigration Policy, Boehner Floor Speech Rips Obama, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Plummeting Oil Prices/World Financial Markets Activity, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/14). The aftermath of the deadly assault on Parisian magazine Charlie Hebdo and the greater topic of violent Islamic extremists; the ISIS strikes in Syria and the deadly assaults in Africa at the hands of Boko Haram; the immigration reform policy of the Obama Administration; House Speaker John Boehner’s floor speech criticizing President Obama’s policies; potential GOP candidates for president in 2016 including Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, and Rick Santorum; falling oil prices and the effects on the world’s financial markets; and this weekend’s NFL conference championships were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

| December 16, 2014

deacesteveNEW14USA Radio Network Inks Talk Host Steve Deace.  The conservative talk star from the Midwest signs a new deal with USA Radio Networks that moves him from his most recent evening daypart (9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET distributed by GCN) to afternoon drive in the East.  Steve Deace is currently heard in 44 markets.  USA Radio Networks chief content officer Tim Maranville comments, “We believe that Steve can help our affiliate stations gain market share in afternoon drive.  He’s not just another conservative mouthpiece.  HeusaRadioNetworks connects with the listener because he reflects their on-going frustration with Washington and political media.”  The company says Deace (pronounced “Dace”) is “considered by many to be one of the best talents from the limited stock of today’s young talkers.  He is widely respected as a political columnist, commentator and author.” Deace authored his most recent book, Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again (2014 Post Hill Press), and regularly appears on such media platforms as Newsweek, Time, The New York Times, The Washington Times, Fox News and MSNBCSam Hassell, CEO of Cross Platform Media Group (operator of USA) adds, “Steve is a significant addition to our lineup and reflects the aggressive growth plan of USA Radio Networks.”

tomasejohnBoston’s Sports Talk WEEI Adds Tomase.  In a little over two weeks (on January 1), Boston Herald Red Sox columnist John Tomase will join Entercom’s WEEI.com as senior sportswriter/columnist. WEEI.com editor Rob Bradford remarks that, “In bringing John aboard, we feel WEEI and WEEI.com are welcoming one of the best columnists in the country to our family.  I am excited to once again work with John, who I have always viewed as one of the most talented journalists on the New England sports scene.”  Tomaseweei logo comments, “The world of journalism is changing.  It is no longer enough to work on just one platform.  The WEEI brand is recognized beyond the borders of New England, not just for its award-winning programming, but for the quality of its reporting, which is a tribute to Rob and his team.  I am looking forward to continuing what they started while stirring the passions of the best sports fans in the world.” Tomase – who will be a frequent on-air contributor for WEEI-FM “Sports Radio 93.7” as well as the website’s senior sportswriter/columnist – has been with the Herald since 2005.  He will succeed Alex Speier, who will depart at year’s end to become a Boston Globe feature writer.

quigleyalexTribune Media Eliminates Alex Quigley’s OM Post at WGN, Chicago.  He’ll continue to work on air as Ben Finfer’s co-host on sports talk WGWG-LP, Chicago on the “Quigs & Finfer” show, but when that show wraps on December 31 and the sports format ends, Quigley’s employment with Tribune Media ends.  Chicagoland Radio and Media reports that, according to a memo sent to the staff by WGN VP of content and programming Todd Manley, Manley will assume the OM duties.  Quigley wrote a positive note on his Facebook page saying, in part, “I’d like to thank Daniel Zampillo and the late Kevin Metheny for allowing me to get my foot in the door of one of America’s greatest radio stations.  I’d like to thank Tom Langmyer and Bill White for trusting me and giving me further opportunity to learn and grow, and Jimmy [de Castro] & Todd for the experiences of the last 18 months.”  Chicagoland Radio and Media reports that Quigley joined WGN in 2010 as a part-time host.  He moved up to assistant PD before being upped to OM.

Odds & Sods.  At the Salem Communications Twin Cities cluster, Mike Murphy is named sales manager.  The group includes Christian talk KKMS, news/talk WWTC “The Patriot,” business news KYCR “Business 1570,” and streaming Christian contemporary station “The Fish Twin Cities.”  Murphy assumes the sales manager duties from Nic Anderson who’s been serving as general manager as well.  Anderson continues in the GM role…..More downsizing atpatrickmatt iHeartMedia as Ben Kruse exits the morning show on news/talk KTLK, Minneapolis.  Now co-hosting the morning show with Jack Tomczak is PD Andrew Lee…..Houston-based talk host Matt Patrick is filling in for Bill Cunningham on his Premiere Networks-syndicated weekend show on December 28.  Patrick tells TALKERS this is the fourth year in a row he’s hosting the program’s “Year in Review” show.  Patrick is heard on iHeartMedia’s KTRH and KPRC in Houston and on KFXR in Dallas…..At its Northwoods cluster, NRG Media names Shane Sparks market manager for the six stations serving the Rhinelander and Minoqua, Wisconsin markets including: country WHDG, adult hits WRHN, classic country simulcast WOBT-AM/FM, classic rock WRLO, news/talk WLKD, and classic hits WMQA.

starnesxmas logoFox News Announces Todd Starnes Christmas Special.  Special holiday programming from Fox News Radio is available this season in the form of “The Todd Starnes All-American Christmas,” airing on Christmas Eve at 7:00 pm ET and Christmas Day at 7:00 am and 7:00 pm ET.  The show is hosted by Fox News Channel contributor Todd Starnes.  It’s a two-hour program featuring special guests: Governor Mike Huckabee, “Duck Dynasty” star Al Robertson, GRAMMY winner Chris Tomlin, New York Times best-selling author Karen Kingsbury, Governor Sarah Palin and musical artists Ellie Holcomb and Kyle Kupecky.  Starnes will also be joined by a 300-voice choir and orchestra – taped live at Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis.  FNR calls it a “family-friendly Christmas special” that will also feature “The World’s Largest Christmas Carol Sing-a-long.”  It’s airing on Fox News Radio affiliate stations, FoxNewsRadio.com, ToddStarnes.com and others.

nolanmikeSignoff Alert: Mike Nolan. It is not often that a traffic reporter’s exit warrants significant attention, but such is certainly the case with Mike Nolan.  For the last 28 years, Nolan has guided harried Los Angeles motorists through his traffic updates on iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103.5” and co-owned talker KFI; however, as he writes on his Facebook page, “I have been privileged to be on the radio for 41 years [but] now it is time to begin the next chapter.”  In all but seven of those 41 years, Nolan has done both morning and afternoon drive, “giving people as much information as I could about the traffic on their drive” and he calls KOST and KFI “two of the greatest radio stations in the country.”  The list of “incredible people” he has worked with “is long and distinguished,” and Nolan explains, “The career I have had is far greater than anything I could have imagined.”  Numerous Los Angeles broadcasters are commenting in social media, including former KOST (and later cross-town KTWV) morning talent Kim Amidon, who writes, “Mike, you have always been a pro – the best at what you do – and for most of those years doing it while flying your plane.  It was great to work with you and party with you.  I wish you the best in this new journey.”  Now at KTWV “The Wave,” Bryan Simmons did afternoon drive on KOST andkfi logo points out, “For most of your career, you were in the air, the place you should always have been, in the pilot seat.  I was privileged to work with you for most of your time at KOST and it was a pleasure – job well done partner.”  Similar to Nolan, Rhonda Kramer is also an exceptionally well-known Los Angeles traffic reporter and she notes, “It is hard to believe you are hanging up the traffic wings.  You have always been a great traffic reporter, pilot, and I have been lucky to call you my friend for all of your years in Los Angeles.  Enjoy your quality time – you deserve it.”  Another of Nolan’s colleagues – Jorge Jarrin – reflects on the 25 years he (Jarrin) spent doing airborne traffic reports.  “One of the most special aspects of my career was the warm camaraderie we developed. It was often one of the things I missed most once I was grounded for good.  You are a true friend both on and off the air.  I will miss your voice and accurate information, but I rejoice in your ability to move into the next chapter in your life.  You have accomplished much my friend; survived; and are loved by many.”  Veteran talk host Tom Leykis knew Nolan in Phoenix (at KOY) and “had the pleasure” of working with him at KFI.  “I have often told people that you and Mark Denis were the lynchpins of the station before KFI flipped to talk in 1988 – and you still are that.”  Talk radio consultant Valerie Geller laments, “This doesn’t seem possible to me.  I cannot imagine driving in Los Angeles without you.” Former KFI talk host Michael Castner – now doing morning drive on Portland’s KEX – recalls that one of his “most exciting moments” at KFI was “the first time I introduced you – an honor to work with a true Los Angeles radio legend.”  Noted programmer John Rook describes Nolan as “classy, professional, and dependable.  Happy retirement – I will miss hearing you each day.”  Longtime local newscaster Mark Austin Thomas writes, “It was an honor and a joy to work with you and a pleasure to listen to someone who was such a pro who loved his work – wishing you happiness and fulfillment in your next chapter.”  Sports update talent Karen Kay states, “You are the best of the best.  What an honor to know you and to be able to say I am one of your biggest fans.” Nolan’s last on-air date is this Friday (12/19); he will spend the morning reminiscing with KFI wakeup talent Bill Handel.

wtma logoCool Job Opportunity.  WTMA is Charleston, South Carolina’s heritage news/talk station, and Cumulus has an immediate, rare opening for a full-time morning drive host.  Qualified candidates should be able build a timely, topical and compelling show that targets the 25-54 demographic, with an emphasis on local current events, news topics, and politics.  A minimum of two years’ hosting your own successful talk show is required.  Submit your resume and aircheck to program director John Quincy here: http://www.cumulus.com/careers/.

Sydney Café Hostage Case, Taliban School Attack, Bill Cosby’s Wife Defends Him, Police Killings Aftermath, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Sony Pictures Hack, Plummeting Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activities, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/15).  The deadly hostage taking at a Sydney café by a self-styled “Muslim cleric”; the murder of some 126 school children in Pakistan by the Taliban; Bill Cosby’s wife Camille speaks out publicly defending her husband accused of raping numerous women; the aftermath of the recent high-profile killings of young blacks by police; the potential candidates for president in the 2016 election; the continuing fallout from the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment; the sinking price of oil, its effect at the pumps and on the financial markets; 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.

Monday, September 22, 2014

| September 22, 2014

rowlandjohnFormer Connecticut Governor and WTIC, Hartford Talk Host Found Guilty of Campaign Law Violations.  He’d already served 10 months in prison for a 2004 conviction on corruption charges when CBS RADIO’s news/talk WTIC, Hartford hired John Rowland to host a daily afternoon drive radio talk show.  Now, after Friday’s conviction on seven counts of campaign finance law violations, it appears that Rowland is likely headed back to prison.  Sentencing is scheduled for December 12 but his attorneys plan to appeal.  According to the Hartford Courant’s account, Rowland, who resigned from WTIC in April just before being indicted on the charges, chose not to take a plea deal for 18 months jail time and tested his luck with the jury.  It didn’t work as the jury found him guilty of all charges related to his scheme to consult a Republican political candidate in 2012 and hide the fact that he was accepting the cash for those purposes.  Read Edmund Mahony’s Courant story here.

cookehollandLocal On-Air Talent CAN Become Indispensable.  Media consultant Holland Cooke revisits (and expands upon!) the point he made the “pages” of TALKERS four years ago that “if you’re in RADIO, you’re in SALES” in a column published today (9/22).  It’s easy to pick apart the effectiveness of another medium’s advertising components but radio must look in the mirror for, as Cooke writes, criticism of a lot of radio’s not-so-great spots is justified because “at many stations, including some in major markets, there’s no creative department.  Reps write their own copy, a task that’s not sellers’ core competency.”  Effectiveness is directly related to quality, so how to up the quality?  Cooke offers some suggestions and you can check them out here.

jacobsfredConsultant Fred Jacobs Encourages Radio Talent to Learn and Exploit Expanded Array of Available Media Tools.  Reaction and commentary continues to buzz throughout the industry on the topic of the role of the aural media arts (non-visual radio and music) in the increasingly multi-media/visual environment of the digital era – instigated largely last week by comments made by TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison in the aftermath of the Clear Channel name/branding change to iHEARTMEDIA.  According to Harrison, “I am delighted by the enormous number of responses – mostly overwhelmingly positive – that my comments sparked.  Of course, there were those who immediately jumped to theiheartmedia logo conclusion that I am against the word ‘media’ or that I do not believe radio should be involved in internet, satellite or visual media at all.  This is, of course, preposterous!  The name of our company that owns TALKERS is Talk Media, Inc.; the name of our convention was the New Media Seminar way back in 1998; TALKERS magazine’s slogan is The Bible of Talk Radio and the New Talk Media; I have championed a concept known as “The Media Station” for more than a decade and the list goes on.  All I am saying is we should remain sensitive and respectful to the idea that there is a very important place in this emerging mix for pure audio-only radio and music in terms of the fundamentals of these processes – and that by doing so, we will be serving the best interests of our industry, the people who work in it and the consumers who love radio and music on their basic terms.”  Harrison continues, “My friend, noted radio consultant/researcher Fred Jacobs, CEO of Jacobs Media, — also an industry voice who is outspoken on this most compelling issue — has written and posted a blog today (9/22) that I believe adds an important dimension to the subject that warrants attention.  Jacobs makes a case, somewhat counterpoint (but not contradictory) to mine, that I find inspirational.”  In the blog, Jacobs writes, “I started thinking about this notion that the proliferation of screens will narrow the field for talkers, DJs, and hosts who are great with words, but not so wonderful visually.  As he [Michael Harrison] notes, screens of all sizes are becoming dominant parts of how people consume media. Thankfully, radio has been able to participate on most of those screens, whether on smartphones or tablets.  Over time as autonomous driving becomes more common, those who ride in these cars will gravitate to entertainment that is visual in origin – at least at a higher percentage than they are able to consume now while dangerously texting and driving.  So is this the beginning of the end for radio, or is it simply the beginning of the beginning?  Because as we have explored in this blog during the past few years, disruption forces old stars to adapt while bringing new ones to the center stage. Notably, two of the “Best Motion Picture” Oscars in just the past few years have focused on this topic. The King’s Speech starring Colin Firth was a story about changing technology, as the King of England was forced to learn how to communicate on the radio.  Of course, he struggled, but in the end he was able to adapt.  And in The Artist, the film’s silent film star refused to adapt to ‘talkies’ and is eventually displaced by a new brand of movie icons.  Change is uncomfortable and it can be bitter, as depicted in this amazing film.  The ending eventually become a happy one, but the road was arduous and difficult because of the tech disruption caused by the advent of movie sound.  Change is hard, especially for those who have enjoyed the status quo.  It tests everyone in all strata of the organization and the industry. Accepting, adapting, and adjusting is hard work.  It can be quite uncomfortable in workplaces that were once always fun and even kind of easy.  But these are the necessary skills that radio people need to exude in order to make the transition.  We see signs of this every day in broadcast radio.  Those who have the ability to connect with audiences – in person and in social spaces – have a unique edge.  The old paradigm of the DJ hermit, locked down the hall in the air studio, is breaking apart.  Today’s air talent need to be able to mix it up with listeners, clients, and community leaders.  Not every film star is handsome.  The public appreciates an interesting face, whether it’s Peter Dinklage on Game of Thrones or Linda Hunt on NCIS.  They may be exceptions, but they stand out because they’re different, captivating, and worthy of our attention.  They’re also immensely talented actors.  And the same will be the case on the radios of the future.  While good-looking DJs like Ryan Seacrest or Bobby Bones may have inherent advantages, Howard Stern proves that must-hear content trumps a pretty face.  And he’s not alone.  Words matter, and they will continue to in a media ecosphere that is now dominated by visuals. Screens or not, it’s the thought that counts.  These are changes that radio need to roll with.  Let’s open up new visual doors, new avenues, and new paths for our content.  And let’s embrace them because it’s truly a media world.”  To read Fred Jacobs’ entire blog, please click here.

warrenallisonRadio Management Pro Warren Named VP/MM for Cumulus Nashville.  Jumping from the Austin cluster of Entercom where she was director of sales and taking on the vice president and marketwwtn logo manager role at Cumulus Media Nashville is Allison Warren.  Cumulus SVP Jeff Brown comments, “Allison was a key part of my team in Denver some years back.  She did great work there and has since built a portfolio of successes in vibrant radio markets including Austin, Madison and Milwaukee.  Her results-driven, collaborative leadership style will infuse our Nashville operations with the energy and focus needed at this pivotal point in the cluster’s growth.  Allison will be an incredible asset to Cumulus’ leadership team.”  Warren also served with Entercom at its Madison and Milwaukee clusters as well as with CBS RADIO in Denver.  Cumulus operates six stations in the market including news/talk WWTN-FM “SuperTalk 99.7,” sports talker WGFX “104.5 The Zone,” as well as the Tennessee Titans Radio Network.

irn usa logoCross Platform Media Acquires IRN/USA Radio Network.  The president and CEO of Cross Platform Media, Sam Hassell, says the acquisition of IRN/USA Radio Network “rounds out the services of Cross Platform that is already deeply embedded in the national media space.”  Hassell continues, “We are very excited to make this announcement.  We look forward to fulfilling the original vision of USA Radio Network by providing audience-engaging news and content to the independent and group station owners around the country.”  Christian and conservative broadcast pioneer Marlin Maddoux launched the USA Radio Network in 1985 and Hassell adds, “We are very respectful of the Maddoux legacy and proud to continue syndicating ‘Point of View,’ ‘Daybreak USA,’ IRN/USA News and so many other significant programs.”  IRN/USA Radio Network currently produces and/or distributes more than 20 nationally syndicated radio programs with audience-targeted formatting primarily for news/talk and Christian radio (both commercial and non-commercial).

biakelseyBIA/Kelsey Forecast for 2015 Local Media Revenue: Up 1.6%.  But, of course, the increase comes as beneficial for those in the online/digital media realm (+13.1%) and, not surprisingly, traditional media is expected to see another dip (-1.7%).  BIA/Kelsey is presenting these results and more at its Leading in Local: SMB Digital Marketing conference in New Orleans this week.  The company predicts that in 2015, online/digital will account for more than one-quarter (25.2%) of total local media revenues in 2015.  Revenues for online/digital are expected to grow from $31 billion in 2014 to $35 billion in 2015, representing a 13.1% growth rate.  Other forecasts include: Mobile local ad revenues will grow from $4.3 billion in 2014 to $6.6 billion in 2015; Local social media revenues will grow from $2.5 billion in 2014 to $3.6 billion in 2015; Local search revenues will grow from $7.1 billion in 2014 to $7.2 billion in 2015; Local display revenues will grow from $4.3 billion in 2014 to $4.9 billion in 2015; and Local online video revenues will grow from $2.3 billion in 2014 to $3.0 billion in 2015.

dolansexpo9-14Dolans and Seaview Radio Hit Home Run with Live Event in South Florida.  Proving there is life after WOR, New York, the legendary husband/wife money media team of Ken & Daria Dolan (pictured here, Daria at left, Ken at right) joined forces with WSVU (960 AM/95.9 FM/ 106.9 FM), North Palm Beach “Seaview Radio” this past Saturday (9/20) presenting a successful, day-long listener/sponsor event titled, “South Florida Wealth & Health Expo 2014,” at the prestigious Jupiter Maltz Theatre in Jupiter, Florida.  The event brought local businesses and services from the fields of health, finance and better living together highlighted with on-stage financial advice presentations by the Dolans.  Seaview Radio general manager Chet Tart tells TALKERS, “The event gave us a wonderful opportunity to establish new and heightened relationships with sponsors from one of the most dynamic business sectors in the market.  We immediately received positive response with attendees and vendors already asking about next year’s event.  I think we might have to find a larger venue, next time around.”  The Dolans, now based in Jupiter, are best remembered for their stunning run of success at WOR, New York and the WOR Radio Network in the 90s and early-2000s – supplemented by their hosting hot shows on CNN, MSNBC anddolans poster other cable news/talk networks as well as penning best-selling books on the topic of personal finance.  Known for their entertaining banter and solid advice both on air and on stage, the Dolans went into semi-retirement several years ago – but have had difficulty steering clear of offers that keep coming their way for live appearances and their broadcast sales consulting services.  The result has been the birth of the increasingly active firm Dolan Media.  CEO Ken Dolan tells TALKERS, “There are huge revenue and promotional opportunities for local radio stations in live events – especially in the areas that strike home to most people – health and money.  The two go together beautifully as we have just proven at this event in Florida.  Daria and I are strongly considering taking this show on the road and helping stations around the country create a very exciting form of financial and PR synergy so dearly needed by small and middle-sized operators at this time.”  Perennial members of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred during their run at WOR, the Dolans have been ranked #75 on the prestigious Heaviest Hundred list of the “100 Most important Radio Talk Show Hosts of All Time.”  WSVU, North Palm Beach was recently sold by North Palm Beach Broadcasters to JVC Media.  GM Chet Tart – one of the most connected broadcast executives in the market – will stay on as GM of the new expanded operation planned by the acquiring owners, telling TALKERS, “With this transition to JVC, I find myself even more focused than ever… offering leadership, encouragement and inspiration to the staff.  That’s my focus!”   Chet Tart can be reached by email at chet@jvcbroadcasting.com.  Ken Dolan can be contacted at dolanmedia1@aol.com.

schafferdennyOdds & Sods.  At the iHeartMedia Des Moines cluster, alternative KXDA PD Mike Killabrew takes on the programming responsibilities for sister sports talker KXNO, leaving WHO programmer Van Harden to focus on his duties with the heritage news/talker…..Radio personality Denny Schaffer – most recently with iHeartMedia news/talker WRNO, New Orleans and former host at the company’s WSPD, Toledo – is back in Toledo as morning jock on Cumulus Media’s hot AC WWWM “Star 105.”…..Dallas news pro Jim Ryan joins ABC News Radio full time.  Ryan — a current staffer at WBAP, Dallas and part-time contributor to ABC News Radio, makes the switch starting November 1.