Tag: "siriusXM"

Friday, April 4, 2014

| April 4, 2014

wtic logoFormer Connecticut Governor John Rowland Resigns from WTIC, Hartford Show as New Corruption Probe Intensifies.  The former Connecticut governor resigned from office in 2004 amidst corruption charges to which he eventually pleaded guilty and served 10 months in federal prison.  He began a talk show host career on CBS RADIO’s WTIC,rowlandjohn Hartford in 2010 – for the first two years with co-host Pastor Will Marotti of the New Life Church in Meriden before going solo – but now that gig is over as Rowland stepped down yesterday without addressing the new allegations.  The Hartford Courant reports that testimony from local businessman Brian Foley and his wife, Lisa Wilson-Foley (a former congressional candidate) stated in federal court that they used a phony consulting contract with Rowland to pay him for political assistance to Wilson-Foley’s failed 2012 campaign.  Rowland faces possible indictment by a grand jury.  WTIC program director Jenneen Lee tells the paper Pastor Will Marotti will step into the afternoon drive slot beginning Monday.  Read the entire Courant piece here.

elswickdaveBig Changes at KARN-FM, Little Rock; PM Driver Dave Elswick Out along with AM Drive’s Bob Steel and ND.  Longtime afternoon drive personality and program director Dave Elswick announces via Facebook that he’s out at Cumulus Media’s KARN-FM, Little Rock.  Here’s his post: “I ask for your prayers tonight.  After nearly 14 years on KARN I was fired by Cumulus Media.  Bob Steel and news director Jack Heintz were also fired.  I have no idea what will be on the station tomorrow.  Know that I love every one of you who have supported me over these years. God Bless.”  There were rumors of change at the news/talk outlet swirling but nothing concrete had been put out.  As of now, the KARN-FM website lists the AM and PM drive dayparts generically.  It’s possible Cumulus is clearing the afternoon deck to move Michael Savage into a live slot from the current late night delayed broadcast.

esiasonboomerCriticism of Mets Infielder’s Paternity Leave Reversed as WFAN’s Boomer Esiason Apologizes.  The decision by New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy to miss two games to be with his wife in Florida after she delivered their son on Opening Day was a hot topic of conversation on New York sports talk radio and both WFAN afternoon host Mike Francesa and morning drive co-host Boomer Esiason opined that two games was too many to miss.  But during the initial chatter, Esiason said that he’d have asked his wife to schedule a C-section in order to be with his teammates for the games.  The MLB CBA allows for up to three days of paternity leave.  Esiason apologized on WFAN’s morning show today (4/4), calling his comments “insensitive” and expressing contrition for having put the Murphy family’s personal lives “under a spotlight.”  He also said his C-section comment was not intended to mean he was telling women what to do with their bodies.

openingday2014Nielsen Audio Quantifies the Obvious: Opening Day Is Big for Radio.  What’s well known to radio practitioners is put into numbers by Nielsen Audio from this season’s Opening Day.  While baseball – from a ratings standpoint – will be good to most MLB flagships this year, some of the Opening Day numbers are truly spectacular.  In Cincinnati, flagship WLW pulled a 46.6 share with Men 25-54 on a 12+ cume of 270,700.  Also, it’s interesting to note the difference in cume and share from the Cubs at Pirates broadcasts where the woebegone Cubs fans in Chicago didn’t appear to have the same passion (via radio, anyway) as the recharged Bucs backers in Pittsburgh.  Check out the data here.

theblaze radio networkGlenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network Reports Streaming Success.  The digital side of Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network reports that it makes its debut as one of the top 20 most-listened-to streams in America, according to Triton Digital‘s February 2014 ranker.  TheBlaze president and chief content officer Joel Cheatwood states, “When we launched TheBlaze Radio Network in January 2013 we did so with the goal of being one of the top online radio stations in America.  In our first month of accredited measurement, it is exciting to see our single stream on the same list as these established multi-stream services.”

mozdiezcarlsonEntercom Boston Boosts Mozdiez to Director of Integrated Media Strategies.  It is a position the cluster specifically crafts for Carlson Mozdiez, who is elevated from director of digital operations.  New responsibilities for the Syracuse University graduate include developing/executing customer-facing brand messaging, including live events, contesting and promotions, external advertising,entercom websites, video, and social media.  Entercom Boston vice president/market manager Phil Zachary comments, “Streamlining our ever-expanding array of digital and marketing channels, which connect the most valuable radio consumers in New England to our brands and our advertisers, makes logistical sense.  Carlson is the ideal leader to spearhead these innovative efforts.”  Mozdiez remarks that, “It is an exciting time as we continue to develop and optimize the ways people interact with our stations while creating new means for advertisers to access our audiences.”  Entercom Boston consists of rock WAAF, sports WEEI-FM, sports WEEI-AM, news/talk WRKO, the Boston Red Sox Radio Network and their respective web properties.  Mozdiez joined Entercom in 2002 as promotion coordinator for WEEI and WRKO.

millerdennisDennis Miller Celebrates Radio Anniversary.  Today marks the seventh anniversary of entertainer Dennis Miller’s nationally syndicated WestwoodOne radio program.  The “Saturday Night Live” alum is commemorating the day with special guests including: Mark Steyn, nationally syndicated columnist and author of After America: Get Ready for Armageddon; Bob Saget, comedian and author of Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian; Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky; David Spade, comedian; Frank Sinatra Jr.; and fellow SNL alum Dana Carvey.

richertlarryKDKA-AM’s Larry Richert to Be Roasted for Charity.  Pittsburgh talk radio personality Larry Richert – co-host of the “KDKA Morning News on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA” will be the guest of honor at a Roast & Toast on Friday, April 25 to be roasted and toasted by friends and co-workers to benefit the Roxsan Betters Albanese Foundation.  This foundation helps financially challenged families with children who are terminally ill or face a life threatening situation.  Fellow KDKA-AM talk host Rob Pratte will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

westcottpaulOdds & Sods.  When Premiere Networks’ “America Now with Andy Dean” hits the air tonight, WTAG, Worcester morning drive talk show host Paul Westcott will be in the host chair.  Westcott has become a regular fill-in for Dean when he’s away…..This weekend’s NCAA Final Four is being covered by SiriusXM.  The satcaster says it’ll offer subscribers comprehensive coverage of this weekend’s action plus analysis on the College Sports Nation channel from hoops experts such as three-time ACC Coach of the Year Bobby Cremins, Hall of Fame Michigan State guard Mateen Cleaves, former Villanova and UMass coach Steve Lappas, former University of Vermont coach Tom Brennan, plus Tim Brando, Mark Packer, Chris Childers and Jason Horowitz…..Birach Broadcasting’s sports talker KXRQ, Des Moines announces it’s the newest affiliate for Kansas City Royals baseball play-by-play……Sunrise Broadcasting strikes an agreement with Sea-Comm Media to use the latter’s translator W240AS, Wilmington at 95.9 FM to augment the signal of its sports talk WMFD “ESPN Wilmington,” heard on 630 AM.

ObamaCare Criticism Remains Atop Talkers TenTM.  The major political issue of the past year – the passage of the Affordable Care Act – continues to be one of the top news/talk radio stories and was again the most-talked-about topic this week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.  Coming in at #2 this week was the deadly Fort Hood Shooting.  At #3 was the looming mid-term elections tied with the potential candidates in the 2016 presidential election, and at #4 was this week’s Supreme Court campaign donation ruling.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Inside SportsTalkBoston.com

| March 26, 2014

Sports Media Personality Glenn Ordway’s Multi-Platform Venture Is Off and Running

 

By Jason Wolfe
Chief Content Officer
SportsTalkBoston.com

 

wolfejasonwriterBOSTON — I’ve worked in sports radio my entire broadcast career. When I graduated from Syracuse in 1989, I was privileged to land a job in my hometown of Boston right out of college. Talk about young and green. I didn’t have any idea what radio was all about at that time. I just knew I loved it. Twenty-four years later, it’s amazing how much the medium, and the industry, have changed.

In the old days, hosts flipped on the microphone, yapped about their teams, took calls from passionate fans whose very lives seemingly depended on the outcome of the games, and threw in numerous guests to provide more insight into the topic at hand. It was a pretty simple formula. Information ruled the day and that’s what we did, discuss the information.

Nowadays, to be successful in sports talk radio, and most formats, it’s about much more than providing information. Listeners sportstalkboston logoalready have the information you want to discuss, even before you get to the station. You need opinions, humor, edge, attitude, and most of all personality. Fans will listen to hosts they love, and those they hate, because of the personality that exists in both. Personality breeds engagement. Engagement breeds loyalty.  Loyalty breeds ratings and ratings breed revenue. That is the formula hosts and shows need to embrace today if they want to win.

Read More

Friday, March 21, 2014

| March 21, 2014

wolfejasonJason Wolfe Joins Glenn Ordway’s New Digital Sports Talk Venture.  As the new chief content officer for Sportstalkboston.com, programmer Jason Wolfe rejoins former fellow WEEI staffer and Boston sports media personality Glenn Ordway as the new digital venture, which debuted on Monday (3/17), evolves .  Wolfe was VP of programming operations for Entercom New England prior to exiting the company last year.  Ordway was afternoon drive host on WEEI for many years.  In a statement, Ordway says, “I couldn’t find a more accomplished programmer to extend our efforts to build the best possible content than the Wolfman.”  The company lists the local personalitiessportstalkboston logo appearing on the new “Big Show Unfiltered,” stating, “Listeners on all platforms will hear former All-Pro nose tackle and Patriot Fred Smerlas, Super Bowl Champion linebacker Steve DeOssie, veteran Boston Herald columnist and best-selling author Steve Buckley, former Comcast Sports Net New England studio host and Boston Celtics sideline reporter Greg Dickerson and long-time Boston sports personality and “Big Show” alum Pete Sheppard, will join the Big O along with new contributors ordwayglennJerry Thornton of Barstool Sports and comedian Graig Murphy.”  Regarding Wolfe, the press statement tallies his accomplishments: “He has spent his entire broadcast career in Boston, including 22 years with WEEI.  Under his leadership, the station achieved tremendous success, becoming the #1-ranked sports radio station in the country, and holding the top spot in Boston for six straight years.  The station was nominated for six Marconi Awards with four wins, the most recent in 2012.  Wolfe also created the Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon which, in partnership with NESN, has raised $31 million for cancer care and research in its 12-year history.”  Ordway adds, “It’s our goal to assemble a cast of fun, interesting and compelling personalities.  I feel strongly that with this group, we’re well on our way to achieving that.”  Wolfe starts with the company on April 10.

nab logoNAB Issues Reply Comments on AM Band Revitalization.  The FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making regarding its proposals for revitalizing the AM band and NAB, in its reply comments, reiterates its “support for most of these proposals, and suggests certain other policy changes that would further enhance the public’s AM radio service.”  In summary, NAB states it “agrees with most comments in favor of opening a filing window for FM translators in which only AM stations may participate, as a means of extending the benefits of cross-service translators to more AM stations and their listeners.  While translators obtained in this window should generally remain linked to the acquiring AM station, NAB submits that it would be reasonable to allow such translators to be transferred under certain limited circumstances, such as financial hardship.”  NAB also says it supports “relaxation of the proposed limit of one FM translator per AM station, to accommodate AM stations with unusually large or irregularly shaped service areas, as well as opening the filing window to all AM radio stations on an equal basis, regardless of class or ownership structure.  The record also demonstrates support for the FM translator processing approaches set forth in the ‘Mattoon’ and ‘Tell City’ waiver cases. Retention of the former, and approval of the latter, will expand the universe of eligible cross-service translators, and foster efficient spectrum use by enabling more translators to be fully utilized.”  Read NAB’s entire reply comments here.

cbsradio logoCBS RADIO Adds to Its Live Events Division.  The expansion of the live events division at CBS RADIO includes the addition of Katie Forte senior producer, strategic events and partnerships.  She’ll be based in New York, according to Amy Stevens, senior vice president of strategic events and partnerships.  The company says that in the newly created position, Forte will “play a key role in the development and management of signature programs that provide audiences and advertisers with one of a kind experiences with their favorite artists, sports stars, newsmakers and CBS RADIO personalities.  Additionally, Forte will serve as a liaison with local venues, arenas and CBS RADIO’s current roster of partners in the entertainment industry, while cultivating new business relationships and opportunities.”  Forte comes to CBS RADIO from her most recent position as director, concerts marketing, digital and social media with Madison Square Garden Company.

costa logoSports Talker Dino Costa to Begin Multi-Platform Endeavor.  Former SiriusXM sports talk personality Dino Costa announces the coming debut of his new multi-platform sports talk venture on May 5.  His new company, Dino Costa Worldwide, LLC, is producing the Dino Costa show it calls “a multi-platform sports media and entertainment forum – combining the elements of radio, television, and newspaper, under one umbrella.”  Costa is working on a subscription model ($72 per year) that will include a live, daily four-hour show available in high-definition with a three-camera shoot planned.  Other content will include pre-recorded podcast interviews with a host of news-making individuals, pre-recorded video vignettes, and “Costa Chronicles” featuring consistent written word features by Costa.  The new show will also feature a mobile app so that all elements of the show may be accessed at anytime, anywhere for those on the go.  It’ll all be at DinoCostaShow.com.

audi logoAudi to Bring Wi-Fi to 2015 A3 Model.  The arrival of wi-fi in the automobile in the United States appears to be coming first from Audi, according to a piece at Technologyreview.com.  The story says the German manufacturer will make wi-fi available in its 2015 A3 model and it’s certain other manufacturers will follow.  GM already has plans to offer 4G LTE in some 2015 models beginning this summer.  Industry watchers know that the digital dashboard is going to expand but how fast that will happen before it can be said to be ubiquitous is up for debate.  The Technologyreview.com piece reports Audi will charge $100 for 5 gig of data for six months.  If you add that to a consumer’s existing smartphone plan, it becomes clear the dollars add up.  Manufacturers are working to make the operation of digital apps acceptable for drivers who can’t be distracted, and that limits what can be done in the vehicle (at least in the front seat).  Few are denying this is the future of entertainment and information in the car but reviews of some digital dashboard apps currently available are not glowing.  They cite difficulty of operation and unreliability in many cases.  But time usually solves these issues and that will be the case here.  But for now, service like this will belong to those with a yen for gadgets and a fair amount of disposable income.  Read the Technologyreview.com piece here.

webbdavidOdds & Sods.  Talk show host David Webb will moderate a panel discussion about the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 on SiriusXM this evening.  “Malaysia Air Mystery – A Listener Roundtable,” will feature a panel of experts including: former CIA agent Bob Baer, former Navy SEAL and pilot Brandon Webb, forensic psychiatrist Michael Aronoff, former National Transportation Safety Board investigator Alan Yurman, former CIA intelligence officer Dr. Michael Scheuer, director of the division of bioethics at NYU Langone Medical Center Dr. Arthur Caplan, security and terrorism professional Kerry Patton, and chief operating officer of Aviation International News Randy Padfield…..The popular public radio program “This American Life,” created and hosted by Ira Glass, will no longer be distributed by Public Radio International after July.  Neither side is talking specifics but both have agreed to move on after negotiations for renewal broke down.  The show has been distributed by PRI since it debuted in 1997…..CBS RADIO O&O WCCO,wcco logo Minneapolis is the recipient of 11 awards in the recent 2013 Minnesota Associated Press Broadcasters News Contest.  The awards will be presented at the annual awards banquet on Friday, March 28.  Among the 10 categories judged, WCCO is receiving eight first place awards and three honorable mentions.  First place honors were awarded in the following categories: Best In Show, Best Website, Sport Hard News, Feature, Series/Special, Sports Reporting, Best Newscast, and Sports Play By Play.

freemanedgeTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge joins the lineup at KNOX, Grand Forks and WBBA, Pittsfield, Illinois…..WestwoodOne’s Jim Bohannon is now heard on KWLZ, Warm Springs, Oregon and KBNW, Bend, Oregon.….WILC, Maryland adds the Genesis Communications Network-distributed Alex Jones show to its lineup…..The “Freedom Feens” with Michael W. Dean and Neema Vedadi is picked up by WSVG and WAMM, Woodstock, Virginia…..The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated weekend Ethan Bearman program is added to the program schedule on KBY, Anchorage…..Salem Radio Network’s Dennis Prager show is added to the lineup at WNNG, Unadilla, Georgia and WKAL, Rome, New York.

karelirelandKarel Takes Ireland!  Talk show host Charles Karel Bouley writes from across the Pond to let TALKERS know he just finished hosting nine programs from the Emerald Isle – including a St. Patrick’s Day show.  While there, Karel led the St. Patrick’s parade in Dublin atop a double decker bus occupied by media from around the world.  As he says, “Being openly gay the whole time (take that NYC and Boston)!”  Pictured here is Karel (l) interviewing the Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisin Quinn at his home, Mansion House.

Obama vs. Putin Clash Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 17-21.  The butting of heads between President Obama and Russian president Vladimir Putin over the latter’s aggressive policies was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was Russia’s annexation of Crimea.  Following at #3 was criticism of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act, and at #4 was the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Friday, March 14, 2014

| March 14, 2014

salkmikeMike Salk Returns to KIRO-AM as Program Director.  The year-long return to his hometown and the afternoon drive co-host slot on Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston didn’t pan out and now sports talker Mike Salk is returning to Bonneville’s KIRO-AM, Seattle “ESPN 710” to serve as the program director.  He’s also expected to pick up an air shift that will be announced in the future.  Salk worked with Brock Huard on the station before exiting last spring to partner up with Michael Holley at WEEI.  In a statement, Salk says, “I could not be more excited about this unique kiroopportunity and the new challenge of running the programming at ‘710 ESPN Seattle.’  Even though I left Seattle last year, it never ceased being home.  ‘710 ESPN Seattle’ is a nationally renowned sports station and this opportunity to lead it is an honor.  The people in that building are special and I can’t wait to reconnect with all of them.”  Station VP/GM David Pridemore adds, “It is gratifying to have Mike return to ‘710 ESPN Seattle’ and 710Sports.com as the program director and eventually as an on-air host.  Mike knows the market, our people, the sports talk format, the art and business of radio, and the power and influence of digital media. We are privileged to have Mike at the helm of ‘710 ESPN Seattle.’”

youngbarryKFYI’s Barry Young Announces Retirement.  Talk radio pro Barry Young has been a host at Clear Channel’s KFYI, Phoenix for much of the past 27 years but he’s announcing that he’ll retire from the station in November.  Young has held down the mid-morning slot at the station for more than a decade.  Young served as the station’s program director from 1988 to 1998.  It was during that time he met his future wife, computer expert and talk host Kim Komando.  In addition to his work with KFYI, Young is also president and CEO of WestStar TalkRadio Network which syndicates the weekend program hosted by Komando, as well as other radio programs.  Young started his career at WGAC, Augusta, Georgia at the age of 14.  He went on to work at WRNG, Atlanta; WFAA, Dallas; WNWS, Miami; and WJNO, West Palm Beach before arriving at KFYI in 1987.

rabRAB: Radio Revenue Flat in 2013.  The Radio Advertising Bureau is releasing its report on revenue for the fourth quarter of 2013 and the year as a whole and on revenue of $17.6 billion for 2013, the radio business was essentially flat compared to 2012.  Spot revenue dipped 3% in the fourth quarter of 2013 but the industry was lifted by digital (up 18%), off-air (up 11%) and network comp (upfarberericanew 7%).   For the total of 2013, spot revenue was down 1% but buoyed by digital (up 16%) and off-air (up 5%).  The source of the figures is accounting firm Miller Kaplan Arase based on a pool of more than 100 markets extrapolated for the entire nation.  RAB CEO Erica Farber states, “Digital continues to gain momentum among advertisers looking to maximize their use of all radio platforms.  Based on the recent Borrell Associates forecast of a 22% rise in digital spending on radio in 2014, this category is poised to surpass the $1 billion mark.”  Automotive remained the number one ad category.  Ad sectors that gained during 2013 were professional services (up 23%), communications (up 18%), and concerts/theatre/movies (up 12%).

rosinlarryTalking Point: Edison’s Larry Rosin Explores ‘Nationalization’ of Radio.  The question of just how far Clear Channel and Cumulus Media will go in eliminating the costly local programming elements from their O&O stations to be replaced by nationally syndicated programs (which they own) is one that’s been discussed much by people in the industry as well as written about in such publications as this.  Edison Research president Larry Rosin spoke about it openly at the recent CRS in Nashville and follows that up with a blog piece on the Edison site.  Rosin suggests that Clear Channel’s full-steam-ahead move to brand its stations iHeartRadio and Cumulus’ stratagem in the country realm with “NASH FM” are manifestations of the “nationalization” of radio programming by those companies and, while that may save some money and give corporate a monolithic control over programming, ultimately, he believes it’s not going to work.  Rosin says the results of his research lead him to that conclusion particularly with regard to younger people and the use of AM/FM radio.  “We pretty much hear the same things over and over – they do and will continue to go to radio for unique compelling content – and to be in-the-know on what is happening locally.  Young listeners talk to us about the chance to actually meet the personality they hear on the radio and the announcements of local events or concerts.  They understand their local radio stations are providing them with something that Pandora and Spotify don’t.  So the question is: Will the nationalized radio content be so great, so amazing, so compelling, that the consumers of tomorrow will stay loyal to FM?”  So the argument about local versus national programming continues.  Perhaps Clear Channel and Cumulus are banking on their reach and relationships with labels and artists to deliver what they consider the best content.  Other operators are going the “live and local” route.  Time will tell who wins this one.  But the cost could be heavy.  Read Rosin’s entire piece here.

cubs logoCubs Broadcasts Could Leave WGN After 2014 Season.  The Chicago Tribune’s Ed Sherman writes that sources indicate Tribune’s WGN, Chicago – broadcaster of Chicago Cubs play-by-play since 1925 – put the rights to carry the games after this season on the market and that CBS RADIO appears to be the most interested.  According to the Tribune, CBS is putting together a package that would include airing games on news WBBM and include coverage on its other radio properties.  The Cubs reportedly have a current deal that pays the team $10 million per season – per perennially losing season, that is – and the story reports WGN is losing money on the broadcasts.  Interestingly, local industry sources in Chicago tell Sherman someone will eventually fork over a lot of cash for Cubs rights.  Just which company that is remains to be seen.

wkzologoOdds & Sods.  When the NCAA Division I Men’s tournament begins on Tuesday, March 18, WeswoodOne will offer play-by-play action from 67 games, including the First Four, games from all eight second-round and third-round sites, four regional semifinals and finals venues, and all three games from the NCAA Men’s Final Four at AT&T Stadium in North Texas…..SiriusXM is also presenting coverage of the March Madness tourney and says it’s providing “uninterrupted access to live play-by-play” of all the games.  Additionally, On Selection Sunday, the satcaster will provide up-to-the-moment coverage as tournament teams and first round match-ups are announced.  Chris “Mad Dog” Russo and Steve Torre will host live from 5:00 to 9:00 pm ET on March 16…..Midwest Communications-owned news/talk WKZO, Kalamazoo is honored with five Excellence in Broadcasting awards from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.  The station won Best in Category awards for Community Involvement and Promotional Materials.  In addition, Merit Awards were achieved for Play-by-Play from a hockey game that featured Western Michigan University as well as for Best Morning Personality for an interview conducted on “Kalamazoo’s Morning News.”  Another highlight for the station was a win of the Best in New Media Award for the coverage of the 2013 Kalamazoo Marathon.

gallaghermikeTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The Salem Radio Network-syndicated Mike Gallagher show is added to the program schedule at KLO, Salt Lake City…..Two new affiliates in Arkansas join the Yahoo! Sports Radio network: KVRC, Arkadelphia and KBOK, Malvern are carrying the full schedule of programming…..KNOX, Grand Forks is the newest affiliate station for GCN-syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs.

ObamaCare Criticism Returns to Top of Talkers TenTM.  Scrutiny of the rollout and the effects of the Affordable Care Act was the most-talked-about topic on news/talk radio during the week of March 10-14.  Coming in at #2 this week was the 2016 presidential race tied with the Republican special election victory in Florida.  At #3 was Obama vs. Putin and the political tensions brought about by the Ukraine and Crimea instabilities.  Following at #4 was the lower job approval ratings for President Obama.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

| February 13, 2014

cbsradio logoCBS Reports Radio Segment Down 4% in Q4 2013; Company Up 6%.  While CBS Corporation CEO, president and director Les Moonves spoke glowingly about the performance of CBS Corporation as a whole during yesterday’s Q4 conference call, the radio segment was not part of the celebration and loss of political advertising was given the lion’s share of the blame.  The company’s report indicates that after taking political out of the picture, CBS RADIO was flat compared to the same quarter in 2012.  Moonves was upbeat about the radio division saying, “In radio, we continue to put an emphasis on great, localmoonvesles programming, which is leading to bigger audiences.  During the most recent ratings period, we had double-digit ranking gains in the highly coveted 25- to 54-year-old demo in many of our major markets, and non-traditional revenue from special events was up double digits over one year ago.  Our strategy to combine the company’s local TV and radio websites into a single online presence in every market also continues to pay off.  In 2013, revenue was up 21% over the year before, and the momentum is continuing here in ’14, including a new record of nearly 57 million unique users in January.  I’m also very pleased with the success of our CBS Interactive business.  Revenue was up 14% during the quarter, and we continue to see very rapid growth in mobile ad revenue, which was up 118%, and it helped to increase profit substantially.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Members can read the whole conference call here.

nielsen logoNielsen Q4 Revenue Up 11.8%; Rises 5.5% for 2013.  Media ratings giant Nielsen Holdings N.V. issues its fourth quarter 2013 and full-year financial reports and states that Q4 revenue was $1.6 billion, an increase of 11.8% over the same period in 2012.  For the full year of 2013, the company says its revenue was $5.7 billion, a jump of 5.5% over the full year of 2012.  The company reports its free cash flow for 2013 increased 34.5% to $573 million from $426 million in 2012 while cash flow from operations increased 14.9% to $901 million in 2013 from $784 million in 2012.  The result is the adjusted net income per share on a diluted basis for 2013 was $2.02, up 19.5% compared to $1.69 in the full year 2012.  Nielsen acquired radio ratings firm Arbitron during 2013 and the move paid off.  The Arbitron business helped add 9.3% to Nielsen’s Q4 revenue and 2.5% to its 2013 revenue.

krld logoCBS RADIO Dallas Ups Paul Mann to KRLD-AM PD.  At CBS RADIO’s Dallas cluster, news director Paul Mann is promoted to program director for KRLD-AM “NewsRadio 1080 KRLD” and the Texas Statemannpaul Networks (TSN), effective immediately.  Mann has served as news director for KRLD-AM and TSN since June 2006 and in this new role he will be primarily responsible for all programming and talent and will report to Gavin Spittle, vice president of news/talk/sports for CBS RADIO Dallas-Fort Worth.  Spittle comments, “Paul has shown tremendous leadership as news director with the sole focus on serving the North Texas community.  He’s helped put together a tremendous team which shares a great pride in this heritage station.”  Under Mann’s leadership, KRLD-AM has been honored with two national Edward R. Murrow Awards, in 2008 (spot news) and 2013 (newscast).

kuiperspradostellaStella Prado Kuipers Lands at Salem Los Angeles.  The successful, former KOST, Los Angeles program director joins Salem Communications to serve in the sales department working on multi-media marketing for Christian talk KKLA, Los Angeles.  Stella Prado Kuipers made her announcement on her Facebook page where she wrote: “A new chapter in my life has begun and I’m proud to announce as of March 3rd I am an employee of Salem Communications Radio Broadcasting company!  My position is multi-media marketing and I am thrilled to be a part of this company!  I’m sooooo excited!”  Kuipers had been with Clear Channel’s AC KOST for 20 years – eight as program director – before she was let go in December of 2012.

wctc logoProgramming Changes at WCTC, New Brunswick, New Jersey.  A shuffle in afternoons at Greater Media-owned news/talk WCTC, New Brunswick, New Jersey sees current 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm personality Tommy G move to the afternoon drive slot replacing Newsmax-syndicated host Stevetommyg Malzberg.  Into the early afternoon slot goes WestwoodOne’s Dennis Miller program.  WCTC program director Bert Baron states, “We’re excited to welcome Dennis Miller to the WCTC weekday lineup.  He’ll have Central Jersey laughing, thinking, and engaged on a daily basis.  I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have doing PM drive on WCTC than Tommy G, one of the most passionate and hard-working people I’ve ever known.  This is a BIG WIN for WCTC and for Central Jersey.”

delcollianojerryIs Nielsen “Lying” About Millennial Audiences?  Noted industry observer Jerry Del Colliano thinks so.  Del Colliano published a scathing indictment of the ratings research giant in his daily industry blog Inside Music Media (www.insidemusicmedia.com) this morning (2/12) referring to the Nielsen Audio (formerly Arbitron) report released earlier this week stating that “Millennials” (also known as “Generation Y”) are big fans of AM/FM radio and listen to it on average of 11.5 hours per week.  This, of course, flies in the face of what has to this point been conventional industry wisdom stronglynielsen logo suggesting that over-the-air radio is rapidly losing ground as a medium of choice for the millions of 20-something children born to Baby Boomers in the 1980s-90s and now coming of age in the millions – a widespread perception that broadcast business leaders openly fear threatens the future of what is increasingly being marginalized as “terrestrial radio.”  Del Colliano writes, “The company that now does PPM ratings which records listening that occurs by accident when meters randomly pick up an encoded radio signal is now weighing in on Millennials…an audience that clearly has no use for what consolidators put on the radio these days.”  He accuses the major corporate consolidators in radio of “paying hundreds of millions of dollars to report audience estimates that the company [Nielsen] itself admits in a legal statement are not reliable.”  Del Colliano is a veteran program director and radio personality who rose to prominence as the founder and publisher of the trade publication Inside Radio which he built to formidability as an independent journal prior to it being acquired by Clear Channel, which still publishes it.  Del Colliano has subsequently served a number of years as a member of the music department faculty at the University of Southern California (USC) teaching and writing courses on “Generational Media” specifically documenting and understanding the traits and habits of the rapidly maturing Millennial generation – a subject that he regularly shares with radio industry leaders via his blog and annual conference.

harrisonmichaelSpeaking of Jerry Del Colliano…  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison recently interviewed Jerry Del Colliano on the TALKERS magazine “experimental” talk radio station, TalkersRadio, (www.talkers.com/talkersradio) as a complete installment of the one-hour, media-talkersradio logodiscussion program he hosts.  The program, recorded two-weeks ago (prior to today’s provocative Del Colliano blog), presents the two industry observers in an in-depth discussion about the very subject of the delicate relationship AM/FM radio and Gen-Y.  In it, Del Colliano discusses such issues as Gen-Y’s obsession with authenticity as well as its consumer interest in non-over-the-air digital media.  To listen directly to the entire 58:00 installment of this first-time public conversation between Michael Harrison and Jerry Del Colliano, please click

 
.

crummyjoeTalk Host Joe Crummey Publishes Non-Fiction Book.  Talk radio pro Joe Crummey has just published his first non-fiction book titled, Planking on Headstones: Your Future Outside of Time (School of Eddiness 2013).  The veteran of such historic signals as WABC, New York; KFI, Los Angeles; WNBC, New York; KABC, Los Angeles andcrummeybook KFYI, Phoenix penned this new book that “takes the reader on a journey through space-time that’s rich in love, loss, fear and contemplation.  With notes of his on-air, quick-wit persona, Planking on Headstones distills complex issues of religion and science into memorable anecdotes that elicit laughter, tears and a sense of connection.  Crummey openly shares about his life, from his brain tumor to the death of his parents, as he explains his theories, such as the ‘Fonzie Principle,’ the ‘Boston Market Revelation’ and the ‘Jesus Burger.’  He also explains why he believes the Big Bang is the most evil thing that has ever happened.”  Crummy states, “Throughout my career, I often discussed and challenged religious tenets on air with my audience.  But after going through the brain tumor experience, my quest for meaning in this life and beyond intensified.  I began to understand the importance of thinking outside of time and allowed myself to imagine the impossible while I explored this subject matter.”

cclogoClear Channel Renews Promotional Deal with Relativity.  In a statement, Clear Channel says that the renewed cross-media marketing collaboration between it and media company Relativity will include one-of-a-relativity logokind campaigns promoting upcoming movies on the part of Clear Channel and Relativity will provide exclusive content created by its filmmakers and talent that will be shared with listeners and viewers through various Clear Channel platforms.  “The programs will also include organic promotional support from popular radio personalities such as Ryan Seacrest, Elvis Duran, Dan Patrick and Steve Harvey; naturally integrated film imaging across local stations and iHeartRadio’s national digital and mobile ad units; homepage website takeovers; and national and local on-air commercial inventory.”  Clear Channel says previous successful collaborations between the companies included campaigns for the films “Limitless,” “Immortals,” “Act of Valor,” “Safe Haven” and “Free Birds.”

webbdavidOdds & Sods.  Talk media personality David Webb signs on to write a column for DC political publication The Hill.  His column will be available every other Wednesday in The Hill’s print edition, online at thehill.com and on The Hill’s app.  In addition to his daily SiriusXM talk show, Webb also appears frequently on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” and “The Five.”…..Sports USA adds a podcast featuring former NFL star and TV personality Fred Dryer to its programming.  Sports USA president Bob Moore says, “Fred Dryer is a true NFL legend and a major TV star.  We are excited to add Fred’s show to our growing list of digital audio programs…..WNYC, New York names David Lewis its new metro editor.  Lewis taught journalism at CUNY for the past seven years.

rabNAB to Feature RAB Sales and Marketing Sessions.  The Radio Advertising Bureau will present five revenue- and growth-oriented presentations at this year’s NAB Show.  RAB president and chief executive officer Erica Farber explains that, “The RAB is in the business of helping sellers on the street close deals and help drive revenue for the radio industry.  These sessions will drive home key lessons and tools of the trade.  NAB Show attendees will find these sessions invaluable to their future success in the broadcast business.”  Specifically, the Radio Advertising Bureau’s focus will be “Lunch and Learn – A Discussion on Radio’s Four Significant Issues;” “Concentrating on Core Radio Revenues;” “Creative Radio Commercial Production and Imaging;” and “Rapid-Fire Revenue Generators for Small and Medium Market Radio.”  The NAB Show will be held April 5 – 10 in Las Vegas.

whamradiothonWDVI-FM and WHAM in Rochester Hold Radiothon to Benefit Children’s Hospital.  Today and tomorrow Clear Channel Rochester stations hot AC WDVI “100.5 The Drive” and news/talk WHAM are broadcasting the annual “Drive For Miracles Radiothon” to benefit Golisano Children’s Hospital live from the lobby of Strong Hospital.  Throughout the event, on-air personalities from each station will talk with current and former patients, their families, and the hard-working hospital staff that “creates miracles” every day.  Personalities including WHAM’s Chet Walker, Bob Lonsberry, Shari Smith, Joe Lomonaco, and Bob Matthews and WDVI’s Bill Moran, Julie, JP, and “The Mayor” Pete Kennedy will broadcast from the hospital.

bfoa logoBFoA Names 2014 Ward L. Quaal Leadership Awards Recipients.  This year’s recipients of the 2014 Ward L. Quaal Leadership Awards have been announced by the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  They will be presented at the Foundation’s annual breakfast on Wednesday, April 9, at the Wynn Hotel during the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas.  This year’s recipients are: Jim Beloyianis, past president, Katz TV; Dan Mason, president & CEO, CBS RADIO; Deborah Norville, host, “Inside Edition”; Mary Quass, president & CEO, NRG Media; Perry Sook, chairman/president & CEO, Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc.; and Nick Verbitsky, chairman, United Stations Radio Networks.  The Leadership Awards are given annually by the Broadcasters Foundation in recognition of career contributions to the broadcast industry and the community at large, and are named in honor of iconic broadcaster Ward L. Quaal.

Winter Weather Hits South and Northeast, ObamaCare Rollout Criticism, Afghanistan Prisoner Release, Paul NSA Suit, Debt Ceiling Raised, the Sochi Olympics and Gay NFL Prospect Comes Out Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/12).  The unusually severe winter weather bearing down on the South and the Northeast; scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act and President Obama’s unilateral delay of the employer mandate; Afghanistan’s release of numerous “dangerous” inmates and the state of the U.S.’s relationship with Hamid Karzai; Senator Rand Paul’s suit against the NSA; the GOP’s signing on with Democrats to raise the debt ceiling; the Sochi Winter Olympic Games; and the coming out of NFL prospect Michael Sam were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

| February 12, 2014

barberiejillianKABC, Los Angeles Adds Jillian Barberie to Midday Show.  The sound of the midday show at Cumulus Media’s news/talk KABC, Los Angeles changes beginning Monday February 17 as the station adds local media star Jillian Barberie to the lineup co-hosting the new “Mid-Day LA with Jillian Barberie & John Phillips.”  The show airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm and is part of the station’s move to add more local content to its programming.  Barberie is well known to Southern California for her 18 years as co-host of Fox 11’s top-rated morning show, “Good Day LA.”  In a kabclogostatement, the station says that Barberie’s work at Fox 11 “engaged audiences with her real-life stories and electric energy.  The sassy, Canadian-born Barberie has made a career out of hanging with the guys.  While hosting ‘Good Day LA,’ she also spent a decade on the Fox NFL Pre-Game Show working opposite Curt Menefee, Howie Long and Terry Bradshaw.”  Cumulus EVP and COO John Dickey adds, “Jillian’s energy, experience and love for Southern California are unmatched.  We’re absolutely thrilled that she’s joining the ‘TalkRadio 790’ team in this important role.”  Barberie comments, “I am so excited to be partnered with John Phillips!  I couldn’t be happier to be a part of the KABC team, which is such a great place with incredibly talented people.  I’ve always felt that there is something unique and liberating about doing radio.”

coakleyvinceWYRD-FM, Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina Names Vince Coakley Weekend Host.  Television and radio pro Vince Coakley joins Entercom’s WYRD-FM, Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina “WORD 106.3FM” for a regular Sunday program and as a fill-in personality when station hosts Bob McLain and Russ Cassell are on vacation.  The station notes that Coakley’s program is “the Upstate’s only weekend live and local current events talk show” during that daypart, and adds, “Just because it’s the weekend doesn’t mean the news and the discussion about them stops.”  Coakley hosted afternoon drive on Greater Media’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte from June 2011 to July of 2012.  He spent 20 years in television news prior to that.  He’s also hosted a daily internet radio show called “Revolution Radio.”  He says, “I am thrilled to officially join the team at WORD.  The station is fearless in giving voice to hosts and listeners who place a premium on liberty.  I have come to view the Greenville area as a second home and look forward to spending more time with the people of the Upstate on and off the air.”

envisionnetworks newTALKERS Posts Part-Three Today of Three-Part Special (2/10-12) Spotlighting Danno Wolkoff and Envision Networks.  What broadcasting executive and entrepreneur Danno Wolkoff has accomplished in the span of just 10 years in founding and establishing Cleveland-based national syndication firm Envision Radio Networks is inspiring and a textbook example of creating a force for productivity and jobs in an industry.  He took the biggest gamble of his life, grabbing a program and three people laid off by an established firm that would become his largest competitor, and growing an independent syndication empire serving over 1,500 radio stations with everything from prep services to music shows, local news and information to weekend talk shows.  His staff has grown over 20-fold in a decade to include an array of producers, salespeople and contract staffers researching, producing, creating and selling more than four-dozen products to radio stations in both the largest and smallest markets.  Now known simply asmckayjeff Envision Networks (they dropped the word “Radio” this past week – more on that in today’s installment) continues to not only grow, embracing new technology and catering to those needs, but in the process has become an independent force in syndication.  In today’s installment, Wolkoff discusses how, as a result of new technology and social practices, radio has grown to point that it is “more than” simply radio and that operators must work diligently to preserve its history and uniqueness without sacrificing its potential and rightful place within the digital-era.  In the words of Michael Harrison, “The emergence of special individuals like Danno Wolkoff is the force that propels an industry such as ours forward.  I’ve seen this movie many times before.  Danno is the kind of guy who has the makings of being a true giant 10 years down the pike, taking his place among the biggest of the big.”  To read part three of TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay’s extensive profile “The Vision of Envision: The Rise of Radio Syndication Entrepreneur Danno Wolkoff and an Emerging Independent Powerhouse” please click here.  And if you missed parts one and two published Monday and yesterday, please read them here and here, respectively.

entercomMore Details from Entercom’s Q4 Conference Call: The Drop on Boston and WEEI.  While Entercom president and CEO David Field acknowledged that 2013 revenue was not where the company would like to have seen it (down 3%), he stated numerous times during Tuesday’s conference call that he believes the company has turned the corner and is “positioned for a strong 2014.”  Saying that the company’s strongest-performing markets were San Francisco, Kansas City and Memphis, Field glowed about the ratings of some of the stations in those markets, pointing out the success stories of “The Wolf” and “The Point” in Kansas City, KOIT, KBLX and KGME in San Francisco.  He also addressed the state of the Boston market and of sports talker WEEI.  “We have some work to do there, but it’s interesting. weei logo We have a new leadership there now, which we are very excited about, and I believe we are starting to turn the corner there.  And if you look at the fundamentals of Boston, WEEI, our flagship in the market, remains one of the top-rated sports station in the United States.  It’s a top-three player in Boston among men.  We are about to enter baseball season with the world champion Boston Red Sox and what’s little noted too is our digital play there.  We have a major platform there with a team of writers who work for that, and it has become sort of a much visited site for fans.  And to put it into context, we do about 1.5 million unique visitors each month, just on the digital side there.  So we have a ton of opportunities in Boston and I would expect better things to come in the not-too-distant future there, and again, I think the future’s bright.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Members can read the whole chat here.

fernandezandreFernandez Boosted to Journal COO; Graham Upped to SVP/CFO.  It’s a promotion for Journal Communications president Andre Fernandez as he is appointed chief operating officer in which he’s assuming operational oversight of the company’s broadcast and publishing segments.  His other expanded responsibilities will include corporate human resources; executive vice president of radio Steve Wexler continues reporting to Fernandez.  Elsewhere, the company names vice president/controller Jason Graham senior vice president of finance/controller/chief financial officer.  Graham will report to chairman/chief executive officer Steven Smith, who states, “Jason has done an excellent job leading our accounting, billing, accounts payable, payroll, and tax teams.  He has also contributed to our strategic planning and growth initiatives, which will continue to be an integral part of his expanded role as CFO.”  Prior to joining Journal in June 2012, Graham was Brookdale Senior Living‘s vice president/corporate controller.

kennerellenOdds & Sods.  At Sports USA, the company announces that Lyle Gordon is promoted to EVP affiliate relations.  Sports USA president Bob Moore says, “Lyle is a centerpiece of our company and his incredible relationships with over 400 radio stations makes Sports USA programming available to a nationwide audience.  His experience with all forms of sports programming makes him the perfect person for this job.”…..Nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Ellen Kenner celebrates her 17th anniversary on the radio as she begins broadcasting year number 18 of her Providence-based weekly talk show program…..According to ESPNNewYork.com, when the New York Mets take to the field this season, radio broadcasters Howie Rose and Josh Lewin will be back in the booth as games air on new flagship WOR.  Previously, games were heard on crosstown WFAN-FM…..In Nashville, Cromwell Group’s sports talk WPRT-FM, will continue as flagship for the AAA Nashville Sounds this season.  The Sounds are the AAA affiliate of the MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers.

floresdanielWichita Police Continue to Investigate Death of Steckline Communications Staffer.  Authorities in Wichita are investigating the death of 25-year old Daniel Flores, a staffer at Steckline Communications, who was killed sometime between Sunday evening and Monday morning at the company’s studios in West Wichita.  Right now, police have little to go on and are asking the public’s assistance in solving the crime.  At a press conference on Tuesday, police said they believe the perpetrator(s) were at the station for a reason – that it was not a random attack – but they are not sure at this point why the station or Flores was targeted.  Flores had been an employee at Steckline for about a year.

siriusxmCool Job Opportunity.  Sirius XM’s new Business Radio channel, originating from the Wharton School in Philadelphia, is looking for a business news host/producer.  The host/producer will be responsible for anchoring two hours of daily programming on business news including topics ranging from product development to marketing and management strategies.  Duties include working with an editorial team, faculty, industry experts and Sirius staff to identify daily content, create segments, and book guests as well as research business topics related to content themes.  A Bachelor’s degree and three to five years of experience in news/business reporting and anchoring or equivalent combination of education and experience required.  Applicants must be skilled in gathering, researching and reporting business stories as well as interviewing business newsmakers.  The focus is on drawing useful business insight and analyses for a lay audience on a tight deadline.  This position is based in Philadelphia. For more information please log on to: http://jobs.hr.upenn.edu:80/postings/1269Special.

kaufmanskydiveWFTL’s Joyce Kaufman Jumps with the Golden Knights.  Yes, that’s WFTL, Fort Lauderdale talk show host Joyce Kaufman riding tandem with a member of the United States Army Parachute Team “The Golden Knights” over Homestead Air Reserve Base in Homestead, Florida.  On another note, Kaufman tells TALKERS the recent Chapter 11 filing of WFTL’s parent company James Crystal Radio is not weighing on her.  She says she had faith in the company.  “We had a very anxious January, but I knew they would be honorable so I hung in.  We received all our money last week and are on schedule to be paid in a timely fashion as the company reorganizes.  I love this market.  I love this company and as long as they give me the opportunity, I am staying.”

ObamaCare Criticism, Winter Weather Headed for South and East, Obama “I Can Do Anything I Want” Quip, Sochi Winter Games, Congress Raises Debt Ceiling, Hillary in 2016, NSA Spying Scandal, and Gay Football Player Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/11).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the next winter storm headed for the East and South; President Obama’s “I can do anything I want” quip; the Winter Olympics taking place in Sochi, Russia; Congress’ move to allow the raising of the debt ceiling; speculation about Hillary Clinton’s possible run for president in 2016; the backlash from the NSA spying scandal; and the announcement by NFL prospect Michael Sam that he’s gay were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, February 10, 2014

| February 10, 2014

francesamikeWFAN, New York’s Mike Francesa Show to Air on Cable’s Fox Sports 1.  According to a report by Neil Best in Newsday, sources indicate the cable TV simulcast of New York sports talk icon Mike Francesa’s afternoon drive sports talk program will be Fox’s fledgling Fox Sports 1 cable channel.  The deal that had Francesa’s program simulcast on the Fox-owned and Yankees-operated YES Network for the past 12 years ended last week and though the MSG Network was anticipated being the eventual destination for Francesa’s show, the official news of the Fox Sports 1 deal could come sometime this week.  Best writes that Fox presumably wants Francesa’s show to help raise its visibility even though it’s a New York-centric show.  Interestingly, WEPN-FM’s afternoon host Michael Kay is now seen in Francesa’s old slot on YES and if Francesa does land on Fox Sports 1, the two shows will appear on side-by-side channels 69 and 70 on New York’s Cablevision system.

compasslogoWall Street Journal and MarketWatch Radio Networks Outsource Affiliate Relations and Marketing to Compass Media Networks.  Executive editor for the Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch Radio Networks John Wordock says in a memo to affiliate stations, “We are deeply committed to our audio business and appreciate our partnership with your station…The Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch Radio Networks will continue to provide the best money news coverage in the business, from Wall Street to Main Street to your street.  Together, Dow Jones and Compass look forward to working with you and your station and we’re both dedicated to providing top-notch customer service.”  This move to take the affiliate relations and marketing department out of house is not entirely unexpected after the cuts the company made in the fall eliminating executive positions within that department.

levinmarkMark Levin to Keynote Tea Party Anniversary Celebration.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Mark Levin will serve as the keynote speaker at the five-year anniversary celebration of the Tea Party Patriots taking place in Washington, DC on February 27.  Levin, whose program is syndicated by Cumulus Media Networks, says, “The Tea Party, which consists of millions of hard-working taxpayers, is to be celebrated not condemned.  The ruling class must be trounced and its media cheerleaders must be exposed if the republic is to survive.  The Tea Party is our only hope.  It’s a great honor to be asked to speak to such outstanding and courageous patriots.”  Other high-profile participants include: Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots.

schnitttoddTodd Schnitt: Not the Same-Old, Same-Old.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Todd Schnitt credits his background in CHR radio and his passion for finding the topics that intrigue him that he believes will also intrigue his listeners for making his show a different-sounding sort of conservative talk radio show.  TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian’s profile of the man who worked for years as the successful “MJ Kelli” at Clear Channel’s WFLZ, Tampa before branching into drive time talk radio at sister station WFLA delves into the mind of a personality working to grow his national program in the post-Sandra Fluke era.  Schnitt says, “My feelings have been bolstered by many experts and consultants in the field regarding the burn on conservative talk radio…You hear the same pounding on Democrats and liberals every single day.  It is to the point with a bunch of hosts in my space where you can pull one of their shows from last month and it would sound the same as what they are saying today.  I have always approached a talk radio show so that it fits on any conservative radio station, but with more of an intrinsic entertainment value.”  Read Mike Kinosian’s story here.

mckayjeffTALKERS Launches Three-Part Special Today, Tomorrow and Wednesday (2/10-12) Spotlighting Danno Wolkoff and Envision Networks.  Like many people who go to college with a plan for what they want to do when they graduate, Danno Wolkoff went to Syracuse University with a goal of winding up in television production.  Fate, and the prodding from senior management at MJI Broadcasting instead sent him in the direction of sales and affiliate relations.  Wolkoff discovered he had a gift for sales, and doubled his income in one year.  It was through sales and affiliate relations work that he climbed the corporate ladder at MJI, expanding and growing their sales offices nationwide.  When Clear Channel acquired MJI and merged it into Premiere Radio Networks (now simply “Premiereenvisionnetworks new Networks”), he became VP of affiliate relations.  However, it wasn’t long before he began to realize that the hands-on and creative approach he had at MJI wasn’t translating to the growth concepts and business model of Premiere and Clear Channel.  Wolkoff faced a career crossroads and would make a decision that would change his life and become an important source of programming and services for radio.  His vision was “Envision Radio Networks,” (now simply “Envision Networks”) — a highly successful and forward-thinking company that creates over four wolkoffdannodozen content products and services for radio stations and media outlets nationwide, customizing solutions for clients, producers and affiliates.  It was a company literally founded after another syndication and programming company decided they had a good product that despite making money, didn’t make enough money for their bottom line.  What Wolkoff has accomplished in the span of just 10 years is inspiring and a textbook example of creating a force for productivity and jobs in an industry.  He took the biggest gamble of his life, grabbing a program and three people laid off by an established firm that would become his largest competitor, and growing an independent syndication empire serving over 1,500 radio stations with everything from prep services to music shows, local news and information to weekend talk shows.  His staff has grown over 20-fold in a decade to include an array of producers, salespeople and contract staffers researching, producing, creating and selling more than four-dozen products to radio stations in both the largest and smallest markets.  Now known simply as Envision Networks (they dropped the word “Radio” this past week – more on that later) continues to not only grow, embracing new technology and catering to those needs, but in the process has become an independent force in syndication.  In the words of Michael Harrison, “The emergence of special individuals like Danno Wolkoff is the force that propels an industry such as ours forward.  I’ve seen this movie many times before.  Danno is the kind of guy who has the makings of being a true giant 10 years down the pike, taking his place among the biggest of the big.”  To read part one of TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay’s extensive profile “The Vision of Envision: The Rise of Radio Syndication Entrepreneur Danno Wolkoff and an Emerging Independent Powerhouse” please click here.

cbslocalmediaCBS Reports Record Digital Traffic Month.  It’s a new record for a single month as CBS Local Digital Media reports its websites and mobile applications attracted 56.8 million unique users during January topping the previous all-time high of 50.6 million in April 2013.  The January 2014 number was up 37% compared to a year ago.  CBS Local is happy with its performance in this arena last year reporting year-to-year growth of 21% in average unique users per month.  CBS Local Media COO Anton Guitano says, “Our continued integration of digital into all parts of our local business is yielding dividends.  The great mobile presence our stations have via mobile websites, Radio.com and CBS Local apps creates a presence that gives the consumer a great user experience.”

larsonlarsLars Larson’s Busy Week: Subbing for KVI’s John Carlson; Keynoting Nevada Republican Dinner.  There are few in the talk radio business who work harder than talk show host Lars Larson.  Lars tells TALKERS that in addition to his regular radio programs – middays on Alpha Broadcasting’s KXL, Portland and nationally syndicated from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET via Compass Media Networks – he’s filling in on morning drive today and tomorrow (2/10-11) on KVI, Seattle for John Carlson.  This evening he’ll be hosting a station event for KXL and then heads to Reno on Thursday to do both regular shows from affiliate KKFT-FM before keynoting the Washoe County Republicans’ annual Lincoln Dinner on Friday.  Lars reports he’ll be able to fly home in time on Friday to spend Valentine’s weekend with his “very patient wife,” Tina.

smerconishmichaelMichael Smerconish Jumps to CNN.  The SiriusXM talk show host is leaving MSNBC and will join up with CNN for a role that includes regular appearances during the week providing analysis and commentary plus a weekly Saturday morning program, reports the Washington Posts’s Eric Wemple.  In a release, CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker says, “We are thrilled to have Michael join CNN.  At a time when the cable news landscape has become increasingly polarized, his independence and passion for reasoned dialogue makes him the perfect fit for CNN.”  Smerconish joins CNN at a time of flux.  Zucker has been making programming changes to reverse the cable news/talk channel’s floundering ratings.  CNN announced recently it is cancelling Anderson Cooper’s “AC 360 Later.”

comptonawardHonoring Ann.  ABC News Radio White House correspondent Ann Compton (left) is pictured here at the Washington Press Club Foundation’s 70th Annual Congressional Dinner on February 5 at which she was honored with the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.  The award recognizes an individual whose outstanding accomplishments promote the journalistic profession and enhance the role of women journalists.

richertlarryOdds & Sods.  The Akron Beacon Journal reports that weekend and fill-in host Bob Early resigned from his position with WNIR-FM, Akron after a disagreement over a guest for his weekend talk show.  Early hosted the Saturday and Sunday evening show on the station and he tells the paper he and management were not in agreement about Early booking the owner of an erotic goods chain on his program.  Read the whole story here…..Patrick Ryan joins Magnum Broadcasting to serve as general manager for talk WEEO-FM,ryanpatrick Chambersburg, Pennsylvania/ Hagerstown, Maryland and corporate brands strategist.  Ryan was most recently local sales manager at Albany Broadcasting.  He says, “I’m thrilled to put my talk radio expertise back to work and look forward to buying-building new brands with Michael Stapleford and his incredible team.”…..KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh morning host Larry Richert announced that Pittsburgh Pirates president Frank Coonelly will serve as the keynote speaker at his “Larry Richert Honors Our Hometown Heroes” event at the Lexus Club at PNC Park on Thursday, March 6.  The annual even created by Richert honors five ordinary individuals in the community who have done extraordinary things and it benefits the Wounded Warrior Project.

Alex Bennett: Still Pioneering After All These Years

Alex Bennett: Still Pioneering After All These Years

| February 5, 2014

A Good Listen to a Good Guy 

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

 

kinosianLOS ANGELESSome view their own age and/or that of others as a roadblock – a barrier to achieving an untold number of additional hopes and dreams.

To others, age – more correctly – is merely a meaningless number with no attached strings or restrictions.

Alex Bennett #1It would have been quite easy and understandable for Alex Bennett to take leave and retreat from the business in which he has been an integral part for several decades. After all, the legendary broadcaster was 73 years old when Sirius XM unceremoniously pink-slipped him last June after more than nine years of service at the satcaster (he turned 74 two months ago).

Notwithstanding an imposing and lengthy list of accomplishments and vitae, which the native Californian could trumpet as an entree to retirement, he has become an entrepreneur with “Alex Bennett’s Great American Broadcasts” being the centerpiece of his novel take to talk radio.

Read More

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

| February 5, 2014

bennettseatedsmallStill Pioneering After All These Years – 74-Year-Old Alex Bennett Is Building New Platform and Inventing “New” Talk Format.  Some view their own age and/or that of others as a roadblock – a barrier to achieving an untold number of additional hopes and dreams.  To others, age – more correctly – is merely a meaningless number with no attached strings or restrictions.  It would have been quite easy and understandable for radio legend Alex Bennett to take leave and retreat from the business in which he has been an integral part for several decades. After all, the legendary broadcaster was 73-years-old when Sirius XM unceremoniously pink-slipped him last June after more than nine years of service at the satcaster (he turned 74 two months ago).  Notwithstanding an imposing and lengthy list of accomplishments and vitae, which the native Californian could trumpet as an entree to retirement, he has become an entrepreneur with “Alex Bennett’s Great American Broadcasts” being the centerpiece of his novel take on talk radio.  Bennett is innovatively and opportunistically using Skype to create “citizen panels” of up to 10 callers per clip interacting with him in on-air conversation at a time.  To learn more about this creative venture and the ongoing adventures of one of radio’s truly cooler characters, read TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian’s feature piece posted today (2/5) in its entirety by clicking here.

siriusxmSiriusXM Reports Revenue Up 12% in 2013.  During yesterday’s Q4 conference call, SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer told investors and analysts that the company delivered on all of its guidance for 2013 and enjoyed a revenue spike of 12% for the year plus saw its subscriber base rise to 25.5 million.  Meyer, like Mel Karmazin before him, is touting the company’s dedication to increasing free cash flow and, to that end, Meyer reports free cash flow was up 31% to $927 million for the year.  Looking back onmeyerjim 2013 Meyer underscored the importance of deals that get SiriusXM radios into new cars and stated the satellite service is now available in 71% of cars sold in the United States.  Meyer also spoke about the company’s strategy with regard to the “connected vehicle,” saying, “We’ve acquired a smart team of technology engineers who are accelerating development of our overall connected car architecture, including the combination of satellite receivers with LTE hardware, a strategy that should also yield benefits to our existing audio business…We expect connected vehicle services to deliver close to $100 million of revenue this year, and we expect to grow this at strong double-digit rates over the next many years.  We are in the process of fully integrating the CV business into SiriusXM, and its financial results are embedded in our guidance today.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the conference call transcript.  Members can check out the entire conference here.

missanellimikeGreater Media Suspends WPEN, Philadelphia’s Mike Missanelli for Gay Slurs.  This story goes to show how even a seasoned pro like Philadelphia sports talk host Mike Missanelli can make the mistake of engaging with a critic online.  Greater Media has suspended afternoon personality Mike Missanelli after he called a critic a “latent homosexual” in an email exchange.  The station issued the following statement, “We are aware of the email communications between Mike and one of his listeners.  This individual has been harassing Mike by email for several years, which is cause for concern, and we are working with Mike to try to identify this person and stop the abuse.  However, that does not excuse Mike’s conduct.  The content of his emails is unacceptable and does not reflect our values as a company.  Mike has been suspended and understands that future similar conduct will not be tolerated.”  The story broke after the email exchange was posted on Deadspin.com.

beasley logoBeasley Broadcast Group Beefs Up Digital Division.  In announcing the hiring of three new regional digital directors, Beasley reveals its dedication to digital sales efforts.  In a statement, vice president of digital Stacey Sedbrook speaks about the expectations after bringing Eddie Thorpe, Adam Meltzer and Carolyn Cope aboard.  “The formation of this team will surely be the foundation of our success.  Having the right people on my team is as important to me as having the right products and services to sell.  Eddie, Adam and Carolyn were hand selectedsedbrookstacey for their talents, capabilities and, most importantly, their nimble thinking.  Our objective is to drive revenues for our advertisers, especially those smaller businesses and growing brands in the communities we serve.  To achieve this goal, our regional digital directors will assist Beasley’s local market sales teams in creating enhanced advertising campaigns that include digital products and services tailored to the specific needs of our existing and new clients.”  Eddie Thorpe comes to Beasley from the Tampa Bay Times where he was senior digital director.  He’s responsible for the Miami and Fort Myers-Naples markets.  Adam Meltzer is responsible for the Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware markets.  He most recently was multimedia sales manager for Wicked Local.  Carolyn Cope also served with Wicked Local as senior digital account executive of major accounts and is now overseeing the Augusta, Georgia; Fayetteville, North Carolina; and Eastern North Carolina markets (Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville).  Sedbrook is responsible for the company’s Las Vegas group.

klattlenKlatt Yields the Winning Run.  In this case, that is a good thing as The Winning Run is the name of the full-service consultancy that Len Klatt is opening.  The former Premiere Networks senior vice president/director of research is gearing the new undertaking – which will have Los Angeles and New York City offices – to national media companies and talent, programming services and advertisers.  Among his clients are Sound Mind, Compass Media Marketing, Big Shoes Productions, Reel World, and The Blaze Radio Network.  “Len continues to do the best job industry wide in both interpreting audience numbers and explaining them to clients interested in exploring the value premise of audience engagement on radio, online, and in digital media,” comments Sound Mind president Kraig Kitchin, Premiere’s former president/chief operating officer.  “We are fortunate to have his talents for the benefit of our sponsors.”  Klatt remarks, “It is not just about columns and numbers, it’s about how they can be used to shape the story in such a way to advance my clients’ vision.  With The Winning Run, I want to cover all the bases.” Before the nearly two decades he spent at Premiere, Klatt was Westwood One‘s New York City-based director of research.  He began his media research career at Media Buying Services International.

learfieldsports logoLearfield Adds to Footprint with Nelligan Acquisition.  One of the leaders in college sports play-by-play rights is adding 41 schools to its roster with the acquisition of Nelligan Sports MarketingLearfield Sports will now hold the multi-media rights to 92 schools, which puts its total above that of its fiercest competitor – IMG Sports, which holds the rights to 79 schools.  Learfield president and CEO Greg Brown tells SportsBusinessDaily, “In some cases, this will open up new markets for us.  In other cases, it will further fortify what we’re doing…Early on in our discussions with Providence [Learfield owner Providence Equity Partners], we identified some strategic opportunities that would be productive for our business.  Nelligan is consistent with the business we’re already in.  This was right down the middle of the fairway for us.”  Nelligan Sports founder T.J. Nelligan will remain with the new company in a leadership role.  He comments that he doesn’t expect attrition with this merger.

wtoplogoOdds & Sods.  Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington is helping the National Multiple Sclerosis Society by naming it the station’s WTOP Charity of the Month recipient for February 2014.  Through the program the MS Society will receive more than $20,000 worth of in-kind contributions to support Multiple Sclerosis awareness and programs, including 64 promotional announcements on WTOP and sister station Federal News Radio.  Additional content and exposure for MS Society will be included on WTOP.com and FederalNewsRadio.com throughout the entire month of February…..Tribune Company’s WGN, Chicago announces the next in its “Blackhawks Live” series when forwards Kris Versteeg and Brandon Saad take part in the live event at the Old Town Pour House in suburban Oakbrook on February 24.  The event includes a photo op with the players, an autographed photo and dinner, tax and tip.  “Blackhawks Live” is a series of one-hour radio broadcasts hosted over dinner throughout the year featuring current Blackhawks players, legends and management.  Blackhawks radio broadcasters John Wiedeman and Troy Murray host the event that includes a question-and-answer format between the hosts and the featured Blackhawks guests…..The New Jersey Broadcasters Association has created PSAs for member stations reminding drivers in the Garden State that it’s illegal to drive a vehicle that hasn’t had the snow and ice properly cleared off it.  Interested stations can visit www.njba.com for information…..The Radio Television Digital News Association names WBIR-TV, Knoxville news director Christy Moreno to its board of directors, representing Region 8, which includes Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia.

ww1sochiWestwoodOne to Present Exclusive Coverage of Winter Olympics.  When the 2014 Olympic Winter Games commence in Sochi, Russia on Friday, WestwoodOne will be the exclusive network for audio coverage.  WestwoodOne’s programing will include: shortform coverage Olympic updates three times an hour, 24/7, from February 7- February 23; longform coverage – “Today in Sochi” including two hours of longform coverage for 17 consecutive nights; coverage of all U.S. Olympic Hockey (Men’s and Women’s) plus the gold medal games in Men’s and Women’s hockey regardless of who is playing.

loeschtheviewDana Loesch Visits ‘The View.’  Conservative talk media figure Dana Loesch – who just entered national syndication for her daily talk radio show via Radio America – appeared on ABC TV’s “The View” on Monday in her stead as a host on Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze where she hosts a daily, 5:00 pm program.  Pictured here (center) between the program’s Jenny McCarthy (left) and Sherri Shepherd (right), Loesch spoke about her conversion from a progressive liberal to her current conservative philosophy and fielded questions from the four co-hosts.

Obama Administration Splits with Some Democrats, Philip Seymour Hoffman Death/Heroin Use in America, Hillary in 2016, Immigration Legislation/Amnesty Component, ObamaCare Criticism, Financial Markets Activity, and Sochi Olympics Troubles Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/4).  The reported rift between Democrats on Capitol Hill and the Obama Administration on some issues; the aftermath of the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman and the light it’s shed on heroin abuse in America; the prospect of Hillary Clinton running for president in 2016; the proposed immigration legislation working its way through Congress and the possibility of amnesty for current illegals; ongoing scrutiny of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; activity on the U.S. and world financial markets; and reports of the problems Russia is facing getting Sochi ready for the Winter Olympics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, January 27, 2014

| January 27, 2014

holdtheirfeet2014FAIR Announces 2014 ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ DC Radio Event.  The 8th annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row from Washington, DC will take place on April 9 and 10.  The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is organizing the broadcast event in which talk hosts from across the country will broadcast live for two days from Capitol Hill debating immigration reform while interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists and citizens who live along the border.  FAIR reports, “This electronic town hall has grown each year due to mounting public concerns about illegaldanebob immigration and because of talk radio’s expanding influence on the public policy process.  With legislation expected in spring in the House, this year’s event is expected to be the largest yet with 60 or more hosts attending.”  FAIR communications director Bob Dane adds, “We gather each year with a shared goal: To secure our borders and fight for principled immigration reform that puts American interests first.  As usual, the wants and needs of Americans will be dismissed unless talk radio once again speaks on their behalf.  Hoping that no one will notice, House Speaker John Boehner is planning to introduce the massive Senate amnesty bill in bits and pieces and massively increase foreign guest workers with no regard for unemployed Americans.  Moreover, President Obama will continue abusing his executive power to grant backdoor amnesty.  Both must be stopped.”  This year’s event is taking place at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill in Washington.  Reservations are required and hosts/producers should call now.  There is no cost to attend and all technical engineering and ISDN lines are provided by Silver Lake Audio of New York, the official engineering firm for “Hold Their Feet to the Fire.”  Congressional guests, activists, high-profile media personalities, and immigration experts will be in attendance and available throughout the event for wall-to-wall interviews.

podcastone logoGreenlee Named Chief Technical Officer at PodcastOne.  Joining PodcastOne in the newly created position of chief technical officer is Rob Greenlee, who most recently served with Microsoft as podcast content platform manager.  Greenlee will divide his time between Beverly Hills and Seattle and will report directly to CEO Norm Pattiz, who comments, “No one knows more about podcasts than Rob Greenlee.  Having him join our company is a huge boost to our brand, the credibility of the company and the future growth of the platform.  We’re all very excited about adding Rob to the executive team at PodcastOne.”  Greenlee adds, “I am excited to be joining PodcastOne and being offered the opportunity to help Norm and the PodcastOne team build a great online entertainment brand that gives much value to audiences and advertisers.  I see Norm Pattiz and PodcastOne’s entry into this space as a key catalyst to the recognition and respect this 10 year old medium deserves.”  Greenlee spent seven years at Microsoft overseeing the video and audio podcasts platform at Xbox Live, Windows Phone and Zune, as well as managing the business, content partner relations and strategy around the podcasts platform service for Microsoft.

foxnewsradioReinoso Joins Fox News Radio to Produce Alan Colmes Program.  Radio pro Albert Reinoso has been working with New York radio icon Alex Bennett since the latter was a part of the SiriusXM talk lineup.  After Bennett parted ways with SiriusXM, Bennett and Reinoso began producing daily internet radio shows hosted by Bennett and Reinoso under the banner of Bennett’s Great American Broadcast Network.  Now, Reinoso adds duties at Fox News Radio producing the nationally syndicated Alan Colmes program as well as some other programming.  Reinoso tells TALKERS magazine he will continue to work with Bennett’s company and host his own “I Apologize” internet radio show while working for Fox.  Reinoso’s program currently airs at 11:00 am ET, immediately following Bennett’s show which hits the internet at 10:00 am ET.

weei logoWEEI-FM, Boston Promotes Zarbano to Executive Producer.  At Entercom’s sports talk WEEI-FM, Boston, producer Joe Zarbano is upped to executive producer for the station.  Zarbano has been serving as producer for the evening show “Planet Mikey” hosted by Mike Adams and the midday “Mut and Merloni” program featuring Mike Mutnansky and Lou Merloni.  Zarbano reports to WEEI brand manager Kevin Graham who says, “Since I arrived in Boston last fall, Joe has served as a valuable resource.  He’s passionate about the product and is the ultimate team player.  I’m thrilled he will continue in an expanded role as we move the WEEI brand forward throughout New England.”

comscore logoPublic Comment Period Opens on Nielsen’s LinkMeter Sale to comScore.  When the deal for Nielsen to acquire radio ratings giant Arbitron was scrutinized by the Federal Trade Commission, one of the stipulations was that Nielsen would have to preserve the development of the LinkMeter technology being developed by Arbitron in conjunction with comScore and ESPN.  That technology seeks to measure use across multiple media such as radio, TV and internet.  With Nielsen developing its own service to accomplish the same goal, the FTC was concerned about the acquisition leaving just Nielsen developing cross-media measurement.  It was expected that Nielsen would arrange to sell the LinkMeter to comScore and that’s what’s happened.  The FTC states that the proposed order requires Nielsen to sell and license, for at least eight years, certain assets related to Arbitron’s cross-platform audience measurement services to an FTC-approved buyer.  Accordingly, in its petition Nielsen is seeking FTC approval to divest the LinkMeter assets, license certain assets and capabilities, and provide equipment and services, to comScore.  The petition details why Nielsen believes that comScore would be an appropriate party to acquire these assets.  Public comments may be submitted to the FTC through February 24.

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Set for Friday, June 20.  The TALKERS magazine annual national talk media industry conference enters its 17th consecutive year as the date and site have been set for the next installment of the industry’s largest, longest-running and most important gathering.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “This will be the most important installment of this can’t-miss conference ever because it will deal with some of the most sensitive and existential issues facing not only the talk side of the business, but all of what we still call ‘radio.’  It should not be missed, plain and simple, by anyone or any company serious about their future in this industry.”  Registrations for the event are limited only to people who are members of the working media (meaning actively or recently employed in the industry or associated industries) and can only be booked by telephone with credit card.  Individual registrations for the entire event including all sessions, presentations, breakfast, lunch, refreshments and receptions are $249.  As usual, because of space limitations and the quality of this long-established event, an early sellout is expected.  Stand by for ongoing information about speakers, agenda and hotel suggestions in the days ahead.  For further registration and sponsorship information, please call 413-565-5413.

ramseydaveDave Ramsey Holds Down Afternoons at KSTE, Sacramento.  Nationally syndicated talk star Dave Ramsey is now heard live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Clear Channel’s KSTE, Sacramento.  Clear Channel Sacramento VP of programming Ken Charles states, “I love Dave and I know our audience will too.  Anyone who can make our listeners smarter about their money is an important voice to hear in this turbulent economy.”  Ramsey show VP for broadcast Brian Mayfield adds, “Our fans in Sacramento have been asking for a place to listen and we are excited to be a part of the new lineup at KSTE.  It’s a great station with an awesome team, we could not be more thrilled.”

silversteinlouSouthwest Broadcasting Owner Lou Silverstein Dies at 87.  The longtime owner of news/talk KYCA and beautiful music KAHM in Prescott, Arizona passed away on January 18 after complications from pneumonia.  He was a lifelong radio pro who worked in sales and management prior to buying KYCA in 1970 and later putting KAHM on the air.  His obituary states he got his first radio job at KTUC, Tucson and did ad sales for KRIZ and KUPD before forming Southwest Broadcasting and buying KYCA.  He was inducted into the Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2002.

Russ Withers Passes at 76.  The Withers Broadcasting founder passed away at his daughter’s home in Mount Vernon, Illinois on Saturday from natural causes at age 76.  Withers’ company owned 30 radio stations and six TV stations.  NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton commented about him, “Russ Withers was a true original.  He was a stalwart in defense of local broadcasting, colorful with a quote, and comfortable in the halls of Congress and at the FCC advocating on NAB’s behalf.”

nielsen logoHoliday 2013 PPM Data Released.  The ratings for the Holiday 2013 PPM survey period are being released by Nielsen Audio.  The fourth and final round of PPM data for 12 markets including Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford are out and that information — along with Holiday 2013 PPM ratings for all 48 PPM markets — can be found at our sister publication RadioInfo.com right here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the fourth round of the Holiday PPM here.

radeltreyFormer WFSX-FM, Fort Myers Talk Personality Trey Radel to Resign from Congress.  After a bust for cocaine possession that came to light in November of last year, Republican Florida Representative Trey Radel will announce his resignation from Congress today.  Radel was a TV newsman who moved to radio as morning drive host at Sun Broadcasting news/talk station WFSX-FM, Fort Myers “92.5 Fox News” before running for the U.S. House in 2012.  Radel completed a 30-day rehab stint for alcohol and drug dependency after the arrest and was prepared to forge ahead with his political career but the Associated Press reports that pressure from GOP leaders and a looming House Ethics Committee investigation forced Radel’s hand.

parkernicoleariOdds & Sods.  At Saturday evening’s Radio & Television News Association of Southern California Golden Mike Awards, CBS RADIO all-news KNX picked up six awards.  The station won for Best News Broadcast Over 15 Minutes; Best Newscast Writing; Best Live Coverage of a News Story; Best Hard News Series Reporting; Best Light Feature Reporting; and Best News Special…..The nationally syndicated “Café Mocha” program announces that actress and entrepreneur Nicole Ari Parker joins the program as a special celebrity correspondent.  Parker – currently starring in NBC TV’s “Revolution” – has been a guest host on the program hosted by comedienne/TV host Loni Love, rap legend MC Lyte and radio veteran Angelique Perrin.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

| January 22, 2014

paxtonpatEntercom Promotes Pat Paxton to President of Programming.  Fifteen-year programming staffer Pat Paxton is promoted to president of programming for Entercom Communications Corp.  Paxton has served as senior vice president of programming since 2001.  He began his work with the company in 1999 as OM at the old AC WQSX “Star 93.7.”  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “Pat has played a vital role in Entercom’s growth and development over his 15 years with the company.  He is an energizing leader, a terrific strategist and a deeply knowledgeable programmer.  We are truly fortunate to have him on our team.”  Paxton says of the promotion, “The past 15 years with Entercom have been tremendously rewarding, both personally and professionally.  Our entire Entercom team has worked tirelessly to create one of today’s most admired media companies, which has not happened accidentally.  I am proud to have been part of this team and I look forward to continuing to help create the very best audio brands in the industry.  Huge thanks to David Field for his vision and leadership that has allowed all of us at Entercom to thrive.”

wtarWTAR, Norfolk Drops Comedy for News/Talk/Sports.  The Sinclair-owned AM signal WTAR, Norfolk will drop the comedy format it is currently airing and flip to a hybrid talk/sports format that will feature “The Wall Street Journal This Morning” from 6:00 am to 9:00 am; Fox Sports Radio/DirecTV’s Dan Patrick from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon; FSN’s “Jay Mohr Sports” 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; and Cumulus Media NetworksMichael Savage from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Tony Macrini, morning host at sister talk station WNIS made the announcement on January 20.  General manager Lisa Sinclair says, “There’s always something new to talk about and AM 850 WTAR keeps you engaged, informed and always entertained.”

sternbirthdaybashSiriusXM Opens Howard Stern Birthday Bash to Non-Subscribers.  When the “Howard Stern Birthday Bash” begins at 4:00 pm ET on January 31 live from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, the world will be invited to the party as SiriusXM is opening its internet service at siriusxm.com to non-subscribers.  The company says that this unprecedented access to Howard Stern’s live broadcast is a first for SiriusXM and Howard Stern.  In addition to SiriusXM subscribers, anyone can stream “Howard Stern’s Birthday Bash,” an evening of unforgettable performances and special appearances from the biggest names in entertainment. The free stream will be available on compatible mobile devices as well as online through simple one-click listening; no need to download an app or enter credentials.  Stern comments on the approaching broadcast to celebrate his 60th birthday.  “I am honored by the number of performers who want to join me on stage, and the number of fans who want to get in.  Now, thanks to SiriusXM, I can give the world access to this event for free through this special internet audio stream in addition to my fans listening on their satellite radios.”  The event is being hosted by Jimmy Kimmel with guests including Louis C.K., David Letterman and Sarah Silverman, with musical performances by Jon Bon Jovi, John Fogerty, Steven Tyler and many others.

hartelmikeHartel to Head Up L&L’s Columbia, South Carolina Group.  The new SVP and market manager for L&L Broadcasting’s Columbia South Carolina cluster is Mike Hartel – who most recently served as vice president and general manager of Curtis Media Group’s WBBB, Raleigh.  L&L CEO Bob Proffitt says of the move, “We had the huge benefit of having Bill McElveen step up as not only an in-market radio veteran, but to help us in the recruitment process to get the very best fit and talent to manage Columbia.  Mike Hartel is a great fit for our Columbia cluster with his excellent track record, interactive focus, and competitive nature – a perfect addition to our growing company.”  Hartel comments, “I love what Larry and Bob are creating and I’m thrilled to be a part of their team.  There is no place I would rather be than with a company that is hyper-focused on using live and local radio to serve our community, our clients, and our employees.”  The L&L Columbia cluster includes sports talk WOIC “ESPN Columbia 1230.”

perezfelixNYMRAD Announces New Executive Committee.  At the New York Market Radio Association (NYMRAD), the executive committee of the board of directors has some new additions and changes in titles: Felix Perez, general manager, Univision Radio New York, moves into the chairman slot replacing Clear Channel Music + Entertainment’s Joe Puglise who remains on the board of directors.  Jennifer Donohue, director of sales, CBS RADIO New York, replaces Don Bouloukos as vice chairperson and Alex Cameron, SVP and market manager, Emmis New York, remains on the committee as secretary.  NYMRAD executive director Deborah Beagan says, “I am very excited about working with Felix during this seamless transition of the executive committee.  Felix has infused energy in his contributions to board meetings and under his leadership we will continue to develop initiatives that will advance radio in the vibrant New York marketplace.”  Perez adds, “I welcome the opportunity to work with Deborah and our radio colleagues to advance the value of NYMRAD to its members and aggressively increasing the profile and revenue share of New York radio.”

nielsen logoHoliday 2013 PPM Data Released.  The ratings for the Holiday 2013 PPM survey period are being released by Nielsen Audio.  The first 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 are out and that data can be found at our sister publication RadioInfo.com right here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the first round of the Holiday PPM here.

freemanedgeOdds & Sods.  KNX, Los Angeles announces the return of the “Ask the Mayor” program to its airwaves on January 29.  The CBS RADIO all-newser states that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will be in the studio at 10:00 am when the show will be hosted by KNX 1070 news anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman and will “give Angelinos the opportunity to put the mayor in the hot seat.”…..Not so fast, KCAA, Lorma Linda, “Free Talk Live” has been accepting Bitcoins as payment for airtime since 2011.  Yesterday, TALKERS reported the Fred Lundgren-owned SoCal station claims to be the first it knows of in the U.S. to accept the cryptocurrency for ad time, but Mark Edge of the independently syndicated “Free Talk Live” program tells TALKERS he and co-host Ian Freeman have been accepting Bitcoins for more than two years.  He adds, “We take Litecoin, too.”…..Hoops fanatic and filmmaker Spike Lee is hosting the bi-weekly, “Spike Lee’s Best Seat in the House” program on SiriusXM’s NBA channel.  The first show will air on January 30 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

Eastern Freeze/Western Drought, Sochi Olympics Security Concerns, Chris Christie Scandals Aftermath, ObamaCare Rollout Criticism, Andrew Cuomo Anti-Conservative Remarks, and Roe v. Wade Anniversary Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/21).  The snow and cold weather affecting the East and the dry rainy season in the West leading to drought conditions there; concerns about security at the looming Sochi Winter Games; the effects of the recent scandals plaguing the administration of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie; scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; reaction to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s comments about conservative beliefs; and the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, January 20, 2014

| January 20, 2014

kfilogoKFI’s Internal Shuffling “Replaces” Limbaugh.  Rather than bringing in another host to cover the gaping hole left by Rush Limbaugh, it looks like Clear Channel, Los Angeles talker KFI will adjust the times of some of its existing personalities.  Morning talent Bill Handel will apparently get to sleep an extra hour, as he will handle 6:00 am – 10:00 am duties (from 5:00 am – 9:00 am), while Bill Carroll will adjust to 10:00 am – 2:00 pm from 12:00 noon – 3:00pm.  In place of their 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm shift, afternoon drivers John & Ken will extend one more hour to 7:00 pm.  Tim Conway Jr. remains at 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, with syndicated talent George Noory following until 5:00 am.  As of today, Gary Hoffmann debuts the 5:00 am – 6:00 am “Wake-up Call.”  These moves are necessitated owing to Limbaugh transitioning from powerhouse KFI to co-owned, newly re-branded KEIB “The Patriot” (formerly KTLK-AM).

gannbrianGann Going to San Antonio as WOAI – KTKR PD.  Brian Gann is leaving Journal Broadcast Group Tulsa to program Clear Channel San Antonio news/talk WOAI and sports KTKR “The Ticket.”  According to president and market manager Marlene Trevino, “We are very fortunate to have Brian join our team in San Antonio.  He brings a wealth of experience to WOAI and KTKR and we look forward to the bright future ahead under his leadership.”  Gann comments, “I am excited to have the opportunity to help lead WOAI and ‘The Ticket.’  There is a terrific team in place there and I am honored to be able to join them.”  While in Tulsa, Gann was operations manager of adult hits KBEZ “Bob FM,” KFAQ “Tulsa’s Talk Radio,” CHR KHTT “K-Hits,” KVOO “Today’s Country Variety,” and classic country KXBL “Big Country.”  He starts his San Antonio assignment in one week (1/30).

arummarkMark Arum Gets Nightly Show at WSB, Atlanta.  Traffic reporter Mark Arum is taking over the 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight daily show at Cox Media Atlanta’s news/talk WSB after handling weekend and fill-in roles at the station.  This new gig comes in addition to his traffic reporter roles at WSB-TV, news/talk WSB-AM and hot AC WSB-FM “B98.5.”  As reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho, Arum replaces Adam Goldfein who exited the late show role at the end of 2013 for personal reasons.  Arum tells Ho that he’s been wanting a daily show since his arrival at WSB in 1997.  Cox Media did give him a chance to host a daily show at its Stamford and Norwalk, Connecticut stations back in 2008 and he says it provided “invaluable experience.”

learfieldsportsLearfield’s Worsham, Boman, Heim Elevated to Senior Positions. Missouri-based Learfield Communications promotes Aaron Worsham, Tom Boman, and Jennifer Heim.  Worsham advances from vice president to senior vice president of affiliate relations and operations; broadcast manager Boman is boosted to vice president of broadcast operations; and corporate controller Heim becomes vice president/corporate controller.  Worsham and Boman manage the company’s sports operations division, which oversees all aspects related to broadcast talent and station relationships for Learfield Sports’ radio networks as part of its multimedia rights partnerships with university athletic programs.  Senior vice president/chief content officer Joe Ferreira comments, “Aaron and Tom have exhibited outstanding leadership and execution skills throughout their tenure at Learfield Sports and have taken our industry-leading audio business to great heights.  Producing and managing thousands of broadcasts annually for our 50-plus networks, key flagship and affiliate partners and digital distribution networks is a daunting task. These well-deserved promotions reflect growth and success in all areas.”  Meanwhile, chief financial officer Matt Hupfeld states, “Jennifer is a true professional who has proven to be an excellent asset to Learfield.  She is well deserving of assuming the vice president role and we know she will continue to do an outstanding job.”  Worsham has been with Learfield since 1999. Prior to joining the company in 2006, Boman was a producer with the Los Angeles Dodgers Radio Network and Fox Sports Radio in Los Angeles.  CPA Heim’s background includes being a financial manager for Brookstone and a senior auditor for several companies.

talksmerconishMichael Smerconish to Publish First Novel About Conservative Talk Show Host.  The book is titled, Talk (Cider Mill Press 2014) and is due out in May.  But as Michael Smerconish tells the Washington Post, “My highest purpose is to entertain…a lot of it is fake.”  Still, readers of the book about a fictional conservative talk host from Florida who finds himself in the thick of a hotly contested presidential race, will probably find a lot of what transpires culled from the reality of the talk radio business in which Michael Smerconish has dwelt during his career.  Now working at SiriusXM after years on AM/FM radio, Smerconish ruffled some feathers when he left for satellite radio saying, in effect, he felt the requirement talk hosts on AM/FM be easily pigeonholed was holding him, and the industry, back.  Previews of the book indicate that while this is fiction, Smerconish just may be taking a few shots at the facet of the industry he left behind as he tells his story.

kinosianmikeOpinion: Hang On A Minute, Bill.  Weighing in on the Bill O’Reilly’s recent “promotion” for Pandora, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian observes: “On the positive side, Bill O’Reilly last week let known his partisanship for one particular iconic American vocal group on his Fox News Channel television program.  Conversely, terrestrial music radio programmers just might remember certain comments he made should O’Reilly ever look to them to plug his next book or project on that platform.  In an approximately 45-second “Tip of the Day”oreillybill segment, the “O’Reilly Factor” host gave a thumbs-up to Pandora over terrestrial radio.  “Do you like music,” he queried. “I do [and] there are plenty of free ways to get it.  The easiest way is to turn on the radio.”  So far, so good.  Then O’Reilly said, “The problem with the radio is that for every good song there are three bad songs.  So, you can hear [good songs] like The Beach Boys‘ ‘Help Me Rhonda,’ [and] ‘Fun, Fun, Fun.’  [Those are] good songs, but then you’ll hear ‘Hang on Sloopy’ – painful.”  Off-camera laughter was audible as O’Reilly winced at the thought of The McCoys‘ song.  His advice was to have his audience “check out” Pandora.com’s free website.  In amazement, he remarked about the logistics of typing “the song you like and you get the song played to you.  Then, you get other songs similar to it [so] you are basically creating your own radio station.  Let me know what you think.”  After having mentioned Pandora by name three times in under one minute, O’Reilly insisted he “had no interest in that website at all.”  His motive was to tell his audience because, “I like you.”  Not to nitpick the host, but his mention of “Help Me Rhonda” and “Fun, Fun, Fun” sounded like one run-on title, especially since he said, “That is a good song.”  Moreover, he was only able to cite one “painful” tune, compared to two good ones.  Whether or not by coincidence, the three specific titles O’Reilly mentioned were from the mid-1960s.  We wonder if he has heard of YouTube yet.

ruthronPlans Underway for Ron Ruth Memorial Benefit. The event celebrating the life of Ron Ruth will take place next month (Tuesday, 2/25) at the New York Friars Club and is being organized by the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) in conjunction with the Broadcasters Foundation.  Actively arranging the festivities for their late broadcast colleague are The Friends of Ron Ruth Memorial Benefit Committee consisting of Erica Farber, Norm Feuer, George Hyde, Bill Moyes, Herb McCord, Jeff Smulyan, Jim Thompson, and Erle Younker.  A portion of the proceeds from the $250 ticket price will be donated to the Ron Ruth Memorial Fund at the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  Ruth was executive vice president of stations for the RAB for 19 years.  He held sales manager positions for Unistar Radio Networks, as well as at the local level in markets such as New York (WOR-FM), Chicago (WNUS), Washington, DC (WGMS), and Buffalo (WYSL).   Ruth left Unistar to join the Radio Advertising Bureau in 1992.   Most recently, he was consulting the RAB. He died of a heart attack this past November 16 in Florida.

NYFtrophyNew York Festivals International Radio Competition Announces Call for Entries.  Now through March 19, the New York Festivals is accepting entries for the 32nd annual “World’s Best Radio Programs” competition.  This competition is unique in that entries are received from between 30 and 50 nations across the globe each year.  Competition executive director Rose Anderson tells TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian that global scope is important, “One thing that is most important to us is that we make New York Festivals Radio Program Awards a destination for people all over the world who are creating radio that is interesting, innovative, and of very high quality.”  Anderson adds that the grand jury members (judges) enjoy the high quality of radio they review.  “They have consistently written comments that the quality of the entries is fantastic.  People are entering material in drama, news, documentaries, talk, and music that continues to make new ways of telling stories.  We have had entries from Radio Free Asia; from folks on the scene who described the riots in Cairo; and people from Romania who submitted amazing audio of drama.”  With 130 headings, the scope of the competition is wide.  To find out more about the New York Festivals Radio Program Awards, click here.

cumulusroselandCumulus ‘Big Game’ Party.  The scene here is the Roseland Ballroom in New York City yesterday as Cumulus Media’s hot AC WPLJ; country WNSH “Nash FM 94.7,” and news/talk WABC come together to put on a ‘Big Game Party’ in honor of the NFL’s championship being decided in the nearby Met Life stadium in two weeks.  Sunday’s event was hosted by Todd Pettengill of WPLJ.  The venue was filled to capacity with over 3,000 guests enjoying a sports expo, playoff viewing party, station games, and food. Former New York Giants wide receiver and NBC Sports Radio Network personality Amani Toomer was on hand meeting the many loyal listeners!  Pettengill states, “The first annual Cumulus Big Game Party was an absolute example of synergy.  Three radio stations with different audiences, air staff’s, came together to make the perfect circle of success. I can’t wait for next January!”  The evening concluded with a performance by Daughtry.

WCBS, New York Producer/Engineer Silva Dies.  Radio producer and engineer Carlos Silva died at age 50 after a battle with stomach and esophageal cancer in Lutz, Florida on Sunday (1/19).  Silva worked for CBS RADIO’s WCBS, New York where he produced New York Yankees broadcasts.  He had also worked game broadcasts for ESPN Radio, the Orlando Magic, Philadelphia Phillies Spanish-language broadcasts, and the old New Jersey Nets.

ramseyshow logoCool Job Opportunity.  Syndication Specialist Needed – The Dave Ramsey Show, now the 3rd largest syndicated talk show in the nation with more than 530 affiliates, is in need of a Go-Getter willing to take on this growing demand.  This person will work with our small- and mid-sized markets.  Duties will consist of new market development as well as serving existing affiliates and building relationships.  Our organization has been voted Best Place to Work in Nashville for six years in a row for a reason.  If you think you have what it takes and are interested in working in an environment where you can learn and grow, we need to talk.  Interested candidates apply at: http://www.daveramsey.com/company/view-all-jobs/

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

| January 8, 2014

borrell logoBorrell Associates New Study and Forecast Predicts Radio Revenue Flat but Listening Minutes Continue to Decline Over Next Five Years.  Research firm Borrell Associates has published a new study titled, “The Future of Legacy Media: With 5 Years of Digital Disruption Ahead, What Happens Next?”  As the title implies, it looks at the effect the digital revolution has had over the past five years on time spent with each medium and ad dollars spent and then goes on to predict what is likely to happen over the next five years.  The conclusion for AM/FM radio is probably not going to be shocking to most.  Borrell predicts that minutes spent with AM/FM radio (which have already dropped from 124.1 in 2008 to 93.5 in 2013, according to the study) will continue to erode even though the number of individuals listening at least once per week (that figure we hear reported by Nielsen Audio so frequently) may remain fairly constant.  By 2018 Borrell predicts minutes spent with radio will further drop to 81.9 (for a total decrease from 2008 to 2018 of 34%).  On the revenue front, Borrell notes that radio ad spending has dropped by almost a third over the past 13 years and predicts the level the industry is at right now – about $14.3 billion – is roughly where it will be in another five years.  Here’s what the study has to say about AM/FM radio’s future: “If trends hold true, traditional radio ad spending will continue to tread water, remaining largely unchanged while growth moves online – especially among national advertisers.  Detroit is already equipping some new cars with Pandora service, so even that industry sinecure may have been breached.  Losses – where they occur – will be most felt in the larger metros, while suburban and rural areas will still depend on the local flavor of stations that have been good friends to their fathers and grandfathers.”  Which media will experience growth in minutes spent with through 2018?  Borrell predicts cable TV, out-of-home, video games and pure-play mobile, which it says will have realized a 1,145% increase in minutes spent with during the 10-year period examined in the study.  Read more here.

siriusxmSiriusXM Reports Total Subscribers Top 25 Million.  Satellite radio service SiriusXM announces it ended the year 2013 with 25.56 million subscribers – an addition of 1.66 million net subscribers during the course of the year.  The company reports that self-pay net additions in 2013 were 1.5 million for the full year, bringing self-paymeyerjim subscriptions to over 21 million.  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer states, “SiriusXM had an outstanding 2013, and we expect to meet or exceed all other guidance we have provided for the year.  Automotive distribution is hitting on all cylinders and an increasing number of households, at all income levels, are subscribing to SiriusXM.  In a world where consumers have many choices, millions of subscribers continue to love our unmatched and easily affordable lineup of exclusive talk, live news, major sports events, and commercial-free and curated music channels.”  At the same time, the company offers guidance for 2014 that includes: Net subscriber additions of 1.25 million; free cash flow approaching $1.1 billion; revenue of over $4.0 billion; and adjusted EBITDA of approximately $1.38 billion.

cookeholland2014 International CES: Day Two.  Media consultant Holland Cooke reports from Las Vegas where he’s covering the enormous 2014 International Consumer Electronic Show for TALKERS magazine.  Some tidbits for radio people include how Yahoo! is revamping its content to fit what consumers want with regard to size and frequency and how new global anchor Katie Couric is integrating “citizen reporting” into her work.  Also, read what radio execs attending a session on internet radio are saying about building a connection with consumers in Holland Cooke’s piece here.

compassmediamarketingCompass Media Brings Research Pro Len Klatt Aboard.  Research pro Len Klatt spent the last 16 years with Premiere Networks (ultimately as SVP of research) and 11 years with Westwood One before that.  Now, Compass Media Marketing announces it has hired Klatt as a research consultant and advisor, effective immediately.  Klatt comments, “It is an incredibly exciting time to be a part of the changing audio entertainment landscape.  Compass is well positioned for continued growth and my goal is to work closely with the Compass team to best serve our advertisers, affiliates and programming partners.”

minihanekirkKirk Minihane Inks Multi-Year Deal with WEEI, Boston.  The Boston Globe’s Chad Finn reports that staffer Kirk Minihane – a recently added member of the Dennis & Callahan morning show – has been rewarded for his positive impact on the show and the station with a new multi-year deal.  Minihane became part of the morning show featuring John Dennis and Gerry Callahan in February of last year and Finn reports that the morning show has been gaining ratings ground over the past several months.  Minihane was already employed by Entercom Boston writing for WEEI.com at the time he joined the show.  The Dennis & Callahan show – and the station in general – has been under the microscope since the start-up of CBS Radio’s crosstown WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” debuted, gained ground on WEEI and overtook many of WEEI’s shows in the ratings.  Now, Finn reports that the Dennis & Callahan show recently finished in second place in the Nielsen Audio PPM ratings behind WBZ-FM’s Toucher & Rich program with a 9.0 share.

matthewsboOdds & Sods.  At Salem Communications’ New York City news/talker WNYM “AM 970 The Answer,” comic Joe Piscopo is guest hosting the morning show today (1/8) through the end of the week.  The permanent morning show slot is vacant right now after Curtis Sliwa split for Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WABC for a midday show with co-host Ron Kuby.  The station says Piscopo will “have top name guests, give his take on the news of the day and do a variety of other comedy bits.”…..At Clear Channel’s Cincinnati cluster, Bo Matthews is named vice president of programming for the station group.  While Matthews’ recent day-to-day experience has been with music radio – he comes to Cincinnati from the company’s Cleveland cluster where he programmed rock WMMS and CHR WAKS “Kiss FM” – he will ultimately oversee news/talk WLW, talk WKRC and sports talk WSAI in his new position…..In the public radio sphere of the Rochester market, WXXI listeners are hearing new host Evan Dawson in the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm slot held for so long by market pro Bob Smith.  Dawson is a familiar face as he spent six years as morning anchor at WHAM-TV.  The new show is called “Connections with Evan Dawson.”  Smith stepped down from his position in August after suffering a stroke in the spring.  He’s currently in long-term rehabilitative care.

rickandbubbagroupRick & Bubba Celebrate 20th Anniversary.  The nationally syndicated Rick & Bubba show – featuring Rick Burgess and Bill “Bubba” Bussey – celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.  The Syndicated Solutions Inc.-distributed program has special plans to commemorate the show’s birth.  Burgess and Bussey, along with cast members Calvin “Speedy” Wilburn, “The Real” Greg Burgess, Michael “Helmsey” Helms, Chris “Eddie Van” Adler, along with past/present show interns and related show contributors, will be performing live before sellout crowds during at least five special one-night only events in concert halls/theaters in select cities beginning in May.  SSI reports that “each ‘20th Anniversary Tour’ event will include hilarious, unforgettable Rick & Bubba moments, show favorites such as Good ‘ol Boys Theater, Willie & Wanda, The Giant Game of Rick & Bubba Knowledge, The Wacky World, Fact or Crap, and more.  There will be prizes, video tributes reliving the past 20 years, musical performances, special Q&A sessions and more…All behind-the-scenes and on-stage activities will be video recorded so excerpts can be shared during the Rick & Bubba show television/radio broadcast, and a full 20th Anniversary documentary will be available later in 2014.”  SSI president Bob Carey states, “Congratulations Rick and Bubba…I am so proud of what you’ve accomplished all these years and the special relationship that we share.  Although we’ve been business partners for just nine of your 20 years on air together, the Rick & Bubba show continues to evolve and gets better day after day, which is a testament to you both never taking your successes for granted or never stopping to work hard and improve upon yesterday.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Bill “Bubba” Bussey (sitting), Michael “Helmsey” Helms, Rick Burgess (center/sitting), Calvin “Speedy” Wilburn, “The Real” Greg Burgess and Chris “Eddie Van” Adler.

havesonjeffOutstanding Talk Producer on the Loose.  One of the personnel casualties of WWRL, New York’s recent switch from progressive talk to regional Mexican Spanish-language entertainment is Jeffrey Haveson.  Haveson, an accomplished veteran radio broadcaster is known in talk circles as one of the most hard-working, versatile and dependable producers in the business, is without a home base for the first time in more than a decade.  He served at WWRL as an executive producer working with a wide variety of hosts and formats ranging from urban talk to liberal politics and then some.  In the words of TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “Jeffrey Haveson is one of the most competent and multi-faceted facilitators of talk programming I’ve ever met.  This guy can handle all the chores that go on behind-the-scenes in making a great show happen from nurturing hosts of all political and cultural stripes, booking guests, executing remotes and creating superb production to writing an effective press release and managing social media.  He is located in the New York area and should be grabbed by one of the many media outlets looking for a solid producer.”  Haveson can be phoned at 973-207-3095 or emailed at jeffhaveson@yahoo.com.

Robert Gates Criticizes Obama in New Book, Dennis Rodman in North Korea, Boehner-Benghazi Connection, Polar Vortex Chills U.S./Global Warming, and Janet Yellen Confirmed New Fed Chief.  The new book by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates that is critical of the Obama Administration; the controversy over former NBA star Dennis Rodman’s latest trip to North Korea; questions about what House Speaker John Boehner knew about the Benghazi mission; the frigid temperatures across the U.S. and the connection to global warming; and Janet Yellen is confirmed as new chief of the Federal Reserve were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, January 6, 2014

| January 6, 2014

longbrianLong Set To Program Clear Channel, San Diego Combo.  Former senior director of programming for Bonneville Seattle’s KIRO-AM “710 ESPN,Brian Long, has been tapped to program Clear Channel, San Diego’s news/talk KOGO-AM and KLSD “Xtra Sports 1360.” Vice president of programming John Peake comments, “Brian will bring a diverse perspective from multiple markets and stations to our spoken-word brands.  We are excited to add Brian’s management and broadcasting experience to the San Diego programming team.  We are confident that KOGO-AM and ‘Xtra Sports’ will prosper under his tutelage.”  Long previously was assistant program director and “In the Zone” host on Los Angeles’ KSPN “710 ESPN.”  Prior to that, the Kansas City native programmed in Palm Springs, California for KXPS “The Team 1010,” KFUT “Fox Sports 1270,” and KNWZ “K-News.”  Long begins his San Diego assignment in two weeks (1/21).

caplisdanCaplis to Host Late Morning Show on KNUS, Denver.  Salem Communications-owned news/talk KNUS, Denver adds local TV and radio personality Dan Caplis to the program lineup in the 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot.  Caplis – an attorney – most recently worked in radio at Clear Channel’s crosstown news/talk KHOW with co-host Craig Silverman.  KNUS general manager Brian Taylor says, “With the upcoming election cycle, plus the compelling local issues that have put Colorado in the forefront recently, it is significant for us to offer another powerful local voice like market veteran Dan Caplis.  Combined with Peter Boyles and Steve Kelley, 710 KNUS will now offer more daily, live local conservative talk programming than any other station in the Denver market.”

millerchrisNew Year Changes at Facebook That Affect You.  Digital media consultant Chris Miller informs us that Facebook recently made some important changes that affect how users get to show the content they do.  Miller writes, “The news and entertainment site Buzzfeed first picked up on it before Facebook made it official.  The folks at Buzzfeed noticed that, all of a sudden, online content publishers were getting a huge increase in hits.  That group of publishers includes a wide variety of content providers, but the way to think about it is ‘sites that find and write about stuff that others should find interesting.’”  Miller says that all social platforms are getting more sophisticated about how they determine what their users will see.  Facebook has adjusted their formula that determines what content we all get shown, emphasizing the interesting over the merely silly and self-serving.  Here’s how to help insure that more of your posts get shown to your fan base.  Read Miller’s column here.

cookehollandAnalysis: 2014 NMX Podcasters Conference.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas this week covering the New Media Expo and the enormous 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show.  First up, Cooke reports from the weekend’s happenings at 2014 NMX.  Cooke says the standing-room-only crowd was replete with people focused on talking targeted, passionate interests with its audience.  “And they’re not just talking to your geographical area.  And they are not merely, as clichéd station imaging assures, ‘talking-about what-you’re-talking-about,’” says Cooke.  “Instead of belaboring Benghazi, they’re bonding with ‘ovewhelmed adoptive moms, by telling the truth about the post-adoption journey, so they feel validated and encouraged for the road ahead.’  If more station websites offered narrowcast content that’s specifically appealing, and used transmitters to invite those moms to engage, new digital revenue would follow.”  Read Cooke’s entire report from 2014 NMX in Las Vegas here.

rantzjasonJason Rantz Promoted to Daily Evening Show at KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Bonneville Seattle news/talk KIRO-FM ups Jason Rantz from his year-old weekend show on the station to the daily 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm program effective this evening.  KIRO-FM program director Pete Gammell says, “Jason is an extremely knowledgeable and thoughtful host who always seeks opposing views to further listeners’ understanding.  We always strive to connect entertainment to value and discussion to understanding.  This is Jason’s strength and I’m sure listeners will agree.”   Speaking about his new gig, Rantz states, “I’m excited by the opportunity to talk with Western Washington as a part of KIRO’s weekday team.  I’ve enjoyed interacting and engaging the KIRO Radio listeners during my previous weekend show and now I’m thrilled to bring this same dynamic to weeknights.  There are so many important issues affecting our community and the nation, and it is vital that we come together to have a civil but challenging and vigorous discussion.  I hope my evening show will become that forum.”

ktar-am logoBonneville Gives Sports Talk KTAR-AM, Phoenix FM Simulcast.  Shuttering adult hits KPKX “98.7 The Peak,” Bonneville Phoenix gives sports talker KTAR-AM an FM signal on which to simulcast.  The company has been building multi-platform sports content destination “Arizona Sports” using the AM radio station and a local sports content-heavy website and now adds an FM signal to the mix.  Vice president and market manager Scott Sutherland states, “Putting ‘Arizona Sports’ on FM is an opportunity too big to ignore.  Our live, local and exclusive sports content has never been better.  We have world-class local talk personalities who deliver powerful opinions and insights that engage, entertain and positively impact the communities we serve.  We also have amazing team partners.  And all of this attracts a passionate and loyal audience, which in turn, attracts a lot of marketing interest from small and medium business owners, major brands and C-Suite decision makers.”  The stations serve as flagship broadcaster for the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Coyotes, Arizona State University and broadcasts Arizona Interscholastic Association prep sporting events from around the state.

czabansteveRed Zebra Re-Ups with Steve Czaban at ‘ESPN 980’ in Washington.  Red Zebra Broadcasting and sports talk host Steve Czaban have agreed to terms on a new three-year deal that will keep the afternoon drive co-host with WTEM, Washington, DC “ESPN 980″ through 2016.  Czaban has been co-hosting the afternoon drive time slot for WTEM for the last 13 years.  Vice president of programming Chuck Sapienza comments, “Czabe is integral to the success of our station.  We look forward to three additional years of Czabe, Cooley and Galdi.”  Steve Czaban co-hosts “The Drive with Cooley & Czabe” from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm and also hosts the golf program “Sunday Tee Time,” at 8:00 am on Sunday mornings during golf season.

theblaze logoGlenn Beck’s ‘TheBlaze Radio News’ Launces Today.    “TheBlaze Radio News” – the latest AM/FM program offering from Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze – hits stations on the AM/FM dial today after debuting on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel several months ago.  The service offers hourly newscasts from anchors and reporters around the nation providing news and information specifically targeted to talk radio listeners.  The casts draw on the reporting from TheBlaze television network and its website TheBlaze.com which it says “generates over 20 million unique visitors per month and is one of the 100 most trafficked websites in America.”  The service is airing today in markets including Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Denver, Las Vegas and Birmingham, Alabama.

ingolddougCompass Names Ingold Sales Exec.  Compass Media Networks brings Doug Ingold aboard as senior director of affiliate sales for entertainment & music programming beginning January 20.  The company says Ingold “will be based in Los Angeles and assume a vital role in the expansion of Compass’ long-form entertainment and music shows including Big D & Bubba, “Free Beer & Hot Wings,” “Off The Record,” “Out of Order,” Rick Dees and “Skratch N Sniff.”  Compass VP of affiliate sales Adam Wilbur comments, “Our entertainment portfolio is growing rapidly and the time is right for us to add someone of Doug’s caliber to spearhead day-to-day affiliate marketing.”

mcmurraypeteMcMurray Show Expands at WGN.  According to Chicago media writer Robert Feder, late night talk show host Pete McMurray’s show will expand with a new earlier start time at 10:00 pm (and end at 2:00 am), shaving an hour off David Kaplan’s evening sports talk program.  Feder quotes WGN vice president of creative content Todd Manley saying, “Pete has become our all-purpose star in a variety of fill-in roles.  I think he gets what we’re trying to do very well, especially in providing lots of video content.  Between Pete and [producer] Scott Miller, they do an amazing job of booking great guests and being about the city.”  Read the story here.

hotchkisskeithHotchkiss Transfers to Charlotte as Director of Sales.  As of today (1/6), Keith Hotchkiss is Clear Channel Charlotte’s director of sales.  He joins that operation from Cleveland where he was general sales manager of Clear Channel-owned CHR WAKS “Kiss-FM,” news/talk WTAM, rock WMMS, and WMMS-HD2 “99X.”  Regional Market Manager Charlie Wilkinson remarks that, “Keith’s proven sales leadership will have an immediate impact in Charlotte.  I’m confident he will be an integral part of our success now and well into the future.”  Clear Channel’s five-station Charlotte cluster consists of alternative WEND “The End,” CHR WHQC “Channel 96-1,” country WKKT “The Kat,” adult hits WLKO “The Lake,” and classic rock WRFX “The Fox.”

smithlauraOdds & Sods.  WABC, New York radio personality Laura Smith is sitting in for the first few shows with new 5:00 pm program host Pat Kiernan starting today.  Smith currently hosts two weekend programs on WABC – “Living Better with Laura Smith” and “The Saturday Café.”  Kiernan is an anchor on cable’s NY1 and his show is part of the newly revised program lineup at the station…..Tribune’s WGN, Chicago resumes its “Blackhawks Live” live broadcast promotion on Thursday, January 13 featuring defenseman Duncan Keith at the Old Town Pour House in Chicago.  “Blackhawks Live” is a series of one-hour radio broadcasts hosted over dinner throughout the year featuring current Blackhawks players, legends and management. Blackhawks radio broadcasters John Wiedeman and Troy Murray host the event that includes a question-and-answer format between the hosts and the featured Blackhawks guests.

iheartradioFour New Integrations for iHeartRadio.  Clear Channel announces its iHeartRadio digital entertainment platform is headed to dashboards in three auto makes, including Jaguar Land Rover, Volvo and Kia.  In addition to these OEMs, iHeartRadio will also be available via platform solution provider Bosch.  The company states that in 2014, Jaguar Land Rover vehicles equipped with Bosch SoftTec’s innovative InControl Apps platform, Volvo vehicles equipped with the Sensus Connect infotainment solution and Kia vehicles with UVO will have access to iHeartRadio.

colemanjerry“Oh Doctor!” – Jerry Coleman Passes Away.  That was one of the favorite on-air expressions uttered by the 89-year-old Jerry Coleman, whose death was confirmed Sunday night (1/5) by the San Diego Padres, the MLB team for whom he called games since 1972.  A portion of the team’s prepared statement read, “On behalf of Padres’ fans everywhere, we mourn the loss of a Marine who was truly an American hero as well as a great man, a great friend and a great Padre.”  He played parts of nine seasons with the New York Yankees (1949 – 1957).  After retiring, he began a broadcasting career with CBS-TV (1960 – 1962), where he conducted pregame interviews on the network’s “Game of the Week” broadcasts.  He did play-by-play for the Yankees on WCBS-AM and WPIX-TV (1963 – 1969), Angels (1970 – 1971), and Padres (1972 to this past season).  He also called regular-season and postseason broadcasts for CBS Radio from the mid-1970s to the 1990s.  For three years of Coleman’s tenure with the Padres, his on-air partner was sitcom writer par excellence-music radio on-air talent Ken Levine, who writes on KenLevine.blogspot.com, “I loved Jerry.  He was your favorite uncle – always cheerful, always there for you.  His passion for the game of baseball was infectious and his zest for life was inspiring.  Other than having to broadcast meaningless spring training games, I cannot think of anything Jerry Coleman didn’t view in a positive light.  He was also incredibly humble.  When we were on the road, I picked his brain for hours, and he graciously and patiently answered all of my questions.  Jerry Coleman worked Padres games up until his death.  He led a rich full life and he would often point out how lucky he was.  So many of his friends had died young in a war – he lived to be 89 in relatively good health.”  In 2005, Coleman received the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence; two years later, he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.  As of the 2010 season, he reduced his broadcast schedule to approximately 25 home day games.

Unlikely To Steal This Pittsburgh Pair’s Spirit

| December 12, 2013

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS magazine

LOS ANGELESDazzling omnipresent decorations, magnificent multi-colored lights, hastening hustle and bustle, and a brisk icy chill in the air all underscore that this indisputably is the “most wonderful time of the year.”

Even the most adamant skeptic will find corroboration and confirmation of that fact, simply by turning to at least one local FM music outlet that has transitioned to playing wall-to-wall Christmas tunes.

On such dedicated dial positions, listeners will instantly hear artists from Andy Williams to Garth Brooks to Harry Connick, Jr. to Amy Grant wonderfully warbling about the warm joys crystallized in this “hap-happiest season of all.”

Contemplative scene thoughts of “parties for hosting” and “marshmallows for toasting” support the heartwarming notion.

Visions of sugarplums dance in our collective heads, yet some radio historians cannot help but ratchet up dour “Debbie Downer,” the “SNL” character superbly portrayed by Lexington, Massachusetts native Rachel Dratch. Punctuated with a delivery that sucks the life and enthusiasm from any room, Debbie Downer would suggest this is anything but the happiest season of all, especially in radio.

Some heartless, dastardly things have transpired post-Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day over the years in this business.

Read More

Friday, November 22, 2013

| November 22, 2013

kennedyjohnfNews/Talk Radio Remembers JFK.  As the nation commemorates the fateful, painful events of November 22 1963, the media at large - newspapers, television and, of course, radio — are focused across the board on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  Obviously, the subject is dominating conversation on news/talk radio today in the form of historical documentaries, as well as live talk shows in which every aspect of the almost mythical story is rehashed, retold, analyzed and memorialized.  Many shows are spending time giving listeners the opportunity to recall “where they were and what they were doing” when the horrible news was announced.  As TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison points out, “This milestone serves as a powerful generational marker in our industry’s obsession with demographics that basically breaks audiences down to two significantly different categories — those who remember JFK and the events of November 22, 1963… and those who don’t.”

leykistomCompass Media Marketing Will Represent Tom Leykis.  As of the first of next year (January 2014), Compass Media Marketing will be the advertising sales agent for “The Tom Leykis Show.”  CMM will do similar duties for the talk show host’s NewNormalNetwork.com and BlowMeUpTom.com.  “We are appreciative to the tens of thousands of listeners who are tuning in daily to our show,” Leykis remarks.  “The time is right to start aggressively marketing the show to sponsorscompasslogo and we are thrilled to work with the Compass team.”  Compass Media Marketing president of advertising sales Paul Gregrey comments that Leykis is a “creative genius” with a “highly engaged and loyal audience.  There is limitless upside for growth, both in terms of listenership and sponsors.”  Introduced last year, the latest version of Leykis’ talk show is a streaming internet-centric call-in program, which is broadcast daily at 3:00 pm (PT) from Burbank.  This past Tuesday (11/19), we mentioned that Leykis put himself up for auction on eBay.  The stunt raked in $7,800 for his company and Leykis tells TALKERS, “This promotion worked perfectly for us because it engaged our audience, it brought press attention to our growing brand, and it brought us substantial revenue.  For The New Normal, it was nothing short of a homerun. [Furthermore, it] makes it hard to accept the whining of radio stations who say that they ‘can’t monetize’ digital.”

trn logoReports of Renewed TRN Activity Circulating.  There’s buzz in the industry that Talk Radio Network CEO Mark Masters is working to bring some of his talent back on the radio hosting live programs.  TALKERS sources indicate Masters and talk personality Jerry Doyle have come to terms that have allowed Doyle to return to his program immediately.  Doyle and other Talk Radio Network personalities have not been hosting regular livedoylejerry shows for most of the past month or so in the wake of a financial disruption at the company that involved staff layoffs at the Grants Pass, Oregon home offices and numerous legal actions between Masters and current and former employees.  Other rumors circulating purported that talk host Rusty Humphries is also soon to be returning to the program schedule at TRN but TALKERS sources report Humphries and Masters have not come to terms that would bring Humphries back to TRN.  TALKERS has reached out to Masters for comment but as of this posting there has been no response.  Stay tuned.

riverageraldoGeraldo to Remain with Cumulus Media.  Any rumors circulating the internet that Geraldo Rivera’s days with Cumulus Media are numbered are untrue says company COO John Dickey.  Geraldo – who is based at the company’s WABC, New York and is also heard on its Los Angeles news/talker KABC as well as 45 other news/talk outlets – airs live from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.  Dickey tells TALKERS, “Geraldo is going to be working even more closely with us next year – still anchoring 10:00 am to 12:00 noon on WABC – as well as spearheading our Putting America Back to Work (PABTW) initiative.”  Geraldo began his program on WABC, New York in January 2012.

pattiznormNorm Pattiz Discusses Podcasting and the State of the Radio Industry on TalkersTV. An exclusive video of Courtside Entertainment, LLC/Podcast One CEO Norm Pattiz‘s presentation at the recent Talkers Los Angeles 2013 conference has been posted today (11/22) on TalkersTV (top panel of boxes on right hand side of this page).  In what was billed as a “keynote conversation,” with TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, the noted industry pioneer, who founded the original Westwood One and created a veritable media empire from scratch, discusses the impact and meaning of podcasting as an extension of the radio industry as well as other important issues of the broadcasting business.  During the presentation he asks the provocative question, “When was the last time you can think of a national star that was created on network radio?  Been a while, hasn’t it!”  He goes on to state, “There’s a demographic national star created in podcasting every week.  That’s because in the podcasting world, the only people you have to satisfy are your audiences and consumers.”  To view the entire video presentation, see TalkersTV on the upper right side of every page on Talkers.com.

rabRAB: Third Quarter Radio Spot Revenue Up 1%.  The Radio Advertising Bureau reports its 2013 Q3 figures and states after two flat quarters, radio spot advertising rose 1% on sales of $3.684 million.  The report also notes thatfarbererica network revenue was down 11% while digital rose 19% and off-air was up 3%.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber states, “The momentum we saw building at the end of Q2 has definitely translated into a positive Q3 for radio in many of our top 10 advertiser categories, led by communications/cellular with a healthy 24% increase.  Among key categories, automotive, professional services, health care, home furnishings, all showed substantial increases, as well.  Increases from these diverse ad categories illustrate radio’s cross-platform strength to drive traffic and sales – for large corporations to Main Street businesses.”

toddchuckChuck Todd Readies to Add Radio Duties.  “Unscripted with Chuck Todd” is the name of the one-hour (9:00 am to 10:00 am) Saturday show the veteran journalist will launch in two weeks (12/7) on SiriusXM‘s “P.O.T.U.S.” channel.  “In this day and age, people tend to think they have more access to newsmakers and politicians, when in many ways, they actually have less,” Todd comments.  “We will aim to help listeners get to know powerful people in a different way – as human beings, not as sound-bite machines.  I look forward to talking to many famous amateur political junkies out there who just happen to have day jobs in the worlds of sports, Hollywood, Wall Street and everywhere in between.”  According to SiriusXM vice president/general manager of talk programming Dave Gorab, “Chuck will go outside his normal field of reporting and delve into the personal passions and interests of not just politicians but leaders from virtually every field of interest. This show is new territory for Chuck, but will be built on his journalistic savvy and experience.”  Todd hosts MSNBC‘s “Daily Rundown” and is NBC News’ chief White House correspondent.

kravitzpinkyAtlantic City Talk Host Pinky Kravitz Celebrates 55 Years on WOND.  Atlantic City talk radio legend Seymour “Pinky” Kravitz is celebrating his 55th anniversary on WOND this afternoon with a special broadcast from the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.  The station notes that Kravitz has broadcast more than 169,000 hours of air time (that’s over 701 consecutive days!) from more than 20 remote broadcasting locations and more than a handful of time changes.  It boasts that 1400 AM is where South Jersey still turns for “informative and provocative conversation.  Pinky Kravitz has become one of thewond logo region’s most recognized, trusted and beloved media personalities through what has become the longest running radio program (on one station by one personality) in the country.”  Longport Media president Dave Coskey states, “It’s amazing that in an industry where longevity is often measured in months or years that we measure Pinky’s career on WOND in decades.  Pinky’s career spans not only decades but generations – generations of listeners all who have spent time in Pinky’s Corner.  And his brand is even stronger today than it was in 1958.”  Kravitz adds, “I’ve been blessed to not only have the support of my family, a radio station and city for all of these years but also the love and support of an entire region.”  In addition to his daily radio show on WOND, Kravitz also hosts a weekly television program on WMGM-TV and writes a weekly column for the Press of Atlantic City.

sagaSaga Communications to Pay Special Cash Dividend.  Saga Communications, Inc. announces its Board of Directors is declaring a special cash dividend of $1.80 per share on its Classes A and B Common Stock to be paid on December 12, 2013 to shareholders of record on December 2, 2013.  The aggregate amount of the payment to be made in connection with the special dividend will be approximately $10.3 million.  This special cash dividend will be funded by cash on the company’s balance sheet.

finebaumpaulPaul Finebaum Show to Air on SiriusXM’s ESPN Channel.  The formerly Birmingham-based sports talker – now calling Charlotte home and produced and syndicated nationally via ESPN Radio – joins the ESPN Xtra channel on SiriusXM effective Monday, November 25.  Paul Finebaum joined ESPN in August after years of success on Cumulus Media’s WJOX-FM, Birmingham.  Finebaum’s show airs live from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.

hdradio logoHonda Displays HD Radio Civic Pride.  The Los Angeles Auto Show is not typically where you would expect to find something noteworthy about the radio business.  That, however, is where HD Radio developer iBiquity Digital this week announced that the 2014 Civic is the first Honda vehicle to launch integrated audio and real-time traffic information using the HERE mapping service, BTC, and HD Radio technology.  iBiquity Digital chief operating officer Jeff Jury comments, “Honda is showing real leadership in bringing the benefits of digital HD Radio data to their vehicles.  This is another great example of a leading automaker integrating digital terrestrial technology as part of a connected vehicle strategy.”  Honda Civic navigation systems incorporate HD Radio audio and data features, including a way for listeners to view album art and other images on their radio screens.  There is subscription-free, real-time traffic information, showing flow patterns, construction alerts, and traffic incidents to drivers.  In addition to Honda, other automakers integrating digital traffic and data services include Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi and Toyota.  More than 30 automakers have announced plans to incorporate HD Radio in over 170 models by the end of this year.  Nearly seven-dozen models will feature HD Radio receivers as standard equipment.  The 2014 Honda Civic arrives at dealerships next month.

bfoa logoRon Ruth Memorial Fund Announced.  The Radio Advertising Bureau and the Broadcasters Foundation of America are announcing the creation of the Ron Ruth Memorial Fund in celebration of the life and work of Ruth and to benefit the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  The BfoA’s mission is toruthron help improve the quality of life of men and women in the radio and television broadcast profession who find themselves in acute need.  Donations may be sent directly to the Broadcasters Foundation at 125 West 55th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10019 and please make note that the donation is for the Ron Ruth Memorial Fund.  Tentative plans by the RAB are underway to hold a celebration of life with Ron’s many friends sometime in the first quarter of next year and will be made public as soon as they are finalized.  RAB CEO and president Erica Farber states, “Ron was an ardent supporter of the Broadcasters Foundation.  We at the RAB couldn’t think of a more fitting way to honor and commemorate his life and work.”

ramseyNYCDave Ramsey Takes New York.  The actual event took place right across the Hudson River at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark but Dave Ramsey’s New York affiliate – Clear Channel’s WOR – was a partner in promoting the event.  Ramsey presented his “Legacy Journey LIVE!” last night (11/21) before a packed house speaking about how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  His daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined Ramsey on stage.  WOR general sales manager Ron Russo says to the Ramsey team, “Thank you for creating an engaging event in an intimate setting where we have the opportunity to connect our listeners with our clients in a truly interactive environment.”  WOR sales manager Chris Borelli adds, “The event is not only impeccably prepared and executed, but entertaining and enjoyable.  We look forward to many more events like this as long term partners.”

ObamaCare Criticism Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 18-22.  The scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was President Obama’s sinking approval ratings.  Following at #3 was the talks with Iran about its nuclear policy and debate over economic sanctions on the nation followed by the GOP’s 2014 and 2016 strategy at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

| November 5, 2013

bellartArt Bell Says Adios to SiriusXM After Six Weeks.  On his website, late night talk radio icon Art Bell writes that he’s leaving SiriusXM where his “Art Bell’s Dark Matter” program was airing after just six weeks for three reasons: SiriusXM’s web player is notoriously unreliable, causing a loss of subscribers and a degraded listening experience for those who remain listening online; for a “caller driven” show, the caller pool for Art’s show is just too small; and international listeners have no legitimate way to hear the show.  SiriusXM has not commented on Bell’s post nor any issues the two parties may be having.  TALKERS editors can’t help but wonder how these points weren’t discovered and dealt with prior to the announcement Bell would be joining the satcaster, especially in light of Bell’s additional comments.  They are: “This is not the first time that we have heard issues relating to the internet platform offered up by SiriusXM.  There have been a host of issues from the functionality to being booted off, to having longer shows reset from the beginning after an hour and a half, making it almost impossible to listen to a two hour show on demand.”  The post is written in third person and continues: “The departure of Bell, as unfortunate as it is, should be a signal to SiriusXM.  The company has a compelling product, great content, and great potential, but in some ways has lost the edge that it once had.  The frustrations of Bell can be heard on other channels as well.  Opie & Anthony, Howard Stern, Jay Thomas, and others have all at times expressed a great deal of frustration.  In some ways, the complaints of on air personalities ring back to the old FM days of terrestrial radio, a path that many consumers and on air personalities could not wait to get away from.”

millerstephanieMichael Medved and Stephanie Miller to Debate in Chicago.  WYD Media Management syndicated progressive talk host Stephanie Miller – based out of KTLK, Los Angeles – and KTTH, Seattle-based Salem Radio Networkmedvedmichael syndicated personality Michael Medved will meet in the Windy City for a debate of the hot issues of the day on Thursday at The Meadows Club in Rolling Meadows, Illinois.   The event is titled “The Great Debate 3” and will be moderated by WGN-TV political analyst Paul Lisnek.  Medved is heard in the market on Salem O&O WIND “AM 560 The Answer” and Miller’s show is carried on WCPT.  Issues debated will include: Will the Affordable Care Act be fully implemented or repealed?  Which is the bigger threat to American prosperity: big business or big government?  Is it constitutional for the NSA to spy on foreign leaders or the American people?

sileodan

Sports Talker Dan Sileo Fired from WMEN, West Palm Beach for Tweet.  Yesterday TALKERS magazine reported that Florida sports talk host Dan Sileo – who previously worked for WDAE, Tampa and WQAM, Miami prior to joining WMEN  “640 Sports” – Tweeted that he’d pay $1,000 to whichever player “took out” Florida State player Devonta Freeman because he felt Freeman was disrespecting his alma mater Miami during Florida State’s crushing win over the Hurricanes.  He then deleted the Tweet and apologized but that wasn’t enough for James Crystal Radio which let him go on Monday.  Sileo wrote on his Facebook page: “I want to first start this letter off by saying…We thank 640 AM SPORTS for having us on the station the last few months…was VERY COOL!!….With that…640 and myself are parting ways over a TWEET I made about an FSU player who I thought was DISRESPECTING the UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI…It was a moment of emotion when I said I would like to pay $1,000 for anybody to take him out…..NOW….I NEVER thought ANYBODY would take that serious but they have…a MOUNTAIN of BACKLASH has come against 640 and my family…There are NOW DEATH THREATS against me and my family and I have hired a private COP to protect US….So we UNDERSTAND that some of U took my comment serious…..AGAIN….Was just an EX Player saying a feeling that was wrong….To FSU…we APOLOGIZE…NO WAY would I ever want a kid hurt…..GOOD LUCK TO 640 AND THE CANES!”

sternhowardJimmy Kimmel to Host Howard Stern Birthday Bash on SiriusXM.  The satcaster says that for the first time on satellite radio the infamous Howard Stern Birthday Bash show will be heard on the evening of January 31, 2014 tokimmeljimmy commemorate Stern’s 60th birthday.  Jimmy Kimmel is expected to host the live broadcast from a major New York venue with an audience of VIPs and fans.  As he loves to do, Stern will reveal more about the show – including VIP guests, performers and the special location – over the next few months on his SiriusXM show.  Stern says, “With this birthday bash, we are finally one step closer to making my birthday the national holiday it deserves to be.”  Kimmel adds, “I am honored and excited to take part in a celebration of the life of my friend and hero Howard Stern.  This should be the best BaBa-birthday party ever.”

libertymedia logoLiberty Media Reports SiriusXM Q3 Financials: Revenue Up 11%.  Although Liberty Media acquired a controlling interest of SiriusXM in January of this year, Liberty is reporting the satcaster’s financial numbers separately because it “believes the presentation of financial results as reported by SiriusXM is useful to investors as the comparability of those results are best understood in the context of SiriusXM’s historical financial presentation.”  Highlights of SiriusXM’s earnings include: record revenue of $962 million, up 11% from third quarter of 2012; net income of $63 million; adjusted EBITDA grew 21% to a record $296 million; the company repurchased $1.6 billion in shares from January 1 through September 30, 2013.  Initial 2014 guidance is: revenue of over $4 billion and adjusted EBITDA of approximately $1.38 billion.

kassanmichaelMichael Kassan Media-Focused Feature to Begin on WOR, New York.  The Clear Channel news/talk outlet announces that “Medialinked — Inside Advertising and Media with Michael Kassan” debuts today.  The company says the new show offering industry reports from the highly influential business and media strategist will also be available on iHeartRadio and at wor710.com.  Kassan, who is founder, chairman and CEO of MediaLink and also serves as special advisor to CC chairman Bob Pittman, will provide a daily inside look at the advertising and media worlds featuring exclusive interviews with his personally selected list of major media and advertising figures as well as commentary on significant industry topics.  Special features will also include Kassan’s expert analysis and reports on key industry events including Ad Week, Association of National Advertisers (ANA), American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAA), Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and more.  Clear Channel New York market president Joe Puglise says, “Michael Kassan is an internationally recognized media specialist and his expert opinion will provide WOR listeners inside analysis of the media and advertising industry.  His passion and enthusiasm for the industry will resonate well with WOR listeners and provide an avenue for partners and advertisers to engage in the conversation.”

martinroland newsonenowbig‘News One Now with Roland Martin’ Debuts.  Radio One’s radio and television project featuring former CNN star Roland Martin debuted on Monday.  “News One Now with Roland Martin” is a three-hour radio show being syndicated by Radio One in which the third hour of the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm daily program is simulcast on the company’s TV One cable channel.  On the program’s premiere, Martin discussed topics including the controversial death of Kendrick Johnson; the Detroit mayoral race; Africa’s economic boom as well as spoke with Radio One and TV One CEO Alfred Liggins about minority ownership in the media.  Martin told the Houston Chronicle’s David Barron that this program, especially on the TV side, will bring important black Americans into the media to talk about today’s issues.  “This is a chance for us to show the breadth and depth of black America.  When was the last time you saw a black economist talking on television?  Other than Colin Powell, when was the last time you saw a black general talking about the military?  We can showcase that talent.”

bellaviadavidDavid Bellavia’s Stint at WBEN Buffaloed by Employer.  Last month Entercom announced that frequent fill-in and weekend talk show host David Bellavia was being given his own late night talk show – airing from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am – on news/talk WBEN.  Now, after just two weeks hosting the program, Bellavia has had to step down from the show after his full-time employer objected to his taking the position.  Not only will Bellavia not host his own daily program, he’s apparently not working for WBEN at all, including as the go-to fill-in personality for Sandy Beach and Tom Bauerle when they are away, which he had been doing in the recent past.  Reports from Buffalo indicate that Bellavia’s employer had a change of heart about his work with WBEN.  Michael Caputo is filling in for Sandy Beach and the station is running “Best of” programming in the late night slot.

ObamaCare Criticisms, 2014 and 2016 Elections, Virginia Governor Race, Dolphins Suspend Player for Misconduct, and New Jersey Mall Scare Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/4).  The ongoing scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; speculation about the GOP’s prospects in the 2014 mid-term elections and the 2016 presidential race; today’s Virginia governor contest, the suspension of a Miami Dolphins veteran over allegations of misconduct toward another rookie teammate; and the tensions caused by the suicide of a man at a New Jersey mall were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

| October 31, 2013

wpht logoJared Hart to Program WPHT, Philadelphia.  CBS Radio Philadelphia announces Jared Hart is joining the company to program news/talk WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” beginning November 11.  Hart is currently assistant program director and producer of the Ronn Owens program at Cumulus Media’s KGO, San Francisco.  The move reunites Hart and WPHT morning drive host Chris Stigall who worked together at KCMO, Kansas City when Hart was Stigall’s producer.  CBS Radio Philadelphia SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield states, “Jared is part of a new breed of aggressive talk radio programmers.  We are thrilled to welcome him to WPHT.”  Operations manager Andy Bloom adds, “It’s exciting to bring in somebody with Jared’s vast range of experiences.  He’s going to be a terrific addition to the WPHT programming brain trust.”

wnfzwkvl logoJohn Pirkle Expands Talk Radio in Knoxville.  The talk radio programming heard on WKVL, Knoxville is now also being heard on John Pirkle-owned FM signal WNFZ at 94.3 and the simulcast is being branded “KnoxTalkRadio.”  The programming features the “Rude Awakening” morning show with Mike Howard and David “Shyne” Thompson and well as the local sports talk PM drive program “The Drive” with Russell Smith and Richard Daugherty.  Syndicated shows include independently syndicated Dave Ramsey, Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck, Sean Hannity and “Coast to Coast AM” plus WestwoodOne’s Herman Caine and Genesis Communications Network-distributed Alex Jones.  In a one-sheet targeted to local advertisers, Pirkle and sales manager Chuck Borchard tout the strength of the two signals and reference their history building strong local brands such as WOKI-AM/FM and former market talker WNOX-FM.

cbslogoCBS and Nielsen Cooperate on Cross-Platform Measurement Study.  The two companies announce that they are working together in Nielsen’s first-ever trial to measure cross-media campaigns on local television and radio.  The trial will focus on combining CBS local TV audience data with CBS Radio nielsen logoaudience data to “build a foundation that measures unduplicated reach and time spent across both media.  In addition, the trial will measure reach and frequency for campaigns that run on both local TV and radio. The test results will expand local media planning analytics and develop more robust inputs for marketing mix modeling.  As this pilot test develops, Nielsen intends to open participation across a wider group of clients for the benefit of the industry.”  CBS chief research officer David Poltrack says, “In today’s multi-platform advertising environment, it is not enough to set full campaign reach and frequency targets.  The advertiser must distribute the exposure to their message over time – and in a manner that assures that each potential purchaser is exposed to that message in a consistent manner before each purchase occasion.  With our strong combination of television and radio stations in major markets and the extension of these local stations over online and mobile platforms, CBS is uniquely positioned to provide advertisers with the combination of market penetration and controlled frequency distribution needed to optimize the return from their media investments in these markets.  Armed with this new cross-platform, local market custom analysis, each advertiser will be able to use these powerful media to their full potential and both TV and radio stations nationwide will benefit.”  The test will combine data from Nielsen’s Local People Meter panel with data from the newly acquired Nielsen Audio’s PPM panel to provide the cross-platform measurement. Results will be shared in late Q1 2014.  Earlier this year, Nielsen announced the successful completion of a two-week technical trial with CBS aimed at capturing and measuring viewing of television content on mobile devices using Syncbak technology.

mcneildanWSCR, Chicago Sports Talk Personality Dan McNeil Taking Time Away.  The situation at CBS Radio’s sports talker WSCR was first tipped to us by Chicago media writer Robert Feder who reported that midday personality Dan McNeil let the station know on Monday that he would not be reporting for work due to what colleagues are saying are personal and family problems.  McNeil – who works alongside Matt Spiegel on the program – has been out since then.  Lawrence Holmes has been taking his place.  Feder reports that Spiegel tweeted: “For the many asking, Mac is physically fine.  And this is not a repeat of a prior event.  He’ll update you when he wants to. Not my place.”  Spiegel is referring to McNeil’s absence from the station in 2012 during which he underwent treatment for depression and substance abuse.

lagojimTalk Host Jim Lago Battles Sudden Hearing Loss.  KKXT, Corpus Christi morning drive talk host Jim Lago is working with his doctors to treat a sudden loss of hearing that happened to him on October 16.  Lago’s doctors are not sure what has caused the almost complete loss of hearing accompanied by a constant ringing sound he hears but as of today (10/31), Lago is wearing hearing aids and reports on the station’s website that everything sounds different and says, “First day of wearing hearing aids. Bionic Hearing, artificial ears not sure it’s all it’s cracked up to be.” Lago is still able to do his radio program but says when having a conversation he has to concentrate very hard on listening to the other person.  Obviously, Lago is not the first talk show host to deal with hearing loss.  Rush Limbaugh was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder that took away his hearing several years ago.  He received cochlear implants and wears hearing aids to this day.

saverytripTrip Savery Returns to Curtis Media to Head Up Raleigh-Durham Market.  Prior to joining Greater Media’s Charlotte cluster to serve as VP and station manager at news/talk WBT-AM/FM and hot AC WLNK (including the Bob & Sheri Radio Network), Trip Savery was SVP and market manager of Curtis Media’s WQDR and WWMY in Raleigh.  That curtis media group logowas almost four years ago and now Savery comes back to Curtis to serve as EVP of Curtis Media Group and market manager for the Raleigh-Durham properties – including country WQDR, news/talk WPTF, rock WBBB, Spanish WYMY, and comedy WFNL – starting November 7.  Savery says, “I am thrilled to return to my radio roots in Raleigh to work again with Don Curtis and my many friends at Curtis Media Group.  At the same time I want to thank Peter Smyth and Rick Feinblatt for the tremendous opportunity they have provided me at Greater Media Charlotte over the past three and a half years.”  Don Curtis adds, “Trip is one of North Carolina’s brightest, young broadcast executives.  In addition to his recent experience of managing Charlotte’s top two stations, he has good knowledge of our company and its people.”

tuneinlogoTuneIn Now Carries 100,000 Radio Stations.  Digital audio content aggregator TuneIn announces it has surpassed the 100,000-station mark – what it calls “the most radio stations ever in one place.”  In addition to the domestic stations available via TuneIn, the service has also been adding international content including live sports content from Germany’s Bundesliga soccer league as well as Korea’s MBC and France’s RFI.  TuneIn boasts a reach of 40 million monthly active listeners, its app available in more than 50 vehicle models and on over 200 connected devices.

deanmichaelwProtect Your Podcast Rights.  “Freedom Feens’ co-host Michael W. Dean writes about the current legal issue facing all podcasters – the demand for money from podcasters by the holder of a patent inherent in the technology that podcasters use.  Dean advises those concerned to check out and air a public service announcement designed to help support the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s fight against what it terms a “patent troll” in this case.  As Dean says, podcasters including the likes of Adam Carolla have been served with demands for fees for using the patent-protected technology that allows podcasting to take place and applies to any and all current or future podcasters.  Read Michael W. Dean’s entire piece here.

thomaslindaKIRO-FM, Seattle’s Linda Thomas Hosts Social Media Seminar for Local Businesses.  The 90-minute luncheon is called “Zero to Social in 90 Minutes” and “The Morning News on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM” co-host Linda Thomas is hosting the lunch presentation and panel discussion taking place on November 18.  The station says it will teach local businesses how to grow in today’s ever-changing world of social media.  The seminar will review the current social media landscape, best practices, tips and insight on quality content that drives attention and return-on-investment through social media.  Thomas states, “Businesses of all sizes want to connect with customers through social media.  Many businesses tend to hesitate because they don’t know where to begin with social media.  This seminar will create a game plan.  Our all-star panel will reveal social media steps and strategies to help any business connect with current customers and discover new ones.”  Guests include: digital marketing pro Shauna Causey, The Fearey Group president Andrew Blank and KING-TV social manager Evonne Benedict.

madisonjoeOdds & Sods.  SiriusXM personality and longtime activist Joe Madison is tackling the Washington Redskins name controversy issue with a special two-hour roundtable broadcast tomorrow from 7:00 am to 9:00 am (with encore airings to follow).  The program promises to represent a multitude of perspectives both pro and con the team’s name.  Some of the 20 or so panelists will be: ESPN’s Kevin Blackistone, WOLB, Baltimore’s Butch McAdams, USA Today sports reporter Christine Brennan, The Nation sports reporter Dave Zirin, WAMU, Washington’s Michael Lee Pope, USA Today columnist Jarrett Bell and Washington Post columnist Mike Wise…..AdLarge Media extends its agreement for adlargelogoexclusive national advertising sales representation of Sports USA’s live play-by-play coverage of NFL and NCAA football through the 2014 season.  Sports USA president Bob Moore states, “The team at AdLarge understands how to create customized packages for advertisers that maximize the benefits of our live sports play-by-play coverage and sports programs.  We are looking forward to continued success from our partnership.”…..After announcing his departure from Business TalkRadio Network last week, Jon Patch says he’s now distributing his “Talkin’ Pets” program via Genesis Communications Network.  He’s also seeking his next gig in affiliate relations and programming.  Reach him at 813-888-5043 or jonpatch@talkinpets.com…..The NFL’s Chicago Bears are looking into creating the team’s own content to air on an HD channel on CBS Radio’s WCFS as the current contract between the two allows.  Team president Ted Phillips tells the Chicago Tribune that they understand the HD radio penetration is not that high yet due to the relatively small number of radios in the market and they would have to consider if the cost of producing programming is worth it.

stocktononESPNJohn Stockton Visits ESPN’s SVP & Russillo.  The studios of ESPN’s “SVP & Russillo” program were graced by former NBA All-Star John Stockton who appeared on the program to talk about hoops.  Pictured here in the studio (from l-r) are: Stockton, Danny Kanell (who was subbing for host Scott Van Pelt) and Ryen Russillo.  Photo: Rich Arden/ESPN Images

ObamaCare Rollout and Website Problems, NSA Spy Controversy, Benghazi Cover-up Allegations, Financial Markets Activity and World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/30).  The effects of the rollout of ObamaCare and the hearings on Capitol Hill about the website problems; the NSA’s spying on world leaders; the allegations of cover-up by the Obama Administration over the Benghazi incident; activity in the world’s financial markets and the Red Sox-Cardinals World Series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, October 25, 2013

| October 25, 2013

pittmanbobBob Pittman Tells Los Angeles Times: ‘Not limited to our towers and transmitters.’  In an interview with the Los Angeles TimesRyan Faughnder, Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman says this is a “time of feast” for radio as the internet has helped radio expand its reach.  Pittman spoke with the Times prior to Wednesday’s Katy Perry album release event at the Burbank studio that is now the company’s iHeartRadio Theater Los Angeles.  Pittman expresses his belief that the company’s multi-media approach to distributing content – AM/FM, internet, live events, and television – is helping create excitement around it that will help the radio business evolve.  “Our view is, we need to be everywhere our listeners are,” Pittman tells the paper.  “We’re about massive reach and we’re about relationships with the consumer.  We build something big, powerful and strong and we’ll figure out how to make money on it.  We’ve built this theater, and we haven’t pre-sold anything.  We don’t know how we’ll make money on it, but it’s important to who we are.  Right now, there’s probably no one that does anything like what we’re doing with the iHeartRadio Theater in L.A., the iHeartRadio Theater in New York, the iHeartRadio music festival and the iHeartRadio Pool Party in the spring.  We’re building out all these major events for our listeners, and they’ll all come together financially, eventually.”  Read the entire L.A. Times piece here.

hannityseanSean Hannity Assists Fired ObamaCare Worker.  Premiere Networks nationally syndicated star Sean Hannity’s recent call to the government hotline set up to assist people with questions about the Affordable Care Act resulted in phone operator Erling Davis getting fired.  Hannity phoned the help line on his program with the goal of showing his audience what people who call the hotline go through and Davis, who was aware she was going to go on the radio and gave her permission to be on the show, took the call.  However, the next day Davis was fired for talking with the media – something she says she was not told was against policy.  Hannity had the woman on his program and told the mother of two he’s going to gift her a salary of $25,000 and help her find a new job. He’s also enlisting help from listeners to visit Hannity.com or email jobs@hannity.com with job opportunities in the Panama City, Florida area to help Davis.

beasleyBeasley Broadcast Group Announces Third Quarter Revenue Rises 5%.  Net revenue for the period ending September 30 was $26 million – up 5% over the same period a year ago.  Same station net revenue increased by 2.7%.  The company reports that the “$1.2 million, or 5%, rise in net revenue during the three months ended September 30, 2013 compared with the same period in 2012 reflects strength in the company’s Philadelphia and Miami-Fort Lauderdale market clusters as well as the acquisition of KOAS-FM in Las Vegas in the 2012 third quarter and KVGS-FM in September 2013.”  Chairman and CEO George Beasley comments, “The third quarter marks Beasleybeasleygeorge Broadcast Group‘s fifth consecutive period of top-line growth as third quarter net revenue rose 5% and same station net revenue increased 2.7%.  Excluding the benefit of political advertising in the year-ago quarter, same station net revenue rose approximately 4.4%.  The third quarter revenue increase reflects growth in local and digital revenue, strength in our largest market clusters in Philadelphia and Miami, and continued growth in Augusta. Overall, for our five markets that report to Miller Kaplan – which represent approximately 76% of our total third quarter revenue – Beasley station clusters grew revenue by 6.8% while the total revenue for all reporting radio stations in these markets declined by 1.4% for the quarter.  Our out-performance continues to highlight our organization-wide focus on strong core programming and targeted localism, both of which are contributing to the company’s ratings strength in its markets.”

siriusxmSiriusXM Reports Q3 Revenue Up 11%.  SiriusXM Satellite Radio reported its 2013 third quarter financial numbers yesterday and says its Q3 revenue was up 11% compared to the same period in 2012 after record revenue of $962 million.  However, net income dropped 17.3% comparing third quarters from this year to last “including losses on extinguishment of debt of $108 million (in 2013) and $107 million (in 2012).”  In a statement, CEO Jim Meyer says, “SiriusXM had a great quarter, with the 513,000 net subscriber additions and the 373,000 self-pay net meyerjimadditions setting post-merger records for the third quarter.  We also saw double-digit growth in revenue for the seventh consecutive quarter, a new quarterly record for adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margin, and significant growth in free cash flow.  With continued growth in new automobile sales and an increasing number of existing self-pay subscribers selling their cars and rotating back into our trial funnel, we are increasing our guidance for net subscriber additions and reducing our guidance for self-pay subscriber additions by equal amounts.  We are also pleased to increase revenue guidance for 2013 and introduce new guidance for continued growth in 2014 in both revenue and adjusted EBITDA.”  The company says it expects revenue in 2014 to surpass $4 billion.

millerstephanieStephanie Miller ‘Sexy Liberal Comedy’ Tour Hits Seattle.  WYD Media Management announces another stop on Stephanie Miller’s “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” as it hits the Paramount Theater on December 14.  The program features Miller and comics Hal Sparks and John Fugelsang delivering an “evening of sexy political comedy!”  The “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” has been a very successful money-maker and profile-raiser for Miller’s morning drive radio program which emanates from Clear Channel’s progressive talk KTLK, Los Angeles.

washingtonstacyKFTK, St. Louis Debuts Stacy Washington Weekend Program.  Stacy Washington has been a contributor to the “Allman in the Morning” program on Emmis’ KFTK, St. Louis, a sub for daily host Dana Loesch, a guest on Fox News Channel and TheBlaze TV as well as a writer for Freedom Works and Townhall Magazine.  Beginning Saturday,kftk logo November 2, Washington will hit the St. Louis airwaves each weekend with her own radio show titled, “Stacy on the Right with Stacy Washington” every Saturday from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Program director Jeff Allen says, “We are thrilled to get the chance to add Stacy to our regular weekend lineup.  The show will be issues, lifestyle and opinion as only Stacy can deliver them.  I think the show will attract a big following in a short period of time.”  Stacy Washington is the daughter of an Army police cfficer and budget analyst who spent the majority of her childhood growing up in Germany.  She later enlisted in the Air Force as a weapons system analyst during which time she served on the Elgin Air Force Base Honor Guard and completed a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Shield.  She comments, “I’m honored to join the major voices of conservative thought on ‘FM NewsTalk 97.1,’ leading the metropolitan St. Louis area in ratings and most importantly,  in reporting the truth.  I can’t wait to get started!”

dahlsteveSteve Dahl Plans Not to Attend Radio Hall of Fame Induction; Ebert Widow Asks Him to Reconsider.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder published an open letter to Chicago radio personalities Steve Dahl and Garry Meier from Chaz Ebert, wife of the late Roger Ebert.  Ebert wrote the letter after Federmeiergarry reported that Dahl said he would not attend the November 9 ceremony at the Museum of Communications in Chicago because of his “general disinterest in the proceedings” and because Meier did not return a phone call to talk about the induction of the pair.  In her letter Ebert asks the two to bury the hatchet and attend the event for the city of Chicago and to help put an end to 20 years of resentment.  But in a post today, Dahl thanks Ebert for her thoughts and kind words but says his numerous attempts over the years to reconcile with Meier and his family have been ignored and he believes the two should go in together, not at separate tables at an event or one without the other.

kalinerpeteNews/Talk WWNC, Asheville Makes News with Resignation of Local Pol After Appearance on ‘The Daily Show.’  An appearance on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” by local North Carolina GOP precinct chair Don Yelton to discuss the North Carolina voter ID law turned into “radio gold” for Clear Channel’s WWNC, Asheville after Yelton resigned from the position on the station’s Pete Kaliner program.  According to WWNC program director Brian Hall, Yelton was made to look rather racist in the edited version of the segment that ran on “The Daily Show” and after he resigned on Kaliner’s program, numerous media outlets – including CNN, The Huffington Post, Salon and The New Yorker – were in contact with WWNC to request confirmation of the resignation and further flesh out the story.

nab logo

NAB Backs Foreign Ownership Proposal.  In response to Acting FCC Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn circulating a proposal that would make it easier for broadcasters to attract foreign investors, NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith states, “NAB applauds Acting FCC Chairwoman Clyburn for proposing that the Commission should consider foreign investment in U.S. broadcast properties the same way it considers such investments in other telecommunications properties.  This is fundamentally fair and will serve the public interest. Permitting new potential sources of capital for American radio and TV stations will strengthen our ability to continue providing compelling news, entertainment and sports programming and to remain competitive in a multichannel digital world.”

infotrak logoOdds & Sods.  The syndicated public affairs program “INFOTRAK” celebrates 10 years on the air on October 26.  The weekly show airs in 24 of the top 25 markets, and in most of the top 100 markets.  WestwoodOne manages national advertising sales for the show.  Host Chris Witting says, “Stations tell us that ‘INFOTRAK’ is the one public affairs show their listeners actually want to hear.  We consider that a real compliment.”…..ESPN Deportes announced the return of “Dream Job: El Reportero,” the nationwide search to find the final member joining the network’s team of soccer experts in Brazil to report from World Cup 2014.  The contest will launch at a live casting event in Los Angeles on November 3 at the Regal Theater starting at 2:00 pm PST.  Returning for its third installment, ESPN Deportes will give aspiring sports journalists across the nation the chance to compete for the opportunity to serve as a social media reporter for ESPN Deportes in Brazil.  Different from the previous casting tours, this year’s search will be driven by social media participation and supplemented by TV studio programs, the network’s top soccer talent, ESPNDeportes.com and ESPN Deportes Radio.

cookeworldseriesHolland at the World Series.   Radio consultant Holland Cooke reports to TALKERS magazine about his adventure making it to last night’s game two of the World Series: Long day yesterday, when I awoke pre-dawn in Minnesota, and began the trek that ended last night at Fenway Park.  It was the third time I’ve been to a World Series game, but only once was being there really about the game.  And how COULDN’T it have been, at game seven in Minneapolis, 1991, a game even Twins fans didn’t want to end, Morris vs. Smoltz, wow.  I had USA Today tickets, when I was doing Sky Radio there then, and we were entertaining darn-Minnesota-nice execs from Northwest Airlines that night…and they WERE entertained.  Also saw Toronto at the Phillies, in those rowdy 700 section seats, in the rain, at the old Vet.  Then last night, bundled-up, just like ya gotta be in April at Fenway.  Being there is less about the game itself than a word we heard repeatedly from Apple CEO Tim Cook at this week’s product introduction event: the “experience.”  ICYMI, you owe it to yourself to watch that Apple event, at apple.com.  Witness the media landscape where we now compete.  When listeners hear your station, what do they “experience?”  On behalf of my client stations that are Your Cardinals Baseball Stations, “Go Redbirds.”  But, just between you and me…

hendriephilTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  WYM Media’s Phil Hendrie is added to the program schedule at WQXL, Columbia, South Carolina in the 10:00 pm to 1:00 am slot.  The Leslie Marshall show is also added to the station’s programming in the 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot…..“Armed American Radio with Mark Walters” is added to the program schedule at the following stations: WHFT, Avon Park, Florida; WENY, Elmira, New York; WENI, Corning, New York; WRTA, Altoona, Pennsylvania; WLVA-AM/FM, Lynchburg, Virginia; WJXY, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and WXJY, Georgetown, South Carolina…..The “Motley Fool Stock Watch” is picked up by affiliates WBNW, Boston; WPLM, Plymouth, Massachusetts; WESO, Southbridge, Massachusetts; and WRAY, Princeton, Indiana…..Talk Media Network announces both “Fat Guys At The Movies” with hosts Kevin Carr and Kristin Dreyer Kramer and “Legends of Success” have been added to the lineup at WDBL, Springfield, Tennessee.  “Legends of Success” has also been added to the schedule at WBCF-AM/FM, Florence, Alabama…..“Freedom Feens” with Michael W. Dean and Neema Vedadi is added to the program lineup at KIXZ, Amarillo, Texas.

ObamaCare and HealthCare.gov Criticism Top Talkers TenTM.  The scrutiny of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the problems with the HealthCare.gov website was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of October 21-25.  Following at #2 was the infighting in the Republican Party.  At #3 was the state of the economy followed by the recent teacher slayings at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top people and stories discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is posted every Friday at Talkers.com.  To see this week’s entire chart, click here.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

| October 2, 2013

TalkersLA2013Eyes (and Ears!) on News/Talk Radio as Recent Ratings Trends Spur Criticism.  As the September PPM data continues to roll out, industry watchers and mainstream media writers and analysts are scrutinizing talk radio’s numbers – as well as its programming.  Citing a perceived slow-but-steady decline in ratings for the news/talk format in general, critics are wondering if the political “right-versus-left” programming philosophy has become tiresome to all but the staunchest news/talk radio fans and is resulting in the generally lower numbers in Nielsen Audio’s PPM and diary ratings.  Some high-profile cases have been cited, including KFI, Los Angeles’ kfilogodecline in 6+ PPM ratings over the past year from being one of the country’s best-performing news/talk stations in one of America’s most vibrant markets.  Just today (10/2), Chicago media writer Robert Feder writes about the state of Cumulus Media’s WLS, Chicago and its declining place in the wls-am logoratings race.  The reasons for the states of these stations are open to analysis – including, but not limited to, the possibility that Nielsen Audio’s PPM methodology is less than perfect – and could easily vary from market to market.  When talking ratings, what are usually not included in the recent criticism of news/talk as a format are: the #1 showing for Cox Media’s WSB-AM, Atlanta (which carries the oft-maligned Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity); wsb logoCumulus’ WMAL, Washington’s rise in the September PPM; CBS Radio’s high-flying KMOX, St. Louis; Bonneville’s steady-performing KIRO-FM, Seattle; Cox’s WOKV, Jacksonville; and the two Milwaukee news/talk outlets that have kmoxconsistently performed as two of the top six stations over the last year – Clear Channel’s WISN and Journal’s WTMJ.  Constant awareness and analysis of the sound and perception of one’s stations are the hallmarks of good operators and effective programmers should care about how the format is perceived.  But discovering what’s “wrong” with a format or a station is not easy and not always possible given the limited information available.  In the words of TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “The first people out there ready to proclaim news/talk radio as being dead are usually people who see the world primarily through a political lens who disagree with the ideology of the hosts they dislike.  Political news/talk radio is cyclical and will always come back from the brink when there’s inevitably a new chapter in contemporary issues.  Regardless, the good thing that hopefully will come out of this ratings down-tick will be some of the major operators giving consideration to different forms of talk and even news/talk that are just being ignored.  There are so many potential ways of doing ‘talk radio’ it is crazy for so many stations to bunch up around one predominant style.  Everyone should spread out and claim and develop new territory on the spectrum of possibilities.”  This topic will be one of those addressed at the Talkers Los Angeles 2013 conference taking place next Thursday, October 10 at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood.

nielsen logoNielsen Begins Synergies; Sean Creamer and Debra Delman to Exit Ratings Giant.  Nielsen responded quickly to TALKERS last week after we reported that the “$20 million in creamerseansynergies” the company hopes to realize with the acquisition of the former Arbitron would cost jobs.  The company stated it had “no plans to reduce headcount at this time.”  Perhaps that applies to the rank and file and not the executive strata because it’s now being reported that former Arbitron CEO Sean Creamer and CFO Debra Delman will leave Nielsen at the end of the year.  Though Nielsen has not released a statement about the changes, it’s expected that other executives may also be headed for the door.  Both Creamer, Delman and most of the other high-level execs who might follow the two have clauses in their contracts that will give them very nice golden parachutes.  Creamer could realize almost $7 million in total compensation and Delman’s take is just shy of $2 million.

espndeportesESPN Deportes Radio Extends NFL Deal.  Sports giant ESPN reports that its ESPN Deportes Radio unit has reached a new multi-year agreement for media rights to the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 National Football League seasons.   Under the agreement, the network will have exclusive Spanish-language rights to Monday Night Football, the 2013-2014 National Football Conference Playoffs, the 2014 Super Bowl, 2015 Pro Bowl and the 2014-2015 American Football Conference Playoffs.  ESPN Deportes Radio general manager Oscar Ramos says, “We’re incredibly excited to add NFL to our diverse roster of programming.  U.S. Hispanics are becoming avid NFL fans and this new deal allows us to deliver the content they want in the language they prefer.”

warrenrobinsonMEDIA BROKER SPOTLIGHT: Diane Warren and Jean Robinson - MMTC Media Brokers (run by Bounceology).  In this week’s installment of Media Broker Spotlight, Sandi Bergman of RadioTVDeals.com interviews media brokers Diane Warren and Jean Robinson of MMTC Media Brokers (run by Bounceology) located in San Antonio, Texas.  MMTC Media Brokers specializes in locating properties and selling them to potential minority, multicultural and women buyers. In addition to telling their fascinating story, they share several outstanding opportunities that they have among their listings that would be of interest to first-time buyers. To read the entire installment of Media Broker Spotlight, please click here.

siriusxmcramerCNBC’s Jim Cramer Featured on SiriusXM ‘Town Hall.’  CNBC “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer (left) recently took part in SiriusXM’s “Town Hall” series for a Q&A with SiriusXM personality Pete Dominick (right).  The program will be aired on Friday, October 4 on its Indie channel.  The conversation – which took place before an audience of SiriusXM listeners – covered financial markets, fiscal trends, the economic state of the nation, and the story of Cramer’s personal road from hedge fund manager to popular CNBC host.  Dominick is a stand-up comedian who has opened up for Cramer on his “Mad Money Back to School Tour.”

millercheckTwo Weeks in a Kennel Reaps Rewards for KIDO’s Kevin Miller.  KIDO, Boise morning drive host Kevin Miller (right) is pictured here with ASPCA senior director Tami McReynolds (left) and Canyon County Animal Shelter director Barb Hutchinson (center) showing off the check for $35,000 the CCAS received after Miller helped get more than 300 animals adopted.  To achieve that and win the $35,000 prize, Miller spent two weeks living in a makeshift kennel from which he broadcast his morning program.  The contest is national in scope and – with Miller’s help – the CCAS is the only shelter to win the prize twice.

Government Shutdown, ObamaCare Enrollment Begins, Scrapped Hillary Clinton Programs, U.S.-Iran Relations, and Financial Markets Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/1).  The battle between the GOP and the Obama Administration and the government shutdown; the enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act begins; two television projects on the life of Hillary Clinton are scrapped; possible diplomatic relations between Iran and the U.S. and the former’s nuclear program; and the effects of the government shutdown on the U.S. financial markets were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, September 27, 2013

| September 27, 2013

glasgowdennisDennis Glasgow Named OM/PD at Capitol Broadcasting’s Sports Properties.  Sports talk radio programming pro Dennis Glasgow joins Capitol Broadcasting as program director and operations manager for the company’s sports talk operations including WCMC-FM, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan”; WDNC, Durham “620 The Buzz”; WCLY, Raleigh “ESPN Deportes”; and WCMC-HD3 “99.9 The Ticket.”  During his career Glasgow has served as vice president and operations manager for Red Zebra’s WTEM, Washington; PD at KFXX, Portland and KNML, Albuquerque; and most recently programmed Pamplin’s news/talk KPAM, Portland.  Capitol Sports Radio general manager Brian Maloney says, “Dennis brings passion and a wealth of knowledge about radio along with experience and understanding of social media and web, both of which are a key part of the sports radio listener lifestyle.”  Glasgow adds, “Having the opportunity to work for Capitol Broadcasting and their sports properties is a genuine thrill.  I look forward to continuing the commitment of great sports radio in the Triangle region.”

TalkersLA2013“Shotgun” Tom Kelly to Speak at Talkers Los Angeles 2013 on October 10.  For the first time in the 16-year history of TALKERS magazine’s annual convention, a music radio “disc jockey” will be presented as an official speaker in the agenda line-up.  KRTH, Los Angeles “K-Earth 101” late afternoon/early evening legend “Shotgun” Tom Kelly will be participating as a panelist at “Talkers Los Angeles 2013″ – a one-day, power-packed gathering of movers and shakers from the talk radio industry representing talent, sales, management and ownership.  Kelly will be on a panel moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison titled “The Big Picture” which, in addition to Kelly, will include Phil Boyce, VP Spoken Word Format, Salem Communications; Kraig Kitchin, CEO,kellytomshotgun Sound Mind, LLC; Mike McVay, SVP programming, Cumulus Media; and Harvey Nagler, VP, CBS Radio News.  The session will be introduced by Don Martin, SVP sports programming, Fox Sports Radio.  In making the announcement of Kelly’s inclusion on this panel and as a speaker at this conference, Harrison states, “This particular panel has always dealt with the broad strokes overview of where talk radio fits into the overall radio scene – not just now but over the horizon – and where radio, in general, fits into the larger media/cultural landscape.  At this point in the evolution of radio, it is appropriate that the beleaguered role of the music radio disc jockey be examined because we believe that the very existence of music radio in the new digital age DEPENDS upon the revitalization and to a certain extent, the reinvention, of the position within the mix of elements that will keep radio a distinct and unique genre capable of warding off exotic digital age competition and the perils of being assimilated into the utilitarian ‘sameness’ easily imposed by the internet.  We also believe that in order for talk radio to have a healthy future within the context of being ‘radio’ we need to preserve the health and viability of music radio as well.  ‘Shotgun’ Tom Kelly is the quintessential radio disc jockey whose mastery of the art form and ability to survive and thrive decades of change while still going strong makes him the perfect person to perform this function as a speaker at the conference.”  The sold-out “Talkers Los Angeles 2013″ is open only to members of the working media.  It is being presented in association with the Los Angeles Press Club at the historic Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood on Thursday, October 10 between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm.  For information and remaining sponsorship opportunities call 413-565-5413.  To see the entire up-to-date agenda, please click here.

conwaysimonSimon Conway is a Busy Man.  WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive talk host Simon Conway is pulling double duty today and on Monday.  Conway will host his 4:00 pm CT show on the Clear Channel news/talk outlet and then sit in as host on Premiere Networks’ “America Now with Andy Dean” this evening.  On Monday, Conway will sub in morning drive on Clear Channel’s WFLF, Orlando “News Talk WFLA FM 104.5 and AM 540” in addition to his regular show on WHO.

sternhowardSiriusXM’s Jim Meyer Says Howard Stern and NFL Remain Important to Satcaster.  At the Goldman Sachs Communacopia taking place in New York during Advertising Week, SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer told analysts that two of the big contracts the company would like to renew when they come up at the end of 2015 are those of Howard Stern and the NFL.  Meyer said the company is very comfortable with the amount of money it is spending on content right now and sees both franchises as important.  Regarding Stern, Meyer said, “I will be clear with you today.  As long as Howard Stern wants to work and as long as Howard Stern is as motivated as he is today to make a show as good as it is today, we want him on SiriusXM Radio.”  But in a follow-up question from an analyst, Meyer said Stern would have to remain exclusive to SiriusXM for him to remain.

le batard danOdds & Sods.  As had been predicted, CBS Radio’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” signs a deal to serve as the flagship radio station for Boston Celtics basketball.  It’s a multi-year deal that brings the Celts to WBZ-FM from Entercom-owned crosstown rival WEEI which chose not to renew with the team after last season…..Dan Le Batard’s nationally syndicated sports talk program debuts on ESPN Radio Monday, September 30.  Le Batard – whose show emanates from Lincoln Financial Media’s WAXY, Miami “The Ticket” – will continue to do a local hour from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm but goes national from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Le Batard also is featured on ESPN2’s “Dan Le Batard is Highly Questionable.”…..Collegiate multimedia rights holders IMG College and Learfield Sports extend their deals with SiriusXM through June of 2016.  The new pacts will allow listeners to hear live coverage of NCAA football and men’s basketball games from the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12, American Athletic Conference and Army, as well as basketball from teams from the Big East and several mid-major conferences.  In addition, it will feature select coaches’ shows and college athletic programming on SiriusXM College Sports Nation.

wmallogoWMAL, Washington’s Mark Weaver Retires After 45 Year Career.  DCRTV.com’s Dave Hughes reports that WMAL, Washington afternoon news anchor Mark Weaver is working his last shift for the Cumulus Media news/talk outlet today (9/27) and will retire to Florida.  Weaver worked for WMAL for the last 25 years of his 45-year career.  Weaver will be replaced at WMAL by news pro Rachel Sutherland who most recently worked at America’s Radio News Network.  Prior to that, she served for 10 years at Metro Networks in the DC market.

stephandougTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Cumulus Media NetworksMichael Savage is added to the program schedule at WGTK-FM, Greenville, South Carolina and WIQO, Lynchburg, Virginia…..Cumulus’ Mark Levin picks up new affiliates KBND, Bend, Oregon; KPSI, Palm Springs; and KYYA, Billings…..Doug Stephan’s nationally syndicated “Good Morning” program adds a dozen new affiliate stations.  They are: WTNT-AM/FM, Washington; WVWI, San Juan, Puerto Rio; KLPW, St. Louis; KLO, Ogden, Utah; WVOV, Chattanooga, Tennessee; WRHL, Rockford, Illinois; WCCM, Manchester, New Hampshire; KBTM-AM/FM, Jonesboro, Arkansas; WRPW-FM, Bloomington, Illinois; WRIK, Paducah, Kentucky; WATX, Algood, Tennessee; and WFLN, Arcadia, Florida…..Talk radio personality Chris Markowski – host of the weekly “Watchdog on Wall Street” show, also produces the free, daily feature called “Money Minutes.”  That feature is added to the programming at WMPL, Hancock, Michigan…..Talk Media Network’s “Frontlines of Freedom” with Lt. Col. Denny Gillem is added to the program schedule at WENY, Elmira and WENI, Corning, New York.

The Implementation of ObamaCare Tops Talkers TenTM for week of September 23-27.  The move by some Republicans to defund the Affordable Care Act and controversy over what the implementation of the law will mean was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  Coming in at #2 on the Talkers TenTM was the threat of a government shutdown.  At #3 was Iran’s nuclear program and the nation’s diplomatic overtures to the U.S., and at #4 was the continuing unrest in Syria and the United States’ policy regarding the use of chemical weapons.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  You can view this week’s entire chart here.

dreslercherCher Chats with ABC News Radio.  Hollywood icon Cher (l) sits down with ABC News Radio’s Andrea Dresdale (r) during Cher’s visit to ABC TV’s “Live with Kelly and Michael” to promote her new album “Closer to the Truth.”

Thursday, September 19, 2013

| September 19, 2013

radioshow2013Radio Show Leadership Breakfast.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke was on the scene for TALKERS Thursday morning at the NAB/RAB Radio Show Leadership Breakfast to report all of the great one-liners delivered by some of the industry’s most outspoken leaders.  Alpha Broadcasting and L&L Broadcasting chief Larry Wilson’s brutally frank assessment of the concept of voice tracking and the state of radio commercials were some of the highlights.  Wilson was joined by Cumulus Media’s Lew Dickey, NRG Media’s Mary Quass, and Connoisseur Media’s Jeff Warshaw as the group heads were interviewed during the program.  Read Holland Cooke’s coverage of the Leadership Breakfast here.

cookehollandNAB/RAB Radio Show Day 1.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke reports from Orlando and sales was on HC’s mind as he sat in on sessions throughout the day yesterday.  Sales expert Paul Weyland’s session on producing better commercials  was chock-full of useful tidbits that sales people and production personnel can take to the bank.  Plus, get Holland’s summary of some of the key speeches – RAB CEO Erica Farber’s presentation at the Advertiser Luncheon, NAB CEO Gordon Smith’s speech and acting FCC chairman Mignon Clyburn’s address.  Read more here.

gellerryderConsultant Valerie Geller Wows at “Art of Storytelling” Session.  Geller Media International consultant Valerie Geller presented a session targeted largely, but not exclusively, to talk radio talent and programmers titled, “The Art of Storytelling.”  In addition to Geller, talk show host Turi Ryder (recently of WGN, Chicago and heard nationally on Envision Radio Network’s “America Weekend”) and nationally syndicated personality Phil Hendrie (who appeared via phone from L.A. due to illness) took part.  The session focused on developing the skills of effective storytelling – a skill crucial to pulling in and keeping listeners.  Geller stated, “The key to growing an audience one by one by one is to engage them.  And the crack cocaine of engagement is, ‘Let me tell you a story, once upon a time…’ and the moment you think in your heart of hearts, ‘and then what happened?’ we have now hooked the fish and that is the essence of human communication.  It is the essence of the pleasure in connection with other people, the essence of humor…the story is the goal of the power of radio.”

dbagnation‘105.3 The Fan’ in Dallas Moves ‘G-BAG Nation’ to Middays.  KRLD-FM, Dallas’ Gavin Spittle says, “We are excited to move Gavin and Chris and the ‘G-BAG Nation’ to middays, as well as to welcome the newest Nation member, (former Rangers pitcher) Mike Bacsik.  The Nation has great entertainment value; it makes you feel like you’re part of a big, fun, crazy family.”  Spittle is vice president of news/talk/sports for CBS Radio Dallas-Fort Worth and he’s talking about Gavin Dawson’s (left) and Chris Arnold’s (right) program and the new lineup.  The other change is “K&C Masterpiece” taking over the 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm timeslot at the station, moving in from the weekend schedule.  Spittle says, “’K&C Masterpiece’ is a natural fit for the evening timeslot as Kevin Hageland and Cory Mageors have done a great job for us. They’re both native North Texans who have followed our local teams their entire lives.”

sykescharlieWTMJ, Milwaukee Host Charlie Sykes and Journal’s RightWisconsin.com Name Margaret Thatcher Award Winner.  Former Wisconsin Lt. Governor Margaret Farrow is honored with the first annual Margaret Thatcher Award celebrating Farrow’s “contributions, courage and leadership as one of Wisconsin’s ‘Iron Ladies.’”  RightWisconsin.com is a business unit of the Journal Broadcast Group and WTMJ, Milwaukee midday personality Charlie Sykes serves as editor-in-chief.  Farrow will receive the award at a black-tie dinner on October 18 at which Wisconsin Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and Sykes will host the awards event.

wpenamfmOdds & Sods.  Greater Media’s sports talk WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “The Fanatic” announces “The Peter Laviolette Show,” featuring Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette will debut on October 1 from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm and air weekly throughout the season with co-hosts former Flyer and radio play-by-play color analyst Chris Therien plus Jason Myrtetus…..Hubbard Radio’s sports talk WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” signs a contract extension to air St. Louis University men’s basketball games through the 2014-15 season with an option for a third season.  Bob Ramsey and Earl Austin, Jr. will continue to call the games…..Digital content aggregator TuneIn announces a partnership with Radio Disney that will bring the kids- and tweens-friendly radio format to the TuneIn platform.  TuneIn CEO John Donham says, “TuneIn strives to make the best content available to people regardless of where they are.  With Radio Disney on TuneIn, millions of people can enjoy some of the best family friendly programming available, for free.”

ok2talk logoNAB Announces ‘Unprecedented’ Support for ‘OK2Talk’ PSA Campaign.  The National Association of Broadcasters announces local radio and TV stations across America have donated airtime valued at over $12 million for its ‘OK2Talk’ mental health public service announcement campaign that includes over 106,600 airings on local TV and radio stations.  NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith says, “NAB salutes the efforts of broadcasters across America to make a real difference on the issue of mental health.  As stewards of the airwaves, local radio and television broadcasters and our network partners have a unique megaphone and a remarkable capacity to change attitudes in a positive way.  Mental health issues are often the common thread in tragedies like the Navy Yard shooting this week.  We thank our broadcast brothers and sisters for their support for the NAB campaign, and urge them to continue carrying these pro-social messages that encourage a meaningful dialogue on mental health.”  The PSA campaign, launched on July 23, directs people to OK2TALK.org, a Tumblr-based community where teens and young adults struggling with mental health problems can share personal stories of recovery, tragedy, struggle or hope.  By inviting young people, their families and friends to add their voice in a safe, moderated space, the campaign encourages an organic conversation about mental health challenges and recovery stories. The site also includes resources for those seeking help.

knx logoKNX, Los Angeles to Report Live from Sunday’s Primetime Emmy Awards.  CBS Radio all-news KNX, Los Angeles boasts its coming coverage of the Primetime Emmy Awards show from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday.  KNX says it will be the only radio station reporting live from the Emmys beginning at 3:00 pm PT featuring news anchors Jim Thornton and Brian Ping along with KNX’s entertainment reporter Ross Crystal.

donahuetomTalk Host Tom Donahue Takes on New Roles.  Talk radio pro Tom Donahue is named program and promotions manager at Talk Stream Live.  Donahue has served TSL as a media consultant previously.  At the same time, Donahue is debuting a new program called “TSL Talks” – a joint venture “teaming the digital and social media platform of Talk Stream Live” with Donahue’s experience.  The interview-formatted program will “seek to engage our political and media guest newsmakers and elicit their candid comments for dissemination in micro clips and long form interviews through TSL’s cutting edge social and new media venues.”  Also, Donahue is returning to Orion Talk Radio to host a weekly talk show beginning Sunday, September 22 at 7:00 pm ET.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

| September 18, 2013

radioshow2013NAB/RAB Radio Show Opens in Orlando.  A delegation of editors, writers and reporters from TALKERS/RadioInfo is on hand at the massive Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando, Florida as day one of the 2013 NAB/RAB Radio Show kicks off with a battery of sessions and presentations.  Initial observation of the event indicates a large turnout (official numbers to come) and the discussion of a wide variety ofmhahhnNAB topics covering everything from music label/radio relations to the rise of sports talk radio including programming, marketing, sales and financial issues intrinsic to the radio industry.  The underlying issue of radio’s integration into the digital era remains the prevailing theme of just about every subject being examined and scrutinized.  Interestingly, in spite of the Florida heat and humidity, the crowd is particularly well-dressed in business attire (we take note of these things) indicating a no-nonsense seriousness in terms of the collective industry consciousness and mood on display in the city built by Mickey Mouse.  TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison will be presenting his annual address at the conference tomorrow detailing 10 problems facing radio and solutions available to the medium in securing its vital pop cultural role in the new digital era.  The address takes place in room Gatlin E2 between 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm on Thursday and is open to all attendees of the show.  Pictured here are (clockwise from top): TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison, CBS Radio News vice president Harvey Nagler, and H&H Communications president and TALKERS/RadioInfo sales maven Al Herskovitz.

mcvayetalNABTap into Your Star Power.  Earlier this morning at the NAB/RAB Radio Show, Cumulus Media senior vice president Mike McVay (far left) moderated the panel “Tap into Your Star Power and Build Your Brand.”  The panel provided attendees the opportunity to “learn from the experts who, through the power of radio, have successfully branded themselves.”  On the panel with McVay are (from l-r): ABC News Radio White House correspondent Ann Compton; Reach Media nationally syndicated radio personality D.L. Hughley; and Brand Like a Rock Star author Steve Jones.

cookehollandRAIN Summit Coverage.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke covered the RAIN Summit held here in Orlando held the day prior to the beginning of the Radio Show and he reports from the gathering of broadcasters and digital audio practitioners.  Cooke says topics ranged from the ongoing problem of ad insertion to building a digital sales force to the drive to become the destination for listeners using their mobile device for audio entertainment.  Read Holland Cooke’s analysis here.

weei logoWEEI, Boston Wins ‘Best Streaming Broadcast Station’ Award.  At the RAIN Summit – traditionally held each year the prior to the kick-off of the NAB/RAB Radio Show – Entercom sports talk outlet WEEI, Boston was honored with the award for Best Streaming Broadcast Station.  More than 100 services made entries for this year’s RAIN Awards and WEEI bested both WBZ-AM, Boston and ESPN Radio to take home the honor.  Entercom vice president of digital strategy and enterprise platforms Tim Murphy, says, “This recognition centers on the quality of our audio programming at WEEI.  This is a tremendous award for an amazing brand, and our incredible team of talent and producers who do an amazing job covering Boston sports. The entire WEEI team is incredibly innovative at distributing our content through industry leading strategies regarding search optimization, mobile distribution and social engagement.”

cumulus logoLew Dickey Lays Out Digital Strategy.  In a memo to his company (and the media), Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey explains the company’s digital audio strategy with regard to the recently announced partnership with Rdio.  Part of the three-page memo includes the four-pronged plan for digital audio consisting of: on demand, custom playlist, internet radio/non-local radio, and local radio streaming.   With regard to on demand, Dickey states that “people realize that it’s better to rent an unlimited library of content than it is to acquire limited pieces of content — be it music or movies.  Rdio is positioned on the leading edge of this important media trend, enabling consumers to listen and discover virtually unlimited amounts of music on any device with a high degree of social engagement across the Rdio platform.  Think of Rdio for audio as the equivalent of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon all combined for video.  A free or paid subscription to Rdio gives you access to 20 dickeylewmillion songs as well as nearly every new song that is released instantly.  Your iTunes library now becomes obsolete.”  Stating that the custom playlist aspect is Pandora’s only business and that Rdio offers the service, his company will assist Rdio in that.  “We will help add an experienced professional programming element to curation that will further differentiate Rdio from what is Pandora’s singular business.  In addition, Rdio draws from a vast library of 20 million songs – 20x that of Pandora.”  In the internet radio/non-local radio category, Dickey says the best product out there now is SiriusXM – but he calls it expensive and not widely listened to.  “Cumulus will draw upon our stable of iconic brands, content and talent to produce new, exclusive channels and short-form programs that give listeners an unparalleled listening experience on a single digital platform.  Rdio will combine the best of iTunes, Pandora and Sirius in one app that can be accessed on virtually any desktop or mobile device.”  Dickey says Rdio does not currently offer the local station streaming service that iHeartRadio does and his stations will continue their relationship with the Clear Channel service for now.

kassanmichaelAd and Media Expert Michael Kassan to Be Featured on WOR, New York During Advertising Week.  The annual New York City Advertising Week event takes place next week – September 23 – 27 – and Clear Channel’s news/talk WOR, New York will feature content from renowned ad and media expert Michael Kassan, founder, chairman and CEO of MediaLink.  Clear Channel notes, “Kassan will bring his unparalleled understanding of the advertising and media worlds to broadcast and digital listening audiences via WOR 710 AM, iHeartRadio’s WOR station and wor.com via an wor710ongoing series of insightful reports, commentary, updates and interviews throughout Advertising Week, the world’s premier gathering of advertising, marketing and communications leaders.  Among other features, Kassan will host a series of daily Advertising Week previews and updates; exclusive interviews with major media and advertising world figures; and commentary on significant advertising and media topics that emerge during Advertising Week events.”  CCM&E chairman and CEO John Hogan states, “Michael Kassan is one of the most highly respected names in the advertising and media worlds.  His incredibly well-informed reporting will illuminate Advertising Week for WOR listeners, as well as those listening to WOR over iHeartRadio and wor.com, bringing unparalleled insight and depth to the most important issues facing the industry as it prepares to address the future and prepare for its next stage of growth.  We are thrilled to have an expert of this caliber play such a critical role in our Advertising Week lineup.”

tuneinlogoFederated Media Chooses TuneIn for Mobile App.  TuneIn becomes the official mobile app and online audio player for all Federated Media stations including Fort Wayne news/talk giant WOWO and rocker WBYR “The Bear.”  Federated Media owns 15 radio stations in Fort Wayne, South Bend, and Warsaw, Indiana.  TuneIn CEO John Donham states, “TuneIn is constantly focused on giving listeners access to the best content available, no matter where they are in the world.wowo  We are very excited Federated Media has chosen TuneIn as their full digital solution, offering listeners content via mobile, and web.”  Federated Media programming has been available on TuneIn for months, but this new agreement makes TuneIn the broadcast group’s comprehensive digital solution for both mobile and desktop listening.  Every Federated Media station will eschew their existing mobile apps in favor of the free TuneIn Radio app, and Federated Media stations will promote TuneIn on-air.  Federated Media chief strategy officer James Derby comments, “With TuneIn, our listeners can now hear their favorite Federated Media stations at any time, no matter where they are – all through one app.  TuneIn now provides all Federated Media stations additional digital distribution to reach our listeners through over 200 connected devices, ranging from mobile phones and tablets, to smart TVs and cars.”

ramseywflaDave Ramsey in Orlando.  Timing his appearance to coincide with the NAB/RAB Radio Show, nationally syndicated talk show star and New York Times best-selling author Dave Ramsey hosted his “EntreLeadership 1 Day Event” in Orlando on Tuesday, September 17, to a packed house at Chapin Theatre.  Ramsey spoke about how to run a business using the same common sense principles that Ramsey practices in his own company of more than 350 employees. Ramsey joined with local affiliate WFLA, Orlando (WFLF) to promote the event.  WFLA general sales manager Mark Kanak states, “On behalf of all of us at Clear Channel Orlando, it is a genuine pleasure to welcome a legend like Dave Ramsey.  Dave has made an enormous impact on our listeners’ lives and his fans continue to grow.” Pictured above are (from l-r): WFLA PD Jim Poling, Kanak, Dave Ramsey and the WFLA sales team.

The Only Thing We Have To Fear Is… Ourselves.

| September 13, 2013

Jason Bailey
Sun Broadcast Group, Inc.
CEO

baileyjasonNEW YORK — It was another sad week for network radio as more great people: mothers, fathers, sons and daughters… dreamers of great ideas, writers of great content, communicators of the stories that shape our world, were sent to the unemployment line. Was it greed? Was it failure to evolve? Was it competition? Maybe. But in my humble opinion it was something simpler yet more devastating… Fear. Fear to be bold, fear to take risks and most important, fear to defend.

Read More

Taking Care of Business

| September 12, 2013

Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS magazine

  LOS ANGELESThose fancying a career in radio typically lead a nomadic existence, as they pay their dues in small markets and relocate numerous times – often before even reaching their 30th birthday.

Tom Sullivan 150Such was not the case however for Tom Sullivan, whose resumé cites just one radio station – Sacramento’s heritage talk outlet KFBK.

Fox News RadioFor the past six years, Sullivan has hosted a three-hour (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm) show on Fox News Radio and he can be seen weekends fronting his own program on the Fox Business Channel.


First Social Media

As a teenager growing up in Seattle, Sullivan made it a top priority to meet one of the Emerald City’s major radio personalities, who graciously wound up asking if he wanted to get a first-hand look at how radio works. “I hung out with him during his shift,” Sullivan fondly recalls. “I had that interest in radio then, but I think many [others that age] did at the time because that is where we got our music. Radio was our social world.”

Read More

Monday, September 9, 2013

| September 9, 2013

trn logoTRN Issues Response to Reports of Financial Problems at the Company.  TALKERS magazine has received a press release from Talk Radio Network and CEO Mark Masters in response to reports of financial problems at the company.  Below is the full press statement as received from TRN at 2:30 pm ET on 9/9:

ARE YOU DIAL GLOBAL’S (WESTWOOD ONE’S) NEXT VICTIM?

      The truth about the proposed merger between Dial Global/Westwood One and Cumulus is a dark one for our industry.  Dial Global/Westwood One’s market power in programming and sales representation, combined with Cumulus Network’s programming and distribution power in the top 100 U.S. markets, will have a devastating effect on most every area of the radio industry. Our previous experience with Dial Global/Westwood consists of improper, illegal, and/or unethical conduct that is set forth in the second amended complaint http://www.trn1.com/uploads/files/SecondAmendedComplaint.pdf in our pending antitrust action against Dial Global/Westwood One and others.   If this merger is allowed to occur, the results of our previous experiences with Dial Global/Westwood One will be magnified tenfold to radio stations and content producers, which will be at the mercy of the newly empowered Dial (Westwood One)/Cumulus and the leverage that can be brought to bear by this new behemoth.

If this merger is allowed to occur, the culture of corruption at Dial/Westwood, as described in our second amended complaint, and other filings, will surely infect and spread within the new behemoth entity and victimize the rest of the industry, resulting in a super monopoly.

Sadly, the actions described in the second amended complaint are forcing the TRN companies to cut back to the basic operating essentials pending resolution of the multiple issues raised in their legal actions against Dial Global/Westwood One.  We had hoped that the change in management at Dial Global/Westwood One would bring about a new paradigm focused on correcting the prior harms in a manner which would be helpful to our companies and the industry as a whole.  Sadly, recent events have shown that the opposite is true and that the behaviors that gave rise to the lawsuits against Dial/Westwood One are endemic throughout the Dial/Westwood One monopoly.   The ruthless and unethical behaviors that have continued through multiple executive teams at Dial/Westwood are breathtaking in their scope and arrogance.

We encourage the rest of our industry to stand together, and with us, now.  We have been in business for 20 years, and have had excellent relationships with the other companies in our industry during that time.  But this is a horse of a different color.  Please contact the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition (antitrust@ftc.gov) and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (antitrust.complaints@usdoj.gov or (202) 307-2040), your state’s Attorney General, and your local member of Congress about the dangers of this proposed merger and its threat to your First Amendment rights, business and products.  As for us, we will continue to pursue Dial Global/Westwood One in federal court and other appropriate forums, for monopoly and other improper behaviors, expose the behaviors described in the second amended complaint,  and achieve ultimate victory from the tragedy that Dial Global/Westwood One have imposed upon our companies and others within the industry.

DIAL/WESTWOOD ONE SCORES INITIAL VICTORY WITH ARNN

The actions described in the second amended complaint with respect to America’s Radio News Network (“ARNN”), and additional actions which will be the subject of future filings, have now succeeded on an interim basis with respect to ARNN.  Specifically, ARNN has been forced to suspend its broadcast operations, effective at the close of its broadcast day on Friday, September 6, 2013, pending the successful outcome of its actions against Dial Global/Westwood.  ARNN has arranged for appropriate feeds to be provided to its affiliates for a reasonable period of time to enable them to secure alternate programming.

AS TO RUMORS OF OTHER ONGOING OPERATIONS

All of the TRN companies have been severely damaged by the Dial Global/Westwood One conduct addressed above and also addressed in the various legal actions which the TRN companies have brought, or will bring, against Dial Global/Westwood.    That conduct has forced all of these companies to make wrenching internal decisions and to take painful internal actions.  As Dial Global/Westwood One has been collecting our advertising revenues, but refusing to pay them over to us or to account for them, these companies have now been forced to reduce as many operating costs as possible.   However, the current rumors of an alleged shutdown of broadcasting operations for non-ARNN programming are unfounded.  Broadcasts of the other programs are continuing without interruption.

CALL TO ACTION!

If Dial/Westwood can do this to us, they certainly can do this to you – so you need to join together, and with us, in opposing this dangerous merger, with as much force as you can muster, so that you can have a future that is not controlled by a monopoly http://www.trn1.com/uploads/files/SecondAmendedComplaint.pdf

wadedonromaDon Wade Passes at 72.  Longtime WLS, Chicago morning personality Don Wade – who hosted the program with his beloved wife Roma – died on Friday at the couple’s Florida home.  It was almost a year ago that Wade suffered a seizure and was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.  He underwent an operation but never returned to the air at WLS.  Roma Wade posted the following statement on the WLS website (in part): “Last Friday morning, my hero, my best friend, my soulmate left this mortal coil behind and entered the realm of spirit while wrapped in my loving arms.  God blessed us with almost an entire year since Don’s surgery to embrace life, love, family, and adventure, all while knowing that his time on this beautiful earth was drawing to a close.  What a gift!  What a joy to be entrusted with my magnificent man’s care for that precious time.”  Wade began his work at WLS in 1985 with Roma by his side, remaining with the station as it transitioned to talk in 1989 and moving to AM drive.  Current Salem Radio Network VP, news & talk programming Tom Tradup was VP and GM of the station and charged with flipping it to talk including firing some of the most beloved DJs in Chicago history. He says Wade stayed with the newly formatted station, “Don’s infectious good humor, intelligent grasp of the issues, and his uncanny ability to connect one-on-one with men and women throughout Chicagoland convinced me he had to stay.  He and Roma (in those days they kept their marriage a secret) were the very first ‘hires’ I made at the new WLS Talkradio 890.  Over the years, Don’s popularity—and our ratings and revenue—soared as he and Roma woke up countless hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans.”  Chicago media writer Robert Feder has more on Wade’s passing here.

millerchrisMad Social Networking Skills.  Noted digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller tackles the question, “So what is it that differentiates ‘mad’ social networking skills from ‘casual’ skills, or just plain competency?”  Does it involve video shooting and editing, coding, HTML, or actual IT knowledge?  In a new column posted today (9/9) Miller writes, “There’s more to being a good jock than listening to yourself talk.  There’s more to being a good sales manager than just knowing a lot of clients.  And, there’s more to having ‘mad’ social networking skills than being passionate about posting a ton of stuff!”  He goes through five levels to which truly effective social networking skills must rise to be truly effective.  They are: 1) Know your target; 2) Know how to talk and listen to your target; 3)  Learn how to write well and with style; 4) Understand what fits and doesn’t fit in terms of actual content; and 5)  Actively remain engaged to know if your message is reaching the target.  To read Chris Miller’s entire column, please click here.

iheartradiotalkClear Channel Launched Update App for iHeartRadio Talk.  The beta version of iHeartRadio Talk was released in July was done with what president of digital Brian Lakamp admits is “very limited mobile functionality.”  But now the company is offering new updates for iOS and Android apps to allow users to access more talk content.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment states, “The updated apps will feature a directory for talk that now allows users the ability to browse and select from hundreds of programs.  For the first time ever, segments from ‘The View’ and ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ will be available to coincide with ABC‘s new season.”  CC believes that iHeartRadio Talk is “the first audio platform offering on-demand, listener-created talk content alongside popular news, celebrity and entertainment audiosodes…The service is trending to be a more popular feature for men than women, though iHeartRadio’s demographic has traditionally skewed more female, allowing the digital service to attract a burgeoning audience.”

esiasonboomerBoomer Esiason Debuts on Boston’s ‘Sports Hub.’  The ever-busy Boomer Esiason – co-host of the ‘Boomer & Carton’ morning drive show on CBS Radio’s WFAN, New York, sports TV personality and color man for WestwoodOne’s Monday Night Football broadcasts – is debuting on CBS O&O WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” today.  For the past couple of years, Esiason made a Monday morning appearance on crosstown WEEI, Boston with John Dennis and Gerry Callahan.  The segment was recorded before Esiason went on the air on WFAN.  Now, Esiason continues reaching Boston sports fans with his expertise with WBZ-FM’s Toucher & Rich.

salisburyseanSean Salisbury Teams with John Harris for Midday Show on Yahoo! Sports Radio.  Former NFL quarterback and sports talk media pro Sean Salisbury becomes part of the Yahoo! Sports Radio network lineup as co-host of “The War Room” with John Harris airing from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET daily.  Yahoo! Sports Radio CEO David Gow states, “Sean is a big-time addition to our lineup.  He does his homework, he is insightful and he is not afraid to voice his opinions.   And the combination of Harris and Salisbury provides some of the strongest football coverage in sports – we are delighted to announce his addition at the start of the NFL season.”  Salisbury adds, “I am excited to join Yahoo! Sports Radio and to work with John Harris.  I really look forward to working with the entire team there and creating great shows.  During his media career, Salisbury has worked for ESPN and CBS Radio.  He is currently on the Dallas Cowboys pre-game show for Fox Sports TV in Dallas.

siriusxmExecutive Changes and Promotions at SiriusXM.  An internal memo from SiriusXM president and content officer Scott Greenstein informs staff of some new management changes and congratulates those who’ve been promoted.  First, Jeremy Coleman, head of talk and entertainment for much of the past 10 years is named senior vice president, Howard Stern channels.  Greenstein notes that Coleman “worked closely on the initial development of the channels before Howard’s official launch on SiriusXM in 2006, and is now excited to move over to work with Howard and his team on further growth.”  Also, Tim Sabean is named senior vice president, entertainment and comedy.  He’ll oversee the comedy channels, as well as a variety of other key entertainment assets including: Opie & Anthony, Piolín Radio, Jason Ellis, Ron & Fez, Covino & Rich, and Dino Costa, as well as the Radio Sex channel.  Dave Gorab is promoted to vice president and general manager, talk programming.  Greenstein says Gorab has been instrumental in building the news and political talk channels and will expand his oversight to include politics, news, women’s, family, health, educational, religious and specialty talk programming.

mikemorrisbobsansevereCumulus Sports Talk “105 FM The Ticket” in Minneapolis Adds Local Talk with Help from Tom Barnard.  The Twin Cities sports talk tri-mulcast of WGVX (105.1), WGVZ (105.7), and 105.3 FM – up ‘til now relying on content from CBS Sports Radio Network – is adding a local PM drive program beginning todaybarnardtom featuring Mike Morris (left) and Bob Sansevere (right) from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Tom Barnard – morning institution who’s heard on the company’s rock KQRS – will also be heard on the station as the third hour of Barnard’s podcast will be aired from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the sports station.  The Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Neal Justin reports Barnard is bringing former WCCO personality Don Shelby aboard his three-hour podcast as his sidekick and he’ll also be part of the third hour sports talk segment.  KQRS operations manager Scott Jameson tells the paper, “We’ve got two well-performing rock stations and it’s smart to leverage those brands to help our baby brother grow up.”

wtoplogoVeteran Journalist Mike Murillo Joins WTOP, Washington.  Mike Murillo becomes part of the WTOP, Washington staff as an anchor and reporter beginning today (9/9).  Most recently, Murillo worked at Merlin Media’s WWIQ, Philadelphia as anchor/reporter, studio technician and web andmurillomichael social media manager.  Prior to his stint in Philly, Murillo was a reporter at “FM News 101.9” in New York.  Murillo says, “Like many in this business, for years I have admired WTOP from afar.  I am truly excited to now become a member of this amazing news team.”  WTOP program director Laurie Cantillo adds, “Mike does it all.  Not only is he a seasoned anchor and street reporter, he’s a skilled web designer and broadcast technician.  We’re excited to have him join WTOP’s team of broadcast and digital journalists.”

Odds & Sods.  CBS Radio freelance reporter Donna Francavilla tells TALKERS magazine she is returning to TV for the first time in 15 years.  Though she will continue her freelance for CBS Radio, Francavilla has accepted a temporary, part-time on-air position at WBMA-TV, Birmingham, Alabama.  She recently won first, second and third place national communication awards from the National Federation of Press Women, serves as an Edward R. Murrow judge, freelances occasionally for Oprah’s OWN Network, and established a consulting company called Frankly Speaking Communications, LLC…..Cox Media Group’s news/talk WHIO-AM/FM, Dayton is the local affiliate for Cleveland Browns football.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

| September 4, 2013

westwoodone logoDial Global Changes Name to WestwoodOne.  Making good on what had been rumored for a little more than a week, Dial Global, as it prepares to be acquired by Cumulus Media, announces the official change of its name to WestwoodOne (complete with cool, new logo).  CEO Paul Caine states, “We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished as Dial Global.  Through our belief in the power of sound we are dedicated to continuously reinventing the industry and creating the most dynamic audio programming that connects people to their passions.  With the audio industry’s ever-changing landscape we know we’ve just scratched the surface of what’s possible for audio’s broad consumption.  By reclaiming and reviving an iconic audio brand name, we are not changing who we are, but accelerating thecainepaul great work we are doing to contribute to the growth of audio.”  In addition to the name change, the company reports it is commissioning “an industry study on the ‘power of sound,’ aimed at better understanding consumers, their behavior, and their interaction with audio.  The study builds on current recency data proving radio as the most-used medium closest to point-of-purchase and will explore trends in audio consumption based on behavioral tendencies among various demographics.”  The company says full study results are expected to be released in the fourth quarter of 2013 but states that preliminary findings further the notion that audio is an integral part of the new media landscape.

epictimes logoTRN’s Jerry Doyle Launches ‘Solution-Based News Destination’ EpicTimes.com.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Jerry Doyle – a former actor, voice-over artist, Wall Street trader and pilot, says he credits his varied background with instilling in him the obvious and growing need for a solution-based news doylejerrycommunity.  The Talk Radio Network personality is therefore launching his newest media endeavor, EpicTimes.com – what he calls “a solution-based news destination dedicated to putting cutting-edge news, resources, and answers in the hands of the public.”  He adds, “EpicTimes.com seeks to deliver insight from some of the most influential voices of our time, spanning a variety of expertise to share solution-based ideas and insights with a community that is focused on problem solving and results.”  Doyle says that to serve the knowledge of his online audience, he has assembled a diverse cast of contributors, whose collective goal is to offer clear insights into a range of issues, combined with hard-hitting commentaries and workable solutions to the issues that directly affect our lives.  “This unique view on the issues and news headlines is geared toward building an active community on the site.  All opinions are heard and commentary between readers and contributors and readers to readers is encouraged.  That kind of honest conversation is just what I believe people want.  My goal is for EpicTimes.com to not just publish relevant news, but to become a solutions community.”  Check out EpicTimes.com here.

rosenthalmarkKatz Radio Group Names Mark Rosenthal CEO.  Media rep firm Katz Media Group announces it has picked media executive Mark Rosenthal to head up the Katz Radio Group.  Rosenthal’s media experience goes back to the early days of MTV where he was one of the original team that created the cable TV channel.  He was also involved in the inception of Nickelodeon, VH1 and Comedy Central.  Katz says he “has been a leader in the media industry for more than 25 years, building advertising and marketing solutions for world-class media brands.”  KRG says Rosenthal will work with president Mark Gray to “ensure continued high-level performance in the transactional arena.  Rosenthal will also focus on KRG’s radio advocacy efforts and lead an accelerated charge to bring additional revenue into the radio sector.”  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment chairman and CEO John Hogan says, “We are thrilled to have such a well-respected media executive join Katz Radio Group.  Mark has an enormous range of experience across all forms of media, from traditional and digital media to the agency world.  Radio is a powerful national marketing platform.  Our goal is to continue to tell the success story of radio’s massive reach.  Mark joining the team signifies a very exciting step forward in our intensified effort to drive substantial growth for Katz clients by providing the most innovative media solutions available.”

foxnewsradioFox News and SiriusXM Re-Up; Content Added to SiriusXM Internet Radio.  After speculation over the summer that Fox News and SiriusXM were headed for a break-up, the two sides announce they have inked a deal to bring Fox News content to the satcaster through 2019.  In addition, as part of the new agreement, siriusxmSiriusXM will broadcast Fox Business Network.  SiriusXM will be the exclusive audio home for broadcasts of Fox News and Fox Business Network for its more than 25 million subscribers.  As part of the agreement, SiriusXM will add both channels to its SiriusXM Internet Radio channel lineup for the first time.  The new agreement also includes the addition of Fox News Talk to the SiriusXM Internet Radio service.  Fox News Talk, which offers news, analysis, listener call-ins, and commentary from popular Fox News personalities such as Brian Kilmeade, John Gibson and Alan Colmes, among others, will be available online at SiriusXM Internet Radio and through the SiriusXM Internet Radio App on smart phones and other connected devices.  Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes states, “Our viewers love the ability to keep the connection with Fox News Channel, even while they’re in the car with SiriusXM.  This agreement not only ensures that will continue but expands it to our Fox Business Network viewers and restores the Fox News Talk channel to SiriusXM subscribers on their computers and smart phones.  This is good for Fox News, for SiriusXM and for the people we both work for, the American public.”

conwaylelandLeland Conway Named Late-Morning Host at WHAS, Louisville.  Clear Channel’s heritage Louisville news/talker announces talk host Leland Conway will assume the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program that opened up when Mandy Connell moved to the company’s KHOW, Denver for the morning show earlier this summer.  Conway – a Kentucky native – currently hosts afternoon drive on CC’s WRVA, Richmond and will continue in that role as well.  Regional programming manager Kelly Carls states, “This is an exciting appointment for ‘84WHAS Radio’ and the Kentuckiana community.   We talked to many highly qualified and experienced on-air personalities, but Leland’s talents really shined brightly.  His wit, energy and longstanding Kentucky roots make him a great fit.  We’re extremely happy he’s returning to the Bluegrass State.”  Conway has served as a commentator on WTVQ-TV, and for six years hosted a successful talk show on WLAP, Lexington.  Conway adds, “It is an honor to join the WHAS team.  As a native Kentuckian, I grew up with WHAS.  It’s as much a part of the Bluegrass State as hot browns and horse racing.  I am excited to once again be a part of the lively conversation in Kentucky.”

radioshow2013Michael Harrison to Present Annual Address at NAB Radio Show.  In a popular “Info-Session” that has packed the room each year for more than a decade, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison will address the forthcoming NAB Radio Show on the subject “The Vital Role Radio Plays in Popular Culture.”harrisonmichael  The info-session, sponsored by TALKERS, will be a power-packed hour touching upon a number of key issues that are vital to radio’s very existence – let alone artistic and financial well-being - in the rapidly advancing digital era.  Harrison says that for radio to remain iconic in the 21st century, it must maintain “ownership” of the scenes it addresses whether they are music, politics, news, sports or any other expression of the human condition.  He says radio must maintain a foreground, active position and avoid being marginalized as a passive delivery system and he gives solid examples and suggestions to make it happen.  Consultant Holland Cooke introduces what will be a riveting and inspirational hour.  The session takes place on Thursday, September 19 between 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm in the very heart of the conference at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Gatlin E2 and is open to all attendees of the conference.

baxobrien‘Rock 102’ Springfield, MA Morning Talk Duo Bax & O’Brien to Do Live Performance at Local Theater.  The long-running morning drive powerhouse of Bax & O’ Brien (Michael “Bax” Baxendale and John O’ Brien) have been gathering huge on-air audiences in Western Massachusetts for more than 15 years and innovating advances in local webcasting worthy of national attention.  Now, they’ve added another facet to their arsenal of attractions.  The team has been booked into the downtown Springfield prestigious City-Stage theater for a one-night special performance on Thursday, October 17.  The show is being sponsored by local car dealership Curry Honda and will cleverly feature “guest” appearances by locally famous advertisers who will actually perform their live commercial reads during the program (great idea!).  In addition, guests will include local and regional personalities Paul “Fitzy” Fitzgerald, live performances from guitar legend Gary Hoey and Dr. Westchesterson plus special video presentations from comedians Lisa Lampanelli and Tom Cotter, and the promise of other surprises!  Tickets go on sale Friday September 6 at the City Stage Box Office or at Ticketmaster.com.  Fans of Bax & O’ Brien will be able to see it live in person or watch the show streamed live with their BaxandObrien.com membership.

nathanalanMain Street Radio Network Re-Brands Alan Nathan-Hosted Program.  The talk show that’s been known as “Battle Line with Alan Nathan” is now titled “The Alan Nathan Show.”  Main Street Radio Network president Jane Silk states, “He’s the longest-running centrist radio show in the country and we’re delighted with the program’s evolution and direction.  As so many have said, ALAN is an important voice who needs to be heard!”  Nathan himself comments, “They’ve been calling it the ‘Alan Nathan show’ for years, so I learned how to take a hint.  Additionally, while there’s plenty of spirited debate (or battling) happening on the program, it’s also a guest-generated, panel-driven event that teases all who take themselves too seriously.”

costadinoDino Costa Moves to Mornings on SiriusXM’s New Sports Zone Channel.  As TALKERS reported yesterday (from a New York Daily News story), sports talk host Dino Costa is moving from the Mad Dog Radio channel at SiriusXM where he was the evening (Eastern Time) personality, to mornings where his show will be heard from 7:00 am to 11:00 am ET beginning September 5.  In a statement, Costa says, “When I joined SiriusXM nearly five years ago, my objective was to deliver listeners across North America a brand of sports commentary and opinion that they had never heard before, something that was a radical departure from the status quo.  I feel I have accomplished that and gained a more than appreciable audience over that time.  Creating and delivering the kind of a show I do would not have been possible anyplace other than SiriusXM and it is an honor and a privilege to be with what I consider to be the mightiest radio broadcaster on planet earth.  I enjoyed my time with Mad Dog Sports Radio and now I look forward to new challenges and conquests and feel more enthused than ever at the prospects of making SiriusXM Sports Zone a destination channel for our valued subscribers.  This is the start of something very big!”

mooreloriLori Moore to Retire from WKZO, Kalamazoo.  Retire might be too strong a word for AM drive host Lori Moore’s departure from Midwest Communications’ news/talk WKZO, Kalamazoo.  But Moore has worked at the station for the past 18 years (32 years in the market) and, to her faithful listeners, it might feel like retirement.  Still, Moore says she will remain close to the community and has “many projects” in the pipeline.  Morning host since 1995, Moore states, “I feel I have a special bond with my audience and advertisers.  I think I am able to connect with what people care about.  I talk about events because I go to them and I endorse products and services I actually use.”  Her last day is Friday, September 6.

Odds & Sods. Tribune’s WGN, Chicago adds more sports programming to its weekend lineup with a post-Bears game program called “Two and a Half Bears,” featuring NFL Hall of Famer and Chicago Bears alumnus Dan Hampton, his former teammate Glen hamptondanKozlowski and WGN’s resident football fanatic Pete McMurray.  The program will feature interviews with players, coaches, and front office personnel.  Additionally, Hampton will join WGN’s Steve Cochran every Monday and Friday morning at 7:40 to provide a Bears game recap and preview…..Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston announces its NFL and Patriots football-related programming to air on the station and its affiliate stations around New England.  The content again includes exclusive interviews with quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick on “Patriots Monday.”  As itcowherdcolin did last year, gameday coverage will originate from Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill at Patriot Place in Foxborough and include pre- and post-game programs.  Throughout the week, WEEI programs will be visited by numerous football experts, writers and Patriots players…..ESPN Radio sports talk host Colin Cowherd debuts a new program on ESPN2 titled “Colin’s New Football Show” that will air Sundays at 9:00 am ET.  ESPN vice president, original programming and production, Jamie Horowitz says, “’Colin’s New Football Show’ will be entirely from Colin’s perspective.  It’s a cool and alternative pre-game show with Colin, a football outsider on the inside, letting fans know the key stories of the day in his own style.”…..CBS Radio’s all-news WNEW-FM, Washington reports it is doubling its traffic alerts to keep commuters up to speed on the region’s roadways during drive time.  Dubbed “Beltway Fix on the Six,” in addition its traffic and weather together on the 1s, the station will add reports on the 6s between 7:00 am and 10:00 as well as between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm……CRN Digital Talk Radio host and well-known actor Fred Dryer is back on the big screen in a new movie titled “Snake and Mongoose,” that chronicles the careers of drag racers Don “the Snake” Prudhomme and Tom “the Mongoose” McEwen.  In the film, Dryer plays Motorsports Hall of Fame member Ed Donovan, McEwen’s engine builder who coined the racer’s “Mongoose” moniker.

bernierimmigrationIllegal Immigration Forum.  Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) and former INS agent Michael Cutler appeared in “The President Speakers Series” on the subject of illegal immigration at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach.  The event was moderated by the talk show host Marc Bernier – who also serves as President’s special assistant at the university – and was broadcast on WNDB, Daytona Beach and carried by C-SPAN.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Bernier, ERAU president John P. Johnson, Rep. Barletta and Cutler.  The event was the 95th in the Town Hall Series.  Photo by Arthur J. Byrnes.

Syria Question Goes Before Congress, ObamaCare Implementation, Miley Cyrus Fallout and Jack Nicholson Retires due to Memory Loss Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/3).  Secretary of State John Kerry takes the question of whether the United States should begin military action against Syria to Congress; ongoing complications in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; the fallout from Miley Cyrus’ risqué performance at the MTV Video Music Awards and Jack Nicholson’s retirement from making movies, reportedly due to memory loss were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

| September 3, 2013

armstrongcarriganBoston TV Anchor Kim Carrigan Joins Barry Armstrong on WRKO Program.  “The Financial Exchange with Barry Armstrong” announces the addition of longtime Boston television anchor Kim Carrigan to the program.  Carrigan – who has worked at Boston TV outlets WHDH, WBZ/WSBK and WXFT – becomes co-host of the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon daily program on Entercom‘s news/talk WRKO effective today (9/3).  Armstrong says of Carrigan, “Kim is a tremendous addition to our program.  She brings intellect, a historical perspective, and a woman’s point of view to topics that require constant attention and interpretation.”  Carrigan, an Emmy award-winning television news anchor, has been recognized with numerous other awards, including: an Edward R. Murrow Award for “Best Newscast in a Major Market,” a Quest Award as one of five outstanding women who have achieved success in their quest for excellence from the New England Women Business Owners Association, and a Gabrielle Award.  She was also honored with the President’s Award from the Northeast Arc, the organization’s highest honor, for her work on behalf of individuals with disabilities.

wqxilogoLincoln Financial Media’s WQXI, Atlanta Names Alge Crumpler and JP Peterson AM Hosts.  Lincoln Financial Media announces the permanent replacement for the “Mayhem in the AM” morning show (Steak Shapiro, Chris Dimino, Nick Cellini) fired in late June after joking about ALS-stricken ex-NFLer crumpleralgeSteve Gleason.  Former Atlanta Falcons tight end Alge Crumpler and media pro JP Peterson will host “The Locker Room” beginning September 5.  “790 The Zone” program director Bob Richards says, “We are excited to launch ‘Locker petersonjpRoom.’   The years of insight and experience Alge and JP bring to the table, coupled with a revamped program format, will help set the tone each morning for how listeners digest the world of sports and set the pace for how topics resonate throughout the day.”  Crumpler has served as an analyst for “790 The Zone” and a co-host for Falcons game-day programs on WGCL-TV and WAGA-TV.  Peterson comes to “790 the Zone” from Tampa, where he spent the past 16 years in sports radio and TV.  Peterson anchored and did sideline work for WFLA-TV’s pre-season Bucs coverage and pre-game shows.  He has also done field reporting for NBC’s “Football Night in America” and hosted the Rays’ “Inside Pitch” and “Extra Innings” radio shows.

cumulus logoDickey: The Network Industry Is an Attractive Vehicle.  Cumulus Media chairman and CEO Lew Dickey tells investors during a conference call this morning that his company sees network radio as an “attractive vehicle” and that “scale is essential for Cumulus to continue to facilitate growth to make the proper investments,” in explaining the deal’s announced last Friday – the company’s acquisition of Dial Global and its shedding of a pack of small- and medium-market stations to Townsquare Media.  The deal alsodickeylew gives Cumulus five stations in Fresno – market #68 – fitting in with the company’s desire to focus on the top 100 markets.  Dickey reiterated last week’s statement about money saved in synergies, “We’re acquiring a leading provider of premium and exclusive content, and it creates an attractive platform for us now for both content creation and distribution and monetization of these various assets.  It’s about $40 million of estimated cost synergies and substantial incremental revenue growth opportunities, which are not being factored in here on the pro forma. It’s deleveraging on the identified cost synergies alone.”  As Dickey explained how the new properties will become part of the larger company, he noted that sports programming – especially the NFL and NCAA play-by-play contracts which have at least several more years on them – were key to the deal and it’s obvious he expects to pull in a lot of revenue from those two properties.  As for how many positions will be eliminated in the above-mentioned “synergies,” Dickey noted it’s not like the Citadel acquisition which was basically 54 “separate” operations.  “This is really one business unit that does essentially the same thing as the business unit that we currently own and operate.  So there are awful a lot of opportunities to — for efficiencies and to combine these efforts and do so in such a way that it’s accretive to growth the same time.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Members can read the entire conference call here.

ktth10yrsKTTH, Seattle Celebrates 10 Years as Conservative Talk Outlet.  Bonneville’s KTTH, Seattle is spending the day thanking its passionate, engaged conservative listeners by airing “Ten Years Strong,” a celebration of it 10-year anniversary, beginning September 3, 2013.  The station states that David Boze, Michael Medved, Sean Hannity and other KTTH personalities will spotlight their favorite political leaders, movies and conservative moments of the past 10 years. They’ll also reflect on the role of conservative talk radio in a blue state.  Program director Jason Antebi says, “AM 770 KTTH is going 10 years strong because the best talk show hosts in America present values-driven conservative thought in a distinctly civil and intelligent way.  We are so proud to be the exclusive Seattle home to David Boze, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Medved, Sean Hannity, Dave Ramsey and Clyde Lewis.  Here’s to another 10 years!”  Bonneville Seattle VP/GM Carl Gardner adds, “KTTH serves a listening audience which is remarkably committed.  They care deeply about preserving the best of our traditional American values and ways of life. The passion of the listeners is what enables KTTH to be so successful.”

hayworthjdJ.D. Hayworth Exits AM Show at ‘Mighty 1090 AM’ in San Diego.  Former U.S. congressman and talk show host J.D. Hayworth exits the morning drive show at Broadcast Company of the Americas’ sports talk XEPRS, San Diego “Mighty 1090 AM” where he was co-hosting with Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton.  Hamilton remains in mornings with a rotating cast of guests.  Hayworth joined the station earlier this year.  Prior to his foray into full-time sports talk radio, he’d been a news/talk host in Phoenix and had been doing fill-in work at local news/talk stations and on nationally syndicated programs.

weismanstevenDo You Have a Non-Compete Clause?  Depending on what company your work for, in what capacity you serve and in which state you work, a non-competition clause in your contract can greatly affect your ability to move from one employer to the next within a given period of time.  TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman spells out the basics of what you should know before you sign a contract.  In some situations there may not be anything you can do about it, but at the very least, you should understand exactly what a non-competition clause means to you in that position with that employer.  Read Weisman’s illuminating column here.

lindsleymikeMike Lindsley and Brian Cady Leave Townsquare Media’s Sports Talk WTMM, Albany.  Management at Townsquare Media’s sports talker WTMM, Albany “ESPN 104.5 The Team” is not saying there was a connection between the dismissal of afternoon hosts Mike Lindsley and Brian Cady and their being snookered by a caller pretending to be former New York Yankees outfielder Shane Spencer who said he had experimented with performance enhancing drugs, but the two are out and a new afternoon show is expected to be announced within the next two weeks, according to a report in the Albany Times Union.  Lindsley had an interview lined up with Spencer and was promoting it but it didn’t happen at the exact time it was supposed to.  Pretty soon the imposter called and Lindsley assumed it was the real Shane Spencer.  After it was determined what happened, all parties apologized.  Regardless, new brand manager Armen Williams debuted on the air on Friday, August 30 – a bit prior to his scheduled September 9 start.

costadinoDino Costa Moves to New SiriusXM Channel.  As reported in the New York Daily News, sports talk host Dino Costa leaves the Mad Dog Radio channel on SiriusXM and will be part of a new sports talk channel on the satellite radio service, reportedly called “SiriusXM Radio Sports Zone 92.”  Costa had been the evening host on the Chris Russo-curated Mad Dog Radio channel.  The Daily News reports the relationship between Russo and Costa may not be as friendly as it once was, possibly leading to the split, although Costa Tweeted his thanks to Russo and his crew for the opportunity to work together.

bergmansandiMEDIA BROKER SPOTLIGHT: Dick Kozacko of Kozacko Media Services.  In this week’s installment of Media Broker Spotlight, Sandi Bergman of RadioTVDeals.com interviews media broker Dick Kozacko of Kozacko Media Services located in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Unlike most of the brokers spotlighted in this popular feature, Kozacko’s background is not directly in broadcasting but rather acquisition management and market research for companies.  He is a graduate of Boston College with an MBA and his experience and education in these areas of business serve him well in today’s station-trading environment.  Kozacko takes a realistic view of the current conditions in the radio deal marketplace stating, “It’s challenging, especially since there are now so many alternatives to radio broadcasting.  If you were driving on a trip, your car radio was your companion.  Then, came eight-tracks, cassettes, and the list goes on with satellite radio, internet, etc.  Buyers have to be creative and think about the future, which is fine.  It would help if more banks returned to the financing area, although we have found more station owners are receptive to ‘terms’ financing.  It would help if the economy could demonstrate stronger and continued growth.” Per the custom of this feature, our spotlighted broker offers several opportunities for displaced station managers and first-time entrants looking to roll up their sleeves and take on an ownership project.  To read the entire installment of Media Broker Spotlight, please click here.

fisherhouselogoDave Ross to Host New Production of Fisher House Foundation’s “The Gift.”  Fisher House Foundation announces it has begun production on the 2013 edition of its award-winning holiday radio program, “The Gift,” which tells the inspiring stories of wounded warriors and veterans who, with the help of their loved ones, have overcome tremendous obstacles to reclaim their lives.  The program, which is available to radio stations to air at both Thanksgiving and Christmas, consists of three self-contained hours of content.  Among those profiled inrossdave “The Gift” are Sergeant Cory Remsburg, an Army Ranger whose successful battle to recover from a serious head wound has made him an inspiration to President Obama; Father Tim Vakoc, a chaplain who was fatally wounded while tending his flock on the front lines of Iraq; and Para-Olympian Brad Snyder, a Navy Lieutenant who was blinded by an IED and used swimming to rebuild his physical and mental strength.  KIRO, Seattle personality Dave Ross hosts this year’s edition of the program.  Stations that air the program will help raise awareness and funds for the non-profit Fisher House, which provides no-cost housing and other support to the families of wounded warriors and veterans while their loved ones recover at military and VA hospitals. The 2012 edition of “The Gift” was carried on 135 news/talk stations and Sirius/XM and helped drive an increase in donations to Fisher House during the final week of 2012.  “Despite the wind down in Afghanistan, our fighting men and women, and their families, continue to make tremendous sacrifices to protect our freedom and security,” says Fisher House President Dave Coker. “While we should keep them in our hearts every day, it’s especially appropriate to honor their gift of service during the holidays.”  Cumulus Media Networks is handling affiliation and distribution on a pro bono basis.  For more information or to sign up for The Gift, contact Ron Rivlin.

stuchellcharlieCondolences.  TALKERS sends condolences to the family and friends of a number of broadcasters who’ve recently passed away: Capital Cities executive Joe Somerset who died in Boston due to complications suffered after a fall at his home several days prior.  Somerset was a mentor to many in the radio business, especially during the “Golden Age” of top 40 radio.  One of his “students” was longtime Cap Cities executive and station owner Curt Hahn who writes about his mentor in a piece you can read here…..Longtime newsman Charlie Stuchell who passed away at age 64 after a battle with cancer.  He was a news and traffic reporter on Bristol Broadcasting’s WXBQ, Bristol, Virginia…..KSCO, Santa Cruz reporter and anchor Don Husing who died on August 29 at age 71.  Station owner Michael Zwerling tells the Santa Cruz Sentinel that Husing had worked for KSCO for 47 years, surviving three ownership changes.  KSCO personality Rosemary Chalmers tells the paper Husing, who had no surviving family, was diabetic and had complained of flu-like symptoms prior to his death.

millerkennelbobKevin in the Kennel.  If you look closely, you can see that KIDO, Boise morning drive host Kevin Miller (l) is broadcasting from a makeshift kennel to raise awareness and funds to support the Canyon County Animal Shelter.  With him is animal lover Bob Holman (r).  Miller invited his listeners to spend some time with him inside the kennel and, as a result, raised more than $11,000 in one day as the shelter takes part in the “Rachael Ray $100,000 Challenge.”

Monday, August 19, 2013

| August 19, 2013

mrc logoEight More Arbitron PPM Markets Gain Accreditation by MRC.  The Media Rating Council gives accreditation to eight more Arbitron PPM markets – making the total number of accredited markets 26.  In making the announcement, Arbitron notes that the MRC is not granting accreditation in the remaining 22 markets at this time.  The eight newly accredited markets include: Cleveland, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Denver-Boulder, Detroit, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood, Pittsburgh, Portland OR, and Nassau/Suffolk (Long arbitronIsland).  They join the 18 markets the MRC is voting to continue accreditation: Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Milwaukee-Racine, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Riverside-San Bernardino, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater.  Arbitron executive vice president, service innovation and chief research officer Gregg Linder states, “MRC accreditation for our PPM markets is a company-wide priority at Arbitron, and we are pleased the MRC continues to recognize our ongoing efforts to improve Sample Performance Indicators and other quality metrics in our Portable People Meter ratings services.  Continuous improvement remains our watchword, for PPM and for all our ratings and software offerings and we are focused on earning accreditation for the balance of our PPM markets.”

theblaze logoFormer CNN Producer/Reporter Joins Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.  Steve Krakauer – former CNN digital producer and media reporter – is named vice president of digital content for TheBlaze.  In his work at CNN, Krakauer oversaw the social and digital output of the CNN domestic U.S. television programs.  He also managed the team that ran @CNN — the network’s flagship Twitter account.  Krakauer joined CNN in November 2010 as the digital producer of “Piers Morgan Tonight.”  At TheBlaze, Krakauer will be responsible for growing the network’s presence across all digital media.  TheBlaze president and chief content officer Joel Cheatwood states, “Steve was one of the first people to truly recognize the growing relationship between digital media and traditional television and has built a remarkable track record integrating the two media.  We are excited to have Steve join TheBlaze as we continue to be at the forefront of creating a television network designed for the 21st century.”

schultzedEd Schultz Returns to Weeknights on MSNBC.  It hasn’t been quite five months since MSNBC moved “The Ed Show” from weeknights at 8:00 pm to a Saturday and Sunday 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot with Ed Schultz saying the move was for personal and professional reasons.  Now, the Hollywood Reporter writes that MSNBC president Phil Griffin asked Schultz to return to weekdays in the 5:00 pm slot replacing the first run of “Hardball with Chris Matthews.”  Matthews’ show will only air at 7:00 pm beginning August 26 when Schultz returns to weekdays.  Griffin told the publication, “Ed has proven himself no matter where we’ve put him.”

nprCEO Gary Nell to Exit NPR to Head Up National Geographic.  NPR CEO Gary Nell announces he’s leaving the public radio company after 21 months on the job.  In a letter to staff, he says, in part, “As president and CEO, supporting NPR’s success – your success – has been my highest ambition.  Working together, we have put NPR on more solid footing to continue to deliver the highest-quality journalism and programming.  We have launched innovative new platforms and made meaningful strides in attracting new audiences and new funding.  We have promoted a series of collaborations in news gathering, development, and a digital future.  And we have an exceptionally strong leadership team in place that is charting an ambitious path for our future.  We also face challenges, including the mandate to bring NPR to break-even cash operations.  We are completing a plan to focus our limited resources which support our essential services to stations and audiences.  We will present that plan to the Board soon, go over it carefully, and make it a reality.”  Nell took over the reins of NPR in December of 2011 after the high-profile departure of former CEO Vivian Schiller.  During her tenure, Juan Williams was fired after making comments on Fox News Channel admitting to feeling nervous when seeing people dressed in Muslim garb on airplanes.  Also, NPR fundraiser Ron Schiller (no relation) was recorded denigrating conservatives at a lunch meeting.

grahamkevinBoston Herald Reports Kevin Graham Will Succeed Jason Wolfe at WEEI-FM, Boston.  There is no confirmation from Entercom Boston market manager Jeff Brown about the Boston Herald’s recent report that KFNZ, Salt Lake City “1320 KFAN” program director and afternoon drive co-host Kevin Graham will take over the program director post at the station.  According to his bio on the KFNZ website, Graham was one of the key architects of KFNZ back in 1996 and has worked as programmer at KTAR-AM, Phoenix; WXYT, Detroit and other sports talk outlets.  In addition to programming KFNZ, Graham co-hosts the Gunther & Graham pm drive show with Kyle Gunther.  Longtime program director Jason Wolfe exited the station last week and the Boston media is rife with speculation about the status of the station’s air talent – especially morning duo John Dennis and Gerry CallahanCBS Radio’s crosstown WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” has been topping WEEI-FM in recent ratings reports.  Still, the Herald also reports that Dennis and Callahan have been assured that they are not on the chopping block at this point.

talkersradio logoBrent Seltzer and Meg McDonald (“Brent & Meg”) Sign Up as Charter Members of TalkersRadio Lineup.  The married couple team of “Brent & Meg” (Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald, pictured below) join the initial lineup of the soon-to-be-launched experimental internet talk station, TalkersRadio.  They will be hosting a Monday through Friday, two-hour Los Angeles-based program titled, “The Brent & Meg Show,” that will stream live between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm ET with possible re-streams at other times during the following 24 hours.seltzermegbrent  According to TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein, “There never has been a ‘Brent & Meg Show’ prior to TalkersRadio.  They are coming together to do this specifically because the station is designed for these kinds of experiments.  Although they’ve been married for 28 years and have been in the media business doing everything from amazing short-form features to ground-breaking public relations campaigns for years, the idea of them being on the air live as a team hosting a long-form talk show is the brainchild of Michael Harrison who has been after them to do this for over two years now since hearing them bounce off each other in the ongoing short-form feature ‘Brent Seltzer, Still at Large.’  “I am excited about the potential of this show.  We envision it to be in the tradition of the classic husband/wife chat shows of the golden era – except with its focus fully planted on a 21st century foundation.”  The short-form feature “Brent Seltzer, Still at Large” — written, produced and performed by the couple — has accrued a dedicated multi-platform cult-following on Podjockey.com and XM Satellite Radio after having broken out in 2008 as a hot commodity at KSRO, Santa Rosa.  According to the couple, “Outraged by the cable TV political bloviates, we invented ‘Brent Seltzer, Still at Large’ as a panacea to the anger and complacency that radio was becoming.  We figured that since all the extreme right wingers and extreme left wingers were only preaching to their targeted choirs, we could have an extremely good time talking about anything to everyone.  It is our intention to continue that tradition on the ‘Brent & Meg Show.’  Absolutely no politician, celebrity, corporate business practice, social custom, anything or anybody will be safe from our scathing, biting and hopefully humorous and entertaining observations.  Hey, we just wanna have fun!”

Brent Seltzer is legendary in the annals of West Coast radio having worked as a personality “rock ‘n’ roll newsman” on two of the most storied signals in rock radio history – KMET, Los Angeles and KGB, San Diego — as well as  LA’s KZLA-FM/AM, KNX-FM, and KMPC. He has also been a popular radio writer working for years at companies such as Watermark (“American Top 40”) and its founder Tom Rounds’ celebrated international company, Radio Express.

Born into a Hollywood show business family, Meg McDonald’s mother was the popular character actress Elisabeth Fraser and her father was the dancer Ray McDonald.  Although a native of Santa Monica, her parents divorced when she was very young and her Mom moved to New York to co-star with Phil Silvers in his popular comedy, “You’ll Never Get Rich,” later known as “The Phil Silvers Show.”  As her mother went to work in many classic films, TV shows and Broadway shows, Meg found herself surrounded by gifted writers including Neil Simon, Norman Lear and Gore Vidal.  Returning to LA after a few years, Meg never thought of herself as a performer, so she majored in Journalism at LACC, but chose a career in public relations where she has forged an award-winning history as founder of her own shop, McDonald Media Services.  Strikingly beautiful with a big gorgeous voice, she always wanted to be on-air but was too shy to take the shot, until she met Brent Seltzer. “The Brent & Meg” show debuts on TalkersRadio Tuesday, September 10.  For more information about TalkersRadio call 413-565-5413 or email GM David Bernstein at david@talkers.com.  TalkersRadio streaming is powered by Backbone Networks.

wowoamshowWOWO-AM/FM, Fort Wayne Morning Show to Begin TV Simulcast.  Federated Media’s WOWO-AM/FM, Fort Wayne will begin a simulcast of one hour of “Fort Wayne’s Morning News with Charly Butcher on local NBC affiliate WISE-TV “NBC33″ on September 23.  The television outlet will air the 6:00 am hour of  Butcher’s program using several high definition cameras placed in the studio and newsroom at WOWO.  Program director Ryan Wrecker says, “What we’re doing is taking a historic show in the market and advancing it to a new medium.  Finding new platforms for our product is an important part of our station strategy, and we think this is going to make a big impact not only in the market but it’s what should be expected for news/talk stations looking for ways to gain a younger audience share.”  Butcher states, “We’re excited to bring a show we work very hard on every morning to NBC33.  It’s another way for listeners to get a behind-the-scenes look at what we do and get all the information they need every morning.  I’m not excited that I might need to start wearing make-up.”  Pictured above is the WOWO-AM/FM morning show in action (Butcher at right.)

MLB LogoSiriusXM and MLB Reach Six-Year Extension.  Satcaster SiriusXM and Major League Baseball have reached an agreement to extend their relationship for another six years.  As a result, every regular season and post-season game will be available on both Sirius and XM platforms through 2016.  The deal also includes select exhibition games and Spanish-language broadcasts.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein states, “Baseball has been an essential part of our programming lineup and we’re very happy to extend our relationship with MLB to deliver the games to our subscribers for many years to come.  We’re especially pleased to now offer the games to SiriusXM subscribers whether they listen through Sirius radios, XM radios, the SiriusXM App or online.”

NPR Producer Teshima Walker Dies at 44.  After a two-year battle with colon cancer, NPR executive producer Teshima Walker passed away on Friday morning.  Walker had been executive producer of the Michel Martin-hosted “Tell Me More” program since 2011.  She’d been with the show in various capacities for four years prior to that.  During her career she had worked at WBEZ, Chicago and served as a producer on the Tavis Smiley program.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

| July 30, 2013

cumulusCumulus Revenue Up 3.1% in Q2; No Comments from Lew Dickey on Limbaugh Situation.  As Cumulus Media prepares to hold an investors’ conference call this morning at 11:00 am ET, the company releases Q2 revenue figures that highlight a 3.1% increase in net revenue on $289.7 million compared to the same quarter one year ago.  The company notes, “This increase was attributable to a $4.3 million increase in local advertising revenue, a $3.9 million increase in revenue related to digital initiatives and a $2.8 million increase in revenue due to the addition of stations in the Bloomington and Peoria markets we acquired from Townsquare Media in July 2012.  These increases were partially offset by a decrease of $2.3 million in cyclical political revenue.”  Chairman and CEO Lew Dickey issued the following statement, “This was a solid quarter earmarked by revenue growth and strong expense management.  Our targeted growth initiatives are ramping on schedule and our merger integration and problem market turnarounds are largely complete.”  During today’s investors’ conference call, Dickey pre-empted any questions about negotiations with Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity saying he wouldn’t comment while the company is in negotiation mode.  When asked later the call if the company makes money on the Rush Limbaugh program, Dickey reiterated his unwillingness to comment but said he’ll have more to say after the process is complete and believes that will be sooner rather than later.  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the call transcript.  Members can see the whole call here.

bresslerrichardCCM&E Parent Clear Channel Media Holdings Names Richard Bressler President and CFO.  Richard Bressler has served as chief financial officer of Time Warner and Viacom and managing director at Thomas H. Lee Partners.  His installment as president and CFO of Clear Channel Media Holdings means he replaces Tom Casey, who served in that position for the past three years.  The company says, “As president of CC Media Holdings, Inc. and Clear Channel Communications, Inc., Bressler will work closely with Bob Pittman on the further development of strategies and initiatives to ensure that Clear Channel capitalizes on its unique assets.”  In a statement, Pittman comments, “I know Rich very well, and we have even worked together – twice – at Time Warner.  He has been an invaluable strategic partner for us in his position at Thomas H. Lee Partners, and now he will play an even bigger role in helping Clear Channel fully maximize our unparalleled assets, working closely with me, John Hogan and William Eccleshare and the rest of our leadership team to continue to build the leading multi-platform media and entertainment company in the U.S. with global reach.  I recruited Rich for this role because there are few people who have as deep an understanding as he does of our company and the opportunities we have to lead the industry in helping marketers meet the demands of increasingly connected consumers.  I’m confident that he’ll add another layer of expertise and experience as we take the company to its next level of growth, and will be a tremendous leader for our financial team.  His keen strategic, financial and analytical skills will be a huge asset to all of Clear Channel.”  In reporting this story The Wall Street Journal notes that “CC Media reported that its [2013] first-quarter loss sharply widened as revenue dropped, while sister company Clear Channel Outdoor logged a wider loss amid higher expenses tied to interest, depreciation and amortization.”

colmesalanAlan Colmes: Regarding Limbaugh and Hannity, the Liberals Have it All Wrong.  Fox News Radio talk show host and Fox News Channel commentator Alan Colmes, who is also publisher of the liberal blog alan.com, writes an opinion piece for TALKERS magazine in which he states that liberals who are jumping for joy over the mainstream press stories trumpeting Rush Limbaugh’s and Sean Hannity’s possible departure from 40-some Cumulus Media talk stations, need to examine the facts.  Colmes says, “Seeing liberal bloggers declare victory about how a boycott of these shows’ sponsors led to this makes my hair stand on end for four reasons.”  The first reason, Colmes says, is the most important in that “that’s not at all what happened.”  Read Colmes’ entire piece here.

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh Addresses Premiere-Cumulus Negotiations on Monday Program.  Rush Limbaugh didn’t go into any detail – because it wouldn’t be appropriate while negotiations are going on – but he did address the flap that began with a Politico piece that ran over the weekend alleging that Cumulus Media is considering dropping his and Seanhannitysean Hannity’s programs from some 40 O&O stations due to a breakdown in contract renewal talks.  Limbaugh told listeners that “what you’re being treated to is just a public business negotiation.”  He implied one party is leaking to the press but assured listeners nothing is likely to change but if it does, the program will be available on even more stations.  “And someday, someday I am looking so forward to being able to detail all of this for you, but suffice to say nothing is gonna happen that you will notice.  Nothing is going to change…You are gonna be able to get this radio program on as many, if not more, radio stations down the road than it’s on now.”

siriusxmArt Bell to Return to Broadcasting Via SiriusXM.  Rumors of Art Bell’s return had been bubbling for several weeks but now the cat is out of the bag as SiriusXM announces the man who took late-night talk of all things paranormal to the front burner of popular culture in the late 1990s will return from self-imposed retirement with a nightly show on thebellart satcaster.  Bell’s new program, “Art Bell’s Dark Matter,” will air from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET and will debut from a studio in Bell’s rural Nevada home on September 16.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “We are excited to be the exclusive home of Art Bell, who has captivated a nation of listeners throughout his career with his intelligent and inquisitive, yet entertaining style.  Art Bell left terrestrial radio after the biggest possible successes.  We are honored that Art now wants to work with SiriusXM to write his next chapter.  His vision takes advantage of our best strengths and his new show will be uncensored, unrestricted, uncluttered and utterly unique.  With his return to radio on SiriusXM, he will be able to reach millions of longtime listeners and new fans everywhere in the nation.”  Bell tells the AP’s David Bauder he’s excited about working on satellite radio, “It seems to me they are the next step in technology.  I’ve always been a technological junkie.  The mix of what they’re giving me, the freedom that they’re giving me, is priceless.”  After Bell left the Premiere Networks-syndicated “Coast to Coast AM,” George Noory took over as the regular host.  He recently signed a contract renewal to continue that role and TALKERS spoke with him about his work.  See the next story for more.

noorygeorgeGeorge Noory to Lead Legions of Late Night Listeners for Years to Come.  Premiere Networks and “Coast to Coast AM” host George Noory recently announced the two sides had just inked a new contract to keep Noory in the host position for years to come.  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian took the occasion of this new deal to speak with Noory about his career, the “Coast to Coast AM” program and much more.  Noory says one of the things about his audience that amazes him is the spread of its demographics.  “We have received phone calls from 11-year-olds and we hear from people in their 90s.  This show is very strong [among 25-54s], but talk radio skews a little older – especially at night.  People in older demos still have a lot of money and our advertisers are very happy.  People will say that their father used to listen to Art Bell and now they listen to me.  This is an all-encompassing show that blankets the entire population.”  Read Mike Kinosian’s entire story here.

bergmansandiMEDIA BROKER SPOTLIGHT: Roger Rafson of CMS Station Brokerage.  In this week’s installment of Media Broker Spotlight, Sandi Bergman of RadioTVDeals.com interviews media broker Roger Rafson of CMS Station Brokerage in Pittsburgh.  Rafson has been in radio since he was 11 years old and has a passion for the medium.  He is also optimistic about the deal business and agrees with this publication’s philosophy that now is a good time for out-of-work top executives and first-time entrants to get into ownership and roll up their sleeves at some really fine local opportunities.  His company specializes in small- and medium-market station sales.  He says, “I’ve never felt comfortable pontificating about the state of the media brokerage/station sales category as a whole.  What I can tell you about is what comes across my desk.  Yes, we are busy.  We sold 14 stations in 2012 and already in 2013 we’ve sold nine.  I do get the sense that the worst of the recession is behind us.  Better days lie ahead.”  He offers up several of these opportunities as well.  To read the entire installment of Media Broker Spotlight, please click here.

handelmanallanAllan Handelman Returns to the Air in Triad Market.  Curtis Media Group’s WSJS, Greensboro, North Carolina announces talk show pro Allan Handelman makes his return to the Triad market after a 16-month hiatus.  Beginning Monday, August 5, Handelman takes over afternoon drive on “The Triad’s NewsRadio 600 WSJS.”  His predecessor, Bob Campbell, is leaving talk radio to pursue his passion in music radio.  WSJS operations manager Matt Clark states, “WSJS airs more locally originated news and talk programming than any other radio station in the region.  Allan Handelman brings world-class credentials to our lineup while upholding our core mission of reflecting the unique tastes and perspectives of local listeners across the Piedmont Triad.”  Handelman was last heard in the market on the former “FM Talk 101.1” WZTK where he hosted a daily show from 2005 to 2012.  The station abandoned the talk format in April, 2012.  Handelman continued his national syndication efforts with both “The Allan Handelman Show” and “Rock Talk.”  Handelman says he’s eager to be back on local radio.  “I really missed that afternoon connection with North Carolina listeners from the Triad region.  There are so many interesting things to talk about that most other shows either neglect or don’t know how to handle.”

cookehollandSales Lead, Programming Heads-Up: “The Fixer Mindset.”  Radio consultant Holland Cooke writes that the mindset of the contemporary American talk radio listener is ripe for the picking (or selling, if you prefer) of goods and services that appeal to their post-recession desire to make more last longer.  But it’s about more than just sending a sales guy or gal out to see if the local independent auto shop wants to advertise on your radio station.  There’s a whole thought process that goes along with programmers and sales staffers approaching this client base the right way…plus, there are cool digital opportunities awaiting the client and the marketing department.  Read Holland Cooke’s insights here.

wepnlogoOdds & Sods.  Dickey Broadcasting’s sports talk WCNN, Atlanta “680 The Fan” announces it has signed Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan to appear every Tuesday during football season on its “ The Front Row” program with Ray Mariner, Sandra Golden and former Falcon Brian Finneran…..ESPN O&O WEPN-FM, New York extends its reach onto Long Island beginning Monday, August 5 as the station’s programming will be simulcast on Livingstone Broadcasting’s WLIR-FM, Hampton’s Bay, New York from 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight.  That includes shows hosted by Mike Lupica, Stephen A. Smith & Ryan Ruocco, Michael Kay, and David Rothenberg…..KOZN, Omaha PM drive co-host John Bishop will handle play-by-play duties for broadcasts of Creighton University Men’s basketball this season.  He’ll be accompanied by color analyst and former Bluejay Nick Bahe who begins a daily midday sports talk program on NRG Media’s KOZN on August 5.

sternbethHoward Stern’s Wife Beth to Guest Host ‘Animal Radio’ This Weekend.  Beth Stern is well known as a model, actress, the wife of radio legend Howard Stern and an animal rights activist.  This weekend she’ll be the guest host on the nationally syndicated “Animal Radio” program.  Beth Stern serves as the spokesperson for the North Shore Animal League and she spends countless hours fostering animals, cats in particular, in her New York home.  The Stern’s live with four adopted cats — Walter, Apple, Leon Bear and Charlie Boy.  This doesn’t include the many cats that she’s fostering until they are able to adopt them.  Beth (pictured here with a canine friend) says she uses her husband’s SiriusXM show to help find good homes for some of the animals.  When asked if her highly visible husband is involved in the fostering process, she replies, “He’s right there with me. He photographs them.  He names them.  He cried like a baby the other day when I had to hand-off a litter of cats to their new family.”

Limbaugh-Hannity/Cumulus Flap, Weiner Case Political Ramifications, Immigration Legislation, Pope Francis Gay Comments, and ObamaCare Implementation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/29).  The mainstream media coverage of negotiations between Premiere Networks and Cumulus Media over carriage of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity; the political repercussions of the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal; the battle in congress over immigration legislation and amnesty; comments by Pope Francis about homosexuality; and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, July 26, 2013

| July 26, 2013

whitebillBill White Named PD at Journal’s ‘104.1 The Truth’ and ‘ESPN Tucson.’  Programming pro Bill White is the new program director at Journal Broadcast Group’s news/talk KQTH, Tucson “104.1 The Truth” and sports talk duo KFFN-AM/FM “ESPN Tucson.”  Journal Tucson operations manager Shaun Holly says, “I am pleased to announce, after a long and exhaustive search, we have found the perfect program director for ‘104.1 The Truth’ KQTH and ‘ESPN Tucson’ 1490/1049fm KFFN-AM/FM and we are fortunate to add a team member with his talent and background of success.”  Bill White comments, “I am thrilled to be joining Shaun Holly, vice president and general manager Jim Arnold and the talented team at ‘The Truth,’ ‘ESPN Tucson’ and Journal Broadcast Group/Tucson.  Journal is a company committed to creating great local content through all media platforms: radio, TV, digital, and publishing.  ‘The Truth’ and ESPN are strong brands and I am very excited to work with their talented lineup.”  Bill White fills the programming slot left vacant when Ryan McCredden left to join CBS Radio Houston’s sports talk outlets KILT and KIKK.  Upon learning of White’s appointment to this position, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison stated, “Journal has made a brilliant move landing Bill White for this position and the Tucson market, which is a wonderful place to live and work, as well all of radio, will be better off for it.  In my opinion, Bill White is one of the finest programmers and individuals in radio today.”

beasley logo longBeasley 2013 Q2 Net Revenue Up 8.3%.  A good quarter for Beasley Broadcast Group as the company announces second quarter net revenue was up 8.3% on revenue of $26.9 million (compared to $24.8 million during the same period a year ago) and same station net revenue rose 4.2%.  Beasley notes that the increase “reflects strength in the company’s Philadelphia, Fayetteville and Las Vegas market clusters, including the acquisition of KOAS-FM in Las Vegas during the 2012 third quarter.”  In a statement chairman and CEO George Beasley says, “Beasley Broadcast Groupbeasleygeorge generated its fourth consecutive period of top line growth as second quarter net revenue rose 8.3% and same station net revenue increased 4.2%.  The increase in second quarter revenue reflects strong national and digital revenue growth which contributed to strength in several market clusters including Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Ft. Myers and Augusta. Overall, for our five markets that report to Miller Kaplan — which represent approximately 75% of our total second quarter revenue – Beasley station clusters grew revenue by 8.4% while the total revenue for all reporting radio stations in these markets declined by 2.4% for the quarter. We attribute our out-performance to our organization-wide focus on strong core programming and targeted localism, both of which are contributing to the Company’s ratings strength in its markets.  Notwithstanding the solid revenue growth, comparisons of our other financial metrics with the year-ago period are clouded due to the operating expense credit in last year’s second quarter, and certain charges in the 2013 second quarter including a loss on the early extinguishment of debt and a prepayment fee incurred in connection with the refinancing of our second lien debt.  In addition, recent initiatives in the areas of sales, programming and the further expansion of our digital offerings are expected to drive long-term revenue growth, but are resulting in higher operating expenses on a short-term basis.”

bearmanTVshotKSCO, Santa Cruz Talk Host Ethan Bearman Gets Huge Visibility from Needle Exchange Controversy.  Local talk show host Ethan Bearman raised his already skyrocketing profile in the Santa Cruz market even further after local TV station KION, Salinas (and other traditional news organizations) picked up on his efforts to get a better grasp of how the community feels about a controversial needle exchange program.  Bearman, (pictured here during the KION news segment) says he believes there is a disconnect between the community and the authorities on the newest needle exchange program designed to deal with the large number of used needles being found throughout the community left by intravenous drug users.  Bearman initiated his own unofficial Santa Cruz needle exchange survey online asking 10 questions of the public about the problem and the program.  The Health Services Agency and the citizens group Take Back Santa Cruz both put Bearman’s survey on their websites to try to feel the public’s mood.  Bearman says he’ll deliver the results to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors as well as the Santa Cruz City Council.  The survey is closed and Bearman says he’ll have the results today (7/26).  See the KION segment here.

clearriffles logoMark Panetta Launches Clear Riffles Marketing and Research Agency.  Former DMR Interactive senior vice president of marketing strategy Mark Panetta (who spent 17 years with the Cincinnati-based strategic marketing consultancy) announces the launch of Clear Riffles – a new marketing and research agency.  Panetta says the reason for building his new venture is that “companies who specialize in direct marketing for radio have been more focused on the vehicle and the destination than on the content they deliver.  That is, they spend all their time on WHERE and HOW to advertise and little on WHAT TO SAY.  Yet, in the most successful advertising campaigns of the recent decade – Apple vs. PC, The Geico Gecko, Target Stores rebranding, etc. – it’s the perfectly executed message that mattered most.  Success is the result of panettamarkdeveloping a solid strategy based on understanding consumer perceptions and needs.  When you get that right, powerful creative can follow.  Where and how you advertise is then a matter of mechanics.”  Panetta says Clear Riffles was founded to fill the creative void by designing radio marketing campaigns that truly connect radio stations with today’s listeners.  He states this is accomplished with more emphasis on the creative process starting with proprietary research that illuminates current consumer views and attitudes.  And he adds, “It’s the hard work others in our field are not set up or qualified to do.”  Panetta can be reached at 470-239-3583 or emailed at Mark@ClearRiffles.com.

siriusxmSiriusXM Reports Q2 2013 Numbers; Net Subscribers and Revenue Both Up.  Satcaster SiriusXM reported second quarter figures for 2013 on Thursday, July 25 and CEO Jim Meyer said the company delivered more than 715,000 in net subscriber additions during the quarter to bring the company’s total paid subscriber tally over the 25 million threshold.  Meyer also said the revenue for the quarter — $940 million – was up double digits.  The company reports that meyerjimfactory-installed SiriusXM radios are now in 54.5 million automobiles and Meyer says he expects that figure to hit 100 million by the end of 2017.  Regarding developing technology, Meyers stated, “We also continue to make significant progress in developing our next generation connected-car platform and in driving our Telematics business.  During the second quarter we launched an in-car IP streaming app with Ford on the same platform.  This feature enables Ford customers to have two-way services such as Sirius XM on-demand and personalized music through MyXM.  It is a first step in creating an in-vehicle experience that harnesses both satellite and IT.  Our effort with Ford is just the beginning and we are holding discussions with all of the major OEMs about including their app on their platforms.  Ultimately, we believe that merging satellite and IP connectivity in the car will provide a superior service for subscribers.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the conference call transcript.  You can check out the entire call here.

pepelarryOdds & Sods.  NBC Sports Radio weekend personality Jason Page will broadcast from the 2013 Ahmad Rashad Celebrity Classic at Mohegan Sun Country Club in Pautipaug, Connecticut tomorrow (7/27) from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am on Sunday.  The golf event has raised more than $500,000 for charity since its inception…..ESPN Radio’s popular podcast “His & Hers” featuring Michael Smith and Jemele Hill expands to a twice-per-week production with episodes now made available at ESPNRadio.com on Mondays and Thursdays…..Fox Sports Radio simulcasts “UFC on FOX: Johnson vs. Moraga” on Saturday, July 27 from Key Arena in Seattle.  Following the fights, mixed martial arts expert Larry Pepe will host a Fox Sports Radio wrap-up show with interviews and call-ins from 10:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET.

rosefrancisFilling In.  Boston-based talk show host Jeff Katz sits in at Clear Channel’s WHAS, Louisville for a day when he guest hosts the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program on Monday, July 29…..WFED, Washington afternoon drive host Francis Rose fills in for Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated personality John Batchelor on his Sunday evening program on July 28.

kimkomandologoCool Job Opportunities.  WestStar MultiMedia Entertainment’s Kim Komando show has two job opportunities available.  First, the program is searching for seasoned National Sales Reps with experience in selling broadcast (radio and television) and digital online advertising.  All interested candidates should send their resume to ad-sales-acct-mgr-hr@komando.com.  Second, The Kim Komando show is seeking an Experienced Television Producer.  This is a new position being created.  Candidate shall have a passion for broadcast programming plus a minimum of 5 years as a television show producer and /or assistant producer.  To learn about this position and more you can send your resume to television-producer-hr@komando.com.  For all open positions you can check out http://www.komando.com/careers.

Cool Job Opportunity.  Southwest Broadcasting is seeking a station manager for news/talk KYCA and beautiful music KAHM in Prescott, Arizona.  Owner Lou Silverstein can be phoned at 928-445-7800 or emailed at kahm@att.net.

burkmanjackTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Radio America-syndicated “Behind the Curtain with Jack Burkman” announces the addition of KABC, Los Angeles; WTNT, Washington, DC; WFFG, Marathon, Florida; KTPA, and KXAR in Hope, Arkansas; KLEY, and KKLE in Wellington, Kansas; KSET, Beaumont, Texas; and WTIM-FM, Taylorville, Illinois begin carrying the program…..Genesis Communications Network-syndicated “Freedom Feens” featuring Michael W. Dean and Neema Vedadi is added to the program lineup at WPBQ, Jackson, Mississippi…..MMG Radio Network’s “The Pet Show” with Warren Eckstein adds affiliates: WFYL, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania; KWAM, Memphis; KBTK, Flagstaff, Arizona; and WRHI, Charlotte.

Anthony Weiner Saga Tops Talkers TenTM.  The trials and tribulations of New York City mayoral candidate and former congressman Anthony Weiner after new allegations of sexting and extramarital relationships were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of July 22-26.  Coming in at #2 on the Talkers TenTM was the George Zimmerman verdict aftermath.  At #3 was the implementation and promotion of the Affordable Care Act followed by the Detroit bankruptcy declaration at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio 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.

Monday, July 15, 2013

| July 15, 2013

Talk Radio Stations Answer Call for Live Radio After Zimmerman Verdict.  The number of talk radio stations that rose to the occasion after the George Zimmerman verdict late Saturday night and the following day was, according to TALKERS sources around the country, surprisingly large considering the time (especially in the East) that the verdict was announced.  Certainly there were many stations caught unaware at that late hour but even many of those that were not able to bring local talent in for a live program were prepared enough to air network coverage of the news.  Several TALKERS sources report hearing local talent take to the air in the Pacific Time Zone and put callers on the air to discuss the case.

madisonjoeSiriusXM’s Joe Madison Races to Cover Zimmerman Verdict; Broadcast Response to Case.  High-profile talk media personality Joe Madison lived up to his moniker “The Black Eagle” late Saturday night after the Sanford, Florida jury reached its verdict and found George Zimmerman not guilty of the charges against him in the death of Trayvon Martin.  Minutes after the verdict was announced, Madison went to the SiriusXM Washington, DC broadcast facility to do a live broadcast that aired from 11:00 pm Saturday evening to 1:00 am Sunday morning on the satcaster’s “Urban View Channel.”  Madison opened up the lines to callers to, as he said, “give people a platform to react and share their feelings.”  SiriusXM reports, “It was a powerful show.  Major figures joined the show by telephone – among them Rev. Jesse Jackson; Ben Jealous, president/CEO, NAACP; Marc Morial, president National Urban League; attorney Daryl Parks, co-attorney for the family of Trayvon Martin; and Roslyn Brock, chairwoman of the NAACP.  ‘Urban View’ then went into a special schedule all day Sunday, serving as a sounding board for listener response.  The channel aired live shows taking calls from around the country throughout the day.”

traduptomMedia Coverage of Zimmerman Verdict Analyzed and Criticized.  In the immediate aftermath of the George Zimmerman verdict, the news/talk radio industry is analyzing media coverage of the case – especially from cable news/talk outlets and what some talk radio practitioners tend to call the “left-leaning mainstream media.”  In a somewhat high-profile incident, former temporary Associated Press staffer Cristina Silva, who had left the news organization before the incident, according to the AP, Tweeted: “So we can all kill teenagers now?  Just checking.”  Salem Radio Networks VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup tells TALKERS magazine that after learning about this he, as a member of the TV Digital News Directors Association, as well as an AP subscriber, contacted AP executive editor Kathleen Carroll.  She informed Tradup that Silva was “a temp who no longer works for us.”  Breitbart.com reports Silva worked for the AP for the past three years with her last byline being July 9 of this year.  Tradup has more to say about the coverage he witnessed and the radio broadcasts he heard to those he saw on cable TV.  He writes, “Radio (gasp) simply covered the verdict.  ABC, SRN, CBS, local stations…all pretty much the same model:  No scary theme music, no weird camera angles, and no need to manufacture emotions or distort what happened.  Just the facts…Not on cable.  Kate Bolduan and Chis Cuomo on, of course, a special edition of CNN’s “New Day” program, reporting on the verdict with agonized scowls on their faces…presenting video of ‘major cities’ all over America where protesters marched after the verdict had been announced.  An objective viewing of the ‘protests’ revealed turnout to be literally dozens of people.  Cuomo physically wrung his hands as he opined that people nationwide are ‘disturbed’ by the verdict.  Kate Bolduan sat stoically next to him, nodding and grimacing over the jury’s verdict on this travesty of a ‘news’ program.  On MSNBC, Melissa Harris-Perry suggested that ‘all over America, African-American parents are hugging their children tighter’…implying that they are trembling in their homes as a result of the Sanford, Florida jury action.  What unsubstantiated baloney. How insulting to African-Americans.  How insulting to our entire legal system.  The state of broadcast journalism in America has always been pretty low, an occasional Edward R. Murrow notwithstanding.  But the deifying of Trayvon Martin by CNN and other cable myna birds simply to generate ratings makes me happy to instead operate in radio news…where actual facts still matter.  Our TV counterparts have served up disgraceful bias and doctored opinions disguised as ‘news coverage.’”

marconiawardSports Talkers Outshine News/Talkers in 2013 NAB Marconi Award Personality Honors Finalists.  The National Association of Broadcasters announces the finalists for the 2013 NAB Marconi Awards honoring personalities and radio stations for excellence.  The winners will be announced at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando on September 18.  This year, in the major market and syndicated categories, news/talk personalities are noticeably absent while sports talk talent is prominent.  Fox Sports Radio/Premiere Networks’ Petros & Money are finalists in the syndicated category and in the major market category, WFAN, New York’s Boomer & Carton and KTCK, Dallas’ “The Musers” (George Dunham and Craig Miller) are finalists.  Clear Channel news/talk KFI, Los Angeles is up for Legendary Station, as is Entercom’s sports talk WEEI, Boston and CBS Radio all-newsers KYW, Philadelphia and WBBM, Chicago.  News/talk and sports are dominant in the Large Market Station of the Year category with CBS Radio’s WCCO, Minneapolis; Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM, Providence; Entercom’s WWL-AM, New Orleans; and CBS Radio’s WXYT-FM, Detroit all in contention.  View all of the finalists here.

sedanojorgeJorge Sedano to Exit WQAM, Miami to Join ESPN.  The Florida SunSentinel reports that WQAM, Miami program director and afternoon drive personality Jorge Sedano will leave the station he’s been with for 11 months to take a multi-platform position with sports giant ESPN.  The specifics of his new position with ESPN are unclear but he is expected to start there in the fall.  Sedano is a fixture in sports media in South Florida and has also worked at Lincoln Financial Media’s WAXY.  He took over the program director position at WQAM after four months away from radio in the market during which he pursued TV opportunities.  He replaced Lee Feldman who exited the WQAM PD post for opportunities outside the radio business.  Sedano also hosted the pre- and post-game shows for Miami Heat games on the Sun Sports telecasts.  Obviously, this opens up a great sports talk radio opportunity in South Florida.

imusdonMerlin Media’s WWIQ, Philadelphia Replaces Lionel with Don Imus in AM Drive.  New York-based media personality Lionel – seen by New Yorkers both in the early morning and during evening news casts on WPIX-TV – waslionel piped in alongside former morning host Al Gardner when Merlin turned the station into a talk-formatted outlet after purchasing it from Family Stations, Inc.  Gardner exited the station in March of this year and Lionel remained in AM drive.  In addition to his work with WPIX-TV, Lionel also operates the successful internet venture lionelmedia.com.

millerchrisFeeding the Endlessly Hungry Mouth: Coming Up with Content for Your Social Media Outreach.  Content gathering is a massive headache for a lot of social media experts.  It can take over two hours a day to do it effectively.  Considering the fact that in radio there are a lot fewer full-time social media folks and a lot more people have added some social media duties to their already long job descriptions, it is even tougher to be consistently interesting, funny or helpful.  In a new column posted today by noted digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller, he suggests several types of content.  These include 1) using a lot of photos (they are more convenient and often more effective than videos); 2) posting in-depth articles (all you need is to click to them); 3) posing questions about hot-button stories (talk radio is more adept at this than music radio); and 4) employing the services of Google Alert to help gather material.  To read Chris Miller’s entire piece, please click here.

kernenbobBob Kernen to Serve as VP/COO for jacAPPS.  Jabobs Media’s jacAPPS division – developer of mobile applications – announces internet veteran Bob Kernen will join the company as vice president and chief operating officer.  The company reports that “this move marks a major step in the growth of the company, ranked by Crain’s Detroit Business as the number #2 mobile application developer in Southeast Michigan, and the industry leader in the Business-to-Business category.”  President Paul Jacobs says, “Since its inception in 2008, jacAPPS has been on a consistent, upward trajectory.  As our company nears its fifth anniversary, we needed a visionary with the right blend of media and web experience – and Bob’s the guy.”  Kernen has served as VP/product development and data for Sharecare, creating a digital database, mobile applications, and a comprehensive back-end data system.  Prior to that, he was the co-founder of GrokMusic, oversaw digital product development for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, developed emerging media platforms for A&E Television Networks, and helped develop the digital strategies for Hearst’s Women.com and Microsoft’s Web TV Networks.

katzjeffspeaksJeff Katz Subs in Morning Drive at WRNO, New Orleans.  Former “TALK 1200” Boston (WXKS-AM) morning man Jeff Katz sets his alarm clock pretty early tomorrow morning — if only for a day – as he’ll fill in on Clear Channel’s news/talk WRNO-FM, New Orleans.  Katz provides a thrice-daily commentary heard on WCAP, Lowell-Boston and has recently been heard filling in for Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated host Todd Schnitt and New England Talk Network regional host Michael Graham.

trautmannconradDial Global’s Conrad Trautmann Given ‘Engineer of the Year’ Honor.  Dial Global announces chief technology officer Conrad Trautmann has been named “Chapter Engineer of the Year” by the Society of Broadcast Engineers’ Chapter 15 (SBE 15), which serves the New York City metro area.  Trautmann is the first recipient of this new award, which recognizes the efforts of a specific individual who best furthers the goals and objectives of their SBE Chapter and provides an outstanding example of local/regional leadership and ethics.  SBE 15 chapter chairman Jeff Smith states, “We are thrilled to honor Conrad with our first ‘Chapter Engineer of the Year’ award.  Within Conrad’s 30-plus years of service to SBE 15, he was instrumental in reestablishing the chapter in the 1980s after declining membership and financial troubles caused the Chapter to cease operations.  Conrad is recognized for implementing a model that has made SBE 15 the largest and most financially stable SBE local chapter in the country.”  Trautmann oversees the company’s broadcast engineering, program distribution, back-office IT, and software development.  He is a nationally recognized and respected leader in the broadcast engineering field, with prior senior engineering positions at Dial Global, Westwood One, Metro Networks, Cox Radio, and Chancellor Media.

kroibarajasconductsHe Was Born in a Crossfire Hurricane.  All-news KROI, Houston’s Mike Barajas show off his conducting and Mick Jagger moves as he leads the Houston Symphony Orchestra in a rendition of the Rolling Stones’ classic “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.”  The “News 92 FM” afternoon anchor received a little help from Symphony conductor Brent Havens as he assisted the performance of the works of the Rolling Stones at Jesse H. Jones Hall.  Photo by Robert Land Productions.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

| July 10, 2013

siriusxmSiriusXM Moves Past 25 Million Subscriber Mark.  SiriusXM Radio announces it has added 715,000 net new subscribers in the second quarter, and that brings its total subscriber number to more than 25 million.  The satcaster cites strong automotive sales for helping drive 15% growth in net additions over the second meyerjimquarter of 2012 and setting “a post-merger record for quarterly net subscriber additions.”  As a result, SiriusXM is raising full-year guidance for total net subscriber additions to 1.5 million from its previous guidance of 1.4 million.  Company CEO Jim Meyer states, “The new subscriber additions in the quarter have helped SiriusXM reach an exciting new milestone that reflects the popularity and reach of SiriusXM programming and services.  The quarterly results bolster SiriusXM’s leadership position in a dynamic audio entertainment marketplace as we continue our trend of strong, profitable growth.  Additionally, we are raising 2013 subscriber guidance to 1.5 million net additions based on our record performance in the quarter.”  Also, the company reiterated its existing 2013 guidance for 1.6 million self-pay net subscriber additions.

yankees logoClear Channel’s WOR, New York Bidding on Yankees Broadcast Rights.  According to a report by Phil Mushnick and Don Burke in the New York Post, Clear Channel-owned WOR, New York is entering thewor710 bidding war over rights to New York Yankees baseball play-by-play.  The reporters cite inside sources that say the company has offered a figure surpassing the current $14 million CBS Radio pays to air games on its all-news WCBS.  CBS Radio has held the rights for the past 11 years and bidding (contracts for both the Yankees and the Mets expire after this season) was expected to be hot with WFAN’s addition of an FM signal in the market and ESPN-owned WEPN also gaining an FM signal.  Whether Clear Channel really wants the Yankees or not is up for speculation – it’s not unusual for companies to enter into the bidding process to drive up the cost for its competition.  It’s a pretty good bet that CBS Radio wants to keep the Yankees but if the price gets too steep will the company let the games go to WOR?  Time will tell.  Meanwhile, unlike Buckley Broadcasting (WOR’s previous owner) Clear Channel has a lot of experience owning flagship baseball signals at its other stations across the country.

tribuneTribune to Split Broadcast and Publishing Entities into Two Companies.  Tribune Company is reporting that it is beginning the process of dividing its assets into two distinctive companies: Tribune Company will contain WGN-AM, Chicago and all of the television stations and TV production units while Tribune Publishing will be the parent ofwgnlogo its newspapers including the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Hartford Courant and others.  Like similarly structured companies, Tribune is focusing on its entertainment properties and the recent plan to acquire Local TV Holdings’ 19 TV stations is proof of that.  During its long bankruptcy proceedings, Tribune had its newspapers on the market but was unable to execute a deal.  News Corp. just announced it would execute a similar move and is splitting its TV and entertainment holdings (including Fox News Channel) into one company – 21st Century Fox – while keeping its publishing assets in the entity called News Corp.

baribeaurachelRachel Baribeau Exits ’92.9 The Game’ in Atlanta.  One of the cast members of CBS Radio sports talk WZGC, Atlanta “92.9 The Game” exits for a gig with Raycom SportsRachel Baribeau leaves the PM drive show where she appeared alongside Kordell Stewart and Carl Dukes to join the company that owns the television rights to ACC basketball and football and, through a sublicense with ESPN, is the syndicator of ACC football and basketball.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports Dukes and Stewart mentioned her departure on the air with Dukes stating, “We love Rachel and we’ll stay in contact with her.  She’s moving on to a great opportunity for herself.”

luciarayNationally Syndicated Financial Talk Host Ray Lucia Fined Over Investment Strategy Claims.  Ray Lucia and his Raymond J. Lucia Cos. Inc. were fined by administrative-law judge Cameron Elliot after the judge agreed with the original SEC complaint that Lucia’s “Buckets of Money” investment strategy – which claimed it had back-testing to support the success of its strategy – had “scant, if any, actual back-tests.”  According to a report in Investment News, Lucia was fined $50,000 and his company was fined $250,000.  Additionally, his advisor registration was revoked by the judge.  Investment News reports that Elliot ruled Lucia “misrepresented for years ‘the validity of purported back-testing in seminars for prospective investors’ interested in his Buckets of Money strategy for retirement savings.”  Lucia and his company have 21 days in which to appeal the decision.

ligginsalfredRadio One and TV One Bring Roland Martin to Radio and TV with “News One Now.”  Radio One president and CEO and TV One chairman Alfred Liggins announces to Multichannel.com that his companies are developing a newmartinroland program featuring former CNN journalist Roland Martin to be called “News One Now” that will debut in the fall prior to the Congressional Black Caucus’ Annual Legislative Conference.   Liggins says, “This is a further evolution of TV One’s commitment to better and more important television for African-Americans, and is also an extension of Radio One’s history and philosophy of making sure we inform, entertain and advocate for the African-American community.  This is the first time a network has approached African-American news on this type of commitment tvone logolevel.”  Liggins adds, “About 50% of African Americans get their news from cable news networks so we now have the opportunity to set the table on a daily basis.  The show will serve as the nexus of black thought – when you talk about what’s happening politically, socially, culturally in our communities, this is the place where people will be able to have those discussions.”  The three-hour radio show will air from 7:00 am to 10:00 am with the last hour simulcast on television via TV One and will “offer news and analysis of politics, entertainment, sports and culture from an African American perspective.”  Martin has been hosting TV One’s Sunday program “Washington Watch” but with the new venture, that show will not return in the fall.

freebeerCompass Media Networks’ ‘Free Beer & Hot Wings’ Morning Show Renews with Flagship WGRD, Grand Rapids.  Townsquare Media’s rock WGRD, Grand Rapids announces it has struck a new deal with the nationally syndicated young male-targeted “Free Beer & Hot Wings” morning drive show hosted by Gregg “Free Beer” Daniels, Chris “Hot Wings” Michels, and Eric Zane.  The new deal keeps the program on the station through 2018.  Townsquare Grand Rapids vice president/general manager Russ Hines tells MLive.com, “Gregg, Chris and Eric continue to entertain and grow their audience every day and amuse their listeners with quality humorous content.  Their decision to stay in West Michigan and continue to raise their families here is another indication of what makes Grand Rapids special.”

hannityseanKQNT, Spokane Adds Sean Hannity for Middays.  Clear Channel-owned news/talk KQNT, Spokane adds Premiere NetworksSean Hannity program to the schedule to air in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm following Premiere’s Rush Limbaugh.  KQNT program director Bob Castle states, “Sean Hannity is a media superstar and his addition to our lineup now provides our listeners and advertisers with the most popular talk show hosts in the country, all on one station.”

fifty & five logoGary Landis Named Director of Client Relations at Fifty & Five.  Former Westwood One vice president and longtime media consultant Gary Landis joins Fifty & Five as director of client relations.  Based in Redondo Beach, California, Fifty & Five is a four-year-old firm that landisgaryspecializes in social media marketing for brands, products and services including the radio industry.  Speaking about his new opportunity, Landis states, “With over 40 years of national broadcasting experience behind me, I am looking forward to working with CEO Lucas Vandenberg and EVP of client relations Peter Evans, plus the most incredible team of social media talent on the planet.  This is not your mother’s social media agency.  Beyond what is being done by every radio station today, there are new ways to employ social media that can profoundly impact the bottom line.”  Peter Evans says, “With Gary’s diverse experience and expertise in the broadcast media, we can only anticipate great things from him in the coming months and years.” Landis can be reached at 612-581-7581 or by e-mail at gary@fiftyandfive.com.

dreambigamerica logoDoug Stephan’s ‘Dream Big America’ Kicked Off This Week.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Doug Stephan – heard around the country on his “Good Day” morning program – debuted the “Dream Big America” first-ever live radio show that pits new entrepreneur ideas against each other.  The inaugural lineup of contestants appeared on Tuesday, July 9, at 9:00 am on “Doug Stephan’s Good Day.”  Three entrepreneurs each pitched their business ideas.  Then a panel of noted business executive/celebrities cross-examined each contestant.  Next, listeners were invited to call stephandougspecial voting numbers to select a weekly winner.  Weekly winners will be invited back to face off in the “Finals Show” on the last Tuesday of the month.  The final winner will receive cash, support and valuable resources for their business, according to Stephan.  The first three entrepreneurs were: Conscious Box, which enables customers to discover healthier, environmentally focused products by sending a monthly sample box of 10-20 products to a subscriber’s front door, presented by CEO Patrick Kelly, Jr.; myEDmatch, a job-matching site for educators that connects schools and teachers with shared missions, beliefs, and goals, presented by CEO Alicia Herald; and Stemulation, the first luxury skin-care product that uses adult mesenchymal stem cells to rejuvenate the skin, presented by president and CEO Laurie Nicoll.  Speaking about the debut program, Doug Stephan says, “What a powerhouse group of entrepreneurs for the ‘Dream Big America’ inaugural show.  We are coming out of the box with a bang!  Each one of these new ventures is very impressive in their own right.  I can’t wait to see how America will vote between these three companies.”  The “Dream Big America” program is a collaboration between Stephan’s “Good Day,” the Kansas City-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and its 1 Million Cups start-up education program, and the San Diego-based Nutritional Capital Network.

hasselbeckelisabethElisabeth Hasselbeck to Join Fox News Channel’s ‘Fox & Friends’ Morning Show.  Longtime cast member of ABC TV’s “The View,” conservative Elisabeth Hasselbeck, will become part of Fox News Channel’s morning show, replacing current co-host Gretchen Carlson who is going to be anchoring her own daytime show on the cable news/talker beginning in September.  In a statement, FNC chairman and CEO Roger Ailes says, “Elisabeth’s warm and engaging personality made her a star on ‘The View.’  She has proven to be an excellent conversationalist and I am certain she will make a great addition to our already successful morning franchise.”

mikeandmikeOdds & Sods.  Salem Radio Network announces a month-long, multi-platform initiative in August designed to highlight what it calls “the battle over America’s culture wars” and reporting that SRN’s nationally syndicated talk hosts – as well as the network’s 24/7 Washington, D.C.-based SRN News service – will all focus interviews and special features on “the current challenges to traditional American values.”…..WTOP, Washington’s “Best of Washington” kicks off this week with new and returning “Top 10” categories.  Hubbard’s broadcast and digital news operation says it wants to know the best things in the Washington area.  This week on WTOP.com listeners can nominate their favorites in these ten categories: pizza, local charity, food truck, burger, wings, fries, local brewery, happy hour, farmer’s market, and shopping mall.  During the week of July 15 -19 the finalists will be announced and voting will begin.  The winners of WTOP’s “Best of Washington” will be unveiled weekdays July 22 through August 2…..ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike — Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic – will describe the action over the Citi Field PA system for those at the stadium during the 2013 Chevrolet Home Run Derby, Monday, July 15, at 8:00 pm at the MLB All Star Game festivities.  Greeny and Golic will be positioned on the field to provide commentary and player interviews during this year’s event.

Illegal Immigration Legislation/Amnesty Program, ObamaCare Implementation, George Zimmerman Trial, Egypt Turmoil, Aaron Hernandez Case, NSA Surveillance Program, Texas Abortion Bill, and Mexico Grabs Obesity Crown Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/9).  The debate over new immigration legislation and the proposed amnesty policy; implementation of the Affordable Care Act; the trial of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin; new details linking Aaron Hernandez to the shooting death of Odin Lloyd; debate over the National Security Agency’s surveillance program; the Texas House’s passing of new abortion legislation; and Mexico’s rise to the most obese nation were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

| June 26, 2013

npg logoClear Channel Faces Suit by Photo Company Alleging Illegal Use.  National Photo Group LLC has filed a complaint in United States District Court Western District of Texas alleging Clear Channel radio stations infringed on its copyrights by using pictures of various celebrities on the websites of some of its radio stations.  The complaint names 11 CC radio stations and alleges photos of celebrities including Jason Aldean, Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, Drew Barrymore and others were used without permission and with knowledge that the photos were copyrighted.  NPG is seeking $150,000 per infringement plus legal fees and any other relief the Court deems just and proper.

marrtomlgWCBM, Baltimore Extends Talk Host Tom Marr’s Contract Through 2017.  Baltimore talk radio institution Tom Marr will be heard on WCBM through 2017 as the station’s vice president, Nick Mangione. Jr., announces the station extends his no-cut contract for another four years.  The official announcement was made June 24 by WCBM program director and operations manager Sean Casey at the start of Marr’s show that day.  Mangione, Jr. states, “I am delighted we have reached the agreement on the extension. To quote my late father, Tom is still at the top of his game both as a broadcaster in general and talk show host in particular.  We are delighted he will be on the air until 2017 with WCBM and he just may decide to stay longer.  There will always be room for him in the WCBM family.  Tom has a good sense for the business.  As an example, he is the first one to suggest that we add both Sean Hannity and Mark Levin to our lineup.  Tom has a large following within the reach of our 50 thousand watt transmitter and is building a solid national and international following on WCBM’s worldwide reach via the internet.”  Marr, who began his career as a high school sports broadcaster on WWDC-AM, Washington, DC in 1960, says, “I am deeply honored that Nick and the Mangione Family Enterprises agreed to the extension.  I look forward to the challenges ahead for talk radio and its increasing role in the media especially in view of our relationship with the digital world.”

brienjenWBZ-AM, Boston Names Jen Brien Overnight Talk Host.  After the retirement of Steve LeVeille last year, the station has been featuring a number of talk radio personalities in the overnight slot.  Now, program director Peter Casey announces Jennifer “Jen” Brien is named to the permanent position.  The station says the program “will be a mix of pop culture, current events, politics, and the comings and goings of people in New England.”  In addition to WBZ-AM’s monster signal that penetrates the entire East Coast at that time of night, the show can be heard on CBS Radio’s Radio.com.  Brien joined WBZ from Entercom’s crosstown news/talk WRKO where she hosted a daily program.  She has also hosted shows on WPRO and WHJJ in Providence, and WCOD and WXTK on Cape Cod.  Before beginning her career in radio, Brien spent more than five years as a soldier in the United States Army where she was selected for the prestigious “Soldier of the Year” award.

bennettalexSiriusXM Cancels Long-Running Alex Bennett Show.  One of modern talk radio’s true pioneers, Alex Bennett, has reportedly been let go “without cause” from SiriusXM Satellite Radio‘s “Sirius Left” channel where he was doing the daily 7:00 am to 10:00 am program.  Bennett has been with Sirius for almost a decade and, according to insiders close to the host, was caught by surprise and is “distraught” over what transpired.  Bennett has had a colorful, unique on-air career that goes back to the late-1960s when he was the lone talk show host on the old WMCA, New York when it was still the “Home of the Good Guys.”  He subsequently went on to do both rock music and talk broadcasting serving as one of the original prototypes for the pop culture-oriented (some call it “shock jock”) and “progressive” genres of modern day talk radio.  Between WMCA and Sirius, he served in ground-breaking stints at such great stations as WPLJ in New York and KMEL, KITS (“Live 105″) and KQAK (“The Quake”) in San Francisco.  At press time, it is not clear if this was a cost-cutting move on the part of Sirius or indicative of a re-direction in programming.  Bennett is still on the air and is reportedly doing his final program for the satellite radio service this Friday.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “In my opinion Alex Bennett is one of the most important talents ever to grace a microphone during my lifetime.  His show on WMCA — in which he did extremely progressive talk about the issues of the day such as the Vietnam War – was on a station that was otherwise a hip music station.  In the midst of all the fun, cool hipness of the rock ‘n’ roll and the zany DJs of that fabulous station, Bennett was fearlessly talking to the kids about extremely important controversial issues.  That show served as the original inspiration for me to launch an issues-oriented talk show (“Harrison’s Mic”) five years later on rocker KMET in Los Angeles and my own talk career that paralleled my music radio work.  If I had not heard Alex Bennett in 1969, there might not have ever been a TALKERS magazine.”

cookehollandHOLLAND COOKE: The Future of AM/FM in the Car.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke reports from the Consumer Electronic Association’s Connected Car Conference in New York City and her says that the bottom line after “four-and-a-half-hours of thoughtful discussion, research, and prognostication by automotive, electronics, and media thinkers:  Whatever the dashboard is about to morph into matters less to AM/FM radio than what’s already happened.”  Cooke writes that people who matter have already connected their media to the car speakers and offers some thoughts about what radio programmers can do to stand out from the digital competition.  Read his analysis here.

wznn logoSummitMedia to Pull the Plug on Sports Talk In Birmingham.  SummitMedia announces it will drop the sports talk format on WZNN, Birmingham “97.3 The Zone” and flip to a different – most likely music – format.  SummitMedia EVP and COO David DuBose tells the Birmingham News, “We have been evaluating the sportsfinebaumpaul format in light of multiple factors, including [Paul] Finebaum‘s placement.  After nearly two years, it became clear the market did not support two competing sports stations.  “Therefore, we have determined we should focus on other format opportunities.”  SummitMedia purchased the Birmingham cluster from Cox Media Group earlier this year.  The station was flipped to sports in August of 2011 when Cox had its eye on building the station around mega-successful Southeast sports personality Paul Finebaum by bringing him over from Cumulus Media’s crosstown sports WJOX.  Finebaum, who’d had legal squabbles with WJOX and wanted out of that relationship, ended up working out his contract there, sat out a non-compete and will begin a new sports talk radio venture with ESPN based out of Charlotte.  It’s believed he will return to WJOX via ESPN syndication when the new program debuts later this summer.

mynorthwest logoBonneville Seattle Brings Unique Talk to MyNorthwest.comThe Bonneville Seattle cluster that includes news/talk KIRO-FM, sports KIRO-AM and talk KTTH is beginning a series of unique audio programs to the web venture it calls MyNorthwest.com.  Dubbed “MyNorthwest Chats,” the weekly, one-hour programs will stream on Wednesday’s from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm beginning with today’s chat featuring nationally acclaimed restaurateur Tom DouglasMyNorthwest.com editor Stephanie Klein says, “We’re excited to have the opportunity to connect our readers directly to the experts and start an inspiring dialogue that makes an impact.  We want the conversation to spark a chain of discussion in our readers’ lives.”  Other chats lined up for July include talk show host Michael Medved and Seattle Mariners insider Shannon Drayer.

ryderturiProgramming Changes at WGN, Chicago; Turi Ryder to Exit.  Chicago radio pro Turi Ryder has been in the late night slot at Tribune’s WGN, Chicago since the beginning of this year but now the company says it’s going in a different direction and will end her program.  Ryder will get a chance to say goodbye to her WGN listeners as she’ll work this evening and Thursday before wrapping things up there.  The station has not announced what will air in the time slot.  Ryder also hosts “America Weekend” for Envision Radio Networks.

wproCumulus Media’s WPRO-AM, Providence Tackles Immigration Issue with Live Debate.  News/talk WPRO-AM’s Tara Granahan is moderating a debate that will take place today at the Providence Marriott from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm called, “Green Light on Green Cards,” featuring a panel of experts from each side of the illegal immigration issue.  The granahantaradiscussion will be streamed live online at the station’s 630wpro.com and will be the center piece of a “WPRO Special Report” scheduled to air during the “WPRO Morning News with Gene Valicenti” the week of July 1.  The debate features two immigration lawyers, a state representative, a member of the local clergy and the head of an illegal immigration enforcement organization.  The stations states, “The debate will address the issues that have emerged from illegal immigration including; licenses for illegal immigrants, how immigration effects the Rhode Island economy, and potential solutions moving forward.”

telesouth logoTeleSouth Communications to Buy WOSM, Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  TeleSouth operates the Mississippi talk radio network known as “SuperTalk Mississippi” and the purchase of WOSM, Ocean Springs (103.1 FM) – between Biloxi and Pascagoula on the Gulf Coast – will be added to that network.  The company states, “The addition of WOSM to the network will give coast listeners the best choice in Mississippi programming with ‘The Gallo Radio Show,’ ‘The JT Show’ and ‘Head to Head with Matt Wyatt and Richard Cross,’ all homegrown programs that keep a watch on state government, entertainment, sports, unique happenings in Mississippi, with a local take on national issues.”  In addition to Mississippi-based programs, ‘SuperTalk’ is also home to Cumulus Media NetworksMike Huckabee and Compass Media NetworksLars Larson and Todd Schnitt.  WOSM is owned and operated by Charles Cooper and airs Christian programming.  TeleSouth CEO Steve Davenport states, “We are excited about growing the ‘SuperTalk Network’ with the addition of WOSM.  Mr. Cooper has worked hard for years building an audience loyal to traditional family values.  We are confident that WOSM listeners will hear those values in the programs featured each day on ‘SuperTalk.’”  Long-time coast talk show host and programmer Kipp Greggory will serve as general manager of WOSM.

rutherforddaveCHQR, Calgary Talk Host Dave Rutherford to End Daily Show.  Canadian talk show host Dave Rutherford will wrap a 21-year career hosting a daily talk show at CHQR, Calgary after his last show on July 26.  The conservative personality and pedigreed newsman tells the Edmonton Journal he believes the broadcast news industry is dumbing down and there may be no place for a broadcaster like him.  “I don’t think there’s the desire to ask the next question, maybe to ask any questions.  But I sense that the whole industry, the broadcast news business, television and radio, is dumbing down.”

cnnradioThe End of the Line for CNN Radio.  The service was a shell of its former self after Dial Global ended its distribution of the news product and replaced it with NBC News Radio last year, effectively becoming a digital-only product.  Now, CNN states that after completing “a review of its radio business,” it “has made the decision to cease production of CNN Radio podcasts, effective immediately.”  CNN has indicated that some of the staff will be relocated to positions elsewhere in the company.

huntallenAllen Hunt to End WSB, Atlanta Program.  Christian broadcaster Allen Hunt announces he’ll end his Sunday evening program that has aired on WSB, Atlanta since its inception after the June 30 broadcast.  Hunt says he was approached by Cox Media to move the time of his program and he decided that due to his busy schedule with the Dynamic Catholic Institute and the requested change, he decided it would be better to end the show.  Hunt built the program at WSB and, for a couple of years, put the show into national syndication.

mohrbillboardThe Roving Jay Mohr Billboard.  Fox Sports Radio Network nationally syndicated host Jay Mohr’s flagship station, “AM570 FOX Sports LA” (KLAC, Los Angeles) surprised Mohr with a mobile billboard promoting his program.  While Mohr was on the air, the billboard stopped by the studio during its route through Los Angeles and the show crew seized the opportunity for a quick photo-op.  Pictured here (from l-r) are: intern Ben Haley, technical producer John Ramos, social media producer Matty Cox, assistant producer Justin Frosburg, Mohr, update anchor “Diamond” Dan Beyer, associate producer Mike Lingard and executive producer Greg “Hong Kong” Toohey.

Former KMOX, St. Louis Personality Bruce Bradley Dies.  Bruce Bradley was a personality on CBS Radio’s KMOX, St. Louis from 1986 to 1992.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports he passed away on Saturday, June 22 in Lake St. Louis at age 79.  Prior to his career in St. Louis, Bradley also worked in the New York, Philadelphia and Boston markets.

President Obama’s Global Warming Policy, SCOTUS Gay Marriage Rulings, George Zimmerman Trial, Paula Deen Freefall, and Texas Anti-Abortion Bill Fails Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/25).  President Obama’s policy to bypass Congress to enact greenhouse gas emissions regulations; the Supreme Court’s rulings on gay marriage issues; the trial of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin; the demise of Paula Deen’s media career in the wake of allegations of racist language; and the failure of anti-abortion legislation in Texas were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

| June 11, 2013

lex&terryLex Staley Apologizes After On-Air Comment Angers LGBT Community.  While discussing a news story in which a 16-year-old boy shot a transsexual after a sexual encounter, Lex Staley quipped, “I don’t blame him.  I would have shot his ass, too!”  The comment received attention – enough to get the United Stations Radio Networks-produced “Lex & Terry” program removed from the Clear Channel-operated “Extreme Talk” channel on SiriusXM.  Staley has apologized, issuing the following statement via his agent: “I want to reach out the best way I can to the transgendered community.  I deeply apologize for an insensitive remark concerning a news story being discussed on my radio show where a 16-year-old boy shot a transgendered person after they had intimate contact.  Please know that my off-the-cuff remark was not intended to offend or hurt anyone, but after listening to the audio I understand why the comment caused hurt and anger.  I had originally hoped to explain the context of what I said, but quite honestly, what I said was just plain wrong and there is no context in which my statement is acceptable and I take responsibility for it.  I would like to clarify two things: One is that I work every day on a very liberal program.  We are an advice show that has helped the LGBT members of our audience for the past 21 years.  We have consistently supported LGBT equality rights on our show, well before it was popular to do so.  Secondly, as a father of a young daughter, I am always distressed when I hear of adults having inappropriate contact with minors.  But instead of properly expressing my distress in this situation I made a stupid comment that had no place and failed to express what I was actually thinking.  I deeply regret the insensitive and hurtful remark I made. My on-air partner and I will be devoting a segment on an upcoming show to discuss the serious issue of discrimination in the LGBT community.  We’re all human and deserve to be treated with respect and dignity – as members of the media, we embrace our responsibility to use our platform to help our greater community.”

schnitttoddTodd Schnitt Sues to Get Legal Fees Back in from Fired Attorney.  The key decision in this case will probably not be made until September when Circuit Judge Charles Bergmann will decide if Todd Schnitt’s case against former attorney Philip Campbell goes to trial or arbitration.  Regular TALKERS readers are aware that WFLA, Tampa-based Compass Media Networks talk host Todd Schnitt sued WHPT, Tampa-based talk host Bubba the Love Sponge for defamation earlier this year.  The case was eventually settled after a high-profile – and dramatic – trial.  During that trial, Schnitt attorney Campbell was arrested on DUI charges after leaving a restaurant with a paralegal from the firm Adams & Diaco representing Bubba the Love Sponge, though Campbell did not know her employment status.  Schnitt eventually fired Campbell after paying his firm $1 million for services rendered.  But the firm says Schnitt owes another $1 million.  Schnitt is suing not only to contest the additional $1 million but to recoup the initial sum asserting legal malpractice.  According to the Tampa Bay Times, Campbell’s firm says the case must go to arbitration based on a clause in their contract but Schnitt’s new attorney – Wil Florin – says that’s not so.  Regarding allegations Adams & Diaco sent the paralegal there to “set up” Campbell for the DUI, state investigators are looking into that but the firm has released information to the press with the goal of showing there was no “set-up.”

beckglennGlenn Beck Freedom of Speech Acceptance Address Now on TalkersTV.  Premiere Networks and TheBlaze talk star Glenn Beck received the 2013 Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech at the recent Talkers New York 2013 convention this past Thursday (6/6).  See the entire speech by clicking the TalkersTV box at the top of the column on the right hand side of this page.

millerchrisHow to Tweet Effectively.  Digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller advises his clients, “When it comes to social media, either you’re building your brand, or spinning your wheels.”  He says, “Twitter has turned into a huge wheel-spinning exercise for many businesses!”  In a column posted today (6/11) titled “How I Tweet,” Miller shares what he has found works for him. He suggests 1) not waiting to be followed; 2) choosing wisely when it comes to following others; 3) being yourself and writing in a natural, personable voice; 4) don’t sell – share; 5) treat your subjects the way you treat your power rotation; 6) re-tweet effectively, and 7) don’t forget to respond.  Read Chris Miller’s entire column here.

beasleyBeasley Announces Ruben Perez New Promotions and Non-Traditional Revenue Director for Fort Myers Cluster.  Ruben Perez moves from Beasley Broadcasting’s hip hop WPOW, Miami “Power 96” to the company’s five station Fort Myers cluster that includes AC WJPT “Sunny 106,” CHR WXKB “B103.9,” talk WRXK “96 K-Rock,” rock WJBX “99X,” and sports talk WWCN.  The company says Perez will be “responsible for the coordination and execution of all promotions for the stations in the Fort Myers-Naples market.  Additionally, he is charged with creating and implementing large-scale community events such as festivals and concerts that bring awareness to – and non-traditional revenue for – Beasley’s SW Florida cluster.”   Vice president and market manager Brad Beasley states, “Ruben brings a wealth of radio knowledge and experience to our Southwest Florida team.  We believe his abilities to generate large-scale events and brands will greatly benefit both our listeners and advertisers.”

dubosedavidDavid DuBose Sues Cox Media Group for Breach of Contract.  In a suit filed in United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama Southern Division, former Cox Media Group Birmingham market manager David DuBose (now serving with SummitMedia at the same group of stations) is alleging the company is in breach of contract after failing to pay agreed-to compensation for work done outside the bounds of his normal duties in improving the signals of Cox-owned stations to improve their value as well as a “special retention bonus” for remaining with the company through the sale to SummitMedia.  In the complaint, DuBose also alleges Cox Media Group used “inflated and unrealistic figures” in the revenue reports for the Birmingham stations and stations outside that metro “for the purpose of enhancing the sale price of those stations.”  In the complaint he also notes that former Cox chief Bob Neil stated the enhancement of the signals improved the value of the company’s station portfolio by some $200 million.  DuBose is not seeking a specific damage amount in the complaint.

clovissamOdds & Sods.  KSCJ, Sioux City talk show host Sam Clovis throws his hat into the ring for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Tom Harkin who has announced he will not run for re-election in 2014.  No word when Clovis plans to end his radio program…..CBS Radio Minneapolis market manager Mick Anselmo and the late Eleanor Mondale are being inducted into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame at the Pavek Museum.  Mondale, who was a personality on news/talk WCCO, died in 2011 at age 51 after a battle with brain cancer…..Clear Channel-operated Total Traffic Network (TTN), is named the 2013 Telematics Update Award winner for Best Navigation Solution.  The Telematics Update Awards recognize the leading players in the telematics space during Telematics Detroit, the world’s largest and most influential business focused conference and exhibition for the entire telematics ecosystem…..SiriusXM talk show host Joe Madison is elected to the board of governors for the American Red Cross…..Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTOP, Washington picks up eight Chesapeake Associated Press awards including for Outstanding Website, Outstanding Spot News and Outstanding Newscast.

angaudio logoAnG Services Launches Imaging Production Service.  Las Vegas-based AnG Services Inc. announces the launch of its new brand, angaudio.com, that offers “top-notch creative radio imaging production services from copywriting, sweepers and promos to radio imaging demos for voice talent at prices that consider the client experience.”  AnG Services CEO G.A. Simon states, “There are many imaging companies out there whose customer service is deplorable.  A lot of these other guys don’t even pick up their phone when you call.  We feel that creative imaging cannot be produced from a template.  There has to be open communication between the creatives and the program director to fit the vision for the station’s brand.”  The company says that it offers cutting-edge creative from copywriters and producers in New York, Las Vegas and Orlando with one focal point: customer satisfaction.  “We are working towards creating a support system for stations that otherwise cannot have internal creative services, or for those in need of support,” says Simon.

sladeawardScott Slade Honored by Fisher House Foundation.  WSB, Atlanta morning host Scott Slade was recently honored by Fisher House Foundation for his work hosting the organization’s Memorial Day special, “A Grateful Nation.”  The three-hour salute to the military and their families raised awareness and funds for Fisher House, which builds comfort homes at military and VA hospitals where the families of wounded warriors and vets can stay at no cost while their loved ones recover.  The show aired on 145 news/talk stations, Sirius/XM and Glenn Beck‘s TheBlaze.

ccrane radioC.Crane Radio “Talkers New York 2013″ Raffle Winners Named.  The winners of cool radios at “Talkers New York 2013″ from C. Crane Company – one of the nation’s most respected manufacturers and distributors of radio receivers – have been pulled out of the jar.  They are Peter Tripi of Premiere Networks who won a CC Radio-2 AM/FM/Weather and 2-Meter Ham Band Radio; Michelle Jerson of MichelleJerson.com who won a CC WiFi Internet Radio; John Boltz of Saratoga Public Affairs who won c CC Pocket AM/FM/Weather Radio; and “Diamond Joe” Covais of TalkSuperStation.com who won a CC Solar Observer AM/FM/Weather Emergency Radio.  C. Crane Company is a long time friend of and advertiser on talk radio around the country and served as an exhibitor at the TALKERS event this past Thursday (6/6).  Congratulations to the winners.

NSA Data Collection Case, George Zimmerman Trial Begins, Morning-After Pill Policy, Turkish Unrest, and Tebow Signs with Patriots Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/10).  The expanding case of the National Security Administration’s massive data collection project and the status of source Edward Snowdon; the beginning of the trial of George Zimmerman, charged with the death of Trayvon Martin; the Obama Administration’s approval of the morning-after pill for girls under 17; the ongoing unrest in Turkey; and the signing by the New England Patriots of controversial player Tim Tebow were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

| June 4, 2013

stillwellfrostyFrosty Stillwell Returns to Talk at CC’s KKSF, San Francisco for Middays.  Hot AC KIOI, San Francisco “Star 101.3” morning show co-host Frosty Stillwell will continue his work alongside Sandy Stec on the Sandy & Frosty program until a replacement is named but today (6/4) he begins immediately hosting the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show on the company’s talk KKSF “Talk 910.”  Stillwell was part of the Frosty, Heidi & Frank trio that spent years at hot talk KLSX, Los Angeles.  He also had worked at Clear Channel’s KYSR, Los Angeles and filled in at talk KFI.  Frosty says, “I am thrilled to get back to what I’ve done for the past two decades, talk radio.  ‘Talk 910’ dominates the format in San Francisco.  While I loved being part of the music and personality show on ‘Star 101.3,’ there was just no way I could pass up this enticing opportunity right down the hall to get back to my true passion.”

boylespeterPeter Boyles Officially Out at KHOW, Denver.  Less than two weeks after being removed from the air on Clear Channel Denver’s talk KHOW, station management officially cuts the ties between the longtime Denver personality and the station.  Peter Boyles was taken off the air on May 24 after an altercation between Boyles and his producer Greg Hollenback that reportedly escalated into a physical attack on Boyles’ part.  The incident made the news immediately as local media was in the building to cover a press conference with politician Tom Tancredo.  KHOW program director Dan Mandis wrote an email to the Denver Post notifying the paper Boyles is no longer with the company.  Guest hosts have been sitting in on the morning show since that time and no permanent replacement has been announced.

foxnewsradioProgramming VP Mike Elder Exits Fox News Radio.  One of the most respected programming executives in talk radio, Mike Elder, has left Fox News Radio after serving the past eight years as the company’s VP of programming.  Elder, a veteran PD of such great stations as WRKO, Boston; WLS, Chicago; WCCO, Minneapolis; eldermikeKTOK, Oklahoma City and KMBZ/KCMO, Kansas City tells TALKERS, “It was an amicable parting of the ways.  My contract was up, cuts were being made to the staff, and we both agreed to move on.  And this was the longest tenure of a more-than-40-year career, so I was living on borrowed time anyway.”  Elder continues, “This has been one of the best jobs I’ve had, or that radio still had. [Fox VPs] Kevin Magee and Bob Finnerty were very supportive of our efforts and our channel on SiriusXM as well as the internet and affiliates.  They allowed me to put together a great staff and I appreciate their support over the past eight years.”  What next for the 40-year veteran of talk and music radio?  He tells TALKERS he will probably move back to his home in Boston and believes he has at least one more job in him.  He will take the time to explore his options as a programmer and talent coach. “I still feel I have another gig left in me, so I am not shutting the door on radio.  I would welcome the chance to work with great talent and production staffs again.  But I’m open to something new as well.  There is a whole new world on the internet that will require content, and not the same ol’, same ol’.  I’d love to work on something new, exciting, challenging and dynamic that would allow me to put my over 40 years of experience and skills to use in a new and different way.”  Mike Elder can be reached at Mikeelder@me.com or 646-256-5653.

thomasjoeJoe Thomas Puts ‘The Afternoon Constitutional’ on Hiatus.  WCHV, Charlottesville, Virginia program director and morning drive host Joe Thomas announces that “after two-and-a-half years of independent conservative analysis of the news and events for Virginia’s great cities of Richmond, Roanoke and Charlottesville,” he’s taking the regionally syndicated afternoon show off the air.  Although Thomas says of “The Afternoon Constitutional,” “It’s more like a ‘dry docking’ of a great ship that has taken you to amazing places but now needs to be refitted with some new things for her future voyages.  Stay tuned!”  Thomas continues his roles as morning host and program director at WCHV.  He can be reached at joe@theafternoonconstitutional.com

ktnf logoProgressive Talker KTNF, Minneapolis Sold to Chad Larson.  Sales manager Chad Larson believes in progressive talk and he’s agreeing to pay current owner JR Broadcasting (Janet Roberts) $1.5 million for the AM signal.  JR Broadcasting paid $3 million for the station in 2004 from CBS Radio.  Currently, the station airs local morning host Matt McNeil’s “The Morning Grind” plus WYD Media’s Stephanie Miller and Thom Hartmann, Ed Schultz and Compass Media Network’s Norman Goldman.

moranjessicaOdds & Sods.  The Boston Globe reports that rumors are flying in town that Entercom’s sports talk WEEI is contemplating a change to its midday show by moving Mike Mutnansky out and replacing him with Comcast SportsNet New England’s Jessica Moran.  Mutnansky co-hosts the “Mut & Merloni” show with former Red Sox player Lou Merloni…..At ESPN Radio, the NBA Finals are the hot topic as Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love and former NBA head coach Doug Collins join “Mike & Mike” as co-hosts.  Love will join Mike Golic and Ryan Ruocco, who will sub for Mike Greenberg, on Thursday, June 6 – the morning of Game 1 of the Finals.  Doug Collins, who most recently coached the Philadelphia 76ers, will join Golic and Greenberg the morning after Game 3, Wednesday, June 12.  Both guests will be part of an NBA-centric programming block from 6:00 am to 10:00 am.

beasleyhonoraryGeorge Beasley Receives Honorary Doctorate.  Beasley Broadcast Group chairman and chief executive officer George G. Beasley is pictured here at Appalachian State University’s recent May commencement receiving Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa from the school’s chancellor Dr. Kenneth E. Peacock.  A native of Patrick County, Virginia, Beasley has deep ties to Appalachian State University (ASU) in Boone, NC receiving both his undergraduate (’58) and graduate degrees (’60) from ASU.  Most recently, he contributed the lead gift making a new broadcasting and media facility on campus possible – the George G. Beasley Media Complex, which is scheduled to open later this year.  Beasley vice president of corporate communications Denyse Mesnik tells us that education was a first love of George Beasley’s.  “Prior to broadcasting, George was a teacher and ultimately a high school principal.  In fact, while building his first radio station he was a principal until the school bell rang, then a radio station owner late afternoons, evenings and weekends.”

Michael Douglas Oral Sex Flap, Senator Lautenburg Dies, IRS Scandal, DOJ Journalists Investigation, Obama Administration Secret Email Accounts and Syria Chemical Weapons Charges Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/3).  Michael Douglas’ public statement that oral sex caused his throat cancer; the death of Democratic New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg; the ongoing scandal involving the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups; the Department of Justice’s investigation of journalists; the controversy over some Obama Administration appointees using secret email accounts; and the chemical weapons use charges against the Syrian military were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, May 20, 2013

| May 20, 2013

tantillojohnOpen Letter to Rush:  Marketing and Branding Expert Warns Host to Do a “Brand Over” Before it is Too Late.  Author, broadcaster and branding consultant, Dr. John Tantillo, tells Rush Limbaugh that he must act quickly to offset the negative campaigning being waged against him, his style of talk and, resultantly, all of talk radio in the commercial/advertising arena.  In an open letter to the star host posted today exclusively in TALKERS (5/20), Tantillo suggests, “Rush, when products reach the maturity stage, the textbook answer is to address it by stressing product benefits and differences.  In your case, Rush this is rather easy.  You wrote the book on talk and created an entire lucrative advertising model around it.  You simply are all about talk and making a profit from it.  This is something that they cannot take away from you, or as I would like to say: ‘It’s your brand.’  And because this is your brand, you should work from there when commencing your brand over.   That’s right — brand over, not that inane ‘make over’ where consultants who don’t really know you,  advise you to become something that you are not.  No, Rush, a brand over, is for you and will take the Rush from the inside and makes the necessary alterations to the outside.  All good! Your centering mission should be: ‘To thy own brand be true,’ where any and all changes about your brand come from there.”  Tantillo offers a compelling 10 step strategy that Rush can take to turn around the campaign being waged by his critics and set himself on a successful course for the next stage of his maturing brand.  To read the letter in its entirety, please click here.

clyburnmignonMignon Clyburn in as Acting Chairperson of the FCC.  As announced, Julius Genachowski has exited the Federal Communications Commission where he was chairman and commissioner Mignon Clyburn will serve as acting chair until the confirmation process for the new chairman has taken place.  Nominee Tom Wheeler’s confirmation has been delayed until later in June.  Last week the Commerce Committee announced the confirmation hearings would not take place this week.

millerchrisTime to Clean Up Digital Space for Summer.  With Memorial Day weekend about to roll around, digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller suggests this is a good time to start making big moves in small chunks and get your website and social media initiatives up to speed with a little upgrading.  In a new column posted today (5/20) Miller offers a punch list of items you can work on each week between now and Labor Day to get your website and social media fixed up, and ready to totally support your on-air product this fall!  They include writing down your goals, taking something OFF your website, picking fonts and colors, freshening your Facebook page cover photo, checking your tabs for relevance, cutting back on posts by setting and raising your standards, focusing Twitter on something specific, and properly prioritizing Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest by de-emphasizing them as social sites and using them more for storage and as content channels.  To read Chris Miller’s entire article, click here.

wolfcharlieInternationally Known American Broadcaster Living and Working in London Shares his Perspective on the Radio Business from the Other Side of the Pond.  They might be speaking English, but the comparisons break down quickly after that.  American radio broadcaster Charlie Wolf has been living and working in the UK for years, holding on-air positions at a number of leading British media outlets from the legendary “pirate radio” to the BBC.  During these years, he has become somewhat of an in-house UK “go-to” guy explaining, debating and in most cases defending the American position on issues as seen from the English point of view.  In an exclusive commentary posted today (5/20) in TALKERS, Wolf shares his observations and insights about how very different talk radio is in the UK than it is in the US.  To read his entire provocative piece, click here.

mccaslinspeech‘America’s Morning News’ Host John McCaslin Addresses Small Business Finance Conference.  America’s Radio News Network executive vice president John McCaslin (holding mic) is pictured here at the 2013 NADCO “Game Change” conference held over the weekend.  The conference was for companies certified by the Small Business Administration to provide loans for small businesses, which create two-thirds of the nation’s new jobs.  McCaslin, who also hosts the nationally syndicated “America’s Morning News” program, told the packed house at San Diego’s Hotel Del Coronado where he thinks the economy — and the unrelated overnight trio of scandals rocking President Obama — are headed in the coming months.  The veteran newsman was among the “Inside Washington” speakers.  Besides much-needed job creation, the four-day conference — sponsored by Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, and Wells Fargo — centered on the new VetLoan Advantage Program for members of the U.S. military returning home from overseas deployment.

OAadkinsetalWorlds Collide on Opie & Anthony’s SiriusXM Show.  SiriusXM’s Opie & Anthony are known for broadcasting the unusual but this collage of guests from disparate worlds really takes the cake.  Picture here are (from l-r) comic Colin Quinn, celebrity chef Guy Fieri, SiriusXM host Anthony Cumia, country music superstar Trace Adkins, SiriusXM host Opie Hughes, and comic Tom Papa.  The collision happened on the O&A show last week as the four guests all happened to be scheduled for the same day and appeared on the program at the same time.

rabRadio Advertising Bureau Unveils New ‘State-of-the-Art’ Website.  The RAB proudly announces the debut of the new www.RAB.com .  Calling it an “updated, fresh design,” the RAB says the new site was created “with today’s mobile salesperson in mind.”  The site uses a responsive design that automatically reacts to a visitor’s screen size, so RAB members can search for vital sales intelligence, consumer insights and sales material support no matter if they’re on their desktop, in the office, or using any mobile device including tablets and smart phones.  The section for radio managers, account executives and associate members is navigated through the 7 Steps to Selling Success, a set of principles reinforced through RAB Professional Development training and certification courses.  It features sections devoted to prospecting, appointments, research, creative, and proposals and presentations.  Managers will also find their own dedicated section with important links to RAB Professional Development, management articles, and sales tips.  Radio account executives will find a number of new farberericaand exciting features including “Trending Now on RAB.com.”  Based on real-time traffic across the new RAB.com, account executives will see what topics, articles, reports, etc. are growing in popularity.  Favorite RAB services such as Articles on Demand, Instant Backgrounds, prospecting reports, consumer profiles, commercial scripts, mp3 commercial audio and RAB’s co-op library are all available on the site with easy-to-find functionality.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber says, “The RAB prides itself on delivering the most current products, information and resources to our members.  Redesigning this site with total mobile capabilities was a ‘must have.’  In order to remain competitive, our members need to access current services and data while on the go.”

rayfieldmarcCBS Radio Philadelphia’s Marc Rayfield to Be Inducted into Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.   CBS Radio proudly announces that Philadelphia SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield is being inducted into the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in a special ceremony on Monday, May 20.  Rayfield will be inducted along with basketball coach Larry Brown and seven other talented honorees.  The Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Adolph and Rose Levis Museum (PJSHOF) is celebrating its 16th anniversary at a reception to today at 5:30 pm.  Rayfield is the vice president of WIP SportsRadio, one of the nation’s most respected all sports stations.  WIP is known for innovation in business such as the first studio naming rights partnership in the United States with Tastykake.  WIP is home to Angelo Cataldi and the morning team.  The station also annually hosts one of the largest radio promotions in the country, Wing Bowl, prior to the Super Bowl in front of a sold-out crowd at the Wells Fargo Center.  Rayfield  is currently responsible for live broadcasts of the Phillies, Eagles and Philadelphia Union as well as Temple, St. Joe’s and Villanova athletics.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

| May 14, 2013

brothersjoyceIndustry Mourns Death of Dr. Joyce Brothers.  Before there was a Dr. Laura Schlessinger or a Dr. Joy Browne on the radio and in talk media, there was a Dr. Joyce Brothers.  Named by TALKERS magazine as the 72nd most important radio talk show host of all time (“Heaviest Hundred”), Joyce Bauer Brothers, the mother of media psychology, died yesterday at the age of 85 surrounded by her family.  The cause of death has not been disclosed.  Dr. Joyce Brothers exploded into the public conscience in 1955 after appearing on the TV game show “The $64,000 Question,” the most popular program at the time.  She was the second person to ever win the entire payment and she was the first woman.  Those qualities alone may have made her an instant celebrity, but add into the mix this unexpected element: she answered obscure questions on the subject of boxing while pitted up against boxers.  After that, she landed an opportunity to do commentary for CBS Sports during a boxing match between Carmen Basilio and Sugar Ray Robinson.  Thus began her television career.  By 1958, Dr. Brothers was hosting a new kind of television talk show – one where she took mailed-in questions from viewers on the subjects of love, marriage, childrearing, and sex.  It was that last subject during an innocent era of the late 1950s which summoned the NBC executives into the control room one day.  They sweated through her response to a question about premature ejaculation and then waited for the calls to come in – calls of complaints.  In the book Making Waves, the 50 Greatest Women in Radio and Television, Dr. Brothers says, “Their white faces drained of blood, and they were waiting for phone calls of complaints and horror.”  Sure enough the calls did come in – but “were all positive – men saying ‘This is something I’ve had all my life and you’ve helped me.’”  There was not one complaint among them, she recalled.  And from that point forward, “I went on my own way and I was on my own way,” a path that lasted decades during which she was often cited as one of the most admired women in America.  Her ability to take private issues public with genuine compassion, grace and intelligence — and never embarrass or offend someone – was the key to her connection to the viewer and listener.  The only topic she declined to ever discuss?   “Mental illness,” she once explained. “I am not trying to do therapy on the air.  If I think there is even a possibility that people need therapy, I suggest they seek professional help.”  Though her media career began in television, she made a significant foray into radio on NBC Radio/Westwood One and is widely credited with spearheading the call-in psychology shows that became a traditional genre of talk radio.  Over the years, she appeared frequently as a guest on talk shows such as “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.”   Dr. Brothers also landed numerous television roles – many of which were comedic cameo appearances on sitcoms and even ended up in an animated version of herself on “The Simpsons.”   She was the author of nine books including most recently Widow, in which she dispenses advice to women who have lost a husband (hers died in 1989).  Her articles have appeared in Readers’ Digest, Good Housekeeping and Parade.  Born to attorney-parents who worked together in their own law practice, Dr. Brothers grew up in Far Rockaway, Queens.  She credits her off-the-charts memory for her ability to cite details for things she only read once.  Not only did she skip two grades in high school, but then she went on to graduate with honors.  After winning a scholarship to Cornell University where she was forced to major in Home Economics (to retain the scholarship), she discovered psychology and achieved a double-major.  She went on to get her doctorate at Columbia University.  Dr. Brothers married medical student Milton Brothers in 1949 and left a teaching position in 1955 at Hunter College in New York City to be a stay-at-home mother for her newborn daughter.  It was when their money got tight that Dr. Brothers hoped to take home the prize from “The 64,000 Question.”  The rest, as they say, is history.

brownejoyDr. Joy Browne Credits Pioneer Dr. Joyce Brothers with Making Psychology Accessible.  One of the leading radio psychologists of the last quarter century, Dr. Joy Browne (syndicated 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm daily by Radio America) tells TALKERS, that in addition to the media pioneer being an enormous influence on her career, not to mention talk radio and TV in general, the late Dr. Joyce Brothers was a giant figure in America popular culture because “she made psychology accessible to the masses.”  Browne, who worked on a number of occasions with Brothers, describes the legendary broadcaster as being one of the “most focused people I’ve ever met in this business.”  Browne recalls, “Dr. Joyce Brothers could accomplish almost anything she wanted to do simply by putting her brilliant mind to it…whether it was remembering minutia about boxing to win a game show… to knowing exactly what to do to promote her books… to distilling complex topics down to their basic essence so people could understand them.  She had an amazingly disciplined mind.”

valentinephilTalk Host Phil Valentine Alleges Experiencing IRS Harassment as Political Payback.  In an op-ed piece posted today (5/14) exclusive to TALKERS, Nashville-based Cumulus Media syndicated conservative host Phil Valentine claims that he has been repeatedly audited by the IRS over a number of years for no wrongdoing on his part which he believes is tied to his on-air political positions.  He also says that he has spoken a number of his liberal friends on radio who’ve told him they have experienced the same thing.  He writes, “The revelation on Friday (5/10) that the IRS was targeting conservative groups came as a shock to much of America, especially those on the right side of the aisle.  Once the story broadened on Monday to include more groups and more abuse it became apparent that there’s something big going on here.  For me, it was all simply a confirmation of something I’ve been experiencing for some time.  In fact, I’ve been chronicling the experience on my radio show.”  Valentine encourages fellow talk show hosts who have been experiencing the same thing but are afraid to complain because of how “frightening” the IRS can be, to stand up and come forward.  To read his entire opinion piece, please click here.

cookehollandSome On-Air Do’s And Don’ts from a Leading Consultant.  One of the hardest-working consultants (and TALKERS columnist) in the radio business today, Holland Cooke shares some helpful tips to sharpening up on-air performance (sort of like an old “aircheck meeting”) and keeping people listening longer.  In a new article posted today (5/14) Cooke suggests prepping better, listening better (while on the air), and speaking in the second person singular.  He advises not to talk like a radio guy (avoid terms like “remote” broadcast – people think a remote is what they use to change TV channels), do not waste listeners’ time, and SEDUCE listeners into giving you more of their time.  Cooke writes, “The way Arbitron ratings are calculated – diaries or PPM — keeping listeners even just five more minutes each time they tune in could as much as DOUBLE your ratings.  So when you tease, really tease!”  To read Holland Cooke’s entire column, click here.

curleyjohnJohn Curley Back on Evenings at KIRO-FM, Seattle.  The night shift was the original slot John Curley had when he joined Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle but he moved to morning drive in November of 2012.  Just two months later the station replaced him in AM drive with Dave Ross and he’s been off the air since.  Now, program director Pete Gammell pairs Curley up with current evening host Andrew Walsh.  Gammell says in a statement, “With John’s comfortable style and storytelling skills he naturally fits well in a nighttime setting.  Partner John’s entertaining approach with Andrew’s newsy perspective and you have a completely new dynamic and compelling show.”

barksingaInga Barks Adds PM Drive Show to Hosting Responsibilities.  Bakersfield, California-based talk radio personality Inga Barks begins hosting the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm program on Buckley Broadcasting’s KNZR, Bakersfield.  She’ll handle this program in addition to her evening talk show heard on Peak Broadcasting’s KMJ-AM, Fresno.  Barks previously worked in the Bakersfield market on American Media General’s news/talk KERN.

harrisheidiLas Vegas Talk Personality Heidi Harris Debuts Daily Feature.  Las Vegas-based talk show host Heidi Harris – most recently heard in Los Angeles on Salem Communications’ KRLA – is producing a daily feature dubbed the “Heidi Harris Files” that is airing on Silver State Broadcasting’s news/talk KBET.  The three- minute vignette will air on KBET three times daily at 7:30 am, 12:30 pm and 4:30 pm.  Harris has also worked at CBS Radio‘s KXNT and Beasley Broadcasting‘s KDWN in the Las Vegas market.

Bruce Newbury to Host Local Show on WADK, Newport, Rhode Island.  3G Broadcasting is adding a local program to its news/talk WADK, Newport with Bruce Newbury hosting his “Talk of the Town” show.  Newbury also hosts a weekend food and cooking show on Cumulus Media’s WPRV, Providence and he’ll continue in that role.  Newbury’s 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program will debut on May 22.

NYFtrophyNew York Festivals Announces 2013 Radio Programs and Promo Awards Finalists.  This international competition isn’t limited to spoken-word programs as the list of categories indicates, but many of the categories include news, long-form and community service components in the spoken-word realm.  As you’ll notice by scanning the list of finalists from the United States (which will compete with finalists from other countries with winners announced June 17 in New York) many programming finalists were produced at public radio stations or companies.  However, commercial broadcasters including ESPN and SiriusXM were well represented.  ESPN had finalist entries including the “Best News Documentary or Special” for “Outside the Lines and The Sporting Life: A Fight for Faith.”  SiriusXM was also represented as it was a finalist with “Best Interview” for “Bob Edwards Talks with Children’s Book Author Jack Gantos,” among others.  Bloomquist Media is a finalist in both the “Community Service” and “Profiles/Community Portraits” categories for “A Grateful Nation.”  See the entire list of finalists here.

hayworthgranddadTwo Generations of Hayworth Men Grace San Diego.  Talk radio personality (and former Arizona Congressman) J.D. Hayworth is currently co-host of the morning drive program alongside Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton on XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090.”  On a recent visit to the station’s partners in downtown San Diego – Fox Sports San Diego – J.D. Hayworth noticed a huge black and white photo of Babe Ruth crossing home plate.  Hayworth tells TALKERS magazine, “Imagine my surprise when I looked up and saw this HUGE photo of my grandfather, Ray Hayworth, a catcher for the Detroit Tigers, reaching to tag Babe Ruth at home plate!  My grandfather greets passersby outside the building, while the Bambino’s image is seen inside the lobby!”

Obama Benghazi Reaction, IRS Target Allegations, Justice Department AP Phone Records Search, Syria Tensions, and Philly Abortion Doctor Found Guilty Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/13).  The president’s reaction to recent Benghazi testimony and the GOP’s push to continue searching for answers; the IRS’ alleged targeting of conservative groups; the Justice Department’s investigation into phone records at the Associated Press; ongoing tensions in Syria; and the conviction of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Can the Radio Station Overcome Smothering Debt and Become
a Viable Business Again?

| May 2, 2013

Mike Kinosian, Managing Editor
RadioInfo and Talkers

LOS ANGELES — Chalk it up to misreading the economic tealeaves or perhaps to good old-fashioned avarice, but several radio groups have fallen victim to the, “(S)he who has the most toys, wins” hypothesis.

Debt #1Monopoly Board“Winners” managing to run the board in today’s all too real game of Radio Monopoly are rewarded by becoming further ensconced in deeper, darker, debt.

Administer sodium pentothal to a cross-section of radio managers and the overwhelming majority will vociferously state that, owing to its cookie-cutter nature and mounting pressure to deliver grossly unrealistic percentages to the bottom line, the business is no longer fun. Countless executives at high-billing, strong ratings performing outlets have been unduly placed in the gut-wrenching position of laying off personnel and making other vital cutbacks – forced to share the load of paying for what could be considered out-of-control acquisition sins at the corporate level.

Read More

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

| May 1, 2013

siriusxmSiriusXM Reports Positive Q1 with Revenue Up 12%; Company Involved in Digital Dashboard Technology Rollout.  That 12% percent increase over the same period a year ago is on revenue of $897 million.  New permanent CEO Jim Meyer had every reason to be bubbly during his first investor conference call as official chief executive officer of the satcaster.  He reports the company grew its subscriber base to a new record high on new subscriptions of 453,000 during the quarter.  From a financial perspective he stated, “We are proud to have achieved the highest suggested EBITDA margin in the history of the company in the first quarter.  We expect to achieve a 30% adjusted EBITDA margin this year, up from 27% last year and we continue to target 40% plus margins over time.  You will see us move over the next few years to become one of the highest margin businesses among major media companies in the United States. meyerjim Our ability to convert the bulk of that EBITDA in the free cash flow is also unmatched in the subscription media world.”  He said the company is riding the “tailwind in the new car market as it recovers.”  Meyer told investors the company is committed to having the best content, spoke about new channel additions as well as new talent joining the company and mentioned talk host Michael Smerconish.  Addressing the specific question about GM’s plans for its future “digital dashboard,” Meyer said he couldn’t talk about any one manufacturer’s plans but was able to state, “I believe GM is on a leadership strategy in terms of where I believe the auto industry will go in general.  And that is, I believe, over a mid and long period of time — you can define how many years that is — you will see automakers move to what I will call embedded connectivity that will be LTE-based that will give them lots of options for what they want to do for their customers and their vehicles.  I think it’s very important that Sirius XM participates in that rollout of technology as it occurs over the next three to seven years and that’s exactly what we’re all about when we referred to our connected-car strategy.  This is something that…I want to reiterate again today, that we’re moving and reprioritizing a lot of our technical resources and frankly now our commercial programming resources towards making that goal happen as we go out over time.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the conference call transcript.  You can read the whole shebang here.

wheelertomTom Wheeler Gets Nod from Obama for FCC Chief.  On the political side of things, many Democrats wanted to see President Obama select a woman for the post being vacated by Julius Genachowski, but the president nominated a man with a telecommunications background who was very helpful in getting him elected.  Politico reports that managing director of Core Capital Partners, Tom Wheeler, (along with his wife) worked Iowa for six weeks straight during the president’s first campaign.  Although Wheeler will get some grief from those who are suspicious of his past tenure as a lobbyist with both the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and the CTIA (Cellular Telephone Industry Association), he has experience in the industry having founded numerous cable and communications services businesses.  National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Gordon Smith states, “NAB welcomes the nomination of Tom Wheeler as chairman of the FCC. He has the experience and temperament to serve the agency with distinction, and we look forward to working with him.”

nms2013logoTalkers New York 2013 Approaching Sellout Today.  At the present rate of registration bookings, all available seats to the forthcoming Talkers New York 2013 will be sold out by the end of business today (5:00 pm ET).  The 16th annual installment of the talk industry’s longest-running and most important annual convention has broken the record for reaching advance registration earlier than ever before.  TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “We are amazed and gratified that this conference has reached a sellout almost five weeks in advance of its actual date, which is a testimony to the vibrancy of the talk format and the enthusiasm of the industry that produces it.”  The one-day, power-packed event takes place on Thursday, June 6 in New York City between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm.  It features a speaker roster of more than 50 industry leaders from programming, sales, talent, management, technology and ownership. Registration ($199 for all events and food services) is open exclusively to members of the working media and can only be booked by phone with credit card.  Call 413-565-5413.  For complete registration and sponsorship information including an up-to-the-minute agenda, click here.

walton&johnsonWalton & Johnson Take Over Mornings on KPRC, Houston.  Just four months after the Walton & Johnson [John Walton (left) and Steve Johnson (right)] morning show was dropped from Clear Channel’s classic rock KKRW, Houston “97.3 The Arrow,” the program is brought back to the Houston airwaves as the new morning program on the company’s news/talk KPRC.  The duo was replaced on “The Arrow” by longtime St. Louis radio personality J.C. Corcoran.  Clear Channel Houston director of AM programming Bryan Erickson says, “We are thrilled to have Walton & Johnson back on KPRC.  They have a proven track record of great ratings and we look forward to them continuing that success on KPRC.”  Walton & Johnson made KPRC their flagship beginning in 2007 but moved to “The Arrow” in 2009.  Off KPRC as a result of the move is Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo who is based at Clear Channel’s WOAI, San Antonio and is heard there and on other Clear Channel news/talk stations.

armstronggettyArmstrong & Getty to Join KFMB, San Diego in June.  Morning show duo Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty will be heard in the San Diego market beginning June 3 as their program bumps current morning host Mike Slater to the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.  Armstrong & Getty are based at Clear Channel’s KSTE, Sacramento and heard in other markets in Northern California including San Francisco on KKSF.  This is a big move for the duo as they are added to a non-Clear Channel station – Midwest TV’s KFMB.  Program director Dave Sniff states, “Like any great radio morning show, Armstrong and Getty have that unique ability to not only connect with the listener but to become their companions.  They fit in amazingly well among the great storytellers that are part of 760 KFMB’s character and lineage.  They’re not so much a ‘talk show’ as a ‘mock show.’”

wokv logoCox Media’s WOKV, Jacksonville Adds 104.5 FM Signal.  Market news/talk powerhouse WOKV got a little more powerful as Cox Media Group gives the 104.5 FM signal long-occupied by now-defunct rock station WFYV to the station to boost its coverage of the region.  WOKV program director Mike Dorwart says, “Our listeners told us loud and clear that we needed more power.  Moving to 104.5 FM means that, for the first time, our listeners can hear us crystal clear, everywhere in northeast Florida, both day and night.  The most noticeable improvement will be heard by listeners in Baker, Clay, St. Johns, and Nassau counties.  They now have full coverage from WOKV, 24/7, on 104.5 FM.  Duval residents will also hear a big difference, especially those who listen at work.  Our new signal also gives reliable coverage to listeners in Flagler, Putnam, Bradford, Union and Columbia counties in Florida, as well as Camden and Charlton counties in Georgia.”  The station has been simulcast on the 106.5 FM frequency but that class A FM is much smaller.  WOKV will continue to be heard on 106.5 as the company directs listeners to the new 104.5 frequency.

sabowalterFive Critical Steps for Radio to Achieve Success with Online Video.  Noted media consultant and TALKERS columnist Walter Sabo outlines five crucial pointers that radio broadcasters should keep in mind when utilizing video in their digital initiatives.  In a column posted today (5/1) he suggests: 1) bad equipment is usually the best; 2) online video is NOT television (TV);  3) 80% of all videos are watched within 72 hours of posting; 4) most of the biggest stars of the internet (“webstars”) are self-cast; and 5) late evening is the best time to post.  To read the entirety of this timely and informative article, click here.

wnox logoThe End of an Era for Knoxville News/Talk; Country to Take Over 100.3 Frequency.  With Journal Broadcast Group’s acquisition of Oak Ridge FM’s news/talk WNOX, Knoxville about to close, the company is preparing to move the country format currently heard on its WCYQ to the much stronger 100.3 signal currently occupied by news/talk on WNOX.  A country simulcast will begin tomorrow on the two FMs (5/2) and the news/talk programming now on WNOX will move to Blount Broadcasting’s WKVL, a daytime AM at 850.

americaweekendlogoKTRS, St. Louis Newest Affiliate for Envision’s ‘America Weekend.’  The weekend news/talk radio program being nationally syndicated by Envision Radio Networks announces CH Holdings’ KTRS, St. Louis is the latest station to add the programming to its weekend offerings.  Envision calls “America Weekend” “the winning antidote to bad brokered programming and tiresome ‘Best-of’ shows.  Hosted by Paul Harris, Rick Roberts, and Turi Ryder, ‘America Weekend’ is designed to increase ratings while providing an innovative system for maintaining or even increasing revenue from brokered programs.  The flexible ‘America Weekend’ system provides the perfect platform to break away for sports and other special programming as needed. Since ‘America Weekend’ is broadcast live via satellite, it is able to stay current by addressing breaking and developing stories of national interest as they happen.  The program airs live each Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.”

midwestcomm logoFargo Stations Sales Close: Fargo-Moorhead Radio Cluster to Midwest Communications; Triad Broadcasting Group to Larry Wilson’s L&L.  The sales of both of these Fargo market station groups were announced last year and were approved by the FCC months ago.  Now the transactions close with Wausau, Wisconsin-based Midwest Communications taking ownership of the former Fargo-Moorhead Radio cluster that includes: news/talk KFGO, sports KVOX, CHR WDAY “Y-94,” country KBVB “Bob FM,” talk KRWK “101.9 Talk FM,” and adult hits KMJO “Popster FM.”  Midwest Communications vice president of programming Jeff McCarthy tells the Forum of Fargo Moorhead he doesn’t anticipate any immediate programming changes.  Larry Wilson, whose Alpha Broadcasting operates stations in Portland, Oregon, also is a principal in L&L Broadcasting and his company is closing on Triad Broadcasting’s stations that include: oldies KQWB “True Oldies,” classic rock KPFX “The Fox,” hot AC KLTA, country KVOX “Froggy 99.9,” full service KBMW, and rock KQWB “Q98.”  Triad vice president and market manager Michael Brooks also tells the paper he does not anticipate any immediate changes.

weei logoWEEI Names John Ryder to Red Sox Broadcast Team; Grande and Merloni to Handle Fill-In Role.  In announcing John Ryder’s ascension to a permanent role on Red Sox broadcasts as host of pre- and post-game coverage, the company says, “Ryder has been with WEEI since 1998 and is a regular contributor to the ‘Planet Mikey’ show, in addition to hosting ‘Red Sox Review’ and ‘Celtics Rewind’ after Sox and Celtics games.”  The company is also announcing that Sean Grande and Lou Merloni will join the broadcasts filling in for Dave O’Brien, who will miss Monday night games during the season due to his responsibilities for ESPN.  Grande has been the voice of the Boston Celtics since 2001, after having served as the TV voice of the Minnesota Timberwolves for three years.  Merloni is currently co-host of the “Mut and Merloni” show on WEEI 93.7 FM.  Merloni also enjoyed a nine-year professional career in Major League Baseball, the first five with the Red Sox.  Entercom Boston vice president of programming Jason Wolfe says, “John has done a stellar job in every role we’ve had for him and has absolutely earned this promotion.  He’s hosted the pre- and post-game shows for the Sox many times before and was a natural choice for us to fill this important job.  Sean’s play-by-play experience speaks for itself. He’s one of the greats in the industry right now, and Lou’s expertise is second to none.  There’s no baseball man in Boston who knows the Sox better than Lou.”

hayworthjdOdds & Sods.  Result Radio’s Christian contemporary KJJK, Fargo will flip to sports talk on Monday, May 6 using programming from Fox Sports Radio Network including Dan Patrick, Jay Mohr and the “Loose Cannons” with Pat O’Brien and Steve Hartman.  The station will continue to serve as a Minnesota Twins affiliate…..Personality J.D. Hayworth – co-host of the “Hacksaw & Hayworth” show on sports talk XEPRS, San Diego – does some news/talk fill-in work this week when he sits in for Cumulus Media Networks host Michael Savage tonight through Friday from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET.  He’ll also sit in for the company’s Mike Huckabee tomorrow from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET…..Bouyed by coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing and the Texas fertilizer warehouse explosion, cable news/talk channel CNN has improved in the ratings compared to the same period a year ago.  Based on April Nielsen numbers as reported in Deadline.com, CNN saw its total day viewers number rise 79% compared to April 2012.  CNN was also up in prime time, achieving an 81% increase in total viewers over the same period a year ago.  The network was able to climb over MSNBC into second place behind Fox News Channel in both ratings categories.

Benghazi Cover-up Investigation, ObamaCare Effects, Boston Marathon Bombing Aftermath, Slow Job Growth Reports, and Immigration Legislation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/30).  New inquiries into the Benghazi attack; the effects of the Affordable Care Act; the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing and the search for possible co-conspirators; newly released reports indicating slow job growth in the United States; and debate over immigration legislation were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

| April 30, 2013

nms2013logoEntercom Boston VP of Programming Jason Wolfe to Present Closing Keynote at Talkers New York 2013.  In what promises to be a timely, pertinent and compelling conclusion to one of the most important industry conferences in modern memory, Entercom Boston VP of programming Jason Wolfe will deliver the closing keynote address.  The address is titled “Reflections on a Tragedy and the Fundamental Role of Radio.”  It will provide insight and first-hand recollections of the Boston Marathonwolfejason bombings from the local perspective of a Boston radio group that found itself in the thick of the national crisis.  In accepting the assignment, Wolfe tells TALKERS, “It was such a remarkable, emotional and dramatic situation that it is taking me weeks to sort out my thoughts and feelings on the experience.  Our group was just one of a number of fine Boston-area radio stations that did an excellent job of being there for the people of the region with news and information about the unfolding drama.  It was a remarkable time of sharing, of pooling resources among competitors, for the good of the  community.”  Wolfe, whose Entercom Boston outlets include news/talk WRKO and sports talk WEEI, continues, “…but it isn’t just about the presentation of news and information – talk radio provides a more complex and deeper service during times like this.  And this includes many music stations that stopped playing songs and became, for all intents and purposes, talk stations themselves during the crisis.  Talk radio provides the opportunity for people to vent and share feelings…to plug in directly to the human condition.  It provides the opportunity for people to become connected into a community of fellow human beings linked together by common fears, pain, and confusion during a tragedy.  Talk radio provides hope.  Or at least, it should.”  Wolfe sums it up: “I believe that we as broadcasters share a deeper more fundamental responsibility to the public than just being entertainers.  We must use this precious opportunity we have to actually serve the public good on every level within our power.”  Wolfe is one of more than 50 outstanding industry leaders who will be speaking at Talkers New York 2013 on Thursday, June 6.  The event will be sold out by the close of business on Wednesday of this week.  Registrations ($199) are only open to members of the working media and can be booked by phone with credit card at 413-565-5413.  For the complete agenda and more details, click here.

kaminskybrianClear Channel Names Brian Kaminsky EVP of Operations for Digital.  Coming over to Clear Channel from his most recent position as COO and general manager of The Huffington Post, Brian Kaminsky will join the company’s digital division as executive vice president of operations, effective immediately.  Kaminsky will report to CC president of digital Brian Lakamp and will be based out of New York City.  Kaminsky’s charge will be to oversee digital advertising operations, customer support, product analytics and partner operations across the suite of Clear Channel’s digital products including iHeartRadio, Clear Channel’s industry leading digital radio service, and its vast network of station websites.  His responsibilities will also include setting best practices for the management and modernization of digital ad inventory, and working with sales and product teams to define and develop new ad products.  Lakamp states, “Having Brian on board as the EVP of operations illustrates Clear Channel’s commitment to hiring exceptional, innovative talent that will continue to strengthen our position as a market leader.  His business management skills and experience in optimizing the use of digital advertising inventory within technology-driven organizations will be a great asset to both our advertisers and the Clear Channel digital team.”  Prior to his work at The Huffington Post, Kaminsky was vice president of global revenue operations at Reuters Media, where he supervised yield management systems for desktop, video, mobile and digital out-of-home advertising products.

meyerjimSiriusXM Names James Meyer CEO.  James Meyer has been serving as interim chief executive officer for SiriusXM Satellite Radio since Mel Karmazin resigned from the position last fall.  Now, the company gives him the job officially.  SiriusXM chairman Gregory Maffei states, “After a thorough search of excellent candidates, we are delighted to name Jim as the CEO of SiriusXM, where he will continue to lead a very strong executive team.  Jim is a highly qualified leader and operator and we look forward to working with him to build on SiriusXM’s position as the innovator in audio entertainment.  He has been a vital part of SiriusXM for close to a decade, and his extensive knowledge of SiriusXM’s business and significant industry experience will be invaluable assets in the highly competitive market within which SiriusXM is thriving.  Jim’s leadership, strategic vision and operating focus are exactly what SiriusXM needs today and in the future.”

car radioDebate of Future of Dashboard Front and Center in Detroit.  In a piece published in the Detroit News on April 29, the topic of the future of the AM/FM radio in the automobile dashboard was addressed and Gartner Inc. vice president Thilo Koslowski says he believes that by the year 2020 “I feel very confident that many consumers will consume radio content through avenues other than terrestrial broadcast.”  Right now, the big three are still providing AM/FM radios in new cars and plan to do so for the foreseeable future but, obviously, they are also adding the digital technology that people want.  Ford’s Jim Buczkowski says, “We’re trying to give them lots of different options.”  As the piece points out, it costs money to listen to internet audio – it comes from the users’ data plans.  Though Koslowski says he believes that it just makes more sense to listen via Wi-Fi or data plan and that carriers will “get more creative with their data plans”  allowing people to listen more cheaply.  When Detroit Electric unveils its first model in August of this year, it will not have an AM/FM radio.  Users will plug in their smartphones.  Still, other analysts say the free and simple nature of AM/FM radio is something that carmakers will be conscious of before they take the drastic step of eliminating it from the dash and risk alienating customers.   Read the Detroit News piece here.

sliwalichtmanWNYM, New York’s Curtis Sliwa and Jeffrey Lichtman Debut Remote Mayoral Candidate Roundtable.  Tonight is the first in a series of mayoral candidate roundtable broadcasts produced by Salem Communications’ WNYM, New York “970 The Answer” and hosted by the station’s Curtis Sliwa (right) and Jeffrey Lichtman (left).  This evening’s program will emanate from the Statler Grill on 33rd and 7th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Sliwa states, “This is the first mayoral election in over a decade that has a wide open primary contest on both sides of the aisle, along with a viable independent candidate.  Folks need to know what’s going on and it’s our duty as broadcasters and New Yorkers to bring it to them.  All the viable mayoral candidates are invited.”  WNYM vice president and general manager Jerry Crowley states, “It is this kind of live and local broadcasting that sets AM970 apart in the market.  Curtis Sliwa is the quintessential New York broadcaster on New York’s radio home for live and local broadcasting.”

Odds & Sods.  Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTOP, Washington teams up with Allbritton Communications’ WJLA-TV, Washington “ABC7” on a joint traffic reporting partnership.  Under the arrangement, WTOP will become the exclusive morning traffic home to ABC7.  ABC7 reporter Amanda Meadows will be reporting live for ABC7 from the WTOP “Glass-enclosed nerve center” duringbaldwinadam ABC7’s “Good Morning Washington.”  The reports will air six times an hour from 5:00 am to 7:00 am and two times an hour from 7:00 am to 9:00 am weekday mornings.  Meadows’ reports will be produced by veteran traffic reporter/producer Rob Woodfork…..KYW, Philadelphia account executive Adam Baldwin is promoted to local sales manager for the CBS Radio all-news outlet.  Vice president and director of sales Jim Loftus states, “Adam has excelled as an account executive at KYW, and in his pointing key clients across the CBS platform.  He brings a fresh perspective to our management team.  We look forward to his insight and talent in growing our family of advertisers, and further developing our sales team.”

miller7bestKIDO, Boise’s Kevin Miller Gets Local Accolades.  Morning drive talk host Kevin Miller – heard daily on Peak Broadcasting’s KIDO, Boise – was named best radio host by local television station KTVB as part of its “7’s Best” awards.  Miller tells TALKERS magazine his program topped all of the other radio stations and their morning shows in the market.  Miller (right) is pictured here in a piece that aired during KTVB’s news.  KTVB’s Larry Gebert interviewed Miller and the two spoke at length about the community work Miller’s program has done including assisting local non-profits that aid the homeless as well as keeping the community aware of the plight of local Army soldier Bowe Bergdahl – the only American still held captive from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

Boston Marathon Bombing Aftermath, Middle East Turmoil, Cold Spring Weather, and NBA Player Comes Out Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/29).  The ongoing investigation into the Boston Marathon bombing; military activity in Syria and Israel; the cold spring weather affecting much of the U.S.; and the coming out of NBA player Jason Collins were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

| April 24, 2013

dyerjohnJimmy Hayes to Retire from Cox Enterprises President and CEO Post; Executive Structure Transitions Announced.  Jimmy Hayes has served as president and CEO of Cox Enterprises since 2008 but now he will retire from the company in April of 2014 and John Dyer, who becomes chief operating officer of Cox Enterprises, will succeed him when he steps down.  Hayes will maintain a seat on the company’s board of franklindougdirectors.  In related moves, Doug Franklin, currently president of Cox Media Group, moves up to become EVP and chief financial officer of Cox Enterprises.  Cox Media Group executive vice president Bill Hoffman moves up to become president of Cox Media Group.  Cox Enterprises chairman Jim hoffmanbillKennedy says of Hayes, “Jimmy has led an impressive career at Cox, and I consider it a privilege having worked alongside him for so many years.  I thank Jimmy for his loyalty and service to Cox, and am delighted to work with him over the next 12 months to carefully and thoughtfully transition Cox’s next senior leadership team.”  Kennedy also addressed Hoffman’s rise to president of Cox Media Group.  “Bill is a talented senior executive who will provide strong leadership, continuity and direction at Cox Media Group.  His innate understanding of the integration of broadcast, print and digital media will help ensure Cox outlets maintain their enviable rankings in a highly competitive media landscape.”

quincyjohnWTMA, Charleston Names John Quincy PD.  Cumulus Media’s WTMA, Charleston, South Carolina — “Charleston’s Big Talker” announces John Quincy is promoted from assistant program director to program director of the station.  Quincy also serves as producer of the station’s morning program “Tara on TMA” hosted by Tara Servatius.  Quincy has worked in the Charleston market since 1981 and he’s been with WTMA since 2002.  He says, “I’m honored to have the opportunity to helm this legendary radio station.  As WTMA celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2014, I’m more passionate than ever about its news/talk format.”

michaelsnickImaging Master Suggests Slowing Down Voice Presentations to Be Noticed in “Hyper-Communicated World.”  Highly respected radio/TV voice-over and imaging professional Nick Michaels, author of the concept, “over-communicated world,” tells TALKERS that we are now quickly moving past it to what he describes as the “hyper-communicated world” which he says can be “a very uncomfortable place.”  He says, “One of the downsides of too many messages is the inability to focus on any one thing long enough to enjoy it.  The by-product of the over-communicated world is the feeling that life is moving faster, even though we are sitting still.  An occasional ride on a roller coaster is fun, but living on one is a nightmare.”  Michaels suggests that radio personalities and commercial producers can make their work stand out in this dizzying environment by stepping back and slowing things down by adding drama and variety to their pacing.  He advises, “Media, and especially advertising and promotion, can take advantage of this by making their messages slower and lower.  In audio messages, speak softly and use the power of the pause. In the over-communicated world, messages that subliminally make you feel more comfortable have an advantage over those that do not. That advantage can be the difference between your message being received or rejected.”  To read a recent interview with Nick Michaels that appeared in TALKERS magazine’s sister publication for music radio, RadioInfo, click here.

lifecoachnews2013B

wgstlogoClear Channel to Return WGST-AM, Atlanta to News/Talk.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho tips us that Clear Channel Media and Entertainment plans to drop the Spanish sports on WGST-AM, Atlanta and return to news/talk with a syndicated lineup of stars including Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck, independently syndicated financial talk sensation Dave Ramsey, Talk Radio Network rising star Andrea Tantaros and “The Wall Street Journal This Morning” featuring Gordon Deal for AM drive.  The rest of the schedule is not known at this time.  It’s been eight months since CC dropped the news/talk – including local hosts Rob Johnson in mornings and Rusty Humphries (who did a separate program from his successful TRN syndicated show) in PM drive and opted for Spanish sports talk via ESPN Deportes.

cunninghamkeithKeith Cunningham Named Vice President of Programming at Clear Channel Seattle.  Moving in from his most recent position as broadcast consultant for Jacobs Media, Keith Cunningham takes the VP of programming position and will be in charge of the programming at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s cluster in Seattle.  Cunningham says, “The past seven years with Jacobs Media has been a wonderful experience and I feel fortunate to now have the opportunity to return to Clear Channel to work with Seattle’s great brands like ‘Kiss,’ KUBE, KJR-AM and FM and ‘The Brew.’  The Clear Channel Seattle cluster is well positioned for growth – the resources available to the team are second to none and each brand is loaded with great talent, both on and off the air.”  The company’s Seattle properties include: hip hop KUBE, classic hits KJR-FM, rock KKBW “The Brew,” CHR KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM,” and sports talk simulcast KJR-AM and KNBQ-FM.

koa broncosClear Channel’s KOA, Denver Extends Deal with NFL’s Broncos.  The relationship between Clear Channel’s KOA, Denver and the Denver Broncos is extended for another four years through the 2017 season.  As part of the new deal, Broncos play-by-play will also air on Clear Channel’s classic rock KRFX “103.5 The Fox” beginning with the 2013 season.  As in the past, the relating programming includes exclusive interviews with starting quarterback Peyton Manning, executive vice president of football operations John Elway and head coach John Fox as well as Broncos-themed talk shows.  KOA’s Dave Logan is entering his 24th season in the Broncos broadcast booth and 17th season as the radio play-by-play voice of the team.  Former Broncos wide receiver Ed McCaffrey will be back for his second year as color commentator.  KOA serves as the flagship for more than 60 affiliate stations in nine states.

kirofm logoKIRO-FM, Seattle Adds Weekend Boat Show.  Bonneville Seattle’s news/talk KIRO-FM announces the addition of “KIRO Radio On the Water” – a one-hour Sunday morning program hosted by Captain Bob McLaughlin.  The program promises to discuss “nautical subjects from the latest boat maintenance techniques and models; to water sports and safety tips; to the cruise ship industry and marine life in the Puget Sound.”  McLaughlin is not just any boat aficionado, he’s a founder and board member of Seawolf Rescue and Research, a non-profit organization that provides the expertise and equipment to rescue and relocate wild marine and terrestrial animals, while documenting the process for future educational and research opportunities. The group has conducted research and observational work for both the U.S. and Canadian governments.  McLaughlin took part in the only successful reintroduction of an orphaned marine mammal being reunited with its family, and has co-produced an Emmy and Columbia Peabody award-winning documentary on the plight of killer whales.

cbsradionewsOdds & Sods.  CBS Radio News has been honored with five 2013 Headliner Awards and, for the third consecutive year, finished in first place in both the Network Newscast and Breaking News or Continuing Coverage categories.  The National Headliner Awards recognize journalistic merit in the communications industry.  In the Network Newscast category, correspondent Sam Litzinger and editor Dianne James won for the hourly newscast for coverage of the Newtown massacre; CBS Radio News also won in the Breaking News or Continuing Coverage of a Single News Event category for its Newtown coverage; and correspondent Heather Bosch won in the News Series category for her programs on “Women Warriors.”  In the five-part series that aired for 2012 Memorial Day, Bosch talked to women who have been on the front lines in Afghanistan and are struggling to overcome the effects of PTSD…..CBS Radio’s KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia was honored by the Radio Television Digital News Associationjournalbroadcastgroup (RTDNA) with three regional Edward R. Murrow awards, standing out among other very competitive major market stations in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania…..Journal Broadcast Group’s news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee and country KTTS-FM, Springfield, Missouri were also honored with regional Edward R. Murrow awards.  WTMJ picked up six including Best Breaking News, Continuing Coverage and Overall Excellence and KTTS-FM was honored with five awards including Best Newscast, Breaking News Coverage and Overall Excellence.

webbbrewerDavid Webb Explores Immigration with Governor Jan Brewer.  With the subject of immigration reform front-and-center, SiriusXM Patriot channel evening talk host David Webb conducted a special one-hour interview program with Arizona Governor Jan Brewer called “David Webb’s American Forum with Jan Brewer” that aired on April 23 (encore airings will take place on April 27 at 10:00 am and 7:00 pm ET).  Topics covered included immigration, border security, states’ rights and responsibilities.  Webb and Governor Brewer posed for a photo at the satcaster’s New York studios.

Boston Marathon Bombing Aftermath, Immigration Reform Legislation, New Gun Law Proposals, Domestic Drones Issue, and Keystone Pipeline Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/23).  Debate over terrorism policy in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing; new proposals for immigration reform legislation; gun law proposals; the lethal domestic drone debate and Washington, DC discussion over the Keystone Pipeline project were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

| April 18, 2013

smithgordonBoston’s Radio Stations to Observe Moment of Silence on Monday.  Boston radio stations are planning a moment of silence on Monday, April 22 to honor the victims of this week’s Boston Marathon bombing.  The 60-second tribute will air at 2:50 p.m. – one week from the moment of the detonation of the first bomb – on local radio stations, including those owned by CBS Radio, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, Entercom and Greater MediaNational Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Gordon Smith says, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who were impacted by the horrific act that took place in Boston.  This moment of silence will serve as a time of reflection, honoring those lost and injured in this tragic event, and recognizing the countless acts of heroism and kindness that we saw on Monday and which continue today.  As first informers in times of crisis, broadcasters want to take this opportunity to salute the first responders and the many unsung heroes who do so much during emergency situations.”

kaufmanhtfttfWFTL, Fort Lauderdale Talk Show Host Joyce Kaufman Honored at Hold Their Feet to the Fire.  Some 50-plus radio talk show hosts from around the nation are gathered on Capitol Hill for the annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row designed to galvanize both citizen and media pressure upon lawmakers to take meaningful action on immigration policy in the United States.  The event, organized by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), began yesterday and continues today (4/17-18) conveniently coinciding with the controversial Amnesty Bill currently being pushed through the U.S. Senate by the so-called “Gang of Eight.”  Critics of the bill claim that it would have a disastrous effect upon this country’s already-dysfunctional immigration policy and deal yet another terrible blow to the American worker.  The radio row is bringing several hundred guests including lawmakers, government officials, experts, law enforcement officers and border state ranchers to the airwaves of America.  During the course of presentations at last evening’s cocktail reception at the event, WFTL, Fort Lauderdale talk show host and highly influential Florida political voice Joyce Kaufman (pictured here) was honored as the recipient of one of FAIR’s highest honors, the “We the People” award, for her longtime commitment to and measurable impact upon the immigration reform movement.  Media industry and political observers have long recognized the leadership role conservative news/talk radio has played in the immigration reform movement and by the looks of things at this year’s rally this influence is continuing to be a significant factor in the issue.

larsonbarlettaMr. Larson Goes to Washington.  Compass Media Networks syndicated talk host Lars Larson – who’s also regionally syndicated in the Pacific Northwest from home base KXL, Portland – is pictured here (r) with Congressman Lou Barletta (l) at the “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row in Washington, DC.  In addition to hosting both programs from Washington yesterday and today, Larson will head to affiliate WCHV, Charlottesville, Virginia to broadcast his programs on Friday, April 19.

brownejoyDr. Joy Browne Returns to NYC Airwaves.  After more than two decades as a staple on New York City talk radio, Radio America-syndicated psychologist Dr. Joy Browne returns to the city’s airwaves on Access.1’s WWRL, New York beginning Monday, April 22.  WWRL general manager Adriane Gaines comments, “We are very pleased that Dr. Joy Browne is joining the ‘RL lineup and bringing her on-air advice to our listeners.  Joy’s unique blend of wisdom, balance and practical solutions to coping with life’s challenges has made her one of America’s leading clinical psychologists.”  Radio America calls Dr. Joy Browne’s program “the longest running of its kind in syndication,” and reports it is airing on more than 125 stations across the country.

tribunetowerOdds & Sods.  WGN, Chicago partners with the Illinois Department of Transportation to raise awareness for “Work Zone Safety Week.”  The photo you see here is the Tribune Tower lit up in orange to help raise public awareness of the construction season and the need to drive safely to help save lives.  The promotion also includes WGN’s Allstate Showcase Studio where three  interactive kiosks positioned around the tower will accept safe driving pledges and photos that can be taken and shared with loved ones…..CNN Radio’s Emma Lacey-Bordeaux was honored by the Atlanta Press Club on Tuesday, April 16 with the 2012 Excellence Award for her digital/online reporting.  Her body of work on Soundwaves, CNN Radio’s audio blog, was cited for the award with a specific call-out on a story about deportation and immigration reform…..WTOP, Washington was honored with six Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters Awards receiving a first place finish in every category it entered.  In addition to being honored with Best Website for wtop.com, WTOP was also recognized with accolades in the Continuing Coverage category for “A Date with Sandy,” the Documentary/In-Depth category for “Battleground Virginia,” the Feature category for “Keeping the Drive-In Alive” and in the Editorial category for “Core Values.”  The station was also awarded Meritorious in the Feature category for “Commuter Idle.”…..Salt Lake Community College’s The Grand Theatre will be the broadcast site for KUER public radio’s presentation of NPR’s “Science Friday” on April 19, 2013.  The live broadcast will be heard by more than 1.3 million listeners via hundreds of public radio stations across the United States.  Randall Irmis, Brooks Britt, and science writer Brian Switek will discuss paleontology during the show’s first hour.  Irmis is an assistant professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Utah and the curator of paleontology for the Natural History Museum of Utah.  Brooks Britt is an associate professor of geological science at Brigham Young University.  He is the former director of the Stewart Museum in Odgen, Utah and the curator of paleontology for the Museum of Western Colorado in Grand Junction, Colorado.  Brian Switek is a science writer whose new book My Beloved Brontosaurus was released on April 16 by Scientific American & Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

smerconishmatthewsSmerconish Continues SiriusXM Show Launch Blitz.  During the first week of his new program on SiriusXM’s POTUS channel, talk media personality Michael Smerconish (r) is moving full-steam ahead promoting the switch.  He’s pictured here in the Washington, DC studios of SiriusXM with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews (l) discussing – what else? – the public relations issues the two believe the Republican party is having dealing with the Obama Administration and the electorate.  That wasn’t the only issue the two discussed but Smerconish and Matthews spent a good portion of their time analyzing the Republican party of today and comparing with the Republican part of the Ronald Reagan era.  Smerconish’s new program airs from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.  He left AM/FM radio, including home base WPHT, Philadelphia to join the satcaster.

rotellapaulNJBA President Paul Rotella Responds to Smerconish in Letter to Philly Inquirer.  In a letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer addressing talk show host Michael Smerconish’s exit from WPHT and move to Sirius Satellite Radio – which Smerconish writes about here — , New Jersey Broadcasters Association president Paul Rotella responds to that editorial expressing “dismay that a former broadcaster could have such ‘sour grapes’ for the industry that has given him some fame and probably some fortune.”  Rotella goes on to say that broadcast radio is the standard by which “successful radio broadcasters judge their achievements.  Look at Ryan Seacrest, Rush Limbaugh, and so many other radio superstars.  They have managed to create vast audience niches that exemplify their talent…they didn’t have to run away from the dial.”  No word if the paper will print Rotella’s piece.

Boston Marathon Bombing Aftermath, Immigration Legislation, Gun Law Proposals, and Ricin Letters Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/17).  The aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing; proposals for new immigration legislation – including amnesty to illegal aliens; proposed gun laws and the defeat of an amendment to extend background checks to gun shows and internet sales that was defeated in the Senate; and the ricin-tainted letters sent to Washington, DC were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

A Serious Loss for Howard Stern

| April 15, 2013

By Steven J.J. Weisman
TALKERS
Legal Editor

sternhowardBOSTON — Sometimes it is, as Mel Brooks commented in his movie “The History of the World, Part One,” good to be the king.  But other times it is not.  Howard Stern, the self-proclaimed (and not too far off) “King of All Media” took a hit last week when the dismissal of his lawsuit against Sirius XM Radio, Inc. in which he sought more than $300 million in stock awards was upheld by the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court.

Read More

Monday, April 15, 2013

| April 15, 2013

sheppardpeteWeekend Talk Host Pete Sheppard Quits During WEEI, Boston Saturday Program.  Telling listeners that he’s no longer happy working for the company, WEEI, Boston weekend talk host Pete Sheppard abruptly quit on-air during his Saturday evening show.  Sheppard, who was a long-time fixture on the former Glenn Ordway-hosted PM drive “Big Show” and was fired from that post due to budget cuts in 2010, was hired back for part-time duties about a year ago.  Sheppard even went so far as to tease his on-air exit by Tweeting that he had something special coming up.  He also specified that his problem was with Entercom management and not program director Jason Wolfe.

sternhowardLegal Analysis and Brief Historical Background of “Stern Versus Sirius” Suit.  Sometimes it is, as Mel Brooks commented in his movie “The History of the World, Part One,” good to be the king.  But other times it is not.  Howard Stern, the self-proclaimed “King of All Media” took a hit last week when the dismissal of his lawsuit against Sirius XM Radio, Inc. in which he sought more than $300 million in stock awards was upheld by the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court.  In order to understand Stern’s lawsuit, which he filed in 2011, it is important to review the history of Stern’s relationship with Sirius.  In an illuminating article posted today (4/15) TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman explains both the background and legal tenets of this important, high-profile (and big bucks) radio industry case.  To read it, click here.

oneildannyBonneville’s KIRO-AM, Seattle Names Danny O’Neil Late Morning Co-Host.  Bonneville’s “710 ESPN Seattle” names market sports journalist Danny O’Neil co-host of the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program alongside Brock Huard.  O’Neil replaces Mike Salk who moved to WEEI, Boston earlier this month.  The “Brock & Danny Show” debuts today.  The station states that in addition to his on-air duties, O’Neil will write a daily Seattle-focused sports column/blog on 710Sports.com.  During the NFL season, O’Neil will cover the Seattle Seahawks to provide fans with an inside perspective on the team.  O’Neil did three stints with the Seattle Times (1996-97; 1999-2002; 2006-2013) and also wrote for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer from 2002-2006.  KIRO-AM vice president and general manager Dave Pridemore states, “We are extremely excited about teaming up Danny O’Neil with Brock Huard on 710 ESPN Seattle.  I’m sure our listeners will appreciate the combination of an athlete’s insight and analysis with a journalist’s curiosity and straight forward perspective.”  Program director Brian Long says, “Brock and Danny have a natural chemistry and genuine likability that will make for a smart entertaining listen for the Seattle sports fan.”

millerchrisEncouragement and Advice for Lonely Digital “True Believers” at Radio Stations.  Noted digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller says, “True Believers are the radio folks I talk to who just know deep in their heart of hearts that the brilliant use of our digital tools could help radio be the best it could possibly be.  When I talk with them, they often just see so clearly how to fit all our different platforms together and how to use them.  Most of them seem to feel a level of frustration, too.  I suspect that’s because they are often the one person at work who is both knowledgeable and passionate about the potential of these tools.”  If you think that describes you, in an article posted to today in TALKERS, Miller serves up several good ideas on how to lessen your frustration level as well as help position you as the radio/digital expert in your workplace and help accomplish your goals.  He suggests starting small, pressing for constant improvement and creating an industry-wide community of like-minded broadcasters.  To read Chris Miller’s entire piece, click here.

beckglennGlenn Beck Named Recipient of 2013 Freedom of Speech Award.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine has named Premiere Networks syndicated radio host, CEO/founder of Mercury Radio Arts, and founder of TheBlazeGlenn Beck the recipient of the 2013 Freedom of Speech Award.  The award is one of the most prestigious honors presented annually in the talk media industry.  The award is presented to an individual in the talk media industry who courageously demonstrates the First Amendment in action, productively promotes its vitality, and inspires increased public awareness of its tenets.  It has an extremely colorful history, sparking heated controversial battles on some occasions, and accruing a roster of outspoken, dynamic recipients as diverse as the medium itself.  Past honorees include Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern, Michael Savage, Bob Grant, Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes, Al Franken, Juan Williams, Joe Madison, Matt Drudge, Norm Pattiz, Brian Lamb, Jim Farley and more. According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “This is a tough award to present – especially when the recipient is a politically controversial figure — because people who view the world through the lens of partisan politics immediately see the award as an endorsement of the position expressed by the recipient, as opposed to its deeper, principled meaning.  The only political position held and espoused by TALKERS magazine is our devotion to the tenets of the First Amendment.  Otherwise we are about as non-partisan as you can get.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison adds, “This year’s recipient deserves the award for several reasons: First, he has shown enormous courage and creativity in expressing extremely controversial views on both talk radio and cable television; second, he stood up to the powers-that-be at his biggest single platform and dared to risk (and eventually lost) his lucrative job in the process; three, he demonstrates the vital role of showmanship and entertainment in artfully executing his craft within the commercial marketplace while still getting his points across (which is what this business is ultimately about); and four, he has intelligently designed a model of independent broadcasting through his pioneering development of an entrepreneurial ‘media station’ that serves to inspire others, create jobs and pave the way for the next generation of talk show hosts to carve their meaningful niches in the new 21st Century digital reality.”  The 2013 Freedom of Speech Award will be presented to Glenn Beck at Talkers New York 2013.  To see the entire up to the minute agenda, click here.

whi logoSalem Communications Re-Brands WHK, Cleveland “The Answer.”  Following the trend in branding taken by its news/talk stations in New York, Los Angeles, Riverside, Dallas, Houston, Columbus, and Chicago, Salem Communications announced WHK, Cleveland becomes “AM 1420 The Answer.”  Salem VP director of spoken word format Phil Boyce says, “As our listeners are preparing to write Uncle Sam that fat check, I can’t think of a better day to give Cleveland ‘The Answer’ to why their taxes are so high.  We have the answer for little things like ‘why am I stuck in traffic’ to bigger things like what can conservatives do to win back the White House.”  The on-air lineup, consisting of Salem Radio Network programs, remains the same.  The station adds morning news anchor Jim McIntyre, “one of the most trusted news voices in Greater Cleveland,” as part of its local news, traffic and weather team.  The station is adding a new late night program dubbed, “The 11th Hour,” hosted by McIntyre and Cleveland talk host Tom Kelly that will air at 11:00 pm.  The station says the show “will focus on both local and statewide stories that affect the WHK audience, with news updates and interviews of the day’s newsmakers and journalists.”  Station general manager Mark Jaycox states, “These are very exciting times at Salem Communications of Northeast Ohio.  To be able to take a station like WHK – one rich in Cleveland heritage and Ohio tradition and celebrating its 91st birthday this year – and make it even more relevant and current, while maintaining that strong identity, we are confident our WHK listeners will be pleased with this change.”

mid-westfamilybroadcasting logoMid-West Family Broadcasting Acquires Wisconsin and Illinois Stations from Maverick for $15.5 Million.  Just days after Connecticut-based Maverick Media announced the sale of its Santa Rosa, California stations to Lawrence Amaturo-led Sonoma Media Group, we learn that Mid-West Family Broadcasting is buying Maverick’s Eau Claire, Wisconsin and Rockford Illinois clusters.  The stations in the Rockford market are: adult hits WRTB “Bob FM 95.3,” AC WGFB “B103 FM,” rock WXRX, and comedy WNTA-AM/FM “Funny 1330.”  In Eau Claire, the stations are: news/talk WAYY, sports talk WEAU “ESPN 1150,” classic rock WECL “92.9 The Big Cheese,” AC WIAL, “I-94,” adult hits WDRK “Bob FM 99.9,” and country WAXX.  In a statement, Mid-West Family Broadcasting president Tom Walker says, “We have wanted to grow our company for some time and want to bring the ideals of locally owned radio back to these two cities.  The stations in both Eau Claire and Rockford will continue serving their local markets with the quality programming Mid-West Family brings to all its stations.”

mcconnellmiltMilt McConnell Joins Alpha Broadcasting’s Portland Cluster as SVP and GM.  Former Cumulus Albuquerque market manager Milt McConnell is named the senior vice president and general manager at Alpha Broadcasting’s Portland, Oregon cluster.  McConnell was part of a recent exodus of staffers from the Albuquerque operations that included longtime KKOB talk host Jim Villanucci.  On his new post in Portland overseeing properties including hot AC KBFF “Live 95.5,” triple A KINK, country KUPL “98.7 The Bull,” sports KXTG-AM “750 The Game,” news/talk KXL “FM News 101,” and talk KUFO “Freedom 970,” McConnell says, “I am just thrilled to get back to live and locally owned radio.  What Larry Wilson and Bob Proffitt have crafted with these premier brands at Alpha/Portland is incredible and I am excited about growing our influence in this dynamic city.  The Alpha culture is very reminiscent of the boom years when we were growing Citadel.  The cherry on top is that I get to work with formats that I have experience with and am extremely passionate about.”

smerconishmichaelOdds & Sods.  CBS Radio’s WPHT, Philadelphia debuts its new PM drive program hosted by Dick Morris.  The show is airing from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm…..Meanwhile, longtime WPHT personality Michael Smerconish makes his move to SiriusXM Satellite Radio today.  The program airs on the POTUS channel from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET….Speaking of SiriusXM, the satcaster began a six-week run of a special program hosted by Breitbart News Network chairman Stephen K. Bannon called “Breitbart News Sunday with Stephen K. Bannon” last night at 7:00 pm ET on its conservative talk SiriusXM Patriot channel.  The three-hour call-in show is said to feature commentary and analysis on the stories and narratives that will drive the upcoming week’s news cycle from the editors and contributors of the Breitbart News Network.

miklaszbernieBernie Miklasz to Appear on WXOS, St. Louis Daily.  When WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” midday talk host Bernie Miklasz announced he’d be leaving his daily program on the Hubbard Broadcasting sports talker to focus on his work with the St. Louis Dispatch, the station said it hoped to still have him contributing on a regular basis.  Now, it’s announced that Miklasz will be a regular guest and will be featured at the following times: Monday afternoons at 4:30 on “The Fast Lane,” Tuesday mornings at 9:30 with “Zach and Rammer,” Wednesday evenings at 5:30 on “The Fast Lane,” Thursday mornings 10:30 with “Zach and Rammer,” and Friday afternoons at 12:30 on the new midday program.  Program director Chris “Hoss” Neupert states, “We are thrilled that Bernie Miklasz will still be a part of the ‘101ESPN’ team.  His experienced analysis regarding the local St. Louis and national sports scene is immeasurable, and our listeners really value his comments and opinions.”

barberrickLongtime Denver Talk Host Rick Barber Facing ALS Battle.  Rick Barber was a talk show host on KOA, Denver for more than 30 years.  He exited the station in January of 2012 and was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease — amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – several months ago.  Now, former fellow Denver talk host Peter Boyles is helping alert the industry to Barber’s situation and providing information where people can make donations.  Find that on Boyles’ KHOW, Denver page here.

greatermediagoodguysGreater Media’s Peter Smyth Honored by Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus.  Greater Media chairman and CEO Peter Smyth is pictured here at the 12th Annual Good Guys Awards on Thursday, April 11 at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston.  The awards event was produced by the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus which honored Smyth for his continued support of women and families in Massachusetts.  Smyth is an active philanthropist working with many organizations that advocate for women and families including the United Way of Massachusetts, the New England Baptist Hospital and Emerson College. In addition, he is a supporter of GRLZ Radio, a radio station giving young women a voice in their community.  MWPC executive director Priti Rao states, “We were very excited to honor Peter Smyth as one of our Good Guys.  His dedicated advocacy to advance women serves as a role model to our community. His support of programs and initiatives that improve the welfare and safety of women and families has been indispensable.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Greater Media VP of corporate communication Heidi Raphael, “HOT 96.9” morning show co-host Pebbles, Greater Media Boston market manager Rob Williams, Smyth, “Hot 96.9” APD and digital media brand manager Jill Strada, WROR general sales manager Matt DiRoberto and Greater Media VP of program development Buzz Knight.

Friday, April 12, 2013

| April 12, 2013

wls-am logoWLS, Chicago Celebrates 89th Anniversary with Special Event.  Afternoon drive co-host Roe Conn will emcee a star-studded array of the biggest names in Chicago radio – past and present – who will be taking part in a special broadcast this evening from historic Navy Pier to celebrate 89 years of WLS Radio entertaining Chicago.  Joining Conn at the event will be some of the biggest names from WLS’ past — Dick Biondi, Catherine Johns and Wayne Messmer – plus special birthday greetings from Larry Lujack, Jeff Hendrix, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Rep. Peter Roskam and Notre Dame Football Coach Brian Kelly.  Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will be on hand to present WLS with a special proclamation.   “The Big 89” launched the careers of many celebrities, including Gene Autry, Larry Lujack and Bob Sirott.  Other local personalities like Dick Biondi and John Records Landecker are still heard on Cumulus Media’s sister classic hits WLS-FM.  Landecker states, “When I got into radio I never expected one set of call letters to mean so much to me, and to so many listeners.  WLS, ‘The Big 89,’ truly is the 50,000 watt blow torch of the Midwest.”  The station debuted on the evening of April 12, 1924 from the Sherman House Hotel in Chicago.  The WLS call letters were taken from the nickname – World’s Largest Store – for Sears-Roebuck’s West Side Headquarters on Homan Avenue.  Cumulus COO John Dickey says, “What started as the world’s largest store has become one of the world’s legendary stations.  Happy birthday 89. You don’t sound a day over 40!”

sternhowardAppeals Court Sinks Stern’s SiriusXM Suit.  A New York state appeals court rejected SiriusXM personality Howard Stern’s argument that the satcaster should have paid him bonus money based on the subscriber count of XM Satellite Radio.  Stern, through his production company One Twelve, had argued that when he was paid stock awards for performance based upon subscribers to Sirius, the company should also have counted subscribers to XM which merged with Sirius in 2008.  Stern lost the $330 million suit in the lower level court and appealed the decision.  But the appeals court – in a one-paragraph decision – stated that Stern’s 2004 contract with Sirius was “unambiguous” and denied the appeal.

fishercommunicationsSinclair to Keep Fisher’s Seattle Radio Stations.  In reporting yesterday’s announcement of the acquisition of Fisher Communications by Sinclair Broadcast Group, we questioned whether Sinclair – which got out of the radio business almost 14 years ago – would want to keep the three Seattle stations or offload them once the deal is consummated.  But during a conference call with analysts, Sinclair chief financial officer, executive vice president,komologo secretary of SCI and secretary of Sinclair Television Group Inc. David B. Amy addressed the radio stations, “Our understanding is that they work very closely with the Seattle television stations, and are complementary to, and benefit the Seattle television stations.  So we’ve been in radio in the past, and we’re familiar with what works and what doesn’t work within a television market in that regard.  So it will take us some time to, I guess, verify those comments that are being made to us. But at this point, no, we haven’t made any decision to do anything but to continue the way they are.”  Fisher owns hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5,” all-news KOMO-AM and news/talk KVI.  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript of the call.  You can read it in its entirety here.

weei logoDavid Field to Speak to Entercom Boston Staffers Today.  Bruce Allen’s Boston Sports Media Watch is reporting that Entercom CEO David Field is making an appearance at the Boston offices in a “town hall meeting”fielddavid style in which he’ll attempt to deal with what Allen is calling a “toxic environment” at the cluster.  Allen writes that he’ll presumably “attempt to assuage hard feelings and improve morale.  The source says the meeting is to tell employees that ‘everything is fine, and to enjoy the brand.’”  This comes on the heels of Boston Red Sox Network air personality Jon Rish’s decision to exit the network as the baseball season is just beginning rather than take what was reported to be a 30% pay cut.  Allen also is reporting that his source says Field will take questions from the staff but that questions had to be submitted in advance.

wphtWPHT, Philadelphia Moves Gary R’nel to Afternoon Co-Host Position; Rich Zeoli to Evenings.  At CBS Radio news/talk WPHT, Philadelphia, current afternoon drive co-host Rich Zeoli is moving to the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot as Gary R’nel moves to the afternoon drive slot as new afternoon host Dick Morris’ partner.  In February, WPHT announced that political consultant and former Fox News Channel contributor Morris would join the station for PM drive as part of changes to accommodate the move of longtime WPHT host Michael Smerconish to SiriusXM.  Zeoli posted the confirmation of his status on his Facebook page when he wrote, “It’s official, starting April 15th I will be moving to 6:00 to 10:00 on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT.  Thanks friends for your support and encouragement the last several weeks.”

fair50 Talk Show Hosts Heading to DC Next Week for Live Broadcasts Discussing and Opposing the Senate Amnesty Bill – More Invited to Participate from Home.  Wednesday, April 17 and Thursday, April 18 are the dates set for this year’s annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” mega-radio row held in the nation’s capital by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).  50 talk show hosts will be originating their programs during those two days from Capitol Hill, interviewing a parade of high-profile guests from politics, government, the media and public policy organizations.  Due to the overwhelming interest expressed by far more hosts than can be accommodated on the scene at this live event, FAIR is encouraging interested talk show hosts around the country to participate from their home markets with a “concentrated, collective and loud” nationwide push to alert listeners, who might be so pre-disposed, to oppose amnesty.  FAIR communications director Bob Dane has issued the following statement to hosts around the nation: “Please join 50 of your colleagues at ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ by devoting some, or all, of your program on April 17 and 18 to talking about the massive immigration giveaway moving through Congress.  The bill is complex but the call-to-action is simple.  As we did successfully in 2007, we need you to ask your listeners to call their lawmakers, say ‘no,’ and flood the Capitol switchboard on those two days.” For more information click herehttp://www.fairus.org/VoicesAgainstAmnesty

kupersteinadamNBC Sports Radio Network Adds Weekend Shows. Rounding out its weekend programming, the NBC Sports and Dial Global sports radio network initiative announces that last Sunday, the network debuted “Kup and Schultz,” featuring Miami’s Adam “Kup” Kuperstein and Huffington Post sports columnist Jordan Schultz.  “Kup and Schultz” will air schultzjordanregularly on Sundays from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.  Also, the network assigns a weekend show to weekday overnight host Dan Schwartzman as he debuts “Schwartzman Saturdays,” airing from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET. Kuperstein states, “I’m honored to be in such good company on the NBC Sports Radio team. Our show will be a fast-paced, fun, fresh look at sports.  I can’t wait to get started!”  Schultz adds, “I’m thrilled to be hosting a new show for NBC Sports Radio where I can bring my Huff Post perspective and passion for sports to a new audience.  It’s a tremendous opportunity to work with a highly respected network that already provides great sports talk.”

hedgecockrogerRadio America’s Roger Hedgecock Adds Six New Affiliates.  Six more stations add the nationally syndicated and San Diego-based Roger Hedgecock program to their lineups.  They are: KMJ-AM, Fresno; KGNC, Amarillo; KION, Monterey-Salinas-Santa Cruz, California; KHQN, Salt Lake City; WLFJ, Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina; KCNR, Redding, California.

kozntorreNRG Media’s KOZN, Omaha Broadcasts from Bob Gibson Statue Unveiling.  NRG Media sports talker KOZN, Omaha “The Zone” broadcast from the recent unveiling of a statue of St. Louis Cardinals great Bob Gibson by the Sarpy County (Nebraska) Sports Commission and the minor league Omaha Storm Chasers at the club’s Werner Park on April 11.  During the five-hour live remote, KOZN Damon Benning and Gary Sharp welcomed numerous high-profile guests including former MLB manager Joe Torre.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Benning, Torre and Sharp.

Obama 2014 Budget Top Talk Story for Week of April 8-12. President Obama’s Fiscal 2014 Federal Budget along with the sequester and other spending issues were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was gun legislation proposals followed by North Korea missile threats at #3.  At #4 was the immigration reform bill.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Monday, April 8, 2013

| April 8, 2013

weismanstevenANALYSIS: The FCC’s Curious Approach to Indecency.  TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes that it “seemed particularly fitting” that the FCC chose April Fools’ Day to announce it was cleaning out its backlog of broadcast indecency complaints by more than 1 million filings.  How did they deal with that many complaints in six months.  Easy, says Weisman, “These cases were summarily dismissed for various reasons, such as being beyond the FCC’s five-year statute of limitations, involved cases outside of the FCC’s jurisdiction, contained insufficient information or were not actionable due to previous established precedents.  Cases were also dismissed for being, in the FCC’s words ‘too stale to pursue’ althoughfccnew there is no FCC definition of staleness.”  Weisman also notes that the Commission reassures the public it is “actively investigating” what it referred to as “egregious indecency complaints” and will continue to do so.  “What actually makes a case ‘egregious’ is not very clear because there is no definition of ‘egregious’ in the FCC regulations where it seems filth is in the eye of the beholder.  Apparently egregious violations of the indecency rules is the FCC’s new standard for action.”  Sharpen your pencils because the FCC is asking for your thoughts on its indecency policy.  You have until May 1 to get those ideas to Washington.  But before you do, read Steven J.J. Weisman’s complete analysis of the FCC’s recent indecency odyssey here.

drWTNT, Washington Is New Home for the Dr. K Show.  “The Dr. K Show,” hosted by Dr. Kevin Wallis, makes its new home at Metro Radio’s WTNT, Washington, DC  during the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot.  Wallis describes the program as “a Libertarian talk/comedy show discussing topics from politics to world affairs and everything in between with a no nonsense, comedic view on the world. ‘The Dr. K Show’ gives you the ‘truth’ about any topic without the party lines getting in the way.”  Dr. Wallis began his broadcasting career at WGGB, Long Island, received his bachelor’s degree in human anthropology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and his master’s in public health at New York Medical College.  He also graduated from Touro University International with his PhD in Health Research and Education.  Co-host Bryan Berner is a stand-up comedian and radio talk show host.  Producer Joe Greene has produced some of the biggest shows in N.Y. radio and is a radio talk show co-host.  The program features contributors: chief political commentator Carl Jeffers, chief legal analyst Ron Kuby, chief financial analyst Stephen Moore and religious adviser Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.  The program is also heard on WVNJ, Oakland, New Jersey.

haigbillWTMJ, Milwaukee Legend Bill Haig Passes Away.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that longtime WTMJ, Milwaukee and Milwaukee Brewers executive Bill Haig had been ill for some time and died on Saturday while in hospice at the age of 78.  Haig began his radio career in ad sales at WFOX, Waukesha, Wisconsin in 1954.  He eventually rose to the general manager position at WTMJ and it was under his watch that the station became the flagship for the Milwaukee Brewers, the Milwaukee Bucks, the Green Bay Packers and the University of Wisconsin Badgers football.  In 1980 he became the Milwaukee Brewers’ vice president of broadcast, overseeing production, advertising sales and networking for the Brewers broadcast networks until his retirement.

knx logoOdds & Sods.  CBS Radio’s KNX, Los Angeles presents the next remote broadcast in its “KNX On Your Corner” series as it broadcasts from the western region of the San Fernando Valley on Friday, April 26.  The in-depth look at communities including Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Agoura Hills and Westlake Village will explore the local history, economy and an array of unique stories, from the Kardashians to a playground made specifically for physically challenged children.  The day will include broadcasts emanating from Brent’s Deli in Westlake Village as Dick Helton and Vicky Moore will anchor the news from 5:00 am to 9:00 am, Frank Mottek hosts the “KNX Business Hour” from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm and Jim Thornton and Diane Thompson anchors the news from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm…..Entercom’s WRKO, Boston is producing a debate between two of the Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Secretary of State John Kerry.  PM drive host Howie Carr will be joined by Michael Sullivan and Gabriel Gomez during the live debate airing from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm today…..SiriusXM Radio is broadcasting live hole-by-hole coverage of the 2013 Masters Tournament from Thursday, April 11, through Sunday, April 14, on its PGA TOUR Radio channel.

bradleyknicksBill Bradley Hosts  Fellow ’72-’73 Knicks Teammates on SiriusXM.  Former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley (second from right) poses for a photo with his teammates from the NBA championship New York Knicks of the 1972-1973 season.  The group came together in the New York studios of SiriusXM Satellite Radio for a taping of Bradley’s “American Voices” program and will be aired later this month.  Pictured here are (from l-r):  Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, Phil Jackson, Willis Reed, Walt Frazier, Bradley, and Jerry Lucas.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

| March 28, 2013

theblaze logoGlenn Beck’s TheBlaze Added to Blue Ridge Communications Cable System.  The push to get more cable TV carriage for Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze continues and now the company announces it will be carried on Blue Ridge Communications’ system that serves the Poconos and the Central Pennsylvania region.  It is the nation’s 21st largest cable operator.  TheBlaze also entered into agreements with BEK Communications, Sweetwater Cable Television and Atwood Cable.  TheBlaze president, business development, Lynne Costantini, states, “We’re thrilled to welcome these independent operators into TheBlaze family of television affiliates.  These businesses understand the value of bringing TheBlaze’s original programming and unique perspective to their customers and their business.”  TheBlaze says that customers of these cable operators will now be able to watch its full programming lineup including The Glenn Beck Program, news program “Real News from TheBlaze,” opinion show hosted by Andrew Wilkow, current events show “Pat & Stu” featuring radio personalities Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere, kid’s show “Liberty TreeHouse,” comedy news show “The B.S. of A.,” news magazine “For The Record,” and comical news and current events show “The Wonderful World of Stu featuring Stu Burguiere.”  TheBlaze states that it is currently in carriage conversations with all major satellite, cable, telco and independent companies.

wtoplogoWTOP, Washington Stays #1 on List of Top Billing Stations.  The annual list of top billing stations according to BIA/ Kelsey has been released and Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington is at the front of the pack once again with $64.6 million in revenue in 2012 – that’s up a fraction from the $64 million it grossed in 2011.  The rest of the top 10 – split by CBS and Clear Channel – are as follows (in millions):  Clear Channel’s KIIS, Los Angeles ($56.8); Clear Channel’s WHTZ, New York ($48.2); CBS Radio’s WCBS, New York ($47.2); Clear Channel’s KFI, Los Angeles ($46); CBS Radio’s WBBM, Chicago ($45.7); Clear Channel’s WLTW, New York ($43); CBS Radio’s WINS, New York ($41.5); CBS Radio’s WFAN-AM/FM ($41); and CBS Radio’s KROQ, Los Angeles ($39.3).

costadinoSiriusXM Sports Talker Dino Costa Subject of New Film.  Sports talk radio personality Dino Costa will be the subject of a feature-length film to begin production in April in Wyoming.  Chesapeake Films announces that it has started pre-production for a documentary to be completed in 2013 about the life of “controversial SiriusXM Radio personality, Dino Costa.”  The documentary film will be directed by Joel Franco, cinematography by Darko Nikolich, edited by Anthony Bernard, sound design by Karol Urban, and original music by Marianthe Bezzerides.  The film will begin shooting in Wyoming, where Dino Costa resides and produces his daily radio sports talk show.  The crew will then follow Costa to New York, to continue filming Costa’s hometown, friends, fans, and family.  Franco says he wanted to do the film because, “Dino is a breath of fresh air in the world of cookie-cutter sports talk radio.  He is fiercely independent, and connects with his audience like few can.  I just knew that under that big personality was a story waiting to be told.  I am so excited to begin.”  Costa comments, “When I embarked on my career as a talk show host, I wanted to achieve many objectives; I never thought about the possibility of someone wanting to do a film about my career and my life.  In speaking with Joel about his vision for this film, I’m confident that collaborating with the crew at Chesapeake Films will culminate in a documentary about my life that people will find interesting and compelling.”

billyfatbackVillanucci Producer Billy “Fatback” Cornelius Debuts Evening Show on KKOB.  The departure of longtime afternoon drive host Jim Villanucci from Cumulus Media’s KKOB, Albuquerque, resulted in evening host Scott Stiegler moving into the PM drive slot.  That created an opening in the evenings and Jim Villanucci’s former on-air producer, Billy “Fatback” Cornelius, is now host of his own show airing in the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm time slot.  He’ll still produce Stiegler’s program but “Fatback” tells TALKERS magazine, “When asked about the new opportunity, I simply replied, ‘The Fatback Nation will rise.’”  His program debuts this evening.

gearhartjimNew Jersey 101.5’s Jim Gearhart to Be Inducted into the New Jersey Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.  Jim Gearhart has been the morning host on Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” for the past 23 years and now he’s being honored by the New Jersey Broadcasters Association with induction into its Hall of Fame.  Gearhart will be inducted at the Annual Awards Luncheon, which will be held during the NJBA’s 66th Annual Conference in Atlantic City this June 18-19.  NJ 101.5 program director Eric Johnson says, “Jim will be acknowledged for providing quality content, news, public affairs and diverse entertainment to New Jersey.  Jim’s contributions to the longevity and success of our industry in New Jersey will be recognized.”

miklaszbernieWXOS, St. Louis Host Bernie Miklasz to Leave Radio Gig.  Popular St. Louis sports media personality Bernie Miklasz will exit Hubbard Radio’s WXOS “101 Sports” when his contract wraps up next month.  In a piece in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Miklasz says he’s leaving the radio show (weekdays 11:00 am to 2:00 pm) to focus on his work with the Post-Dispatch and its STLtoday.com where he’s been a sports columnist since 1989.  He states, “I’ve always loved writing more (than radio), it’s my calling.  Whatever good things I have in my life professionally have been because of the Post-Dispatch. It has led to other opportunities.”  Miklasz says the stress of two jobs is wearing on him.  WXOS program director Chris “Hoss” Neupert says, “He’s such a dynamic personality, but at the end of the day how can you be mad at a guy who’s going back to his roots and giving it his all?  He wants to do his part to help take an industry that has been down on an upswing.  It’s bittersweet (for the station) because what he is doing is very honorable and really cool, so it’s hard to be upset with him.  The guy is such an awesome personality.”  STLtoday.com hints it will be branching out into audio and video on the website and will use Miklasz for that purpose, as well.

thelearningconference logoThe Conclave Announces Agenda for July Learning Conference.  The Conclave announces its preliminary agenda for the July 17-19 “Conclave 38: The Learning Conference” taking place at the Minneapolis/Park Place Doubletree Hotel.  Executive director Bob Shannon states, “The very words ‘The Learning Conference’ implies that Conclave 38 will focus on teaching ideas our attendees can actually use.  Focusing on what works today and the tools we’ll need forshannonbob tomorrow, our faculty includes thinkers, visionaries and practitioners in a wide variety of disciplines including digital, marketing, mobile, programming, social media, and talent creation and training.”  Some of the speakers appearing this year include:  Ivan Braiker/HipCricket, Tim Bronsil/Point to Point Marketing, Jon Chelesnik/Sportcasters Talent Agency of America, Drake Donovan/Splice Video, Joel Folger/Folger Media, Les Garland/Afterplay Entertainment, John Gehron/AccuRadio, Bruce Gilbert/Clear Channel, Phil Hall/Audience Bakery, Michael Harrison/Talkers-Radioinfo.com, Dan Hill/Sensory Logic, Fred Jacobs/Jacobs Media, Randy Lane/The Randy Lane Company, Lori Lewis/Jacobs Media, Kipper McGee/Kipper McGee LLC, Kevin Metheny/Cumulus Media, Chris Miller/Chris Miller Digital, Tim Moore/Audience Development Group, Mark Shannon O’Neill/ROI Media Solutions, Bill Richards/Clear Channel, Larry Rosin/Edison Research, and Walter Sabo/Sabo Media.  Shannon reports that this year’s Conclave begins on Wednesday, July 17 with the fourth annual “Jacobs Media Summer School,” and ends July 19 with “Conclave GAMEDAY,” a day devoted entirely to sports that ends with a reception at KTWN-FM’s studio just before the Minnesota Twins/Cleveland Indians game at Target Field, home of the 2014 All Star Game.  For more information on the Learning Conference and Conclave educational programs, visit http://www.theconclave.com.

SCOTUS Gay Marriage Arguments, North Korea Threats, Dr. Ben Carson Assault, Cyprus Banks Bailout, and Sequester Effects Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/28).  The two days of arguments before the Supreme Court on gay marriage; threats of military action from North Korea; the backlash against Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Ben Carson; the bailout of Cyprus banks by the EU; and the effects of the sequester were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

| March 27, 2013

pittmanbobBob Pittman to Take Over Chairman of the Board Role at Clear Channel.  CC Media Holdings, Inc., in an SEC filing announcing the annual meeting of stockholders on May 17, moves to replace Mark Mays as chairman of the board with current board of directors member and company CEO Bob Pittman.  The filing states, “We believe that having the chief executive officer also serve as our chairman of the board provides us with a clear leadership structure.  As our chairman and chief executive officer, Mr. Pittman will continue to provide our board with insight into our operations and help facilitate the flow of information between management and the board.  Subject to his re-election as a director, Mr. Mays will remain a member of our board and we will continue to benefit from his experience as our previous chief executive officer.”

browns helmetGood Karma’s WKNR and CBS Radio’s WKRK Team Up to Grab Cleveland Browns Football from Clear Channel.  The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that Cleveland Browns football – for years heard onwknrlogo Clear Channel’s rock WMMS and news/talk WTAM – will air on WKNR “ESPN Cleveland” and WKRK “92.3 The Fan” beginning this fall.  Obviously, the unusual aspect of this is WKNR is owned by Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma and WKRK is CBS Radio’s sports outlet in Cleveland – both stations competing for the same listeners.  According to the piece, games will also air on CBS’ classic rock WNCX.  The Plain Dealer reports thatwkrklogo CC, CBS and Good Karma were all bidding for the rights when the latter two decided to work together.  Here’s how it is supposed to happen in the fall: a Rob Chudzinski coach’s show will air (on which station it’s not yet known) and the “Cleveland Browns Daily Show” on WKNR will expand from one hour to two.  Game days will see WKNR broadcast a four-hour pre-game show and WKRK will broadcast a two-hour post-game program.  It is expected that the booth team of Jim Donovan and Doug Dieken will remain in place.

kramerweezieEntercom Ups Weezie Kramer to Station Group President.  Weezie Kramer has been with Entercom as a regional president since 2005.  Now, the company promotes her to station group president putting her in charge of all 121 Entercom radio stations.   In this post she will supervise  Entercom regional presidents Michael Doyle and Deborah Kane and chair the company’s operating committee.  She’ll also continue to be in charge of a number of the company’s 23 markets and report directly to Entercom president and CEO David Field, who says, “For years we have operated with three wonderfully talented regional presidents, but the time has come to align our station group under a single operational leader to drive stronger organizational cohesiveness and effectiveness. In elevating Weezie to this role, we will enhance our coordination and clarity and drive faster decision-making. She will continue to work closely with Deborah Kane and Michael Doyle, providing an outstanding leadership team for our markets.”

stephandougDoug Stephan’s “Good Day Crowdfunding Show” to Put Entrepreneurs in Front of Giant Audience.  Doug Stephan’s nationally syndicated morning radio program – now in its 25th year – is inviting entrepreneurs to the largest crowdfunding pitchfest ever.  In a statement, Doug Stephan says, “‘The Good Day Crowdfunding Show’ brings the buzz of a broadcast radio reality series and pits crowdfunders in a contest judged by crowdsourcing industry thought leaders. hayesmike Entrepreneurs and businesses interested in raising capital, social lending and fundraising websites for their products, charity projects and creative ideas are invited to ‘pitch the experts’ on the first crowdfunding radio reality series.”  Good Day Crowdfunding has launched its own pre-launch to build community where crowdfunders can engage at http://GoodDayCrowdfunding.com.  Inside the community is a unique incubator project, Startup America Crowdfunding, where participants are guided from start to finish through successful money-raising campaigns.  The release continues, “As part of the project, creators of the best ideas will get a shot on the ‘Good Day Crowdfunding Show,’ to pitch their idea to millions in a fast-paced reality format.  The incentive is simple: The better the idea, the more promotion and airtime to over 3 million daily listeners across the US and online.”  The addition of the crowdfunding segment to Stephan’s program comes as the program begins working with Mike Hayes, current host of “StartUp America News” and an expert in entrepreneurship.  Hayes states, “This new reality based radio program is the ‘American Idol’ of crowdfunding.  Our intention is to help boost the impact of crowdfunding on America’s economy by creating and supporting crowdfunding success stories across any available platform.  We want to enable anyone, anywhere to follow, and fund their dream projects.”  Others joining Good Day for this project include: PR expert Ronjini Mukopadhyay, who has been central to several highly successful crowdfunding campaigns including StickNFind; entrepreneur Danny Kastner, a contestant on ‘The Apprentice’ and developer of Crowdjammer, a crowdfunding community solution designed to drive campaign backers to any crowdfunding project; and social impact marketer Robin Eschler, host of “Socially Conscious Investing” online radio and a pro in social lending, impact investing and online marketing.

cookehollandDentists are Prime Prospects for Radio Advertising.  Have you noticed when you visit your friendly family dentist lately that the office has likely evolved from projecting a serious “professional” environment to more “commercial” one with signs promoting elective cosmetic procedures (such as teeth whitening), electric toothbrush sales, awards programs for recruiting new patients and “like us on Facebook” display cards? The fact is, dentistry has changed over the years and today’s young crop of dentists find themselves in a business that requires far more media promotion than their cavity-filling forebears ever thought about (or would consider appropriate).  In a helpful article posted today (3/27) noted radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke sinks his canines into a potentially lucrative sales lead category.  Read it here.

madisonjoeWashington-Based Talker Joe Madison Exits WOL, Washington.  Talk radio personality Joe Madison’s program has been based at SiriusXM for several years and the show was carried by Radio One’s WOL, Washington after the latter had served as Madison’s base for more than a decade.  Now, Madison’s program is off WOL and solely available on SiriusXM’s “The Power” channel.  Radio One doesn’t appear to have a permanent AM drive replacement for Madison yet as midday host Ron Thompson has been sitting in.

finebaumpaulBirmingham Sports Media Personality Paul Finebaum Inks Book Deal.  Former WJOX, Birmingham sports talk host Paul Finebaum has signed a deal with Harper Collins that, according to SBNation.com, will tell the story of his radio show and its effect on the SEC.  Finebuam tells Al.com, “Primarily, it’s about the culture of the show and how the culture of the show interacts with the SEC.  But it does quickly go through my career and how we got to this point.  There will be commentary on why the SEC is better than everyone else.  It will certainly talk about the dominance of not only Alabama, but the conference.  The radio show will be woven in and out of the book, featuring little vignettes on the callers.”  Harper Collins plans to officially announced the deal this week.  Finebaum’s regionally syndicated radio show – now off the air after he left Cumulus Media’s WJOX and is sitting out a non-compete period – was also heard on SiriusXM.  It is expected that once the non-compete period elapses in late April, Finebaum will cross the street and base his program from WZNN, Birmingham “ESPN 97.3 The Zone” which is in the process of being sold by Cox Media Group to SummitMedia.

biakelseyBIA/Kelsey Sees Radio Station Online Growth Rising at Faster Pace.  The media advisory firm reports that, according to its first 2013 Investing in Radio Market Report, “Radio industry over-the-air revenues inched slightly upwards in 2012, increasing to $14.3 billion, a 1.5% change fratrikmarkfrom the year before.”  The company goes on to say that the “slight change is due in large part to the sluggish overall economy for 2012 and the increased competition radio faces in the local media market.”  It notes “station revenue mix will continue to shift somewhat and income from online advertising is expected to rise at a rate of about 10.8% annually over the next five years versus 2.5% from over-the-air.”  For 2013, BIA/Kelsey forecasts over-the-air radio revenues should see 2.3%, or $14.7 billion, again due to the slightly stronger economy.  BIA/Kelsey forecasts radio’s online revenue growth will reach $818 million by 2017, while the industry’s combined total revenue will reach $17 billion by 2017.   Vice president and chief economist Mark Fratrik states, “As the digital marketplace continues to rise in all sectors of advertising, radio is improving its listener engagement online and benefitting from the value of its web and mobile assets.  Overall, the industry is still recognized as an important part of the media mix as it continues to meander around, rising slightly with the rate of inflation but not keeping up with the economy.”

narvaezmonicaArbitron Names Monica Narvaez Hispanic Broadcaster Account Specialist.  In a role newly created, Arbitron Inc. appoints Monica Narvaez Hispanic broadcaster account specialist.  The company reports her duties will include: promoting the power of Spanish-language radio; generating solutions to help address Hispanic radio group needs; and developing programs for Spanish radio group training initiatives.  Narvaez has been with Arbitron for 10 years.  Prior to joining Arbitron she served with Nielsen as a web trainer, working with TV station research directors and sales executives using Scarborough Research.

millerdennisOdds & Sods.  Dial Global’s Dennis Miller interviews former Massachusetts Governor and former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on his nationally syndicated show today (3/27)…..Legendary actor and CRN Digital Talk Radio personality Robert Conrad says he is doing fine despite rumors on the internet this week that he has passed away.  Conrad, who hosts his own show on the network on Thursdays from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm PT, says, “I’m feeling well and in good health so I’m very surprised to hear that I’ve passed away, I must’ve missed that memo.”  The CRN studios received numerous calls from his listeners about the report…..Current.org reports that University of Alabama Birmingham-owned non-commercial WBHM, Birmingham news director Tanya Ott is moving to Georgia to take on the vice president/radio for Georgia Public Broadcasting.

waxylogoThe FCC Approves Move of WAXY-FM, Miami Signal.  Lincoln Financial Media’s acquisition of CBS Radio’s former AC WEAT, West Palm Beach was executed with the intent of bringing the now-WAXY sports talk FM simulcast signal closer to the Miami market.  After Clear Channel objected to the move, the FCC overruled that objection and LFM gets the okay to move the signal to its new city of license Miramar.  The 104.3 signal has been simulcasting WAXY since LFM took control.

njba logoNew Jersey Broadcasters Association Backs FM in Smart Phones.  The New Jersey Broadcasters Association passed a resolution on Tuesday, March 26 at its board meeting in support of the Sprint FM Chip proposal, reaffirming the absolute need to enable all cell phones within the United States to include (and activate) FM receiver capabilities in smartphones and other consumer electronic  devices.   NJBA president Paul Rotella states, “This is a rotellapaulmatter of vital importance to inform and protect our citizens especially in times of natural disaster, severe weather or other emergencies that require the unequalled power of radio to reach the public.”  The NJBA believes that because of the strength of broadcast and the power of the airwaves, local radio and TV stations are often the only available communications medium during disaster situations.  Rotella continues, “New Jersey Broadcasters see the value of making radio receivers available and installed in all telecommunications devices owned and used by the public, foremost of those is the ‘smart phone’ and, therefore, the New Jersey Broadcasters Association supports the agreement with Sprint to produce and sell over 30 million smart phones in three years with fully functional FM radio receivers as part of their ‘smart Phones’ and service for same.”

SCOTUS Gay Marriage Arguments, Costs of ObamaCare, North Korea Threats, Euro Zone Jitters, Dow Continues to Soar, and Amanda Knox Re-Trial Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/26).  The debate over the legality of gay marriage as the Supreme Court hears arguments; the costs of the Affordable Care Act; North Korea’s military threats; uncertainty in the euro zone after the Cyprus affair; the still-soaring Dow; and the Italian court’s ruling to re-try Amanda Knox were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

| March 19, 2013

DG-logoHorizontalMore Big Changes at Dial Global as Spencer Brown and Ken Williams Resign; Time, Inc. CRO Paul Caine to Take Over as CEO.  Dial Global announces that Paul Caine has resigned his post as chief revenue officer at Time, Inc. to become the chief executive officer of Dial Global and become a member of the cainepaulboard of directors.  Spencer Brown resigns his post as CEO and Ken Williams does the same as president.  The two will stay on until April 4 when the change takes place.  The company says, “Caine joins to create a new opportunity for Dial Global to expand the marketing and monetization of audio, starting with the Company’s lineup of premier sports, entertainment and news content that includes the NFL primetime games (including the Playoffs and Super Bowl), the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, CBS Radio News, NBC News Radio, the brownspencerNBC Sports Radio Network, and the Grammys. As mobile platforms continue to multiply the occasions for listening, the demand for premium digital audio content is growing fast. This represents a substantial, undeveloped opportunity for content providers, distribution partners and marketers alike.”  Paul Caine says of joining the company, “Dial Global will propel the growth of audio as the essential medium for the mobile experience.  We have premium content, top-tier distribution, and prestigious live event assets.  Our opportunity is to expand these experiences for consumers, broaden our repertoire of content partners, and integrate our on-air, digital and live event offerings to create compelling engagement for advertisers.”  In a statement from the company, Spencer Brown comments on his exit, “Along with our former partner David Landau, Ken and I have taken Dial Global a long way.  Now the company needs a chief executive with a different skill set to steer it through its next phase of growth.  We believe Paul is uniquely well-qualified to do just that.”

Cumulus Reports 2012 Q4 Net Revenue Up 1% on Strong Political.  Cumulus Media announces 2012 Q4 numbers and financial figures for the whole of 2012.  For the fourth quarter of 2012, Net revenue was up $2.9 million – 1% — on revenue of $284.2 million, compared to $281.3 for the same period a year ago.

cumulusLew Dickey Says with Promised Synergies in Place, ‘Cumulus Optimizes’ and ‘Invigorates’ Radio Networks Division.  During Monday’s conference call with analysts, Cumulus Media chairman and CEO Lew Dickey explained some of the company’s strategies and recognized the programming effortsdickeylew that included “launching shows with Governor Mike Huckabee, Geraldo Rivera, Sanjay Gupta and Michael Savage as well as some other initiatives that we have focused on.  We also announced the launch of, huckabeemikeimportantly, the CBS Sports Radio Network in collaboration with CBS, and the launch of Right Now Traffic in partnership with Radiate Media. These give us strong ownership positions going forward into two key verticals, sports and traffic.”  Lew Dickey reiterated the company’s happiness with the purchase of the former WFME, Newark, calling it “a tremendous value at just $40 million.”  As expected he promoted Cumulus’ country music strategy, saying the new WNSH, New York “enabled us to bring the country format back to New York for the first time since the mid-90s…with a very strong brand, ‘NASH FM.’  The NASH brand was extremely well received by listeners, advertisers, general media and particularly the Nashvillenashbashsheltonsmall entertainment community, and we further capitalized on this with a three-day concert for our advertisers and listeners last savagemichaelmonth, which was the ‘NASH BASH’ at the Roseland ballroom.  NASH FM will become the flagship for our larger national country initiative that we are in the process of rolling out throughout the rest of this year. It will ultimately be a multimedia platform brand for Cumulus, targeting that key audience segment, which is about 85 million Americans.  It will be through our O&O group as well as syndicated through our network…as well as through a mult-imedia platform.”   Dickey told analysts he expects the NASH FM, traffic, CBS Sports and digital platforms to break even in 2013 and be poised for profit in 2014 saying they are, “in essence, startup businesses, new entrants into respective arenas such as sports, and traffic in particular.”  Dickey was asked about the network business, the talk business in particular and he referenced, without naming names, the Rush Limbaugh-Sandra Fluke incident.  “Clearly, it’s been well documented that the talk side has been challenged – most of that due to some of the issues that happened a year ago.  So there has been residual hangover on the talk side in terms of advertisers sitting out and not placing there…that’s had an impact not only on our network business but it’s had an impact on some of the news/talk stations in the top markets in our O&O group.”  Dickey reported that business that is typically placed in the first quarter was, in many cases not placed until the late part of the first quarter of this year and a lot of that business “is now starting to come back into the marketplace.”  The Cumulus Media conference call details come courtesy of Seeking Alpha.  See more at SeekingAlpha.com.

kprc logoKPRC, Houston Re-Brands; Adds Janine Turner for Daily PM Drive Show.  Clear Channel Houston talk outlet KPRC finalizes its shift from a more “hot talk” format to a more traditional news/talk format and swaps turnerjaninebranding, leaving behind the “9-5-0 Radio Mojo” and implementing the new “Houston’s More Stimulating Talk Radio” positioner.  The lineup includes: Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo in morning drive; Premiere’s Glenn Beck; local host Michael Garfield; local personality Matt Patrick (who’s also heard in AM drive on sister KTRH); and Janine Turner.  Texas-based Turner – the actress known for her work on the 1990s TV show “Northern Exposure” – has been producing her own radio show for a couple of years now and is added to the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot on KPRC.

greatermediaGreater Media Philly Honored with Top Workplaces Accolades for Second Straight Year.  In a survey of employees conducted by Workplace Dynamics for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philly.com, Greater Media’s Philadelphia cluster of stations was named among the Top Workplaces again this year.  VP and market manager John Fullam says, “Great companies start with great employees.  We believe the workplace environment is an essential part of creating a successful organization.  We are fortunate to have such an outstanding team dedicated to serving Philadelphia, our listeners and advertising partners every day.”  Greater Media operates rock WMMR, classic rock WMGK, adult hits WBEN-FM and sports talk WPEN-FM.

arbitronArbitron Releases the RADAR March 2013 Radio Network Ratings.  Arbitron reports that the RADAR (Radio’s All Dimension Audience Research) March 2013 “is the standard currency for national network radio ratings and measures 46 individual radio networks.”  The networks are operated by American Urban Radio Networks, Crystal Media Networks, Cumulus Media Networks, Dial Global Inc., Premiere Networks, and United Stations Radio Networks.  The survey concludes “that nearly 180 million Persons 12 and older, or approximately 68% of this demographic, heard one or more network radio commercials in an average week of the survey period.”  Further, the survey states commercials that aired on the 46 radio networks measured reached: 68.2 % of Persons aged 12+ (179,923,000 Persons); 68.6% of Persons aged 18+ (163,738,000 Persons); 68.1% of Persons aged 35+ (113,417,000 Persons); 70.9% of Persons aged 18-49 (95,091,000 Persons); and 71.7% of Persons aged 25-54 (89,654,000Persons).

premiere networks 2Premiere Networks Touts ‘Strong Rankings’ in RADAR 116.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment-owned Premiere Networks sells 17 of the 46 networks included in Arbitron’s RADAR 116.  In this survey, Premiere lays claim to having “earned the number one spot in rankings for AQH and Cume among all 46 measured RADAR networks in RADAR 116 for Persons 12+.  Premiere FOX News Advantage ranked number one on an AQH basis for Persons 12+ (All Broadcasts, Monday-Sun 5AM-12M, AQH) and Premiere Spectrum debuted in RADAR 116 as the highest-reaching network for Persons 12+ (All Broadcasts, Monday-Sunday 12Midnight-12Midnight broad daypart, Cume).  Premiere also points to the performance of its networks based on lifestyle groupings, stating, “Young Influencers and Premiere Super Moms ranked number one and two, respectively, in reaching Moms 25-54 (Women 25-54 with children under 12).  Premiere Super Moms took the lead position followed by Premiere Young Influencers in reach for Working Women 25-54 (work status: full time/part time) among all 46 measured RADAR networks in RADAR 116 (All Broadcasts, Monday-Sunday 12Midnight-12Midnight broad daypart, cume audience).  The RADAR 116 sample consists of 395,844 diary keepers/PPM panelists/respondents.  PPM panelists comprise approximately 53% of the total respondent listening sample.

Effects of Sequester/Budget Battle, State of the Republican Party, Cyprus Bank Deposit Tax, Steubenville Rape Case, and Tom Perez Named Labor Secretary Nominee Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/18).  The budget battle in Washington and the effects of the sequester; analysis of the state of the Republican party and its future; the Cyprus bank deposit tax and its effect on world markets; the guilty verdicts in the Steubenville, Ohio rape case; and President Obama’s nomination of Tom Perez as labor secretary were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Smerconish: Canary in Talk Radio’s
Coal Mine?

| March 11, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND — To local radio talkers, syndication is The Promised Land.  So when an accomplished, high-profile personality relinquishes his hard-won 80-affiliate roster to migrate to satellite radio, my phone rings.  I’m being asked:

  • Should I pitch his affiliates?  Should I pitch his network?
  • Should I try to get on SiriusXM?
  • IS it over?

Read More

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

| March 6, 2013

nielsen logoAcquiring Arbitron Adds to the Total Media Mix for Nielsen.  At day two of the Deutsche Bank DbAccess 21st Annual Media and Telecom Conference, Nielsen president of Global Media Products & Advertiser Solutions Steve Hasker says that the acquisition of Arbitron will add another two hours per day to its understanding of the media to which consumers arehaskersteve exposed.  “If you think about media consumption here in the U.S. as one geographic example, we cover about five hours per day for the average consumer through television audience measurement…That is the bedrock of our ‘Watch’ business.  To that, we hope to add radio, which is another two hours of consumers’ time.  And we felt that this was a very important part, both of understanding the media exposure and what consumers watch and what they listen to, but also a very important part of the overall media mix particularly for local advertisers.  And so the ability to capture this data and combine it with our TV data and our digital information, which is online and mobile through products like ‘Online Campaign Ratings,’ ‘Brand Effect’ and the ‘Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings,’ put it all together and we’re covering around about eight hours of a consumer’s time per day exposed to media…think about that as coverage of everything except for print and we think that those are the most valuable parts of the media mix and are central to our proposition of understanding consumer behavior at a very, very deep level.”

walshjoeSalem’s WIND, Chicago to Air Evening Show with Former Congressman Joe Walsh.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports that one-term Tea Party congressman Joe Walsh will begin a two-hour early evening talk show on Salem Communications’ WIND, Chicago on March 18.  Although Salem was not commenting officially, Walsh spoke openly to Feder.  The “Joe Walsh Unplugged” show will air from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm and will often emanate from locations around the state as he indicates his recent travels to push the Tea Party ideals are part of his desire to create a movement.  He tells Feder, “We are going to make this a real grass-roots push and advocacy thing, and the radio show is going to be a key part of that.”  Feder reports the show is expected to be officially announced on March 14 when Walsh appears at “Obama 2.0: The Road Ahead,” a public event sponsored by WIND.  Expected to be there with Walsh will be WIND afternoon host Steve Cochran, Salem Radio Network host Michael Medved and Illinois Policy Institute’s John Tillman.

shawsteveCumulus Media Names Steve Shaw SVP of National Sales.  In his new role with Cumulus Media, the former president of Katz Radio Group will be based out of New York.  Steve Shaw most recently served as president of Cox Digital Solutions where he founded the digital rep group Cox Cross Media.  Cumulus executive vice president and co-COO Jon Pinch says, “Having run Katz Radio for years, Steve is the natural choice for this position.  He understands the national marketplace, has key relationships with buyers and sellers, and is well known for high integrity and an intense work ethic.  Steve will work closely with our team of national sales managers, our partners at Katz, Mike Pallad, myself, and other senior management at Cumulus.”  On his new position, Shaw states, “I am thrilled to be joining Cumulus Media – they operate some of the best brands in radio and I look forward to helping design and implement great solutions for our national advertising partners.  Our combination of scale and quality programming will allow us to deliver great results that drive our customers’ businesses.”

trisselbrookeRAB Names Brooke Trissel Senior Vice President, Membership.  The Radio Advertising Bureau announces that, as part of its mission to serve its members, it is appointing Brooke Trissel senior vice president, membership.  In this position Trissel will partner with the RAB’s Membership team to enhance and communicate the organization’s core membership benefits to existing and new members.  She’ll report to president and CEO Erica Farber and will be based at RAB Dallas.  Farber states, “I’m thrilled for Brooke to join the RAB in this capacity where she brings her vast experience in radio broadcasting to super-serve our growing membership.  Brooke is the consummate radio executive who will work closely within the organization and our members to meet their needs in a changing radio and media landscape.”  Trissel grew up in a radio family that owned and operated Oklahoma-based Omni Media Group.  She served in many roles within the company including sales manager for KWOX-FM/KMZE-FM and station manager for KOMI-TV in Woodward, Oklahoma.  Most recently, she has been overseeing marketing and sales as the vice president of News/Talk/Sports MediaOnline with prior experience selling advertising and sponsorships at Radio & Records.  Trissel also worked in affiliate sales with ABC Radio Networks in Dallas.  She says, “I’ve long been a fan of the RAB’s products and services and I’m excited to partner with Erica and the Membership team to share all the exciting enhancements taking place at the organization with our members.”

boortzbookNeal Boortz Pens Talk Radio Memoir.  The title of the book is Maybe I Should Just Shut Up and Go Away (Carpenters Son Publishing 2013).  In it, iconic formerly Atlanta-based talk radio legend Neal Boortz looks back at his 42 years on the radio as a talk show host.  The promotion for the book says, in part, Boortz “shares the often-hilarious reality of what happens behind the scenes when you’re a talk radio icon.  Longtime friend with national radio greats Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, he tells how those relationships began in the hot seat of competition…Though early predictions by those who knew him in his youth cast Boortz as a sure prospect to become a preacher, he took a different route to educating the masses.  Longtime listeners are certain to become enthusiastic readers as Boortz finally tips his hat to more than four decades of teeing up controversy, political education and general entertainment for audiences across the country to enjoy—and tells all they’ve been wanting to know but couldn’t get anyone to share until now.”

nms2013logoArbitron to Present “Special PPM Report on the State of the Spoken Word” at Forthcoming TALKERS Conference.  The agenda for the forthcoming “Talkers New York 2013″ continues to grow as Arbitron, Inc. has joined the roster of presenters with a special in-depth statistical insight into the research company’s findings about the news/talk, sports talk, all-news, and NPR formats’ performance in a PPM world.  It will also include a special look at listening habits and listener direction trends on the AM dial.  The presentation will be delivered by Arbitron’s director of programming services Jon Miller who spearheaded a similar presentation analyzing country radio at the recent CRS inmillerjon Nashville.  In making the announcement, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says, “We were so impressed with the extraordinary value of the country conference presentation we checked out to see if they have a similar study pertinent to talk radio.  As it turns out they do and we are delighted to make it available to our attendees.”  Talkers New York 2013 is the 16th annual installment of the industry’s longest-running and most important national talk radio convention.  It will take place on Thursday, June 6 and is open only to members of the working media.  Registration is $199 per person which includes all sessions, attractions and food services.  An advance sellout is expected.  For registration (phone only) and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413.  Stay tuned to Talkers.com for more exciting agenda details to be announced in the coming days.

wxos logoWXOS, St. Louis Crowns ‘Sportscaster Factor’ Winner.  Hubbard Broadcasting’s WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” announces it finished its first-ever “Sportscaster Factor” competition on Saturday, March 2 and has named Brett McMillan winner of the inaugural competition for which he gets bragging rights and a weekend show on the station.  McMillan, a student at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, beat out 175 other competitors in the competition.  During Saturday’s final round at the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, 101ESPN’s Randy Karraker, PD Kent Sterling and APS Chris “Hoss” Neupert trimmed the 38 semi-finalists down to 16 finalists, and then to the eight who competed for the coveted spot.  Sterling says of the promotion.  “This was a great competition.  We never had any inkling that there were so many talented broadcasters in St. Louis.  Everyone knows this is a great sports town, but it’s also a great broadcasting city.  When this started, we would have been really happy with any of the final eight – and most of the rest of the sixteen finalists.  In Brett, we think we have found exactly what this competition was designed to find – a host that is really good today, will be better down the road, and someone we would not have found otherwise.  I fully anticipate doing this again.  It was fun for the contestants and for us.  Not only did we find a solid host, we found several who might end up working for 101ESPN one day.”

flintaaronOdds & Sods.  Montana talk host Aaron Flint gets props from the Washington Post for his political blog “The Flint Report” as part of the paper’s “Best State-Based Political Blogs” piece.  Flint, who broadcasts a daily talk radio show that airs on 17 stations across Montana, including Connoisseur Media’s KYYA, Billings, is an officer in the Montana Army National Guard and served three tours in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa.  Of his media work, he says, “Every day, I hope to take a wide range of experiences to show audiences the bigger picture, or to give them a side of the story they won’t get anywhere else.”…..Programmer Peter Bolger is promoted to director of AM programming at Clear Channel’s San Antonio cluster.  Bolger has served as program director for news/talk WOAI and sports talk KTKR since joining the cluster inkatzjeffspeaks 2007……CBS Sports Radio Network’s John Feinstein debuts a weekly hour-long segment called “One-On-One” as part of his late morning show on the network in which he interviews a sports newsmaker.  The first installment is today from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon with Bob Costas.  Upcoming guests for the segment include sports figures and celebrities such as NBA Commissioner David Stern, professional golfer Tom Watson and NBA champion Steve Kerr…..Talk radio pro Jeff Katz sits in for Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated host Todd Schnitt on his Monday, March 11 and Wednesday, March 13 programs.

sliwacubaCurtis Sliwa Boasts Five-Hour ‘Commemoration’ of Hugo Chavez.  WNYM, New York “970 The Answer” talk personality Curtis Sliwa tells TALKERS magazine his was the only station to “commemorate” the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez yesterday.  Sliwa states, “We got the news yesterday afternoon and did two hours on the “Curtis & Jeffrey” show from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm and then continued this morning from 6:00 am to 9:00 am on my solo show.  Additionally, we discussed his career as a TV and radio talk show host as the host of “Alo Presidente.”  You may think that we were comrades in arms because of our red berets and our battles with cancer.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.”  Pictured here is Sliwa in Cuba several years ago leading an anti-Castro and anti-Chavez chant among like-minded Cuban citizens.

Sequester Impact, Hugo Chavez Dies, Iran/North Korea Nuclear Threats, and High-Flying Dow Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/5).  The impact of the sequester and the ongoing battle over federal budget issues; the death of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez; Iran’s and North Korea’s nuclear threats; and the still-soaring Dow were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

| March 5, 2013

cbsradio logoLes Moonves Still Says CBS Likes Radio.  If CBS is interested in selling its radio properties, CBS president and CEO Les Moonves isn’t spilling the beans.  CBS presented at Deutsche Bank’s DbAccess 21st Annual moonveslesMedia and Telecom Conference yesterday and when asked by Deutsche Bank’s Douglas Mitchelson about the flat performance of radio in general, Moonves said the company still likes radio for its cash.  “We like radio.  Once again, low-single digit growth, revenue, OIBDA.  It’s still a very great cash business with great margins.  We still like running it.  We have no intent to sell it as many people are watching terrestrial radio today as watching 10 years ago, even with all these things going on with satellite and everything else.  It is what it is.  We like the business, it produces cash every year.  We like having the amount of cash we have, where our balance sheet is certainly in great shape, partially because of radio.”

wjox logoCumulus-Cox Suit Over Birmingham Sports Programmer Settle; PD Returns to WJOX.  The battle between sports talkers WJOX – owned by Cumulus Media – and crosstown start-up WZNN – owned by Cox Media Group but soon to be officially acquired by SummitMedia along with Cox’s other Birmingham stations – has been a hotbed of legal action over the past couple of years.  But as the closing by SummitMedia on WZNN “97.3 The Zone” nears, one battle appears to have been settled.  Programmer Ryan Haney – who jumped from WJOX to WZNN back in late January only to have his move challenged in court by Cumulus – returns to WJOX.  The Birmingham News reports neither side is commenting on any such deal.  Haney’s contract had expired more than two years ago but he’d been working as an at-will employee.  He left WJOX the same day popular sports talk personality Paul Finebaum left at the expiration of his contract.  Finebaum is not working in the business as he is expected to join WZNN after his non-compete expires.

cookehollandSo, You Want to be Syndicated?  Noted radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke says, “I can help you…but first, can I talk you out of it?  Even though being syndicated seems to be the dream of most local or even wannabe radio talk show hosts, having your show run on a string of stations around the country is a goal that 1) is extremely difficult to attain; and 2) might not be worth the effort at this point in the industry’s evolution.  Read Holland Cooke’s fascinating, eye-opening explanation of what you will be facing, in addition to suggesting workable and realistic alternatives, in a blunt, informative article by clicking here.

greggcherriKYW, Philadelphia Promotes Cherri Gregg to Community Affairs Reporter.  CBS Radio all-news KYW, Philadelphia ups reporter Cherri Gregg to community affairs reporter.  In this new role, Gregg will be shedding light on the numerous issues, neighborhoods and area leaders affecting community life in the Delaware Valley across a variety of time periods for the station.  Gregg joined KYW in 2011 as a general assignment reporter while completing a Masters in Journalism at Temple University.  She came to the station from the legal field where she had practiced for eight years at two Am-Law 100 law firms.  The company says that although she enjoyed the practice of law, her true passion is reporting on stories that matter to the community.  In January 2010, she quit her job at a top Philadelphia law firm to pursue her passion full time.  Director of news and programming Steve Butler states, “Cherri has been a terrific addition to the KYW Newsradio staff and we’re pleased she will be focusing on developing stories from the grass roots,  Covering all aspects of the Delaware Valley community is job-one for our staff, and we’re glad to have her continue that Newsradio legacy.”

granatopendergastKGOW, Houston Shuffles Lineup; Granato and Pendergast to PM Drive.  The lineup at Gow Broadcasting’s KGOW, Houston will feature Yahoo! Sports Radio morning personality Steve Czaban and current AM drivers John Granato and Sean Pendergast will move to the PM drive slot beginning Monday, March 11.  The Houston Chronicle reports Adam Clanton and John Wessling – the afternoon drive team since last August have exited the station.  In the Chronicle piece, owner David Gow addresses the station’s recent poor ratings which have failed to have the station appear in the most recent survey.  “We look forward to our ratings coming back up with this lineup.  We’ve been frustrated with the Arbitron results for a period of months. But the driving factor is the chance to put together this new lineup that will roll out on Monday.”  Czaban will be followed by DIRECTV/Fox Sports Radio’s Dan Patrick with John Harris hosting the 11:00 am to 3:00 pm program.

sportsusaOdds & Sods.  Sports USA is presenting exclusive national terrestrial radio coverage of all three legs of horse racing’s Triple Crown.  The company is partnering with Mike Penna’s Horse Racing Radio Network for the events.  Each two-hour broadcast will begin at 5:00 pm ET and will feature the live call of each race from the track announcer along with live trackside reports…..ESPN Radio’s Championship Week coverage begins with the inaugural “Greenberg & Greenberg in the Morning” show this Friday, March 8 from 6:00 am to 10:00 am ET where Mike Greenberg will be joined by former Virginia Tech men’s head basketball coach Seth Greenberg for a hoops-heavy, four-hour broadcast.  The network is also airing the Big 12 Semifinals and Championship as well as every game of the ACC Tournament……SiriusXM teams former NFL QB Rich Gannon with Bruce Murray for “The SiriusXM Blitz” program that airs weekdays from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm ET on its NFL Radio channel.

elswickcapitolA Capitol Idea.  KARN-FM, Little Rock afternoon drive host and program director Dave Elswick is hosting live broadcasts twice per week from the Arkansas State Capitol in order to keep his listeners up-to-date on the latest state political news (and, of course, Dave’s opinions concerning said news!).  Pictured here at a recent broadcast from the capitol building are (from l-r): guest host Laurie Lee, Elswick, Saline County Clerk Dennis Milligan, and Arkansas Tea Party activist David Crowe.

Sequestration Issue, North Korea Threats/Dennis Rodman Remarks, Iran Nuclear Build-Up, Surging Dow, and Jeb Bush in 2016 Rumors Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/4).  The ongoing sequestration issue; North Korea’s threats against South Korea and Dennis Rodman’s cozying up to Kim Jong-Un; Iran’s nuclear build-up; the surging Dow Jones industrial average; and Jeb Bush’s not ruling out a run for president in 2016 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

| February 21, 2013

nms2013logoNorm Pattiz to Address Industry at Talkers New York 2013. The list of major speakers continues to grow as Courtside Entertainment CEO Norm Pattiz joins the roster of industry leaders who will be speaking at “TALKERS New York 2013,” the 16th annual installment of talk radio’s longest-running and most important annual convention.  Pattiz will deliver a solo address titled, “From Westwood One to Podcast One.”  He will pattiznormdiscuss the challenges facing broadcast radio companies as they integrate their product lines into a workable balance between on-air and digital venues with the focus being monetizing radio on the internet.  In the past year, Westwood One-founder Pattiz’s Courtside Entertainment has shown aggressive growth – offering such personalities as Dr. Drew Pinsky, Laura Ingraham, Bill O’Reilly and more to its affiliates.  The company’s recent signing of Ron Paul to a talk radio deal has been a big source of buzz and the industry anxiously anticipates the coming internet launch of Podcast One – an online initiative of Pattiz’s Launchpad Digital Media.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “The subject of balancing the interests of on-air and online radio broadcasting with the focus on revenue generation has never been more important in the radio industry conversation than it is right now.  Norm Pattiz brings extraordinary historical background as well as future-based vision to the discussion.  His participation adds to this being the most important TALKERS event ever.”  More headliners will be named in the coming days along with the 50-plus speakers that will be participating in the conference.  The event is set for Thursday, June 6, 2013 at the Concierge Conference Center on Manhattan’s East Side.  Registration for the day including all activities and food service is $199 per person.  An advance sellout is expected due to space limitations.  Registration is limited to members of the working media and can only be taken via telephone.  For registration and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413.  Complete agenda details are being posted daily.  Stay tuned.

madisonjoeSiriusXM and WOL, Washington Talk Host Joe Madison to Interview Barack Obama Today.  Assuming the president’s schedule doesn’t take a sudden turn in another direction, SiriusXM-based Joe Madison, whose AM drive show is also heard on Radio One’s WOL, Washington, DC, will tape an interview with him for airing, presumably tomorrow.  The subjects covered will include Black History Month, a follow-up on the State of the Union and other topics.  President Obama — certainly not considered the most radio-friendly president by conservatives – has actually done a lot more radio than many of his recent predecessors.  The president has appeared on Madison’s show in the past, been interviewed by WYD Media-syndicated personality Michael Smerconish and has appeared on numerous music-formatted morning programs.

sabowalterRadio Station Staffers Pre-occupied with Job Security. This gets in the way of paying attention to important trends and information vital to competing and growing successfully during these times of rapid technological and cultural change.  Noted consultant Walter Sabo makes this key point in his latest article for TALKERS in which he cites five significant trends of importance to radio broadcasters.  They include the importance of video to radio online and sales presentations, the radio host as owner of intellectual property, the still-untapped female market in spoken word radio, and the emergence of the listener as a media star.  Sabo suggests not asking listeners to “like” you on Facebook or “follow” you on Twitter.  Instead, he says you should be offering to like and follow them! Read the entire article here.

backusdonDon Backus Named Eastern Region Sales Manager for Broadcast Electronics.  Broadcast Electronics (BE) announces the promotion of Don Backus to Eastern Region sales manager.  In this new role he’ll represent BE’s RF and studio lines, which include AudioVAULT, Commotion and The Radio Experience (TRE) studio brands as well as BE’s AM, FM and HD Radio™ transmitter lines to customers in the East.  Previously, Backus represented Commotion, a Broadcast Electronics company, as vice president of global market development.  Backus will continue his efforts with Commotion, increasing the company’s presence in new global markets.  BE VP of studio products Ray Miklius says, “Don’s education, experience, and extensive knowledge of the radio industry will serve radio broadcasters well as they look to improve their operations.”

Father-Son Sports Talk Webcast to Get Terrestrial Outlet in Las Vegas.  The Las Vegas Review-Journal spotlighted a local father-son team who have been hosting a weekly, two-hour sports talk podcast on the local Las Vegas internet site lvrocks.com.  Now the duo of Bryan Feldman and his son Jaycob are planning to have their Sunday evening show air on Lotus Broadcasting’s KLAV, Las Vegas beginning March 3.  Bryan Feldman previously worked in radio for CBS/Infinity.  His bio says he’s hosted talk shows and worked as a marketing specialist with pro sports teams including the Detroit Lions, Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Red Wings.

cookehollandHolland Cooke to Speak About Social Media at NAB Show in Las Vegas.  Consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke confirms: “Take it literally!  We’ll FEED YOU” at the Lunchtime Social — as in Social Media — Wednesday, April 10, at the National Association of Broadcasters NAB Show convention in Las Vegas.  NAB will provide box lunches to attendees at this interactive 90-minute session, where HC will demonstrate how radio stations and radio and netcast talent are using Social Media “to grow audience reach, deepen the relationship you have with ‘your tribe,’ and MAKE MONEY.”  For more information, click here.

goldenmike2013The Broadcasters Foundation of America to Honor David J. Barrett at Golden Mike Award Ceremony.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces it will present its 2013 Golden Mike Award to David J. Barrett, chairman and chief executive officer of Hearst Television Inc., at a gala to benefit the Foundation on Monday, February 25 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  Legendary sports broadcaster Jon Miller will host the event, which will include presentations by comedian, author and talk show host Steve Harvey and “America’s Doctor,” Dr. Mehmet Oz.  Iconic singer and actress Darlene Love will perform.  The annual gala is the year’s top fundraiser for the Foundation, which supports broadcasters who can no longer work due to a catastrophic event, illness or family circumstances.  The Award honors exemplary service to the industry.

koil logoNRG Media’s KOIL, Omaha to Host Mayoral Debate.  The five candidates in Omaha’s mayoral race will take part in a debate to be held at the University of Nebraska-Omaha on Thursday, March 14 7:00 pm and the event will be broadcast live on NRG Media’s KOIL.  NRG Media personality Mike’l Severe will serve as moderator and KOIL personalities Tom Becka and Clint Bellows along with KETV City Hall reporter Todd Andrews will question the candidates.  KOIL program director Neil Nelkin says, “This is a hotly contested race for mayor as we have several critical issues in the city of Omaha that will dictate the future direction of the city including employment and education.”  The station says a limited number of tickets will be available to the public via the KOIL website and that Tom Becka will provide listeners with free tickets during his program.

Odds & Sods.  Former Vice President Al Gore will appear on SiriusXM’s “Town Hall” series to promote his new book, The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change (Random House 2013).  He’ll be interviewed before a studio audience by Ari Rabin-Havt, who hosts “The Agenda” on the satcaster’s progressive talk channel…..MLB’s Oakland A’s ink a multi-year deal with CBS Radio’s KHTK, Sacramento to air their games on the sports talk station…..The National Association of Broadcasters are announcing that CBS TV journalist Bob Schieffer will receive the NAB Distinguished Service Award during the 2013 NAB Show.  Schieffer will accept the award at the opening keynote session on April 8 in Las Vegas.

Sequester Issue, Gun Legislation, Jesse Jackson, Jr. Guilty Plea, Oscar Pistorius Case, and Storm Q/Climate Change Debate Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/20).  The battle in Washington over the sequester issue; ongoing debate over gun legislation proposals; Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s guilty plea in his illegal campaign funds usage case; the Oscar Pistorius murder case and Winter Storm Q/climate change controversy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

| January 30, 2013

cookehollandBlogging to Grow Your Tribe.  Radio personalities and station programmers have great opportunities to use social media and blogging to build more interactivity and loyalty with fans and P1s, writes radio consultant Holland Cooke.  In today’s piece, Cooke passes on some very salient points from the recent New Media Expo.  He notes that the old paradigm of radio sales is passé and radio personalities are positioned to take advantage of the new paradigm.  “The E-word en vogue is engagement, and money is flowing to digital opportunities that talk-with customers, rather than simply talk-at-‘em.”  Cooke states that blogging has concrete benefits for anyone in the personality business.  “If you’re an on-air host, blogging can deepen your connection with listeners, especially if you’re working music radio, and keep hearing ‘keep it moving.’  Blogging can also become the digital ‘inventory’ that agencies now expect to see included with on-air spots…or for you to monetize yourself.”  Read Holland Cooke’s entire piece here.

duncanchrisChris Duncan Returns to WXOS, St. Louis After Near Four-Month Absence.  Former St. Louis Cardinals star and current member of “The Fast Lane” PM drive program on Hubbard Radio’s WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN,” Chris Duncan returned to his full-time position after almost four months.  Duncan has been dealing with intensive surgeries, treatments and physical/occupational therapy for a brain tumor, which was diagnosed in 2012.  He has been absent from his full-time co-host seat since October 8, 2012 but recently has been appearing on “The Fast Lane” for brief interviews during his treatment.  He expresses his gratitude for all of the listener and fan support during his ordeal.  “I’m really excited and grateful to be back on ‘The Fast Lane’ with Randy [Karraker] and D’Marco [Farr].  I’m blessed to work at a great place like ‘101 ESPN’ with such outstanding people, and the timing couldn’t have been better with spring training a couple of weeks away.”  Program director Kent Sterling states, “Having Chris back makes the station whole again.  He’s such a positive person on ‘101 ESPN’ and in the halls that he was missed on many levels.  To have him back every day makes everyone smile around here, and hopefully the same is true for listeners of ‘The Fast Lane’.”

ramseydaveDave Ramsey Takes Over Evenings in Memphis.  Nationally syndicated financial talk superstar Dave Ramsey will be the evening talk talent at Clear Channel’s WREC, Memphis on April 19 when “The Daily Wrap” from The Wall Street Journal Radio Network ends.  WREC program director Forrest Goodman states, “Dave has a powerful track record on radio.  I am excited to add him to the station, where we feature the strongest names in talk, like RushHannity and Beck.”

gallaghermikeWelcome Back to Mike Gallagher After Recent Hospitalization.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher returns to the air today after being hospitalized in Greenville, South Carolina for double pneumonia early last week.  The Salem Radio Network host tells TALKERS, “It was like Christmas in January for Piers Morgan, Bill Maher and Alan Colmes — Mike Gallagher with no voice.  But I’m tanned, rested and ready to fight the good fight again starting Wednesday.”

kynsMapleton Shifts KYNS, San Luis Obispo from Progressive Talk to All-News.  Mapleton’s KYNS, San Luis Obispo has been a progressive talk outlet since the days of Air America but now the signal is airing an all-news format under the brand “SLO Radio News 1340.”  The station is using the long-form news blocks from America’s Radio News Network.

madisonjoeOdds & Sods.  Talk personality Joe Madison will be the host for SiriusXM’s “Roots Town Hall” featuring original cast members from “Roots,” the groundbreaking television mini-series.  Madison will interview LeVar Burton, Leslie Uggams, and Louis Gossett, Jr. before a select group of listeners at the SiriusXM studios in New York City.  The program will commemorate the start of Black History Month and air live Tuesday, February 5 at 2:00 pm ET…..Buckley Radio names Mary Lou Gunn general manager of its Bakersfield cluster that includes hot AC KLLY, news/talk KSMJ, news/talk KNZR, and rhythmic oldies KKBB…..Clear Channel’s WTAM, Cleveland renews its agreement with Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians to be the flagship station through the 2017 season.  As part of the deal, CC will air 144 of the games on FM rock station WMMS…..ESPN Audio prepares to debut a new podcast on February 4 featuring Michael Smith and Jemele Hill called, “His & Hers with Michael Smith and Jemele Hill.”  Smith is host of “Numbers Never* Lie,” and Hill is an ESPN.com columnist and frequent contributor on various ESPN shows.

Immigration Reform, Kerry Confirmed/Hillary in 2016?, New Pro Athlete Doping Probe, North Korea Nuke Threat, and Gun Control Debate Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/29).  The debate over immigration reform legislation; John Kerry’s succeeding Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State and Clinton’s possible run for president in 2016; the latest pro athlete doping probe; North Korea’s nuclear threat; and the controversy over gun control proposals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

| January 29, 2013

schnitttoddSchnitt vs. Bubba: Monday Recap.  After the news of Todd Schnitt’s attorney being arrested on DUI charges and allegations that Bubba The Love Sponge’s attorneys set him up for the arrest became the predominant aspect of the case on Friday and both sides asked for mistrials for varying reasons, Hillsborough County Judge James Arnold on Mondaybubba did not grant a mistrial saying the jury had not been compromised and testimony went forward.  But not before Arnold agreed to throw out five of the 16 defamation counts against Bubba (Todd Clem).  One in which Bubba accused Schnitt of possibly engaging in plug-ola, three in which he called him a “fraud,” and another in which he called him a “snitch.”  The other 11 counts remain.  Schnitt’s team rested its case on Monday and Bubba’s lawyers called michaelsrandyformer Clear Channel Radio president Randy Michaels, under whom both Schnitt and Bubba worked at one time, to the stand.  Michaels first complimented both Schnitt and Bubba for being talented radio performers.  He said that the feud between the two had gotten too intense and he asked them to “tone it down.”  He told the jury the language Bubba used when saying he wanted a funeral for MJ Kelli (Schnitt’s CHR morning show moniker) was hyperbole and not to be taken literally.  Also taking the stand was a former producer for Schnitt who now works for Bubba who testified that Schnitt spoke on the air jokingly about his wife’s “tramp stamp” tattoo – an effort by the defense to ask  the jury that if Schnitt could joke about his wife being a “tramp,” how is Bubba’s calling her a “whore” any different?  The defense is expected to continue its arguments today.

ballentinewarrenNationally Syndicated Talk Host Warren Ballentine Charged with Mortgage Fraud.  The Chicago-based attorney and host of the Warren Ballentine show distributed nationally via Syndication One is being indicted on charges related to an alleged mortgage fraud scheme.  The Justice Department reports that a federal grand jury returned indictments for two counts of bank fraud, two counts of making false statements to lenders and one count each of mail fraud and wire fraud.  The UPI reports the indictment is seeking a forfeiture of some $9.7 million in fraud proceeds.  The feds allege Ballentine plotted with others to obtain more than two dozen fraudulent mortgage loans and that he represented buyers at closings knowing that they weren’t qualified for home mortgages in Chicago and its southern suburbs.  Ballentine is expected to be arraigned next week.  Meanwhile TALKERS sources close to Ballentine say he maintains his innocence and that the truth will come out.  His talk show is currently heard on some 37 affiliates across the country including WVON, Chicago.

barreirodanClear Channel’s KFAN Network Re-Signs Dan Barreiro.  Sports talk host Dan Barreiro and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment agree on a multi-year contract extension for the KFXN, Minneapolis-based sports talk host.  Barreiro hosts the afternoon drive program on the company’s KFAN sports talk brand that is distributed to numerous stations across Minnesota.  CC Minneapolis vice president of programming Gregg Swedberg says, “Dan has been the top afternoon drive talk personality in the market for decades and has many loyal listeners all over the country through iHeartRadio.  We are delighted that Dan will be with us for a long time.”

bakerchrisChris Baker Lands at KFAB, Omaha for PM Drive.  Talk radio pro Chris Baker’s next gig is at Clear Channel’s KFAB, Omaha where he’ll host the afternoon drive program.  Baker – a veteran of the Houston, Minneapolis, Miami and Omaha markets – recently exited the Dan Patrick-owned KSEV, Houston talk outlet.  He says, “Since my family and I are in Omaha to visit friends and relatives on a regular basis, it’s only natural that I would want to put down root here.  KFAB is a legendary Midwest radio powerhouse and I’m excited to work with Gary Sadlemyer and the whole crew.”  His new gig begins February 11.

mcnabbdonovanOdds & Sods.  NBC Sports Radio Network brings former NFL star Donovan McNabb aboard to eventually be part of a daily sports talk show to begin on April 1.  Until that time, McNabb will begin as a weekly contributor as the build-up to the Super Bowl takes place.  McNabb will serve as a lead NFL analyst and will call in to affiliate station programs…..Formerbrandotim Yahoo! Sports Radio personality Tim Brando begins a new gig with SiriusXM Satellite Radio where he’ll host his eponymous program on the SiriusXM College Sports Nation channel.  Brando’s program will continue to be simulcast on cable TV’s CBS Sports Network…..WTOP, Washington news anchor Richard Day has retired from the Hubbard Broadcasting all-news brand.  Vice president of news and programming Jim Farley says Day’s retirement was handled with no fanfare at Day’s request…..Chicagoland Radio and Media reports that WFLD-TV sports anchor Lou Canellis is beginning a regular hour-long, daily appearance on WLS-AM, Chicago’s “Roe & Roeper” PM drive program with Roe Conn and Richard Roeper.  Canellis is now part of the 5:00 pm hour every day to talk sports on the Cumulus Media station.  The blog speculates that the move is part of a greater effort to add sports content to the station to improve its ratings…..The “4th Period Live” program returns to SiriusXM’s NHL Network for its second season beginning Saturday, February 2 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET.  The show is hosted by David Pagnotta, 4th Period‘s editor-in-chief from Toronto and Dennis Bernstein, its Los Angeles-based senior writer.  The show is an extension of TFP’s brand of hockey lifestyle content that includes a highly visited website (www.thefourthperiod.com) and quarterly print magazine available on newsstands throughout North America.

huckabeerenoHuckabee Visits Reno.  Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated talk host Governor Mike Huckabee is pictured here with KNEZ, Reno news director and afternoon drive host Sean Patrick at the sparkling new studios of the Shamrock Communications news/talk station.  Huckabee’s program is carried by “KNEWS” – a new FM signal and news/talk brand that Shamrock recently put on the air in the market.

calajoeSouthern California Sports Personality Joe Cala Named to Hall of Fame.  KNX, Los Angeles sports anchor Joe Cala was inducted into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame at the organization’s 22nd annual awards luncheon at the Lakeside Golf Club in Toluca Lake, California.  Cala has been with KNX for the past six years and spent the previous 32 years at crosstown KFWB.  The SCSB has served as a major forum for recognizing and advancing sports broadcasting in Southern California since 1958.  Its Hall of Fame includes Dick Enberg, Tom Harmon, Don Drysdale, Chick Hearn, Gil Stratton, Stu Nahan, Vin Scully and Jim Hill, to name a few.

millerkevingunsTown Hall Meeting in Boise Addresses Second Amendment.  You’re looking over the shoulder of KIDO, Boise morning drive host Kevin Miller as he addresses the more than 300 area residents who attended the Peak Broadcasting station’s Town Hall Meeting to discuss Second Amendment issues in the wake of the Obama Administration’s call for stricter gun legislation.  Miller tells TALKERS that the event was covered locally by two of the market’s television stations.

mcguireseanKOIL, Omaha Adds Weekend Affordable Care Act Program.  The program is called “America’s Healthcare Challenge” and is hosted by Sean McGuire.  The goal of the program is to provide valuable insight into implementation of the Affordable Care Act and prepare decision makers for looming penalties and taxes in the law.  McGuire states, “This is currently the only radio show of its kind in the US.  Business owners are clamoring for credible information and answers to their questions like how employees’ benefits will change next year and what innovative ways exist to curb rising healthcare costs constantly squeezing bottom lines all over the country…I was a part of the research team for the Senate Finance Committee five years ago.  The law originated conceptually in the Senate and I have read the bill multiple times.  It is my desire to bring my listeners information they need to know as if they were Members of Congress.”

morrisonsotomayorJustice Sotomayor Visits SCPR.  United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (right) poses for a photo with Southern California Public Radio special correspondent Patt Morrison (left) during an appearance at KPCC, Pasadena’s Crawford Family Forum.  The venue was packed with local high school and college students, as well KPCC listeners who came to hear Sotomayor speak about her life and promote her new autobiography My Beloved World (Knopf 2013).  Patt Morrison interviewed Sotomayor as part of the appearance.

greenbergbookESPN Radio’s Mike Greenberg Announces New Novel to Benefit the V Foundation.  Nationally syndicated ESPN Radio and ESPN 2 personality Mike Greenberg announces the publication of his first novel titled, All You Could Ask For (William Morrow 2013).  In making the announcement from the Super Bowl radio row in New Orleans, Greenberg stated that all of the author’s proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit The V Foundation for Cancer Research.  Greenberg says, “I wrote this book to honor the memory of a good friend of mine and my wife Stacy’s named Heidi Armitage, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2009 at the age of 43.  The V Foundation is an obvious organization to work with.  Mike Golic and I have been honored to be a part of many great V Foundation events over the years.  I’m so proud of our connection to the V Foundation.”

wachsdaliahpodiumDr. Daliah Wachs at the Podium.  Practicing family physician and nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs is pictured here at the Nevada Academy of Family Physicians at their conference in Lake Tahoe this past weekend.  About 200 were at this lecture where Dr. Wachs spoke about avoiding pitfalls in family medicine, educating them on the liabilities doctors face and what lawsuits have been successful.  Dr. Wachs’ program is syndicated by Genesis Communications Network.

Radio’s Biggest Star: Baseball

| January 25, 2013

By Holland Cooke
News/Talk/Sports Radio Consultant

St. LOUIS — Do the math. For six months when habitual listening dips as listeners vacation and otherwise alter their lives, baseball brings:

• Long-TSL tune-in (“vertical maintenance” in Arbitron-speak), to…

• 162 three+ hour shows (“horizontal maintenance”), by…

Read More

Thursday, January 24, 2013

| January 24, 2013

hold2013“Hold Their Feet to the Fire” Washington Radio Row Scheduled for April 17-18.  The annual convergence of radio talk show hosts on Washington, DC to raise awareness about the United States’ immigration policies will take place this year on April 17 and 18.  The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is organizing the radio row at which talk hosts from across the country will broadcast live for two days from Capitol Hill debating immigration reform while interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists and citizens who live along the border.  FAIR says that since the spring of 2007 when “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” successfully helped defeat the McCain-Kennedy Amnesty Bill, the event has grown each year due to mounting public concerns about illegal immigration and talk radio’s expanding influence on the public policy process.  The organization also states that with an illegal alien bill likely in spring, this year’s event is expected to be the largest yet with 60 or more hosts attending.  FAIR communications director Bob Dane tells TALKERS magazine reservations are required and hosts/producers should call now.  There is no cost to attend and all technical engineering, ISDN lines and long distance is included.  Silver Lake Audio of New York is the official engineering firm for “Hold Their Feet to the Fire.”  Congressional guests, activists, high-profile media personalities, and immigration experts will be in attendance and available throughout the event for wall-to-wall interviews.  Dane or event manager Kristen Williamson can be reached at 202-328-7004.

spittlegavinProgrammer Gavin Spittle Returns to Dallas as VP of News/Talk/Sports for CBS Radio.  Sports and talk programmer Gavin Spittle lets go of the reins at CBS Radio’s sports talk KILT-AM, Houston “SportsRadio 610” to move back to the company’s Dallas cluster to oversee sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan,” KRLD-AM “NewsRadio 1080” and the Texas State Networks beginning February 4.  Three and a half years ago, Spittle left his VP of news and talk post in Dallas where he programmed KRLD-AM and KRLD-FM when it was hot talk “Live 105.3.”  Spittle also oversaw the change of the station to sports talk.  On returning to Dallas, SVP and market manager Brian Purdy says, “Under Gavin’s leadership, ‘SportsRadio 610’ dominated Houston sports talk.  During his time with the station, ratings among Men 25-54 more than doubled.  We’re fortunate to have Gavin as part of our CBS Radio family, and we’re looking forward to having him back in Dallas-Fort Worth.”

wallsteveTalk Radio Network Welcomes Steve Wall as National Affiliate Consultant.  Joining TRN Syndications Ltd. is radio pro Steve Wall as national affiliate consultant.  TRN notes that Wall is a “veteran with over 30-years of experience including programming some of America’s highest-rated radio stations across multiple formats in many markets including San Diego, Kansas City, Monterey, Bakersfield, Richmond, and Spokane.”  Chief executive officer Mark Masters states, “I am pleased to have Steve in our affiliate department.  With our recent launch of ‘The Andrea Tantaros Show’ and the new times for ‘The Jerry Doyle Show’ and ‘The Rusty Humphries Show,’ the timing is perfect to expand our affiliate department to better serve our growing affiliate customer base.  Steve is a proven radio professional who can help stations realize their true potential with quality programming.”

schnitttoddSchnitt vs Bubba: Day 5.  On the fifth day of testimony in the trial in which Compass Media Networks talk show host Todd Schnitt is suing Bubba the Love Sponge (Todd Clem) for defamation, Schnitt was on the witness stand for the second day.  Schnitt and his lawyers are trying to convince the jury that Bubba’s “radio war” against him (Schnitt’s MJ Kelli CHR morning show competed against Bubba’s program in the Tampa market) went over the line and fans – known as Bubba’s Army – harassed him and his family.  During Schnitt’s testimony Wednesday, he said the incidents where a Bubba fan triedbubba to run him off the road or accosted him at a supermarket in front of his daughter made his family more reclusive and it changed their lifestyle.  According to Tampa Bay Online, he testified he should be compensated in the suit to prevent Bubba “from ever doing this in the future.”  Schnitt also states that Bubba’s accusation Schnitt rigged a national contest negatively affected his professional integrity.  Under cross examination Schnitt admitted he and his family do go out but he said he makes limited public appearances because of the harassment.  Before the cross examination he stated, “There’s no amount of damages that will compensate me, my wife my family, for what we experienced.  But the jury should award damages that will enable us to believe we did all we could possible to clear our good names.”

bakerchrisChris Baker Exits KSEV, Houston PM Drive Slot.  Talk show host Chris Baker is exiting Dan Patrick-owned news/talk station KSEV, Houston where he’s been PM drive host since February of 2011.  The station is bringing market pro Edd Hendee back to the airwaves for the morning drive show.  Hendee has been out of radio since the untimely death of his son in February of 2010.  Taking over the afternoon slot is Mack Machowicz.  The Houston Chronicle’s David Barron reports Baker is not announcing where he may go next but had nothing but good things to say about owner Dan Patrick.  “He has been the most gracious and accommodating guy that you could ask to work for.  Dan always wants people to better themselves.  In this day and age and in this industry, it is rare to have a manager who will always root for peoples’ success.”

bashirmartinOdds & Sods.  MSNBC host Martin Bashir has been slowed by a brain tumor diagnosed back in 2008.  The Huffington Post reports Bashir missed his regular slot on MSNBC last Friday as the result of a small growth on his pituitary gland.  Bashir told DC Fishbowl that when the tumor was diagnosed doctors advised him to take no action but to monitor it monthly…..CNN names Dana Bash chief congressional correspondent.  TVNewser reports Bash has been on the Capitol Hilltrumpdonald beat since 2006.  CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist says in a memo to staff, “Week in and week out, Dana’s reporting and analysis make our air better.  And we saw it again yesterday with Dana’s relentless efforts to land interviews in the Capitol Rotunda during our Inauguration coverage.”…..New York Magazine is reporting that Donald Trump is exploring ways to purchase The New York Times.  The piece, written by Joe Hagan, notes that “Trump has engaged in more than one meeting to discuss how he might buy the Grey Lady.  Details of Trump’s strategy remain scant.  And it seems unlikely, to say the least, that the Sulzberger family, which controls the company’s voting shares, would welcome his offer.”

kgmz luckybreakKGMZ, San Francisco Holds Sports Talk Host Contest.  Entercom’s 95.7 The Game in San Francisco is executing a sports talk host competition promotion called “Lucky Break 2” – “the return of the Bay Area’s only sports reality competition, where local sports fans compete for the chance of a lifetime: to get paid to host a sports talk show on the radio.”  Program director Jason Barrett says, “After seeing the amazing talent and passion that Bay Area sports fans brought to ‘Lucky Break’ last year, we had to bring ‘Lucky Break’ back for 2013.  ‘Lucky Break’ is a chance to win one of the best jobs in the world: becoming a sports radio talk show host in a major U.S. market.”  ‘Lucky Break 2’ begins with the first open audition on February 5 Halftime Sports Bar in Oakland.  It’s being hosted by KGMZ’s Guy Haberman and Gianna Franco and contestants will be coached by Dan Dibley from ‘The Rise Guys’ and Chris Townsend from ‘Bucher & Towny.’  Judges include KGMZ PD Jason Barrett, host John Lund and celebrity athletes from local Bay Area sports teams.  Last year’s celebrity judges included Golden State Warriors forward David Lee, San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco 49ers TE Delanie Walker and more.  Last year, more than 600 contestants showed up to audition for ‘Lucky Break 1,’ which was eventually won by Daryle “The Guru” Johnson, who can be heard weekends on “95.7 The Game.”

madisonjoeSiriusXM’s Joe Madison to Interview Activist Harry Belafonte.  As part of the satcaster’s Town Hall series, talk show host Joe Madison – whose program is also heard on terrestrial station WOL, Washington – will sit down with actor, singer and activist Harry Belafonte at SiriusXM’s New York City studios.  Belafonte will also take questions from the audience.  The premiere of the program is Friday, January 25 at 5:00 pm ET.

woki logoDick Broadcasting Wins Decision in 12-Year-Old Case.  The upshot is that the Tennessee Supreme Court is sending Dick Broadcasting’s suit against John Pirkle’s Oak Ridge FM over WOKI, Knoxville back to a lower court where Dick can sue for damages.  (By the way WOKI is currently owned by Cumulus Media.) Here’s the background: In 2000, Dick sold 11 stations to Citadel for $300 million, of which WOKI would have been one.  At the time Dick had a time brokerage agreement with WOKI owner Oak Ridge FM to operate WOKI with a clause that gave Dick the right of first refusal to buy the station.  Oak Ridge refused to consent to the transfer of the station and honor the transfer.  A year later Dick sued Oak Ridge but lost in a lower court but the appellate court ruled the lower court judge should not have dismissed the case.  Oak Ridge challenged that at the Tennessee Supreme Court where the six judges ruled unanimously that the appellate court had it right and Dick can sue for damages.

bqhardquestionColorful Broadcaster and Host Blanquita Cullum Returns to Talk Media with New TV Series, “The Hard Question™.”  Veteran talk industry figure, Blanquita Cullum (pictured here at the podium) launched ‘The Hard Question™’, her new signature TV series devoted exclusively to the issue of energy in the 21st century, last night (1/23) before a packed audience of well-wishers and reporters at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.  The videotaping consisted of two back-to-back lively discussions collectively titled “Setting the Course on Energy” that delved into the future of American energy policy with points of view expressed by panels of diverse experts in the field.  The pilot programs were aired on June 24 and July 15 of 2012 on KTRK-TV (ABC) in Houston, Texas and won the top spots in their time periods (visit www.thehardquestion.com to view).  The network version will be a weekly debate series on MHz Networks hosted by Cullum.  MHz Networks reaches over 42 million households nationwide.  “The energy industry is going through a renaissance; it is full of hope,” Doug Cain, CEO of Lake Truck Lines, who served on the first panel: “The President’s Agenda – the Future of Traditional Energy versus Alternatives,” expressed in an interview following the panel discussion.  In addition to Cain, the panelists included: W. Herbert Hunt, Petro-Hunt; John Hofmeister, former president of Shell and founder of Citizens for Affordable EnergyKevin Book, Clear View Energy Partners;  Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, ACORE; David Martineau, Chairman TIPR and Bruce Vincent, Swift Energy.  The second panel addressed the question: “Climate Change – Science or Hype?”  Panelists included Leighton Steward, Plants Need CO2; former NASA scientist Harold Doiron; Scott Sklar, The Stella Group; Daniel Weiss of the Center for American Progress; Kevin Book, Clean View Energy Partners and David Kreutzer of the Heritage Foundation.  Blanquita Cullum, who was a high-profile, nationally-syndicated, “Heavy Hundred” host in the 1990s and early 2000s, left day-to-day radio to become a presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed governor on the United States Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees all U.S international broadcasting, where she served for a number of years followed by a series of public policy consulting projects.  “No issue touches people across the globe like energy, and ‘The Hard Question’ will never shrink from tackling the real-life obstacles of such a life-changing issue,” she tells TALKERS. “Now, as we embark on a new era with the historic re-election of President Obama, the country will set a course on energy that will have critical implications for this planet for decades to come.” Photo by Jamie Cullum.

wood logoCool Job Opportunity.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s “Newsradio WOOD 1300 & 106.9 FM” is looking for its next great News Director.  Applicant must have a minimum of three years of experience in a news/talk environment plus be a digital-first (web, mobile, and social media), community-focused leader in covering and reporting local and regional news, traffic and weather.  Candidate will also possess excellent communication, leadership, and organizational skills, as well as the ability to coach and lead individuals within our award-winning news operation.  Email cover letter and resume to michelejohnson@clearchannel.com. No phone calls please.  Clear Channel Radio is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi Testimony, North Korea’s U.S. Threats, Deficit Reduction Battle, U.S. Military Opens Combat Roles to Women and Manti Te’o Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/23).  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s testimony before Congress on the Benghazi attack; new nuclear threats against the United States by North Korea; the battle in Washington over reduction of the deficit; the opening of combat roles to women in the U.S. military and the Manti Te’o phony girlfriend saga were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

| December 12, 2012

Don Imus Signs Extension with Cumulus to Remain on WABC and in Syndication.  Radio legend Don Imus inks a deal that will keep him in the morning slot on WABC, New York for another three years.  The 72-year-old broadcasting icon has been hosting mornings on WABC for the past five years.  Cumulus chief operating officer John Dickey says in a statement, “I am delighted that our listeners and advertisers have the certainty of knowing Don and his amazing team at ‘Imus In The Morning’ will remain on 77 WABC for at least three more years.  Don is a radio legend and is an important part of our team.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison was quoted in The New York Times addressing the quality of the Imus audience when asked by reporter Ben Sisario about Imus’ ratings relative to other big-name talk hosts such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.  Harrison told the Times, “Although ratings count, they don’t count as much with Imus.  He’s always had a very loyal and upper-echelon clientele.  They’re active, affluent, and tuned in to politics, business and popular culture on the kind of level that radio companies and ad agencies like.”

The Laura Ingraham Watch Continues; Cumulus Denies Rumors of Ingraham Deal.  Rumors of where talk media personality Laura Ingraham will surface with a new, nationally syndicated talk show after parting from Talk Radio Network several weeks ago continue to pop up.  But Cumulus Media COO John Dickey tells TALKERS there is no truth to the rumor she is joining his company for a national syndication deal.  TALKERS sources are hearing rumblings that instead of hooking up with a broadcasting corporation that also owns stations (Clear Channel, Cumulus), Ingraham is busy working on a project for a new radio talk show with legendary syndicator Norm Pattiz in that effort.  Ingraham mentioned on Fox News Channel on December 7 that she would announce something this week but, as most broadcasters know, issues can pop up that delay these types of announcements.

“The Big Picture: Spoken Word Radio” Panel from LA Seminar Now on TALKERS TV.  One of the main panels at the recent TALKERS magazine New Media Seminar 2012 held in Los Angeles is now playing on TALKERS TV.  “The Big Picture: Spoken Word Radio” features an outstanding lineup of industry leaders from various points on the spectrum of talk radio programming including Don Martin, VP programming, Fox Sports Radio/OM, KLAC, Los Angeles; Ron Hartenbaum, president, WYD Media/WYM Media; Phil Boyce, VP/director, Spoken Word Format, Salem Communications; Kraig Kitchin, CEO, Sound Mind, LLC; Mike McVay, senior VP programming, Cumulus Media; and Harvey Nagler, VP, CBS Radio News.  The panel is moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison who describes the session as “a sweeping overview of the key issues facing talk radio in 2012.”  To view it please see the TALKERS TV box on the right side of this page.

Red Zebra Suspends Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin for “Intolerant” and “Insensitive” Language.  Afternoon drive hosts Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin – hosts of the “Sports Reporters” program on Red Zebra’s WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980” – were suspended for two days this week after they were deemed to have engaged in “intolerant” and “insensitive” behavior while talking about a transgender athlete.  The segment centered around an article about 50-year-old Gabrielle Ludwig, a junior college basketball player who wants to get back into organized sports to set an example for others.  During the conversation, Czaban and Pollin referred to Ludwig as “it.”  Director of programming Chuck Sapienza wrote in a statement, “We strongly believe two of our employees crossed the line when discussing a transsexual person on their program last Thursday. Such intolerance and insensitivity will never be tolerated by this company.  Due to the nature of their conversation, the pair have been temporarily removed from ESPN980’s ‘Sports Reporters’ program.”  On Monday’s program the two read an apology on air.

KCSP, Kansas City Names John Hanson Program Director.  Entercom’s sports talk KCSP, Kansas City “610 Sports Radio” announces John Hanson is the new program director, taking over for Ryan Maguire who exited to take the PD post at CBS Radio’s sports outlet KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh.  Hanson comes to KCSP from the Minneapolis market where he has worked with KSTP-TV and KSTP-AM “1500 ESPN.”  Previously he programmed both KBAD “ESPN Radio 920” and KENO “Fox Sports Radio 1460” in Las Vegas.  Entercom vice president and market manager Dave Alpert states, “Kansas City is a highly competitive sports radio market.  I know that John’s drive and passion for sports radio, along with his extensive radio and broadcast experience, will build on the station’s success and take it to the next level.”  On taking the gig at KCSP, Hanson says, “I’m leaving an excellent situation in my own hometown to take this opportunity at ‘610 Sports Radio.’  That sums up how much I think of what has been built there, and what can still be accomplished.  Kansas City and ‘610 Sports Radio’ are simply too great for me to pass up.”  Hanson begins his new post on January 14.

Odds & Sods.  SiriusXM gives comedian and Opie & Anthony co-host Jim Norton his own weekly advice program on the O&A channel.  Norton, who also hosts a music show called “Norton’s Obsessed” on Ozzie’s Boneyard channel, begins his one-hour, call-in show at 10:00 am today (12/12)…..WOLB, Baltimore morning drive host Larry Young will do a live broadcast at The AFRO headquarters from 6:00 am to 10:00 am for the 12th Annual Toy Teddy Bear and Clothing Drive.  Young says, “I’m always excited about Christmas and being able to help others, especially the children.  Last year we took care of more than 500 kids and we expect to at least match that this year.”…..Vox Radio Group eliminates the news anchor position of 16-year market veteran Tom Conklin who handled morning news duties at WBEC-FM, Pittsfield, Massachusetts and WSBS, Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

Fighting Golic.  ESPN Radio and ESPN2 morning show co-star Mike Golic gives the camera his best “Fighting Irish” pose after being presented with a 50th birthday cake in the same image.  Golic’s alma mater Notre Dame — for which his two sons currently play — is facing Alabama in the National Championship game January 7.

‘Fiscal Cliff’ Battle, NC ‘Choose Life’ License Plate Flap, Syria Violence, Egypt Protests, and North Korea Rocket Launch Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/11).  The fight in Washington over solving the “fiscal cliff” problem; the political controversy in North Carolina over the court’s ruling on its “choose life” license plate; continuing violence in Syria and the threat of chemical weapons use; protests in Egypt and the region’s instability; and North Korea’s launch of a long-range rocket were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

| December 4, 2012

Howard Stern Returns for Another Season on “America’s Got Talent.”  The rest of the judges panel is not set but SiriusXM superstar talk host Howard Stern announced to his listeners on Monday that he’s back for another season of “America’s Got Talent.”  Access Hollywood reports Stern said, “I really feel my work is unfinished there.  I really do think I can find a superstar act.  I really just feel like I can do something great.”  Stern says he’ll miss Sharon Osbourne, who has elected not to return to the program this season.  But in true Howard Stern fashion, he mentioned he’s concerned about who the other judges will be, saying if they’re not good, it makes the job a drag.  “That’s gonna make the job tedious, and boring and aggravating.”

KIRO-FM, Seattle Promotes Andrew Walsh to Evening Host.  Producer and radio personality Andrew Walsh is named the host of the evening program on Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle, filling the slot left open when John Curley was promoted to anchor of the station’s morning drive show.  Walsh has been a fill-in host at the station in addition to his work as producer of the “Ross and Burbank Show” and co-host of the “Too Beautiful to Live” podcast with Luke Burbank.  Program director Larry Gifford states, “Andrew continues to impress me with his news sense, story-telling ability, self-effacing humor and unique point of view.  Andrew will be a terrific addition to our daily KIRO Radio programming lineup.”  Walsh started his radio career in New Hampshire where he served as a public radio producer for eight years.  He spent one year at KUOW Public Radio in Seattle as producer.  About his new position, Walsh says, “I’m going to use this show to try to pull listeners a little closer to their radios, and sometimes pull them right into the radio with us.  I see this as a chance to develop a new type of relationship with the KIRO audience — and not the unhealthy kind that my therapist keeps warning me about.”

Sabo Media Launches Internet Radio Initiatives; Enters into Relationship with Party 934.  Media consultant Walter Sabo announces his company, Sabo Media, through its Internet Radio Initiatives, is identifying “several online entertainment companies that are at the cutting edge of presenting fresh, new shows.”  One of the products of that is his new relationship with The Freeform Radio Initiative’s PARTY 934.  Sabo states, “PARTY 934 curates its programs in a stunning, easy-to-use manner.  The shows are passionate, fun and involve the community.  It is in the best spirit of progressive rock, free-form radio and compelling talk radio.  In working with PARTY 934 we will help the organization achieve its goals in content creation while preserving the spirit of citizen broadcasters…For a decade we have advised media clients to deliver on the promise of the first name of the internet: World Wide.  PARTY 934 brings that promise to life, giving listeners a fresh, global radio experience.”  Party 934 is an official project of The Freeform Radio Initiative, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  It is the mission of The Freeform Radio Initiative and Party 934 to provide diverse and innovative online broadcasting that reflects the interests and concerns of the community, thus, creating broad cultural and educational experiences for communities impacted negatively by the lack of digital and technological advancement in innovative new media.  Freeform Radio Initiative founder Scott McWilliams says, “Walter is helping to make our on-air personalities more professional.  As a station that encourages ‘regular people’ to do radio shows, people like Walter mentor and guide our personalities to be the best they can be.  Walter is a great addition to our team because of his extensive background and attention to detail.  We are glad to have him on board.”

Dave Ramsey to Be Inducted into NAB Hall of Fame.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Dave Ramsey will be inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters’ Broadcasting Hall of Fame at the NAB Show in April.  The NAB’s executive vice president of radio John David says in announcing the honor, “Dave Ramsey has influenced countless Americans through his sound financial advice and inspirational messages.  We are pleased to induct him into NAB’s Broadcasting Hall of Fame.”  The induction will take place during the NAB Show Radio Luncheon, on Tuesday, April 9 in Las Vegas and sponsored by ASCAP.  Ramsey will join such radio greats as Bob Uecker, Gerry House, Ron Chapman, Vin Scully, Jack Buck, Harry Carey, Larry Lujack, Rick Dees, Dick Purtan and Dick Orkin in the Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

KIDO, Boise and Host Kevin Miller Help Score Cash for Local Animal Shelter.  Peak Broadcasting’s KIDO, Boise and morning drive talk host Kevin Miller (pictured here as you-know-who at a recent fundraiser) worked to help the local Canyon County Animal Shelter take second place in the national ASPCA/Rachael Ray $100,000 Adoption Challenge.  The Canyon County Animal Shelter, with the help of Peak Broadcasting donating PSA time to the cause and Kevin Miller’s PR stunt of living in a cage for a week, won the second-place prize of $50,000.  The shelter was able to get 2,082 animals adopted coming in second only to San Antonio, which won the first-place prize.

Talk Pro Jeff Katz Heard in Miami This Week.  Talk radio personality Jeff Katz, most recently working for Clear Channel at its former news/talk outlet WXKS-AM, Boston, is heard this week in Miami as he fills in on Clear Channel’s news/talk WIOD in the afternoon drive slot today, Thursday and Friday.

‘Fiscal Cliff’ Status, Syria Chemical Weapons Charge, Jovan Belcher Case, and UN Internet Regulation Plans Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/3).  The ongoing posturing in Washington over the coming “fiscal cliff”; intelligence claims that Syria is preparing chemical weapons to use on rebel fighters; the murder-suicide of NFL player Jovan Belcher and Bob Costas’ anti-gun comment; and the UN-proposed internet regulations were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

| November 20, 2012

Holiday Season Provides Opportunities for Seasoned Talk Pros.  The holidays hold ample opportunities for pro talkers looking to get that on-air “audition,” to hone their skills and keep their name out there.  A great example of this is talk show host and former Republican Congressman from Arizona J.D. Hayworth who has a busy holiday week schedule on the fill-in circuit.  On Wednesday he’s in for Sirius XM’s Mike Church from 6:00 am to 9:00 am and for Pete Kaliner at WWNC, Asheville, North Carolina from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  On Thanksgiving Day he’ll sub for WPHT, Philadelphia’s Buzz Bissinger from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Friday J.D. is in  for WPHT, Philadelphia’s Chris Stigall in AM drive, for Cumulus Media NetworksMike Huckabee from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm and in for Sirius XM’s David Webb from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  On Saturday, he’ll do the evening shift from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm at WPHT.  Hayworth – who hosted a popular program at KFYI, Phoenix in his home town – can be contacted at 602-615-6956.

ESPN Audio and Lincoln Financial Media’s WQXI, Atlanta Bring Colin Cowherd Back to the Market.  LFM’s sports talk outlet WQXI “790 The Zone” creates some relief for its local talent in the middle of the day by adding ESPN Audio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon beginning December 3.  The station’s “Mayhem in the AM” morning show has been airing until 11:00 am with the “Red Zone” midday program airing from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.  The station also will be carrying select weekend programming from ESPN beginning on Saturday, December 1.  WQXI program director and Atlanta Falcons Radio Network executive producer Bob Richards says, “‘790 The Zone’ is proud to become the new home for ESPN Audio and Colin Cowherd in Atlanta.  Combining ESPN and Colin with being the flagship station of the Atlanta Falcons Radio Network, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, the Chik-Fil-A Bowl and our top-rated local drive-time shows creates an unbeatable combination of local and national talent and content.”

Social Media Rant Earns WNWS, Jackson, Tennessee Host Suspension.  Mid-morning talk host Bill Way – host of the “It’s Your Turn” program on The Wireless Group’s WNWS, Jackson, Tennessee – is suspended for “a few days” after writing a derogatory Facebook post about President Obama.  The Jackson Sun reports that Way wrote, “A short message to Obama voters. To vote for him with a 9.2 unemployment rate, a (expletive) of Benghazi lies, $16,000,000,000 in debt and an israeli war, (a derogatory reference to the sex scandal involving David Petraeus), a pimp walking prez married to cheetahs daughter…expect what you will most certainly get. bye bye medicare. hello homeless.. I love America except for the idiots.”  Way did not finish his program on Monday morning.  He apologized on the air before another host finished the program.  Station general manager Larry Wood stated, “WNWS-FM learned about the comments Bill Way made on his personal Facebook page.  In no way do they reflect the positions or thoughts of any of us at WNWS-FM.  We certainly don’t condone the comments from Bill and appreciate his public apology.  We’re discussing his comments and apology. Considering the gravity of the situation, for now, by mutual agreement, Bill is taking a few days off.”

Marijuana Radio Show Celebrates 5th Anniversary.  The Lanny Swerdlow-hosted “Marijuana, Compassion and Common Sense” program aired its 5th anniversary program on Broadcast Management Services’ KCAA, Loma Linda, California (Riverside/San Bernardino market) on Monday evening.  Discussion on the unusual program centers on medical marijuana issues and the reform of marijuana laws.  When station CEO Fred Lundgren was approached by Swerdlow with the show concept, he consulted his attorney who advised him the show could not promote the sale of anything illegal in California or be heard in a state where medical marijuana is illegal.  Lundgren says that even though the issue is a thorny one in the market, the First Amendment was his guide and he allowed the show to air on his station.  He reports it to be one of KCAA’s most popular programs.  Monday’s anniversary show featured Dennis Peron, “father” of the medical marijuana movement in California, and Anna Boyce, a retired nurse who was the public face of Proposition 215 back in 1996 when the issue was placed before the voters.

Journal’s WTMJ, Milwaukee Sponsors “Kids 2 Kids Christmas.”  The holiday charity promotion “Kids 2 Kids for Christmas” encourages families in Southeastern Wisconsin to take their children shopping for toys for kids in the region who are less fortunate.  Journal Broadcasting’s news/talk flagship WTMJ, Milwaukee is operating the campaign now through December 15 with locations throughout the city where toys can be dropped off.  During last year’s campaign, more than 10,000 toys were collected and the station has set the same goal for this year.

Odds & Sods.  “Grease” stars John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John will take part in Sirius Satellite Radio’s “Town Hall” program on December 12 where the two will answer fan questions about their careers, including their roles as Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsen in the movie “Grease” as well as their new holiday album “This Christmas.”  Travolta and Newton-John will donate the artist proceeds from the album equally to their respective charities – the Jett Travolta Foundation and the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne, Australia…..Cumulus Media’s WPRO & 99.7 FM, Providence goes live with its web feature documenting Rhode Island’s top “turkeys” of 2012 – the most infamous newsmakers of the year.  The station says WPRO reporter Dee DeQuattro created “this interactive click-through that features the most infamous newsmakers of 2012 and some of their failed schemes that have earned them a place on the turkey list…From people who gobbled up your tax dollars to those who got the stuffing knocked out of them this year, 630WPRO.com will have all the juicy details.”

‘Fiscal Cliff,’ Petraeus-Broadwell Scandal, Israel-Hamas Violence, Obama Cabinet Status, and San Francisco Public Nudity Ban Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/19).  The challenge Washington faces avoiding broad tax hikes and automatic spending cuts before the New Year; the state of the David Petraeus-Paula Broadwell scandal; escalating violence between Israel and Hamas; changes in the Obama Administration Cabinet; and proposed legislation to limit public nudity in San Francisco were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, November 5, 2012

| November 5, 2012

KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa Promotes Dan Potter to AM Drive Show.  There’s been a lot of movement among Cox Media Group staffers between properties lately.  It started with long-time KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa program director Drew Anderssen moving to the company’s WDBO-AM/FM, Orlando at the end of the summer.  Then it was announced that WDBO morning host Jim Turner would retire and KRMG AM drive personality Joe Kelley would move to Orlando to take over the morning show there.  Now, KRMG announces that it is promoting “Tulsa’s Afternoon News” host Dan Potter and he will slide into the morning drive chair beginning November 19.  Potter says, “Under Joe Kelley’s leadership, the ‘KRMG Morning News’ has become the single most important morning show in Oklahoma, both in terms of content and listenership.  I hope to continue the growth Joe started and to attract new listeners to the show.  I am humbled, honored and very excited for this opportunity.  I anchored newscasts on a similar morning show in Dallas-Fort Worth for over 15 years and am constantly impressed by KRMG’s commitment to covering breaking news better than anyone.  You could take this newsroom and this product and put it in any major market in the country and be competitive.”

ESPN Audio Debuts New PM Drive Show with Jonathan Coachman.  A new sports talk show from ESPN Audio debuts this afternoon hosted by ESPN studio anchor Jonathan Coachman.  The 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET show will have Coachman initially joined by a rotating array of ESPN on-air personalities to present three hours of personality-driven opinion, analysis, humor and interviews covering the news of the day, as well as interaction with listeners via e-mails, texts and calls.  The program is available to terrestrial affiliates as well as being heard via the ESPN app, espnradio.com, TuneIn and SiriusXM.  During his time at ESPN, Coachman has hosted “NBA Tonight,” “College Football Live,” “NASCAR Now,” and “ESPN2 Friday Night Fights.”  Coachman says of the new venture, “To say I am excited about ‘Coach’ & Company would be an understatement, but it’s going to be about our entire team – our production team and the team of fans at home – who will all have a hand in hopefully making it a successful show.  I am very serious about sports, but people can expect above all else a show that is fun.  And, with my background in the WWE, I feel I can really bring an entertainment value to the show in a strong way.”

Clear Channel’s Columbia, South Carolina Country Jocks Pull Double Duty; Host PM on News/Talk WVOC.  Jonathon Rush and Kelly Nash – known to their country WCOS, Columbia listeners and Rush & Nash, hosts of the “Morning Rush” program – begin a new chapter in their careers hosting the “Afternoon Rush” on sister news/talk WVOC.  The station parted ways with PM drive host Keven Cohen last week.  Rush and Nash will continue to host their morning program on “My Country 97.5.”  In a statement, Kelly Nash says, “This is an opportunity I’ve dreamed of for years.  We can play the world’s greatest music for the greatest music fans in the morning and talk with the most passionate radio listeners every afternoon.”

WOWO-AM/FM, Ft. Wayne Names Ryan Reker PD.  Federated Media’s heritage WOWO-AM/FM, Ft. Wayne, Indiana announces the hiring of Ryan Reker as program director.  Reker comes to the station after a management shuffle that saw Gregg Henson (now at Clear Channel’s WPGB and WBGG, Pittsburgh) exit the post and Federated’s own Woody Zimmerman oversee the station briefly before being reassigned to oversee the company’s Warsaw, Indiana cluster.  Reker most recently served as program director and morning host at Maverick Media’s classic rock WEGE-FM and as program director of sports talk WWSR-FM, both in Lima, Ohio.  Reker also worked at Clear Channel’s news/talk WOOD-AM in Grand Rapids and Entercom’s sports WSSP, Milwaukee.  He says of his new position, “WOWO is a unique station with very unique listeners.  I love the reputation and passion they’ve built with the community.  I’m honored and excited for the opportunity to work with such a great group of broadcasters.”

How to Write a Professional Radio Facebook Post (Part 2).  Radio digital consultant Chris Miller was so amazed by the high level of interest in his previous TALKERS piece, “Start Doing THIS Right NOW on Facebook,” published here last week, that he decided to share a few more tips to help you get your radio station’s pages and posts right!  Miller writes, “A lot of us radio folks see the value in social media.  Still, many could use some help working it in a way so you’re building your brand, instead of just spinning your wheels.  Many of the mistakes businesses make on Facebook have to do with how your write what you post.  We tend to speak in marketing-ese or like we’re scripting a promo.  That’s a huge error that may have people consistently hiding your content.”  Read Miller’s entire article explaining how to write a post that works for you, here.

President Obama Friendly to African American-Targeted Radio.  President Obama is credited with being the first presidential candidate to seriously use social media to assist his election and re-election efforts but he’s also been a user of radio programs that target the urban audience.    SiriusXM talk radio star Joe Madison (whose program is also heard on terrestrial outlet WOL, Washington, DC) tells TALKERS magazine the president reached out to him early and often.  “His administration nurtured a relationship with black talk radio since he first took office.  I have had access to most members of his cabinet.  They have addressed issues related to the black community and the general population.  Contrast that with Romney’s campaign, we have not received a single news release or response to appear on my show.”  In fact, Madison will host the president on his radio show today.  Madison says he believes the get-out-the-vote effort targeted to black radio by the Obama campaign appears to be working.  “I believe the early voting we’ve seen in our community is due to black talk radio encouraging our audience to vote.  Yesterday in Dade County, Florida, voters were in line until 1:00 am.”

Report:  Actor John Cusack to Produce and Star in Film About Rush Limbaugh.  The Huffington Post reports that actor John Cusack’s company, New Crime Productions, is putting the finishing touches on the script of a movie about Rush Limbaugh tentatively titled “Rush.”  The story quotes actress/director Betty Thomas (who also directed Howard Stern’s “Private Parts”) saying she will direct and that production starts sometime next year.

NBC Sports Radio Names Stan Van Gundy NBA Senior Analyst.  The former head coach of the Orlando Magic joins the NBC Sports Radio network as senior analyst for the NBA.  Stan Van Gundy will call into network shows each week during the NBA season.  He’ll talk exclusively to NBC Sports Radio affiliates and co-host for an hour every Friday during the NBA season, on a show soon to be announced.  NBC Sports Ventures senior vice president Rob Simmelkjaer states, “We are thrilled to add one of the most respected and outspoken coaches in the NBA to the NBC Sports Radio roster.  Our listeners will get to enjoy Stan’s unique insight into events and storylines around the league on a weekly basis.”

 

KABC, Los Angeles’ Doug McIntyre Emcees Bennett Film Opening.  KABC, Los Angeles morning drive host Doug McIntyre had the opportunity to emcee the Los Angeles opening of the new Tony Bennett documentary titled, “The Zen of Bennett” before a sold-out crowd at the Landmark Theater.  McIntyre tells TALKERS, “The distributor of ‘The Zen of Bennett’ is a fan of the documentary I made with my wife, ‘Trying to Get Good: The Jazz Odyssey of Jack Sheldon.’  Since I had a background in music — specifically the Great American Songbook and jazz, and have a ton of experience doing these kind of interviews (Robert Redford, Betty White, etc.,) – he recommended me to Tony’s manager, Danny Bennett.  I had met Tony a number of times before but this was the first chance I had to really spend some time with him, a thrill for me, probably less so for Tony.”  McIntyre says the event was not a KABC promotion but the station did give away tickets to the premiere.

“Free Talk Live” Celebrates 10 Years on the Radio.  “Free Talk Live” – the evening and weekend independently syndicated talk program hosted by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge – celebrates its 10th anniversary.  Freeman writes, in a memo to affiliates and the industry, that the program began in Florida after a format change at the station at which he was working.  “In 2001, rock WYNF, Tampa flipped to hot talk and was using content from Orlando’s successful ‘Real Radio’ WTKS-FM as well as the other ‘Real Radio,’ WZZR-FM in West Palm Beach.  After a year of this, I approached management, Big Jim Davis and Ron White, and pitched the idea of a local show for the weekend.  I said we’d be willing to do it for free.  They gave us the green light and ‘Free Talk Live’ was born, at first on Sunday nights.  The response from the audience was so spectacular that it was within the first few weeks that we were asked to take over weeknights.  Clear Channel ended up flipping the format of the station back to rock in 2003, but FTL continued online, then on another station in town, then another, until I approached the Genesis Communications Network and asked them if they were looking for new programs.  We started in syndication as a weekend show and within a few weeks were offered weeknights.  Since then we have continued doing our live Saturday show (our most popular) and added a live Sunday show as well.   We’ve grown to over 110 AM/FM affiliates and are also heard all week on XM.”

Odds & Sods.  Former New Orleans Saints quarterback and current WWL, New Orleans PM drive co-host Bobby Hebert was ejected from the press box at Saturday’s LSU-Alabama game for ignoring warnings not to create a disturbance by cheering.  The Times-Picayune reports the press box was stuffed with 947 credentialed media people and police escorted Hebert out in the fourth quarter of LSU’s 21-17 loss…..Proving that she CAN hang with Democrats, on Friday night (11/2), KRLA, Los Angeles morning drive host Heidi Harris sang in the Barbra Streisand concert at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.  She was in the choir for “Make Our Garden Grow.”…..Kim Komando, host of the eponymous nationally syndicated weekend computer talk show is a