Tag: "sports talk host"

Thursday, August 17, 2017

| August 17, 2017

Hotchkiss Named to North Ohio Region President for iHeartMedia. This promotion takes Keith Hotchkiss from his regional SVP of sales for the company’s Virginia/Carolina region back to Northern Ohio to take on the region president role.  Hotchkiss started his radio career as an intern on rock WMMS, Cleveland more than 20 years ago.  Now, he’ll oversee iHeartMedia’s Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, Lima, Ashland, Mansfield, Marion and Defiance markets. iHeartMedia president Midwest/Southeast division Tom McConnell states, “Keith is a natural leader and has a proven track record of success.  His experience as a market president and as a regional senior vice president of sales in iHeartMedia’s Virginia/Carolina Region, combined with his first-hand knowledge of the Northern Ohio markets makes him the perfect choice for this important role.”

KXTG, Portland Parts Ways with Dino Costa. Some two months after he made comments on his afternoon drive show on Alpha Media’s sports talk KXTG, Portland “750/102.9 The Game” suggesting motorists should hit Black Lives Matter protestors who block roadways, Dino Costa has been let go by the company, according to The Oregonian.  Earlier this week, the MLS’ Portland Timbers (whose games are carried on KXTG) issued a press statement distancing itself from Costa and his comments.  This drew renewed attention to the incident.  For its part, KXTG says at the time of Costa’s remarks, it took “immediate and aggressive action” against Costa.  But, the delayed blowback apparently forced Alpha Media’s hand and it has fired Costa.

WHLM, Bloomsberg Host David Reilly Resigns.  Embattled WHLM, Bloomsberg, Pennsylvania talk show host David Reilly resigned from the Columbia Broadcasting Corporation-owned news/talk station yesterday (8/16).  Reilly – whose father Joe Reilly serves as general manager for the station – had posted a video of the “UnitetheRight” march on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville that critics say had all the trappings of a Klan rally.  When the video got attention in Bloomsberg, the station endured protests and a number of advertisers reportedly cancelled their buys.  Reilly was suspended without pay earlier this week.  Now, Reilly has tendered his resignation and his father has accepted it.  In the resignation letter, David Reilly disavows any sympathy for neo-Nazis or white supremacists.

CBS Las Vegas Has Change of Heart; Will Cover New NHL Franchise. It appears a case of sour grapes caused CBS RADIO Las Vegas operations manager J.B. King to memo the staff that it was to cease all coverage – including reporting scores – of the market’s new NHL franchise, the Las Vegas Knights.  Several companies bid for the rights to be radio partners with the NHL expansion club but Lotus Communications won.  CBS RADIO Las Vegas market manager Tony Perlongo told the Washington Post, “With six radio stations in Las Vegas we have always prided ourselves on informing, educating and entertaining listeners and supporting the local communities we serve. However, we missed the mark in an internal email that instructed our stations to no longer report on certain aspects of the Golden Knights, the city’s first and only major league sports team. This was an error in judgment on our part and we deeply regret it. We will of course cover the team, first and foremost on Sports Radio 1140 and on our music and news/talk stations as it makes sense for those formats and audiences. We apologize to the Golden Knights, their fans and our listeners and look forward to rooting the team on when the puck drops in a few weeks.”

Beasley Partners with SonicAi for Alexa Skills.  The goal of this partnership is to make it easier for listeners using Amazon Echo to bring Beasley Media Group content into their homes.  Beasley is partnering with SonicAi – a partnership between mobile developer jācapps and Amplifi Media – to design the skills that represent more than just a way to play the station stream, highlighting specific station features.  Beasley says they will be heard across most of its 63 stations over the upcoming months.  Beasley Media Group executive vice president of digital Steve Meyers says, “Innovation in the smart speaker device space is critical for Beasley and our industry as a whole.  I’m excited to be partnering with SonicAi to extend the reach of our brands across the company and open up new opportunities in this space.”

TALKERS News Notes.  The board of directors of the New York State Broadcasters Association announces iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman is being honored as its “Broadcaster of the Year.”  He’ll be honored at the New York Broadcast Leadership and Hall of Fame Luncheon on October 19, at the Javits Center in New York City.  NYSBA president David Donovan says, “Bob Pittman is a true industry leader and perhaps the most creative, visionary and dynamic executive in broadcasting.  His views not only shape the radio industry, but the future of all media in this country.  We are deeply honored to recognize him as the “New York Broadcaster of the Year.”…..Rising from general sales manager to general manager of the Omaha cluster for Salem Media Group is Sue Garrett.  She’s been with the station group for the past seven years.  During her career, she’s been a market manager and sales manager for Cumulus Media and was a sales manager for iHeartMedia.  In Omaha, Salem operates news/talk KOTK “The Answer,” Christian teaching KCRO, and Christian contemporary KGBI-FM…..Today is the 19th annual Kicks 4 Guns event – a collaborative effort by iHeartMedia Orlando’s WTKS-FM “Real Radio 104.1” and non-profit organization Crimeline.  The program allows anyone to anonymously trade in unwanted firearms in exchange for a gift card.  Kicks 4 Guns is the brainchild of “The Monsters” ringleader Russ Rollins who got the idea for the event after he saw a news item about a boy who was murdered for his shoes.  Rollins hoped to create a gun buyback program that offers brand-new shoes in exchange for guns.  Over the past 19 years, Kicks 4 Guns has collected more than 10,000 unwanted guns, including illegal and stolen guns, pipe bombs, grenades, and a missile launcher…..Cumulus Media inks a renewal with the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks for KESN-FM “ESPN 103.3 FM” to continue serving as the team’s flagship radio station through the 2022-2023 season.  The ESPN O&O is operated by Cumulus.  Chuck Cooperstein continues as play-by-play voice and Mike Peasley hosts the “Dallas Mavericks Insider” pre-game show as well as the “Mavs Postgame Show.”…..PodcastOne promotes Jim Ballas to vice president, technology and operations.  Ballas now oversees network digital initiatives and sales operations, including the website, app, dynamic insertion, virtual reality and reporting metrics.  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz states, “Jim Ballas has been with PodcastOne since its earliest days and his leadership in technology and sales operations has well-earned him a place on our executive team.”…..The Weekly Standard announces the re-launch of Tuesday Morning Quarterback – the celebrated weekly NFL column by Gregg Easterbrook.  It will debut on The Weekly Standard website on August 22.  Easterbrook says, “There will be a total eclipse of the sun, and the next day the football gods will smile as Tuesday Morning Quarterback returns.  I am very excited about TMQ on TWS.”  In addition to the column, TMQ will be featured on a weekly podcast starring Easterbrook and occasional guests, hosted by TWS editor-in-chief, Steve Hayes.

Hyper-Local Pioneer Valley Radio Making Gains in Western Massachusetts.  Launched by Springfield radio legend Brad Shepard, hyper-local online station, Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com) celebrated the beginning of its third year of service by making a splashy presence at the annual Hampden County, MA Sheriff’s Picnic – the preeminent regional political/social event in Western Massachusetts (8/16).  The station’s format consists of 100% “personality-oriented public affairs programming” offering a growing menu of on-demand talk shows covering local politics, civics, education, public safety, business, health, dining, recreation, and arts & entertainment as well as live streaming remote coverage of news events, public forums and school sports.  The picnic hosted this year by the newly elected Sheriff Nick Cocchi drew several thousand local political, civic and business figures to the Elks Lodge in Springfield.  Pioneer Valley Radio provided seven hours of uninterrupted broadcast coverage from a prominent table-display at the event interviewing a parade of more than 35 public officials and figures.  Pictured, Pioneer Valley Radio GM/morning host Brad Shepard (l) interviewing recently retired Hampden County Sheriff Michael Ashe (r) who founded the annual picnic decades ago during his 42-year run as sheriff.

Charlottesville Aftermath, Confederate Statue Removals, Manufacturing Council Shuttered, Google Firing Protests Canceled, Sessions Addresses Sanctuary Cities, U.S.-North Korea Tensions, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-Season Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/16).  The criticism of President Trump’s Charlottesville analysis and the conservative media’s suggestion the “alt-left” is to blame for the violence; the movement to take down monuments celebrating Confederate leaders; President Trump disbands the American Manufacturing Council after numerous CEOs quit; the cancelling of planned protests at Google offices over the firing of an engineer who questioned the company’s diversity policy; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ address in Chicago criticizing sanctuary city policies; the ongoing tensions between the U.S. and North Korea; Major League Baseball action; and pre-season NFL activity were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder – morning radio personality Kathy Hart has broken her four-month silence about her absence from WTMX’s highly ratedEric & Kathy” program.  Hart wasn’t forthcoming about why she’s been gone and why she’s been silent, but she did say in a statement to the media, in part, “It has been challenging, mentally and physically, to be away for this long, especially on days like Friday for the live broadcast from Lurie Children’s for “Eric & Kathy’s Kids.”…I have always considered the ‘Mix’ and our listeners as family, and want to express my infinite gratitude to everyone who has reached out to me personally and supported me publicly. Please stay tuned as I fully intend to be back on the air!”  Read Feder’s piece here…..Cumulus Media promotes programming pro Danni Bruns to the operations manager post at its four-station Memphis cluster.  Bruns has been serving as program director and afternoon personality for rock WXMX “98.1 The Max.”  Now, she’ll also handle operations for sister stations country WGKX “KIX 106,” rhythmic oldies WRBO, and hip hop WKIM “98.9 The Vibe.”…..YEA Networks brings Scott Kerr aboard as director of affiliate sales and content.  He’s responsible for servicing and growing affiliates for “The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show,” “The Bert Show,” “The Hollywood 5,” “Love Letters with Kellie & Matthew” and the socially connected Simple Booth…..SiriusXM is bringing two shows from its streaming platform to the satellite radio service. Turbo showcases hard rock from the 1990s and early 2000s from artists such as Linkin Park, Korn, Papa Roach, Godsmack, System Of A Down, Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Limp Bizkit and Disturbed.  PopRocks presents pop rock from the ’90s and 2000s, including The Killers, Coldplay, Sheryl Crow, Goo Goo Dolls, Train, No Doubt and Matchbox 20.

 

 

July PPM Takeaways. Below are TALKERS magazine editor Mike Kinosian‘s “Twelve Takeaways” based on the July PPM ratings information released by Nielsen Audio last week.  The 12 markets addressed today are: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s July 2017 survey period covered June 22 – July 19.  You can view all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – As a result of making up in totality the seven-tenths it lost via four straight down or flat trends (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), Emmis-owned KLBJ-FM “93.7 The Rock of Austin” elevates from #12 to a three-way tie at #8 (4.3, +.7, 6+). In the process, it happens to leapfrog co-owned KLBJ-AM, which extends to seven its string of consecutive up or flat trends that has accounted for a cumulative +1.1 (3.0 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+); the news/talk property, however, drops out of the top ten (#9 to #11). Another player in that three-way logjam at #8 is Entercom hot AC KAMX “Mix 94.7 – Today’s Best Mix,” which regains all but two-tenths of the -.7 it squandered this time last month (4.3, +.5, (up from #11, 6+). Entering the June sweep, “Mix” consistently registered a 6+-share between 4.1 – 4.6 in each of the previous 11 sweeps but fell to 3.8 (6+). Up a combined seven-tenths in June and July (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.8, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3” climbs from #14 to #12. In addition to “Mix” and “Que Buena,” iHeartMedia-owned KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” picks up one-half share as well (4.5 – 5.0, eighth to sixth, 6+). Following three straight 4.6-showings (6+), KASE dropped one-tenth in June. On top for the sixth successive month, Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” adds two-tenths to June’s +1.1 (7.4 – 8.5 – 8.7, 6+). “Bob” was a combined -1.7 in April and May, with May’s 7.4 its lowest 6+-stat since June 2015’s 7.4. With the exception of October and the “Holiday” 2016 report, KBPA held the lead each month in calendar year 2016. Its regional Mexican cluster-mate KLZT “107.1 La Z” though forfeits all of June’s half-share increase and three-tenths more (5.4 – 4.6, -.8, 6+), sliding from fourth to seventh. Faltering by seven-tenths each are co-owned KROX “101-X Alternative Austin,” which falls out of the top ten with its third straight decrease (4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.2, #10 to #14, 6+) and The University of Texas-owned KUT (6.8 – 6.1, flat at #2, 6+). Locked on 7.6 (6+) in January, February, and March, KUT followed with a 5.8 (April, 6+); 6.2 (May, 6+); and improved by six-tenths in June to 6.8 (6+). Flat at #16, Emmis triple A KGSR “93.3 Radio Austin” is within 2.0 – 2.9 range for the 17th time in a row (2.4 – 2.7, +.3, 6+). Without an increase for the fifth straight time for a net loss of nine-tenths (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+), Entercom urban AC KKMJ-HD3 exits the top twenty (#20 to #21).

2) Raleigh – Granted, it might be a bit of a technicality, but the entry making the largest 6+ June 2017 – July 2017 increase in all 48 PPM-markets is the stream of Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 BBB, Your Life – Your Music,” which debuts at #14 with a 2.4 (6+). The actual FM signal of “96.1 BBB, Your Life – Your Music” registers its third successive increase for an overall gain of two full-shares and inches up from sixth to fifth (4.3 – 4.9 – 6.0 – 6.3, 6+). A gain of six-tenths in May halted three consecutive (modest) downward trends that accounted for a six-tenths’ loss (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). Down a collective eight-tenths in three straight dips (8.0 – 7.8 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+), co-owned WQDR “94.7 – Today’s Best Country” recaptures more than half that loss with a +.5 to 7.7 (6+) and is in the runner-up slot for the third month in a row. In addition to repeating as the market’s pacesetter, Radio One urban AC WFXC “Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is +1.4 in four straight improvements (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2, 6+) and matches the 8.2 (6+) it posted last October. Following six straight gains that netted a +2.1 (2.8 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.4 – 4.9, 6+), Curtis Media Group CHR WPLW “The Pulse” surrenders nine-tenths to 4.0 (6+) and drops out of the top ten (#8 to #12). At the same time, a loss of seven-tenths takes iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” (fifth to sixth) to 6.2, its lowest 6+-share in exactly two years (6.2, as well, in July 2015). Thus, the market’s (6+) CHR erodes by -1.6 to 10.2. Dislodged from the penthouse in June (after four consecutive months there) and remaining in third-place in July is Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5,” which is without an increase for the fifth sweep in a row for a combined -1.8 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9, 6+). While it remains at #4, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC is -1.8 in four straight negative trends (8.5 – 7.9 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+). A quartet of Raleigh outlets have decreases of one-half share: iHeartMedia FM news/talk WTKK (#9 to #10, 6+); Radio One gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” WNNL (3.8, #12 to #13, 6+); Capitol Broadcasting sports/talk WCMC “ESPN 99.9 – The Fan” (flat at #14, 6+); and Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” (#15 to #16, 6+). This is WTKK’s fourth straight down or flat monthly for an overall -1.7 (6.0 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+). After posting three straight increases for a combined +1.2 (4.8 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 6.0, 6+), “The Light” spiraled by -1.7 in June. In back-to-back sweeps (June 2017 and July 2017), “The Fan” is a combined -1.1 (3.5 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+). This is the third straight half-share fluctuation for “La Ley 101.1,” which wiped out May’s half-share loss in June only to forfeit it in July (2.6 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+). Off by three-tenths to 1.9 (6+), Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WRTP “HIS Radio” (#16 to #17) halts at six its consecutive streak of up or flat trends that more than quintupled its 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016 (.4 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .8 – 1.5 – 2.2, 6+).

3) Indianapolis – Off by a combined nine-tenths in May and June (4.2 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR WHHH roars back with a +1.1 to 4.4 – its strongest 6+-share since last November’s 5.0; “Hot 96.3” climbs from #13 to #11. In a somewhat similar scenario, Emmis’ WLHK wipes out an overall -.6 in May and June (6.0 – 5.6 – 5.4, 6+) with a July improvement of seven-tenths to 6.1, its highest 6+-share since May 2016, as “Country 97.1 Hank FM” progresses from seventh to fifth. Having plummeted by -2.8 as the result of five consecutive down or flat trends (7.1 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+), Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “Indy’s R&B Leader” answers with a gain of six-tenths to 4.9 (6+) and moves from tenth to eighth. Advancing from third to second, iHeartMedia-owned WFBQ “Q-95 Rocks” registers its seventh successive improvement for an overall +2.4 (4.6 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 7.0, 6+). Major ups and downs continue for WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.” As the result of three straight January through April downward trends (7.3 – 6.9 – 6.6 – 6.3, 6+), the Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian station was off by one full-share. It bounced back with a +1.1 in May only to falter by -1.2 in June (6.3 – 7.4 – 6.2, 6+); however, “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” adds six-tenths in July to 6.8 (6+), marching from sixth to third. Despite being off by one-half share (8.2 – 7.7, 6+), Entercom CHR WZPL is #1 for the seventh consecutive sweep; June’s 8.2 matches its highest 6+-stat since December 2015. By dropping one-tenth to 4.9 (6+), hot AC cluster-mate WNTR has its string of up or flat trends that netted a collective +1.5 (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+) halted at five; nonetheless, “107.9 The Mix – Better Variety for a Better Workday” actually improves from ninth to eighth. Eroding by nine-tenths each are Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” (5.8, third to seventh, 6+) and Emmis sports talk WFNI “The Fan” (1.7, #14 to #16, 6+). WFMS was a combined +.8 in May and June (5.9 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+), while “The Fan” picked up a collective half-share via four straight up or flat trends (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+). Slipping by six-tenths each are its adult contemporary and news/talk siblings WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” (6.5, second to fourth, 6+) and WIBC “Indy’s News Center” (4.7, eighth to tenth, 6+). By replicating May’s seven-tenths’ increase in June (3.9 – 4.6 – 5.3, 6+), WIBC reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time since February 2016’s 5.0; “B-105.7” is below a seven-share (6+) for the first time since January’s 6.7.

4) Milwaukee – Notwithstanding that a wide ranker and AQH share gap currently exists between them, both iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” (9.9 – 10.7, #1 for the 28th consecutive time, 6+) and Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s WZTI “Milwaukee’s True Oldies Channel” (#18 to #14, 6+) register spikes of eight-tenths. It is the fourth straight gain for WZTI, which has more than tripled its 6+-share since March (.6 – .7 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.9, 6+). As for “Big FM,” is rebounds from a combined -1.6 in back-to-back sweeps (11.5 – 10.3 – 9.9, 6+) and returns to double-digits (6+) for the fourth time in the last five sweeps. Recent “Big” month-to-month moves include +1.7 (October 2015); -.7 (November 2015); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2015); -5.7 (January 2016); +1.3 (February); +1.1 (April); -.6 (May); -1.1 (August); -.6 (September) +1.2 (November); -.5 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2016); -2.4 (January 2017); +2.5 (March); -1.2 (May); and now +.8 (July). An interesting development has occurred in the CHR scrum, following a June increase of three-tenths (6+) by both iHeartMedia’s WRNW “97-3 Now – Milwaukee’s #1 For All The Hits” and Entercom-owned WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM.” Via four straight improvements, “Now” is up by an overall full-share (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+) and shifts from #14 to #12, but “Kiss” – which was 4.9 and ninth in June (6+) disappears from print. Advancing from seventh to fifth, co-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” is up or flat for the third time in a row for a net gain of four-tenths (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5, 6+), while Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” posts its second straight (modest) gain (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+) and matches its 4.0 in March to climb from #13 to #11. Having notched a 5.5 (6+) in three of the last four survey periods, Saga Communications’ WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” regresses by six-tenths (5.5 – 4.9, 6+), slipping from sixth to seventh. The down/up pattern that Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB began in January (4.6 – 4.3 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 5.0 – 4.6, 6+) ends in July as “B-93.3” is off by one-half share to 4.1 (6+), but remains at #10. Not higher than 1.5 or lower than 1.1 over the course of the last 18 sweeps – which covers March 2016 through July 2017, public triple A WYMS (#17 to #15) has a 6+-line of: 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4.

5) Nashville – Part of a three-way June logjam for the runner-up slot, Midwest Communications’ adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack-FM – Playing What We Want” doubles June’s gain of six-tenths with a +1.2 (7.1 – 8.3, 6+) and marches to #1. Prior to a -.7 in May, Nashville’s “Jack” was up or flat the previous four months gaining +1.9 (5.3 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.2 – 7.2, 6+). Not only does the station that “Jack” dislodges at #1 (after a brief one-month run) – iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ – segue to #2, “105.9 Nashville’s Classic Rock” drops four-tenths to 7.4 (6+), thus pulling the plug on three straight improvements that netted a collective +1.4 (6.4 – 6.7 – 7.3 – 7.8). Owing to a spike of nine-tenths to 2.5 (6+), Nashville Public Radio classical WFCL ends at four its skein of down or flat monthlies that generated an overall loss of one-half share (2.1 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+) and progresses from #18 to #15. Entering the June sweep, co-owned WPLN was down in each of the previous three survey periods for an overall -1.3 (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+), but “News 90.3” is a combined +1.5 in June and July (4.1 – 4.8 – 5.6, 6+), climbing from eighth to seventh. Simultaneous with Cromwell Group urban AC WPRT-HD2 improving by one-half share (.6 – 1.1, #18, 6+), co-owned WPRT-FM “The Game” spirals by nine-tenths to .9 (6+) and departs the top twenty (#16 to #22). When “The Game” dropped six-tenths in June, it curtailed at four a successive string of up or flat trends that more than doubled its 6+-stat (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 2.4, 6+). Elsewhere in the sports talk arena, Cumulus Media’s WGFX regresses by six-tenths (3.3 – 2.7, 6+) to slide from #13 to #14. In June, “104.5 The Zone” returned in its entirety May’s one-half share increase. Prior to May’s +.5, “The Zone” plummeted by more than four full-shares in six successive decreases (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Meanwhile, the market’s (6+) share for CHR erodes by -1.5 as Midwest Communications-owned WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” forfeits twice as much of its one-half share gain in June (3.3 – 2.3, -1.0, #13 to #16, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WRVW “107.5 The River” (second to third) follows up June’s -.6 with a -.5 (7.7 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+). The loss of six-tenths in June ended at three WRVW’s consecutive string of increases which netted a +1.8 (5.9 – 6.6 – 7.2 – 7.7, 6+). February’s 5.9 was the first time “The River” had been below a six-share (6+) since June 2011 (5.9, as well). Off by an overall nine-tenths in three successive downward moves (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+), urban contemporary sibling WUBT “101.1 The Beat Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” has an identical 6+ profile as “The River”: 7.1 – 6.6, second to third. Nine-tenths is the collective margin of decline as well for Cromwell alternative WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz,” which dips in back-to-back sweeps (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, #11 to #12, 6+).

6) Providence –  Owing to four (modest) increases in a row (4.8 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101” gains a cumulative one-half share and carries on in sixth-place. After dropping six-tenths in both May and June (11.0 – 10.4 – 9.8, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” bounces back with a gain of two-tenths to an even 10.0 (6+) and is #1 for the 22nd consecutive ratings period. Having eroded by more than seven full-shares in January to 10.7 (6+), WWLI was a combined -.4 in February and March (10.7 – 10.6 – 10.3, 6+) and then up seven-tenths in April. Frozen on 7.7 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016 and January 2017, and then on 8.2 (6+) in February and March, iHeartMedia-owned WHJY picked up a combined nine-tenths in three consecutive progressive trends (8.2 – 8.3 – 8.6 – 9.1, 6+). “Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” though surrenders all but one-tenth of that increase in July (8.3, -.8, 6+) and falls from second to fourth. June’s 9.1 represents the highest 6+-share for WHJY in just over one year (9.2, May 2016). As a result of replicating June’s -.7 for a combined -1.4 (9.8 – 9.1 – 8.4, 6+), Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music” all but wipes out May’s +1.5. In advance of the May ratings period, WPRO-FM had been trending 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.6 – 8.3 (6+); 9.8 was its highest 6+-share since February 2015 (also 9.8). For the fifth time in the last ten survey periods and second time in a row, rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WWKX notches a 2.5 (6+) as “Hot 106.3” continues at #9. While steady in fifth-place, iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” has its third straight decrease for an overall loss of -1.1 (6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.5, 6+) and its lowest 6+-share since 4.6 in “Holiday” 2016. Up or flat in each of the last five survey periods for an overall increase of seven-tenths since January (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+), Boston public news/talk WGBH-FM drops six-tenths to 1.6 (6+), but remains at #10.

7) Norfolk – Without a loss for the seventh time in a row for an overall increase of +1.4 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1, 6+), Entercom hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point” continues in seventh-place. In a classic case of the rich get richer, Entercom urban AC WVKL “95-7 Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” trots out a +1.4 (12.0 – 13.4, 6+) and is #1 for the seventh successive sweep, after an earlier tenure of 55 consecutive ratings periods on top. It has registered a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 15th time in the last 16 ratings periods. Furthermore, 13.4 is the highest 6+-stat reached by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era, with WVKL accomplishing the feat several times, the most recent in January 2015. The only other station in the market to do so is co-owned adult contemporary WWDE “2WD,” which logged 13.4 (6+) once. There is a little more history from this Virginia metro in the July 2017 sweep: Over and above marching from third to second by notching a gain of six-tenths, Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” hits 7.4, the highest 6+ share in its history as a PPM subscriber. Meanwhile, following its 7.4 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV has recorded a 6+-share within 2.2 – 2.8 range, but “Movin’ 107.7 The Rhythm of Hampton Roads” drops six-tenths to 2.1 (6+) as it segues from eighth to ninth. After being in the runner-up slot the past five sweeps (the last three with a 7.3, 6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WOWI “103 Jamz – Norfolk’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” trades places with WNOR by slipping to #3 (7.0, -.3, 6+). For the fourth straight month, aforementioned WWDE “2WD” (flat at #6) fails to make an increase and is -1.7 since March (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+).

8) Greensboro – Continuing on a seesaw, Entercom’s country-formatted WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” adds seven-tenths (6.3 – 7.0, 6+) to advance from sixth to fifth. It was a cumulative +1.5 in January and February (4.8 – 5.6 – 6.3, 6+); eroded by seven-tenths in March; bounced back with a combined +1.0 in April and May; and lost three-tenths in June. This is the highest 6+-share for Greensboro’s “Wolf” since its 7.1 in January 2015. It helps enable WPAW to pull ahead of iHeartMedia’s WTQR “New Country Q-104.1,” which is off three-tenths (7.3 – 6.9, fourth to sixth, 6+), snapping at six a consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +2.5 (4.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 7.2, 6+). On the heels of three straight negative trends that accounted for a -1.1 (6.8 – 6.7 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WMAG answers with a combined June and July +1.4 (5.7 – 6.5 – 7.1, 6+), allowing “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix” to inch up from fifth to fourth. Ahead of it (continuing) at #3 is Entercom adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon (says) We Play Everything,” which wipes out June’s -.4 with a gain of one-half share (8.8 – 9.3, 6+). While it repeats at #1 and achieves double-digits (6+) for the eighth straight sweep, urban AC cluster-mate WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” hands over roughly half of the whopping +1.5 it notched in June (11.6 – 10.9, -.7, 6+); 11.6 is its most potent 6+-share in over three years (11.9, March 2014). In addition to placing first in June and July, WQMG occupied the top spot in January, February, and March, as well. Up or flat in four consecutive ratings periods accounting for a +1.2 (9.7 – 9.7 – 10.1 – 10.5 – 10.9, 6+), WQMG surrendered six-tenths in March. Spiraling by seven-tenths as well is iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM,” which has its third decrease in a row for an overall loss of -1.2 (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+) and its softest 6+-share since January 2014’s 2.9. Unchanged at #7, rock sibling WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up!” sputters by four-tenths to 4.3 (6+), thus pulling the plug on six consecutive increases (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7, 6+) that netted a +1.7. Having strung together three straight improvements for a combined +1.2 (9.5 – 9.9 – 10.1 – 10.7, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz” (flat at #2) follows with an equal number of consecutive losses that has accounted for a collective -1.1 (10.7 – 10.4 – 10.1 – 9.6, 6+). “Jamz” had been in double-digits (6+) 10 times in the previous 12 survey periods.

9) West Palm Beach – In addition to posting its third straight increase for an overall +1.1 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4, 6+), Alpha Media hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” ranks first for the seventh consecutive month and has its strongest 6+-share since November 2015’s 11.3. Prior to “Holiday” 2016, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. It fell to second in July 2016, after 23 successive sweeps at #1. A collective +1.3 in three straight gains entering the June sweep (4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WLDI is now an overall -1.6 in back-to-back monthlies (5.6 – 5.1 – 4.0, 6+) as “Wild 95.5 – The Palm Beaches’ #1 Hit Music Station” drifts from fifth to eighth. Having posted a 3.1 (6+) in three of the past four ratings periods, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN sputters by seven-tenths to 2.4 (6+) and segues from ninth to tenth. Over the last two sweeps, Alpha Media-owned WIRK “103.1 – South Florida’s Country Music” is a combined -1.4 (5.9 – 5.1 – 4.6, fifth to seventh, 6+). Surrendering one-half share is WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” (flat at #5) which – in the last eight survey periods – is +.5 (“Holiday” 2016); -1.1 (January); +.5 in February; -.7 (March); +1.4 in April; -.5 in May; +.7 in June; and now -.5 in July (4.3 – 4.8 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+). Off by one-half share as well is Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” (#13 to #15), which is down or flat for the fourth straight time for a roughly 50% loss of its 6+-share (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.2 – .7, 6+). Simultaneous with co-owned adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9” losing three tenths after June’s -1.1 (6.5 – 5.4 – 5.1, flat at #3, 6+, iHeartMedia-owned and similarly-programmed WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” rebounds from June’s loss of eight-tenths by adding three-tenths (5.1 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+) to jump from eighth to fifth. This is the lowest 6+-share for “Sunny” since its 4.6 in November 2015. Following three successive months without a gain in which it lost more than two full-shares (6.6 – 5.9 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), “Today’s Kool 105.5” was a combined +.6 in April and May (4.5 – 4.6 – 5.1, 6+). The market’s other AC – JVC Media’s WSVU “South Florida’s 95.9 – The Palm,” is without an increase for the fourth time in a row and down approximately 50% in that timeframe (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – .9 – .7, 6+), yet actually improves from #16 to a tie at #15.

10) Jacksonville – Wild fluctuations continue for iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WSOL, whose April -.6 put an end to its 4.9 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 4.9 (6+) sequence. “V-101.5,” bounced back with a +.8 in May, only to surrender -.7 in June; and now erupts with a massive +1.7 in July (4.4 – 6.1, seventh to sixth, 6+). This is its highest 6+-performance since 6.3 in May 2016. In recapturing in totality the one-half share it lost in June, Cox Media Group-owned WXXJ “X-102.9 Jacksonville’s New Alternative” moves into the top ten (4.0 – 3.5 – 4.0, #11 to #9, 6+). Prior to June’s -.5, “X-102.9” had been up or flat in each of the last five sweeps netting seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). Albeit down by six-tenths (12.2 – 11.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” is nonetheless the market pacesetter for the seventh straight time. A January +2.1 to 12.8 produced its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. The five most recent stats for Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” are 7.6 – 7.9 – 7.6 – 7.6 – 7.9 (March 2017 through July 2017, steady from June at #4, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WEZI “Easy 106.5” (#13 to #12) is trending 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 (6+) since April. Within 4.1 – 4.5 (6+) territory the past five sweeps, iHeartMedia-owned CHR WKSL plummets by nine-tenths (4.3 – 3.4, 6+) and not only exits the top ten (#9 to #11), “97.9 Kiss FM” has its weakest 6+-showing since November 2013’s 3.3. Faltering by one-half share each are Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL-FM “96.9 The Eagle” (9.6 – 9.1, unchanged at #2, 6+) and public news/talk WJCT (3.1 – 2.6, #12 to #13, 6+). “The Eagle” was up nine-tenths in June and while its urban contemporary HD2 side channel floundered by one-half share in May and June (2.9 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+), it picks up three-tenths to 2.2, but stays at #14 (6+).

11) Memphis – Adding nine-tenths onto the three-tenths it picked up in June, Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River Continuous Soft Rock” registers a 6.9, its best 6+-stat since 7.4 in March, to jump from sixth to fourth. As the result of three straight sweeps without a decrease (6.5 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.3, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WHRK is a collective +1.8 and “K-97 Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” is in third-place for the fourth month in a row. Not only is urban AC cluster-mate KJMS up or flat for the seventh straight time for a collective gain of +1.4 (8.8 – 9.0 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.5 – 9.9 10.2, 6+), “V-101” is #1 for the sixth successive time. It held that same position for ten consecutive monthlies before sliding to #2 in “Holiday” 2016; “V-101” was up by two-tenths in February to halt nine consecutive down or flat trends that yielded a -3.7 since May 2016 (12.5 – 11.6 – 10.7 – 10.5 – 10.2 – 9.9 – 9.9 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 8.8, 6+). The last time it was in double-digits (6+) was in September 2016 (10.2, as well). Up (modestly) or flat the last three survey periods for a net gain of three-tenths (4.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+) – and with a 6+-share consistently between 4.2 and 4.8 since last December – Cumulus Media’s WXMX “98.1 The Max, Maximum Rock” freefalls by one full-share to 3.8, but carries on in eighth-place. In eight straight down or flat sweeps, iHeartMedia CHR KWNW has lost one full-share (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – .9, 6+) but “101.9 Kiss FM – All The Hits” manages to move from #17 to #15. It is a mixed-bag for the market’s country outlets as Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 – Today’s Best Country” is off by four-tenths to 5.5 (flat at #7, 6+) after back-to-back increases produced a +1.0 (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+), while Entercom’s WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” adds two-tenths to June’s +.8 and continues at #11 (2.4 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+).

12) Hartford – By dialing up a gain of seven-tenths (5.7 – 6.4, 6+), CBS Radio CHR WKSS “Kiss 95.7 All The Hits” climbs from seventh to sixth with its strongest 6+-showing since June 2016’s 6.5. At the same time that co-owned hot AC WTIC-FM “Hartford’s Best Variety” (off eight-tenths in June) improves by one-half share (7.8 – 8.3 third to second, 6+), its news/talk sibling WTIC-AM plummets by -1.6 (fifth to eighth, 6+). When “Hartford’s Best Variety” lost four-tenths in May, it stopped at six its consecutive string of positive or flat trends that produced a cumulative +2.1 (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 8.3 – 8.6 – 9.0, 6+). In what is now WTIC-AM’s sixth consecutive decline, it has spiraled by a collective -3.7 (8.8 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.3 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 5.1, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-share in nearly two years (4.8, 6+, August 2015). Down one tick (10.0 – 9.9, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WRCH “Lite 100.5” remains at #1 for the 11th successive ratings period. It had been in double-digits (6+) eight times in the previous nine sweeps. “Lite” was up by a cumulative nine-tenths in February and March (10.2 – 10.5 – 11.1, 6+), but then down by an overall -1.4 in April and May (11.1 – 10.0 – 9.7, 6+). Entering the September sweep, WRCH was on top for 15 straight ratings periods and 23 of the previous 24; however, it decreased by -1.1 and dropped to second-place. Its online stream remains at .5 (6+) although it rises from #15 to #14. A combined +1.7 in four consecutive sweeps without a decrease (7.1 – 76 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 8.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWYZ reached the eight-share level (6+) in June for the first time since last December’s 8.2, but “Country 92-5” returns one-half share (8.8 – 8.3, 6+) and is in a second-place tie with WTIC-FM. Fading by one-half share as well (to its lowest 6+-share since February’s 4.9) is Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale Hartford’s Classic Rock” (5.7 – 5.2, 6+), which carries on in seventh-place.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

| September 9, 2014

nagleraward14Radio Television Digital News Association Honors Nagler. This past Friday night (9/5) in Nashville, CBS Radio News vice president Harvey Nagler received the Radio Television Digital News Association‘s John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award.  The honor recognizes an individual’s contributions to the journalism profession and freedom of the press. During his acceptance speech, Nagler stated, “Schools must be incubators for innovation in a field that desperately needs it.”  Many years ago, those in radio, television, and print, Nagler remarks, were “the messengers,” who decided what Americans would know.  “Today it is the reverse,” he opines.  “Everyone can publish – everyone can, at least, perceive themselves as journalists.  Content is ubiquitous.  It is often hard to discern the big picture from individual snapshots of information that flood our devices.  To place context on stories, many still seek out journalistic entities with traditional values.  In the end, it proves we still need to be able to turn to journalists and news organizations we can trust.”  Believing that the public’s “appetite for news has never been greater,” Nagler emphasizes, “It is our job, our responsibility, our mission to maintain that trust as we broaden our roles on new platforms, while continuing to serve our audiences on our traditional platforms.”  Prior to becoming vice president of CBS Radio News nearly 17 years ago, Nagler is credited with establishing the phrase, “traffic and weather together on the eights” when he was director of news programming for CBS Radio New York’s WCBS-AM.

neerrichardA Case for Accurate Headlines.  A story published today in TALKERS magazine by WFAN, New York sports talk host Richard Neer underscores the position talk hosts often find themselves in today when taking on a delicate – and complicated – issue.  Neer accurately points out that in today’s media culture, where all content must be immediate, fresh and provocative, there is little time for anything that isn’t black and white or that involves any depth.  Neer writes that for the talk host, “There is no tolerance for asking questions that have no easy answers.  Certain stories are reported from only one angle.  Anyone who carefully parses a statement that the press declares politically incorrect is defined as supporting the dark side.  Forget nuance, once you are attacked by the consensus bullies, you can only surrender and apologize, lest you lose your livelihood.”  He points to one of the culprits in this matter: the news headline.  Neer says so many headlines are misleading and are written purposely that way to tantalize to get people to read the story.  But often times, upon closer inspection, it becomes clear the headline is misleading or even the exact opposite of what the text of the story shows.  Still, what readers (assuming people actually go on to read the story) often come away with is a “glib conclusion based on the headline.”  Read his entire piece here.

joycebrianBrian Joyce Show Gets Permanent Billing on WGOW, Chattanooga.  Mid-afternoon talk show host Brian Joyce tells TALKERS magazine that the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm time slot on Cumulus Media’s WGOW, Chattanooga “Talk Radio 102.3” is now officially called the Brian Joyce show.  Since he took over wgow logothe slot in April of 2012, the daypart had been called “Live & Local.”  Joyce also reports that since he began hosting his show, that daypart has gone from 10th in the market among Men 25-54, and 15th in the market among Persons 25-54, to among the top three in both demos, making it the first time in station history that this has been accomplished.

wgwg logoTribune Sports Talker WGWG-LP, Chicago Announces Changes.  A couple of changes to report at the sports talk outlet WGN Radio programs on low-power FM WGWG, branded “The Game 87.7 FM.”  In conjunction with Tribune Media, the station announces Chicago Bears’ cornerback Tim Jennings and safety Ryan Mundy will join as on-air contributors appearing on segments during the “Kap & Haugh” and the “Jarrett, Harry & Spike” shows, as well as Jennings co-hosting the weekly hour-long program, “The Jennings & Jarrett Show,” with The Game’s Jarrett Payton.  Jennings and Mundy will also provide updates on WGN-TV during the morning and evening news.  At the same time, as Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports, Howard Griffith goes to part time with his duties at the station, due to his workload at the Big Ten Network.  Griffith had been sharing equal billing with Alex Quigley and Ben Finfer on the station’s afternoon drive program.

clipinteractiveClip Interactive Announces Revenue Successes in Portland and Indy Markets.  Saying that it measures its success based on the new advertising dollars that its interactive radio apps bring to its station partners, Clip Interactive announces its apps developed for Alpha Media and Salem Broadcasting in Portland and Cumulus Radio in Indianapolis have generated more than $1 million in new revenue to date in 2014.  Further, the company says Clip Radio-powered stations are producing $100,000 of new revenue within 30-45 days of launch and Clip says this shows not only that radio advertising works, but also proves that an innovative and revenue-generating mobile solution is now available and radio advertisers embrace it.  Moreover, Clip says this net new revenue is coming from multiple sources including advertisers who are completely new to radio and returning advertisers who previously left radio for digital media.  Alpha Media’s president and CEO Bob Proffitt comments, “We are now able to attract advertisers that had previously abandoned the medium for alternative digital solutions.  Through the Clip Radio-powered apps, we are able to build a stronger relationship with both our listeners and our advertisers, providing both groups with compelling content that they cannot find anywhere else. We are eager to expand our interactive radio capabilities to our other Alpha Media markets.”

TALKERS Affiliate Roundup.  KNEI-FM, Cedar Rapids adds Envision Networks-distributed VirtualNWS Weather Reports featuring meteorologist Laura Huckabee…..The Sun Broadcast Group-syndicated Marilu Henner show joins the programming at KUSH-AM, Cushing, Oklahoma and KJFF, Festus, Missouri.

Obama ‘Theater of Being President’ Comment, Obama Drops Immigration Changes, Ray Rice Cut and Suspended by NFL, U.S. ISIS Strategy-Wednesday Press Conference, Global Warming Controversy, Midwestern Child Respiratory Virus Mystery, Bruce Levenson Scandal, and Joan Rivers Funeral Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/8).  Criticism of President Obama’s comment on “Meet the Press” that the “theater of being president” doesn’t come naturally to him; Obama’s decision to not pursue immigration law changes via executive order before the mid-term elections; the Baltimore Ravens cut Ray Rice and the NFL suspends him indefinitely after the full video of him punching out his wife in an elevator is revealed; Wednesday’s scheduled press conference during which President Obama will address the US’s ISIS strategy; increased scrutiny of the global warming theory; the mystery of a respiratory virus affecting thousands of Midwestern children; Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson’s admission of a racist email forces sale of team; and the weekend funeral of comedienne Joan Rivers were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

| July 22, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Videos Being Posted.  Up Today: Joyce Kaufman of WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale Receives the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” Award.  Today (7/22) marks the sixth business day of TALKERS magazine’s video posting of speeches, sessions and presentations made during last month’s 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2014.  The presentation of these informative and historic recordings is sponsored by WYD Media Sales, LLC., the rep firm recently launched by Ron Hartenbaum and headed by John Murphy, that specializes in the advertising sales of spoken-word media on all popular platforms.  The worldwide showing of these very special videos continues today with part 1 of the event’s traditional “Talkers Awards Ceremony” emceed by legendary Westwood One talk show host Jim Bohannon and featuring the presentation of the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community kaufmanMarksNYC14Service by a Radio Broadcaster by Talk Media, Inc. CEO Carole Marks (pictured here at left) to WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale personality Joyce Kaufman (pictured here at right).  Kaufman gives a powerful acceptance speech in which she expresses her humble appreciation and encourages her fellow talk show hosts to exercise their radio programs’ full potential as a service to their communities, which she says are becoming increasingly disconnected due in part to the very technology of the modern era.  She states, “If not us – who?  If we don’t move people from merely talking into actually doing, we are missing the blessing that this platform gives us.  If we don’t help the people who deserve our help, we will feed into the notion that we are a dispassionate nation that needs government to take care of us.”  View the video of the award presentation here.  Coming tomorrow:  part 2 of the Talkers Awards Ceremony in which last year’s recipient of the Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Radio Industry by a Woman (also known as the “Woman of the Year” award), Heather Cohen EVP, The Weiss Agency presents the honor to this year’s recipient, Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks. The TALKERS conference videos were recorded by Art Vuolo.

mancowMancow Sues Maverick Radio Partners.  From a story in today’s Chicago Tribune, Chicago-based talk show host Erich “Mancow” Muller is suing Maverick Radio Partners – led by Rodney Rainey – for allegedly trying to defraud him of $50,000 purported to be targeted to radio station investments.  The Tribune story relates that Muller was approached by Rainey in December 2011 to be an investor in a project that would acquire a number of radio stations — beginning with WFRE and WFMD in Frederick, Maryland – and that the company had financial backing from Spartacus Partners Group.  Based on a verbal deal, Mancow transferred $50,000 to Maverick with the understanding it would be held in escrow until Mancow was provided with documented proof that the additional funding for the station purchases was secured.  That never happened and when Mancow sought his money back from Maverick, he alleges he received promises the money was on its way but it was never returned.  Mancow is suing Maverick for fraud and breach of contract and is seeking the $50,000, plus interest and attorneys’ fees.  See the Tribune story here.

dibiasechristaChrista Dibiase Named GM of Clark Howard Brands.  Accepting the promotion from executive producer of the Clark Howard show to general manager of Clark Howard Brands is Christa Dibiase.  Effective immediately, Dibiase will be responsible for overseeing the Clark Howard nationally-syndicated radio show, television products, and all digital products, including ClarkHoward.com and consumer apps.  In addition, she will continue to oversee the operation of The Consumer Action Center, a national service outreach that advises the public on money, financial and consumer questions via phone and internet.  CMG Atlanta VP/market manager Ben Reed says, “We know Christa was the perfect person to take on this role.  She led the radio show to become the most prominent consumer talk show in the country, and has repeatedly demonstrated her leadership abilities.  She has been a key collaborative player in our organization over the years, working with radio, digital, television, and newspaper on many successful projects.”  Dibiase comments, “I’m grateful for this opportunity to work with Clark and showcase what CMG is all about – collaborating with TV, radio, digital, and newspaper to create and distribute excellent content for our audience.  In addition, the assistance provided by the Consumer Action Center is right in line with Clark and CMG’s commitment to serving others in our communities.  I’m amazed every day by the 80-plus volunteers who give their time and energy to help others with their consumer dilemmas.”

adamsseanKVET, Austin Names Sean Adams Midday Personality.   Sports talk radio pro Sean Adams lands a daily gig on Clear Channel’s sports talker KVET-AM, Austin “Sports Talk AM 1300 The Zone” where he’ll hold down the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm show beginning August 4.  In addition to hosting “The Adams Theory,” he’ll also have a prominent role in game day broadcasts for University of Texas football. KVET-AM is the flagship station for radio play-by-play.  Adams says, “I’m really excited to join the team at ‘AM 1300 The Zone.’  To cover the Texas Longhorns, and sports in general, on the official Longhorn station — backed by the power of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment — is a tremendous opportunity.”

patrickPortlandDan Patrick Broadcasts Live from KXTG-AM, Portland.  The shot of Fox Sports Radio/DirecTV personality Dan Patrick is from the Bing Lounge in Portland where Patrick did his show live for Alpha Media affiliate KXTG-AM “750 The Game” on Friday, July 18.  In addition to the live broadcast, Patrick and The Danettes also held a listener meet and greet at Buffalo Wild Wings in Beaverton, Oregon from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm where the crew took pictures and signed autographs.  Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick says, “We were thrilled to be able to bring Dan and the Danettes to the Pacific Northwest.  They took time to genuinely connect with the listeners.  This is definitely an experience all of us will remember for a long time.”  The sports talk station recently began simulcasting on its new translator K274AR at 102.7 FM in the market.

giordanodomWPHT, Philadelphia Presents Live Event as Part of Speaker Series.  Midday talk show personality Dom Giordano will host WPHT, Philadelphia’s next speaker series event tomorrow evening as he’ll conduct a sit-down interview with former Marine Colonel Tom Manion about his book, Brothers Forever.  The interview will take place aboard the Battleship New Jersey in Camden, New Jersey.  Manion’s book details the courageous lives of his son, Marine 1st Lieutenant Travis Manion who died in the Al Anbar province of Iraq in 2007 and Travis’ former roommate U.S. Navy Seal Brendan Looney who also perished in battle.  Manion will sign copies of his book for attendees.

nbcsportsromanonealonHangin’ with the Stars in Lake Tahoe.  Pictured here is NBC Sports Radio weekend personality Brian Webber (left) with comic and television star Ray Romano (center) and SNL alum and movie and TV celeb Kevin Nealon (right) at the recent American Century Celebrity Golf Championship in Lake Tahoe.  NBC Sports Radio broadcast from the charity tournament on Thursday and Friday and throughout the weekend.

Downing of Flight 17/Russian Responsibility Question, Gaza Strip Violence, Illegal Child Immigrants Crisis, NYPD Choke Hold Death Controversy and Clinton, Inc. Book, and Tony Dungy’s Michael Sam Comments Among Top Stories Yesterday (7/21).  The continuing global controversy over the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight 17, Russia’s connection to the crash and the United States’ role in determining responsibility; the escalating violence in the Gaza Strip and Secretary of State John Kerry’s role in brokering peace; the influx of illegal child immigrants in the Southwest and the larger topic of immigration reform; the death of a New York City man who was put in a choke hold by police; the new Clinton, Inc. book; and Tony Dungy‘s comment he would not have drafted openly gay football player Michael Sam in order to avoid controversy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

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, December 6, 2013

| December 6, 2013

knew logoNEW Rosters Coming to SF Talk Outlets. In the banner story first published yesterday (see next item), TALKERS detailed Clear Channel‘s plans for significant changes involving heritage Los Angeles talker KFI and under-performing sibling KTLK-AM – which will be re-branded as “The Patriot.”  The City of Angels, however, is not the only locale where the company is mixing things up with its talk properties.  As of the first of the year, modified talent lineups will surface on a pair of Clear Channel San Francisco facilities.  Changes on “960 KNEW” will include Rush Limbaugh on from 9:00 am – 12:00 Noon, Sean Hannity 12:00 Noon – 3:00 pm, and Andy Dean from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm; Glenn Beck willkksf logo continue to air in morning drive (6:00 am – 9:00 am).  Casts from Fox News Radio will air at the top and bottom of every hour.  Down the dial five clicks to the left on “910 KKSF,” Armstrong & Getty will add an hour (6:00 am – 10:00 am); Frosty Stilwell moves to 10:00 am -1:00 pm; and Randi Rhodes (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm) segues from KNEW.  Gil Gross will remain in his afternoon drive slot (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm).  Vice president of programming Don Parker comments, “We are excited to continue to grow the live and local programming on ‘Talk 910’ with the expansion of Armstrong & Getty.  We are also thrilled to welcome the Bay Area’s leading midday talk personality, Randi Rhodes, to ‘Talk 910.’  The new lineup on ‘960 KNEW’ will be a destination for conservative listeners who follow America’s top personalities – all in one place.”  Among persons 6+ this November (PPM), KKSF-AM ranked #17 (2.1, +.1 from October’s 2.0), while KNEW finished at #31 (flat from October’s .4).

kfilogoClear Channel Los Angeles Blows Up Progressive Talk KTLK; Creates New Conservative Talker.  Progressive talk radio takes another blow as Clear Channel Media + Entertainment prepares to flip KTLK, Los Angeles to “The Patriot AM 1150” in the New Year with the following lineup: Glenn Beck, Rushktlklogo Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, PM drive TBA, and Clark Howard.  That leaves a midday hole at sister KFI (Limbaugh airs there from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon right now) as the station moves Bill Carroll to the 10:00 am limbaughrushto 1:00 pm slot leaving the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show host TBA for now.  In a statement, program director Robin Bertolucci says, “Los Angeles is one of the most dynamic radio markets in the United States and we want to present the best of talk radio from across the spectrum.  These changes are designed to give our current and future programming a home where listeners can find and enjoy their favorite talk show hosts.”  Some of the current KTLK air talent will remain with the company.  PM drive host David Cruz will still talk local issues Saturdays from 12:00 to 2:00 pm on KTLK.  Cruz will also join the KFI news team, reporting local news for the station in addition to his weekend community show.  Mo’ Kelly adds another weekend edition of his program to the KFI weekend schedule.  His show will air on both Saturday and Sunday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  The move takes Stephanie Miller, Randi Rhodes and Bill Press off the schedule.

albertcliffKOGO, San Diego PD Cliff Albert’s Status in Question.  The local radio blog SanDiegoRadio.org is reporting that sources tell it longtime KOGO, San Diego program director Cliff Albert (along with talk host Steve Yuhas) has left the building.  This has not been confirmed and Albert’s “Cliff’s Notes” commentary on the KOGO website is still active – often a dismissed staffer’s likeness and content are purged upon leaving.  Albert has been programming KOGO for the past 17 years.

murphysteveSteve Murphy to Retire from WCCO, Minneapolis.  After 33 years with the station, morning anchor and managing editor Steve Murphy is retiring from the CBS Radio news/talk station at the end of the year.  Murphy says that his wife recently retired from her nursing job and he’s ready to hang up the headphones and stay up past 7:30 in the evening.  CBS Minneapolis SVP and market manager Mick Anselmo says, “He’ll be sorely missed.  Steve is a wonderful example of a professional radio journalist with a great sense of news, a confident, soothing but direct delivery and an uncompromising work ethic that will be difficult to duplicate.”  Murphy himself made the news last month after getting mugged and beaten while on the way to work at 2:30 am.  He says that incident had no impact on his decision but rather the idea of sleeping past 2:30 am was a huge factor.

prainjimLincoln Financial Media Appoints Prain DOS in Miami.  Lincoln Financial Media announces broadcast pro and media sales consultant Jim Prain is named director of sales for the company’s Miami cluster that includes: AC WLYF, “LITE 101.5,” classic hits WMXJ, “MAGIC 102.7,” and sports talk WAXY-AM/FM “104.3 The Ticket.”  LFM Miami SVP and general manager Maureen Lesourd states, “I have had the privilege to know Jim throughout his career and find him a highly credible, accountable and strategic thinker.  His leadership will help propel our sales effort to meet the growing demands of our clientele and maximize all the on air, online and social media assets we have to offer.”  Prain’s media career includes 25-plus years of media management experience in major and large markets, including positions at companies such as ABC, ABC/Cap Cities and Cox Media.  He also invested two years as a small business owner in Detroit, where he launched a power sports company.  Prain comments, “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Maureen and LFM CEO Don Benson over the years and feel this is the perfect fit for me professionally and personally.  My passion for helping our customers, combined with the recent benefits of owning a small business, affords me a unique perspective on both sides of the marketing equation.  I’m excited to get started.”

pattiznormNorm Pattiz and PodcastOne Featured in Bloomberg Businessweek Piece.  Westwood One founder and current chairman and CEO of Courtside Entertainment Group and subsidiary PodcastOne, Norm Pattiz, is featured in a piece in Bloomberg Businessweek where he projects revenue from podcasts for his company will reach $8 million for this year.  He expects that figure to hit $15 million in 2014.  The piece includes more figures: Pattiz says his 200 programs on PodcastOne are averaging 100 million downloads per month and have attracted advertising attention from such corporations as Ford Motor, 21st Century Fox’s Fox, Walt Disney’s ABC, and Hulu.com.  Read the entire piece here.

sileodanOdds & Sods.  Sports talk host Dan Sileo – most recently with WMEN, West Palm Beach – is doing holiday fill-in work at Broadcast Company of the Americas-owned sports talker XEPRS, San Diego “Mighty 1090.”  Sileo – who’s also worked at WQAM, Miami and WDAE, Tampa, to name a few – tells TALKERS magazine he’ll be doing morning drive (6:00 am to 9:00 am) from December 23 through 31…..Former WPGB, Pittsburgh morning team Jim Quinn and Rose Tennent hosted a live broadcast in conjunction with a Toy Treasures charity event at a Pittsburgh-area hair salon this morning.  The pair signed copies of their book, Thanking Our Soldiers…..Galaxy Communications-owned classic rock duo WTKW, Bridgeport, New York and WTKV, Oswego, New York (Syracuse market) sign up with CBS Radio to be the local affiliate for New York Yankees baseball for the 2014 season.

hannityseanTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Premiere NetworksSean Hannity becomes part of KTLK, Los Angeles’ lineup in the New Year…..“Free Talk Live” with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge joins the programming lineup at WMEL, Melbourne, Florida…..Genesis Communications Network-syndicated “Freedom Feens” with Michael W. Dean and Neema Vedadi is added to the program schedule at WKVL, Knoxville and KINX-FM, Great Falls, Montana.

ObamaCare Criticism Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of December 2-6.  Criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act was again the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was the decline in support for President Obama from the Millennial generation.  Following at #3 was the Rush LimbaughPope Francis Marxism flap followed by the Iran nuclear weapons talks and the NSA cell phone location database story tied at #4.  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.  To view this week’s entire chart, click here.

Monday, January 21, 2013

| January 21, 2013

ARNNlogoAmerica’s Radio News Network Delivers Inauguration Coverage.  Anchored by ARNN’s Rachel Sutherland, the network will provide coverage of the Inauguration Day activities.  In addition to live reportssutherlandrachel throughout the morning, ARNN will cover: The oath of office for President Barack Obama, administered by Chief Justice of the United States, John G. Roberts, Jr.; The oath of office for Vice President Joseph Biden, administered by Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor; musical artists James Taylor, Kelly Clarkson, and Beyoncé. James Taylor will sing “America the Beautiful,” Kelly Clarkson will perform “My Country Tis of Thee,” and Beyoncé will sing the National Anthem; the presidential inaugural parade, which includes members from all branches of the armed forces of the United States.

kuhnerjeffWRKO, Boston Broadcasts from Inauguration Day in Washington, DC.  You’d expect to see a lot more conservative stations broadcasting from Washington, DC today if Mitt Romney had beaten Barack Obama but still, some are covering it as the news event that it is and WRKO, Boston AM drive host Jeff Kuhner is originating his show from the Nation’s Capital this morning.  Special guest commentary will include Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky at 7:15 am and conservative commentator Pat Buchanan at 8:30 am.  In addition to Kuhner’s morning program, the station will broadcast coverage of the Inauguration from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon.

cainhermanHerman Cain’s Nationally Syndicated Program Begins Today.  The succession of Herman Cain into the daily syndication slot held by Neal Boortz for so many years happens today with the Dial Global program debuting on some 80 affiliate stations.  It airs live from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.  Cain, who hosted a nightly program in Cox Media’s WSB, Atlanta before taking a leave from radio in order to run for president, says of his new show, “Buckle your seat belts, because we are in full-blast mode.  I’m excited and inspired to be a voice against ignorance and stupidity.  This is a year when Americans are confused and worried about how government will impact them personally — with taxes, with health care changes, with their jobs, and the economy.   I want to use my life experience to inform them, and to prepare them.”  Dial Global SVP and general manager of news and talk Amy Bolton says of Cain, “A true American success story, Herman Cain came from humble beginnings, had a vision, worked hard and became a successful businessman, presidential candidate and now talk radio phenomenon.  Known for his no-nonsense style and ability to connect with everyday Americans, Herman Cain promises to deliver great radio.  Dial Global is thrilled to partner with Cox Media Group and Herman as we launch the next talk radio star.”

sileodanBeasley’s WQAM, Miami Suspends Dan Sileo for Twitter Comments.  Sports talk host Dan Sileo’s attack on Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews has earned him a two-day suspension from his midday sports talk show today and tomorrow.  The incident started when Sileo criticized the sports media for not covering the Manti Te’o story the way he felt it should have been covered and singled out Erin Andrews.  After Andrews Tweeted back she’d never covered a Notre Dame game, Sileo again Tweeted, “Love Erin Andrews either naked or in a porn. Not at a sports desk.”  He apologized for that remark.  Management at WQAM is not commenting other than to confirm that Sileo will be out for two days.

cookehollandBased on How People Consume Audio Content, Radio Sorts into Two Categories:  Live and Archived.  According to radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke, it is important for programmers to be cognizant of the two basic “piles” that radio falls into when it comes to how it is utilized by listeners.  They are basically determined by the content’s time-sensitivity.  In an exclusive article, Cooke outlines the major programming elements that fall into each of these categories and offers tips on how to best position them.  To read Cooke’s piece click here.

schnitttoddSchnitt vs Bubba: Day Three.  On the third day of testimony in the defamation suit talk show host Todd Schnitt has filed against Bubba the Love Sponge (Todd Clem), much of the testimony revolved around that of Florida Statebubba Attorney Mark Ober.  He’s the state’s attorney who prosecuted Bubba the Love Sponge after his ill-fated wild boar slaying back in 2001.  The Tampa Bay Times reports Bubba had contended that Todd Schnitt’s wife Michelle, an assistant state’s attorney had conspired with Ober to bring the charges against him.  Ober denied there was any conspiracy between him and the Schnitts to prosecute in that case and said that Michelle Schnitt was fresh out of law school and not working on felony prosecutions at that time.

wgnlogoWGN, Chicago’s Parent Tribune Company Has New CEO.  Former Discovery Communications COO Peter Ligouri has been named the CEO of Tribune Company by the board of directors.  Ligouri takes over the media company that has suffered through a long and tumultuous bankruptcy.  But for those at news/talk WGN, Chicago – the company’s only radio property – the fear of being sold can be put on the back burner…for now.  In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Ligouri says he’s not “going into this job with a fire-sale sign.”  There has been speculation that there is interest in selling off the newspaper business and just focusing on television.  But Ligouri tells the Times that, though he can’t rule out that the new owners would want to sell the newspapers, the company has “unparalleled media assets, iconic brands in major markets and very talented, creative employees.”  As for the company’s Chicago properties including WGN radio, Ligouri states, “When you look at Chicago, a great radio asset in WGN radio, a great local TV station in WGN and an iconic newspaper … you know that you have great penetration in that city.  I think the opportunity is being outward focused and saying if so many of these people are coming to Tribune properties over the course of their daily lives, what can we do for them that will keep them informed and keep them with us?  Servicing the user will create a natural flow from platform to platform.”

salemcommunicationsSalem Communications Re-Brands WIND, Chicago as “AM 560 The Answer.”  The Chicago news/talk outlet WIND is being re-branded by owner Salem Communications as “AM 560 The Answer” a branding that the company’s stations in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Columbus also carry.  Salem vice president and director of spoken word formats Phil Boyce created the brand for WNYM, New York and is installing it in markets where it seems to fit.  He says WIND will still continue to reflect its Chicago personality.  “There is a unique attitude and spirit in Chicago, and we will capture it with the promos, liners, and on-air imaging.”

scprSouthern California Public Radio Employees Vote to Join SAG-AFTRA.  The almost 70 staffers at Southern California Public Radio – reporters, anchors, producers, and program hosts – have voted to join SAG-AFTRA, according to the Los Angeles Times.  SCPR is a nonprofit organization that is part of American Public Media and operates KPCC, Los Angeles; KUOR, Redlands; and KVLA, Coachella.  SAG-AFTRA issued the following statement: “We’re pleased and excited with the results of the union election at KPCC.  We are looking forward to working with the new SAG-AFTRA bargaining unit in partnership with KPCC management to negotiate a first contract.”

millerbidenStephanie Miller and the Veep.  WYD Media nationally syndicated progressive talk host Stephanie Miller (second from left) is pictured here with Vice President Joe Biden at the 2013 Green Inaugural Ball honoring President Barack Obama held yesterday evening at the Newseum in Washington, DC.  Here with Miller and Biden are “West Wing” actress Melissa Fitzgerald (left) and the Green Ball’s Shelley Cohen (r).

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

| July 17, 2012

Merlin Media Abandons News Format in New York and Chicago.  As indicated earlier today, Merlin Media held a major pair of staff meetings in New York and Chicago this morning and as speculated it was to announce a significant change in the operations of its two major properties in these markets.  According to reports, the Randy Michaels-headed company flipped WEMP, New York‘s “FM News 101.9” shortly after 10:00 am ET to “New Rock 101.9.”  Chicago’s “FM News 101.1” (WIQI) has been recast as a hot AC, “i101.”  It has been less than a year since these all news formats were launched with a tremendous amount of industry buzz – but the ratings and critical evaluations fell terribly short of expectations.

Paul Finebaum, Citadel and Former GM Bill Thomas Settle Lawsuit.  Birmingham-based sports talk host Paul Finebaum, Citadel and former WJOX, Birmingham general manager Bill Thomas have reached an amicable settlement in their claims regarding Finebaum’s employment at the station, now owned by Cumulus.  The terms are not being released but the upshot is Finebaum will work out his contract with the station that ends in January of 2013.  Whether he will negotiate to re-sign with the station beyond that or seek to join another broadcast outlet is unknown.  In a joint statement, Thomas and Finebaum say that claims were contested and the settlement in no way constitutes an admission by any party concerning the validity or invalidity of any claim, counterclaim, or defense raised in the litigation.  Further, Finebuam says, “I am particularly pleased that the claims involving Bill Thomas are resolved.  I have known Bill for many years and have valued his advice.  We both regret that we became personally entangled in what was essentially a business dispute with former management and we look forward to repairing our relationship.”  Cox Media’s crosstown sports talk outlet WZNN continues to express interest in acquiring Finebaum’s services after his deal with Cumulus runs out, as reported in the Birmingham News.  But Finebaum’s attorney, Russ Campbell, says his client will issue no comment on his future intentions.  The original legal claims included Finebaum’s contention that Thomas and Citadel coerced him into signing a contract addendum that worked against his best interests and Citadel claimed Finebaum negotiated with another party in violation of his contract.  Finebaum’s show is heard in some 30 markets in the Southeast and is also available on SiriusXM.

Courtside Entertainment Group Breaks Simone Bienne Out with Daily Features.  British psychosexual and relationship therapist Simone Bienne – a co-host on the nightly nationally syndicated “Loveline” radio show – is featured on a new twice-daily vignette called “Lovelink with Simone Bienne.”  Each evening Bienne is part of the “Loveline” show with Dr. Drew Pinsky and Mike Catherwood.  Now Courtside Entertainment offers what it calls “her unique professional insight with a distinctly female perspective through two, one-minute commentaries every weekday.”  Courtside owner Norm Pattiz says, “Simone Bienne is a bottle rocket of energy, insight and intelligence.  We are delighted to have lured her across the pond to the States and are confident American radio listeners will be as taken with her charm, wit and knowledge as we are.”

Staff Meetings at Merlin Media’s New York and Chicago Stations Scheduled for Today.  As the two all-news FMs approach their first anniversary, the word on the street is that staff meetings have been called for this morning at WEMP-FM, New York and WIQI, Chicago.  Industry watchers are aware the ratings for the two all-news stations have not budged much since their debut last August and although there is no insight into what staffers can expect to hear this morning, staff meetings like this usually indicate a major change of some sort.

Drew Anderssen Moves from KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa to WDBO-AM/FM, Orlando.  Program director Drew Anderssen, who’s been programming Cox Media’s KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa for the past 12 years, moves to the company’s Orlando cluster to take the program director role at news/talk WDBO-AM/FM beginning August 6.  Cox Media Orlando vice president and market manager Susan Larkin says, “Drew has had an incredibly successful track record leading the KRMG brand.  His talent and passion for digital innovation will be a great asset not only for WDBO but for our entire cluster.”  Anderssen replaces Steve Holbrook who left the Cox Orlando operations in June after almost 30 years with the company.

Scottie Nell Hughes Joins Cast of Politichicks.  The online media site Politichicks.TV announces SNH Media president Scottie Nell Hughes joins the staff of the “all-in-one web destination that addresses the concerns of conservatives from the women’s point of view.”  Hughes’ company handles PR for talk radio personalities Rusty Humphries, Michael Berry and Mark Skoda, among others.  Now she becomes part of the Politichicks team.  Politichicks executive producer Beverly Zaslow says, “Scottie Nell brings a valuable energy and passion to a group of dynamic women and her background in talk radio has taught her to think on her feet and not be afraid to ask hard questions.”  Hughes joins the other “politichicks” – former “Dallas” cast member Morgan Brittany, “The Young & the Restless” cast member Ann-Marie Murrell, activist Sonnie Johnson and talk radio host Dr. Gina Loudon as co-host.

John Bishop Named Co-Host on KOZN, Omaha’s “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” Show; Gary Sharp Named Station’s Sports Director.  There’s been another change in the lineup at NRG Media’s sports talk KOZN, Omaha after Matt Schick – the host recently named to replace Kevin Kugler on the show – accepted a position with ESPNU (ESPN’s college sports channel).  John Bishop, most recently program director and co-host of the morning drive show at KOZN’s sister station KLIN, Lincoln, Nebraska, will take over the co-hosting duties alongside Mike’l Severe on “Unsportsmanlike Conduct.”  Kugler had announced he would be leaving the show to take a position with the Big Ten Network and will continue to contribute to KOZN on a limited basis.  NRG Omaha operations manager Neil Nelkin says, “We hire great talent on the ZONE as it’s a station sports figures and leaders tune to.  Bishop is well known throughout sports circles in Nebraska, namely as a distinguished sportscaster with decades of experience with Husker athletics, Creighton sports and the College World Series.  Bishop more than has the credentials, experience and the chops for this role on The ZONE…now I want to keep him for a while.”  Additionally, Nelkin announces Gary Sharp returns to Nebraska to take the sports director and morning show co-host position at sister station KZOT.  Sharp most recently worked with Minnesota Twins minor league club the Ft. Myers Miracle.  Prior to that he was sports director at the Nebraska Sports Network.  He’ll co-host the KZOT morning show with Jason Peter.  He says, “I am extremely excited for the opportunity to return to radio at a great station and most importantly to return to Nebraska.  We’ve had some great success here in Fort Myers and I will miss the people and relationships I have developed in baseball.  I am sure Jason is chomping at the bit to get started and I am sure we will have some spirited sports conversations that will make great radio.”

Clear Channel Seeks WHBA for Calls for Its New Boston FM.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment will take over the operation of alternative rocker WFNX, Boston on Monday and the request of new call letters WHBA gives no clue as to what format the station will assume when the change takes place.  The Boston Globe is planning to put the alternative format online and has already hired some of the WFNX staff to run it.  Talk radio fans in Boston might like to see an FM signal for the company’s WXKS – Talk 1200 – but those calls certainly don’t seem very news/talky, do they?  Regardless, the wait is on and let the speculation continue!

Cumulus Promotes Dave Crowl, Shuffles Market Managers.  Cumulus Chicago market manager Dave Crowl adds more regional vice president duties in addition to continuing to oversee Chicago’s news/talk WLS-AM and classic hits WLS-FM but the company brings Donna Baker up from Houston to take over the market manager position in Chicago.  Cumulus RVP Chuck Bortnick steps into Houston to oversee that market and will take on additional RVP duties for the region.

TALKERS magazine Publishes Debut “Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk – The 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America.”  The editors of TALKERS magazine are pleased to announce the publishing of the first annual TALKERS Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk.  A companion to its “sister list” – the annual Talkers 250 Featuring the Heavy Hundred that ranks talk radio hosts working in the news/talk and general talk genres – the editors of TALKERS magazine, with input from industry leaders, present the debut class of this annual feature honoring the sports talk radio industry’s 100 most important hosts, duos or ensembles.  In order to create this list, the editors took into account a combination of hard and soft factors and the results are, admittedly, subjective.  Staying true to the realities of the media business, ratings and revenue are two of the major factors – some would say they are the only factors worth considering – but the editors also took into account other qualities that help create a list that is reflective of the industry’s diversity and total flavor and still give credit where credit is due.  Those qualities include:  courage, effort, impact, recognition, service, talent and uniqueness.  View the 2012 TALKERS Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk here.

A Tribute to WFAN, New York’s Mike Francesa.  The number-one ranked sports talk host on this year’s TALKERS Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk is WFAN, New York PM drive host Mike Francesa, who’s spent the past 23 years as dean of sports talk in the nation’s biggest market.  Fellow WFAN personality Richard Neer writes that Francesa’s “relentless curiosity and work ethic, along with his relationship with some of the biggest names in television broadcasting, gave him unique insight” that served as a foundation for a sterling sports media career.  Read Richard Neer’s tribute to WFAN’s Mike Francesa here.

2012 Presidential Race, Penn State Report, Hillary Clinton in Egypt, Welfare Work Requirement Issue, and Weak Retail Sales Numbers Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/16).  The 2012 presidential campaign; the Louis Freeh-led report on the Penn State-Jerry Sandusky case; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to post-election Egypt; the controversy over the Obama Administration’s relaxing of welfare work requirements; and weak retail sales figures were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

A Tribute to Mike Francesa

| July 16, 2012

By Richard Neer
WFAN, New York
Talk Show Host

NEW YORK – Mike Francesa is the number one sports talk host in the country.

Although there are nationally syndicated names that may claim to have a wider cume than Mike Francesa, Mike is the king of sports talk in the number one market in the nation.  He is appointment listening.  Love him or hate him, New Yorkers need to hear his take on major stories.  He cannot be ignored.

What does Francesa bring to the table?  His years as a researcher at CBS television were merely a prelude of what was to come.  His relentless curiosity and work ethic along with his relationship with some of the biggest names in television broadcasting gave him unique insight.  He learned to dig deep into the numbers, but he also understood that the games have a heartbeat.  They are populated by human beings – replete with all their flaws and all their glory.  Mike dreamed of someday being able to share his knowledge behind the mic instead of behind the scenes.  His opportunity came after ceaselessly lobbying the management at WFAN to give him a chance for his voice to be heard.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

| April 12, 2012

Cox Media Group Goes Hot Talk in Tampa on “The Bone.”  The rock music stops on Cox Media Group’s WHPT-FM, Tampa – The Bone – on Monday, April 23 as the company builds a hot talk station around morning drive star Bubba the Love Sponge and PM drive personality Cowhead.  Cox will add the DirecTV-produced Nick DiPaolo and Artie Lange show for late nights and is considering programs for middays and early evenings.  Cox Tampa VP/market manager Keith Lawless says, “‘The Bone’ dominates the morning and afternoon drive talk shows and has room to grow in the midday and evening classic rock shows.  Evolving this station into an all-talk station is an obvious move.  Bubba plays no music and is clearly the market’s leader in mornings.  Filling in the other dayparts with compelling talk and removing all music from the already successful Cowhead show will make ‘The Bone’ dominant with men and adults all day long.”

KNBR, San Francisco Parts Company with Ralph Barbieri After 28 Years.  Ralph Barbieri – the Razor – has been a part of sports talk on KNBR, San Francisco since 1984 but he’s been let go by Cumulus Media as the result of a “management decision,” according to the San Jose Mercury News.  Barbieri’s co-host Tom Tolbert – Mr. T – continues as solo host of the PM drive show.  Barbieri wrote for Sport magazine before joining KNBR in 1984 and became one of the pillars upon which KNBR was built.  Last fall, Barbieri revealed to the San Francisco Chronicle that he’d been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2005 and that he disclosed the diagnosis to Cumulus as the two sides began negotiating a contract renewal.  Barbieri said he believed it was only fair to Cumulus.  He also reported that CEO Lew Dickey told him the company wanted him back.  Barbieri wrote to the Mercury News stating: “…All I can say is that I’m weighing my options, which are considerable.  I’ll have more to say later on.  For now, I just want to say that I’ve seen a couple of articles that have characterized this as an amicable parting.  Well, that’s not exactly the case.  I came to work (Tuesday) morning with no idea that anything of this nature was afoot, especially since my contract does not expire until November 1.  I was immediately told that the general manager wanted to see me.  I went to his office and the program director was there as well.  I was told that I was being terminated and that April 10, was to be my last day at KNBR.”

All-News WBBM Top Biller in Chicago in 2011.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports data from BIA/Kelsey that indicates all-news has been good for CBS Radio in the Windy City.  The most recent quarterly “Investing in Radio Market Report” from BIA/Kelsey ranks the top five radio billers in Chicago and ranks WBBM – with its recent FM simulcast addition – at the top with $48 million in billing in 2011 (an increase from $42.5 million in 2010).  Hubbard Broadcasting’s AC WTMX-FM is in second place followed by Tribune’s news/talk WGN in third ($35.5 million).  Univision’s Regional Mexican WOJO-FM comes in fourth and CBS Radio’s country WUSN-FM is in fifth place.

Tribune’s WGN, Chicago Jumps on Board iHeartRadio.  Stating that the new platform provides listeners with greater access to WGN, station VP/general manager Tom Langmyer announces Tribune Company’s news/talk WGN will be heard on Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio digital platform.  “This additional platform provides even greater access to WGN, and exposes new listeners to one of America’s premier personality-based talk, news and sports stations.”  Clear Channel Digital president Brian LeKamp says, “Adding a station like WGN to iHeartRadio further delivers on our mission to be wherever our listeners are with the products and services they expect, expanding our ability to offer our users an even more diverse and exciting listening experience.  As one of the top stations in Chicago, WGN features news, information, entertainment and sports and is an excellent addition to our platform.”

Jorge Sedano Leaves Post as AM Drive Host at WAXY, Miami.  South Florida sports talk host Jorge Sedano tweets to his fans that he’s left Lincoln Financial Media’s sports talk WAXY, Miami’s morning drive show:  “After four great yrs at 790 THE TICKET I’ve decided 2 move on effective immediately.  W/ all the new projects I’m working on its just too hard 2 do it all.  I want to thank all wonderful people I worked with in my time there.  Also, thank you the audience for some great radio.  Without you guys, I wouldn’t be in this great position to make this move.  I’m looking forward to the next chapter & hoping u all come along.  Thanks again for all your support.  You have no idea what it means to me. All the best. Love JORGE.”  Chatter in the sports talk world is that Sedano, who has previously worked at Fox Sports Radio Network, is developing a show to air on the new CBS Sports Network – possibly as a lead in to Jim Rome’s new show on the cable channel.  For now, Brandon Guzio is hosting the morning show at WAXY.

Salem Communications Partners with TuneIn.  Camarillo, California-based Salem Communications is the latest broadcaster to partner with internet audio company TuneIn to broadcast its stations via the web.  Salem makes its almost 100 radio properties available to listeners everywhere via the service.  Salem Radio president David Santrella says in a statement, “Through our partnership with TuneIn, we have expanded the number of access points to our content.  We have made it easier for our current listeners to access our programming from wherever they are and have opened up our broadcasts to new audiences.  Overnight we’ve expanded our footprint in digital and have gained a suite of first-of-their-kind analysis tools from TuneIn that help us further tailor programming to our listeners everywhere.”

Arbitron CFO Richard Surratt to Leave the Company.  A press release from Arbitron headquarters in Columbia, Maryland says Richard Surratt is leaving his role at the ratings giant for personal reasons and that EVP/COO Sean Creamer will take over the CFO role when Surratt’s exit takes place in May.  Meanwhile, the company has hired Crist Kolder Associates to search for a new CFO.

2012 Presidential Race, Charges Filed Against George Zimmerman, Obama Care Status, Tepid U.S. Jobs Creation and European Economic Tensions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/11).  Mitt Romney’s apparent capturing of the GOP nomination and the 2012 presidential campaign, second degree murder charges filed against George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin, the legal status of President Obama’s Patient Accessibility and Affordable Care Act, meager job growth in the U.S. and economic tensions in the Euro zone were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Bonneville Seattle Gets Behind Fisher House Campaign.  Bonneville Seattle – which includes news/talk KIRO-FM, talk KTTH, and sports talk KIRO – is supporting a campaign to upgrade the Fisher House at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Washington.  The current house – which provides lodging for the families of American service personnel recovering from treatment after being wounded in the line of duty —  has been in use since 1992 and there is a need for a larger facility.  Bonneville VP/market manager Carl Gardner states, “Healing our wounded warriors and caring for their families is a mission all of us in the Pacific Northwest want to join.  At Bonneville, we’re excited to pull together our community of friends and bring this new Fisher House to life, to give something back to the soldiers and their families who have given us so much over these past ten years.”  Pictured here are Bonneville Seattle staffers and military personnel from the base.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

| April 10, 2012

Current TV Fires Back at Keith Olbermann.  Fledgling network Current TV is countersuing former “Countdown” host Keith Olbermann in the wake of his messy departure from the operation.  Entertainment Weekly reports the Al Gore-founded network is calling Olbermann’s $70 million suit against the network “frivolous” and “riddled with falsehoods and distortions.”  “Current seeks a determination that it is no longer obligated to pay Mr. Olbermann who, having already been paid handsomely for showing up sporadically and utterly failing to keep his end of the bargain, now seeks to be paid tens of millions more for not working at all.”  The complaint also refers to Olbermann’s April 3 appearance on “Late Night with David Letterman” during which he stated the situation was “my fault” and admitted “I screwed up.”  Current TV filed its complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Rumor Confirmed: Limbaugh to Leave WPHT, Philadelphia; Michael Smerconish to Air Live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.  Yesterday (4/9) TALKERS reported the rumor that Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh would leave longtime affiliate WPHT and be replaced by WYD Media’s Michael Smerconish live in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart.  CBS Radio is confirming that switch will take place with Premiere Networks saying Limbaugh will appear elsewhere in the market, though neither source is giving specifics on when the changes will take place.  Absent another major signal talk outlet in Philly, speculation is that Merlin Media will take new acquisition WKDN-FM, Philadelphia (licensed to Camden, New Jersey) news/talk in the near future and put Limbaugh on the station.  Meanwhile, Michael Smerconish returns to a live broadcast (he’s currently being delayed to PM drive) on WPHT, the station where he hosted a very successful AM drive program for many years.

WSCR, Chicago’s Dan McNeil Clears Air with Listeners About Absence.  Chicago sports talk host Dan McNeil told his listeners his absence from CBS Radio’s WSCR for the past six weeks was due to what he could best describe as a nervous breakdown that resulted from his ceasing to take the mood stabilizer Lamictal.  McNeil says after he stopped taking the drug he became depressed and sought treatment for depression and substance abuse.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports McNeil was open and honest with his listeners saying, “I know with you listeners I have a lot of work to do to regain your trust, as I’m doing with the most important people in my family.  And I hope you’ll give me the benefit of the doubt and give me a chance to re-earn that trust.”  McNeil co-hosts the midday show at WSCR alongside Matt Spiegel.

Sid Rosenberg to Be Off WQAM, Miami This Week.  After an arrest on Thursday of last week on DUI and driving with a suspended license charges, WQAM, Miami talk host Sid Rosenberg was on the air last Friday.  But he was not hosting his show yesterday and the Miami Sun-Sentinel reports WQAM program director Lee Feldman stating he’ll be off the air all week.  It’s unclear what Rosenberg’s status with the station is – whether he’s been suspended or is out for medical reasons – but he is not expected to return to the station this week.

CRN Digital Talk Radio Expands into the Hawkeye State.  Sunland, California-based CRN Digital Talk Radio announces it has struck a deal with Iowa Network Services to bring its six audio HD channels to cable subscribers in the state.  CRN chief executive officer and founder Michael Horn states, “We are pleased to join with Iowa Network Services and provide their customers with our top-rated and highly entertaining talk radio programming.”  Iowa Network Services is based in Des Moines and serves 57 independent telecommunications firms providing internet, data, telephone and cable television service throughout Iowa.  INS video content manager Sarah Roeder says, “INS is excited to bring CRN Digital Talk Radio to Iowa.  The diverse programming will add value to our existing content.”  CRN Digital Talk Radio states it offers more than 100 original shows along with a stellar roster of top syndicated programs hosted by radio veterans such as Lou Dobbs, Barry Farber, Dennis Prager, Cindy Laverty, Laura Ingraham, Mancow, Michael Savage and Doug Stephan among others.  “Iowa Network Services subscribers will also enjoy the popular Robert Conrad show, featuring the TV legend, as well as the Larry Manetti show, starring the former ‘Magnum P.I.’ star.”

KNST, Tucson Hosts Arizona Congressional Race Debate.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s KNST, Tucson is hosting a debate among the four Republican candidates vying for the Congressional seat vacated by former Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords earlier this year.  KNST morning host Garret Lewis will moderate the debate along with National Republican Committee member Bruce Ash.  Candidates Frank Antenori, Jesse Kelly, Martha McSally and Dave Sitton will face off in the April 17 primary to determine who will battle Democrat Ron Barber and Green Party candidate Charlie Manolakis in the June 12 special election.  The debate will take place Thursday evening at the Quail Creek Country Club and will be broadcast live on KNST and 97.1 FM.

Hubbard Broadcasting’s WFED, Washington Wins “Headliner Award” for Website.  Hubbard Broadcasting’s Federal News Radio announces it has been honored with a 2012 National Headliner award for a second place win in the category of Radio-Affiliated Website.  Federal News Radio web manager Julia Ziegler states, “What makes FederalNewsRadio.com so successful is the fact that everyone on our staff contributes to the web product – from our reporters and web staff, to our producers and anchors.  Our most innovative web projects always come from staff members bringing their individual skills, knowledge and ideas together.”  WFED, Washington program director Lisa Wolfe says, “We offer a lot of interactivity with our surveys, multi-media features, radio interviews on demand, photo slide-shows and videos.  We have improved the graphic experience with some excellent data visualization.  The goal is to push our capabilities to be in the vanguard of digital journalism.”

KQTH-FM, Tucson Morning Host Jon Justice Hospitalized for Heart SurgeryJon Justice hosts the morning drive show at Journal Broadcasting’s news/talk KQTH-FM, Tucson.  He suffered a heart attack in 2009 and explains via the station’s video blog (pictured here) from the ICU that doctors will operate on him to fix a prior valve replacement that needs repair.  Justice says doctors expect him to recover quickly and he hopes to be home from the hospital by the weekend.

Jerry Doyle Live on the Strip.  That’s Talk Radio Network star Jerry Doyle broadcasting live from the Suncoast Hotel and Casino on April 6.  Doyle and flagship station KDWN, Las Vegas co-produced the appearance which will become a monthly live broadcast at which Doyle’s fans can take part in what he calls “radio magic.”  After Doyle’s three-hour broadcast, he took questions from fans and talked about “the things they won’t let me talk about on the radio.”

 

GOP Primary Race/2012 Presidential Campaign, Tepid Jobs Report/Stock Market Activity, Status of Obama Care, Syrian Violence and Mike Wallace Passes Away Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/9).  The Republican primary race and the 2012 presidential campaign; the falling Dow on the heels of a weak jobs report; the Supreme Court’s Obama Care hearing and analysis of the law’s impact on the nation’s deficit; an increase in Syrian violence; and the death of journalist Mike Wallace were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Take Me Out to the Ballgame.  That’s Bob Kevoian of the nationally syndicated Premiere Networks Bob & Tom show at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati on Opening Day leading the fans in the traditional 7th inning stretch singing of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”  Bob & Tom produced a live remote broadcast from the Whiskey Bar in downtown Cincinnati on Opening Day.  Members of the Bob & Tom crew, including Tom Griswold and Kristi Lee, participated in the Opening Day parade in Cincinnati.  Griswold and Lee rode in affiliate Fox 92.5’s car in the parade.

Monday, April 9, 2012

| April 9, 2012

Cumulus Media Networks’ Mike Huckabee Debuts Today.  The number of affiliates set to air the Mike Huckabee show is pegged at somewhere between 175 and 200.  The eager anticipation of Huckabee’s debut would not be so intense were it not for the facts that the show airs live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET – the same time period as Premiere Networks’ Rush Limbaugh – and that the latter is recovering from the backlash and intense consumer media scrutiny that followed the Sandra Fluke controversy.  Regardless, the industry will certainly be watching how Huckabee’s Cumulus Media Networks program takes off but the consumer media appears to be salivating at the notion that Limbaugh has “competition.”  The fact, of course, is that every radio show has competition of one sort or another and Limbaugh has faced high-profile talent in his daypart in the past – most notably from Fox News Channel superstar Bill O’Reilly for a number of years.  Mike Huckabee will succeed if he hosts a compelling program that grabs listeners.  Broadcasters understand that will happen or not independent of what other talk show hosts are doing or whether they are facing a “crisis.”  As TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison told Politico in a piece published over the weekend, “This isn’t an election, it’s an industry.  There’s room for both, just like there’s room for Letterman and Leno.  Yes, every competitor hurts Limbaugh.  But Huckabee is basically just another competitor.  If he takes a little away from Limbaugh, fine.  But he also has the potential to expand the talk radio audience.”

Rumors of Major Syndication Changes in Philadelphia and New York; Smerconish to Bump Limbaugh from WPHT.  And possibly more than that…but first things first.  A very hot rumor out of Philadelphia has WYD Media-produced Michael Smerconish’s nationally syndicated program airing live 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm on CBS Radio’s news/talk WPHT– where Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh does right now.  Smerconish is currently delayed to PM drive on WPHT.  Radio-Info’s Tom Taylor wrote about the other part of this rumor in his morning blast on 4/6: Merlin Media may be planning to go talk and not all-news on WKDN-FM, Philadelphia  – its new property which is still airing Christian programming from prior owner Family Stations.  With former WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte morning drive host (and Philly native) Al Gardner hired to program and possibly host mornings at WKDN-FM and Rush Limbaugh possibly soon-to-be-available (plus Premiere’s Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck available, as Tom Taylor points out), a move to talk would be much less personnel intensive and would enjoy the ability to grab three of the biggest news/talk personalities in the business.  But there’s more…other chatter coming out of New York is that Merlin Media has been talking to Premiere Networks about bringing Rush Limbaugh to its all-newser FM News 101.9 (WEMP-FM) if Cumulus Media decides to put new national syndication rollout Mike Huckabee on WABC in Limbaugh’s place.  Then one would have to ask the question, “Would Merlin do the same with WWWN-FM, Chicago if Cumulus bumped Limbaugh in exchange for Huckabee on its news/talker WLS?”  Stay tuned.

KFAQ, Tulsa Talk Host Pat Campbell Responds to Deadly Shootings.  KFAQ, Tulsa morning drive talk host Pat Campbell tells TALKERS his program responded very quickly to a series of shootings in the city in which five citizens – all African American – were shot and three died.  Campbell says he hosted a special Saturday noontime edition of his program to address the crimes and seek the public’s assistance in capturing suspects.  He tells TALKERS,I had the mayor in the studio urging calm but more importantly, cooperation with the police.  We urged listeners that might have any information to call the Crime Stoppers Hotline and the good news is that a tip came in around 4:00 pm that led to the arrest of the suspects early Sunday morning. This is an example of talk radio at its best!  Rather than becoming a wedge like we’ve seen in the Trayvon Martin case, 1170 KFAQ brought the community together and got the bad guys off the street.”

WQAM, Miami Standing By Sports Talk Host Sid Rosenberg After DUI Arrest Last Week.  WQAM, Miami afternoon sports talk host Sid Rosenberg was back on the air on Friday after spending most of Thursday in jail following an early morning arrest on DUI and driving on a suspended license charges.  Rosenberg, who has spoken publicly about past substance abuse issues and has talked of having twice been to rehab, is being supported by his superiors at the Beasley sports talk outlet.  The Miami Herald reports WQAM program director Lee Feldman stating, for now, Rosenberg is not being suspended.  WQAM general manager Joe Bell declined to comment to the paper.

Matt Lauer to Remain with NBC’s “Today.”  The months of speculation about the future of television talk host Matt Lauer have come to an end as NBC announced Lauer has signed a multi-year contract to remain with the network’s morning news magazine program.  The buzz in the industry included rumors Lauer would rejoin Katie Couric at rival ABC.  Though Couric is set to begin a new chapter in her career at ABC with her own daytime talk show, ABC’s “Good Morning America” has been closing the ratings gap between it and “Today.”  On Lauer’s signing, NBC News president Steve Capus tells The New York Times, “Matt is the franchise, and our franchise player has decided to keep leading our team.”  The Times story notes that “Today” has been in first place in the morning news show ratings for the past 16 years.

Fox News Channel Brings Santita Jackson Aboard as Contributor.  The daughter of Rev. Jesse Jackson left Midway Broadcasting’s WVON, Chicago due to budget cuts last fall.  Now, Santita Jackson is named a contributor for Fox News Channel.  Santita Jackson is also producer of Jesse Jackson’s weekly Premiere Networks-syndicated talk show “Keep Hope Alive.”

Raubin Pierce Leaves On-Air Position with WIBW, Topeka for Management Post at Manhattan Broadcasting.  Raubin Pierce co-hosted the “On the Other Hand” talk show with co-host Megan Mosack at Morris Communications’ WIBW, Topeka and served as the company’s director of information technology.  He’s left those duties to become operations director and head of new media at Manhattan Broadcasting in Manhattan, Kansas.  The company operates four stations in the Manhattan market including news/talk KMAN.  Pierce tells the Topeka Capital-Journal, “This was just a fantastic opportunity.  There was just no way that I couldn’t do this.”

Longtime South Florida Broadcaster Patricia Anderson Dies from Cancer at 54.  Trish Anderson was well known on South Florida radio.  During her career she worked as a producer, voice-over talent, sports reporter and traffic reporter at stations including WINZ and WIOD, Miami.  Anderson battled breast and bone cancer.  She passed away on March 31.

Johnny B at Wrigley Field.  That’s WGN, Chicago morning drive host Jonathon Brandmeier (center with sunglasses) surrounded by the Chicago band The Fold at the Captain Morgan club at Wrigley Field on Opening Day.  The Fold won the station’s contest to write an original song celebrating the Chicago Cubs.  The winning song – “Let’s Go Cubbies” – is being played at the beginning of each Cubs game broadcast on WGN this season.  The band was with Brandmeier on Opening Day to perform the song live at WGN’s pre-game broadcast and live remote.

Monday, February 13, 2012

| February 13, 2012

Stephanie Miller Riding High on Radio, Live Show and Comedy Record Success.  WYD Media Management and Dial Global syndicated progressive talk radio host Stephanie Miller rolls into 2012 surfing the wave of success she began in 2011 using her popular radio show – and social media – to help promote her “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” and the recently released comedy album of the same name that’s topping the charts.  With the help of comedian pals John Fugelsang and Hal Sparks – both of whom make weekly appearances on Miller’s Los Angeles-based radio show – the “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” has been selling out shows across the country and grossed more than $1.4 million over the last 12 months.  Miller is astounded by the success of the tour and the album.  “Last spring when we performed in Madison, Wisconsin to support the recall efforts of Governor Scott Walker we had no expectations that the show would be as well received as it was, let alone set upon a nationwide tour raising money for locally focused progressive causes,” Miller says.  The resulting comedy album, released digitally, has been hugely successful.  Miller tells TALKERS, “The ‘Stephanie Miller’s Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour’ has become the first political comedy album to reach # 1 on the comedy charts for iTunes, Amazon and Billboard, and has remained on the Billboard Comedy Album charts for six weeks since its release in late-December, 2011.  The idea of progressive comedy making such a connection to people across America must be causing some serious Republican angina…at least I hope so!”  Miller, Fugelsang and Sparks continue to hit the road with the live show stopping at the Orpheum Theatre on Phoenix on February 25 and the Chicago Theatre in Chicago on March 3.

WQAM, Miami’s Sid Rosenberg Back in the News with Alleged Gambling Debt.  The Miami Herald is reporting that WQAM, Miami PM drive sports talk host Sid Rosenberg has a gambling debt of more than $44,000 he owes to an offshore gambling operation called www.1betvegas.com.  Gossip Extra columnist Jose Lambiet quotes a man named Frank Soviero who says he works for the gambling site – based in Costa Rica – and says he’s been in Miami for two months now trying to collect the debt.  Soviero tells Lambiet, “We can’t sue Sid since what we do is illegal in the United States.  I’ve tried everything.  He comes up with 100 bucks here and there, and he gives me a big hug.  It ticks me off because I talked my boss into giving Sid a few chances.  And I’ve seen [my boss] do things when he gets mad.”  Neither Rosenberg nor WQAM have commented to the paper.  Rosenberg was off the air for six weeks prior to the holidays and there was speculation then that he was being punished by the station for trying to repay a gambling debt via plugola – something Rosenberg vehemently denied to TALKERS.  Station management also did not confirm the story to local media but only said that Rosenberg was off and would return on January 2, which he did.  When asked by TALKERS to specifically clarify why he was off the air during that time, Rosenberg did not reply.  Read the Miami Herald story here.

WLW, Cincinnati’s Bill Cunningham Gets Big Network Pickup for TV Show.  Tribune Company launched “The Bill Cunningham Show” last September on a number of its O&O TV stations.  Now, Tribune announces the show is being picked up by the CW Network and will air in the 3:00 pm ET slot beginning in September.  Tribune Broadcasting president of programming and entertainment Sean Compton – one of the few remaining former Clear Channel execs brought to Tribune by Randy Michaels – tells the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter, “Since the launch of ‘The Bill Cunningham Show’ six months ago, the show has exceeded expectations and found a strong voice in the daytime talk landscape…The renewal and expansion of the show to a national platform are a testament to Bill’s staying power.”  Kiesewetter reports that Cunnigham’s TV show is more popular in New York, Chicago, Miami and Dallas than it is in his hometown of Cincinnati.  While taping the show, Cunningham does his WLW program from studios in Manhattan.

Lou Sipolt and Heather Burnside Exit WOW-FM, Des Moines After Five Weeks.  The duo moved over to the news/talk sister station from Cumulus Media Group’s classic rock KGGO-FM in January after 13 years as a duo in morning drive there.  But after just five weeks hosting the AM drive show on 98.3 WOW (KWQW-FM), Sipolt and Burnside surprised their listeners with an 8:40 am announcement on Friday, February 10 that they were leaving local radio to pursue other interests.  Sipolt does a motorsports talk show on Fox Sports Channel.  Burnside isn’t saying what she’ll do next.

Fox Business Network Drops Three Prime Time Shows; Will Replay Early Evening Programs.  The four- and a half-year-old Fox Business Network cancels the three prime time shows airing between 8:00 pm and 11:00 pm ET – “Freedom Watch,” hosted by Andrew Napolitano; “Power & Money” with host David Asman; and “Follow the Money” with Eric Bolling – and will re-air its 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm programming.  The move puts what Fox execs consider their top personalities on in prime time: “The Willis Report” with Gerri Willis; “Cavuto” with Neil Cavuto; and “Lou Dobbs Tonight” hosted by Lou Dobbs.  David Asman co-hosts the 4:00 pm “After the Bell” program and will continue in that role while Eric Bolling remains in his role on Fox News Channel co-hosting “The Five.” Fox executive vice president Kevin Magee states, “Neil Cavuto, Lou Dobbs and Gerri Willis are the most trusted names in business news, and this new lineup affords Fox Business viewers additional access to their no-nonsense take on the day’s financial events.”

Talk Show Hosts Wow 275 at American Jewish University Panel.  Approximately 275 avid talk radio fans showed up for a two-hour panel discussion held Sunday (2/12) afternoon at American Jewish University in Bel-Air, California.  Moderated by veteran Los Angeles broadcaster Bill Moran, the panel featured Bill Handel and Bill Carroll of KFI, Los Angeles; Patt Morrison of KPCC, Los Angeles and Southern California Public Broadcasting; and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.  The fast-paced discussion blended a spectrum of hot topics in the news – everything from health care to Israel/Iran tensions to social media to Whitney Houston – plus behind-the-scenes radio shop talk and ended with a spirited question and answer session with the audience.  This was the fifth annual installment of this panel, one of AJU’s most popular events in its outstanding speakers series.

Salem Radio Network and Radio America Reach News Service Deal.  A pact between Dallas-based Salem Radio Network and Washington-based Radio America is being struck that will make SRN News the exclusive top- and bottom-of-the-hour news service distributed by Radio America.  This move adds some 400 Radio America affiliates as potential carriers of SRN’s news product.  SRN president Greg Anderson states, “The potential of adding up to 400 Radio America affiliates to our roster of almost 1,300 current SRN News affiliates is very exciting for us.  We look forward to a great partnership with Radio America and their affiliates in the days ahead.”  Radio America COO Mike Paradiso comments, “SRN News is a great fit in our lineup of talk programs and will serve our 400-plus stations well in this election year.  We’re excited to be partnering with SRN on this venture.”

Blue Star Media Promotes Jon Patch to VP of Affiliate Sales.  Jon Patch has been with Blue Star Media Group’s Business TalkRadio Network and Lifestyle TalkRadio Network for the past 15 years serving in numerous capacities, most recently working in affiliate sales and hosting the 21 year-old talk radio show “Talkin’ Pets.”  Now, Blue Star ups Patch to vice president of affiliate sales for the organization.  Patch says, “I believe in working with our stations as partners and offering the best service possible since, by keeping them happy, it in turn keeps the hosts, listeners and all others involved satisfied and happy as well.”

Bonneville’s Arizona Sports Enters into Marketing Agreement with University of Phoenix.  Bonneville International’s Phoenix-based sports media initiative – Arizona Sports – agrees to a broadening of its relationship with University of Phoenix that includes the naming rights to the Arizona Sports studios.  Bonneville describes Arizona Sports as “a first-of-its-kind sports marketing and media super brand encompassing all of Bonneville Phoenix sports media properties including: Arizona Sports 620 KTAR-AM, Arizona Sports.com, Arizona Diamondbacks baseball, Arizona Cardinals football, Phoenix Suns basketball, Arizona State football and men’s basketball, ESPN radio, AIA and the Fiesta Bowl.”  Bonneville Phoenix VP of news and sports content Ryan Hatch says, “Bill Pepicello (University of Phoenix president) and his entire team have been a great partner of ours for many years.  We’re excited that – from “Mike and Mike in the Morning” to “Doug and Wolf on the drive home – all of our shows will now be broadcast from the University of Phoenix Studios.”

CBS Radio’s KNX, Los Angeles Continues “On Your Corner” Series in Culver City.  The CBS Radio Los Angeles all-news outlet will broadcast live from the Culver Hotel in Culver City on Friday, March 9 as part of its series that provides an “in-depth look at Southern California’s diverse communities.”  The day’s broadcasts will include civic and business leaders, along with colorful personalities connected to Culver City’s rich history and revitalization who will be featured guests as the city marks its 95th anniversary.  Additionally, a business mixer open to the public beginning at 5:00 pm will culminate the day’s events.  A special luncheon for invited business leaders will be hosted by Frank Mottek prior to his KNX Business Hour broadcast.

KMOX, St. Louis Holds Spring Training Correspondent Contest.  In conjunction with sponsor Lindenwood University, CBS Radio’s KMOX, St. Louis is conducting a contest to give one lucky winner a spring training correspondent position alongside sports director Tom Ackerman in Jupiter, Florida.  The winner gets an all-expenses-paid trip and will perform on-air and online Spring Training reports.  The station has been holding open auditions for the past month.  Nearly 200 people auditioned and 10 finalists have been announced.  Listeners to KMOX can vote on their favorite through February 21.

 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

| January 25, 2012

Study: More than 22 Million Americans Tuned in to NFL Championship Games.  A study by Edison Research and commissioned by Dial Global indicates 22.9 million people tuned in to either the Patriots-Ravens AFC Championship or the Giants-49ers NFC Championship game – or both – and most did it via AM or FM radio.  The data comes from a telephone poll conducted by Edison Research on Monday, January 23.  Obviously, the result is an estimate extrapolated from a sample but as a sales tool for sports on the radio – especially the red-hot NFL – could be very effective.  It’s also good news for the affiliate department as more and more sports talk outlets – not to mention other formats that carry sports as a specialty – are being convinced by these types of studies and by PPM data that play-by-play is a high-cume programming event.  The study reported that some respondents reported listening to the games via Sirius XM or the Verizon smartphone app but it indicates the bulk of listening was done via terrestrial radio.

Santita Jackson Leaves WVON, Chicago Midday Show.  According to Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder, the eldest daughter of Jesse Jackson is leaving the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon talk show at Midway Broadcasting’s WVON after more than five years.   She became a full-time talk show host after producing TV and radio shows for her father.  This was a budget issue as WVON GM Melody Spann Cooper tells Feder, “I have encouraged her to pursue a national platform, which she desires and so deserves.  It is my hope that she will rejoin us in a more visible capacity.”

Sports Talk Host Jeff Cameron Exits WNLS, Tallahassee.  PM drive sports talk host Jeff Cameron exits his role at the Clear Channel-owned sports talk outlet to “pursue other opportunities” according to the Tallahassee Democrat.  Cameron has been with the station for the past 12 years.  CC has not commented on Cameron’s exit nor has it outlined its plans to fill his shoes at the station.

Packing ‘em in in Atlanta.  Nationally syndicated money talker Dave Ramsey took his “Total Money Makeover Live” event to the Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia in the Atlanta metro on Saturday, January 21 and delivered his message to a crowd of some 8,000.  The event was in conjunction with Cox Media Group-owned affiliate WSB-AM/FM. Program director Pete Spriggs comments, “The WSB team and Atlanta saw the power of Dave Ramsey and his team. TWO sold-out events in TWO days, and thousands of listeners – and POTENTIAL listeners – who were perfectly in our target audience.  WSB is proud to have Dave Ramsey as part of our team and family!”

Passings.  Several talk and sports personalities passed away in the last few days:  Albany market talk pioneer Steve Fitz died on January 22 after a brief illness at age 84.  Fitz began his career at what was WSNY, Schenectady (currently WVKZ) and started the talk show “Party Line” in 1952.  He also worked at WGY, Albany and WQBK, Albany (currently WGDJ…..Longtime Philadelphia sportscaster Andy Musser died on January 22 at age 74 after suffering from a heart ailment.  He broadcast live coverage of numerous Philadelphia sports teams including a 26-year stint as color analyst alongside Harry Kalas for Phillies games…..Milwaukee sportscaster Jim Irwin died from kidney cancer on January 23.  Irwin covered Wisconsin sports for his entire career but is remembered most for his work as the voice of Green Bay Packers football on flagship WTMJ, Milwaukee from 1975 until 1998.

Cathy Carnegie Passes Away After Brief Illness.  The wife and business partner of radio and TV trade publisher Jim Carnegie died on January 19 while in hospice care after suffering a brain aneurysm on January 14.  She was 59.  Cathy and Jim met in 1984 while she was working for American Airlines and he was flying to Las Vegas for the NAB Show.  Less than five months later they married.  Cathy worked as vice president of the publications and helped Jim build them into what they are today.  Memorial gifts can be sent to: LifePath Hospice, 12973 North Telecom Parkway, Suite 100, Temple Terrace, FL 33637.

Romney-Gingrich Primary Battle, Obama State of the Union Speech, Paterno Funeral and Iran Nuclear Ambitions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/24).  The heated battle between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney to capture the GOP nomination, President Obama’s State of the Union Speech, the death and funeral of Joe Paterno and Iran’s nuclear ambitions were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.