Tag: "Sports Talk"

Monday, November 24, 2014

| November 24, 2014

allmanjamieKFTK-FM, St. Louis’ Jamie Allman to Debut TV News Show.  With the start of the New Year, KFTK-FM, St. Louis morning drive personality Jamie Allman will launch a television show to air on Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KDNL-TV, St. Louis “ABC 30.”  Allman and KDNL-TV are calling the new show a “non-traditional newscast” that will “be an informative, debate-driven format focusing on the topics of the day with guest commentators and a wide social media presence.  ‘The Allman Report’ will join together the power of radio and TV behind Jamie’s multiple Missouri Radio Broadcasting Awards and 15 Emmy Awards for his TV reporting.”  Jeff Allen programs Emmis news/talker KFTK-FM and he comments, “We are excited about the launch of ‘The Allman Report.’  Jamie has dominated St. Louis morning radio for years now and to extend that to TV every weeknight makes perfect sense.  ‘The Allman Report’ is going to be very different than what is currently available locally at 5:00 pm and 10:00 pm and Jamie will no doubt have the same impact on local TV that he has had on local radio.”  KDNL general manager Tom Tipton adds, “ABC St. Louis will provide its viewers a more thorough look at the stories that impact St. Louis through in-depth viewpoints from an array of newsmakers on a local, national and international scale.  No other news in St. Louis will provide the viewing public in our area this multi-platform reporting and commentary that is lacking in local news coverage.”

flight957 logoKGMZ, San Francisco Changes Morning Shows.  Off the morning drive show at Entercom’s sports talker KGMZ, San Francisco “95.7 The Game” is Chris Townsend and in are Chad Doing, Joe Fortenbaugh and former All-Pro NFL fullback Lorenzo Neal who make up the new “Flight 957” morning drive program.  Townsend will move to evenings on the station working with Zakariah on the 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm shift.  Doing comes to “95.7 The Game” from his most recent post at Alpha Media’s KXTG-AM, Portland “750 The Game” where he hosted the afternoon show.  Program director Jason Barrett comments, “We are changing the sound of Bay Area sports radio with the launch of this exciting new morning show.  Expect “Flight 957” with Chad, Joe & Lo to deliver a fresh, irreverent, and energetic spin on sports talk.  The new show is the latest example of our commitment to bringing The Game’s growing audience the best possible listening experience.”

sabowalterOnline Video Marketing: The Kinder Eggs Shocker.  Media consultant Walter Sabo writes in a piece published in TALKERS today that the “predictive indicators for online video success are completely different than predictors for all other media.”  Obviously, this is important information for anyone – be it a client buying on a video platform or a radio station using online video to promote itself – wishing to understand what makes a successful internet marketing video.  You don’t need to know what Kinder Eggs are, but if you read Sabo’s column and check out the linked video, you’ll understand that how people find video content online and what makes them want to view a video are unique to the internet and require use of that knowledge for a successful marketing campaign.  Read Walter Sabo’s column here.

Odds & Sods.  Radio programming pro Mike Oakes joins City of Dallas-owned WRR, Dallas “Classical 101.1 FM” as program director.  Oakes also currently serves as a research partner at Albright & O’Malley & Brenner.  He has held numerous prior programming positions in St. Louis, Nashville, Green Bay, and most recently, three stations in Palm Springs, California including news/talk trimulcast KNWZ/KNWQ/KNWH…..WUSF Public Media announces Tracy Mitchell joins the Tampa public radio outlet as fundraising producer.  Mitchell will be responsible for overseeing the station’s year-round, on-air fundraising and will guide communications aimed at encouraging the community to support public radio and television.

danielsReaganKMJ-AM/FM, Fresno’s Chris Daniel Wins Reagan Award.  KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno afternoon drive personality Chris Daniel (pictured here) was honored recently with the 2014 Ronald Reagan Award for his work with veterans in the local community.  The honor was bestowed at the 2014 Sunbird Conservatives Banquet.  Local veterans advocate Charlie Waters also received the award — a large bust of President Reagan.  Daniel comments, “While I felt a little uncomfortable having never served in the military, it was very nice receiving such an honor from an organization like Sunbirds.”  Daniel commented to his listeners, “At an event honoring our great military, it was wonderful to receive thanks from an organization that has been so easy to support.  It’s an amazing group of people who do a great job at everything they do.”

wbtwlnk duo logoCool Job Opportunity.  Greater Media Charlotte is looking for a senior account executive to join our team of talented sales professionals and move forward with an account list of significant business.  Represent legendary radio properties: News Talk 1110am/99.3fm WBT, flagship of the Carolina Panthers and WLNK, home of the nationally syndicated Bob and Sheri Show.  Enjoy attractive compensation plans including high commissions, a people-centric culture built on mutual respect and the desire to succeed in the marketplace.  What are we looking for in an ideal candidate?  Hold proven track record with five (5) + years in media sales; possess the drive and ability to facilitate sales process through from prospecting to final close; have the knowledge and understanding of digital landscape; ability to provide marketing solutions across multiple platforms, on air, on line and on site; exercise sharp negotiation skills; maintain integrity and pride in being a full service account executive; represent WBT and WLNK with the utmost professionalism; desire to cultivate and grow new business; drive to exceed expectations; commitment to the highest standards in customer service; independent and entrepreneurial performer; excellent verbal and written communication.  At Greater Media Charlotte, you will be surrounded by people who work hard, respect our products and each other within a fun, pleasant environment offering support and encouragement on a daily basis.  Send your resume and a cover letter to: Director of Sales Sandra Szoke at sszoke@gmclt.com and Jessica RoBards at jrobards@gmclt.com.

bernierbookfair14Annual Book Fair Broadcast.  WNDB, Daytona Beach talk show host Marc Bernier (right) is pictured here during his broadcast from the Miami BookFair International this past weekend.  This is the 10th straight year that Bernier has broadcast from the largest book fair in the nation.  Bernier was on the air both Saturday and Sunday.  He’s pictured here with Canadian children’s author Emily Madill (left) and former White House counsel John Dean, author of, The Nixon DefensePhoto courtesy of Emily Madill.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

| November 18, 2014

rosenmitchRosen Rises to OM of Chicago’s WSCR, WXRT. Ten-year WSCR “The Score” program director Mitch Rosen is boosted to operations manager of the CBS RADIO Chicago sports outlet, as well as co-owned triple A WXRT.  In a memo to the stations’ staff, CBS RADIO Chicago senior vice president and market manager Rod Zimmerman writes, “Mitch’s organizational skills, management style, and sales focus will help grow the great [WXRT] brand.”  Rosen previously programmed the Windy City’s similarly-programmed WMVP “ESPN Radio 1000″ and was Paragon Marketing Group’s vice president of broadcast representation. Norm Winer continues as WXRT program director.

kfkalogoChad Peterson Named Morning Host at KFKA, Greeley, Colorado.  Weld County Colorado native Chad Peterson is the new morning drive host at Broadcast Media LLC’s KFKA, Greeley, Colorado.  He’ll anchor the newly re-imaged “Advantage Bank’s Morning Drive” program.  Peterson says he’s excited to return to his roots, “Returning to the heritage station in the market – the one I grew up listening to – is a privilege and an honor.  I’m excited to serve the community.”

carrhowieHowie’s Back – Actually He Never Left – Carr Continues on Boston Airwaves with New Flagship and Ownership of 15-Affiliate Regional Network Set for National Expansion.  Last week TALKERS reported New England radio legend Howie Carr’s departure from his longtime radio home WRKO, Boston after two decades upon the termination of his most recent employment contract.  It was no secret that the relationship between Carr and WRKO owner, Entercom Communications, had been a stormy one with the air personality/Boston Herald columnist and prolific best-selling author likening his departure from the facility to being “sprung from prison.”  Beginning today (11/17) Carr brings his 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm daily program up the dial to WUFC 1510 AM as the evolving news/talk outlet also kicks off a return today to branding itself by its original, legendary handle, WMEX.  The station, owned by Blackstrap Broadcasting is under thewmex logo management of Kevin Wallis’s Wallis Communications which reportedly has signed a purchase and sale agreement to take over ownership of the outlet during the first quarter of 2015.  More importantly, Carr exits Entercom taking ownership and control with him of his 15 station New England regional network – the Howie Carr Radio Network (HCRN) which includes such heritage outlets iHeartMedia’s WHYN, Springfield, Saga Communications’ WGAN, Portland and WCRN, Worcester owned by Kurt Carberry who will manage affiliate relations and distribution for HCRN.  Known for succeeding on both the ratings (adults 25-54) and revenue fronts, Carr has developed a reputation for being extremely listener and affiliate-friendly in terms of live appearances, sales promotions and production services – qualities he says he intends to keep intact as he expands the scope of the network to a larger segment of the Northeast and ultimately across the nation.  On joining the new 1510 AM outlet, Carr tells TALKERS, “It’s a real pleasure to finally be working again with people who are truly committed to radio, and to the talk format in particular.  Boston remains a great market for talk radio, and WMEX is where it all began, with Jerry Williams talking to James Michael Curley, Malcolm X and so many others.  It’s also the station where I started, in 1980, occasionally hosting the Herald Bulldog Edition.  I know the new WMEX is going to be a great success for all concerned.”  The heritage WMEX calls in Boston go back to 1934 (first at 1500 AM, then 1470 AM before taking up 1510 AM in 1941) and the station was home to many radio greats over the years including Arnie “Woo Woo” Ginsburg.  In addition to Carr, the new incarnation of WMEX includes such national personalities in its line-up as Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Dennis Miller, and Alex Jones as well as local shows including the daily “Morning Meeting” provided by Boston Herald Radio.  Sales and marketing for the Howie Carr Show and HCRN are being handled by the company’s vice president Kathy Carr who can be emailed at Kathy@howiecarrshow.com.

sullivangarySullivan Honored by Habitat for Humanity of Ohio. At its annual conference, Habitat for Humanity of Ohio last week awarded the 2014 Volunteer of the Year award to the 13-year host of Premiere Networks’ “At Home With Gary Sullivan” program.  Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati president and chief executive officer Ed Lee notes, “Gary Sullivan is always willing/eager to share/leverage his knowledge and contacts to help expand the reach of Habitat for Humanity in the Greater Cincinnati region.  He has truly made a difference in our community and helped transform lives through decent, affordable home ownership.  The Habitat mission is brought to life by our volunteers – none do it better than Gary.”  Sullivan remarks that he is “embarrassed and humbled by this award, but proud to accept it on behalf of all the hard working Habitat volunteers.”  His Saturday and Sunday Premiere Networks radio show is heard in 240 markets.  In addition to being a longtime Habitat volunteer, Sullivan is a board member and serves on the “executive” and “development” committees. He has been active in the non-profit Christian housing ministry for over 20 years.  He created/hosted “The Hardware Store,” which aired on HGTV for four years in the mid-1990s.

ghazaljonathanSales Management Moves at Greater Media Detroit. At the Detroit station group, Greater Media announces Patti Taylor is promoted to general sales manager of classic rock WCSX and rock WRIF.  At the same time, Jonathan Ghazal is named sales manager for WMGC “Detroit Sports 105.1.”  Taylor has been serving as GSM for WCSX since February of 2013.  Ghazal joined Greater Media Detroit as an account executive in October of 2012.  Ghazal takes over for Cindy Senkbeil who remains with the WCSX sales team.  She’d been sales manager of WMGC since November of last year.

Odds & Sods.  Small business expert Jim Blasingame celebrates his 17th year on air hosting “The Small Business Advocate.”  The show began as a two-hour daily program on November 17, 1997…..WGN, Chicago promotes Scott Miller to supervising producer.  Miller is the executive producer of the Pete McMurray show.  His new duties will mean he hasblasingamejim oversight of the booking for all of the Tribune radio shows…..The price tag on Hubbard Radio’s purchase of Omni Broadcasting’s 16 Minnesota stations is $8 million dollars.  The deal, announced last week, must pass FCC muster…..CBS RADIO Pittsburgh is the media sponsor of the 16th Santa Spectacular taking place at Point State Park this Friday (11/21).  The CBS RADIO Pittsburgh stations – including news/talk KDKA-AM and sports talk KDKA-FM – are helping to present the afternoon’s activities that culminate in the lighting of Duquesne Light Tree and fireworks-to-music finale.

knxonyourcornerKNX, Los Angeles Continues ‘On Your Corner’ Series with Holiday Charity Component. The “KNX On Your Corner” on CBS RADIO’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles continues in December as the station profiles Cerritos on the 12th from Mimi’s Café .  Dick Helton and Vicky Moore will anchor the live broadcast from 5:00 am to 9:00 am, Frank Mottek will host the “KNX Business Hour” from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm and Jim Thornton and Diane Thompson will anchor the news from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Listeners can participate on Twitter and Facebook using #KNX OnYourCorner.  Mimi’s Cafe will also serve as a drop-off point for KNX’s annual “CHiPs For Kids” holiday toy drive in conjunction with CBS 2 and KCAL 9. New, unwrapped toys will be collected for distribution locally to less fortunate children by the California Highway Patrol.

freeebookBackbone Networks Offering TALKERS Readers Free eBook, “16 Tickets to Starting a Talk Radio Station.”   Boston-based, digital radio tech firm Backbone Networks – the state-of-the-art broadcasting solutions company that played an important role in the successful launch of TalkersRadio, has published an eBook designed to show talk broadcasters aspiring to set up their own internet talk stations the key steps to take in order to make it happen.  According to Backbone president Richard Cerny, “Every successful radio personality can now easily afford his/her own 24/7 station.”  Cerny tells TALKERS, “The future of radio is bright but targeting a single distribution medium to reach listeners has many challenges.  The future is an integrated view of your listeners.  One that encompasses AM, FM, satellite and the internet.  The barriers to entry for starting a digital station have been lowered, especially compared to the cost of running a traditional terrestrial radio station.  The difference between surviving and thriving depends on your station as a platform, your programming and the fan base you build and maintain.”  The newly published eBook is available at no cost to TALKERS readers.  To obtain a copy, please click here.

Ferguson Tensions, Latest Hostage Execution/Battle Against ISIS, Net Neutrality, GOP vs ObamaCare, 2016 Presidential Prospects, and DEA Raids NFL Teams Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/17).  A state of emergency is declared in Missouri as the decision by the grand jury whether to indict officer Darren Wilson is awaited; the execution of aid worker Peter Kassig over the weekend and the ongoing battle against ISIS in Iraq and Syria; the controversy over net neutrality and the Obama Administration’s support of it; talk of the GOP’s plans to take on the Affordable Care Act; the potential candidates for president in 2016; and the weekend raid of three visiting NFL teams by the Drug Enforcement Agency were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

| October 16, 2014

westwood one NEWWestwood One to Cease Production of NBC News Radio. Affiliates received the word yesterday (Wednesday, 10/15) by way of a note from senior vice president of affiliate sales Dennis Green that NBC News Radio newscasts and other programming will no longer be produced/distributed by Westwood One.  As a substitute, Westwood One will soon provide its own CNN-powered branded news network.  Green writes that Westwood One News will offer stations “enhanced programming, correspondent reports and news features.  Westwood One News is designed to help stations integrate their local branding into newscasts with greater flexibility, including selecting one- to five-minute newscasts based on need and preference.” Westwood One will halt production/distribution of the NBC News Radio network as of 12:00 midnight (ET) Monday, December 15.

merrillchrisChris Merrill Moves to iHeartMedia’s KFYI, Phoenix.  It turns out that Chris Merrill – most recently morning drive host at iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego – will not be banished to the evening slot there but will move to the company’s KFYI, Phoenix to take over the afternoon drive show being vacated by Mike Broomhead, who moves to mornings.  KOGO shifted to a newsier show format for its morning and afternoon drive dayparts and had slated Merrill to host the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm show.  But with Barry Young retiring from KFYI and Broomhead taking over his mid-morning slot, an opening on the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm show was created that Merrill will fill beginning November 10.  KFYI program director Neil Larrimore states, “We are beyond thrilled to bring Chris into town!  He is an up-and-coming superstar who understands the evolution of talk radio.  With Chris joining the team, KFYI is perfectly positioned for much success in 2015 and beyond.”

salisburyseanSean Salisbury Gets More Air Time in Houston.  According to a report by the Houston Chronicle’s David Barron, Sean Salisbury will replace Chronicle columnist Jerome Solomon on the KFNC, Houston “ESPN Houston 97.5” 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm program alongside station sports director Dave Tepper.  Salisbury also co-hosts the Yahoo! Sports Radio afternoon show with John Granato heard on KGOW in the market.  Solomon is leaving the radio show to focus on his news duties.

frantzbobBob Frantz Lands at Toledo Sports Talker.  After being ousted in July from iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTAM, Cleveland where he hosted the evening show, Bob Frantz finds a radio home at Cumulus Media’s sports talk WLQR, Toledo “106.5 The Ticket” on the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm show.  WLQR recently parted company with Norm Wamer who held down that daypart.  According to a story in the Toledo Blade, Frantz will broadcast from his home in Northeast Ohio as well as from the station’s Toledo studios.  The paper quotes Cumulus RVP and market manager Andy Stuart saying the program will be “a Northwest Ohio sports talk show” that will also cover Detroit, Cleveland and South Bend sports.

wtoplogoWTOP, Washington to Present Live Ebola Program from Newseum.  Washington all-news outlet WTOP is presenting a special town hall program on Monday, October 20 at 10:00 am live from the Knight TV Studio at the Newseum in DC.  The Hubbard station says it will examine the threat of Ebola in the U.S. and beyond.  The program will be hosted by WTOP anchors Bruce Alan and Debra Feinstein and will feature expert guests Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Jesse Goodman, professor of Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center and active infectious diseases clinician at the Washington DC VA Medical Center and Walter Reed Medical Center.  The station also extended an invitation to the Centers for Disease Control to join the panel.  WTOP program director Laurie Cantillo says, “WTOP is pleased to facilitate an in-depth discussion on this important subject.  The town hall format gives everyone a chance to ask questions directly of two preeminent physicians on the forefront of the battle against this deadly disease.”  The Knight TV Studio will seat 150 people for this broadcast.

salemcommunicationsPerez Appointed VP/GM of Salem Miami.  At the Salem Communications Miami cluster, Felix Perez is tapped to be vice president and general manager.  Perez – who has nearly 23 years of experience in Spanish media – was most recently vice president and general manager of Univision New York.  Salem radio division senior vice president Allen Power comments, “We are excited about having Felix at the helm in Miami.  His years of leadership in media; his focus in Spanish radio; and his track record for exploiting new opportunities and solving problems make him uniquely qualified for this role.”  Perez remarks, “Salem’s values and mission are a great match for my own personal business philosophy.  The company’s record of delivering for all of its constituencies while holding true to its mission makes it unique.”  Salem’s Miami cluster consists of Christian talk WHIM “The Answer”; Spanish Christian talk WKAT “Radio Luz”; Spanish variety WOCN “La Nueva”; and business talk WZAB “The Biz.”

word logoCool Job Opportunity.  Incredible talk show talent needed.  WORD 106.3, the news/talk leader in Greenville, SC, has a rare and immediate opening for an exceptional talk show personality.  The ideal candidate will be an excellent communicator able to connect with the conservative values of our on-air and social media audiences and will have the skills and desire to become a trusted talent that WORD 106.3 listeners can depend on for local, state and national topics.  You will have a team of like-minded professionals, with on-air skills.  You will work in a fast-paced, challenging environment and you will have unbridled desire to dominate your time slot and make your brand iconic in the 59th largest market.  You’ll work at the largest cluster in the State of South Carolina for Entercom, the best broadcaster in the radio space.  You’ll live in beautiful Greenville, South Carolina and have the support and tools you need to be successful and create a powerful local brand.  Is this you?  You have experience preparing and executing an interactive, engaging, successful talk show.  You are a master of creativity, imagination and professional judgment in writing, producing, interviewing and creating content.  You are wired to what’s important to your audience and know how to deliver it to your audience on air and with social media.  Required Experience: A demonstrated track record of on-air success that will translate to success at WORD 106.3.  Please submit your resume to greenvillejobs@entercom.com.  Entercom Greenville is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Ebola Pandemic Threat/CDC Criticism, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Prospects, Financial Markets Activity/Falling Oil Prices, Battle Against ISIS, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/15).  The threat of an Ebola pandemic, criticism of the Obama Administration’s and CDC’s handling of the matter and concerns over the lack of travel bans from countries with Ebola outbreaks; the looming mid-term elections and talk about the prospects for the 2016 presidential race; the tumultuous global financial markets and falling oil prices; the battle against ISIS, and the two MLB championship series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

| October 14, 2014

bridgeratings logoNews/Talk Radio and the Oversaturated News Cycle – Study Reveals Listener Fatigue.  Highly respected media research firm Bridge Ratings has been annually monitoring the consumption patterns of news/talk radio and has just released its latest findings which shed light on the perceived softening of listenership to this format that remains one of the most popular broadcast radio formats among Americans.  The study, which analyzed perceptions and behavior from a national news/talk listener panel, uncovered a significant level of listener FATIGUE – not only with the format but with news coverage; more specifically, talk radio topics related to politics and the frequency with which they air.  To read the entire report on the study and how a general national news coverage malaise has affected American radio listening, please click here.

kogo-am logoKOGO, San Diego Gets Newsier.  The programming at iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego was tweaked on Monday to reflect its “commitment to news programming,” according to program director Brian Long.  To accomplish that, the station shuffles some of the talk shows to different dayparts and moves talent accordingly.  LaDona Harvey leaves her midday talk show and is paired up with Ted Garcia to host “San Diego’s Morning News.”  Moving out of morning drive is Chris Merrill who is now heard from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  In afternoon drive, Bob “Sully” Sullivan vacates that daypart and is now heard from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and Ernie Brown and Marilyn Hyder are hosting “KOGO’s Afternoon News.”  Premiere’s Rush Limbaugh remains in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.  Finally, former longtime program director Cliff Albert is back at the station hosting the 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm “KOGO’s News at Noon” program.  Brian Long comments, “We have assembled a fantastic lineup that will keep our audience informed on-air, online and through social media platforms.”

tantarosandreaTantaros and Talk Radio Network Settle.  The terms of the settlement will remain confidential as they almost always do in cases such as these, but a US District Court in New Jersey has dismissed the suit brought by Fox News Channel personality Andrea Tantaros against Talk Radio Network with prejudice after the two sides settled the matter.  Tantaros had claimed in her suit that Talk Radio Network had breached its contract with her and that it had misrepresented its operations – including its ability to market her radio talk show – and that it had neglected to make her aware of its suit against ad rep firms working with it when it wooed her to begin hosting a nationally syndicated program.  Tantaros is a host of “The Five” on Fox News Channel.

hancockjohnWBT, Charlotte’s John Hancock Videos Bold Look at Legal Pot.  The experience of WBT, Charlotte talk show host John Hancock buying weed at a legal marijuana shop in Colorado while on vacation has been chronicled on video and the Greater Media news/talk outlet posted the video on its site here.  TALKERS asked Hancock, who does a tremendous job walking the viewer through the process of buying legal pot and asking questions of the proprietor in the video, how his decidedly conservative audience has responded to his posting a video of himself buying marijuana to consume.  He says, “My older demo is either ‘disappointed’ in me, or vowing to quit listening.  The majority seem intrigued by the process of buying weed legally.  Many wonder how I enjoyed ‘experimenting’ again!  Bill Clinton may have never inhaled, I still haven’t exhaled…”  Hancock laughs when he tells TALKERS that a listener called in to say, “Can’t wait for the video of your trip to Nevada,” joking about exploring legal prostitution!

missanellimikeOdds & Sods.  At the Toledo operations of Cumulus Media, Norm Wamer exits his positions as host of “The Front Row with Norm Wamer” heard on sports talker WLQR-FM, and as program director for sister news/talk WLQR-AM, the latter a post he’d held for the past 14 years…..WPEN-FM, Philadelphia host Mike Missanelli is catching flak from the media, football fans and more after his Tweet following the season-ending knee injury of Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz.  Missanelli Tweeted, “Hey Giants Fans: Victor Cruz is over.  Dance to that.”  Missanellli removed the Tweet minutes later and apologized claiming he thought Cruz just dropped the ball and that he was unaware Cruz was injured on the play.

U.S. Ebola Cases/Pandemic Threat, Battle Against ISIS, Financial Markets Activity, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Prospects, Oregon ‘First Fiancee’ Scandal, NFL and MLB Playoffs Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/13).  The heightened concern over the CDC’s and U.S. hospitals’ ability to combat Ebola in America; the battle against ISIS and the Obama Administration’s ability to build a coalition of nations in the region to fight the organization; the dipping U.S. stock market and the state of the global financial markets; the looming mid-term elections tied with the prospects for the 2016 presidential race; the scandal plaguing Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and his fiancée; and the weekend’s NFL and MLB playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, September 26, 2014

| September 26, 2014

spriggspeteCox Promotes Spriggs and Anderssen.  Longtime Cox Media Group talk radio programmers Pete Spriggs and Drew Anderssen both receive promotions.  In Atlanta, Spriggs, who serves as director of branding and programming for heritage news/talker WSB (WSBB-FM “News 95-5” and WSB-AM), is now news/talk/sports radio format leader.  At the same time, the company announces that WDBO, Orlandoanderssendrew director of branding and programming Drew Anderssen becomes the company’s news/talk/sports format coordinator.  These appointments mean the two, in addition to maintaining their current roles, will work with CMG VP of radio programming Steve Smith and the local PDs of the company’s talk and sports stations.  Those include: news talk WXKT and WGAU and sports WRFC-AM in Athens, Georgia; news/talk WHIO-AM/FM, Dayton; news/talk WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville; sports KONO-AM, San Antonio; and news/talk KRMG, Tulsa.  CMG EVP of Radio Kim Guthrie comments, “Pete and Drew are two of our most talented directors of branding and programming and we’re thrilled they will share their skills with the rest of our team.  Their natural instincts will help all of our Cox Media Group news/talk/sports stations across the country continue to grow and flourish.”

wepn logo‘ESPN Radio’ New York Makes Lineup Adjustments; Lupica Show Adds an Hour.  The ESPN O&O in New York tweaks its programming schedule in several ways, effective Monday September 29.  The moves come about a month after the company shifted the role of Stephen A. Smith, taking him off the WEPN midday show.  The changes include an expanded two-hour show hosted by Mike Lupica airing from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  Ryan Ruocco – who co-hosted with Smith – partners up with Dave Rothenberg for a one-hour show airing at 12:00 noon.  Ruocco also will join the PM drive Michael Kay show where he becomes a contributor.  In the evenings, Alan Hahn and former Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro are the permanent hosts of the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm program.  Additionally, Bill Daughtry’s role with ESPN grows as his Saturday morning show on WEPN is now heard from 8:00 am to 12:00 noon.  He’ll continue to host New York Knicks broadcasts as well as provide daily “SportsCenter” updates from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daily.  “ESPN Radio NY 98.7FM” program director Justin Craig comments, “These changes strengthen an already powerful personality driven lineup on 98.7FM.  Two hours of Mike Lupica’s passion and opinions, additional opportunities for Bill Daughtry, Ryan Ruocco and Dave Rothenberg, and the new team of Alan Hahn and Rick DiPietro, whose chemistry was evident from day one, reinforce our commitment to serve sport fans.”

ryanmickeyMickey Ryan Named to PM Drive Show at WGFX-FM, Nashville.  The afternoon drive sports talk show 3HL heard in Cumulus Media’s WGFX-FM, Nashville “104-5 The Zone” adds Mickey Ryan to the cast that includes Brent Dougherty and Blaine Bishop.  Station program director Brad Willis notes that Dougherty and Bishop have been part of 3HL since it launched in January of 2010 in the midday slot.  The show moved to the PM drive daypart on October of 2011.  Prior to the launch of 3HL, Ryan had worked with Dougherty on the station’s evening show.  Willis says, “Mickey was a great part of our team five years ago, and life took him to Arkansas.  During his time there, he hosted his own radio show and became the assistant athletics director for Arkansas State University.  We are excited to have Mickey as part of our radio family again, and are looking forward to having him on air with Brent and Blaine on 3HL.”

proftdanWLS-AM, Chicago Morning Host Dan Proft to Support GOP Candidates Via PAC.  In addition to his position as morning drive co-host on Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago, Dan Proft heads up the conservative political action committee Liberty Principles PAC.  According to a story in the Chicago Daily Herald, Proft will spend some $2 million before the November elections in an effort to get Republicans elected to state offices.  In the piece, Proft cites the vast majority that Democrats enjoy in the Illinois House as a reason to get more Republicans elected.  He says, “We think that there needs to be more balance in state government.”  Read the whole story here.

butlernathanNathan Butler Joins Clear Channel Satellite.  Named the new director of operations for Clear Channel Satellite is Nathan Butler.  The company says Butler has served in the radio broadcasting, engineering and technology field for years.  His background includes director of operations at Kentucky News Network and Total Traffic Network.  His expertise includes working with the X-Digital System, radio broadcasting, radio programming, social networking, broadcast journalism, radio producing and digital media.

U.S. ISIS Policy/Syria Strikes Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of September 22-26.  The air strikes on ISIS targets in Syria and the U.S. military policy combating ISIS was the most talked about story on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was the negotiations with Iran over cooperation against ISIS and the country’s nuclear program.  Following at #3 was the number of new terror plots uncovered and at #4 was the NFL domestic violence cases and the suspension of Bill Simmons by ESPN.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Friday, September 19, 2014

| September 19, 2014

kfwb sportsKFWB Ready to Unleash “The Beast 980.” Los Angeles talker KFWB officially plugs in all the components to transition to all-sports “The Beast 980″ next Monday (9/22).  Weekday mornings (5:30 am – 9:00 am) will be kick-started by a locally originated program headed by noted Fox and ESPN talent Jeanne Zelasko, and former NBA, UCLA player Marques Johnson.  Having worked at San Diego’s XETRA “XTRA Sports,” the talented Zelasko is no stranger to doing Southern California sports radio.  “The Jim Rome Show” (Rome is also an XTRA alum) airs from Orange County (9:00 am – 12:00 noon), followed by a three-hour show (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm) local show fronted by longtime KNBC-TV, Los Angeles (Channel 4) sports anchor Fred Roggin.  Brett Winterble (SiriusXM) and former Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants tight end George Wrighster take over from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm; “L.A. Sports Today” follows between 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. CBS Sports Radio‘s Doug Gottlieb will air from 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm. In addition to being the flagship of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, “The Beast” will carry Sunday, Monday, and Thursday NFL games; NCAA football and basketball play-by-play; and a weekly overview of USC athletics.

rosejoeOdds & Sods.  WQAM, Miami morning drive personality Joe Rose is giving up his “other” gig as sports anchor at NBC affiliate WTVJ, Miami.  In a press statement, Rose comments, “It’s time for me to slow downmarottarich and get a decent night’s sleep!  It’s been a fun ride and I’ve been able to cover a lot of major sporting events that I never could have if it wasn’t for NBC 6.”…..KFI, Los Angeles morning sports anchor Rich Marotta is leaving KFI and the radio business.  Marotta, who appears on the Bill Handel show, is a well-known Southern California sports voice, who’s also done radio play-by-play broadcasts for pro teams including the NBA’s Clippers, the NHL’s Kings and the NFL’s Raiders.

johnsonpattiReach Media Adds Patti Johnson to NY Sales Staff.  This is a return to REACH Media Inc. for Patti Johnson who most recently served as local sales manager for iHeartMedia in Chicago.  Prior to that, Johnson served for almost three years as an account executive in the Chicago offices of REACH Media.  Her new gig begins Monday (9/22) as she works from the New York office of REACH as account manager, Eastern sales.  She also previously worked for Interep Radio Sales in Chicago and St Louis in various sales positions.

crninternational logoCRN International Study Draws Eye-Opening Conclusions About Radio Ads.  The results of CRN International’s research poll of 525 consumers and the resultant white paper shines a spotlight on the traditional methods of advertising on radio, how consumers perceive those efforts and what might be done to make radio a more effective advertising vehicle.  When it comes to influencing a purchase decision, the study — conducted and released by the Connecticut-based, national ad agency that specializes in radio — indicates that 41% of survey respondents said that custom content – defined as useful or entertaining information provided by a sponsor – would be the messaging form most likely to increase their purchase decision.  Testimonials from everyday consumers like themselves came in second as a purchasing influencer at 20%, with traditional commercials finishing third at 18%.  A red flag for radio is that more than 80% of the respondents confirmed that they pay little attention to radio spot commercials.  Those ads, they said, have little chance of influencing a buying decision, according to the study.  Perhaps more alarming for radio operators is the results seemed to fly in the face of previous studies that most radio listeners stay tuned in through entire lengthy commercial stop sets.  In the CRN research, 67% of the consumers said they don’t make it past the second advertisement during a commercial break.  However, positive signs from the study include some of the following conclusions: Regarding endorsements from their favorite radio DJ personalities, 28% said that tactic would have a positive impact on their chances of considering or buying the sponsor’s product; Regarding endorsements from everyday people like themselves, 42% said that tactic would increase their chances of considering or buying the sponsor’s product; 23% of the respondents said meeting radio personalities at a live, local radio station appearance would be of interest to them; 52% said they would be interested in participating in a contest or sweepstakes heard on the radio; Almost 60% said they would be very or somewhat receptive to considering or buying the product of a contest or sweepstakes sponsor.  To see the CRN International white paper, click here.

americaweekendlogo‘America Weekend’ Airs on WNJE, Trenton.  Becoming a part of Connoisseur Media-owned religious formatted Trenton, New Jersey outlet WNJE’s programming is “America Weekend.”  The Envision Networks-syndicated weekend news/talk program is described by the syndicator as a show “designed to be a break from the usual brokered programming and political fare of most news/talk stations, ‘America Weekend’ covers the lighter side of news and lifestyle issues facing today’s on-the-go talk listeners.”  The program offers over 12 hours of new programming each weekend from the lineup of hosts that includes: Ed Kalegi, Mike Bennett, Valerie Smaldone, Leslie Gold, Smith and Sabatino, Animal Radio, and “Into Tomorrow” with Dave Graveline.

siriusWhartonOfficial Opening.  The new SiriusXM studios at the Wharton School on the campus of Penn are official opened by Geoffrey Garrett, newly appointed Dean of the Wharton School (left), and Scott Greenstein, president and chief content officer, SiriusXM (right).  The ceremony for the official ribbon cutting for SiriusXM’s studio for Business Radio powered by the Wharton School took place on September 18.

The NFL and Domestic Violence Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 15-19.  The intense controversy over recent domestic violence cases involving NFL players was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio, landing atop the Talkers TenTM for the week of September 15.  Coming in at #2 was the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS.  At #3 was the new domestic terror threats tied with the foiled Australian plot followed by Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions and the GOP hopefuls 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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

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.

Monday, August 25, 2014

| August 25, 2014

napaquakemapLocal Radio Responds to Napa Earthquake. The most severe earthquake to hit Northern California in 25 years registered a 6.0 and was centered in Napa, California on Sunday morning. Local media responded and – although knocked off the air for about 30 minutes — Wine Country Broadcasting’s news/talk KVON, Napa (and sister hot AC KVYN, St. Helena) did return to the air to serve the region. Farther south in San Francisco, sources tell TALKERS magazine that local television went wall-to-wall with its coverage. As for radio, KSFO weekend personality Ethanbearmanethan3 Bearman says that competition KCBS-AM covered it “like a quality news network” while sister news/talk KGO covered the event and took calls until San Francisco 49ers football began. Bearman says, “I had my producer, Leigh Wolf, toss aside what we had planned. We started the show interviewing a rep from PG&E about power and gas in Napa, took a couple of callers, then interviewed Ross Stein, a geophysicist from the USGS about earthquakes and this one in particular. We had more callers sharing stories, then an interview with CHP officer Daniel Hill about safety and road closures, followed by more callers sharing stories. We also interviewed Yountville councillor Richard Hall about the damage in his town up the road from Napa, then many more callers.” Bearman tells TALKERS that what KSFO was able to do was use its two-way nature to do what TV couldn’t. “TV doesn’t provide more than a 10-minute loop. Straight news on KCBS-AM is just talking to the listener while we provided that human contact, that outlet of expression, that connection with others. It was really powerful and received a lot of positive feedback.”

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theblaze logoBeck’s TheBlaze Negotiated with CNN for HLN Partnership.  But, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal by Keach Hagey, the two sides could not come to an agreement on terms.  Hagey’s report states that CNN executives recently held talks with agents from Glenn Beck‘s TheBlaze about a partnership that would change the programming on the struggling HLN channel that would have seen TheBlaze content replace the current shows on HLN.  It’s being reported that CNN is in talks with Vice Media about a similar partnership.  The WSJ reports that HLN’s total viewership has declined 22% for the season to date, and dipped 19% in the 18 to 49 demo, based on Nielsen numbers.

kfwbKFWB Accelerates Talk-to Sports Transition. Los Angeles talker KFWB was expected to conduct its transition to all-sports early next month; however, this past Sunday at midnight, CBS Sports Radio Network programming took over the 980 AM dial position.  Word quickly spread and there was plenty of activity/reaction on social media.  Included in the commentary are two classy postings from people who have worked at KFWB.  On-air talent Lisa Osborne writes on her Facebook page: “It is KFWB’s last weekday as a news/talk station – format flip next week to all sports.  Tune in if you can today to this heritage news station.  If you grew up in LA, you can sing the jingle – that is what everyone does when they find out I work here.  I’ve worked with some real pros here including: Penny Griego, Phil Hulett, Bret Lewis, Rhonda Kramer, Ken Jeffries, Elaine Perkins, Bill Nesbitt, Paul Lowe, Michael Shappee, Maggie McKay, Philip Luther Nash, Michael Knight, Russ Spears, Donna Page, Andy Ludlum, Joe Guimond, Cyndee Maxwell, and plenty more.  Iconic Los Angeles traffic reporter Kramer comments, that she was “only 26 years old” when she began reporting traffic on the station.  “It has always been home and I have worked with some of the most talented individuals in the news broadcast business.  It has been an honor to work with pros like Dan Avey, Charlie Brailer, Don Hurbert, Bob Howard, John Brooks Jack Popejoy, Judy Ford, Andy Ludlum, and most recently, Maggie McKay, Michael Shappee, Lisa Osborne, Penny Griego and Phil Hulett. Working here has been extremely rewarding, affording me the opportunity to win 18 Golden Mikes.  I am proud of my work on KFWB and have made friends here who will be in my life forever.  I wish nothing but the best for the new sports format.  Thanks KFWB for the wonderful memories.  You will always be a part of me.”  Quite a few industry personnel who did not work at the station were partisans.  “I was your biggest fan,” New Normal entrepreneur/talk host Tom Leykis writes.kfwbfinalcast  “Seriously. I grew up in New York listening to ’1010 WINS.’  When I came to live in LA in the 1980s, KFWB, clearly modeled after WINS, became my new best friend…As a lifelong radio guy, I wanted to let you all know that, for me, you all were the best.”  On one hand, advanced timing of the format flip is a bit of a surprise, yet on the other, there is considerable logic to it.  The station has already secured a program director – Owen Murphy (from Seattle) – and it has cleared CBS Sports Radio programming.  That lineup includes a well-known local quantity, Jim Rome, who will be heard 9:00 am – 12:00 noon.  One more major piece to be added though is a locally originated morning show, which will likely debut in two weeks (Monday, 9/8).  A format change was practically inevitable, as the station’s 6+ PPM shares thus far in calendar year 2014 have topped out at .3 (January, February, and May) and included .2 showings in March, April, June, and July. KFWB’s July ranking was #42.  One year ago (July 2013), it ranked #39 (.5), still significantly lower from its all-news days.  It actually would be ironic (or perhaps purposefully intended) if a morning show is installed September 8, as that will mark the five-year anniversary KFWB switched from all-news to all-talk.  When CBS Corporation acquired KCAL-TV, Los Angeles (Channel 9) in 2002 (to go along with KCBS-TV Channel 2), it put them over the limit of radio and television properties in the same market.  Three years ago, CBS Radio placed KFWB into a Diane Sutter-headed trust, under the name The KFWB Asset Trust.  Director of news programming at CBS Radio Los Angeles’ all-news KNX – and formerly (and simultaneously) holding that same title for KFWB – Andy Ludlum posts on his Facebook page, “After 46 years of delivering news to the people of Southern California, the news watch has stopped for KFWB.  I have been fortunate to have spent the past 25 years of my life working there with some of the most talented people to ever open a microphone or write a news story.”  Ludlum posted the photo above showing the final minute of the final full newscast with Maggie McKay (right), Ted Sobel (center), and Michael Knight (left).

ktar-fmKTAR-FM, Phoenix Re-Brands; Tweaks Programming.  The Bonneville news/talk station announces it is re-branding at the same time it is making programming changes and unveiling its new website designed specifically for mobile users.  The station is now “KTAR News…on 92.3 FM and KTAR.com.”  Bonneville Phoenix market manager Scott Sutherland states, “This re-brand and website re-launch lets the community know that our commitment to live and local news has never been stronger.  And it also signals that KTAR News is a multi-platform media brand that distributes audio news and talk show content on FM Radio, KTAR.com and the KTAR App, as well as written, audio and video story content online across all devices.”  Programming changes include more news content in middays with “Arizona’s Noon News and Karie Dozer” (from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm) and an earlier start (2:00 pm) for afternoon drive team Mac and Gaydos.  Bonneville Phoenix VP of content and operations Ryan Hatch comments, “Our ‘mobile-first’ design will deliver a powerful, multi-media user experience on smartphones, where our online audience continues to migrate.  Using the very latest technologies, the site also seamlessly adapts to tablets and desktops to deliver the same quality experience across all platforms.”

nrglogoNRG Media, Woodward in Four-Station Transaction.  The price for the latest NRG Media purchase – the quartet of Woodward Communications facilities in Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa – is $3.55 million.  NRG Media chief executive officer Mary Quass is “delighted to have the opportunity” to add the stations to her company’s platform.  “We continue to look for great radio properties that are located in the Midwest and are an integral part of the communities they serve,” she comments.  “Regarding NRG, Woodward Communications president and chief executive officer Tom Woodward states, “It is a well-known, community-oriented radio broadcast company with a great Midwestern culture and presence.  Our strategic plans and related growth goals positioned the sale of the Waterloo properties.  We salute the loyal, talented and dedicated staff we were fortunate to work with.  We will continue to operate, grow and enhance our award-winning, seven-station radio group in the Appleton-Green Bay, Wisconsin markets which we’ve owned since the late-1970s.”  The deal is for KFMW “Rock 108″; KOKZ “Iowa’s Classic Hits”; KWLO “1330 ESPN“; and KXEL “Iowa’s News & Talk Station.”  Woodward Communications has operated these outlets the past two years. Prior to that, Bahakel Broadcasting owned KXEL for 54 years (1958 – 2012); it owned the other three from 1996 – 2012.

WSCRgregolesjohnFound: WLS-AM’s “Next Talk Star.” If you wonder where the next generation of talk radio personalities is coming from, the answer might be professional wrestling.  John Chase Gregoles (pictured here) emerges as the winner of WLS-AM, Chicago’s “Next Talk Star” competition and the Lake Geneva, Wisconsin resident is a day trader who has a background in … sports entertainment.  This represents the Cumulus Media-owned talk station’s third such promotion, with WLS-AM program director/operations manager Peter Bolger pointing out, “Our last two winners are still on the air with a weekend show and occasional fill-in.  It is certainly possible we will be as fortunate with this year’s winner.  What the finalists had to say about talk radio and the passion they have for it was instructive and extremely energizing.”  Gregoles comments that he “wants to broaden the audience of talk radio.”  Wannabes submitted auditions via the station’s website. WLS-AM narrowed the submissions to 10 semifinalists; the top five were then determined by online voting. Bolger; WLS-AM’s (9:00 am – 11:00 am) Kass & Cohn co-host Lauren Cohn; 2012 winner Stephanie Trussell; and 2013 winner Laura Kelly were among those judging the competition.  Gregoles gets to host a two-hour WLS-AM show, receive a limo ride to/from the studio, and a trip for two to Mexico.

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MLB Baseball Continues to Give Boost to Most Flagship Stations.  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents his second analysis of the performances of MLB flagship stations this season – this time based on July PPM data.  Again, the flagships in markets where baseball has traditionally been good to its radio outlet and in markets where the team is performing well continue to benefit from increased listenership.  In this report Kinosian tracks how flagship stations have performed over the past five PPM surveys, compared to July 2013, how they rank in their respective markets, and how the stations stack up based on MLB divisions.  Check out Mike Kinosian’s analysis here.

sabowalterSabo: It Is a Widespread Myth That “Ours Is a Very Big Sports Town.”  As a globetrotting media consultant, Walter Sabo reports, “There is noticeable bravado in every city about the local level of sports fandom.”  In a new opinion piece certain to spark disagreement on the part of many TALKERS readers, Sabo makes the case that even though most radio markets claim to be “big” on sports or even the “biggest” sports city in America, the “facts don’t match the roar of the crowd.”  He writes, “According to the data presented from the major league national teams, every city is pretty much the same.”  To read this informative and provocative piece in its entirety, please click here.

hamiltonhacksawLee ‘Hacksaw’ Hamilton Hangs Out Fill-In Shingle.  West Coast sports talk pro Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton, most recently with Broadcast Company of the Americas-owned XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090,” announces he’s making himself available as a “radio free agent” for freelance work as “Hacksaw & Company,” as he says, “sports talk radio designed for your market, when you need a pinch-hitter.”  Hamilton’s daily content can be seen at (www.leehacksawhamilton.com).  He can be emailed at hacksaw5555@gmail.com.

Arkansas Stations Swap Frequencies; AC Turns Conservative/Christian Talk.  A pair of Arkansas FMs are swapping positions on the dial – John M. Dowdy-owned hot AC KKTZ moves from 93.5 up to 107.5 while AC KOMT moves to the 93.5 frequency.  KKTZ will remain hot AC but KOMT flips to conservative/Christian talk using content from Salem Radio Network, Westwood One and Premiere Networks.  The new talk station will air: Bill Bennett in AM drive followed by Mike Gallagher, Dennis Miller, Michael Medved, Mark Levin, Janet Mefferd and “Coast to Coast AM” with George Noory.

Odds & Sods.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, radio pro Mike Stephen is joining WGN, Chicago for a weekend show called “Outside the Loop Radio” that will air from 6:00 am to 7:00 am Sunday mornings, effective October 4.  The eight-year-old show is promoted as “Chicago’s Almost Above-Ground Audio Magazine,” and promises “interviews with local newsmakers on everything from arts and politics to the environment and food.”…..Sitting in for Jimmy Barrett on Clear Channel’s WRVA, Richmond in morning drive all this week is Mark Wainwright…..CBS RADIO’s sports talker WJFK-FM, Washington “106.7 The Fan” and IMG Sports Network agree to an extension that will allow Virginia Tech football and men’s basketball  play-by-play to be heard on the station through the 2018 season.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

| August 13, 2014

foxsportsradio logoClear Channel to Launch Sports Talker on Charlotte Translator.  Telling the Charlotte Observer that “we saw a huge opportunity for sports on the FM dial done the right way. It was the opening in the marketplace,” market manager Charlie Wilkinson announces plans for the company to bring a new sports talk station to the market on W254AZ at 98.7 by the end of this month.  The station will air Fox Sports Radio Network shows, including Dan Patrick’s DirecTV-produced program.  The station will also be available on sister station classic rock WRFX’s HD-2 channel.  WRFX program director Jeff Kent will serve as PD and Wilkinson tells the paper local shows will be added in the future.

robertsblakeWKRC, Cincinnati Weekend Host Blake Roberts Arrested in Shooting of Wife.  The good news is that Misty Seylhouwer was not seriously injured after her husband, Blake “Roberts” Seylhouwer discharged a rifle in the driveway of his suburban Cincinnati home and the bullet struck her.  After initially concluding the incident was an accident, police have reversed course and Blake Seylhouwer is being charged with felonious assault and domestic violence.  Seylhouwer said he accidently discharged the gun while taking it out of the trunk of his car but police later determined he purposely fired in the direction of Misty Seylhouwer and the bullet ricocheted off the driveway and struck her.  She has filed for protection order against Blake Seylhouwer, who hosts the “Small Business Sundays” program on WKRC.  He operates several businesses in the area including a small business consulting firm.

decastrojimmyJimmy deCastro Says He’s ‘Having a Ball.’  In an interview with Chicago media writer Robert Feder, WGN, Chicago president and general manager Jimmy deCastro speaks about the station’s decision to cut ties with the MLB’s Chicago Cubs after 89 years, the move of personalities Jonathon Brandmeier and Garry Meier to the company’s online platform WGN.fm, and the ratings struggles sports talker WGWG is facing.   deCastro has hinted that the company would be interested in purchasing an FM signal in the market but there are no definite plans to do so.  He tells Feder he believes the prices for FM signals will come down but that the company’s willingness to buy one depends on the success of the current operations.  Read the whole interview here.

alzugarayorlandoThe ‘Big O’ Returns to WQAM, Miami.  According to a report in the Miami Herald by Barry Jackson, Orlando Alzugaray, a.k.a. The Big O, will exit WMEN, Ft. Lauderdale “640 Sports” and return to Beasley Broadcasting’s WQAM, Miami in the midday 10:00 am to 1:00 pm slot beginning August 25.  Alzugaray left WQAM in 2010.  The midday show has been hosted by Alex Donno and Brandon Guzio recently and Jackson reports that Donno will move to the evening 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm show and will become part of the Florida Panthers broadcast team.  Guzio and evening host Kevin Rogers have reportedly exited the station.

armstrongdaveArmstrong Announces Retirement. As of the end of next month (September 2014), renowned market manager Dave Armstrong will leave radio after a 50-year career in the industry.  Salem Radio president Dave Santrella comments that, “Dave has been a tremendous leader in our company.  His creative contributions have created legacy attributes that Salem enjoys to this day and will enjoy well into the future.  For that – we are forever grateful.”  Armstrong remarks, “This is the end of another chapter in my workbook, but it is not the final chapter.  I am excited to see what’s next.”  Approximately 40% of Armstrong’s 50-year radio career (20 years) has been spent with Salem, for whom he has managed stations in New York City, Los Angeles, and – for the last eight years – in San Diego.  Salem’s San Diego stations are talk KCBQ-AM and Christian talk KPRZ.  Its Los Angeles cluster consists of contemporary Christian KFSH; talk KRLA; and Christian talk KKLA.  In May 2003, Salem transferred Armstrong, then regional vice president of operations and general manager of Salem Los Angeles, to oversee the company’s northeast radio operations.  That meant Armstrong became general manager of Salem New York’s WMCA and WWDJ, as well as having operational oversight for the company’s Boston-area outlets. Before joining Salem, Armstrong was a program director and sales manager for a number of stations.

nielsen logoNielsen July PPM Analysis Shows Talk in Summer Dip; Expects Improvement.  Reviewing the results of the July 2014 PPM data by format and comparing the results to previous months’ data as well as data from previous years, Nielsen Audio provides a glimpse of how formats as a whole are performing.  The study notes that the news/talk format is enduring a seasonal decline.  Nielsen reports: “The changes in lifestyles, work habits and consumer trends that occur each summer, coupled with news and sports cycles create an annual down-trend for spoken word formats during the middle of the summer.  2014 is no different as July revealed that the 6-plus shares for news/talk dropped to their lowest mark in PPM since we began tracking this data in 2011 (8.1%), all-news stayed flat relative to last summer (2.5%), and sports fared slightly better this July (4.1%) than in 2013 (3.8%).  For all three of these formats, the coming months should bring an upswing in listening as football returns and we head into the mid-term election news cycle.”  Still, as a format in the PPM markets, news/talk finished 5th among persons 25-54 behind CHR, country, hot AC and AC.  See the study here.

rabRAB: Radio Ranked Most Effective Medium Influencing Healthcare Choices.  The results of a recent Finding Consumer Trends report from the RAB, indicate that when it comes to which type of advertising influences healthcare choices, radio was ranked as the most effective medium – especially among 25-44 year olds.  The RAB goes on to state that when it comes to medical care decisions, it is insurance that outranks all other choices – including medical referrals.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber says, “With changes in medical and insurance coverage top of mind with consumers, this reports confirms radio’s ability as a powerful medium to influence their selection of where and who will provide them with medical services.  Marketers in this category who are trying to reach the 25-44 year olds should look to radio to communicate to this target group.”  More results from the study include the following: 77% of respondents state that a radio personality’s testimonial for healthcare products makes them trust the product the same or more; reputation and positive experiences are the top two reasons that local hospitals are top of mind; and the majority of respondents are currently seeking services by a dentist or orthodontist.  A webinar featuring the national results will be presented by the RAB and Ruth Presslaff of Presslaff Interactive Revenue on August 26, at 11:00 am ET and again at 4:00 pm ET.  Register for the webinar here.

kfbk logoKFBK, Sacramento to Broadcast ‘Honor Bowl.’  Sacramento news/talk outlet KFBK is partnering with The Honor Group, Inc. – a community organization dedicated to educating, empowering and equipping military veterans for success – to air the fifth annual Honor Bowl.  That event is a high school football showcase that educates the community about the needs of military veterans.  KFBK will air two of the five football games that make up the two-day fundraising event.  The broadcasts will help The Honor Group to attract sponsors to the Honor Bowl, and proceeds from the event’s ticket sales will help purchase aftermarket rehabilitation equipment benefiting disabled veterans throughout the country.

Ferguson, MO Troubles, Robin Williams’ Suicide, Hillary Clinton’s Obama Criticisms, IS Campaign/U.S. Iraq Policy, Ebola Pandemic Threat, Russian Ukraine Aggression, and Lauren Bacall Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/12).  The race riots and looting in Ferguson, Missouri in the aftermath of the shooting death by police of an unarmed black teen; actor and comic Robin Williams’ suicide; Hillary Clinton’s criticisms of President Obama’s foreign policy; the IS campaign in Iraq and U.S. military policy there; the threat of an Ebola pandemic; Russia’s continuing attempts to arm Ukrainian rebels; and the death of actress Lauren Bacall were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

| August 12, 2014

beckglennGlenn Beck’s Lawyers File Motion to Dismiss in Boston Marathon Defamation Case.  As reported by Reuters, lawyers for Glenn Beck and TheBlaze are asking a judge to dismiss the defamation charges being lodged against them by a Saudi Arabian national who alleged Beck continued to accuse him of being a party to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing even after authorities cleared him of suspicion.  Twenty-one year old Abdulrahman Alharbi was present at the attack site but was questioned by authorities and cleared within days of the attack.  Alharbi alleges Beck continued to accuse him of being the “money man” behind the attack.  Beck’s attorneys argue that Alharbi continued to grant interviews after speaking with authorities, thereby making him a limited purpose public figure and, thus not afforded the same protection as a private citizen.  Although Judge Patti Saris said she would consider the motion, she said, “I’d be surprised if I resolved this in a motion to dismiss.”

thelockerroom logoKGA, Spokane Brings Local PM Drive Show Back.  Spokane sports talker KGA – a CBS Sports Radio affiliate – is bringing back “The Locker Room Show with Toby Howell” beginning September 2 in the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot.  The Mapleton-owned station notes Jim Miller a.k.a. MooseJaw will be part of the show on a part-time basis and the show’s original co-host, Whitworth assistant athletic director Bob Castle, will make weekly appearances.  Other additions to the program include Jim Walden appearing for “College Football Fridays, Spokesman Review staffer Jim Meehan serving as co-host, and additional contributions from SWX and KHQ-TV “Q6” sports personalities Sam Adams, Michelle Dapper and John Collette.

brooksvalerieEnvision Names Brooks Director of Affiliate Relations.  Thirty-one year media pro Valerie Brooks joins Envision Networks as director of affiliate relations.  Brooks was most recently serving with WKYC-TV, Cleveland in the sales department.  She comments, “I have been privileged to work for both locally owned and operated as well as publicly traded broadcast companies.  I love the subliminal power of our medium, and I know that radio plus our digital brand extensions remain vibrant, alive and impactful.”  Envision COO Laura Orkin adds, “We are thrilled to welcome Valerie to the Envision family as director of affiliate relations.  Valerie brings a wealth of experience to our team and will superserve our 1,500-plus affiliated stations.”

mossebE.B. Moss Joins AdLarge Media.  Coming to AdLarge Media from her most recent position with Westwood One, advertising and marketing exec E.B. Moss will serve as vice president, marketing solutions.  AdLarge says that Moss spearheaded a similar division for Citadel, then Cumulus Media Networks and ultimately Westwood One, where she launched a suite of new opportunities for clients, including devising native advertising, social media, and digital campaigns.  AdLarge co-founder and CEO Gary Schonfeld comments, “E.B. is a consummate marketer.  She has an innate perspective on clients’ goals, and is exceptional at inventing on-air, online, onsite, and social media promotions that boost a campaign to deliver a return on investment (ROI) for advertisers and their agencies.”

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paiajitCommissioner Pai and Gordon Smith Headline Radio Luncheon.  Featured at the Radio Luncheon at the 2014 Radio Show on Friday, September 12 will be FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who will take part in a conversation with NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith.  The theme of the conversation will be communications policy and how it affects free, local radio broadcasting. The Radio Luncheon will also feature the presentation of the National Radio Award to Bud Walters, founder and president of the Cromwell Group.  A statement from the NAB notes that Pai joined the FCC as commissioner in May 2012 and is focusing on creating a regulatory environment in which competition and innovation can flourish, for the benefit of American consumers.  During his time at the FCC, Pai has made AM radio revitalization a priority at the Commission.  Between 2007 and 2011, Pai held several positions in the FCC’s Office of General Counsel, including deputy general counsel.  Prior to joining the FCC, he was a partner in the Communications Practice at Jenner & Block LLP and associate general counsel at Verizon Communications Inc.

franksjohnnyOdds & Sods.  Returning to Nashville to host his sports talk show on WNRS “Nashville’s Sportsradio” is Johnny “Ballpark” Franks.  After working in both Huntsville and the Gulfport-Biloxi markets, Franks returns to host the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm show on the Ted Johnson-owned station, reports The Tennessean…..ESPN Radio announces the schedule for its 15th season of college football play-by-play beginning with opening weekend, August 28-30.  Over the season it will present 30 regular season games on Saturdays and Thursday nights, culminating with the Pac-12 and ACC Championships in December…..Westwood One is bringing Barclays Premier League soccer to American radio listeners this season.  In partnership with London-based talkSPORT, WW1 will present 60 featured matches made available to radio stations and will present all 380 matches streamed live on westwoodonesports.com.  The season begins Saturday, August 16 and concludes on Sunday, May 24, 2015.

stockkasemTogether Again.  If only for a day, KDWN, Las Vegas morning drive host Alan Stock (left) poses for a shot with former partner Kerri Kasem (right).  Stock and Kasem co-hosted the morning show at crosstown news/talk KXNT seven years ago.  Kasem was in town attending the Nevada Broadcasters Association convention at which her late father Casey Kasem was honored.  She sat in with Stock on the KDWN morning show on August 8.

U.S. Iraq Strikes/IS Campaign, Missouri Teen Death/Riot and Looting, Robin Williams Death, Ebola Threat, Russian Aggression in Ukraine, and Immigration Policy/Border Crisis Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/11). The Obama Administration’s policy to renew airstrikes in Northern Iraq and the IS campaign in the country; the shooting death of a black Missouri teen by police and the ongoing riots and looting taking place in its aftermath; the apparent suicide of actor and comic Robin Williams; the concern over the African Ebola outbreak and concerns about a pandemic; Russia’s move to arm rebels in the Ukraine; and the continuing battle over the U.S. immigration policy and the border crisis in the Southwest were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, July 21, 2014

| July 21, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Videos Being Posted.  Up Today:  David Bernstein Moderates “The State of Local Talk Radio” Panel.  Today (7/21) marks the fifth 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 the event’s powerful “The State of Local Talk Radio” panel moderated by TALKERS general manager/broadcast operations David Bernstein.  The panel – introduced by rising talk star Ethan Bearman of KSFO, San Francisco — features an array of leading local radio figures including Michael “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; Jerry Crowley, VP/GM Salem Communications-New York; Lee Harris, morning anchor, 1010WINS, New York; McGraw Milhaven, morning host, KTRS, St. Louis; and Larry Young, morning host, WOLB, Baltimore. The panel, described by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey as “excellent and inspiring,” covers an array of topics including the most effective use of social media by local radio, the power of community news and human interest stories, how to cover large, diverse metropolitan areas and their suburbs, the emerging powerful relationship between local radio and newspapers, the revenue benefits of local broadcasting and the true meaning of “local” as opposed to superficial lip-service, among others.  The theme of the session is summed up by Larry Young, the 18-year morning host of African American community talk station WOLB, Baltimore, who states, “The most important aspect in local radio is making sure that the constituency you serve feels that you are doing your job to keep them informed.  Information is power and the more information you give them, the more apt they are to listen to you.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Anyone who is championing the cause of local radio should not only view this amazing video, but show it to anyone willing to watch who has influence over the course radio is taking during these delicate, transitional times.”   To view “The State of Local Talk Radio” please click here.  Coming tomorrow: “The Talkers Awards Ceremony – Part 1 – Presentation of the Humanitarian of the Year Award” emceed by Westwood One legend Jim Bohannon and featuring the presentation of the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Broadcaster by Talk Media, Inc. CEO Carole Marks to WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale personality Joyce Kaufman.  The TALKERS conference videos were recorded by Art Vuolo.

taylorblakeKMJ-AM/FM Promotes Blake Taylor to PD.  After the recent departure of Skip Essick from the program director post at Cumulus Media’s news/talk combo KMJ-FM and KMJ-AM in Fresno, APD/news director/morning news anchor Blake Taylor is promoted to the position.  Taylor joined the stations in 2007 after spending five years serving as program director at KERN, Bakersfield.  Cumulus EVP and COO John Dickey comments, “Blake Taylor’s news experience, digital savvy and competitive energy make him the perfect PD to bring a new generation of listeners to the legendary KMJ-AM and FM.  We’re pleased that Blake continues to grow with Cumulus Media.”  Taylor adds, “I’ve served as news director at KMJ for almost seven years now, and we’ve experienced some amazing growth during that time.  But there are many more opportunities ahead as we continue to grow our audience while maintaining our position as the go-to breaking news station in California’s Central Valley.  I look forward to taking on the challenge!”

wzgc logoTalent Moves at CBS RADIO’s ’92.9 The Game’ in Atlanta.  After a year in morning drive at CBS RADIO’s sports talk WZGC, Atlanta “92.9 The Game,” Jason Bailey (a.k.a. Buckethead) exits the station and Marc James moves from afternoon drive to the wake-up show alongside Randy Cross.  Moving in to co-host afternoons with Carl Dukes is former crosstown WQXI “790 The Zone” personality Mike Bell.  Meanwhile, Bailey tells TALKERS he’s available for his next challenge.  He’s repped by Paul Anderson, who can be reached at paul@workhousemedia.com.  You can check out his website at: www.jasonbailey.com

klsd logoClear Channel Re-Brands Sports Talker KLSD, San Diego. Sports talk outlet KLSD, San Diego gets a makeover as the station is now “XTRA 1360 Fox Sports San Diego.”  This marks a change from the station’s previous affiliation with NBC Sports Radio.  As part of the changes, the station will become the local radio partner of the NFL’s San Diego Chargers airing play-by-play and broadcasting the “Chargers Power Hour Show” weekdays from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Steve Hartman returns to San Diego to host the “Loose Cannons” PM drive show with Mike Costa.  For morning drive, Fox Sports Network’s Dave Palet and Jeff Dotseth team up.  In between, the station is airing FSRN’s Jay Mohr followed by Fox Sports Radio/DirecTV’s Dan Patrick.  Evenings will include “XTRA at Night” from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm and “Fox Sports Tonight with Jason Smith” from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm.  The changes take place today (7/21).

kabclogoKABC, Los Angeles to Carry NHL’s Kings.  The Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings will have a new radio home next season as Cumulus Media agrees to have news/talk KABC, Los Angeles serve as the team’s radio flagship for the next five years.  The Los Angeles Times reports that the news will be made official today.  The move from Clear Channel’s KEIB to KABC may fuel speculation that KABC could flip to sports in order to allow Cumulus to air the CBS Sports Radio Network on the signal.  CBS Radio and Cumulus are partners in the syndication of the CBS Sports Radio Network.  But it may be just that – speculation.  For years rumors about a flip to sports by underperforming AM outlets have bounced around LA.  Crosstown KFWB has long been part of that chatter although there’s probably little reason to believe the market needs another AM sports talker with three (KSPN, KLAC, KLAA) all hovering near a 1.0 share (Persons 6+, June 2014 PPM) or less.

conwaysimonOdds & Sods. Hard-working WHO, Des Moines-based talk personality Simon Conway (PM driver there) is doing double duty this week and next as he’s filling in on the morning show at Clear Channel’s WFLF, Orlando “NewsRadio 102.5” today through Wednesday and then again next Monday – all in addition to his WHO duties…..Recently retired Chicago Bears long snapper Patrick Mannelly joins CBS RADIO’s sports talker WSCR, Chicago for football-related broadcasts, including co-host of the Sunday Bears pre-game show and making appearances during the week on WSCR programs…..Broadway Media is exercising an option to buy sports talk KOVO, Provo, Utah from Simmons Media.  The station is chock-full of regional programming with David James and Patrick Kinahan in mornings, Jake Scott and Tony Parks from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, Hans Olsen and Scott Garrard from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm, and Spence Checketts and Gordon Monson in afternoon drive.  These shows are simulcast from Simmon’s KZNS-AM, Salt Lake City and KZNS-FM, Coalville.  KOVO is an NBC Sports Radio affiliate.

abckaterskyMoscowCovering the Downing of Flight 17.  Pictured here in Maidan Square in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev is ABC News Radio correspondent Aaron Katersky who continues to report from Ukraine following the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight 17.

Friday, July 18, 2014

| July 18, 2014

horowitzdrewHubbard Names Drew Horowitz President and COO.  Just a week after announcing that president and CEO Bruce Reese was stepping down from his role with the company, Hubbard Radio today announces that Drew Horowitz, executive vice president and chief operating officer, is named president and chief operating officer, effective immediately.  Ginny Morris remains chairman and chief executive officer.  She states, “For the past few years I have had the privilege to work with Drew and see first-hand what a giftedhubbardradio logo broadcaster he is.  Drew’s passion for the radio business and for the people with whom he works is evident in how he approaches every opportunity and every challenge.  I look forward to further partnering with him as we continue to move our business forward.”  Horowitz came over to Hubbard from Bonneville International in 2011 where he’d been EVP and COO since 1992.  Horowitz comments, “I am honored to have this wonderful opportunity to work more closely with Ginny and to be part of this extraordinary family-owned company.  I’m looking forward to continuing my work with the rest of the leadership team to further Hubbard Radio’s success across our seven nationwide markets.”

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Videos Being Posted.  Up Today:  Michael Harrison Moderates “Radio: The Big Picture” Panel.  Today (7/18) marks the fourth 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 the event’s powerful “Radio: The Big Picture” panel moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison. The panel features an array of leading radio figures including Steve Goldstein, EVP, Saga Communications; Sam Kimball, CRO, Livestream; Tom Langmyer, VP/news/talk programming, Journal Broadcast GroupTom Leykis, CEO, The New Normal; Mike McVay, SVP, Cumulus Media; and Walter Sabo, CEO, Sabo Media.  As Michael Harrison’s series of “Big Picture” panels are known to do, this fast-paced, sometimes rollicking session cuts a broad swath across many of the universal topics of importance to radio broadcasters in general – including the future of the stick (AM/FM radio), the relationship between talk and music radio, the pros and cons of utilizing video as a component of digital radio, the evolving relationship between radio and newspapers, techniques for lowering the news/talk demos, overcoming the challenges of rating radio accurately in the digital era and much more.  To view “Radio: The Big Picture” please click here.  Coming Monday: “The State of Local Talk Radio” panel moderated by TALKERS GM of broadcast operations, David Bernstein and featuring Michael “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; Jerry Crowley, VP/GM Salem Communications-New York; Lee Harris, morning anchor, 1010WINS, New York; McGraw Milhaven, morning host, KTRS, St. Louis; and Larry Young, morning host, WOLB, Baltimore.  The TALKERS conference videos were recorded by Art Vuolo.

chapmanjakePistons Radio Network Chooses Chapman to Be Executive Producer.  Five-year Orlando Magic radio network executive producer Jake Chapman departs the Sunshine State to handle similar responsibilities for the Detroit Pistons radio network and its Greater Media sports-formatted flagship WMGC “Detroit Sports 105.1.”  WMGC program director Jason Dixon states, “We are thrilled to welcome Jake to the ‘Detroit Sports 105.1′ and Pistons radio network team.  His skill set and his experience working in the NBA made him a perfect fit to join us. Jake shares our vision to provide Pistons fans with unparalleled content and coverage of their team.” Palace Sports & Entertainment and Detroit Pistons executive vice president/chief marketing officer Charlie Metzger remarks, “We appreciate Jake’s ability to provide entertaining and informative year-round content for our fans; we look forward to his coverage of Detroit basketball.”  In addition to being responsible for day-to-day network operations, Chapman will host the team’s pre-game and post-game shows, as well as various other programming. He begins his new assignment in three weeks (8/6).

scott&br poster‘The Mighty 1090’ San Diego’s Scott Kaplan and Billy Ray Smith Team with Fox Sports San Diego for TV Special.  The afternoon drive duo of Scott Kaplan (right) and Billy Ray Smith (left) – “Scott & BR,” on Broadcasting Company of the Americas-operated XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” is working with Fox Sports San Diego on a seven-part TV series that will begin airing on Tuesday, July 22.  The series is being filmed at the Fox Sports San Diego studios and will feature athletes and sports celebrities being interviewed by Kaplan and Smith as well as segments with other San Diego sports reporters. “The Mighty 1090” programming and operations manager Mike Shepard comments, “I am thrilled to partner with Fox Sports San Diego on this special series.  The exclusive ‘Scott & BR’ content created specifically for the network is an exciting venture that will bring San Diego sports fans something they’ve never had before.”

frischpatOdds & Sods.  Congratulations are in order for Pat Frisch, AM operations manager at Cumulus Media’s Albuquerque cluster, who this week is celebrating his 15th anniversary with the station group.  Frisch is ops manager for news/talk giant KKOB and sports talker KNML “610 The Sports Animal.”…..In celebration of its three-year anniversary, the Yahoo! Sports Radio is broadcasting live from Las Vegas beginning Monday, July 21.  Dubbed, “Super Week,” the network says the broadcasts will emanate “from Lagasse’s Stadium at the Palazzo Hotel and Casino with more than 80 hours of live programming packed with superstar guestsyahoosportsradiologo including Mike Tyson, Dana White, Stephen Curry and more.”  Hosts taking part in the Las Vegas broadcasts include: Steve Czaban, Travis Rodgers, Geoff Ketchum, John Granato & Sean Salisbury, Ken Thomson, and Peter Brown.  Yahoo! Sports Radio CEO David Gow states, “This is a great opportunity to spotlight our entire lineup.  We’re thrilled to be partnered with the Venetian and Palazzo and it’s truly an honor to broadcast from the magnificent Lagasse’s Stadium.”…..Entercom’s WWKB, Buffalo is the new flagship for University of Buffalo football and men’s basketball play-by-play.  The school’s games return to WWKB after being heard on Cumulus Media’s crosstown WHLD “Sports Radio 1270 The Fan.”

hayeshunterNAB Hands Hayes Marconi Award Performance Duties. Louisiana-born, Nashville-based, country songwriter/artist, multi-instrumentalist Hunter Hayes has been selected to entertain at the NAB‘s Marconi Radio Awards dinner September 11 in Indianapolis.  According to NAB executive vice president of radio John David, “Hunter Hayes is a talented musician, whose performance will contribute to a memorable 25th NAB Marconi Radio Awards dinner.  Atlantic Records and Warner Music Nashville connected us so Hunter can join radio in saluting the Marconi nominees and winners.”  Hayes’ platinum-selling, self-titled debut album was released on Atlantic Records three years ago.  Among his accomplishments are three number one singles: “Wanted,” “Somebody’s Heartbreak,” and “I Want Crazy.”  Established in 1989, the Marconi Radio Awards – named after inventor/Nobel prizewinner Guglielmo Marconi – recognize stations and individuals for excellence in 21 categories.  This year’s Radio Show (9/10 – 12) is produced by the NAB and the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB).

ingrahamlauraTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Joining the lineup at KWTO-AM, Springfield, Missouri, is the Courtside Entertainment Group-syndicated Laura Ingraham show which is being heard from 9:00 am to 10:00 am and from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm…..KYDT, Sundance, Wyoming adds the nighttime edition of the GCN-syndicated “Freedom Feens” show featuring Michael W. Dean.

Child Immigration Crisis Tops Talkers TenTM for Second Straight Week.  The influx of child illegal immigrants in the Southwest and the political issues surrounding the problem was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of July 14 – 18, landing atop the Talkers TenTM for the second week in a row.  At #2 this week was the Israel-Hamas violence.  Following at #3 was the ISIS campaign in Iraq and Syria and the shooting down of the Malaysia Airlines plane over the Ukraine came in at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Friday, July 11, 2014

| July 11, 2014

weismanstevenDid SiriusXM Have the Right to Fire Anthony Cumia?  A week after satellite broadcaster SiriusXM terminated Anthony Cumia of the “Opie & Anthony” show, TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes about the underlying legal aspects of the case.  Weisman explains that – although he hasn’t read Cumia’s contract – most performers who sign a contract these days have a morals clause in their deals that give the employer the right to fire employees who do things while off duty that reflect badly on the company.  Weisman offers some history of the morals clause and explains what employees finding themselves in Cumia’s situation might have in their arsenal with which to fight back.  Read Weisman’s entire piece here.

kfbk logoKFBK, Sacramento Gives Gubernatorial Nominee Talk Show Appearance.  In an effort to do what Clear Channel Sacramento VP of programming Ken Charles says is “covering the biggest stories and the most relevant news for Sacramento and California,” news/talk KFBK welcomed Republican gubernatorial nominee Neel Kashkari to the airwaves, allowing him to host a three-hour show last night (7/10) from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  Charles said, “We invited both Kashkari and Governor Brown to host a show with us to provide them a unique forum to speak with the citizens of northern California.  We look forward to Kashkari’s appearance tonight and hope we hear from the governor very soon.”

wrightadamWHYN, Springfield to Name Adam Wright Morning Drive Co-Host.  Two weeks after parting company with longtime morning drive co-host Brad Shepard, Clear Channel Springfield, Massachusetts is prepared to announce Adam Hamada Wright will join co-host Bo Sullivan on air for AM drive duties.  Wright operates Westfield, Massachusetts based Advertus Media, a creative and media buying agency, and will continue that business in addition to his radio work.  He says, “WHYN is a heritage news/talk station and I look forward to carrying on an incredible tradition of broadcasting there.  This new additional adventure is the culmination of a lifelong dream of hosting a talk show and the ability to return to radio after 14 years.  I will forever be grateful to Sean Davey and Jerry Hyland for coming up with this insane idea and I will honor those who came before me on this storied station, especially Brad Shepard who I consider an amazing talent and friend.”

kwqw logoDianna Kelly Joins ’98.3 The Torch’ in Des Moines.  Taking on the role of news director for Cumulus Media news/talk outlet KWQW “98.3 The Torch” is Dianna Kelly.  Cumuluskellydianna states that the “experienced broadcast journalist and talk personality has held on-air positions for stations in Kansas City, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Fresno, Jacksonville, Grand Rapids, and suburban Nashville.  She has been honored with six Associated Press awards for her feature reports.”  Kelly says, “What a pleasure to be working with the brightest minds in radio!  The future of radio is here and it’s at Cumulus.  I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it.”

nielsen logoRound Three of June PPM Data Released.  The third of four rounds of June 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The survey period was May 22 through June 18.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page of RadioInfo.com here.

costadinoDino Costa Moves Show Base to NYC.  Two months after the former SirusXM sports talk personality Dino Costa began his own internet-based sports talk show at dinocostashow.com, he announces he’s moving his base of operations from Cheyenne, Wyoming to New York City later this summer.  Costa explains on his website that he initially hated life in New York when he first went to work for SiriusXM but, to his own surprise, realized he missed the City after moving back to the West and settling in Cheyenne.  Costa says his show will be MIA for a week when he and his family make the move back to New York.

coxalanOdds & Sods.  Mixing it up a bit is Premiere Networks as the syndicator brings rock/talk WMMS, Cleveland and classic rock WDTW, Detroit personality Alan Cox in to sub for Andy Dean on the “America Now” program on Monday, July 14.  Though Dean is decidedly conservative, Cox likes to operate more in the pop culture/lifestyle arena.  This should be an interesting listen…..A Manhattan street was named for thebrooksstan longtime WINS, New York reporter who passed away last year at age 86, just two weeks after filing his last report for the station.  The New York Daily News reports that the corner of W. 43rd St. and 10th Avenue will bear the name “Stan Brooks Way” as a tribute to the journalist who worked for WINS for almost 50 years.  Brooks and his wife lived near the intersection…..CBS RADIO’s KNX, Los Angeles continues its “KNX On Your Corner” series with a live remote broadcast from northern Orange County on Friday, July 25.  The station says the broadcast will include a series of special reports focusing on important issues in the cities of Brea, La Habra, Yorba Linda and Placentia.  Additionally, local civic leaders will appear as special guests throughout the day as KNX gives listeners insight into the unique attributes of the area.  “Adding to the local flavor of the day, KNX will broadcast live from Arthur’s Coffee Shop in La Habra.  Free refreshments will be offered and the public is invited to meet the people behind the microphones of Southern California’s only all-news radio station.”

freemanedgeTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Update.  “Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is added to new affiliate stations WAMT, Orlando; KMET-AM, Banning, California; WGRV, Greeneville, Tennessee; WNNG-FM, Unadilla, Georgia; and WFPA, Ft. Payne, Alabama…..Doug Stephan’s “Good Day” program adds 10 new affiliate stations including KLAV, Las Vegas; WELE, Ormond Beach, Florida; KVNA, Flagstaff, Arizona; and WMXB, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Child Immigration Crisis Top News/Talk Story This Week.  The influx of minor immigrants from Central America crossing the Southwestern borders and the immigration policy controversy associated with it was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of July 7-11, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Following at #2 was the ISIS campaign in Iraq.  At #3 was the Israeli-Palestinian violence and at #4 was the state of President Obama’s approval ratings.  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 magazine and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Friday, June 27, 2014

| June 27, 2014

hayworthjdJ.D. Hayworth to Host Late Morning Show on Newsmax TV.  One of the new programs on the Newsmax TV channel that is launching on both DirecTV and DISH Network is called “America’s Forum” with former U.S. Congressman and talk radio personality J.D. Hayworth.  The show will air from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET and begins during the network’s soft launch this summer before the hard launch this fall.newsmaxtv logo  Hayworth, who has hosted a regular show in his home market on news/talk KFYI, Phoenix during his talk radio career, says he’s excited about engaging and serving the expanding audience on Newsmax TV.  Newsmax Media founder and CEO Chris Ruddy says, “J.D. Hayworth is a smart, informed, and passionate host who is not afraid to speak his mind, and as a result we expect him to be one of our most watched and discussed personalities.  With his experience in Washington, DC, we believe he can give our viewers unique insight into how Washington works.”

kasemtesimonyLegislation Inspired by Casey Kasem Ordeal Passes Legislative Hurdle.  A bill making its way through the California legislative process that would give adult children reasonable access to an ailing parent cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee hurdle on a 6-0 vote.  The bill was inspired by the Casey Kasem family’s well-documented situation.  The bill was sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) and it would protect children from being denied access to a parent by a parent’s future spouse or child.  Since introducing the legislation in January, Assemblyman Gatto has been contacted by hundreds of people who have been denied access to their ailing parents, and has been working closely with several of them, including radio and television personality Kerri Kasem (pictured here during testimony earlier this week).  Recently, Kasem spoke publicly for the first time since her father’s passing last week.  She shared her struggle to obtain even basic visitation rights during Casey’s final hours.  She also emphasized that her story is not unique to celebrities, a point underscored when she presented a stack of letters representing a small sample of the thousands of letters she has received from folks across the country with similar stories of heartache.  View that video here.  Kasem said, “I saw my father every single week, talked to him every day, until he lost his voice, every day on the phone, and we were cut off for no reason last July.  If this bill had been in place, my dad would still be alive today.”  Former radio industry pro, attorney, and district chief of staff for Assemblyman Gatto, Jason Insalaco, played an important role in crafting this bill.  Insalaco has worked at numerous Southern California radio outlets – including former hot talk KLSX and news/talk KFI – during his career.

mcneildanStatus of WSCR, Chicago’s Dan McNeil Uncertain.  From Chicago media writer Robert Feder, sports talk personality Dan McNeil has been off the air at CBS RADIO’s WSCR as he’s in contract negotiations and guest hosts have been filling in with 9:00 am to 1:00 pm co-host Matt Spiegel.  Feder reports that McNeil, who’s had his share of personal issues – dealing with substance abuse and depression – makes about $300,000 and is seeking in the neighborhood of $500,000 in his new contract.  Feder also reports McNeil has made no secret of the fact he’d like to be in afternoon drive, not middays.  Read Feder’s entire story here.

didingerrayCBS Radio Philly in Done-Deal with Didinger.  Among facets of the just-signed pact with CBS Radio-owned Philadelphia sports outlet WIP-FM, Saturday’s 10:00 am – 1:00 pm “Ray Didinger and Glen Macnow Show” will be expanded to include a Sunday version.  WIP operations manager Andy Bloom declares, “Ray is one of the most respected and revered authorities in Philly sports.  Our simple goal was to ensure Ray spends his entire radio career playing for one team, CBS Radio Philadelphia.  We think with this agreement we have accomplished that goal.”  Pro Football Hall of Fame writer Didinger is “very happy” to continue his relationship with WIP.  “I am delighted that I will now be able to partner with my good friend Glen Macnow on Sundays, as well as Saturday.  With the level of interest in the Eagles this season, we will have plenty to talk about.”  Didinger will do commentary on all-news sibling KYW, and each Friday during the football season, he will appear with (CBS Radio Philadelphia talk outlet) WPHT morning driver Chris Stigall.

mackgrahamBritish Broadcaster Graham Mack Produces Outstanding Audio Podcast Depicting His Experience at Talkers New York 2014.  Internationally known, award-winning broadcaster Graham Mack attended the recent Talkers New York 2014 conference (6/20) and compiled an array of on-the-scene audio interviews with its participants into a Radio Academy podcast (28:42) that has already drawn positive attention around the world.  In addition to his highly decorated special programs which have been heard on some of the most prestigious networks in the world including the BBC, Mack is the program director and morning show host on BOB-FM in Hertfordshire.  He hails from Liverpool and spent his early adulthood and career in Australia. The podcast includes conversations with Michael Harrison, Sean Hannity, Brent & Meg, Tom Leykis, Joe Piscopo, and Phil Boyce.  To hear it in its entirety, please click here.  Stay tuned to Talkers.com for more coverage of Talkers New York 2014.  Videos covering most of the conference will be posted after the July 4th weekend.

gratnerchuckFifty and Done For Salem’s Gratner.  After spending 50 years in radio – the last 23 as general manager of Salem Communications Pittsburgh – Chuck Gratner will retire next Tuesday (7/1). Twelve-year Salem Pittsburgh general sales manager Tom Lemmon will succeed Gratner. According to Salem radio division president David Santrella, “Salem is blessed to have so many outstanding general managers taking care of business in our markets around the country – Chuck has been one of our strongest for all these years.  Chuck has earned his reward for a job well done.  We wish him many more years of success, only this time with a fishing rod instead of a radio tower.”  Regional operations vice president Linnae Young – who oversees Pittsburgh – comments, “We have been so fortunate to have had Chuck’s wisdom and expertise all these years managing our stations in Pittsburgh.  While Chuck will be sorely missed, we are pleased to have Tom ready to take on this new responsibility.”  Gratner began his radio career as an on-air talent in greater Los Angeles at KNJO, Thousand Oaks.  He was part owner of KCNO, Grass Valley, California; worked in Dallas at KRLD, KCBI, and KLTY; and spent time in Sacramento at KCRA and KROY.

mayesharryOdds & Sods.  With the departure of Tony Bruno from Greater Media’s sports talk WPEN-FM, Philadelphia (reported yesterday at TALKERS), Harry Mayes goes solo in the late morning shift with evening host Nick Kayal sitting it at least temporarily…..The man known as “Radio’s Best Friend,” Art Vuolo, will appear on news/talk KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh this weekend as a guest on Stony Richards’ Saturday evening program beginning at 6:00 pm.  In addition to being responsible for chronicling much of radio’s modern history on video, Vuolo also has served as the official videographer for the Talkers New York conference for the past several years…..Bradley George is the new senior anchor/correspondent and local host for “Morning Edition” on Georgia Public Radio.  He comes to GPR from Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN where he was news anchor and “Morning Edition” local host…..ABC TV’s “The View” will look very different next season as at least two of the show’s hosts – Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd – are leaving.  According to TMZ, executive producer Bill Geddie is also exiting.  One report indicates all but Whoopi Goldberg are out as the network is “cleaning house.”

wrjn logoMagnum Finds Bliss in Milwaukee-Area Quartet.  In a recently announced deal, Magnum Communications is acquiring four greater Milwaukee properties from Bliss Communications, the parent company of Racine Broadcasting and West Bend Broadcasting.  Stations involved are two AM talk outlets WRJN and WBKV; adultwbkv logo contemporary WEZY “Lite Rock 92.1″; and country WBWI.  Magnum Communications president Dave Magnum points out that as a result of this acquisition, “My co-workers and I will program radio signals connecting from Milwaukee to La Crosse.  When my late wife, Lynn, and I started from scratch 23 years ago, we wanted to grow across Wisconsin.  I’m blessed to work with so many talented and loyal individuals, many of whom have been on board since the early-1990s.”  Bliss president Sidney “Skip” Bliss remarks, “These stations have been an important part of Bliss Communications for 17 years in Racine, and 43 years in West Bend.  We have enjoyed our relationship with the communities and all of our terrific employees.  This sale, however, represented an opportunity for me to pass the ownership of these great radio stations on to another Wisconsin broadcasting family.  The staffs of the Racine and West Bend stations have served a large number of listeners and advertisers for many years.  We sincerely appreciate the dedication and commitment of this outstanding group of associates.”  Bliss – which publishes The Janesville Gazette - will continue operating the stations until the FCC approves the transaction, exclusively brokered by Media Services Group Chicago office director Bob Heymann.

GOP Primary Controversies/State of the GOP Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of June 23-27.  The recent controversial GOP primary races – including Thad Cochran’s victory this week – along with talk about the state of the GOP heading into mid-term elections and the 2016 presidential election tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was the shrinking U.S. GDP.  Coming in at #3 was the IRS scandal and the missing Lois Lerner emails followed by the SCOTUS scuttling President Obama’s recess appointments followed at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

| June 26, 2014

carrhowieWRKO, Boston’s Howie Carr Signs with Global Media Services for Syndication.  Boston-based talk show host Howie Carr – hosting afternoon drive at Entercom’s WRKO – contracts with Global Media Services to market his syndicated radio show.  Carr is currently carried on 15 radio stations globalmediaservices logothroughout New England.  Carr comments, “I’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time.  It’s exciting to be branching out on my own and expanding the network.  I have a great relationship with my affiliates and advertisers and I think they’ll tell you I’ve been a real asset to their businesses.”  Global Media Services founder Tony Garcia says, “Howie Carr is an icon and legend in New England and I look forward to partnering with him to bring his unique views on politics, pop culture and society to the entire nation.  The possibilities are endless.”  Garcia has been writing columns for TALKERS about the syndication business.  He founded his new company in 2014.

niewkathleenAttorney and Former Talk Host Pleads Guilty to Fraud.  In what seems like a never-ending chain of financial advisors hosting brokered weekend talk shows who go on to defraud investors, comes the latest from Chicago where Kathleen Niew pleaded guilty in federal court to 10 counts of fraud.  Niew brokered her show from Salem Communications-owned WIND, Chicago.  She lost the life savings of a local couple — $2.3 million – investing in foreign mining projects that failed.  She faces up to 11 years in prison when she is sentenced.  She was disbarred in Illinois several months after the issues surrounding her arrest came to light.

ciancibuddyWPRO, Providence Host Buddy Cianci Takes Leave to Run for Mayor.  As many predicted he would when he first began to bat around the idea of running for a third stint as mayor of Providence, Buddy Cianci announced his candidacy on Wednesday (6/25) and stepped away from his afternoon drive programgranahantara in order to devote his full attention to the race.  Cianci is on leave from the station and Tara Granahan is subbing for him.  Granahan says, “I’m thrilled for Buddy as he delves into his latest adventure in politics.  I’m really looking forward to spending more time with our listeners.  Then, we’ll see what happens in November!”  Cianci resigned from the mayor’s post in 1984 after pleading no contest to assault.  He served for 12 years from 1990 to 2002, again resigning after a racketeering conviction forced him to relocate to federal prison for four years.  Cianci also was serving as a political commentator for WLNE-TV, a gig from which he is also on leave.

brunotonyTony Bruno Resigns from WPEN-FM, Philadelphia.  There is not much information about the sudden departure of sports talk host Tony Bruno from Greater Media’s WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic,” but the station issues the following statement: “Tony Bruno has chosen to resign his position at ‘97.5 The Fanatic.’  We thank him for his contributions and wish him well.”  Bruno had been off the air this week during what has been reported to have been contract negotiations.  Obviously, from Bruno’s perspective, the negotiations did not go well and he has left the station.

martinjohnOdds & Sods.  At Entercom’s sports talker WMFS-FM/AM, Memphis, John Martin adds columnist duties for the station’s website.  Martin is executive producer for the Geoff Calkins show.  His column is titled “The 92.9 Line.”…..NPR and American Public Media strike a deal for NPR’s “Morning Edition” to include APM’s “Marketplace Morning Report” feature to the program beginning this fall…..Greater Media sports talker WPEN-FM, Philadelphia is breaking away from regular programming today to broadcast the U.S. vs. Germany World Cup match.  Personalities Harry Mayes, Jon Marks and Sean Brace will broadcast live from Pagano’s in Philly where the match will be shown on a 20’ x 17’ screen.

oshaughnessywilliamNYC Move-In Prompts Missive on ‘Community Radio.’ The format flip to urban contemporary and move of Cumulus Media’s WFAS-FM, Bronxville, New York (Westchester County) to the New York City metro is not a story TALKERS would usually cover since it is a music station. But the move caused Whitney Radio president William O’Shaughnessy to promote the community-mindedness of his stations – WVIP-FM and WVOX-AM – to his advertisers, the listeners and WFAS-FM’s listeners. Read O’Shaughnessy’s memo here.

bfoa logoFour Named to Broadcasters Foundation of America Board of Directors.  Four distinguished broadcast industry leaders are named to the Broadcasters Foundation of America board of directors.  They are: Peter Dunn, president, CBS Television Stations; David T. Lougee, president, Gannett Broadcasting; Elizabeth (Beth) Neuhoff, president & chief executive officer, Neuhoff Communications; Michael (Mike) O’Neill, president & chief executive officer, BMI.  BFoA chairman Phil Lombardo says, “The addition of these four prominent broadcasters to our board will further enhance awareness of the work that we do and increase our ability to help more broadcasters in need.  Their dedication to helping those in our industry who need it most is an inspiration that I hope will motivate everyone in our profession to make a donation and become involved with our cause.”

tangeralexMarlin Broadcasting Chairman Alex Tanger Dies at 94.  The broadcasting career of Alexander Tanger started after his return from World War II service when he became vice president of WHDH-TV and WHDH-AM in Boston.  He bought WLKW, Providence and operated it for many years.  Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, he convinced General Cinema Corporation to buy FM radio stations – among them WIFI-FM, Philadelphia; KRBE-FM, Houston; WGZC-FM, Atlanta; WHUE-FM Boston; WGCI-FM, Cleveland; and WEFM-FM, Chicago, where he won a landmark case in the U.S. Court of Appeals that freed broadcasters from government oversight of programming.  In the 1980s and 1990s, Tanger built the WBACH Classical Music network of FM stations in Maine and served as the chairman of the board of Marlin Broadcasting, Inc. and Marlin Broadcasting, LLC from 1979 until his passing.

U.S. GDP Shrinks, Primary Races-Mid Term Elections, Lerner’s IRS Emails Scandal, Hillary Clinton Memoir/2016 Presidential Race, Influx of Illegal Immigrants; SCOTUS Cell Phone Search Ruling; Global Warming Debate; and World Cup Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/25).  Analysis of the economy as the gross domestic product in the U.S. shrinks 2.9%; the Thad Cochran primary race and the looming mid-term elections; the Lois Lerner IRS emails and GOP audits scandal; sales of Hillary Clinton’s memoir and the possibility she’ll run for president in 2016; continuing concern over the influx of illegal immigrants and public health issues associated with the problem; the SCOTUS ruling on warrantless police searches of cell phones; the debate over man-made climate change; and World Cup action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

| June 19, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150Two Big Days for Talk Radio in the Big Apple.  Today (6/19) kicks off a big couple of days for talk radio in New York City starting with the ninth annual installment of “Talk Radio Day at the United Nations” – the massive radio row at the iconic headquarters of the World Organization — produced by TALKERS magazine in association with the Talk Radio News Service and the United Nations Foundation.  Tomorrow is the power-packed day of “Talkers New York 2014” — the 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longestcolmesUN14 running and most important national convention.  More than 25 hosts, shows and networks are participating in the United Nations initiative which is already underway at the time of this posting.  They are interviewing international policy experts, ambassadors, newsmakers and UN department leaders.  Tomorrow, more than 55 industry leaders will address hundreds of attendees from radio stations, networks and broadcast-oriented organizations from across the country in an anticipated event that was been sold-out two weeks in advance.  Look for full coverage of both exciting events right here in the days ahead.  Meanwhile, from today’s broadcasts from the United Nations, pictured here is Fox News Radio personality Alan Colmes (left) interviews UN deputy general secretary Jan Eliasson (right).

millerkevinARKKARN-FM, Little Rock Announces New Programming Lineup.  Arkansas news/talker KARN-FM, Little Rock “Newsradio 102.9” has new morning drive and afternoon programming as the Cumulus Media station names Arkansas native Kevin Miller morning drive host and Doc Washburn afternoon talkwashburndoc personality.  The station says Miller is a longtime market veteran who has worked at such stations as adult contemporary KURB “B98.5” and CHR KLAL “Alice 107.7.”  Beginning Monday, July 7, Doc Washburn begins hosting the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm program.  Washburn comes to Little Rock from his most recent gig at Greater Media’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  He’s also worked in the Savannah, Georgia; Panama City and Fort Walton Beach, Florida markets.  KARN-FM program director Adam Thomas states, “Kevin and Doc bring passion, experience and a love of local radio to mornings and afternoons on Arkansas’ legendary news radio station.”

edisonshareofearEdison Research: Broadcast Radio Grabs 52% of Audio Listening.  According to a new study of 2,096 Americans ages 13+ that the company calls the “Share of Ear” measurement, Americans spend more than four hours per day listening to audio from all sources and AM/FM broadcast audio (heard on all of its platforms) has a 52% audience share of listening.  The study asked the panel about its audio listening habits including radio, internet delivered radio, pure-play digital services, and consumers’ own music collections.  The study is based on a 24-hour listening diary recorded last month.  Edison Research president Larry Rosin comments, “Edison’s ‘Share of Ear’ study is a response to the many requests from all corners of the audio industry and investment community for ‘total share of everything’ figures that did not previously exist.  Edison reported last September that America is in a ‘golden age of audio consumption.’  Seeing that Americans spend roughly a fourth of their waking day listening to some sort of audio confirms it.”

alphamedia logoAlpha Media’s Portland Stations to Use Clip Interactive Technology.  Calling it a first for the Portland, Oregon market, Alpha Media announces it signs on with Clip Interactive to have the company’s technology allow listeners to be “interactive” with its six stations that include: talk KUFO-AM “Freedom 970,” CHR KBFF “Live 95.5,” country KUPL “98.7 The Bull,” sports talk KXTG-AM “750 The Game,” news/talk KXL “FM News 101” and triple A KINK.  The station says that new apps loaded with the Clip technology have been pushed out and that with “Clip Interac-tive’s technology, these apps now enable our listeners to access a live feed of what’s playing, listen to the stations streams and browse the content aired in the past hour.  Users can also interact with what they hear by rating music, entering contests, accessing special offers and more.”  Alpha SVP and market manager Milt McConnell adds, “Clip Interactive has been an important partner of Alpha Broadcasting and we are excited to implement their new technology, which greatly benefits our listeners, advertisers and other partner companies.  These apps will enable us to further engage our listener base while quantifying the effectiveness of our advertisers’ campaigns.”

cookehollandNJBA Convention Report.  Media consultant Holland Cooke reports from Atlantic City where the New Jersey Broadcasters Association just wrapped its annual convention.  Among the topics covered: The Great Debate – Internet Pure-Plays versus AM/FM Broadcasters; the still-high consumption of audio content in a multi-media universe; and selling audio content in the current era.  Cooke reports that while Connoisseur chief Jeff Warshaw admits that “radio hasn’t been its own best friend lately,” many radio people believe that digital audio services are hot not necessarily because they are good, but because they exist on the “shiny new object” that is the smartphone or tablet, thereby making them de facto “cool.”  Read more of Holland Cooke’s NJBA report here.

justiceborderGetting the First Look.  KQTH, Tucson morning drive personality Jon Justice (pictured at left wearing lanyard) stands outside the Nogales Border Patrol facility where child immigrants are being quartered.  Justice is credited with breaking the story that went national after receiving a tip from insiders about the conditions in which the children were being kept.  Here, Justice is part of the first group of media allowed to tour the facility.  TALKERS hears that it was Justice’s tenacity in requesting the media be allowed to see the site that, in part, led to the Border Patrol opening the facility to the media.

Obama Administration’s Iraq Policy, Washington Redskins Decision, Global Warming Debate, Benghazi Suspect Testimony, Primary Races/State of the GOP, IRS Scandal/Missing Lerner Emails and World Cup Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/18).  The political turmoil in Iraq and the Obama Administration’s military policy there; the cancellation of the Washington Redskins’ trademark and debate over the team’s name; the ongoing discussion over man-made climate change and proposals to limit carbon emissions; the Benghazi suspect’s story about the attack on the U.S. consulate; mid-term primary races and the state of the GOP; the missing emails from Lois Lerner and the IRS scandal; and World Cup action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, June 16, 2014

| June 16, 2014

warginsusieKOA, Denver Changes PM Drive Programming to Newsy Bent.  Longtime Clear Channel Denver personality Dave Logan remains on KOA, but he loses former Denver Post sports columnist Dave Krieger (who exits the station) and the content will turn away from sports as KUSA-TV, Denver “9News” part-time reporter Susie Wargin joins Logan for the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm talk show portion of “Colorado’s Afternoon News.”  From 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm Susan Witkin and Mike Rice co-anchor the all-news part of the show.

entercomEntercom Adds Platforms to Rochester ESPN Sports Talker.  The new Rochester market sports talk outlet “ESPN Rochester” debuts on multiple platforms from Entercom Communications.  The broadcast is heard on translator W239BF as well as on original signal WROC-AM, an HD2 channel, and several online destinations.   Entercom Rochester VP and market manager Susan Munn says, “This is an exciting day for our brand, our clients and, most importantly, our listeners.  Since we launched ESPN Rochester in 2008, our goal has been to deliver the most compelling and entertaining brand of national and local sports talk to Rochester.  From FM to AM to HD and online streaming, we are putting the best sports content where sports fans demand and access it.  ESPN media reaches 58% of men and 81% of avid sports fans nationally and ESPN Rochester has the biggest brands and names in sports from the Bills and Sabres to the #1 sports morning show in the country with Mike & Mike.  With ESPN Rochester now on FM, it makes our already powerful cluster of stations an even better advertiser choice to serve the important male audience.”

kfnskxfnKFNS-AM, St. Louis GM Marshall Resigns; Sports Talk Stations in State of Flux.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dan Caesar is reporting that Grand Slam Sports general manager Dan Marshall has resigned his post a week after an altercation between him and KXFN morning host Brian McKenna landed Marshall in the hospital and McKenna in police custody.  There are still more questions than answers about what happened and who will be held responsible for the incident.  Although McKenna was taken into custody and Marshall was injured, no charges have been filed against McKenna, who took umbrage at being ridiculed on the air by fellow station personality Nick Trupiano.  The incident that resulted in fisticuffs happened after McKenna went to the station offices to confront Marshall about what was being said about him on the air.  Station operations manager Mike Calvin says there have been no decisions made about on-air talent or whether McKenna – who was fired after the incident – will be offered his position back.  Read Caesar’s story here.

beck not conformGlenn Beck Teams with Fathom Events to Produce National Cinema Event.  The name of the July 22 and July 29 “night of action against Common Core” is being called “We Will Not Conform,” and involves nationally syndicated Premiere Networks star Glenn Beck teaming with Fathom Events.  It’s a live broadcast direct to cinemas across the country and here’s how Beck and Fathom describe it: “This isn’t a typical show –it’s an interactive experience and a rare opportunity to make a real difference in America’s education system. ‘We Will Not Conform’ is your chance to not only hear from experts like Michelle Malkin, David Barton, and others but to join LIVE with fellow theatergoers across the country to develop tangible strategies in the pursuit of enacting real change in our schools.  By the end of the night, the brainpower, experience, and passion of cinema audiences nationwide will be captured in a unified plan of action distributed to all participants.”  Tickets for adults are $20.

stephandougDoug Stephan Breaking New Ground with Experimental Farm Show.  His reputation as a major player in syndicated news/talk radio has been forged by longevity, the ability to change with the times and consistent success.  Doug Stephan’s national general issues morning program, “Good Day,” is the second-longest-running weekday syndicated show in talk radio, having launched in October of 1988, with only Rush Limbaugh beating him out during this past quarter century-plus by a mere handful of months (Rush debuted in August of 1988).  In addition, Stephan’s program, “The Talk Radio Countdown Show,” is one of the longest running and most successful weekend programs in news/talk radio.  Now, in addition to his traditional mainstream talk radio accomplishments, Stephan has been cooking up an experimental show on the platform of TalkersRadio that has been gathering significant interest by industry players and observers alike.  The show is a one-hour-per-week information and advocacy forum titled, “American Family Farmer,” and it is targeted specifically to the beleaguered sector of the talkersradio logoAmerican agriculture industry that is comprised of small, independent operators.  What makes Stephan qualified to host such a specifically targeted program?  The answer: In addition to being a dedicated lifelong radio broadcaster, he is also a dedicated lifelong family farmer!  Stephan is the owner/operator of several dairy farms in the Boston suburb of Framingham, Massachusetts under the umbrella of Eastleigh Farm. Stephan tells TALKERS, “I have been around cows all my life. I spent all my free time around the animals as a young boy, sort of an island of solitude for me growing up. I went to the farm when I was afraid to be home, or anywhere else.  I have kept an alliance with cows over the years on several farms that I have owned — raising heifers and milker replacements for various farms and dealers in Massachusetts.”  Stephan continues, “I have become more involved on a wider scale, to the point now where I have several hundred Jersey dairy cows, which provide us with the raw milk we sell, along with cheeses, ice cream and various other diary-related products that have meaning to those in the locavore movement [people who choose to eat locally grown and raised food].”  On “American Family Farmer” Stephan takes a position quite different from the affable generalist that is heard hosting his traditional news/talk programs.  He is a tell-it-like-it-is advocate of the political and economic interests of the farmers his new program is designed to serve.  He explains, “The family farmers in America, of which I am one, have a tenuous relationship with Big Government and Big Ag.  It is obvious to most that the many problems we are trying to solve have come about as a result of too much government meddling in the affairs of the American family farm.   We are aggressively addressing these problems with solution-based discussions each week.  We are dedicated to becoming the voice for these hard-working people who play such an important role in the economic and nutritional well-being of our nation and are basically being stepped on by Big Government in cahoots with Big Business.”  According to TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein, “During the four months or so that this amazing program has been on our experimental platform, we have received non-stop inquiries from small market and rural stations around the country asking if it is available in syndication.  We have had to turn them away, explaining that it is just an experimental program still in development and that we do not have an infrastructure set up to be able to offer it in syndication.  It seems that this show would be a wonderful venue for a wide variety of advertisers that are specifically interested in reaching the people who buy equipment, feed, and other products that support the effort of running a small farm.  It is also a sure-fire, powerful one-hour per week place to park local advertisers seeking this audience as well.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison adds, “Giving birth to an ‘out-of-the-box’ program like American Family Farmer has been exactly what we designed TalkersRadio to do.  It is especially exciting to see this vehicle being productively utilized by seasoned professionals such as Doug [Stephan], Alan [Colmes] and Lionel to create properties different than what they are generally known for in the industry.”  Harrison adds, “Now we have to identify a good home for American Family Farmer out there among established syndicators to partner in the effort of creating a new rural network for the terrestrial dial – or place it on an existing farm-oriented syndicator.”  American Family Farmer airs on TalkersRadio (on Talkers.com) Saturday mornings between 8:00 am and 9:00 am ET.  Interested syndicators can find out more by emailing Michael Harrison at michael@talkers.com or calling 413-565-5413.  Look for a major announcement involving another TalkersRadio program coming later this week. TalkersRadio, powered by Backbone Networks, is an experimental talk radio laboratory run by TALKERS magazine to support the development of new programs and programming ideas for talk radio.

epictimes logoTRN’s Jerry Doyle Launches Kickstarter Campaign for Relaunch of EpicTimes.com.  Talk show host Jerry Doyle, whose daily radio program is syndicated nationally by Talk Radio Network, announces the beginning of a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the relaunch and expansion of his flagship website, Epictimes.com.  Doyle says money raised through this campaign will support the growth of EpicTimes.com – currently a news curation and aggregation site.  He says the updated EpicTimes.com will be a one-stop shop for news-related audio and video content for the politically independent “middle majority” that is currently underserved by the left- and right-leaning news media.  The site will also featuredoylejerry podcasts of his radio program as well as other well-known contributors.  Doyle comments, “We are trying to create a news outlet that represents the real needs and interests of the American people, which is something that I am very passionate about.  EpicTimes.com has always been a place where people can find the news and information they are looking for, not what the media thinks they want or need to hear.  Expanding the site allows us to offer more information and give more power to the individual.”  Doyle brings aboard Elaine Kunda as CEO of EpicTimes.com.  Kunda previously served as CEO of women’s lifestyle digital network B5Media and has worked in various digital media companies since 1998.  She adds, “EpicTimes.com presents an exciting opportunity for me.  To be involved basically from the ground floor and build a media network of this kind during a time of such frustration by the American people is exactly the kind of challenge I’ve been looking for.  Jerry’s passion for this company, his fans and his listeners is infectious.  I am looking forward to working with him to make EpicTimes.com a household name.”  With the support of contributions from this Kickstarter campaign, the new EpicTimes.com is scheduled to relaunch in September 2014.

giordanodomOdds & Sods.  In recognition of Flag Day this past Saturday (6/14), WPHT, Philadelphia midday personality Dom Giordano and his listeners joined forces with the local VFW to provide flags for the 1,200 veterans whose graves are located in Forest Hills Cemetery in Huntingdon Valley.  The VFW and Montgomery County officials were at odds about the oversight that would have left the soldiers’ graves without flags.  Giordano’s program was flooded with calls from listeners willing to donate money and flags…..ABC News Radio is offering three one-hour specials ahead of the coming Fourth of July weekend, including: “Second Tour: Military Vets Making a Difference,” “Red White & BBQ” and “Car Crazy: America’s Love Affair With Cars.”  ABC’s Aaron Katersky hosts “Second Tour: Military Vets Making a Difference,” which tells the amazing stories of the continued selflessness and strength from men and women who have returned home from war.  Scott Goldberg anchors “Red White & BBQ,” featuring all of the best tips to make your summer BBQ the best on the block. And Alex Stone hosts “Car Crazy: America’s Love Affair With Cars,” a show that dishes on the latest technology and safety trends influencing the auto industry today…..NPR appoints Jonathan Hart as its new chief legal officer and general counsel. Hart, who currently serves as a partner in Cooley LLP’s Technology Transactions practice group, joins NPR on July 1.

weismanstevenWEISMAN: The Limits of the First Amendment.  TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes in an article published today (6/16) about the pending legal case involving Premiere Networks syndicated talk host Glenn Beck, who is being sued by Saudi Arabian student Abdulrahman Alharbi for defamation.  Alharbi was, for a time accused of being involved in the Boston Marathon bombing by Beck even after local authorities had cleared him of any suspicion.  Beck’s attorneys are pointing to the First Amendment as part of Beck’s defense.  But Weisman says the result may rest on whether Alharbi qualifies and as a public figure, limited public figure or not a public figure at all.  Read Weisman’s analysis of the case here.

Friday, June 13, 2014

| June 13, 2014

krantzwhitmireChanges in Evenings at WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte; Krantz & Whitmire Exit.  The duo ofwbtlogo Brad Krantz and Britt Whitmire are out at Greater Media’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte where they hosted the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm show for the past two years.  The station moves late evening host Doc Washburn up to the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot and is airing the newsy “Charlotte at Six” from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Krantz and Whitmire worked together at Curtis Media’s former talk outlet WZTK-FM, Greensboro, North Carolina and at WPTF, Raleigh.  Krantz worked at WBT from 1999 through 2003 alongside Richard Spires in afternoon drive.  The Charlotte Observer’s Mark Washburn reports that Krantz is unhappy with the lack of support he believes the duo received from station management over the course of their two-year stint.  He also says he believes the reason the show didn’t track well with WBT listeners is because of the swerve toward the far right the station took in recent years.  “We were hired to break the WBT noon-to-6:00 pm right-wing sewer that had been led by Jeff Katz, Tara Servatius and Vince Coakley.  We did that, got high ratings but got no support from management.”  Read Washburn’s entire piece here.

gardneralAl Gardner Partners with Marty Hurney at ‘ESPN 730’ in Charlotte.  Longtime Charlotte talk personality Al Gardner – 14 years as morning drove co-host at crosstown WBT-AM/FM – is paired up with former Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney for the mid-afternoon program (1:00 pm to 3:00 pm) on HRN Broadcasting’s sports talk WZGV “ESPN 730.”  The “Hurney and Gardner” show moves to the earlier time slot beginning Monday, June 16 and “The Pulse with Bobby Rosinski and Chris Allison” moves into the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot.  In addition to his stint with the Carolina Panthers, Hurney also worked for the Washington Times as a sports writer.

nielsen logoFinal Round of May PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the final round of four groups of 12 markets for the May 2014 period (April 24 – May 21) has been released by Nielsen Audio.  Those markets include: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication, RadioInfo, has all the (subscriber) numbers here.  Managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the report at RadioInfo.com here.

Jwtmj logoournal News/Talk WTMJ, Milwaukee Credits Ratings Growth to ‘Broader Appeal.’  The just-released PPM numbers for the Milwaukee market show Journal Broadcast Group’s news/talk WTMJ in the top spot (Persons 6+) with a 9.4 share in Nielsen Audio’s May 2014 PPM survey.  Vice president and GM of radio operations for the Milwaukee market for Journal, Tom Langmyer, comments, “We returned WTMJ to its roots of being broad in appeal and have seen strong results.”  Milwaukee market media observers tell TALKERS the “broader approach” is evident in numerous dayparts, including morning and afternoon drive where hosts Gene Mueller and John Mercure, respectively, are entertaining a wider variety of topics during what had been a more tight rotation of hard-news issues.  The station usually sees a summer ratings surge due to its position as flagship station for Milwaukee Brewers baseball, but Langmyer hints recent ratings growth doesn’t appear to be just the result of baseball cume.  Meet Tom Langmyer at Talkers New York 2014 on Friday, June 20.

conwaysimonOdds & Sods.  Even being on vacation won’t stop WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive personality Simon Conway from cracking the mic when he’s in demand.  Today, Conway filled in as morning drive personality on Clear Channel’s WFLF, Orlando “Newsradio 102.5 WFLA” and he’ll be back behind the mic this evening sitting in for Andy Dean on Premiere Networks’ syndicated “America Now” program…..Morning drive host and general sales manager Brian Collamore is taking time away from his on-air duties at Catamount Radio-owned news/talk WYSB, Rutland, Vermont to run for state senate.  According to WCAX.com, Collamore will continue his sales duties while running.  Collamore says he believes his years of experience on the air have given him the opportunity to interact with the people of the region and learn what their needs are.

vicratner honorABC News Radio’s Vic Ratner Honored.  Longtime ABC News Radio newsman Vic Ratner (left) was honored by the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association on Thursday evening (6/12) Washington, DC.  Ratner, pictured here with ABC News Radio’s Cheri Preston (right), was honored with the Career Achievement Award for Distinguished Reporting on Congress.

wqamTysonWatch Out for Your Ear, Marc!  Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson visited the Marc Hochman show in Beasley Broadcasting’s WQAM, Miami studios yesterday prior to attending game four of the NBA Finals.  He spent almost an hour on air chatting about the Heat and his own life.  Pictured here are (from left to right): Victor Bermudez, Sha Tabb, Hochman, Tyson, and Zach Krantz.

Eric Cantor Defeat Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of June 9-13.  The primary election defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and related discussion about the looming mid-term elections was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  Landing at #2 on the Talkers TenTM was talk about Hillary Clinton’s latest memoir.  At #3 was the 2016 presidential race followed by the political instability in Iraq at #4.  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.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

| May 28, 2014

hannitybismarckSean Hannity Keynotes Petroleum Conference.  Nationally syndicated talk radio star Sean Hannity served as the keynote speaker at the 2014 Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck, North Dakota last week.  Hannity addressed the attendees at the 22nd annual event, praising the oil boom in North Dakota and urging America to become energy independent.  The Premiere Networks personality said, “In spite of government, you have been able to show the entire country that there is an answer out there — the answer is oil, the answer is energy, it’s the lifeblood of our economy…You have shown the country the way, I just hope that America is wise and smart enough to follow North Dakota.”  Hannity has been vocal on his radio program about America’s need for energy independence.  Through his “Get America Back to Work” campaign, Hannity teams up with companies in oil-rich states to help promote and inform those in need of work of the openings available to them.  In the photo here, Hannity is seen on stage at the Bismarck Civic Center.

cosbyritaWABC, New York’s Rita Cosby to Meet with Pope.  TALKERS magazine sources report that television and radio journalist Rita Cosby – now co-host of “The Ride Home” on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WABC, New York – is being granted an audience with Pope Francis and will report back to the WABC listeners next week.  The talented journalist is getting a “once in a lifetime” chance for an audience and will be in Rome next week.  While the technical details are reportedly still being worked out, it’s possible Cosby will co-host the 5:00 pm ET show (alongside Pat Kiernan) from Rome.  Cosby’s visit comes as the popular and personable pontiff prepares to meet with sexual abuse victims next month.

zinnomarkCBS RADIO Brings Zinno to Atlanta’s ’92.9 The Game.’  Sports talk personality Mark Zinno is making the move from CBS RADIO’s WJZ-FM, Baltimore “105.7 The Fan” south to sister sports talk station WZGC, Atlanta “92.9 The Game.” Zinno – a former U.S. Special Forces service member who was deployed to Iraq in 2005-06 – hosts the evening show on WJZ and will handle the same daypart at WZGC.  He tells DCRTV’s Dave Hughes he’ll miss the Baltimore market but that “it’s the right move for me.”

patrickdanksevKSEV, Houston Owner Patrick Wins Primary Race for Texas Lieutenant Governor Seat.  Current Texas state senator Dan Patrick – who is also owner of Houston talk station KSEV – won the right to face Democrat Leticia Van de Putte in the general election in the fall after beating three-term Republican incumbent David Dewhurst in yesterday’s primary.  In Texas, the lieutenant governor is considered the second most powerful post as he or she controls the senate’s legislative schedule as well as the budget process by also serving as the leader of the legislative budget board.

Odds & Sods.  At CBS RADIO’s Atlanta cluster, Andy West is promoted from his creative services director role at sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” to imaging director for the entire cluster that includes news/talk WAOK and urban contemporary WVEE…..Townsquare Media’s oldies WJLT, Evansville, Indiana will flip to sports using ESPN programming, according to Tristatehomepage.com.  The date of the format flip has not been announced yet.

mcculloughveteranThanking a D-Day Survivor.  The veteran in the middle of this photo is 97-year-old General Jerome Richard, the oldest surviving member of the Veterans Corps of Artillery and a D-Day survivor.  Richard worked with Frank Capra to capture footage of the D-Day invasion for posterity.  He appeared at the “Stand With Israel” event hosted by Salem Communications news/talk station WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” and Christian talk WMCA, New York.  Pictured with Richard are Kevin McCullough, nationally syndicated host and afternoon personality on WMCA (left), and WIND, Chicago and WNYM personality Joe Walsh (right). Also in attendance at the event were Salem Radio Network personalities Michael Medved, Dennis Prager and Mike Gallagher.  WNYM morning host Joe Piscopo also took part in the program.

jtbrickwilliamsJT the Brick Emcees American Cancer Society Event.  That’s Fox Sports Radio Network personality JT the Brick (right) posing for a shot with University of North Carolina basketball head coach Roy Williams (left) at the recent 7th Annual American Cancer Society Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic festivities.  JT had the honor of emceeing the event and getting the chance to play golf at Shadow Creek and Southern Highlands in Las Vegas.  The multi-day event raised more than $500,000 for the American Cancer Society and drew coaches from around the nation, including event founder and University of Oklahoma head basketball coach Lon Kruger, Williams, University of Nebraska head basketball coach Tim Miles, Kansas State University Head basketball coach Bruce Weber and University of Nevada, Las Vegas head basketball coach Dave Rice.

farmjournalmediaCool Job Opportunity.  Farm Journal Media seeks a radio affiliate manager.  Farm Journal Media is the nation’s leading agricultural media company and in late 2012 added radio to its portfolio with the purchase of the AgriTalk radio network.  The primary role of the radio affiliate manager will be to develop new affiliates and provide support to existing affiliates for current and future Farm Journal radio shows syndicated nationally.  A secondary role will be to provide maintenance of existing television affiliate relations.  Candidate must be highly motivated, organized and have exceptional interpersonal skills in order to communicate effectively with affiliates.  Background and experience in radio affiliate relations is highly preferred.  All Farm Journal Media platforms will be at your disposal for promotional purposes.  Qualifications include, but are not limited to, the following: Bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing or other related field preferred; Also valuable, experience in media sales and/or sales management; excellent negotiation skills; flexibility to travel as necessary; position is based out of South Bend, Indiana; familiarity with agriculture and/or farm programming helpful, but not required; compensation (salary and bonus opportunities) commensurate with experience.  Please email a letter of introduction and resume to: Mark DePrez, VP/GM, Farm Journal Radio, mdeprez@farmjournal.com.  No phone calls please.

UCSB Deadly Shootings, VA Hospitals Scandal, 2016 Presidential Race/Mid-Term Primaries, White House Exposes CIA Agent, Climate Change Debate, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/27).  The aftermath of the deadly UCSB shootings and the renewed controversy over gun control legislation and mental health care; the continuing conversation about the VA hospital scandals and care for U.S. veterans; speculation over candidates for president in 2016 and the results of primary elections for this year’s mid-term races; the flap over the White House’s exposing a top CIA agent; the ongoing debate over human activities and their relationship to climate change; and NBA and NHL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

| May 14, 2014

naglerharveyCBS’ Harvey Nagler Named RTDNA’s John F. Hogan Award Winner.  Longtime CBS Radio News vice president Harvey Nagler is being honored by the Radio Television Digital News Association with its 2014 John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes an individual’s contributions to the journalism profession and freedom of the press.  RTDNA executive director Mike Cavender says, “We’re proud to honor one of the driving forces behind radio news in America.  Harvey Nagler is a champion of quality broadcast journalism.”  RTDNA chairman Chris Carl adds, “The format and sound of today’s radio newscasts owe a lot to Harvey Nagler.  The many awards and accolades earned by CBS Radio News are proof that he stands for innovation and integrity.”  The award will be presented on Friday, September 5 at the Excellence in Journalism 2014 national convention, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville.

mutnanskymikeWEEI-FM, Boston Finds Sox, Evening Role for Mike Mutnansky.  When the talent changes take place later this month at Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston, current “Mut and Merloni” co-host Mike Mutnansky will exit that show but remain with the station as host of the station’s Boston Red Sox pre- and post-game shows.  He’ll have a role on the nightly “Planet Mikey” program hosted by Mike Adams as well as hosting his own 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show.  As TALKERS reported earlier this week, Entercom is creating a new midday show called “Middays with MFB” co-hosted by Lou Merloni, former NFL tight end Christian Fauria and New England native and current “970 ESPN Pittsburgh” sports personality and Clear Channel Pittsburgh sports director Tim Benz.  Mutnansky replaces John Ryder in the Red Sox broadcast role effective later this month.  Mutnansky joined WEEI in 2005 as a sports anchor and weekend host.  He became a regular fill-in host for the station’s prime time shows and in 2011 was teamed with former Boston Red Sox infielder Lou Merloni in the midday slot.

compasslogoCompass Media Networks to Serve as Ad Rep for AirKast.  This move puts Compass Media Networks further into the digital sales realm as it will become the national advertising representative and marketer for AirKast’s mobile services and applications to publishers, AirKast logoincluding radio and television stations.  AirKast is a mobile services and platform provider that supports more than 3,000 mobile apps the company reports are launched more than 20 million times per month.  More than 1,100 radio and television stations use AirKast’s mobile platform and technology to publish their streaming audio, and on-demand audio and video content.  AirKast COO Simon Moy comments, “Mobile is the next frontier for radio and television, and it is paramount that stations have a powerful mobile platform that can effectively monetize their programming.  We are thrilled to partner with Compass Media Networks, who will now drive our national sales and deliver additional revenue for our affiliate partners.”

nielsen logoSecond Round of April PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the second of four groups of 12 markets for the April 2014 period (March 27 – April 23) has been released by Nielsen Audio.  Those markets include: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication, RadioInfo, has all the (subscriber) numbers here.  Managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the report at RadioInfo.com here.

cowherd studio shotCowherd Hits the Road to Celebrate 10 Years.  Today, ESPN Radio personality Colin Cowherd broadcasts live from Legends Bar in New York City from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm in what is being described as part of the fifth annual ESPN Audio Baseball Tour and in celebration of Cowherd’s 10-year anniversary at ESPN.  Cowherd comments, “It’s The Herd’s 10-year anniversary and spending a day in New York is a great way to celebrate.  And with Ivan Nova going down for the Yankees, I may as well audition to be the Yankees fifth starter while I’m at it.”  Cowherd’s broadcast comes prior to game two of the Subway Series between the New York Mets and Yankees.  He’ll welcome several guests to his show, including veteran Major League Baseball managers Bobby Valentine and Willie Randolph.

wkzologoCool Job Opportunity.  Are you that person at a party?  The one who everybody stops to listen to when you start telling a story?  The most informed person in the room?  If you are, heritage talker WKZO, Kalamazoo wants to provide you the tools to use those talents to get West Michigan’s day started with the information it needs.  Our next morning host will be surrounded by an outstanding news team, a company dedicated to live and local and the freedom to create compelling content every day.  And you’ll do it in a vibrant college town in one of the booming economic regions of the country.  And if you have a young family you need to know about the Kalamazoo Promise.  If you’re passionate about making great radio every day, we want to talk with you.  Send aircheck and resume to Jeremy Lawrence, Brand Manager at jeremy.lawrence@mwcradio.com or snail mail to: WKZO Morning Host Search, 4200 West Main Street, Kalamazoo, MI  49006.  Please, no phone calls.  Midwest Communications is an Equal Opportunity Employer by choice.

Antarctic Glacial Melt Report/Global Warming, Karl Rove’s Hillary Brain Damage Comment, Boko Haram Kidnappings, Donald Sterling CNN Interview, Russian Military Aggression, and Casey Kasem Missing Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/13).  The controversy over global warming on the heels of the recent report about unstoppable Antarctic glacial ice melt; the flap over Karl Rove’s comment that Hillary Clinton may have brain damage; the global effort to return the kidnapped Nigerian school girls and questions about the United States’ classification of Boko Haram; fallout from the Donald Sterling interview on CNN; Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine and Eastern Europe; and the disappearance of radio legend Casey Kasem were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, April 28, 2014

| April 28, 2014

wfan logoCBS RADIO Puts Kibosh on WFAN-Francesa YouTube Channel.  According to a piece in the New York Daily News, a fan channel for sports talk WFAN-AM/FM and PM drive host Mike Francesa will no longer present audio or video of the station’s programming after the operator of Twitter’s @WFANAudio agreed to cease and desist putting audio or video on his YouTube channel.  The story says CBS reached out to YouTube to protect its copyright on the content and YouTube let the operator know it would suspend his account if he didn’t cease.  The paper reports it connected with @WFANAudio who said he made no money off the venture.  He says he’s merely a big fan of the station but he understands the copyright issue and will stop putting audio on YouTube.

hitzgesnorm‘The Ticket’ in Dallas Extends Norm Hitzges for Three Years.  The Dallas Morning News has the story and it focuses on Norm Hitzges’ age – he’ll turn 70 this summer.  If Hitzges stays through the end of his new three-year deal at the Cumulus Media station, he’ll be 73 when he signs off for good…if he does.  Hitzges holds down the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot on the station that, the paper points out, is populated by younger hosts trying to capture that all-important men 25-54 demographic.  As for Hitzges’ response to his success after 17 years on KTCK, Dallas, he simply says, “I landed in a really good spot.”

odonnellterryO’Donnell Set to Transfer to Clear Channel Springfield as OM/PD.  In two weeks (5/12), Clear Channel Poughkeepsie program director Terry O’Donnell will relocate to Springfield, where he will become operations manager and program director of the company’s cluster in that western Massachusetts market.  Regional programming manager Rob Anthony comments, “I am thrilled to have Terry joining the team in Springfield.  His knowledge of the formats and track record of making great radio speaks for itself.”  O’Donnell states, “I can’t thank my current team in Poughkeepsie enough.  I am looking forward to this new opportunity.”  O’Donnell will oversee news/talk WHYN-AM, hot AC WHYN-FM “Mix 93.1,” and WRNX “Pioneer Valley’s Country.”

nielsen logoNielsen Presents Radio ROI Research to Group Heads in NYC.  The meeting at Clear Channel New York headquarters announced on Friday took place as planned with Nielsen and the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) hosting an event featuring panel discussions and speakers titled “Nielsen Cracks the Code on Radio ROI.  As noted in TALKERS/RadioInfo on Friday, the event was to focus on Nielsen’s ROI measurement tool for radio.  Radio group heads attending the event were joined by key marketers and advertisers.  Clear Channel chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and CBS RADIO president and CEO Dan Mason welcomed advertiser, agency and industry attendees.  Nielsen EVP of global product leadership Steve Hasker presented the study’s findings.  Two panel discussions followed — the first, moderated by Michael Kassan, chairman and CEO of MediaLink, discussed the power of radio for marketers and how it should best be considered in the marketing mix.  Panelists from across the media landscape included: Gayle Fuguitt, president and CEO, The ARF; Matt MacDonald, BBDO; John Nitti, ZenithOptimedia; Ritu Trivedi, MediaVest and Mary Ellen Johnson Jalenek, American Express.  The second panel was moderated by Bob Pittman and featured the heads of major radio groups, including Lew Dickey, CEO, Cumulus Media; David Field, CEO, Entercom; and Dan Mason.  The group discussed Nielsen’s study and how they believe it will improve the perception of radio within the ad community.

doughertyelizabethGenesis to Syndicate Weekly Elizabeth Dougherty Show.  The weekly “Dougherty Report” program, hosted by culinary expert Elizabeth Dougherty, will air live from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight on Saturdays beginning May 10 and will be syndicated by Genesis Communications Network.  The company says Dougherty’s program “sends listeners on an adventure of good food, along with interviews and a unique take on the news of the day, for parents in particular.”  It also says Dougherty has an extensive background in food writing and culinary arts training.  The program is based out of flagship WAMT, Orlando.

biakelseyadchartBIA/Kelsey Delivers U.S. Local Spend Estimate for 2013-2018.  Just what will local radio’s slice of the advertising pie look like in 2018?  According to BIA/Kelsey’s “U.S. Local Media Forecast,” radio advertising accounted for 11.1% of the total $133.2 billion spent in 2013 (direct mail, newspapers, and TV led the category).  The primary sources of revenue for local radio in 2013 were automobile dealers ($1.43 billion), wireless telecommunications ($650.8 million), and full-service restaurants ($647.8 million).  Based on changes in the overall local media marketplace, BIA/Kelsey estimates that the overall local media market will grow faster than previously thought through 2018.  By 2018 the total will be $158.6 billion, of which $16.7 billion – or 10.5% – will go to local radio.  Obviously, the big growth is expected to be in digital.  BIA/Kelsey predicts, “Digital media continues to increase its share of total local media revenues, growing from $31.7 billion (23 percent) in 2014 to $52.7 billion (33.2 percent) in 2018.”  Find out more about the forecast here.

“Armed American Radio” Celebrates Fifth Anniversary.  Last night (4/27) marked the benchmark broadcast for the Salem Radio Network-distributed and Mark Walters-hosted program.  “It was no surprise to me that the time was right for a program of this type,” Walters comments.  “While the mainstream media continues to promote an anti-gun agenda, millions of law-abiding gun owners have found a new home on the radio dial that talks about their decision to carry a firearm.  We provide a hard-hitting, fact based, entertaining discussion about all things related to the pro-gun rights movement.”  The now three-hour syndicated program was launched in April 2009 as a one-hour, Atlanta only-based show.

gallaghersteveOdds & Sods.  Six-year Sun Broadcast Group exec Steve Gallagher departs.  Most recently, Gallagher was SBG’s executive vice president.  He joined the company in February 2008 as vice president of programming.  Gallagher’s prior credits include being director of operations for Citadel Communications Harrisburg (2005 – 2008); operations manager/program director of Nassau Broadcasting stations in Monmouth-Ocean, New Jersey (WOBM-AM, WOBM-FM and WADB) and in Allentown (WWYY “Lite 107″)…..Religious/Christian broadcaster Starboard Media Foundation (also known as Relevant Radio) agrees to acquire Multicultural Broadcasting‘s Spanish-formatted WNSW.  Purchase price for the New York City AM outlet is reportedly $10.1 million.  Michael J. Bergner (Bergner & Co.) was the exclusive broker for the transaction.  Starboard owns stations in Chicago, Austin, and Providence, as well as several Wisconsin outlets in Madison, Green Bay, and Eau Claire…..The Public Radio Program Directors Association announces the association’s president and CEO, Arthur Cohen, has decided to retire effective January 1, 2015 after an orderly leadership transition process of eight months.  The PRPD says Cohen, a veteran public radio programmer and manager will retire after a remarkable career of more than 35 years of service in public media.

risingthroughtheranksAugust Dates Set for Rising Through the Ranks Course.  The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), and the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group (MIW) are presenting the seventh annual “Rising Through the Ranks” seminar, August 27-28, at the BMI Nashville headquarters in Tennessee.  The organizations say that, as in years past, BMI will offer 20 scholarships for this year’s program.  These scholarships cover the cost of the professional development course, which is designed to foster and educate emerging female radio sellers and managers within broadcast radio.  This year’s course will focus primarily on women in the radio workplace and sales and management techniques; including problem solving, budget reviews, managing team personalities, and personal brand building.  Scholarship winners will also have the opportunity to hear from leading radio industry executives across various station groups and industry backgrounds. Confirmed speakers include: Lynn Anderson, CEO, Integrated Media Solutions Group; Lindsay Cerajewski, general sales manager, CBS Radio; Tincy Crouse, market manager, Cromwell Radio; Erica Farber, president and CEO, RAB; Katie Gambill, president and general manager, 5-Star Radio; Kim Guthrie, executive vice president, Cox Media Group; Brandeis C. Hall, vice president, professional development, RAB; Emily Hunt, local sales manager, KSL Broadcast Group; Laurie Kahn, president and CEO, Media Staffing Networks; Sue McNamara, senior vice president, sales, CBS Radio; Kay Olin; partner, Olin & Associates; and Dan Spears, vice president, licensing, BMI.  Kay Olin says, “’Rising Through the Ranks’ is the epitome of the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group.  With the generous help from BMI and the RAB, this two-day training workshop allows us to continue to develop, and help foster female sales managers to senior positions in the radio industry.”

jiggyjohnsonGettin’ Jiggy with Gary Johnson.  At the Kansas Libertarian Convention held over the weekend, internet radio personality Jiggy Jaguar a.k.a. James Lowe (right) sat down with the Libertarian Party’s former presidential nominee Gary Johnson (left) to discuss issues near and dear to the libertarians.  Lowe’s program is heard via his own KJAGRadio.com and the Transmedia World Wide network.

Monday, April 21, 2014

| April 21, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150Agenda Taking Shape for Talkers New York 2014.  The 17th annual installment of the talk radio and media industry’s largest and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2014 — is taking shape with most speakers and sessions already scheduled (for up-to-the-minute agenda, click here).  The one-day, power-packed conference will feature approximately 65 industry speakers participating in two keynote address, two special presentations, five panel discussions, an awards ceremony, the Talk Rumble, an exhibition, gala luncheon, and closing cocktail reception.  Talkers New York 2014 will be held on Friday, June 20 at the India House located at One Hanover Square in the cultural heart of New York City’s downtown Wall Street financial district.   The event – as usual — is expected to be an early sellout.  Registrations ($249 for all activities) are only open to professionals working in radio, communications and associated business and can only be obtained via telephone with credit card.  Please call 413-565-5413 to register or obtain a sponsorship.  Because New York City has so many hotels from which to choose, there is no “official” conference hotel – but several nearby recommended facilities include: Holiday Inn Express (click here), Hilton Millennium (click here), Marriott Downtown (click here) and Hilton Doubletree (click here).

cbsradio logoCBS RADIO to Move Washington Operations into DC.  According to a story in the Washington Business Journal, CBS RADIO has signed a lease for a 33,000 square foot second floor in a 10-story office building on Half Street SE and the stations will relocate from their current site in Lanham, Maryland.  In addition to the second floor, CBS will also lease about 3,000 square feet of space on the ground floor to serve as a performance space.  Washington DC Mayor Vincent Gray is expected to announce the deal at a press conference today that will include CBS RADIO president Dan Mason and senior vice president Steve Swenson.  CBS operates sports talk duo WJFK-FM and WJFK-AM, all-news WNEW-FM, hip hop WPGC, adult contemporary WIAD and Spanish WLZL.

relm networkRELM Network Offers Free Don Geronimo Podcasts.  Radio personality Don Geronimo began hosting a daily two-hour program on the RELM Network on April 1 after years working on CBS RADIO outlets – most recently KHTK, Sacramento and WJFK-FM, Washington.  Beginning today, RELM isgeronimodon offering a free, weekly “best of” Don Geronimo show podcast.  RELM says it will be 20 to 30 minutes in length and will contain highlights from recent episodes.  It will be available at relmnetwork.com, dongeronimopodcast.com and iTunes.  Geronimo’s show airs live from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm with a recorded version available shortly after each live show ends.  RELM is charging $9.99 per month to subscribe to the show ($26.99 per quarter or $99.99 for a year).   The cast of the show also includes co-host Drew Hoffar, their sidekick, Joe Ardinger, and features regular appearances by longtime pal and newsman Buzz Burbank.

tombarnardshowRoster Growing at Tom Barnard Network.  Twin Cities radio personality Tom Barnard is adding a number of new podcasts to Tom Barnard Network – the digital venture that operates independently of his KQRS, Minneapolis morning show.  According to the Pioneer Press, Barnard is distributing podcasts from Kailen Rosenberg, Rusty Gatenby and Tommy Mischke.  Rosenberg is a relationship expert and author who hosts the show “Lovetown, USA” on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network.  Her podcast is titled, “The Love Happy Hour,” which is produced with the assistance of Kelly Guest.  Gatenby is an entertainment reporter – formerly with KSTP-TV – who is producing a video podcast with fellow broadcaster Melinda Jacobs called “The Rusty Gatenby Review.”  Longtime Twin Cities radio show host Tommy Mischke debuts “The Mischke Roadshow” on May 12.  Mischke previously hosted shows on WCCO and KSTP-AM.  Barnard’s nephew Sean Barnard, who serves as general manager for the venture, tells the Pioneer Press, “We saw that there were a lot of talented people out there looking for an outlet, and it’s a very unique, fun and creative way to do things.”

cclogoAE Sues Clear Channel New Orleans.  Another sales staffer at Clear Channel’s New Orleans cluster is suing the company claiming management conspired to dismiss her in retaliation for testifying in the cases of other African American AEs suing the company.  Caucasian sales staffer Michelle Killian alleges in her suit that market manager Dick Lewis, sales manager Rob Hasson and director of sales Joshua Mednick attempted to create reasons to terminate Killian through assigning unattainable sales goals.  She also alleges the company began giving her smaller value sales leads in order to affect her income.  Further she alleges this came about after she testified in the cases of Prixie Montgomery and other black AEs suing the company for violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Killian states in her complaint that the atmosphere created at the cluster was such that black and white AEs only spoke to each other when business demanded it and that she was also targeted by management for interacting and socializing with African American co-workers.

siriusxmSiriusXM and NBC Agree to New ‘TODAY’ Show Channel.  In an agreement announced on today’s edition of the “TODAY” show on NBC TV, it was announced that the network and SiriusXM will produce the “TODAY” Show Radio channel that will carry audio from the morning television program live.  The channel will also air replays of the show.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “Listeners will for the first time be able to take the ‘TODAY’ show with them on their busy morning routine and throughout the day during their daily drive.  TODAY’s unparalleled and timely content is another great example of working with an iconic brand to provide great programming to our millions of subscribers.”

Former WJBO, Baton Rouge Sportscaster Walter Hill Dies.  For years, Walter Hill teamed up with John Ferguson to call Louisiana State University football games on WJBO, Baton Rouge.  Hill died in Lafayette, Louisiana on Saturday (4/21) at age 86.  Hill later served as sports director at WBRZ-TV.  He retired from that station in 1986 after 25 years.

envisionnetworks newCool Job Opportunity.  Affiliate Sales Manager.  Sales Experience Required.  Base salary plus Uncapped commission.  The position is based in Cleveland, Ohio.  Envision Networks is looking for salesperson to join a growing company and a fun team.  The successful candidate will be responsible for aggressively growing and maintaining the number of affiliated radio stations in their regional territory.  We use salesforce.com for our CRM and marketing.  We use social media as a sales tool.  Additional responsibilities: maintain affiliate relationships and handle affiliate questions or concerns in a timely manner; attend regional trade shows and entertain clients; attend affiliate events and broadcast industry functions to learn, laugh and live the dream; work closely with the director of affiliate relations to develop and relay new sales/marketing programs, products and services; provide innovative customer service and sales; maintain and track territory sales initiatives.  Qualifications & Requirements: 1) Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of training and experience; 2) Previous broadcasting industry experience is a plus, but not required; 3) Strong computer/technical skills; must have knowledge and experience with CRM, Word, Excel, and Outlook; 4) Ability to work well independently and as part of a positive team; 5) Good oral and written communication skills. Attention to detail is critical; 6) Exceptional organizational and time management skills; 7) Ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously; 8) Ability to prioritize and meet deadlines.  Spanish language skills a plus.  Salesforce.com a plus.  Microsoft Office Suite Required.  Envision Networks (www.goenvisionnetworks.com) offers profit sharing as well as competitive benefits and compensation package plus organization funded 401k retirement plan in a fast-paced entrepreneurial environment.  Please send cover letter, resume and salary requirements in MS Word or ASCII text to Laura Orkin, Chief Operations Officer or e-mail LauraO@envisionradio.com, or via fax to 216-514-4699.  No phone calls PLEASE.

conwaysimonBBQConway Goes Live from BBQ Joint for Good Cause.  WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive personality Simon Conway took his talk show on the road on Good Friday to the local Jethro’s BBQ ‘n’ Pork Chop Grill in order to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Conway reports that the local eatery gave him a percentage of its take for the afternoon for the cause and it even named a drink after him called the Simon Shandy.  The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society got $2 from each drink sold!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

| April 8, 2014

marinerrayRay Mariner to Program ‘106.1 The Ticket’ and ‘NASH FM 92.3’ in New Orleans.  In a newly created management position at Cumulus Media’s New Orleans operations, programmer and air personality Ray Mariner begins leading the programming at country WRKN “NASH FM 92.3” and sports talker WMTI “106.1 The Ticket” on April 15.  Mariner most recently was a personality on Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN, Atlanta “680 The Fan.”  He also served in the market as PM drive personality on Lincoln Financial Media’s CHR WSTR “Star 94.”  Cumulus SVP of programming Mike McVay states, “Ray is a rare breed of programmer and talent.  He has shown his programming acumen by performing and succeeding at the highest level.  We’re excited to have him oversee the programming of both ‘NASH FM 92.3’ and ‘106.1 The Ticket’ in New Orleans.”  Cumulus sports/talk format captain Jim Mahanay adds, “Ray Mariner is a strong addition to Cumulus’ programming team in New Orleans.  He brings a great track record and tremendous talent to this important role at ‘NASH FM 92.3’ and ‘106.1 The Ticket.’  I look forward to having him lead our sports programming in this key market.”

jaworski showRon Jaworski’s WPEN, Philadelphia Show to Air Year Round.  Former Philadelphia Eagles great Ron Jaworski has been hosting a weekly football show on Greater Media’s WPEN, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” during the regular NFL season but now the station makes his Wednesday evening 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm show a year-round deal.  The station is kicking off the program with a live show from Riley’s Pub at Valleybrook Country Club in Blackwood, New Jersey tomorrow evening (4/9).  Jaworski says in a statement, “I couldn’t be more excited to be extending the Ron Jaworski show to a year-round event. The NFL has become a 12-month league.  It’s going to be fun talking with the Philadelphia fans about free agency, the draft, training camp and eventually when the games get started in September.”

cookehollandNAB Show: Sound Bites from Sin City.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas reporting for RadioInfo from the NAB Show and here is some of what he’s gleaned from the convention.  Cooke writes that although this convention is not a radio gathering – that’s in Indianapolis in September – he says, “The recurring theme radio people hear here is that stations can’t only be ‘in the radio business’ anymore.”  Sales skills are probably the most important a broadcaster can have these days and there’s a lot of that kind of advice to be had.  During the RAB’s Lunch-N-Learn session, CEO Erica Farber noted that three of radio’s sales mistakes are: being afraid to ask for “The Big Ask”; constant rep turnover; and selling to the same advertisers over and over.  Read more of HC’s report here.

garciatonySyndication: Love or Money?  Moving a radio program into the syndication realm is a challenging venture and it’s a move that can be started for the wrong reasons.  In a column published today (4/8), Global Media Services founder Tony Garcia writes that for a show to have a chance at success in syndication – even one that is successful on the local level – there are a number of questions the producer of the show must answer before moving ahead.  Garcia says, “If you are going to get the attention of program directors, your show and your pitch must to be relevant and compelling.  What is it you are providing for the station and its audience?  Are you solving a problem?  Are you doing something that the station can’t easily do itself?”  Read more about what Garcia suggests a potential show producer must be prepared to answer in his piece here.

holdtheirfeet2014Immigration Radio Row Takes Place in Washington Tomorrow.  The annual radio row – organized by the Federation for American Immigration Reform – is dubbed “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” and the two-day event begins tomorrow at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill.  FAIR says it features the largest gathering ever of talk radio hosts focused on a single issue.  Dozens of hosts from across the country will spend two days discussing immigration policy with listeners, lawmakers, law enforcement, immigration experts, activists and members of the media live from radio row while broadcasting their shows back to their home markets.  Credentialed members of the press are welcome.  In particular, reporters covering the national immigration debate will have access to a wide variety of personalities and perspectives all in one location.  For more information, contact Kristen Williamson, press secretary at: office 202-328-7004/cell 847-651-8611.

snlkaganQ1 Radio Deals Top $300 Million on Strength of WBLS/WLIB Sale.  According to SNL Kagan, first quarter 2014 radio deals topped the $300 million mark in value.  This big quarter was largely the result of the $131 million (8.5 times cash flow) sale of urban contemporary WBLS and gospel WLIB from YMF Media LLC to Emmis Communications Corporation.  The other big deal was the $74 million sale of 10 stations from South Central Communications Corporation to SummitMedia, LLC.  SNL Kagan says that compared to the 2013 average of 7 times cash flow, the average radio cash flow multiple rose by half a point in the first quarter of 2014.

nrgmediaNRG Media Reports Completion of Change in Equity Investors.  The change in equity investors that NRG Media, LLC announced in October of 2013 is complete.  The company says the change solidifies “the new partnership between the Midwest-based media company and Cyrus Capital Partners, an investment management company that actively invests in debt and equity securities on a global basis.”  Cyrus has approximately $4 billion in assets under management and its investor base is comprised of sophisticated long term institutional and high net worth investors.  NRG CEO Mary Quass states, “We look forward to a long relationship with Cyrus Capital Partners and wish to thank Waitt Media and McCarthy Capital for their support over the last 9 years.”

bennettbillOdds & Sods.  Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated morning host Bill Bennett celebrates his 10th year with the network.  His “Morning in America” program was visited on Monday by special guests including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, fellow Salem talk host Mike Gallagher and WestwoodOne personality Mark Levin…..Newsweb Radio adds local gay rights author and activist Wayne Besen to the weekend lineup at WCPT-AM/FM, Chicago to host a weekly Saturday afternoon program called, “I’ve Got Issues.”  Newsweb president Charles Gross says of the progressive program, “We are excited about this hard-hitting new show that will debate the critical local and national issues that affect our lives.”…..CBS Radio News White House correspondent Peter Maer is being awarded the Merriman Smith Memorial Award for Presidential Coverage Under Deadline Pressure.  Maer is receiving the honor for his reports at the Hampton Roads, Virginia shipyard where the president traveled to make his case on last year’s sequestration fight.  The White House Correspondents Association says,  “Peter Maer’s story on the potential impact of budget sequestration did what White House reporters too rarely do: It humanized a national political story, and managed to do so on an extremely tight deadline, no less.”

krokduckA Day at the Races.  WBAP, Dallas talk show host Chris Krok (left) poses for a photo with “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson (right) at the Texas Motor Speedway during its “Duck Commander 500” race held over the weekend.  Also in the photo is Krok’s son Isaac (center).  Krok broadcast his program live from the speedway on Friday (4/4) and then hosted 80 listeners who bought tickets to be part of “Krok and His Flock” on Saturday.  Krok and his listeners were able to tour the garage and pits.

ObamaCare Criticism, IRS Scandal, Russian Aggression in Ukraine, Common Core Controversy, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Search, and Student Athlete Compensation/NCAA Championship Game Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/7).  Ongoing scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the move by House Speaker John Boehner to bring legal action against ex-IRS official Lois Lerner; Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine and fears he’s preparing to arm Iran; troubles with the Common Core standards as states drop the program; the continuing search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370; and controversy over compensating student athletes and the run-up to the NCAA Championship game were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

| April 1, 2014

mandisdanDan Mandis Hosts Early Afternoon Show at WWTN, Nashville.  Talk radio pro Dan Mandis is the new 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm personality at Cumulus Media’s WWTN, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7.”  Mandis, who spent years as executive producer of the Dr. Laura Program, has most recently been programming such talk radio outlets as Clear Channel’s KHOW and KKZN in Denver and Federated Media’s WOWO, Fort Wayne.  He also hosted thewwtn logo Saturday morning show on KOA, Denver.  With Mandis’ arrival at “SuperTalk 99.7,” the station is now live and local from 5:00 am to 7:00 pm.  He’ll follow morning host Ralph Bristol and late morning personality Michael DelGiorno while leading into PM drive host Phil Valentine.  WWTN program director Brian Wilson states, “We think Dan’s view of the world is just familiar enough to be comfortable for our audience and at the same time just different enough that he’ll make a lot of people stop and think twice about the disease behind the symptoms.  As the fourth leg to the table, we think all our core shows will complement each other.  The effect is that the whole will be greater than the sum of the parts.”  Mandis comments, “There are so many reasons to be excited about this opportunity.  Being part of an amazing talk radio station on FM is one, and living in a great city like Nashville is another.  I honestly can’t wait to get started.”

mandersbill‘PowerTalk 96.7’ Fresno Host Bill Manders Receives Kidney from Teen Suicide Victim.  Afternoon drive personality Bill Manders returned to his show on Clear Channel’s news/talk duo KALZ and KRZR in Fresno after kidney transplant surgery three weeks ago.  According to local TV station KFSN, Manders received a kidney from a local teen who had just committed suicide.  It turns out 17-year-old Lexi Morris’ father Jason is a regular listener to Manders’ program and made the unusual request that Manders receive his daughter’s kidney.  As the story notes, this is not the usual procedure but the kidney was a perfect match.  Manders tells the TV station, “I was in tears when I heard her story, but I would rather concentrate on the plusses in her life.  She was smart, athletic, she has a great family, and I know she’s there looking down on me, so I’ve got to honor her.”  Read the whole story here.

hochmanshow groupMarc Hochman Officially Signs with Beasley to Host PM Drive on WQAM, Miami.  Nothing is ever official until the contract is signed but Marc Hochman’s departure from Lincoln Financial Media’s crosstown WAXY last fall with the intent on sitting out his non-compete and landing in PM drive at WQAM was one of radio’s worst-kept secrets.  As soon as it was legal (at 12:01 am on 4/1), Hochman (second from left) inked a pact with WQAM to begin his run as the station’s afternoon personality.  The new Marc Hochman show will also feature Zach Krantz (right), former Miami Dolphins cheerleader Sha Tabb (second from right), and longtime WQAM producer Victor Bermudez (left).  WQAM program director Andy King says, “Marc is an incredible talent and one of the most creative minds in radio.  His ability to blend sports, pop culture and humor into an entertaining show has led him to tremendous success throughout his career and I’m excited for him to continue that success here at 560 WQAM.”  Hochman adds, “I am the quintessential ‘radio nerd,’ so the opportunity for me to host an afternoon drive show on the most legendary sports talk station in Miami was one that I couldn’t pass up.  When I first moved to Miami in 1987, I listened to WQAM all the time.  Now, a little over 25 years later, I’ll be sitting behind that microphone, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!”  The station also announces that one of the most legendary voices in South Florida sports history, Howard Schnellenberger, has signed on as the imaging voice of the Marc Hochman show.  All the show intros and production will be voiced by Schnellenberger.

morganmelanieMelanie Morgan Returns to Radio in Santa Rosa.  Long time Bay Area news radio and talk radio pro Melanie Morgan (formerly with Cumulus Media’s KGO and KSFO, San Francisco and, for a time, with TRN’s “America’s ksro logoMorning News”) joined Sonoma Media Group-owned KSRO, Santa Rosa, California as news director and morning anchor.  She began her news director duties yesterday (3/31) and starts on-air next Monday (4/7).  Melanie replaces a heritage morning news anchor, David Wesley Page, who retired from radio about a month ago after nearly 30 years on the KSRO morning news.  Morgan is married to former longtime KGO program director Jack Swanson.

mitchellbrianBrian Mitchell and Scott Jackson Re-Up with WTEM, Washington.  Two of Doc Walker’s co-hosts on Red Zebra Broadcasting’s WTEM, Washington “ESPN980” are in the fold for another three years.  The companyjacksonscott announces that Brian Mitchell and Scott Jackson have extended their contracts with the station, keeping them on the “Inside the Locker Room” with Walker through 2017.  The mid-afternoon show teams former Washington Redskins Doc Walker and Brian Mitchell along with veteran talk show host Scott Jackson.  Mitchell has been a part of the “ESPN980” family for five years.  Brian also is a contributing member of the Washington Redskins Radio Network, offering analysis pre-game, post-game and during halftime.  Jackson has worked at WTEM for nine years and will serve in many additional roles, including hosting “Redskins Recap,” Mondays after Washington Redskins games and as the station’s lead NBA analyst.  Vice president of programming Chuck Sapienza says, “’Inside the Locker Room’ has been a ratings success.  To have all three guys under contract for the next few years makes our station stronger.  Doc, B-Mitch and Jack have so much fun on the air, you can’t help but laugh along with them while listening.”

businessrockstars radioBusiness Rockstars Radio Affiliates with CRN Digital Talk Radio.  This week “Business Rockstars Radio,” hosted by Ken Rutkowski began an affiliation relationship with CRN Digital Talk Radio.  The program that features “Rockstar” CEOs, entrepreneurs, and start-ups targeting the 30 million “Wantrepreneurs” in the U.S., joins CRN’s integrated audio platform combining television, radio and social media.  CRN Digital Talk Radio CEO Mike Horn says, “We’re thrilled about our new partnership with ‘Business Rockstars Radio,’ a show with such compelling content, we’ve decided to air it three different times across our platform.  ‘Business Rockstars Radio’ is the only crn logonational entrepreneurial radio show that brings in ‘Rockstar’ CEOs and entrepreneurs combined with the magic of Ken Rutkowki’s talent and continuing with each guest on the show.  We are also excited to partner with the legendary Steve Lehman, a name synonymous with cutting-edge talk radio.”  Lehman adds, “We’re excited to expand the Business Rockstars Radio footprint by joining Mike Horn’s renowned CRN Digital Talk Radio Network.  This new alliance will add an additional 11 million television households across the U.S. to the Business Rockstars Radio Network, allowing us to reach more ‘Wantrepreneurs’ with fun, fast-paced, and compelling content about growing, starting, and funding businesses.”  Business Rockstars Radio guests include some of the biggest CEOs and entrepreneurs daily, including: Nolan Bushnell (Atari and Chuck E. Cheese Founder), Akon (musician and entrepreneur), Daymond John (Host of ABC’s “Shark Tank”), Cheryl Tiegs (model, actress and entrepreneur), Thom Beers (CEO of Freemantle Media), Scott Painter (Founder and CEO of TruCar) and many others.

kinosianmikeSports Talk Post-Super Bowl.  The American sports (and money!) juggernaut that is the National Football League plays a huge role in the success of sports talk radio in America.  Not to disparage the MLB, NBA, NHL and NCAA, but it’s clearly the most successful and popular league in professional sports in America.  So, what effect does the end of the NFL’s season the first weekend in February have on sports talk stations?  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian takes an in-depth look at sports talk radio’s performance in PPM markets leading up to the Super Bowl and in the month that follows.  Check out his report here.

journalbroadcastgroupMcHale Named VP/CTO for Journal Broadcast Group.  The Milwaukee-based company announces Brian McHale is its new vice president and chief technology officer, overseeing “the leadership, management, implementation and long-term planning of the company’s technical and physical infrastructure across its 13 television stations and 35 radio stations in 11 states.”  Journal Broadcast Group also says McHale will “ensure the efficient and on-schedule delivery of media content, identify emerging technologies and how to profitably deploy them, and work closely with Journal’s leadership team to develop the company’s operational and strategic direction.”  McHale comes to Journal from Seattle’s Fisher Communications where he was vice president of technology.

deanmichaelwHow to Help Your Remote Guests Shine.  Radio is a busy business and sometimes hosts must process guests with a level of assembly-line speed that doesn’t always allow for the kind of attention to detail that can make the difference between a quality broadcast and a tune-out.  Many interviews on radio sound like there was no forethought to audio quality.  And many guests sound like they were thrown into an unfamiliar situation with no preparation.  In a very helpful, extensive advice piece posted today (4/1) Genesis Communications Network (GCN) talk show host Michael W. Dean (“The Freedom Feens” and “Michael Dean After Dark”) offers advice on how to maximize the quality of your remote guests covering everything from programming content to technical delivery in today’s frenzied radio environment.  To read it in its entirety, please click here.

ObamaCare Criticism, Russian Aggression, North and South Korean Tensions, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Discrepancies, Global Warming, and “Noah” Criticism Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/31).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the international implications of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and Eastern Europe and President Obama’s dealings with Vladimir Putin; heating tensions between North and South Korea; conflicting information from the Malaysian government about the disappearance of Flight 370; renewed debate about global climate change; and criticism of the new film “Noah” were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, March 28, 2014

| March 28, 2014

rogersmikeCongressman Mike Rogers to Join Cumulus Media in Unnamed Role.  The mysterious press release from Cumulus Media states that when his current term in Congress is up at the end of this year, Republican Mike Rogers will “bring his unique perspective as a leading intelligence expert and former FBI agent to Cumulus, the national media company that operates the nation’s largest talk radio platform.”  The company isn’t specific whether Rogers will host acumulus logo daily show, produce daily commentary or fill some other role.  Rogers is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and is hard to miss if you watch cable news/talk TV or the Sunday morning news shows, as Cumulus points out when it states, “As a media-savvy politician who last year appeared on more Sunday public affairs shows than any other elected official in the nation, Chairman Rogers will play an important role helping Americans understand critical issues that impact their lives.”  Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey is quoted saying, “We are thrilled to have Chairman Rogers join our team.  He has been instrumental helping to shape many of the most important issues and events of our time and will play a significant role in our expanding content platform.”

rizzotonyWKNR, Cleveland’s Rizzo Pleads ‘No Contest’ in Domestic Case.  The host of the afternoon drive “The Really Big Show” on Good Karma-owned WKNR, Cleveland – Tony Rizzo – pleaded “no contest” to a reduced “persistent disorderly conduct” charge in connection with a December incident during which his wife Catherine reported Rizzo struck her.  According to Cleveland.com, an assistant district attorney says the reduced charge was leveled after Catherine Rizzo admitted she initiated the argument by striking Tony Rizzo with a glass.  Rizzo’s attorney says his client accepted the reduced charge to avoid a trial though he believes Rizzo would have been acquitted.  The probation department will review the case before sentencing.  WKNR has stuck by Rizzo throughout, calling his status with the station “unaffected” by the case.

mcdowellrobertNAB Show Features ‘Net Neutrality’ Debate; Ex-Commish McDowell to Take Part.  At the NAB Show in Las Vegas next month, the issue of net neutrality is being addressed during the Super Session titled, “World Without Rules: Is This the End of the Open Internet?”  On Tuesday, April 8, NAB says “top opinion leaders and experts on the issue of net neutrality will address how proposed regulations governing access to the internet will affect content providers, ISPs and content creators.”  Tech Policy for Re/code senior editor Amy Schatz will moderate the panel consisting of: Jessica Gonzalez, EVP and general counsel of the National Hispanic Media Coalition; Robert McDowell, former FCC commissioner; Pantelis Michalopoulos, head of the Telecom, Internet & Media Group at Steptoe & Johnson LLP; and Berin Szoka, president and founder of TechFreedom.

costadinoSports Talker Dino Costa Profiled; Adds Staff to New Digital Venture.  Mercurial sports talk personality Dino Costa, after years with SiriusXM, recently announced the start-up of his new, eponymous digital sports talk venture.  Now he’s reporting that Bob Robinson is joining Dino Costa World Wide LLC to serve as executive producer for the program that will debut on May 5.  Costa says that the 25-year broadcast pro will be in charge of all production and engineering for the program and will work from its Cheyenne, Wyoming headquarters beginning March 31.  Robinson spent 19 years in the Raleigh-Durham market working at stations including WRDU and “96 Rock.”  Costa also received a bit of love from Forbes recently when Tom Van Riper profiled him.  In the piece, Costa basically admits his argumentative nature, especially with regard to his dismissal from SiriusXM, saying, “I bitched one too many times.”  But Van Riper writes that quality can be a good one for a sports talk host.  Read the entire piece here.

garciatonySo, You Want to Be Syndicated.  Why?  That’s the question syndication business veteran Tony Garcia, founder of Global Media Services, asks radio broadcasters that approach him about a program they want to syndicate or a concept they think would be perfect as a syndicated program or service.  Everyone wants to play on a bigger stage.  It’s natural.  It drives us to be better at what we do.  In a new piece posted today (3/28), Garcia writes, “Moving from a local show to a syndicated show requires much more than passion.  It requires determination, perseverance, internal strength, patience and the ability to judge oneself dispassionately.  Ask anyone who is syndicated and they are likely to tell you about the highs of signing the first affiliate and the frustration of losing affiliates.  As a good friend of mine once said, ‘Syndication will break your heart.’”  Still want to be syndicated?  If so, read Garcia’s entire column by clicking here.

cbsradionewsCBS Radio News Honored by the National Headliner Awards.  Four years running CBS Radio News is recognized by the National Headliner Awards, nabbing first place in both the Network Newscast and Breaking News or Continuing Coverage categories, this year for reporting on the Boston Marathon Bombing.   In the network newscast category “CBS World News Roundup” anchor Steve Kathan and producer Paul Farry won for their reporting on that chaotic morning when police shut down an entire suburban Boston neighborhood to search for one of the marathon bombing suspects just hours after his brother died in a confrontation with police.  Vice president for radio Harvey Nagler comments, “From the moment the two bombs went off in Boston, CBS Radio News was on the air immediately with continuous coverage and special reports every 10 minutes.  The hourly newscasts contained vivid and dramatic descriptions of the events.”  CBS News correspondent Barry Bagnato won in the News Series category for his five part series on “Drones, Invading Our Skies and Our Personal Space.”

waynealyn‘Late Night Health’ Approaches Milestone Episode.  The syndicated program will air its 100th show this weekend.  Host/producer Mark Alyn (right) remarks, “We can’t believe we have done so many shows while featuring information designed to help listeners.”  Colleague “The Insane” Darrell Wayne (left) jokes, “Sitting across from each other for all these hours with our bellybuttons almost touching has been an amazing experience.”  The program is a holistic look at health, blending traditional medicine with alternative approaches.  Alyn is the only radio host to be invited by the Natural Products Association to speak with elected officials in Washington, D.C. one week from Tuesday (4/8) as part of Natural Products Day.  He will discuss GMO labeling and concerns about Food & Drug Administration-proposed supplement legislation.

streblowdarenGrowing ‘Daren Streblow Comedy Show’ Adds Daily Feature.  The weekly “Daren Streblow Comedy Show” is heard largely on news/talk stations across the country but also has some Christian radio affiliates.  Now, the program will expand with the creation of a daily feature culled from some of the best bits of the full-length program.  Executive producer Corey Irish comments, “We have received constant requests from our affiliates asking us to add a short feature on the weekdays.  We believe some of these station groups will also add this vignette to the music stations in their clusters.”  Irish also reports that the program recently added personality Riley Armstrong – an established comedic musician – to the program.  As far as the content is concerned, Streblow describes the show as “night club tested and family approved.”

tyleraishaAisha Tyler Named Gracie Awards Host. Daytime television audiences, of course, know Aisha Tyler as one of the panel members on CBS-TV’s “The Talk.”  The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF) has tapped the Dartmouth College alum to host the 39th annual Gracie Awards in two months (5/20) in Los Angeles.  According to AWMF chair Kay Olin, “The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation advances the influence and impact of women in all forms of media, and Aisha Tyler embodies this goal perfectly.  From network television to cable, from actor to author, from podcasts to best-selling books, Aisha showcases her talents in an impressive variety of media.  We are delighted that Aisha is hosting this year’s Gracie Awards Gala.”  Tyler – who formerly hosted “Talk Soup” – comments, “It has truly been an impressive year for women in all media.  I am very much looking forward to celebrating all that women have accomplished.”  However, she jokes, “No one is getting an award for that Kimye [Kim Kardashian-Kanye West] Vogue cover if I have anything to say about it.”  The Gracie Awards (or “Gracies”) recognize consummate programming created for women, by women, and about women in radio, television, cable, and digital media.  The awards program also encourages the realistic and multifaceted portrayal of women in entertainment, news, features and other programs.  “The Talk” was recently renewed for a fifth season.  In addition to her role there and as a regular Stephanie Miller show contributor, Tyler voices Lana Kane on “Archer.”  Last summer, she replaced Drew Carey as host of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”

mcdanielearl groupRemembering Earl McDaniel. Writing in the Honolulu Star Advertiser, reporter Erika Engle describes Earl McDaniel as “the longtime charismatic general manager” of Honolulu’s KSSK-AM and KSSK-FM.  The 85-year-old McDaniel died this past Wednesday (3/26) in Arizona. McDaniel formulated the idea for a $1 million giveaway that helped solidify the morning drive success of Michael W. Perry and Larry Price (“Perry & Price”), following the 1983 death of J. Akuhead Pupule.  KUMU production director Michael Shishido programmed KSSK years ago and tells us that McDaniel was, “the best GM I’ve ever worked with.”  Elaborating on his Facebook page, Shishido comments, “If you had the great opportunity to work for KSSK prior to 1991, you got to work for one of the greats, Earl McDaniel.  He was larger than life.  He was tough and demanding, but he was a radio and marketing genius – and he had a huge, compassionate heart.  I could fill up Facebook for days with Earl stories as could many of my radio colleagues.  Radio has lost a giant.  Aloha, Earl.”  As a Los Angeles on-air talent, Earl “The Pearl” McDaniel worked for KFVD and KPOP (1953 – 1958); KLAC (1958); KDAY (1958 – 1961, where he was its program director); and KFWB (1961 – 1963).  Renowned voiceover talent and longtime programmer Charlie Van Dyke notes on his Facebook page that McDaniel was, “a great guy with the most wonderful stories and a very quick sense of humor.  I was so happy that I had the chance to meet with him even briefly.”  The most touching tribute though to McDaniel can be found on laradio.com, where publisher Don Barrett opens up his homage by stating, “The most important man in my life died [Wednesday] night.”  In the heartfelt printed eulogy, Barrett details how he met McDaniel while Barrett attended Santa Monica High School in the 1950s.  “He was the biggest deal on the radio dial in the 1950s,” Barrett writes of McDaniel.  “He was the early Rick Dees or Ryan Seacrest.”  The two instantly became friends and Barrett points out, “Earl was never more than a phone call away.  I went to him first for advice whenever there was a stumbling block in my journey.  He would help me see a way to roll the boulder out of the pathway.  He provided life tools to be a success – personally and professionally.  Earl was the first to pair Robert W. Morgan and The Real Don Steele long before they arrived in Southern California for ‘Boss Radio.’”  According to Barrett, “Earl broke the Chipmunks Christmas Song and lost his job over it.  On Thanksgiving weekend, he played it twice an hour and the station owner threatened to fire Earl if he played it one more time.  Earl did and was fired, however, by Monday it was the hottest record at Wallichs Music City.  Earl was always figuring out a way to make things better, bigger and more spectacular.  He not only coined the phrase, ‘If you don’t promote a funny thing happens – nothing,’ he lived by it.  When Earl was running Honolulu’s KGMB, one year the station took in 60% of the revenues in the 18-station market.  I remember remarking to him what a stunning statistic that was.  He dismissed it and said he would not be happy until he got 100% of all advertising dollars.  Earl was the personification of what it is to be a mentor.  There is no one I have trusted more.  I will forever be grateful for every act of kindness he gave to me and my family – I will forever be grateful for Earl McDaniel.”  That only scratches the surface of Barrett’s piece, which also contains this condensed message from McDaniel himself, who anticipated his death.  “I am an agnostic.  I will be taken to the Neptune Society for cremation.  I have told my heirs that I do not care where they let the ashes fly.  When it is over, it is over.  To that end, there will be no funeral, no casket, and no flowers.  I have celebrated life for 85 years, and that celebration has been a wonderful, wonderful ride.  I have been contemplating all the good times, and the good times were fantabulous.  If I have borrowed something I haven’t returned or money I haven’t repaid, contact my daughter, Kathy.  Do not sing me any sad songs.  If I were to have an epitaph, it would be, ‘Earl McDaniel … from 1928 to 2014, he lived.’”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Charlie Van Dyke, Earl McDaniel, and Don Barrett.

deanmichaelwTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The GCN-syndicated “Michael Dean After Dark” joins the lineup at WKRO, Cairo, Illinois…..“Armed American Radio” Mark Walters is added to the program schedule at KVOC, Casper, Wyoming and WRGA, Rome, Georgia…..The “Daren Streblow Comedy Show” is now heard on KKNW, Seattle; KDIS, Little Rock; and KVOP, Lubbock, Texas.

ObamaCare Criticism Returns to Top of Talkers TenTM.  The scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act was again the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of March 24-28.  At #2 this week was the Supreme Court’s hearing of the Hobby Lobby case which debates the question whether employer-provided health care services that conflict with the employer’s religious beliefs should be required to be offered.  Following at #3 was President Obama’s relationship with Vladimir Putin tied with the aggression of Russia into Eastern Europe and, at #4 was talk about the prospects for political power change after the mid-term elections and the looming 2016 presidential race.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

| March 26, 2014

sportstalkboston logoInside SportsTalkBoston.com.   The surprising exit of longtime WEEI sports talk personality Glenn Ordway last year and the departure some months later of station programmer Jason Wolfe saw big changes in the Boston sports talk scene.  Those changes are becoming even more high profile with the debut of Ordway’s new multi-platform sports talk destination wolfejasonSportsTalkBoston.com.  Regular TALKERS readers are aware Wolfe is signing on with the venture to serve as chief content officer.  In this exclusive story, Wolfe goes into a bit more detail about not only what the future will bring to SportsTalkBoston.com, but he writes about Ordway’s place in the hearts and minds of Boston sports media fans and how that plays into the execution of the content.  As Wolfe says, “Personality breeds engagement.  Engagement breeds loyalty.  Loyalty breeds ratings and ratings breed revenue.  That is the formula hosts and shows need to embrace today if they want to win.”  Read this entire piece here.

wtoplogoWTOP, Washington Takes ‘Top Biller’ Crown for Fourth Year Straight.  The annual top radio billers report from BIA/Kelsey is out and although Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington dropped a little over $1 million in billing from 2012 to 2013, at a reported $63.5 million it still was the nation’s #1 biller, beating Clear Channel’s CHR KIIS-FM, Los Angeles by about $2 million.  KIIS-FM had a good year, adding almost $5 million to its revenue total to report in at $61.6 million.  Rounding out the top 10 for 2013 were:  Clear Channel’s CHR WHTZ, New York “Z100” at $51 million; CBS RADIO’s all-news WCBS-AM at $50 million; Clear Channel’s AC WLTW, New York “106.7 Lite FM” at $45.5 million; CBS RADIO all-news WINS at $45 million; Clear Channel’s hot AC KBIG, Los Angeles “104.3 MYfm” at $44.5 million; CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN, New York “The Fan” at $43 million; CBS RADIO’s alternative KROQ, Los Angeles at $42.8 million; and CBS RADIO’s all-news WBBM, Chicago wraps the top 10 at $42 million.

mckinneygregEntercom Loosens Load on ‘ESPN Upstate’ Personality Greg McKinney.  In addition to his work at Entercom Greenville’s sports talk duo WORD-AM/WYRD-AM “ESPN Upstate” where he’s host of “In The Huddle with Greg McKinney” from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, McKinney had been doing mornings on sister AC WSPA “Magicespnupstate 98.9.”  (He also handles anchoring the “College Football Today” pregame show on rock WTPT “93.3 The Planet.”)  The company adds “Murphy, Sam and Jodi” on WSPA for morning drive and relieves McKinney of the daily double duty.  Entercom Greenville VP and market manager Steve Sinicropi comments, “Our sports coverage in terms of talent, teams and signal coverage is unmatched in this market.  We are thrilled that the person who will become the local face of ‘ESPN Upstate’ was already in our stable.  Putting Greg McKinney on ESPN with a live and local show, not only plays to his strengths and talents, but it provides our clients with an additional and valuable touch point to connect with a highly sought after consumer.”

entercomEntercom Sets Milwaukee and Madison Managers.  Former Cumulus Mobile vice president/market manager Chuck Sullivan is tapped for similar duties at Entercom Milwaukee, while Entercom Madison director of sales Ed Schulz is elevated to vice president/market manager of that Wisconsin market.  They succeed Michael Keck (see next story), who was overseeing both markets.  Regional president Michael Doyle comments, “Entercom is proud to add two of the strongest people in radio to our leadership team.  Chuck and Ed bring with them a wealth of experience, unique perspectives and a passion to make their powerful brands and their clusters not only the strongest in the state, but in all of radio.”  Meanwhile, Sullivan remarks, “Entercom Milwaukee has some of the most powerful and iconic brands from [CHR WXSS] ‘Kiss-FM’ to [hot AC WMYX] ‘Mix’ to [WSSP] ‘SportsRadio 1250.”  Schulz adds, “Madison is a special place and Entercom has distinct brands that not only connect with the community, but deliver results for our clients.  I am proud of what we have accomplished in Madison and am excited for the future.  Before joining Cumulus, Sullivan spent nine years as managing partner of Wilmington, North Carolina’s Ocean Broadcasting.  Schulz joined Entercom two years ago and will be responsible for adult alternative WMMM “Triple M,” classic hits WOLX, and hot AC WMHX “Mix 105.1.”

keckmichaelCBS RADIO Twin Cities Names Keck VP/DOS.  As referenced in the story above, sales pro Michael Keck moves northwest from Entercom Milwaukee to the Twin Cities where he’s the new vice president/director of sales at CBS RADIO Minneapolis, effective April 7.  The company says that in this role, he will be responsible for overseeing sales in the market for news/talk WCCO, adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM,” and country KMNB “BUZ’N@102.9.”  Keck will work closely with Michael Weiss, CBS RADIO’s president of sales and report to Mick Anselmo, senior vice president and market manager for the Minneapolis cluster.  Keck comments, “I am thrilled to be coming back to the Twin Cities.  It’s a tremendous privilege to be associated with two powerful FM stations and one of America’s most legendary and successful AM brands in WCCO.  I can’t wait to be a part of the CBS RADIO team in this vibrant radio and media marketplace.”

envisionnetworks newSun Broadcast Group to Rep Envision Networks’ Spanish Content.  An exclusive ad sales agreement has been struck between Sun Broadcast Group, Inc. and Envision Networks for Sun to rep Envision’s Spanish-language inventory that includes: CNN en Español, Fox Deportes and AccuWeather ensunbroadcastgrouplogo Español.  Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff states, “Jason Bailey and his team at Sun Broadcast will increase our presence in the Spanish advertising arena.  They will represent our programming, services and online audio product lineups to Hispanic advertisers and maximize the scope of our network’s reach and frequency and the amount of impressions it delivers for clients.”

pretzellodebbieBeasley Honors Pretzello with President’s Club Award.  This in-house sales award for the calendar year 2013 goes to Beasley Broadcast Augusta senior account executive Debbie Pretzello for the third time.  The President’s Club consists of Beasley sales executives inducted annually for their abilities to meet or exceed individual and market goals, attain accreditation from the Radio Advertising Bureau as Certified Radio Marketing Consultants (CRMC), and over-deliver their clients’ expectations on a daily basis.  One account executive in each market in which Beasley operates is named to the Club monthly.  At year’s end, each market names a winner based on overall performance.  Additionally, the individual with the highest ranking from this notable pool of top-performers is named Beasley’s “President’s Club Overall Winner” for the previous calendar year.  Beasley EVP of sales Heather Monahan says, “We are thrilled that Debbie Pretzello continues to lead our Augusta sales team and is recognized for her third time as our ‘Overall President’s Club Winner.’  Retaining talent in our business is of the utmost importance to Beasley.  Debbie forges ahead year after year, raising the bar for our sales organization.  Her ability to win multiple awards signifies her vast talent for delivering results for her local clients.  Debbie Pretzello earned the title ‘Overall President’s Club Winner’ again this year by providing ROI for her customers, that’s something that makes us very proud.”

robbinsmarkleyOdds & Sods.  When the New York Yankees’ season kicks off on April 1, Spanish-speaking listeners in the New York area will be able to hear the games in Spanish on Univsion-owned WADO, New York.  CBS RADIO’s WFAN-AM/FM – the new rights holder for Yankees games, agrees to the deal that will have WFAN producing the games with Rickie Ricardo and Francisco Rivera in the booth for the Spanish-language broadcast…..WMBD, Peoria afternoon duo “Robbins & Markley” – (pictured here) Scott Robbins (l) and Jamie Markley (r) – are sitting in for the vacationing Jim Villanucci on Alpha Broadcasting’s KXL, Portland this week…..The weekly two-hour “Both Sides Now” program – hosted by Mark Green and featuring talk media personalities including: Ron Reagan, Katrina van den Heuvel, Eliot Spitzer, Bob Shrum, Jonathan Alter, Mary Matalin, Erick Erickson, David Frum, Rich Lowry and Torie Clarke – signs up with Focus 360 to handle ad sales for the program.

elswickettingerTackling Big Issues.  KARN-FM, Little Rock program director and afternoon drive host Dave Elswick (right) poses for a photo with former Israeli Ambassador Yoram Ettinger (left) after two spoke on Elswick’s program about Israel and the country’s complex relationship with the U.S., Iran and the Palestinians.  Ettinger served as Minister for Congressional Affairs at Israel’s Embassy in Washington.  Elswick will be speaking on the “Big Picture” panel at Talkers New York 2014 in New York City on Friday, June 20.

ObamaCare Criticism, Michelle Obama in China, Hague Nuke Summit, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Fate, Mid-Term Elections/ 2016 Presidential Race, NSA Bulk Data Collection Policy and Nick Cannon ‘Whiteface’ Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/25).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; coverage of First Lady Michelle Obama’s trip to China and her speech about America’s discriminatory past; President Obama’s comments about Russia and a possible NYC nuclear threat made at the Nuclear Security Summit at the Hague; the possible fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370; prognostication about the fall mid-term elections and the 2016 presidential race; the fate of the NSA’s bulk data collection policy; and musician/TV personality Nick Cannon’s “whiteface” photo controversy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, March 17, 2014

| March 17, 2014

cclogoClear Channel Creates Major Markets Operating Group. Executive vice president Hartley Adkins, executive vice president Tom McConnell, senior vice president Kelly Kibler and Greg Ashlock are the MMOG’s four division leaders.  The latter is Clear Channel Los Angeles’ former president, who adds president of Clear Channel Southern California duties.  Each leader reports to chairman/chief executive officer Bob Pittman, who states, “As a company, we continue to assess every aspect of our operations to make sure we have the right structure in place to efficiently and effectively leverage our position as the country’s leading multi-platform media and entertainment company.  Our Major Markets Operating Group will collaborate with our local market management to oversee our entire spectrum of media and entertainment platforms in our largest and highest revenue-generating markets.  These include everything from our core broadcast radio and its strong digital platform, whose traffic has doubled in the last year, and theschurrtom extremely successful iHeartRadio digital platform, to events and our expanded coordination with Clear Channel Outdoor – all of which we are increasingly mobilizing to benefit our national and local advertising partners.”  President of regional markets Matt Martin continues in his position; however, president of operations for major markets Tom Schurr departs the company. Regarding Schurr, Pittman notes, “During his tenure with us, Tom played a big role in Clear Channel becoming the media and entertainment leader it is today.  All of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment joins me in thanking Tom for the many contributions he has made to our company.”  Meanwhile, Pittman states Major Markets Operating Group will increase empowerment and accountability of the company’s individual market leaders.

sullivanrichSullivan Takes Over Middays on WGST, Atlanta Today.  Less than two years after exiting the afternoon drive slot on CBS RADIO’s then-triple A WZGC, Atlanta, Rich “Sully” Sullivan returns to the air in the market as the new 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm host on Clear Channel Media + Entertainment’s news/talk WGST.  Station program director Matt Shiflett says, “We are excited to have Sully join our team.  His knowledge of the city and ‘man-on-the-street’ attitude will solidify 640 WGST as Atlanta’s compelling talk radio station.”  Sullivan was the afternoon drive personality on WZGC “Dave FM” for six years from 2006 through 2012 before the station flipped to sports talk.

wkrklogoCleveland’s “Fan” Continues as Gladiators Flagship.  For the third consecutive season, CBS Radio Cleveland’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” will be the Arena Football League team’s radio outlet.  According to CBS Radio Cleveland vice president/market manager Tom Herschel, “The intense, hard-hitting games of the AFL fit perfectly into our lineup.”  Gladiators’ chief operating officer Mike Ostrowski comments, “We are extremely excited to continue our relationship with ‘The Fan.’  They do a great job of delivering football-related stories, updates, and content to our fans.  We look forward to working with them again this season with the on-going goal of growing the Gladiators brand in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.”  Doug Plagens enters his third successive year handling play-by-play, while current “Fan” personality/former National Football League player Dustin Fox will provide analysis on home games.  In addition to game broadcasts and pre- and post-game shows, the station will air daily Gladiators reports each afternoon.

theblaze radio networkNew Weekend Shows Added to TheBlaze Radio Network.  Beginning next Saturday (3/22), TheBlaze Radio Network is expanding its lineup including new programs featuring cable news/talk personalities Will Cain and S.E. Cupp; KFMB, San Diego talk host Mike Slater and long-time radio and television producer Mike Opelka.  TheBlaze Radio Networks VP of programming Dom Theodore says, “This new Saturday lineup underscores TheBlaze Radio Network’s commitment to original programming.  We are absolutely thrilled to add Mike Opelka, Will Cain and SE Cupp, and Mike Slater to our already successful Saturday talent roster of Chris Salcedo and Joe Pags.  This is just another great step in our continued growth as a network.”

ryderturiOdds & Sods.  Radio pro Turi Ryder is on Tribune’s WGN, Chicago in the 11:00 pm to 2:00 am slot all this week (3/17-21).  Ryder, who worked a six-month stint on WGN last year from her home studio in the Bay Area, has relocated to Chicago.  She appears this week in the unsettled slot between evening host Pete McMurray and overnight personality Nick Digilio…..Results Radio’s new FM signal in Rhinelander, Wisconsin signs on as a sports talk outlet branded “Sports Radio 96.5” using programming from CBS Sports Radio Network plus Fox Sports Radio/DirecTV’s Dan Patrick and regionally syndicated personality Bill Michaels.  The company won WHOH at 96.5 FM in an FCC auction in 2013.

nielsen logoNielsen: 68% of Americans Heard a Network Radio Commercial During Average Week.  That figure is for Americans 12 and older, according to the Nielsen March 2014 RADAR Radio Network Ratings report which says more than 181 million persons heard a network radio commercial during an average week.  Other bulletpoints from the survey designed to illustrate the reach of network radio include Nielsen’s conclusion that commercials aired on the 46 measured networks reached: 71.2% percent of persons aged 18-49 (95.8 million listeners) and 71.9 % of persons aged 25-54 (90.0 million listeners).  In the top 25 DMAs, network radio reached: 70.7% of persons aged 12+ (95.1 million listeners); 74% of persons aged 18-49 (51.1 million listeners); and 74.6% of persons aged 25-54 (48.6 million listeners).  View the study here.

pizzapatronColloquial Spanish Term Kills Ad Deal for CBS RADIO and Univision in Texas.  The Dallas-based Pizza Patron chain’s ads for its new pizza with jalapenos in it won’t air on CBS RADIO or Univision stations in Texas.  According to a story published on NorthCountryPublicRadio.org, the name of the product and the content of the ad are too controversial for the broadcasters.  The radio campaign for La Chingona implies that only chingones are able to handle its spiciness.  What is a chingone?  A search of urban dictionaries indicates a chingone is what Americans would call a “bad-ass,” but the root of the verb is the Spanish slang for f**k.  Younger Hispanics say there is nothing inherently bad about the word but they admit it’s not a word they would use in front of their grandmother, either.  According to the NorthCountyPublicRadio.org piece, this isn’t the first time the company, whose target audience are Mexican immigrants, has ruffled feathers.  Several years ago it did a “pesos for pizza” promotion that offered discounts for customers paying with Mexican pesos.  The company received a lot of flak but business jumped 34%.  The most recent promotion apparently has CBS RADIO and Univision fearful of the FCC due to the use of the chingona term.

brennerdavidBrenner’s Run At Radio Royalty. By now, you most likely know that popular comedian David Brenner passed away over the weekend.  The Philadelphia native succumbed to cancer at the age of 78.  What you might not be aware of, however, especially if you read any one of at least a dozen or so different obituaries is that Brenner holds a relatively high-water mark in radio history.  Nowhere though was it mentioned in any account we saw.  It was as if radio was magically expunged from Brenner’s past.  Lest anyone doubt it though, David Brenner did, in fact, replace Larry King when the bespectacled talk show veteran quit his syndicated radio show nearly 20 years ago (June 1994).  Perhaps part of the confusion is that King was a nighttime fixture for years and in January 1993, Jim Bohannon - King’s regular fill-in – took his slot.  King though did not disappear – he segued to afternoon drive.  Most will remember Bohannon directly replacing King at night – which is true.  It is also correct though that Brenner then succeeded King in PM drive.  Unlike King, who transferred his Mutual Broadcasting show from Washington, DC to Westwood One in Los Angeles, Brenner based his program from New York.  According to Claudia Puig - then a superb writer for the Los Angeles Times (6/24/1994) – Brenner’s afternoon drive program was carried “in more than 100 markets” and the comedian did not attempt “to emulate King or to discuss weighty topics.”  Puig opined in her piece that to many in talk radio at the time, the move represented, “a clear-cut example of the heightened emphasis being given to entertainment in their format, as opposed to information.”  Regarding the succession, iconic Los Angeles talk radio personality Michael Jackson commented to Puig that it was, “sad when you see a Larry King replaced by a David Brenner.  Let’s see what kind of staying power Brenner’s show will have.  If you equate entertaining with telling jokes, I’m not that good at it, but if you equate it with hospitality and building a bridge with an audience, that’s what I do.”  Rewinding 20 years and witnessing how the industry viewed this choice to take over for Larry King is certainly a fascinating exercise.  Esteemed talk show host Bruce Williams chimed in back then by saying, “Brenner is an unknown quantity.  He is certainly a very funny comedian.  I don’t think he has exhibited as yet an interview capability or a radio capability, but then all of us were unknown quantities before we got into this.”  Taking a somewhat different tact – and as a reminder – this is from a 20-year-ago Claudia Puig column in the Los Angeles Times, KABC and KMPC, Los Angeles’ then general manager George Green commented, “Larry King was tired and they replaced him with a pure entertainer in hopes of drawing younger people.  As talk radio has become a very hot medium, you start looking at the word ‘entertainment’ as being more important than it was before.  ‘Entertainment’ does not necessarily mean a program that makes you laugh.  There can be many ways to entertain.”  King producer Pat Piper did similar duties for Brenner.  “There have always been attempts in radio to make people laugh,” Piper mentioned to Puig.  “It is good to hear some guys having fun.  When people call in, they say, ‘David, this is such a breath of fresh air.’  Not all of talk radio has to be what you see on ‘Crossfire.’”  Brenner had a two-year contract with Westwood One.  As it turned out, that was exactly how long the experiment lasted, as the syndicator pulled the plug on Brenner’s PM drive effort in June 1996.  Notwithstanding a limited two-year radio run, Brenner was as adept at observational humor as anyone else was.  His 1983 album “Excuse Me, Are You Reading That Paper?” is a comedy classic.  Most, of course, will remember the Temple University honors graduate from a slew of “Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson” appearances that began in 1971.  Many published accounts have the number of visits at 158 – the show’s most frequent guest and fifth most popular guest host (75 times). The five-time author (his latest – “I Think There’s a Terrorist in my Soup” – was published in 2003) headlined four HBO specials.  Prior to getting into comedy, Brenner helped write, produce, and direct 115 television documentaries. Longtime Brenner friend Joan Rivers tweeted, “RIP David Brenner. I adored him, and laughed more with him than anybody.  Sad, sad, sad.  Knowing David, he’s now making the devil laugh.” The funniest Brenner-related note we came across was relayed by family representative Jeff Abraham who points out that Brenner’s final request was to have $100 in small bills tucked in his sock, “just in case tipping is recommended where I’m going.”  Brenner’s gravesite will read, “If this is supposed to be a joke – I don’t get it.”

wachsdaliahTalk Host Dr. Daliah Wachs Organizes Fundraiser.  Las Vegas-based talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs is organizing a fundraiser to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Dubbed “FROST” (Fundraising Radio Host), Wachs says the contest will involve a challenge to radio hosts.  The radio host who brings in the most proceeds will be awarded a prize valued $1000, a plaque, and recognition as the 2014 FROST winner.  Runner ups will be recognized as well.  It’ll start April 14 and end May 10.  Interested radio hosts can message Dr. Daliah Wachs at doctordaliah@hotmail.com before April 1.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

| March 11, 2014

nielsen logoNielsen’s March 2014 RADAR Report Says Radio Listening Up.  According to the soon-to-be-released March 2014 RADAR 120 National Radio Listening Report from Nielsen, total radio listening has increased in the past 12 months by 1.2 million weekly listeners.  Stating that radio now reaches 244.4 million Americans, Nielsen also breaks it down a bit adding that “the national audience aged 18 to 34 grew by more than half a million compared to the previous year, reaching 91.9% of all 18 to 34 year-olds.”  As far as time spent listening is concerned, the report indicates the average total time spent listening to AM/FM radio is 2 hours and 41 minutes (persons 12+), a figure that remains steady from the time documented last March.

geronimodonDon Geronimo Teases Fans About New Show.  Radio pro Don Geronimo is Tweeting teasers to his followers about his next radio venture and it appears to include some old friends.  Geronimo, who is still under the employ of CBS RADIO for another three weeks or so after exiting both KHTK, Sacramento and WJFK-FM, Washington, reports that his new show will also include  former “Don & Mike” show newsman Buzz Burbank, “Slow Joe” Ardinger, and Drew Hoffar, with whom Geronimo worked at KHTK.  Due to contract issues, Geronimo is keeping quiet about where the show will be available until April.  It’s not certain the show will be aired on AM/FM radio and may be an internet venture.

parkertheman‘Parker and The Man’ Returns to WDFN, Detroit.  The sports talk duo of Rob Parker and Mark Wilson is coming back to its original Detroit signal on March 24 when “Parker and The Man” will take over the evening slot on Clear Channel’s WDFN, Detroit.  Parker, who works for WDIV-TV, Detroit on its “Sports Final Edition” show, made the announcement of the pair’s return to AM/FM radio on Sunday.  The duo have been hosting an internet version of their show since last summer but now, through Woodward One Media, the show is being reborn on the radio.  It will also be available online via Premier Sports Talk Network.  Parker and Wilson left WDFN in 1999 and jumped to CBS RADIO’s WXYT-FM and held down the evening slot through 2006 when they exited the station.  Woodward One CEO Weston Silver tells the Detroit News, “‘Parker and the Man’ is a proven commodity in Motown.  We’re thrilled to be able to put them back on the air.  Sports fans will flock back to them because their show is both fun and informative.”

Odds & Sods.  When the Big 10 Men’s basketball tourney begins on Thursday, all of the games will be made available to radio stations via Compass Media Networks.  Compass says two of its crews will be in Indianapolis calling the games.  Matt “Money” Smith (co-host of KLAC’s “Petros & Money,” NFL Network host, and Compass play-by-play man) and former NBA star Rick Mahorn will partner up and Drew Bontadelli and former Cal Poly star and Compass analyst Mike Wozniak will serve as the second crew.  KLAC producer and host Tim Cates will announce the broadcasts and serve as studio host from Compass’ Los Angeles broadcast facility…..Clear Channel’s Minneapolis-based KFAN network has inked a deal with Learfield Sports to air University of Minnesota football for another three seasons…..American Public Media Group announces Morris Goodwin is the new senior vice president and chief financial officer for the corporation that is made up of Minnesota Public Radio, American Public Media, Classical South Florida, and Southern California Public Radio.

UnivisionAmerica“Univision America de Costa a Costa” Debuts.  The morning program is from Univision Radio‘s AM arm - Univision America.  Translated as “Univision America from Coast to Coast,” the Ricardo Espinoza, Tsi Tsi Ki Felix, and Ricky Lopez-hosted show is a combination of news and talk programming, mixed with finance, health, and entertainment information. Univision America vice president/general manager Felix Perez comments, “These personalities reflect the diversity of their listeners’ world.  Audiences crave 24/7 engagement with radio personalities who they can relate to – and – this team delivers.”  Miami-based Espinoza was most recently co-host/news announcer for “Buen Dia New York” on WADO, New York.  Chicago-based Felix is an air personality with “Al Aire con Tsi-Tsi-Ki,” her daily show on Chicago’s WRTO.  New York-based Lopez is the voice of New York City’s WQBU.  “Univision America de Costa a Costa” premiered yesterday (3/10) at 6:00 am on KTNQ, Los Angeles; WRTO, Chicago; KFLC, Dallas; KLAT, Houston; WQBA, Miami; KCOR, San Antonio; KLSQ, Las Vegas; KGBT, McAllen; and KQBU, El Paso.

Missing Malaysian Jet Mystery, Obama vs. Putin/Ukraine-Crimea Case, Snowden SXSW Appearance, and Global Warming All-Nighter Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/10).  The mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370; the criticism of President Obama’s handling of Russian president Vladimir Putin and Russia’s incursion into Ukraine and Crimea; the appearance of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden via video at the SXSW festival in Austin; and the all-night session held by Congressional Democrats on the topic of global warming were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, March 10, 2014

| March 10, 2014

TRN logo 125Cumulus-logo 100ww1 125TRN Companies and Cumulus Media Announce Amicable Westwood One Settlement.   TRN Companies and Cumulus Media announced late Friday afternoon (3/7) that they have agreed to settle outstanding claims arising during previous ownership of WestwoodOne, acquired by Cumulus Media in December, 2013. Lew Dickey, president and CEO of Cumulus Media, said, “While Cumulus Media had no role in the lawsuits filed by TRN Companies, we are pleased to resolve these claims and move forward together. We remain supportive of each other and are optimistic for the future.”  Mark Masters, CEO of TRN Companies, said: “We are pleased to ‘turn the page’ with the new owners of WestwoodOne and have put past issues behind us.  As we build bridges together, we look forward to a mutually beneficial future working with our affiliated stations, customers, Lew and John Dickey and Cumulus Media.”

emmisEmmis to Reward Employees with Stock.  The company states that as part of its 2012 Employee Retention Plan, roughly 75% of its full-time employees are being notified they are eligible to receive what it is saying is “a sizeable stock award.”  The company further states, “Emmis prides itself on being a destination employer in the media and digital industries, and as such, places a high value on cultivating a culture that allows us to attract and retain the best talent in our industries.  The third of Emmis’ Eleven Commandments states: Be good to your people – get them into the game and give them a piece of the pie.”  Eligible employees will receive a pro-rata share of approximately 976,000 shares of Emmis Communications common stock.  Using Friday’s closing price, the 976,000 shares in the Retention Plan will deliver $3,240,000 in value to the 598 employees who qualify for the plan.  To ensure a broad-based distribution, the Plan excluded executive officers and capped the level of salary credit at $50,000.  As an example of the award size, a full-time employee of Emmis who has been with the company since April 2, 2012, with a salary of $40,000 per year will get approximately 1,480 shares. That equates to a market value of $4913.60, using the closing price last Friday, March 7 of $3.32.  The awards will vest on April 2, 2014 and will be distributed to employees shortly thereafter.  It will be their choice whether to hold or sell the stock.

hughesspencerKSFO, San Francisco Names Hughes Late Morning Host.  Cumulus Media’s news/talk KSFO, San Francisco has been trying out talk show hosts in the late morning slot (billed on the station’s website as “KSFO Talk Show”) for the past several months.  Now, the station names Spencer Hughes permanent host of the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program.  Hughes’ resume includes stops at talk stations across America including WRKO, Boston; KGO, San Francisco; KTKZ, Sacramento; and KSRO, Santa Rosa.

decastrojimmyWGN VP/GM Jimmy de Castro Talks Radio and More.  The vice president and general manager of Tribune Company’s WGN, Chicago and the new sports talk WGWG “The Game 87.7” spoke candidly with the Chicago Sun-Times for its online video feature “The Sit Down.”  In the interview, de Castro throws out a number quips that’ll interest industry watchers.  For example, he’s not trying to bring young listeners to WGN, “I don’t want a younger audience for ’GN.  I want 35- to 65- or 70-year-old people.”  He says he hasn’t committed a lot of money to his staff.  “I don’t have one contract with one person on our station.  Not one.  They’re all here because of how they feel.  Any time they want, they can walk out the door.”  The one-time WLUP-FM leader also talks about his career and how he views life after all of his success.  See it here.

robertsjackJack Roberts Dies at 62.  Radio executive/on-air personality Jack Roberts died this past weekend in Los Angeles.  Over the course of his career, the 62-year-old Roberts was a general manager, program director, on-air talk host, and producer.  Most recently, the Boston College graduate and Massachusetts native was executive producer for CRN Digital Talk Radio programming, including “What’s Cookin’ Today.”  CRN chief executive officer Michael Horn comments, “Jack truly understood and loved radio.  He became an instant, caring friend to everyone he encountered.”  Roberts thought he could get any guest or celebrity, and Horn remarks, “He almost always booked them.  Guests and talent, but most especially the listeners, enjoyed what they heard.  Jack’s legacy will live on through them and all of us.  That would make him very proud.”  Roberts was a senior producer on syndicated radio programs hosted by Dick Cavett, and Colonel Oliver North.  He was in charge of production for “The Jerry Williams Show” and “The Doug Stephan Show.”  His on-air experience includes stops at Boston’s WRKO, WMEX and WXKS; WPRO, Providence; and WDRC, Hartford – where he became general manager and program director.  Roberts held those titles at WWRC, Washington, DC as well.  Programmer Ron Jacobs writes, “Jack Roberts is great at shining the spotlight on others and not blowing his own horn.”  Funeral services are pending for Roberts, who wrote a radio-themed blog – “HollywoodHillsGroup.com” - that highlighted industry achievements and gave publicity to on-air talent.

barnardtomTwin Cities Star Tom Barnard Talks Podcasting in Profile Piece.  Morning radio personality Tom Barnard – a 43-year Minneapolis-St. Paul market icon – is profiled by the Minneapolis Post.  The star of Cumulus’ rock KQRS speaks about numerous topics – the death of the voice-over business, his rise to fame, and his decision to get more political after 9/11 – in the story and explains his separate business producing and selling ad time for his daily two-hour podcast.  Barnard tells the Post that although he billed roughly $250,000 in 2013, the show is not in the black due to expenses including salaries and the cost of bandwidth.  Barnard and partner Don Shelby (former WCCO personality) are not collecting a salary at this point.  Barnard’s decision to sell ad time and not charge for subscriptions as well as to go after local ad dollars, flies in the face of the way many of the high-profile podcasters are doing it (think Tom Leykis and Adam Carolla).  Read the entire Post story here.

Odds & Sods.  In the Duluth market, Midwest Communications flips standards WGEE, Superior, Wisconsin to sports talk using CBS Sports Radio programming…..Sports radio pro Seth Everett becomes part of the New York Mets broadcasts on Clear Channel’s WOR, New York this season where he’ll be hosting the pre- and post-game programs…..Charlotte Knights minor league baseball will air on Greater Media’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte this summer as the station will carry 10 Saturday night home games and two Friday evening home games.

stigallboltonChris Stigall Broadcasts from CPAC.  The annual Washington, DC gathering of conservative politicians dubbed the Conservative Political Action Conference involves an active radio row and WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive host Chris Stigall (right) was in the middle of all the action last week as he broadcast his show from the event.  He’s pictured here interviewing former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton (left).

wvbr logoWVBR Returns To Collegetown (Ithaca) in New, High Tech Studio Station to Hold March 15th Dedication Ceremony – Keith Olbermann Makes Major Donation.  Proving that grassroots terrestrial radio is alive and well, WVBR-FM is returning home to Collegetown (a proud name sported by downtown Ithaca, New York – home of Cornell University and Ithaca College – per its reputation as being one of the best college towns in America) after a 14-year absence, with a newly-built, state-of-the-art studio.  The new studio is located at 604 East Buffalo Street in Ithaca, next to the Carriage House Café and across from The Connection, Loco Cantina, and the Chapter House.  WVBR has operated out of 957 Mitchell Street near East Hill Plaza afterolbermannkeith leaving its longtime home at 227 Linden Avenue in Collegetown in 2000. It will be officially dedicated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to take place this coming Saturday (3/15).  WVBR-FM is a commercial, non-profit radio station that is owned and fully operated by the Cornell Radio Guild, a group of Cornell University students.  Since 1935, this group’s stated mission has been running a radio station with the goal of training students in broadcasting.  Since 1968, WVBR has been serving Ithaca and Tompkins Counties playing an eclectic mix of classic and modern rock under the banner, “Real Rock Radio.”  WVBR broadcasts over 93.5 FM and 105.5 FM to Tompkins County and the surrounding area. The newly named Olbermann-Corneliess Studios was purchased with donations from station alumni, most notably ESPN host Keith Olbermann.  Olbermann gave what has been described by station management as “a generous donation” with a request that WVBR’s new home studio be named in honor of his late father Theodore Olbermann, as well as the late Glenn Corneliess, his colleague during his years at WVBR who passed away in 1996.  Olbermann, the Corneliess family, and Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick will be among those on hand for the dedication, as well as many station alumni, current staff, and management.  A brand new set of professional equipment, a large vinyl library, a live performance space, three soundproof production booths, and two advanced on-air studios are some of the many highlights of the new space.  “There is no doubt in my mind that 604 East Buffalo Street will feature the best college radio setup in the country,” says Drew Endick, president of the Cornell Radio Guild, Inc. and general manager of WVBR, telling RadioInfo, “We have been trying to expand our content production operations and provide better services for the local community, and we now have the facilities to meet these challenges.”  The new studio will be home to two radio stations – WVBR, which broadcasts with a rock format over FM, as well as CornellRadio.com, which is being launched as a more student-centric, freeform online station.  CornellRadio.com will feature pop, hip-hop, dance, and alternative music, as well as talk shows, comedy programming, and sports content provided by a partnership with the Big Red Sports Network.  Each station will have its own cutting-edge studio within the building.  “This move is extremely important to the goals of our station,” says Michael Mallon, senior vice president of communications.  “The latest technology will not only allow us to create better content for our listeners, but it will also allow the students of Cornell University to learn and train on the same equipment as is used in the big stations in major cities.”  The move is also significant as the station will now be a close walk for most students.  “It’s a perfect location for us, both physically and symbolically,” Mallon continues, “The station is right between the students who operate the station, and the Ithacans who make up most of our listenership.”  ASI Renovations managed the huge project.  The space was already in great condition, but the design presented some big technical challenges.  Sherpa Technologies wired the building for radio operations.  Students and weekend staff led the move, bringing over the entire vinyl and CD collections, as well as other important articles from the old station.

stevensbrucieChattin’ with a Legend.  WFTL, Fort Lauderdale late morning talk host Rich Stevens (right) entertains legendary disc jockey Cousin Brucie (left) in the station’s studios.  Stevens tells TALKERS the pair chatted about numerous topics and took calls from listeners.  While speaking with callers, a 92-year-old local listener phoned in to tell Cousin Brucie he remembers winning a contest 40 years ago that Cousin Brucie executed that sent him on a vacation.  Brucie asked him if he was still there and needed money to get back!

odonnellwmalSittin’ in on WMAL, Washington.  Former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell (left) is pictured here in the WMAL, Washington studios as she served as guest co-host on the “Morning On The Mall” program today (3/10).  O’Donnell worked with co-host Larry O’Connor (right) while subbing for Brian Wilson.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

| March 6, 2014

infinitedial logoThe Infinite Dial 2014.  Media consultant and TALKERS contributor Holland Cooke sat in on yesterday’s annual webinar presented by Edison Research and Triton Digital that detailed the results of the 2014 version of the Infinite Dial study.  Many results are not surprising: smartphone use is growing rapidly with 61% of Americans owning cell phones – a 500% increase in five years.  Although the “digital dashboard” – newer model cars with in-dash infotainment systems – gets a lot of press coverage as new deals are struck between app-makers, service providers and car manufacturers, as of today the smartphone is more important.  The study reports 43% of persons 12-24 listen with a smartphone while in the car and 27% of persons 25-54 do the same.  Still, AM/FM owns the auto for now and is still the primary source for discovering new music.  Read more results from the study and Holland Cooke’s analysis here.

barrettdanaDana Barrett to Host New Local Show on ‘biz 1190’ in Atlanta.  On Salem Communications’ business talk WAFS, Atlanta “biz 1190,” local media personality Dana Barrett debuts a new program dedicated to “a unique look into ‘the business of everyday life’” debuting on Monday, March 10.  Barrett states, “Atlanta is such a dynamic business market with an incredible diversity of industries.  Healthcare, real estate, entertainment, retail…you name it, we do it here. I want to celebrate and embrace that diversity by talking to the business leaders and entrepreneurs that make our region go.”  The daily show will air from 9:00 am to 10:00 am with a repeat from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  Program director Aaron Williams adds, “It’s the perfect match for us.  As the market’s only station dedicated to business, we couldn’t be happier to bring Dana’s unique knowledge of the metro Atlanta area to our audience.”

bowermikeMike Bower Exits ’97.9 ESPN Hartford.’  The afternoon drive program hosted by Mike Bower at Clear Channel’s Hartford sports talk outlet WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” is cancelled and the station is actively seeking a new personality for the daypart.  In a message posted on his Facebook page, Bower announces, “Unfortunately The Bower Show’s time on ‘97.9 ESPN’ in Hartford and ‘ESPN Radio 1300’ in New Haven has come to an end.  Clear Channel opted to not renew the show but we would like to thank them for giving us the opportunity to talk sports with you every day for the past two years.  More importantly, we would like to thank all of YOU…our listeners, for your continued support of The Bower Show.”  The Bower Show was the only local daily show on the program schedule.

katz mg logoRosenthal Promoted at Katz Media Group.  With this promotion, Mark Rosenthal – currently CEO of Katz Radio Group – adds the title CEO of Katz Media Group in which he will also oversee Katz Television Group, KMG’s television representation company.  The company says that as CEO of Katz Radio Group, Rosenthal will remain focused on building the radio sector, working closely with Katz Radio Group president Mark Gray to drive additional media dollars into radio.  Effective immediately though, he will now also work closely with KTG presidents Leo MacCourtney and Craig Broitman to grow and further develop KTG’s assets, advocacy and revenue-generating efforts.

boycephilSalem Study: Christian Teaching Listeners Younger Than Perceived.  The results of a study by Nielsen Audio commissioned by Salem Communications looking at the make-up of the audience for Christian teaching and talk-formatted radio shows indicates the audience is younger than may be commonly perceived.   Half of the listeners to the format are under 55 and are spending 6.1 hours per week listening to stations airing the format.  The study also indicates younger listenership is growing.  Salem VP, director of spoken word format Phil Boyce states, “There is this perception that these are your father or even grandfathers radio stations, but we found there is a significant pool of younger listeners spending a great deal of time with our CTT format.”

edwardsgeoffGeoff Edwards Passes. No sooner had we reflected on the life and career of Los Angeles and Bay Area radio personality/television game show host Jim Lange (who succumbed to a heart attack last week) than we must now sadly note the passing of Geoff Edwards.  Much like the 81-year-old Lange, Edwards, 83, amassed considerable fame from his Los Angeles radio days and nationally through several game show-hosting stints.  Edwards died yesterday (3/5) of complications of pneumonia at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California.  Wink Martindale, Lange, and Edwards toiled together in Los Angeles at the once iconic KMPC. “Geoff was one of the cleverest, funniest radio and television personalities I have worked with,” Martindale states of Westfield, New Jersey native Edwards, who was heard on KMPC from 1968 – 1979.  He was also on-air in Los Angeles at KHJ (1964 -1965) and two go-rounds at KFI (1966 – 1968 and 1987 – 1989).  According to Edwards’ agent of many years, Fred Westbrook, Edwards succeeded in television by making several bold fashion statements.  He favored jeans over suits and his hair was longer than that of most other talents at the time.  “He was part of the new breed,” Westbrook comments.  Tributes on Facebook regarding Edwards’ death included this observation from renowned voiceover talent/studio audience warm-up announcer/”Price is Right” announcer Randy West.  “Geoff was a wonderfully kind and joyous guy, very bright, with a great natural talent for creating joy, both over the air and in person.  For me, it was more laughs per hour with Geoff than anyone else since high school.  What a pro, what a sweet man, what a character, what a ball.  He was loved and respected by everybody.  We laughed and giggled every time we were together.”  Sonoma Music Group president Michael O’Shea checked in by remarking, “What a shock.  Geoff was our 9:00 am – 12:00 noon personality at KMPC.  Personable, authentic, real and natural.  We played tennis a time or two. This is very sad.”  Longtime KOST, Los Angeles on-air personality Ted Ziegenbusch notes that Edwards was, “One of my favorite lunchroom pals.  Thanks for the laughter, the stories and the fun.  I know you have always enjoyed travel.  This journey is the best one ever.”  Veteran Los Angeles traffic reporter Mike Nolan comments that he was, “a fan for years, then honored to work with him at KFI, so happy to have called him a friend.”  Fellow television game show host Jim MacKrell remarks, “I am deeply saddened by the news of Geoff’s passing.  I know of no one in our business with a better reputation and a multitude of friends.  I am glad I was one of them.” Edwards’ national television resume includes hosting “Jackpot!”, “Chain Reaction,” “Play the Percentages,” “Treasure Hunt” and “The New Treasure Hunt.”  In Los Angeles, he and Meredith MacRae won Emmy Awards for co-hosting the daily “Mid-Morning L.A.”  For nine years (1986 – 1995), he co-hosted the California Lottery‘s “Big Spin.”  An eyewitness to one of America’s most memorable moments, then-news reporter Edwards was in the basement of the Dallas Police Department on November 24, 1963 when Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald, the suspected assassin of President John F. Kennedy.  Funeral plans are pending for Edwards, who is survived by his wife, two stepsons, his ex-wife and their three children, as well as nine grandchildren.

Obama vs. Putin/Ukraine-Crimea Intrigue, ObamaCare Criticism, IRS Scandal, Obama Approval Ratings Sink, and 2016 Presidential Race Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/5).  The political storm in Ukraine and Crimea and how President Obama is handling Vladimir Putin’s moving Russian troops into the region; scrutiny of the Affordable Care Act as the administration announces current health plans can be kept through 2016; Lois Lerner’s refusal to testify in new hearings looking into the IRS scandal; dipping approval ratings for President Obama; and speculation about candidates for president in the 2016 election were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, February 17, 2014

| February 17, 2014

wgwg logoWGN-Programmed FM Debuts Today as Sports Talk ‘The Game 87.7.’  Chicago media writer Robert Feder has the scoop following Friday’s announcement that Tribune’s WGN, Chicago will LMA WKQX-LP at 87.7 beginning today.  Last week Feder tipped us that Jonathon Brandmeier would do mornings when Tribune begins programming the station, but now he informs us the station will be thewgnlogo market’s first FM sports talk station branded “The Game 87.7.”  In addition to Brandmeier in mornings, the rest of the lineup will be: current WGN evening sports host David Kaplan and Chicago Tribune sports columnist David Haugh in middays, followed by WGN’s Alex Quigley and Big Ten Network’s Howard Griffith hosting an early afternoon show.  Former WMVP personality Harry Teinowitz and Spike Manton will host late afternoons with WGN’s Mark Carman hosting the evening show.  Overnights will feature programming from NBC Sports Radio Network.  WGN’s Jordan Bernfield will serve as full-time sports reporter.  Making the move over to the FM from WGN, Kaplan is giving up his “Sports Central” show on WGN and late night host Pete McMurray is bumped into the 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm slot.  Read Feder’s entire column here.

vitalejill‘Flirty Flipper’ Returns to WABC to Produce ‘Curtis & Kuby.’  It’s a return to the studios at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York for Jill Vitale (a.k.a. Flirty Flipper) who served as Sean Hannity’s producer beginning in 1999 when he was a local NYC-only show.  During her time there she also produced John Gambling’s program before leaving in 2011.  Now, she returns to produce the midday show featuring Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby.

kevt logoTucson Talk Personality Jim Parisi to LMA KEVT.  Market talk radio pro Jim Parisi is taking over the operation of One Mart Corp.-owned KEVT under an LMA and is re-branding the former Spanish music station as news/talk radio outlet “Power Talk 1210.”  Tucson Weekly reports Parisi will serve as general manager in addition to hosting the 7:00 am to 10:00 am program.  Other personalities will include Providence, Rhode Island-based Steve Kass for 5:00 am to 7:00 am and John C. Scott for the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm program.  Fox Sports Radio Network programming will air in evenings and on weekends.  Parisi tells the paper, “I’ve come to a point that the only way to be happy is doing what I believe in.  I’m not doing anything that doesn’t reflect how I truly feel, so it will be the most genuine station I can be a part of.  We should have more local programming than most anyone in town.  We want to be as local, but as budget conscious, as we can so that we don’t go away.”

knbrlogoKNBR, San Francisco Takes Beating Over Olympics Coverage.  When Cumulus Media-owned sports talk outlet KNBR, San Francisco cut away from its coverage of the U.S.A.-Russia men’s hockey game during the shoot-out (which the U.S.A won!) to air “Hooked on Golf,” critics took to the internet to blast the station for the move.  The sports media critique site AwfulAnnouncing called the station out and posted a series of Tweets from fellow critics.  One Tweet came in from a Ryan Covay, who appears to be a KNBR staffer, saying, “I’m @ryancovay at home, not at station.  I imagine it’s because there are specific shows that need to air.  Apologies.”  It’s not been confirmed by KNBR but it appears the “Hooked on Golf” show is a brokered show that broadcasts live from a golf course in San Mateo.  That could explain the decision to cut away.

johnsondaniXtreMEDIA Expands Dani Johnson Show to Daily Format.  More than two years ago, the Dani Johnson show debuted on weekends on premier affiliate WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer.”  Now, the program moves to a daily format beginning today (2/17) and Johnson’s program will be available seven days per week.  XtreMEDIA states that “Johnson’s brand of ‘No Excuses, Just Results’ is now heard/seen in more than 66 million television householdsXtreMedialogo nationally, heard in more than 112 terrestrial radio markets, cleared on SiriusXM, and streamed/accessed by hundreds of thousands of social media users on her wesbite, social media pages, and her proprietary smartphone app.  And now she is accessed seven days a week.”  Johnson adds, “I can’t believe how much fun I’m having doing a daily show.  My true desire is to continue to help push people to achieve results in all areas of their lives, so that they can take back control, build financial resources, build stable marriages and families, and ultimately feed orphans and help those who need it most.”  XtreMEDIA CEO Kevin McCullough comments, “Dani connects with people — especially in this hyper-partisan environment — in ways that few people can.  The beauty of her show is that it doesn’t matter where you are on the spectrum of success, if you apply exactly what she shows you, you achieve better results.”

nrb logoMichael Harrison to Speak in Keynote Session at National Religious Broadcasters Convention.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison will serve as a keynote speaker next week at the NRB International Christian Media Convention 2014 in Nashville.  The event, which runs February 22-25 and is preceded by a one-day Digital Media Summit on February 21, is billed as an event that networks thousands of Christian communicators, from program producers to authors, pastors to engineers, directors to vendors presenting outstanding internationally known speakers and musicians and giving attendees the opportunity to attend numerous educational sessions on radio, TV, film, church media, internet and leadership, and receive helpful industry training.  Harrison, whose two-hour session will take place on Monday, February 24 at 2:00 pm, states, “I am really looking forward to participating in this event and spending time getting to better know people from the faith-based sector of the radio and media industries.  It will certainly give me the opportunity to embellish one of the key points of my own personal view of what radio needs to do to be a viable and productive entity in the digital era – and that is to never miss any opportunity to be a hero…to literally serve the community… to spread hope and inspiration…to talk about the many crisis and challenges facing people in everyday life and help them cope.  I recommend this course of action to all broadcasters – but this is a community where it is already proven to be a winning strategy.  I am honored to be a part of this event.”  The conference will take place at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville.  For more information please click here.

rothmanloriOdds & Sods.  On the Fox Business News cable TV simulcast of Cumulus Media NetworksDon Imus show, Lori Rothman is the new business news update reporter.  TVNewser reports that Rothman is moving into the morning role after serving as part of the early-afternoon “Markets Now” crew.  She’s joining FBN’s Connell McShane and Dagen McDowell…..Clear Channel names Brent Henslee operations manager for the company’s six-station Macon, Georgia cluster that includes sports talk WPLA “Fox Sports 1670” and all-comedy WIBB…..KCRW, Santa Monica personality Matt Miller announces he will run as a Democrat for the seat in Congress being vacated by the retiring Henry Waxman.  Miller is co-host of “Left, Right & Center” on the public radio station.  He’s also a columnist for the Washington Post.  Several Democrats are competing in the primary for the party’s nomination to run in the general election.

hendersonangeloDetroit Media Personality Angelo Henderson Dead at 51.  WCHB, Detroit talk show host Angelo Henderson passed away on Saturday (2/15) at age 51 after an illness.  The Radio One Detroit cluster issued the following statement on the WCHB website: “We at Radio One Detroit are devastated by unexpected news today.  We regretfully must confirm the passing of one of our on-air icons Angelo B. Henderson.  Henderson has been with Radio One Detroit for 15 years and was the host of the popular talk show “Your Voice with Angelo Henderson” on Newstalk AM1200/99.9FM WCHB for the past 6 years.”  Vice president and general manager Kathy Stinehour adds, “Angelo was a strong pillar in the community, I am saddened by his untimely passing and he will be greatly missed by the entire Detroit community and his Radio One Detroit family.”  In addition to his broadcasting work Henderson was a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

| February 4, 2014

lavenmicheleMichele Laven Promoted to Newly Created Corporate Post at Clear Channel.  Rising from her EVP of strategic partnerships position to the new president of partnerships and local activation post is Michele Laven.  She’ll report to Tim Castelli, president of national sales, marketing and partnerships at Clear Channel Media + Entertainment.  Her role is described as creating “strategic alliances and marketing programs with key distribution and content partners, while expanding the capacity of Clear Channel’s local market sales organizations to develop multi-market revenue opportunities.”  CEO Bob Pittman states, “Clear Channel is built on our strong relationships with listeners, advertisers and partners — both on the local and national level.  We have the unparalleled ability to connect artists with their fans and brands with their consumers, and in her new role Michele is going to use her expertise to help national partners build an even closer relationship with their consumers at the local level.”  Prior to joining CC eight years ago, Laven served as president and chief operating officer of New Times Media.

dinardosteveEntercom Elevates DiNardo to SF VP/Market Manager.  Vice president of sales Steve DiNardo is boosted to vice president and market manager of Entercom‘s San Francisco-San Jose cluster.  Entercom station group president Weezie Kramer comments that, “After a nationwide search, the best choice was right in front of us.  I am proud to promote from within as Steve and the entire San Francisco team achieved market-leading results in Q4.  They have set a blistering pace for 2014.  Under Steve’s leadership, I know Entercom will continue to be one of the media leaders in the market.”  The company’s Bay Area group consists of adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Lite Rock – Less Talk,” classic rock KUFX & KUZX “K-Fox,” sports talk KGMZ “The Game,” and urban AC KBLX “Yesterday and Today’s R&B.”  DiNardo remarks, “Our heritage brands and innovative staff make this opportunity a dream come true.  Entercom’s entrepreneurial spirit and corporate resources give us everything we need to grow our audience engagement as well as the revenues that follow.”  In advance of joining the Entercom stations in 2012, DiNardo spent 15 years as a CBS Radio vice president/general manager.

townsquaremediaCasey Named Operations Manager of Townsquare Hudson Valley.  Former Clear Channel, Indianapolis director of operations Buzz Casey is tapped to become operations manager for Townsquare Media Group‘s 10 stations in the Hudson Valley and Poughkeepsie, New York. Townsquare Media senior vice president of programming Kurt Johnson remarks, “Buzz has a track record of success and he brings a strong set of skills to lead Townsquare Hudson Valley to a new level on-air, online and on site.”  In addition to his OM duties, Casey will be day-to-day program director of Poughkeepsie rock outlet WPDH.  “The culture and creativity of Townsquare Media Group are top-notch,” Casey comments. “The Hudson Valley brands are poised for success.”  Hudson Valley is Nielsen Audio‘s 39th-highest market.  Casey’s past programming and operations management resume includes Atlanta’s WKLS “96 Rock” and alternative WBZY; Phoenix rocker KDKB; classic rock WFBQ “Q-95,” Indianapolis; and WNRQ, Nashville.

mancowMancow’s GCN Deal Official.  It was reported last week that Erich “Mancow” Muller was signing with Genesis Communications Network to syndicate his morning radio program after formally cutting ties with TFN-FM the week prior.  Now it’s official as GCN announces the show will be distributed live from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET in addition be being available on demand 24 hours per day via Mancow.com and GCNLive.com.  Mancow comments, “I’m happy to be in league with GCN as we move the show forward to bigger and better things.  We’re excited to work with GCN – a team that is dedicated to providing the most cutting-edge radio in the industry and prides itself in making life for our affiliates and advertisers as easy as it can possibly be in this era of new media.”  Mancow’s program is simulcast on TV in Chicago on FoxTV-owned WPWR-TV “My50.”

negrassrootsMedical Marijuana Info Ad on Boston Stations Raises Questions About ‘Pot Ads.’  The issue in Massachusetts as reported by the Boston Herald yesterday is different than the issues stations in Colorado and Washington are facing.  The Massachusetts case is about medical marijuana, not legal pot for recreational use as is now allowed in Colorado and Washington.  Stations in those states have so far avoided ads for legal pot because of the conflict between federal and state laws on the matter – no one is willing to become the (expensive) legal test case.  But the Massachusetts ads that aired on Greater Media’s alternative WBOS and rhythmic AC WBQT in Boston were bought not by a dispensary but by the New England Grass Roots Institute which doesn’t sell marijuana; it provides information about medical marijuana.  Institute founder Mike Fitzgerald tells the Herald the rules don’t apply to him.  “We’re the first cannabis institute.  We’re really focused on people who have never seen cannabis before.  Since the American Medical Association isn’t teaching anything, we thought we need to step in.”  But the Herald story also quotes a dispensary consultant who says the laws state dispensaries are not supposed to “generate demand.”  Since Fitzgerald’s institute is not a dispensary, that could muddy the waters.  Regardless, it’s going to be just a matter of time before advertising this new industry becomes relevant to radio.  There’s just too much money to be made.  Read the Herald story here.

limbaughrushSandra Fluke Shows Intent to Run for Henry Waxman’s Congressional Seat.  Activist Sandra Fluke has filed papers with the state of California signaling her intent to run for the 33rd Congressional District seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Henry Waxman.  Fluke’s national profile skyrocketed after Rush Limbaugh called her a “slut” as part of a critique of the provision that Catholic organizations be forced to provide birth control to students and employees under the Affordable Care Act.  Fluke still has to file with the federal government to be a legitimate candidate.  So far, two other Democrats have filed to seek the party’s nomination.

wisw logoCumulus Flips WISW, Columbia to Sports Talk.  The new sports talk outlet in the Columbia, South Carolina market is airing the NBC Sports Radio Network lineup after Cumulus Media flipped the station from news/talk.  With the change, there are now four major sports talk signals in the market including Clear Channel’s WXBT, L&L Broadcasting’s WOIC, and Cumulus’ other sports talker WNKT “107.5 The Game,” a CBS Sports Radio Network affiliate.  Two news/talk stations serve the market including Clear Channel’s WVOC-FM and Glory Communications’ WQXL (and its two FM translators).

westwoodone logoWestwoodOne Reports Motel 6 Spot Most Creative Super Bowl Audio Ad.  The results of WestwoodOne’s first-ever consumer-driven index of the most creative audio spots run during its broadcast of the Super Bowl are in and this year’s winner was Motel 6.  According to WestwoodOne, the Motel 6 spot won top honors in both the Listener Choice and Media Choice categories in the Super Bowl Audio Index.  The other top vote-getters were Tilted Kilt, Subway, Exergen and Taco Bell.  During the two weeks leading up to the game, listeners were encouraged to vote for their favorite Super Bowl commercial across many of WestwoodOne properties via an array of online and on-air promotions.  Listeners were directed to www.westwoodone.com/vote, where each of the commercials was available for consumer voting from Thursday, January 30 through 12 midnight ET on February 2, 2014.  The index was comprised of all commercials aired on the 700-plus radio stations which broadcast WestwoodOne’s exclusive, national play-by-play coverage of Super Bowl XLVIII.

kaytvcrewThe Simulcast Begins!  The sports talk simulcast of WEPN-FM, New York’s Michael Kay show on the YES Network began yesterday (2/3).  The afternoon drive host (along with co-host Don La Greca) for ESPN’s New York City O&O took over the afternoon slot on the regional cable channel owned by the New York Yankees.  For years, the slot was occupied by crosstown rival Mike Francesa simulcasting on CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York.  Pictured here on day one of their new operation is the crew (from left to right): production director Mike Brownsher, senior producer Andrew Gundling, La Greca, Kay, executive producer Ryan T. Hurley, and associate producer Ray Deenihan.

talkradiotv logoChuck Harder Plans Return to Talk Media with New Project.  Veteran talk radio program host, entrepreneur and modern-era talk syndication pioneer Chuck Harder of “For the People” fame tells TALKERS he is starting up a new project that will produce and distribute talk radio on a TV network.  In development for five years, Harder has assembled what he describes as “a million dollar facility” with FCC licensed Ku Band Video Satellite uplink that he plans to startup in 90  to 120 days on TELSTAR 14-R, a new satellite received on three-foot dishes.  Harder is looking for both talk show hosts and investors.  Interested parties can first visit www.talkradiotv.net for details and then send him a letter of interest to P.O. Box A, White Springs, FL 32096.  Harder states, “We will furnish all needed video and audio equipment for your studio and are planning on live two-way talk 24/7.  All letters of interest will be answered.  No calls please.  We will appear on unfilled new local TV channels using standard NTSC MPEG-2 with CD quality audio and provide extra income for local TV affiliates.  Our horizon to horizon C and Ku band all-sat teleport operations center sits across the street from a fiber-optic digital switch that provides us high speed internet video globally and 10 incoming talk lines. TELSTAR 14-R coverage map and fiber optics map is on the website.”  Harder says he will not do a show due to the necessities of daily sales and management of operations.

Super Bowl XLVIII, Financial Markets Activity, Philip Seymour Hoffman Death, ObamaCare Criticism, Immigration Legislation and Woody Allen Allegations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/3).  The aftermath of the Seattle Seahawks’ victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday; the downward-trending Dow and the activity in world financial markets; the heroin-related death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman; scrutiny of the rollout of and possible future effects of the Affordable Care Act; the looming immigration legislation with amnesty provisions; and the renewed allegations of sexual assault against filmmaker Woody Allen were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, January 31, 2014

| January 31, 2014

westwoodone logoCuts at Cumulus-Owned WestwoodOne Happening; SVP Amy Bolton Exits.  The names of those being let go are coming out as Cumulus Media begins the cuts at WestwoodOne that have been expected since the acquisition of then-Dial Global closed.  Numerous high-level executives are beingboltonamy shown the door – in many instances where there are duplicative positions between WestwoodOne and the Cumulus Media Networks.  Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey is promising investors he can realize $40 million in synergies and eliminating these positions is one of the ways he hopes to accomplish that.  WestwoodOne  SVP and general manager of news & talk Amy Bolton – who’s been with the organization going back when it was Jones Radio Networks – is let go.  Also reportedly out in this round of cuts are: chief marketing officer Christina Albee; EVP/Eastern director Eileen Decker; and SVP of research Paul Bronstein.

lionelLionel Joins TalkersRadio in Development of New Show to Launch This Weekend.  One of the most original personalities in the business, radio talk show host Lionel, is launching a new program on TALKERS magazine’s online radio station, TalkersRadio, tomorrow morning (2/1).  The self-titled show “Lionel” will air live on the “experimental” talk show platform Saturday mornings between 9:00 am and 10:00 am ET and run as a regular weekly series.  It will feature the intellectually stimulating talk media star in an hour of free-form conversation and reflection about the wide variety of topics that fall within his realm of interest.  Lionel describes his plans for the new program as “spoken thought not spoken word” telling TALKERS, “The show will be the editorial cartoon versus the editorial.  Broadcast idea topiaries.  Stream of consciousness meets targeted subject selection.  No left-right paradigm blather.  No bumper sticker, talkersradio logoplaybook, echo chamber drivel.  As I feel, as I want, as I please.”  A veteran of such major outlets as WABC and WOR, New York among others, as well as being a podcast pioneer at lionelmedia.com, the quirky, satirical and extremely original observer of the human condition has been enjoying tremendous success conceiving, writing, producing and performing daily commentaries on the heritage WPIX-TV, Channel 11 in New York City.  The ex-prosecutor Lionel has also added his insight and experience as its resident legal analyst.  However, he has not forgotten his roots in and love for radio and promises that his 9:00 am to 10:00 am Saturday show will provide Lionel enthusiasts around the country with a version of his work that is “like nothing they have ever heard before.  This will truly be Lionel unchained!”  On making the announcement of Lionel’s joining the station, TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein says, “Lionel joining this ‘audio workout space’ is a perfect example of what TalkersRadio is about and hopes to achieve – and that is to provide select people in this business as well as potentially outstanding newcomers with the opportunity to try and develop things that are not being done in the traditional on-air space for the sake of moving the industry forward.”

kono-am logoCox Flips KONO-AM, San Antonio to Sports Talk.  The AM side of the KONO-AM/FM simulcast flips to sports talk using the CBS Sports Radio Network after more than 20 years airing the classic hits format of sister KONO-FM.  Cox Media Group San Antonio vice president and market manager Dan Lawrie states, “We’re excited to bring this level of quality sports programming to San Antonio.  Additionally, South Texas sports fans should be glad to welcome the return of the Jim Rome show after a two-year absence in the market.”  CBS Sports Radio program director Eric Spitz adds, “We’ve put together a tremendous lineup of experienced hosts with strong opinions and personalities who perfectly capture the passion and excitement of the sports fan.  With sports, the action never stops, and CBS Sports Radio provides listeners with cutting-edge analysis, high-profile interviews and late breaking news.”

harrisleslieWCKG-AM, Chicago Names Leslie Harris Director of Community Programming.  At the Matt Dubiel-run DuPage Radio LLC, market personality Leslie Harris is named director of community programming and host at the suburban talk station.  Harris recently exited NextMedia’s suburban rocker WERV “95.9 The River” and Dubiel comments, “Leslie was the full addition I made at WERV and I am over the moon excited to have a Downers Grove rock mamma as part of our local team.”

wtjk logoGood Karma Sells Janesville, Wisconsin Stations to Local Operator.  Two stations in the Janesville, Wisconsin market – rock WWHG “105.9 The Hog” and sports talk WTJK “ESPN Radio 1380” – are being sold by Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Broadcasting to Scott Thompson who operates stations in nearby Monroe, Wisconsin and Freeport, Illinois.  The Janesville Gazette reports that Thompson plans to keep the staff already in place at both stations and possibly add an employee.  He tells the paper WTJK may air less ESPN content and more local news.  Thompson takes over under an LMA while the transaction works its way through the FCC approval process.

weeidirtywaterWEEI-FM, Boston Begins Friday Night Promotion.  In a partnership with local watering hole The Greatest Bar and local media sources Dirty Water TV and DirtyWaterNews.com, Entercom sports talk WEEI-FM begins broadcasting the “Planet Mikey” show with Mikey Adams live from The Greatest Bar Friday, February 7 from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  The show will feature celebrity guests from the world of sports and entertainment.  WEEI brand manager Kevin Graham, citing the bar’s proximity to the TD Garden, states, “It’s a natural fit to partner with the Dirty Water brand and The Greatest Bar.  Combining Mikey’s unique entertaining style, the Dirty Water connections for guests and content, and the proximity to the TD Garden will make for a fun atmosphere and a great listen on ‘93.7FM WEEI’ and the WEEI Sports Radio Network.”  Bill Fairweather is co-owner of The Greatest Bar and creator of Dirty Water TV.  He says WEEI-FM is the perfect radio partner for Dirty Water’s growing array of media entities. “When we decided to add radio to the growing menu of media options that our brand delivers to Greater Boston and beyond, WEEI – with its strong sports focus – was a natural partner for us.  Entertainment and celebrity mix very well with sports and The Greatest Bar is the perfect location to bring those topics together.  We’re excited to have the opportunity to add these new dimensions to WEEI’s radio offerings.”

Odds & Sods.  In honor of Rosa Parks Day on February 4, the Premiere Networks-syndicated Comedy 24/7 format will air special clips of comics of the civil rights era talking about the issue.  African American comedians including Dick Gregory, Godfrey Cambridge and Slappy White were outspoken about necessary changes to be made in our society during that time and the format will air special tracks by these comedians and others as they spoke out in the language of the times at :57 after the hour all day on February 4…..Former NFL coach and executive Mike Holmgren will serve as a football analyst with Clear Channel’s sport talk KJR, Seattle next season after handling the same duties in 2013…..Milwaukee Brewers radio play-by-play voice Bob Uecker will step back a little bit from his duties with the team beginning this season as he’ll call fewer road games for flagship WTMJ, Milwaukee.  Uecker, who turns 80 this year, will still call all home games and be present for spring training in Arizona.

traduphaitiJoy and Hope Amidst the Misery.  Pictured here with children in Port Au Prince, Haiti is Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup.  He tells TALKERS he is there with Salem Radio News documenting conditions in Haiti on the fourth anniversary of the devastating 2010 earthquake that left 300,000 dead and millions homeless.  He’s embedded with the relief organization Food for the Poor and has been visiting slums, orphanages and feeding centers for the news network’s five-part special series on “The Poorest of the Poor.”  Tradup reports that Salem VP/director spoken word format Phil Boyce (who also is serving as operations manager of the New York stations) is there working on documenting the trip for a New York market broadcast.

deacesteveTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  New York-based XtreMEDIA announces a number of affiliates joining three of the company’s offerings.  First, the daily Kevin McCullough show is added to the program schedule at WCIS-AM, Morganton, North Carolina; WCST-AM, Berkeley Springs, West Virginia; WGEA, Geneva, Alabama; and KNLB-FM, Blythe, California.  The nightly Steve Deace program joins the lineup at WGTK-AM, Louisville; WTOH-FM, Columbus; and WWTC, Minneapolis.  Finally, the weekend “Baldwin/McCullough” show is now heard on WMRC, Milford, Massachusetts and WYPV-FM, Mackinaw City, Michigan…..The GCN-syndicated “America Tonight” with Kate Delaney joins the program schedule at WKVL, Knoxville.

The State of the Union Address Top Talk Radio Story This Week.  According to the Talkers TenTM, the president’s State of the Union Address was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of January 27-31.  At #2 this week was criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.  Following at #3 was new immigration legislation and the prospect of amnesty and at #4 was the extreme winter weather affecting much of the nation.  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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

| January 28, 2014

wftl logoJames Crystal Radio Misses Payroll.  According to a report in Jose Lambert’s column in the Miami Herald, staffers at the James Crystal Radio Group stations in West Palm Beach – news/talkwmen logo WFTL and sports talk WMEN – have not been paid since January 1 due to the holder of a $17 million loan to the company freezing its account.  The company is operated by Jim Hilliard and when contacted by the paper, general manager Steve Lapa stated that Hilliard is working from “6:00 am to 10:00 pm daily to resolve the situation.”  Lapa reports the staffers have missed only one pay period up until this point.  Between the two stations it’s estimated there are approximately 75 employees.

davisdarrenClear Channel Creates Networks Group; Names Davis President.  In a corporate re-alignment move, Clear Channel Media + Entertainment creates a new unified Networks group to take full advantage of its “power, reach and scale to deliver more compelling content opportunities to its partners, affiliates, advertisers and consumers, as well as providing a unique platform to its content partners and talent.”  Darren Davis, most recently EVP and GM for the national programming platforms, will lead this effort as president, Clear Channel Networks Group.  The company says that in his new role, Davis will oversee and ensure the success and close integration of the networks — Premiere Networks, Total Traffic and Weather Network, the 24/7 News Network and the iHeartRadio Network.  This new position underlines Clear Channel’s continued commitment to further expanding and transforming its business, introducing innovative new products, moving onto exciting new platforms and delivering even more unique opportunities and content to its audiences and its talent.  Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman states, “This new unified Networks group will enable us to better capitalize on our powerful relationships, creative talent and unparalleled capabilities across all platforms and maximize our infrastructure in an entirely new way to take these networks to a higher level, as well as develop new ones.  Darren is an innovative and effective leader of teams and has been a success at every role he has played at this company from the beginning as a programmer through his role as EVP and GM for the National Programming Platforms (NPP) group with Tom Poleman.  His extensive and diverse experience makes him the perfect candidate for this important new leadership role.”

grandephilPhil Grande to Appear at Rumsfeld Book Event.  In conjunction with news/talk WLSS, Sarasota, Florida, nationally syndicated financial talk personality Phil Grande – host of the “Phil’s Gang” program – will make a presentation and appear with former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld at Rumsfeld’s special event and speech at the Hyatt Regency on February 13.  Rumsfeld is touring the country promoting his new book, Rumsfeld’s Rules: Leadership Lessons in Business, Politics, War and Life (Broadside 2013).

neerrichardSports Talk: How Important Is Civility?  Unlike the Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman, sports talk hosts “need to be liked.”  That’s what WFAN, New York sports talk host Richard Neer says in his column published today (1/28).  Neer writes (while referencing the notoriety being enjoyed by Sherman in the aftermath of his recent rant), “If you are talented or lucky enough to win that lottery by catching the public imagination at precisely the right moment, you can thrive by being what polite society deems ‘uncivil.’  But you’re treading a narrow line and making a lot of enemies in the process.  One misstep could end your career as suddenly as a torn ACL could end Sherman’s.” Read Neer’s entire column here.

crninternational logoCRN International Debuts Events Division; Names Kelly Travers Director.  Integrated radio marketing solutions company CRN International is establishing a new Events Division for the growing number of live functions it manages as part of client campaigns.  The company says the move will allow it “to execute with optimum efficiency for the many events it coordinates for consumer brands, ranging from local radio station appearances to high-profile nightclub galas.”  To head up the new venture is Kelly Travers who is named director of retail strategies and activation.  CRN president and founder Barry Berman states, “Live events are used when they help solve a client objective, and they have to be well executed in every detail if they hope to deliver the expected business outcome.  Establishment of this new operating unit will allow our clients to sleep at night knowing all logistics are being addressed thoroughly.”  Travers notes that CRN International orchestrated more than 300 events as part of client marketing strategies last year alone.  Among the companies that have used live events engineered by CRN as an offshoot of their radio-triggered campaigns are Fiat and Petco, to name a few.

wxgiRed Zebra’s WXGI, Richmond to Simulcast on WZEZ-FM.  In a deal that will begin on February 1, Red Zebra-operated sports talk WXGI, Richmond “ESPN 950” will expand its reach by simulcasting on WZEZ at 100.5 FM.  The agreement between Red Zebra Broadcasting and Delmarva Educational Association gives “ESPN 950” reach to the northwest of the market.  General manager Buck Albritton states, “We could not be more excited to move our dynamic on-air lineup onto the FM frequency.  Most importantly, we are increasing our signal reach to serve more sports listeners.”  The stations will begin their relationship with the broadcast of Super Bowl XVLIII on Sunday.  Program director Mitchell Bradley states, “Not only is this an opportunity to serve a greater number of listeners, we will increase the number of games that we can broadcast.  We’ll be able to carry one play-by-play lineup on our AM station while featuring another program event on the FM signal.”  Red Zebra is controlled by Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder.

radiohealthjournal logoOdds & Sods.  The syndicated public affairs program “Radio Health Journal” is celebrating the airing of its 1,100th episode this week.  The program began in 1992 and is now heard on more than 480 stations across the country.  Produced by MediaTracks Communications and hosted by Reed Pence, the show provides listeners with a wide variety of health topics, including consumer safety, healthcare, drug abuse, mental illness, food safety, and youth at risk.  Pence states, “From the start, we cared about the information that we were providing to the listener.  We’ve always concentrated on providing important and useful information in a consumer friendly way.”…..SiriusXM talk host Joe Madison will attend tonight’s State of the Union Address as a guest of Congressional Black Caucus chair Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH).  On Wednesday, Fudge will appear on Madison’s program to discuss the president’s address…..The NFL’s Baltimore Ravens will be heard on Clear Channel’s classic rock WBIG, Washington, DC next season.  Last season the team’s games were heard in the DC market on Hubbard Radio’s WFED, Washington.

espnmikemikebradshawSports Talk Frenzy in NYC.  It’s Super Bowl week in New York City and ESPN – along with the other major sports radio networks including Fox Sports Radio Network, CBS Sports Radio Network and NBC Sports Radio Network – is there.  Pictured here is Fox Sports analyst Terry Bradshaw (right) on ESPN’s Mike & Mike show this morning with Mike Golic (center) and Mike Greenberg (left).  ESPN enjoys the advantage of its fabulous Times Square studios for this year’s Super Bowl.  All this week at the nearby Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan, some 90 radio stations are broadcasting from the Super Bowl XLVIII radio row.

millergovernorDown on Main Street.  Always getting out into the community, KIDO, Boise morning drive host Kevin Miller (center) takes his show out to Ed’s 50 Café where he hosts a roundtable breakfast chat with Idaho Governor Butch Otter (right) and EntreLeadership director of coaching and community John Felkins.  EntreLeadership is part of talk superstar Dave Ramsey’s organization.  Felkins’ job involves meeting with business leaders from across the country and helping them generate improvements to their companies by applying the EntreLeadership way of doing business.

comrexACCESSComrex Rolls Out Switchboard Traversal Server.  Don’t get freaked out by the engineer-speak, this is a very cool new feature for Comrex’s ACCESS and BRIC-Link IP audio codecs.  This major upgrade to the company’s popular BRIC Traversal Server (or BRIC-TS) service for ACCESS and BRIC-Link IP audio codecs allows for presence notification, status and connection help (NAT Traversal) via a cloud-based service which is free to use for Comrex ACCESS IP codec customers.  The feature is included in all Comrex ACCESS IP Audio codecs and can be unlocked on Comrex BRIC-Link codecs for a small license unlock fee.  The company states that it will be migrating all existing BRIC-TS accounts to the new Switchboard TS today (1/28) and the changeover will be seamless for existing users.  While customers will experience an improved graphical user interface, they should note two main improvements to the management tools in Switchboard.  Specifically, “Contact Lists” and “Shares” have simplified the task of managing a large fleet of ACCESS and BRIC-Link codecs.  What this all really means is that Switchboard TS is designed to allow your BRIC codecs (such as ACCESS) to connect with each other without having to have an IT guy onsite everywhere you go!  To contact Comrex by phone, call 800-237-1776.

Cool Job Opportunity. Heritage News/Talk station in the northeast has a rare opportunity in a top 100 market.  Now accepting applications for a combo News Director/Program Director.  Great company and a great opportunity for the right person with strong forward thinking programming ideas and strategies.  Must have experience in both news and programming with a multi-platform distribution approach to include on-air, online and mobile.  Please email a resume along with any supporting materials to Gabe Hobbs at gabe@gabehobbsmedia.com.  Or you can place your materials in my DropBox at https://www.hightail.com/u/GabeHobbsMedia. No calls please.  EOE/MF

State of the Union Address, NSA Spying Controversy, Hillary Clinton in 2016, More Icy Winter Weather, 56th GRAMMYs, and Super Bowl XLVIII Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/27).  The president’s annual State of the Union address to be delivered tonight; more revelations about the extent of the NSA spying operations; speculation about Hillary Clinton’s 2016 political ambitions; the next round of frigid winter weather set to hit the Midwest, East and South this week; the 56th GRAMMY awards held Sunday; and the run-up to Super Bowl XLVIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, January 10, 2014

| January 10, 2014

nielsen logoWill Nielsen’s Dominance in Online Measurement Hurt Radio Buys?  According to some analysts – most notably J.P. Morgan’s Doug Anmuth – the answer is yes.  In a piece published at MediaPost News by Joe Mandese, Anmuth asserts that Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings is growing in acceptance and may become the dominant “currency” for digital ratings and that it will drive ad budgets from TV and radio to digital.  Mandese writes that though some marketers and agencies prefer comScore’s vCE ratings system used to plan, buy and validate online ad buys, Nielsen’s dominance in the ratings in other media will give it the ability to leverage that into cross-platform ratings.  With YouTube’s recent adoption of Nielsen’s ORC system, it’s being predicted by Anmuth the move could “drive material change in TV buyer behavior.”  Similarly, Nielsen’s imminent rollout of its streaming audio measurement will affect radio buys.  Anmuth writes, “Just as we are seeing a shift in digital video measurement with YouTube, we expect streaming music providers including Pandora to gravitate towards partnerships with traditional measurement providers.  Nielsen is deeply engaged in developing the technology to measure streaming radio and it is working to fully integrate Nielsen Audio.”  Check out the story here.

emmisEmmis Net Revenue Up 3.4% — on Strength of Publishing.  The loss of political advertising that all broadcasting companies are dealing with – the fall of 2012 was a good year for that sector and Emmis’ fiscal Q3 measures September, October and November – affected the company’s 2013 Q3 to 2012 Q3 comparison and the result was a 0.4% increase in revenue for Emmis’ radio division.  The publishing segment of the business carried the day with a 9.8% increase in net revenue.  Emmis CEO Jeffsmulyanjeff Smulyan says in a statement, “The government shutdown in October, coupled with non-recurring political revenues from the prior year, caused significant headwinds for us and the radio industry.  However, Emmis’ ability to grow revenues despite these challenges is a testament to the talent, ingenuity and hustle of the Emmis team.  Our radio revenues are rebounding in our fourth fiscal quarter as these challenges have abated and our publishing division continues to post impressive revenue gains.  NextRadio, the Emmis-led industry initiative to make FM broadcast radio available on mobile phones via a pre-loaded app, continues to gain momentum and recently exceeded 100,000 activations.  I’m excited about the progress we are making and the momentum we have heading into calendar 2014.”

talkersradio logoTalkersRadio Hits the Ground Running for 2014 with New Hosts, Shows and Programming Directions. TalkersRadio, the “experimental” talk radio station launched last fall by TALKERS magazine to provide the industry with a “work out space” and “showcase for new talk programming concepts” has, according to its general manager David Bernstein, “hit the ground running” in 2014 with the announcement of several new hosts and shows scheduled to join its programming roster this month. Set for launch this weekend (1/12) is “Radio Lifeboat with DG & Mickey Gooch,” described by Bernstein as “a raw, emotion-packed ‘reality’ show that sure ain’t no cruise.” The one-hour-per-week program, emanating live on Sunday evenings at 7:00 pm ET from Malibu, California, is hosted by the mother/son team of Diane “DG” Gooch and her son Mickey Gooch. The show is basically a weekly therapy and educational support session helping people and families overcome the challenges of addiction. Also debuting this month (1/25) is a new program from Lionel – one of the most iconoclastic, impossible-to-peg, and intellectually stimulating talk show hosts of the modern era. A veteran of such major outlets as WABC and WOR, New York among others, as well as being a podcast pioneer at lionelmedia.com the quirky, satirical and extremely original observer of the human condition has been enjoying tremendous success conceiving, writing, producing and performing daily commentaries on the heritage WPIX-TV, Channel 11 for the past four years in New York City where the ex-prosecutor’s also added his insight and experience as its resident legal analyst. However, he has not forgotten his roots in and love for radio and promises that his 9:00 am to 10:00 am Saturday show will provide Lionel enthusiasts around the country with a version of his work that is “like nothing they have ever heard before. This will truly be Lionel unchained!” Another program getting readied for launch on TalkersRadio in either late-January or early-February is “The Hard Question with Blanquita Cullum.” Hosted by veteran talk show host, Washington-insider, and former member of the United States Broadcasting Board of Governors, Blanquita Cullum, the one-hour-per-week show will cover the hottest and most-pressing economic, environmental and political issues facing the country from a non-partisan, non-ideological perspective. Cullum tells TALKERS, “I’ve been in this business too long to mess around playing the old right versus left game that is quickly getting us nowhere. It is time to get serious – especially having this marvelous platform upon which to perform – and dust off the old journalism skills. Just as the name implies, I will be asking big shots and policy makers from the worlds of energy, finance and government the hard questions. None of that easy, puff-piece stuff. This show is going to get down, dirty and real!” These new shows will join the already-developing programs on TalkersRadio that include “The Brent & Meg Radio Show” hosted by the dynamic husband/wife duo Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald, “Green Connections” hosted by Washington, DC-based energy and sustainability expert, journalist Joan Michelson, “Healed Planet” hosted by well-known talk media star Alan Colmes, “The Robbie Student Show” hosted by record producer and urban philosopher Robbie Student, and “The Talkers Show” hosted by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison. To read more about TalkersRadio, check out a full feature story posted today by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey by clicking here.

kahnjulieRegan Communications Group Names Kahn EVP/Sports Media. Former Entercom vice president and New England market manager Julie Kahn joins public relations firm Regan Communications Group as executive vice president of sports/media.  Over and above that, she will be a special advisor to company president/founder George Regan, who comments, “Julie Kahn’s talents, skills, mind, and passion for this business are a grand slam for our company.  This is a great start to our new year.” Kahn “had the pleasure” to work with Regan Communications for the nearly 14 years that she was with Entercom.  “I am excited to become part of the management team and help Regan continue its growth and success,” she remarks.  Among Kahn’s new duties will be working with her former employer – Entercom, Boston – which is one of Regan’s clients.  In addition to being a board member of the Boston Sports Museum, Kahn is on the Boston board of directors for the National Sports Management Network.  The holder of a JD/MBA from Northwestern University, Kahn began her radio career in WGN, Chicago’s sales department; was general manager of KSAN, San Francisco; and vice president/director of sales for Susquehanna, San Francisco.

baldwinmcculloughBaldwin/McCullough Show Auditions on WNYM, New York.  With the move of talk personality Curtis Sliwa to crosstown WABC, Salem Communications news/talk WNYM “Am 970 The Answer” is putting the XtreMedia-produced Baldwin/McCullough program on this afternoon and next Friday as an audition.  Actor Stephen Baldwin and media entrepreneur and talk host Kevin McCullough have been hosting the Baldwin/McCullough program as a weekend show for the past several years.  Also, Iowa-based talk personality Steve Deace is set to audition in the afternoon drive slot on WNYM next Monday through Thursday.

kgmzlogoMidday Changes at Entercom’s ’95.7 The Game’ in San Francisco.  The late morning show featuring Sean O’Connell, Matt Steinmetz and producer Justin Kleisley is out and program director Jason Barrett announces “friends since high school” Guy Haberman and John Middlekauff are partnering up for the new 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program.  Haberman serves as host of the station’s pre- and post-game shows for Oakland As broadcasts and was host of the evening show at KGMZ during 2013.  Middlekauff was West Coast scout for the Philadelphia Eagles for the past two years and served as an NFL analyst for the station since the beginning of the 2013 NFL season.  The new pair begin hosting the “Mid-Morning Show” on January 20.  Matt Steinmetz had been working at KGMZ in the late morning daypart for the past 18 months.  He was joined by O’Connell last February.

buehlerjulieJulie Buehler and Geoff Bloom Re-Up with KXPS, Palm Springs.  The “Buehler’s Day Off” afternoon drive show at CRC Media West-owned sports talker KXPS, Palm Springs “Team 1010 KXPS” will continue with the station through this year.  Sports media pro Julie Buehler and co-host Geoff Bloom joined the station in June of 2012.  Buehler comments, “I love the Coachella Valley!  Love the vibrancy, the spectrum of sports fans and the rich culture and I’m honored to be a voice for such a passionate community.  I know with the vision from CRC Media West and our team’s ability to execute such a thorough game plan, 2014 will be even more groundbreaking, history-making fun than the past 18 months.”

lebatarddanDan Le Batard Has Baseball Hall of Fame Vote Taken Away.  In November, WAXY, Miami and ESPN Radio personality Dan Le Batard – also a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America (which votes for Hall of Fame players) – gave his vote to Deadspin.com in a protest saying his vote has become pretty worthless in the “sanctimonious” atmosphere of the process.  There’s a rule against that and the BBWAA board of directors voted to strip Le Batard of his vote this season and beyond.  He also will not be able to cover any baseball event this season as a sanctioned BBWAA member.

baumannbigjoeNew Morning Show at WRSO, Orlando.  At sports talker WRSO, Orlando “810 CBS Sports Radio,” there’s a new morning team in the 7:00 am to 9:00 am slot.  Former TV anchor Dave Baumann and local radio personality Big Joe are taking over the slot.  The station is owned by Star Over Orlando and it says the program will soon also be heard on the 93.1 frequency as well.

Odds & Sods.  All-newser KNX, Los Angeles continues its “KNX on Your Corner” series on January 31 when it takes an in-depth look at the unique aspects of the Crescenta Valley communities lying between the San Gabriel Mountains and the Verdugo Mountains: La Crescenta-Montrose, La Cañada Flintridge, Sunland and Tujunga.  The CBS RADIO station will broadcast live from the Black Cow Cafe in the heart of Old Town Montrose.  News anchors bearmanethanTom Haule and Vicky Moore will kick off the day from 5:00 am to 9:00 am, Frank Mottek will host the “KNX Business Hour” from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm and Chris Sedens and Diane Thompson will be on hand from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm…..KSCO, Santa Cruz talk host Ethan Bearman will host the KSFO Talk Show from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon on Cumulus Media’s KSFO on Monday and Tuesday January 13 and 14.  The slot currently has no permanent host…..Talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs – syndicated nationally via Genesis Communications Network – celebrated her 5th wachsdaliahanniversary on the radio yesterday (1/9).  She tells TALKERS magazine that she began her radio career five years ago on KLAV…..MSNBC shuffles its daily lineup after the departure of Martin BashirAlex Wagner moves into the 4:00 pm ET slot previously held by Bashir and the network will feature a rotating cast of hosts for Wagner’s 12:00 noon slot – including Joy Reid who’s been sitting in the 4:00 pm slot lately…..For the 3rd consecutive year, Entercom’s WEEI, Boston will serve as the official radio partner for the 2014 Pan-Mass Challenge August 2 and 3.  The PMC – a 190-mile bike event starting in Sturbridge, Massachusetts and ending in Provincetown and the tip of Cape Cod – is the largest single athletic fundraising event in the country and, since 1980, has raised more than $414 million for the Jimmy Fund, which supports adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

savagemichaelTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The “Savage Nation” show hosted by Michael Savage is added to the programming at the following stations: WCFO, Atlanta; WVGG, Lucedale, Mississippi; WLBY, Saline, Michigan; KBHS, Hot Springs, Arkansas; KVPI-AM, Ville Platte, Louisiana…..Business talk host Phil Grande’s “Phil’s Gang” show is added to the lineup at KDWN, Las Vegas…..Cumulus Media NetworksMark Levin is now heard on WFNC, Fayetteville, North Carolina; WVLK-FM, Lexington; WFNR, Blacksburg, Virginia; KFAY, Fayetteville, Arkansas; and WALG, Albany, Georgia…..Conservative/libertarian Genesis Communications Network-syndicated talk host Jason Lewis is added to the program schedule at KZRG, Joplin, Missouri…..From WYM Media, the Leslie Marshall show joins the programming at KABQ, Albuquerque and Phil Hendrie’s program is now heard on KNEW, San Francisco and KTNF, Chico/Redding, California…..“Freedom Feens” with Michael W. Dean and Neema Vedadi is added to the programming at WVFT-FM, Tallahassee; WYOO-FM, Panama City, Florida; and KENN-AM/FM, Farmington, New Mexico.

Chris Christie Scandal Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 6-10.  The Fort Lee lane closure scandal that’s rocking New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s administration was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week making it the #1 story on the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was former Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ book Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War (Random House 2013), which criticizes President Obama and his administration.  Following at #3 was the “polar vortex” chilling much of the nation tied with the companion topic of global warming and at #4 was Janet Yellen being confirmed chief of the Federal Reserve.  The Talkers TenTM is a 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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

| January 8, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

| January 7, 2014

cainepaulCEO Caine Set to Depart WestwoodOne.  As WestwoodOne becomes a fully integrated Cumulus Media division, chief executive officer Paul Caine will leave later this month. According to Cumulus chief executive officer Lew Dickey, “Paul is an extremely talented media executive and did an excellent job of guiding WestwoodOne during a period of change.  He positioned the company for future growth and played an instrumental role in driving awestwoodone logo constructive transaction, which delivered value for his shareholders.  We look forward to working with Paul in the next chapter of his impressive career.”  Caine is “so proud of the team we’ve built and what we’ve accomplished” at the company.  “In such a short time, we have proven the power of sound and its impact on the future of the audio industry,” he remarks.  “I am confident that this great momentum will continue under Cumulus and the strong talent and leadership of Lew Dickey.”  Less than one year ago (April 2013), Caine was announced as chief executive officer of Dial Global (now WestwoodOne) and as a member of the company’s board of directors.  He previously spent nearly 25 years at Time Inc., where he led the development of digital formats.

cookehollandNew Media Expo and CES Update.  “If I were Howard Stern I would go to a subscription podcasting model.”  Those were the words of Courtside Entertainment Group and PodcastOne CEO Norm Pattiz speaking at yesterday morning’s keynote address at 2014 New Media Expo (formerly Blogworld).  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas reporting for TALKERS magazine and he has more from Pattiz.  Also check out his notes from the first day of the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show where he reports back on the new technology that is relevant to the radio and content business.  Check it out here.

paulsenrouhierGrant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier Host Middays on WJFK-FM, Washington.  Speculation that Don Geronimo would re-surface during the day on CBS RADIO’s sports talk WJFK-FM, Washington “106.7 The Fan” have been squelched as the station debuted its new midday show co-hosted by Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier (Geronimo remains with the station hosting the evening show).  Rouhier had been working with Holden Kushner during the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm slot previously.  Kushner remains with the station hosting weekends and participating in the station’s Washington Nationals coverage.  Paulsen has been serving as the station’s Redskins beat reporter for the past four years.

deptrojohnWPRO, Providence Talk Host John DePetro Returns to Air; Critics Remain Steadfast.  Providence talk show host John DePetro – host of the late morning show on Cumulus Media’s WPRO, Providence – returned to the air on Monday after being off for the month of December.  DePetro and local union leader Maureen Martin – chairwoman of the anti-DePetro organization For Our Daughers RI – appear fated to continue their battle over DePetro’s employment with the station.  DePetro recently rankled Martin and other Rhode Island union members after he referred to some of them as “parasites,” “cockroaches,” “hags” and “whores” during a rant about their participation in a protest.  DePetro apologized for his choice of words but Martin is not backing off her campaign to oust DePetro from his position via boycott of the station’s advertisers and a petition drive.  The latest news in the skirmish is Martin publicly claiming DePetro was accused of sexual assault in 2013.  The Providence Journal-operated PolitiFact.com reports that it researched the matter to discover DePetro was accused of sexual harassment in 2012.  After connecting with Martin, PolitiFact.com reports the organization changed the date – from 2013 to 2012 – on its petition but has not altered the accusation to harassment.  Although harassment is a civil matter and assault is a felony, Martin insists to PolitiFact.com that an unwanted sexual advance is assault, according to the U.S. Department of Justice – which the news organization disputes.  Regardless, DePetro appears ready for battle, addressing the issue upon his return Monday saying, “Politicians and unions should not interfere and try to silence public opinion.  Period.  That’s it…They want to silence the people.  The last time I checked, this is still America.”

comrexComrex Names Raul Hun Latin America Sales Manager.  Comrex Corporation announces the appointment of Raul Hun to manage Latin America sales for the company.  Hun, a native of Panama, brings over 15 years of experience in providing studio and transmission solutions to broadcasters throughout Central and South America.  He most recently worked for the Telos Alliance and Broadcast Electronics.  Comrex director of sales Chris Crump comments, “Raul is one of the most well-liked gentlemen in our industry and we are thrilled to have him on our team.  The great work that Jim Godfrey has done for us in the region will certainly be strengthened by the strong dealer and customer relationships that Raul has developed over the years in Latin America.”

deanmichaelwReview: The Audio Technica AT2005USB Microphone.  Whether you record podcasts or take your talk show on the road (or both!), a good portable USB mic is a very handy thing.  Talk show host Michael W. Dean offers this thorough review of the Audio Technica AT2005USB mic.  He writes, “This would be a great mic for hosts who travel a lot, and don’t want to bring a mixer and a whole bag of gear or an engineer.  It’s a regular-sized dynamic mic that sounds fairly amazing.  It has a built-in USB interface, and comes with a nifty collapsible tripod table stand and a USB cable.  You could fit that all in a netbook case with a small laptop.”  For the entire review, pics and a sound sample, click here.

summersrichOdds & Sods.  Rich Summers is the new operations manager for Townsquare Media’s news/talk KIDO, Boise and its sister sports talk station KFXD “Sports Radio 630 The Fan.”  Summers joined the station group as program director of country KAWO…..At Yahoo! Sports Radio, there’s been a lineup change: “Hit ‘Em Up with Geoff Ketchum” moves to the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET slot and a new afternoon drive program, “Prime Cut featuring Sean Salisbury and John Granato,” launches in the 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET timeslot…..In addition to yesterday’s news that the Clear Channel Media + Entertainment digital audio platform iHeartRadio will be available on some new car entertainment and information systems, the company is promoting the service will soon be available on Qualcomm’s multi-media AllPlay smart media platform, the new AT&T Drive auto platform and others.  The announcement was made at day one of the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show.

MSNBC-Romney Controversy, Winter Cold Snap/Global Warming, Kerry’s Iran-Syria Solution, Colorado Pot Law Effects, Chicago Gun Ban Overturned, and SCOTUS Utah Gay Marriage Ruling Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/6).  MSNBC’s forced apology after a program aired in which comedians made fun of Mitt Romney’s adopted, African-American grandson; the bitter winter weather affecting much of the United States and the controversy over its cause; criticism over John Kerry’s reaching out to Iran in an effort to solve the civil unrest in Syria; the effects of the new marijuana laws in Colorado; the overturning of Chicago’s ban on the purchase and sale of guns in the city; and the Supreme Court’s overturning of Utah’s gay marriage law were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, December 23, 2013

| December 23, 2013

cumulus logoCumulus Announces Completion of Refinancing; $2.025 Billion Loan Due in 2020.  The refinancing of Cumulus Media’s senior secured credit facilities was reported last month and now Cumulus announces that goal has been complete.  The company says it enters into an Amended and Restated Credit Agreement, consisting of a $2.025 billion term loan maturing in December 2020 and a $200 million revolving credit facility maturing in December 2018.  The proceeds from the Term Loan along with cash on hand have been used to repay in full all amounts outstanding under the first and second lien term loans under Cumulus’ pre-existing credit agreements.  The refinancing follows the entry into a $50 million, 5-year revolving accounts receivables securitization facility, which Cumulus entered into on December 6, 2013.  CEO Lew Dickey states, “This highly successful refinancing transaction is expected to increase our free cash flow by greater than $30 million annually, extends our maturities through 2020 and simplifies our capital structure.  We believe our balance sheet has now placed us at a competitive advantage that positions us well for future growth opportunities.”

mcneildanWSCR, Chicago’s Dan McNeil Returns to Air with Apologies and Admission of His Addictions.  Midday sports talk host Dan McNeil had been off CBS Radio’s WSCR, Chicago for the better part of the past two months and while there was no explanation for his absence other than he had personal things to deal with, regular listeners may have suspected McNeil was dealing with substance abuse issues.  It’s not the first time he’s left the air for that reason.  But on Friday, McNeil – whose name had been removed from the show during that time – returned to the air and offered a frank and full mea culpa about his addiction to marijuana and pain pills that’s kept him off the air.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder has posted a transcript of a good chunk of what McNeil said on the radio but what his partner – Matt Spiegel – said to him probably rings true for a lot of the people in his life.  “We are glad that you are back.  But I will not pretend that it is with full-on trust and full-on joy that it was perhaps the first time [you returned].  In the spirit of honesty with you, and I’m sure that some listeners feel that way as well, you and I have always been real with each other.  We’ll continue to be real.  That we felt betrayed.  That we felt betrayed. . .We’re here with you.  We want to be here with you.  But I think you know you have to regain some trust.”  Read Feder’s entire column here.

millerstephfreespeechtvStephanie Miller Show to Air on Free Speech TV.  Fans of progressive talk show host Stephanie Miller rallied to raise funds to get her program back on television via the Free Speech TV network.  Miller – whose radio program is losing its flagship station KTLK as the outlet drops progressive talk and changes programming – was part of a campaign to raise money to bring the show to Free Speech TV.  The goal was $50,000 but fans responded enthusiastically and so far have raised $120,450 to build a studio and support the production of the program on the commercial-free network.  In a statement announcing the successful effort, Miller says, “It was a clear demonstration that, no matter what anyone tries to tell you, progressive media matters.  And it matters enough that regular people are willing to come together and do what the big corporate media conglomerates are afraid to do…give thoughtful, funny and creative progressive voices a way to speak to the people who want to hear them.”  Miller’s show is produced by WYD Media Management and WYD president Ron Hartenbaum says the new studio on the lower level of Miller’s home will “give the listeners and viewers more of a reality-show feel to the production versus a more traditional/sterile broadcast facility.”  Referring to the $120,450 raised for the expanded programming, Hartenbaum says, “We are funded and supported in part by our listeners and viewers.  All advertisers should take strong note that our audience spends money.”

maisanoadamMaisano To Exit Curtis Media Group, Raleigh.  Due to a family member’s health issues, seven-year Curtis Media Group, Raleigh senior vice president/director of sales Adam Maisano will be leaving his position at month’s end.  Maisano comments that it is “with exceedingly mixed emotions” that he departs “this great job,” but he states, “Over the last 18 months I have learned a lot about what is truly important in life.  Right now, family has to come first.”  He wants to return to active radio management by next spring.  Curtis Media Group executive vice president Trip Savery remarks, “Adam has been a great employee.  I, along with everyone at Curtis Media Group, wish him Godspeed in his personal journey and much continued success in his career.”  Curtis Media Group’s Raleigh cluster was the market’s top-biller.  It consists of country WQDR “94.7 ‘QDR,” adult hits WBBB “Radio 96.1,” urban AC WBZJ “The New 96.9,” CHR WWPL “The Pulse,” regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1,” talk WPTF, talk WPTK, and comedy WFNL “Funny 570.”  Maisano joined the company approximately 12 years ago as national sales manager.  He previously worked in sales for Clear Channel’s Augusta, Georgia stations.

entercomEntercom to Donate KWOD, Salem, Oregon to the MMTC.  The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council will be the recipient of radio station KWOD, Salem Oregon – a donation by Entercom Communications Corp.  The station is currently airing a sports talk format.  The MMTC was founded to promote diversity in broadcast station ownership and uses donated stations to train minorities and women in broadcast operations, sales, management, and ownership and enables them to purchase the stations at a discount from theirmmtc logo market values.  Since MMTC founded its media and telecom brokerage in 1997, it has helped hundreds of interested parties and new entrants with conducting business planning and due diligence and helping new entrants build their professional and financial networks.  MMTC president David Honig states, “Entercom is a terrific example of a company that truly has the public interest at heart.  Thanks to this generous gift to MMTC, we can train more new entrants in broadcast ownership and further our mission of promoting diversity in entrepreneurship.”  Entercom president and CEO David Field adds, “We are very excited to be donating this station and providing a new radio entrepreneur with the opportunity to become a great broadcaster and radio station owner.  We appreciate the leadership of David Honig and the MMTC staff and all they do to help enable these opportunities and mentor minority broadcasters.”

justbobOdds & Sods.  Bob Just a former TRN host who Sean Hannity calls “one of the good Democrats,” returns to the talk radio business, if just for a day, to guest host Hannity’s show on Friday, December 27.  Along with being a grassroots leader, Bob Just is also a longtime WND columnist and Whistleblower Magazine editor-at-Large.   A self-described Reagan Democrat who speaks at Tea Party rallies, Just did the research and development for Hannity’spatrickmatt second New York Times best seller, Deliver Us from Evil…..Houston-based talk show host Matt Patrick will sit in for Bill Cunningham on his nationally syndicated Premiere Networks Sunday night show on January 29.  Patrick says this is the third year in a row he’s done the program and he’s looking forward to presenting his year-in-review program…..Television news anchor and reporter Kimberly Easton joins CBS Radio’s all-news simulcast WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago as a part-time anchor and reporter, according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  She fills the slot of Brandis Friedman who moves to WTTV-TV, Chicago in October…..Katie Couric’s television talk show “Katie” will not return for a third season in the fall of 2014.  The New York Daily News reports that Couric and ABC Domestic Television have agreed to end the show’s production in June of 2014 and not continue.  According to the story, ratings were not the issue but the high cost of producing the program was not making it worthwhile.  Couric has signed on to be a “global anchor” for Yahoo! for what is reportedly a deal worth $6 million per year.

ratnervicABC News Radio’s Vic Ratner to Retire.  Longtime ABC News Radio reporter Vic Ratner is retiring at the end of the month after a career that began at ABC with coverage of the Watergate trial in 1973.  During his time with ABC News Radio, Ratner has served as Capitol Reporter, a war correspondent and covered NASA for the network.  In a memo to staffers, ABC News president Ben Sherwood wrote: “Most careers can be captured in words.  Vic’s career is captured in sounds.  In his incredible 40 years on the air for ABC News Radio, Vic has painted vivid pictures for our listeners with a rich and imaginative vocabulary that brought stories to life and gave meaning to ‘Gemini’ and ‘Apollo’ and even ‘filibuster’ and ‘quorum.’  With every syllable, Vic defined and embodied excellence.  When Vic arrived at ABC in 1973, one of his first assignments was the trial of the “Watergate Seven” in Washington.  He has covered every presidential campaign, political convention, inauguration and State of the Union since then, plus almost every space shuttle launch.  He has reported from 54 countries and 49 states.  For the record book, only South Dakota — the Mt. Rushmore State — has escaped his attention.”  Ratner comments to his colleagues, “I have been fortunate to work with and learn from exceptionally talented and innovative people at ABC.  Thanks to all of you for the collaborative effort, which makes us the best.”

wachsrudyHangin’ with Rudy.  Genesis Communications Network-syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs (right) poses for a photo with Daniel Eugene “Rudy” Ruettiger (left) at a Christmas football party over the weekend.  Ruettiger is a motivational speaker and former Notre Dame football player who was the subject of the movie “Rudy.”

Catholic Relevant Radio to Purchase WNTD, Chicago for $14.4 Million.  Relevant Radio has been LMAing the M&S WNTD LLC station since 2007 – that’s when the $14.4 price tag was set – and now Relevant’s executive director Rev. Francis Hoffman says the organization has come up with the cash to complete the transaction for the 1,000-watt daytimer.

bearmanjacobsheartRaising Funds for Children’s Cancer Support.  KSCO, Santa Cruz talk show host Ethan Bearman (right) chats on the air with Team G Foundation co-founder and CEO Kristin Cosnor  (left) during a recent fundraising remote broadcast.  Bearman tells TALKERS magazine he interviewed parents who benefitted from this group while their kids underwent cancer treatment at Stanford and UCSF – one hour to two-and-a-half hours away from their homes on the Central Coast.

Friday, December 20, 2013

| December 20, 2013

smithpaulwPaul W. Smith Renews with WJR, Detroit for 7 Years.  Telling Crain’s Detroit Business, “I’m thrilled, especially considering the length,” WJR, Detroit morning show host Paul W. Smith announces he’s re-signed with the Cumulus Media station for seven more years.  He’s been the AM personality since replacing J.P. McCarthy in 1996.  Smith says that, from what he’s heard, the length of the deal is “unheard of.”  (He’s right!)  The 60-year-old Smith adds, “I like Detroit; I made a commitment to Detroit coming back in 1996.  The good stuff is just about to begin with the turnaround.  This would be a horrible time to leave.”

pendergastseanSean Pendergast Moves to CBS Radio’s KILT, Houston.  With the departure of Josh Innes to the company’s WIP-FM, Philadelphia where he’ll host the evening show, CBS Radio sports talker KILT, Houston brings Sean Pendergast aboard from GOW Broadcasting’s crosstown KGOW where he’s been PM drive host for the past year.  Pendergast will co-host the KILT afternoon show with Rich Lord from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Program director Ryan McCredden says, “I couldn’t be more thrilled to bring Sean to 610 and have him join our lineup.  He is a true pro with a loyalty and passion for Houston sports that is unrivaled.  As a team, Sean and Rich Lord will present a fun, and informative experience for the everyday Houston sports fan.”  Pendergast comments, “In a city with a crowded sports dial, 610′s lineup and programming are the gold standard.  This is a great opportunity and I’m looking forward to working with Rich, interacting with a captive audience and sharing opinions on our local teams.”

coxebobBob Coxe to Retire from Cox Media Group’s WSB, Atlanta.  Bob Coxe has been a familiar voice delivering news to Atlantans via news/talk WSB for the past 23 years.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that the 66-year-old Coxe is hanging up his headphones today to enjoy retirement after a radio career that has spanned four decades.  Coxe tells Ho that assuming a normal sleep schedule is something he’s looking forward to.  He says that like his hero Mickey Mantle, he knows when it’s time to step away.  “You don’t have the physical energy, the concentration or mental acuity to do it at the standard you’d hope to set for yourself.  Plus, the hours are punishing.”  Taking over for Coxe will be Judd Hickinbotham, who will work alongside Marcy Williams on the morning show.

millerkevinbakerOdds & Sods.  FOX News Channel is presenting a special New Year’s Eve program, “All-American New Year,” on December 31 from 11:00 pm to 12:30 am featuring co-hosts Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Bill Hemmer live from Times Square in New York City.  The pair will be joined by FNC’s Kimberly Guilfoyle, Bob Beckel, Ainsley Earhardt and Rick Leventhal.  Griff Jenkins will provide viewers with an inside look at the celebrations taking place in the city.  Music performances will come from country’s Rodney Atkins and will also feature performances by rock band Blues Traveler and Scottish singer and finalist of “Britain’s Got Talent,” Susan Boyle…..CBS Radio Philadelphia partners and combines forces with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society for the 2014 Philadelphia Flower Show from Saturday, March 1 through Sunday, March 9.  SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield states, “The Flower Show is the region’s premiere cultural event.  It is a positive reflection on Philadelphia across the globe.  CBS Local Radio is pleased to team up with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society by providing outstanding marketing solutions for our co-partners, which in turn provides essential funding for the Flower Show.”  All five CBS properties – including all-news KYW, news/talk WPHT, and sports talkers WIP-AM and WIP-FM – will have a part in promoting, selling and participating …..KIDO, Boise morning drive talk host Kevin Miller (left) is pictured above with the Travel Channel’s Mike Baker (right), host of “America Declassified.”  Baker was in the area and stopped by the KIDO studios to talk with Miller.

rountreeangieFemale Erotic-Media Entrepreneur Finding Interested Audiences as “Change-of-Pace” Talk Show Guest.  At a time when most news/talk stations are seeking two things to keep the format vibrant and growing – 1) relevant topics that go beyond right-versus-left politics and 2) programming that would be attractive to more female listeners without turning off men – Angie Rowntree (at left) is finding appreciation among hosts and producers as the perfect “change-of-pace” guest.  Simply put, Angie Rowntree’s business is communicating about sex.  As the operator of the world’s largest “porn for women” site, Sssh.com, Rowntree has spent the last 14 years doing a lot of what you might assume someone running an erotic website does – like writing and directing adult entertainment movies – but a good deal of that time has also been spent doing something you might not expect from a pornographic entrepreneur: listening.  She tells TALKERS, “When I first started Sssh, there was just about nothing in adult entertainment that truly had been made with female viewers in mind,” reflecting on how she first got the idea to create Sssh.com. “There was just about every kink and specialty fetish you can think of that a man might be interested in, but aesthetically and thematically, there was basically no appeal to any of it from the female perspective.”  To find out more, read a new feature article posted today (12/20) by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein by clicking here.

ostapavlina16-Year-Old Broadcaster Making Waves at Daytona Beach Radio Stations.  Her name is Pavlina Osta and although she recently reached her 16th birthday she is already a five-year veteran of professional radio broadcasting having hosted her own music and talk show, “Pavlina’s Kids Place” since she was 11.  Most kids at age 16 have no career direction, but Pavlina is well on her way!  Fascinated with radio, Pavlina grew up wondering if she could be the person holding the mic.  But she decided not to wait, and began making calls to various celebrities that caught her attention.  Pavlina likes Alice Cooper, Dr. Oz, and Animal Planet’s Wayde King and Brett Raymer.  So that’s who she called, and receiving those calls from a charming teenager was all that was needed.  She landed the interviews that she wanted and continued with Teresa Guidice, star of the “Real Housewives of New Jersey.”  She now has her own YouTube channel, her own website, and a half-hour weekly radio show targeted to tweens and teens airing every Saturday at 11:30 am.  “Pavlina’s Kids Place” airs on Daytona Beach-area stations WAPN-FM, Holly Hill, Florida; WAPB-FM, Madison, Florida; and WELE-AM, Ormond Beach, Florida as well as the internet channel RealRadioDaytona.com.  Pavlina is also an award-winning dancer and has danced and sang in the New York City Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  She has been recognized by the Daughters of the American Revolution as an outstanding citizen and the American Cancer Society for her contributions to Relay for Life events.  According to TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein, “Pavlina is a rare find – especially in this day when teens are not as interested in going into radio as they were in past generations.  If she sticks with it, and I sure hope she does, she will be a major figure in broadcasting in very short time.  Radio needs kids like Pavlina.”  Pavlina Osta is available for interviews or to serve as a special correspondent for music and talk stations around the country.  She can be contacted at Frazier Public Relations, 703-431-7895 or visited on the web at www.PavlinaOsta.com.

mcculloughkevinTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Update.  The independently syndicated Kevin McCullough show is added to the program schedule at KTLR, Oklahoma City and WTXY, Wilmington, North Carolina…..The Genesis Communications Networks-syndicated Jason Lewis show is added to the lineup at KLZ, Denver; WPTK, Raleigh; and KNOX, Grand Forks, North Dakota…..Cumulus Media Networks’ Mark Levin joins the program schedule at KVBL, Portland and the company’s “Red Eye Radio” overnight program joins the WVFT, Tallahassee lineup.

ObamaCare Criticism Top News/Talk Story for 9th Consecutive Week.  The criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the ninth straight week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the NSA spying case.  Following at #3 was the Target credit card security breach and at #4 was the controversy over “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson’s comments about homosexuality in GQ magazine.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  View the entire chart here.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

| December 11, 2013

uptonfredCongressmen Question FCC Chair Wheeler About ‘Fairness Doctrine 2.0.’  In a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) requests Wheeler take immediate steps to suspend the field test for the research design of the “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs” the FCC is undertaking.  Supported by Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and 14 other congressmen, Upton charges the initiative is nothing more that the “Fairness Doctrine 2.0” and that the FCC has no jurisdiction to be undertaking a field test of this sort and that its actions are unconstitutional.  Upton states, fccnew“Although the Commission’s stated reason for the reports is to inform the Commission in taking regulatory action to lower ‘market entry barriers for entrepreneurs and other small businesses,’ it is hard to read this and see it for anything other than what it is, Fairness Doctrine 2.0.”  Upton references the study plan which states its goals are to “ascertain the process by which stories are selected, station priorities (for content, production quality and populations served), perceived station bias, perceived percentage of news dedicated to each of the eight CINs, and perceived responsiveness to underserved populations.”  Upton then states, “The Commission has no business probing the news media’s editorial judgment and expertise, nor does it have any business in prescribing a set diet of ‘critical information.’  These goals are plainly inappropriate and are at bottom an incursion by the government into the constitutionally protected operations of the professional news media.”  Upton requests Wheeler’s office respond to seven specific questions about the field test by January 10.  You can read the entire letter here.

sottolanojeffWIP-AM/FM, Philadelphia PD Jeff Sottolano Promoted to Corporate Director of Programming for CBS Radio.  CBS Radio EVP of programming Chris Oliviero announces the promotion of WIP-AM/FM, Philadelphia program director Jeff Sottolano to director, programming, CBS RADIO, effective January 2.  Oliviero says, “Jeff has consistentlycbsradio logo and successfully answered every challenge he’s faced during his career at CBS RADIO.  With such diverse format experience and a respected reputation, both in and outside our company, I have no doubt he is ready to tackle this exciting and critical next chapter.  Jeff will be a great complement to our corporate programming team.”  Sottolano’s duties include supporting program directors in 27 major markets who oversee 126 stations.  The company says he “will focus on identifying and recruiting on-air talent, both established and up-and-coming, as well as seek out new format opportunities.  Additionally, Sottolano will maintain ongoing communications with external industry and charitable organizations, and work closely with the division’s digital media business to ensure a seamless cross-platform product and brand experience.”  Sottolano came to CBS RADIO in 2001 as an intern at WZNE, Rochester.  He worked his way up to promotions director in 2002 and to PD and air talent in 2004.  In 2006, Sottolano transferred to WYSP-FM in Philadelphia where he assumed a variety of programming and marketing roles during his tenure, including program director beginning in 2008.  He was instrumental in launching the Danny Bonaduce show that same year, and worked closely with record labels, concert promoters and artists to create one-of-a-kind events and promotions.  In 2011 he assumed programming oversight of sports talk WIP when it began simulcasting on WYSP as “SportsRadio 94WIP.”

clarketimCox Media Group Names Tim Clarke Director of Digital Audience.  Moving up from his role as program director for the company’s CHR WPOI, Tampa “Hot 101.5,” Tim Clarke is promoted to director of digital audience for radio at Cox Media Group.  The company says that in this role Clarke “will be the liaison between CMG’s radio and digital divisions to help drive the digital brand strategy and product development for coxmediagroupgrowing audience and engagement at all CMG’s radio stations.”  EVP of radio Kim Guthrie adds, “We have some of the more cutting edge efforts in the digital space, and it is exciting to be able to dedicate one of our best talents to that effort.  We are evolving our super brands into the digital future, and Tim will play an instrumental role in that overall success.”  In addition to programming “HOT 101.5,” Clarke was director of social media for all six Tampa stations.  His other career highlights include time as PD at WAPE, Jacksonville and music director at WBLI, Long Island.  Clarke comments, “The digital future for CMG’s super brands is extremely bright and filled with tons of opportunity to engage our audiences in even deeper, more personalized and more meaningful ways.  I’m looking forward to working with our teams to serve our users on these growing platforms.”

mohrjayiHeartradio Adds Jay Mohr Sports Channel.  Actor/comedian Jay Mohr does his daily Fox Sports Radio Network program from Clear Channel-owned Los Angeles flagship KLAC. Now, the “Gary Unmarried” star launches “Jay Mohr Sports,” a live digital iHeartRadio station.  “This channel is about the fans and giving them 24/7 access to the show wherever they are,” Mohr enthusiastically states.  “I am so happy to be able to share this with listeners in celebration of the upcoming one-year anniversary of ‘Jay Mohr Sports.’”  The digital iHeartRadio channel features sports talk and entertainment, as well as Mohr’s conversations with athletes and celebrities.

mcmullenjohnMcMullen Named WMBD, Peoria PD.  Talk radio programmer John McMullen joins Monterey Licenses-owned news/talk WMBD, Peoria.  McMullen most recently served as program director at Morris Communications’ “KNEWS” news/talk trimulcast KNWZ and KNWQ, Palm Springs and KNWH, Yucca Valley where he’s been since 2007.  During his career, McMullen has also served with Sirius Satellite Radio.

wgnlogoSteve Bertrand Reunites with Kathy & Judy on WGN.  As tipped by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, WGN, Chicago newsman Steve Bertrand will trade off a weekday shift for the Saturday shift during which he’ll be reunited with Kathy O’Malley and Judy Markey during their weekly 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program.  Bertrand will also work with “Mr. Fix-It” Lou Manfredini whose show airs from 7:00 am to 10:00 am on Saturdays.  Bertrand, O’Malley and Markey worked together when the Kathy & Judy show was a regular midday program on WGN from 1989 through 2009.  Feder reports that WGN VP of creative content Todd Manley says Bertrand will continue to work the news desk during Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano’s midday show as well as during Garry Meier’s afternoon program.

wkzologoWKZO, Kalamazoo Names Lawrence Brand Manager.  At Midwest Communications’ Kalamazoo cluster, Jeremy Lawrence is named brand manager for news/talk outlet WKZO and sports talk WQLR.  In addition, Lawrence serves as the afternoon drive co-host on WKZO’s “The Trifecta” program alongside Jim McKinney and Roger Taylor.  Lawrence takes over for Jay Morris who leaves that post to focus on his work as brand manager for the company’s alternative rock outlets WZOX, Kalamazoo and WVIC, Lansing.

yacobushrickNew Market Manager and Director of Sales at Clear Channel Syracuse.  Clear Channel Media + Entertainment announces Rick Yacobush has been named market manager for the company’s five-station cluster in Syracuse and Barbara Miller has been appointed director of sales for the cluster.  Yacobush has been with the CC Syracuse stations for more than 26 years, holding a variety of roles including account manager, general sales manager and director of sales.  SVP of operations for the Northeast Region Kevin LeGrett says, “We are very excited to have Rick Yacobush lead the extremely talented team in Syracuse.  Rick’s sales leadership over the last 18 years has led to unprecedented performance.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment reaches more people in Syracuse than any other media and Rick’s unique ability to maximize our assets will allow us to serve the community as well as our advertisers in a multi-platform fashion.”  Meanwhile, 18-year CC veteran Barbara Miller moves up to director of sales for the cluster and LeGrett says of her, “Barbara has a proven track record of developing revenue growth opportunities.  She has demonstrated the vision and creativity necessary to implement 21st century competitive media strategies for our organization.  She has consistently exceeded revenue targets, while providing leadership and ensuring high quality standards are maintained across the organization.”  The CC Syracuse cluster includes news/talk WSYR, AC WYYY “Y94,” country WBBS “B104.7,” CHR WWHT “Hot 107.9,” and urban contemporary WHEN “Power 620.”

raytomTom Ray Warns Radio Broadcasters to Avoid EAS Confusion and Potential Fines.  TALKERS technical editor and noted engineering consultant Tom Ray passes along the following important information to our readers who program and operate radio stations.  Perhaps you heard about the recent $25,000 fines given out by the Commission regarding EAS violations.  The violations concerned airing either an EAS alert tone, EAS data burst, or sound alikes.  Both are prohibited under part 11 of the Commission’s rules.  Why?  If you are airing the EAS data bursts, this is something that could beeas logo decoded by downstream EAS decoders.  This can be confusing for station personnel, but more importantly, may in fact trigger an EAS alert when an emergency condition doesn’t exist.  And airing of something that sounds like the EAS data bursts and/or the two-tone alert signal starts to desensitize the public to an actual message.  It could, in fact, panic the public.  The recent cases involved EAS like sounds involved in commercials for movies.  In one case, when the cell phone alert apps were downloaded to person’s phones without their knowledge, I heard a television newscast run the sounds the phone made – which sound close enough to an EAS alert that it was a violation – regardless of whether it was news.  Some of this stems from our ways of operating these days.  Spots used to arrive on reel-to-reel tape, and you had to listen to the spot to transfer it to cart before airing and could catch the fact that EAS tones were in a spot.  Today, the spot arrives as a file and most automation systems can take the spot in without anyone listening to it ahead of time.  In the case of the TV newscast, the news producer obviously did not know the FCC regulations.  In the case of ingesting spots directly into your system, they should always be listened to not only for content, but also for problems like distortion.  To take something in without listening to it is irresponsible.  The bottom line – don’t air something that sounds like an EAS alert.  The FCC takes it seriously.  The public takes it seriously.  And it shouldn’t happen.  For more information about this topic Tom Ray can be phoned at 845-418-5065 or emailed at tomray@tomrayconsulting.com.

twitchy logoMalkin Sells Website to Salem Communications.  Conservative media commentator Michelle Malkin has sold her Twitchy.com site to Salem Communications for an undisclosed sum.  Malkin founded the site which serves as a curation destination for Twitter posts and commentary on said Tweets.  Salem Communications has had success with its digital efforts and already operated TownHall.com and HotAir.com in addition to numerous Christian-themed sites.  Salem VP/GM Jonathan Garthwaite comments, “Since its inception almost two years ago, Twitchy has fast become a leader in online news reporting.  They have harnessed the power of social media to create a real-time newswire for the modern, interconnected world.  With the addition of Twitchy to our growing network of news and political websites, there is no better collection of conservative news and opinion on the web.”

localfocus logoLocal Focus Purchased by McGavren Guild Parent.  Genesis Media Holdings picks up Kay Olin and Dave Demer‘s Atlanta-based Local Focus rep firm.  GMH owns McGavren Guild Media, which will operate independently of its new sibling.  In addition, Genesis Media Holdings brings in Cumulus Media director of national sales Kevin Garrity as manager.  GMH chief financial officer Billy McEntee comments, “Local Focus is an innovative firm powered by a team of highly accomplished sales professionals.  We look forward to working with them to provide an even greater level of service to radio stations and advertisers.  Kevin Garrity has excelled at every level of radio sales management.  With his addition and the acquisition of Local Focus, we are poised for rapid expansion and growth.  Management will continue to drive revenue for their respective station partners, while capitalizing on opportunities afforded through the larger Genesis Media group.”  Garrity remarks, “Genesis Media Holdings’ commitment to building their platform and investing in the long-term growth of their properties is very exciting. I look forward to playing an integral part in shaping that growth.”  McGavren Guild Media president Lisa Sirotka-Sonnenklar adds, “I am extremely excited to be working with Kevin to further build McGavren Guild Media.  I look forward to the additional support I will gain from his depth of industry experience.”  Garrity’s background includes 20 years at Interep, the last five of those as president of ABC Radio Sales.  In tandem with these announcements, vice president of revenue Dave Demer becomes president of Local Focus, while the rep firm’s founder Kay Olin will act as a consultant to Genesis Media.  “Kay has been instrumental in facilitating the evolution of Local Focus and preparing it for this next step in its growth,” Demer notes.  “She will add immense value to Genesis Media.”  Previously, Demer held marketing and sales positions with Clear Channel and Cox Media Group. Local Focus represents more than 350 stations.

iglesiasgabriel24/7 Comedy Celebrates Christmas with Gabriel Iglesias.  Premiere Networks-syndicated 24/7 Comedy – the 24-hour, all-comedy format – is celebrating the holiday season with special guest host Gabriel Iglesias.   From December 14 through December 27, the format will feature “The 12 Days of Fluffy” (for 13 days), giving listeners a peek behind the stage persona of the internationally acclaimed comedian and highlighting some of his most popular stand-up bits.  Connecting with listeners every hour throughout “The 12 Days of Fluffy,” fans will also have the chance to hear select tracks from his latest Comedy Central DVD special, “Aloha Fluffy.”

ObamaCare Criticism, Obama Selfie Flap/Castro Handshake, New Budget Deal, India Gay Sex Ruling, Iran Nukes Talks, and NSA Targets Video Gamers Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/10).  The ongoing criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and HHS director Kathleen Sebelius; the flap over President Obama’s “selfie” taken at the service for Nelson Mandela and his handshake with Raul Castro; the new budget deal struck in Congress; India’s high court ruling outlawing gay sex; foundering talks with Iran over its nuclear program; and the NSA’s targeting of video gamers were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

| December 10, 2013

macnowglenWIP-FM, Philadelphia’s Glen Macnow on Vacation While Contract Talks Ensue.  There’s a lot of speculation in Philly about what the outcome of contract talks between CBS Radio and afternoon drive co-host Glen Macnow (who works with Anthony Gargano on “SportsRadio 94”).  First, Macnow tells the Philadelphia Daily NewsMolly Eichel that he left in mid show on Monday (during a live remote from Chickie and Pete’s, no less) to allow Anthony Gargano time to segue into the Howie Roseman show.  “I actually wanted to do it as unobtrusively as possible, just to let people know what was going on.  And I certainly didn’t want to not work today after that great Eagles game yesterday.  I live for shows like today.”  So while he and CBS are in contract talks, Kyle Scott of CrossingBroad.com says he hears Macnow will move to a more part-time role with the station and that the station plans to pair Rob Ellis with Gargano for the PM drive show in the New Year.  The station tells the Daily News it is keeping any and all contract negotiations private.

gardneralAl Gardner Returns to Charlotte for Sports Talk Gig.  Longtime WBT, Charlotte morning drive co-host Al Gardner will be back on the air in Charlotte but this time on HRN Broadcasting’s WZVG, Charlotte “730 ESPN Charlotte” beginning December 16 alongside Lanny Ford on “The Bottom Line” show.  The Charlotte Observer’s Mark Washburn reports that Gardner tells him he’s looking forward to being involved with a local broadcasting endeavor.  “They’re going to grow locally.  That’s what I want to be part of.”  Gardner left WBT more than two years ago to join Randy Michaels’ WWIQ, Philadelphia when the former talk station was launched in 2011.

adamsmarkAdams Returns to Clear Channel Portland as VP/Programming.  CBS Radio Houston vice president of music programming Mark Adams leaves to oversee programming operations for Clear Channel‘s eight Portland stations.  For eight years (2000 – 2008), Adams programmed Clear Channel Portland rhythmic CHR KXJM and was operations manager of then (talk) sibling KXL-AM (now Alpha Broadcasting sports outlet KXTG).  Clear Channel Portland market president Robert Dove comments, “Mark has a proven track record and I know he will lead the Clear Channel Portland cluster to even greater ratings success.” Adams adds, “I am looking forward to working with all the incredible brands and teams in the market, and contributing to their future success.  Portland is one of my favorite cities in the country and it’s exciting to have the chance to return to the Pacific Northwest and do some great radio.”  Prior to joining CBS Radio in April 2008, Adams worked in San Francisco, Milwaukee and Fresno.

bowersbethWSB, Atlanta Ups Bowers to General Sales Manager.  With the promotion of Walt Phillips to director of sales for Cox Media Group’s Atlanta operations earlier this fall, the company boosts Beth Bowers from her local sales manager post at news/talk WSB 750 AM and 95.5 FM to general sales manager.  CMG states that “in addition to continuing the proven tradition of success at news/talk WSB, Bowers will partner with the talented team of GSMs at the other stations in the cluster – ‘97.1 The River,’ ‘KISS 104.1’ and ‘B98.5.’  Together, the team will strategically lead CMG Atlanta’s radio sales organization into the future and offer unprecedented opportunities for advertising clients in the Greater Atlanta market.”  Prior to becoming LSM for WSB in January of 2011, Bowers served as director of marketing for CMG Atlanta.  She comments, “I’m honored to be given the opportunity to lead this legendary station, as well as partner with the most talented sales staff in the country.”

pittmanbobCC’s Bob Pittman Explains View of Media Landscape in AdWeek Essay.  Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman pens a brief piece on his philosophy about dealing with the “disruption” that’s taking place in the media business in AdWeek.  In it, Pittman states that he believes a crucial mistake to make is to follow conventional wisdom and allow yourself to be hyped.  In our business, Pittman says that translates into dumping all other media and putting all your eggs into the shiny new basket that is digital.  Pittman advises to be aware of the behavior of the consumer and further asserts his belief that a mix of media is a winning plan for advertisers in this era.  Read the entire piece here.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Select Data from RADAR 119.  The December 2013 RADAR (Radio’s All Dimension Audience Research) is data culled from the 48 PPM markets Nielsen measures between September 13, 2012 to September 11, 2013 and it concludes that “more than 178 million persons 12 and older, or approximately 68% of this demographic, heard one or more network radio commercials in an average week of the survey period.  Keep in mind that RADAR reports estimated audiences to network commercials broadcast by affiliates of the subscribing networks and doesn’t purport to account for listening to all network radio programming.  The study concludes that in the top 25 DMAs (designated market areas), network radio adlargelogodemonstrates extensive reach including: 70.5% of persons aged 12+ (92,593,000 persons); 73.7% of persons aged 18-49 (50,599,000 persons); and 74.5% of persons aged 25-54 (48,331,000 persons).  Subscribing networks are happy to release their success stories and AdLarge Media reports that its ROI Network debuted in this report and was “#1 with Adults and Women 18-49; and Women 25-54, Monday-Sunday and Monday-Friday, 5A-8P.”  AdLarge co-founder and president Cathy Csukas states, “We promised our advertisers an expansive network and the results of AdLarge’s ROI Network debut delivered.  The robust female showing bolsters our commitment to help advertisers westwoodone logoconnect with this hard-to-reach demographic that has strong purchasing power.”  WestwoodOne issues a statement saying that it is “proud to be a part of RADAR’s expanding networks within the audio landscape.  In addition to proving that radio is alive and well and that its audiences are broadening, today’s RADAR 119, released by Nielsen Audio, showcases more diversity in network offerings.”  WestwoodOne COO Charles Steinhauer adds, “Overall growth is positive for the audio category, and for RADAR.  Generally, the December RADAR is a non-event because many networks re-configure their lineups and publish special tabs at this time of year, WestwoodOne included.  It is exciting to welcome a new company into the RADAR marketplace and to the Network Radio Research Council.  We look forward to more diversity in the promotion of network radio audiences.”

grandephilOdds & Sods.  The nationally syndicated talk show “Phil’s Gang” with host Phil Grande is expanding to two hours on Radio Colorado Network’s KRCN, Longmont, Colorado airing from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  Grande describes his show as “thoughtful economy and investing dialogue with news, stock market updates, timely interviews and only Phil tells you what Wall Street doesn’t want you to know.”…..CBS Radio’s sports talker WIP, Philadelphia “SportsRadio 94” is gearing up for “the most infamous annual radio event in the world” – WingBowl 22 – to be held at the Wells Fargo Center on January 31, 2013.  The sponsors include Steven Singer Jewelers and SugarHouse Casino.  The station says this year it is offering the most prizes in the history of the event, including the top prize: $22,000 from Steven Singer Jewelers.  For the first time ever, the contest offers two cars – one for the top local eater and one for the top college eater (two 2014 Chrysler 200’s from Barbera’s on the Boulevard), two bikes for Wingettes (two Harley Davidson 883 Sportster Motorcycles from Barb’s Harley Davidson) and other incredible prizes.  And for the first time ever, Wing Bowl will have a college division, with the top collegiate eater winning one of the cars…..Minnesota Public Radio today announced that Jim Dwyer and Jean Taylor have been elected to MPR’s board of trustees.  Dwyer is chairman and CEO of Michael Foods, a diversified processor and distributor of food products and one of the largest privately held companies in Minnesota.  Taylor is president of Life is Now, a strategy and consulting firm that she founded in 2010, and a principal at Middle A Restaurants, a franchise development company.

scba logoRecord Number of SCBA Radio Sales Training Graduates.  The Southern California Broadcasters Association (SCBA) has just presented certification awards to 31 new – or newer – sales professionals, sales assistants and individuals seeking a sales career in Southern California radio.  That is a record number of people successfully completing the training classes, which were conducted from September 23 – December 5.  SCBA President Thom Callahan comments, “The SCBA is firmly committed to helping our members train the next generation of professional radio sales executives.  Each class and professional instructor brought a special focus for our students.”  Included in the 10-week training curriculum were “New Business Development,” “Strategic Selling,” “Building Client Relationships,” “Interactive Selling,” and “Cold Calling Techniques.”  The SCBA Sales Training Classes is a collaboration of the SCBA and the GSM Council of Southern California.

ObamaCare Criticism, Nelson Mandela Retrospective, Iran Negotiations, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/9).  The scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; remembrances of the life and times of South Africa’s Nelson Mandela; the instability of negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program and Congress’ plans for renewed sanctions; and the snowy action in the NFL over the weekend were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

| December 3, 2013

lindsleymikeMike Lindsley Returns to WSKO, Syracuse.  Sports talk host Mike Lindsley is back in Syracuse on Cumulus Media’s WSKO where he’ll host the Mike Lindsley Show: In the Cell with M.L.” from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm beginning December 9.  Lindsley talked sports in the market for more than 10 years before moving to Townsquare Media’s WTMM, Albany in March of this year.  Both Lindsley and WTMM co-host Brian Cady were let go from the station in earlywsko logo September after a caller pretending to be former Yankees outfielder Shane Spencer went on the air and said he experimented with PEDs.  Townsquare made no connection about the snafu and their release.  Back in Syracuse, operations manager Tom Mitchell replaces CBS Sports Radio Network’s Doug Gottlieb with Lindsley and he says, “We are happy to welcome Mike Lindsley back to the ‘voice of the Central New York sports fan.’  Once again, listeners have a choice of local afternoon sports shows.  Mike is known for his strong opinions and his love of the Syracuse Orange, Syracuse Chiefs, and New York Yankees, in no particular order.”

cross-platform report logoNielsen’s ‘Cross-Platform Report’ Concludes More Than 90% of Americans Use Radio Each Week.  The just released “A Look Across Media: The Cross-Platform Report” from Nielsen uses RADAR data for its conclusions about radio use and habits.  Stating that radio is used by more than 90% of Americans each week, the report notes that African Americans (92%) and Hispanics (94%) are the biggest users of radio on a weekly basis.  According to Nielsen, the average American “consumes almost 60 hours of content each week across TV, online, radio and mobile,” and it breaks down this way: TV – 35.1 hours; radio –14 hours; video online – 1.5 hours; video on mobile – 1.3 hours.  Though the report states that monthly listening to AM/FM radio is 60 hours and 42 minutes on average, missing from the options is listening to audio via mobile – obviously an important competitor for AM/FM radio.  The report measures traditional TV, using Blu-Ray/DVD, using game console, using internet from computer, watching video on the internet, and watching video on mobile in addition to listening to radio via AM/FM.  See more about the report here.

morellijenniferMorelli Moves to CBS Radio as VP/Integrated Marketing.  Two-year CBS Radio Chicago director of integrated marketing & events Jennifer Morelli is named vice president of integrated marketing for CBS Radio.  Morelli led non-traditional sales efforts for the company’s six-station Windy City cluster.  According to CBS Radio president of sales Michael Weiss, “Jennifer has taken on roles of increasing responsibility during her tenure at CBS Radio and is well prepared to take on this leadership position for the division.  She has demonstrated the ability to create opportunities for clients that go beyond conventional advertising and branding methods.”  Morelli joined CBS Radio Houston four years ago as integrated marketing manager.  She previously held several positions – including general sales manager – with Emmis in Austin and she has worked in the sales department of WQRF-TV, Chicago.  Morelli’s radio career began in 1997 at Sconnix Broadcasting‘s Quad Cities stations where she was an account executive.

nielsen logoNieslen Audio November PPM Data Released.  The November 2013 PPM ratings data is being released by Nielsen Audio – currently numbers for all 48 markets have been made public – and that information can be found at the site of TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo.  Check out the main page for managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian’s “Ten Takeaways” here or go straight to the full ratings data here.

karelKarel to Cut Back Radio Show Time; Promotes New Podcast.  Talk show host Charles “Karel” Bouley, whose daily program currently airs from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET via the Genesis Communications Network, will cut the daily show back to an hour each day and focus more energy on his new podcast “The Karel-Cast” via TheKDW.com network beginning January 2.  He says he will continue hosting his weekend evening programs on KGO, San Francisco and his program on WWRL, New York.  He says, “As an entertainer who is a content provider of audio, video, live stage shows, print, and live web cams, Karel and ‘The Karel Show’ have been a driving force for a website that has functioned as an actual network.  So now, it truly will.”

wsfm logoHometown Media Moves Wilmington News/Talk Outlet to New Frequencies.  The news/talk format branded “Port City Radio” is no longer being heard on Wilmington, North Carolina outlets WNTB and WLTT.  Those signals are now airing country format “The Dude” and news/talk has been moved to Hometown Media’s WSFM and translator W240AS, formerly the home of a classical music format.

bfoa logoBroadcasters Foundation of America Begins ‘Holiday Giving Campaign.’  The 2013 Holiday Giving Campaign is underway at the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  The campaign asks broadcasters to spread the word about the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation to those who may need its assistance, and encourages donations and memberships at www.broadcastersfoundation.org, or by calling 212-373-8250.  Often a last refuge, the Broadcasters Foundation has helped broadcasters and their families remain in their homes and made it possible for retirees to afford life-sustaining medications.  The Broadcasters Foundation also has provided one-time emergency grants, including in the aftermath of natural catastrophes such as Hurricane Sandy.  Chairman Phil Lombardo states, “The goal of the Foundation’s board of directors is that no broadcaster’s cry for help should ever go unanswered.  Requests for aid have more than doubled over the past few years and more come in every day.  Next year, we will disburse over $900,000 in financial assistance, a 100% increase from five years ago.”  BFoA president Jim Thompson adds, “The pace of incoming donations is lagging behind the requests for aid.  Our grant recipients are our colleagues — individuals who we have worked with and whose lives have been devastated by unthinkable circumstances.  Aid from the Broadcasters Foundation can be life-saving, in many cases.  I ask every broadcaster to consider making a donation or becoming a member.”

wachshall-pattonDr. Daliah Wachs on ‘Pawn Stars’ This Thursday.  Genesis Communications Networks-syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs (left) poses for a photo with “Pawn Stars” historical artifacts expert Mark Hall-Patton (right) during her most recent appearance on the History Channel program.  Dr. Wachs tells TALKERS magazine that the show will air this Thursday at 10:30 ET in which she brings a Civil War-era metacarpal bone saw in to sell.  How much, if anything, does she get for it?  You’ll have to watch the show to find out!  Her contract with the network prevents her from spilling the beans.

ObamaCare Criticism, Rush Limbaugh Pope-Marxism Flap, Iran Nukes Deal, New York Rail Crash, and Paul Walker Crash Death Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/2).  Criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act as well as anticipation of how it will affect the health care industry; the flap over Rush Limbaugh’s calling Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation “pure Marxism”; the deal between the U.S. and Iran on the latter’s nuclear program; the deadly commuter rail crash outside of New York City; and the death of actor Paul Walker in a high-speed sports car crash were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

| November 14, 2013

bolgerpeterPeter Bolger Named OM/PD at WLS-AM, Chicago.  Most recently with Clear Channel as director of AM programming in the San Antonio market, Peter Bolger joins Cumulus Media to head up programming and operations at its Chicago news/talk WLS-AM.  In a statement, Cumulus COO John Dickey says, “Chicago radio is a competitive and important market where we’re excited to add Peter’s expertise that positions up for future growth.  Bolger adds, “I think Chicago radio is the best there is.  Fortunately, we have incredible talent and deep resources at WLS.  I want to thank John Dickey, Mike McVay and Donna Baker for the opportunity to be part of the historic WLS brand.  I can’t wait to get started.”

walkerdwightWalker Announces His Retirement.  Six-year Entercom, San Francisco vice president/market manager Dwight Walker has been in radio for 30 years – the last 25 in the Bay Area.  He will be departing the company’s four-station (all are on FM) Bay Area operation, which is comprised of adult contemporary KOIT-FM, classic rock KUFX “The Fox,” sports KGMZ “The Game,” and urban AC KBLX.  “It has been a fun, rewarding, stimulating, and fantastic time,” he comments. “I have cherished my years with Entercom, a world-class company.  The vision of Entercom management and their commitment to radio is what will keep our industry and this cluster moving forward in a thriving and robust way.”  Family, travel, and Tahoe will become Walker’s top priorities, but he insists, “San Francisco will always be a part of an amazing and charmed life that I hold near and dear to my heart.”  According to Entercom station group president Weezie Kramer, “Dwight Walker is one of the best in the business.  Everyone at Entercom deeply appreciates Dwight’s years of hard work and leadership.  He will be missed in San Francisco and across the radio industry.”  Prior to joining Entercom, Walker was vice president of sales for cross-town Cumulus-owned KNBR, KFOG, and KSAN.  For nine years (1997 – 2006), he was general manager of KFOG and KSAN when Susquehanna owned those facilities.

ramseydaveDave Ramsey Changes Nashville Affiliates.  Nationally syndicated financial talk superstar Dave Ramsey moves to a new Nashville affiliate station beginning in the New Year as it joins Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s news/talk WLAC to air in the 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm time slot.  Since January of this year, Ramsey’s show has been airing on Cromwell Radio Group’s sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game.”  In a piece in The Tennessean, Cromwell’s Bud Walters admits the melding of Ramsey’s show and sports talk wasn’t the best fit and that the move is a mutual one.  “We have beenwlac logo friends for more than 20 years, and while we enjoyed this partnership from a personal standpoint, we both realize that from a business perspective our brands would be better served if we return to our respective formats.”  Dave Ramsey VP of broadcast Brian Mayfield states, “It’s great to be back on a news/talk station in Middle Tennessee.  WLAC has a long-standing tradition of quality radio in Nashville, and now with the addition of our show, offers the top three talk shows in America back to back.”  CC Nashville OM Michael Bryan adds, “We’re very excited to add the Dave Ramsey show to WLAC in the New Year.  Dave’s a legend in Nashville radio, and this aligns the power of his brand with the very best platform in talk radio.  It is a true home run for our listeners and advertisers.”

schultzedEd Schultz to Launch Live Theatrical Tour in 2014.  Nationally syndicated radio talk show host and MSNBC star Ed Schultz will be taking a show live to theaters in 2014.  Working in conjunction with Ron Hartenbaum‘s WYD Media, “The Ed Tour” commences on Saturday, February 8 with a booking in Fort Lauderdale and then several stops in the West including Seattle on Friday, February 21 with more locations to be announced shortly.  WYD Media has paved the way via an effective working model for talk show hosts to take theater-style shows on the road with the wildly successfully “Sexy Liberal Tour” starring Stephanie Miller which has also revved up for a number of dates in the remainder of 2013 and throughout 2014.

westwoodone logoWeather Channel and WestwoodOne Renew Ad Sales Agreement.  WestwoodOne and The Weather Channel announce that they have signed a multi-year agreement for the former to provide ad sales representation for The Weather Channel’s radio service.  The renewal runs through 2016.  The Weather Channel provides daily, customized cross-platform weather reports to individual radio stations around the country giving up-to-the-minute information on local weather or critical storm warnings.  WestwoodOne CEO Paul Caine says, “We are delighted to continue our partnership with The Weather Channel and to represent its superior brand across the radio community.  Weather is a hugely covetable component in the audio space, and serves as a critical resource for listeners.  In fact, we have found that listeners are more likely to tune or tap in for weather information than most all other content.  We are happy to know we can continue to provide our listeners access to the best weather information available.”

sbaaire logoSBS Readies AIRE Radio Networks.  Set to debut January 1, Spanish Broadcasting System‘s AIRE Radio Networks will reach listeners in nine of the top 10 markets with a weekly audience reported to be approximately 12 million listeners – roughly one-quarter of the U.S. Hispanic population.  AIRE Radio Networks will feature shows focused on current events, health and family, finances, education, sports and entertainment.  “This creation solidifies SBS’ expanding presence in Hispanic media and entertainment,” explains SBS chairman/president/chief executive officer Raul Alarcon.  “We’re excited about capitalizing on syndication growth opportunities.  AIRE Radio Networks will extend our top-ranked offerings to advertisers and listeners nationwide.”  Aire Radio Networks senior vice president of network operations & affiliate sales Elisa Torres comments, “We have put together a stupendous lineup to deliver a national platform.  With AIRE Radio Networks’ targeted choices and vehicles, we anticipate rapid growth for clients seeking to embrace nationwide Hispanic listeners.”  The Aire Networks include the “Advantage Network,” targeting Hispanic men; “Young Adult Network,” geared to Hispanics 18-49; “Millennial Network,” targeting Hispanics 18-34; “Prime Family,” aimed at families on weekends; and “The Mandril Network,” featuring Ricardo “El Mandril” Sanchez of Los Angeles’ KLAX “La Raza.”

truesteveWAUK, Milwaukee Sports Talk Personality Steve “The Homer” True Injured in Car Accident.  Sports talk host and Marquette University men’s basketball play-by-play voice Steve “The Homer” True was in critical condition yesterday at a Milwaukee hospital after his car was hit by an alleged drunk driver at 10:00 am on Wednesday morning.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports WAUK owner Craig Karmazin issued a statement late last night saying, “I spoke with Homer’s wife, Nancy, tonight.  She said Homer is doing pretty well and that doctors want to monitor his condition overnight.  On behalf of the True family and all of us at ESPN Wisconsin, I’d like to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers.”  True suffered a head injury in the crash.  He has worked for Karmazin’s Good Karma Broadcasting at WAUK for the past eight years.

nasba logoNASBA Fires Off Letter to Washington Opposing Elimination of Advertising Deductions.  The National Alliance of State Broadcasters Associations submitted an official letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp and Ranking Member Sander Levin detailing the opposition by the member state broadcasters associations to the possibility of altering the current deduction businesses may take for advertising expenses.  The letter reminds the legislators that any change to the deduction would harm broadcasters, notes that advertising has been part of the allowed deductions since the Tax Code was adopted 100 years ago and that radio stations generally receive 96% of their revenue from advertising (Television’s percentage is 94).

Odds & Sods.  Clear Channel’s KBME, Houston – flagship station for Houston Rockets hoops – will simulcast some of the team’s games on other CC stations in the cluster.  Some games will air on news/talk KTRH and a select number of Saturday games will simulcast on AC KODA and classic rock KKRW…..ESPN Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” will be broadcasting live from Pardee Plaza on the campus of USC tomorrow in advance of the Stanford at USC game that ESPN Radio will air this weekend.

ObamaCare Rollout Criticism, GOP 2014 Strategies, Iran Nukes Deal, and Typhoon Haiyan Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/13).  The debate in Washington over fixing the rollout of the Affordable Care Act or scrapping it altogether; Republican strategies for the mid-term elections in 2014; the proposed nuclear technology development deal between the United States and Iran; and the aftermath of deadly Typhoon Haiyan were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, November 8, 2013

| November 8, 2013

anezscottCox Media Orlando Names Scott Anez Host of ‘Orlando’s News at Noon.’  There are a couple of moves to report from CMG’s news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” and sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580” and they center around longtime Cox Orlando air talent Scott Anez who’s been with WDBO for the past 23 years.  Since the company flipped the AM side towdbofm logo sports a year ago, Anez has been hosting “ESPN Afternoons” from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on “ESPN 580,” “Orlando’s Evening News” from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm on “News 96.5” as well as “Inside Magic” prior to Orlando Magic broadcasts.  Now, Anez will take over the “Orlando’s News at Noon” program to free up his packed afternoon schedule.  Program director Drew Anderssen says, “As a listener favorite, moving Scott to host ‘Orlando’s News at Noon’ will allow him more flexibility in his schedule and a greater focus on each show, ultimately providing our listeners a more consistent listening experience.”  This move allows news director Joe Kelley to relinquish the noon show on-air duties and focus on hosting “Orlando’s Morning News” and serving as news director for the station.  The station expects to announce a new permanent host for the “Orlando’s Evening News” program soon and will use its stable of hosts and reporters to anchor the show for now.

hayworthjdJ.D. Hayworth Sues Broadcasting Company of the Americas for XEPRS, San Diego Termination.  Talk radio host – and former Arizona congressman – J.D. Hayworth has filed suit against the company that operates sports talker XEPRS, San Diego “Mighty 1090” after he was dismissed six months into a two-year deal.  Hayworth – whose background in radio is largely as a political news/talker – was inked to a two year contract to co-host the morning drive show on XEPRS alongside market vet Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton in March.  The company let Hayworth go in late August and nowxeprs logo Hayworth is suing for breach of contract and four other complaints.  The thrust of Hayworth’s complaint is, according to the contract, he could only be terminated for “for Cause,” and that when he was let go, the station either refused or was unable to specify how he had failed to live up to the contract.  He’s seeking the pay due under the terms of the two-year contract, plus attorneys’ fees and more.  If the case goes to trial, it appears it will be Hayworth’s goal to prove that the fact that station management felt Hayworth’s pairing with Hamilton wasn’t working out was not something that can be defined as a “violation” of his contract and therefore something that fell under the “for Cause” clause in the pact.  In a sentence, if you have a no-cut contract, just because it’s “not working out,” isn’t reason not to get paid.

knxprismKNX, Los Angeles’ Frank Mottek Honored.  KNX, Los Angeles business anchor and host of the “KNX Business Hour” program, Frank Mottek, was honored with the “Outstanding News Professional” award from the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Los Angeles chapter on Wednesday, November 6.  The 49th annual PRism Awards gala took place at the Beverly Hills Hotel.  The awards were established decades ago to honor a select number of companies, individuals and programs that most exemplify above-and-beyond industry and community impact.  PRSA is the largest public relations organization in the world, with more than 21,000 members nationally.  Pictured here (from l-r) are: KNX news director Julie Chin, director of programming Andy Ludlum, Mottek and CBS Radio SVP/Los Angeles market manager Dan Kearney.

kuhnerbashOdds & Sods.  Tribune’s WGN Chicago names Scott Miller executive producer for the late night Pete McMurray show that airs from 11:00 pm to 2:00 am.  Miller had been working freelance for the show and he tells TALKERS, “During my freelance time on the Pete McMurray show, I have booked: Buddy Guy, Billy Corgan, Mike Love, Dr Oz, Paul Rodriguez, Frankie Valli, Nora Dunn, Lester Holt, Nick Offerman, Aaron Paul, Mo Rocca, Kevin Cronin, and Bruce Hornsby to name a few.  Famed Comedy Club owner Jamie Masada voted me ‘Chicago’s Funniest Media Personality’ at Laugh Factory Chicago!”…..NRG Media’s KOIL, Omaha was recently recognized by Omaha’s Child Saving Institute for its commitment to children and families with the organization’s “Corporate Award” at the CSI Awards luncheon earlier this week.  KOIL has hosted the CSI Radiothon for the past 14 years raising more than $1 million for services to local children in need.  This year’s radiothon is December 13…..WRKO, Boston morning drive talk host Jeff Kuhner (pictured here on stage addressing fans) celebrated his one-year anniversary as host of “The Kuhner Report” on Wednesday evening at the Pearl Street Café in suburban Saugus, Massachusetts.  Some 200 fans packed the restaurant to help Kuhner celebrate the benchmark…..At Clear Channel’s sports talk KXNO, Des Moines, Tim Fisher leaves the morning show to relocate to Houston for personal reasons.  Travis Justice and producer Ross Peterson continue to host the “Morning Rush” program.

ObamaCare Rollout Criticism Tops Talkers TenTM.  Talk of the problems with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, the implementation of the federally run website, and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ role in the process was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was Tuesday’s election day results.  Following at #3 was Republican Party strategy for the 2014 and 2016 elections and at #4 was President Obama’s declining approval numbers.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

wachscainThe Doctor and Mr. Cain.  Genesis Communications Network nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs (right) poses for a photo with WestwoodOne-syndicated talk host (and former presidential candidate) Herman Cain (center) at a fundraiser for Congress of National Equality spokesman Niger Innis (left) who is running for U.S. Congress in the 4th district of Nevada.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” with hosts Ian Freeman and Mark Edge joins the programming at KINX-FM, Great Falls, Montana; KVFC, Cortez, Colorado; and KSZL, Barstow, California…..GCN-distributed “Freedom Feens” with Michael W. Dean and Neema Vedadi is picked up by WNFZ-FM, Powell, Tennessee…..Talk Media Network-syndicated “Fat Guys at the Movies” with Kevin Carr and Kristin Dreyer Kramer is added to the Saturday program schedule at KVEC, San Luis Obispo, California.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

| October 24, 2013

theblazealllargeGlenn Beck’s TheBlaze to Debut Philly-Focused Online Station with FM Promotional Campaign.  The talk radio audience in Philadelphia is being targeted by Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze as the company is creating a stream specifically for Philly listeners that will feature TheBlaze Radio Network’s national talk radio programs but with local Philadelphia elements including, news, traffic and weather twice hourly and four times hourly during drive times.  TheBlaze president and chief content officer Joel Cheatwood says, “TheBlaze Radio Network has built a strong daily lineup and a loyal following in a short period of time.  We are excited to continue our growth by bringing our programming with a local flavor to Philadelphia, which Glenn once called home.”  During the week of October 28 to November 1, the programming will air on WWIQ, Philadelphia prior to that station’s flip to religious content on November 4.  The programming heard on WWIQ next week will include: Beck from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, Buck Sexton from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm, Jay Severin from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm and Doc Thompson from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  During the week, TheBlaze personalities Doc Thompson and Skip LaCombe will broadcast live from O’Neals Irish Pub & Restaurant in Philadelphia.

wjfkfmDon Geronimo Returns to WJFK-FM, Washington.  When Don Geronimo said goodbye to his fans on sports talker KHTK, Sacramento after the cancellation of his midday program there, he said he and CBS Radio were talking about another project for him and now we know that he’ll be heading back to his old stomping grounds at the geronimodoncompany’s sports talk WJFK-FM, Washington “106.7 The Fan.”  As announced yesterday afternoon (10/23) on the LaVar & Dukes program, Geronimo will be hosting the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET show, the Saturday morning 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program and will also be part of the station’s Sunday football coverage.  The station had teased a major announcement prior to revealing Geronimo’s new role with the line: “Who says you can’t go home again?”  This was a reference to Geronimo’s tenure with the station from the early 1990s through 2008 as co-host of the Don & Mike show (with Mike O’Meara) that was also syndicated via Westwood One.

petersonkimWYAY, Atlanta Adds Talk Show to Middays with Market Pro Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson.  Cumulus Media is adding a midday talk show to the programming at WYAY, Atlanta “All News 106.7” beginning November 4 as longtimewyay logo market talk pro Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson joins the station for the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot.  Peterson says in a statement, “It feels like coming home for the holidays.  I’m really thrilled…We want to bring back a little common sense to the news/talk business and do some serious fooling around, too.  We’re bringing back the team – Jim Gossett’s ‘Newsmaker Line’ and sports with Pete ‘Snake’ Davis — so nobody is safe from ridicule.  Sounds like fun.”  Peterson was a fixture on Clear Channel’s crosstown news/talk WGST before his show was cancelled in 2006.  He’s been off the radio since then.  This is the second non-news program to be added to WYAY.  Last week the station announced that Braves baseball will also be heard on the station beginning with the 2014 season.

suarezginaGina Suarez to Manage Affiliate Sales at Sun Broadcast Group.  Gina Suarez comes to SBG from Warner Music Group’s Ryko Records where she was manager of label operations.  At Sun, she’ll serve as manager of affiliate sales, based in New York City, where she’ll report to VP of programming and affiliate sales Nick DeGregorio.  Suarez is being chargedhennermarilu with leading and supervising the affiliate strategy for the Marilu Henner show and “will work with all affiliate stations to promote and improve Sun’s burgeoning group of products and services.”  DeGregorio states, “It happened in the blink of an eye.  As soon as we met Gina, we knew she was a perfect fit.  We wanted her enthusiasm and professionalism to be a part of the Sun Broadcast Group family.  Gina is a master in managing relationships and is immediately a cornerstone of our growing affiliate sales team.”  Suarez adds, “It’s a thrill and an honor to be part of the dynamic Sun Broadcast Group family!  CEO Jason Bailey, EVP Steve Gallagher, Nick and the entire team are among the most passionate and dedicated in the business.  I share their vision of bringing compelling programs like the Marilu Henner show to the fore.”

eastlanratings logoEastlan Ratings Begins Doing Business in 11 New Markets.  Medium and small market ratings company Eastlan announces it will begin providing radio ratings in 11 new markets including:  Abilene, Texas; Casper, Wyoming; Cheyenne, Wyoming; Lake Charles, Louisiana; gouldmikeLawton, Oklahoma; Lufkin/Nacogdoches, Texas; Mankato/New Ulm, Minnesota; Odessa/Midland, Texas; State College, Pennsylvania; Texarkana, Arkansas; and Wichita Falls, Texas.  Eastlan president and CEO Mike Gould says in a statement, “We know where our bread is buttered and we are extremely thankful.  Eastlan is a 100% radio-focused brand.  Our future is inexorably linked to the success of small- and medium-market radio broadcasters.  Local radio is in the middle of resurgence as new ownership groups revitalize the industry in step with forward-thinking established broadcasters.  Our purpose is to be certain the power of local radio is not diminished by research companies geared toward television or personal jukebox services like Pandora or Spotify.”

flemingtomAdLarge Media Brings Tom Fleming Aboard as VP of Midwest Sales.  AdLarge Media announces the expansion of ad sales presence in the Midwest with the hiring of Tom Fleming as vice president, Midwest sales.  The company calls Fleming “a high-performing sales executive” who “brings over a decade of experience to AdLarge’s growing sales force, including expertise in digital sales.”  Fleming will be based in AdLarge’s Chicago office and report to Don Wachsmith, chief revenue officer, radio sales.  Wachsmith states, “Working with Tom again is something I always hoped would happen.  Tom knows the advertising community in Chicago and the Midwest, and he knows that servicing clients and helping them find solutions to their marketing needs are a formula for success.  He is a perfect fit for what we are doing as a company at AdLarge.”  Wachsmith and Fleming had worked together at Westwood One/Dial Global.  Fleming adds, “Don is a great sales leader, and I jumped at the opportunity to work with him again.  AdLarge’s reputation for fostering a culture of innovation was a big draw for me.  It is a fast-growing company known for its exceptional customer and client service.  I couldn’t be more thrilled about joining the AdLarge team.”

huntsmanjonOdds & Sods.  Kim Komando’s WestStar announces it is offering its immensely popular “An American Christmas” program on a barter basis.  It’s hosted by Mannheim Steamroller‘s founder, Chip Davis and is a highly produced, 12-hour show consisting of the stories and legends surrounding the holiday – all keyed to today’s popular and traditional Christmas music…..Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman (also the former U.S. Ambassador to China) begins a weekly radio program on Sirius XM Radio called, “No Labels Radio with Jon Huntsman.”   The one-hour program is being produced in conjunction with No Labels, the growing movement of Democrats, Republicans and independents committed to the politics of problem solving.  It’ll air this Saturday, October 26 at 10:00 am ET on the POTUS channel.

doylepeterPeter Doyle Appointed VP of Broadcasters Foundation.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces the appointment of Peter Doyle to the position of vice president in which he’ll share responsibility for planning and executing the Foundation’s fundraising events and assisting in the overall fundraising and outreach efforts with Jim Thompson, president of the Broadcasters Foundation.  Doyle is widely known in broadcasting for his leadership of McGavren Guild, and subsequently other Interep initiatives, for more than 30 years.  Thompson states, “Peter brings a unique dynamic to the Foundation.  He has a keen understanding of the broadcasting business, and has been a staunch supporter of the Broadcasters Foundation.  As we continue to provide more aid to more broadcasters, Peter will be invaluable in helping us secure the funds that are essential to advancing our mission.”  Doyle adds, “I look forward to concentrating my efforts on raising money to support this great cause.  I have always believed in giving back to my community and to this industry that has been so good to so many of us.  The Foundation’s major fundraising events are well known and help generate the money we need.  There are a plethora of opportunities for expanding our reach across the industry so that we can continue to help our colleagues in need.”

mazerbillNew York Sports Media Legend Bill Mazer Passes.  Sports radio and television pioneer Bill Mazer died in Danbury, Connecticut on Wednesday (10/23) at age 92.  Mazer is remembered in the radio business for his pioneering sports radio program on WNBC as well as his longtime general talk and interview morning show on WEVD.  Mazer worked at WOR radio hosting a general interest talk show as well as serving as sports anchor on WNEW-TV for some 20 years.  He finished his broadcasting career on WVOX in New Rochelle from which he retired in 2009.

bernieremilymillerMarc Bernier’s Embry-Riddle Interviews Now Online.  WNDB, Daytona Beach talk show host Marc Bernier (left) is pictured here interviewing Washington Times opinion page editor and author Emily Miller (right) at the President’s Speakers Series Live Town Hall at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  Miller is author of the book Emily Gets Her Gun (Regnery 2013). Bernier tells TALKERS magazine that his interviews in this series – which are also simulcast on WNDB – are being made available in video on YouTube and on his new ROKU channel “Book Marc.”  Photo: Arthur J. Byrnes.

HealthCare.gov Hearings, Teacher Slayings, Immigration Legislation, Trimming of Federal Workforce, Scope of NSA Spying, Fired White House Tweeter and the World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/23).  The looming hearings investigating the problems at the HealthCare.gov site; the two recent slayings of teachers; President Obama’s forthcoming immigration legislation; the size of the federal workforce and what might be targeted in future cuts; the fired National Security Council tweeter; and the Red Sox versus Cardinals World Series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, October 21, 2013

| October 21, 2013

ap logoLeading Radio Newsman Questions Whether Monopoly-Like AP’s Advertising Plan Steps on Broadcasters’ Toes.  Saying that he understands that news is an expensive product to produce, WTOP, Washington vice president of news and programming Jim Farley admits to taking umbrage at hearing about the Associated Press’ plans to begin selling ads on stories found on its mobile apps and hosted websites by reading about it in thefarleyjim trades.  “They used to communicate with stations and treat us as partners.  Now they seem to take broadcasters for granted.  CNN is developing a website that could be a future competitor, but for now, AP is a monopoly just like Nielsen.”  Farley’s comments come after learning about AP’s plans to market its content via a story in AdAge.  The piece reports that a move to sponsored content evolves as just “2% of total revenue comes from advertising, including mobile banner ads and units across a handful of websites populated with AP content.  Another 13% comes from services the AP offers media outlets.  And 85% comes from licensing content to subscribers such as TV stations, newspapers and websites, where the AP is not hopeful about expanding income.”  In the AdAge story, AP SVP of digital strategy and products Jim Kennedy states, “Licensing our content is a flat-to-declining business around the world.  It will only grow about 1% a year, so it’s incumbent upon us to find new revenue sources.”  Read the entire AdAge piece here.

spenglertimClear Channel Brings Tim Spengler Aboard As President of Content Marketing and Revenue Strategy.   Clear Channel Media and Entertainment adds to the ranks of its executives working on marketing the company’s products across multiple platforms as former Magna Global CEO Tim Spengler joins the company in the newly created position of president of content marketing and revenue strategy.  The company says in a statement, “In this new role, Spengler will use CCM+E’s array of multiplatform assets to develop new and innovative media and advertising opportunities in unison with CCM+E national programming platforms, national sales, marketing and partnership platform and local sales.  He will build additional value for CCM+E marketing partners by creatively utilizing all of the company’s media and entertainment assets – delivering enhanced ROI’s with unique solutions.  In addition, Spengler will focus on advertiser and industry trends to drive new ad products and deployment of CCM+E revenue resources.”  Spengler comes to Clear Channel with almost two decades of experience in marketing at the corporate level having served as a senior executive for the Interpublic Group and most recently as chief executive officer of Magna Global.

wor710Mets to Air on WOR, New York in 2014.  Major League Baseball’s World Series begins this week and while neither the New York Mets nor the New York Yankees have been involved in post-season play, they are making off-the-field news. According to a report in Newsday, beginning in 2014, Clear Channel-ownedmets logo talk outlet WOR, New York will become the Mets’ new flagship. For the past 26 years, games of the National League East team have been heard on CBS Radio‘s WFAN, but that will not be an option next year, as the Yankees will segue to WFAN from sibling news facility WCBS-AM. Market speculation is that at least one other NYC station – ESPN Radio‘s WEPN – was involved in obtaining radio rights to Mets games. Regarding talent in the Mets broadcast booth, Howie Rose seems to be secure, although it is uncertain if Josh Lewin will continue in his on-air role with the team next season.

wjfkfm‘Redskins’ Ads Won’t Air on CBS Radio’s WJFK, Washington.  If you’re a football fan you’re aware the Oneida Nation has been running an advertising and PR campaign designed to garner public support for a name change for the NFL’s Washington Redskins – a name the native American nation calls a “racial slur.”  But after apparently signing a deal to have spots air on both sports talk WJFK-FM and hip hop WPGC, CBS Radio is telling the tribe that ads won’t air.  An email from CBS Washington SVP Steve Swenson to the Oneida Nation explained the change.  “The issue has been heavily debated on WJFK where we can provide a good balance of discussion, opinions and context to the issue through our programming.  Our audience has reacted positively to that presentation, and we will continue to approach the situation keeping in-line with our audiences’ expectations.”  NBC Washington reports a representative of the Oneida Nation calls the cancellation “unfortunate and un-American.”  Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has said publicly that the team’s name will never change.

millerchrisProven Ways to Evaluate Your Facebook Page Today.  When it comes to social media, you’re either building your brand, or spinning your wheels.  Noted digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller offers a few valuable tools you can use to evaluate the job your station is doing on Facebook, even if you hardly ever go on social media yourself!  In a new column posted today (10/21), Miller offers guidance as to determining whether the people you are attracting to your Facebook page are the same people in your target radio audience. (Often times, they are not!)  He also helps you evaluate what sort of posts are the most effective, in addition to determining the most advantageous times to post, plus more.  To read Chris Miller’s entire piece, please click here.

KIDDtryoutKIDD, Monterey Hold Open Auditions for Sport Talk Show.  Buckley Broadcasting sports talker KIDD, Monterey, California recently held public auditions for a daily afternoon sports talk show on the station.  According to a report in the Monterey Herald, program manager Bernie Moody says, “What we’re looking for today is somebody who is really into sports — a person who not only is very knowledgeable about sports, but also a person with the ability to convey that on the air.  A lot of us can sit and talk sports all day long, but you have to be able to do it on the air, in the studio, when nobody else is there, and talk to people as if they are there.”  The paper says six men participated in the audition which took place at the Northridge Mall in Salinas.  (Pictured here is candidate Eric Pangillnan at the mic with KIDD operations director Kevin Kahl looking on).  The winning candidate gets to host the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm show.  Interested parties may apply to Kevin Kahl at kkahl@espn630.com.  Photo: Monterey Herald.

medvedgould‘Trapper John’ and the Critic.  Actor Elliott Gould (left) is pictured here with Salem Radio Network talk show host Michael Medved (right) as the two appeared at a series of fundraisers over the weekend for the Olympia Film Society in Olympia, Washington.  The proceeds from the event are destined for digital conversion of the society’s projectors.  Gould is famous for –among many roles – his portrayal of “Trapper John” in the 1970 Robert Altman classic M*A*S*H.  Medved, as many are aware, has spent a major portion of his career as a film reviewer in addition to his work as a news/talk radio personality.

stierendaveOdds & Sods.  Morris Communications’ KFQD, Anchorage wins six Alaska Broadcasters Association Awards including: Best Radio Show for afternoon talk personality Dave Stieren; Best News Program for morning drive “Newsday AM”; Best News Coverage for reporter Kathy Phillips’ live updates on a local 4-plex fire; Best Station Imaging for producer Toben Shelby; Best Sports Play-by-Play for Alaska Aces Hockey voice Josh Bogorod; and Most Uniquely Alaskan Program for “The Big Alaska Show” with Steve Stripling and Mike Ford…..Tom Elliott, the producer of the Peter Schiff show and former Laura Ingraham producer, has launched a company called Grabien.com that provides edited news clips to news outlets and producers…..Radio One announces that Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Hughes succeeds the late E. Steven Collins as host of WRNB, Philadelphia’s “Philly Speaks” public affairs program.  The show airs Sundays from 8:00 am to 9:00 am on WRNB, “Old School 100.3.”

fisherhouselogoFisher House Provides Veterans Day Kits for Stations.  The Fisher House is offering a powerful resource for stations to help recognize Veterans Day on Monday, November 11.  The Fisher House Veterans Day programming tool kit includes Veterans Day-themed PSAs in 15-, 30- and 60-second lengths plus a 30-minute public affairs show and a list of guests who are available to discuss their military experience and how they were helped by Fisher House.   Fisher House chairman Ken Fisher says, “Veterans Day is among the most sacred of American holidays.  It takes on added meaning in a time when we are defended by an all-volunteer military that is engaged in hostilities overseas.  More than two million Americans have served in combat zones since 2001.  It’s only right that we take a day to acknowledge their service along with all of our military veterans.”  Programmers can download materials at: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/aol15lkltu42boz/qGKkveBTQz

katzraismanJeff Katz and Gold Medalist Aly Raisman.  Boston-based media personality Jeff Katz – who is a columnist for the Boston Herald and a commentator for Boston Herald Radio – poses for a photo with Olympic gold medal winner Aly Raisman.  The two met at a recent special event hosted by Christians and Jews United for Israel.  Katz tells TALKERS he advised Raisman that she should consider using elements of his floor exercise which he said “involve two pillows, a blanket, remote control, ‘The Walking Dead’ on Netflix and a bowl of something crunchy at the next Olympiad.  She politely declined.  Oh and apparently Olympic gold medals are NOT filled with chocolate.”

GAhof1013Georgia Radio Hall of Fame Inducts 11.  The Georgia Radio Hall of Fame held its 7th Annual Induction Awards Ceremony on Saturday, October 19 during which the Class of 2013 was honored.  This year’s group included (clockwise from top left): The Tiger Twins: Tom & Paul Collins (Krimsier), WQXI, Atlanta; Steve Goss, WABE, Atlanta; Charlie Hill, WVMG, Cochran; Kaedy Kiley, WRVR, Atlanta; Mark Summers, WSLT, Augusta; Mike Roberts, WQMJ, Macon; Bill Rice, WLET, Toccoa; Nelle Reagan, WRGA, Rome; and Kelly McCoy, WSB-FM, Atanta.  The previously announced inductees into the Legacy category included: Palmira Braswell (WBML-Macon), George Crumbley (WSB-Atlanta), Jimmy Dunaway (WSB-Atlanta), Al Evans, Jr. (WVLD-Valdosta), John Holliman (WSB-Atlanta), Don Kordecki (WKRW-Cartersville), Royal Marshall (WCNN-Atlanta), Leonard Postero (WRFC-Athens), and Annie Lee Small (WYTH-Madison).  Legendary WERD DJ James “Alley Pat” Patrick was honored as the recipient of the 2013 Founders and Directors Award.  The Elmo Ellis Spirit Award recognized James Woodruff, Jr. of WRBL in Columbus.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

| October 10, 2013

TalkersLA2013Talkers Los Angeles 2013 Takes Place Today.  More than 250 broadcasters from the talk media industries will be gathering in Hollywood, California today to hear more than 57 speakers analyze the key issues facing talk radio and talk internet at Talkers Los Angeles 2013.  Among them, Alpha Broadcasting and L&L Broadcasting CEO Larry Wilson, who will deliver the keynote address, “Radio at the Crossroads,” and Courtside Entertainment, LLC CEO Norm Pattiz and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison who will engage in a keynote conversation, “Okay…Now What?” at the sold-out event.  Talkers Los Angeles 2013 — a presentation of TALKERS magazine in association with the Los Angeles Press Club — takes place today between 9:00 am and 6:15 pm at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood, California.  Full coverage of the conference will be provided at Talkers.com in the coming days and weeks.  To see the up-to-date, power-packed agenda, please click here.

podcastone logoPodcastOne Signs Kathie Lee Gifford to Deal for One-Hour Program.  Bringing marquee talent to the podcast genre is what Courtside Entertainment Group CEO Norm Pattiz promised when he debutedgiffordkathielee PodcastOne.  Now, the company signs “Today” co-anchor Kathie Lee Gifford to host a one-hour podcast on the platform.  When the show debuts on October 23, Gifford will host with her former “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee” partner Regis Philbin.  Gifford says, “I’m so looking forward to this new podcast adventure.  I feel like I’m in an episode of the Jetsons, soaring into unknown territory on my podcast.  It will be the first time for me in a 45-year career where I’ve been able to completely control the content.  And best of all?  I won’t need my hair or makeup done and there’s no need for Spanx!”  Pattiz adds, “What can I possibly say about Kathie Lee Gifford that hasn’t already been said?  How about this – bringing Kathie Lee to on-demand audio via PodcastOne is a very big deal.  We’re doing business with the best of the best, and that list just got better.”  Other PodcastOne personalities and brands include Adam Carolla, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Steve Austin, Dennis Miller, Ron Paul, Jay Mohr, Jillian Michaels, NPR New York, NPR Los Angeles, and “60 Minutes.”

loeschdanaKFTK, St. Louis Personality Dana Loesch Joins Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.  St. Louis-based talk radio personality and writer Dana Loesch has subbed for Glenn Beck in addition to her full-time work on Emmis’ KFTK, St. Louis and WIBC, Indianapolis.  Now, she’ll serve as a contributor and host for TheBlaze.  In addition to continuing to fill in for Beck, what audio or video contributions Loesch will make remains unclear at this time.  Loesch says, “I’m excited to join TheBlaze team.  I love the fight in this group and their dedication to creating the best content available on multiple platforms.  They’ve been at the forefront of new wave media…I can’t wait to get started.”  Glenn Beck said of her on his TV program, “We are thrilled to have her.  She is one of the people that is on the front lines fighting the good fight.  We have wanted to have her as a part of TheBlaze for a very, very long time.”  Loesch founded the St.Louis-area Tea Party and previously worked as an editor at Breitbart.

mcconnellmikeMike McConnell Exits Tribune’s WGN, Chicago.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that talk radio personality Mike McConnell – off the AM 720 signal at Tribune’s WGN since early October and relegated to airing a show on wgnradio.com – is leaving the company.  McConnell came to WGN from Clear Channel’s WLW, Cincinnati where he worked with former Tribune CEO Randy Michaels when Michaels was running WLW and later serving as president of Clear Channel Radio.  When Jimmy de Castro took over the reins of WGN earlier this year, it was suspected that the on-air lineup might change dramatically and that’s what’s happened.  Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder were brought in for the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon shift and Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano took over the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  Feder reports that sources say McConnell and Tribune have a tentative settlement on the remaining two years of his reported $500,000 annual salary but there’s no official word from Tribune at this time.

dennisshaneKFH, Wichita Brings Shane Dennis Aboard for PM Drive.  Entercom sports talk radio outlet KFH-AM/FM, Wichita the addition of a new live and local sports talk show hosted by Shane Dennis beginning October 21. Dennis comes to the station with a sports pedigree.  He was director of baseball operations for 13 years at Wichita State.  During that time, he worked with Mike Kennedy as color analyst for WSU baseball games.  He pitched for the WSU Shockers from 1991–1994 and earned All-American honors in 1994.  Program director Tony Duesing says, “We’re excited about adding Shane to our powerful sports lineup on KFH.  Shane is a big sports radio fan and he is a great personality who will only make people want to tune in.”

kcoh logoFormer KCOH, Houston Talk Radio Personality Files Civil Suit Against Station President.  Recently, TALKERS reported the case of Houston urban talk radio personality Michael Harris quitting his position at KCOH after alleging station president (and local minister) Jesse Dunn was misusing station funds.  Now, according to a report in the Houston Chronicle, Harris is filing a civil suit against Dunn and the South Houston Community Development Corporation.  The paper reports that in the suit, Harris says Dunn made false representations to induce him to secure two personal lines of credit totaling $130,000 for station financing and back a $38,000 loan for equipment.  Harris also alleges that Dunn was able to acquire a debit card to use on one of the lines of credit and that Dunn has been using those funds for personal expenses including trips to Las Vegas and Louisiana.  Harris’ attorney says no contract exists between the two men and states, point blank, that his client “got hustled.”  Dunn had previously said whatever money he used was his and is currently running recorded announcements on the station assuring listeners that the station’s finances are strong and that claims to the contrary are misrepresentations.

iab logoInternet Advertising Bureau: Digital Ad Revenue Hits $20.1 Billion in First Half of 2013.  According to the Internet Advertising Bureau, that total for the first half of 2013 marks an increase of 18% over the 2012 first-half-year total.  Some other highlights from the organization’s report include:  Report highlights include:  Mobile revenues soared to $3 billion in the first half of 2013, representing triple-digit growth at 145% from $1.2 billion in the same period last year; Digital video, a component of display-related advertising, took in $1.3 billion in revenue during the first six months of 2013, an uptick of 24% over the first half of 2012 at $1.1 billion; Search revenues in the first half of 2013 totaled $8.7 billion, up 7% from $8.1 billion in the first half of 2012; Display-related advertising revenues in the first half of 2013 totaled $6.1 billion, accounting for 30% of revenues in the time period, up 9% from $5.6 billion in the first half of 2012; and the top three advertising verticals accounted for 46% of advertising revenue, including Retail at 20%, Financial Services at 14% and Automotive at 12%.  IAB president and CEO Randall Rothenberg states, “Digital has steadily increased its ability to captivate consumers and then capture the marketing dollars that follow.  Mobile advertising’s breakneck growth is evidence that marketers are recognizing the tremendous power of smaller screens.  Digital video is also on a positive trajectory, delivering avid viewership and strong brand-building opportunities.”

J.D. Hayworth in for Huckabee.  Former U.S. Congressman J.D. Hayworth (and former KFYI, Phoenix talk host) sits in for Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated talk personality Mike Huckabee on Friday, October 11 from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET.

Debt Limit/Government Shutdown, ObamaCare Implementation, Obama Approval Ratings, Financial Markets Activity, and Baseball Playoff Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/9).  The struggle in Washington to come to agreement on a debt limit and to undo the government shutdown; the failure of the Obama Administration’s Affordable Care Act website; the sinking approval ratings for President Obama; the response to the government shutdown by the world’s financial markets; and the MLB playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, September 9, 2013

| September 9, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

DIAL/WESTWOOD ONE SCORES INITIAL VICTORY WITH ARNN

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

AS TO RUMORS OF OTHER ONGOING OPERATIONS

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

CALL TO ACTION!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

| September 4, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

| September 3, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, August 26, 2013

| August 26, 2013

ktrsKTRS, St. Louis at Center of Skirmish Over Texas Governor Rick Perry’s Industry Recruitment Blitz.  CH Holdings-owned news/talk stations KTRS, St. Louis is making national news after station manager Mark Dorsey canceled an ad campaign bought by the state of Texas that sought to convince Missouri businesses they’d be better off moving to the more industry-friendly Texas where “businesses flourish and jobs are created.”  Dorsey posted a statement on the KTRS website saying, in part: “When the order was placed, KTRS was under the assumption these commercials were going toperryrick promote tourism to Texas.  Once we, the management of KTRS realized these commercials were instead focused on stealing locally owned companies away from St Louis, we suspended airing these commercials immediately.  We understand people have different viewpoints on public policy and we welcome that debate everyday on our airways.  But as one of the few remaining locally owned radio stations in the country, we feel the need to stand strong with other small locally owned businesses and defend our region.  Governor Rick Perry, Don’t mess with Missouri, and don’t mess with St Louis.”  In the ad, Perry criticizes policies of the Missouri governor and state legislature, accusing them of being less friendly to business.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the ads are running on radio and TV stations in St. Louis and other Missouri markets as Perry prepares to visit the region this week.

nielsen logoReport: ESPN at Center of Nielsen-Arbitron Deal.  The New York Post reports today that Disney-owned ESPN could be the media company that has the biggest say in whether the Federal Trade Commission approves Nielsen’s $1.26 billion purchase of Arbitron.  At issue here is the multi-media use of Arbitron’s PPM in which – via Project Blueprint – ESPN is licensing the technology to measure audience consumption of its product overarbitron television, radio, smartphones, tablets and computers.  The Post reports that sources tell it, “The license expires soon, and the ability of ESPN to squeeze a promise from Nielsen that it will be able to continue to license the software is likely integral to the merger getting federal approval.”  The FTC’s concern is that if the new Nielsen-Arbitron owns both the old set-top box methodology for rating television and the PPM technology for on-the-go measurement, there will be little ability for competitors to emerge.  The FTC is expected to decide this week whether to challenge Nielsen’s purchase of Arbitron.

digilionickNick Digilio New Overnight Host on WGN, Chicago.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that longtime WGN, Chicago part-time personality Nick Digilio will assume the overnight talk host position beginning September 4.  Digilio takes over for Bill Leff who moves to the daylight hours co-hosting the new 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program.  Digilio will also host the 8:00 pm to 12:00 midnight Saturday show.  As Feder reports, Digilio first appeared on WGN in 1985 on Roy Leonard’s midday show to talk about movies.  It developed into a regular segment and then into part-time work.  As a way of paying back his mentor, Digilio will have the now-retired Leonard on his Saturday program in a regular segment to talk about movies.  About his new position with Tribune’s WGN, Digilio tells Feder, “I couldn’t be more thrilled.  And I really want to thank everyone who has supported me through the years.”

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh Announces New Deal with Cumulus; Will Move to WOR, New York in January.  Confirming what many in the industry have been expecting all along, Rush Limbaugh announced on his radio program Friday that Premiere Networks, EIB and Cumulus Media agreed to terms earlier this week to renew his program for three more years beginning in January of 2014 and running through the end of 2016.  He told listeners that the one change would be his move from Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York to Clear Channel’s crosstown WOR, New York beginning in January.  Limbaugh’s program is currently heard on 35 Cumulus Media-owned stations.

laymandickWHO, Des Moines Newsman Dick Layman Dies Suddenly at 59.  Morning drive news anchor Dick Layman served with Clear Channel’s WHO, Des Moines for the past 16 years.  He died Friday, August 23 suddenly and at this time it is not known publicly what the cause of death was.  WHO news director Jim Boyd posted the news of Layman’s death on the WHO website and wrote about Layman, in part: “Dick was also from the old school of broadcast journalism.  The school that said ‘confirm and reconfirm the facts’ before they would be put into a story for you to hear.  He cared about content and quality.  But he also was someone who could take the most complicated of stories and boil them down to the bare fact so you could understand it…and to do so at times in 20 seconds or less…There is a hole right now in the WHO Radio Family…a hole that won’t close easily and there is a chair in our newsroom that will be very, very difficult to fill.  That’s what happens when you have a man the caliber of Dick Layman on your team.  Our prayers go out to his wife, Janet, and daughter Meredith.”

kxro logoTyler Media to Debut Sports Talk ‘107.7 The Franchise’ Today.  According to Oklahoma City online publication The Lost Ogle, Tyler Media’s plans to bring a new sports talk outlet to the city will become reality today around 2:00 pm when KRXO flips from classic rock to sports talk.  The lineup will be largely local and is reportedly as follows: “The Show” with Steely, Lump and (John) Rohde; “The Mid-day Mayes” with Sam Mayes; “The Gee Men” with Kelly Gregg and Erik Gee; and “Casillas & Company” with Tony Casillas and David Garrett in PM drive.  The station will be an NBC Sports Radio Network affiliate.  Oklahoma City has about seven other sports talk outlets in and around the market including Cumulus Media’s WWLS-FM “The Sports Animal.”

conwayetalWHO, Des Moines PM Drive Host Simon Conway Producer Changes.  Afternoon drive host Simon Conway (r) reports that his long-serving producer Andrew Downs (l) is moving to the cluster’s sister sports talk station KXNO where he’ll serve as assistant program director.  Taking over for Downs is Des Moines native Jenna Wizenburg who moves back to the market from Florida.  Conway states, “I always said I had the best producer in the building.  Andrew has rightly been recognized and although I will miss him, he richly deserves this opportunity.  I have worked with Jenna before at WFLA, Orlando and I’m excited as we begin this adventure together.”

gallagherannieMike Gallagher to Shave His Head for Fallen Officers Fund.  Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk host Mike Gallagher is preparing for his role in the South Carolina Children’s Theatre Production of “Annie” (he’s pictured here in the Greenville Journal with lead actress Georgia Kay Wise).  Gallagher decided that instead of going with a skull cap for the role as the chrome-domed Daddy Warbucks, he would shave his head on Wednesday at Frank’s Gentleman’s Salon on Coffee Street in Greenville if listeners put up $5,000 or more via his Gallagher’s Army Fallen Officers Fund which provides grants to families of police officers killed in the line of duty.  The goal was reached and Gallagher will play the role with an authentic pate when the show opens on September 6.  Photo courtesy of the Greenville Journal.

hendricksoncaseyOdds & Sods.  Retired NFL coach and executive Mike Holmgren will make regular in-studio appearances on KJR, Seattle’s Mitch Levy program this season.  Holmgren, who left his general manager position with the Cleveland Browns after the team changed owners, still resides in Seattle after coaching the Seahawks for 10 seasons…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch reports Federated Media’s WOWO-AM/FM, Fort Wayne adds the “Casey Hendrickson Weekend” program to its lineup in place of “Fox News Sunday.”  Hendrickson hosts the PM drive show on Federated’s WTRC-AM, Elkhart, Indiana and WTRC-FM, Niles, Michigan.

Friday, August 23, 2013

| August 23, 2013

earlrogerFoghat’s Roger Earl Is a Hit on the Talk Radio Interview Circuit – Knocks it Out of the Park on Doug Stephan’s “Good Day” Show.  Master rock ‘n’ roll drummer, personable schmoozer and 41-year Foghat member Roger Earl has proven to be quite a hit when it comes to being an interview guest, not just on music stations that still play the legendary classic rock band famous for such anthems as “Slow Ride,” “I Just Want to Make Love to You,” and “Fool for the City” (among others), but on traditional news/talk stations looking to spice up their programming, as well.  It seems the glib British-born teller of great road stories and rockstephandoug historical nuggets is just what the doctor ordered for many traditional news/talkers looking to broaden their subject matter to include lifestyle and pop cultural material beyond the day-to-day, left-versus-right, “wonky” issues that some industry observers say can make talk radio a tedious listen when not broken up a bit by other angles of reality.  Yesterday morning, the moon and stars lined up perfectly for such a gab-fest as Roger Earl popped up as a guest on the nationally syndicated morning talk show “Good Day” hosted by Doug Stephan.  Stephan, a perennial member of TALKERS magazine’s prestigious “Heavy Hundred,” works the program as a ringmaster in the context of an ensemble and yesterday’s program was made even more interesting by the presence of his good friend, Radio America stable-mate and nationally syndicated talk star Dr. Joy Browne at the table as “special guest co-host.”  Together they greeted Earl with enthusiasm and a frolicking spirit.  Stephan, a former progressive rock deejay, tells TALKERS that although “Good Day” is by definition (and the lion’s share of its affiliates) a “news/talk” show, he likes to steer it clear for the most part of the “negative, argumentative, confrontational, and narrow topical elements” that he feels holds these programs back from meeting their full potential.  He says, “I love the opportunity to get a guy like Roger Earl on who so many of our demo remember from their salad days and is also very interesting to their kids who are fascinated by bands and arts figures from the past few decades.  In this case, Roger was wonderful.  After only a few minutes — even though I had never before met or even spoke with the guy — it was as if we had been very good friends for years!”  Although the premise of the interview was to discuss Foghat’s current hit single, “The Word of Rock n’ Roll” (#15 RadioInfo Rock Songs Chart) and the fact that after 41 years the ensemble is still out there touring and making new recordings, the conversation went in a number of directions covering Earl’s previous band, Savoy Brown; how Foghat was formed and where its name came from.  The discussion got into Roger Earl’s childhood and personal life with some candid conversation about the long-time friendship/love affair he shares with his wife and manager Linda Arcello-Earl.  Earl told a cool story from earlier days and his being pulled over for driving 140 mph on the Long Island Expressway.  He also expressed his excitement over becoming a United States Citizen this year.  To listen to the entire conversation please click here.  Stephan adds, “Further synergizing the ‘happening’ I made the song ‘The Word of Rock n’ Roll’ the Video of The Day at our website:  www.dougstephan.com and we did a feature segment on it in the 8:00 am hour.”  An equally enthusiastic Earl tells TALKERS, “Yesterday morning’s interview with Doug Stephan was terrific.  I was on my second cup of coffee and Doug was very cool!  He was interesting and knowledgeable about what is going on with the band.  And even though the old ‘Savoy Brown’ album covers frightened him, I won’t hold that against him.  It was great and we all really appreciate that he genuinely likes ‘The Word of Rock n’ Roll’…and played clips!  And, in a short period of time, it seemed like we talked about all sorts of stuff.  He definitely got the conversation going!  Thanks Doug and thanks to his guest co-host Dr. Joy Browne.  I thoroughly enjoyed our chat!”  Next stop for Roger Earl on his tour of talk radio: a live in-studio visit with Rita Cosby on heritage 50k WOR, New York.  Talk hosts (and deejays) interested in booking Roger Earl should contact Chip Ruggieri at chip@chipsterpr.com.

oehlerjodyJody Oehler Takes Over PM Drive at Sports Talk KGME, Phoenix.  Clear Channel Phoenix announces sports talk host Jody Oehler is named afternoon drive sports talk host at KGME, “Fox Sports 910 AM Phoenix, The Voice of Arizona Sports.”  Oehler joins Cardinals Insider Mike Jurecki and Michael “Jak” Bauer as host of the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm show beginning September 3.  Oehler comes to Phoenix from Journal Broadcast Group’s KFFN-AM/FM “ESPN Tucson” where he currently hosts PM drive.  He also works as sports anchor at KGUN-TV, Tucson.  Program director Neil Larrimore says the University of Arizona grad brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with him.  “Jody is a talented rising star.  He’s an incredible communicator and a true sports fan.  We look forward to Jody helping to move our brand forward on air as well as online.  We are lucky to have him.”  Oehler adds, “I’m very excited to join the most dynamic talk lineup in the Valley.  I look forward to teaming up with Mike Jurecki and Mike Bauer to bring engaging and entertaining sports talk to our listeners every day.  I’m excited to get to know our Phoenix listeners and talk sports.”

medvedmichaelMichael Medved Scores Interview with ‘The Butler’ Director.  Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Medved is no stranger to talking about film – he co-hosted “Sneak Previews” for 12 years, was the New York Post’s film critic for five years and has co-written four books about movies – so he’ll be in his element this afternoon (8/23) when he interviews “The Butler” director Lee Daniels.  The surprise box office hit starring Forrest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey tells the story of Cecil Gaines, a White House butler who served eight U.S. Presidents and was an observer through the Civil Rights movement, Vietnam, and other historic events. (“Gaines” is a fictionalized compilation of a number of actual White House butlers who were originally interviewed for a short story by journalist Wil Haygood.)  SRN vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup states, “There’s nothing wrong with talk radio having any on-air discussions about the Trayvon Martin case or the more recent racially tinged killing of baseball star Chris Lane in Oklahoma.  But as the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s march on Washington, D.C. approaches, ‘The Butler’ has clearly struck a chord with American moviegoers…and we’re honored that director Lee Daniels will share his vision of history with Michael Medved in what promises to be compelling radio.”

TalkersLA2013Norm Pattiz and Michael Harrison to Participate in “Keynote Conversation” at Talkers Los Angeles 2013.  One of the many highlights of the one-day, power-packed agenda being set for the Southern California segment of TALKERS magazine’s annual bi-coastal convention, “Talkers Los Angeles 2013,” will be a “keynote conversation” between industry icon Norm Pattiz, CEO of Courtside Entertainment, LLC and founder of Launchpad Digital Media‘s innovative Podcast One and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison. Pattiz (the original founder of Westwood One) and Harrison share a long history and friendship that goes back to the late-1970s when Harrison (then of KMET, Los Angeles and Radio & Records) was signed by Pattiz to host the nationally syndicated “Great American Radio Show” – a weekly innovative album track countdown that was one of Westwood One’s earliest pattiznormofferings.  According to Harrison, “Because I worked with Norm so early on at the beginnings of his historic and impactful career in radio as both an insider at his budding company and as an outside observer/associate, I have had the opportunity of really eye-witnessing and digesting a tremendous amount of contemporary radio history as it applies to the man’s contributions to so many of the practices and systems that we today consider standard.  Although, this is being billed as a two-way conversation and I know he’ll be asking me some questions as well, I can’t wait to get him up there and have him address so many issues – past, present and future – that will shed light and clarity on where radio is at and where it is going in this new digital era.  Keep in mind, Norm not only started and grew Westwood One…he also owned Radio & Records, the Mutual Broadcasting System, and NBC Radio Network in addition to being a member of the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors.  Now look at him today, not only is he back on the cutting edge of our business, he also chairs the Boards of Governors of Los Alamos National Security, LLC., and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC which respectively operate the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.  Amazing!  I intend to dig into this conversation like an informational gold mine.”  For registration and sponsorship information about Talkers Los Angeles 2013, please call 413-565-5413.  The conference is open only to members of the working media and is on the verge of a sellout.  Complete agenda details to be posted here next week.

sammalonestudioshotCelebrating Six Months.  Houston talk show host Sam Malone tells TALKERS magazine his program is celebrating its six-month anniversary in its new format that includes airing on Salem Communications-owned KNTH, Houston “AM 1070 The Answer” from 7:00 am to 11:00 am and simulcast online in a video format via Phonoscope.  Malone is pictured here on the set of his program as online viewers see it.  In celebration of his anniversary in the new format, Malone produced a promotional video montage of the program that you can see here.

wfan logoNew Jersey Governor Chris Christie to Co-Host on WFAN, New York.  With Boomer Esiason out on vacation, CBS Radio’s WFAN, New York will welcome New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to the studios to co-host the morning drive program with Craig Carton on Monday, August 26.  The station says, “With Christie being such a huge sports fan as well as being voted by The Star Ledger as the most influential person in New Jersey sports, there will be lots of talk about the Giants, Jets, Yankees and Mets.  Governor Christie is not a stranger to the ‘Boomer & Carton Show’ as he has been on numerous times as a guest of the show and has co-hosted with Craig once before.”

hagertimTim Hager Joins Clear Channel Denver as Vice President of Sales.  Most recently serving with CBS Radio as general sales manager at news/talk KMOX, St. Louis, Tim Hager moves west to head up the sales effort at Clear Channel’s eight-station cluster in Denver.  In a statement, Hager says, “I could not be more thrilled to return to the greatest media company in the world with the most extensive portfolio of integrated media solutions for our advertisers.  The landscape of radio continues to change every day and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment leads this charge with unparalleled digital opportunities including iHeartRadio.  I am humbled and honored to lead this great cluster’s sales efforts and rejoin the most talented and passionate media professionals in the business.”  Clear Channel’s Denver stations include: news/talk KOA, talk KHOW, progressive talk KKZN, alternative KTCL “Channel 93.3,” CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party,” triple A KBCO, classic rock KRFX “103.5 The Fox,” and active rock KBPI.

foxsportsradio logoPromotions at Fox Sports Radio Network.  Jeffrey Schwartz is promoted to vice president of sports sales for Fox Sports Radio.  In this capacity he’ll continue to work with the Premiere national account managers to “creatively craft specific programs to drive traffic and awareness for all Fox sponsors.”  Additionally, he will work closely with Annie Zidarevich and Clear Channel SVP of sports operations Bruce Gilbert on all other aspects of programming, promotion and business growth for Fox Sports Radio and Premiere Sports products.  At the same time, Zidarevich is promoted to vice president of network operations.  A day-one employee of FSR, Zidarevich reports to Bruce Gilbert and she’ll  continue to oversee all Fox Sports Radio operations, scheduling, production, programming and remote broadcast coordination.

cowherdcolinOdds & Sods.  Talk show host Mark Wainwright fills in for morning host Chet Walker on Clear Channel’s WHAM, Rochester all next week (8/26-30)…..ESPN Radio personality Colin Cowherd was recently honored with induction into the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame.  The host of “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” began his career as the play-by-play voice for the Pacific Coast League’s Las Vegas Stars.  He also was sports director at KVBC-TV, Las Vegas where he earned multiple Nevada Sportscaster of the Year awards.  He joined ESPN in 2004…..Hubbard Radio’s WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” announces that Rams wide receiver Chris Givens will join the station’s football analysts beginning Tuesday, September 10, when he starts a weekly stint joining “The Fast Lane” PM drive show to discuss the previous week’s game and to provide insight for upcoming match-ups.

backyardbroadcastingPennsylvania Stations Sold to Backyard Broadcasting.  Six Pennsylvania stations and an FM translator are sold by Barry Drake-operated Backyard Broadcasting to Dan Farr-led Backyard Broadcasting PA LLC.  The stations are: country WILQ-FM, Williamsport; hot AC WLMY-FM, Williamsport; news/talk WWPA-AM, Williamsport; oldies WBZD-FM, Muncy; rock WZXR-FM, South Williamsport; rock WCXR-FM, Lewisburg; and translator W267BJ-FM (simulcasting WWPA).  Buyer Dan Farr says, “I look forward to continuing the tradition of delivering great music, local information and community service with a team of dedicated on-air personalities and office staff along with giving our advertisers a marketing vehicle to promote and grow their business into the future.”  The exclusive broker for the deal is Kalil & Co.

Obama Administration’s Syria Policy Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 19-23.  The Obama Administration’s policy concerning Syria in the wake of allegations of chemical weapons use by the Assad regime was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Following at #2 was the violence in Egypt tied with Middle East tensions.  At number #3 was the NSA surveillance program and the shooting death of Australian ballplayer Christopher Lane came in at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio across America and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

| August 22, 2013

cclogoSeven AEs Sue Clear Channel Claiming Civil Rights Violations.  In a suit filed in the Eastern District of Louisiana by seven current and former AEs working at Clear Channel’s New Orleans stations, the group charges that after the economic downturn of 2008, accounts were redistributed at a meeting in Gonzales, Louisiana in February of 2009 in such a way that helped ease the financial hit Caucasian AEs were taking through the redistribution.  The complaint alleges many of the redistributed accounts had been built up by African American AEs.  The complaint – filed jointly by Wil Watson, Gary Watson, Prixie Montgomery, Ave Gaines, Darnetta Mahaffy-Nelson, Dinah Campbell, and Brandin Campbell – details salaries before and after the redistribution and concludes, “As a result of the redistribution of accounts, whether intentional or negligent, African-American account executives were disparately, and negatively, impacted, to their severe economic detriment as compared to their Caucasian counterparts…Overall, African-American account executives lost on average more than 40% of their 2008 income in 2008-9.  On information and belief Caucasian account executives lost no more that about 15% of their 2008 income, on average, during the same period of time.”  Three of the seven were fired, they allege, after complaining about the practices.  The seven seek relief, punitive damages, general damages, attorneys’ fees and statutory remedies.

weei logoIt’s Official: Kevin Graham Named Brand Manager at WEEI, Boston.  As rumored late last week, sports talk programmer and personality Kevin Graham is leaving his PD and co-host role at Cumulus Media’s KFNZ, Salt Lake City “1320 KFAN” to become brand manager at Entercom’s WEEI.  According to his bio on the KFNZ website, Graham was one of the architects of KFNZ as the station was built in 1996.  He’s worked as programmer at KTAR-AM, Phoenix; WXYT, Detroit and other sports talk outlets.  In addition to programming KFNZ, Graham co-hosts the “Gunther & Graham” PM drive show with Kyle Gunther.  Graham has extensive experience in the digital sports arena assisting in building grahamkevinArizonaSports.com in Phoenix and as the founder/editor of SportsMashup.com.  He’ll begin work at WEEI in September, taking over for longtime programmer Jason Wolfe.  Entercom Boston GM Jeff Brown states, “WEEI is more than a radio station; it is an entire sports ecosystem.  From our on-air talent to Red Sox play-by-play to WEEI.com, where we had 1.4 million unique visitors just last month, WEEI is a more complete sports brand than ever before.  We are thrilled to announce today that Kevin Graham will lead WEEI as our new brand manager.  His background both in front of and behind the mic, along with his years of digital sports experience made him the best choice to lead WEEI.  Kevin will bring a fresh perspective to the entire WEEI team and our complete package of digital sports assets.”  Speaking about his new gig, Graham comments, “I am honored and excited to join the WEEI team.  WEEI is one of the most recognizable and powerful sports radio brands in the country.  With great resources, amazing talent, and one of the best digital brands in sports, the sky is the limit.  I can’t wait to get started, especially with the Red Sox in the midst of such a great season.”

TalkersLA2013“The State of News/Talk/Sports Programming” Panel Set for Talkers Los Angeles 2013.  A diverse and powerful panel of front-line programmers has been set for Talkers Los Angeles 2013 that will explore the major issues of programming within the present-day news/talk/sports realm.  Participating panelists include (in alphabetical order): Robin Bertolucci, PD, KFI/KTLK, Los Angeles; Skip Essick, PD, KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno; Andy Ludlum, director of news programming, KNX/KFWB, Los Angeles; Don Martin, senior VP sports programming, Fox Sports Radio/Clear Channel Media & Entertainment; Chuck Tyler, PD, KRLA/KKLA, Los Angeles; and Bill White, PD, KQTH-FM/KFFN-AM/FM, Tucson.  The panel will be moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey who states, “This will be a fast-moving discussion that will really capture the flavor of today’s talk radio programming scene and do so with a solid Western states perspective – which makes this California edition of our two-part national conference so valuable.  It will present a diverse array of formats including news/talk, all-news, and sports talk, as well as company types ranging in size and varied styles of corporate culture.”  This third annual installment of TALKERS magazine’s West Coast convention is set for Thursday, October 10 and is already shaping up to be a blockbuster.  The gathering is closing in on being an advance sellout some six weeks before the event so it is advisable for media professionals interested in attending to register now.  It is again being presented in association with the Los Angeles Press Club and held at the historic Steve Allen Theater on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm. Registrations – $149 per person – can only be taken over the phone.  For sponsorship information or to register, call 413-565-5413.  More agenda details coming in the immediate days ahead.

wctc logoNew Jersey’s WCTC, New Brunswick Makes Big Local Moves.  Saying “there is a thirst for local content in this market,” WCTC, New Brunswick “The Voice of Central New Jersey” PD Bert Baron announces that the longtime news/talk station will debut a new and completely revamped on-air lineup starting Monday, August 26.  The Greater Media-owned station is making mass changes to its weekday programming, moving Baron from his two-hourbaronbert afternoon slot to morning drive, where he will host “Jersey Central with Bert Baron” from 6:00 am to 9:00 am.  Baron says his show will include “everything you need to know in New Jersey – news, sports, events, entertainment, politics, lifestyle, traffic and weather.”  Following Baron will be the Courtside Entertainment-syndicated Laura Ingraham, who moves up one hour from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.  From 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm, WCTC will carry “The Tommy G Show,” the first time a terrestrial radio station will simulcast a daily internet radio show in New Jersey.  “Tommy G is very unique and brings a Jersey angle to what is happening here.  He’s a radio name with a great presence in the market.  He gets Jersey,” says Baron.  Tommy G, who was also named to this year’s TALKERS magazine Frontier 50 – A Selection of Outstanding Talk Media Webcasters – tommygtells TALKERS his show is “all about New Jersey and what Jerseyans are talking about,” and says his show could change the face of local talk radio.  “I’m introducing ‘syndi-local’ to talk radio and consulting others on the process, showing thatingrahamlaura companies can save money while talent can build their own business and brands.  It’s a win-win,” says Tommy G, who will be joined on Mondays by the New York Times best-selling author of “The Soprano State,” Bob Ingle.  Following Tommy G and replacing the syndicated Mancow is another new show hosted by longtime New York metro area talent Steve Malzberg.  Malzberg’s show is syndicated by Newsmax, and will be carried live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Says Baron, “Steve is a name in the area,” and despite being a national show, it’s expected Malzberg will discuss “a fair amount of local and regional news and topics.”  From 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm, WCTC, which is the flagship malzbergstevestation for Rutgers University sports, debuts “BTN Live,” a sports talk show about the Big Ten, the NCAA conference Rutgers begins competing in this fall.  Baron, who along with Tommy G, is well known for his community involvement, says he believes the changes are not only necessary but that stations must embrace how local content will make them stronger.  “We will be much more local in our approach to serving our listeners – from our shows to remote (broadcasts) and our community involvement.  For us it will be cost effective.  We will make noise in the radio landscape.”

feinburgtoddTodd Feinburg Subs in Boston and Louisville.  Boston-based talk show host Todd Feinburg is filling in for WBZ-AM, Boston’s Dan Rea on the evening program tonight and tomorrow (8-22/23).  Next week he’ll be heard 829 miles away on Clear Channel’s WHAS, Louisville sitting in hosting the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot on both Thursday and Friday, August 29 and 30.  The multi-faceted Feinburg spent many years working full time at Entercom’s WRKO, Boston.

wiplogoWIP-FM, Philadelphia Announces Howie Roseman Show.  CBS Radio sports talk outlet “SportsRadio 94 WIP” is announcing Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman will make weekly appearances on the afternoon drive show with Anthony Gargano – accompanied by Eagles play-by-play voice Merrill Reese – every Monday from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm live at Chickie’s and Pete’s in South Philadelphia.  The station states, “In addition to discussing each week’s game with Gargano and Reese, Roseman will take calls and talk with fans on site at Chickie’s and Pete’s.  The show is the first of its kind.  It is the only live weekly interactive radio show with an NFL general manager.  The show, sponsored by Miller Lite, can be heard live on 94WIP, online at www.cbsphilly.com and via the Radio.com application for a variety of mobile devices.  The show will debut on Tuesday, September 3 due to the Labor Day holiday and be heard on Tuesday, September 10 due to the Eagles-Redskins Monday Night Football debut on September 9.  From 5:30 pm to 6:00 pm a leading Eagles player will join the show each week.

mohrtysonHangin’ with Mike Tyson.  Fox Sports Radio Network nationally syndicated host Jay Mohr (l) poses for a shot with former boxer Mike Tyson (r) in the Fox Sports Radio studios in Los Angeles.  Tyson visited Mohr’s program to talk about his life after boxing, being a dad and much more.  They also chatted about a recent run-in at a frozen yogurt shop, as well as Tyson’s upcoming FOX Sports 1 cable TV show, “Being Mike Tyson.”

losttrailersCountry Act The Lost Trailers Cuts Custom Theme Music for Dial Global’s “Sunday Night Football.”  The theme music to Dial Global’s “Sunday Night Footbal” this season is a tweaked version of The Lost Trailers’ single “It’s Goin’ Down Tonight” that features football highlights, sound bites and customized lyrics.  The company announces, “The new theme music, performed by The Lost Trailers and powered by Early Shares Music, will debut during the first regular season NFL broadcast on Thursday, September 5 which kicks off at 8:00 p.m. ET.  The highly anticipated season opener between the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos will feature Kevin Harlan and Boomer Esiason behind the microphones.”  The band’s founding member Stokes Nielson states, “We are truly excited to be a part of the NFL broadcasts on Dial Global.  We are huge sports fans and we can’t wait to help the announcers kick off every Sunday night game, because it’s goin’ down tonight, every Sunday night, all over America!”   The band previously collaborated with Dial Global Sports, customizing their top 10 single “Holler Back” for the network’s opening montage in Super Bowl XLIII.

Bradley Manning Verdict/Gender Issues, OK Thrill Kill Case, Averted Georgia School Shooting, NSA Surveillance Program, U.S.-Egypt Tensions, Syria Chemical Weapons Allegations and ObamaCare Implementation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/21).  The 35-year sentence handed to Bradley Manning and his desire to begin gender change procedures; the case of three Oklahoma teens suspected of slaying Australian college baseball player Christopher Lane; a Georgia School staffer talks an armed man out of firing and averts a tragedy; the scope of the NSA surveillance program; the U.S. policy regarding Egypt; allegations Syria is using chemical weapons against citizens; and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

| August 21, 2013

wgnlogoBig Changes Coming to WGN, Chicago; Cochran to AM Drive and an FM Signal in Tribune’s Future.  The Chicago Tribune lays out some of the changes that will take place at Tribune Company’s legendary radio property on September 3.  With the hiring of radio executive and former WLUP-FM chief Jimmy de Castro in the spring of this year, cochransteveindustry watchers knew changes were afoot.  De Castro wasn’t hired to run things as they were.  And now we know some of the ideas de Castro has been considering over the summer.  Former midday host Mike McConnell – a WLW, Cincinnati alum brought in by former bosses Randy Michaels and Kevin Metheny – has already moved to the company’s online decastrojimmyeffort WGN-2.  Now, Tribune reveals that air personality Steve Cochran – ousted from the station in 2010 – will return to host AM drive.  Current AM drive host Jonathon Brandmeier will move to a digital property dubbed wgnfm.com until the company can acquire an FM signal on which to build a new station.  The paper reports that husband-and-wife team Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano will likely host the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show and overnight host Bill Leff will be partnered with a player-to-be-named-later for the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  Garrybrandmeierjonathon Meier remains in the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot but is expected to take on a name partner soon.  Another return of talent from the pre-Randy Michaels days are Kathy O’Malley and Judy Markey (former midday “Girlfriends”) who will do a weekend program on WGN.  The AM radio property will also build using blocks from its WGN-TV sibling, starting with the branding slogan “Chicago’s Very Own.”  De Castro says the station will use WGN-TV personalities more often, including Dean Richards and Tom Skilling.  As for the future FM property that will start as a digital station, de Castro says, “We’re going to create it as a radio laboratory.  We’re going to build it up until we get an FM and then we’re going to put them all on a talk FM.”  The story notes that any purchase of an FM will come after the company sheds its newspaper division.  That may happen in 2014 if a buyer (or buyers) can be found.

trn logoJim Watkins Returns to Talk Radio Network.  Radio pro Jim Watkins served with Talk Radio Network for 13 years as director of affiliate relations and executive producer for the syndication company.  Now, TRN Syndications, Ltd. announces it is engaging Watkins “to spearhead several new projects within TRN and to assist in the growth of the existing affiliate base of the multiple TRN networks and many radio stars that TRN watkinsjimsyndicates.”  The company states Watkins will oversee new business development and growth-strategy projects for the TRN Networks that distributes Andrea Tantaros, Jerry Doyle, Rusty Humphries, Erich “Mancow” Muller, Monica Crowley, “America’s Morning News,” Michio Kaku, Louie Anderson, Roy Masters and America’s Radio News Network, and a complete weekend lineup of a variety of talk programming.  CEO Mark Masters says he’s thrilled to have Watkins leading his affiliate department at this most crucial time.  “Jim is deeply entrenched in talk radio and has developed alliances with key programmers across the country.  As the country ramps up into the mid-term elections, talk radio has never been more vital to facilitating the national debate.  Jim really understands the vitality of talk radio better than most people in the industry today.”  Watkins previously programmed news/talk stations for Clear Channel, as well as South-Florida based Meridian Broadcasting, and also served as producer for some of the top air talent in the country, including Michael Savage, Mike Gallagher, Barry Farber, and others.  He adds, “Talk radio reaches the most affluent and loyal audience of any format, and it does so by allowing for a free exchange of ideas which can and does influence public policy in a big way.  To have one of the best rosters of talent to be found anywhere gives me a great sense of pride.”

hartmannNationally Syndicated Host Thom Hartmann Debuts Daily Caller Column.  Liberal talk media star Thom Hartmann begins writing a weekly column for the conservative digital publication Daily Caller in which he addresses an issue from his own perspective followed by a conservative or libertarian rebuttal.  In his first column – dubbed “Liberally Yours” – Hartmann asks the question: Should the Post Office be in charge of your e-mails?  You can read the piece here.  Hartmann – whose radio program is syndicated by WYD Media Management – was recently honored by TALKERS magazine ranked at #7 on the Frontier Fifty 2013 – A Selection of Outstanding Talk Media Webcasters (see that entire feature here).  In addition to his AM/FM radio program, Hartmann’s digital efforts have earned him recognition by TALKERS for his forward-thinking business model that pushes his content into exciting new areas.

beasleyScott Webb Joins Beasley South Florida as Production Director.  Beasley Broadcast Miami announces the appointment of Scott Webb as production director for its three-station cluster that includes hip hop WPOW “Power 96,” country WKIS “99.9 Kiss Country” and sports talk WQAM “560 Sports Radio.”  In this new post, Webb will be responsible for overseeing the voicing and production of commercials for the stations.  Webb owns Scott Webb Radio Imaging based previously in Washington/Baltimore that he founded in 2001.  Prior to launching his own firm, he was creative services director and morning co-host at WJMO, Washington, D.C.  He has also served as creative services director at WHUR, Washington, WMMJ, Washington and KRBV, Dallas.  WKIS operations manager Ken Boesen states, “Scott brings exceedingly strong production skills, top-quality voiceover abilities and a fun work ethic to Beasley Miami.  He’ll be a great addition to the team and will help make our production department the strongest in South Florida.”

celtics logoBoston Celtics and WEEI/WRKO Part Company; Will CBS Radio Swoop In?  The Boston Globe’s Chad Finn reports that Entercom and the NBA’s Boston Celtics have ended negotiations to continue airing games on sports talk WEEI-FM and news/talk WRKO this season after being unable to come to terms.  Now the question is will CBS Radio’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” be able to secure the play-by-play rights?  In the ongoing and bloody battle between the two sports talk stations, a snare of Celtics hoops would give WBZ-FM three of the four major sports in town:  Patriots football, Bruins hockey and Celtics basketball – leaving WEEI-FM with Red Sox baseball (no small potatoes, obviously).  As Finn notes in his piece, CBS Radio owns enough stations in the market to cover any conflicts between the several teams’ games.  Finn writes that Entercom and the Celtics had a revenue-sharing agreement under the old deal but it’s unknown if there was also a rights fee.  Historically, CBS Radio has been willing to pay big dollars for play-by-play rights if it believes it can justify the expense down the road.

wknrlogoGood Karma Lets Three Go at WKNR, Cleveland.  In a report on Cleveland.com, Good Karma trims its staff by three as sports talk outlet WKNR “ESPN Cleveland” says goodbye to sports talk host Kenny Roda, Browns beat reporter Will Burge and Indians beat reporter T.J. Zuppe.  Burge tells the news outlet that although he was a little surprised by the changes, he says, “I guess you can never be too surprised in this business when they say they want to meet with you about some big-picture changes.”  Roda Tweeted to fans, “Thanks to all who have made the last 21 years at WKNR a remarkable, unforgettable & amazing journey. I enjoyed sharing it with you all.”

versnickartArt Versnick Named GM at WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  Resort Broadcasting news/talk WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware “The Talk of Delmarva” announces Art Versnick joins the station to serve as general manager.  In making the announcement, company president David Schoumacher states, “Art is a seasoned broadcast professional who brings great knowledge to our very important heritage radio station.  It was imperative to secure the future of this franchise with a pro, and we’ve done that by bringing his talent to work with our staff.”  Versnick comments, “I’m thrilled to be joining this heritage station – with its local air staff – almost unheard of today in news/talk radio.  The dedication of this staff and ownership to provide Sussex County with quality and local programming will continue and move to the next level in providing listeners and advertisers a local forum.”

wtmjweloveJournal’s WTMJ, Milwaukee Begins Sponsored Live Broadcast Series.  Journal Broadcast Group’s news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee announces the debut of the “We Love Wisconsin Tour” that will see the morning show broadcast live from sites across the state.  Sponsored by All American Window & Door, the first live broadcast event will be Friday, August 23, at the Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend where “Wisconsin’s Morning Newslangmyertom with Gene Mueller” will broadcast from 5:00 am to 8:30 am.  The tour will continue in Wauwatosa in September, Madison in October and Green Bay in November.  Journal Broadcast Group vice president of news/talk programming Tom Langmyer says, “As ‘Wisconsin’s Radio Station,’ WTMJ is excited to celebrate individual communities that make our region so special as a whole. Gene Mueller and his team will explore the history of each town, introduce listeners to special people and discover fun things to do along the way.  We’re pleased to partner with All American Window & Door on this adventure.”  During the live broadcast event, Terri Lodwick, owner of All American Window & Door, will present a $1,000 donation to a local charity.

Odds & Sods. Hubbard Radio Washington D.C. properties WTOP and Federal News Radio are honored with the 2013 Alfred P. Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility for the use of flexibility and other aspects of workplace effectiveness as a workplace strategy to increase business and employee success…..Hubbard Radio’s WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” agrees to a deal through Learfield Sports to carry University of Illinois football play-by-play for this season…..NFL Hall of Famer Joe Namath guests on Sports USA’s “Conversations with Joe Morgan” this week.  Morgan’s program is heard on some 80 affiliates across the country.  Namath’s podcast, produced by Sports USA, debuts next week…..Indiana Radio Watch tips TALKERS that Zach Bonahoom exits Federated Media’s news/talk WOWO-AM/FM, Fort Wayne where he hosted a Saturday talk show.

NSA Surveillance Program/UK Threatens Guardian, Egypt Violence, ObamaCare Implementation, OK Ballplayer Slaying, and Clinton Foundation Expenses Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/20).  The scope of the NSA surveillance program and the UK’s threats against the Guardian paper; continuing violence in Egypt and the U.S.’s relationship with its government; the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; the killing of an Australian baseball player by teens in Oklahoma; and the report of the Clinton Foundation’s travel expenses were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, August 2, 2013

| August 2, 2013

cclogoClear Channel Posts 2% Revenue Increase in Q2.  That’s for the Media and Entertainment division – the radio stations, Premiere Networks and Total Traffic Network – on revenue of $805.6 million for the second quarter of 2013 compared to the same period a year ago.  During yesterday’s investors’ conference call, chairman and CEO Bob Pittman spoke positively about the growth of iHeartRadio and SVP of investor relations Gregory Lundberg noted that it has 34 million registered users and that represents growth of 162% year-over-year.  Regarding the makeup of the company’s revenue, he stated, “National sales for the stations grew 5%, with local up 1%.  Excluding the impact of political advertising, in both quarters, national sales rose 7% and local was up 2%.  Our strongest performing ad categories remained financial services, retail and telecom.  Digital sales continue to grow in the double digits as we monetize our station’s online presence and keep growing iHeartRadio, where total listening hours were up to 36% in the second quarter.  We also saw good year-over-year growth at Premiere Networks.  Partially offsetting this growth rate were revenue declines in the traffic business from lost contracts and from lower sales resulting from integration activities.  Operating expenses increased $42 million or 9%, reflecting a $21 million expense credit from one of our performance rights organizations, which we received in the second quarter of last year.”  He stated pacing for the third quarter for the stations was up 3% and up 1% for the division as a whole.  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Members can read it all here.

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xmradio logoClear Channel Sells Its SiriusXM Interests for $135.5 Million.  Way back in 1999 when XM Radio was gearing up its operations, Clear Channel was an initial investor putting in $83.1 million and getting the right to program some of the satcaster’s music and talk channels.  Now, CC sells its interest in the company for $135.5 million – the value of the stock – and that means most of the CC-programmed content will disappear from the XM Radio platform.  That’ll include some of the company’s music FMs such as hip hop WGCI, Chicago; country signal WSIX, Nashville and hot AC WLIT, Chicago.  But two of the CC-radio channels are expected to stay on the XM platform – WHTZ, New York and KIIS, Los Angeles.  It also means the talk radio channel on the XM platform will see talent like Glenn Beck, Bob & Tom, Todd Schnitt as well as Fox Sports Radio programming go away.

arbitronArbitron Reports Q2 Revenue Rises 2.9%.  As it prepares to be acquired by ratings giant Nielsen, Arbitron issues its 2013 second quarter financial reports and states that on revenue of $107.4 million dollars it is reporting net revenue of $7.1 million or $0.26 per share.  The cost of the potential Nielsen deal ate into the company’s earnings before interest and income tax expense (EBIT) as it shelled out $6.1 million during the quarter in preparation for the acquisition.  President and CEO Sean Creamer states, “In the second quarter, we maintained focus on our long-term priorities: investing in and growing our core radio services, evaluating and implementing quality initiatives to enhance the value and utility of our offerings, and exploring emerging opportunities with an emphasis on those that allow us to highlight the power and advantages of radio.  As the media and advertising marketplaces continue to evolve and new technologies permit consumers to consume content virtually anytime and anywhere, it is important we keep pace with these changes to ensure radio gets full credit for its audience – regardless of the delivery platform.  Radio is growing and vibrant – and we are committed to helping the radio industry tell and validate its complete and compelling story.”

sabowalterThe Job of the Program Director in Five Years.  According to noted consultant and TALKERS columnist Walter Sabo, if you want to know which way the job of PD is heading in radio, just take a look at what has happened to the same titled position at television stations.  In a new column posted today (8/2) Sabo writes “As more on-air content decisions are made at the corporate level and delivered from a central source, the program director job will morph to meet the demands of the tasks that must be completed.  Smart companies will evolve the position to one that has been desperately needed: ‘Program and Public Relations Director.’”  Sabo goes on to list other combinations of tasks and responsibilities that will be added to the title “Program Director” on the radio station level.  To read his entire column, please click here.

kbme logoKBME, Houston Ousts Adam Wexler and Matt Jackson from AM Drive; Adds Fox Sports Radio’s Jay Mohr to Middays.  In a realignment of programming at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s sports talk KBME, Houston, Adam Wexler and Matt Jackson have been let go from the station and their morning drive gig and Lance Zierlein and Adam Clanton take over the AM show.  Zierlein co-hosted the afternoon show with Charlie Pallilo but, as the Houston Chronicle notes, had also worked on the morning drive show alongside Wexler and Jackson in the past.  Adam Clanton has hosted sports talk radio in the market at CBS Radio’s crosstown KILT as well as having worked at KPRC-TV.  The addition of Fox Sports Radio’s nationally syndicated Jay Mohr to the lineup from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm forces some other changes.  Greg Koch and N.D. Kalu now air from 9:00 am to 11:00 am; Charlie Pallilo hosts solo from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm; and Matt Thomas is on the air from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

radioshow2013Michael Harrison to Speak at NAB Radio Show.  In what promises to be a riveting and inspirational hour, TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison will address the forthcoming NAB Radio Show in Orlando (September 18-20) on “Radio’s Evolving Role in Popular Culture.”  Harrison, fresh off a rousing keynote speech at the Conclave, will further elaborate on the theme of the challenges facingharrisonmichael radio in its quest to remain societally iconic in the digital age of the 21st century at a specially scheduled Info-Session sponsored by TALKERS.  Harrison says that for radio to remain competitive with all the emerging “exotic” competition of this “wildly new era,” it must maintain “ownership” of the scenes it addresses whether they are music, politics, news, sports or any other expression of the human condition.  He says radio should maintain a foreground, active position that protects it from being marginalized as a passive delivery system and discusses options and opportunities to carry out the mission.  (To see a brief clip of Michael Harrison’s Conclave keynote speech addressing these subjects please click here.  The full speech will be posted to both RadioInfoTV and TalkersTV shortly, stay tuned.)  Consultant Holland Cooke introduces this popular annual NAB Radio Show session featuring the venerable programmer, air personality, entrepreneur and trade magazine publisher who has been accurately describing radio and popular media’s road ahead for the past 45 years.  The Info-Session is scheduled on Thursday, September 19 between 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm and is open to all attendees of the NAB Radio Show.

davisbobClear Channel Makes Morning Changes at KTCN, Minneapolis.  Morning drive talk show host Bob Davis and Clear Channel Minneapolis part company and the station fills the morning drive slot with former evening hosts Jack Tomczak and Ben Kruse, at least for now.  Bob Davis had been paired up with Tom Emmer for mornings but Emmer exited the station in June to make a run for the congressional seat being vacated by Michele Bachmann.  Davis made national news when, during a discussion about gun control, he said on the air he would tell the Newtown families to “go to hell” for their role in shaping the gun debate.  He later apologized for the tenor of his comments.

radiatemedia logoRadiate Media Promotes Ivan Shulman to President.  Seven months after joining Radiate Media as executive vice president of sales and chief revenue officer, the company promotes Ivan Shulman to president.  CEO Chris Rothey states, “Ivan has a deep shulmanivanbackground in sales, marketing and media, and his leadership experience makes him a great fit for us.  Since joining us in November of 2012, we have experienced quarter-over-quarter revenue growth, including the launch of Radiate360 – our integrated marketing platform to drive hyper-local business.  Ivan will continue to lead that initiative as well as overseeing the day-to -day activities of our broadcast radio, TV and digital lines of business.”  The company is bullish on its new product Radiate360 which it describes as “an easy-to-use, online platform that empowers businesses to expand their reach and connect with their customers.  With Radiate360’s revolutionary suite of tools, businesses can establish an online presence, engage customers through social and mobile media, and promote to the local audience that matters most.”  Shulman says of his promotion, “I joined Radiate because I was excited about future opportunities.  Our growth on both the broadcast and digital side has been phenomenal and I look forward to working with broadcasters to help bridge the gap between digital and traditional media.”

sileodanDan Sileo Takes Over Midday Program at WMEN, West Palm Beach.  Florida sports talk personality Dan Sileo – most recently midday host at WQAM, Miami – moves into the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm slot at JCE Licenses’ WMEN, West Palm Beach “640 Sports” effective Tuesday, August 6.  Sileo – who worked for years at WDAE, Tampa prior to his stint with WQAM – is filling in for Travis Rodgers on KLAA, Los Angeles today and on August 5.  Sileo is, by his own admission, an edgy personality whose willingness to push the envelope has gotten him fired from his last two radio gigs.  He maintains he achieved excellent ratings while with Clear Channel at WDAE and that the station pulled in a lot of revenue from his program.

deggansericEric Deggans to Leave the Tampa Bay Times for Gig at NPR.  Journalist Eric Deggans has covered first music, then media for the Tampa Bay Times for the past 18 years.  Now, he exits the Times to become a TV critic and correspondent for NPR News.  Deggans has been a contributor to NPR in the past but joins the organization full time.  He states in a press release, “For many years, I have been a fan of NPR’s super-smart journalism and I often fantasized of what it might be like to join their ranks as a contributor.  A position like this one is beyond my wildest dreams; I’m honored and excited by the opportunity to help shape NPR’s coverage of television and pop culture.”  Deggans has been an excellent reporter covering the Tampa Bay media scene over the years but also could be viewed as a polarizing writer.  He’s been a critic of talk radio on a number of levels as indicated in his recent book Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation (Palgrave Macmillan 2012).  Photo by Carrie Pratt.

jacksonkevinOdds & Sods.  Dial Global announces it has signed an exclusive terrestrial, three-season deal with London-based talkSPORT to broadcast live coverage of Barclays Premier League, FA Cup and Capital One Cup.  The partnership includes play-by-play commentary of nearly 400 soccer matches per year, in both English and Spanish…..  “The Black Sphere” talk show host Kevin Jackson joins the advisory board of the Steamboat Institute, an institution that “defends freedom and advocates for liberty.”  Jackson says, “Witnessing the progress of the organization first hand, I am overjoyed to be part of the advisory board and play a role in the future direction of the Steamboat Institute, an organization that will undoubtedly mold political discussions and policy in the future.”

gillemdennyTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Update.  Statewide syndicated sports talk host Bill Michaels is added to the lineup at WOZN, Madison, Wisconsin…..Kevin Jackson’s “Black Sphere Radio” show is now airing on WEZO, Augusta, Georgia…..Talk Media Network announces affiliate additions for three of its programs: “Fat Guys At The Movies with Kevin Carr & Kristin Dreyer Kramer” joins WKVL, Knoxville; “The Financial Fitness Show with Chip Cummings & Tony Rubleski” is added to WRSB, Rochester, New York; and “Frontlines of Freedom with Lt. Col. Denny Gillem” joins the lineup at WZFG, Fargo.

ObamaCare Implementation Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of July 29 – August 2.  The implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the cost of the program was the top news/talk topic during the week.  Following at #2 was the Anthony Weiner sexting case and the political fallout.  At #3 was the 2016 presidential race followed by the Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity contracts flap at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

| August 1, 2013

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh Celebrates 25 Years in Syndication Today.  It was 25 years ago today that Rush Limbaugh began his national syndication based at WABC, New York.  When Ed McLaughlin’s EFM Media Management began producing and distributing the Rush Limbaugh program in August of 1988 on 56 affiliate stations, many in the industry thought the idea of a midday national talk radio program was absurd and would fail.  But Limbaugh’s EIB Network flourished and the rest is history.  Of course, Premiere Networks now syndicates the show that’s heard on close to 600 radio stations.  In a statement, Limbaugh says, “The relationship we’ve established here – between the audience and myself – is everything.  It’s meant more to me than I’ll ever be able to fully describe.  It’s the best three hours of the day!  We’re going to do this for a long time to come.”  Premiere Networks notes, “Mr. Limbaugh also pioneered an entirely new model for talk radio.  Defying industry convention, he does not book guests on his program. Centered on the news of the day, he describes his unique approach as ‘a serious discussion of issues, combined with irreverent humor.’  He has enjoyed uninterrupted status since the early 1990s as the leading talk radio host in the U.S., and the program continues to expand its reach.  In the past year alone, ‘The Rush Limbaugh Show’ has experienced an 11% audience increase (Source: Arbitron, Nationwide).

saboonfoxbusMedia Biz Buzzing About Newspaper-Online Radio Ventures.  Pictured here is Sabo Media (r) CEO Walter Sabo appearing on Fox Business with “Markets Now” host Dennis Kneale (l) discussing the Boston Herald’s online talk radio station project, “Boston Herald Radio.”  Kneale quizzed longtime radio executive and consultant Sabo about what the two media bring to the table in joint ventures such as these.  Sabo stated that the talk radio programs can help deliver a younger and more engaged audience to the newspaper world (which has suffered circulation and revenue declines) and the radio shows benefit from working with an experienced news gathering organization.  “It allows them to bring those stories to life instantly, which has always been their (the newspaper’s) biggest challenge.”  Watch Sabo’s appearance on Fox Business here.

cbsradio logoCBS Reports Q2 Revenue for Radio ‘Even.’  CBS quarterly investors’ conference calls have always been pretty much about television and yesterday’s 2013 Q2 call was no different.  It’s not that CBS doesn’t care about radio.  President and CEO Les Moonves has stated in previous calls that they like radio.  He doesn’t gush about it like he does about TV but CBS has no debt on the radio side and therefore it’s a cash business for the company.  During yesterday’s call CBS COO Joseph Ianiello termed radio “even” during the second quarter compared to the same period a year ago and told investors the division is pacing flat for Q3.  For CBS, total revenue was up 11% year-to-year due mostly to fees paid by television operators to carry CBS TV stations as well as international syndication deals and digital streaming revenue.

journalbroadcastgroupJournal Broadcast Group’s Radio Division Up 2.3% in Q2.  Journal Communications announced 2013 second quarter financials yesterday and the Journal Broadcast Group breaks out the radio division from the television segment.  It reports that, compared to the same quarter a year ago, revenue from radio stations increased 2.3% to $19.9 million, or 4.7% excluding political revenue.  Radio political advertising revenue was $0.1 million, compared to $0.5 million.  Local advertising revenue — excluding political — increased 5%, primarily due to an increase in retail advertising.  National advertising revenue — excluding political — decreased 4.9% to $1.8 million, primarily due to a decrease in media advertising.  Operating earnings from radio stations were $3.8 million compared to $4.4 million, a decrease of 13.8% or a decrease of 19.0% excluding acquisition costs in both years.  Radio operating expenses increased 7.1%, or 9.3% excluding acquisition costs in both years, primarily due to employee-related expense increases and the impact of credits received from an industry-wide music licensing fee settlement in 2012.

frontier50 graphicTALKERS Magazine’s Frontier Fifty 2013 Will Be Posted on Wednesday, August 7.  The new installment of one of the most popular and certainly important TALKERS magazine annual features — “The Frontier Fifty” — is set to be unveiled this coming Wednesday, August 7.  The Frontier Fifty is officially described as a Selection of Outstanding Talk Media Webcasters.  This year’s format will depart somewhat from the features’ early approaches by including executives who have built valuable platforms for internet talk broadcasting as well as talent who do talk shows and/or podcasts on the web.  In addition it will be a numbered list in which designees are ranked according to importance as determined by the TALKERS editorial board.  As followers of this feature know, TALKERS did not publish a 2012 installment of the feature because as the publication’s VP/executive editor Kevin Casey puts it, “This arena has evolved and grown at such a dizzying speed, we wanted to be sure that we presented this important snapshot of the state of the internet talk radio’s movers and shakers as accurately and relevantly as possible.  We took an extra year off to study the scene and get it as close to being right as possible…no easy task.”  This year’s Frontier Fifty is being sponsored by Broadcasters General Store.

wxtg logoRed Zebra Shucks Two Signals in Norfolk-Virginia Beach for $1.2 Million.  Dan Snyder-owned Red Zebra sells sports radio combo WXTG-AM/FM “The Game” to local operator Local Voice Media which will flip the duo to a triple A format soon.  The price of the stations and seven acres of property in Hampton is $1.2 million and according to the Daily Press, the stations will continue to air Washington Nationals baseball through the rest of the season and will be Washington Redskins affiliates during the 2013 season.  Additionally, the paper reports that two staffers – AE and air talent Greg Bicouvaris and production director Brock Briggs will remain employed with the new owners.  Local Voice Media also operates triple A WTYD, Williamsburg, Virginia “92.3 The Tide.”  The Daily Press notes Richmond, Virginia investment firm Blue Heron Capital recently completed a $3 million investment in Local Voice Media, formerly known as Davis Media.  The firm began investing in the company two years ago and has helped it expand into Columbia, South Carolina and Wilmington, North Carolina.

deanmichaelwQuick-and-Dirty Three-Minute Sound Conditioning.  Large corporations and government bureaucrats will often spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on soundproofing and sound conditioning for an audio studio.  They’ll even spend tens of thousands of dollars simply on the consultants to tell them how to soundproof and sound condition a studio.  That may make sense to you if you’ve got venture capital money to burn and don’t mind being out of business in a few years.  It may also make sense if you’re working for the government because the money is someone else’s and you think you’ll never go out of business.  But according to syndicated talk show host Michael W. Dean, co-host of GCN‘s “The Freedom Feens,” “The rest of us have to make do with what we have.”  In a new column posted today (8/1), Dean writes, “The advent of ip hardware codecs has allowed talk radio hosts to produce nationally syndicated shows from our homes.  And people working for corporate radio are often called to do remotes in a variety of environments.  You can buy portable devices that acoustically isolate a microphone, but using one is basically like sticking your head in a small box.  That is not conducive to doing a good show, especially if you’re doing on-the-spot interviews with a variety of guests.  Today I’ll show you how to temporarily sound condition a room in three minutes at no cost.  This will vastly improve the audio reaching your microphone, and thus, your audience.  First, you have to understand the difference between soundproofing and sound conditioning.  Many people use these two terms interchangeably.  However, they are not the same thing.  Soundproofing keeps outside sounds out and inside sounds in. Sound conditioning dampens native reverberation in a room.  Effective soundproofing is a lot more expensive and complicated than sound conditioning.”  To read Michael W. Dean’s entire column, please click here.

podcastone logoPodcastOne Adds Sports USA Programs to Offerings.  Yesterday, TALKERS reported that NFL Hall-of-Famer Joe Namath would begin producing podcasts for Sports USA throughout the 2013 football season.  Now, Norm Pattiz-founded PodcastOne and Sports USA announce the Namath podcast as well as “Conversations with Joe Morgan,” “The Ross Tucker Football Show” and “Against the Grain with Dave Miller” will be available via PodcastOne.  Pattiz states, “Joe Namath invented the sports media icon as we know it.  He knows what it means to break new ground and likes to do things his way.  We’re a guaranteed perfect fit.  I am looking forward to working with Bob Moore and the talented team at Sports USA as we create great experiences for listeners and opportunities for advertisers.”

kesn logoMLB Great Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez  to Contribute to ‘ESPN Dallas 103.3.’  “Pudge” Rodriguez played for the hometown Texas Rangers twice during his MLB career (he won a World Series ring with the Florida Marlins in 2003) and he and his family are putting down roots in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.  ESPN O&O KESN and sister Spanish sports talk “ESPN Deportes Dallas” (KZMP-AM) have brought Rodriguez aboard to serve as a baseball contributor through the rest of the 2013 season.  ESPN says Rodriguez will serve in several capacities for both stations including a bi-weekly call-in segment, the voice of featured “Pudge’s Eye” vignettes, as well as personal appearances.  ESPN Dallas VP/GM Pete Dits states, “We are extremely excited and proud to have one of the greatest catchers in MLB history as a part of our team.  As the radio flagship of the Texas Rangers in English and Spanish, this only solidifies our commitment to bringing the best Rangers and baseball coverage to the sports fans in DFW.”

kxsp the drive logoJournal’s Sports Talk KXSP, Omaha Adds New PM Drive Show.  Joe Quinn and Nick Handley are the new afternoon drive sports talk team at Journal Broadcast Group’s Omaha sports talker “590 ESPN Radio” (KXSP).  Quinn was producer and co-host for the past three years on Des Moines’ KXNO.  Handley, a 14-year sports veteran who most recently co-hosted the “Hail Varsity Radio Show” airing in Lincoln and Columbus, Nebraska was the sports director for the Three Eagles cluster of stations in Columbus.  KXSP program director Kurt Owens says, “The new show will be called ‘The Drive’ and will bring a fresh new approach to afternoon sports talk in Omaha.  Joe and Nick’s combined experience of covering sports in Nebraska and Iowa mirrors our huge AM 590 signal.  AM 590 listeners will really enjoy these two young-yet-experienced broadcasters bringing their perspective to sports each afternoon.”

nbcsportsradio logoNBC Sports Radio Network Passes 300-Affililate Mark.  The nationally syndicated sports talk radio programming initiative NBC Sports Radio Network – a cooperative effort of Dial Global and NBC Sports – announces it has passed the 300-affiliate mark.  Dial Global Sports EVP and general manager Chris Corcoran says, “Signing more than 300 affiliates so quickly is a true testament to the mass appeal of our talent and programming, creativity of our producers, and hard work of our exceptional sales and affiliate teams.  We are especially honored to partner with such great radio stations across the country as we work together to connect avid sports fans, consumers, and advertisers.  We continue to be motivated to reach more audiences by the amazing feedback we regularly receive from our local station owners, program directors and listeners.”

callahanbrownpanmassWEEI-FM, Boston Staffers Take Part in Pan-Mass Challenge.  “93.7 FM WEEI”  morning drive co-host Gerry Callahan (r) and Entercom Boston vice president and market manager Jeff Brown (l) will take part in the Pan-Mass Challenge – a two-day bike ride across Massachusetts that can be as long as 190 miles – to benefit the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  WEEI will help recognize and celebrate this year’s event with a live broadcast of the Salk & Holley show on Friday, August 2 from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. from the PMC’s opening ceremonies in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.  Billy Starr, founder and executive director of the Pan-Mass Challenge says, “Entercom and WEEI have both been fabulous friends and partners.  They have ensured that the PMC message is heard – and understood – far, wide and often.”  Jeff Brown comments, “I am proud to continue Entercom’s support of the Pan-Mass Challenge and we are also proud to be raising additional money through our dedicated team of riders and virtual riders.  Our own Gerry Callahan will be taking part in his sixth ride and it is such an honor, both for WEEI and for all of us at Entercom Boston, to be a part of this dynamic cause and help the dedicated Dana-Farber doctors and researchers discover cures for cancer.”

ObamaCare Implementation Battle, Anthony Weiner Scandal, NSA Surveillance Program, Chris Christie-Rand Paul Feud, and Looming MLB Suspensions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/31).  The fight in Washington over the implementation and funding for the Affordable Care Act; the political fallout from the Anthony Weiner scandal; reports of the vast nature of the NSA surveillance program, Republican in-fighting over policy and the Chris Christie-Rand Paul feud; and the expected suspensions of numerous MLB players were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

| July 31, 2013

cumulusMore Q2 News from Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey.  Yesterday TALKERS reported Cumulus Media’s second quarter revenue figures and the fact that Lew Dickey largely avoided the Rush Limbaugh-Sean Hannity flap by saying he wouldn’t discuss it because they are still in contract negotiations.  He addressed other topics TALKERS readers may be interested in: those 10 “code red” stations (big news/talkers bringing down the rest of the company); the health of the CBS Sports Radio Network project for which Cumulus is handling affiliate and ad sales; and the state of network talk programming.  First, Dickey told investors the number of “code red” stations is down from 10 to 1 but didn’t specify which station still lags.  Second, hedickeylew states the CBS Sports Radio format is on 300 affiliate stations and is exceeding its revenue plans.  “We’re highly encouraged by our early success and expect CBS Sports Radio to be a material growth driver for our company in 2014 and beyond.”  And third, addressing the state of the Cumulus Media Networks (which includes syndicated talk – Huckabee, Savage, “Red Eye Radio” – as well as a lot of music programming) Dickey reports it’s been a bit “choppy” but he sees it settling down.  “It grew for us in the second quarter and we look for it to be positive in the back half of the year.  It’s a pretty fragmented space that ultimately begs for more consolidations… it did turn in a positive performance for us in second quarter.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Members can see the entire conference call here.

abramsonnancyWall Street Journal Radio Network Executive Director Nancy Abramson to Exit Post.  Radio management pro Nancy Abramson tells TALKERS the company is reorganizing its management structure and she is moving on.  She says she’ll remain with the company through mid-September to assist with the transition.  As for the rest of the staff with which the industry is familiar, Abramson says the affiliate team of Susan O’Connell and Susan Moran will continue to service  the affiliates of “The Wall Street Journal Report,” “The Wall Street Journal This Morning,” “The Dow Jones Money Report” and “MarketWatch.com Reports.”  John Wordock and Patrice Sikora will continue to oversee the news product for The Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch.com Radio Networks.  Abramson says she is excited about new opportunities and looking forward to the next adventure.  Abramson has served with WSJRN since 1996.

mccannjakeGreater Media Promotes Jake McCann to Director of Sales for Detroit Stations.  Jake McCann moves from Greater Media’s Philadelphia stations where he was general sales manager at sports talk WPEN “97.5 The Fanatic” and classic rock WMGK.  In Detroit he’ll be in charge of sales for rock WRIF, classic rock WCSX and currently-AC-but-rumored-to-soon-be sports talk WMGC.  The fact that McCann has experience selling sports talk could be part of the reason McCann is making this move if, as expected, WMGC flips to sports in August.  In a statement, Greater Media Detroit market manager Steve Chessare says, “Jake is the right person to lead our three station sales operation in the Motor City.  His passion, dedication and leadership are exactly what we need to take our three outstanding radio properties to the next level.”

wcfn sports logoRadio One Gives Up on FM Sports in Cincinnati.  After seven months, WCFN, Cincinnati “FM 100.3 The Fan” has let go most of its staff, cut ties with CBS Sports Radio Network and flips back to an urban oldies format as “Old School 100.3.”  The Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter reports that production manager Rob Williams was the only staffer to survive the change.  Tom GambleRichard SkinnerWill ChambersChad BrendelRick UcchinoRick BroeringJeremy Lance, former Reds pitcher Joe Price, and Steve Harris all exited the station on Tuesday morning.  Richard Skinner, who hosted “Two Angry Guys” along with Tom Gamble, tells Kiesewetter he’s not angry about the change, “Radio is so cyclical, that you know your time is coming (to get fired).  They (Radio One) didn’t seem to have a plan of attack, and they’re pulling the format at a time of the year when all the people are listening for football and baseball.”  Clear Channel operates two sports talk stations in the market – WSAI, a Fox Sports Radio affiliate and WCKY, which uses ESPN Radio programming – both of which air largely national shows.

cookehollandHolland Cooke: Radio from the Newspaper.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke adds to the discussion about newspapers entering into the digital talk radio streaming business that’s been a major part of industry chatter in the wake of the Boston Herald’s announcement about the creation of Boston Herald Radio coming Monday, August 5.  Cooke has experience in this arena and he offers advice to publications considering the move.  Among some dos and don’ts: don’t separate the studio from the newsroom (the sound of busy reporters is crucial!); don’t assume good reporters make good talk hosts; do promote you’re emanating from a storied newsroom; and do make content available for download and later playback.  Read Holland Cooke’s entire piece here.

kroi logo‘News 92 FM’ and ‘Yahoo Sports Radio 1560’ in Houston Agree to Content Sharing Deal.  Radio One’s all-news KROI and Gow Media’s sports talk KGOW in Houston agree to a content sharing deal that will have KROI producing newscasts for KGOW and the latter producing sports updates and actualities for KROI.  Here’s how it will work: kgow logoBeginning in early August, “News 92 FM” reporters will provide hourly, short-form news updates to “Yahoo Sports Radio 1560,” initially for use on nights and weekends, and ramping up to a full broadcast schedule shortly thereafter.  In like manner, “Yahoo Sports Radio 1560” reporters will provide sports updates and actualities twice per hour for integration into the “News 92 FM” broadcast clock between 7:00 pm and midnight daily, and from 6:00 am to noon on weekends.  Radio One RVP Doug Abernethy and Gow Media CEO David Gow began discussing the possibility earlier this year.  Abernethy states, “Research suggests that news and sports stations have shared listener bases. So this makes sense for both stations.  We have the best newsgathering and reporting resources in the city, and ‘Yahoo Sports Radio 1560’ enjoys an equivalent reputation in the world of sports.  We’re leveraging our respective strengths so that the ‘News 92 FM’ listener can get a quick sports update from ‘Yahoo Radio 1560,’ and their listeners can get top-flight news from ‘News 92 FM.’”

zwerlingmichaelZWERLING: The Smartest Programming Move I Ever Made for My Radio Stations.  You might be surprised to learn which syndicated host turned out to be so spectacularly successful for outspoken, independent radio station owner Michael L. Zwerling at his widely admired AM combo of KSCO and KOMY, Santa Cruz, California that he felt compelled to share it with the entire industry.  Then again, you might not.  Find out the answer and more in a new exclusive TALKERS opinion piece posted today (7/31) by clicking here.

sportsusa‘Broadway Joe’ Joins Sports USA for Weekly Podcast.  Sports USA announces NFL great Joe Namath will join the company to produce a weekly podcast for the company during the 2013 football season.  Sports USA president Bob Moore says Namath’s podcast will begin in the middle of August and run through this year’s Super Bowl.  Moore states, “It doesn’t get bigger than Joe Namath!  Joe is extremely passionate about football and his insights are amazing.  This podcast will give him the platform to reach all of his fans across the country and beyond.”  Namath comments, “I’m thrilled to join the Sports USA team with my new weekly podcast.  I look forward to expressing my opinions on both the NFL and college football each week from the beginning of the season all the way through the Super Bowl.”

rollinsvsbubbaWTKS, Orlando’s Russ Rollins to Face Bubba the Love Sponge in Wrestling Match.  Yes, you read that right.  As you see in the poster here, it’ll take place at the Arena Bowl in Orlando on August 17 and feature “The Monsters” vs “Bubba’s Army” as Russ Rollins & The Demon take on Bubba the Love Sponge & Kevin Nash with Marc Mero as a special guest referee.  Rollins tells TALKERS it’s the “Battle of the #1 morning shows!” and pits Clear Channel against Cox Media in front of 15,000 to 16,000 screaming fans!

2016 Presidential Race, Weiner Sexting Scandal, NSA Surveillance Program, ObamaCare Implementation, and Bradley Manning Verdict Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/30).  The possible candidates in the 2016 presidential election; the ongoing backlash from the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal; new developments in the NSA surveillance program case; the costs of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; and the verdict against Bradley Manning in the Wikileaks case were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

| July 25, 2013

khow logoTalk Host Mandy Connell Grabs KHOW, Denver Morning Gig.  Moving to Denver from Clear Channel’s WHAS, Louisville is talk show host Mandy Connell who takes over the morning drive show on the company’s KHOW, Denver effective August 19.  The program host position opened after longtime KHOW connellmandymorning man Peter Boyles exited the company.  Connell states, “Moving to Denver has been my goal for many years.  The city is vibrant, beautiful and full of great people.  When you throw the mountains into the mix, there simply isn’t a better place to be.  When you listen to my show, you’ll hear the things you and your friends talk about.  Pop culture, politics and those questions about life you ponder are all fair game – only funnier.”  Connell moved from WINK, Fort Myers to WHAS in 2010 to host the mid-morning show.  Clear Channel Denver VP of programming Greg Foster states, “We’re fortunate to have a host of Mandy’s caliber at the helm of TalkRadio 630 KHOW’s morning show.  Mandy’s entertaining style, humor and passion are sure to connect with TalkRadio 630 KHOW’s listeners and advertisers.”  A number of years ago while she was still hosting at WINK, Mandy Connell was selected by the TALKERS editorial board to have the honor of presenting the award for “Woman of the Year” to that year’s recipient, Laura Ingraham.  At the time, while still a relative newcomer, Mandy told the crowd that someday she hoped to have developed a strong enough career in the radio business to be the recipient of that award herself.  Looks like she may well be on her way to fulfilling that prophecy!

wapi logoCumulus Media to Flip FM Side of News/Talk WAPI, Birmingham to Sports in Deal with ESPN for Paul Finebaum.  That’s the report from AL.com although confirmation from Cumulus Media and ESPN has not been received.  Formerly Birmingham-based sports talk host Paul Finebaum recently announced a deal wapi-fm logowith ESPN that would give him a syndicated sports talk show plus other opportunities with the sports media finebaumpaulgiant.  He exited Cumulus Media’s sports talk WJOX, Birmingham in January of 2013 after working out his contract and to explore other options.  Now, he’ll return to WJOX via ESPN but the deal appears to include Cumulus adding another sports talk station to the market to carry ESPN’s national programming and the report is that news/talk WAPI-AM/FM will sacrifice its FM signal to the new station.  ESPN had an affiliate in the market in SummitMedia’s WZNN – the former ‘ESPN 97.3 The Zone’ – but the company is flipping that station to a still-to-be-determined music format saying it couldn’t make money as the second sports talk station in the market.  Finebaum’s new radio show is expected to debut on August 12.  AL.com published the ESPN logo you see here reporting it’s been seen circulating in Birmingham on posters.

castnermichaelMark & Dave Exit News/Talk KEX, Portland; Michael Castner Takes Over PM Drive.  Mark Mason and Dave Anderson leave Clear Channel’s Portland news/talk station KEX and Michael Castner, who’d been with the Wall Street Journal Radio Network for the past several years hosting the discontinued “The Daily Wrap” program, is now hosting the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm show.  Prior to joining WSJRN, Castner worked at Clear Channel’s WRNO, New Orleans.

kftk logoKFTK-FM, St. Louis’ Dave Glover Talk Star Search Contest Names Winner.  Afternoon drive talk show host Dave Glover announces the winner of the talk host search contest executed by the Emmis news/talk gloverdaveoutlet.  St. Louis native Brian Moncey won the search based on votes cast online.  Moncey picked up 52% of the final week’s votes with a record-breaking 263,000 total contest votes cast and he’ll get the chance to host the 5:00 pm hour of Glover’s program (the date for the show has not been set).  Moncey comments, “When I was coming up with a name for the show I asked my friends if they had any suggestions.  They immediately replied “So, monceybrianHere’s the Thing” because that’s what I say ALL THE TIME.”  Moncey says he will talk about “the insanity that’s going on in the world and the mundane of every day.”  He was among 10 talk show hopefuls selected by the Dave Glover show to compete after submitting a two-minute audio entry.  The contestants then faced off in a head-to-head battle with the participants receiving the most online votes advancing to the next round.  The final round consisted of Tom Wall, a St. Louis surgical instrument technician (16%); Randy Johnston, founder of Lighthouse Architects, Inc. in St. Louis (32%); and Moncey, a creative project manager specializing in videos (52%).   “NewsTalk 97.1” program director Jeff Allen states, “We’ve done this contest in the past and wanted to bring it back this year.  Our listeners loved it and responded with huge online voting numbers and, who knows, we may find a new talk star.”  His submission can be heard at www.971talk.com/star.

mackallkevinConsultant Kevin Mackall Joins Clear Channel as SVP of Visual Branding.  Longtime MTV executive Kevin Mackall has been working for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment on a consulting basis on visual packages for the company’s marquee events such as the iHeartRadio Music Festival and projects like the national country and top 40 television spots.  Now, he assumes the title senior vice president of visual branding.  The company says that in this capacity he’ll “manage the company’s visual branding production including station logos, television commercials, outdoor campaigns and brand packages for Clear Channel events such as the iHeartRadio Music Festival, iHeartRadio Album Release Parties and the iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party.”  He’ll report to president of national programming platforms Tom Poleman, who says, “By having him on the team full time, I’m excited that we’ll now be able to spread his creative expertise more deeply through Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, including station branding, iHeartRadio Theater productions and logo projects.”

opieanthonySiriusXM’s Opie & Athony Show Broadcasts Live from Montreal’s ‘Just for Laughs’ Festival.  The Opie & Anthony show on SiriusXM is broadcasting live from Montreal’s ‘Just for Laughs’ comedy festival today and tomorrow (7/25-26).  The satcaster states that, “along with comedian Jim Norton, O&A are bringing their uncensored, unpredictable SiriusXM show to Montreal…offering fans a rare opportunity to see ‘The Opie & Anthony Show’ live and in person.”  Also, the duo will host a special “Midnight Surprise” performance at Theatre Sainte-Catherine on Friday, July 26 beginning at 11:59 pm ET, featuring a special lineup of comedians personally curated by them that will be revealed on that morning’s live radio show.  The O&A cast and crew will be on hand for the Montreal festivities.

kdkapaiFCC Commissioner Ajit Pai Visits KDKA, Pittsburgh.  FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai spent Thursday at CBS Radio’s KDKA, Pittsburgh where he spoke about his work concerning the future of the AM band including the related issues of signal quality, HD radio, the future of digital AM, expansion of translator availability for AM broadcasters and regulations in general.  Appearing on the Mike Pintek program, Pai stated, “The FCC needs to consider the best of these suggestions because time, frankly, is not on the side of AM, especially among younger listeners because they are going to be fickle as they can be and if we don’t provide an AM radio outlet for them, they’ll go elsewhere.”  Pai also addressed the bandwidth issue and explained to KDKA listeners how the digital explosion is eating up available bandwidth.  “If you’re watching video on an iPad, you’re consuming 128 times more bandwidth than you would be making a phone call on a cell phone.  That bandwidth is a scarce resource, it has to come from somewhere…so, one of the things we at the FCC are trying to do is make more spectrum available…it’s been a big challenge, we don’t have a lot of spectrum just sitting there.”  Commissoner Pai (center) is pictured here with staff from CBS Radio Pittsburgh.

walshjoe‘AM 560 The Answer’ Chicago Host Joe Walsh to ‘March for Peace.’  Former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh – currently hosting the afternoon drive show at Salem Communications’ WIND, Chicago “AM 560 The Answer” – will join New Beginnings Church Pastor Corey Brooks for the “Let us Live” Peace March in downtown Chicago on Saturday, July 27.  Brooks was a recent guest on Walsh’s radio show in the aftermath of the George Zimmerman verdict.  Brooks state, “We have an epidemic and although this is a problem on the South Side in the black community, it’s an issue that we cannot resolve on our own.  We need help to figure out a way for young black males to stop killing young black males.  We’re asking everyone to join us to raise the level of awareness and let people know this is not a black issue, it’s a humanitarian issue.”  Walsh adds, “While so many leaders have been grandstanding, Pastor Brooks is doing a lot to help fix the hurt and reduce the violence in Chicago.  I’m honored to join him for this peace march.  This is all about unity.  No matter what color you are, this problem belongs to us all.”

skoogarneIndustry Mourns Death of CBS Seattle Engineer Arne Skoog.  As reported in Radio World, longtime CBS Seattle engineer and RF facilities manager Arne Skoog passed away on Monday, July 22 after a battle with colon cancer.  Radio World technical advisor and director of engineering & MIS at CBS Radio Seattle Tom McGinley is quoted saying, “Our beloved Arne Skoog lost his battle with colon cancer on July 22, 2013.  A number of us were able to see him in recent days and spent some cherished moments reminiscing about many of the memories and the wonderful contributions he has made to our enterprise over the past 20-some years he has served us.”

Edward Snowden Enters Russia, Zimmerman Verdict Aftermath, Anthony Weiner Pressured to Drop Out of NYC Mayoral Race, Detroit Bankruptcy Filing and Caroline Kennedy Nominated as Ambassador to Japan Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/24).  Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is granted temporary asylum in Russia; the aftermath of the George Zimmerman verdict; the exploding controversy over Anthony Weiner’s run for NYC mayor; the Detroit bankruptcy filing; and President Obama’s nomination of Caroline Kennedy for Ambassador to Japan were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, July 22, 2013

| July 22, 2013

bauerletomWBEN, Buffalo to Flip Programming.  Entercom’s Buffalo news/talk WBEN will move late morning talk show host Tom Bauerle to the PM drive slot currently held by Buffalo market legend Sandy Beach and Beach will shift to the late morning show.  Both personalities have been in their current time slots for long periods – Bauerle for the past 11 years after moving to WBEN from the company’s sister sports talk station WGR.  The change is expected to take place at the end of July.

lonsberrybobHow to Be a Talk Show Host.  In a candid, tell-it-like-it-is piece posted today (7/22) WHAM, Rochester/WSYR, Syracuse talk star and TALKERS columnist Bob Lonsberry draws upon his vast experience and presents a point-by-point tutorial on how to be a talk show host…or at least how to be a GOOD one.  He basically breaks it down to five steps: 1) ignore anyone who tries to tell you how to be a talk show host; 2) focus on listeners; 3) don’t suck; 4) remember that callers are only a tool; 5) stand for something; and 6) get out of the studio. To read all the juicy details, please click here.

wmca logoKevin McCullough to Host Daily Local Talk Show on WMCA, New York.  Salem Communications announces talk media pro and digital entrepreneur Kevin McCullough will begin hosting a daily one-hour talk show on Christian teaching-formatted WMCA, New York on August 5.  Salem states this is a return to WMCA for McCullough who has also been heard on the company’s KKLA, Los Angeles and WMBI and WYLL in Chicago. mcculloughkevin Salem VP/director of spoken word format Phil Boyce says, “Kevin has proven to be one of the true up-and-coming voices in Christian talk radio and we are delighted he will be able to join our team.  His afternoon program will be live and local, tackling issues of concern going on locally and in the world with a Christian world view.”  In a statement, Salem says McCullough’s program will include discussion with local ministers about their concerns and how our listeners can relate to and understand major world events in a biblical perspective.  “The addition of Kevin will allow WMCA to truly reflect the attitude of the city we serve, and be more responsive to community concerns,” according to WMCA vice president and general manager Jerry Crowley.  McCullough continues his talk programs produced and syndicated via his own XtreMEDIA.

nbcsportsradio logoNBC Sports Radio Network Lands WCAR, Detroit as Affiliate; Move Adds Fuel to Greater Media Sports Talk Flip.  Birach Broadcasting’s WCAR, Detroit is the newest affiliate for the NBC Sports-Dial Global sports talk radio initiative branded NBC Sports Talk Radio.  From the sound of the press release it appears the station will carry most if not all of the network’s programming in addition to NFL games distributed by Dial Global.  WCAR had been an ESPN Radio affiliate and this move strengthens the suspicions that ESPN will find a partner in Greater Media which is strongly rumored to be prepared to flip AC WMGC, Detroit “Today’s 105.1” to sports talk in August.

wgrdproducerjoe‘Free Beer & Hot Wings’ Gets Media Attention for ‘Homeless Vet’ Sting.  When WGRD, Grand Rapids-based, Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated morning show “Free Beer & Hot Wings” heard about panhandlers posing as homeless veterans to gain sympathy and earn more money, they sent Producer Joe to a corner in Grand Rapids where a panhandler named Rudy was doing just that.  In fact, Rudy had admitted to local TV station WZZM that he was not a veteran.  According to AllMichigan.com, and as you can see in the WGRD photo here, Producer Joe showed up where Rudy was panhandling sporting a cardboard sign reading “Liar,” causing Rudy to ride off on a mountain bike.  Producer Joe came back to the location the next day and “panhandled” to raise $1,085 for the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.  WGRD matched the funds and $2,170 was donated to the home.

herskovitzalThe Dismal State of the Radio Remote.  According to radio sales and marketing maven Al HerskovitzTALKERS columnist and president of H&H Communications, the age old programming/sales tool known as the “remote” – which has fallen on hard times — still has the potential to be a winner in the sports talk genre.  The remote on-location broadcast was once a staple in the sales rep’s arsenal.  It almost has disappeared from the airwaves, particularly from talk radio — and for logical reasons, too.  The strength of the talk format comes from the right and left, pro and con, political and social issues topics.  A remote could possibly generate a partisan flash mob that might trash Charlie’s Auto Parts and Car Wash.  That’s the last thing “good ole Charlie” would want.  This is aside from the currently popular radio rows which are not commercially sponsored events for stations or programs and not meant to draw crowds to the location.  In a new column posted today (7/22) Herskovitz breaks down the challenges that must be overcome and cites opportunities still ripe for exploitation in doing remotes.  To read it, please click here.

katzjeffspeaksJeff Katz Commentary Added to Arkansas Talk Station.  Boston-based talk radio personality Jeff Katz’s “The Katz Commentary” is heard three times daily on WCAP, Lowell, Massachusetts.  Now, Katz gets his daily feature added to the program schedule in Central Arkansas on Saline River Media’s news/talk KEWI, Benton.  Katz says, “I am thrilled that the voice of Central Arkansas will be adding ‘The Katz Commentary’ to its great lineup.  I’m working hard on my Razorback yell, as well.”

nationalradiotalentsystem logoRadio Talent Institute Begins Today.  The “intensive, 10-day event,” organized by Dan Vallie’s National Radio Talent System in cooperation with the Kentucky Broadcasters Association and Western Kentucky University kicks off the Radio Talent Institute at the school today.  The Institute begins with opening comments from WKU President Gary Ransdell; Dean David Lee of Potter College, WKU; and director of journalism and broadcasting, WKU, Dr. Loup Langton, along with Rick McCue from the Kentucky Broadcasters Association and WBKO TV.  Former broadcaster, now assistant professor at WKU, Dick Taylor will moderate the event.  Sixteen students from the region have been accepted into this year’s Institute. Those students will hear from 36 radio professionals, including Bud Walters, president/owner of the Cromwell Group, Nashville; Steve Newberry, president/CEO, Commonwealth Broadcasting, Glasgow; Christine Hillard, president/COO of Forever Communications, Bowling Green; with Ed Henson of Henson Media, Louisville, opening the institute with “Getting in, Becoming an Entrepreneur.”  Also instructing during the event are: Gabe Hobbs of Gabe Hobbs Media leading a session on “On Air, Developing Your Voice, Your Style…You”; Morning Mouth publisher Don Anthony who will deliver “How to Get a Good Job”; plus news/talk radio sessions by WHAS, Louisville talk host Mandy Connell and WKU public radio morning host, reporter and producer Joseph Corcoran.  This is the second Radio Talent Institute of the summer and Vallie states, “These students are starting their careers in radio, and we are developing the next generation of broadcasters.  The students come with enthusiasm and passion for the business, and it’s very impressive how industry professionals sacrifice their time to come to the campus to teach sessions and give back to the industry.”

Odds & Sods.  Matt Dery exits CBS Radio’s sports talk WXYT-FM, Detroit where he was afternoon sports anchor on the Valenti & Foster program after the station did not renew his contract…..Cumulus Media’s KGO, San Francisco renews its deal with IMG College to carry University of California football play-by-play and adds Men’s basketball games to the five-year deal.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

| July 16, 2013

hubbardbroadcastingHubbard to Buy 10 Sandusky Stations for $85.5 Million.  The deal gives Hubbard Radio five stations in the Phoenix market and five in Seattle.  It includes Phoenix outlets: classic rock KSLX, active rock KUPD, rock KDKB, oldies KAZG-AM, and sports talk KDUS-AM; and Seattle stations: standards, KIXI-AM, CHR KQMV, talk KKNW-AM, AC KRWM, alternative KLCK.  Hubbard board chair Ginny Morris says in a statement, “This is an exciting opportunity to expand Hubbard Radio into two top 20 markets.  We have known and respected the Rau/White family, Sandusky’s owners, for many years.  We admire what they have accomplished and we are honored that they would agree to sell us these established stations.  We are committed to maintaining the dedication to excellence and to community that Sandusky has made such an important part of their radio operations.”  This sale signals the end of the radio business interests for Sandusky as the company turns its total focus to its print and digital operations.  For Hubbard, it bumps the number of stations it will own from 20 to 30.  Hubbard president and CEO Bruce Reese says, “Hubbard is excited about the chance to add these great stations to our existing operations in Chicago, Washington, DC, Minneapolis/St. Paul, St. Louis and Cincinnati.  Sandusky runs very successful radio stations and we plan on continuing that precedent.  We look forward to working with our new colleagues.”

wmgc logoWait Is on to See if Greater Media Flips AC WMGC, Detroit to Sports Talk.  Rumors have been heard in Detroit for a few months now that Greater Media is considering a format flip to sports talk for moribund soft rock “Magic 105.”  Now, those rumors are getting hotter and Crain’s Detroit Business reports in a story by Bill wxyt-fm logoShea that sources say that switch could happen next month.  The publication notes that WMGC’s ratings have been in decline since longtime morning host Jim Harper retired 19 months ago.  But the switch would mean taking on CBS Radio’s highly rated WXYT-FM – no easy feat, even in a market most would consider a “sports town.”  Shea’s report cites insiders saying Greater Media is talking with former employee Drew Lane who – along with partner Mike Clark – were not renewed for the morning show at the company’s rock WRIF two months ago, although they had good ratings and enjoy excellent credibility in the market.  In his piece, Shea states that, “WXYT’s rating dominance is largely because it has the rights to air live all four of Detroit’s professional sports teams’ games.  The radio contracts for the Detroit Lions, Tigers, Red Wings and Pistons don’t expire until 2015, meaning it would be more than a year before a flipped WMGC could theoretically pursue and air pro games.”  Although the value of play-by-play is real, and there’s no doubt the combination of excellent talk show talent and game broadcasts is a winning formula, TALKERS would hesitate to say the station’s success is largely because of play-by-play.  Ultimately it’s all about revenue and rights to those games are very expensive while WXYT’s personalities and the advertising rates they command are extremely valuable to the station.

ramseydaveDave Ramsey Show Jumps to KXLY, Spokane.  Nationally syndicated financial talk star Dave Ramsey’s program moves to Queen B-owned news/talk outlet KXLY, Spokane after years on Clear Channel’s crosstown KQNT.  Dave Ramsey vice president of broadcast Brian Mayfield says, “We are excited to have the Dave Ramsey show as part of the lineup on KXLY in Spokane.  We are equally excited at the opportunity to partner with the team at Queen B Radio in bringing Dave to town with his latest ‘Legacy Journey Live Event’ on October 17.”  Premiere NetworksSean Hannity show is moved from KXLY to crosstown KQNT and KXLY Radio Group VP Brian Paul Lubanski states, “We were one of the early adopters of Sean’s show and thank Sean for 12 great years on KXLY.  I’m very excited to have Dave on our station, he’s kicked our butt in the ratings in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 timeslot the past couple of years!”