Tag: "Stephanie Miller"

Monday, April 24, 2017

| April 23, 2017

2017 NAB Show: The M.E.T. Effect.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas reporting to TALKERS magazine from the 2017 NAB Show.  He writes:

While industry lords in expensive suits swap radio stations like baseball cards at the opulent Wynn and Encore twin towers, your correspondent is among 103,000 from around the world swarming the sprawling Las Vegas Convention Center.  It’s the National Association of Broadcasters’ big show, themed “The M.E.T. Effect,” as in Media, Entertainment, Technology.

Unlike NAB’s smaller September Radio Show, the massive April event isn’t just about radio.  Although, as corporate barks for more-more-more digital revenue, stations know darn well that radio isn’t just about transmitters any more.  “These once distinct fields of media, entertainment and technology are converging and becoming something far greater than the sum of their parts,” the conference program offers, “redesigning the very nature of how we live, work and play, from content creation to consumption.”  So I’m impressed by how many radio people I see here.

There’s a Facebook Video Boot Camp, an Aerial Robotics and Drone Pavilion, and lots about virtual and augmented reality.  Radio sessions include strategies for mobile, video, texting, apps, web, and podcasting.

Speakers include executives from Adobe and Amazon and Roku and TMZ.  In addition to the inevitable surprise walk-ons, celebs speaking here include Al Roker, actors Hank Azaria and Amanda Peet and America Ferrera, and various TV reality show stars.  Larry King and Jane Pauley are among moderators.

At Tuesday’s Radio Luncheon, Ford’s Scott Burnell will discuss radio’s future in the car, Delilah will be inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame, and NAB Crystal Radio Award winners will take a bow for community service.

The Show will broadcast online at nabshow.com and broadcastbeat.com and feature live streaming of select conference sessions as well as interviews with leading industry experts and vendors.  And look for my daily updates this week here, and follow my real-time convention Tweets @HollandCooke.

WIBC, Indianapolis’ Greg Garrison to Retire from Daily Talk Show.  Indiana talk radio legend Greg Garrison is retiring from his daily, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm talk show on Emmis’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis, effective June 9.  Garrison – who gained international fame for successfully prosecuting boxer Mike Tyson on rape charges – will remain involved at WIBC by writing a weekly column for www.wibc.com, doing regular commentary on air, and by serving as a contributing legal expert for WIBC news and programs.  WIBC-FM program director David Wood states, “Greg’s unique style, sharp wit, deep understanding of the law and conservative values have attracted a loyal, devoted audience.  He’s their friend, advocate and conscience – and he will be sorely missed.”  The station will announce Garrison’s replacement at a later time.   Garrison began his program on WIBC in June of 1997.  He expanded his reach across Network Indiana in 2000.  In addition to numerous media appearances over the years, Garrison served as CBS News’ legal analyst during the O.J. Simpson and Timothy McVeigh trials.

Cumulus Appoints Merenda Topeka Market Manager.  Radio sales and management pro Nicola Merenda joins Cumulus Media as vice president and market manager for the Topeka cluster that includes: news/talk KMAJ-AM “The Big Talker,” sports talk KTOP-AM, classic country KTOP-FM “NASH Icon,” classic hits KWIC “99.3 The Eagle,” rock KDW “V100,” and adult contemporary KMAJ-FM “Majic 107.7.”  Merenda was most recently with Pandora’s San Antonio offices.  Cumulus regional vice president Donna Baker states, “Nic brings a wealth of experience and infectious enthusiasm for our industry.  We are excited to welcome him ‘home’ as he joins the Midwest Region to lead our outstanding Topeka team.”

Stephanie Miller’s Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour Visits Madison.  The 2017 Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour – featuring talk show host Stephanie Miller and John Fugelsang – kicked off in Madison, Wisconsin over the weekend.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Fugelsang, Washington correspondent for The  Nation and associate editor for The Capital Times John Nichols, Miller, and U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI).

‘Mike & The Mad Dog’ Reunion a Possibility.  According to a report in the New York Daily News, WFAN, New York afternoon host Mike Francesa spoke very positively about considering a reunion with former partner Chris “Mad Dog” Russo at the TriBeCa Film Festival on Friday (4/21).  The ESPN 30 for 30 “Mike and the Mad Dog” premiered at the festival and, taking the stage together after the screening, the two chatted with Francesa saying he’d consider working with Russo again, something he previously said wouldn’t happen – mostly due to how much it would cost to pay both of them.  Francesa is leaving WFAN when his contract expires at the end of this year.  Russo hosts his own show on the SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio channel.  Read the Daily News story here.

Dave Ramsey Brings Live Events to Atlanta and San Antonio.  In the photo above, nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey is pictured addressing the packed audience at his Smart Conference at the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio.  Last week, Ramsey visited Atlanta as well as San Antonio.  He presented his Smart Money event there on Tuesday (4/18) and his Business Boutique 1-Day event on Wednesday (4/19).  To promote those events, Ramsey combined forces with iHeartMedia’s Talk Radio 640 WGST.  In San Antonio, the Business Boutique 1-Day event happened on Friday (4/21) with the Smart Conference taking place on Saturday (4/22).  Alpha Media news/talk KTSA helped promote the San Antonio events.  KTSA sales manager Coreena Hazelett says, “Dave has made a tremendous impact on our lives, in our businesses and our families.  The Smart Conference was another terrific event filled with world class speakers and life changing information.  We couldn’t be more proud to team up with Ramsey Solutions.”

Norman Lear to Host Show on PodcastOne.  Legendary television producer, writer, and director Norman Lear launches a weekly podcast on the PodcastOne platform beginning May 1.  Lear – known for creating such revered television programs as “All In The Family,” “Good Times,” “One Day at a Time,” “The Jeffersons,” “Maude,” and others – “brings his progressive and boundary-moving voice” to the microphone with an intimate weekly podcast.  A press release says that “while topics will cover any and everything you can think of, the show will always feature the unique perspectives of celebrities, politicians and everyday folk.  Lear is joined each week by great friend, actor, composer and sidekick, Paul Hipp.  Early celebrity guests include Amy Poehler, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jerrod Carmichael and America Ferrera. PodcastOne CEO Norm Pattiz states, “I have known and admired Norman for a very long time. Having his podcast on our PodcastOne network is gigantic, not to mention totally cool.  From one Norman to another, ‘Welcome aboard.’”

TALKERS News Notes. When this weekend’s 2017 NFL Draft begins.  FOX Sports Radio will provide multi-platform coverage of the first round, live from the Hard Rock Café in downtown Philadelphia, beginning at 8:00 pm ET on Thursday (4/27).   FOX NFL insider Jay Glazer will lead the coverage, joined by Joel Klatt and Chris Spielman.  Additionally, WPEN-FM, Philadelphia morning host and FSR weekend personality Anthony Gargano will host a two-hour pre-Draft show live from Philadelphia beginning at 6:00 pm ET…..Envision Networks announces it adds Entercom’s newly acquired stations in Charlotte – news/talk WBT-AM/FM, sports talk WFNZ-AM, and hot AC WLNK-FM – to Focus 360’s “Powered by Jelli networks.”  The three Charlotte stations join Entercom’s recently extended agreement for Focus 360 ad sales representation on Jelli’s platform…..KMG Networks is partnering with Fantasy Sports Entertainment Group to make the FNTSY Sports Radio Network available to terrestrial radio station networks and groups.  The network’s focus is on fantasy sports, breaking sports and fantasy sports news updates, scheduled sports and fantasy sports news, season-long fantasy strategy and advice, daily fantasy sports advice, general sports talk, call-in segments, celebrity guests, fan trivia, entertainment and pop culture programming…..CBS RADIO’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM Newsradio won five awards this past weekend from the Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association, including Best Spot News, Best Newscast, and Outstanding News Operation.  Individually WBBM’s Lisa Fielding won Best Series “Generation Heroin” and WBBM’s Rick Gregg won for Best Sports Report “The Ballad of James Shields.”

U.S.- North Korea Tensions, Russia Patrols U.S. Coast, French Election, Looming Government Shutdown, American Airlines Incident, Actress Erin Moran Dies, and MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. North Korea’s threats against the U.S. and China’s attempts to diffuse the situation; Russian fighters continue to patrol the U.S. coast; the first round of France’s elections and the results that pit far-right candidate Marine Le Pen against centrist Emmanuel Macron in the May 7 run-off; concerns about the looming U.S. government shutdown; American Airlines in the headlines after a flight attendant scuffles with a mother over her child’s stroller; “Happy Days” actress Erin Moran dies at age 56; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing  research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Jules Riley is named program director for iHeartMedia’s St. Louis country outlet KSD-FM “93.7 The Bull.”  She has been programming sister classic hits KLOU and continues in that role.  iHeartMedia St. Louis SVP of programming A.J. comments, “Jules has done amazing things with 103.3 KLOU over the past six months.  I am very excited to see her utilize her wealth of market knowledge and experience as well as her innovative style in leading ‘93.7 The Bull.’”…..A coup of sorts takes place among the two top syndicated urban radio morning shows as longtime Tom Joyner show cast member J. Anthony Brown joins Premiere Networks’ syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show” as a daily contributor.  Harvey says, “I’ve known J since my very first comedy gig outside of Cleveland, and it’s my joy to be reunited with the man who taught me real comedy.  Get ready folks, we’re ‘bout to turn the funny meter up 10 notches.  Having J join Shirley, Nephew Tommy, Carla, Junior and myself is going to create bend over, stop the car, spit on your computer, spray your drink, gut-busting laughter.”

 

 

Round Four of March PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s March 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s March 2017 survey period covered March 2 – 29. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – In addition to notching its third consecutive increase for a combined +1.0 (5.4 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.4, 6+) iHeartMedia’s KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” logs its highest 6+-share since July 2015 (6.4, as well) and marches from fifth to third. Following February’s +.6, KKMJ “Majic 95.5” erodes in excess of three times as much (7.4 – 8.0, 6.1, -1.9, 6+), tumbling from second to fourth; “Majic 95.5” was down by more than five full-shares in January (12.6 – 7.4, 6+). Over the course of five straight up or flat trends before January’s -5.2, the Entercom adult contemporary facility nearly tripled its 6+-share (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 12.6, 6+). Furthermore, by posting a 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016, KKMJ outdid its own mark for Austin’s highest-ever 6+ PPM-stat (previously 11.4). On top for the third successive sweep, Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” posts a gain of six-tenths (8.5 – 9.1, 6+). “Bob” returned to #1 in January after being ousted in “Holiday” 2016 by KKMJ. With the exception of October (and the “Holiday” 2016 report), KBPA held the lead each month in calendar year 2016. Improving by six-tenths as well is Univision Radio regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3,” which bounces back from February’s -.9 (3.9 – 3.0 – 3.6, 6+) and climbs from #13 to #12. In January, “Que Buena 104.3” picked up seven-tenths to halt three straight downward trends that produced a -1.3 (4.5 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+). Conversely, format rival – Emmis’ KLZT – is experiencing a yoyo effect with a -.5 in January; +1.0 in February; and now a -.5 in March (5.4 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 5.4, 6+), with “107.1 La Z” slipping from fourth to fifth. Its HD2 channel gains one-half share (1.3 – 1.8, 6+) to enter the top twenty at #20. Still in that Emmis cluster, it is a mixed bag for the KLBJ calls as news/talk KLBJ-AM registers a one-half share gain, while KLBJ-FM “93.7 The Rock of Austin” is down by that same margin (to 3.8, 6+) and exits the top ten (#7 to #11). A cumulative +1.4 in three straight increases (3.0 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.4, 6+), KLBJ-AM cracks the top ten (#11 to #9). After eight straight sweeps without an increase accounting for a loss of more than two shares (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+), “The Rock of Austin” was +.7 in February.

2) Raleigh – Trending 6.0 – 6.9 – 6.7 (6+) since the “Holiday” 2016 report, Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “94.7 – Today’s Best Country” explodes with a +1.3 to 8.0 (6+), inching up from a fourth-place tie to third. This is the most potent 6+-share for “Today’s Best Country” since its 8.0 in October 2015. One-half share ahead of WQDR – and locked in a first-place tie – are Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” (8.8 – 8.5, -.3, #1 in February) and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC (flat at 8.5, second to first, 6+). Ousted from #1 in January and moved to the runner-up slot, “Mix” bounced back in February to reclaim the top spot. Its modest March -.3 isn’t exactly typical, considering that WRAL’s recent (6+) fluctuations include +.5 November 2015; +.6 December 2015; +5.7 Holiday 2015; -7.2 January 2016; +.6 February; +.6 March; -.6 April; +.5 May; +.5 July; +.9 September; +1.0 October; -.5 in November 2016; +.9 December; +5.2 “Holiday” 2016; -5.3 January 2017; and +.9 in February. In an October 2015 – December 2016 timeframe, WRAL was in sole possession of first-place eight times and thrice shared top honors. The station “Mix” succeeded at #1 in February – WUNC – logged a massive +1.9 in January to assume the lead 6+). Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, WUNC had notched a 7.7 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps and was in 7.6 – 7.8 range for six monthlies, before floundering by nine-tenths. Having sandwiched a 3.6 (6+) between a pair of 3.4 shares (6+), Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC “Sports Radio 99.9 – The Fan” breaks out a +.7 to 4.1, its strongest 6+-showing since a 4.4 last April, but remains at #12. A one-half share gain from February’s 3.7 (6+) enables Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “Kix 102.9 – Carolina’s Greatest Hits” to match October’s 4.2 (6+); “Kix” carries on at #11. The HD2 channel of iHeartMedia’s WDCG drops one-half share (2.5 – 2.0, #16 to #17, 6+).

3) Indianapolis – After dropping one-half share in February, Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” answers with a gain of six-tenths (4.8 – 5.4, 6+) and remains in eighth-place. In three straight increases immediately prior to February’s -.5, “Now” was a combined +2.3 (3.0 – 3.4 – 5.0 – 5.3, 6+). Climbing from seventh to sixth, iHeartMedia-owned WFBQ “Q-95 Rocks” registers its third successive increase that accounts for a +1.2 (4.6 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.8, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is unchanged at #17, sibling WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” is without a decrease for the seventh consecutive sweep (.9 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+). Following three successive sweeps without a loss that accounted for a +.7 (6.4 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+), Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” regressed by nine-tenths in February and slips six-tenths further (6.2 – 5.6, 6+), moving from sixth to seventh. Seven-tenths of a share (6+) is the difference among Indy’s top three March 2017 finishers. Not only does WZPL have its third straight upward move for a combined +1.7 (6.2 – 7.5 – 7.8 – 7.9, 6+), the Entercom CHR makes it three consecutive months at #1. WZPL was -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016 and then +1.3 in January (7.3 – 6.2 – 7.5, 6+). Off by one-half share (7.7 – 7.2, 6+), Cumulus Media‘s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” slides from second to third. With a -1.4 in “Holiday” 2016, “Classic Hits 104.5” ended at four its string of consecutive up or flat trend gains that netted a combined +.7 (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). Recording a .7 in each of the last four survey periods, University of Indianapolis-owned WICR (#20 to #21) is down or flat for the seventh straight time (1.0 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .7, 6+). Unlisted for the third successive month is iHeartMedia urban contemporary WZRL “Real 98.3” (1.4, #16, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

4) Milwaukee – This is the only PPM market to have a station register a February 2017 to March 2017 (6+) gain of at least two full-shares as well as an outlet declining by at least two full-shares (February 2017 – March 2017, 6+). On the positive side, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the 24th consecutive sweep and does so in grand fashion with a +2.5 to 11.2, mirroring its 6+-share in “Holiday” 2016. “Big” month-to-month moves are practically to be expected for WRIT as some of its recent (6+) fluctuations include +1.7 (October 2015); -.7 (November 2015); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2015); -5.7 (January 2016); +1.3 (February); +1.1 (April); -.6 (May); -1.1 (August); -.6 (September) +1.2 (November); -.5 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2016); -2.4 (January 2017); and now +2.5 (March). On the flipside, WJMR “Jammin 98.3 Today’s R&B and Old School” has its string of four successive increases that netted two full-shares since November (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 6.3, 6+) end rather emphatically with a -2.3 to 4.0 (6+). The Saga Communications urban AC plummets from the top ten (#4 to #12). February’s 6.3 marked the first time in WJMR’s printed PPM-history that it crossed the six-share level (6+). After floundering by -1.4 in February, Scripps Broadcasting news/talk WTMJ recoups just over one-half of that loss (6.4 – 5.0 – 5.8, +.8, 6+), zooming from ninth to fifth. Prior to February, WTMJ had been within 6.0 – 6.9 range (6+) the previous 15 ratings periods. Off a combined four shares since the “Holiday” 2016 report (8.3 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance-owned (AC-to-hot AC-back to adult contemporary) WLDB “B-93.3 – The ‘80s to Today” hangs out a +.7 to 5.0 (6+) and cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). This is the third successive sweep that Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” (steady at #6) is frozen on 5.7 (6+), while CHR sibling WXSS “Kiss 103.7” (unchanged at #10) records its third consecutive (albeit modest) increase (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+). Three consecutive increases by WUWM produced a +.9 (2.5 – 2.6 – 3.3 – 3.4), but the string ends as the University of Wisconsin news/talk outlet stumbles by one-tenth to 3.3 (flat at #14, 6+). Talk about consistency: The line for public triple A WYMS (#17 to #18) between March 2016 and March 2017 (14 total sweeps) is confined to a high of 1.5 and a low of 1.2 (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2, 6+).

5) Nashville –The market’s (6+) CHR share balloons by +1.3, with iHeartMedia’s WRVW “107.5 The River” rebounding from February’s -.6 with a +.7 (6.5 – 5.9 – 6.6, sixth to fourth, 6+) and Midwest Communications’ WNFN “Nashville’s New Hit Music” picking up six-tenths (2.8 – 3.4, steady at #15, 6+). The 5.9 that “The River” registered in February was the first time it had been below a six-share (6+) since June 2011 (5.9, as well). Prior to gaining one-tenth in February, “Nashville’s New Hit Music” was down the previous three sweeps for a cumulative -1.0 (3.7 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.7, 6+). In the country tussle, Cumulus Media’s WKDF “Nash FM 103.3” enjoys a gain of six-tenths (3.3 – 3.9, #13 to #11, 6+), but co-owned WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” sputters by one-half share (5.5 – 4.8, seventh to tenth, 6+); meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98” is steady at #7 (5.5 – 5.4, -.1, 6+). This is the 11th successive sweep that “Nash FM” has been within 3.3 – 3.9 (6+). “The Big 98” returned half of January’s full-share gain in February, halting at four its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a +1.6 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+). One share separates March 2017’s top five. Steady at 7.4 (6+) – after a combined December- “Holiday” 2016 – January – February +1.8 (6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat” repeats at #1. By losing one-share to 4.9 (6+) in December, “The Beat” halted an August to November pattern of 6.1 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.9 (6+) and sent WUBT below a five-share (6+) for the first time since July 2013 (4.8). Off in three straight previous ratings periods for a combined -.5 (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7, 6+), Ryman Hospitality Properties’ classic country WSM-AM posted a +.6 in February, but “The Most Famed Country Music Station in the World” forfeits one-half share in March (2.3 – 1.8, #16 to #17, 6+). Locked on 1.6 (6+) in January and February, WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYM “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” drops one-half share to 1.1 (#19 to #21, 6+). As the result of five straight decreases, Cumulus Media’s WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (#11 to #12) is a combined -3.8 (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+). When WGFX lost two-tenths in November, it ended a string of three consecutive improvements which resulted in a +4.1 since July (3.7 – 4.0 – 5.4 – 7.8, 6+).     Although flat at #18, Cromwell Group’s WQZQ “Classic Hits 93.3” drops by one-tenth to 1.6 (6+), thus drawing to a close at seven its string of up or flat trends that more than tripled its 6+-share since September (.5 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .9 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+).

6) Providence – A genuine statistical oddity occurs here: With the exception of an eighth-place tie, the March 2017 rankers are a carbon copy of February 2017 and no Providence outlet in March 2017 is up or down by more than four-tenths. Boasting the best month-to-month gain (+.4, #11) is The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH, which is without a decrease for the third straight time for a collective +1.0 (.5 – .5 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+). Albeit the net loss was just three-tenths, WELH had nevertheless been without an increase between August and the “Holiday” 2016 report (.8 – .8 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .5 – .5, 6+). Gaining three-tenths and up or flat for the third straight time is Cumulus Media’s news/talk WPRO-AM (3.4 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0, #7, 6+). Public news/talk WGBH-FM is also +.3 (1.6 – 1.9, #10, 6+). Trending 6.2 – 6.0 – 6.2 (+.2, 6+) and finishing fifth is iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3.” Up by one-tenth each are Cumulus Media CHR WPRO “Today’s Hit Music” (8.6, #2, 6+) and Bryant University classical WJMF (.5, #13, 6+). Having eroded by -7.3 in January to 10.7 (6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” is a combined -.4 in February and March (10.7 – 10.6 – 10.3, 6+) but is #1 for the 18th successive ratings period. “Lite Rock” was a collective +8.5 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (9.5 – 10.6 – 18.0, 6+), following a cumulative -.4 in October and November (9.9 – 9.8 – 9.5, 6+). Flat from February are iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” (8.2, #3, 6+); Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” (7.8, #4, 6+); and Cumulus Media rhythmic CHR and news/talk siblings WWKX “Hot 106” (2.7, #8, 6+) and WPRV (.4, #14, 6+).

7) Norfolk – In the span of just two sweeps (January and February), WWDE “101.3 2WD” lost more than 60% of its “Holiday” 2016 share (13.4 – 7.0 – 5.2, -8.2, 6+), but the Entercom adult contemporary regains eight-tenths to 5.8, moving from fifth to fourth. WWDE gained a collective one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (4.8 – 5.2 – 5.3, August – September – October, 6+) before dropping eight-tenths in November to 4.5, its lowest 6+-stat since June 2015’s 4.4. Following a massive +1.2 in February, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI tacks on another half-share (7.6 – 8.1, 6+) and repeats in the runner-up slot. Prior to finishing fourth in January and “Holiday” 2016, “Jamz 103” was at #2 for 12 straight sweeps. Rebounding from February’s -.5 with a gain of four-tenths to 11.6 (6+), Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” is at #1 for the third straight time. In “Holiday” 2016, adult contemporary sibling “2WD” bumped WVKL to second after “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” had been on top the previous 55 ratings periods. The two swapped places in January 2017 as WVKL registered a +.7. This is the 11th time in the last 12 sweeps that “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” is in 11.0 – 12.7-share range – it has been in double-digits (6+) in each survey since notching a 9.8 in January 2014. Owing to a -.7 to 5.5 (6+), Saga Communications classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” (fourth to fifth) ends at three its consecutive string of uptrends that produced a +2.1(4.1 – 4.3 – 5.5 – 6.2, 6+). The 6.2 it notched in February was its best 6+-share (in print) since a 6.6 in July 2010. Cluster-mate WNOR “99 Rocks” is in a similar situation, given that a -.6 to 6.7 (6+) stymies four straight positive sweeps that yielded two full-shares (5.3 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.3, 6+), but “99 Rocks” continues in third-place.

8) Greensboro – Via three straight gains (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up!” (unchanged at #10) is a combined +.7. After being up or flat the last four ratings periods netting a +1.2 (9.7 – 9.7 – 10.1 – 10.5 – 10.9, 6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG surrenders half that gain (10.3, -.6, 6+). On the plus side though, “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” achieves double-digits (6+) for the fourth straight sweep and has been #1 since January. Country-formatted sibling WPAW “93.1 The Wolf,” a cumulative +1.5 in January and February (4.8 – 5.6 – 6.3, 6+), erodes by seven-tenths in March to 5.6, sliding from fifth to sixth. In February, it reached the six-share level (6+) for the first time since November 2015’s 6.0. Leapfrogging “The Wolf” is its rival, iHeartMedia’s WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” (sixth to fifth, 6+), which is up or flat for the third straight time (4.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+). In “Holiday” 2016, “Q-104.1” and “The Wolf” were each down by four-tenths. November’s +.3 by “Q-104.1” ended three successive down-trending monthlies that produced a collective loss of more than two shares (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.5 – 5.1, 6+). Prior to reaching 5.0 in October, “The Wolf” had been in 4.2 – 4.8 range (6+) the previous eight sweeps. Back in September, “Q-104.1” held a 1.9-share lead over “The Wolf.” The rollercoaster ride continues for Entercom adult hits WSMW “Simon,” whose last four moves have been by -1.1 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.0 (January); -.6 in February; and another -.6 in March (9.4 – 8.3 – 10.3 – 9.7 – 9.1, 6+) with “Simon” flat at #3. January’s 10.3 was its strongest 6+-performance since August 2016’s 10.5. Although steady at #9, Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” posts its fourth straight gain (2.2 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+); “La Ley 101.1” is +1.7 since November. After five successive times of logging a .4 (6+), co-owned news/talk WSJS drops to .3 but stays at #13.

9) West Palm Beach – The top four finishers are Alpha Media properties, followed by three in a row owned by iHeartMedia. By registering a +.7 (to 1.3, 6+), the drought is finally over for WRLX “Mia 92.1,” which hadn’t had an increase since last May. In that stretch of ten down or flat reports, the iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary outlet was a combined -1.5 (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.0 – 0.6, 6+); “Mia 92.1” moves from #16 to #14. In only two back-to-back declines, Alpha Media adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9” (9.1 – 6.2 – 6.1, -1.5, 6+) lost half as much as “Mia” did in the aforementioned dry spell, but “Sunny” bounces back with a one-half share increase (6.6, 6+) to advance from third to second. Roughly three shares (6+) ahead of “Sunny” is co-owned hot AC WRMF, which despite a loss of seven-tenths (to 9.5, 6+), is #1 for the third consecutive month. After improving by six-tenths in January, WRMF more than tripled that gain in February with a +1.9 to 10.2, its best 6+-performance since December 2015 (10.2 as well). Prior to “Holiday” 2016, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. With a collective +1.9 in August and September, WRMF followed October’s -.8 with a November loss of six-tenths. It fell to second in July, after 23 successive sweeps at #1. Off by seven-tenths as well is WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” (unchanged at #8), which in the last four survey periods, is +.5 (“Holiday” 2016); -1.1 (January); +.5 in February; and now in March -.7 (4.3 – 4.8 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 3.5, 6+). Without a decrease for the seventh straight time for a combined +1.9 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.7 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), Alpha Media-owned WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” has its highest 6+-share since last May’s 6.6, but backslides from second to third. Steady at #6, iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” is down or flat for the third straight time for a cumulative -2.1 (6.6 – 5.9 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). Prior to January, “Kool” had been up the previous three sweeps for a +1.8 (4.8 – 5.7 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+).

10) Jacksonville – Powered by an impressive +1.7, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” posts an 8.7, its strongest 6+-showing since last September’s 9.3 and cruises from fourth to second. A combined +1.1 in three straight sweeps (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WWJK “107.3 Jacksonville – We Play Anything” cracks the top ten (#11 to #10). Co-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” regains one-tenth of the one-half share it lost in February (12.8 – 12.3 – 12.4, 6+) and is #1 for the third time in a row. WQIK was +2.1 in January to 12.8, the best-ever 6+-performance in its PPM-history. Owing to December’s +4.5 (6.8 – 11.3, 6+), “Jacksonville’s Country” jumped from fifth to first, but with a -.6 in “Holiday” 2016, it fell to second. Prior to a modest one-tenth gain in November, WQIK was down two full-shares as a result of being without an increase since February 2016 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.7, 6+). Wild ups and downs continue for Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ “Lite 96.1 – Today’s Variety,” whose last four (6+) moves are +5.8 (“Holiday” 2016); -6.6 (January); +.7 (February); and now -1.2 in March (8.9 – 14.7 – 8.1 – 8.8 – 7.6, 6+) for a net loss of -1.3. With a 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016, “Lite” returned to double-digits (6+) for the first time since last July’s 10.2. Even though Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WEZI “Easy 106.5,” is without a decrease for the third straight time (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+) and segues from #14 to #13, it does not appear to be a benefactor of WEJZ’s -1.2. Unchanged at #6, WEZI’s CHR sibling WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” registers its sixth successive decline (9.1 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.4 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+) that has resulted in a collective loss of nearly four full-shares. Frozen on .6 (6+) in November and December, iHeartMedia’s WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” (flat at #17) has followed with a 6+-line of .3 – .4 – .3 – .4.  For the third consecutive month, contemporary Christian WMUV “100.7 The Promise” (.7 in “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is unlisted.

11) Memphis – Within 2.2 – 2.8 range (6+) the past 13 ratings periods, Cumulus Media’s WKIM “98.9 The Vibe – Classic Hip-Hop” gains one-half share to 3.3 (6+), inching up from #12 to #11. In its third straight up or flat sweep producing a collective +.9 (6.0 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 6.9, 6+), Entercom hot AC WMC-FM elevates from fifth to fourth. Adding three-tenths (9.0 – 9.3, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” repeats at #1. On top for ten consecutive monthlies before sliding to #2 in “Holiday” 2016, “V-101” was +.2 in February to halt nine consecutive down or flat trends that yielded a -3.7 since last May (12.5 – 11.6 – 10.7 – 10.5 – 10.2 – 9.9 – 9.9 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 8.8, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country,” which was +.8 in November; -.7 in December; -.5 in “Holiday” 2016; a monstrous +1.9 in January; +.8 in February, and now -1.0 in March (4.3 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 5.6, 6+). A net +1.3 in that timeframe, “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” slides from fifth to sixth. October’s +.3 curtailed three successive negative trends that produced a -.7 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). As a result of dropping nine-tenths (3.6 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC has its softest 6+-share since last June (2.7, as well) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). Dating back to December, the 6+-trends for Mid-South Public Communications’ WKNO “NPR For the Mid-South” are 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 (steady at #15, 6+). Right behind it and unchanged at #16 is iHeartMedia CHR KWNW “101.9 Kiss FM – All the Hits,” down for the fourth straight time (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+) for a -.8.

12) Hartford – Although unchanged in the runner-up slot, CBS Radio hot AC WTIC-FM “Hartford’s Best Variety” lengthens its consecutive string of positive or flat trends to six for a cumulative +1.7 (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 8.3 – 8.6, 6+), with its best 6+-performance since October 2014’s 8.9. Not only does adult contemporary cluster-mate WRCH “Lite 100.5” add six-tenths to February’s +.3 (10.2 – 10.5 – 11.1, +.3, 6+), “Lite” is #1 for the seventh consecutive ratings period. Up between September and “Holiday” 2016 (9.3 – 9.6 – 10.1 – 10.8 – 18.4, 6+), producing a cumulative +9.1 (nearly doubling September’s 9.3), “Lite” forfeited 8.2 shares in January. Entering the September sweep, WRCH was on top for 15 straight ratings periods and 23 of the previous 24; however, it decreased by -1.1 and dropped to second-place. Gaining six-tenths as well (4.9 – 5.5, 6+) is Connoisseur Media’s WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock,” which was without an increase the past seven sweeps accounting for a -2.6 (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+). The improvement of six-tenths pushes “The Whale” from ninth to eighth. Co-owned news/talk WDRC-AM though (unchanged at #13) is down or flat for the fourth straight time (1.3 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .6, 6+). Ever since October, it has been an up/down pattern for iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5,” including a +.5 in March. Overall in that period though, “Country 92.5” is -2.1 (9.2 – 7.8 – 8.2 – 6.8 – 7.5 – 7.1 – 7.6, 6+). While it remains at #12, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” drops two-tenths to 1.3 (6+), thus stymying at three its string of progressive trends that netted at +.4 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+).

Friday, April 14, 2017

| April 14, 2017

Cumulus Media Promotes Three to Executive Vice President. Three current Cumulus Media executives are promoted to newly created EVP positions: Mike McVay rises from senior vice president, content & programming to executive vice president, content & programming; Dave Milner, moves up from senior vice president, operations to executive vice president, operations; and Bob Walker is elevated from senior vice president, operations to executive vice president, operations.  Cumulus Media president and chief executive officer Mary Berner states, “These promotions recognize the strong performance of these key members of our senior leadership team.  Mike, Dave and Bob are terrific executives and have each been instrumental to the success we’ve achieved during the first year of executing our turnaround plan for the company.”

Ryan Wrecker Joins KMOX, St. Louis as ‘Overnight America’ Host. Talk radio pro Ryan Wrecker moves from his most recent gig as PD at Pathfinder Communications’ WOWO, Fort Wayne to CBS RADIO’s heritage St. Louis news/talker KMOX to host the station’s late-night program, “Overnight America,” beginning Monday (4/17).   The program airs from 10:00 pm to 3:00 am.  KMOX program director Steve Moore comments, “Ryan is a passionate advocate of local radio who comes to us from a legacy station and brings a great appreciation for KMOX and its role in the community.  In addition, Ryan understands how creating unique digital and social media content can quickly expand his reach in the market and grow his listener base.”  Speaking about his new gig, Wrecker states, “We’re going to have fun on ‘Overnight America.’  It’s a show that’s inclusive to new voices and topics.  Every night we will present fresh and unique ideas to the audience and explore them in a way that’s different from any other radio show.”  The “Overnight America” show had been hosted by Jon Grayson, who exited KMOX in February to host the midday show at crosstown news/talk KTRS.

Kaplan Promoted to Marketing Director for Cumulus Media Dallas. For the past two years, Rebecca Kaplan has been promotions director for Cumulus Media’s Dallas country signals KSCS and KPLX “99.5 The Wolf.”  Now, she is promoted to marketing director for the seven-station cluster that includes news/talk WBAP, news/talk KLIF-AM, sports talker KTCK-AM and KESN-FM, and CHR KLIF-FM “HOT 93.3.”  Cumulus regional vice president Dan Bennett states, “Rebecca has proven herself with outstanding event execution for our country stations KPLX and KSCS. Our seven-station cluster will benefit greatly from her involvement in the future with all our stations.”

TALKERS News Notes. The NBA Playoffs begin this weekend and ESPN Radio is presenting its coverage starting with the Cavaliers versus the Pacers Saturday at 2:00 pm ET.  Marc Kestecher and Jon Barry will call the action.  Sunday’s contest will be the Warriors vs Trailblazers with Adam Amin and P.J. Carlesimo on the call…..When the NHL’s new franchise the Vegas Golden Knights takes to the ice next fall, Lotus Communications’ KRLV, Las Vegas “FOX Sports 1340” will serve as the flagship station for radio.  Lotus plans to begin simulcasting the station on FM translator K255CT, Henderson, Nevada.  As part of the deal, some of the games will also be broadcast in Spanish on Lotus’ KENO-AM “1460 ESPN Deportes.”…..In podcasting news, Apple is changing the name of its podcast platform from “iTunes Podcasts” to “Apple Podcasts.”…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of longtime Cleveland sports media personality Kendall Lewis, a.k.a. The BSK — the Big Sports Kahuna, who died on April 11 at the age of 56.  Lewis’ most recent work was on digital platforms, but for years he was a host on sports talk WKNR, Cleveland “ESPN 850.”  He also was a fixture at FOX Sports Net Ohio and served with WOIO-TV, Cleveland.

U.S.-Russia Relations/Syria Gas Attack Top News/Talk Stories This Week.  The tense relations between the U.S. and Russia over the Syria sarin attack and the U.S.’s airstrikes in Syria were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio for the week of April 10-14.  At #2 this week was the North Korea nuclear missile threats.  Coming in at #3 was the United Airlines passenger removal case and the resulting PR blowback, followed by the FBI’s monitoring of Trump adviser Carter Page at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.

Michael Harrison Interviews Judy Collins on this Week’s Podcast. Folk singing/pop music legend Judy Collins is this week’s special guest on the award-winning PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” In the words of Harrison, “Although she sings like an angel and performed on a number of hits and concert stages across the nation, creating a total of more than 50 albums along the way – not to mention authoring books, painting, and even directing a film – she lived a deeply troubled existence. We’re talking about severe depression and emotional disturbance that nearly drove her to suicide. We’re talking about substance abuse and eating disorders…and on top of everything, coping with the suicide of her son in 1992.” The TALKERS founder continues, “This amazing woman has survived to not only overcome these challenges but to be of great service and help to others, as well. She is a tireless advocate of those who suffer from similar emotional afflictions and has made significant contributions in bringing public awareness of mental illness out of the shadows and into the open.” On April 27, in recognition of her service to others, Collins will receive the 2017 Beatrice Stern Media Award at a major gathering in Los Angeles – The Erasing the Stigma Leadership Awards. It is an annual event thrown by Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, a leading non-profit provider of free community mental health and substance abuse services for children and adults for over 75 years. Harrison and Collins engage in a remarkably candid and informative discussion about the state of mental illness in our healthcare system and culture. They also talk about the early days of her career, her relationship with rock legend Stephen Stills and her storied connection to his Crosby, Stills and Nash masterpiece, “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Audio content syndicator Westwood One is partnering with dick clark productions to help promote the 2017 Billboard Music Awards and offer its broadcast partners branded, long-form and short-form content and promotions.  Westwood One will welcome more than 20 radio stations to its Westwood One Backstage at the BBMAs event with live performances and celebrity interviews during rehearsals the day before the 2017 Billboard Music Awards (Saturday, May 20) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.  Talent taking part in the Saturday event include WPLJ, New York personality Jayde Donovan; WPLJ and WPRO-FM, Providence host Ralphie Aversa; and syndicated personalities Adam Bomb and Zach Sang…..The three urban-formatted Philadelphia stations owned by iHeartMedia – urban contemporary WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B & Throwbacks,” hip hop WUSL “Power 99,” and smooth jazz WDAS-AM “Smooth Jazz ‘JJZ 1480” – are organizing the inaugural “Sista Strut 3K Breast Cancer Walk” taking place on Saturday, June 17 at Xfinity Live! in Philadelphia.  Proceeds will benefit The American Association for Cancer Research.  The stations note that the walk aims to raise breast cancer awareness among African American women, who are 41% more likely to die from the disease than white women, making screenings and early detection crucial.  WDAS-FM personality Frankie Darcell comments, “As one of the founders of Detroit’s ‘Sista Strut,’ I’m ecstatic that nearly 20 years later the event will be held in our Philadelphia community.”…..Country KNIX, Phoenix and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire are cooperating on a “Rise From The Fire” Concert Flyaway Sweepstakes.  Consumers ages 21+ can enter for a chance to win a trip for two to New York for a benefit concert featuring a top music act.  The event concludes an 11-city iHeartRadio concert series to benefit firefighters and communities affected by fire. The Phoenix stop in the concert series will feature national recording artist, Brett Young, and will take place on April 19 at the Hall of Flame Fire Museum.  The sweepstakes and concert series are part of an effort by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire to raise funds in support of the Fire Family Foundation, an organization that offers immediate assistance to firefighters and their families, fire victims, fire departments and charities. The Foundation believes that by coming together as a “Fire Family,” assistance can be provided by those impacted by fire.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

| April 5, 2017

Dave Ramsey Plays Philly’s Tower Theater.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money tour stopped in Philly on Tuesday (4/4) where Ramsey presented before a sold-out crowd at the historic Tower Theater.  Joining Ramsey was Chris Brown, financial expert and host of the nationally syndicated radio show, “Chris Brown’s True Stewardship.”  Ramsey and affiliate CBS RADIO Talk Radio 1210 WPHT worked together to promote the event.   WPHT program director Jared Hart states, “We’re so excited to be a part of Dave’s first live event in Philadelphia.  His bond with listeners is unparalleled and watching his personal interactions with them is truly amazing to see.  We’re so happy to have Dave on WPHT and are looking forward to more events like this in the future.”  Pictured above (from l-r) are: WPHT morning news anchor Paige Powers, SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff, Dave Ramsey, afternoon news anchor Dawn Stensland, midday talk host Dom Giordano, and Jared Hart.

USA Radio Network Syndicates Wayne Allyn Root Show.  Las Vegas-based conservative media figure Wayne Allyn Root joins the USA Radio Network for national syndication of his daily radio show that airs live from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET.  Root – who is an author and columnist, TV host and producer, and the 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee – was an early supporter of President Donald Trump and served as opening speaker at six of candidate Trump’s Las Vegas rallies.  USA Radio CEO Floyd Brown says, “I am extremely excited to announce the addition of Wayne Allyn Root to the daily lineup of shows available on a market exclusive basis from USA Radio.  Wayne has shown by his incredible ratings and sponsorship success in Las Vegas that he will be a national star in syndicated radio.”

FOX Sports Radio: Cowherd Podcast Tops 5 Million Listens Mark. According to data as measured by ART19, the total podcast listens for the month of March for “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” hit 5.7 million.  FOX Sports Radio says it marks the first time that total podcast listens for the program have surpassed the 5 million mark.  FOX goes on to say that Cowherd’s TheHerdNow.com – the digital home for content created and curated by Colin Cowherd – attracted more than half a million page views – a new record for the site.

TALKERS News Notes.  Chicago sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” announces that Chicago Cubs players Kris Bryant and Jake Arrieta will be part of a new segment on the “Bernstein and Goff Show” with Dan Bernstein and Jason Goff.  WSCR program director Mitch Rosen comments, “It’s an extreme honor to welcome a league MVP and a recent Cy Young award winner to the Score team and it’s beyond a grand slam for the Score brand.  The content Kris and Jake will add to the Bernstein and Goff show will bring the audience into the clubhouse, on the field, and other places the average fan can’t experience.”…..Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” will broadcast the 2017 All Star Day Live radiothon on May 24 from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm from the pavilion at Pagano’s Market & Bar in Center City Philadelphia.  The station’s goal is to raise funds and awareness for the Philly-based American Association for Cancer Research.  WPEN-FM personalities Anthony Gargano, Rob Ellis, Harry Mayes and Mike Missanelli will rotate in overlapping, two-hour shifts throughout the day, joined by many of The Fanatic’s popular guest players and analyst commentators.

Trump Campaign Surveillance Issue, Syrian Chemical Attack, North Korea Nuclear Missile Threat, Gorsuch Nomination, FOX News-Bill O’Reilly Scandal, DOJ to Review Police Consent Decrees, and Tony Romo Leaves Cowboys for CBS Gig Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/4). Questions about what role Obama Administration National Security Adviser Susan Rice may have played in the surveillance of Trump campaign personnel; the search for the source of the deadly chemical attack in Syria; North Korea launches another ICBM and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s response; the status of Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch; reports that several advertisers have pulled spots from FOX News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly show in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment of company staffers by the cable channel personality; Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructs the Justice Department to review Obama-era consent decrees with police departments; and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo’s intent to retire from the NFL to start a broadcasting career with CBS Sports were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Oldies are back on the air in Youngstown, Ohio as Cumulus Media flips alternative rock WWIZ “Rock 104” to oldies as “Z104 The Valley’s Good Time Oldies.”  iHeartMedia flipped crosstown WBBG from oldies to country last April and Cumulus VP/market manager Bill Kelly states, “For almost a year, listeners and advertisers have told us how much they miss oldies on the radio.  We are very pleased to fill that void with ‘Z104,’ Youngstown’s destination oldies station.”…..In Houston, CBS RADIO unveils the new morning show set to launch on hot AC KHMX “Mix 96-5” on Monday (4/10).  Director of programming Chase Murphy says “The Morning Mix with Sarah Pepper, Geoff Sheen and Lauren Kelly” represents a “dynamic team that will give our listeners a fresh and unique way to start their day.”  Pepper comes from CBS RADIO Houston’s sister station KKHH-FM, the former “Hot 95.7.”  Sheen joins the team from San Antonio’s KTKR and Kelly moves to mornings after hosting the afternoon show…..Mid-West Family Broadcasting rock WQLZ, Springfield, Illinois adds Mo Lightning to the “3rd String Morning Show” with program director Wes Styles.  Mo takes over for the departing Kaytie.  Mo Lightning was most recently the host/moderator for the Wizard World Comic Con tour at which he moderated for the likes of William Shatner, Stan Lee (creator of Marvel Comics), the cast of “The Walking Dead,” various WWE Superstars, and countless more.  Styles comments, “We’re proud to have such an entertaining personality join our ranks.  Mo brings a lot to the table and now our plan for complete domination continues.  We’re coming for a three-peat at next year’s awards!”…..Premiere Networks nationally syndicated radio personality and award-winning musician Keith Sweat returns for an additional run of his limited engagement,“Keith Sweat: Last Forever” show in the Donny & Marie Showroom at Flamingo Las Vegas from July 5 through July 22.  This all comes in connection with the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Sweat’s triple-platinum album, Make It Last Forever (Elektra)…..Townsquare Media’s annual Mountain Jam festival in Hunter Mountain, New York announces the lineup for this year’s June 16-18 event.  Among the 39 acts playing over three days are: The String Cheese Incident, The Head & The Heart, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Gary Clark Jr., St. Paul & the Broken Bones, The Strumbellas, Steve Miller Band, Peter Frampton, Michael Franti & Spearhead, and more.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

| April 4, 2017

KOGO, San Diego Adds Higgins to Evening Lineup.  San Diego news/talker KOGO adjusts its evening lineup by announcing that the station’s Marilyn Hyder and Jack Cronin are now co-hosting “San Diego’s Evening News” weeknights from 6:00 to 7:00 and that it is welcoming local personality Ben Higgins back as host of “KOGO at Night,” from 7:00 to 9:00.  Higgins has served with the iHeartMedia station as a talk host, and anchor on the “San Diego’s Morning News” program.  He is also sports director at Scripps TV’s KGTV-TV “ABC 10News,” a position he’ll continue to hold.  Higgins comments, “I’m thrilled to return to my KOGO roots and work alongside San Diego’s top talk radio professionals.  It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to carry on a nightly conversation about the things that make us laugh, shake our heads or make us want to scream.” Program director Brian Long adds, “I’m excited about Marilyn and Jack co-hosting ‘San Diego’s Evening News’ and Ben’s return to the station.  Ben is a smart and versatile talent who brings a lot of experience and a strong sense of community and with these two shows, KOGO will deliver a top-notch evening line-up for San Diego listeners.”

Nielsen: 18+ Consumption of News Spikes in 2016. Election years are traditionally good to producers of news content, and 2016 measured up very well, according to data from Nielsen‘s Total Audience Report.  This latest piece of data does not compare the election cycle of 2012 to 2016, but instead compares 2015 to 2016.  Still, the increase in minutes of news (by persons 18+) consumed jumped 18% year-over-year.  Nielsen reports that last year, adults 18+ spent more than 72.5 billion minutes consuming news in the average week, with most of the increase coming from national cable news networks.  For this report, Nielsen is using its panel methodology for national TV, local TV in LPM markets, radio in PPM markets, and digital.  Measured in billions of minutes, consumption of radio news in PPM markets increased by 0.9, while consumption of news via smartphones was up just 0.5.  As mentioned earlier, national cable news TV consumption spiked by 8.3 billion minutes from 2015 to 2016.  See the Nielsen report here.

CBS Sports Radio Adds Reiter for Nights.  Starting April 17, Bill Reiter begins hosting his “Reiter Than You” sports talk show on CBS Sports Radio from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET.  CBS Sports Radio says the show will “feature Reiter’s refreshing style of spirited and insightful commentary and analysis coupled with special guests, including players, coaches and sports experts.”   Director of programming Eric Spitz states, “The talented Bill Reiter will bring a fresh new voice and an energizing perspective to CBS Sports Radio’s already stellar lineup featuring the best sports talk shows and personalities around.  His candid commentary and keen analysis will be a welcome addition to the network.”  The addition of Reiter’s show comes after moves to new dayparts for “Tiki and Tierney” and “The DA Show.”

Freeman Named LSM at Cox Media Group Jacksonville.  Taking on the role of local sales manager at Cox Media Group’s Jacksonville radio cluster is Jacque’ Freeman.  She comes to CMG Jacksonville from her most recent position as sales manager for Beasley Broadcast Group in Charlotte.  In this role, she’ll be responsible for all local sales for the cluster of stations, digital products and events.  She also will focus on new business and growing account managers.  In Jacksonville, CMG operates news/talk WOKV “News 104.5,” adult contemporary WEZI “Easy 106.5,” CHR WAPE, classic hits WJGL “Eagle 96.9,” hip hop “Power 106.1” (W291CI), alternative WXXJ “X1029,” and urban contemporary “HOT 99.5” (W258CN).  CMG Jacksonville director of sales Bob DeBlois comments, “We are so excited to have Jacque join our team.  Her experience, creativity and ‘can do’ attitude is a huge win for our team and for North Florida businesses.”

Bob Kevoian ‘Unretires’ for Open Day Remote Bob & Tom Broadcast.  Pictured above on stage at the JACK Casino in downtown Cincinnati are (from l-r): Tom Griswold, legendary Cincinnati Reds radio voice Marty Brennaman, and Bob Kevoian during yesterday’s special remote broadcast of the Bob & Tom show from Reds Opening Day hosted by longtime affiliate WOFX.  Kevoian retired from the nationally syndicated Bob & Tom show at the end of 2015.  He joined Monday’s broadcast as a special “guest host.”

Susan Rice-Trump Surveillance Connection, Gorsuch Filibuster, Russian Terror Attack, FOX News-O’Reilly Scandal, Revived GOP Health Care Bill, and Monday Night’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/3). Questions about Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s role in unmasking Donald Trump campaign associates in surveillance of Russian operatives; whether or not Senate Democrats will filibuster the vote on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch; the deadly train bombing in Moscow; a former FOX News contributor asks for an investigation into the news operation’s sexual harassment history after reports of payoffs to Bill O’Reilly accusers surfaces; Vice President Mike Pence’s shopping around a revised health care bill to influential Republicans; and the build-up to Monday night’s NCAA Championship between North Carolina and Gonzaga were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Michael Harrison Candidly Comments on Radio’s Economic Issues on Providence Media StationTALKERS founder Michael Harrison joined “GoLocal LIVE” (4/3), a daily video feature of Providence, RI’s hyper-local media station, GoLocalProv.com, and discussed, via Skype, the near bankruptcy of two of the largest radio groups in America, the state of talk radio in Providence, and the future of media.  Harrison (pictured on screen alongside host and GoLocalProv.com founder Josh Fenton) says that the merger of CBS RADIO and Entercom may change the sports radio scene in Boston as the combined company owns the two leading franchises — WEEI and WBZ-FM “98.5 the Sports Hub.”  He also discusses the future of WPRO-AM post Buddy Cianci and the departure of John DePetro. Cianci died in February of 2016 and DePetro left the station late in the year.  To watch a segment of the discussion, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. In Washington, DC, regional vice president of operations David Ruleman announces he’s retiring from Salem Media Group at the end of June.  Ruleman moved from the company’s San Diego offices in 1992 when Salem acquired WAVA-FM and turned it into a Christian teaching talk-formatted station.  WAVA-FM station manager Tom Moyer is assuming the station’s general manager role from Ruleman…..iHeartMedia names Rahul Sabnis to the newly created position executive creative director for iHeartRadio.  In this role, the company says he’ll “guide the development of breakthrough content that delivers value for advertisers and brands, and will help iHeartMedia and its clients prove what’s possible across all of the iHeartMedia platforms: Broadcast radio, digital, mobile, video, social and events.”  Sabnis comes to iHeartMedia from MullenLowe Profero, where he was the executive creative director and head of creative.  He’ll report to iHeartRadio president Darren Davis.

Opening Day at Citi Field.  The New York Mets opened the 2017 MLB season at Citi Field and flagship WOR, New York talk talent were on hand for the broadcast.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Mets play-by-play voice Howie Rose, WOR morning drive co-hosts Todd Schnitt and Len Berman, Mets color man Josh Lewin, and Mets pre- and post-game host Wayne Randazzo.

Account Executive Gig Open at Entercom Charlotte.  The Charlotte station group of Entercom is seeking an account executive for the soon-to-be trio of news/talk WBT-AM/FM, sports talk WFNC, and hot AC WLNK.  For information about the position and to apply, click here.

 

 

Casey Carter to Program Country WTQR, Greensboro.  Country radio pro Casey Carter joins iHeartMedia Greensboro to serve as program director for WTQR “Q104.1.”  In this new role, Carter will work closely with on-air personalities and sales to oversee on-air, digital and music programming, as well as booking artist appearances and interviews for the radio station brand and their local events.  Carter was most recently midday personality and APD with the company’s WKKT, Charlotte “96.9 The Kat.”  iHeartMedia Virginia-Carolina region SVP of programming Rich McMillan states, “We are very fortunate to announce Casey Carter as the new program director at ‘Q104.1.’  She is an impressive radio talent and successful programmer who brings tons of enthusiasm and excitement to our building.  I’m anxious to hand her the keys to the station and to introduce her to Lexington BBQ!”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On-air pro Joe Krauss is named the new morning personality at Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s adult contemporary WLDB, Milwaukee “B93.3.”  Krauss was most recently on CBS RADIO’s WQAL, Cleveland  “Q104” in middays as Average Joe…..Air personality Tara McClure returns to the station where she got her start as an intern when she becomes part of the morning show on Scripps’ CHR KHTT, Tulsa “106.9 K-HITS.”  She’ll work alongside morning host Jacob “Chubbs” Day…..Taylor Morgan returns to the airwaves on Beasley Media Group’s rhythmic oldies WUKS, Fayetteville, North Carolina “Old School 107.7 Jamz.”  Morgan has been serving as off-air program director for the station for the past four years.  She says, “I am honored to be back in the booth!  I have enjoyed working both on-air and as program director at Beasley.  But, to do both is the best!”…..CBS RADIO Las Vegas announces its “SPF” (“SUN.POOL.FUN.”) national concert returns to the city Saturday, May 20 at Boulevard Pool inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas featuring performances by DNCE, Hailee Steinfeld, Jason Derulo, Niall Horan and Post Malone…..Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WCSX, Detroit says it is continuing its 30-year anniversary celebration by giving local fans a concert performance by Detroit’s own The Romantics at the 2nd Annual WCSX Summer BBQ event on Saturday, June 10.  VIP tickets are available for $30 but general admission is free…..iHeartMedia rock KEGL, Dallas “97.1 The Eagle” announces the return of BFD 2017 at Starplex Pavilion on May 28 featuring: Stone Sour, Papa Roach, Three Days Grace, Skillet, The Pretty Reckless, Fozzy and Dorothy.  iHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Patrick Davis says, “BFD has quickly become a summer concert staple.  We are very proud of our lineup this year and excited for our listeners to once again celebrate the season with us and their favorite artists.”…..iHeartMedia launches a new country outlet on translator W227CX in the West Palm Beach market branded “WAVE 93.3.” The station is airing the Premiere Networks syndicated Bobby Bones show, air personality Eric Hunter and others.

Monday, March 20, 2017

| March 20, 2017

ESPN Moves Craig to Network PD; Ups Hurley to WEPN, New York PD.  Sports programmer Justin Craig is promoted from PD of WEPN, New York to senior director, programming and operations for the ESPN Radio network.  The sports giant says that Craig will be responsible for all aspects of ESPN Radio programming and production, including oversight of “Mike & Mike,” “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” “Russillo & Kanell,” and nighttime and weekend programming.  Craig is now based at ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol and reports to David Roberts, vice president, ESPN Network Content.  With Craig’s move to Bristol, WEPN APD Ryan Hurley is elevated to program director.  Jonathan Winthrop, who has previously served as a producer at WEPN, adds APD duties and continues to produce the Stephen A. Smith show.

TALKERS Personality Profile: KSCO, Santa Cruz Owner, Michael Zwerling. One of the most colorful owner/operators of a local radio broadcasting company, Michael Zwerling, is the subject of an audio personality profile posted today (3/20) on Talkers.com.  Since 1991, Zwerling (known to his friends and colleagues as “MZ”) has owned heritage news/talk 10k flamethrower KSCO-AM 1080.   The station puts out a giant signal covering the Monterey Bay area as well as huge swath of Northern California territory.  KSCO first went on the air in 1947.  Zwerling has subsequently gained a national reputation for his unique ownership and management style that has turned KSCO into a dynamic combination of mostly locally produced content punctuated by carefully selected national programming.  Under Zwerling’s guidance, KSCO is financially fueled by a potent combination of traditional advertising sales and the generation of non-traditional revenue.  In the hour-and-a-half interview conducted by TALKERS founder Michael Harrison, Zwerling discusses what it has been like operating a conservatively oriented station (featuring Rush Limbaugh) in a predominantly liberal market.  He talks about his early, quirky days in broadcasting, the nuts-and-bolts of local radio station ownership in the modern era, the pros and cons of carrying Limbaugh over the years, his late mother and locally beloved broadcaster, Kay Zwerling, and his remarkably lucrative relationship with the multi-level marketing health products company, Youngevity.  To listen to this candid dialogue with the man described by Michael Harrison as one of the most interesting and eccentric owners in radio today, please click here.

‘The Big Talker’ Returns to Wilmington, NC.  Talk show host Chad Adams is reviving “The Big Talker” on WFBT-FM, Wilmington, North Carolina (licensed to Carolina Beach) under an LMA from Carolina Christian Radio.  His Red Wolf Broadcasting will operate the station and his regionally syndicated talk show – also heard in Charlotte and Greensboro – will be heard from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.  It will follow the local “Mornings With Pam and John” program with husband-and-wife team John and Pam Dismukes.  Other shows to air on the station include: Radio America’s Dana Loesch, the Dave Ramsey show, SRN’s Mike Gallagher, and Premiere NetworksSean Hannity and the overnight “Coast to Coast AM” with George Noory.  Originally, “The Big Talker” was heard on WNTB-FM and WUDE-FM.  WFBT-FM’s frequency is 106.7.  It was formerly WMYT and was put on the air by Curtis Wright’s and George Bell’s Talk Media TV in 2013.

TALKERS News Notes. The morning drive show at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WGOW-FM, Chattanooga – hosted by Jeff Styles, Jim Reynolds and Bill Lockhart – expands by an hour to air from 6:00 am to 10:00 am, eliminating the Reynolds-hosted hour, “The Nth Degree.”  At the same time, Styles – who had also been hosting the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program, “Fred The Show,” gives up that program to new host Brad Giese…..WGN, Chicago launched a new weekend program on Saturday (3/18).  The two-hour show “On the Road with Dane Neal” airs from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  WGN says that this program is more than just a car show, “Neal will explore the relationship of people and their cars.  Topics will include motorsports, day trips, cruise nights, technology in the car and more.”  His first guests were Food Network’s Guy Fieri, Expedia’s Sarah Gavin, and NASCAR champion Kevin Harvick.  Neal comments, “I’m excited to be able to take a radio road trip with listeners each week.  We’ll share great stories about racing, innovation in driving and the great car culture of Chicago.”

Rising Country Music Star Pens and Records Inspirational Patriot Song for Both Music and Talk Radio.  Singer/songwriter Dede Wedekind is a rising star in country music circles (Indie Music Channel’s 2016 Best New Female Artist, plus a number of other music industry honors) and she is now attracting the attention of talk radio hosts doing interviews about her new soul-stirring, patriotic release titled “America United.”  The song was originally written by Wedekind and her husband in a flash of inspiration coming from the pulpit while attending church on a Sunday in 2012.  Garnering attention across her fan base for years, the couple then tweaked the song in the wake of the 2016 presidential election, resulting in another IMEA Award for the independent artist.  She tells CCM Magazine, “To me, everyone who hears ‘America United’ seems to like and relate to the overwhelming message of this song—which is the necessity of uniting all Americans once again. This song isn’t about a particular political party, being conservative or liberal, or even being Democrat or Republican—it’s about making America a great nation once again. ‘One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.’” Wedekind continues, “In the original version written in 2012, it features President Ronald Reagan‘s message of making America great quoting the line, ‘Once again, make America Great. When President Donald Trump decided to run last year, my husband Larry and I had already decided to update ‘America United’ to make it a better song with a more concise message and better production. We then decided to also incorporate Trump’s slogan, which, again was completely based on Reagan’s original message. We repeated the slogan in the chorus of the 2016 version, since it was already a part of the original song, and more importantly felt strongly that God had given it to President Reagan, and now again to President Trump.”  To listen to and download Dede Wedekind’s “America United” and obtain contact information to book an interview with her, please click here.

Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Accusations, Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings, GOP Health Care Bill, U.S.-Germany Relations, North Korea Missile Program, Rock Legend Chuck Berry Dies, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  President Donald Trump’s accusation that former President Barack Obama ordered wiretaps of Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign; Supreme Court judge nominee Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings begin today; speculation about the fate of the GOP health care bill; President Trump’s belief that Germany owes the U.S. money for its NATO membership and his meeting last week with Angela Merkel; North Korea’s nuclear missile program and its threats to hit American targets; rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Chuck Berry dies at age 90; and the action during the first weekend of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Stephanie Miller Announces ‘Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour’ 2017.  Progressive radio talk show host and comedienne Stephanie Miller is announcing the 2017 version of her Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour – this year titled the “Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour 2017.”  On this tour will be Miller, John Fugelsang and Frangela.  A press statement from Miller reads, “Touring for several years as the Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour, the election forced us to rethink early retirement and return to the stage for a multiple-city tour.  We face Washington and laugh out loud at the tragic comedy of politics, to throw our finest, most scathing satire at the feet of our not-so-elected politicians.  To fight on with comedy…to offer the real fake news…to offer true alternative facts.”  The tour does 10 dates this year beginning in Madison on April 22 and ending in Maui, Hawaii on December 23.  Cities include Phoenix, Albuquerque, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

SRN’s Tradup Promoting Brantley Rescue Documentary.  Next Thursday night (3/30) is the one-night-only Fathom national movie theater screening of the film Facing Darkness.  The film was the result of a trip to the Ebola virus “hot Zone” in Liberia last summer during which Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (pictured at right) accompanied a film crew from non-profit charity Samaritan’s Purse to chronicle the successful, high-tech rescue of Dr. Kent Brantley during the deadly 2014 outbreak.  Tradup, who is actively promoting the film via social media, says, “The courage of the Samairtan’s Purse team (including Dr. Brantley) who risked their own lives as the Ebola outbreak claimed thousands of lives all around them, is a truly inspirational story that is the centerpiece of a stunning documentary.”

TALKERS magazine Publishes the 2017 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk. On Monday, March 13, we published the fifth annual TALKERS Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk – formally known as the 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America. This annual list is compiled and ranked by the editors of TALKERS magazine – with input from industry leaders. As with our publication’s “sister list,” the 100 Most Important Talk Radio Hosts in America, the criteria are a number of hard factors – including ratings and revenue – as well as such soft factors as talent, recognition, impact, service and more. Executive editor Kevin Casey states, “This annual ranking of the most important sports talk radio hosts is one of the most difficult – but enjoyable – projects we undertake at TALKERS. The reason for that is the partially subjective nature of the criteria combined with the enormous number of talented and successful sports talk hosts working in America. Paring that pool of talent down to 100 is no easy task!” Casey also notes that TALKERS will be publishing the 2017 Heavy Hundred of News/Talk Radio in April. See the 2017 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Beginning this Friday (3/24), Entercom Austin is shifting its urban adult contemporary contemporary outlet to a new frequency as it changes translator K242CC from the 96.3 frequency to 95.9.  Appropriately, the station’s new brand is “95.9FM RnB.”  Entercom Austin VP/market manager Stephanie Callihan states, “We are looking forward to welcoming all of our loyal listeners at our new home on the dial.  We continue to be committed to providing the unparalleled radio experience that our fans have come to expect from us and will keep delivering for our fans at our new frequency.”…..Bonneville’s country KYGO, Denver welcomes Guy David aboard as the new co-host of the morning drive show with current AM personality Tracy Dixon.  David heads to Denver from his current position at RBH Enterprises-owned country WFON-FM, Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin “107.1 The Bull.”…..Wesley Miller returns to his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio to program adult contemporary WMXY “MIX 98.9” and CHR WAKZ for iHeartMedia.  Miller was most recently with Forever Media’s WGYY, Meadville, Pennsylvania “Froggy 100.3” hosting the morning show and serving as program director…..CBS RADIO country outlet WDSY, Pittsburgh “Y108” is hosting its annual Wine & Boots Bash to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on Thursday, April 13 at The Twentieth Century Club in Oakland.  The event will feature Warner Music Nashville country singer and songwriter Michael Ray.  CBS RADIO Pittsburgh VP of programming Mark Anderson says, “Michael Ray was a part of Y108’s ‘Eight Man Jam’ concert two years ago.  Michael’s career is on fire as he just achieved his second #1 hit single and we are thrilled to have him perform at Y108’s Wine and Boots Bash on April 13.”  Ray broke into music as a contestant on The CW’s “The Next: Fame Is At Your Doorstep.”  He co-wrote the 2015 Big & Rich hit “Run Away With You” and made his solo artist debut that same year with the #1 hit “Kiss You In The Morning.”  He scored his second #1 hit just this week with his song, “Think A Little Less.”

Josh Turner Plays Stage 17 LIVE.  The brand-new Cumulus Media New York performance space Stage 17 LIVE hosted country star Josh Turner on March 15.  WNSH “NASH FM 94.7” air personality Jesse Addy spoke with Turner on the air the same day Turner spent his morning hosting the fourth hour of NBC TV’s “Today Show.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Jesse Addy, Josh Turner; WNSH program director John Foxx, and WNSH APD Mike Alan.

Doing Talk Radio Henck’s Way

| February 17, 2017

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

 

MADISON, Wis. — There isn’t much of a mystery in identifying Mitch Henck’s all-time favorite singer.

Now in his mid-50s, the Lafayette, Indiana native and roughly quarter-of-a-century Madison, Wisconsin broadcaster is an ardent Frank Sinatra devotee.

Profound, palpable influence the “Chairman of the Board” has had on Henck’s present professional path is probably best summarized through a two-word 1969 Paul Anka-penned Sinatra anthem.

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Friday, February 3, 2017

| February 3, 2017

Profile: FOX Sports’ Colin Cowherd.  Seventeen months into his deal with FOX Sports – one that puts him on television, in national radio syndication and makes him part-owner of his own content – Colin Cowherd speaks with TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian in  a profile published today (2/3).  Cowherd tells Kinosian that the change from ESPN to FOX Sports was moving from “one great company to another.” But he’s happier with the vibe at FOX.  “The reality is that radio should be more dangerous.  It is unedited, ad-libbed, and free-form. There’s a little stand-up, a little ranting, a little painting and you are going to spill a little on the canvas.  I think my personality fits the FOX ecosystem a little better than the current ESPN ecosystem, which has gotten much more politically correct in the last several years.”  Read the whole piece here.

Beasley to Unload Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina Cluster for $11 Million.  The buyer is CMG Coastal Carolina and Beasley Media Group says it will use the cash to pay down debt.  The stations affected are: blues WNCT-AM, Greenville; classic hits WNCT-FM, Greenville; classic rock WSFL-FM, New Bern; hip hop WIKS-FM, New Bern; adult contemporary WMGV-FM, Newport; and rock WXNR-FM, Grifton.  CMG Coastal Carolina, which is affiliated with Curtis Media Group, intends to spin off WNCT-FM to Inner Banks Media, LLC.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “Since the Company’s founding in 1961, Beasley has established a long-term record of successfully optimizing its station portfolio through both strategic acquisitions and divestitures to drive returns for our shareholders.  Last November we completed the accretive acquisition of Greater Media, adding 17 stations (net of divestitures) and four attractive new markets to our operating footprint.  We are making continued progress with the integration of the new stations as we apply our proven strategies that focus on strong core programming and targeted localism to support ratings and market leadership.  We are confident that the stations being divested will continue to offer listeners in Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville great local programming.”

2016 Banner Year for SiriusXM.  The financial figures from the fourth quarter of 2016 and the entire year are being reported and SiriusXM says it beat its guidance “on all metrics.”  The satcaster’s net income for the fourth quarter of 2016 was $205 million – up 52% from the same period in 2015.  For the year, net income was $746 million – up 46% from 2015.  As for its subscriber numbers, SiriusXM reports a net subscriber growth of 1.75 million for the year.  It now reports more than 31 million subscribers with nearly 26 million self-paying subscribers. CEO Jim Meyer comments, “Last year was a phenomenal year for SiriusXM’s business, and we expect continued success in 2017.  We finished ahead of our guidance across the board, with record revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow.  With more than 31 million subscribers, SiriusXM has never had more paying customers. We’ve issued guidance for continued growth in 2017, and we expect a record adjusted EBITDA of more than $2 billion.”

Michael Harrison Says a New Golden Age of News/Talk Radio is at Hand – IF Broadcasters Rise to the Challenge.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison addressed this month’s meeting of the magazine’s editorial board with optimistic observations about the news/talk format’s future as the world enters the Donald Trump era.  But he also pointed out that the format’s inherent multi-genre potential can only be reached if broadcasters have the vision and courage to significantly alter the current paradigm and “take advantage of the political passions that have engulfed a wide swath of the American population, way beyond the traditional conservative core audience.”  Harrison was clear that he thinks traditional conservative news/talk radio is here to stay although “enthusiasm for Trump has bent some of the tried-and-true guidelines that provided a dependable ideological template for hosts connecting with their audiences way beyond what were once considered to be their breaking points.”  Harrison explains, “Conservative listeners will remain extremely loyal to their brand of talk radio because they fear opposition to Trump will water down the changes he promised to bring America in ‘making it great again,’ adding, “There is indeed room within conservative talk radio for hosts to be critical of Trump on occasions that warrant nuanced alternative perspectives… but then again, that has always been the case.  Conservative news/talk has never been as monolithic as its political critics have implied.”  However, it is the new potential of progressive talk radio or as Harrison puts it, “resistance talk” that is truly exciting in expanding the boundaries of spoken word strategies on the commercial radio dial.  “Intense, passionate and obsessive opposition to Trump has galvanized and ignited a hitherto non-focused target audience for news/talk hosts, programs and stations,” states Harrison.  “The door is open for performers such as Thom Hartmann, Stephanie Miller, Joe Madison, Alan Colmes and countless others of the progressive perspective to tap into a potentially vast audience of listeners who, since the election of Trump, deeply care about their message – as long as these messengers are talented by radio standards.  The Trump era offers the talk radio industry the opportunity to double its reach by providing a platform for both the ‘revolution’ (Trump) and the ‘resistance’ (anti-Trump) passions that are clearly exploding in the American marketplace of ideas.  Both sides feel embattled.”  Harrison adds, “If radio misses this opportunity, it would be the equivalent of missing the British Invasion of the sixties, the disco craze of the late seventies, and the rise of conservatism in the nineties.”

Trump Travel Order/Protests Top Talk Story for Week of Jan. 30-Feb. 3.  The travel order banning people coming into the U.S. from seven predominantly Muslim nations and the protests over the presidential order was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the vacant seat on the Supreme Court.  Coming in at #3 was the violent protests at UC-Berkeley over the planned speech by Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, followed by the U.S. putting Iran “on notice” over its test of a missile at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Rick Thomas to Oversee Operations at CMG Tampa.  Most recently with CBS Radio’s CHR WBMP, New York “92.3 AMP Radio” as program director, Rick Thomas heads south to Tampa to serve as operations manager for Cox Media Group’s six-station cluster there and to program CHR WPOI “HOT 101.5.”   Thomas will oversee operations for adult contemporary WWRM “Magic 94.9,” alternative WSUN-FM “97X,” hot talk WPHT “102.5 The Bone,” adult contemporary WDUV “105.5 The Dove,” and classic hits “107.3 The Eagle,” plus all digital content.    CMG Tampa VP and market manager Keith Lawless says, “CMG is very fortunate to have Rick join our Tampa team.  Rick is a successful and innovative leader in our business with an exceptional track record.  I’m proud to partner with Rick and I have no doubt that his contributions will help Tampa compete and win, even more.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher (pictured here) poses for a photo with a young Guatemalan girl during his trip to the Central American Nation.  The Salem Radio Network personality is there this week with fellow SRN hosts Larry Elder and Mark Davis in the company of international relief agency Food For The Poor…..New Yorkers won’t have to miss the sound of Mike Francesa’s voice when the WFAN afternoon personality finishes his contract with the CBS Radio sports talk station at the end of this year.  The “Pope” told former partner Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, on the latter’s SiriusXM program, that he’ll be doing something on January 3, 2018.  “I’m not promising it’ll be conventional.  It’s something new,” he said.  Read the New York Post’s take on it here.

Longtime ABC News Radio Staffer Bob Benson Passes.  News radio pro Bob Benson passed away on Sunday (1/29) after a four-decade career in radio.  Benson started in radio while still in high school.  In 1966 he joined ABC as news director at WLS, Chicago, then moved to the company’s KGO, San Francisco.  In 1974, Benson launched AP Radio in Washington.  He returned to ABC as vice president of ABC News, managing the news and sports for the radio networks.

Is It Possible to Teach Media and Politics in Today’s Environment without Expressing (or Being Accused of) Expressing a Significant Degree of Bias?  This is just one of several key questions that are explored in an extremely candid conversation between TALKERS founder Michael Harrison and veteran talk radio programmer David Bernstein posted today (1/31) on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Bernstein’s stellar career in radio includes stints as program director of such politically diverse powerhouses as WTIC in Hartford, WPRO in Providence, WRKO and WBZ in Boston, and a 10 year run at WOR in New York.  He even served for a brief period as VP/programming at Air America.  Today, he is the general manager of the experimental “workshop” platform TalkersRadio and going into his second full year as an adjunct professor of media studies at Caldwell University in New Jersey.  Harrison and Bernstein explore the characteristics, habits and challenges facing Millennials with a focus on those considering careers in the media. The discussion includes an analysis of the public’s across the board obsession with politics inspired by the rise of Donald Trump permeating all aspects of daily American life.  Don’t miss this one!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click the “Up Close and Far Out” player box  located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Zannie K. Named PM Drive Host at ‘105 The Vibe’ in Twin Cities.  In the Minneapolis market, Cumulus Media announces that on-air pro Zannie K. is the new afternoon personality and assistant program director at classic hip hop outlet WGVX “105 The Vibe.”  He also hosts the weekend “Zannie K’s Throwback Theory” Saturday nights at 10:00 pm.  Additionally, he’s going to host the Sunday midday show for Westwood One’s 24/7 AC, hot AC and CHR affiliates.  Cumulus Media Minneapolis OM (and corporate VP of classic rock) Scott Jameson comments, “We’ve seen consistent growth with ‘The Vibe,’ and adding Zannie to afternoon drive will no doubt sustain the positive momentum for our listeners and advertisers.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On Monday (2/6), married morning show personalities “Chadd & Kristi” (at right) debut their program on Beasley Media Group’s newly launched adult contemporary WBRN “B98.7.”  The station was formerly a rock outlet and the Tampa affiliate of the Bubba the Love Sponge show, but Beasley flipped it to AC on January 5…..Country superstar Luke Bryan chatted with Westwood One Sports NFL host Scott Graham on Thursday (2/2).  Bryan appeared as part of Westwood One’s nightly “The Road to Super Bowl LI” broadcast that aired live.  On Sunday, Bryan will sing the national anthem before the Super Bowl LI broadcast…..Townsquare Media launches the new KAMM, Missoula, Montana as an alternative rock outlet branded “ALT 101.5.”  The brand manager for the new station is Angel Hughes, who will also serve as the station’s morning personality…..Rock radio jock Spam joins Sun Broadcasting’s alternative WXNX, Fort Myers “93X” as host of the morning show.  Spam comes to Sun from his most recent gig at Entercom’s cross-state alternative rocker WSFS, Miami “104.3 The Shark.”  Spam was a longtime personality at CBS Radio’s WHFS, Baltimore/Washington…..In Reading, Pennsylvania, Jimmy Steele exits iHeartMedia’s hot AC WRFY and Spanish AC WRAW after a restructuring of the cluster’s staff.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

| February 2, 2017

CBS RADIO to Merge with Entercom; Move Creates 244-Station Company, Second Largest Based on Revenue.  The rumors of a CBS RadioEntercom merger turn out to be true as the two firms announce a stunning deal to make Entercom the second largest radio company – based on revenue – in the nation with 244 Stations, including 23 of the top 25 markets.  CBS Corp’s plans for spinning off the radio division via an IPO never really took off, probably due to the fact that radio is not viewed by investors as a growth industry.  This merger will be tax free for CBS as it’s being accomplished through a Reverse Morris Trust.  Here’s how it will work: CBS shareholders will have the opportunity to exchange all, some, or none of their CBS shares for CBS Radio shares.  Immediately following the completion of this exchange offer, CBS Radio will merge with an Entercom subsidiary, with the new CBS Radio shareholders receiving Entercom shares in exchange for their CBS Radio shares in the transaction.  After completion of the merger, CBS Radio shareholders will receive approximately 105 million Entercom shares, or 72% of all outstanding shares of the combined company on a fully diluted basis.  Existing Entercom shareholders will own 28% of the combined company on a fully diluted basis.  The big question for CBS Radio staffers at the corporate level is how this merger – expected to close sometime during the second half of this year – affects their positions.  Obviously, there will be redundancy at the corporate level, but how Entercom will ultimately choose to organize its corporate staff remains to be seen.  Media consultant Holland Cooke monitored this morning’s investors conference call during which Entercom president and CEO David Field stated that the company expects to realize “$25 million in synergies [cost cuts] within 12-18 months,” mostly in corporate administration.  Field noted that there will be 15 divestitures in markets where CBS and Entercom together own more stations than permitted under the FCC ownership cap.  As for the news/talk and all-news stations soon to be owned by Entercom, Field called them “trusted pillars of their local communities” and “seven of the most-trusted all-news stations in the U.S.”  He referred to the local, on-air talk talent as “major influencers with strong connections to their audiences.”  From today’s press release we know that Andre Fernandez will remain president of CBS Radio through the closing.  The presser also stated that the combined company will be known as Entercom and will be headquartered in Philadelphia, “with a significant ongoing presence in New York.”  Upon closing, the company’s Board of Directors will consist of nine members: five current Entercom directors, including David Field as Chairman of the Board, and four directors nominated by CBS Radio.  Entercom president and CEO Field states, “These two great companies, with their impressive histories, complementary assets, and premier content and brands, are a perfect strategic and cultural fit, enabling us to deliver local connection on a national scale and drive accelerated growth.  We look forward to welcoming our talented new colleagues at CBS Radio, and we have the utmost respect for their significant contributions to the industry.  Radio reaches more Americans than any other medium, and offers advertisers outstanding ROI and local activation.  This transformational transaction creates scale-driven efficiencies and opportunities to compete more effectively with other media to better serve our listeners and our advertisers.  The combination of a compelling strategic fit, an excellent balance sheet, and robust free cash flow generation, position us to create significant shareholder value for our investors.”

Cumulus Names Brian Joyce PM Drive Host at ‘NewsRadio 106.7’ in Atlanta.  Beginning Monday, February 13, talk radio personality Brian Joyce will begin hosting the afternoon talk show on Cumulus Media’s WYAY, Atlanta “NewsRadio 106.7.”  Joyce is currently the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm host at the company’s WGOW, Chattanooga “Talk Radio 102.3.”  He will continue in that role as well.  It’s unclear if Joyce will move to Atlanta or remain in Chattanooga and do the WYAY show from there.  The current afternoon show is “Atlanta News” featuring news pro Cheryl Castro and station program director Greg Tantum.  It’s unclear if Castro will remain with the new show.  Cumulus Media Atlanta vice president and market manager Sean Shannon states, “We live in a world where dialogue on matters of substance has become increasingly difficult, with politically slanted news/talk outlets and social media platforms that feed consumers with stories that confirm their existing political belief systems.  ‘NewsRadio 106.7’ breaks that confounding and polarizing mold.  We are committed to delivering a forum ruled not by any agenda or by an algorithm, but by the unique value we can create for our listeners.  We present multiple sides of the story when we’re delivering the news, ensuring we both inform existing opinions and provoke opposing opinions on every side of the story.  In the process, we create a rare media experience facilitating respectful and spirited discourse where there is as much value in listening as there is in talking.”  Speaking about this new position, Joyce says, “I’m looking forward to joining [hosts] Shannon [Burke], Kimmer and the rest of the team at ‘NewsRadio 106.7!’  These guys have built a unique and entertaining lineup for the listeners of Atlanta, and it’s my hope that my show will continue to build on the great programming and strong ratings they’re known for.”

CNN Dips into a Slice of Conservative Talk Radio to Get a Read on Caller Opinion About Trump Moves.  Last night’s installment of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” presented a string of listener calls on WPHT, Philadelphia talk host Dom Giordano’s show presenting an array of opinions about Donald Trump’s moves as president focusing on the role of key strategist Stephen K. Bannon.  To view the segment, please click here.

Stephanie Miller Show Joins WMLB, Atlanta.  WMLB, Atlanta is owned by JW Broadcasting, airs a variety format and is branded “AM 1690 The Voice of the Arts.”  Beginning February 20, the WYM Media Management-syndicated Stephanie Miller show begins airing from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Miller’s program aired on the station in the past when it was an Air America affiliate.  WMLB general manager Jeff Davis comments, “Given recent events, the timing is perfect for a progressive voice on Atlanta radio.  We’re thrilled to have a recognized professional who’s built a reputation for standing up for liberal causes.”  On a related note, Stephanie Miller is preparing to embark on her second consecutive year touring as the headline of the Stephanie Miller Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour.  The 2017 tour is titled, “The Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour.”

Cody Welling to Lead Cumulus Media’s Shreveport Cluster.  This move takes sales and management pro Cody Welling from Cumulus Media’s Toledo cluster where he’s been serving as director of sales to the company’s Shreveport, Louisiana station group consisting of sports talk KRMD-AM/K264AS “The Ticket,” hip hop KMJJ, CHR KQHN “i97.3,” urban contemporary KVMA “Magic 102.9,” and country KRMD-FM.  Cumulus regional vice president Mark Sullivan says, “This is a terrific move for the company and for Cody.  Cody’s strong track record of success and dynamic management style are already paying dividends in Shreveport and I look forward to his success and professional growth as our VP/market manager.”

TALKERS News Notes.  This year’s 5th annual “Larry Richert Honors our Hometown Heroes,” presented by the KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh morning drive personality, takes place on Thursday, March 2, at the Lexus Club at PPG Paints Arena.  Each year, the event honors five individuals who are giving back to the local community in extraordinary ways.  The keynote address will be presented by CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett.  This is Garrett’s second appearance at “Larry’s Heroes.”  In 2015, Garrett was scheduled to appear but a late winter storm kept him in Washington, D.C.  Instead, he addressed attendees via video from the snow-covered White House lawn.  Richert states, “It’s our fifth year to shine the spotlight on ordinary individuals in the community doing extraordinary things.  This year’s edition may be one of our strongest collections of heroes assembled.  Their contributions to our community are awe inspiring.”…..This is the fourth consecutive year that Westwood One is presenting the Westwood One Sports Sound Awards in which it challenges its advertisers to push their creative boundaries to create the best commercials to air during its Super Bowl LI broadcast.  WW1 is driving fans and a panel of advertising professionals to TheSoundAwards.com to vote for their favorite ads, all leading up to the big reveal of the top five the day after Super Sunday.  Voting runs through Monday, February 6…..WIP-FM, Philadelphia’s Wing Bowl 25 gets underway tomorrow (2/3) at 6:00 am at the Wells Fargo Center and will feature an appearance by special guests professional wrestler Ric Flair and Grammy Award-winning artist Coolio.  Wing Bowl 25’s “Legends Division” (with legendary Wing Bowl eaters returning from the past) will feature a head-to-head competition between five-time champ El Wingador and two-time champ Molly Schuyler for a prize of $5000.  National recording artist and retired Navy Petty Officer First Class Generald Wilson will perform the National Anthem.  WIP morning show host Al Morganti, who co-founded Wing Bowl 25 years ago with radio partner Angelo Cataldi says, “Trust me.  Just be here.  That’s all I can say.  Be here.”

Gorsuch SCOTUS Nomination, DeVos Nomination Status, Tillerson New Secretary of State, Iran Missile Test, Beyonce Pregnancy Pic, and Super Bowl LI Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/1). President Donald Trump’s nomination of U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court and speculation about how Democrats will handle it; two senators announce they will not support Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary, possibly endangering her chances of assuming the post; Rex Tillerson is confirmed and sworn in as the new Secretary of State; the U.S. puts Iran “on notice” for its latest missile test; Beyonce posts a nude photo of herself to announce she’s pregnant with twins; and the build-up to Super Bowl LI were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career MovesTucson.com reports that Tucson market radio pro Bobby Rich was let got from his afternoon drive gig with Scripps Broadcasting’s hot AC KMXZ “94.9 MIXfm.”  Rich posted a Facebook message explaining that he “made a big mistake and said something I should not have said.  Even though I regret it and apologized, I own it, and now it becomes necessary for my association with ‘MIXfm’ and Scripps Tucson to conclude.”  Rich would not elaborate on what he said – or in what context…..Curtis Media Group brings Jud Heussler aboard to program CHR simulcast “Pulse FM” – WWPL, Goldsboro/WPLW, Hillsboro, North Carolina (Raleigh-Durham market).  Heussler has been with Entercom’s Bufflo CHR WKSE “KISS 98.5” serving as APD, music director and afternoon personality…..In the Corpus Christi, Texas market Convergent Broadcasting II, LLC announces its intent to sell CHR KKPN, classic rock KPUS, and classic hits KAJE to ICA Radio Ltd. for a sum yet to be announced…..iHeartMedia’s urban contemporary WKKV, Milwaukee “V100.7” is presenting the 6th Annual Family Affair Expo on Saturday, March 11at The Wisconsin Center.  The event will feature local exhibitors in the areas of health & wellness, finance, education, small business, and recruitment to help make a positive impact on Milwaukee families.  Station PD Bailey Coleman says, “I love our Family Affair Expo because it’s fun and free, plus it brings our listeners together with the resources their families need to succeed.”

NOW PLAYING: A Video Tribute to Herb Oscar Anderson.  “Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo produced a wonderful tribute to the recently departed New York City radio legend Herb Oscar Anderson, who died on Saturday (1/28) in Bennington, Vermont.  Anderson was a radio performer who cut his teeth in the big band era but transitioned to rock ‘n’ roll radio in the 1950s.  He worked at WABC during the late 1950s and 1960s – leaving in 1968.  He most recently hosted a standards show on WOSC, Vero Beach, Florida.  View Vuolo’s video tribute in the Talkers TV box in the upper right-hand of this main page.

Monday, January 30, 2017

| January 30, 2017

Entercom Announces Launch of Content Innovation Group.  This new division is part of the company’s “commitment to delivering the best curated music, news, talk and sports content in the markets it serves.  This new group will focus on providing listeners with a deeper, richer experience both on and off air via exclusively developed digital and social content and national syndication of locally curated content.”  Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton adds, “The launch of this new team underscores our continued commitment to investing in best-in-class content and syndication tools and delivering the top-notch listener experience that our fans across the country have come to expect.”  The Content Innovation Group will be led by managing editor Kyle McCann.  He’ll report to Liana Huth, vice president of programming innovation.  McCann was most recently with Townsquare Media in New Jersey leading content development.  McCann’s team will consist of three content managers: Lauren Hoffman, previously a country music blogger and an entertainment reporter for The Journal magazine in New Jersey; Joe Hyer, formerly a member of Townsquare Media’s digital content team responsible for development of format-specific content for Townsquare markets across the country; and Maura O’Malley, former senior content editor and social media community manager for Main Street Hub in Austin, Texas.  The group will be spearheaded by Paxton.  Liana Huth says, “With the creation of this new team, we will be focused on pushing out exclusive and original new content, as well as  pulling compelling and engaging local content to enhance the local listener experience.  This is a strategic effort to leverage the great content that is created at the local level in each of our 28 markets across the country and maximize our broadcast, digital and social media platforms to provide a comprehensive and engaging experience for our listeners.”

Progressive Talk Personality to Buy Milwaukee Signal WRRD.  Striking a deal with Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Brands, progressive talk host Michael Crute – one half of the Madison-based show “Devil’s Advocate Radio” with partner Dominic Salvia – is buying WRRD-AM, Waukesha, Wisconsin.  The details of the deal are not being disclosed yet.  The progressive talk radio show “Devil’s Advocate Radio” aired on iHeartMedia’s WXXM-FM, Madison for years before leaving the station last fall.  Now, the show is being syndicated by WYM Media Management and airs on 16 affiliate stations.  Crute says in a statement, “This is not simply a business deal.  My mission is to offer Milwaukee and Wisconsin a new voice and change our political dialogue.  Our state and our nation need more fact-based political conversations, more speaking truth to power, more inclusive voices, and less partisan rhetoric.  Wisconsin needs a dynamic, commercial alternative to the right and far-right voices that peddle propaganda and alternative facts.”  WRRD-AM is airing Spanish sports talk.  Crute will begin operating the station on Wednesday (2/1).  The programming will include “Devil’s Advocate Radio” starting at 2:00 pm.  The 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm hours will be the nationally syndicated portion of the show with a replay of the Wisconsin show from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Other shows to air on the station will be the WYM Media-syndicated Stephanie Miller, WYD Media-syndicated Thom Hartmann, the Bill Press show, and “Free Talk Live” with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge.  Milwaukee talk host Earl Ingram will host a Saturday afternoon program.

KABC, Los Angeles Celebrates Golden Mike Awards.   The news team at Cumulus Media’s news/talk KABC, Los Angeles poses for a pic at the Universal Hilton in Universal City, California on Saturday at the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California’s 67th Annual Golden Mike Awards Dinner.  KABC was honored with three Golden Mike Awards – one for “Best Newscast Writing” for “The 8 AM News on KABC”; Westwood One reporter Jim Roope won for excellence in reporting in the “Best News Reporting by a Radio Network or Content Syndicator” category (Roope provides news reports for KABC); and sportscaster Randy Wang was honored with a Golden Mike for “Best Sports Segment” that airs on the “McIntyre in the Morning” program.  Pictured above (from l-r) are: Bill Thomas, John Wolf, Dave Alpert, Doug McIntrye, Jeff Whittle (kneeling), Randy Wang, Sandy Wells (kneeling), news director Nathan Baker, and operations director Drew Hayes.

51 YEAR OLD CASE:  Manhattan DA Launching Probe into the Mysterious Death of Legendary WOR Radio Host.  According to a story by Susan Edelman reported in yesterday’s (1/29) edition of the New York Post, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office is looking into the mysterious death 51 years ago of newspaper writer, WOR radio talk show host and “What’s My Line?” star Dorothy Kilgallen, who was investigating the John F. Kennedy assassination.  The stunning development comes after a new book, The Reporter Who Knew Too Much (Post Hill Press/Simon and Schuster, 2016) written by attorney, former radio talk show host and investigative reporter Mark Shaw, provides evidence that Kilgallen was murdered to shut down her relentless pursuit of a Mafia don, Carlos Marcello, linked to JFK and Lee Harvey Oswald.  The newspaper reports Joan Vollero, a spokeswoman for DA Cyrus Vance Jr, confirmed that a staffer has read the book and reviewed a letter from author Mark Shaw citing new leads, medical evidence, and witnesses overlooked when Kilgallen, 52, died suddenly on Nov. 8, 1965 at the peak of her career.  “I’m hopeful DA investigators will probe any records available and interview witnesses still alive today who can shed light on what happened to this remarkable woman,” Shaw told The Post. “Victims have rights whether their name is Dorothy Kilgallen or Dorothy Doe, and Kilgallen was denied justice in 1965.  That’s why I’m fighting for her.”  Obviously, if Shaw’s findings are true, this information holds what could be the key to important new insights and understanding of who was really behind the murder of the president – a nagging question that has lingered for a half-century in the minds of a growing number of Americans.  Kilgallen – one of the most influential media figures of the mid-20th century – is famous for her powerful syndicated newspaper column and long-running stint as a regular panelist on the popular TV game show, was also a significant force in radio, hosting a live morning talk show with her husband, actor/producer Richard Kollmer from 1945 to 1963. The show, titled, “Breakfast with Dorothy and Dick,” emanated live each day from the couple’s posh NYC apartment.  Mark Shaw’s first major interview upon the release of this book was on the PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” posted back on 11/15/16.  To hear it in its entirety please click here. His first major terrestrial radio interview, also conducted by Harrison, took place on WRKO, Boston a few days before the anniversary of JFK’s assassination.  Harrison says, “It is amazing how few people in today’s media know just how important Dorothy Kilgallen was to our understanding of the First Amendment – let alone her role as a broadcasting and print pioneer for women in the business.  This is especially true today as First Amendment issues are the dominant thread running through so many of the current news stories with which we are regularly bombarded.  If Kilgallen was snuffed out for ‘knowing and telling too much’ that is something we should all know as if it happened last week.”  To read the New York Post story, please click here.

WOR, New York’s Len Berman and Todd Schnitt Celebrate Second Anniversary.  Pictured here is the staff of WOR, New York’s “Len Berman and Todd Schnitt in the Morning” program on the occasion of the program’s second anniversary.  Pictured are (from l-r):  Natalie Vacca, executive producer; Scott Lakefield, WOR assistant program director; Ray Martel, associate producer; Joe Bartlett, morning drive news anchor; Len Berman; Todd Schnitt; Terry Trahim, news editor; Alice Stockton-Rossini, street reporter; Tom Cuddy, WOR program director; and Skipper Presson, morning drive board operator.

Trump Travel Ban/Airport Protests, U.S. Raid on al Qaeda in Yemen, Deadly Quebec City Mosque Attack, Sunday Night’s SAG Awards, and Actor John Hurt Dead at 77 Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations and the ensuing protests at major U.S. airports; the raid on al Qaeda operations in Yemen that claimed the life of one U.S. SEAL member; the deaths of six people after an attack at a mosque in Quebec City; Sunday evening’s Screen Actors Guild awards and the politically charged speeches; and the death of legendary actor John Hurt at age 77 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes.  It’s a change for University of Texas radio play-by-play personality Craig Way as he leaves iHeartMedia’s sports talk KVET-AM, Austin where he was afternoon drive host to join crosstown Genuine Austin Radio’s KTXX-FM “104.9 The Horn” for sports director duties…..Brent Musberger is leaving his role with ESPN but he’s not retiring.  One project he’s involved with is a new channel on SiriusXM in conjunction with Vegas Stats & Information Network or VSiN.  The channel will be headlined by Brent Musburger and Al Bernstein, who will each host shows dedicated to providing exclusive and proprietary news, analysis and data to fans…..CBS RADIO Pittsburgh’s “Giant Eagle Kid-a-palooza” returns this Saturday (2/4) at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.  The promotion features exciting entertainment and adventures for the whole family.  It will also include the KDKA Health Fair, presented by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallInnovative Talk Content Creator Lee Habeeb Guests on This Week’s Harrison Podcast.  In an era when radio programmers and content providers are often accused of doing the “same old same old,” Lee Habeeb is doing something quite innovative.  He produces and hosts an ambitiously written, researched and designed, nightly two-hour syndicated show that draws upon one of the most basic processes found in successful communications – story telling!  The program titled, “Our American Stories,” is reaching its one-year anniversary and is nowhabeeblee heard on 25 terrestrial stations across the nation with more about to be cleared on its independent Our American Network (www.ouramericannetwork.org).  Habeeb describes the project as “an innovation in the audio sphere. No politics, no opinions, just stories.  We tell a story and the audience tells us their stories — LIVE, with raw emotional power.”  The stories run the gamut of American history and present-day popular culture focusing on the most fascinating people from politics, the military, industry, science and the arts.  Habeeb himself is an extremely interesting individual.  An Arab-American of Lebanese descent and a 1991 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, he was the executive producer of his law school buddy Laura Ingraham’s original Westwood One syndicated show back in 2001. Since 2007, he has maintained an executive position at Salem Radio Network as director of strategic content. He has written columns for USA TodayThe Washington Examiner and the National Review, and is a columnist for Townhall.com.  Habeeb joins Michael Harrison as this week’s guest on PodcastOne’s award-winning series “Up Close and Far Out.”  Harrison and Habeeb talk about a variety of topics ranging from his perspective on being a Christian American with Middle Eastern roots to his insights on Laura Ingraham’s brief flirtation with becoming Donald Trump’s presidential press secretary… and of, course, the state of talk radio.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  The WMMS, Cleveland-based “Rover’s Morning Glory” show is now airing on iHeartMedia’s WZZR, West Palm Beach “Real Radio 94.3, Real Talk for the Palm Beaches,” and WCZR, Vero Beach “Real Radio 101.7.”  Shane “Rover” French says, “The Palm Beaches are home to Rush Limbaugh and Mar-a-Lago, high-end shopping on Worth Avenue and now ‘Rover’s Morning Glory’ – we can’t wait to get involved with the community and its listeners.  We’re thrilled and humbled to be on Real Radio, a radio station brand with a long history of great, entertaining talk shows.”…..Westwood One partnered with Big Machine Label Group and sponsor Advance Auto Parts for a multi-pronged promotional campaign for Brantley Gilbert’s new album, The Devil Don’t Sleep.  The album was released on Friday (1/27) and Gilbert appeared across all 82 of Cumulus Media’s country stations for the “Advance Auto Party!” album launch that aired from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm in all U.S. time zones.  At left is the ad that appeared on Facebook on Friday…..R Dub!, creator, host and producer of the syndicated weekend radio show “Sunday Night Slow Jams” is partnering with non-profit Water 4 Kids International to launch a global charitable initiative called “Slow Jams 4 Kids,” with the goal of raising $10,500 to provide a village in Africa with a water well and clean water.  R Dub! was inspired to take action after his first trip to Africa in December.

iHeart80s Party Rocks SAP Center in San Jose.  Pictured above are the members of the New Kids on the Block with original MTV VJ Martha Quinn, emcee of Saturday’s second annual iHeart80s Party at the SAP Center in San Jose.  In addition to NKOTB, other performers from Saturday’s event included: UB40, Colin Hay of Men At Work, Rick Astley, Starship, Eddie Money, and Night Ranger.  The iHeart80s Party broadcasted live on iHeartMedia AC, hot AC and adult hits radio stations nationwide.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Jordan Knight, Donnie Wahlberg, Danny Wood, Quinn, Joey McIntyre and Jonathan Knight.

Legendary New York DJ Herb Oscar Anderson Dies.  New York media pro David Hinckley writes in The Huffington Post about the passing of Big Apple radio legend Herb Oscar Anderson, who died on Saturday in Bennington, Vermont.  As Hinckley writes, Anderson was a radio performer who cut his teeth in the big band era but transitioned to rock ‘n’ roll radio.  He worked at WABC during the late 1950s and 1960s – leaving in 1968.  He was known for singing “Hello Again” to his audience as his show intro.  He most recently hosted a standards show on WOSC, Vero Beach, Florida.  Read Hinckley’s piece here.

San Diego Radio Legend Jack Vincent Dies at 99.  Radio’s Best Friend – Art Vuolo – informs TALKERS that Jack Vincent – a personality on KCBQ, San Diego during the 1950s and 1960s.  Vincent had reportedly been in hospice care since last summer.  He was 99 when he died on Sunday morning (1/29).

 

 

Round Four of Holiday PPM Ratings Released. The final round of Holiday 2016 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2016 survey period covered December 1, 2016 – January 4, 2017.  View all the (6+) numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – Not only has Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ nearly tripled its 6+-share over the course of five straight up or flat trends (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 12.6, 6+), “Majic 95.5” progresses from third to first. Moreover, with the 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016, KKMJ shatters its own mark for Austin’s highest-ever 6+ PPM stat – previously 11.4. Ousted from the top spot it held in November and December, Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” (9.6 – 7.7, -.9, 6+) drops to second-place. KBPA had been #1 each month in calendar year 2016, before seguing to second in October. By gaining four-tenths in June, “Bob” halted three successive downward trends that produced a combined -1.3 (9.4 – 9.1 – 8.6 – 8.1, 6+). “Bob” regressed by -.5 in July; rebounded with a +1.1 in August; and declined -.8 in September. Picking up six-tenths each are Capitol Broadcast Association classical KMFA “89.5 Classically Austin” (.8 – 1.4, #21, 6+) and University of Texas at Austin triple A KUTX “The Austin Music Experience” Conversely, “Austin Music Experience” sibling KUT plummets by a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” (9.0 – 7.4 – 6.4, 6+). It falls from the runner-up slot it occupied the previous five ratings periods before advancing from third in October to first. Significant month-to-month swings are common for KUT, which was +1.2 (December 2015); -.1.0 (April 2016); +.7 (July); +1.3 (August); -.9 (September); +1.3 (October); -1.6 (December); and now -1.0 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to August, the last time KUT crossed the eight-share barrier (6+) was February 2011 when it reached 8.5. The market’s country share drops by a cumulative two shares, with iHeartMedia siblings KASE “101 FM – Austin’s #1 For New Country” (4.9 – 3.9, -1.0, sixth to ninth, 6+) and KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” (6.2 – 5.4, -.8, unchanged at #4, 6+) absorbing the majority of the decrease. Flat at #18, Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE “Austin’s Country Alternative” drops two-tenths (2.1 – 1.9, 6+).

2) Milwaukee – Approximately 11 months ago, Milwaukee Radio Alliance hot AC WLDB began transitioning back to its previous adult contemporary format; this holiday season, “B-93.3 The 80s to Today” began playing all-Christmas music earlier than in the past. In its fourth straight progressive trend (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 8.3, 6+), WLDB chalks up a +3.8 and rockets from tenth to second. Ahead of “B-93.3” by nearly three full-shares and on top for the 21st successive time is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits.” Recent fluctuations for “Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” include +1.7 (October 2015); -.7 (November 2015); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2015); -5.7 (January 2016); +1.3 (February); +1.1 (April); -.6 (May); -1.1 (August); -.6 (September) +1.2 (November); -.5 (December); and now +2.1 in “Holiday” 2016 (9.1 – 11.2, 6+). WRIT posts its strongest 6+-share in exactly one year (14.4, “Holiday” 2015). Entering the December sweep, Saga Communications’ WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” was without a loss the previous four ratings periods for a collective +1.4 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+). It then sputtered by eight-tenths but now bounces back with a +.5 (6.0 – 5.2- 5.7, 6+), climbing from eighth to fifth. Following back-to-back showings of +.7 in November and December (2.3 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+), Scripps Broadcasting‘s WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” falters by eight-tenths to 2.9 (6+), but remains at #13. The five latest trends for “94.5 KTI Country” have been -.6 (September); -.5 (October); +.7 (November); +.7 (December) and “Holiday” 2016’s -.8. Prior to September’s -.6, “KTI Country” had been positive or flat the previous four sweeps (2.6 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+); 3.7 in December 2016 was the strongest 6+-showing for WKTI since 4.0 in December 2014. Down one-half share in December, its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” – regresses by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 as well and departs the top ten (#9 to #12). As was the case in December, this is the closest WKTI has been to WMIL since WKTI transitioned to country from adult hits WLWK “The Lake” in late-May 2014. In four straight down or flat trends, “FM 106.1” is a combined -1.6 (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 4.3, 6+). Locked on 5.9 (6+) in October and November, WMYX “99.1 The Mix” gained two tenths in December but the Entercom hot AC stumbles by -1.2 (6.1 – 4.9, 6+) and slides from fourth to seventh. In addition to declining by -1.1 to halt three straight sweeps without a decrease (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), co-owned CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” leaves the top ten (#6 to #11). A combined -1.2 between September and November (3.9 – 3.1 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WRNW improved by one-half share in December but surrenders that entire margin (2.7 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+); “97.3 Now – Milwaukee’s #1 For All The Hits” carries on at #14. Also in that iHM cluster, talk WISN (5.5 – 4.6, sixth to ninth, 6+) and urban contemporary WKKX “V-100.7 Jams” (second to fifth, 6+) slip by nine-tenths and six-tenths, respectively. “V-100.7” is down one full share in three straight downward trends (6.7 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 5.7, 6+). After advancing by one-half share to 6.3 for its best 6+-stat since 6.5 in the “Holiday” 2015 report, Saga Communications’ WKLH “96.5 – Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” returns all of it and is back at 5.8 (third to fourth, 6+).

3) Indianapolis – While Bonneville Salt Lake City adult contemporary KSFI boasts the highest “Holiday” 2016 6+-share of any station in the 48-PPM markets (20.6), Emmis’ similarly-programmed WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” claims top honors for greatest December 2016 – “Holiday” 2016 (6+) increase (8.3 – 17.7, +9.4, 6+) and repeats at #1. It improved in three straight sweeps (August-September-October) for a cumulative +1.1 (6.4 – 6.6 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+) before declining by one-half share in November – “B-105.7” is in double-digits (6+) for the first time in exactly one year (15.4, 6+, “Holiday” 2015). Within three-share range the past seven survey periods, Radio One CHR WNOW “Now 100.9” busts out a +1.6 to 5.0 to leap into the top ten (#12 to #6). After six successive positive trends for a collective +1.7 (5.3 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.0 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” is off by -1.1 to 5.9 (6+, fourth to fifth, 6+). December’s 7.0 was the highest 6+share for WFMS in more than three years (7.6, 6+, November 2013). Posting a +1.3 in November, WNOW gospel cluster-mate WTLC-AM “1310 The Light” follows with a combined -1.9 in December and “Holiday” (2.6 – 1.8 – .7, 6+), slipping from #14 (December) to #19 (“Holiday”). December’s -.8 ended its string of five straight sweeps without a loss that netted two full-shares (6.- .7 – .7 – .9 – 1.3 – 2.6, 6+). The previous sweep, “The Light” doubled October’s 1.3 and nearly tripled September’s .9. In addition to WFMS and WTLC-AM, also deflating by -1.1 are WNOW’s CHR rival – Entercom’s WZPL (7.3 – 6.2, third to fourth, 6+). The string of consecutive up or flat trend gains that netted Cumulus Media’s WJJK a combined +.7 (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+) ends at four as “Classic Hits 104.5” collapses by twice that increase (7.8 – 6.4, -1.4, 6+), moving from second to third. A December drop of two-tenths by Emmis’ country WLHK “97.1 Hank” concluded three straight sweeps without a decline for a combined +.6 (4.7 – 4.7 – – 5.2 – 5.3, 6+). Off by one full-share (5.1 – 4.1, 6+), “Hank” dips from seventh back to eighth. When it added one-tenth in October, “Hank” ended four successive down or flat sweeps for a combined May through September -1.6 (6.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+). Within 5.4 – 5.7 range (6+) the past five sweeps, iHeartMedia’s WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock” sputters by nine-tenths to 4.6 (sixth to seventh, 6+). Owing to three straight June through September increases, co-owned WOLT was a combined +1.2 (4.4 – 4.5 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). “Alt 103.3 Indy’s Alternative,” however, relinquished three-quarters of that gain in October (-.9); answered with a +.8 in November; -1.1 in December; and is -.8 in “Holiday” (5.6 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 4.4 – 3.6, 6+). “Alt 103.3” departs the top ten (#8 to #12). This is the tenth straight time that Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting’s WFYI (2.8 – 2.1, -.7, #13 to #14, 6+) is in 2.1 – 2.8 range (6+). Down one-half share (4.2 – 3.7, 6+) and slipping from ninth to tenth, Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix” – Better Variety for a Better Workday” concludes its consecutive string of registering a 6+-share between 4.0 – 4.9 at 20.

4) Providence – A collective +8.5 in December and “Holiday” (9.5 – 10.6 – 18.0, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” is #1 for the fifteenth successive ratings period. “Lite Rock 105” registered three straight progressive trends (July – August – September) netting one-half share (9.4 – 9.6 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+) and was a cumulative -.4 in October and November (9.9 – 9.8 – 9.5, 6+). At this time last year, WWLI was #1 as well with an 18.6 (6+, “Holiday” 2015). Trending 4.1 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 5.0 (September-October-November-December, 6+) talk sibling WPRO-AM spirals by -1.6 to 3.4, moving from sixth to seventh. CHR cluster-mate WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music 92 PRO FM” flounders by one full-share (8.7 – 7.7, 6+) and is caught in the runner-up position by iHeartMedia’s WHJY “94-HJY Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” (8.3 – 7.7, -.6, 6+). In December, “Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” returned more than half of the eight-tenths it gained in November (8.8 – 8.3, -.5, 6+). Off by eight-tenths each are WHJY’s hot AC and classic hits-oldies siblings WSNE “Coast 93.3” (5.4 – 4.6, flat at #5, 6+) and WWBB “B-101,” which has its fourth straight decline for a net loss of -1.4 (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 3.9, 6+) yet bumps up from seventh to sixth. Unchanged at #4, Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” falters by seven-tenths (7.3 – 6.6, 6+), while Cumulus Media rhythmic CHR WWKX “Hot 106” registers its third consecutive sweep without an increase (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+) but remains at #9.

5) Raleigh – Fourteen (14) recent (6+) fluctuations for WRAL “Mix 101.5” include +.5 November 2015; +.6 December 2015; +5.7 Holiday 2015; -7.2 January 2016; +.6 February; +.6 March; -.6 April; +.5 May; +.5 July; +.9 September; +1.0 October; -.5 in November 2016; +.9 December; and now a +5.2 in “Holiday” 2016. The Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary repeats at #1 (8.0 – 13.2, 6+) and enjoys its finest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2015’s 14.3. In an October 2015 – December 2016 timeframe, “Mix 101.5” has been in sole possession of first-place eight times and shared top honors three times. Not only does Radio One gospel WNNL climb from sixth to fourth, “103.9 The Light” extends its successive string of up or flat trends to seven (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 6.1 – 6.6, 6+) for a cumulative +2.8. Stuck on 5.7 (6+) in November and December, iHeartMedia talker WTKK sinks by -1.3 to 4.4, dipping from seventh to eighth. Falling from fourth to sixth (6.0, -1.1, 6+), Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 Today’s Best Country” sees its streak of consecutive progressive trends – which netted a +1.5 – end at five (5.6 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 7.1, 6+). Registering a 7.7 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps and in 7.6 – 7.8 range the past six monthlies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC (#2 to #3) deflates by nine-tenths (7.7 – 6.8, 6+). Off by one-half share each are iHeartMedia’s WRDU “Classic Rock 100.7” (4.9 – 4.4, ninth to eighth, 6+) and Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WPTK “Just Right Radio” (1.1 – .6, flat at #19, 6+).

6) Norfolk – There is genuinely major news in this Virginia market and it happens within the Entercom cluster as adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD” logs a massive +7.1 (6.3 – 14.4, 6+) to storm from third to first. That means “2WD” unseats urban AC sibling WVKL (12.3 – 11.0, -1.3, first to second, 6), which had been in the driver’s seat the past 55 ratings periods. Even so, “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” is in 11.0 – 12.7-share range for the eighth time in the last nine sweeps. The last time WVKL was not in double-digits (6+) was when it registered a 9.8 in January 2014. As for “2WD,” it gained a collective one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (4.8 – 5.2 – 5.3, August – September – October, 6+) before slumping by eight-tenths in November to 4.5, its lowest 6+-share since June 2015’s 4.4. By way of comparison, WWDE was in second-place in “Holiday” 2015 with an 11.8 (6+). Having notched three straight downward trends resulting in a loss of eight-tenths (2.7 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “MOViN 107.7” rebounds with a combined +5.5 in December and “Holiday” (1.9 – 4.0 – 7.4, 6+), jumping from seventh (in December) to third. Regressing by one full-share each are urban contemporary cluster-mate WOWI “103 Jamz” (7.1 – 6.1, 6+) and Entercom rhythmic CHR WNVZ “Z-104 All The Hits” (3.2, fifth to seventh, 6+). Segueing to fourth, “Jamz” had occupied the runner-up slot the past twelve sweeps; it was -.9 in December. Following a +.6 in August and a -.7 in September, “Jamz 103” answered with a 1.1 in October (6.7 – 7.3 – 6.6 – 7.7, 6+). In four-share range (6+) for the 13th straight time, “Z-104” has May through December (6+) trends of 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.2. This marks the sixth consecutive sweep that Max Broadcast Group Norfolk stations are no longer Nielsen Audio subscribers. With data cited from the June 2016 ratings period, they are classic hits-oldies WVBW (#3, 6.0); country WGH-FM (5.0, #7); CHR WVHT (#9, 3.8); sports WVSP (#12, 2.3); and gospel WGH-AM (#15, 1.9).

7) Nashville – Powered by an improvement of four full-shares (9.1 – 13.1, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9” returns to double-digits for the first time since February 2016’s 10.2 (6+) and is #1 for the 59th consecutive ratings period. This is the best (6+) performance for “Mix” since its 15.6 in “Holiday” 2015. A +.2 back in August stymied seven straight downward trends that yielded a net loss since the “Holiday” 2015 report of -7.4 (15.6 – 10.7 – 10.2 – 9.7 – 9.6 – 9.1 – 8.3 – 8.2, 6+). When WUBT “101.1 The Beat” lost one full-share in December to 4.9 (6+), it not only broke an August to November pattern of 6.1 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.9 (6+), it sent the iHeartMedia urban contemporary to below a five-share (6+) for the first time since July 2013 (4.8). By bouncing back and recapturing that one-share in its entirety though, “The Beat” jumps from tenth to third (4.9 – 5.9, 6+). Stuck on 1.0 (6+) in four of the last six sweeps and on .9 (6+) in the other two, Cromwell Group’s WPRT “ESPN Nashville 102.5 The Game” adds one-half share (1.0 – 1.5, 6+) to inch up from #19 to #17. When Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed WGFX “104.5 The Zone” lost two-tenths in November, it ended a string of three consecutive improvements which resulted in a +4.1 since July (3.7 – 4.0 – 5.4 – 7.8, 6+). Now in back-to-back monthlies, the Tennessee Titans flagship is a combined -1.7 (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9, 6+) but remains in third-place. Albeit off by one full share, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” (7.2 – 6.2, 6+) repeats in the runner-up slot. It trailed “Mix” by 1.9 shares (6+) in December but “Mix” has widened the gap to 6.9 shares. After a string of three consecutive progressive trends that produced a combined +.8 (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+), sibling WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” surrenders that eight-tenths completely and is back at 5.2 (6+, fifth to seventh). Sputtering by seven-tenths each are country cluster-mate WSM-FM “Nash Icon” (5.5 – 5.0, seventh to eighth, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive and Encouraging K-LOVE” (2.6 – 1.9, #15 to #16, 6+). Without a decrease in the past five sweeps for a cumulative +.9 (5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 6.1 – 6.1, 6+), Cumulus Media urban AC WQQK “92-Q” (fourth to fifth) is down by one-half share to 5.6 (6+). Two talkers – Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN (flat at #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WLAC (1.2, #17 to #19, 6+) – decrease by one-half share as well, with WPLN returning December’s +.5 (4.2 – 4.7 – 4.2, 6+). WLAC had been up the past three ratings periods (.8 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+) for a combined +.9.

8) Greensboro – On the strength of its third straight gain, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG marches from second to first and matches the 15.2 (6+) it logged exactly one year ago (“Holiday” 2015). Its last 11 (6+) fluctuations are -.9 (March); +.5 (April); +.9 (May); -.3 (June); -.7 (July); -.5 (August); +.7 (September); -.6 (October); +.4 (November), +2.4 (December) and now this robust +5.5 in “Holiday” 2016. A gain of one-half share (2.2 – 2.7, 6+) propels Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” into the top ten (#11 to #10, 6+). It is the 17th straight time that “La Ley” is in two-share range. Following four successive sweeps in the lead, Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz The Hip-Hop Station,” a combined -1.9 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (12.4 – 11.7 10.5, 6+), shifts to #2. The -.7 by WJMH in December halted five straight increases that generated a collective +3.8 since June (8.6 – 9.8 – 10.0 – 10.1 – 10.6 – 12.4, 6+); 12.4 (November 2016) is the best-ever (6+) showing for “102 Jamz” in its PPM-history. Unchanged at #4, adult hits sibling WSMW “Simon” spikes by -1.1 (9.4 – 8.3, 6+). A combined +1.1 in October and November (3.9 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia talker WPTI (flat at #8) forfeits all of it in December and “Holiday” (5.0 – 4.5 – 3.9, -1.1, 6+), while co-owned WVBZ is down seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.0, 6+) and is unchanged at #9. The market’s country rivals are each down by four-tenths and remain separated by one-tenth: Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” is 5.2 – 4.8, (steady at #6, 6+) while iHeartMedia’s WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” is 5.1 – 4.7 (flat at #7, 6+). The +.3 “Q-104.1” posted in November stopped three successive down-trending monthlies that produced a cumulative loss of more than two full-shares (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.5 – 5.1, 6+). In September, “Q-104.1” held a 1.9-share lead over “The Wolf.” Prior to reaching 5.0 in October, “The Wolf” had been in 4.2 – 4.8 range (6+) the previous eight sweeps.

9) West Palm Beach – Taking advantage of a +2.7 (6.4 – 9.1, 6+), Alpha Media adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9” (ranked third in December) leapfrogs hot AC sibling WRMF to cruise into the top spot. December’s +.4 by “Sunny” curtailed a three-month slide for a cumulative -1.9 (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.3 – 6.0, 6+). Its 9.1 in “Holiday” 2016 is two-tenths ahead of what “Sunny” posted one year ago (8.9, 6+, “Holiday” 2015). On top the past five ratings periods, WRMF takes over at #2, fully relinquishing the one-half share it picked up in December (7.7 – 8.2 – 7.7, 6+). A collective +1.9 in August and September, WRMF followed October’s -.8 with a loss of another six-tenths in November. It fell to second in July, after 23 successive sweeps at #1. The previous sweep, WRMF gained three-tenths to end four successive decreases yielding a cumulative -2.2 (9.5 – 9.3 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.3, 6+). September’s 9.1 was its strongest 6+-stat since February’s 9.3. Consecutive increases in October and November (3.8 – 4.3 – 4.7, 6+) gave co-owned WMBX a collective +.9, but “X-102.3” returned seven-tenths of it in December. The urban AC recaptures that seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 (4.0 – 4.7, 6+) as it carries on at #8. As WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF gains one-half share (4.3 – 4.8, seventh to sixth, 6+), public WLRN slips by that margin (2.8 – 2.3, 6+) but stays at #9. The fact that WLRN records a decrease is rather significant as it had avoided one in the last ten sweeps (1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), yielding one full-share.

10) Jacksonville – Energized by a +.5.8 (8.9 – 14.7, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ “Lite 96.1 – Today’s Variety” returns to double-digits (6+) for the first time since July’s 10.2 as it surges from second to first. One year ago at this time (“Holiday” 2015), “Lite 96.1” was #1 with a 19.7 (6+). Owing to December’s +4.5 (6.8 – 11.3, 6+), iHeartMedia WQIK jumped from fifth to first. With a loss of six-tenths, however, “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” takes over in the runner-up slot vacated by “Lite 96.1” Prior to a modest one-tenth gain in November, “Jacksonville’s Country” was down two full-shares as a result of being without an increase since February (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.7, 6+). Not only was 11.3 the best-ever 6+-stat for WQIK, it is the eighth-highest 6+-share of any Jacksonville station in the PPM-era. “Lite 96.1” has the top seven 6+-showings, including 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Among other Jacksonville outlets impacted by WEJZ’s +5.8 is Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WEZI “Easy 106.5,” which deflates by -1.3 (3.4 – 2.1, #13 to #14, 6+). Returning to third from fifth with a gain of three-tenths to 7.4 (6+), co-owned WJGL “Eagle 96.9 Jacksonville’s Classic Hits” pulls the plug on three consecutive monthlies without an increase (9.3 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 7.1, 6+) that produced a -2.2; 7.1 was its lowest 6+-share since 5.8 in the “Holiday” 2014 report. A combined +2.4 in October and November (6.5 – 7.2 – 8.9, 6+), talk sibling WOKV is a collective -2.3 though in December and “Holiday” 2016 (8.9 – 8.1 – 6.6, 6+), tumbling from third to fifth; November 2016’s 8.9 was the highest 6+-stat for WOKV since November 2012 (9.9). Locked on 3.8 (6+) in November and December, iHeartMedia adult hits WWJK “107.3 Jack FM” regresses by one full-share to 2.8 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 – #12). Within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the ninth successive sweep, CHR sibling WKSL “97.9 Kiss FM” drops one-half share (4.5 – 4.0, 6+) to slip from eighth to ninth.

11) Memphis – On the strength of a hefty gain of five full-shares (7.1 – 12.1, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River” busts out of a fourth-place tie and sails to #1. When “The River” added one full-share in December, it ended three straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.6 (7.7 – 7.1 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). This is the strongest 6+-showing since 14.0 in Holiday 2015 for “The River,” which dislodges iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” from the lead. Without an increase for the eighth straight time (12.5 – 11.6 – 10.7 – 10.5 – 10.2 – 9.9 – 9.9 – 9.3 – 9.3, 6+), “V-101” is -3.2 in that stretch. It had been #1 the past ten monthlies but slides to #2. Down a combined eight-tenths in consecutive sweeps (5.8 – 5.3 – 5.0, October-November-December, 6+), gospel cluster-mate WHAL “Halleluiah” answers with a +1.3 (6+, seventh to fifth) and has its best 6+-stat (6.3) since March (6.6). Despite posting a gain of one-half share (8.6 – 9.1, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WRBO “Soul Classics & Today’s R&B,” which had been in the runner-up spot the past seven survey periods, moves to #3. WRBO regains the one-half share it lost in December, following November’s +.8 (8.3 – 9.1 – 8.6, 6+). Back-to-back modest declines by “Soul Classics” in August and September produced a combined loss of seven-tenths (8.5 – 8.2 – 7.8, 6+), but WRBO wiped out most of it with a one-half share gain in October. Deflating by -1.1 each are iHeartMedia talker WREC (4.3 – 3.2, 6+) and Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” (6.0, fourth to sixth, 6+). Flat at #10, WREC was off by one-tenth in November, ending four consecutive progressive trends which netted a +.9 (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.6, 6+) but was then +.8 in December. Immediately prior to the -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016, “FM 100” put together six successive improvements netting over two full-shares (5.0 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 6.6 – 7.1, 6+). Co-owned country WLFP was up by one-half share in December as well (2.9 – 3.4, 6+), having its finest 6+-performance since August 2014 (3.5); however, “94.1 The Wolf” sputters by six-tenths to 2.8 (6+, flat at #11. Its format rival, Cumulus Media’s WGKX, relinquished all but one-tenth of November’s eight-tenths’ gain in December (5.1 – 4.4, -.7, 6+) and now “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” further erodes by one-half share to 3.9 moving from an eighth-place tie to ninth. October’s +.3 curtailed three successive negative trends by “Kix 106” that produced a -.7 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+).

12) Hartford – Over and above being #1 for the fourth consecutive ratings period, CBS Radio adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5” trots out a whopping +7.6 for its fourth straight increase (9.3 – 9.6 – 10.1 – 10.8 – 18.4, 6+), producing a cumulative +9.1 (nearly doubling September’s 9.3). Lite” eclipses the 17.8 (6+) it logged in “Holiday” 2015.  In November, Lite 100.5” returned to double-digits (6+) after a two-month hiatus. It had been in double-digits (6+) for 13 straight ratings periods before posting a 9.3 in September and a 9.6 in October; 9.3 was its lowest 6+-showing since August 2015, when “Lite” recorded an 8.7. Entering the September sweep, WRCH was on top for 15 straight ratings periods and 23 of the previous 24 but it declined by -1.1 and dropped to second-place. Up three-tenths to 5.1 (6+), rhythmic CHR sibling WZMX “Hot 93.7” (eighth to sixth) pulls the plug on four consecutive negative trends that accounted for a loss of nearly three full-shares (7.5 – 7.4 – 6.2 – 5.9 – 4.8, 6+). After posting a gain of one-half share in December, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” (fourth to fifth, 6+) spirals by -1.5 to 6.6 (6+). This decrease completely erases the cumulative +1.5 “The River” picked up in four straight improvements (6.6 – 7.3 – 7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1, 6+). Floundering by -1.4 each are co-owned WWYZ “Country 92-5” (8.2 – 6.8, third to fourth, 6+) and public WNPR (4.4, seventh to eighth). After three straight regressions producing a collective -2.3 and the station’s lowest 6+-share since March (10.1 – 9.7 – 9.2 – 7.8, 6+), “Country 92-5” picked up four-tenths in December. It took over the top spot from WRCH in September with a decrease of four-tenths, which halted five straight positive or flat monthlies (7.2 – 7.9 – 7.9 – 9.0 – 9.5 – 10.1, 6+). This constitutes the first decrease for Connecticut Public Broadcasting‘s WNPR in the last six ratings periods where it accumulated a +2.7 (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.8, 6+). Slipping by six-tenths each are Connoisseur Media talker WDRC-AM (#12 to #13) and the HD2 channel of Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WMRQ (2.5 – 1.9, flat at #11). WDRC-AM had been up or flat in each of the last five sweeps (.4 – .4 -.5 – .7 – .8 – 1.3, 6+) and in December, it crossed the one-share threshold (6+) for the first time since a 1.4 in the “Holiday” 2015 report. Unchanged at #9, co-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” is without an increase for the seventh straight sweep accounting for a -2.6 (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+). In addition to WDRC-FM, iHeartMedia CHR WKSS “Kiss 95.7 – All the Hits” drops one-half share as well (5.2 – 4.7, 6+). As a result of December’s +.2, “Kiss” curtailed five successive down or flat trends that produced a collective -1.5 since June (6.5 – 6.3 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+).

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

| October 18, 2016

Entercom to Acquire Four Charlotte Signals from Beasley for $24 Million.  In order to stay under the FCC ownership cap in the Charlotte market, Beasley Broadcast Group has to sell some of its holdings that would wbtwlnk-duo-logoput if over the cap after the previously announced Greater Media acquisition deal closes.  Now, Beasley announces that Entercom will acquire news/talk WBT-AM/FM, hot ACwfnz WLNK-FM (all three currently owned by Greater Media) plus sports talk WFNZ-AM and its accompanying FM translator.  The company says that Entercom will begin operating WBT-AM/FM and WLNK-FM upon the closing of the Greater Media deal, pursuant to a time brokerage agreement.  Back on July 19, Beasley and Greater Media entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby Beasley will acquire all of the outstanding stock of Greater Media for an aggregate consideration of approximately $240 million, subject to adjustments.

Westwood One to Syndicate WMAL, Washington-Based Chris Plante Show.  Over the years, the WMAL-AM/FM, Washington-based Chris Plante show has aired on other Cumulus Media news/talk stations – it still is heard on the company’s KARN-FM, Little Rock.  Now, the company is getting serious about going beyond DC with the show and Westwood One begins syndication efforts for the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET program beginningplantechris January 2, 2017.  About the conservative talk personality, WW1 says, “A third-generation media pro, Plante began his radio career at WMAL in 2005 after 17 years inside the Washington bureau at CNN, where he moved up the ranks from researcher and assignment editor to Pentagon correspondent.  During his tenure at CNN, he crisscrossed the globe, covering events from Vietnam and Albania to Jakarta.  He was the director of the U.S. westwood-one-newtelevision network pool operations in Saudi Arabia for three months following Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait.  Plante won the Edward R. Murrow Award from the RTDNA for his live coverage of the terrorist attack on the pentagon on September 11, 2001.  He was the first to report that the Pentagon had been attacked. He was also recognized by the Television Academy for his September 11 reporting.  He makes regular appearances on the Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network.”  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “Chris Plante takes the news of the day and breaks it down in his signature direct, funny, and fearless style.  He engages a legion of devoted fans who tune in every day whether they agree with him or not.  He’s a captivating storyteller who makes great radio.  It’s the kind of programming we are proud to add to our best-in-class talk lineup.”

WABC, New York and Westwood One Renew Don Imus.  When January 2, 2017 rolls around, the only difference in morning drive at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York and its Westwood One radio network will be imusdona 9:00 am ET signoff time for New York radio legend Don Imus (right now it’s 10:00 am).  Cumulus announces it has re-signed Imus and his crew to a new multi-year deal for the show to air on 77 WABC Radio from 6:00 am to 9:00 am.  It’s been nine years since WABC inked Imus to a morning radio deal after CBS RADIO dropped him from crosstown WFAN in the wake of the “nappy-headed hos” scandal.  Cumulus SVP, content andwabc-logo programming Mike McVay states, “Don Imus is not a media icon.  He is much more than that.  He is an American Icon.  Mr. Imus brings his ‘A’ game every day. And if you miss one day, you miss a lot.  We are thrilled to have Don continue with Westwood One, Cumulus and WABC.”  The cast of executive producer Bernie McGuirk, comedians Rob Bartlett and Tony Powell, producer Lou Rufino, sportscaster Warner Wolf, and news anchor Connell McShane will also remain with the show.  The program is currently followed by “The Bernie & Sid Show” with McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg.  Whether WABC expands that program to 9:00 am to 12:00 noon remains to be seen.

WPRO-AM, Providence’s John DePetro Hosts Red Sox Great Curt Schilling; Former Pitcher Intends to Challenge Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.  During a long interview on the John DePetro program on Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM, Providence, former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling (whoschillingcurt currently hosts a weekend syndicated talk show distributed by the Howie Carr Radio Network) spoke deptrojohnat length about the failed video game company 38 Studios that received a large Rhode Island state loan to locate in Providence.  The company went belly-up and the issue has been a sore spot for a number of politicians in the state, not to mention segments of the public.  During the interview, Schilling also told DePetro that he’s decided – pending approval from his wife Shonda – that he will challenge Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for her U.S. Senate seat.  Shonda Schilling later called in to the station to say she has not decided if she’s willing to give approval.  WPRI-TV, Providence reports that a recent WBZ/UMass poll put Warren at 47% and Schilling at 28%.

Entercom to Refinance Debt.  The Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania-based broadcaster announces it is meeting with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Senior Funding, Inc., RBC Capital Markets, LLC and entercomWells Fargo Securities, LLC today to discuss a refinancing of its senior and senior unsecured debt.  In a press statement, Entercom Communications says it expects to enter into a $520 million senior secured credit facility that will include a $60 million revolving credit facility with a five-year maturity, plus a $460 million term loan with a seven-year maturity.  Entercom will use the term loan to refinance $225 million in existing senior secured bank debt, plus it will buy back $220 million in 10.5% senior subordinated notes.

harrisonupclosefaroutsmallCBS News Icon Charles Osgood Is the Subject of this Week’s Harrison Podcast.  Legendary CBS News radio and television giant Charles Osgood is the guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne hit series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” posted today (10/18).  Osgood has been hosting (and continues to host) the four-osgoodcharlestimes-per-weekday morning feature “The Osgood Files” via Westwood One on radio stations across the nation since 1971.  He also retired several weeks ago from a 24-year stint as the anchor of television’s CBS News “Sunday Morning” program. Harrison and Osgood talk about changes in media and journalism over the years culminating with a provocative analysis of the current presidential election. To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

The Presidential Race, Trump’s Media Conspiracy, Hillary Clinton Emails Scandal, Battle Against ISIS in Mosul, Police Chiefs Group Apology, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/17).  The race for the presidency; Donald Trump’s statements that the election is in jeopardy of being stolen by the media conspiracy against him; allegations that State Department Under-Secretary Michael Kennedy engaged in a quid-pro-quo with the FBI to have some of Hillary Clinton’s emails declassified during the investigation of her use of a private email server for State Department business; the ongoing battle against Islamic State in Iraq and the fight to retake Mosul; International Association of Chiefs of Police president Terrence Cunningham apologizes for generations of mistrust between police officers and minority communities; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

giordanodomElection 2016: TALKERS Magazine in the Trenches – WPHT, Philadelphia’s Dom Giordano Interviews Michael Harrison About the State of Talk Radio During Current Cycle.  WPHT, Philadelphia midday host Dom Giordano engages in an in-depth conversation with TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison about the disruptive effect Election 2016 has been having upon conservative talk radio during the current presidential election cycle.  The two talk about how the concept of targeting audiences and preaching to the choir – a modern day strategy of political talk broadcasting – has hit speedbumps on the right with the emergence of Donald Trump and even to a degree on the left with revelations about Bernie Sanders’ candidacy. Harrison says, “We have gone from playing checkers to three dimensional chess.”  To hear the conversation in its entirety, please click here.

Odds & Sods.  Progressive talk media personality Nicole Sandler returns to work after taking time off to treat her cancer.  She says, “It’s been a long couple of months during which my world changed completely.  I had no idea howsandlernicole long my detour to deal with cancer would last, but I’m ready to head back into the land of electoral insanity with just three weeks to go before election day.  If a life-threatening illness had to sideline me for a few months, it surely picked the right time.  And if I wasn’t already sick, covering this year’s presidential madness would have certainly made me ill.  But as we approach the finish line, I have to admit that I’ve been getting a bit antsy in recent days.  Talking back to the TV just wasn’t helping.”  She starts streaming her show – starting one hour from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET – at nicolesandler.com and Progressive millerstephanieVoices Network…..Stephanie Miller’s final “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” date for this year takes place in Los Angeles at the Saban Theater on November 5.  It will be broadcast in movie theaters across the country via Fathom Events on November 7.  Also, Miller’s book, Sexy Liberal! Of Me I Sing, wins the 2016 Wild Card Book Award in the Northern California Book Festival…..Following yesterday’s news about Galaxy Communications’ acquisition of Berkshires Media Group, it’s worth noting that Galaxy has applied to the FCC to move the FM translator it recently bought in South Burlington, Vermont to the Western Massachusetts region to serve as the translator for news/talk WBEC-AM, Pittsfield at 93.9 FM…..DGital Media issues a presser listing some of its recent content partnerships – including relationships with Tony Kornheiser, Peter King, Fortune, Sports Illustrated, IMG, The MMQB, and more.  Chief content officer Chris Corcoran says, “We are extremely proud to add so many wonderful partnerships to our business.  The power of on-demand audio only continues to grow.  We are well poised for what lies ahead, bringing together our new and existing partners with a rapidly growing audience of millions of fans who tune in on a daily basis.”

Monday, July 25, 2016

| July 25, 2016

Jack Tomczak Exits KTLK, Minneapolis.  Morning drive personality Jack Tomczak exits iHeartMedia‘s Twin Cities news/talk KTLK where he co-hosted the morning show with PD Andrew Lee.  In a post on the station’s tomczakjackwebsite, Lee writes about Tomczak’s departure, although he declines making public the reason, statingktlklogo that’s between Tomczak and the company.  For now, it appears Lee will host the “Up and At ‘Em” show solo.  Tomczak had been with the station for the past five years.  Lee wrote, in part, “I’m sad to announce that Jack is no longer a part of the KTLK morning show. Many have suspected as such, but I have not been able to address this publicly until now…This has been one of the most challenging weeks in my entire radio career. I hate knowing that the listeners are out there wondering what’s going on and I really hate not being able to be forthcoming on the air. I hope you understand.”

iHeartMedia Leases KKSF, San Francisco to Deportes Media for Spanish Sports Outlet.  It was just three months ago during the re-alignment of Cumulus Media’s KGO and KSFO that Armstrong & Getty left kksfiHeartMedia’s crosstown talker KKSF for mornings at KGO.  That prompted the move-in of syndicated progressive talker Stephanie Miller to AM drive on KKSF.  Now, the progressive programming is gone and iHM is leasing the signal to Deportes Media and it is airing ESPN Deportes programming on the station.  Along with Miller exiting the station’s lineup are: Gil Gross, Cory (Callewaert) and Joel (Riddell), “The Doghouse with JV & Elvis” (a.k.a. Jeff Vandergrift and Dan Lay), Los Angeles-based Mo’ Kelly, and Fox News Radio’s Alan Colmes.

KLWB, Lafayette Sports Talk Host Jordy Hultberg Arrested on Domestic Battery Charge.  Louisiana sports media personality Jordy Hultberg has been arrested on counts of domestic abuse battery and simplehultbergjordy battery in East Baton Rouge, Louisiana after an alleged incident involving his estranged wife, according to the Lafayette Advocate.  Hultberg hosts the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm show on Delta Media Corp.’s KLWB “103.7 The Game.”  The paper reports that 59-year-old Hultberg is accused of pushing his wife into a dresser.  According to the account, Hultberg’s estranged wife went to the house to check on him after his daughter expressed concern for his well-being.  Hultberg was allegedly discovered in the bedroom with another woman.

morrisVideo16WOMAN OF THE YEAR VIDEO POSTED – Talkers 2016: Bridging the Generations.  Another video recording of a key event at the recent Talkers 2016: Bridging the Generations, that was held at Hofstra University on Long Island May 20, has been posted today (7/25) on Talkers.com.  It is the finale of the four-part Awards Ceremony during which the Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions Made to the Radio Industry by a Woman award (“Woman of the Year”) was presented to Ginny Morris, chair/CEO of Hubbard Radio.  The award is presented to Morris by Danielle Lin, C.N., host of the nationally syndicated Danielle Lin Show.  To view this video in its entirety, plus the convention videos already posted, please click here.  Stay tuned to Talkers.com for more videos from Talkers 2016: Bridging the Generations that will be posted in the days and weeks to come.

‘102.5 The Bone’ in Tampa Adds Beckles for Sunday Show.  Tampa talk pro Ian Beckles is being brought aboard Cox Media Group’s hot talk WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone” to host a Sunday sports and pop culturebecklesian show, beginning August 7.  CMG Tampa director of branding and programming John Brennan says, “At ‘The Bone,’ we have the luxury to cover every possible topic throughout the week, from politics and news, to pop culture, entertainment, and sports.  Ian Beckles is one of the best sports talkers out there and he brings with him credible sports analysis, with the talent to cover all the other topics.  He is a perfect fit, and I’m very excited to work with him.”  Off the air since 2015, Beckles previously worked at iHeartMedia’s crosstown sports talker WDAE.

cookehollandCooke: Making Your Station’s Image Great Again.  Media consultant Holland Cooke writes in a column posted today at Talkers.com about how important it is that your station’s P1s associate what you do with what they want – just as Donald Trump’s supporters recognize him as the one who wants to “Make America Great Again.”  Noting that perceptual studies are expensive, Cooke recommends using SurveyMonkey and illustrates how station operators can gauge how they’re doing with P1s by asking for their opinions.  Read more here.

Odds & Sods.  Charlotte sports outlet WFNZ has an FM frequency in the market as Beasley Media Group is now simulcasting the WFNZ-AM programming on translator W272DP at 102.5 FM…..Sports talker Matt Jones exits the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm show on Signal Media of Arkansas’ KABZ-FM, Little Rock “The Buzz.”  Program director Justin Acri is hosting the show until a full-time replacement can be named…..AdLarge Media adds another podcast to its roster with an exclusive national ad sales agreement to represent the “Completely Unnecessary Podcast” (#CUPodcast), hosted by writer and gamer, Pat Contri and fellow gaming expert, Ian Ferguson…..NBC Sports Radio broadcast live from the 27th American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament at Edgewood Tahoe South in Lake Tahoe, Nevada over the weekend.  Athletes and celebrities competed all weekend forschwartzmannMannixToomer big money prizes.  Some of the players this year included Justin Timberlake, Stephen Curry, Alfonso Ribeiro, Marcus Allen, Jerome Bettis, AJ Hawk, Ray Romano, Terrell Davis, Marshall Faulk, Bode Miller, Jerry Rice, Willie Robertson, Abby Wambach, Emmitt Smith, and more.  Pictured here are (l-r): NBC Sports Radio hosts Dan Schwartzman, Chis Mannix, and Amani Toomer.

The Presidential Race/RNC Aftermath/This Week’s DNC, Germany Concert Explosion, Police Violence Against Blacks/Cop Killings/Black Lives Matter Movement, Rio Olympics Troubles/ Russian Doping Scandal, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The presidential race including chatter about last week’s Republican National Convention and this week’s Democratic National Convention; the suicide bombing outside a concert event in Germany; various violent/deadly encounters between police and black men, the slayings of police officers, and the Black Lives Matter movement; the troubles facing the Rio De Janeiro Olympic games and the related Russian doping scandal; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

Monday, April 18, 2016

| April 18, 2016

Radio 620 WTMJ - WRS (662c)WTMJ, Milwaukee Announces Promotions; Eric Brooks Named Director of Programming and News.  Saying that the promotions and structural changesbrookseric will help “further grow the station as Milwaukee’s and Wisconsin’s premier source for local programming, local news and local connection,” VP and general manager Tom Langmyer ups three staffers at E.W. Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee.  Eric dismeiererinBrooks is promoted to director, programming & news.  Langmyer says, “WTMJ does more than aggregate others’ content and Eric is greatly responsible for leading the team in this direction.  Through Eric’s work, we have more reporters on the street and a greater focus on engaging local stories and topics to serve our listeners.”  At the same time, Langmyer announces that Erinbilstaderik Dismeier is upped to executive producer, WTMJ programming.  She’ll continue in her role as producer for “Wisconsin’s Afternoon News” and add supervisory duties for some members of the content team.  Erik Bilstad continues his role as executive producer, WTMJ news.  Now, he’ll serve as WTMJ’s lead reporter and co-anchor of “Wisconsin’s Afternoon News.”  Langmyer says the realignment offers him more time to build upon his Murrow Award-winning reporting.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio: News/Talk Continues Upward Trend.  Citing the 2016 presidential election as the reason for increased listening to the news/talk format, Nielsen Audio shares data from its March 2016 PPM survey that indicates its rise in listenership across the PPM markets.  Nielsen reports, “At the persons 6+ level, news/talk now represents a 10% share of all radio listening – a level it hasn’t seen since the last presidential election in 2012.  Among adults 18-34 this year, news/talk rose from a 4.1% share in February to a 4.2% share in March.  In news/talk’s ‘money demo’ of adults 25-54, the format climbed from a 6.9% share in February to a 7.0% share in March.  From Democrats to Republicans, Undecided to Independent, the conversation about America’s future president is being debated on news/talk radio.”  News/talk was the most-listened-to format during the March PPM survey (6+), topping CHR which garnered 8% of all radio listening.  See more here.

ramseyOrlando16Dave Ramsey’s Smart Conference Hits Orlando.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey hosted the Smart Conference at Calvary Orlando last Saturday (4/16) before a packed house.  The day’s events included speakers Rachel Cruze, Chris Hogan, John O’Leary, Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. Les Parrott, Dr. Meg Meeker, and Michael Jr. and provided attendees with essential information on how to win with money, strengthen their marriages, build parenting skills and excel in their careers.  Ramsey combined forces with iHeartMedia local affiliate “NewsRadio 102.5 WFLA” (WFLF-AM and W273CA) to promote the event.   Pictured here with Ramsey (center) are station PD Jim Poling (left) and cluster general sales manager Mark Kanak (right).

Odds & Sods.  This past weekend, nationally syndicated talk host Stephanie Miller’s Sexy Liberal Comedy TourmillerstephTVNC16 hit Asheville, North Carolina.  With that state’s controversial new “Bathroom Law” that prohibits transgender citizens from using the restroom designated for the gender with which they identify set as the backdrop, the show was featured by WLOS-TV, Asheville news.  Miller is pictured here speaking about the comedy show on the news piece.  She said they hope to bring attention to the issue through their cosbyritacomedy…..WABC, New York political editor Rita Cosby stepped in to interview Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton who was booked on the station’s “Bernie and Sid” show with Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg on Friday (4/15).  Producer Jill Vitale tells TALKERS magazine that Secretary Clinton “freaked out” when she found out McGuirk and Rosenberg were to interview her.  So, to smooth things over, Cosby quickly agreed to handle the interview…..The purchase of KLTQ-FM, Beulah, North Dakota by Guy Giuliano’s DSN Radio LLC from Todd Mohr’s Synergy Broadcast Group is complete.  The signal will simulcast sports talk KDKT-AM,krokheli16 Beulah.  DSN president Guy Giuliano says, “The new FM signal will offer KDKT further opportunities to grow and serve the communities of western North Dakota with local sports and news coverage.”…..WBAP, Dallas talk show host Chris Krok – pictured here with his wife Faye – tells TALKERS magazine he and his family got the ride of their lives when the whole family was able to ride in a helicopter from the Duck Commander 500 NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway!  It was part of his third annual “Krok and His Flock” promotion at the speedway.

The Presidential Race/GOP Delegate Rules Fight, Saudi Arabia Threatens U.S. Assets Sale Over 9/11 Documents, Battle Against Islamic State, Gitmo Prisoners Transferred to Saudi Arabia, and Poll: American Mistrust of Media Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of the candidates for president and the controversy over the rights to GOP delegates; the threat by Saudi Arabia to sell U.S. assets if 9/11 documents are released indicating the kingdom was complicit in the attacks; the U.S. military’s policy for battling Islamic State in Iraq; the transfer of nine Guantanamo Bay prisoners to Saudi Arabia; and the recent poll indicating most Americans hold distrust of the media were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

cookehollandAnalysis: RAIN Summit West 2016.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas covering the NAB Show for TALKERS magazine and he was working hard on Sunday at Kurt Hanson’s RAIN Summit West 2016, traditionally held the day before the NAB Show opens.  In today’s report, read what Hubbard Radio chair and CEO Ginny Morris had to say about her company’s efforts to innovate for their audience as well as her thoughts about the spot sales business.  Plus, PodcastOne founder Norm Pattiz addressed the summit and you can read what he had to say about monetizing the podcasting industry.  See Cooke’s entire report here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

| January 26, 2016

rosenbergsidWABC, New York Names Sid Rosenberg and Bernard McGuirk Midday Hosts.  There’s no official word from Cumulus Media but TALKERS magazine is hearing the new show starts tomorrowmcguirkbernard (1/27).  Filling in the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart left vacant by the November departure of Geraldo Rivera are the duo of Sid Rosenberg and Bernard McGuirk.  Of course, McGuirk is the longtime executive producer of the WABC-based “Imus in the Morning” and Rosenberg was a longtime cast member on the Imus program.  Most recently though, Rosenberg had been a personality on sports talk WMEN, Ft. Lauderdale where he hosted morning drive.  He exited that station in December.  Rosenberg and McGuirk did some fill-in work together at WABC and apparently passed the audition.

cumulus logoNew Cumulus Media Programming Management Philosophy Gives Local PDs ‘Control Over the Day-to-Day Programming of Their Stations.’ Today’s missive from Cumulus Media CEO Mary Berner includes announcements about newbernermary corporate level programming personnel plus the news of VP stripes for many of the company’s corporate level programmers.  But the monumental shift in local management philosophy is noted front-and-center.  In announcing the addition of new staffers in the “key areas of research, strategy and format-specific expertise,” Berner states, “Who knows their markets better than the people who live and work there?  We believe that the injection of more local insight and more effective corporate support into our programming decisions will drive improved ratings outcomes for our stations.  Consistent with cohendredthis view, Cumulus program directors will now report to market managers and will have control over the day-to-day programming of their stations which has not been the case in the past.  Our corporatehamanddoug programming team, with its specialized resources and expertise, will be led by Mike McVay and will support the markets in the execution of this content strategy and in the creation of programming that surprises and delights — and delivers ratings.”  Joining Cumulus are radio pros Dr. thomascat 2Ed Cohen, vice president, ratings and research; Doug Hamand, vice president, programming operations; Cat Thomas, vice president, CHR and hot AC; Ralph Cipolla, vice president, analytics; and Ken Johnson, vice president, urban.  Cohen joins from Nieslen Audio.  Hamand was an SVP of programming with iHeartMedia.  Thomas was VP ofcipollaralph programming in Las Vegas for CBS RADIO. Cipolla operated his own Cipolla Analytics.  And Johnson comes from Cumulus’ own WUHT, Birmingham.  At the same time, the company shuffles some managers around and gives VP stripes to others.  They are: Val johnsonkenGarris, former vice president, programming, is promoted to vice president, analytics; Greg Frey, former corporate program director, is promoted to vice president, programming operations; Aaron Roberts, former vice president, programming partnerships, is promoted to vice president, programming communications/partnerships; Emily Boldon, former vice president, Stratus music programming and corporate program director, is promoted to vice president, AC. Troy Hanson, former corporate program director, rock formats, is promoted to vice president, rock; Brian Thomas, former corporate program director, country and classic hits, is promoted to vice president, classic hits; Charlie Cook, former operations manager, Cumulus Nashville, is promoted to vice president, country; Bill Hess, former corporate program director, news/talk, is promoted to vice president, news/talk; Scott Jameson, former corporate program director, classic rock, is promoted to vice president, classic rock; Bruce Gilbert remains SVP, sports for both Cumulus Media and Westwood One; and John Kilgo continues as vice president, label relations.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison and Herman Cain Dissect Politics, Economics, Race Relations, Talk Radio, the Media Circus, and How to Make a Great Pizza.  WSB-AM, Atlanta and nationally syndicated radio talk star Herman Cain (WYM Media Management) joins TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison as this week’s guest on the hit PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  The two talk about a variety of today’s hottest subjects tapping into Cain’s wide-ranging experience as a former front-running GOP 2012 presidential candidate, businessman (CEO, Godfather’s Pizza; VP, Pillsbury;cainherman president, National Restaurant Association; chairman, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City), political strategist (member, Jack Kemp Commission; advisor, Bob Dole presidential campaign), best-selling author, newspaper columnist, and radio talk show host.  They discuss politics, economics, race relations, and the media circus that surrounds elections and distracts the public, elected officials and the candidates from focusing on the truly important issues.  Cain has just written a new book, The Right Problems: What the President, Congress, and Every Candidate Should Be Working On (Post Hill Books, 2016) in which he provides a blueprint for voters to ask the right questions of candidates and hold them (and the media) to higher standards in dealing with the crucial issues facing America.  To hear the entire interview, click here or click the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page on Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

cainbook16Herman Cain Releases Pertinent New Book and Launches Talk Radio Tour.  As indicated in the story above, WSB-AM, Atlanta and WYM Media Management syndicated talk show host Herman Cain has released a new book, The Right Problems: What the President, Congress, and Every Candidate Should Be Working On (Post Hill Books, 2016), in which he provides a blueprint for voters to ask the right questions of candidates and hold them (and the media) to higher standards in dealing with the crucial issues facing America.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, who just interviewed Cain on the weekly Podcast One program “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” (see story above), “Herman is a fantastic guest and this is a wonderful time to tap into him as a resource for talk shows looking to lift the conversation above the mudslinging and professional wrestling-style dialogue that has marked the 2016 presidential election even more so than any in recent memory.  His experience and current successful career on radio makes him ‘one of us’ and regardless of whether or not you agree with his conservative ideological stand, he touches on the really important issues and does so with and intelligent, gentlemanly charisma that made him such an unexpected standout in the last presidential cycle.  I loved talking with him on ‘Up Close and Far Out.’”  To arrange a radio interview with Herman Cain, please contact Lisa Reichert at 678-565-5335 or lisa@hermancain.com.

millerstephanieStephanie Miller Begins Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour 2016.  Syndicated talk show host Stephanie Miller announces the launch of her 2016 Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour kicking off at the Barrymore Theatre in Madison on February 27.  Miller will be joined by John Fugelsang and the comedy duo Frangela.  She says, “America has spoken.  The 2016 Republican presidential field has officially become so ridiculous that it has created a national comedy state of emergency that only America’s #1 Comedy Tour, Stephanie Miller’s Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour can answer. We hear your cry USA, and we’re on our way!”  Miller says additional dates for the tour will be announced shortly.

bermanschnittanniv16Len Berman and Todd Schnitt Celebrate One-Year Anniversary.  The WOR, New York morning team of Len Berman and Todd Schnitt celebrated their one-year anniversary on the job together.  The program received a number of congratulatory calls from such celebs as: veteran WNBC-TV, New York news anchor Chuck Scarborough; New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio;  and Radio Hall of Famer (and former Schnitt employer) Scott Shannon.  Pictured here are (from l-r): WOR program director Tom Cuddy, executive producer Natalie Vacca, assistant program director Scott Lakefield, Schnitt, and Berman.

Presidential Race/Democratic Town Hall, Battle Against Islamic State, Missouri Professor Charged, Planned Parenthood Videos Case Twist, Sinking Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activity, Oscars Boycott, and NFL Conference Championships Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/25).  The activities of the candidates for president and Monday evening’s Democratic Town Hall in Iowa; the fight against Islamic State and new intelligence on other militant Islamic organizations in the region; University of Missouri assistant professor Melissa Click is charged with assault for confrontation with reporter during the November 9 student protests; in a legal twist, a Houston grand jury indicts two people involved in creating the videos that appeared to show Planned Parenthood representatives breaking the law; the effects of sinking oil prices and the Chinese market plunge on the rest of the world’s financial markets; the controversy surrounding the boycott of the Academy Awards for a lack of minority nominations; and the NFL’s conference championship games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Nielsen Audio Client Conference Wrap-Up

| December 7, 2015

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterNATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Last week’s two-day Nielsen Audio Client Conference was time well-invested.  ICYMI, you can read my notes from the Thursday morning sessions here and the Thursday afternoon sessions here.  And here’s what was on Friday’s agenda:

Talking Politics with Stephanie Miller

This is one daffy gal, and I speak from amused experience, having occupied the on-screen box next to her several times on MSNBC.  She’s quick and witty and her energy is contagious.

Interviewed on-stage by Edison Research president Larry Rosin, she swatted back when he asked about the “liberal mainstream media” so many radio talkers deride.  “The media is so scared of being called ‘liberal’ that they go in the opposite direction!  Could you imagine Hillary getting away with one iota of what Donald Trump has?”

Read More

The State of Women on Talk Radio – Part 1

| November 2, 2015

The Two Toned Talker(2015) revWhy aren’t there more?

By Jeff McKay
TALKERS
Special Features Correspondent

Beginning today (11/2), TALKERS is launching a multi-part feature story about the status of female talk show hosts in the radio business that will run throughout this week.

Part 1:  Setting the stage

mckayjeffNEW YORK – One of the two most FAQs presented to the TALKERS editorial staff, year after year, is “Why aren’t there more female hosts on talk radio?” (The other is, “Why aren’t there more liberals…” – but that has already been the subject of numerous articles in this publication, not to mention discussions at its conferences… so we’ll devote this piece to the lesser-explored “woman” question.)

At the outset, however, several points of clarification are in order:

First, when we use the term “talk radio” in this series, we are referring to “news/talk” radio and even more specifically, “political news/talk radio.”  That’s where the woman issue exists.

Read More

Livestream Connects Talk Radio with Visual Platform

| June 6, 2014

Company to play major role at forthcoming Talkers New York 2014 

 By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

 

LOS ANGELES —Radio’s collective resume is remarkably rich with astounding seminal moments and some breathtaking benchmark events; however, open for conjecture, of course, is the one singularly most important to the medium.

Few can dispute that a 62-minute October 30, 1938 segment would be at – or near – the top of a multitude of related “Top 10” lists.

That was when, without commercial interruption, the CBS Radio Network aired “The Mercury Theater on the Air” adaptation of H.G. Wells’ 1898 novel “The War of the Worlds.” Directed, narrated, and starring Orson Welles, the program suggested that a Martian invasion was in progress.

As much as any other solitary program, this particular stunning piece of radio history was responsible for linking the medium to the term “theater of the mind.”

Read More

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.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

| December 5, 2013

weineranthonyRumor: Anthony Weiner to Try Talk Radio.  Here we go again! Another disgraced politician – this time it’s former congressman and former NYC mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner – is rumored to be in the running for a talk show on one of two New York City radio signals.  The New York Daily News is reporting that sources say Weiner is in talks to begin hosting a show on either Cumulus Media’s WABC (where the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET slot is opening in the New Year) or on Clear Channel’s WOR.  WABC operations manager Tony Mascaro tells the paper they are looking at a lot of candidates for the slot but denies Weiner is one of them.  The track record of former politicians – especially disgraced ones – succeeding in talk radio is not good.  Most managers and programmers are either aware – or find out very quickly – that the tradeoff for hiring such a person is not usually worth it.  Yes, one gets instant recognition of the person from the public, but the long hours, challenging work, glamorless working conditions and time needed to get traction in the ratings usually turns off former pols who are used to a different sort of workday.  Oh, and then there’s the fact that they almost always have no broadcasting skills whatsoever.  Stay tuned, the Weiner-watch is on!

cumulus logoCumulus Media Holdings to Refinance $2.23 Billion in Debt.  According to a Reuters report, Cumulus Media Holdings has set terms on a new $2.23 billion loan that would serve to reduce its interest payments over the course of the loan.  The company is marketing a $200 million, five-year revolver and a $2.025 billion, seven-year, first-lien term loan.  The proceeds would refinance Cumulus’ current first- and second-lien loans.  Moody’s Investor Services VP and senior credit officer Carl Salas is quoted saying, “It’s a meaningful improvement in their annual debt service.  They will save upwards of $30 million to $35 million in interest costs which adds nicely to their free cash flow generation.”

rouhierdannyCBS Radio’s WJFK, Washington Hears It from Redskins About Game Broadcast Parodies.  NFL fans are aware that the Washington Redskins – owned by the litigious and sensitive Dan Snyder – are having a tough season (3-9 right now) after making the playoffs last year.  That’s been the source of much frustration on the part of fans and the source of material for WJFK host Danny Rouhier and producer Ajay Atayee who’ve been producing bits that are mock-ups of game broadcasts.  Rouhier does the voices of Redskins radio play-by-play announcers Larry Michael and Sonny wjfkfmJurgensen and splices in actual drops of color man and former ‘Skin Chris Cooley.  The hysterically funny bits have been critical of the team’s play, the fan experience at FedEx Field and Snyder’s public image, so much so that, according to the Washington Post, WJFK Redskins beat reporter Grant Paulsen was told by team spokesman Tony Wyllie that the bits are so malicious that they could prompt legal action.  This may be water under the bridge since the Post reports Wyllie says after talking with the station and being assured it’s all in good fun, the team has no problem with the station’s content.  Since the station has no intention of stopping Rouhier from producing more similarly themed bits, we’ll see how the rest of the season plays out.

kennedyKYSR, Los Angeles Morning Personality Kennedy to Host Fox Business Net Show.  Former MTV VJ and current morning drive host at Clear Channel’s alternative KYSR, Los Angeles, Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, will begin a new nightly current events talk show on Fox Business Network titled “The Independents” that will premiere on Monday, December 9.  The Hollywood Reporter states that Kennedy will co-host with Reason magazine’s Matt Welch, America’s Future Foundation’s Kmele Foster and a rotating panel of money experts.  Kennedy herself writes on her KYSR blog that the show will be “aimed at all the mealy-mouthed, partisan faithful out there.  Has the 2 party system totally failed you?  Yeah, me too!  Tune in 4 nights a week on FBN, and just remember, music and politics go hand in hand. I will always hold hands with you.”  Kennedy has been a contributor to FBN making regular appearances on “Stossel.”

ohana logoVali Named Interim GM of Ohana Broadcast, Hawaii.  The name Austin Vali is widely-known in Hawaii radio and, as Ohana Broadcast Company‘s interim general manager, he will oversee four Oahu stations and five Kauai facilities.  Owner/president Jason Wolff comments, “Austin brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and relationships in the Honolulu market.  He will be a tremendous asset as we strive to produce the best possible radio for our listeners and clients.”   Recently, Vali was vice president/general manager of Cox Media Group‘s three-station Long Island cluster.  During his 40-year radio career, he has worked in Pittsburgh, Norfolk, and Louisville; however, Vali is perhaps best known for his experience in Hawaii.  Since arriving there in 1978, he worked at Honolulu’s KIKI and KQMQ and he co-owned KRTR-FM and KXME in that market.

runningwithnaturePodcastOne Adds Mariel Hemingway Program to Stable.  Titled after her best-selling book  Running with Nature, actress and author Mariel Hemingway, along with her partner, stuntman, actor, health and wellness expert, Bobby Williams, are launching their new podcast via PodcastOne.  The podcast invites listeners to “join them on their adventures; from Hollywood to Holistic healing…transforming relationships to finding the most meaningful ways of living every day, Mariel and Bobby are here bringing laughter, wonder and awe with some great advice.”  The first podcast episode “features nutrition tips, a review of her just released documentary called ‘Running from Crazy,’ and exercise tips from Bobby and Mariel’s ‘Meditation Moment.’”  PodcastOne COO Greg Batusic says, “Mariel and Bobby offer a refreshing and unique take on life that their fans and new listeners will surely benefit from.  We’re happy to have them join our stellar lineup.”

madiganbobWTOP, Washington’s Bob Madigan to Retire.  Drive time news anchor Bob Madigan will retire from his position at Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington, DC at the end of the year.  Outgoing vice president of news and programming Jim Farley (also retiring, see next story) says in a memo to his DC staff, “Bob has been in this crazy business of ours for 50 years, 20 of them here at WTOP and WASH when both stations were co-owned.  He and I worked for 11 years at NBC News….I have been inflicted on Bob for 27 of his 50 years in the business.  By the way, if you are wondering how he got in 50 years ago, he started working in radio during high school.”  Farley goes on to say that as WTOP’s “Man About Town,” he “was a one-person ‘good news’ department covering everything from charity galas to scholarship awards and chili cook-offs for a good cause.  Bob covered so many events, that in less than a year on the beat, he was emcee, announcer or celebrity judge at many of them.  He became a one-man marketing machine for WTOP, getting our name out there in a positive way that was priceless!  He was chosen to announce the Inaugural Parade along Pennsylvania Avenue for both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.  At the Bush Inaugural Parade he was paired with…Meat Loaf.  For years he announced the start of the Race for the Cure live on WTOP.  He has a long, long list of awards and honors including a (rare for a journalist) RAMMY Award, “The Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award.”  RAMMY’s are awarded by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington.

cookefarleyA Farewell to Jim Farley.  Radio consultant and TALKERS contributor Holland Cooke (right) poses for a selfie with outgoing vice president of news and programming Jim Farley at a retirement bash for the longtime WTOP, Washington programmer at the Newseum in Washington, DC.  After 17 years with the station, Farley is “slowing down but not retiring” as he’ll step down from his current post but consult WTOP for the next two years. He’s also open to consult others with their news and/or digital strategies.  Current WTOP program director Laurie Cantillo is stepping into the post at year’s end.  Cooke reports that modern-day WTOP-ers, Hubbard execs and many alumni toasted Farley at the bash.  Among other things said at the farewell party, Farley told staffers, “What a crowd!  YOU did it.  YOU GUYS do all the heavy lifting, and I got all the credit.  I’m gettin’ out before they catch me.”

kmbzGood Fences Make Good Neighbors.  Usually that’s the case but at the Entercom AM transmitter site in Westwood, Kansas, just how a good fence is defined appears to be the issue.  The towers for KMBZ and KUDL are surrounded by residential neighborhoods – that wasn’t the case in the 1930s when the towers went up.  According to the Prairie Village Post, now neighbors are challenging the renewal of Entercom’s special use permit for the site claiming they want improvements there.  After meeting with residents, a plan commission sub-committee is suggesting the current chain-link fence with barbed wire makes the property look “blighted” and recommends removal of the perimeter fence and replacement with fencing that complies with current code.  Entercom fears liability issues without a perimeter fence.  In 2008, a trespassing teenager was killed after falling from a tower on the site.  Expect some sort of compromise on this issue since moving the station towers would be very difficult yet protection of the transmitters and towers needs to continue for obvious reasons.

junkiesCredit to WJFK-FM, Washington’s “Junkies” for Nabbing Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Segment.  He’s been one of the hot talk radio topics for the past several weeks (as documented in TALKERS magazine’s weekly top topics chart The Talkers TenTM), so why not book him as a guest?  CBS Radio’s “The Junkies” did just that and got a cool 25-minute segment with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford on WJFK-FM, Washington today.  Ford, who’s obviously been in the news a bit lately and doesn’t seem to be very mic-shy, talked with the Junkies about football (he offered his NFL picks for the week), the drug use allegations against him, President Obama, and his run for re-election next fall (which he says he’ll win because he has the support of the people).

kgmzlogoOdds & Sods.  Entercom’s KGMZ, San Francisco is preparing to begin a listener giveaway of tickets and cool memorabilia for its six area pro sports teams.  “95.7 The Game” is calling the promotion “The Six Teams of Christmas” and will give listeners a chance to win game ticket packages to see the Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, San Francisco Giants, Oakland As, Golden State Warriors and San Jose Sharks…..CBS Radio’s New York stations (including sports WFAN-AM/FM and all-news WINS and WCBS) are announcing a new promotion: The Firehouse Chili Cook-Off.  After entries were submitted from all across the tri-state area, semi-finalists will compete to see whose chili recipe cbsfirehousereigns supreme.  At establishments in New Jersey and New York, the staple food of firefighters will be cooked, tasted and judged by local sports figures, and one fire company at each event will move into the final round of the competition.  The grand prize winner will receive VIP tickets to a 2014 New York Yankees game…..Entercom’s Boston Red Sox flagship WEEI, Boston is broadcasting from the MLB Winter Meetings in Orlando next week.  Live coverage of the meetings will begin with Salk & Holley from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm Monday through Wednesday.  The Mut & Merloni show will also originate from the Swan and Dolphin Resort from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Tuesday through Thursday.

kirofmhollidaymagicHoliday Magic at KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Pictured here is KIRO-FM, Seattle afternoon drive duo Ron & Don manning the tote board at last year’s “Holiday Magic Radiothon.”  The Bonneville news/talk station, in partnership with Treehouse (a non-profit agency that ensures that kids in foster care have access to the essential services required to help them make it to high school graduation and beyond), are hosting the 25th Annual Foster Child Holiday Magic Radiothon today.  The station set a record last year raising more than $500,000.  The 12-hour “Holiday Magic Radiothon” helps local foster kids by raising money to provide each child in the program with one significant holiday gift along with support programs and services throughout the year.

humphriesdamian2Rusty Humphries on the Set in Bucharest.  That’s talk show host and actor Rusty Humphries (left) with actor Michael Damian (right) on location in Bucharest, Romania on the set of the romantic comedy Love By Design.  Humphries says he plays a reporter covering a big fashion show in New York City.  He notes that Bucharest is a popular location to shoot NYC scenes since it can be made to look like the streets of New York and the production costs are much less.  The movie also stars Jane Seymour.  Humphries was in Bucharest for seven days filming.  He tells TALKERS, “I had a blast.  I love the fact that I’m having the opportunity to really live out my dreams: radio, TV and film.  This is my third major motion picture, and it’s always an honor to be involved with a project as special as this.”

ObamaCare Criticism, NSA Cell Location Database, Obama Millennial Support Diminishing, Detroit Bankruptcy, Bashir Resignation, and Fast Food Minimum Wage Effort Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/5).  Analysis of the implementation and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the NSA policy that reportedly gathers the location of cell phone users; the loss of support from Millennials for President Obama; the Detroit bankruptcy case ruling; Martin Bashir’s resignation from MSNBC after his Sarah Palin comments; and the move by organized labor to push for a national minimum wage for fast food workers 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.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

| November 5, 2013

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

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

sileodan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, February 4, 2013

| February 4, 2013

kochedEd Koch the Broadcaster Remembered.  The passing of former New York City Mayor Ed Koch early Friday morning elicited some remembrances from two people who worked closely with him – John Mainelli, the program director of WABC who hired him, and Curtis Sliwa, one of his fellow talk hosts at WABC, New York.  Mainelli tells TALKERS magazine, “I hired him right after he left office.  It wasn’t long before he was #1 in his time slot (11:00 am to 12:00 noon).  There was asliwacurtis time when both he, Limbaugh and Bob Grant were #1 in their slots.  Ed wanted to know who was the leader of the three, asking me, “How #1 am I?”  He was A-No.1.  A great guy.  A nice guy.  A champ.  I really, really liked him.”  Curtis Sliwa says of Koch’s death, “The passing of Mayor Koch was not only a tremendous loss for our city, but a tremendous loss for the radio dial. Ed Koch was no fan of mine, nor were the Guardian Angels while he was Mayor.  While we were colleagues at 77WABC, and I was his lead-in with Lisa, our relationship improved but you wouldn’t call us friends.  When I got shot in June of 1992, the first image that I saw hovering over my hospital bed in ICU was that of Ed Koch.  Immediately, my first thought was that I’d died and gone straight to Hell without an asbestos suit.  I didn’t die though (I think Ed was almost as disappointed as the Gottis about that) and our relationship continued to improve over the years and for a long time, I’ve been proud to call him a friend.  He was a regular guest on my radio show on WABC and at ‘AM 970 The Answer.’  He was my colleague at NY1 and he was the only person I’d ever met who loved this city more than I did.”  SiriusXM broadcast the special program “Ed Koch: The Voice of Reason,” a two-hour tribute devoted to the life and career of Mayor Koch on its Bloomberg Radio channel on Friday, February 1 at 7:00 pm ET.

kinosianmikeComing to TALKERS This Week: The Talk Radio Watchdog.  There was a time in the early days of the modern talk radio era when most markets could lay claim to at least one talk show host considered to be the local “watchdog.”  He or she was feared by the power brokers in city hall and had a reputation for having the backs of the regular folks.  They are not as prevalent in the format as they once were but they are still out there.  Does the industry still value this breed of talk host?  Does the public still want to listen to them?  Do their station managers support them?  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian speaks with some of today’s “watchdogs” to get answers to these and other questions about their craft.  His story comes to Talkers.com this week.

zach and rammerWXOS, St. Louis Adds Bob “Rammer” Ramsey to Mid-Morning Show.  Hubbard Broadcasting’s sports talk WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” moves Bob “Rammer” Ramsey to the mid-morning slot alongside Zach McCrite for the “Zach and Rammer” show.  McCrite has been on the air in the slot with “The Coach” Rick Venturi who exits the station to be closer to family in Indiana.  Ramsey moves to the slot from the evening show he co-hosted with Brian Stull.  Ramsey is also the “Voice of the Billikens” – a position he has held for the past 26 years – handling the play-by-play duties for Saint Louis University’s Men’s Basketball games, along with co-host and analyst Earl Austin, Jr.

grahammichaelMichael Graham Debuts Massachusetts-Wide Talk Show Today.  Former WTKK, Boston talk radio star Michael Graham begins a new, daily midday talk show today that will air on four stations across Massachusetts.  Graham’s program – airing from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm – will be heard on Money Matters Radio’s WBNW, Concord; WPLM-AM, Plymouth; and WESO, Southbridge as well as Carter Broadcasting’s WCRN, Worcester.  Graham hosted the mid-morning program on Greater Media’s WTKK, Boston until the station flipped to a music format after the New Year.

cookehollandHow to Pump Up Your Weekend “How-To” Show.  Talk radio consultant Holland Cooke says, “Few marketing opportunities can generate more new business than local talk radio…if you use it properly.”  Cooke says that weekend how-to shows that are done well provide listeners with two things: information and the chance for interaction.  And, he says the programs have a two-fold purpose. “The well-executed show sets the table for what marketers call ‘conversion,’ moving prospects through the sales funnel.  And the how-to hosts I coach aren’t just producing new leads.  Making what comes out the speaker as engaging and informative and relatable as possible also racks up more Average Quarter Hours for the station.”  Read Holland Cooke’s suggestions for producing quality weekend “how-to” programs here.

walusekmeredithOdds & Sods.  At CBS Radio’s sports talk WHFS, Tampa “98.7 The Fan,” Meredith Walusek exits her role on the Kirk & Dinger morning drive show to join the cluster’s rhythmic CHR WLLD for its Orlando & the Freakshow morning program…..Ryan Giles joins Hubbard Broadcasting’s sports talk KSTP, Minneapolis as director of marketing and promotions.  Giles previously served as promotions director and webmaster at Shamrock Communications’ alternative KMYZ “Z-104.5 The Edge” and classic hits KTSO “94.1 The Sound” in Tulsa…..Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTOP, Washington, DC is honoring the local Easter Seals chapter in its Charity of the Month program.  The Easter Seals serving DC, Maryland and Virginia will receive more than $30,000 in free air-time and in-kind contributions, including on-air promotions and content on WTOP.com.  The WTOP Charity of the Month program highlights one local charity every month in order to raise community awareness, support events and help with fundraising efforts…..WEEI, Boston’s play-by-play of Boston Celtics basketball games is being made available via free streaming on WEEI.com, the WEEI Live mobile app and the new Boston Celtics Mobile App.  WEEI’s Celtics broadcast will also be available via the TuneIn app.

haleyjeffA Conversation with Marketron President and CEO, Jeff  Haley.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison speaks with Jeff Haley, the president and CEO of media industry software solutions and service giant Marketron.  The conversation, which serves as the basis of today’s (2/4) posted TALKERS interview, covers a variety of subjects of importance to radio sales and administrative executives including re-energizing the advertising end of radio and guiding the medium’s evolution into creating integrated cross-platform buys in this new digital era. He talks about the cloud, as well as the new relationship between radio’s front and back offices, the need to reassess FCC regulations moving forward and the balance between local and national programming on the individual station level.   On the subject of dealing with the advertising industry’s reaction to controversy on news/talk radio, Haley tells TALKERS, ” Depends what you mean by controversy – and what your appetite is for it.  Benign controversy can pull listeners in. That said, controversy that reflects poorly on the station can be a turn off and cause advertisers to abandon.  Best to talk to your partners along the way, prepare them, and include them in your decision-making process.”  To read the entire TALKERS interview with Jeff Haley, click here.

bearmanethan“Nerd” Talk Show Host Shares Tips on Pulling Off an Expedient International Remote Broadcast.  One of the brightest young news/talk hosts on the rise today, Ethan Bearman of KSCO, Santa Cruz and Genesis Communications Network shares the story of his recent adventure in simple-yet-effective remote broadcasting in which he conveniently packed a bag of all the gear necessary to capture an interview with a Times of London reporter under the tightest of security restrictions at the Houses of Parliament in London to get an international perspective on the American presidential election.   Check it out by clicking here.

sexyliberalStephanie Miller Returns to Chicago with Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour.  Along with comedy (and radio) partners John Fugelsang and Hal Sparks, WYD Media nationally syndicated talk radio star Stephanie Miller brings her successful “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” back to the Windy City for a date at the historic Chicago Theatre on April 13.  The ongoing comedy tour has benefitted from cross-promotion on Miller’s radio program as well as her digital platforms.

Monday, November 26, 2012

| November 26, 2012

CBS Sports Radio Network Announces National Morning Show: Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney and Dana Jacobson.  When the CBS Sports Radio Network officially begins on January 2, former New York Giants great Tiki Barber, sports talk personality and current KGME, San Francisco afternoon co-host Brandon Tierney and longtime ESPN broadcaster Dana Jacobson will make up the morning drive show airing from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET.  CBS Radio president and CEO Dan Mason states, “CBS Sports Radio has been able to attract some of the most renowned names in the business, and Tiki, Brandon and Dana are just the latest example of the network’s star power.  We’ve assembled an impressive group of professional athletes and accomplished broadcasters to bring fans unrivaled sports commentary, and the most entertaining lineup in all of sports radio.  The launch of CBS Sports Radio provides an additional way for us to use our content, debuting original programs to millions of listeners across the country on day one.  The network’s reach in the major markets is unsurpassed, and the marketplace has taken notice of our depth and broad range of offerings.”  CBS Radio is announcing the morning show will clear on such outlets as: WIP-AM, Philadelphia); WFOM-AM, Atlanta; WXYT-AM, Detroit; WJZ-AM, Baltimore; KFNZ-AM and KJQS-AM, Salt Lake City; and WSJZ-FM, Orlando.

Another Look Back at the Harsh Reality of Sandy and its Intense Relationship with Radio.  American voters are conditioned every four years to believe that the presidential ballot they are about to cast will be the most crucial such decision they will make in their entire lifetimes.  That was certainly a dominant theme of the 2012 campaign, yet less than 10 days before Election Day, something else began percolating that had approximately 20% of the country hitting the “pause” button to politics: Sandy.  Innocuous as the name sounds, “Sandy” unfortunately arrived as advertised and now, weeks later, harsh reality remains in its wake.  It is impossible to factor precious loss of lives and the shattering of countless dreams into the billions of dollars of wreckage caused by one of the unkindest of oxymorons – a so-called “perfect storm.”  As another testament to our democracy, the November 6 election went off without a hitch and the country would ready itself for one of its proudest traditions – setting aside a day of thanksgiving (albeit followed by the dubious recent sales custom known as “Black Friday”).  Radio stations though in locales that include the country’s #1 market – New York City – are continuing to focus on what has been consuming them since (roughly) Saturday, October 27.  Suffering through Sandy was brutal.  For many, enduring the aftermath is considerably worse.  As the radio industry returns from the Thanksgiving weekend, TALKERS takes another look back at the our medium’s intense relationship with the “weather event” that was so dominant a factor in current events that it even upstaged a presidential election – as seen through the eyes, lives and dedicated work of broadcasters at CBS Radio‘s all- news WCBS-AM, New York and Cumulus Media‘s news/talk WMAL, Washington, DC.   To read TALKERS managing editor/west coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian‘s epic article click here.

WTDY-AM/FM, Madison Drops News/Talk; Stunting with Christmas Music.  The Wisconsin State Journal reports that “several broadcasters” have been let go by Midwest Family Broadcasting as the simulcast of news/talk programming on WTDY AM 1670 and WTDY FM 106.7 ended late on Wednesday and was replaced with Christmas music.  Talk personality John “Sly” Sylvester and news director Amy Barrilleaux both communicated via social media that they had been let go by the station and that it is flipping formats but that they knew no more.  Midwest Family owns seven stations in the market that include: rock WJJO; AC WMGN; rhythmic CHR WJQM; country WWQM; WLMV Spanish music; and oldies WHIT.  The word on the street is that the simulcast will become a CBS Sports Radio Network affiliate on January 2 but that has not been confirmed.

ESPN in Agreement for Exclusive Rights to College Football Playoff Contests.  The sports giant announces it has reached agreements in principle to obtain exclusive rights to broadcast the games and the affiliated programming for the college football championship and playoff games that will begin after the 2014 season and begin in January of 2015 when the new playoff system begins.  ESPN Radio will be part of the broadcast of these games.  The announcement was made Wednesday by ESPN president John Skipper and Bill Hancock, executive director of the BCS and the future college football playoffs.  Skipper states, “Because of college football’s widespread popularity and the incredible passion of its fans, few events are more meaningful than these games.  We are ecstatic at the opportunity to continue to crown a college football champion on ESPN’s outlets for years to come, the perfect finale to our year-round commitment to the sport.”  ESPN is in the midst of a four-year agreement for the Bowl Championship Series (BCS).  The network televises all five games from the current format, including the Rose, Sugar, Orange and Fiesta Bowls, as well as the BCS National Championship Game.  The two BCS National Championship Games on ESPN (2011, 2012) have generated the two largest audiences for any program in the history of cable television.  The new playoff will be administered by the Football Bowl Subdivision conferences and independent institutions.  The agreement in principle is subject to completion of definitive documentation and all necessary approvals.

Stephen King-Owned WZLO and WZON, Bangor Progressive Talk Simulcast Splits.  “The Pulse” website states the stations have split their simulcast of progressive talk and are featuring Christmas music on the FM signal with a “BIG surprise” the station will reveal after Christmas.  The stations have been a simulcast for the past 2 ½ years – first as a sports talk station, then as the progressive talk outlet.  The FM side had been playing a triple A format prior to the simulcast.  WZON at 620 AM continues to air a progressive talk format featuring a local morning show with Don Cookson, WYD Media’s Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz, Premiere NetworksRandi Rhodes, Thom Hartmann, Cox Media’s Clark Howard and Leslie Marshall.

April NAB Show to Feature Q&A with News Corp’s Chase Carey.  The National Association of Broadcasters announces the spring NAB Show scheduled for April 6-11 in Las Vegas will feature a question-and-answer session with News Corporation president and chief operating officer Chase Carey.  NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith will conduct the session.  Smith says, “As a leading executive of one of the world’s preeminent media companies, Chase Carey has valuable insight into today’s multi-platform global media environment.  I look forward to our conversation at the NAB Show and hearing Mr. Carey’s vision of what the future holds for the media business worldwide.”  Carey has served in his role at News Corp since July of 2009.  Prior to that he was president and CEO at DIRECTV, Inc.

French-Language Quebec Talk Host Suspended for Anti-Semitic Incident.  CHMP, Quebec late night talk show host Jacques Fabi has been suspended from his program after allowing a female caller to his program make anti-Semitic statements.  The caller was responding to Fabi’s discussion of the violence in Israel and Gaza and blamed the Jews, then went on to intimate that Hitler should have been allowed to finish the job.  Fabi never stopped her and, according to complaints to the CRTC and the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, seemed to encourage her rant.  The CBC reports station spokesman David Crete said, “The comments that were aired earlier this week are unacceptable…hosts and journalists are subject to ethical rules.  If they are not met, penalties are applied.”  It is not clear how long Fabi’s suspension will be.  CHMP is owned by Cogeco.

British Broadcaster Fined for Anti-Gay Remarks.  The British agency that regulates broadcasting content – Ofcom – levied a $6,400 fine against the company that owns a Leeds, England station that serves the South Asian community.  The incident stems from a program hosted by Rubina Nasir – known as Sister Ruby – in which she interpreted passages in the Koran that indicated homosexuals should be punished – physically and mentally – for practicing their sexuality.  Ofcom ruled the statements made during the broadcast were likely to “encourage or incite the commission of a crime.”

Rock 102 Thanksgiving Tradition.  WAQY, Springfield, Massachusetts morning drive team Bax & O’Brien helped gather food and money for those in need in the area with the broadcast of their annual Mayflower Marathon food drive over the Thanksgiving week.  Hosts Mike Baxendale (center) and John O’Brien (far right) are pictured here announcing a donation of $10,000 to the Open Pantry – a local organization that provides food to those in need.  The annual charity event is a signature of Saga Communications’ “Rock 102” and the Bax & O’Brien morning show during which the duo broadcast continuously for two days while encouraging listeners to fill a Mayflower moving van with food staples for the hungry.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

| November 14, 2012

Salem Communications Pays $4 million for WJKR, Columbus.  Salem Communications’ new FM talk outlet in Columbus, Ohio is costing the company $4 million according to the FCC filing.  The Radio One station is being LMA’d by Salem until the deal closes.  Salem installed its conservative talk format on November 1 and dubbed it “98.9 FM The Answer.”  In addition to its numerous news/talk AMs, Salem owns FM outlets that program primarily Christian formats.  The new Columbus acquisition is the first FM signal for the secular news/talk format for Salem.

Mike O’Meara Returns to DC Airwaves in January.  Dave HughesDCRTV.com reports that Washington, DC radio personality Mike O’Meara will be back on the terrestrial airwaves in the market in January with a two-hour evening program airing on Metro Radio’s WTNT.  O’Meara and former partner Don Geronimo dominated Washington, DC talk radio during their time together on CBS Radio’s then-hot talk WJFK-FM before Geronimo took time off following the untimely death of his wife Freda.  O’Meara has been producing a popular podcast via his mikeomearashow.com site along with Rob Spewak, Buzz Burbank and Oscar Santana – all of whom are reported to be part of the WTNT program as well.  O’Meara briefly returned to terrestrial radio last year when he hosted mornings at Cumulus Media’s classic rock 105.9 The Edge.  However, the station dropped music to become the FM signal for WMAL.

Consumer Electronics Show Preview – The Radio Connection.  Each year, radio consultant Holland Cooke covers the huge Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas in January for TALKERS magazine.  But November always brings the preview of the show and Holland was there as well.  He says radio should pay attention for several reasons.  The most obvious reason is to get a line on what’s going to be hot for Christmas so AEs can target the appropriate retailers.  Holland says the Consumer Electronics Association forecasters predict tablets will dominate this holiday season.  The CEA is saying sales of tablets will be up 112% over last year.  TVs are going to be big with 20% of American adults saying they plan to buy a television this holiday season.  Read more from Holland Cooke here.

Progressive Shows May Find Another Home in Seattle.  The news that CBS Radio’s KPTK, Seattle will flip formats in January – not confirmed by CBS but the station will likely become a CBS Sports Radio Network affiliate – has left a sour taste in the mouths of numerous progressive talk hosts and their syndicators.  But the local blog SeaTacRadio.com reports that KLAY, Tacoma is planning to add some of the progressive talk shows – reportedly WYD Media’s Stephanie Miller and the Ed Schultz show – currently heard on KPTK to its program schedule.  As numerous CBS Radio and Cumulus stations prepare to flip to sports talk in January, KPTK is just another victim of the companywide desire for affiliate stations.  While consumers and the consumer press bemoan the proliferation of sports talk (“How many sports stations do we need in this market?”), the answer is that CBS Radio and Cumulus need to have affiliates in as many markets as possible to be able to sell a national sports talk product to national clients.

Main Street Radio Networks Partners with Broadcast Affiliate Sales.  Main Street Radio Networks enters into a deal with Broadcast Affiliate Sales for the latter to handle its marketing and affiliate sales for current and future programs.  The network syndicates “Battle Line with Alan Nathan” and the “Doctor Evelyn Higgins Show.”  Recently the company announced it was working with Salem Radio Networks for distribution of its programming.  Main Street president Jane Silk says, “We know BAS will be a great addition to our rapidly growing radio network.  Everyone at BAS has an extensive history in the radio industry and an unmatched sales record. Partner Mike Tyler was elected to the NAB Board of Directors and his father John Tyler is the creator of the first ever satellite delivered radio network. These people are the best in the business.”

John McConnell Joins InterNetwork Broadcasting for App Development.  Former ABC Radio Networks SVP of programming John McConnell is working with InterNetworks Broadcasting on the development of its Blurt app.  The app that lets you record and share 10-second audio updates with the world and McConnell has joined its leadership team in further development of the app.  He’ll focus his efforts on new content and distribution partnerships and overall business development.  Blurt co-founder Clark Burgard states, “John boasts an impressive track record in radio broadcast and digital media, and his experience will surely enhance our efforts to bring an audio experience to text-based social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter.  We’re thrilled to welcome him to the Blurt team.”

Entertainment Radio Network Partners with Men’s Health Magazine to Create Weekly Show.  Men’s Health, the well-known men’s magazine, announces a partnership with Entertainment Radio Network (ERN) to create “Men’s Health Live,” a weekly, one-hour branded show that will be distributed across terrestrial radio and a variety of on-demand audio channels.  Slated to premiere in January 2013, the program will cover the latest news in health, fitness, nutrition and all things men. Men’s Health editor Peter Moore and Men’s Health contributing editor Gregg Stebben will co-host the show.  Moore tells TALKERS, “ERN is the perfect partner and platform to bring the Men’s Health brand’s must-have advice and information for guys to the airwaves on a weekly basis.  Guys live in their cars, and with today’s connected dashboard, we’ll be there with them, making sure they reach their ultimate destinations safely, and with abs.”  Alan Taylor, CEO of ERN adds, “We are thrilled to be working with Men’s Health. This strategic partnership will add yet another pillar of strength to the largest men’s magazine brand with the addition of a radio and digital audio platform. It will further enable Men’s Health to expand its core audience through our many audio distribution partners such as Aha Radio, Stitcher Radio, iTunes and others.”

Petraeus Scandal, Benghazi Investigation, Obama Administration Cabinet Changes, and ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Issue Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/13).  The growing David PetraeusPaula Broadwell scandal; the investigation into the Benghazi attack; imminent changes in the Obama Administration Cabinet; and the ‘fiscal cliff’ challenges facing the administration and Congress were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

| November 13, 2012

Is CBS Radio’s KPTK, Seattle the Next Progressive Talker to Flip?  Seattle-based blog Blatherwatch (cool name!) is reporting the WYD Media-produced Stephanie Miller talk show indicated on Monday’s broadcast that CBS Radio’s KPTK, Seattle would flip from progressive talk after the holidays.  No report on what the station may become and the report has not been confirmed by CBS Radio.  If this comes to pass, it would be the second West Coast progressive talk outlet to recently shuck the format as Clear Channel’s KPOJ, Portland did Monday (11/12).  It’d also be the second progressive talk station that’s been in the format for a relatively long period of time – eight years for each station – and located in “progressive” cities, to change formats.

Stacey Simms to Exit WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  “Charlotte’s Morning News” co-host Stacey Simms announces she will exit the Greater Media news/talk outlet after the December 14 edition of the program due to personal reasons.  Simms has co-hosted the show at WBT for 10 years, first with Al Gardner (now in Philly on WWIQ) and currently with Bo Thompson.  Simms is a well-known media personality in the market having worked in television news at WBTV-TV before beginning her talk radio career.  Senior vice president and market manager Rick Feinblatt says of Simms, “Since 2002, Stacey has been instrumental in the development and success of ‘Charlotte’s Morning News’ and has always displayed the highest level of professionalism and dedication to WBT and all our listeners.  We wish Stacey the best as she pursues new opportunities and adventures.”

KFNS, St. Louis Parts Ways with Host Kevin Slaten After Racial Rant.  Sports talk host Kevin Slaten wasn’t an employee of Grand Slam Sports – owner of KFNS, St. Louis – rather he brokered the time and sold his own advertising.  As reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, his contract was cancelled after he went on a rant last Thursday charging African Americans who voted for Barack Obama with being bigoted if they voted for Obama because he’s black.  Station manager Katy Pavelonis tells the paper she asked Slaten to take his conversation in a different direction.  “The topics of Thursday weren’t homing in on where I want to go.”  Slaten was with KFNS previously but was fired from the station in 2008 after putting St. Louis Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan on the air without informing him the conversation was being broadcast.  Speaking of the mixing of sports talk and political talk; WFAN, New York sports talk host Richard Neer has some thoughts on the matter.  See the next story…

The Risk of Talking Politics on a Sports Station.  The 2012 campaign is behind us but WFAN, New York sports talk host Richard Neer has some thoughts on mixing politics and sports talk that some may want to consider for the next election cycle.  Neer says that the very close popular vote in the presidential election – almost a 50/50 split – means it’s possible almost half your audience could disagree with you no matter whom you support, so is it worth “campaigning” for your guy?  Neer writes, “A few undecideds may be persuaded by your arguments, but more likely you’ll either be preaching to the choir or turning off the other side.  Another unintended consequence is if you show yourself to be poorly informed or blindly biased, it could undermine steady listeners’ trust in your authority when it comes to an area that you know more about — sports.”  Read the rest of Richard Neer’s argument for avoiding politics here.

Opinion Piece:  Five Trends About to Make a Buck.  Noted industry idea man and Sabo Media chairman Walter Sabo offers five companies and concepts that he believes are closing in on what he describes as “the event horizon for making profits.”  They include internet radio, Jumpwire Media, kid-targeted tablets (Toys“R”Us), Kickstarter.com, and companies that learn from TMZ.  For the juicy details, click here.

Major Development at Tribune’s WGN, Chicago…New Call-in Number.  Okay, so it’s not the biggest news to come out of Tribune Tower recently, but mid-morning talk host Mike McConnell played up the announcement of the changing of the station’s 46-year-old call-in phone number dramatically in a bit that surely had a fair number of WGN P1s on the edges of their collective seats.  WGN promoted a “change of historic proportions” announcement during morning drive and when it came time for McConnell to break the news, he did so in a dramatic – some might call it melodramatic – fashion, building up to it by reading a list of the names of famous WGN broadcasters who’ve graced the station’s studios over the years.  After delivering the punch line – the new call-in number – he explained that the new studios and the change to all-digital equipment required a new phone number as of today (11/13).

St. Louis Talk Hosts in War Over A-List Guests.  The kinds of battles that happen between mega-broadcasters like David Letterman and Jay Leno can also happen between local talk radio hosts.  The race to get the guest “first” is something most listeners are not aware happens among the hosts at their local media outlets, but St. Louis talk radio fans are learning about an kerfuffle between former station-mates Charlie Brennan at KMOX and McGraw Milhaven at crosstown KTRS (Milhaven previously worked at KMOX).  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes about how the competition has escalated after Milhaven went public with what he considers Brennan’s unfair play.  He points to a memo from publisher Random House’s public relations office regarding a St. Louis appearance by Pulitzer-prize winning author Jon Meacham on December 6 that details the cancellation of Meacham’s appearance on Milhaven’s show due to a conflict with a KMOX live broadcast event at the St. Louis Library and that state’s KMOX’s requirement it be the first radio appearance.  Brennan’s Fontbonne University book club has been booking author appearances in the market for some time.  Brennan tells the paper, “And it’s only a radio exclusive if the author wants to be a KMOX/Fontbonne University selection, which means the book will get a month’s worth of publicity and anywhere from 400 to 800 book buyers at the club’s monthly meetings…I’m not sure why (Milhaven) is making an issue of it.  If he could offer the author a better agreement, I’m sure the author would take it.  Then it would be ‘goodbye Charlie.’”

Bonneville Seattle and NFL’s Seahawks Agree to Multi-Year Extension.  Bonneville’s KIRO-AM was the original radio partner for the Seattle Seahawks when the franchise joined the NFL back in 1976 and has been its sole partner ever since.  Now, Bonneville extends its relationship with the team in a multi-year deal that will have Seahawks games and programming continue on sports KIRO-AM and news/talk KIRO-FM.  The deal also includes the two stations’ coverage of Seattle Sounders soccer, which will have the football club’s matches heard on KIRO-FM.  Bonneville Seattle Media Group vice president and market manager Carl Gardner says, “After 37 years, fans in the Northwest have come to think of Seahawks Radio and KIRO as one and the same, and we’re proud of that tradition.  We also love helping build a new culture and tradition around Sounders FC and Major League Soccer, extending our strong partnership is a win for the fans, for the clubs, and for Bonneville.”

CBS Radio’s Sports WJFK, Washington Improving its Signal.  According to Dave HughesDCRTV.com, CBS Radio sports talk WJFK-FM, Washington is getting some engineering attention to help improve its signal.  By altering the coverage patterns of two of its adjacent channel outlets WJFK should see improved penetration to the northeast, into DC itself and into Prince George’s County.  In order to accommodate WJFK improvement, CBS will move the transmitter for WWMX, Baltimore “Mix 106.5” which will, to a degree, adversely affect its coverage.  Over the years, more than one person associated with WJFK has told TALKERS that the sports talk station suffers from signal problems that are limiting its ratings potential.

Timely Guest.  WNDB, Daytona Beach talk host Marc Bernier (l) is pictured here on the stage at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach interviewing U.S. Senator Bill Nelson in the 85th edition of the Town Hall speaker series at the school.  Nelson, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, answered questions about the scandal involving former CIA chief David Petraeus before a full house of students and the public.

Petraeus Scandal, Benghazi Investigation, ‘Fiscal Cliff,’ Businesses Prepare for ObamaCare, and Post-Sandy Frustrations in New York Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/12).  The widening David PetraeusPaula Broadwell scandal; the Benghazi attack investigation and Petraeus’ role in it; Washington addresses the “fiscal cliff”; American businesses prepare to pay for ObamaCare; and the post-Sandy frustrations still affecting some New Yorkers were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, November 9, 2012

| November 9, 2012

Political Talkers Take Stock of Positioning in Post-Election Environment.  Contrary to the stereotype often depicted by the mainstream and political press that news/talk radio hosts all fit a standard model, TALKERS magazine observes that this is hardly the case – especially now that the all-consuming election of 2012 is in the history books and political talk show hosts are assessing their personal position strategies for the new chapter of history at hand.  Actually this is a process that has been in play for several years and not exactly a brand new trend sparked by the election.  Key players such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, Jerry Doyle, Rusty Humphries and Michael Smerconish have had significantly different takes on the conservative side of the dial as have hosts the likes of Ed Schultz, Thom Hartmann, Stephanie Miller and Alan Colmes been diverse in their approaches from the left.  However, recently concluded elections – especially presidential contests – have a way of making talent in this arena reassess and reflect upon their strategies.  Read the rest of this story here.

Lincoln Financial Media Re-Signs Two at KKFN, Denver.  Sports talk outlet “104.3 The Fan” KKFN, Denver inks new deals with midday co-host Scott Hastings of the “Drew and Scott” show as well as with morning drive co-host Joel Klatt.  Klatt also handles pre- and post-game programs for Colorado Rockies baseball and does college football color commentary for Fox Sports and his new deal is structured to allow him to continue in those roles.

 

Dave Ramsey Storms Seattle.  In what is being termed his last live event of the fall season, nationally syndicated financial talk sensation and New York Times best-selling author Dave Ramsey recently performed in front of a record crowd his brand new, intimate “Living a Legacy Live Event” in Seattle.  Ramsey spoke to the crowd about how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  His daughter Rachel Cruze joined him on stage.  Affiliate KTTH says it saw direct benefits of the live event for their audience and their station.  President and GM Carl Gardner says, “Up close and personal, Dave made a big impression on our clients and his listeners.  He knows how to build a loyal following – one person at a time.”  Ramsey is pictured above with the staff of KTTH.

Francis Rose in for John Batchelor Tomorrow.  WFED, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Francis Rose sits in for Cumulus Media NetworksJohn Batchelor tomorrow night.  Rose – who as a media pro superserving federal government employees on Hubbard’s WFED has a view like few others of Washington, DC culture – is available for guest shots on how the federal government, both executive branch and Congress, are handling the aftermath of the election and the fiscal cliff.  He can be contacted at frose@federalnewsradio.com.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Radio America’s Peter Schiff show is picked up by KQMS-AM/FM Redding, California; WCCF, Punta Gorda, Florida; WBCH, Hastings, Michigan…..Genesis Communications Network’s Alex Jones joins the program schedule at KFNX, Phoenix…..WYD Media’s Michael Smerconish show is now heard on WSJM, Benton Harbor/St. Joseph, Michigan…..Dial Global’s Dennis Miller is added to the program schedule at WFJX, Roanoke, Virginia and WLRT, Lexington, Kentucky…..Cox Media’s Clark Howard is picked up by WHTH, Heath, Ohio (Columbus)…..Dial Global’s Jim Bohannon is added to the program schedule at KGY, Olympia, Washington and WLOB, Portland, Maine…..Dial Global’s “America This Morning” and “America This Week” – both hosted by Jim Bohannon – are picked up by WXDE, Lewes, Delaware…..Cumulus Media NetworksMichael Savage is picked up by KFNX, Phoenix…..“The Money Pit Home Improvement Show” is added to WXDE, Lewes, Delaware; KPSF, Desert Hot Springs, California; and WEZS, Laconia, New Hampshire.

The Presidential Election Tops the Talkers TenTM for Week of November 5 – 9.  The race for president was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  Coming in at #2 was the congressional races and the ballot issues.  At #3 was the looming tax increases followed by the deficit issue at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio across America during the week and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s complete chart here.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

| October 18, 2012

Michael Savage Signs with Cumulus Media Networks; Push for Affiliates and Programming Changes at O&O Stations to Begin.  Not too long after vowing he’d be back on terrestrial radio, talk radio host Michael Savage joins Cumulus Media Networks for a syndication deal that will have his program distributed nationally live from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET.  The terms of the contract are not available but in a press release announcing the pact, Cumulus COO John Dickey states, “As we aggressively create radio’s most compelling mix of show hosts the addition of Michael Savage is a milestone in our determined efforts to provide our listeners nationwide with the best programing in the business.”  Savage won freedom from his contract with Talk Radio Network in court several weeks ago, freeing him to sign anywhere for national distribution.  Savage states in the release, “Cumulus and Savage will make radio history.  The turbulent times we live in give talk radio a new power.  This is the biggest move of my radio career and I look forward to reaching many millions of new listeners on their flamethrower signals.”  Savage has broadcast from his home studio in the San Francisco Bay Area for years and most likely will continue to do so.  Cumulus will want to put him on as many O&Os as possible so here’s a rundown of what programming airs during the live broadcast time of Savage’s soon-to-be program.  In San Francisco, O&Os KGO and KSFO air a local evening news show and its own syndicated John Batchelor program respectively; WABC, New York airs Batchelor; KABC, Los Angeles airs its own syndicated Mark Levin; WLS-AM, Chicago airs the last hour of Premiere’s Sean Hannity followed by Levin;  WMAL, Washington airs Batchelor; WBAP-AM/FM, Dallas airs local host Chris Krok; and WJR, Detroit airs Mark Levin.  With Savage’s program to debut next Tuesday, October 23, look for some programming changes on Cumulus Media O&O talk outlets.

Dan Patrick’s Radio and TV Simulcast Exits Fox Sports Net; Speculation About New Cable Partner Begins.  To be clear, we’re talking about the regional cable TV networks when we talk about Fox Sports Net, not Fox Sports Radio Network which distributes the radio version of the DirecTV-produced program.  Dan Patrick’s sports talk show is still available on DirecTV’s Audience Network but Patrick said on his program they expect to have a new cable partner soon and here’s where the speculation begins.  AwfulAnnouncing.com’s Matt Yoder writes that a deal with NBC’s fledgling cable sports network could use a show like Patrick’s in morning drive as a show around which to build the rest of its programming.  As Yoder points out, Dan Patrick already works for NBC hosting “Football Night in America,” so there’s a relationship in place.  If NBC and Patrick agree to work together for the cable TV distribution of his program, whether that would affect the distribution of his radio program or not is unknown.  NBC is also building a sports talk radio network for which it needs quality programming.  However, the Fox Sports Radio Network distribution of the radio program has it on more than 250 stations.  Ad sales for the radio side are handled by Premiere Networks and presumably there is a contract for this relationship.

Mancow TV Show Producer Resigns.  With less than a week to go before the debut of Erich Mancow Muller’s Chicago TV show on Fox Television’s WPWR-TV, director and producer Don DuPree leaves the project.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports DuPree had issues with Fox Television that centered on compensation and job duties unrelated to the Mancow program.  Mancow’s morning radio show — syndicated nationally by TRN-FM — is set to begin a two-hour radio/TV simulcast (during the 6:00 am to 8:00 am CT hours) on Monday, October 22.  DuPree has been involved with the soon-to-debut show for several weeks.  He tells Feder, “I really want to see the show succeed, and I want Mancow to succeed.  Working with Mancow was why I was attracted to the project to begin with, and I’m still a big fan.  I hope I get to work with him again one day.”  DuPree was director of the “Siskel & Ebert” program for 16 years and also served as executive producer for “Ebert & Roeper.”

Talent Shuffle at Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle.  A day after Bonneville announced that morning news anchor Linda Thomas would exit the AM on-air post to take an enterprising new role with the station and its affiliated digital presence, it promotes evening talk host John Curley to host of “Seattle’s Morning News” beginning Monday, October 22.  Curley, a popular media personality in the market who joined KIRO-FM in February of 2011 to host the night show, is partnered up with current AM drive co-host Tom Tangney and news anchor Ursula Reutin.  Program director Larry Gifford states, “John is unbelievably talented.  He brings a lifetime of lessons to add a personal perspective and a storyteller’s sensibility to ‘Seattle’s Morning News.’  He also has an irresistible charm and enough energy to fuel the entire Pacific Northwest.”  Curley spent 14 years hosting “Evening Magazine” on KING-TV and currently serves as a member of the Sammamish City Council.  Exiting the morning program is host Bill Radke.

WBNS-AM/FM, Columbus Suspends Host for Tweet.  RadiOhio’s sports talk WBNS-AM/FM, Columbus “97.1 The Fan” suspends talk host Scott Torgerson – co-host of “The Common Man & The Torg” – after he Tweeted regarding ESPN’s Desmond Howard, “I wish that Desmond Howard would get fired or die so I can watch ‘Gameday’ again.”  It’s uncertain how long Torgerson will be suspended but yesterday he remained off the program with co-host Mike Ricordati.

Genesis Communications Network Purchases New Headquarters.  The company that syndicated such talk radio stars as Alex Jones, Jason Lewis and Bradlee Dean is moving into new headquarters in Burnsville, Minnesota.  The company, headed by CEO Ted Anderson, is moving from its current base in Eagan, Minnesota to a former Coldwell Banker office near I-35W in the Twin Cities region.  The building was purchased for $1.4 million.

Newsweek Announces End of Paper Edition.  This isn’t a radio story but it is an interesting media development.  Editor-in-chief of The Newsweek Daily Beast CompanyTina Brown, announces the iconic weekly news magazine will cease publication of its printed product at the end of this year and will move into a strictly digital business model in 2013.  Brown writes, “Newsweek Global, as the all-digital publication will be named, will be a single, worldwide edition targeted for a highly mobile, opinion-leading audience who want to learn about world events in a sophisticated context.  Newsweek Global will be supported by paid subscription and will be available through e-readers for both tablet and the Web, with select content available on The Daily Beast.”  Brown makes it clear why the transition is taking place.  “It is important that we underscore what this digital transition means and, as importantly, what it does not.  We are transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it.  We remain committed to Newsweek and to the journalism that it represents.  This decision is not about the quality of the brand or the journalism — that is as powerful as ever.  It is about the challenging economics of print publishing and distribution.”

Second Presidential Debate Aftermath, Presidential Race Polls, Libya Attack Investigation, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/17).  Analysis of the performance of the candidates in the second presidential debate; the polls in the presidential race; the ongoing investigation into the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi; and the Major League Baseball playoffs are some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

| October 11, 2012

Sold Out Talkers New Media Seminar Takes Place in Los Angeles Today.  Talk media practitioners from all over the country are gathering in Los Angeles today for the West Coast installment of TALKERS magazine’s two-part New Media Seminar 2012 (the first part took place in New York on June 7).  The NMS Los Angeles agenda includes solo addresses, panel discussions and the presentation of the “Woman of the Year” award to KFI/KTLK, Los Angeles program director Robin Bertolucci by last year’s recipient Stephanie Miller.  More than 55 speakers will be participating including radio talent, PDs, GMs, producers, syndicators and consultants.  Courtside Entertainment founder and CEO Norm Pattiz will keynote.  KFI, Los Angeles morning drive host Bill Handel will also deliver a solo presentation.  Some of the panel discussions to take place  include: “The Big Picture: Spoken Word Radio” moderated by RadioInfo/TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison; “The Challenges of Hosting a Talk Show in 2012” moderated by RadioInfo/TALKERS managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian; “Making Money in Talk Radio: Challenges and Opportunities” moderated by PodJockey host Brent Seltzer; “The State of Talk Programming” moderated by RadioInfo/TALKERS executive editor Kevin Casey; “The Modern Day Pioneers” moderated by KPCC, Pasadena personality Patt Morrison; “The Art of the Show” moderated by Bill Moran & Associates president Bill Moran; and much more.  There will be more than 50 speakers and approximately 250 attendees at this event. The TALKERS New Media Seminar LA takes placed today from 9:00 am and 5:00 pm in association with the Los Angeles Press Club at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood.  Check out the full agenda here.  Look for coverage of the event in both RadioInfo and TALKERS in the days ahead.

CBS Radio’s Atlanta FM Sports Talk Announces Lineup and Start Date.  WZGC, Atlanta “SportsRadio 92.9 The Game” will debut on October 24 and feature the following personalities in addition to Carl Dukes, whom we already reported is moving to Atlanta from Houston where he worked at Gow Communications’ KFNC.  Morning drive will be hosted by well-known TV NFL analyst and 49ers great Randy Cross, NBA-TV personality Rick Kamla, and former crosstown WBTS “95.5 The Beat” host C.J. Simpson.  The 10:00 am to 2:00 pm slot will feature former CNN Headline Sports, Fox Sports Radio and Atlanta Braves and Hawks analyst Jerome Jurenovich paired with former Atlanta Falcon and NFL Network personality Jaime Dukes.  Joining Carl Dukes on the afternoon drive show will be Rachel Baribeau, most recently with Cox Media’s WZNN, Birmingham “97.3 The Zone” and former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kordell Stewart.  The evening show is yet to be announced but TALKERS hears other personalities to be part of the station in either analysis or fill-roles include NBA analyst Bob Neal, former NBA star Dennis Scott, former Toronto Raptors coach Sam Mitchell, two-sport player with the Braves and Falcons Brian Jordan, and former Atlanta Falcon Ovie Mughelli.

Doug Stephan Syndicated Morning Show Reaches Quarter Century Milestone.  This month, Doug Stephan‘s “Good Day,” arguably the second longest running syndicated talk radio show in the country, begins its 25th year on the air.  Stephan and his crew will be celebrating this major milestone with an ongoing schedule of fun, games and trivia.  Every day for the next year, the show will feature clips offering a retrospective of the top news stories, songs, movies and TV shows from the past 25 years.  The celebration culminates in October of 2013 with contests that will be coordinated with “Good Day” affiliates enabling listeners from around the country to win trips and other assorted prizes. The show will also be highlighting other companies and organizations celebrating their 25th anniversary along with “Good Day.”  “‘Good Day’ is as relevant today as it was 25 years ago,” Stephan tells TALKERS, adding “The show’s success and longevity is a testament to our ability to keep it fresh and fun while keeping our audience informed.”

WLS-AM, Chicago’s Don Wade Preparing to Undergo Chemo and Radiation.  From the Windy City, Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports that WLS-AM, Chicago morning drive host Don Wade – after a successful operation to remove a growth from his brain will undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatment soon.  His agent, Eliot Ephriam, says the course is not indicative of any bad news but simply the next step in the procedure for the 71-year-old talk personality.  In a statement, Wade says, “I’m going to do everything the doctors tell me to do to beat this thing.  Nothing has altered my most positive and optimistic attitude.  When they say jump, I say: ‘How high?’”  Meanwhile, Wade’s wife and radio partner Roma, thanks the many who’ve sent well-wishes.  “The outpouring of caring from thousands of you, our radio family, has filled our hearts and our home, our coffee table piled high and overflowing with love.  Your letters, cards, emails, messages, flowers and, most important, prayers lift our spirits every single day.  Thank you.”

Clear Channel Sacramento Knocked Off Air by Software Glitch.  The cluster-wide loss of transmitting signal that Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s Sacramento stations experienced yesterday were caused by a software malfunction, according to coverage in the Sacramento Bee.  President and market manager Dave Milner tells the paper the cluster recently moved into new studios that have a state-of-the-art software system that went down on Wednesday morning around 7:00 and lasted until engineers could repair the problem around 9:00 am.  Milner says the office received a lot of calls from people wondering what happened to their radio stations.  “It’s never fun to go through something like this but it makes you aware of how much people rely on you.”  The company operates news/talk outlets KFBK and KSTE, classic hits KHLX, urban contemporary KHYL, and adults hits KQKJ.

Odds & Sods.  Journal Broadcast Group announces its “2012 Red, White and Blue Election Initiative” – a campaign that commits each of its television news operations and radio news/talk formatted stations to significant election coverage in the 30 days leading up to the November 6, 2012 general election.  News/talk stations taking part include: WTMJ-AM, Milwaukee; KTTS-AM and KSGF-AM/FM, Springfield, Missouri; KQTH-FM, Tucson; KFAQ-AM, Tulsa; KFDI-AM and KLIO-FM, Wichita…..Mark Mueller exits Clear Channel’s WRDU, Raleigh where he’s served as the midday news/anchor and reporter since 2009.

Correction!  Yesterday TALKERS published the news that the FCC has approved Buckley Broadcasting’s sale of WOR, New York to Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.  In the piece we wrote that WOR was New York’s oldest station, having gone on the air in February of 1922.  WGY, Albany program director Josh Everett writes to correct the record, stating that WGY-AM went on the air on February 20, 1922 – two days prior to WOR-AM signing on February 22, 1922.  Even though we were referencing WOR as New York City’s first station – we want to give credit where credit is due.  But wait! Former Citadel Wilkes-Barre chief engineer Phil Galasso writes to tell us we’re both wrong and that WABC – which first went on the air as WJZ – was first out of the gate on October 7, 1921 from the Westinghouse plant near Lackawanna Station in Newark, New Jersey.  He says WJZ changed its call letters to WABC on March 1, 1953.

Famous Dodgers Join “What’s Cookin’?” Broadcast.  CRN Digital Talk Radio’s “What’s Cookin’ on Wine” program recently broadcast from The Ranch restaurant in Anaheim and had some very special guests on the show.  Pictured here in the back row are: Former Dodger pitcher Charlie Hough, “What’s Cookin’ on Wine” host and master sommelier Michael Jordan, third base coach and former Dodger All-Star Tim Wallach.  Seated at the table are Hall of Fame Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda and “What’s Cookin’ on Wine” co-host Mike Horn.

Obama Confesses ‘Bad Night’ at Debate, Presidential Race Polls, Libya Consulate Attack Investigation, and Sandusky Sentencing Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/10).  The Analysis of the first presidential debate and President Obama’s admission he had a ‘bad night’; the latest presidential race polls; the ongoing investigation into the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya; and the sentencing of former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

| September 19, 2012

NAB/RAB Radio Show Opens in Dallas Today.  Thousands of broadcasters from around the nation are gathering at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas for the annual “Radio Show” jointly presented by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB).  The theme of this year’s event is ‘Hear What’s Next.”  The entire conference, which runs from this morning until the closing Radio Show Luncheon on Friday afternoon, is devoted to the medium of radio and its commercial industry with an eye on the future — from the music royalties issue to the general challenge of integrating into the digital era.  CBS Radio president and CEO Dan Mason served as chair of this year’s Radio Show Steering Committee.  TALKERS has correspondents on the scene and will provide coverage of the key events as they unfold.

Michael Harrison to Deliver Address This Morning:  “Can Terrestrial Radio Thrive in the Digital Era?”   TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison will be presenting an “info-session” at the Radio Show this morning sponsored by this publication in which he addresses the question, “Can terrestrial radio thrive in the digital era?”  Harrison says, “Survival is not enough.  Survival is just a form of slow death.”  In an accompanying article he writes, “Survival is already happening and it isn’t as much fun as it’s cracked up to be as a spectator sport on the Discovery Channel.  In the reality show called terrestrial radio, sooner than later, survival will run out of gas.  For terrestrial radio, ‘survival’ is simply a slower form of imminent death.  It should be the goal of terrestrial radio to thrive in the digital era. Thrive? Is that even possible? Of course it is — but only if the medium’s players, from the very top on down, muster up the will to conquer the daunting obstacles standing before them.  It will take vision and courage fueled by bold ideas and action to slay the five-headed dragon threatening terrestrial radio with premature obsolescence.”  To read the entire article, click here.  If you are in Dallas, you can attend Harrison’s presentation in the Emerald Room at 10:15 am CT.

Entercom Announces Deal with ESPN to Split WEEI, Boston’s AM and FM Signals.  Beginning October 5, ESPN Radio’s national sports talk lineup will be heard on WEEI-AM at 850 in Boston and the local talk of Entercom’s Boston sports brand will broadcast solely on WEEI-FM at 93.7.  This is a great deal for ESPN, which gets a Boston clear for its sports talk programming and play-by-play, including the entire MLB schedule (including this year’s playoffs), the NBA and college hoops and football.  The AM side is being re-branded “ESPN on WEEI.”  On the FM side, the Boston sports talker will still be the exclusive home of Red Sox baseball, Celtics basketball and NFL play-by-play.  For WEEI’s web presence, ESPNBoston.com will power WEEI.com’s video player with ESPN video content.  Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “We are excited to be expanding our partnership with ESPN in such a meaningful way.  Combining Boston’s leading sports station, WEEI-FM, and the new ESPN on WEEI 850 AM, together with our ability to cross promote content through our existing mobile and digital platforms, gives passionate Boston sports fans the very best in local and national sports content.”

WSAU-AM/FM, Wausau, Wisconsin Give Political Candidate Free Air Time in Equal Time Deal.  Pat Snyder is the morning drive host on Midwest Communications news/talk combo WSAU-AM/FM, Wausau, Wisconsin.  He’s also a Republican candidate for State Assembly but his popularity with listeners meant the station didn’t want to take him off the air until it had to.  The Wausau Daily Herald reports that since Snyder worked until August 30 – almost two weeks after Democrat Mandy Wright became his opponent on August 14 – Wright became eligible for equal time compensation.  So the station will give Wright five-and-a-half hours of time in the form of commercials to air between now and election day.  She tells the paper she’s happy with the deal and that the station was “amicable” in dealing with her.

Jim Ingstad’s Radio Fargo-Moorhead to Sell Cluster to Midwest Communications.  The six-station cluster of Jim Ingstad’s Radio Fargo-Moorhead will be sold to Wausau, Wisconsin-based Midwest Communications, pending FCC approval.  The stations are: news/talk KFGO-AM, sports KVOX-AM, classic hits KBVB-FM, Top 40 WDAY-FM, talk KRWK-FM and CHR KMJO-FM.  Six years ago Ingstad bought the stations from Clear Channel – the company that had purchased the stations from him several years prior.  No purchase price has been announced.

Bill O’Reilly and Jon Stewart to Debate Prior to the Election.  Dubbed “The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium” and taking place at Washington, DC’s George Washington University on October 6, Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly (also heard on news/talk radio stations via his daily feature distributed by Courtside Entertainment) and “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart will mix it up in a 90-minute debate about election issues.  O’Reilly and Stewart have a friendly but adversarial relationship and have both appeared on each other’s shows.  According to Deadline.com, the debate will be broadcast over the internet in a pay-per-view model.

WJJG, Chicago Flips Calls to Historic WCKG.  Talk outlet WJJG (licensed to Elmhurst, Illinois) is taking the calls of the former CBS Radio hot talk outlet WCKG-FM – once home to Howard Stern, Steve Dahl and others during its heyday.  The station says in a statement, “WCKG has boasted Chicago and national radio stars the likes of Bob Sirott, Steve Dahl, Howard Stern, Kevin Matthews, Jonathon Brandmeier, Adam Carolla and Dr. Drew Pinsky, Garry Meier, and Stephanie Miller.  Now, WCKG fans can add Mancow Muller, Alex Jones, and Michael Savage to the list of radio superstars linked to WCKG, on AM 1530.  General manager Matt Dubiel has been operating the station for the past year and has re-tooled the station’s programming lineup, marketing, studios and engineering.  He says he has plans to add live and local talk shows and a suburban showcase studio next.  “My mission is to bring WCKG to a worthy DuPage County suburb.  It’s high time for DuPage to have a marquee radio station with top-level talent serving our communities and Main Street businesses.”

Managing the Tight Sports Talk Playlist.  Sports talk hosts wishing to depart from the small number of stories in which their audience is interested on any given day do so at the risk of massive tune out.  WFAN, New York host Richard Neer writes that today’s sports talk host must work that much harder to keep those few topics fresh to serve both the new listeners coming in and the ones who’ve been along for the ride for some time.  Doing that and avoiding the temptation to veer off into uncharted waters are two of the biggest challenges for sports talkers.  Read Richard Neer’s column here.

Morning Host Hank Bonecutter Let Go from WJZM, Clarksville, Tennessee.  The twist here is that Hank Bonecutter, host of “The Bone Show” on news/talk/sports WJZM, Clarksville, Tennessee, is the former owner of the station and he just completed the sale of it to new owners Dave Loos Jr., Greg Walker and Mike Parchman in August.  He’d been affiliated with the station since 1973 and bought it in 1994.  He tells The Leaf Chronicle, “I have no ill will.  They have to do what they have to do.  I wasn’t sure I’d stay on to the end of the year anyway…My reporting and all we were doing was not in their whole scope of what the station would be about.  I don’t think there’s any question I’ve rubbed a lot of people the wrong way for several years.  I’m sure they were taking a lot of heat from some folks in town, but I can’t speak to whether that was part of their decision or not.”

Critics Slamming NBC TV’s Ouster of Ann Curry from “Today.”  In a story in the New York Post, many industry watchers are saying the network’s move to bump Ann Curry from its morning news/talk show “Today” is not getting the intended result: improved ratings.  In the three months since Curry was replaced by Savannah Guthrie, the ratings have slid further.  According to the story, with Ann Curry in the lineup the show averaged 4.94 million total viewers and 2.1 million viewers in the 25 to 54 demo in the 10 weeks before she left.  Since then, “Today” has dropped to 4.6 million total viewers and 1.9 million in the 25 to 54 demo in the 10 weeks after she was replaced.

Odds & Sods.  CBS Radio gears up for the 29th NewsRadio 1020 KDKA Spaghetti Breakfast being held this Friday from 5:00 am to 9:00 am at the Heinz Hall Garden Plaza in downtown Pittsburgh.  The breakfast feast features “KDKA Morning News co-hosts Larry Richert and John Shumway…..WHO, Des Moines PM drive host Simon Conway sits in today through Friday for Premiere Networks’ “America Now” with Andy Dean…..Corporate Turnaround partners with Broadcast Affiliate Sales to debut its new daily radio feature that consists of intriguing stories about ways business can improve and grow.  BAS’ Mike Tyler says, “Corporate Turnaround’s daily feature discusses many ways small business can improve their financial condition.  This feature will help radio stations get new advertisers.  The listeners will enjoy the feature and small business will get much needed information.”

Romney ‘Reliant on Government’ Comments, Media Matters-DOJ Relationship, and Libya U.S. Consulate Attack Aftermath/Muslim World Protests Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/18).  The fallout from a secretly recorded video of Mitt Romney speaking to donors about the 47% of President Obama’s base who are “reliant on government”; questions about whether Media Matters for America has a working relationship with the Department of Justice; the aftermath of the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya and the ongoing anti-America protests in the Muslim world were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, September 17, 2012

| September 17, 2012

WEEI Goes to Bat for Battling Kids.  During the last week of August, Entercom’s New England sports brand WEEI completed its 11th annual Jimmy Fund radio-thon to benefit the Dana Farber Cancer Institute raising more than $3.4 million.  TALKERS managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian recently had a long chat with WEEI vice president of programming Jason Wolfe about the history of the fundraiser and WEEI’s connection to the charity.  Read his piece here.

Atlanta Sports Talk Hosts “Two Live Stews” Off LFM’s WQXI “790/The Zone.”  Doug and Ryan Stewart have been taken off the midday show at Lincoln Financial Media’s sports talker WQXI, Atlanta “790/The Zone.”  According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho, the two are taking their ouster well with Doug Stewart telling him, “It’s incredible what we’ve done there over 11 years.  I want to thank the fans who supported us.  This isn’t the last you’ve heard from us.”  The Stewarts are under contract through the end of the year and, although Ho reports their agent is trying to get them an early release from their deal that would allow them to work in the market sooner, they have a non-compete that would probably keep them off Atlanta radio until July of 2013.  With that in mind, any speculation they could end up on CBS Radio’s new sports talk FM due to debut in October would be complicated by their contract situation.

Chicago Public Media Taps the Tribune’s and WGN’s Rick Kogan for Fill-In Gig.  While Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ searches for a full-time replacement for PM drive talk host Steve Edwards (who’s exiting the organization to become deputy director of the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago), Chicago Tribune columnist and WGN’s “The Sunday Papers” host Rick Kogan will host the program until a permanent replacement is found.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports Kogan will give up the WGN gig while sitting in at WBEZ, telling him, “I’m flattered by this fascinating creative challenge.  And I welcome the change in lifestyle. After all these years, it’ll be nice for a while not to have to get up at 4:30 in the morning every Sunday.”

Please Stop Copying.  That’s the plea from Sabo Media chairman Walter Sabo in his most recent column for TALKERS.  Sabo writes that too many talk show hosts are encouraged to take a page from some other very successful talk show host when what they should really be doing is using their own life experiences and feelings to express their own world view in an entertaining way.  Interestingly, Sabo notes that many of the country’s “heritage” radio stations will sound funny to a non-native.  “You’ve had the experience of listening to a legendary station for the first time and being shocked that it sounded horrible.  Yes, it sounded horrible to you because you didn’t grow up in that city with that station.  That’s not your station.  The truly great stations are endemic to their cities.  They copy no other station.  Instead, they have created a mirror of the interest needs and tastes of their listeners.”  Read Walter Sabo’s entire piece here.

Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby Reunited on Radio After Kuby Assaulted on the Streets.  No, the arch-conservative and leftist duo that ruled the airwaves on WABC, New York for 10 years is not back together for a new radio show.  But activist attorney Ron Kuby and conservative talk host Curtis Sliwa, who hosts the morning show on Salem Communications’ WNYM “970 The Answer,” did speak together on Sliwa’s program after Kuby was bloodied in an assault last week.  Kuby went on Sliwa’s program to explain how he got into a fight with two young people who were shouting anti-gay epithets.  The story made the New York Daily News and Sliwa even wove the incident into a live read for a Long Island dentist whom he said he would recommend to Kuby in case he needed any dental work after the beating.  He did not.

Social Media: Your Frequent Flier Program.  Radio programmer and digital entrepreneur Chris Miller says, when it comes to social media for radio stations, the people you reach are not your “friends,” they’re your “frequent fliers,” and you need to treat them as such to use social media more effectively.  Miller says research indicates there are three primary reasons people follow brands on social media: 1) to get the advantage of insider information; 2) to get special deals and offers; and 3) to learn more about things you do that they like or are interested in.  Learn what Miller says you can do to satisfy those interests.  Read his piece here.

On the Road in Oklahoma City.  Nationally syndicated talk superstar Dave Ramsey is on the road again visiting affiliate stations and producing live shows that draw thousands.  He’s pictured here at the Crossings Community Church in Oklahoma City.  With his brand new, intimate “Living a Legacy Live Event,” Ramsey speaks about how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  For this appearance, author Jon Acuff joined Ramsey on stage.  Local affiliate KOKC realized the direct benefits of the live show for its audience and the station.  KOKC’s Rob Adair states, “Anytime Dave Ramsey comes to Oklahoma City for an event with our radio station, everyone wins — our clients, our listeners, our station.  Our ‘Living a Legacy’ was filled to the roof with listeners.  Dave delivers again…but over-delivering is just his style.”

Harvey Nagler and Walter Sabo Join Growing Lineup of Stellar Speakers at Forthcoming TALKERS Los Angeles Event.  Two more industry leaders have joined the roster of speakers at the forthcoming TALKERS New Media Seminar scheduled for Thursday, October 11 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm in association with the Los Angeles Press Club at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood.  CBS Radio News VP Harvey Nagler will be joining the panel, “Spoken Word Radio: The Big Picture” along with  Phil Boyce, VP/director, spoken word format, Salem Communications; Ron Hartenbaum, CEO, WYD Media Management, LLC;   Kraig Kitchin, CEO, Sound Mind, LLC; and Mike McVay, senior VP programming, Cumulus Media.  The session will be moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.  In addition, Sabo Media chairman Walter Sabo will be presenting a special address titled “Interactivity and Video: The Key to Your Business Future.”  Based upon registrations already booked, the event is projected to be sold out by the end of this week or very early the next.  Full up-to-the-minute agenda details will be posted here at Talkers.com tomorrow – but to assure registration, attendees are advised to sign up now.  Because it is open only to working media, there is no online registration — only by telephone.  For registration and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413.

Stephanie Miller’s Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour Continues; Featured in Special Documentary on Current TV.  The very successful “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” that comedienne and nationally syndicated talk show host Stephanie Miller has headed for the past 18 months or so was featured in a documentary on Friday, September 14 on Current TV.  The program featured an “(almost) uncensored inside look into how it all began with never before seen footage from behind the scenes and exclusive inside commentary from Stephanie and co-stars John Fugelsang, Hal Sparks, and Aisha Tyler.”   And the tour continues with stops at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre on September 29 and New York City’s Beacon Theatre on October 27.

The Adventures of Gas Can Man Hit Ft. Myers Market.  Sun Broadcasting’s WFSX, Estero, Florida (“92.5 Fox News”) used the traveling political character Gas Can Man to offer some of its listeners gas at the January, 2009 price of $1.84 per gallon last Thursday.  Gas Can Man is traveling the country in a gas can costume to associate high gas prices with the presidency of Barack Obama.  WFSX and morning drive host Drew Steele arranged a deal with a local gas station to offer gas at the low price to the first 150 lucky drivers to line up at 7:30 am that morning.  Steele stated prior to the promotion, “High gas prices have been one of the main topics of concern that our listeners have expressed in the last few months and we are going to do something about it for one morning for 150 of our neighbors.  While Washington argues about billions and trillions of dollars they need to remember that the $60 or so many people are now paying to fill up their tanks is about double what it was just a few years ago — and that extra $30 or more each week is REAL money that has a serious impact on our families and our economy.”

Cross-Promotion.  WJRW, Grand Rapids, Michigan talk show host and news director Dave Jaconette appears on this electronic billboard promoting the local appearance of “Blue Man Group” coming to the area this week as part of Broadway Grand Rapids’ Fall 2012 lineup.

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  SiriusXM sports talk host Dino Costa is profiled in the October edition of Men’s Journal in a piece called: Dino Costa: The Angriest Man on the Airwaves.  Costa (pictured below in a photo by Kareem Black) is part of the satcaster’s Mad Dog Radio channel and is quoted in the piece saying, “To do the kind of show I demand of myself is an all-consuming undertaking.  Every time I take to the air, what happened yesterday is old news.  There isn’t enough of that in radio today.  The worst thing you can be in radio is predictable, and 99% of radio is predictable.”…..LAF-ing CLIFF Media of Fort Wayne, Indiana, parent company of “Speed Talk” and RadioSpeedTalk.com, announces the departure of co-owner and “Speed Talk” co-host and executive producer Pete LaFaucia.  “Speed Talk” was a weekly one-hour racing show that at its height had 10 radio affiliates nationally.  The show’s creators have decided to split due to creative differences.  LAF-ing CLIFF Media will dissolve with Cliff Tanner retaining “Speed Talk,” RadioSpeedTalk.com, and its affiliates reforming under the name Cliff Dawg Media…..The Martone family is moving the studios of news/talk WOCA-AM/FM, Ocala, Florida to the Paddock Mall. The station will overlook the food court and have a 12-foot glass wall that will allow mall patrons to see the main studio.

Talk Radio: The Next Generation.  XtreMedia president and nationally syndicated talk host Kevin McCullough holds his newborn baby son Jonathan Stephen McCullough weighing in at 8 lbs, 5 oz.  McCullough reports that both Jonathan and mom are doing well!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

| September 5, 2012

Day One from the Democratic National Convention.  WYD Media’s Stephanie Miller (c) is pictured here in an “action” shot that shows the expansive media center in Charlotte from which she is broadcasting her nationally syndicated morning drive program.  In this photo, she’s joined by Fox News Radio personality Alan Colmes (l) and Stephanie Miller show regular Jim Ward (r).  There are more than 100 talk show hosts joining the news organizations covering the DNC in Charlotte that wraps up Thursday with President Obama’s evening speech accepting his party’s nomination for the ticket.

Greater Media’s WTKK, Boston Makes Brand Change and Boost to News Product Official.  As TALKERS magazine reported yesterday, Greater Media news/talk outlet WTKK has re-branded itself and is rededicating itself to providing Bostonians with more news and information and program director Grace Blazer makes that official.  She says the station “will provide listeners in the Boston Metropolitan area with consistent ‘live and local’ news, traffic, and weather reports around the clock on-air, online and on their mobile devices.   Through a partnership with Total Traffic, Greater Media Boston’s News Talk 96.9 FM-WTKK will deliver newscasts at the top and bottom of the hour 24 hours a day and traffic and weather reports every 15 minutes.  In addition, WTKK will refer to itself as NEWS TALK 96.9 both on air and online to more accurately reflect its product.” Blazer says, “We are proud to be the only FM radio station with a 24 hour live and local staff of newscasters delivering timely, local and breaking news, accurate traffic reporting, and dependable weather forecasts.  The addition of services to our already strong talk lineup makes News Talk 96.9 FM unique within the Boston market and also presents immediate opportunities for our advertisers.”  Total News Source VP Chris Berry says of the new relationship, “An amazing amount of news is generated daily in Boston and New England.  We are very pleased to be working around the clock with the team at News Talk 96.9 to assist in gathering and delivering news and information.”

Glenn Beck Gets Apology from American Airlines After Rude Service.  The Premiere Networks-syndicated radio host told his audience he was treated rudely by a flight attendant on a weekend flight from Newark to Dallas – ostensibly for his political views – and would never fly American again.  Beck told his national radio audience the male flight attendant “fawned over” the other passengers but slammed a can of soda down in front of him and “barked” at him, treating him as “subhuman.”  The airline tweeted an apology and went further issuing the following statement, “We are sorry for the experience Mr. Beck had on a recent flight.  The comfort and satisfaction of our customers are very important priorities to us and we take these matters seriously.  We have reached out to Mr. Beck’s office and are actively looking into the situation.”

Matt Fox Exits NextMedia’s WHBC, Canton.  The morning show at NextMedia’s WHBC, Canton, Ohio will consist of co-host Pam Cook and Canton Repository sports columnist Todd Porter for now as Matt Fox exits the station to take a position outside the radio business.  The Repository reports Fox cited the early morning hours – a 3:45 wakeup call – as one of the reasons he’s choosing to leave the show he’s been co-hosting with Cook since February of 2011.  He took over for Fred Chenevey at that time and the program was his first full-time radio gig.  He continues to co-host the “Around the House with Matt and Shari” home improvement show that airs on the local PBS TV outlet.

Big Changes at Chicago Public Media; Big Shoes to Fill at WBEZ.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports on the announcement that afternoon talk host Steve Edwards is leaving his “The Afternoon Shift” talk show on CPM’s WBEZ, Chicago to take a new post at the University of Chicago.  Edwards has been with Chicago Public Media for 14 years, serving in a number of capacities during that time, including as director of content development and program director.  It was just last February that the 41-year-old public media pro returned to the air to host “The Afternoon Shift.”  On his new position as deputy director, programming at the University of Chicago’s new Institute of Politics, a public policy and public service institute led by David Axelrod, Edwards tells Feder, “What motivates me is trying to create a deeper understanding of the world around me and trying to share that with people.  How do I touch and transform people and communities?  How do I uncover insights and share them with others?  Journalism has been an amazing place where those values and skill sets intersect.  And I think my new role at the Institute of Politics represents another place where they do as well.”  Meanwhile, CPM has retained Livingston Associates to help find Edwards’ successor.  Read Robert Feder’s full story here.

Clear Channel Takes Aim at CNN with Its ClearVision In-Airport TV Network.  Providing what it calls an alternative to CNN’s news-only airport network with a debut at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, Clear Channel Outdoor’s Clear Channel Airports division unveils ClearVision.  The company says it’ll provide content to travelers from numerous sources, including:  “CBS with offerings from CBS News, CBS Entertainment, CBS Daytime, and CBS Interactive, among others; NBC, with shows including The Today Show, Smash, The Voice, Grimm, America’s Got Talent and The Office; daily headlines from around the world from The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ Live; and sports  from the Tennis Channel with original programming like the travel series Destination Tennis and highlights from major tournaments like the French Open and US Open.”  This is a partnership with connectVISION Digital Networks and CCO says it “provides airports, content partners, and advertisers with an unparalleled ability to reach and engage air travelers – through customized content ranging from local news to top network shows and live events.  Airports ultimately will be able to leverage WiFi services to provide travelers accustomed to on-demand content access to the ClearVision network on their smartphones, iPads, and laptops.”  There’s no word from Clear Channel on what other American airports with which it’s negotiating but the company sounds very dedicated to this market and you can bet there will be more airport deals announced in the near future.

Sports Biz Today Produces Daily Updates.  Sports Biz Today is launching a new daily product called “Sports Biz Update” – a two-minute feature in which host Fred Wallin gives listeners the headlines of what is going on in the world of sports business.  Fred Wallin is a veteran of sports talk radio, both locally in Southern California and nationally.  Wallin has hosted ‘Dodger Talk,” “Angel Talk,” “Kings Talk,” and “Bruins Talk” on various Southern California radio stations.  He has hosted programs on KABC, KFI, KLAC, KIEV, KFOX and 1150 AM in Los Angeles.  Nationally, Wallin has hosted programs on The Sports Radio Network, The American Sports Radio Network, Prime Sports, The Sports America Radio Network, and the Cable Radio Network, and presently on Sports Overnight America, Fox Sports Radio Las Vegas and KCAA Riverside, California.

Odds & Sods.  Clear Channel names Melissa Forrest market manager for the San Diego cluster.  Forrest most recently served with CC at the Atlanta cluster where she was president and market manager in charge of the company’s radio stations, the Total Traffic Network and the Georgia News Network…..TRN and WGST, Atlanta talk show host Rusty Humphries is putting his passion for cigars together with his own brand and is working with Cuban-born cigar-making legends to create his own limited-edition El Presidente cigar.  Working with Don Lino creator Nestor Miranda and master blender José “Pepin” Garcia – both Floridians now – Humphries made 300 boxes of the cigars.  He says, “It’s not made to be an everyday smoke.  There’s not that many of ‘em.  I only wanted to do a limited amount.  I wanted to honor a president each time.  When they’re gone, they’re gone.  So each cigar is a collector’s item in its own right.”  Humphries is pictured here with U.S. Senator Marco Rubio who declared the cigar “bueno.”…..Nationally syndicated home improvement radio show “The Money Pit” partners with TuneIn to create a 24/7 home improvement channel on the audio service.  “Money Pit” co-host Tom Kraeutler says, “We’ve experienced rapid growth of our program through our existing online assets.  But with over 40 million monthly active listeners, TuneIn has the infrastructure and leadership to help us expand that listener base in ways never before possible and we’re thrilled with the opportunity to share our home improvement insights with this new audience.”…..Dr. Michio Kaku – renowned theoretical physicist, best-selling author and host of Talk Radio Network’s “Science Fantastic” – has been selected through a vote of IPC members to keynote the trade group’s biggest electronics industry event next spring in San Diego.  “Kaku’s keynote will present a vision of life in the year 2100 culled from ideas of 300 of the country’s most influential scientists.  He will explore revolutionary advancements in medicine, energy production, artificial intelligence and aeronautics that will forever change our way of life – including innovations like internet-enabled contact lenses, cars that will drive (or even fly) themselves and brain sensors that will let us move objects using only the power of our minds.”…..Mike Rosso joins Continental Electronics as vice president of sales and marketing, where he’ll be responsible for maintaining and developing Continental’s global market presence.  Continental bills itself as a “global leader in broadcast transmitter equipment.  It is the foremost supplier of advanced RF transmission technology and the world’s most experienced designer and builder of the highest power radio broadcast equipment.”

Fox Sports Radio Network Launches Daily Big Ten Football Show.  The new show, an extension of the weekly Big Ten show, debuted yesterday on affiliates including WDFN, Detroit, KFXN, Minneapolis and WSSP, Milwaukee.  Dubbed “BTN Live,” the show airs live daily from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET and is hosted by Big Ten Network personalities Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo, Howard Griffith and others.

WEEI, Boston Announces Patriots and NFL Coverage.  The Entercom sports talk brand – heard throughout New England on numerous company-owned stations and affiliates – announces its fall football programming.  VP of programming and operations for Entercom Boston Jason Wolfe reports coverage of Patriots football features the return of Patriots Friday and Patriots Monday that includes exclusive interviews with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.  Its “Gameday” broadcasts on home game days will emanate from Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill at Patriot Place in Foxborough.  WEEI has also secured a number of current and former Patriots players as well as NFL experts – including (WFAN, New York and “NFL Today” host) Boomer Esiason who chats with morning hosts Dennis & Callahan each Monday – to join coverage of the team on its shows throughout the week during the football season.  Wolfe states, “We’ve made it a priority to provide Patriots fans with the most compelling and comprehensive coverage of the team that we can.  With Patriots Monday and Friday and our slew of NFL Insiders, WEEI will be the place to be to keep up with the Pats throughout the season.”  Actual game play-by-play rights are owned by WEEI’s crosstown competitor – CBS Radio-owned WBZ-FM, Boston 98.5 The Sports Hub.

Are Hard Times Hitting Television Talk, Too?  The New York Post reports on rumors that Comcast’s NBC is taking a serious look at morning television talk’s “Today” for possible budget cuts in the wake of its “ratings woes.”  With the story of Jay Leno’s recent voluntary pay cut to help save staffer jobs at “The Tonight Show,” the story questions whether “Today” co-host Matt Lauer will take the same path there to save the positions of lower-level staffers such as makeup artists and writers.  In the piece, one person is quoted saying, “It will be the little people who go first — the makeup people, writers, but these people have families, and it will put pressure on Matt to do the right thing.”  Lauer reportedly makes $25 million per year.  Commenting on the rumors, a rep for “Today” states there will be “absolutely” no staff cuts at the program.

Michael Strahan Officially Named Kelly Ripa’s Co-Host.  The former New York Giants football great is officially named the permanent co-host of the “Live!” show, replacing Regis Philbin, who retired from the show late last fall.  Kelly Ripa has been hosting the show solo and with a parade of potential co-hosts doing live auditions since then.  But, according to People, Ripa made the announcement official that Strahan would be her new co-host.

Presidential Campaign/Democratic National Convention, National Debts Hits $16 Trillion, and Syria Violence Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/4).  The presidential campaign and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte; the national debt hitting the $16 trillion mark; and the ongoing violence in Syria were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

| August 22, 2012

Entercom’s San Francisco Sports Talk Outlet Tweaks Midday Lineup.  KGMZ, San Francisco – 95.7 The Game – alters its midday programming by adding Greg Papa, voice of the Oakland Raiders and Comcast SportsNet Host, to “The Wheelhouse” with current host John Lund and moving the show to 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm beginning September 4.  Lund’s solo show currently airs from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  The station moves Chris Townsend from his eponymous evening show to the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot for a new show where he’s paired up with Matt Steinmetz — Warriors and NBA Insider for 95.7 The Game and Comcast SportsNet.  Townsend will continue hosting the pre-game “Dugout Show” prior to weekday Oakland Athletics games.  Additionally, the station says it plans to announce a new co-host for “The Drive” alongside Brandon Tierney soon as Eric Davis leaves to join the NFL Network.  That show moves to the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart.  Program director Jason Barrett states, “This is a great day for 95.7 The Game.  We are adding two weekday shows Bay Area sports fans will love.  It’s not often you can add talent like this to your full-time lineup.  Greg Papa is a Bay Area icon and to have him on full-time is terrific.  Chris Townsend has proved he belongs in middays and with Matt Steinmetz as his teammate, the sky’s the limit.  These moves help solidify and better position 95.7 The Game for the future.  We are very excited about these two new shows and can’t wait to announce Brandon Tierney’s co-host in the coming weeks.”

Delmarva Preps for New Delaware Talk Radio Outlet to Debut on September 4.  The simulcast of Delmarva Broadcasting’s country WKTT, Salisbury, Maryland and WZKT, Lewes, Delaware will split on September 4 and the new news/talk outlet on WZKT at 105.9 FM will reportedly feature former WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware personalities Dan Gaffney in the AM drive slot and Jared Morris in the PM drive daypart.  Susan Monday will host middays from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm with a break during the 12:00 noon hour when the “Delaware News Hour” with Alan Loudell will be piped in from WDEL, Wilmington.  Dave Ramsey’s nationally syndicated show will air in evenings and Mark Fowser will serve as news director and AM drive news anchor.

Former Minneapolis Sports Talk Personality Jeff Dubay Sits in on Hot AC Morning Show.  Radio industry watchers know Jeff Dubay as the former KFAN, Minneapolis sports talk host who lost his position with the station in 2008 after being found in possession of crack cocaine during a traffic stop.  Since that time, Dubay has been through rehab and has recently begun speaking out publicly about his trials and tribulations in the media.  Yesterday, Dubay sat in on the morning show at Northern Lights Broadcasting’s Hot AC KTWN, Minneapolis alongside host Eric Perkins.  (The station is owned by the Pohlad family, owners of the Minnesota Twins.)The station is looking for a replacement for personality Tony Fly who recently exited the station.  Consider Dubay’s visit (which continues today and “possibly” tomorrow) an on-air tryout.  The Pioneer PressAmy Carlson Gustafson quotes station SVP and general manager Sam Elliot Gagliardi saying, “You can tell he’s somebody who has been on the radio for a number of years.  You could also tell he was a little rusty and nervous, as is to be expected after being off the air for four years.”  Gagliardi says he has a few more on-air tryouts scheduled over the next couple of weeks.

Hochman and Zaslow Named Morning Team at WAXY, Miami.  The Lincoln Financial Media-owned South Florida sports talk outlet announces Marc Hochman and Jonathan Zaslow are the new permanent morning show team.  Hochman was the longtime executive producer of Dan LeBatard’s PM drive show and Zaslow had been the evening host at the station he also anchored pre-game, halftime and post-game coverage of Miami Heat games.  Program director Tod Castleberry states, “During our vast national search, it became apparent that Hochman & Zaslow had on-air chemistry that was infectious.  Zaslow’s passion for all things Miami sports and Hochman’s ability to find the fun and absurdity in today’s sports world will make for very entertaining listening.”

Odds & Sods.  Two of talk radio’s brightest performers from divergent ends of the political spectrum – Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel superstar Sean Hannity and WYD Media liberal talk maven Stephanie Miller will be on TV together this evening on Hannity’s FNC program at 9:00 pm ET.  Miller and Hannity have always had a playful and entertaining professional relationship – something they’ve exhibited for attendees at numerous TALKERS New Media Seminars over the years.  They are a great example of stars who couldn’t be farther apart politically but can come together professionally and put on a great show…..WXGI, Richmond, Virginia inks a two-year deal to keep Dial Global Radio Networks’ sports play-by-play that includes March Madness, NFL games including the playoffs, the Super Bowl, plus golf’s Majors and the Olympics.  ESPN 950 is owned by Red Zebra and also carries Washington Redskins football…..Dr. Daliah Wachs’ nationally syndicated program moves to the daytime — 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET – beginning September 10…..The NHL’s Nashville Predators sign a five-year contract to remain with Cromwell Group’s WPRT – 102.5 The Game – as its radio flagship station.  Tom Callahan and Stu Grimson serve as the broadcast team.

WTTB, Vero Beach, Florida Newscaster Neal Stannard Dies.  The 55-year-old afternoon news anchor was found dead behind the wheel of his car in a parking lot on August 18.  Neal Stannard is being remembered as a broadcaster who was also very involved in the local community, a theater and movies aficionado who sat on the board of the Vero Beach Theatre Guild and wrote a book titled, Now & Then The Movies Get it Right.

 

Big Sit-Down on the Campaign Trail.  WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive host Chris Stigall (r) scored a sit-down interview with vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (l) during a campaign stop in the Philly suburb of West Chester on Tuesday, August 21.  Stigall tells TALKERS there were several hundred citizens in attendance for the rally.  He’s airing the exclusive interview on his radio show this morning.

Todd Akin Case, Presidential Campaign, Israel-Iran Tensions, and ABC Late Night Shuffle Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/21).  The case of Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin’s refusal to quit the race after his rape comments; the gearing up of the presidential campaign; concerns over rumblings that Israel is planning to attack Iran before the November U.S. elections; and the shuffling of ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel and “Nightline” were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

| August 16, 2012

Sirius XM Stock Soaring While John Malone’s Liberty Media Inches Toward Control.  Yesterday’s $2.55 closing figure was satcaster Sirius XM’s (“SIRI”) best showing in more than four years.  That’s the good news for CEO Mel Karmazin and his crew.  The worrisome news, however, is the undeniable fact that John Malone’s Liberty Media – the company that rescued Sirius XM in 2009 by investing in 40% of the company at a bargain price – is closing in on acquiring the needed 50.1% ownership that would give it a controlling interest.  Subsequent to the 2009 bail out, Liberty has been buying Sirius XM stock on the open market recently purchasing about 90 million shares at around $2.50 each. According to TALKERS sister trade publication Radio-Info, those transactions plus a “forward sale” agreement would bring Liberty’s interest to about 48% creating a behind the scenes radio reality show nail-biter.

Rick Roberts Lands at America’s Radio News Network. Veteran radio talk show host Rick Roberts has been named news co-anchor at America’s Radio News Network.  Roberts, also a lawyer, has been heard in his 20 year career on such heritage outlets as KOA, Denver; KCMO, Kansas City; KRLD, Dallas; KOGO and most recently KFMB in San Diego. His is known for a distinctive style of getting the story “behind the story.”  Commenting on how pleased he is to be working with ARNN CEO Mark Masters, Roberts tells TALKERS, “He is a man of true vision.  Masters’ groundbreaking concept of journalism without agenda is needed in America now more than ever.” America’s Radio News Network, which offers 15 hours of syndicated long-form programming per week is now heard nationally on over 340 affiliates taking one or more of its five three-hour news segments.

Sandusky Scandal Impacts Pennsylvania Radio Station.  Political scandal and questionable talk host remarks are not the only form of controversy that impacts spoken word radio’s ability to sell advertising and maintain a balanced competitive image.  According to an Associated Press  report, after 20 years of faithfully broadcasting Penn State football games to its loyal fandom, talker WAEB, Allentown, Pennsylvania finds itself at a crossroads between airing the school’s upcoming season (which kicks off September 1 against Ohio University) and pleasing the overwhelmingly large percentage of listeners who have let the station know they want to hear the games — while dealing with timid sponsors who are less enthusiastic about being associated with the scandal.  Station management states they need about 10 sponsors to fund a full season of Penn State football.  Prior to the Jerry Sandusky scandal it was always an instant sellout.  So far they only have four.

Odds & Sods.  The Minnestota Twins will be moving their live broadcasts from Hubbard-owned 1500ESPN, Minneapolis at the end of the season and begin airing games on KTWN 96.3FM beginning with the 2013 season.  Their new radio home is owned by the Pohlad family – same folks who own the team.  This is the first time the Twins games will be aired exclusively on FM….None other than President Obama was interviewed on sports talker KXNO, Des Moines to talk sports but Politico reports he snuck in a bit of politics when asked how playing sports was similar to being president stating, “It also turns out that political reporters are a lot like sports reporters.  They’ve all got opinions, even if they didn’t play.”….Premiere Networks has launched a new satellite radio talk show featuring lifestyle expert and interior designer Moll Anderson heard Saturdays 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET on Sirius XM’s “Talk Radio” XM channel 168…Sports talker WFAN, New York’s annual talent search “Fantasy Phenom 111 Challenge”  has narrowed its field to five finalists who will vie for the Grand Prize of a chance to host a once a week air shift on the legendary station for one year.  The finals will take place on Friday, August 24 at Bar A in Lake Como, New Jersey.  All finalists are New York Metropolitan area locals and were chosen from thousands of fans and listeners who showed up at auditions held at area Simon malls in July as well as online entries.

Obama Leaks, Family Research Council Shooting, Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/15).  The ex-Navy SEALS video critical of President Obama for allegedly allowing dangerous leaks involving the shooting of Osama bin Laden and the shooting of a guard at the Washington, DC headquarters of the conservative Family Research Council, followed by the devastating effects of the drought brought on by the heat wave and violence in Syria were the most talked about topics on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing TALKERS research.

Wednesday, August 12, 2012

| August 15, 2012

Ron Hartenbaum and Liz Laud Expand, Merge with Debbie Greenbaum’s DG Media.  It was announced yesterday that broadcasting executive Debbie Greenbaum is joining WYM Media Management LLC as co-founder, managing partner with radio impresario Ron Hartenbaum and Liz Laud. Greenbaum’s business, DG Media will merge into WYM as part of its strategic business expansion into providing what is being described by the trio as “the most comprehensive affiliate sales and marketing for all radio formats.” Hartenbaum, who has worked over the years in developing the shows and careers of a number of the top talents in talk radio, via his New York City-based firm WYD Media Management, LLC, had earlier this year joined forces with affiliate sales and marketing veteran Liz Laud to launch WYM.  “Deb is an accomplished industry veteran who has successfully launched a variety of shows and products throughout her career and by bringing the ‘The Leslie Marshall Show’ and Good Parts Media services (‘Mr. Prep’ and ‘The Hookup’) into the fold, immediately adds to our arsenal of affiliate sales opportunities,” says Hartenbaum.  “I am thrilled to be able to continue our working relationship with her as a partner in WYM and am very excited about what the future holds.”  Greenbaum tells TALKERS,  “The opportunity to take my shows to the next level and grow WYM with the integration of Ron’s product at WYD and ground-breaking new shows such as “Istook Live!” and “Zach Sang and the Gang” is incredible.  The timing couldn’t be better; we are going to have a lot of fun and a lot of success!”  Considered a natural extension of Hartenbaum’s organization, WYM was formed to capture the affiliate marketing opportunities generated from the programming currently managed and produced by WYD which includes the “The Thom Hartmann Program,” “The Stephanie Miller Show,” “The Mike Malloy Show,” “The Michael Smerconish Show,” the “David Webb Show,” “Ring of Fire” and most recently  “Istook Live!” (Ernest Istook) and “Zach Sang & The Gang,” a new CHR radio program for 12-34s hosted by pop-culture icon, Zach Sang. “I am beyond ecstatic to be working with Debbie again.  We had a lot of fun, and more importantly, a lot of success working together at Westwood One years ago and I can’t believe our good fortune that we get the opportunity to do that again, this time with Ron!” says Laud, whose track record includes stints at Westwood One, Jones Radio and Dial Global.

Stephanie Miller’s “Sexy Liberal” Tour to Play Big Apple.  Only nine days before the election, talk radio and Current TV star Stephanie Miller‘s “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” wraps up its 2012 season with what its producers describe as its biggest show ever. The seemingly unstoppable traveling road show — considered by industry observers as a model example of how to bring a talk radio personality to a successful, revenue-generating theatrical platform — has been booked into the prestigious Beacon Theater on Manhattan’s Upper West Side on Saturday, October 27.  The production, produced by Ron Hartenbaum’s WYD Management (there he is again) will feature its full line up of “sexy liberals,” Stephanie Miller, John Fugelsang, Aisha Tyler and Hal Sparks with lots of surprises being promised.

Speculation about Clear Channel’s Plans at WOR Continues Including the Possible Addition of Sports Programming.  The radio industry remains abuzz about the acquisition of WOR from Buckley Radio by Clear Channel including speculation that the station could become home to some of CC’s top Premiere Network talents such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity should their present New York affiliate WABC follow its owner Cumulus Media’s stated new course toward a modified approach to political news/talk radio.  Now Clear Channel chairman and CEO John Hogan adds a sports wrinkle to the speculation hinting that a push for sports radio rights could be in planning.  He told the New York Post, “The Yankees radio rights come up next year, so do the New York Jets and there are others,” Hogan says, “If you look around on other news talk stations, sports can be a component. Part of the New York opportunity is that it allows us to think about the entire cluster, think about promo power of five radio stations plus WOR. That’s a really compelling package for sports players and advertisers.”

Is Another New York Deal Brewing – Putting “The Fan” on FM?  Ace radio industry reporter Tom Taylor writes in TALKERS sister trade publication Radio-Info: There’s serious talk behind closed doors, and it’s not just about Clear Channel buying WOR (710) from Buckley or the imminent announcement of Family Radio selling commercial-band WFME, Newark (94.7). There could be a swap in the middle part of the FM dial. So maybe, CBS Radio’s all-sports WFAN (660) gets an FM home – but it wouldn’t be 94.7. It might be 99.5, the perch of Pacifica’s non-commercial news/talk WBAI. The play could be WBAI relocating to 94.7 in exchange for desperately-needed cash, and CBS scoring 99.5. Though wringing a decision out of the splintered family around WBAI could take time. Just yesterday, the board failed, on an 8-8 tie vote, to keep WBAI’s GM from signing a costly three-year renewal to keep it at its Wall Street offices and broadcasting from the Empire State Building. Harold Camping-run Family Radio also has debts. It already sold its commercial-band FMs in Philadelphia (to Merlin) and Washington-Baltimore (to CBS). But the real windfall would be New York’s 94.7. This could all be happening pretty fast, perhaps by the time of the NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas, in mid-September. One complication is that WFME has a sister TV station, and they’re operated together. Would Family keep WFME-TV?

Odds & Sods.  WHJJ, Providence talk host Helen Glover landed an exclusive interview this morning with George Mendonca, the iconic “Kissing Sailor” who famously graced the cover of Life magazine following the surrender of Japan at the end of World War II.  Mendonca is now in his nineties.  The interview can be heard on Glover’s web page at http://www.920whjj.com/pages/helen.html…..The New York Post reports convicted former NBA referee Tim Donaghy today was denied permission to continue working as a paid talk radio commentator alongside another man who has several felony arrests in his own past. Brooklyn federal Judge Carol Amon ruled that Donaghy cannot receive paychecks as a radio personality on the nationally syndicated betting advice show “The Sports Connection” and must cut his professional ties with the Philadelphia-based program and its host, Danny Berrelli. The judge noted that an investigation by federal probation officers revealed that Berrelli is actually Daniel Thomas Biancullo — an ex-con with prior arrests for felony interstate gambling in Florida and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute in New Jersey.

Presidential Race Heating Up Top News/Talk Story Yesterday (8/14).  The addition of Rep. Paul Ryan to the Mitt Romney Republican ticket has intensified discussion of the 2012 presidential campaign with a huge focus on budget and fiscal policy.  Syrian violence ran a distant second and lots of gossip in the sports world over Tim Tebow’s controversial shirtless “Jesus” photo and Chad Johnson’s domestic violence scandal being among the big topics of discussion according to ongoing TALKERS research.

 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

| August 2, 2012

Chick-fil-A Controversy Fires Up Conservative Talk Hosts; Sparks Movement to Support Fast Food Chain.  The issues of gay marriage and First Amendment rights have been front and center on news/talk radio this week in the wake of Chick-fil-A COO Dan Cathy’s comments in a Baptist publication about his support for the Biblical definition of marriage that’s grown into a major news story.  Some view his statement as bigoted and divisive while others see this as a free speech issue.  The case has spurred planned demonstrations by same-sex couples and their supporters as well as conservative media personalities who have encouraged their listeners and viewers to support the fast food chain.  Salem Radio Network talk host Mike Gallagher is pictured here (at left) in his studio preparing to enjoy his Chick-fil-A lunch and has been encouraging listeners to post pictures of themselves eating at the restaurant on Facebook.  Salem Communications O&O WNYM, New York – AM 970 The Answer – organized a call for support at the Paramus, New Jersey Mall where the station reports some 200 listeners had lined up by lunchtime to support the store.  At right is talk show host Kevin McCullough (l)  – whose weekend talk show is heard on WNYM – with Salem VP/director of spoken word format Phil Boyce (r) as they prepare to enjoy a sandwich.  In the panoramic photo below.  The Answer morning drive host Curtis Sliwa can be seen at the far right speaking with a listener while the line of customers spreads across the photo to the left.

Bill Handel’s “Cash Mob” Supports SoCal Toy Store.  A “cash mob” organized by KFI, Los Angeles morning drive host Bill Handel put some $9,000 in the register of struggling Corona del Mar toy store Toy Boat, Toy Boat, Toy Boat.  Handel appeared at the store from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm but Handel’s listeners patronized the store all day long after hearing Handel speak on the air about the state of the struggling local business.  Handel show executive producer Michelle Kube reports many of the people who bought toys donated them to Children’s Hospital of Orange County.  Kube states, “This was just the first.  We plan to do more of these across all day parts on KFI over the next few months all over the Southland as our amazing listeners have responded with so many requests to help local small business owners!”

Clear Channel Reports Radio Revenue Up 3%.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment – of course, now a private company but one that still publicly reports financials – gives its 2012 Q2 financial report and states revenue was up from $771.8 million in the second quarter of 2011 to $793 million in the second quarter of this year.  CFO Tom Casey reports much of that increase was due to national and in categories including automotive, telecommunications, financial services, political and entertainment.  Casey noted that national business rose at roughly double the rate of local business.