Tag: "Stephen A. Smith"

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

| January 4, 2017

ESPN Confirms Reports of Stephen A. Smith’s Return to the Company; LeBatard Show Bumped to ‘ESPN Deportes’ in NYC.  Yesterday, numerous media reports predicted sports media personality Stephen A. Smith’s exit from Mad Dog Sports on SiriusXM and his return to the ESPN Radio platform.  Today, ESPNsmithstephena confirms the matter, stating he’ll bring his current two-hour radio show from Mad Dog Sports to ESPN Radio where it will also air on one of the sports giant’s SiriusXM channels.  In addition to being available nationally in radio syndication, it will air on ESPN Radio O&Os WEPN, New York from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET and KSPN, Los Angeles from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon PT, effective Tuesday, January 17.  It will originate from ESPN Audio’s headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut.  The move bumps WEPN’s “Hahn & Humpty” show to the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm timeslot.  But, this addition also pushes the “Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” off WEPN-FM and over to WEPN-AM “ESPN Deportes” (12:00 noon to 2:00 pm).  Also, back on SiriusXM, the first two hours of Russillo & Kanell (1:00 pm to 3:00 pm) will move to the ESPN Xtra channel while the third hour will remain on the ESPN channel.

Retiring WSCR, Chicago Personality Terry Boers to Host Farewell Toast.  “670 The Score” operations manager Mitch Rosen tells TALKERS that the CBS RADIO sports talk station will bid adieu to retiring Windy boersterryCity sports personality Terry Boers during a special broadcast tomorrow (1/5) from 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Performance Stage inside the CBS RADIO Chicago offices.  Boers is retiring after 25 years with WSCR (the station celebrated its 25th anniversary as a sports talk station on Monday), and he’s hosting the “Toast To Terry” that will include past and present hosts at “The Score.”  A limited amount of fans are able to win tickets while listening to the station.

ces-logoAnalysis: 2017 Consumer Electronics Show.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas at the gigantic 2017 Consumer Electronics Show reporting for TALKERS magazine.  True, this isn’t a media show, but a lot of what is being displayed at the mega-convention affects the radio business – mostly because of the relationship between the Internet and high-tech automobiles.  Cooke writes, “Cars we’re test-driving here talk to each other…the cars, not the drivers. ‘Texting each other’ actually.  2017 Cadillac CTS Sport Sedans can share information about driving conditions — weather, speed, sudden braking, and accidents.  The term is ‘V2V,’ meaning vehicle-to-vehicle communication, your car’s sensors feeding, and reading, the cloud, to tell you what’s beyond your line of sight. With real-time information, instantly updated, why wait until the 8s for an old-school radio traffic report?”  Read more from Las Vegas here.

Nick Cattles Leaves WVSP, Virginia Beach for Gig at ‘98.5 The Sports Hub’ in Boston.  Sports talkcattlesnick personality Nick Cattles is leaving Max Media’s Newport-Virginia Beach sports station WVSP “ESPN 94.1” to return to his native New England to take an on-air position with CBS RADIO’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  His last show on WVSP will be Monday, January 9.  WVSP VP/GM Mark McKay tells his staff the station will be “methodical” in its search for Cattles’ replacement and will use fill-in hosts during the interim.  Interested hosts should see the application details below.  Meanwhile, CBS RADIO has not announced Cattles’ arrival yet, so it’s unclear in which daypart he’ll work.

Darnell to Program iHeartMedia’s Connecticut N/T and Sports Stations.  Programmer Ben Darnell joins iHeartMedia Connecticut to handle programming duties for the company’s news/talk and sports talk stations there.  He’s now in charge of programming news/talkers WPOP, Hartford and WELI, New Haven and sports talk outlets WUCS-FM, Hartford “97.9 ESPN” and WAVZ, New Haven “ESPN Radio 1300.”  Darnell was most recently serving with Sunrise Broadcasting’s sports talk WMFD, Wilmington, North Carolina.

hallmarkverleiKCRS-AM, Midland’s Hallmark and Verlei Morning Hosts Retire.  Today (1/4) was the last “Morning Drive” program for co-hosts Robert Hallmark and Kurt Verlei at Ica Radio Ltd.’s news/talk KCRS-AM, Midland, Texas.  The duo is retiring after 14 years on the air together waking up West Texans.  Hallmark has been with the station since 1992, serving in numerous positions including as program director.  The “Morning Drive” show launched in the spring of 2001.  The station has not announced the morning show’s replacement host.

New Affiliates for Stephanie Miller and Thom Hartmann.  The new year brings new affiliates for WYMmillerstephanie Media Management’s Stephanie Miller show and the Thom Hartmann show.  Miller’s program is now heard on KTMS, Santa Barbara; KBZZ-AM, Reno; KTOX, Needles, California; KKNW, Seattle; and KEVT-AM, Tucson.  The Thom Hartmann show also joins KEVT-AM, Tucson as well as KSZL, Barstow, California.

envisionnetworks-newDecember Brings 23 New Affiliates to Envision Networks.  Content and service provider Envision Networks announces it inked 23 new affiliate stations during the month of December for programming and services across numerous formats.  In the talk realm, WKXO, Lexington, Kentucky added “On Air with Doug, Jen, and Victoria.”  Envision also formed a partnership with Sun Broadcast Group to offer Shazam for Radio.  Additionally, it launched new programming including: Today’s Comedy Network, Drive By Funny, and Collin Raye’s Rewind Country.

Obama Lame Duck Actions, GOP Ethics Office About-Face, GOP ObamaCare Strategy, Russian Hacking Allegations, Megyn Kelly Exits Fox News Channel, Jeff Sessions Protests, Trump vs Ford and GM, and NFL Playoffs Chatter Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/3).  The moves being taken by President Barack Obama to prevent President-Elect Donald Trump from undoing some of his legislation; Republican House leaders elect not to try to eliminate the Independent Ethics Office on the advice of Trump; the GOP’s potential strategies for altering the Affordable Care Act; ongoing debate over the allegations of Russian hacking of the DNC’s emails; FNC personality Megyn Kelly announces she’s leaving Fox for NBC; the protests over Trump’s nomination of Jeff Sessions for attorney general; Trump’s fight with Ford and General Motors over expansion of plants abroad versus investment in U.S. facilities; and the NFL playoffs and coaching vacancies were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

wvspCool Sports Talk Gig.  “ESPN Radio 94.1,” a locally owned and operated, top 50 market radio station located in Virginia Beach, VA, is searching for a full-time afternoon sports talk host.  Qualified candidates will have the ability to host solo but also be a strong team player, must be a champion across all social media platforms and go beyond the headlines to create unique and compelling content.  This individual will have relationships with key local and national contacts, as well as the ability to develop and grow new associations.  If this is you, please send resume, air check – mp3 demos of your latest work and anything else to support your qualifications to midatlanticradiojobs@gmail.com.  EEO.

2017-talkers-conference-navySave the Date! Talkers 2017 Set for Friday, June 2, 2017 in New York City.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine is pleased to announce the date and location of the 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention.  Titled, Talkers 2017: A New Era, the power-packed, one-day event will take place on Friday, June 2, 2017 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan in New York City.  The conference will feature top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age at the dawn of the Trump Era.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch and a closing cocktail reception.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “As has always been the case with this annual gathering, all the way back to its days as ‘The New Media Seminar,’ Talkers 2017: A New Era will focus on the future.  There is no doubt about it; we are at the dawn of an exciting new era – full of both daunting challenges and fabulous opportunities.  Good things happen at this convention.  We pack three days’ worth of content and activity into one dynamic day and comfortable space. It is not to be missed!”  Complete agenda and hotel details will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  As is customary, Talkers 2017: A New Era is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students.  Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card.  Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

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radioinfo-web-banneriHeartRadio Music Awards Nominees Announced.  The list of nominees for this year’s 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards is announced by iHeartMedia and Turner.  The winners will be announced on Sunday, March 5, at a broadcast event at the historic Forum in Los Angeles.  It will be televised live on TBS, TNT and truTV and will be simulcast on iHeartMedia stations and iHeartRadio.  See the complete list of nominees here.

iHeartMedia Names DZL Program Director for ‘XL102’ in Richmond.  Programmer Chuck “DZL” Thompson is the new program director and midday host for alternative WRXL,thompsonchuck Richmond “XL102.”  iHM Richmond SVP of programming Zac Davis says, “‘XL102’ is an extremely valuable heritage station in our iHeartMedia Richmond market.  We needed to find the right fit to oversee its day-to-day operations – someone who had good relationships with our label partners and had experience in coordinating and managing large-scale events.  ‘DZL’ stood out as someone who possessed this unique skill set and we’re looking forward to having him lead our ‘XL102’ brand.”  Thompson most recently spent eight years at WEND, Charlotte as APD/MD and afternoon personality.

KSHE, St. Louis to Unveil the ‘KSHE 50th Anniversary Real Rock Museum.’  St. Louis rocker KSHE “Real Rock Radio” – which just celebrated its 50th anniversary as an FM rock station – announces it is opening its vaults of rock history to listeners in the form of “The KSHE 50th Anniversary Real Rock Museum” to be launched on January 9 at kshe95.com.  The Emmis station says there are eight wings in the museum: The KSHE 95 Audio Wing is filled with KSHE audio history, including air-checks of air personalities from throughout the decades, fascinatingksherealrockmuseum interviews and listener favorite audio clips; each gallery in The KSHE 95 Photo Wing has a theme such as Air Personalities, Rock Stars and St. Louis Concerts; the KSHE 95 Hall of Fame is made up of videos that each focus in on an artist or band that has had a very special long-standing relationship with the station. In each video, these rock stars share KSHE and St. Louis memories.  The KSHE 95 Video Wing is an amazing collection of videos ranging from moments with rock stars caught backstage at concerts to KSHE events through the years and old KSHE TV commercials.  In the KSHE 95 Essentials Wing, you’ll find what have been selected as albums and songs that rise to the top of all the great rock that has been played on the station since the beginning.  The KSHE 95 John “U-Man” Ulett Wing is a toast to this 40-plus year KSHE air talent.  The KSHE 95 You-seum Wing is dedicated to KSHE listeners.  Listener submitted photos include themes such as Generations of Rock, World Famous KSHE and Show Us Your Schtuff.  The KSHE 95 Collections Wing is a wide array of Real Rock Radio history including: magazine and newspaper articles highlighting KSHE, early KSHE playlists, and unmistakable KSHE humor on display in Sweetmeat’s Gallery.  Station PD Rick Balis says, “So many talented people have contributed, throughout our 50 years, to make KSHE 95 what it is today.  It’s actually, amazing.  More amazing, though, is the incredible listeners that we have had and have today.  It’s rare.  And, we cherish those relationships.  The relationships are ‘generational.’  Grandparents, their kids and the kids of those kids are listeners today.”

Townsquare Media Renews with Compass Media Networks for Syndication of Weeknight Music Radio Shows.  The four evening music shows are produced by Townsquare Media and are affiliated with their namesake websites, also owned by Townsquare.  Under the terms of the multi-year extension, Compass Media Networks will continue to provide advertising sales and affiliate marketing for the rock program “Loudwire Nights,” CHR show “PopCrush Nights,” “Taste of Country Nights,” and “Ultimate Classic Rock.”

More Career Moves and Music Radio News.  In Philadelphia, market radio pro Marilyn Russell joinsrussellmarilyn classic hits WOGL as part of the “Breakfast Club” morning show alongside co-hosts Frank Lewis and Bill Zimpfer.  WOGL program director Anne Gress says, “Marilyn’s got tons of enthusiasm and a rich history of delivering compelling Philadelphia morning radio.  I’m excited about the fresh, new perspective she’ll bring to the show alongside Frank and Bill, and look forward to her contributions both on-air and at our many events.”   The Philly native started her radio career in 1993 at modern rock WDRE…..Chicago radio pro Robin Rock is back hosting middays on iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WLIT “93.9 MYfm.”  Rock takes over for Brooke Hunter, who exits.  Rock hosted middays at the station until June of 2013 when the company re-branded the station from “LITE FM” to the “93.9 MYfm” and made across-the-board talent changes…..Former news/talk station WOBM-AM, Lakewood Township, New Jersey is now an oldies outlet as Townsquare Media re-brands the station as “BEACH RADIO 1160/1310.”  Townsquare says the format change was made to better serve the influential adult audiences in Monmouth and Ocean Counties…..In the Los Angeles market, Entravision Communications the official launch of its new radio format: La Suavecita.  The company calls is a regional Mexican format focused on playing a mix of grupero and cumbia music from the 80s and 90s.  The format airs on KSSE-FM.

Questions We Should Be Asking About Political Correctness

| July 31, 2014

By Richard Neer
WFAN, New York
Talk Show Host

 

neerwriterNEW YORK — I rarely have a problem with “political correctness.”  I believe that avoiding words or phrases that even a small minority find offensive, is a good thing.  Why hurt people because we are insensitive or too lazy and set in our ways to change?  It’s easier just to amend our vocabulary and apologize when necessary.  Using racial or sexist epithets to make a point is not acceptable and these words should bear consequences.  WEEI and Sirius have recently dealt with those situations.

What I do fear is that a “gotcha” mentality is running amok, looking to punish anyone who has the temerity to take an unpopular stand.  Recent examples are Mark Cuban and Stephen A. Smith.

In Cuban’s case, he was honest about his own shortcomings, illustrative of the fact that we all have prejudices.  He made it very clear that he thought society would be better off if we could rid ourselves of these destructive impulses but that we are not there yet, despite all the progress made so far.  He used himself as an example, citing how out of concern for his safety, he would avoid characters who dressed like thugs.  He implied that if we are honest with ourselves, we might all admit to the same feelings.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

| July 30, 2014

radioworkforcegraphic14Minority Workforce in Radio ‘Highest Since Mid-1990s.’  That’s according to a recent RTDNA study by Robert Papper, professor emeritus at Hofstra University.  The latest edition of this annual study, titled “Women and Minorities in Newsrooms,” examines the state of minorities and women working in both television and radio news organizations.  The minority workforce in radio over the past 24 years peaked in 1995 at 14.7%.  Results for this year show the minority workforce in radio at 13%.  Breaking down the radio minority workforce, the data show African Americans make up 4.8% of the workforce with Hispanics making up 6.2%.  However, Papper concludes that the number of minorities working at non-commercial stations is “two to three times as high” compared to the workforce at commercial stations.  Read the entire study here.

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Videos Being Posted.  Up Today: Panel Discussion, “Developing and Managing a Talk Show Hosting Career.” Today (7/30) marks the 12th consecutive business day of TALKERS magazine’s video posting of speeches, sessions and presentations made during last month’s 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2014.  The presentation of these informative and historic recordings is sponsored by WYD Media Sales, LLC., the rep firm recently launched by Ron Hartenbaum and headed by John Murphy, that specializes in the advertising sales of spoken-word media on all popular platforms.  The worldwide showing of these very special videos continues today with a panel discussion moderated by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian titled, “Developing and Managing a Talk Show Hosting Career.”  Featured speakers include:  Tom Becka, KOIL, Omaha; Ron Hartenbaum, WYD Media; Tom Marr, WCBM, Baltimore; Joe Piscopo, WNYM, New York; and Martha Zoller, WGAU, Athens, GA/Georgia News Network.  The session was introduced by noted industry attorney, Steve Weisman, legal editor, TALKERS who compares these days to Charles Dickens’ “best and worst” of times for being a radio talent.  Weisman advises those who think these are the worst of times to “get out now, because they are right.”  But he also says for those who see it the other way, they are also right — these are the best of talkcareerpanel14times because of all the “unparalleled opportunities” that exist among the changes at hand.  Moderator Kinosian sets the tone opening the session with the statement, “As a former program director, the greatest joy I had was dealing with talent.  I loved the formatics, the elements… I loved everything about programming a radio station — but nothing interested me more than the talent.  What it’s like to be a personality.  This [panel] is about personalities on the air, their lives and their profession.  I am interested in them as human beings.”  To view the entire presentation, please click here.  Coming tomorrow:  “The Talk Rumble” moderated by Lionel with a special introduction by Dr. Joy Browne.  Rumblers include:  Bubba the Love Sponge, Bubba Radio NetworkAlan Colmes, Fox News Radio/FNC; Mike Gallagher, Salem Radio Network; Thom Hartmann, WYD Media; Joyce Kaufman, WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale; Kevin McCullough, XtreMEDIA; and David Webb, Sirius/XM Satellite Radio.  The Talkers New York 2014 conference videos were recorded by Art Vuolo.

patriotmadeaudiocast‘Patriot-Made Audiocast’ Celebrates Three Years.  Creating American jobs and celebrating the ingenuity that leads to those jobs is the keystone of the mindset of Debra Grobman and Rita Rich, co-producers of the program “Patriot-Made Audiocast.”  The show is celebrating its third year of “telling stories about creating, and keeping jobs in America.”  Grobman, based in L.A., says, “The ‘Patriot-Made Audiocast’ is a made-in-the-USA podcast production and the appetite for positive stories about American inventors, designers, artists and musicians is great throughout North America.   Washington-based Rita Rich, former longtime producer of the Jim Bohannon show, adds, “As I talk to people about their work, I learned that patriotism and pride in being American is the bedrock of so many of their stories.”  Some of the people and companies the program has featured so far include:  Annie and William Chilakian, mother and son owners of Silver Moon Bay Convalescent Apparel; Victoria Hunter Closson, inventor of The Headbone; Dal LaMagna, the CEO of IceStone; a green flooring and countertop manufacturer; Chris Miceli, marketing director of Porta-Brace customized carry cases; Judy Smith, co-inventor of Wine-A-Rita drink mix; and Laura Wilkenson-Sinton, co-inventor of FreshTape.  Grobman adds, “Consumers are looking for fellowship and a sense of connectedness everywhere, including the marketplace.  Rita and I present stories that make the people who make stuff and present ideas as more human and real.  That way folks will want to spend money on goods made in the USA.  If you put a good story behind the things people buy and you make it worth it.”

hotnewstalkradioChattanooga AM Trio Debuts News/Talk/Sports Format.  Operating as Hot News Talk Radio LLC, principals Sab Cupelli and David Tulis are programming a new news/talk/sports format on three Chattanooga signals: WSDT 1240 AM, WEPG 910 AM, WSDQ 1190 AM.  The stations are featuring Westwood One’s Don Imus and Dennis Miller, Courtside Entertainment Group’s Laura Ingraham, Premiere Network’s “Coast to Coast AM” plus local programming including “Nooganomics” with David Tulis and various sports programming.  Cupelli is an experienced station owner and programmer.  Tulis is a veteran business news editor at the Chattanooga Free Press and a talk show host.

smithstephenaOne-Week Suspension for ESPN’s Smith. Concrete proof is hardly required to illustrate the kind of ramifications that can result from a sports talk host’s off-the-cuff remarks.  Those seeking evidence, however, need only examine two incidents from this month.  TALKERS has been following and reporting on the fallout from disparaging remarks WEEI, Boston “Dennis & Callahan” morning show member Kirk Minihane made regarding Fox reporter Erin Andrews. Add to that what happened last Friday (7/25) on ESPN‘s “First Take” when Stephen A. Smith inferred that women should consider how they are the ones who provoke violence against themselves.  In a staff memo, ESPN president John Skipper writes that Smith will not appear on “First Take” or ESPN Radio for one week.  In the note, Skipper states, “As many of you know, there has been substantial news coverage in the past few days related to comments Stephen A. made in the wake of the NFL‘s decision to suspend Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for two games following charges of assaulting his then fiancée, now wife, a few months ago. Those remarks did not reflect our company’s point of view, or our values.  They certainly don’t reflect my personal beliefs.  We have been engaged in thoughtful discussion about appropriate next steps.  Those conversations have involved a diverse group of women and men in our company.  Our women’s ERG has added to the conversation and going forward, I know they will help us continue constructive discussion on this and related issues.”  Smith was quoted that his particular remark was, “the most egregious mistake” of his career.  According to Skipper, “I believe his apology was sincere and that he and we have learned from what we’ve collectively experienced.  I am confident we will all move forward with a greater sense of enlightenment and perspective as the lasting impact of these last few days.”  According to Skipper’s memo, Smith will return to ESPN one week from today (Wednesday, 8/6).

Odds & Sods.  Joining the Salem Communications Houston operations is 30-year market pro Michael Shiloh who is named news director and morning anchor at the station group that includes news/talk KNTH “1070 The Answer,” business talk KTEK, and Christian talk KKHT…..The University of Houston has a radio flagship for its football play-by-play this season as games will be broadcast on Clear Channel news/talk KPRC, Houston with Kevin Eschenfelder and Ted Pardee in the booth and Jeremy Branham on the sidelines.  Cougars football aired on CC’s sister sports talker KBME last season…..Towson University football and men’s basketball play-by-play will air on CBS RADIO’s sports talker WJZ-AM “CBS Sports Radio 1300” this season.  In addition to the gamecasts, football coach Rob Ambrose and basketball coach Pat Skerry will make appearances on sister sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan.”

marconiawardFormer Marconi Winners to Help Celebrate 25th Anniversary of NAB Honor.  In recognizing the 25th anniversary of the NAB Marconi Awards, five former recipients of the honor with be part of the awards dinner and show at the 2014 Radio Show in September in Indianapolis.  Ron Chapman, Edgar “Shoboy” Sotelo, Big Boy, and Bob Kevoian and Tom Griswold of the “The Bob & Tom Show” will serve as emcees and presenters throughout the evening on September 11.  Helping lead the festivities and serving as presenters will be NAB Radio Board chair Don Benson of Lincoln Financial Media, Radio Show steering committee chair and Cox Media Group‘s Kim Guthrie and NAB Joint Board chair Charles Warfield of YMF Media LLC.

New England Broadcaster Dave Thatcher Dies at 70.  Longtime radio personality Dave Thatcher died on July 26 at age 70.  Thatcher worked for years in both the Springfield, Massachusetts and Hartford, Connecticut markets.  Early in his career he was a morning drive personality in Springfield, working at a number of stations in the market.  He also produced talk shows at WHYN and WNNZ in Springfield.

Gaza Violence, Flight 17 Probe/Russian Aggression in Ukraine, Obama Impeachment Move, Immigration Reform/Border Crisis, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Race, Ebola Threat, and Ray Rice Suspension Reaction Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/29).  The continuing violence in the Gaza Strip and Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to broker peace; the investigation into the downing of Flight 17 and Russia’s continued involvement in Ukrainian instability; the move to impeach President Obama; immigration reform, amnesty proposals and the crisis at the U.S.’s Southeastern border; the looming mid-term elections and the 2016 presidential race; the renewed threat of the Ebola virus; and the aftermath of the NFL’s two-game suspension of Ray Rice were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, July 28, 2014

| July 28, 2014

minihanekirkEmphatic Fox To Entercom: Apology Denied.  After returning from a planned vacation last week, WEEI-FM, Boston morning personality Kirk Minihane reignited the controversy he started with criticism of Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews’ All-Star Game work by reiterating his disdain for her work.  But even his bosses at Entercom, who had been supportive, had to backtrack and he’s now been suspended for this week – without pay.  To recap, the unbilled member of the Dennis & Callahan morning show on WEEI had some disparaging things to say the day after the broadcast about an in-game interview conducted by theweei logo network’s Erin Andrews. Perhaps only St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright will be the only person to know for certain if he made it a bit easier for Derek Jeter – appearing in his final All-Star contest – to smack a first-inning double, which was the catalyst for three quick AL runs in that frame.  Social media was buzzing that Wainwright had indicated he might have grooved the pitch Jeter hit.  Andrews questioned Wainwright about it and the pitcher backtracked from that notion, and he said Jeter’s hit was on the up-and-up.  Apparently though, the televised exchange between this year’s co-host of (ABC-TV‘s) “Dancing with the Stars” and Wainwright did not sit well with Minihane, who declared of Andrews, “What a bitch – I hate her.  What a gutless bitch. Seriously, go away.  Drop dead.  I mean, seriously, what the hell is wrong with her?  First of all, follow-up.  Second of all, the guy admitted he did it – he admitted it.  He told reporters he threw a couple of ‘pipe-bombs.’  How is that social media’s fault?  I hate her – I seriously hate her so much.”  A Minihane-issued statement was posted Wednesday night (7/16) on the WEEI website that read: “I used a series of words to describe Erin Andrews’ work at the All-Star Game.  My choice of words was wrong.  I was wrong to have used them.  To all whom I offended – particularly Ms. Andrews – I apologize.  There is no place for what was said.  It was immature and completely uncalled for.  I am often critical of media members and their work and recognize here that I’ve made the kind of mistake I would call out if it was done by another sportscaster or writer.  Again, to all involved, I’m very sorry.”  But upon returning last week, he commented on the issue and lashed out at Andrews again, saying, “I think she stinks at her job.  I don’t think she’s very smart.  I don’t think she comes across as very smart.  I think Fox only hired her because she is good-looking.  I think if she weighed 15 pounds shanksericmore, she would be a waitress at Perkins.  That is what I believe, I do believe that.”  It was probably that last comment that prompted Fox Sports president Eric Shanks to inform Entercom the company was pulling its entertainment and sports-related adds off of all Entercom stations and it was that move that brought Entercom CEO David Field into the mix.   In the letter to Field, Shanks wrote that Minihane’s comments were “boorish and sexist.”  Shanks further maintains that Minihane’s apology was “juvenile and insincere.” Furthermore, the Fox executive writes, “I had hoped by this time we might hear a sincere apology from WEEI, or perhaps someone from your office might have reached out to Fox. None of that has been forthcoming, and needless tofielddavid say, we are disappointed.”  According to Shanks, through film and television businesses, Fox is “a significant advertiser on Entercom stations. I have discussed this issue with our senior management and our various senior marketing executives. At their recommendation, going forward, Fox’s entertainment and sports businesses will not be advertising on your stations for the foreseeable future.”  Field reacted by commenting, “Kirk Minihane’s statements regarding Erin Andrews were offensive and deplorable.  It is clear by the response from our listeners, advertisers, and employees that Kirk’s efforts to apologize and make this right have been insufficient and ambiguous.  We want to make it unequivocally clear that his comments were unacceptable and do not reflect Entercom’s values and standards.” As far as Shanks is concerned, the situation was made “worse,” owing to the fact that the “apology was posted under a banner hailing ‘The Triumphant Return of Kirk Minihane.'”  Seemingly lost in the wake of pulled advertising dollars corporate-wide and having to suspend an on-air personality is the fact that in the latest (6+) trends (June 2014), WEEI-FM (3.3) beat cross-town CBS Radio format rival WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” (2.9) for the first time (total week, 6+) in nearly two years. The last time it happened was August 2012, when WEEI-FM had the advantage over WBZ-FM by a 4.3 – 3.7 count (6+). WBZ-FM won each battle the rest of the year by 4.5 – 4.1 (September); 4.6 – 2.8 (October); 4.1 – 2.5 (November) 4.4 – 3.0 (December); and 4.6 – 2.7 (“Holiday”). The closest WEEI-FM came to WBZ-FM in 2013 was one-tenth in August (3.9 – 3.8); WBZ-FM’s largest (6+) lead in 2013 was in May (5.7 – 2.9). Thus far in 2014, “The Sports Hub” has emerged victorious over WEEI-FM (6+) in January (5.6 – 3.4); February (4.5 – 2.8); March (4.7 – 2.7); April (4.3 – 3.3); and May (5.1 – 3.4). As noted, WEEI-FM beat WBZ-FM in June (3.3 – 2.9, 6+).  It will be interesting to see how Entercom handles this situation because the ratings for the Dennis & Callahan show have improved since Minihane joined the show and numerous Boston media watchers agree that his addition has breathed new life into the program.

smithstephenaStephen A. Smith to Exit WEPN-FM for SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio Channel.  That’s according to a report by The New York Daily NewsBob Raissman who writes that Stephen A. Smith will soon exit ESPN O&O WEPN-FM where he co-hosts the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm daily show with Ryan Ruocco to host his own program on the satellite service – reportedly in the same time slot that would lead into Chris “Mad Dog” Russo’s afternoon drive show.  Raissman also suggests that a move to SiriusXM could be interesting for the controversial Stephen A. Smith, who caused a stir by his comments in reaction to the two-game suspension the NFL star Ray Rice received for punching out his wife in an elevator.  Read Raissman’s column here.

kfwbKFWB, Los Angeles to Flip from News/Talk to Sports.  Officials at the KFWB Trust are being tightlipped about the reports but LARadio.com’s Don Barrett is reporting that KFWBromejim staffers were called to a meeting on Friday, July 25 and informed their jobs would go away in five weeks when the format changes.  Barrett reports that staffers told him the station would go to sports talk using CBS Sports Radio Network which would bring Jim Rome back to the Los Angeles market.  He’s been gone from his home market since jumping from Premiere Networks to CBS Sports 18 months ago.  Some are questioning whether LA needs another sports talk outlet but it’s probably less about what the market “needs” and more about getting CBS Sports Radio and Jim Rome back into the Los Angeles market.  It’d also be a heck of a lot less expensive to program network sports than a mix of network and local news/talk.

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Videos Being Posted.  Up Today: Jerry Del Colliano Delivers Special Presentation, “Radio in the Digital Age.”  Today (7/28) marks the 10th consecutive business day of TALKERS magazine’s video posting of speeches, sessions and presentations made during last month’s 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2014.  The presentation of these informative and historic recordings is sponsored by WYD Media Sales, LLC., the rep firm recently launched by Ron Hartenbaum and headed by John Murphy, that specializes in the advertising sales of spoken-word media on all popular platforms.  The worldwide showing of these very special videos continues today with a special presentationdelcollianoNYC14 titled “Radio in the Digital Age” delivered by Inside Music Media publisher Jerry Del Colliano.  The longtime industry observer, analyst, and maverick draws upon his experience as both a professional radio broadcaster and former professor of music industry at USC to explain how the traits of the large, coming-of-age millennial generation do not quite mesh with the approach taken by most of the boomers running radio stations today.  He implored the full house of broadcasters in attendance to heed the warning, “We must change!  We must disrupt!  Because the audience is changing.”  To view this entire presentation, please click here.  Coming tomorrow:  A panel discussion moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey titled “The State of Talk Programming.”  Featured speakers include: Andy Bloom, OM, WPHT/WIP, Philadelphia; Phil Boyce, VP/spoken word programming, Salem Communications; Bill Hess, PD, WMAL, Washington, DC; Gabe Hobbs, CEO, Gabe Hobbs Media; and Craig Schwalb, PD, WABC, New York. The Talkers New York 2014 conference videos were recorded by Art Vuolo.

richardsstoneyOdds & Sods.  Although Stoney Richards is leaving his role at CBS RADIO Pittsburgh’s country WDSY where he’s been APD, music director and afternoon drive personality in order to pursue his acting career, he will maintain his weekend talk show on the company’s news/talk KDKA-AM where he hosts the “Live From The Centre” program…..Speaking of KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh, the station is partnering with local The Education Partnership to help provide new school and classroom supplies to local schools in financial need.  This Wednesday (7/30), it will host a call-center in the 84 Lumber Theatre at CBS RADIO Pittsburgh from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm to answer listener questions, collect monetary donations and serve as an outlet for those looking for volunteer opportunities.  Also, an onsite collection will take place at KDKA’s studios for the project dubbed “Crayons for Kids.”  KDKA-AM morning news host Larry Richert comments, “When I first learned of the great need in our richertlarryhometown I was shocked!  The Education Partnership is such a lean and vital organization.  With our help we can deliver on the basic needs of 30,000-plus school students who count on having the basics to learn and grow, starting with crayons!”…..In response to the comments by TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison published by the Boston Herald about the current state of news/talk radio in Boston relative to its colorful past, general manager Phil Redo – now with public broadcaster WGBH, Boston – checks in with his eagenbraudewgbhtake.  He tells TALKERS that (former WTKK-FM, Boston personalities) “Jim Braude and Margery Eagan (pictured here) are doing a fabulous show for us here on WGBH Radio.  They have been on the air for nearly 18 months and made a smooth transition from commercial to public.  Each day they explore a wide range of topics, from the top local news stories to connecting the dots on major national and international events.  They provide an important access point for this community – and to the decision makers who will impact each of us by those decisions.  In addition, the governor and AG show up every month to host an hour – as does Boston’s new mayor.  Their show Boston Public Radio has grown from below a 1.0 share to above a 4.0 share and in June, ranks in the top 10 both 6+ and 25-54 during their 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm slot…They have done so well that we’re expanding the program to three hours this fall.”

kscoUnusual General Manager/Sales Manager Opportunity at Talk Station Owned by an “Eccentric.”  The self-described “eccentric” (we agree) owner of one of the nation’s leading independent local talk radio stations, KSCO AM 1080, Santa Cruz/Monterey/Salinas/Silicon Valley, Michael Zwerling, is looking for a general manager/sales manager to bring his station’s monthly ad billing up from “a laughable $30,000 per month” (his words not ours) to a “more respectable and completely do-able $300,000 per month.”  Asked how a station billing only $30,000 in monthly ad revenue could be considered anything even REMOTELY deserving of being described as “one of the nation’s leading independent local talk radio stations,” Zwerling retorts, “Easy — ad sales have never been our focus in the past; we have done and continue to do very well, thank you, with our ‘royalties from radio’ revenue model we have employed for nearly 18 years.  Yet we continue to serve our communities FAR better than most corporate-owned stations, and far better than most other independent stations that can’t AFFORD to serve their communities.”  Zwerling continues, “But I started to feel like a fool recently when I realized that just because we don’t NEED to sell advertising — doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t TRY to sell as much advertising as possible — just like any other station being run by anyone with even HALF a brain!”  According to Zwerling, the sky is the limit in terms of unique opportunity for the right person with “fire in his/her belly” to bring an additional $270,000 PER MONTH ad revenue into KSCO.   But there is a catch.  To read the entire story penned by TALKERS staff writer Mona Lipschitz, please click here.

levinmarkWABC, New York’s Mark Levin to Host Cumulus Media’s “Bark in the Park” Event.  The 4th Annual “Bark in the Park” event presented by Cumulus Media’s New York stations WABC, WPLJ, WNSH “NASH FM 94.7,” and WNBM “Radio 103.9” is being hosted by WABC personality Mark Levin Saturday, August 2 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at Overpeck Park in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey.   The stations are teaming up with the North Shore Animal League America and Bergen County Animal Shelter/Adoption Center which will be on site with many dogs up for adoption.  The mission is to find a home for as many puppies as possible.  Additionally, the day will feature a wide array of vendors, services, food, demonstrations, and activities for families and dog lovers alike.

swell logoApple to Acquire Spoken-Word Aggregator Swell.  According to a report in re/code, Apple is paying approximately $30 million to acquire the company Swell, whose current app creates a stream of spoken-word content delivered to iPhones and iPads based on the user’s likes.  Liz Gannes writes in her piece that with the acquisition, the Swell app will go away and some analysts believe Apple will integrate the service into existing services such as iTunes Radio.  Read Gannes’ re/code story here.

yahoo group LVYahoo! Sports Radio Invades Las Vegas!  The crew pictured here is Yahoo! Sports Radio network talent in Las Vegas as the network “took over” Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo Hotel and Casino during the week of July 21-25 broadcasting live for what it dubbed, “Yahoo! Sports Radio Super Week.”   From left to right are: Air personalities Steve Czaban, Scott Linn, Geoff Ketchum, Sean Salisbury, Yahoo! Sports Radio CEO David Gow, personalities John Granato and Peter Brown.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

| April 26, 2012

ESPN to Take Over Emmis’ Kiss FM in New York Beginning Sunday Afternoon.  The rumors of an FM signal for ESPN’s New York sports talker WEPN were true as ESPN is announcing it will begin simulcasting WEPN, New York on Emmis-owned WRKS-FM (98.7) on Sunday afternoon (4/29).  Rumored talent changes are also taking effect.  Stephen A. Smith is being paired up with Ryan Ruocco for the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm shift and Mike Lupica moves to a 12:00 noon start for his program.  In making the announcement, WEPN VP/GM Dave Roberts states, “This move to the FM dial is in keeping with the trend of sports radio shifting and offers an even broader reach for our content.”  The two stations will simulcast through the summer and in September WEPN 1050 AM will become a Spanish-language sports outlet airing ESPN Deportes content.  A press conference is scheduled for 1:00 pm this afternoon where details will be fleshed out.  As for the urban format of Kiss FM, Emmis is selling the intellectual property of the format to YMF Media and the station will move to WBLS-FM at 107.5.

Feature Series – Part 3:  Walter Sabo on Targeted Topics Vital to FM Talk Success.  In the third of a four-part series for TALKERS on building a successful FM talk station, Sabo Media president Walter Sabo discusses the importance of targeting topics to appeal to the desired demographic.  Sabo says that, unlike AM news/talk, politics is too narrow a subject to bring in the audience necessary to build cume and be successful.  “Common sense suggests that very few of the people you know spend much of their day talking about politics.  That’s why cable channels focused on politics have astonishingly low ratings.  Lower than any radio station in your city.”  Sabo maintains that talk on FM will be successful (gaining younger-demo ratings and revenue beyond what AM news/talkers typically do) only when the topics are carefully chosen to reflect what large numbers of the target demo are talking about.  “Your FM talk station is trying to reach an audience that is drawn to popular water cooler topics because that’s what they hear on all FM music personality shows.  Political talk is what repulses most 18-49 year olds from the AM band.  They are, instead, attracted to the topics heard on CHR, Hot AC and country personality morning shows.  Hit shows.  Those shows are your FM talk competition, not AM talk radio.  Read Walter Sabo’s entire column here.

Cumulus All-News Rumors Heat Up.  There have been rumblings about Cumulus Media preparing to flip underperforming music outlets to all-news in several markets.  Some of this has been based on the registration of domain names with frequencies tied to the phrase “all news.”  But the biggie is in Cumulus Media’s home base of Atlanta where there’s more fuel to add to the fire.  Radio-Info’s Tom Taylor reports hearing a news staff is quietly (but apparently not too quietly) being assembled and some of them include former Atlanta-based CNN Radio staffers and some current and former WGST, Atlanta news people.  Which station will it be?  A leading candidate is classic hits WYAY-FM, Gainesville (at 106.7) according to some intense chatter in the market.

Keith Larson May Be Done at WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  The late-morning host at Greater Media’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte told listeners to his program yesterday (4/25) that he expects to leave the station as he’s been notified his contract – set to expire May 24 – will not be renewed.  The Charlotte Observer reports Keith Larson was told his deal would not be renewed but the station would like him to stay on as an at-will employee.  It sounds as though Larson will likely not accept that offer.  WBT general manager Rick Feinblatt tells the Observer he’s disappointed Larson took to the air with talk of the contract since nothing is set in stone yet but Larson told his audience he couldn’t go on the air and not talk about it.  Last year, Larson started the independent advertising and marketing firm Larson Advertising and Media Associates.  He tells the paper that may be where he concentrates his efforts for now.

Syndicated Talk Star Mike Gallagher Says Today’s Talent Must Understand Radio from Business Perspective.  In addition to being one of talk radio’s most consistently successful air personalities, Salem Radio Network‘s Mike Gallagher tells TALKERS that it has never been more important for on-air talent to be fully connected to the business processes that make the industry tick.  He says, “In today’s climate of technological change and financial challenge, you can’t just see yourself as a ‘talent’ who is somehow separate from all the other systems that make a radio station or syndication firm function.  You must have a complete understanding of your company’s P&L as well as maintain relationships with advertisers.  A talent needs to be in constant communication with the sales department and understand their problems.”  Gallagher, who left day-to-day major market radio as a station employee at WABC, New York years ago to launch the groundbreaking syndication firm Dame-Gallagher (with former WGY, Albany owner John Dame) which was later acquired by Salem, will be a featured speaker at the forthcoming New Media Seminar on Thursday, June 7.  The panel:  Making Money in Talk Radio.  Registration, nearing sellout, is open to working media only.  For information call 413-565-5413.

Compass Media Networks to Offer 25 Anaheim Angels Games.  Compass Media Networks makes Anaheim Angels play-by-play an MLB game of the week and will air 25 home and away contests beginning May 29 when the New York Yankees play at the Angels.  As with its other sports programming, Compass will hire a broadcast crew and produce its own gamecasts that will be available nationwide.  Dial Global will manage advertising sales for this multi-year contract.  The company notes that with this deal, it will broadcast well over 160 major sporting events in 2012 including college basketball, college football and NFL football (which includes Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders, and Sunday afternoon doubleheaders).  Compass Media Networks CEO Peter Kosann says, “The Angels have a tremendous brand, fan base and momentum.  We are honored and thankful for this opportunity.”

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  The 2012 NFL Draft begins tonight from Radio City Music Hall in New York and the big event is being covered by the sports media including Fox Sports Radio Network.  The network notes that for the 12th straight year it will cover the event with Fox NFL Insider Jay Glazer leading the coverage.  He’ll be joined by Fox Sports Radio college football draft expert Chris Landry, former USC Trojan and Fox Sports Radio host Petros Papadakis, and former NFL great Lincoln Kennedy…..SiriusXM is also on hand for the NFL Draft.  Chris Russo and Dino Costa of Mad Dog Radio and Gil Brandt, Tim Ryan, Pat Kirwan and Adam Schein of SiriusXM NFL Radio will all be broadcasting from Radio City for the first round on Thursday.  Bill Polian, the former Colts Vice Chairman and personnel guru who joined SiriusXM NFL Radio in January, will also be contributing to the satcaster’s draft coverage…..Syndicated talk host and actress Janine Turner – whose two-hour program is heard on KLIF, Dallas Saturday evenings at 9:00 pm – joins the Roger L. Simon-founded PJ Media as a regular columnist…..Clear Channel Media and Entertainment names Jon Phillips the market manager for its Tulsa cluster that includes sports talk simulcast KTBZ/KAKC.

2012 Presidential Race, SCOTUS AZ Illegal Immigration Case, Euro Zone Economic Jitters, and New U.S. Spy Agency Among Top News/Talk Topics Yesterday (4/25).  The 2012 presidential race; the Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments in the Arizona Illegal Immigration law; continued concerns over economic jitters in euro zone countries; and the announcement of the creation of a new U.S. spy agency were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Fox Sports Radio’s Loose Cannons Live from New Orleans.  Fox Sports Radio Network’s “Loose Cannons” broadcast from New Orleans – the site of the Zurich Classic golf tournament – and hosted special guest Sean Payton.  The suspended head coach of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints spoke about the recent story alleging Saints GM Mickey Loomis eavesdropped on opposing teams’ conversations from his luxury suite and called the allegations “garbage.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Vic “The Brick” Jacobs, Payton, Steve Hartman and Pat O’Brien.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

| April 25, 2012

Feature Series – Part 2:  Walter Sabo on Finding and Nurturing FM Talk Talent.  In the second of a four-part series for TALKERS on building a successful FM talk station, Sabo Media president Walter Sabo writes that the best FM talk hosts come from the ranks of successful music jocks.  “I look for talent who have invested their time doing excellent radio taking advantage of a strong format.  A great CHR jock has remarkable broadcasting skills.  He/she is taught the importance and necessity of getting to the next event.”  Sabo says talent must be willing to prep two hours for every hour they are on the air and that matching this type of host with a skilled radio programmer presents the best opportunity for great success with targeted talk on the FM band.  Read part 2 of this series here.

KMBZ, Kansas City Names Jonathan Weir Late Morning Host.  The search for a new late morning talk host at Entercom’s KMBZ, Kansas City began when Chris Merrill took a talk host position at Clear Channel’s KOGO, San Diego earlier this year.  Merrill’s been doing double duty while the search was on.  Now, KMBZ program director Jack Landreth announces Jonathan Weir comes aboard to host the 9:00 am to 11:00 am show.  “Jon’s enthusiasm and unique approach to his audience instantly drew me in as a listener first.  His ability to weave his life experiences into the fabric of the show is a real quality that endears him to his listeners.”  Weir comes from Entercom’s WSKY, Gainesville, Florida where he was producer and co-host of “The Drive Time Happy Hour” program.  Weir, a St. Louis native, states, “I couldn’t be happier to be joining such a landmark station in the Midwest.  I’m inspired and so thankful to everyone at KMBZ for giving me this incredible opportunity.  I look forward to the challenge of living up to the incredible standards set by KMBZ, and the chance to be close to my family again is a great bonus.”  Weir begins his new gig on April 30.

Talk Legend Barry Farber to Receive TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award.  Talk show host Barry Farber, still heard regularly on both Talk Radio Network and CRN Digital Talk, has been named the 2012 recipient of TALKERS magazine’s annual “Lifetime Achievement Award.”  The venerable host, named in 2002 and 2010 by TALKERS as one of the most important radio talk show hosts of all time, has been performing regularly scheduled talk shows on radio since 1960 when he started a groundbreaking program on WINS, New York.  He is credited by historians as being one of the seminal pioneers and architects of today’s talk radio.  Farber, also a prolific and accomplished author, has a new book coming out this summer titled Cocktails with Molotov: An Odyssey of Unlikely Detours (WND Books).  The award will be presented to Barry Farber by Michael Harrison at the forthcoming New Media Seminar in New York City on Thursday, June 7.  This event, nearing a sellout, is open to members of the working media only.  For registration information call 413-565-5413.

Merlin Media LMAs Third Chicago FM Signal.  Merlin Media is agreeing to lease the signal of Venture Technologies Group-owned WLFM-LP, Chicago at 87.7 on the dial to program and sell advertising on it.  Of course there’s a ton of speculation about what Merlin will do with the low-power smooth jazz outlet.  According to the Chicago Tribune, the station has been faring well with the smooth jazz format – garnering a 1.6 share in the March PPM.  Since the deal was announced, news from Merlin’s FM News 101.1 has begun airing on the station.  Though the Tribune notes Randy MichaelsRadioactive LLC has applied for the WKQX-FM call letters of the former alternative rock station (now FM News 101.1) and that’s leading to rumors the station will flip to alternative rock.  Program director and midday host Rick O’Dell confirms via the station website that a format change will take place Monday (4/30) but doesn’t say to what.

Rodney King Visits Rev. Al Sharpton.  The 20th anniversary of the verdict in the case of the Los Angeles police officers accused of beating motorist Rodney King is Sunday, April 29.  The acquittal of the four officers sparked the riots that consumed part of the city for days.  King (pictured here at left) visited Syndication One talk show host Rev. Al Sharpton to discuss the historic event and his new book, The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption (HarperOne 2012).

Steve Dahl Reduces Staff at Podcast Venture.  New-tech broadcasting models are subject to the same economic forces that affect terrestrial radio and Chicago’s Steve Dahl is making changes to keep his podcast initiative going.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports the Chicago radio legend let three staffers go recently — technical producer Pete Zimmerman, assistant technical producer Jim Ruffatto and assistant Stephanie Fallara – in order to continue operating in a way that works for him.  Dahl wrote on his blog, “It was not a decision I came to easily, but I think that it was the right move for the show.  I know when I am not growing as an entertainer and I know what I need to do to keep that process moving forward.  It’s ‘The Steve Dahl Show, and that at some point is the brand that I need to protect, not only for my own creative integrity, but in order to support my family.”  Dahl recently added two staffers – Dag Juhlin, director of creative services and Eric Drogoszewski, marketing/operations director – to his subscription-supported venture.

Backstage in Phoenix.  Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk star Glenn Beck (third from right) poses for a photo with KFYI, Phoenix hosts and staffers backstage at the Phoenix stop on his “Unelectable Tour II” on Friday, April 20.  Beck is hitting the road this spring bringing his standup comedy routine to audiences in Southern and Southwestern cities.  Pictured here with Beck are (from l-r): KFYI GSM Jim Wilson, KFYI early morning host Jim Sharpe, KFYI PM drive host Mike Broomhead, Beck, KFYI program director Neil Larrimore, and Mike Broomhead show executive producer Andrew Fountaine.

2012 Presidential Race, North Korea Nukes Test, Euro Zone Jitters, Secret Service Scandal and SCOTUS Hears AZ Illegal Immigration Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/24).  The presidential campaign and Mitt Romney’s Northeastern states primary sweep; North Korea’s threat to test nuclear weapons very soon; economic sluggishness in the euro zone; more dismissals in the Secret Service hooker scandal; and the Supreme Court’s hearing of the Arizona illegal immigration legislation were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

| October 4, 2011

Program Host Amy Goodman and Staff Settle in 2008 RNC Arrest Case.  Amy Goodman hosts the New York-based radio and TV program “Democracy Now” and it was in that capacity that she and her crew were covering the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota when violent protests broke out.  While filming the action, her crew was arrested by police insisting they were part of the disturbance.  Goodman was also arrested when she came to their defense.  Goodman and crew sued the City of St. Paul and the U.S. Secret Service with the assistance of the Center for Constitutional Rights.  The settlement includes $100,000 and the promise of police training.

It’s Official:  Dodgers Move to KLAC, Los Angeles.  After four seasons at Cumulus Media’s KABC, Los Angeles, Clear Channel’s KLAC will be the flagship station for Los Angeles Dodgers play-by-play for at least the next three seasons.  In a joint statement from the team and Clear Channel Los Angeles, market manager Greg Ashlock says, “The Dodgers are synonymous with Los Angeles.  The team has the ability to connect people regardless of age, gender or race.  Our Clear Channel stations have multi-demo and multi-cultural appeal that nicely complements the Dodgers brand and will provide unique marketing opportunities.  We’re also humbled to have Vin Scully, the greatest play-by-play announcer – period, lead our broadcast team.”

Cumulus Promotes Matt Spaulding to VP/Market Manager for Ann Arbor Cluster.  General sales manager at the cluster since 2009, Matt Spaulding is promoted to VP/ market manager by regional vice president Cumulus Midwest Scott Meier who states, “Matt has absolutely earned this ‘battlefield promotion’!  He’s embraced the Cumulus Sales Operating System and developed a solid organization operating at double digit growth.”  Cumulus Media operates two music FMs and news/talk WTKA and progressive talk WLBY in the Ann Arbor market.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Raises More than $150,000 at Celebrity Golf Tournament.  The BFoA’s Celebrity Golf Tournament 2011 pulled in more than $150,000 from the event held September 26 at the Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Tarrytown, New York.  Broadcasters and celebrities taking part included: actor Michael J. Fox; Fox Business Network and USRN personality Lou Dobbs; WOR, New York host John Gambling; ABC and ESPN sports broadcaster Sean McDonough; MSG and ABC play-by-play announcer Mike Breen; actress and “Bond” girl Rachel Grant; NHL All-Stars Rod Gilbert, Brian Leetch and Bob Nystrom; ESPN Radio’s Stephen A. Smith and CJ Papa; Super Bowl winner Amani Toomer; CBS-TV’s Maurice Dubois, Don Dahler and Dr. Max Gomez; ESPN SportsCenter hosts John Anderson and Jay Harris; WNYW-TV, New York’s Duke Castiglione; WNBC-TV, New York’s Bruce Beck; actor Gianni Russo; and more.  The foundation expects to grant $600,000 in aid this year – an increase of more than 20% over last year and BFoA president Jim Thompson says, “The Celebrity Golf Fundraiser makes it possible for the Foundation to continue its mission of helping broadcasters in need.  Our thanks to Greater Media president and CEO Peter Smyth and Katz Television Group president Jim Beloyianis who served as this year’s co-chairs and helped us present a successful event that provided attendees with an opportunity to give back to broadcasters who have nowhere else to turn.”

TRNS Bureau Chief Ellen Ratner Saves Young Blind South Sudanese Boy.  In a remarkable display of the power of talk radio when focused on humanitarian projects, a young Christian South Sudan boy, Ker Deng will be shedding light on the horror befalling his homeland and people before a Congressional Committee today.  This comes as the result of tireless work on the part of Christian Solidarity International (CSI) and the Washington, DC-based news agency Talk Radio News Service (TRNS) whose years of missions to the region bringing talk show hosts and relief have resulted in the feeding of starving people, the freeing of slaves and the reporting of news mostly ignored by the mainstream press.  Ker Deng was just a toddler when Arab slave traders took him and his mother from their village in South Sudan.  After burning Ker’s village and stealing everything of value, the raiders massacred most of the men.  Ker and his mother were tied to a camel and dragged to a life in captivity. He grew up eating the same grains that his slave master fed his horses.  One day, as punishment for letting a goat escape, Ker was hung upside-down from a tree as his master rubbed chili peppers into his eyes.  When he was finally cut down, his eyes were so badly damaged that he slowly went blind.  After being freed by CSI, Ker is now in the United States at the Wills Eye Institute, where he recently underwent cornea surgery (he’s seen being prepared for surgery in the photo here) that will hopefully restore the sight he lost while tortured at the hands of his captors.  Ker is learning English and has started piano lessons at Lighthouse Music School.  Ker will share his remarkable story today at 2200 Rayburn House Office Building at a press conference and during a hearing at the U.S. House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights.  His mother – along with thousands of other slaves from South Sudan – remains in bondage.  Ker, through his interpreter, will tell his story.  Ker was brought to the U.S. thanks to CSI CEO John Eibner and Ellen Ratner, the White House correspondent and bureau chief for TRNS and a news analyst on the Fox News Channel (as well as Washington editor for TALKERS). Ratner has traveled multiple times to South Sudan since 2008, just returning on Saturday from another mission.

2012 GOP Candidates, ‘Occupy Wall Street,’ Knox Conviction Overturned and Financial Markets Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/3).  The Republicans vying for the nomination to face President Obama in 2012, the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protest movement, the overturning of American Amanda Knox’s murder conviction in Italy and the volatile financial markets were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday.

TRN’s Rusty Humphries Shoots Role in “Flicka” Movie.  Talk Radio Network personality Rusty Humphries has been spending time in Canada recently on the set of a remake of the classic horse film, “Flicka.”  Humphries plays the role of an announcer at a critical horse show in the film.  The film stars actor and country music star Clint Black and his wife Lisa Hartman Black.  Speaking about his on-set experience, Humphries says, “I am very excited to be shooting ‘Flicka 3’ on location in Canada this week with director Michael Damian, the star of ‘The Young and The Restless’ and songwriter of the hit ‘Rock On’.  The shoot went great and Michael Damian could not be nicer.  He’s a really good director too.”  Humphries is seen here (l) on the set with Damian (r).