Tag: "Stephen K. Bannon"
CBS RADIO to Merge with Entercom; Move Creates 244-Station Company, Second Largest Based on Revenue. The rumors of a CBS Radio–Entercom 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 Moves. Tucson.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.
Harvey Nagler to Retire from CBS Radio News Post. The news radio legend announced to his staff today (11/14) that, after 50 years in radio and 18 years at CBS Radio News, he will be retiring from his vice president role with the company as of January 6. Harvey Nagler, who was honored with the Talkers Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015, said in a memo to his staff, “I feel very confident that I am leaving our network in the most capable of hands. I am pleased that we have renewed our relationship with Westwood, thus securing our future. I am not stopping work completely, but going to slow down by doing some consulting work.” He noted the more than 50 Edward R. Murrow Awards the news organization has been awarded over the past 10 years for covering some of the biggest stories in recent American and world history, stating, “You and I have truly been a witness to – and have reported – the first drafts of history…As the industry continues to evolve I am proud that we have been able to change with it while maintaining the finest traditions of CBS News and the highest standards of journalism.”
Trump Appointments Begin; Talk Radio Figures Poised for Role in New Administration. A piece by Brian Stelter and the CNNMoney media team, published yesterday, outlines the nascent formation of the administration of the Donald Trump presidency. The first cabinet post has been awarded to RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, who will serve as White House Chief of Staff. But joining Priebus in the White House is Breitbart’s Stephen K. Bannon, who will serve as White House Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor. Until taking leave of his Breitbart duties to work with the Trump campaign, Bannon – among other executive duties at the news and opinion organization – was hosting the morning news/talk program “Breitbart News Daily” on SiriusXM. It’s being reported by Jonathan Swan in The Hill that nationally syndicated talk personality Laura Ingraham is being considered for Press Secretary. Swan writes, “Trump appreciated Ingraham’s loyalty through the campaign… Ingraham helped Trump with debate preparation. She also campaigned on his behalf and offered occasional strategic advice.” Of course, Trump’s Vice President-elect is a former longtime talk radio host from Indianapolis. Mike Pence’s experience in the news/talk radio biz precedes his career in politics. TALKERS magazine editor and publisher Michael Harrison states, “The election of Donald Trump marks an unmistakable bellwether for the accumulating influence of news/talk radio since Ronald Reagan began his commentaries. Not only have former radio hosts Mike Pence and Stephen K. Bannon been thrust into positions of enormous power, but the even higher-profiled Laura Ingraham is now in the conversation for Press Secretary. And let us not forget about the looming potential of Sean Hannity down the road. He risked it all on the dark horse and won. I do not say this from a partisan perspective. Let us not forget that Al Franken would never have been elected to the United States Senate as a prominent progressive had it not been for the magic of radio facilitating his transition from outspoken comedian to serious political player. As for Trump himself, he employed disruptive, radio-style techniques in vanquishing his Republican rivals during the primaries and then took it all the way, thus becoming the first effective ‘shock politician.’ In today’s amplified media environment, the ability to articulate complex populist concepts via the combination of traditional talk media and the internet can fuel the rise of unexpected influencers and leaders. It is both refreshingly invigorating and dreadfully dangerous. We must remain alert. Welcome to the new digital era!”
Westwood One Realigns Operations; Seymour Named SVP. Stating that its goal is to create “quicker response times to client requests, an enhanced ability to focus on advertiser needs and accountability, the ability to better support its partner and producer clients’ business goals, and a renewed focus on its affiliate sales process by providing actionable information to its station partners,” Westwood One is integrating the business operations and research teams. As part of the restructure, the company is promoting Tim Seymour to SVP, operations. He’ll report to COO Charles Steinhauer and oversee the consolidated business operations and research teams under VP Jennifer Baez, the traffic under SVP Jim Maurer and senior director Julie Kim, the affiliate services under VP Fiona Brennan, and the newly created partner relations under director Becky Bennett.
Odds & Sods. KIRO, Seattle “710 ESPN” is working with the local Kent School District to present a free town hall forum on “Concussions in Youth Sports” on Tuesday, November 15 at the Kentwood High School Performing Arts Center. “710 ESPN Seattle” host and former Seahawks linebacker Dave Wyman will appear on the panel with world-renowned UW Medicine clinical professor Dr. Stan Herring, and Kent School District athletic director Dave Lutes on the panel. Danny O’Neil, co-host of the station’s “Danny, Dave & Moore” show will serve as moderator. KIRO program director Mike Salk says, “Safety in youth sports is a huge conversation right now. We are excited to roll up our sleeves and engage with those on the front lines of this issue.”…..At the corporate level at Sinclair Broadcast Group, 32-year employee David Amy rises from EVP/COO to vice chairman. Sinclair owns one radio cluster, having acquired the Seattle stations of the former Fisher Communications. Those signals are hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5,” all-news KOMO-AM/FM, and news/talk KVI…..Entercom’s news/talk WRKO, Boston hosted its third annual radiothon raising money for the Disabled American Veterans. Friday’s nine-hour effort brought in more than $71,000. WRKO program director Michael Czarnecki says, “The WRKO audience proves once again how passionate they are about helping our veterans. I am so proud of our listeners, the DAV staff, and the WRKO team.” Personalities taking part included: Kim Carrigan and Doug “VB” Goudie from “The Boston.com Morning Show,” Barry Armstrong from “The Financial Exchange” show, and Jeff Kuhner from “The Kuhner Report” show.
Trump Transition, Clinton-Democrats Post-Mortem, Immigration Policy, ISIS Atrocities in Mosul, Marijuana Legalization Movement, Clinton Pardon Chatter, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The work of the Donald Trump transition team and the appointing of Reince Priebus to Chief of Staff and Stephen K. Bannon to Chief Strategist; analysis of the failure of Hillary Clinton and the Democrats in the House and Senate in the ’16 campaign; speculation about the future of America’s immigration policy; the battle for Mosul and Islamic State’s abuse of civilians; the success of the marijuana legalization movement in the wake of the elections; talk about President Obama or Trump pardoning Hillary Clinton and avoiding any future investigations into the emails matter; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.
Utah Talk Host Jim Kirkwood Dies at 74. Just days shy of his 75th birthday, longtime Salt Lake City talk radio personality Jim Kirkwood passed away on November 6. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Kirkwood worked in radio for more than 40 years. At the time of his death, Kirkwood was hosting the 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm show on United Broadcasting Company’s KTKK “K-TALK.”
Boyce: Why Talk Radio Is Not Dying, Part 2. Talk and news radio programming pro Phil Boyce writes a follow-up to the TALKERS magazine piece he penned two years ago titled, “Why Talk Radio Is Not Dying, Part 1.” Boyce says, “Usually when you find people predicting the demise or death of this format it comes from two sources: a) people who don’t truly understand this format and, b) people who do understand it, and loathe it.” Boyce outlines his case for the sustained health of the format and cautions his peers who wish to steer talk radio away from news and politics. “Do that if you will. It only makes my stations stronger because I know the number-one reason listeners come to talk radio: for breaking news, big stories, and what to think about it.” Read his piece here.
NYTimes Piece Highlights GOP’s Trump Split Set Against Talk Radio Backdrop. A Robert Draper-penned piece in The New York Times delving into the divisions in the GOP and conservative media over Donald Trump uses WSB-AM/FM, Atlanta personality Erick Erickson as its hub. Erickson – former RedState.com writer – along with several other prominent conservative media personalities, including Sean Hannity, George Will, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Charlie Sykes, Stephen K. Bannon, and Bill O’Reilly, are featured in Draper’s piece illustrating the splintering of the media wing of the GOP party. Erickson and Will are two conservative media personalities who have not given their support to Trump and in the piece, they related how that unwillingness to back Trump has affected their relationships with fellow conservatives and the mega-players in the conservative media. Read the piece here.
Memorial Tribute Planned Tomorrow Evening in NYC for Dr. Joy Browne. A group of industry figures have organized “A Celebration of Joy” memorial tribute to talk radio legend Dr. Joy Browne, who died unexpectedly on August 27. It will take place at an intimate theater in the Chelsea district of Manhattan and feature a roster of speakers who will eulogize and share stories about their memories of the famed radio psychologist. The program will be co-hosted by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Salem Radio Network syndicated star Mike Gallagher. Speakers will include (in alphabetical order): Ted Anderson of Genesis Communications Network; David Bernstein of TalkersRadio; Pierre Bouvard of Cumulus Media/Westwood One; Tracy Cramer of the Alzheimer’s Association of America; Bernadette Duncan of Talkers Books; Joan Hamburg of WABC, New York; Stephen M. Silverman of Time, Inc.; and Doug Stephan of Stephan Multimedia. The program will be video recorded and posted on Talkers.com, DrJoy.com and GCNlive.com. Attendance for industry-members only (and personal friends of Dr. Joy Browne) is free of charge but there are only a handful of seats remaining. Call 413-565-5413 to inquire about registering. Michael Harrison served as temporary host of Dr. Joy Browne’s daily three-hour syndicated show on GCN through the month of September providing three days of memorial broadcasts and a three-week transition period to give the network and its affiliates a chance to reorganize their plans for her time slot. Upon finishing up the run, Harrison states, “I was very touched by the outpouring of emotion and love Joy’s listeners expressed on these shows. As exhausting as it was hosting three hours a day of intense live radio dealing with the human condition on top of my regular job, it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my career and I’ll never forget it. Rest in peace, dear Dr. Joy.”
Philly Sports Talker Jon Marks Wraps AM Show Gig at ‘97.5 The Fanatic.’ This morning was Jon Marks’ last show with Anthony Gargano at Greater Media’s sports talker WPEN-FM, Philadelphia. Marks bid adieu to his WPEN listeners and thanked management for allowing him to work through the end of this deal and say his goodbyes. Marks can be reached at: JonMarksRadio@gmail.com.
The Presidential Race, LAPD Kill Black Man/Cops Shoot St. Louis Teen, 9/11 Widow to Sue Saudi Arabia, Wikileaks Threatens Clinton Info Dump, Deutsch Bank Troubles, Looming Hurricane Matthew, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the fatal shooting of a black man by Los Angeles police and the wounding of a St. Louis teen by police there; a 9/11 widow is the first to file suit against Saudi Arabia under the recently changed policy; Wikileaks founder Julian Assange teases a Tuesday release of documents that could relate to Hillary Clinton; potential DOJ-levied $14 billion fine against Deutsch Bank and the “IT failure” that prevented Germans from accessing their accounts this weekend; the threat that Hurricane Matthew brings to Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba; the Major League Baseball playoff matchups are solidified; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Odds & Sods. Seven new affiliate stations are beginning to carry Stacy Washington’s “Stacy on the Right” radio program. In seven urban markets served by the Urban Family Talk network, Washington’s “national and conservative voice” will be heard daily in Memphis, Cleveland, Madison, Tupelo, Toledo, Boise, and Atlanta…..Is this the end for Gregg “Opie” Hughes at SiriusXM? Last week, Hughes indicated that SiriusXM offered him at new deal that he rejected. He’s been off the satcaster since his previous contract expired and his former partner comic Jim Norton and producer Sam Roberts have been hosting the show…..CBS RADIO’s sports talk KILT-AM, Houston “Sports Radio 610 is bringing Derek Fogel aboard to serve as a sports news anchor and weekend/fill-in host. Fogel was most recently with Max Media’s sports WXLT-FM, Carbondale/Marion, Illinois “103.5 ESPN Southern Illinois.” He’ll also write for CBSHouston…..Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville adds Radio America’s Chad Benson show to its weekend lineup…..“FOX News Headlines 24/7” – the radio station heard exclusively on SiriusXM – is celebrating its one-year anniversary on Wednesday. The station provides subscribers with around-the-clock, original reporting on national news and real-time headlines.
Weekend Talk Host Pete Sheppard Quits During WEEI, Boston Saturday Program. Telling listeners that he’s no longer happy working for the company, WEEI, Boston weekend talk host Pete Sheppard abruptly quit on-air during his Saturday evening show. Sheppard, who was a long-time fixture on the former Glenn Ordway-hosted PM drive “Big Show” and was fired from that post due to budget cuts in 2010, was hired back for part-time duties about a year ago. Sheppard even went so far as to tease his on-air exit by Tweeting that he had something special coming up. He also specified that his problem was with Entercom management and not program director Jason Wolfe.
Legal Analysis and Brief Historical Background of “Stern Versus Sirius” Suit. Sometimes it is, as Mel Brooks commented in his movie “The History of the World, Part One,” good to be the king. But other times it is not. Howard Stern, the self-proclaimed “King of All Media” took a hit last week when the dismissal of his lawsuit against Sirius XM Radio, Inc. in which he sought more than $300 million in stock awards was upheld by the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court. In order to understand Stern’s lawsuit, which he filed in 2011, it is important to review the history of Stern’s relationship with Sirius. In an illuminating article posted today (4/15) TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman explains both the background and legal tenets of this important, high-profile (and big bucks) radio industry case. To read it, click here.
Bonneville’s KIRO-AM, Seattle Names Danny O’Neil Late Morning Co-Host. Bonneville’s “710 ESPN Seattle” names market sports journalist Danny O’Neil co-host of the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program alongside Brock Huard. O’Neil replaces Mike Salk who moved to WEEI, Boston earlier this month. The “Brock & Danny Show” debuts today. The station states that in addition to his on-air duties, O’Neil will write a daily Seattle-focused sports column/blog on 710Sports.com. During the NFL season, O’Neil will cover the Seattle Seahawks to provide fans with an inside perspective on the team. O’Neil did three stints with the Seattle Times (1996-97; 1999-2002; 2006-2013) and also wrote for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer from 2002-2006. KIRO-AM vice president and general manager Dave Pridemore states, “We are extremely excited about teaming up Danny O’Neil with Brock Huard on 710 ESPN Seattle. I’m sure our listeners will appreciate the combination of an athlete’s insight and analysis with a journalist’s curiosity and straight forward perspective.” Program director Brian Long says, “Brock and Danny have a natural chemistry and genuine likability that will make for a smart entertaining listen for the Seattle sports fan.”
Encouragement and Advice for Lonely Digital “True Believers” at Radio Stations. Noted digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller says, “True Believers are the radio folks I talk to who just know deep in their heart of hearts that the brilliant use of our digital tools could help radio be the best it could possibly be. When I talk with them, they often just see so clearly how to fit all our different platforms together and how to use them. Most of them seem to feel a level of frustration, too. I suspect that’s because they are often the one person at work who is both knowledgeable and passionate about the potential of these tools.” If you think that describes you, in an article posted to today in TALKERS, Miller serves up several good ideas on how to lessen your frustration level as well as help position you as the radio/digital expert in your workplace and help accomplish your goals. He suggests starting small, pressing for constant improvement and creating an industry-wide community of like-minded broadcasters. To read Chris Miller’s entire piece, click here.
Glenn Beck Named Recipient of 2013 Freedom of Speech Award. The editorial board of TALKERS magazine has named Premiere Networks syndicated radio host, CEO/founder of Mercury Radio Arts, and founder of TheBlaze, Glenn Beck the recipient of the 2013 Freedom of Speech Award. The award is one of the most prestigious honors presented annually in the talk media industry. The award is presented to an individual in the talk media industry who courageously demonstrates the First Amendment in action, productively promotes its vitality, and inspires increased public awareness of its tenets. It has an extremely colorful history, sparking heated controversial battles on some occasions, and accruing a roster of outspoken, dynamic recipients as diverse as the medium itself. Past honorees include Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern, Michael Savage, Bob Grant, Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes, Al Franken, Juan Williams, Joe Madison, Matt Drudge, Norm Pattiz, Brian Lamb, Jim Farley and more. According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “This is a tough award to present – especially when the recipient is a politically controversial figure — because people who view the world through the lens of partisan politics immediately see the award as an endorsement of the position expressed by the recipient, as opposed to its deeper, principled meaning. The only political position held and espoused by TALKERS magazine is our devotion to the tenets of the First Amendment. Otherwise we are about as non-partisan as you can get.” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison adds, “This year’s recipient deserves the award for several reasons: First, he has shown enormous courage and creativity in expressing extremely controversial views on both talk radio and cable television; second, he stood up to the powers-that-be at his biggest single platform and dared to risk (and eventually lost) his lucrative job in the process; three, he demonstrates the vital role of showmanship and entertainment in artfully executing his craft within the commercial marketplace while still getting his points across (which is what this business is ultimately about); and four, he has intelligently designed a model of independent broadcasting through his pioneering development of an entrepreneurial ‘media station’ that serves to inspire others, create jobs and pave the way for the next generation of talk show hosts to carve their meaningful niches in the new 21st Century digital reality.” The 2013 Freedom of Speech Award will be presented to Glenn Beck at Talkers New York 2013. To see the entire up to the minute agenda, click here.
Salem Communications Re-Brands WHK, Cleveland “The Answer.” Following the trend in branding taken by its news/talk stations in New York, Los Angeles, Riverside, Dallas, Houston, Columbus, and Chicago, Salem Communications announced WHK, Cleveland becomes “AM 1420 The Answer.” Salem VP director of spoken word format Phil Boyce says, “As our listeners are preparing to write Uncle Sam that fat check, I can’t think of a better day to give Cleveland ‘The Answer’ to why their taxes are so high. We have the answer for little things like ‘why am I stuck in traffic’ to bigger things like what can conservatives do to win back the White House.” The on-air lineup, consisting of Salem Radio Network programs, remains the same. The station adds morning news anchor Jim McIntyre, “one of the most trusted news voices in Greater Cleveland,” as part of its local news, traffic and weather team. The station is adding a new late night program dubbed, “The 11th Hour,” hosted by McIntyre and Cleveland talk host Tom Kelly that will air at 11:00 pm. The station says the show “will focus on both local and statewide stories that affect the WHK audience, with news updates and interviews of the day’s newsmakers and journalists.” Station general manager Mark Jaycox states, “These are very exciting times at Salem Communications of Northeast Ohio. To be able to take a station like WHK – one rich in Cleveland heritage and Ohio tradition and celebrating its 91st birthday this year – and make it even more relevant and current, while maintaining that strong identity, we are confident our WHK listeners will be pleased with this change.”
Mid-West Family Broadcasting Acquires Wisconsin and Illinois Stations from Maverick for $15.5 Million. Just days after Connecticut-based Maverick Media announced the sale of its Santa Rosa, California stations to Lawrence Amaturo-led Sonoma Media Group, we learn that Mid-West Family Broadcasting is buying Maverick’s Eau Claire, Wisconsin and Rockford Illinois clusters. The stations in the Rockford market are: adult hits WRTB “Bob FM 95.3,” AC WGFB “B103 FM,” rock WXRX, and comedy WNTA-AM/FM “Funny 1330.” In Eau Claire, the stations are: news/talk WAYY, sports talk WEAU “ESPN 1150,” classic rock WECL “92.9 The Big Cheese,” AC WIAL, “I-94,” adult hits WDRK “Bob FM 99.9,” and country WAXX. In a statement, Mid-West Family Broadcasting president Tom Walker says, “We have wanted to grow our company for some time and want to bring the ideals of locally owned radio back to these two cities. The stations in both Eau Claire and Rockford will continue serving their local markets with the quality programming Mid-West Family brings to all its stations.”
Milt McConnell Joins Alpha Broadcasting’s Portland Cluster as SVP and GM. Former Cumulus Albuquerque market manager Milt McConnell is named the senior vice president and general manager at Alpha Broadcasting’s Portland, Oregon cluster. McConnell was part of a recent exodus of staffers from the Albuquerque operations that included longtime KKOB talk host Jim Villanucci. On his new post in Portland overseeing properties including hot AC KBFF “Live 95.5,” triple A KINK, country KUPL “98.7 The Bull,” sports KXTG-AM “750 The Game,” news/talk KXL “FM News 101,” and talk KUFO “Freedom 970,” McConnell says, “I am just thrilled to get back to live and locally owned radio. What Larry Wilson and Bob Proffitt have crafted with these premier brands at Alpha/Portland is incredible and I am excited about growing our influence in this dynamic city. The Alpha culture is very reminiscent of the boom years when we were growing Citadel. The cherry on top is that I get to work with formats that I have experience with and am extremely passionate about.”
Odds & Sods. CBS Radio’s WPHT, Philadelphia debuts its new PM drive program hosted by Dick Morris. The show is airing from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm…..Meanwhile, longtime WPHT personality Michael Smerconish makes his move to SiriusXM Satellite Radio today. The program airs on the POTUS channel from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET….Speaking of SiriusXM, the satcaster began a six-week run of a special program hosted by Breitbart News Network chairman Stephen K. Bannon called “Breitbart News Sunday with Stephen K. Bannon” last night at 7:00 pm ET on its conservative talk SiriusXM Patriot channel. The three-hour call-in show is said to feature commentary and analysis on the stories and narratives that will drive the upcoming week’s news cycle from the editors and contributors of the Breitbart News Network.
Bernie Miklasz to Appear on WXOS, St. Louis Daily. When WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” midday talk host Bernie Miklasz announced he’d be leaving his daily program on the Hubbard Broadcasting sports talker to focus on his work with the St. Louis Dispatch, the station said it hoped to still have him contributing on a regular basis. Now, it’s announced that Miklasz will be a regular guest and will be featured at the following times: Monday afternoons at 4:30 on “The Fast Lane,” Tuesday mornings at 9:30 with “Zach and Rammer,” Wednesday evenings at 5:30 on “The Fast Lane,” Thursday mornings 10:30 with “Zach and Rammer,” and Friday afternoons at 12:30 on the new midday program. Program director Chris “Hoss” Neupert states, “We are thrilled that Bernie Miklasz will still be a part of the ‘101ESPN’ team. His experienced analysis regarding the local St. Louis and national sports scene is immeasurable, and our listeners really value his comments and opinions.”
Longtime Denver Talk Host Rick Barber Facing ALS Battle. Rick Barber was a talk show host on KOA, Denver for more than 30 years. He exited the station in January of 2012 and was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease — amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – several months ago. Now, former fellow Denver talk host Peter Boyles is helping alert the industry to Barber’s situation and providing information where people can make donations. Find that on Boyles’ KHOW, Denver page here.
Greater Media’s Peter Smyth Honored by Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus. Greater Media chairman and CEO Peter Smyth is pictured here at the 12th Annual Good Guys Awards on Thursday, April 11 at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston. The awards event was produced by the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus which honored Smyth for his continued support of women and families in Massachusetts. Smyth is an active philanthropist working with many organizations that advocate for women and families including the United Way of Massachusetts, the New England Baptist Hospital and Emerson College. In addition, he is a supporter of GRLZ Radio, a radio station giving young women a voice in their community. MWPC executive director Priti Rao states, “We were very excited to honor Peter Smyth as one of our Good Guys. His dedicated advocacy to advance women serves as a role model to our community. His support of programs and initiatives that improve the welfare and safety of women and families has been indispensable.” Pictured here are (from l-r): Greater Media VP of corporate communication Heidi Raphael, “HOT 96.9” morning show co-host Pebbles, Greater Media Boston market manager Rob Williams, Smyth, “Hot 96.9” APD and digital media brand manager Jill Strada, WROR general sales manager Matt DiRoberto and Greater Media VP of program development Buzz Knight.