Tag: "Steve Sinicropi"

Thursday, November 7, 2019

| November 7, 2019

iHeartMedia Third Quarter Revenue Rises 3%. Revenue for iHeartMedia, Inc. – whose shares became listed on the NASDAQ on July 18 of this year – was $948.3 million, an increase of 3% compared to the same period in 2018.  Digital revenue increased 33.4%.  Looking at the first three quarters of 2019, revenue was $2.66 billion – an increase of 2.8% over the same period in 2018.  The company says, “Our traditional radio business, which is comprised of our Broadcast and Networks revenue streams, is stable and growing.  Broadcast revenue declined by 0.6% on a reported basis and increased 0.4% excluding the impact of political revenue, while Networks grew 9.2% year-over-year driven primarily by growth in our Total Traffic & Weather network.  Networks also grew sequentially by almost 300 basis points over the second quarter. Our growth was also driven by our Digital revenue stream, which grew 33.4%.  Digital revenue growth was primarily driven by growth in podcasting, as well as other digital revenue.  Audio & Media Services declined 14.3% on a reported basis and increased by 0.2% excluding the impact of political revenue.  Political revenue primarily impacts our Broadcast and Audio & Media Services revenue, and therefore these revenue streams tend to show greater variance in non-political years.  Sponsorships increased by 4.4% year-over-year. Importantly, all of our revenue streams grew year-over-year excluding the impact of political revenue, demonstrating the continued momentum in our business.”

Beasley Broadcast Group Reports Q3 Net Income Up 1.5%. Net income for Beasley Broadcast Group’s 2019 third quarter was $66.1 million, an increase of 1.5% over the same period in 2018 and the company says that “reflects increased revenue in the Company’s Philadelphia, Detroit, Boston, Charlotte, Fayetteville, and Wilmington market clusters. Net revenue for the three months ended September 30, 2019 was comparable to net revenue for the same period in 2018 at the Company’s other market clusters.”  For the first nine months of 2019, net income was $189.5 million, an increase of 4.1% over the same nine-month period in 2018.  Station Operating Income increased 12.7% year-over-year in the third quarter of 2019.  The company says the year-over-year increase is primarily attributable to higher revenue in the 2019 third quarter and lower station operating expenses related to $1.7 million of non-recurring bad debt expense that was recorded in the comparable 2018 period, partially offset by higher expenses at recently acquired stations.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “Throughout the third quarter, we continued to advance our revenue diversification initiatives and actively manage our local radio broadcasting and digital platforms, while implementing our operating disciplines at recently acquired stations to drive SOI growth and margin expansion.  Record third quarter net revenue of $66.1 million was driven by the strength of our station clusters in four of our top five largest revenue markets, as well as contributions from recent acquisitions and more than offset the approximate $0.9 million of combined political, spectrum and United States Traffic Network traffic revenue recorded in the 2018 third quarter, which did not recur in the 2019 third quarter…Third quarter results also began to reflect financial contributions related to our new and expanding digital development and diversification initiatives. Beasley generated a year-over-year increase in digital revenue of approximately 37%, with digital now accounting for 7.4% of total revenue, compared to 5.4% of total revenue in the prior year period. Going forward, we remain committed to increasing digital share of total revenue as we continue to aggressively roll out our digital transformation strategy across the organization.”

Urban One Third Quarter Net Revenue Basically Flat at $111.1 Million.  While third quarter net revenue was up just 0.3%, Urban One’s broadcast and digital operating income was up 3.2% on $44.8 million, compared to the same period in 2018.  Operating income was approximately $32.5 million for the three months ended September 30, 2019, compared to approximately $32.1 million for the same period in 2018.  Urban One CEO and president Alfred Liggins III says, “During the third quarter we completed the sale of WDMK to Beasley Broadcasting, as a result of which our cash position improved, and net leverage was reduced. On a same station basis, our third quarter radio revenues were up 4.2%, and I was pleased that we were able to grow the Radio Broadcasting segment Adjusted EBITDA by 6.6%.  Same station core radio revenues, excluding political, are currently pacing down low single digits for the fourth quarter.  Cable Television advertising was robust in the quarter, up 7.8%. While digital revenues decreased by 6.4%, we were able to post significant Adjusted EBITDA growth in that segment as a result of improved cost control.  Overall, we were able to grow Adjusted EBITDA by 5.8% for the quarter, and I believe we are well positioned to achieve our strategic goals for the year, with Adjusted EBITDA in the range of $138-$140 million.”

Nielsen Announces Plans to Split into Two Companies.  Along with its third quarter financial results, Nielsen Holdings Plc is announcing that it will “separate the Global Media and Global Connect businesses through a spin-off of the Global Connect business.”  Global Media is the audience measurement division and Global Connect is the consumer data division.  CEO David Kenny says, “We are pleased with our third quarter results.  Both Media and Connect revenues were ahead of our expectations, reflecting strong execution as well as our focus on driving faster, bolder decisions to enhance value for Nielsen and for our clients.  We also announced today the conclusion of our strategic review and our decision to separate Global Media and Global Connect.  As we look forward, we remain focused on executing on our growth strategies and positioning both businesses to create value for our shareholders.”  The strategic review was led by chairman of the board of directors James Attwood, who says, “Nielsen has two strong and global franchises — Global Media and Global Connect.  Following an extensive review process, which included an in-depth analysis of our businesses, strategies and market opportunities, the Board concluded that separating into two independent, publicly traded companies is the best path to position each business for long term success and maximize value creation.  As independent companies, both Nielsen — the Global Media business — and the new company consisting of Global Connect will enjoy added flexibility and further strengthen their paths toward a new phase of growth, productivity and industry leadership.”

Q3 2019 Flat for Saga Communications. Third quarter net revenue for Saga Communications, Inc. was $31.3 million, basically flat compared to 2018’s Q3 figure of $31.7 million.  Station operating expense increased $171 thousand to $23.6 million and operating income decreased $520 thousand to $4.8 million compared to $5.3 million for the same period in 2018.  Net Income decreased $361 thousand to $3.3 million for the quarter.  On a same-station basis, third quarter net revenue decreased $1.4 million to $30.3 million.  Looking at the first three quarters of 2019, net income was flat with the same period in 2018 at $9.4 million.  Net revenue decreased $610 thousand to $91.3 million.  On a same-station basis for the nine-month period, net revenue decreased $3.8 million to $88.1 million.  Saga reports having $42.3 million in cash on hand as of November 4, 2019.  The company’s total bank debt was $10 million as of the end of the quarter.

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October PPM survey, today focusing on the public radio news/talk format.  More than 60% of public radio news/talk stations were up (weekly 6+ AQH share) compared to the September 2019 survey.  Year-over-year, the results were split about 50/50, with half the stations up and half down. Four high-performing public outlets ranked #1 in their respective markets in October.  They were: WAMU-FM, Washington; KPBS-FM, San Diego; KOPB-FM, Portland; and KUT-FM, Austin.  Perennially top-ranked public outlet KQED, San Francisco ceded the #1 spot to Entercom’s all-news KCBS-AM, San Francisco in October.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Sun Broadcast Group to Rep All of Envision Networks’ Products in 2020. This agreement between Sun Broadcast Group and Envision Networks is an expanded sales representation agreement that now includes all Envision Networks shows and services.  Envision Networks CEO and president Danno Wolkoff says, “We started with Sun Broadcast Group selling all of our Spanish inventory and began adding more general market advertising to their networks as we grew.  SBG’s ability to maximize our lineups and create networks with such high advertiser demand fueled the development of many new shows and services.  It’s only fitting that Jay [Bailey], Julio [Aponte] and the Sun team now represent all of Envision Networks’ advertising sales in 2020 … we’re thrilled to be working together.”

TALKERS News Notes. Greenville, South Carolina news/talk WYRD-FM “106.3 WORD” adds a translator to its broadcast.  Now carrying the station’s signal is W270AM, Anderson, South Carolina at 101.5 FM. Anderson is about 25 miles southwest of Greenville.  Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi says, “We’re happy to meet the demand from listeners and advertisers to expand 106.3 WORD’s over-the-air signal to Anderson County using 101.5 FM.  Anderson is a fast-growing market that we are looking forward to serving with 106.3 WORD’s programming on all of our platforms.”…..Kentucky sports talk host Matt Jones will be off his WLAP-AM, Lexington-based program after U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission.  Jones has announced he’s exploring the possibility of running as a Democrat for McConnell’s senate seat.  The iHeartMedia station asked Jones to step away from the program after the complaint was issued.  Jones was relieved of his duties at WLEX-TV, Lexington in July after he made his political ambitions known…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is presenting a news special titled, “30 Years After the Fall: The Legacy of the Berlin Wall,” that explores the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.  Correspondent Chas Henry hosts the program as he reports from the site where the Berlin Wall once stood.  He talks to scholars about why the wall was constructed and with residents who watched it come down.  The half-hour program airs Thanksgiving weekend.  Stations interested can contact Jim Jones at jimjones@westwoodone.com or 202-840-7933 for more information.

Impeachment Process, Ukraine Affair, 2020 Presidential Race, Tuesday’s Election Results, Mormon Family Massacre, China-Hong Kong Tensions, New HIV Strain, and OK Boomer Meme Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/6). The impeachment process against President Trump; the testimony about President Trump’s alleged quid pro quo offer to Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Democratic victories in Virginia and Kentucky in Tuesday’s elections; the massacre of nine members of a Mormon family by drug cartel members in Mexico; the ongoing tensions between Hong Kong and China; the discovery of a new strain of HIV; and the controversy over the “Ok Boomer” meme 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. In the Fresno market, iHeartMedia names Angel “Visa” Jarquin program director for hip hop KBOS “B95.”  He comes to “B95” from his most recent position with the company’s CHR KDON, Monterey where he was afternoon drive personality and assistant program director.   iHeartMedia SVP of programming for Central California and Nevada Tony Matteo says, “Angel’s incredible track record of success and his experience in the format make him an ideal fit to spearhead this market’s leading brand in Fresno.  We’re excited to bring his energy to the ‘B95’ team.”…..JVC Media announces the addition of Long Island radio personality Bill “The Wiseman” Wise as morning host at WPTY-HD2/W251BY, Patchogue, New York “Oldies 98.1”  JVC New York general manager Bruce Shepard says, “The Wiseman is a great addition to our staff.  He will not only be on the airwaves of ‘Oldies 98.1,’ he will also work with the team to develop new and exciting live events and concerts for ‘Oldies 98.1.’  I am thrilled to have him on board.”…..Country outlet WYCD, Detroit  hosted last night’s “Stars and Strings Presented by RAM Trucks Built to Serve” event that raised more than $25,000 for Folds of Honor, the organization that provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members. Entercom has now raised more than $275,000 to support the cause.  The RADIO.COM event featured performances by Keith Urban, Maren Morris, Lady Antebellum, Kelsea Ballerini, Jon Pardi, Brett Young, and Ryan Hurd…..iHeartMedia’s rock WJRR, Cocoa Beach, Florida announces the all-star lineup for its “Earthday Birthday Number 27” music festival taking place on Saturday, April 18, 2020 at the Central Florida Fairgrounds and Orlando Amphitheater.  Performing will be: Shinedown, Halestorm, Theory Of A Deadman, Beartooth, Fozzy, Dirty Honey, New Years Day, Crobot, and Dinosaur Pile-Up, with more to be announced…..Cox Media Group classic hits WSRV, Atlanta “97.1 The River” will celebrate its 14th birthday with “The River’s Rockin’ Birthday Bash Presents: Journey with Pretenders” on Thursday, August 13 at Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood in Atlanta.  Station director of branding and programming Chris Eagan says, “We can’t wait to celebrate The River’s 14th birthday with our awesome fans.  Journey and Pretenders will definitely put on an unbelievable show to help us party on August 13!”

Monday, June 3, 2019

| June 3, 2019

TALKERS 2019 Heavy Hundred Published Today.  The 2019 edition of TALKERS magazine’s “100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” – also known as the Heavy Hundred – has been published.  This is the 25thedition of the Heavy Hundred that is compiled by the editors of TALKERSmagazine and inclusion is based upon a combination of hard factors such as ratings, revenue and longevity, plus soft factors including effort, impact, recognition, service, talent and uniqueness. Executive editor Kevin Casey says, “As the editorial staff was preparing to publish the Heavy Hundred, we reflected on the 25-year history of this list – especially how challenging it is to whittle the thousands of hosts doing a talk radio program in America today down to the 100 most important.  That said, we are excited to publish this year’s list and we believe it represents an honest reflection of the state of talk radio today.”  See 2019 Heavy Hundred here.

Cumulus Makes PD Changes in New York; Craig Schwalb Exits WABC. TALKERS magazine hears from several sources that program director Craig Schwalb has exited Cumulus Media’s news/talk WABC.  The change was made on Friday and our sources tell us that programmer Dave LaBrozzi – until Friday the program director for hot AC WPLJ – will program WABC and sister urban contemporary WNBM.  Cumulus also let WNBM PD and VP/urban programming Ken Johnson go on Friday.  Prior to joining WABC, Schwalb served as program director with Cumulus at Providence news/talk WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM.

FAIR Announces Dates for 2019 ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Radio Row. The Federation for American Immigration Reform announces today that the 13th annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire radio row will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, September 25-26 at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill in Washington. DC.  As in years past, this event brings together talk hosts from across the nation to broadcast live while debating immigration policy interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists, administration officials, and those who live and work along the Southern border.  FAIR says the event has evolved greatly since the first one in 2006.  “F2F now hosts 70 stations and has become the largest annual radio row and the centerpiece of the immigration debate each year for the media.  Unfortunately, several things have not changed – a stagnant status quo of lax enforcement and open borders, obstructionist Democratic positions, hostile courts and a complicit mainstream media.  So, in September, radio hosts are back at it discussing, debating, sorting truth from fiction, hearing first-hand accounts and considering reasonable solutions.  At a minimum, barriers have to be built, asylum loopholes closed, more resources brought to bear, and the rule of law enforced.  Most importantly, Americans – not special interests – will be heard from.”  Talk hosts and programmers wishing to take part should know that reservations are required, and hosts/producers should call FAIR now to reserve their spot.  There is no cost to attend and all technical engineering and expenses are taken care of by FAIR.  Congressional guests, activists, high profile media personalities, and immigration experts will be in attendance and available throughout the event for wall-to-wall interviews.  Contact Matthew Tragesser, event manager, 202-328-7004 or mtragesser@fairus.org.

Monday Memo: Camera Tips for Radio.  In this week’s Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke presents the first in a three-part series of tips from digital professionals.  With radio broadcasters scrambling to populate all the platforms with which they share listeners’ attention (and advertisers’ do-re-mi), HC begins with advice from photo pros for taking and presenting quality pictures. Read the column here.

WGDJ, Albany Suspends Host After Controversial Social Media Post. “Talk 1300” general manager Paul Vandenburgh announced on the website of news/talk WGDJ, Albany that afternoon drive talk host Kevin McCashion is suspended from his program after issuing a social media post that some are calling insensitive.  McCashion’s tweet attacked the Albany Times Union for its coverage of the Memorial Day death of a former local female high school basketball star. Twenty-one-year-old Ayanna Hunter died after being shot at a cookout.  McCashion’s tweet showed two images, one of Hunter posing with a stack of money, with the text, “another.@timesunion W H I T E W A S H just an innocent basketball player ha ha.”  Vandenburgh stated, “Ayanna Hunter was shot and killed in Niskayuna and Kevin posted an untimely, unwanted and unnecessary Twitter comment and rightfully so, many people were upset.”  He says he’ll address the situation with McCashion today (6/3).  See the Times-Union story here.

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Dana Loesch adds new affiliate stations.  Syndicator Radio America announces: KXRA-AM Alexandria, Minnesota, KONA-AM, Tri-Cities, Washington, KGYN-AM, Guymon, Oklahoma; KMPT-AM/FM, East Missoula, Montana; WMJD-FM Grundy, Virginia; WDRC-AM, Hartford; WMMW-AM, New Haven; WSNG-AM, Torrington, Connecticut; WJML-AM, Petoskey, Michigan; WJNL-AM, Kingsley, Michigan; WHAK-AM, Rogers City, Michigan; WWMN-FM, Thompsonville, Michigan; and WYPV-FM, Mackinaw City, Michigan all add “The Dana Show” to their program lineups…..The Westwood One-syndicated “Mark Levin Show” joins the program schedule at Entercom’s news/talk WYRD-FM, Greenville, South Carolina “106.3 WORD.”  Entercom Greenville SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi comments, “Mark Levin is a seasoned radio host and has one of the biggest shows in talk radio.  His program is topical and drives passion. This addition delivers on our commitment to continuously provide the best and most relevant content to our listeners.”…..Former WEEI, Boston morning personality Kirk Minihane – who recently cut a deal with Entercom to get out of his contract with the company – is joining Barstool Sports.  The sports media personality said during a Periscope video that he’ll be doing a daily podcast “live to tape” starting June 15…..Nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah WachsGCN-distributed program is adding WSLA, Slidell, Louisiana to its roster of affiliate stations…..iHeartMedia Twin Cities, the University of Minnesota, and its multimedia rightsholder, Gopher Sports Properties, announce an extension of the broadcast agreement for KFXN “KFAN-FM 100.3,” KTLK-AM/K278BP, and “KFAN Plus 96.7 FM” (K244FE) to continue to serve as the Gophers’ flagship radio stations through the 2022-2023 athletic season…..Shep Rose, star of Bravo’s hit TV show, “Southern Charm,” launches a new podcast on PodcastOne titled, “Enough About Me.”  The program will also feature interviews with athletes, teachers, soldiers, stunt men, and even himself in this “weird, wild, funny and dramatic,” weekly show.

Virginia Beach Mass Shooting, Mueller News Conference/Impeachment Talk, Trump Visits UK, 2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-China Tensions, Middle East Peace Plan, and Rocketman Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The deadly shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center that took the lives of 12; the aftermath of special counsel Robert Mueller’s news conference and Democrats’ talk of impeachment; President Trump embarks on an official visit to the UK; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the tariff wars and the tense relations between the U.S. and China; Jared Kushner’s Middle East peace plan and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s calling it “unexecutable”; and the Elton John biopic, Rocketman were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Health Media Personality Asa to Executive Produce and Co-Host Discovery Life TV Show. Radio host, author, television personality and medical doctor Asa Andrew will serve as executive producer and co-host for the second season of the Discovery Life series, “Reversed.”  Co-hosting the show with Asa will be celebrity chef Charles Mattocks.  The first season of the show was designed as reality TV intended to present the powerful effects of unmanaged diabetes and the hope of reversal.  This new season will showcase the struggles and the triumphs of individuals living with cancer as they work to radically transform their lifestyle choices.  Asa says, “This season is personal.  Cancer took my father’s life at age 68, now I’m on a mission to help others before it’s too late.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  The show will have an evidence-based team of nutritionists, trainers, doctors, therapists, and celebrity guests focused on the common goal of improving the health and well-being of each person living with cancer. Asa and Mattocks are producing the show via their company, WellTent Media Group LLC.

13thAnnual Kellar Radio Talent Institute Begins Today. The 13th annual Kellar Radio Talent Institute at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina begins today.  Twenty-four students from three universities have been accepted into this year’s 10-day institute during which more than 40 broadcast pros from Beasley Media Group, Entercom, iHeartMediaRadio One, Capitol Broadcasting, Dick Broadcasting, along with Doug Rice, president and voice of Performance Racing NetworkMick Mixon, play-by-play announcer for the Carolina Panthers, Don Anthony from Talk Show and Morning Show Bootcamp, Warren Kurtzman president of Coleman Research, and others, will lead sessions for the students.  This summer, National Radio Talent System Institutes are taking place across the country. They include the Beasley Radio Talent Institute at Emerson College in Boston; GAB Radio Talent Institute, University of Georgia; TAB Radio Talent Institute at the University of Tennessee; Confer Radio Talent Institute at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania; Hubbard Radio Talent Institute at Central Washington University; KBA WKU Radio Talent Institute at Western Kentucky University and the MBA Radio Talent Institute at Northwest Missouri State University.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Chuck “DZL” Thompson is the new program director at iHeartMedia’s country WKKT, Charlotte “96.9 The Kat.”  iHeartMedia regional SVP for the Virginia-Carolina region Chadwick “A.J.” Hausknecht says, “DZL’s unique insight on the market, coupled with his talent, creativity and innovative style of thinking will ensure that the station continues to do great things in Charlotte.  Because of his vision and passion, I’m thrilled to have DZL lead our team at ‘96.9 The Kat.’”…..On-air pro Shelby Sos is named evening personality at iHeartMedia’s CHR WZFT “Z104.3.”  She comes to Baltimore from the company’s WIHT, Washington “HOT 99.5” where she was an assistant producer for “The Kane Show.”   iHM Baltimore SVP of programming Mike Preston says, “Shelby brings so much experience from ‘The Kane Show’ to her new position at ‘Z104.3.’  Shelby is immensely talented and really knows how to engage an audience.  We can’t wait to have her on the air in her hometown to shake things up!”…..The Sun Broadcast Group-syndicated “Woody & Wilcox Show” adds new affiliate stations.  Now airing the show are: WCYY, Portland; WQRR, Tuscaloosa; and WVWB, Clarksville, Tennessee…..Programming pro Brian Thomas joins Townsquare Media where he’ll serve as operations manager for the company’s Grand Rapids stations as well as the company’s 17 classic hits-formatted stations.  Thomas was most recently with Cumulus Media Atlanta as PD for country WKHX “Kicks 101.5.”

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

| August 12, 2015

National Radio Hall of FameNational Radio Hall of Fame Voting Starts Today. After a five-year hiatus, listeners again have the opportunity to participate in selecting National Radio Hall of Fame inductees. For the next two weeks (through Wednesday, 8/26), voters can text 36500 with their one vote for the four nominees (each) in the “Music Format On-Air Personality” and “Spoken Word On-Air Personality” categories. National Radio Hall of Fame chair Kraig Kitchin declares, “These eight personalities are beloved by their listeners. Giving the audience an opportunity to participate in the process of acknowledging their favorite hosts for their contributions over the years just makes sense.” Nominees and text info for the “Music Format On-Air Personality” are Delilah (text “DELILAH” to 36500); Elvis Duran (text “ELVIS” to 36500); Steve Harvey (text “STEVE” to 36500); and Ryan Seacrest (text “RYAN” to 36500). Nominees and text info for the “Spoken Word On-Air Personality” are Sean Hannity (text “HANNITY” to 36500); Clark Howard (text “CLARK” to 36500); Jim Rome (text “ROME” to 36500); and Dr. Laura Schlessinger (text “DR. LAURA” to 36500). Listener-chosen winners will be announced at the end of this month (8/31), and we cannot forget that all-important fine print that “message and data rates may apply.” In addition to the two listener-voting categories, four categories are being voted on by a panel of 400 industry professionals. The induction ceremony takes place November 5 at the Museum of Broadcast and Communications in downtown Chicago.

Interactive Advertising BureauIAB Gears Up For Debut Podcast Upfront Showcase. The one-day marketplace for advertisers and media buyers to preview podcast programming will be held next month (9/10) in New York City. Scheduled to present at Interactive Advertising Bureau‘s inaugural podcast upfront showcase include representatives from AdLarge Media, Midroll, NPR, Panoply, Podtrac, and WNYC. Industry Initiatives, IAB vice president Carl Kalapesi explains, “More and more advertisers are incorporating audio programming into their digital marketing strategies. The individual and intimate listening experience enjoyed by podcast listeners provides a unique vehicle for brands to connect with consumers. IAB is excited to bring so many digital audio leaders together to discuss their upcoming programming and the wide array of advertising opportunities available through podcasts.” Invited executives will get to preview content developments from each presenting company in 20-minute segments.

Cassell, RussCassell (Posthumously) Wins SCBA Radio Personality of the Year Award. The “State Television And Radio” (STAR) awards of the South Carolina Broadcasting Association honor “exceptional accomplishments of the state’s stations and their broadcast professionals.” Entercom-owned talk WYRD-FM, Greenville-Spartanburg host Russ Cassell (left), who passed away last year, won the “Radio Personality of the Year” award. Entercom market vice president and generalEntercom Upstate manager Steve Sinicropi declares, “The broadcasting legacy of Russ Cassell lives on; our entire team is grateful for the SCBA recognizing Russ with this important award.” The cluster’s production director Stan Fisher received STAR recognition for best production-multi spot campaign on rock WTPT “93.3 The Planet” for local attorney Rob Ianuario. In the station’s first year in the format, WYRD-AM “ESPN Upstate” sports broadcaster Greg McKinney was recognized with a “Sportscaster of the Year award of merit at the event, which was held in Columbia, South Carolina over the weekend.

McCollim, JasonMcCollim Heads to Colorado Springs as iHeartMedia’s Senior VP/Programming. Transferring from Spokane where he programmed iHeartMedia talker KQNT and KKZX “The Classic Rock Station,” Jason McCollim is appointed senior vice president of programming for the company’s Colorado Springs and Pueblo stations. Senior vice president of programming/regional markets Tony Coles states, “McCollim is one of our rising stars. He has done an incredible job for us iHeartMediain Spokane. His leadership skills and passion for programming will allow him to ramp up quickly and build immediate relationships with the programming and sales teams.” Colorado-Pueblo market president Darci Ewell comments, “Jason’s proven track record in Spokane and his versatile experience will make him an incredible asset to the Colorado Springs-Pueblo cluster. Jason brings a high level of energy and creativity that will greatly benefit our team.” McCollim remarks, “I am very excited about working with the fantastic iHeartMedia team in both Colorado Springs and Pueblo; thanks to Tony Coles and Darci Ewell for the opportunity to work in one of the most beautiful parts of our country.” McCollim spent more than 14 years at KQNT and KKZX; he is vice president of the Inland Empire Bloodhounds Search & Rescue. The Colorado Springs stations he will oversee are rhythmic CHR KIBT “The Beat”; hot AC KVUU “My-99.9”; adult contemporary KKLI “Sunny 106.3”; country KCCY “Y-96.9; and classic rock KDZA “Z-107.9.” The three Pueblo facilities are classic hits KPHT; KCCY “Fox Sports 1350″; and talk KCSJ.

rdio-logoRdio Debuts Live Broadcast Radio. The global music streaming service begins with nearly 500 U.S. stations. Listeners can mark songs they like as a favorite, share the song, start a custom station based on the song or view more music by the artist. Paying subscribers to Rdio’s $3.99 and $9.99 plans can download songs for unlimited listening, add it to a custom playlist, listen to related songs from that artist or recently played songs on that station as often as they want. Rdio chief executive officer Anthony Bay comments, “We are committed to providing Rdio customers around the world with easy access to the audio content they want to hear through innovative features that enhance listening. Broadcast radio brands and talent continue to be the dominant tastemakers in music, so integrating live broadcast radio into Rdio’s critically acclaimed customer experience is an exciting development that we are thrilled to introduce.” Through a September 2013 partnership with Cumulus Media, Rdio has access to Cumulus’ programming and is promoted on Cumulus stations. Cumulus Media chief executive officer Lew Dickey states, “Bringing our national platform of stations to Rdio allows us to instantly create broader access for our listeners and new opportunities for advertisers to reach their target audiences. The combination of our premier broadcast assets with Rdio’s acclaimed user experience and music discovery features creates a full-service listening experience that is unparalleled.” In addition to music, live broadcast programming includes sports content from local stations as well as through Cumulus Media’s Westwood One. Featured stations include Cumulus Media-owned country WNSH, New York; rock KLOS, Los Angeles; triple-A KFOG, San Francisco; urban-rhythmic oldies WRWM, Indianapolis; and country WSM-FM, Nashville. Additional stations will launch later this year.

WOWOWOWO Producing 90-Year Retrospective. The Fort Wayne (Indiana) talk outlet is observing its 90th anniversary and – appropriately enough – is putting together a 90-minute documentary. Station executives are in the process of gathering interviews from former employees for the special, which will cover WOWO’s impact and reach. In addition to audio samples of historic and comical moments, Bob Sievers, Jack Underwood, Jay Gould, and Bob Chase are among those who will be featured. Program director Ryan Wrecker (Wrecker@WOWO.com) is seeking station memorabilia that can be displayed during the ongoing celebration, as well as memories past staffers or listeners would like to share. Those contributing will receive a preview edition of the special, which is scheduled to air on Federated Media-owned WOWO (Thursday) November 19.

KNX 2KNX Schedules Second Annual Blood Drive. In light of the fact that blood donations typically dip during summer months, KNX, Los Angeles is joining the American Red Cross for the CBS Radio all-news outlet’s second annual blood drive. The five-day event at participating Red Cross blood centers starts two weeks from Saturday (8/29) and concludes the following Wednesday (9/2). CBS Radio vice president/Los Angeles market manager Dan Kearney American Red Cross 2comments, “KNX is proud to team up with the Red Cross once again as we expand our blood drive effort. We know summer is a challenging time for people to think about donating blood, and we hope to raise awareness so our listeners will lend their support and help the Red Cross maintain a safe and stable blood supply.” American Red Cross Southern California blood services external communications manager Tony Briggs notes that although many donors stepped up to give following a pressing call issued earlier this month, “The American Red Cross continues to have an urgent need for blood donors of all blood types to give before Labor Day.” Last year’s inaugural two-day KNX blood drive produced 834 pints of blood, which helped 2,502 patients. Greater Los Angeles/Southern California donation locations include Arcadia, Glendale, Santa Monica, Claremont, Downey, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Granada Hills, Los Angeles, Laguna Hills, Long Beach, Pasadena, Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, Santa Ana, Santa Clarita, Thousand Oaks, Torrance, West Covina, Woodland Hills, and Yorba Linda. As an incentive (and while supplies last), blood drive sponsor – The Southern California Gas Company – will give blood donors a KNX emergency preparedness guide; two tickets to Hollywood’s Laugh Factory; a ticket to Madame Tussauds Hollywood; and a sample of Hawaiian Host chocolates.

Maranville, TimMaranville Departs USA Radio Networks. One-year USA Radio Networks chief content officer-director of channel development Tim Maranville exits. He expresses thanks to “everyone at USA for all the hard work, especially show hosts Steve Deace, Kevin Jackson, Steve Noble, Jim Sharpe, Joe Messina, Chris and Emilee, Angie Austin, and Tony Perkins. The future is bright and I hope to have one, maybe two, announcements about my next contribution to the planet by mid-September.” Maranville joined USA after a nearly six-year run as vice president of programming at Westwood One. He previously was vice president and director of operations of the Denver Radio Company; vice president and director of operations of Sun City Communications; director of operations at KFRC, San Francisco; and director of operations of Phoenix stations KMLE, KOOL, and KZON. In addition, he owns/operates Mutations Media and he co-owns The Show Must Go On, an independent syndication consulting and affiliation company.

Donald Trump Continued to be the Second Most Talked About Person on News/Talk Radio Yesterday — a VERY close second to Barack Obama (8/11).  Top topics include the Presidential Race, the Iran Nukes Deal, Immigration Reform and the Chinese Economy.  According to TALKERS research, fallout from last week’s audience record-breaking GOP debate on Fox News Channel continues to dominate conversation on news/talk radio across America and people (and the media) remain fixated on Donald Trump.  Other hot topics include the presidential election in general, Hillary Clinton’s email controversy and the global economic impact of China’s devaluation of its currency.

Monday, January 19, 2015

| January 19, 2015

mlkTalk Radio Observes Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  Although an official federal holiday, most talk radio personnel are working today and many are honoring or simply acknowledging the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his work leading the civil rights movement of the 1960s.  For example, the first hour of iHeartMedia superstar Sean Hannity’s national radio show is devoted to talking about the historic civil rights leader’s legacy and relevance to today’s headlines.  Given the racial tensions brought about by recent high-profile cases involving fatal confrontations between police and African American men, this year’s observance of Dr. King’s birthday is even more relevant than in recent years.  Sirius XM Satellite Radio “Urban View” host Karen Hunter says, “Every day I honor the legacy of Dr. King on my show.  So every day we do something special to honor him.  Today I will be playing snippets from a speech he gave at UCLA in 1965.  I will also be talking about Selma.  And I have already spoken to someone who marched today in New York to the UN.”  African American news/talk hosts have a variety of perspectives on Dr. King.  Charles Butler who hosts a daily syndicated show on Genesis Communications Network writes on his daily blog, “Today is the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday and since 2008 I have conducted a show called ‘The Other Side of MLK,’ and on this eighth show I added several new perspectives.  Dr. King evolved over the period he was actively involved in the civil rights movement…I have a very difficult time listening to people that use the sanitized and domesticated version of Dr. King, ‘my children would be judged by the content of their character…,’ while ignoring his call on America to end racism.  Today, the prevalence of black high unemployment, income and health disparity, poor schools and environments, criminalization of black Americans, institutional racism, and systematic undermining of the attainment of the American Dream.”  At Salem Communications’ secular news/talk stations, many hosts are devoting a segment or two to Martin Luther King.  Salem SVP/spoken word format and Salem Radio Network Phil Boyce tells TALKERS magazine, “‘The Morning Answer’ in Los Angeles [KRLA] presented a great segment discussing the difference in the language and rhetoric of MLK vs the race baiters of today.  I think conservative hosts are generally more appreciative of Dr. King now, as we have seen what others have said and done who are attempting to take his place.”  Much of the commentary planned by hosts has been designed to specifically address their criticism of “so-called” civil rights leaders who have come after the late Dr. King – described to TALKERS by Cumulus heavyweight host Mark Levin as “people who exploit race by putting forth their own attitudes and wrongly use Dr. King’s good name to back up their own take and self-interests.”   WFTL, Fort Lauderdale/Miami afternoon star Joyce Kaufman tells TALKERS, “I will be spending today’s show listening to excerpts of his speeches…asking listeners to weigh in on when and why the relations between the black community and the white community fell apart.  Jews, for instance, natural allies, now arch enemies.  Black pastors who have stopped preaching the gospel to preserve the first black President’s relationship.  Would Dr. King have embraced Kwanzaa?  I think not. He was a Baptist preacher.”  Westwood One/WYD Media syndicated progressive opinion leader Thom Hartmann reports, “We did three hours on it today.  The movie ‘Selma’ was perfectly timed, and clearly demonstrates the importance of citizens’ movements.  From the Tea Party pushing Republicans to Occupy pushing Democrats; from John Quincy Adams leading the anti-slavery movement in the House to the Suffrage movement nationwide; from the labor movement (with the Ludlow massacre and the Flint Sit Down Strikes) to the gay rights movement – every time America has moved, it’s moved because of an informed, motivated, and activated populace.  And the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the greatest teachers of that in modern times.”  Fox News Radio syndicated liberal icon Alan Colmes tells TALKERS, “Today’s news cycle proves how prescient Martin Luther King, Jr. was.  King, in his most controversial speech, ‘Beyond Vietnam,’ delivered at the Riverside Church in New York City on April 4, 1967, spoke these words:

‘This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class, and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all mankind… I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. This Hindu-Muslim-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist belief about ultimate reality is beautifully summed up in the first epistle of Saint John: “Let us love one another (Yes), for love is God. (Yes) And every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love. . . . If we love one another, God dwelleth in us and his love is perfected in us.” Let us hope that this spirit will become the order of the day.’”

Colmes concludes, “On our show, we’re are talking about the relationship between the Bible and the Koran, to show that no one religion is superior to another, that there are more similarities than differences, and that tolerance is a key tenet of our republic.  That is how we are honoring the legacy of this revolutionary.”  Joe Madison of Sirius XM Satellite Radio – consistently one of the most influential thought-leaders in talk radio on the subject of race relations and civil rights — shares, “We aired the results of an essay contest that asked young high school students to assess the political climate in the world today, analyzing the racial challenges that exist and to compare to Dr. King’s life and deeds.”  Madison adds, “I actually spoke this morning in Tampa, Florida at the 35 annual Tampa Organization of Black Affairs Breakfast (I was their first speaker 35 years ago).  I addressed the three-year gap between the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965 and his assassination in 1968.  I asked the question: ‘How would talk radio portray Dr. King?’  His last three years on earth, he alienated many of his allies and antagonized his enemies further. He was portrayed as an extremist and an arsonist as he waged war on poverty, racism and militarism.  I suspect most talk radio would not be very supportive of Martin Luther King, Jr.” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison responds to Madison’s last statement by telling him that “a number of conservative hosts interviewed for this story say they have been increasingly appreciating and respecting Dr. King as the years go by – especially when compared to some of his high-profile successors in the civil rights movement.” Madison fires back, “I wonder which King they respect?  Certainly not the MLK that encouraged the redistribution of wealth, affirmative action and voting rights, especially Sections 4 and 5 which were recently struck down by the SCOTUS.”

hendrixmarkEntercom Greenville-Spartanburg Sets New Roles for Hendrix, Stone, McLain. Several noteworthy personnel moves take place at Entercom-owned stations in Greenville-Spartanburg, a South Carolina cluster the company refers to as “Entercom Upstate.” For openers, rock WTPT “93.3 The Planet” and WROQ “Classic Rock 101.1” operations manager/program director Mark Hendrix takes on additional duties as operations manager for talk WYRD-FM “Word 106.3,” as well as the sports simulcast of WORD-AM and WYRD-AM. He will continue to program WORD-AM and WYRD-AM, both branded as “ESPN Upstate.” He succeeds Bob McLain as OM for “Word 106.3”; however, McLain carries on as the station’s 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm talent and is named operations manager emeritus. Meanwhile, “Classic Rock 101.1” assistant program director Jay D. Stone is boosted to program director. Stone continues as APD of “The Planet” and maintains his “Classic Rock 101.1” 12:00 noon – 6:00 pm “The Stoneman” on-air shift. According to Entercom Greenville vice president and market entercommanager Steve Sinicropi, “Mark Hendrix has done an outstanding job programming ‘Classic Rock 101.1’ and ‘93.3 The Planet/WTPT-FM.’ He has coached ‘The Rise Guys’ on ‘The Planet’ to the top of many key morning demos. Hendrix will build on Bob McLain’s excellent work on ‘Word 106.3,’ developing stimulating local talk. I am also pleased that Bob will continue his very popular show. I am happy Jay D. Stone has been elevated to the well-deserved position of program director at ‘Classic Rock 101.1.’ He is the heart and soul of that station.” Hendrix comments, “I am thankful for the great opportunities that Entercom has afforded me over the years. I look forward to working with our talented staffs to deliver exceptional, locally focused programs to our upstate audiences.” McLain remarks, “Entercom Upstate has given me great opportunities to engage with listeners, discuss controversial and important issues, and establish a thought provoking radio brand.” Stone declares that, “Having the opportunity to head up the legendary call letters of WROQ is a big deal. All I can say is that, after working with the top-shelf staff at Entercom Upstate for the past 12 years, the winning tradition will continue at ‘Classic Rock 101.'” Hendrix has been with the company since August 2001, when he became program director of WTPT. McLain began his career at Winston-Salem’s WTOB. Stone was named music director of “Classic Rock 101.1” in 2003, after holding similar duties at Des Moines classic rocker KGGO.

wmkt logoMarshall’s Multiple Roles with MacDonald Garber. Simultaneous with being named operations director for all MacDonald Garber Broadcasting AM stations, Greg Marshall is appointed general manager for the company’s Cadillac, Michigan cluster. President and chief executive officer Trish MacDonald Garber comments, “Greg’s vast experience with broadcasting and his great passion for it can only contribute to our continued success. As the current acting general manager in Cadillac, I am leaving Greg in capable hands with an upward trajectory that I know he and the team will capitalize on.” Marshall states, “I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with the great staff at the Cadillac stations and the AM radio stations in the company. I am looking forward to this amazing opportunity.” Among the stations in the Cadillac group are hot AC WLXV “Mix 96,” sports WKAD “93.7 FM The Ticket,” and talk WATT “Rush Radio 1240.” Over and above these two new duties, Marshall will continue doing his daily 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm talk show on the company’s WMKT “The Talk Station,” Traverse City-Petoskey, Michigan; the program will soon be simulcast on WATT as well.

wmca newSalem Re-Brands Christian Talk WMCA.  As had been predicted based upon some recent domain name acquisitions by Salem Communications, Christian talk WMCA, New York – for the past 25 years called “New York’s Christian Talk” – takes on the new slogan “AM 570 The Mission.”  The company put together a short video to highlight the charitable work done by the station and its listeners that underscores the reason for taking on the “Mission” moniker.  You can view the video here.

Odds & Sods.  A report in the Boston Globe by Chad Finn indicates current WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” midday personality Andy Gresh will exit the station soon.  He co-hosts the program on the sports talk outlet with former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak and hosts the pre- and post-game shows for Patriots football, for which WBZ-wbz-fm logoFM serves as flagship.  Finn reports that Marc Bertrand of the PM drive “Felger and Massarotti” show will join Zolak on the midday show…..CBS RADIO’s Los Angeles all-newser KNX is presenting special programming this week surrounding the State of the Union Address.  In addition to airing the address live at 6:00 pm PT, the station will present a special program on Wednesday (1/21) titled, “Healthcare Uncovered,” from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.  The show will examine “the state of Obamacare as the Affordable Care Act enters its second year,” hosted by KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman.

Bob WilsonBob Wilson: Former Bruins’ Radio Voice Passes. Rabid New England sports fans are known for embracing their professional sports franchises, as well as developing a fondness for those who call the games on radio. For well over two decades – including a 1971 – 1972 Stanley Cup-winning campaign – Bob Wilson was behind the radio microphone for the Boston Bruins. The Arlington, Massachusetts native, who retired in 1995, has passed away. Boston Bruins president – and former Bruins’ star player – Cam Neely comments, “For a generation of New England hockey fans, Bob’s legendary voice was synonymous with the Bruins. He will always be a part of our club’s history. Our thoughts are with [Wilson’s widow] Nancy and their children during this difficult time.” Jack Edwards is the club’s play-by-play announcer on cable television’s NESN and he remarks that Wilson was “my greatest inspiration.” Entercom sports WEEI-FM, Boston personality/NESN Bruins host Dale Arnold states that Wilson was “one of the iconic sports voices of our time. He was a kind and classy gentleman – my hero.”Dave Goucher has been the team’s radio voice the past 15 seasons, but Goucher insists that Wilson “is the radio voice of the Bruins.” In 1987, Wilson received the Foster Hewitt memorial award, earning him a place in the broadcasters’ wing of the Hockey Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2007. Wilson was at the TD Garden (home of the Bruins and the NBA‘s Boston Celtics) nearly four years ago (March 26, 2011) when the Bruins officially named the home radio facility “The Bob Wilson Radio Booth.” Bob Castellon (his real name) was 85.

vuoloartYour Note to “Radio’s Best Friend” Couldn’t Hurt. One of the genuinely great people in the industry isn’t doing well. Just like giving a bowl of chicken soup to someone with a cold or the flu, sending a get-well wish to Art Vuolo certainly couldn’t hurt, and based on a message he posted today (Sunday, 1/18) on his Facebook page, it might go a long way in boosting the spirits of the man widely-regarded as “Radio’s Best Friend.” Coming off organizing yet another wildly successful Los Angeles radio get together, Vuolo underwent knee replacement surgery this past Tuesday (1/13), but he admits, “I hurt a lot. It is difficult for me to sit up in bed to type these words. Hoping I will feel better soon, but right now, my pain level is elevated. All prayers are welcomed.” One of radio’s greatest ambassadors and a countless times videographer of record, Vuolo is in room #154 of the Maple Manor Rehabilitation Center,31215 Novi Road, Novi, Michigan 48377.

Friday, April 25, 2014

| April 25, 2014

nielsen logoNielsen to Present Radio ROI Study to Group Heads.  Using phrases such as “they’ve finally cracked the code” and “radio’s ability to deliver sales lift of more than $6, for every dollar spent,” Clear Channel president and CFO Rich Bressler spoke during yesterday’s investor conference call glowingly about the recent Catalina Solutions group study that shows excellent return on investment for consumer packaged goods (CPG) advertisers using radio.  He announced that on Monday (4/28), radio group heads will gather for a conference at CC’s New York offices to see a presentation bybresslerrichard Nielsen’s Catalina Solutions group that Bressler also called “the first-ever, single source ROI study in the radio sector…Finally, we have the definitive proof of radio’s value.”  If you remember, the study in which Nielsen worked with Clear Channel measured the sales impact for the specific media buys of 10 brands, each of which had different combinations of radio networks.  Nielsen says that this group of 10 brands, which included eight CPG and two retailer brands, provided the foundation for the first normative database for radio effectiveness.  Another key finding was that radio delivers a strong consumer sales response close to the time of purchase.  The closer the exposure is to purchase, the higher the response.  On another note, Bressler did not respond directly to the recent cuts in the sales departments at Clear Channel but made reference to them in describing the state of the company’s executive structure.  “From an organizational standpoint, we create a new major market structure under which four of our senior operating executives are reporting directly to Bob Pittman and myself.  This major markets operating group will collaborate directly with our local market management to oversee our operations in our largest and highest revenue generating markets from our core broadcast radio stations to our digital mobile and events business as well as a more expanded coordination with Clear Channel Outdoor.”

siriusxmSiriusXM Q1 Revenue Up 11%.  It was another good quarterly report for satcaster SiriusXM as CEO Jim Meyer reported that his company’s subscription total is up to 25.8 million – an increase during the quarter of 267,000.  The all-important free cash flow figure was up 56% on $223 million.  Meyer toldmeyerjim analysts on Thursday, “Our solid subscriber growth, even faster revenue growth and high contribution margins have produced dramatic growth in adjusted EBTIDA and free cash flow — exactly what you would expect from SiriusXM’s highly scalable business model.  We are the world leader in monetizing audio entertainment, and the way this monetization translates in cash flow is also unmatched.  Our radios today are only in about 20% to 26% of the cars on the road today.  So we believe the opportunity for long term growth remains significant.”

smerconishmichaelPost Piece Highlights Smerconish’s Drive to Capture Center.  In a feature piece by Manuel Roig-Franzia in the Washington Post, media personality Michael Smerconish is profiled and his quest to find a political center that is hot to talk about the issues of the day is front-and-center.  The story details Smerconish’s entrance into the media world, his syndicated radio career, his cable TV gigs and his decision to leave AM/FM radio for SiriusXM last year.  In discussing this move and critics’ assertions that there is no centrist audience to be found in talk radio, he tells the Post, “I’m the referendum, aren’t I?…I’ve put my livelihood on the line to prove that you can.”

RamseyIndyIndianapolis Welcomes Dave Ramsey.  Talk radio superstar and best-selling author Dave Ramsey visited Indianapolis yesterday (4/24) as he presented his Legacy Journey LIVE! event at Traders Point Christian Church to a packed house.  The event was promoted by Ramsey’s Indy affiliate WFDM “Freedom 95 Radio.”  Pilgrim Communications VP and general manager Randy Tipmore says, “As usual when Dave Ramsey comes to Indianapolis, excitement and enthusiasm go up in the entire area as do station sales.  Every time Dave comes to town we sell out in record time for record amounts.  The Dave Ramsey show is the number-one selling tool we have at ‘Freedom 95.’  Dave Ramsey is pictured here (second from right) with members of the “Freedom 95 Radio” team.

sturgismark‘ESPN Upstate’ Adds Local Evening Show.  Sports media personality Mark Sturgis is tapped to host a live and local evening program on the Entercom-owned multi-cast serving northern South Carolina (the signals include WORD-AM, Spartanburg; WYRD-AM, Greenville; W246BU, Spartanburg on 97.1 FM and WFNC-HD3, Fayetteville, North Carolina).  Sturgis moves from his two-hour show on Byrne Acquisition Group-owned sports talk WCCP-FM, Clemson to a 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm nightly show on “ESPN Upstate.”  He follows the new “In The Huddle” show with Greg McKinney that airs in afternoon drive.  Entercom VP and market manager Steve Sinicropi states, “Our sports coverage in terms of talent, teams and signal coverage continues to get stronger and stronger.  ‘ESPN Upstate’ has become the most dominant sports network in the market.  Mark has a great live and local show right now, he has a network of sports contacts and he brings a passion for sports, strong knowledge and tremendous energy to the fast-growing ‘EPSN Upstate’ audience.  When you have a powerful brand like ESPN and the largest portfolio of radio stations in the Upstate to cross promote, it’s no wonder listeners and talent are coming to ‘ESPN Upstate.’”

sexy liberal logoStephanie Miller’s ‘Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour’ Hits Chicago Tomorrow; Albuquerque and Minneapolis Next.  Talk show host and comic Stephanie Miller’s comedy roadshow – the Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour lands in Chicago tomorrow and there are still a limited number of VIP tickets available for the event.  The show – featuring Miller, John Fugelsang, Carlos Alazraqui, and Stephanie Miller show family members Chris Lavoie and voice deity Jim Ward – is also traveling to Albuquerque on May 10 and rolls into Minneapolis on June 7.

talbottjuliePremiere Networks President Julie Talbott Named Woman of the Year.  The editorial board of TALKERS has named Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott as the 2014 recipient of the Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Talk Radio Industry by a Woman.  The honor, also known as “Woman of the Year,” will be presented to Talbott by last year’s recipient, Heather Cohen, EVP of The Weiss Agency, at the forthcoming Talkers New York 2014 conference on Friday, June 20 as one of the highlights of an awards ceremony at which presentations will also be made for “Lifetime Achievement,” Humanitarian of the Year,” and Freedom of Speech (the recipients of which have yet to be announced).  In addition to Cohen, past recipients of this prestigious award include Robin Bertolucci, Stephanie Miller, Laurie Cantillo, Grace Blazer, Kim Komando, Laura Ingraham, Randi Rhodes, Lynn Distler, Adriane Gaines, Ellen2014 NYC logo 150 Ratner, Gloria Allred, Lisa Evers and its namesake Judy Jarvis, the late independent talk radio syndication pioneer for whom it was first presented posthumously.   Upon announcing the board’s choice of Julie Talbott, TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “We all look forward to the day that a special award to a female member of the talk radio community is no longer relevant or necessary – but if you look at the breakdown of the numbers of men versus women in the business, it is clear that we have not yet reached that day.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison adds, “We couldn’t be more delighted having the opportunity to honor Ms. Talbott for her achievements and contributions to not just talk but the entire spectrum of popular radio over the years. She is a bright, creative, dignified and extremely inspirational role model for young women looking to build a career in the radio broadcasting industry.”  Julie Talbott started her career in advertising at BBDO, where she spent five years as supervisor of media planning and buying.  Her love of radio took her to MJI Broadcasting, where she spent 19 years.  As COO of MJI Broadcasting, Talbott was instrumental in growing the company from five people to more than 150.  In 1999, Premiere Networks acquired MJI Broadcasting.  At that time, Talbott joined Premiere as senior vice president of integrated marketing solutions, focusing on advertising sponsorships.  In 2003, she was promoted to executive vice president, affiliate relations.  In that role, she oversaw a staff that increased affiliations for programs hosted by Jim Rome, Glenn Beck, George Noory, Bob and Tom, Steve Harvey, Keith Sweat, Elvis Duran, Fox Sports Radio and others.  In 2009, Talbott was named VP, content and affiliate relations for Premiere Networks and then promoted in September 2012 to extend that title to Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s National Media Groups.  In January of this year, she was promoted to president of Premiere Networks.  In her current role, Talbott continues to oversee the operation of Premiere Networks radio programs and services and manages business partnerships with talent, while leading and maintaining key affiliate relationships to sell and service Premiere Networks, Total Traffic & Weather Network and iHeartRadio.  A native of Kentucky, Talbott received her B.A. from the University of Kentucky and attended the Business Strategy Program at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business in 1996.  Talbott lives with her husband and three children in New York.  For information about registering for Talkers New York 2014 please call 413-565-5413.

greshamtomTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk” is added to the program lineup at the following stations: KAOK, Lake Charles, Louisiana; KFIV, Modesto, California; KWSX, Stockton, California; WCHS, Charleston, West Virginia; and WBBA, Pittsfield, Illinois…..“Free Talk Live” with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is picked up by new affiliates KQAM, Wichita; WBKV, West Bend, Wisconsin; WHIR, Danville, Kentucky; and WRMN, Elgin, Illinois…..“Into Tomorrow” with Dave Graveline’s weekly program is picked up by KNOX-AM/FM, Fargo.

ABCCainDean Cain Visits ABC News Radio.  Actor Dean Cain goofs with ABC News Radio entertainment correspondent Joi Marie McKenzie during a visit to ABC News Radio studios to promote the new season of his VH1 series “Hit the Floor” that returns on May 26 at 9:00 pm ET.

Russian Aggression in Ukraine/U.S. Troops in Poland Top News/Talk Stories During Week of April 21-25.  The turbulent political state in Ukraine, Russia’s aggression in the region and the arrival of U.S. troops in Poland were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act.  Following at #3 was the 2016 presidential race tied with Chelsea Clinton’s pregnancy and at #4 was the deadly attack on Americans at an Afghanistan hospital tied with drone strikes on suspected al Qaeda in Yemen.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.